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.
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.
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.