Basic Essentials Series — Everyday Handy Skills


Basic Essentials Series — Everyday Handy Skills

Anyone who takes prepping serious needs to acquire a basic set of skills to sustain themselves should a SHTF occur. When things really get tough, self-reliance is the primary mission of the day. There may be little to no public services available, and many private services may be shut down as well. This means whatever jobs need to be done have to be accomplished by you.

If something breaks, needs repairs or regular maintenance, these tasks will fall on you, family or others in a support group that might could lend a hand. If you want to see a taste of what this could be like just watch the TV series “Mountain Men” and especially Eustace Conway living alone in the mountains of North Carolina. Everything he has, he has made, and everything he eats he has raised or hunted it. Even his truck runs on a wood burning stove. It’s a tough life.

So, though you may be living in a modern house or dwelling, when SHTF occurs, all the tasks such as plumbing, electrical (if there is power), carpentry, and anything else that needs repair will become your job. If these tasks sound overwhelming, then perhaps a home improvement or living skills shop course at the local community college or vo-tech school might be in order.

As to basic skills, first learn how to use tools of all kinds. Learn how to sharpen knives and blades of all types including an ax. Bone up on mechanical skills in order to repair a myriad of machines that run around the house. If you own a chainsaw, know how to change out the saw chain, sharpen it, and adjust the engine to keep it running. Same for lawn mowers or any other such gas engines. Learn some basic automotive maintenance and repair skills.

Know how to change out a broken PCV pipe, elbows, or values in a plumbing system including unplugging a stopped up septic system. This assumes you keep the tools and supplies to do these and other repairs as well. Learn to repair or replace door locks, hinges, garage doors, and such. Can you replace broken glass in a window? Can you do basic sheet rock work?

Before trouble comes, walk around your house and property to make a list of all the things that might need fixing, parts replacement or regular maintenance. Then set about learning how to do each of these. It takes time to master even the basic skills, so start a program of work now.

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Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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