What do you think is a severely underrated survival skill?

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

  1. Barry J

    Barry J Scout

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    I don't hear a lot of people mention these aspects of preparedness, and I think a lot of people overlook them.

    Know your neighbors.
    Know the streets in your neighborhood, where the dead ends, and through streets are located.
    Know where a helicopter could land for an evacuation, such as an air ambulance.
    Make sure everyone in your family knows where to meet.
    When you are hiking, turn around every few minutes and look at where you have been. This will make it easier to find your way home.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
  2. Fat Old Man

    Fat Old Man Perpetual Student Supporter

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    Resilience and resolve.
     
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  3. DCPugh

    DCPugh Supporter Supporter

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    Bush skills, cause the ability to find and create the things that you will need are priceless.
     
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  4. Csp203

    Csp203 Tracker

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    This 1000% The ability to pick up and move quickly and over long distances under heavy load is al but impossible for most people.
     
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  5. Coryphene

    Coryphene Guide

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    The ability to learn skills and communicate with other people without use of the Internet or any electronic device.

    How to make and operate a manual pump for liquids. Having a 275 gallon tank of rain water is nice and all but nothing beats being able to tap into the groundwater and the ability to draw from it.
     
  6. JackOfClubs

    JackOfClubs Tracker

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    I haven't sifted through all of these posts, but I think when the world goes kaput people will still have babies that need delivering and I would expect that in any sort of collapse or unrest there will be a LOT of gunshot wounds. Not saying everyone needs to become a MD this minute, but their skills will prove very usable should such an event happen.

    In addition, improvisation will always help you in any situation. Being able to look at a screwed up scenario that isn't going your way could mean the difference between making it out with a cool head or being another statistic. As my football coach used to say, "Everyone has a plan until they get hit in the mouth."
     
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  7. Robert Highhawk

    Robert Highhawk Tracker

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    Mental toughness
     
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  8. Robert Highhawk

    Robert Highhawk Tracker

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  9. TrailJack

    TrailJack Tracker

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    Situational Awareness
     
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  10. PMSteve

    PMSteve Old Timey Outdoorsman Supporter

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    Another underrated skill: Patience.

    I was always taught that survival is best accomplished at a slow and easy pace. Unless circumstances are severe, it pays to sit down, brew some tea or coffee, and assess your situation. Take stock of your resources then decide how best to use them.

    What type of shelter best suits your needs? Do you even need a shelter? Have you found a source of water? Do you need a fire? Do you have a need for fire?

    You see, not every situation requires the same activities. Being broke down in the desert, may require a simple shade shelter, when being stuck in a blizzard may require a snow shelter.

    Gathering water is always important. Do you have a ready supply? Do you have the means necessary to gather water.

    There are so many variables that no single survival activity is right for every circumstance, other than the need for water.

    Sit down, take stock, then decide upon a course of action.

    Steve
     
  11. teotwaki

    teotwaki Scout

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    Critical thinking

    1. Clearly define the problem
    2. Define the solution
    3. Implement the solution
    4. Measure results
    5. If necessary, see #1
     
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  12. Terasec

    Terasec Scout

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    1 skill i would like to improve on for myself
    is wild edible knowledge
    we all walk by multiple edible plants while carrying days supply of foods in our packs
     
  13. Portage_Monster

    Portage_Monster Scout

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    Keeping a cool head +1000!
    To quote the movie Shooter "slow is smooth, smooth is fast"

    I also think that finding and preserving food is underrated. Great, you shot a deer, now good luck eating it before it goes bad. We'all run out of game pretty fast if we're only consuming 1/4 of the animal. Beyond that wild edibles are a lost art - I don't know nearly enough but it's something that is safer to be taught than to be read about.
     
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  14. SAK_Survival

    SAK_Survival Tracker Bushclass I

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    A skill that people don't talk about NEARLY enough are #1 and #2. Specifically #2. If you cant go in the woods without making a mess, you will be in a crap load of trouble.

    I guess you could sum it up with saying personal hygiene in the field.

    but really, just because IT hit the fan, doesn't mean that you wont ever have to go again...
     
