Episode-371- 10 Under Rated Post TEOTWAWKI Skills — 21 Comments

  1. Excellent podcast, Jack.

    Although I’m one of those people you mentioned that currently has what would be a worthless job in a TEOWAWKI situation. (I sit behind a computer all day) However, I grew up on a farm and ranch and learned many of the skills you mentioned from my father, grandfather, and neighbors. Many times we had to make something functional with what was on hand. Working with wood and metal was routine, and one of the greatest things was just learning how stuff works.

    I’m thankful everyday that I had these experiences growing up. They not only help me with handyman tasks around my house in the suburbs, but this type of creativity (making something out of essentially nothing) comes into play every day at work and can be drawn upon for almost any facet of life. I just wish I would have paid more attention to what grandma was doing when she was canning things out of the garden! 🙂

  2. Great show! Good food for thought…

    I also think gaining knowledge about natural medicines and herbs will be very important to maintaining health during the rebuilding, when dietary limitations may cause a degradation of health in some. I realize that you do talk about this one pretty often, so maybe it is one that is more commonly thought of as a needed skill… and the knowledge of simple home remedies and treatments for common illnesses…

    Dr. Kyle Christenson’s book on that subject would be a great start for people.

    Another type of valuable skill that may go along with your negotiating skill… the ability to tell stories, entertain, perform music. I am thinking these things will be valuable in lifting the spirits of people under great stress… People need joy in life!

  3. Jack – Great podcast, as always. I think that maybe you undervalue marketing skills in TEOTWAWKI situations. Leadership and marketing go hand in hand; building consensus, getting everyone on the same page, defining the vision. Couple that with the resolve, bravery and trustworthiness of a leader and you have a good combination.

  4. I do not recall much discussion on your show about basic first aid as well as advanced life support, these are essential skills that many people I encounter seem to be lacking; this might be a topic for a future show.

    Also, basic common sense home fire prevention skills are important. Discussion on residential fire sprinklers and their advantages as a way to decrease your property loss as well as to decrease reliance on the usual system (local fire departments). This is of greater importance the more rural you are because you may live great distance from a fire station which may have limited capabilities.

    As economic conditions in the U.S. continue to deteriorate (I believe our economic maladies are only just beginning), you are going to see increasing burglary, vandalism and arson (often in an attempt to cover the previous crime.) Discussion on securing your homestead and detering crime might be advantageous to your audience.

    Keep up the great work!

  5. On animals using tools… Crows are also tool users. They are incredibly smart animals. I’ve seen videos where they made hooks out of pieces of scrap to get something out of a narrow tube. In one of the coolest ones I saw, a nut was floating in a narrow cylinder too far down for the crow to reach. It picked up rocks out of its cage and dropped them in the cylinder until the water level raised enough that it could reach the nut.

  6. Great show! What about plumbing though (including composting toilets)? TEOTAWKI or not – people need to uhm…well, you know!

  7. Here’s a skill you probably have never thought of in your life: Salt making.
    Salt will be very important mainly as a preservative. Salting or curing foods has been the main way to keep them over the winter. But a deer takes a lot of salt to cure.

    Where will you get salt?

    If you live near the ocean, great plenty of salt right. Well, it takes about 5 years to evaporate enough water to get useful amounts of salt. At least on the commercial level.

    I live in Colorado we’d have to go to Utah or Kansas to get mined salt.

    Speaking of mining, Houses and cars are full of all kinds of useful things. but don’t forget we have a few billion tons of low-grade hydrocarbons sitting on the surface of the planet, I’m talking about asphalt. With some chemistry you can turn it into something useful and not just heat or gas (well this is the stuff they couldn’t turn into gas) but plastics.

    Chemistry in general is useful and not just in the pharmacological sense. Soap, shampoo and detergent making would be my priority. What about you?

  8. Three more post-TEOTWAWKI skills to cover in a new show:

    1) Metal Casting: for several hundred dollars, one can build a propane fired oven capable of melting aluminum, brass, bronze, tin, gold, silver, copper, and cast iron. Charcoal fired versions can melt all of these except cast iron. Post-TEOTWAWKI you will not be able to go to a metal supply store to get raw materials. Casting allows you to recycle waste and salvaged metals into usable cast items.

    2) Salvage Skills: Having the ability to identify and safely disassemble / remove, and transport salvaged goods and materials will be a critical skill. This includes a combination of mechanical, structural engineering, and material handling / rigging skills. Even after buildings have been looted, valuable materials remain to be salvaged — windows, doors, bricks, structural steel, scrap metal, etc.

