Survival Skills Cross Training


Learn what you don’t know how to do – particularly those skills that you may need to know in a survival situation – be it short term or a long term SHTF scenario.

Most of us have focused our skills and careers on just a few areas and we tend to invest our time in the things that interest us the most. Given that our jobs and careers typically consume so much of our time – it leaves little time to explore other areas and to learn new things, skills.

The thing is, how many of us are adequately cross-trained in the practical skills for survival — the broad set of skills which would become much more valuable in a world with fewer safety nets or systems which we depend upon today?

Being a ‘Jack of all trades’, a person that is competent with many skills, but is not necessarily outstanding in any particular one, is desirable for a way of life of significant self-sufficiency.

(Better yet, be a Jack of all trades, PLUS have an outstanding skill or two or three!)

In order to learn more than just one trade, or to learn new sets of skills, one needs to cross-train with someone who already has these skills – or at a minimum one needs to research new skill areas and attempt to apply that newly found knowledge with actions (do-it-yourself, trial and error, etc..).

Stop and thing about it. Give some serious consideration to all of the ‘jobs’ that would need to be done in an emergency-disaster-collapse-SHTF situation where you may be on your own or without the help of those who would normally be doing said jobs. Even the (seemingly) simple things – don’t overlook them.

If possible, make sure that there is more than one person in your group who knows how to do each job. Make sure that they can ‘fill in’ at a moments notice.

A simple example for ordinary home emergencies…
Does everyone in your household know how to:
-Shut off the main water valve
-Shut off the natural gas line
-Shut off the main power to the house
-Basic understanding of the circuit-breaker panel

Lets take it a step further…
How many in the household know how to:
-Make a loaf of bread from scratch; DIY cooking
-Successfully grow a garden of vegetables; gardening
-Preserve foods by ‘canning’ them; canning

Or even a little further…
-Repair or install a water pipe; plumbing
-Build a simple structure; carpentry
-Install a basic solar power system; basic electricity
-Successfully shoot a target; comfortable with firearms
-Know how to ‘fish’; fishing
-Knot tying; proficiency with cordage
-Build a fire; fire-making
-Make drinking water safe; purification techniques
-Edible foods in nature; foraging

I could go on and on with examples, as I’m sure you could too.

Consider the practical skills that you believe would help you generally. If you know others who may already know any of those skills – seek to learn something from them. Most people are happy to share some of their knowledge – especially with those who are interested to learn it.

If you don’t know others with the skills you desire, then begin researching. Use the internet. Buy books. Then try it yourself. You will figure it out.

Cross-train. Become a Jack of all trades.


    1. Absolutely! There’s lots lots more too, to make a well rounded ‘Jack of all trades’ (and/or prepper)… Thanks for your input.

  1. The sad part is most people cannot do any of these things. They are also lazy.

    1. …and it makes me want to prep even more – knowing that many or most people simply would not survive without our modern services and systems of distribution, etc.. While I certainly hope it never comes to that, my gut tells me that we’re at increasing risk. Better to be prepared than to go through life as sheeple people.

  2. Do not forget hand tools. Saws, chisel, hammer, drill and bits, shovel, pick, axe, etc.
    Sharpening stones, files to keep edged tools sharp.
    All non powered of course

    1. You should also get books that explain how things work. I got a set from the 1950’s several years ago for the price of carrying them home.

  3. Crosstraining and continuous learning is a must. There will be so many things to do and they could be different depending on which of the bad time situations you find yourself in that you need a wide toolkit to survive.

  4. Besides the U.S. Army Survival Manual, Readers Digest had two books that some may find helpful.”Back to Basics” and “How to do just about anything”. Both are 400+ pages. I don’t know if they are still in print.

    Also, when I find something useful online I print it and store in in a folder.

  5. Question- Any suggestions on books abouut installing solar power and basic electricity which are BASIC and easy to understand??? I mean super easy, almost remedial as I have NO experience with electrical installation or knowledge of solar power/cells/batteries Etc…. Thank you for any direction on this one

    1. I found an easy way to get books on subjects I want to learn: I go to the community college bookstore, find out what books they use for beginning classes (on electricity or any other subject) and buy used books there. The cost is low, you don’t have to go to the classes, and you can learn at your own pace.

  6. Some of the home improvement stores sell books -“homeowners guide to ” that are very basic.

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