  15. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    I agree with PMSteve
    Patience.
    We live in an impatient society and have a hard time waiting for things to happen. Gardening, fishing, bow drill fire, hunting, tracking, solving problems, working with others, waiting for paint/glue to dry.
    I generally like to assemble all the parts to a project first, and the in the shortest amount of time assemble it all, but it doesn't always work out that way.
    Taking just a moment more thinking about a problem can often render a better solution.
    People have built camp on the side of a stream at night and found that during the night camp was washed away.
    Building camp under tree during a snow storm sounds good, until the branches start falling off from the weight of the snow .
    I am not a minimalist , and though i must walk slower, both for my age, and my load, I leave improvising to things that matter least, and the best correct tools for things that matter most.
    A tool that one improvises with most, gets worn out first.
     
  16. GGTBod

    GGTBod Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Putting the kettle on for a cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer), hey if your thing is hot chocolate go for it, some crazy folks here even go down the Bovril path, a good hot drink and a sit down to enjoy it and take in your situation
     
  17. Finner

    Finner Supporter Supporter

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    I think many people fail to recognize that preparedness is not one size fits all. Some will watch a guy on youtube and run out to pick up the supplies that so and so recommends without thinking about what fits with their own reality. I am lucky enough to live on a freshwater lake in the middle of nowhere but I assume that my preparations will do SFA for the guy in the middle of NYC, Toronto or Atlanta. I think that many times preparation for preparation is what is lacking. Just my $0.02
     
  18. GoodOlBoy

    GoodOlBoy Scout

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    There was an article several years ago I wish I could find again. It talked about the Native American survival skill of doing nothing. Just that. Do nothing. Or as John Wayne put it in one movie "You sit there and count your toes, I'll do the masterminding here!" In a situation where you are lost, food is scarce, there is danger about, lines are down, etc etc one of the absolutely worst things you can do is run around like a chicken with your head chopped off trying to single handily rebuild civilization or take over the world. Ease back on the throttle some. Take a look around. Don't build a shelter if you have one that will work. Don't go running off to find another half ton of canned goods if you have enough to last a few days to a few weeks. Stop processing down every limb in a hundred miles with a knife and club for firewood... Just breathe. That's it. That's the skill so many of us are missing. More people have hurt and or killed themselves in a bad situation by trying to make it a dead heat race than have ever died by just calming down and taking it easy. Even when SCUBA diving. You panic and start breathing rapidly and you burn up your air supply and can cause yourself shallow water blackouts. Sit, stare off into the distance, listen to the world around you. Figure it out, then act accordingly, but also act in such a manner that you aren't going to burn out yourself and your supplies. When the idiot light on your car comes on you don't go "Oh no I'm almost out of gas! I better floor it!" Instead you maintain speed with good MPG, let off the throttle going downhill, and coast when you can. Same thing in any emergency or survival situation. Keep calm and breathe. If all else fails pull out a deck of cards and start playing solitaire, because you can bet your hind end somebody will show up to tell you to put that red queen on the black king.....

    God Bless, and One Love.

    GoodOlBoy
     
  19. WILL

    WILL Scout

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    What do I think is a severely underrated long term urban survival skill? I'm going off my grandparents example from the depression because I have no experience. For them it was being able to earn a living and supplement their own food sources as much as possible. They were also super thrifty with everything they did. Thrifty to a level that people today don't understand.

    My Grandfather was a mason, but his skills and abilities lent him to all sorts of work to provide for his family. The key was to know many skills to make a living.

    They also produced food as they could by bartering, hunting, fishing, having chickens, gardening, canning and fruit tree in their small back yard. Those are all skills that had to be honed.
     
  20. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Some thing i've been recommending for years is that those whom venture the woods often might consider taking seeds to plant berry bushes here and there near water, both providing food for the wild population,which encourages them to multiply, and ones self if it comes down to it.
     