    3) Forge Welding / Blade Making: These are more advanced blacksmith skills that not all blacksmiths can do – particularly ones without the right gear.

  9. Having a masters in EE (electrical engineering) I would have to say I wouldn’t be very useful. I wouldn’t be able to put stuff together from a junkyard. These skills are the type of skills you would need to learn from experience. Theory helps but experience trumps all…which is weird since companies rely on that darn peace of paper so much!

  10. Sewing, fabric making/weaving, leather working, brick/mortar making. All very useful

    I liked the story teller/musician idea as well.

  11. Some more.
    Yeast making for bread making which requires beer making.
    Vinegar making and cream of tartar production which requires wine making.
    Bleach making for clean water.

  12. Great Show,

    Although the least likely situation to occur, it makes for an interesting show and having read all the comments, I have to say, Jack has covered most of these suggestions in previous shows to a varying degree.

    I really enjoy visiting heritage sites and museums to take a look and learn about many of these “historical skills”. What would amount to an interesting hobby today, could really be a valued skill in the future. I am hopeful that we will eventually get back to an era when “craftsmanship” meant something and those who master these skills get the recognition they deserve. Our disposable society where items are designed to have an end date so that we can be sold the same items over and over again is part of the problem we now all face. Mass production now means that the items no longer have the “makers mark” on them and there is no pride in the workmanship.

    I would enjoy more shows of this type where Jack could look at some of these other skills in greater detail and also more about the transferable skills from jobs we do today.


  13. What about healers? I am currently in School to be Shiatsu massage therapist, and then go on to be an acupuncturist. i would think that if a society breaks down..people will have to rely on whatever is at hand for wellness.

  14. A couple more blacksmithing skills….

    -Charcoal making – Unless you have a coal mine, charcoal will be the only game in town

    -Plow sharpening – A skill that has just about been lost

  15. Jeweler! Yep an under rated post TEOTWAWKI skill. If gold becomes a medium of exchange, people will need to be sure that the gold they have is in fact GOLD. I think being a Jeweler or a goldsmith would be a great skill.

    And one that will make most listeners grind their teeth would be City Councilman. People would still need to have organization and inspiration. They will want leadership post SHTF. A City Councilman is far enough removed from politics that a large scale SHTF would not be his fault. And at the same time he is involved enough with the community to know the residents and to understand what they need. So yeah, I said it. A trustworthy hardworking honest local politician may be a good under rated post SHTF skill.

  16. A lot of different ideas, at least from my perspective. As far as the welder, tool maker, etc.. I think I would put these skill bases under fabrication. A MacGyver kind of thing. Make what is needed with what is at hand. If there is functional machinery be a machinist, if electricity be a welder, if needed be a blacksmith. He was the original welder/toolmaker/machinist. A hole in the ground with some sticks, two rocks and some scrap metal and you can start in on making your blacksmith shop.

  17. I was thinking about what you said at the end of the show, and about under-rated survival skills.

    One thing that occurs to me is the ability to make clothes. I’m not just talking about sewing cloth into clothes (although that is important too), I’m talking about spinning yarn, weaving cloth, tanning hides for leather.

  18. Nothing mentioned above will be worth *&%$ if in addition to the knowledge, you don\’t have the ability to defend yourself and your assets with stealth, superior force and skill. All the spoils will go to those who possess the asset of superior force. I am a country boy,General Contractor, Electrical Contractor, Pilot, tacticaly trained firearms expert – (handgun, shotgun and tactical rifle), trained in martial arts, mountain bike champion, triathlete etc. The more you know,prepare and train, the better chance you\’ll have to not only survive, but to thrive.

  19. I think that just as much as needed set skills, are people with the right kind of attitude. Those who can learn to adapt easily to what life throws at them, are those who are going to have a better chance of making it through hard times. So it’s not so much what you know as what you are willing to do, and how hard you are willing to work with a community to better things.

  20. @ shawn
    It is specifically stated in many of Jacks shows and implied in the rest that defensive skills are necessary. Further it is mentioned that if you have nothing to defend then the firearm skills will not mean a whole lot. That is unless you plan on becoming a raider. In that case you may find gardeners who are more expert in the use of firearms than you are.

    On that note what qualifies you as a firearms expert? What are you rated to fly?

  21. Man I was really hoping shawn would come back and talk some shit. I laugh out loud everytime Jack makes fun of that guy. \"I\’m a mountain bike champion, black belt, expert rifleman\"…. HA HA HA 😀 and instant classic!!! I\’m laughing to myself as I type this.