Practice your SHTF skills.

SHTF Skills – Do Not Wait Until Afterwards Before You Practice Them

Let me tell you this… It’s easy to purchase preparedness supplies, tools, and preps for just about any aspect of being prepared for this or that… However, it is not necessarily so easy to apply those supplies, tools, and preps into survival skills when it comes right down to it – ‘the hammer hitting the nail’… SHTF skills. Practice them before you need them for real!

Let me put it anther way… Just because you have the ‘stuff’, doesn’t mean that you know how to use the stuff. And just because you might know how to use the stuff as it applies to a particular skill – doesn’t mean that you have learned enough about that skill to be adequately proficient. There is always a learning curve! Some steeper than others.

And I’m not just talking about ‘bushcraft’ survival skills, although those could be important too. I’m also talking about any SHTF skill having to do with preparedness, whatever that may be.

Off the top of my head, here are a few examples of what I mean…

SHTF Skills

What are SHTF skills? Well, I’m sure many of us would agree on some of the essentials. But there are many others too. Some of which depends on your own situation, talents, whatever you’re preparing for, etc.

SHTF, or, shit hit the fan, basically implies that one’s situation has become affected by an event or events which have disrupted life as we know it. To an extent that requires some amount, or lots of, self reliance to sustain one’s-self (or family, household, etc.) through the event(s). Typically we’re referring to a wide impacting situation (although of course it is possible to have SHTF, being very personal or affecting just you, or a few).

Having said that, I’ll brainstorm just a few thoughts. Point being to practice your SHTF skills of self reliance and/or sustainability.

Gardening is definitely a SHTF skill

Many of you backyard gardeners will likely relate to the fact that it’s not always easy to simply grow a garden that yields a bounty of produce. LOTS can go wrong! It takes years to learn from your mistakes (I’m still learning!). I make some mistakes on my own gardens every single year. I try to correct them for next season. It’s never ending it seems. It gets even more challenging as you increase your garden size, or try new vegetables.

I know there are preppers out there who feel nice and cozy and comfy because they have ‘survival seeds’ for ‘just in case’. Well they are going to be in for one big surprise if and when they actually have to use them if they are not currently practicing gardening!

Additionally, do you have any idea how many calories of production it may take to stay alive? Do you know what to grow? Have you been succesful at it? Have you done the calorie-math?

Home Canning is definitely another SHTF skill

Same goes for food preservation. There are many techniques. How many preparedness-minded folks have actually tried them? How many are proficient with any of these techniques? Just because you have purchased a pressure canner and several cases of canning jars doesn’t mean that you will know how to do it when you need to do it…

Now that you’ve harvested all those potatoes, carrots, (whatever)… Do you know how to properly preserve them, like using a home canner? How many have actually done it enough times to become comfortable with the process?

Do you have the right home canning recipe books to assure safety? Although you bought that nice pressure canner, have you used it? It’s an easy SHTF skill to acquire, but you need to actually do it, more than once too!

Making Homemade Bread From Scratch Without Electricity

Now that you’ve purchased many 5-gallon buckets & pails of wheat for long term food storage, what do you do with it when you need it? Practice making homemade bread from scratch – and without electricity. This is certainly a SHTF skill!

Have you ever taken out your shiny new hand / manual grinder and actually milled wheat to make a loaf of bread? Do you know how to make a loaf of bread by yourself? Could you do it without your fancy electric breadmaker? Or electric oven? See what I mean? Practice… try it. Figure it out.

Pull The Plug – Flip off the MAINS on your Breaker Panel

There’s a particular reader here on Modern Survival Blog (alias ‘NRP’) who first suggested this many years ago. Have a “lights out” weekend. Shut off the electricity and see how you do. This will open your eyes, so to speak…

I don’t want you to lose all the food in your freezer, or things like that… but, if the power was out for a week, you would lose all that food in the freezer. Unless… (unless what?) Well, figure it out. What would you do in that example? Got a generator? Know what to do with it to save your freezer contents? How long to run it? Figure it out, before SHTF.

There are many things that you will uncover during a lights-out weekend. You may have already uncovered these things if you’ve gone through some sort of natural disaster whereby your electricity has been out for a long time…

Oh, and what are you going to do without TV or the internet? How will you entertain yourselves? The horror!

