What do you think is a severely underrated survival skill?

Discussion in 'Preparedness' started by TheDandyLion, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. TheDandyLion

    TheDandyLion Tracker

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    In a time where "prepping" has been stigmatized as a basement full of canned food, a rack of AR-15's and a fallout shelter, with the wilderness equivalent being Rambo or "Man vs. Wild" I think it's easy to romanticize a survival situation. I think we all know it takes more than several thousand rounds of .22lr and a lifes supply of edged tools. It takes a lot of skills, supplies, and know-how. With such a plethora of "stuff" that a person just getting into it, it's easy to never consider a lot of things.

    So, what is something you don't think people talk about NEARLY enough when discussing a more long term/ubran survival situation (in the case of a disaster, either environmental or the less likely political)?

    Personally I think that nobody talks about food preservation, yeah pre-canned food are useful, and knowing how to grow food in a garden is useful, I don't think it's enough. Take tomatoes for example, if you have two dozen tomato plants that were all planted at the same time, come harvest you might have up to 200+ tomatoes (if well pruned and well watered). By the time you have used a quarter of them, the rest have gone bad (with no freezing/refrigeration). You could grow less, but that defeats the purpose of producing mass food. Simple canning is super easy and can be done with not electricity and basic equipment. All you need are the jars. Preverve those tomatoes (as well as soups, stews, ect.) and you can live off them for months without having to grow anything. This is useful for civilized life too, because it saves the freezer space used by leftover sauce, stews, soups, ect, for things that are more challenging to preserve without refrigeration like meats.

    I still think food and water stores are helpful, but you need to know how to replenish.

    What about you? What do you think is a severely underrated skill?
     
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  2. OmegaMan73

    OmegaMan73 Guide

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    Your mental capacity. To keep a level head when you see things and people you know not doing well.
     
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  3. quietmike

    quietmike Hardwoodsman Supporter

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    Financial preparation.

    A loss of a job, a sudden injury or debilitating illness is much more likely to happen than any teotwawki event. Most folks don't have over $1000 in savings. It'd be a shame to have a pantry full of freeze dried food, the perfect guns and knives, and the ideal off grid location, to lose it all in a forclosure sale.
     
  4. Schmittie

    Schmittie Scout

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    Underrated skill? - improvising and being resourceful.
     
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  5. TheDandyLion

    TheDandyLion Tracker

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    That's a pretty big one. Also probably the hardest skill to learn let alone master.
     
  6. TheDandyLion

    TheDandyLion Tracker

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    I totally agree, I've had it drilled into my head since I was a small that i need to save every penny, and to this day I've been pretty good at keeping what money I can.

    One of the reasons I love tricks like food preservation, on a night I don't feel like cooking instead of running into town for an over-priced meal I can pop open a jaw of home made chili and have a nice meal of it.
     
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  7. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    This for sure! Being able to take a starter apart, figure out what's wrong and scrounge the parts or even make the parts to fix it. Being able to build your own living structure or repair it. Understanding the principles and practices of the mechanical arts be they carpentry, plumbing electrical, etc and have the experience to apply them. These are the skills that take time counted in years or decades to acquire. And it takes a mind set that is truly interested in those skills not just a library of how-to books and a kit assembled from a list of suggested tools.
     
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  8. MichaelBear

    MichaelBear Bushmaster Hobbyist

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    First Aid.
     
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  9. TheDandyLion

    TheDandyLion Tracker

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    Outside of the context of "survival" I have tried to try and excel at. Lot of years to do...
     
  10. andyblack

    andyblack Scout

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    Finding water


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  11. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    Physical well being and locked in to prescription medications. Most preppers I know look like they are a dozen cans of Dinty Moore away from the big one. Getting ones body in their best physical conditioning possible should be the first prep but is usually the last.
    I recently took a leap in this area and all of the stored food I've done is worthless garbage. Changing of my lifestyle knocked down 20.5 pounds down in 31 days and counting. Energy level is much more active than a month ago.

    Update: I'm now down 90 pounds in over 320+ days, and just about off all prescription medications. I'm still not done loosing weight, as long as I can squeeze a good bit of fat I'm going to be loosing more.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
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  12. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    A significant group of like minded individuals.
     
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  13. GKiT

    GKiT Guide

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    Being able to sleep under mental duress.
     
  14. Keyser Söze

    Keyser Söze Usual Suspecto Supporter Lifetime Supporter

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    Cooking food, from soups, stews.... to baking bread ....some people out there can't boil an egg yet have more food stored than at Costco

    And of course .... Batoning wood with your knife !! Stainless or high carbon
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
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  15. chasntuna

    chasntuna Guide

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    Lots of good mentions here. I have to say the top few I see are people's inability to FIX simple things. What to look for if something doesn't start, work, or run. How to repair broken tools or implements and how to properly use tools. We live in a world today where it's natural to "go buy new".
    Alot of folks lack any creativity.
    Most important if things got really bad, just about everyone I know would not have the ambition or heart to kill an animal for food, let alone process the kill be it a squirrel, hog, deer, fish or bird.
     