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  21. Edge308

    Edge308 Scout

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    I moved to Florida from Ohio. The thing that's hard st for me is food procurement by far. I don't see blackberry bushes or mulberry trees lots of damn lizards though lol. This is my weakness as well. We all pride ourselves on feathersticks and fire but what are you going to eat?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  22. 8thsinner

    8thsinner Guide Bushclass I

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    For some that is entirely not the case, I am currently courting a woman, whom, around the fire upon our first meeting at a moon gathering, asked me what my thoughts were on the best one knife...
    She seems partial to obsidian more than A2. I can live with that.

    As for the most underrated skill, I would have to say adaptability. And mind set.
    My own skills that are lacking are all on the edibles front, I could make do in most seasons but it's mostly grubs and horrible things. I intend to do more hunting this year and more plant and tree work in this regard.

    But maybe the most important thing, is to keep at it, constantly experimenting and practicing the skills we do need to work on.
     
  23. southron

    southron Scout

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    Proper nutrition requirements to stay healthy long term on foraged / stored / food using natural medecines and other items should OTC be available. Also treatment of ailments.

    A simple example is What to take for fever should aspirin not be available. (I"ll drop the hint that willow bark tea has the basic ingredient that is in aspirin.)

    wood ashes can be used to clean things

    Lots of medical knowledge.

    *****

    Another area a lot of people are weak in is tying knots, and making cordage. Many like para cord, but knowing how to make your own lines can be vital.

    ***

    In the end the knowledge between your ears, with practical application helps you provide for the things you need to live.

    Make a list of what it takes to supply each part of the rule of threes and you have a good start on what to think of.

    I. E.

    3 minutes without air
    3 hours without shelter / temp regulation
    3 days without water
    3 weeks without food.


    I'd also think about

    sanitation
    security


    communication

    mental health / dealing with stress

    Probably a lot more I"m missing as I'm stream of thought writing this, but it is a starting point.

    Jim
     
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  24. Bitterroot Native

    Bitterroot Native Guide

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    My top choice is stealth and concealment, all aspects of it.

    Being able to move quietly and stealthily is a HUGE deal in a natural environment both to procure food and avoid danger.
    Choosing a stealthy camp location is a must in a lot of situations. I always like to tuck into areas where I wont be seen by people or bothered by animals.
    Learning to hide your scent, sound, and conceal movement is a survival skill in and of itself. One that I don't think gets much recognition.

    Second choice would be the ability to travel barefoot.

    Personally I don't like the idea of not being able to walk hardly anywhere without relying on a piece of equipment, in this case shoes. A human being should be able to do the most basic task of moving themselves through their environment without something strapped on their feet.
    Most people, suddenly finding themselves without shoes for whatever reason, would be SOL in almost any survival situation.
     
  25. gila_dog

    gila_dog BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    Avoiding getting into situations where you need your "preps" and survival skills in the first place. If you take care of your vehicle you will have less chance of breaking down and needing your jumper cables, tow chain, etc. If you have good maps, and use them, you won't be as likely to get lost. If you watch the weather and avoid going out in storms, there's less chance of getting stuck in the snow. Before going very far into desert country, make sure you have plenty of water so if something goes wrong you don't either die of thirst or have to drink cow pond water. On, and on, etc. It's easier to stay of of trouble than it is to get out of trouble.
     
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  26. batmanacw

    batmanacw Supporter Supporter

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    While most survivalist are playing in the woods, I'll be running my buddies cnc mill and engine lathe making whatever I want. We will build hydro electric generators to run the farm and keep the greatly reduced herd going. We will plant crops and make a life.

    After the wannabe survivalist flock to the woods and wipe it out like locusts we will pick up the pieces.
     
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  27. ScottC

    ScottC Tracker

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    More and more it seems basic 'common sense' isn't so common any more.
     
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  28. allofthemonkeys

    allofthemonkeys Scout

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    Improvising and adapting is a skill that is needed and something that most of us will be ok at due to bushcrafting.
     