The Primitive, or Bushcraft SHTF skills

Just because you have a Magnesium Firestarter or FireSteel does not necessarily mean that you will be able to succesfully start and build a fire. Have you ever actually tried starting a fire with your FireSteel? I know…you have a lighter. But, you might want to try other methods too.

Here’s another one — have you tried to build a fire when it’s all wet outside? Talk about a challenge…

Can you make a simple shelter with a tarp and cordage? What if you didn’t even have that?

Cooking over a fire?
Navigation with a compass?
Tying various knots?
Batoning wood for a fire?
Fishing? Gutting and then cooking?

Firearms

Just because you bought a gun and have practiced shooting with it a few times, does not mean that you are proficient with that firearm. Take time to practice. I know ammo is crazy expensive these days. Maybe dry-fire practice (so long as it’s okay to do with your specific firearm)? (clear the weapon please!) Or buy a .22 (handgun?) for less expensive practice? That’s one reason why I bought my Ruger 22/45 LITE several years ago…

Do you have multiple firearms? Can you pick one of them up and instinctively know exactly how to run it?

Have you practiced (first with an empty weapon!) drawing from a concealed carry position up to the target – to the point where it’s quick and instinctive? (start slow… finger off the trigger!, etc..)

Practice.

SUMMARY

Listen… the examples are endless. You know what I mean…

The very important point is this: Practice your SHTF survival skills now, BEFORE you actually need them. Make the time.

Have you any examples of learning a particular SHTF skill? Or suggest more ideas in this regard?

[ Read: What Are Survival Skills? ]

[ Read: Practical Skills That People Once Knew ]

65 Comments

  1. The simple stuff (or so it would appear) is going to be some of the toughest.
    Gardening for example, yea, sure, anyone can do it, or so some say, but really, could you feed yourself entirely from stuff you grew? There is a lot that can go wrong, and in a SHTF scenario could mean your family unit starves, not good. Even just knowing true quantities of what to grow, for us a bit easier with year round growing ability, but in the continent in higher latitudes not so much, you really have to know how much, have the space to do it as well as the ability to preserve it, a few dozen bottles of this or that wont cut it, i remember seeing a cellar with hundreds of bottles of meats and veggies and fruits and the lady telling me she hoped it got them through the winter.
    And that was in the 80s when she most likely could still go to the store if she wanted to.
    So yea, excellent article KJ, this is stuff we all need to take stock of and work out now, i need these constant reminders because life gets in the way but the day many be near where its not just a fun hobby of sorts but an utmost imperative.
    😎🤙🏻

    1. How many bottles is an important thing to know. If you figure a family of 4 you would need about 2 pint of something per meal or at least 8 pints a day. If you were using the veggies and meat to stretch beans or Rice it would be less but even at only 3 pints a day you are over 1200 for the year

      1. Poorman,
        beans and rice are good to have but also stock up on canned veggies and canned meats to go along with it. most canned goods have a realistic 3-5 yr shelf life. jams and jellies, flower and cornmeal. condiments, ketchup, mustard and soy sauce last forever. spices like garlic, basil or sage, rosemary and others will last for many years and will break up a routine.
        pasta! you can make a lot of noodles with what you can fit in a 5 gal bucket and the last time i checked they are still cheap.
        stack it to the rafters because it’s coming.

        1. Scout
          I store caned and freeze dried veggies and meat along with beans rice pasta oatmeal wheat ECT. I was just agreeing with Kula that a few bottles of canned veggies wasn’t enough. Most folks have no real idea just how much food it really takes to feed a family. Thank you for the advise and comment

      2. Poorman, I asked my Mom how many jars they put up for the year. This would have been… between 1953-56… She explained they Jarred tomato juice, grape juice, other fruit juices in gallons, half gallons, short half gallons( 42 oz. Johnny fair syrup bottles). they salted their meat. canning very little.Potatoes, turnips,rutabega, onion and sweetpotatoes were stored either in a root cellar -containerized and layered. with natural materials to protect from bruising…or in a keel.
        There was kraut in a stone crock, so used fermenting in addition..
        .. most jellies were done in quarts- they had 3 children at home and 2 adults + one or more neighborhood children floated in/out of the household per need. Granny did not breath easy until there were 800-850 jars- MOstly quarts..She had an amount of what she called short quarts- they were pint and a half jars that something dry had come in- Folgers coffee came in one.(EVERY jar and lid was saved.).. of vegetables.sweet corn, purple hulls, black eyed peas sweet peas, tomatoes- diced and sauce,, cabbage( used as bulk of relish) cucumber( dill and sweet pickles,.) , onion, contender string beans. and Ky wonder pole beans..and condiments, relish’s
        . They had chickens for eggs and broodies raised roosters that became sunday dinner. Sometimes,They raised pigs, and an occassional goat. would trade corn for half a hog if on an off year..They bought 2 barrels of sugar and 3 of flour when the crops were sold in the fall. ( and cloth for making shirts, pants, aprons,dresses. w/ notions needed.)The planted cotton they sold for a cash crop..after their fields were picked- Christmas money came by making an agreement with other farmers/landowners and gleaning their fields for late opening bolls. Corn was ground at the mill for a portion to the miller…part went to the mules and the pigs.