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  16. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    Exactly!
    Nobody MAKES soap any more. Or tools. Like Mr. Black once said, "BE the personal survival kit"
     
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  17. Myr1ad

    Myr1ad Scout

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    Continual situational awareness, not just when things go bad, but all the time, so you see things before it goes bad.
     
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  18. Tangotag

    Tangotag Field Gear Junkie Supporter Bushclass I

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    Most "deer hunters" (deer harvesters) I know bring their deer in for processing. I was taught once old enough to carry a rifle how to harvest, process, and cook your own meat. Heck one of the first things I bought when I moved out on my own was a large hand crank meat grinder. Worst case scenario there is always meatloaf. Last fall I went on a group bird hunting trip out west. I could not believe that I was the only one there that had ever cooked a wild bird. Needless to say I was the designated "cookie" for the trip. The cooking fires were lit by flint and steel too.
     
  19. Hoof

    Hoof Guide

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    +1 on this
    No matter how prepped you are, mauders come in superior numbers
     
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  20. seasonofthewoods

    seasonofthewoods Wanderer Supporter

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    I think the hardest skill to learn , is navigation.... Is honestly struggle with it. Compass ..... Locating etc
     
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  21. YacoltWose

    YacoltWose Supporter Supporter

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    The ability to work well with others, even when they are really different from you, don't know as much as you, or seem just plain crazy.
     
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  22. IA Woodsman

    IA Woodsman Overwatch Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator Vendor Bushclass Instructor

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    With out a doubt ........ improvising.
     
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  23. lugnut

    lugnut Supporter Supporter

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    Great answers so far. I think physical fitness as mentioned above is a big one. A healthy, in shape individual is much more effective, in my opinion, in most any situation, survival or otherwise.
     
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  24. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    triage,
    assessing damage and where to start first.
    And how best to invest limited resources, and when it's time to walk away.
     
  25. Strngwlkr

    Strngwlkr Supporter Supporter

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    I am, as usual, too late to the dance!
    Situational awareness at ALL times
    And
    Physical preparedness!
    I love the young kid and his rules in"Zombieland"-he had it right, Cardio and watching out for the Zombies.

    Your level of physicality is your choice and maybe limited but factors outside your control (physical limitation such as arthritis or diabetes et al) -DO WHAT YOU CAN!

    But situational awareness is boundless. You think "What about the blind?" - I have seen blind people do amazing things, same with the deaf.
     
  26. Youcantreadinthedark

    Youcantreadinthedark Chaotic Neutral. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Coming up with interesting things to talk about on a first date. Cause that chick really doesn't care about the edge retention of A2.
     
  27. chasntuna

    chasntuna Guide

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    This is a big one too. Just because you can run a mile or lift 100lbs dead weight doesn't mean your in shape.
     
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  28. Guillaume Longval

    Guillaume Longval Scout

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    If she does, make her a wedding ring out of it!

    "History from the inside is a dark digestive mess. From the outside, one can clearly see the cow".
    Or how to react when you dont really know exacly whats happening.
     
  29. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

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    correct answer... HER. Cuz a girl likes a man who is interested in her. Talk about her and it will be a lot quicker to decide if she is worth keeping around.

    As for most under appreciated survival skill... I'd say the ability to deal with small injuries... its that small cut that gets infected that's going to keel ya.
     
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  30. alukban

    alukban Guide

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    - effective trapping

    - having tools & spares for repairing electronics and knowing how to, reading schematics

    - there is "first aid" but there is also longer term medical aid, wound care, dental tools...

    - fish farming

    - hydroponics

    - making your own booze (and vinegar) without commercially available yeast

    - stocking up salt

    - the art of chracuterie

    - etc
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  31. DennisLattis

    DennisLattis Scout

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    I have been for years trying to learn skills that might be helpful one day. For example I learned how to saddle and ride a horse, no I do not have a horse. I learned how to ride a motorcycle, no I do not have a motorcycle. See a pattern. I grow a small garden every year, I deer hunt every year, and other skills. I can do BASIC electric work and carpentry and plumbing. I know people family members even that are very limited in their skill set. All the comments are great here and I agree with them all but think outside the box. Not just wilderness survival but survival
     
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  32. Crusher0032

    Crusher0032 Scout

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    Flexibility in situations- sure you can make a fire with both hands in the dry. Now fall from height, lose your pack, break a wrist and make and make one to survive. Or say your canoe washes away in a river surge from a sudden overnight downpour you weren't expecting. Now what? A lot of survival really depends on your mental chess game. Think a few moves ahead in each direction. Train like it's the worst day ever in a realistic setting. Being uncomfortable in training ensures you're adaptability in a real uncomfortable situation. How many folks have actually stayed out overnight with just their personal survival kit or get home bag. Figure out the most frustrating necessary skill and practice it until you cant mess it up.
     
