May 21

Identifying Necessary Survival Skills

By The Maj

In the post SHTF world, skills can make the difference between life and death, but which skills are the “right” set of skills you should focus on? Determining “right” is personal and will be different for every person, so finding that magical list which you can reference to build your own personal set of skills can be as elusive as finding the unicorn at the end of the rainbow standing next to the pot of gold. As with other areas of prepping, your goal should be to identify skills which you can learn, practice, AND will be beneficial to you once the SHTF. Learning these skills takes time, mastering these skills takes practice, and identifying these skills can be overwhelming and frustrating.

Before you even start down the road of acquiring skills, you will need to identify the skills that you believe are critical for your specific plan. Your plan is unique and is tailored to your specific needs, therefore, your set of critical skills should be just as unique and tailored to your survival. When starting down the road of acquiring skills you will find that there are more skills out there than you can count and there is no reason to even attempt to learn them all. It is an impossible task and as with other areas of prepping, you will need to find some sort of balance. So, where should you start?

Your plan should form the basis for where you should start. Skills serve to fill the holes in your plan(s), as well as make you more self sufficient or less reliant on store bought items. Many skills are what are considered to be basic skills that are common to just about any survival situation and other skills will be more advanced and suited to long term survival. If you evaluate skills according to a timeline, it should give you a pretty good idea of which skills you need to focus on first and then move on to the next set of skills. The timeline should be broken down similar to the manner in which you stockpile supplies but as an example a timeline would include: 72 hours post event, 1 week post event, 1 month post event, 3 months post event, 6 months post event, 1 year post event, etc.

Breaking this timeline down into a visual representation often helps:

Survival Skills Timeline

The example above should not be considered an all inclusive list or suggest that you wait until after the event to learn a skill. The chart demonstrates where skills COULD become critical post SHTF and gives you an idea or option for how to determine which skills you should focus on acquiring first. For example, while blacksmithing will be a very important skill to have for a long term SHTF event, it will not be as important as other skills for short term SHTF events. Also, if you do utilize a chart like the one above, it is important to understand that you will need to make certain that it meshes with your personal plan(s).

Skills will be critical in the post SHTF world and acquiring them should be incorporated into your survival plans and preparations. The important thing will be identifying which skills will provide you the most benefit and having a plan for acquiring them.


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  1. An impressive list, that is definitely something i will have at hand to prioritize what skill to learn. eventually i would like to learn everything

      • PJ on July 2, 2013 at 4:07 PM
      • Reply

      I guess we should all be constantly learning, I’m not sure if there will ever be a point in time when I claim to have all things figured out. 🙂

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