Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bugging In: Skills Roundup

The last things to discuss about bugging in are skills: those you have, and thoseyou learn. Skills are the one prep that can't be taken from you by disaster, economic hardship, or any other environmental concern. Some are free to learn; even more can be learned very inexpensively, and all of them are an investment in your survival and well-being.

Raising your own food is a useful skill even in the best of times. The specifics of what you grow and how will depend on your location and space available; your local nursery, greenhouse, or farm store can provide valuable insight. Even if you're limited on space, square foot gardening techniques will allow you to make the most of the space you do have. If you plant using heirloom seeds, you can use seeds from each year's crop to plant for the next season.

First Aid
In a situation that requires you to hunker down for an extended time, help may be a long time coming. I've mentioned the need for basic medical training before: when you're effectively cut off from help, you are the help. Avail yourself of any first aid training you can get and and make sure your family does the same. And remember Murphy's Law -- if only one person has medical skills, they'll be the one who gets injured.

Handyman/DIY Skills
We've talked about having basic tools around. If you're planning on hunkering down, you need to expand your knowledge of how to use those tools.

For basic home maintenance and repairs, your local hardware store will very likely conduct classes once or twice a month, often for free. They'll cover common home repairs, seasonal maintenance, and other vital things to keep your home running smoothly.

For automotive and equipment repairs, start by reading the owners manual. Haynes and other companies also produce an extensive line of vehicle-specific books, with step-by-step instructions and a wealth of illustrations and pictures. Courses are frequently available at your local trade school or community college, sometimes for a very nominal fee. Practice maintaining your gear yourself in good times, so that you're comfortable running the wrench when you don't have options.

There are many other skills to learn that will make bugging in easier, more comfortable, and more successful. They cannot all possibly be covered in one list, so please comment with other skills that folks should learn, and where they can be learned.


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