forgotten skills of self sufficiency

skills in self reliance

Lost skills
Self sufficiency for preppers

Survivalists, preppers and homesteaders are wise to consider
adding skills to their repertoire of days gone by! There are many
forgotten skills of self-sufficiency...

Forgotten Skills of a Self-reliant Lifestyle

Forgotten skill #1: Cooking from Scratch.
At the most basic level, preppers should learn to cook with bulk
bake bread, biscuits and tortillas, make pancakes from
scratch, and cook rice and beans. With so many instant rice
dishes on the market, it's a wonder people know how to cook bulk
rice at all, yet rice is a prepper staple food. And what happens
when the cans of beans run out and preppers must make beans
from the dried stash? Moving on to more advanced levels, its
important to know how to make yogurt and butters;  beer, wine,
and moonshine;

  • Forgotten Skills of Cooking. Reconnect with the cooking skills
    missed by a generation or two with the book by Darina Allen,
    Forgotten Skills of Cooking. This book filled with 700 recipes
    covers forgotten processes of cooking, such as curing bacon,
    and making yogurt and butter. The book explains everything
    in the simplest terms.

Forgotten skill #2: Gardening.
Growing food is both a science and an art. From knowing the
proper ph balance of the soil, to knowing what to plant each
season, selecting the right perinnieals, to saving seed for future,
there is much to know about gardening. You can become a home
agrarian on a porch! Learn the art of small container gardening
become a home agrarian.

Forgotten skill #3: Canning and food preservation.
A prepper favorite is canning! Indeed canning is a lost art in our
modern civilization. Looking for an easy way to start canning? Try
dry canning (vacuum sealing dried foods into mason jars and
mylar bags)! Buy in bulk and have at it. Be sure to check out our
canning store if you want to get set up your kitchen canning

Forgotten skill # 4: Cellaring.
Setting up a root cellar is a must if you are growing beets,
cabbage carrots, onions, parsnips, potatoes, radishes, rutabaga,
or turnips. Cellaring requires no electricity and best of all it's
inexpensive and requires little maintenance. If you have access
to straw, all the better! Another option is to create a zZer pot.

Forgotten skill #5: Composting.
Knowing how to recycle waste to create soil-nourishing compost
is an old idea with recent popularity. As an example, raising
chickens will help with composting: feed them scraps and their
rich manure will support your efforts. For advice for starting and
maintaining a composting system, building bins, and using
compost, consider Let it Rot: The Gardener's Guide to
Composting by Stu Campbell.

Forgotten skill #6: Hunting and gathering.
Did you know that hunter gatherers worked about 20-40 hours a
week? Think of this! According to Psychology Today, "During the
10,000 years since the onset of agriculture and then industry, we
have developed countless laborsaving devices, but we haven't
reduced our labor." Hunter-gatherers were also more playful.

Forgotten skill #7: Shoemaking.
In a long-term off grid scenario, such as an EMP or long-term
economic collapse, such as the Great Depression, you will find
shoemaking a necessity as is shoe repair, discussed at the
bottom of the page. It's virtually impossible to find a book on
crafting sandals and shoes on a small scale, but we found it in
"The fundamentals of shoemaking" by Sharon Raymond. Pictured
at the top right of the page, this book includes clever illustrations
to give you a headstart to the craft of shoemaking.

Forgotten skill #8 Sewing, knitting and crocheting.
Mending and creating new clothing is a homesteading skill that
few today really know how to do well.

  • Awl for heavy fabric sewing. An awl sews a lock-stitch like a
    machine for heavy duty materials. Rothco also makes a tool
    for sewing or repairing outdoor camping equipment, athletic
    equipment, sails and mooring covers, saddles and harnesses
    and much more. Awl for Awl is an American made awl, also
    pictured immediate right.

  • Fabric Cement Kit. Give up on sewing? You can repair and
    reinforce on all types of canvas with Attwood Fabric Cement,
    pictured at the bottom of the page.

Forgotten Skill #9: Navigating by compass.
Learn how to navigate by compass. The tutorial by Trail Magazine
is less than two minutes and gets to point about how to align
your compass to a map and start walking in the right direction.
Granted, there is so much more to learn about a compass, it's a
good start. Magnetic variation will require you learn to set the
compass to the right bearing. Take a few minutes right now to
how to use a compass and a map.