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  29. planzman

    planzman Tracker

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    Making a fire in any weather at any time.
    Purify water
    Heat
    Cook food
    Redneck tv
    Its a friend when u have none.
    Number 1 task and graded at AF survival school back in the '80s
     
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  30. Cattle Bandit Lawson

    Cattle Bandit Lawson Scout

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    I'd agree with pretty much everyone here. There isn't just ONE over looked skill for the same reason there isn't just one knife to do it all. I believe that not a lot of people understand the seasons or slight ques in the weather. I've been essentially living outside for the past couple of years and due that I can tell the difference between 32f 35f and 38f. and understand the hint of rain when wind picks up for a moment then pauses to the smell of faint humidity.

    The other skill not a lot of people would consider a skill, is getting buddy buddy with strangers. This is a vital asset for me on the day to day, this year alone I've racked up over $700 of savings from getting to know people in 5 minutes who have access to store discounts. That type of skill will get you far in an uncertain world where convincing someone of whatever you need to portray in 30 seconds is vital. It's a mix of confidence, letting loose, enthusiasm, wit, all put into a blender with some assertive drilling of questions and interest.
     
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  31. okcmco

    okcmco Hobbyist Hobbyist

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    The ability to easily and quickly fall asleep no matter what the circumstances. I am in awe of people who can do this


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  32. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman #7 Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    Calm and sane communication in stressful situations.
     
  33. lodge camper

    lodge camper Scout

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    lol. did you run out of gas with your teen age daughter along, also?
     
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  34. Hook

    Hook Tracker

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    Mental and situational awareness. If you can't keep your head straight, you can't survive. Put together a list of priorities/steps to take. That way if you panic, you have something to go by, instead of making irrational decisions.

    Also, don't tell everyone you have a stockpile of food, water, weapons etc. Guess where everyone will want to go? Or wich house gets looted first?
    And if you do have said stockpile, remember that it will not last forever. You should be hunting and gathering, growing/raising food along the way to supplement your stockpile if you can. Can't live on Ramen noodles and beans for long. Canning is great ( I plan to learn this skill this summer/fall ). Friend of mine cans venison and it tastes great. Veggies, soups/stews, sauces, chicken just to name a few.

    Lastly, stock up on toilet paper, lots and lots of it. The sears and roebuck catalog isn't what it used to be lol.
     
  35. OLD SKOUT

    OLD SKOUT Scout

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    I didn't read all the posts........

    It I did see mentioned: making fire in all conditions. Most people I know can't light charcoal with half a can of charcoal starting fluid.

    Cooking food in all conditions with no power. Very few people can do that. Members here are the exception. People should gather open fire cooking equipment and tools. Have welders gloves to use while cooking on an open fire. They should start cooking on an open fire at a basic level. Hot dogs, hamburgers and pieces of chicken and work up from there.

    Using what is on hand to make a meal: old cookbooks give us a lot of ideas. War time ration cookbooks that have recipes for times when many foods are not available or in limited supply. Spices and herbs make bland foods taste better. Maybe not good tasting but better.

    How to plant quick growing vegetables.

    Keeping everyones spirits up in dire times. DW will be my challenge. :51:

    I plan my preps and work my plan. That lets me sleep better at night. DW sleeps better also since she knows I make plans and work on them.

    There in probably more but that is a list for me to consider adding to or modifying. I believe prepping is a work in progress for most of us. :)
     
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  36. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

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    Interpreting body language.
    many animals do this quite naturally .
     
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  37. Not Sure

    Not Sure Supporter Supporter

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    I think " Murphy" will have a lot to do with it. Maybe your fire skills are so good ,you can make fire with two Bananas.
    Or your Knots skills are so good you can make a house out of Para cord. Maybe you can find north just by looking at
    the lint in your navel.
    That will be the day Murphy will appear and show you what skills you are weak in.
    That will be the day your most underrated skill is needed............
    I know for me it is Edible Plants. I signed up for a two day class at the end of the month.
    Also I am learning some simple Spanish phrases.
    The List is Endless.................
     
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  38. Keithturkjr

    Keithturkjr Tracker

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    Coming from the bushcraft forums, I was thinking about wilderness survival and had a different answer until I read some of these.