        1. OJS,
          Thank you for sharing all of this. Such valuable info to gauge production and usage. And it goes to show how much work is involved – all year long, every year – to keep a family going without all the modern short-cuts we have today. Awesome :)

          1. So Cal Gal, Consider- the large amount of sugar and flour ( 3 large wooden barrels- probably 50-55gal each…almost size of 55g/drum. Granny had one until i was a teen.) was the bulk of what they would have until the crops came in the following year.for making jams and jellies for the coming winter….a full year.. not- thru the winter-until around Thanksgiving.they would have no more regular income until the next crop came in… They also put up meat in a crock covered with lard. which they rendered in the 30 gallon washpot just after the hog harvest…
            Flour and lard gave them the basics for stretching many foods- Gravy… and Biscuits… can allow a family to work hard without much else, meat and maybe one veggie for supper…that will hold overnight w/o hunger. Good gravy and biscuits can cover a multitude of mistakes.LOL

        2. TOJS
          Amazing what our parents did to feed the family every year and hopefully there were jars left over before the next harvest season.
          Kind of remember my mom doing a food storage with my grandmother to put food on the table until her health issue. Then it was my mom who did the canning for both households.

          1. A.C.,Mom said they did pickles in half gallons, 50-53 there were often 3 other older young men there, her two eldest brothers and a neighbor(sometimes 2).No one was turned who was needy-even tho they were poor. Her baby bro. was born in 49, within 3 years the eldest two boys were out of the house.. for 49-53?there were 5 children+ one extra+ 2 adults. DM/only girl.
            I can not think about a family having a half gallon of pickles gone @ a full meal. They were a vegetable-something to break routine- food fatigue. what ever they put up had to carry them from first frost/early October thru mid june.. If they had pickles one time a week-that would be 24 half gallons minimum.
            Granny got really mad when one of their cousins came to visit and brought them bed bugs. Back then it was called the 7 year itch because it was so hard to get rid of…Granny had to hand wash , and boil all clothes in the wash pot. And all their bed ticking had to be emptied,( stuffing burned) boiled, dried on the solar clothes dryer, and everyone had to pull sage grass to re stuff their mattress with. Mom related this to me when she was teaching me the finer points of gathering sage grass.LOL

    2. Bro,
      simply put…. 1 bean plant… 60 days, give or take…. four to seven beans… multiply by number of mouths. Gives you a whole new perspective
      on feeding yerself, let alone a family and charity as well.

      1. 4-7 beans? You gotta grow better beans bud, i grow a variety called provider, bush bean, sometimes i get upwards of 50 or more beans per bush, if i grow pole beans most will yield in the 30-40 range, would be more if i was on top of picking, cant remember the variety but it crawls to 7’ or so and i think if I picked it more often it would produce way more. Even my peas, i typically grow snow peas as i like stir frying stuff, if picked dayly each plant will produce about 40 pods or more easily plus theres tendrils,

        1. That would be the Fortex…you recommended a few years ago… got orig from Johnny’s…

        2. I my area I have had great success with Bush 24/7 beans and Kentucky Wonder pole beans. High yields and really good flavor and both can well.

        3. Kula,
          will take you up on that, this particular was a new plant from seed, and first yield was 6 beans with another maybe eight or nine flowers.
          I’m just trying some different stuff to see what each type likes or dislikes. Now if only I could get the right feel for making “natto.” (haha)

  2. Great topic! I propose that everyone should know how to service and rebuild a 4-stroke small engine carburetor. The ones we have on power and emergency equipment that never seem to start after sitting for 6 months. First, let me assure you that removing the air filter and spraying carb cleaner into the throttle bore will NOT clean the carburetor. That stuff is used to clean a disassembled carburetor – you have to take it apart to do a proper job. The solenoid (if equipped), jets and emulsion tube must be removed, intricate passages must be cleaned. There are plenty of YouTube videos online, for now.

