These Aren’t Considered SHTF Survival Skills, But They Really Should Be

Can you grow your own food and raise your own livestock? Can you fix your own car? Are you a competent marksman? Can you hunt and fish? Do you know your way around a first-aid kit? Can you make your own biofuel? How about bartering?

Everyone who’s interested in prepping has heard about or considered learning some of those skills (among many others) countless times already. There are certain skills that seem essential for surviving a catastrophic event, and they are repeatedly mentioned and discussed ad nauseam in the prepper community. Of course they’re vitally important and sophisticated subjects that warrant lots of discussion, but there are a few skills that are often totally overlooked; probably because they seem mundane and unexciting.

That however, doesn’t mean they should be ignored. If you’re looking to tack a few more skills under your belt, or at least confirm that you don’t have any of these gaps in your prepper education, consider the following:

Learning Another Language

If society collapsed, then nation-state borders would temporarily lose their meaning. People living in immigrant enclaves, gated communities, and small towns across the country would be uprooted from their lives. Everyone would be wrenched away from their social bubbles. In other words, you would be running into all kinds of people who you would normally never meet, and a lot of those folks will speak a different language. The more languages you know, the less misunderstandings you’ll face after the collapse.

Driving Stick

As time goes on there are fewer and fewer vehicles with manual transmissions being built and sold, and the number of people who actually know how to drive a stick shift is declining. But this could become a vital skill after the collapse. Stick shifts tend to be older, and older cars tend to be easier to fix and maintain. Older vehicles are also a lot easier to hotwire (I’m not suggesting that you steal. There would be many abandoned cars if society collapsed). So if you don’t know already, now is a good time to learn how to drive a stick.


Investing sounds like a skill that is exactly the opposite of what you need to know to survive. When we think of investors, we imagine people who are reliant on the grid; people who work for investment firms and sit behind computers all day. In reality, investing is still an important skill to have when civilization crumbles. Being a good investor requires you to have a solid understanding of how the world works, so you can use that understanding to figure out what is going to be more valuable in the future. At a base level, there isn’t much difference between investing money in a promising company, and trading a can of soup for a pack of cigarettes that will be worth more in the future as supplies dwindle.

Negotiation, Persuasion, and Conflict Resolution

Preppers spend a lot of time preparing to survive violent situations. However, violence is messy and destructive. And more times than not it’s preventable with a little bit of tact and understanding. Don’t buy a dozen guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition without working on your own ability communicate with others, and find common interests with people who oppose you. If society collapsed, the only people you should have to physically protect yourself from, are the ones who refuse to talk to you.

Stress Management

In the modern world, most people deal with stress by consuming addictive substances and engaging themselves in an endless stream of entertainment. After the collapse, there will be no TV or internet, and the substances people use to take the edge off will be hard to come by. And this will happen as everyone is dealing with the most stressful event anyone has seen in generations. If you can’t handle hard times without the aid of a stiff drink and a cigarette, then you’re not ready to cope with an event that could destroy our civilization.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published March 31st, 2017
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11 Responses to These Aren’t Considered SHTF Survival Skills, But They Really Should Be

  1. Lala Land says:

    Haha, I’ve never thought of driving a straight shift as being a necessary skill, but you’re right. I made sure my sons know how to drive a stick, but my daughter was too afraid to learn. I preferred a stick until an injury made me forever unable to drive one. I’ve thought of communications skills being a true need in times of crisis, and I’m glad to see someone agrees with me. The way I see it, this is one of the number one skills one should master. If you’re just not good at it and can’t develop the skill, make sure you have someone in your group who is.

    • L. A. McDonough says:

      Living in a city with sometimes heavy traffic, no way I’d drive a stick. Stopping and starting, people who do not signal., etc. Had an auto for decades starting in early 60’s. Hubby drove service trucks for air cond. work some had stick, most had auto. Let these people learn English if they are in the U.S. not my problem if they cannot communicate. We are bike riders, I suggest getting bikes @ a bike shop with extra tubes and tires

    • Learning to drive a manual transmission with failing synchronisers can prepare you to drive the 8, 9, 10, 13, 15, and 18 speeds that those who drive real trucks do.

  2. samw says:

    My pitbull is great at stress relief, persuasion, and conflict ressolution. Kinda hard on the other guy though. He really hates fights.
    Most people that I have conflict with would not be trusted to be around. Just saying trust is earned, not negotiated.

    • L. A. McDonough says:

      Ditto for my tom cat. Agree, if people are iffy now in trusting, I would definately not want to be around them in hard times.

  3. Illini Warrior says:

    it’s not only learning to drive manual transmission that’s a necessary skill – it’s being half way familiar with a variety of modes of transportation – motorcycles, 4 wheelers, boats, snowmobiles, farm equipment, forklifts, earthmoving equipment, heavy trucks, and even planes

    • Momof3 says:

      I agree Illini Warrior. I can drive anything I get in, but the plane, never have tried that one.

    • Most people who can drive an automotive manual transmission wouldn’t know how to get a big truck into gear, let alone shift it. Manual transmission will probably become a new endorsement on the CDL with large numbers of new truck drivers having learned on automatics and not knowing how to drive the manuals. Most of the large trucking fleets are moving to automatics.

  4. Mikial says:

    Survival and preparation is all about having a wide range of skills. Can you drive a stick? Successfully grow a garden? Skin a deer? Stitch a wound? Smoke meat?

    The list goes on and on. Pioneers survived because they could do whatever it took to feed themselves and defend their families. Get out there and learn! The snowflakes are lucky if they can blow their own nose when they have a cold. I grew up knowing how to do whatever it took to live in any environment.

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