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  33. The Woodsrunner

    The Woodsrunner Bush Nerd Hobbyist

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    Community. Building community. And tradable skills that can be used as barter. Skills and knowledge never run out and will be in great demand.
     
  34. The Woodsrunner

    The Woodsrunner Bush Nerd Hobbyist

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    Those^^^
     
  35. tmac5454

    tmac5454 Seeking simple truths Supporter

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    Bush skills. Far and away Bush skills. Great you have some food stored up, some water stashed, but do you have the knowledge to procure those items when you run out? Knowing how to hunt/trap, find and purify water are must know items yet, I know a lot of people who would plan on having their stores help them last through but most don't understand they'll have to ration and re-supply during SHTF.

    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
  36. martyinthewoods

    martyinthewoods Scout

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    Identifying and preparing wild edibles. Even in suburbia there are things to eat.

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  37. will62

    will62 Scout

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    Improvising is at the top of the list. Depending on your location and circumstances growing your own food and basic soil chemistry should be on the list and animal husbandry .

    Basic mechanical and electrical skills are a plus
     
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  38. Frogfriend

    Frogfriend Tracker

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    Like others have said, being able to improvise and being both mentally and physically fit

    Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
     
  39. hunter63

    hunter63 Bushmaster

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    Foreseeing the future.......Makes it easier to pick the correct "One Knife".
     
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  40. thedutchtouch

    thedutchtouch Scout

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    i'd say pain tolerance. which should extend to hunger.
     
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  41. feellnfroggy

    feellnfroggy Guide

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    Land nav and trading skills. And the art of invisibility.
     
  42. Youcantreadinthedark

    Youcantreadinthedark Chaotic Neutral. Supporter Bushclass I

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    Conflict mediation!
     
  43. Swarvegorilla

    Swarvegorilla Scout

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    1) Not being afraid of being alone in the dark. Its ok buddy, you are the top predator on the planet :)

    2) Just chill and take in your surroundings. It cost low calorie to take a moment, have a look and think. I find that in the bush I can just spend some time looking at THAT area and find resources. Theres food everywhere.... once you have enough options and patience. Dont fall into the... "check the next valley" trap and wind up tired and hungry. Move slow enough to take advantage of resources, and you will not have to go as far to gather them. They will come cheaper! For example, I snap off match sized dry twigs in rainforest, so later when I have camp I already have the hardest to find kindling in poor light. Hmmmm..... how to word. Take the time to find the things that are there, without knowing what they are and thus being able to look specifically for them. I sound like an old hippy, but the ability to stop freaking out and just look around you to take in the options available. Options turn into plans. But to get there you need to ability to chill and breath and think. You are the smartest creature on the planet. You got this buddy!
     
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  44. JAY

    JAY Guide

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    finding wild edibles.
     
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  45. Megalos

    Megalos Supporter Supporter

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    I agree with the need to be able to preserve food. Here in Ohio, we'll have to deal with the seasons and some things won't be available year round. I'm looking at building a small solar dehydrator and a smoker so I'll know how to do it if the need ever arises.
     
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  46. APRock

    APRock Scout

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    While I agree with all the above, the first thing that popped into my head, considering the group I usually end up with out on the water and in the woods... Getting very basic here - primitive fire starting. Out of my group, I am the only one that can make a pile of shavings, rub two sticks together, and get a fire going, in the rain. AND have enough set by to last the night. They all think "Well, that's a neat trick..too much work, though...I got my matches, BIC..."
     
  47. CT03

    CT03 Scout

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    I'll agree with the mental and physical fitness part. You can be the best prepared person in the world and be left stranded for one reason or another without anything but yourself... So my endeavor is to stay physically fit and try to challenge myself to something new as often as possible. This includes traveling on vacation to places where I don't speak the language, try new foods, learn new skills, mentally challenge myself... doesn't have to even be outdoors related... keep that brain and body healthy.
     
  48. Twistokane

    Twistokane Tracker

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    Trust. In yourself and in others lack there of, and too much trust alike.
     
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  49. Offshore Angler

    Offshore Angler Tracker

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    Navigation- How many people really know how to read a compass, or even know north from south ?? land Cruising is what the old timers called it, and not knowing where , or what your walking into in not is not good at anytime.


    Offshore Angler
     
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  50. Backyard

    Backyard Supporter Supporter

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    The ability to take something and fix or improve. Could be as simple as sewing. Could be as complex as using car batteries to weld. Maybe this is just the ability or mind set needed to improvise.
     
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