    1. Have had good luck with disassembling, cleaning and reassembling to get stuff running again, mostly chainsaws, and pumps n stuff

  3. Excellent points. When I was teaching backpacking/long distance hiking classes and was asked by beginners how to prepare for a future hike like the AT, I told them to mark 5 days on the calendar every month prior to their hike and go into the woods. Regardless of the weather, whether they wanted to or not, go hike into as remote an area as possible because when you’re hiking for weeks some days truly suck and it is miserable. This will allow then to use/test their gear, see what works and what breaks, see just how much you don’t really need to carry, learn how to keep gear clean, dry and what to do it it gets wet. Testing and becoming familiar with your gear is essential if you expect to use it to survive. Cheap gear will let you down when you need it the most so find out before then if your tools are up to the task.

  4. Yep, gardening is a huge one. How is it that sooo many weeds can sprout/grow, while my intended crops take forever? Those who haven’t gardened before are in for a rude awakening as to how much effort it takes. Every day. Even with that effort, the weeds win eventually.

    How will we entertain ourselves? Weeding, growing, fishing, hunting, security, comms, etc. I’m betting we’ll be busier afterwards than now. Make your pasta before cooking it. That takes time. Many things we all take for granted will take MORE time. Laundry, hot water, showers, the list is endless and they’ll all take more time.

    I don’t want any of this, but I think it’s coming and soon. Trying to get a few “time saving” things in order. Fruit trees, if they’re mature, are great time savers. I know where many fruit bearing mulberry trees are. We have apple, peach and pear. Sand plums in the wild. Right now, it’s an interesting hobby. Later on ……..? I hope our family has learned enough. Mother nature offers much, if you’re willing to learn. If this all goes to sh#t, I know I’ll be kicking myself for NOT learning ……………………….?

    1. Plainsmedic,
      Entertainment? Yes. Exactly. In the past people were either doing something productive or they were sleeping. More or less…
      And yes, many things will take more time. We need to learn to do / practice doing / focus on doing things more efficiently. Maybe instead of baking bread. Mixing – kneading – rising – rising again – baking. To instead make biscuits?
      Growing up, I learned to make pasta, by hand, by watching my grandmother and mother.
      Still, making spätzle would be easier… Spätzle is one of the things I need to learn.
      Bread in the form of dumplings… mix and drop into a stew. About as quick and easy as you can get.

    2. Plainsmedic,
      Just think of all the stuff you know or have read about or chatted with others about that the vast majority of people havent the faintest clue even exists let alone any ideas how to do.
      Wonder how long an ass selfie off instagram can feed one?
      Yea, we are the fringe, personally im proud of it.

      1. Kula,
        Total fringe and like yourself… very proud of it. Just picked up some more fertilizer and pots today, with a visit to the farm store
        yesterday to get, some basil, cilantro, buttercrunch and marigolds. Today was more carrots to take a place in the Ball-Mason’s.
        Aloha

    3. People should check out those weeds that grow in your yard. Learn to forage, quite a few may be edible. Every part of the dandy lion is edible and full of vitamins.

  5. Prayer- keeping your faith in The Father when all hell is breaking loose around you. Showing mercy to those who need it. Yup, maybe these won’t keep y’all alive in this world, but they will in the one to come. Amen!

  6. All good points everyone and taken to heart.
    One of my biggest concerns (okay fears) is as Kula said, are we growing, can we grow, do we have the ability / resources to fully depend upon a garden???
    If I may. We have lived off-grid, off and on since the mid 1980’s. When we moved to our present location we continued doing so.
    Some 30-35 years ago we build a bush cabin. Called it our retirement home. Yeah right! easy to say while you are still young.
    When we did finally retire, we spent that first spring-summer-fall out there. What an eyeopener. So much we did not know!!! …and thought we did.
    2020 Election — didn’t want to be anywhere near town. Decided to spend the winter at the cabin. Yeah, another eyeopener!!! You think you know. But put things in a “different” perspective and…
    So?
    I don’t know?
    Be ready for the unexpected?
    Be aware of the fact that what you think you know may need to be modified / thrown out and hope you know what and when to modify / throw out when and if the time comes?
    Doing so while trying to not get too wet while changing horses in mid-stream…
    Am I making any sense?