Forgotten skill #10: Gardening, harvesting seeds and seed
According to the book The Forgottens Skills of Self-sufficiency of
the Mormon Pioneers
, top left of the page, the necessary back-to-
basics survival skills include:
  1. Home gardening
  2. Seed saving
  3. Growing pure seed
  4. Extending the harvest
  5. Using garden boxes
  6. Growing perennial vegetables
  7. Producing fruitful grapes and fruit trees
  8. Cellaring
  9. Planting long keepers of heirloom vegetables
  10. Growing early vegetables
  11. Making a sourdough starter (pioneer yeast)
  12. Raising a backyard flock for fresh eggs
  13. Cooking pancakes, breads, omelets and more.

Forgotten skill #11: Figuring out how to fix just about anything!
Take action in self reliance and do what it takes to fix something.

  • Shutting off water heater tank How to turn off water
    heater. Your hot water heater is a supplemental source of
    water, but you'll want to know how to shut off incoming
    water to avoid contaminated water to mix the safe water.
    Watch this short video on how to stop a leaking water
    heater, intended for helping deal with a plumbing problem.
    This information is good prepper knowledge.

  • Dental repair (Dental Kit / Braces Emergency Kit. Pictured
    immediate right, this special tool includes toothed-end
    nippers for clipping off dangerous wire braces when they
    snap under. Fixing something temporarily will help you avoid
    emergency off hour dentist fees. See also our dental first
    aid kits.

  • Eletrical repair kit. Become your own electrical engineer.
    You'll need to learn how to solder too!

  • Eyeglass repair. Eyeglass repair will be essential to many
    individuals and if you're handy, it's not all that difficult. As
    you age, your eyeglasses will need repair. The prescription
    will change as well, but that's a problem resolved by

  • Eyeglass repair kit. The eyeglass repair kit, pictured
    immediate right, includes the correct-sized screwdriver,
    replacement nose piece, and replacement screws to fix
    your glasses, and more. With a magnifier, 4 comfort
    nose pads, 2 plastic nose pads, 9 screws, 2 plastic
    starters, 1 lens cloth, and 3 appropriately-sized
    screwdrivers all tucked inside, you'll be glad to own this
    inexpensive prep.

  • Plumbing repair kit. Pull up your pants and learn the art of
    do it yourself plumbing. Start with the do-it-yourself tools: a
    5 piece tool set for clogs, leaks and drips, pictured directly
    below. You'll also need flat and beveled washers, screws,
    faucet packing, fiber washers and hose washers to repair and
    replace seals in faucets, toilets, sinks and drain, pictured

  • Root Cellaring. Set up your own natural cold storage of
    fruits and vegetables with help from the book, pictured
    immediate left.

  • Shoe repair. The Great Depression lasted ten years.
    During that time people had to make do with what they had
    and rely on their skills, such as repairing shoes. Knowing
    how to repair shoes will save your family money and add a
    valuable prepper skill. Pictured above left, is an invaluable
    reproduction of the original book "How to Repair Shoes" by
    Frank L. West, first published in 1912. More tools for shoe
    repair on this page include:
  • Shoe Goo repairs all leather, vinyl rubber and canvas
  • How to make tire sandals from recycled materials.
    Not so pretty, but surely functional and effective foot
    protection. Best of all, your sandals will come with a
    70,000 mile warranty!

  • Watch repair. Today, if you're lucky, you can head to a fine
    jeweler or department store and get a watch repaired. As
    many people rely on their cell phones, fewer are wearing
    wrist watches, yet owning an old-fashioned wrist watch
    could prove essential in planning your day on the
    homestead. Armed with tools and instruction, you're halfway
    ready to repair a watch! At the bottom of the page is a good
    book on Beginning Watchmaking, which you may like to pick
    up as a hobby.

Of foremost importance,
consider the skills of the pioneers who
forged the American Frontier, but consider also learning from
people who survived the Great Depression to discover more
modern self-sufficiency lessons, including the art of repair.

Happy endings...
Enjoy prepping with your family. Think of it as hobby. Self
sufficiency begins one project at a time. Project by project you
can begin to feel more self-reliant and satisfy all your basic
needs, starting with a minimal reliance on the grid and a small
garden and later moving towards going completely off the grid
and having a full-scale production of food with livestock and
produce coming from your own backyard and the wilderness that
surrounds you.

Take a deep breath because there's much to absorb in
responsibility and commitment. For now you can take pride in
being emotionally and intellectually independent, one project at a

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Shoe goo
Heal replacement kit
Watch repair kit
Book: crafting handmade shoes
Watch repair kit
watch repair book
Beginning watchmaking
Eyeglass repair kit
Braces emergency kit
helpign hands
Electrical repair solder
Soldering kit
Canvass fabric cement
American made Awl
Awl replacement thread
Rothco sewing awl
Electrical repair kit
5 piece tool set for clogs, leaks and drips.
Dental temp loose fillings and caps
eyeglass repair kit
Root cellaring
From Scratch Cookbook
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