    In the woods, I think the single most underrated survival skill is knowing how to find your way out of the woods without knowing where you are inside the woods or where you'll pop out at.

    As far as prepping goes though, I think the thing preppers mess up the most is having a solid well rounded perspective and preparations for the emergencies they are most likely to encounter.

    There are lots of guys out there that have bug out bags and guns that don't have a set of jumper cables and an empty fuel can in the trunk of their car.
    I don't care about their guns and bug out bags, I just don't think their preps are relevant.

    A lot of bug out bags are big knife filled survival kits which might be fun to play in the woods with.

    In a real emergency, where evacuation is necessary,...They don't need a gerber strongarm knife and Israeli bandages,... they need a big bag with 5 pairs of clothes, a blankie, a full blown shower kit, and all their identification papers and financial records.,. That way if their home is destroyed they have to relocate and try to rebuild their lives, they can do it without having to smell like a friggin refugee.

    I manage manual laborers in my day to day work. I don't require a lot of credentials, but I have a hard and fast rule: If I don't like the way you smell, I'm not going to hire you.

    On youtube, the guys with the amazon stores and the correlating "prepper channel" sell snake oil to people for money.

    So do you buy a gas mask, when you don't have a big food supply at home? Maybe, but its a toy more than a preparation at that point.
     
  39. Monabnojer

    Monabnojer Tracker

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    Communications and entertainment. You can't have situational awareness without some form of communication outside your immediate area. Entertainment because once you get shelter food and all the basics taken care of you better have something to do other than sit around and think about your situation. Mental survival is necessary for survival too.
     
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  40. DarkXstar

    DarkXstar Guide

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    I have to agree with many others and say improvise as well as think on your feet.
    However I'll pose another question I see allot of talk about survival but do you just want to survive or do you want to thrive?
     
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  41. Maurice 7

    Maurice 7 Scout

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    Very interesting post.

    the Willingness to share
    love thy brother and sister, especially in hard times.
    This indeed has a lot to do with the earlier post, to find like minded people.

    Indeed mental prepardness and even mindedness is so important, but what for our brothers who are not blessed with that. We help m out. That's why we are out here, to help each other out. :) That's also whats this forum is all about. I even wish I could meet a lot of brothers of this forum, I like them.

    I think survival in individual situation is only temporarily possible. There are so many factors but eventually and very soon will come down on him/her. Even the most trained and prepared one.....it will come down, and then one has a brothers and/or sisters back. And if not Gods strength and love, even at the moment of death and after.

    I also love solitude, but I really like it too, after that, to be with my loved ones. Also I find at is hardly possible to do it on ones own. This coming from a quite a lone wolf.

    I do hope @Pastor Chris forgives my preaching here! sorry I am a bit wise nose sometimes

    Take care friends!
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
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  42. mtwarden

    mtwarden roaming the Big Sky Supporter

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    how many YouTube videos out there with packs loaded to the gills with every gadget known to man and they could probably hump it maybe a 1/2 mile.

    no matter the emergency, being healthy and fit will never be a hindrance
     
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  43. DixiePreparedness

    DixiePreparedness Scout

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    I agree and will take it down another path by adding:

    Survival Mentality.
    To set your mind to SURVIVING whatever may befall... BY ANY MEANS REQUIRED.

    Some things might be physically or mentally revolting. Others might just be hard to follow through on.

    I watched Alan Kay on ALONE eating slugs and just could not bring myself to accept that act as something I would do.
    But Alan had the fortitude and intestinal composure to do it, and it paid off to the tune of $500,000.
    (I still ain't eating no slugs)

    It may be arming yourself against the more nefarious in society, and setting your mind to end their existence if needed.
    Or maybe it is choosing to put ol' Rover in the cookpot instead of watching your kids starve.
    Might even mean giving up the new vehicle every 2 years so you can pay off your home and save for emergencies.

    Whatever it is, you have to get your mind right to do what it takes.
    Or you can give up and succumb.
     
  44. JohnintheWoods

    JohnintheWoods Tracker

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    Botany, Botany, Botany.