    1. Far North,
      we have a very small house on 30 acres. 30 acres sounded like a good idea when we were in our 30’s and 40’s , not so much now in our 60’s. there is always something to be done. it’s almost to much for me keep up with now.
      i have been in the garden and in the fields off and on all day. gonna call it quits for the day. there is always tomorrow.

  7. Earlier, I decided to work a 25×50 garden space by hand, no equipment. OMG, I severely under estimated how much actual work it is. What a HUGE challenge it would be to work my whole garden without machinery, I don’t think I could do it. My back is killing me, blusters every where, and it is VERY time consuming. Beans and corn is what is planted there, just got done today.

    I have 2 acres of garden, both annual and perennial, plus fruit trees.

  8. Very good Article Ken.
    I have a few things to comment on (Imagine that huh??)
    BUT I in no way want to have ANYONE think that When TSHTF everything is going to OhhhhhK Hunky Dorey if you have a few skills and a pile of “Stuff” stored up in the basement.
    Life WILL be hell for sure, I don’t care who you are, and dropping your butt back to the 17th century is NOT going to work out well for you.
    Will “some” make it, of course they will, will ‘YOU’? I hope you never need to find out.

  9. So, let’s say the Shit Has Hit the Fan…….. I’m going to call it “Recession” for this segment.
    Diesel is now $5.69 per friggen gallon. Gas, the cheap stuff, is right at $4.50.
    How long is that Generator going to run on $20 of fuel?????
    Can you even afford to feed the Family now? Do you even have a Generator, do you know how to light a Coleman Lantern?
    But, back to “Skills” that Ken has mentioned.
    Do you have ‘Skills’ to even light your Propane Stove if the power is not sparking the Ignitor? Will your stove even light with zero power?
    How ya going to cook those 500 pounds of Beans you have stored up? Oven a Fire? You know how to build a fire without burning the house down?

  10. Ok, How about ‘Gardening’ that Ken mentioned……
    Do you have any idea how big of a Garden you need to feed a family of 4 for a year, even with a “perfect” Garden?
    Heck, have you even a Garden Plot ready to plant?
    What happens if The Shit Hits in the middle of Summer? Sorry Charlie, too late to plant that Garden, unless you have those Magic Beans or a hell of a good green thumb.
    Got Water? Do you have ANY idea how much water a 4 acre garden will need?
    You have Fertilizer, do you even have the correct seeds for your area?
    Got Insecticide? How about the tools to work a HUGE Garden?
    Anyone out there that honestly believes they can just “start growing a Garden” is going to be really hungry VERY FAST. Ken just did a Article on fast growing foods, you might go look at that and think about not having anything for 30-40 days.
    Than think on how long a full size garden will take….. Can you say 90-100 days, you got food for that long?
    Hope you like eating Vegan if your expecting a Garden to feed you and the Family.
    Better get some “Practice” in on your Gardening Skills…… FAST.
    What happens if that Garden Fails, and they do, go on, ask me how I know…..

  11. Let’s talk Canning…….. Have you got 500 Canning Jars for all that food coming from the Garden? Got Lids? A GOOD Canner?
    All the other “stuff” to do that Canning? Salt, Spices, Sugar, “Clean Water”, a way to boil water?
    Can you Can Meat SAFELY!!!! Will get into “Lights Out” in a minute, but can you can up all that Meat you have in the freezer, Safely? Do you know how to without going and watching a U-Tube?

  12. Let’s talk Ken’s “Making Bread for a second…..
    Do you have Flour stored that’s NOT gone ‘Bad’? How long can you safely store Flour, Yeast, etc.? Do you even have a little Oil that’s not gone Rancid to add to the mix, and coat the Pans?
    Have you even made Bread by hand and baked it in a Solar Oven?

  13. Ok, My favorite subject…….. “Lights Out”.
    Do you even have a clue what will happen If/When the power goes out for a month, 2 months, how about a year, think it can’t happen???? You might want to starting reading the News a little about the weaknesses in the Grid as we add more and more strain on the Grid. All as we unplug more and more Power-Plants and replace them with “Green Energy”…… HAHAHAHA Sorry if I don’t laugh I will scream when I say “Green Energy”.
    As Ken pointed out, I recommend a few “Lights Out Weekends” just to get an idea of what it may be like. Try it with Zero Water, No Power, No Phones, No 911 help, No medical help a 10 minute drive away……
    But Ohhhhh NRP, I have a Generator….. Sure you do, and how long will that Gas last, how long till the neighbors hear that Gen and come looking to “TAKE” what you have, along with your Food. You going to fight off everyone that wants to TAKE what you have? Sure you will, yo and that 200 person army you have backing you up, as long as you feed them also.

  14. Bushcraft Skills, I agree 1000% you had best have some skills to live in the forest and live off the land, right along with those other 20,000 people that have the same Idea in that area you picked out.
    How many Bambies and little Rabbits do you think are out there for the taking? Do you even know how to dress-out a Deer, Fish, Rabbit? Can you build a “Smoker” to preserve that Deer for a few weeks when you are on the move to “Some Place Safe”, do you have somewhere safe to even go?
    You going to survive in the Winter with 3 feet of snow on the ground, or in the middle of Summer with 110 degree heat and that little tarp you have strung overhead?
    Have you even tried? Or even though of having of do such a thing?

  15. Ahhhhh yes the evil “Firearms. Got one of those Evil Black Assault Rifles?
    Do you know how to maintain it? Clean it, Repair it, and Feed it in the dark?
    Have you had training, Training, TRAINING and “KNOW” how you protect yourself and family?
    How about a Handgun?
    A Knife?
    A Cast-iron Frying Pan?
    Sounds stupid huh? A frying Pan to protect yourself, wellllll if that’s what ya got, than that’s what ya got.

  16. A few suggestions on “SHTF” Skills, easy.
    Walk out your front door or maybe that back door with only the clothes on your back, than survive for a month without any assistance, Water, Shelter, Food, Protection, So-On.
    Ok, OK, OK, make it easy, take that BOB with you.
    Go read the rules of Threes, and the Sevens…….
    THAN DO IT and see how well you fair. If you make it 3 days, you’ve done VERY well, but keep practicing.

    Lastly than I’ll go back to Lurker Mood.
    We are already in very bad times, look at the crime rates, the “smash and grab” robberies, the sheer stupidity of “Defunding the Police”.
    What are YOU going to do If/When The Shit Hits the Fan?
    And please Please PLEASE tell me “I’ll be just fine, the Gov will save me” …… I need a good/GREAT laugh.

    1. NRP & Blue,
      i have been harping on all of these things for a long time now. i keep telling people to practice primitive camping.
      it’s fun and will teach a person a lot. people who sit in their house, and never go outside are not going to make it without help and it won’t be coming to their door anytime soon. they will be placing red X”s and numbers on their doors, if and when they do arrive.

    2. NRP & Blue,

      Darn it man…don’t go to takin’ all the romance outta shtf…to hear some folks you’d think they’re lookin’ forward to it…you know…livin’ of the land…killin’ game for the family supper table…heroic standup gun battles with the bad guys comin’ to take your stuff…you know, where all your shots hit home and all theirs miss…sittin’ back and drinkin’ beer and eating popcorn after…laughin’ at all them folks who weren’t ready for hard times…

      How dare you? Now I guess you’ll be tellin’ us that all them frontier women didn’t have perfectly coiffed hair or wore a clean dress everyday as they lay out a bountiful meal on the table each night for their family as they listened to the whippoorwills as the sun set.

      Well, that tears it…I ain’t a showin’ up if it’s gonna be tough…….

  17. Baking bread in an oven which has a piezo-electric starter system can be problematic. If the grid is down, how do you start it up? Older stoves with pilot lights are almost non-existent. My better half has been practicing with a large Dutch Oven. You have to watch the time like a hawk, but the results are good. Her failures are welcomed by the coveys of quail. Keep prepping and stay vigilant. The false flag/trigger event is closer than ever. Bleib ubrig.

    1. Dweezil – I’m pretty sure piezo electric spark ignitors don’t need electricity. That makes it ideal, imho.

      1. The starters in modern gas ovens are controlled through a control panel that requires electricity to ignite the spark to the gas in order maintain a consistent oven temperature. The oven cycles off and on during the operating time requiring multiple ignitions. The stove top eyes can be lit with a lighter but the electric starter will not work without electricity. Piezo starters that are operated by pushing the button to create a spark, such as on a grill do not require electricity.