    It's by far the least "sexy" of the bushcraft skills, and I would argue the least known to even the experts.

    Everyone loves watching the umteenth video on firemaking, shelter crafting, etc. (myself included) but I rarely watch videos of people explaining, in depth, what ALL the plants are in this region, what ALL of them can do, what their differences are in each season, what parts are useful and unuseful during the seasons.

    But when I find myself deep in the Natl Forest, I quickly realize that I'm surrounded by millions of living things (plants), many of which can hurt me, many more that can greatly help me, and it's only my ignorance that is holding me back.

    I think this is also because it's such a broad subject. You could spend years just learning mushrooms, let alone trees, shrubs, wild vegetables, wild fruits, trees, etc.
     
  45. Tye

    Tye Tracker

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    chasntuna you took the word out of my fingers totally agree but a simple add on is just not to fix things but the in ability to repurpose items to invent new things from the remnants of the past.
     
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  46. redcanoe

    redcanoe Tracker

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    we're talking about underated shtf survival skills? Gardening. Livestock husbandry. Ability to develop and work within community. Establish resilient and sustainable local food production and social structures.
     
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  47. Swarvegorilla

    Swarvegorilla Scout

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    For those interested in wild plant edibles, little protip.

    Roots are the real money maker. Everything else pales in comparison compared to their effort:reward ratio. Learn the obvious ones, such as sweet potato and cat tails. Then try to identify the common vines in your area. Then the lillies/orchids. If you know about these, and no one else does..... you have yourself a kick ass larder. Around me there is all sorts of good stuff, like canna lilies and taro. Could feed my family for weeks on them, all stealth like :)
     
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  48. Odinborn

    Odinborn Supporter Supporter

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    Underrated skills in my eyes, at least with the guys that I've gone hiking/camping with, is just the overall lack of skills. I've done trips with guys that have thousands of dollars worth of gear, but when the times get tough they just freeze.

    One example, I use to do week long trips in the dead of winter with one of my buddies. He only wore Arcteryx and other really high end clothes and used a Kifaru MMR pack with a bunch of mods. He had it in his head that he was Army Delta Force at heart, and spent more money on gear than I was making in a year's time. We got to our first campsite around 10 miles into the trail and he freaked out because all the wood was wet. He had no idea what to do. On top of that, he filled his large Ti pot with snow and thought it would just melt into water really quick. Granted he was from southern California and had never dealt with conditions like that, but I think it illustrates my point.

    My favorite was a friend of mine in high school that was about 300lbs, ate only junk food and soda, but believed he could survive in any situation with his broad sword "if he had to".

    I know, crazy examples but I really see a huge gap of skills that people believe can be fixed by getting the latest and greatest of gear. But this can be flip flopped as well, and I've been guilt of it. Getting myself into a tough spot because I believed I could start my winter fire without a lighter or ferro rod. Or that it didn't matter if I wore cotton because it wasn't suppose to rain.
     
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  49. marbleman

    marbleman Supporter Supporter

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    If I could implement every skill mentioned, I would be the undisputed Stealth Ninja Naked Survival Superman. I could glare at a tiny sprig of an apple tree, and watch it grow to maturity in minutes, and drop perfect apples into my hand. I could hot-wire Mad Max's 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT and steal it under his nose. Mister Trouble, never hangs around (Mighty Mouse cartoon joke, for senior citizens).

    I am, however, none of the above.

    I would have to suggest (with others here), mental disciplines. Social skills. Know your strengths, be aware of your weaknesses. Decision making under stress.

    If it is really SHTF, there are many ways to fail. Even if you are the best {insert skill here} with the fastest-shooting {insert firearm here} and have the fastest {insert BOV here}, if you panic, you could lose it all.
     
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  50. Unistat76

    Unistat76 Nerd Supporter Bushclass I

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    This, plus just general social skills. The time to build good will, community connections, and friendly neighbors is before a disaster. People aren't going to naturally look to preppers as "leaders" if they never met them before and you're just that weirdo in a Molon Labe shirt.
     

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