    2. D The W,
      We picked up a propane stove that we thought was okay.. Had the piezo-electric oven. Had to plug in the generator to bake!!!
      Got replaced real quick.
      Check Lowes for non-electric propane stoves.

  18. Hey Blue,
    You know how to handle this guy. Do your duty.
    NRP, Sadly, many here know exactly what you’re saying. I’m old and will need some help from family. I won’t be shirking any of my duties, but neither will they. Together maybe we can make a go of this? I’ll be giving it my best effort. Not gonna be easy, but none of us were promised easy. Will I have to wash dishes? Ha.

  19. I think that it is important to know how to repair AC inverters, battery charge controllers, well pressure switches, well pumps, ac-dc motors, chain saws, refrigeration- freezers and air conditioning, security cameras and how to gas weld, braze and solder.
    The use of 3d printers and the ability to edit and modify on the fly to make gaskets, sprockets, bushings, handles, hose attachments, plumbing parts, insulators, shoes, fishing lures, irrigation parts, filters and gun parts will become very valuable.

    1. not so sure,
      This is a head scratcher for sure.
      Be careful that all these important projects — *to maintain your present lifestyle,* doesn’t distract you from what is really essential.
      As I’ve mentioned before, Daniel Boone did not have a generator. Nor did Thomas Jefferson. And somehow they got along just fine… Granted, they had an 18th Century mindset while ours is a 21st Century one.

      1. Why make it hard on yourself and choose to live in Bushcraft survival conditions after the reset? Get that solar power system now. With the proper conduit shielding, and ferrite chokes, you can harden against EMP. I have witnessed how much more resilient to electro-magnetic noise most equipment has become and I am more confident now that a majority of our electrical equipment will survive.

        1. not so sure,
          Actually, I find clinging onto what will be a has-been “modern” lifestyle would be hard on myself.
          What I’m trying to say is that we won’t have the physical time to play with a charge controller, etc., we will be too busy trying to survive.
          Anything that distracts us from what needs to be done is potentially life threatening.

          We do have a solar set-up. It is just that it is low on our priority list.

          While I hope it does not come down to it. Bushcraft survival conditions may very well be the only thing we will have. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.
          Take care.

  20. If you cook with propane now is the time to conserve.We just topped off our two 1000 gallon tanks and the delivery man said
    that the company is very concerned about supply shortages in the near future.The price was $2.74 per gallon for over 200 gal
    and $2.99 under 200 gallons.Our fill was a little over 600 gallons and the bill was &1,645.00. Old bills ranged between $1.10
    and $1.45 per gallon.FYI propane is most expensive in the fall because much of it is used to dry corn.That is assuming that
    there will be a harvest this year

    I’ve taken to cooking most meals on a single burner and a double burner hot plate.It takes longer but we rarely leave home so
    time is not important to us.As long as electricity is available and I can pay the bill we’ll keep saving propane.

    You would be surprised at how many natural gas users don’t realize that it takes electricity to get the natural gas to their house.

    When canning season get here I like to set up a mini kitchen on the back porch and use the turkey frying burner hooked up to a
    20lb.BBQ tank.

    Learning to be flexible and reuse and repurpose and save everything will serve us well when the SHTF gets worse.
    Waste not and want not.I think every mother and grandmother that lived thru the Great Depression said that.

    I hope that we have enough put away.We’ll see.

  21. The gardening can be a real challenge. Have been growing large gardens since my teenage years but just two years ago had deer and raccoons hitting my sweet corn & field corn really hard. Live trapped 14 raccoons in a week and relocated some distance away while placing a sweaty shirt on the scarecrow every couple days kept the deer away. Got through that year once the problem was addressed. Last year I noticed many of my snow peas nipped off one morning. The valuable skill is knowing what is causing the damage and finding the solution to the problem before the years crop is lost. As for the snow peas, even though they were fenced, I knew right away that I had a groundhog problem. Yes, Groundhogs climb fences very easily. Also knew he was living within 50 feet of the garden from past experience. Found the hole on the back side of my compost bin near the grape arbor and placing a 160 conibear in front of it solved the problem the following morning. The nipped peas grew back but not as well as the others. Not a single raccoon or deer in the garden last year even though I grew mostly the same crops? Constant learning process. There seems to be an urgent need to complete the ice room / root cellar as of lately. Will try to make that happen by Fall.

    1. Timberplot,
      critters in the garden,– this where yard dogs come in handy. i have three good ones. if a jaybird lands in the yard, a squirrel or deer comes through, they are on it. they bark at everything, and they stay with me when i’m outside. they don’t get in my way, but they are always where they can see me, watching over me : ) they are my best friends.

      1. @ Scout
        Great point and one well worth considering. DW and I discussed the yard dog after we had the two legged critter wondering around in my garden ~ 4 years ago. When approached, she said she was looking for her cat. I told her a knock on the door first would be proper and I would gladly help. She was from an apartment across the way. A good dog would solve all these problems.

        1. Timberplot,
          You reminded me of critters in our garden. String beans missing — moose tracks told the story. No more Moose tracks but more beans are missing — neighbor says, “your string beans were tasty…” Didn’t think you would mind…”
          Between moose and neighbor, we did not harvest one single bean that year.
          Few years later, said neighbor asked for a favor. Yeah right!!!

  22. Sometimes preparing for SHTF involves paring down because SHTF solution may involve relocation. When I left the world of competition shooting years before my last relocation, I sold my Dillon 550 press because I did not need it before I was competing. I reloaded for years before I bought my first house and had a room for storage. Most of my equipment can be placed within a container the size of a 36 quart ice chest. (the MEC 600 junior is a press for shotshells. It is the bulkiest tool that will not fit inside the ice chest). All of my tools to reload for metallic shells for rifle and pistol can be placed within the ice chest. I use Lee nutcracker type presses and for a workbench, I have 2 Black and Decker Workmates which double their use for other house-hold projects. My younger years were quite nomadic so the things I bought were purchased with mobility in mind. They are also durable so they still do the job today.

  23. Side benefit of having mobile equipment: When doing a mindless task like resizing brass, wiping lube off cases, I can do this in my living room while watching news/movie on DVD. The “reloading room”/man-cave is where the powder is weighed and poured and the bullet is seated. One may notice: I do batch reloading much like baking of cookies.

  24. The situation that really has me concerned is how to practice life saving skills for say a bullet wound. The average lay person really never has the opportunity to dealt with such a situation. In a fire fight to protect family and property it is naive to think the shots of the attackers will always miss the target. The trauma medical experience thing is a tough one to deal with in a realistic fashion. Have “where there is no doctor”book but book learning only goes so far.

  25. Reply to cliffhanger: If you want to learn how to treat bullet wounds, drive ambulance in the bad part of town in most any large city in swing shift or 3rd watch. You will see lots of gunshots among the gang members and you will gain some insights in addition to learning to treat wounded people. (fact #1: If the shooter was using a rifle, the number of dead will exceed the number of wounded. If the shooter was using a handgun, the ratio will be reversed: few dead bodies and lots of wounded people walking around asking for help). You either are able to do the job or you run away screaming. If you do this job long enough, you can become quite jaded though you will have a lot of experience and be in high demand later. (I got a lot of strange looks eating my lunch beside a dead body waiting for the coroner to arrive with the meat wagon. It was a long carry-out and I had not eaten in some 10 hrs of hard work on the trail). I do not know of a school where they teach you how to treat a victim of gunshot wound. Most of the experience is OJT. Do this long enough and your coworkers start calling you “salty” or other adjectives. For me I know I am a burn-out. To do the job day after day, you have to detach yourself and be beyond caring anymore. Most people who freak out all the time, do not last long in this job. I work within a hospital because I got tired of playing on the freeway.

  26. Reply to Calirefugee: Thanks for the good advice. As a retired senior even though I am ready, able and willing ambulance companies are reluctant to invest time, effort and money into someone they feel will give limited payback for them. As well in my area driver and attendant are both EMT’s and to get that training is pretty much out of the question for me at this point. That being said your suggestion to drive ambulance would give the desired experience for sure. Will have to find a surgeon to join the group would be the best bet I think.

    1. Cliffhanger- volunteer fire dept will always take you and put the money in to train you cuz they know you won’t just get the training and move on. Both my husband and I, (retired from LE) and our son just finished EMT certification through our rural dept. In fact most of our volunteers are retired people looking for some purpose and skills.

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