13 in 13 Challenge to Roll Out Soon — 109 Comments

  1. Woodworking = building something from wood, a shoe rack, a cabinet, etc.
    Working with Kids = spend some time doing a project with kids to teach them a skill, garden with them, build a tree house, a soap box car
    Plant Identification and Usage
    Self Defense Skills

  2. I’ve actually been thinking about this for a while. Here are some I’d like to learn in 2013:

    (more about) canning
    construction (building things like coops and shelving-don’t want to wait around for hubby to do it)
    tools (best ones to get and how to use)
    hunting and processing kills
    organic gardening
    fruit orchard maintenance
    preserving and storing food (root cellaring, food drying, canning)

    I’m sure there are more, but these are my targets this year.


  3. Well, I don’t know exactly what you would call this seed, but I’d say “household maintenance” or simply “mechanical” would be a good starter. Something that could include all the typical handyman skills like fixing broken household items, maintaining a car, and installing new appliances.

  4. – Knot tying
    – Blade sharpening
    – First Aid training
    – HAM radio operation
    – Handgun use
    – Shotgun use
    – Long gun use
    – PDC
    – Chainsaw use
    – Tracking skills
    – Making Cordage from plants
    – Medicinal Plant use
    – Communications/negotiation skills (could be useful in a tense situation if you know how to keep people cool through use of language)

  5. Welding, blacksmithing, tanning( as in animal hides not like Bob Barker tan), learn an instrument, learn a computer program such as excel or C+ or java, cooking, brewing, wine making, timberframing. Hope these are helpful

  6. First thoughts:
    Foraging (edibles, medicinal)
    Food Preservation: Food Dehydration, Canning (jams, water bath, pressure) Freezing
    Fermenting foods
    Fermenting beverages (beer, wine, kombucha)
    Shelter Construction
    Electric Hand Tool Operation (circular saws, drills, jig saws, radial arm, etc.)
    Firearm Training

  7. heres some of what im doin this year.
    install a basic solar charger with small battery bank (what is an amp hour?)
    making candles (what should i stock up on)
    cheese making (for the love of chedder!)
    F-class shooting (1000 yard shot)
    how to administer an IV (where do i stick this?)
    wiring my own security system (this one is kind of intimidating me)
    figure out why my 223 reloads are jamming? (semi-auto reloading technique)
    HAVING FUN…. (cause i forget this one some times)
    building my first ar-15 (zombie guns dont build them selves)
    put together a cold weather kit (addition to the regular bug out bag)

  8. Basic Carpentry (8 x 12 shed project with gabled roof)
    Rifle marksmanship
    Dehydrating food preservation
    Game cleaning/dressing—rabbit
    Metal fabrication/welding

    • Here are some of the ones I’m thinking for my list.

      Business management
      Permaculture design
      Musical instrument
      Medical training
      Smoking meat
      Brewing or vinting
      Working with horses
      Making biodiesel
      Mushroom hunting
      Black powder shooting
      Working with sheep
      Rabbit breeding

  9. Persuasive speech/debate
    Community building (getting people together with a purpose)

    I think the arts of clear-headed debate and communication are probably our collective best shot at avoiding a future of excessive regulation, at least at the local level.

    • This is the side of prepping that gets mowed over. The aspect of prepping that is “localism”–being prepared to deal much more head-on with local government. As part of speech/debate I’d add logic and rhetoric. Most argumentation I read or hear these days is 90% emotional, 10% actual mental reasoning and logical thought process.

  10. Handgun skills & license
    Fix-it skills
    Garden harvest food processing skills…what to do with the abundance
    How to spread the word on TSP without people thinking we are cooks skill
    Preparing for extended power loss

  11. Here is my list:
    1. Gunsmithing
    2. Welding
    3. Blacksmithing
    4. Leatherworking
    5. Pottery
    6. Masonry
    7. Distilling (alcohol/gasoline) production
    8. Small engine repair
    9. Tracking
    10. Carpentry / Woodworking
    11. Birthing / Midwifing
    12. Land Navigation
    13. Combat First Aid

  12. Animal Husbandry
    Soap and detergent making
    Entrepreneurship/Business managing
    Accounting and Budgeting
    Painting, Singing/Music, Arts

    This is a great idea and I am very excited to learn many more new skills along with our community!

  13. I love this idea! Here are some that are on my “to do” list…

    Spinning natural fibers (angora rabbit, cotton, wool, etc.)
    Crocheting (focusing on functional items more than decorative)
    Food dehydrating
    Personal endurance/stamina/strength
    Raising/breeding small livestock
    Making herbal remedies
    Making cosmetics, toiletries, household cleaners
    Curing/smoking meats
    Extracting oil from nuts/seeds/avocado
    Making butter
    Growing, drying, grinding corn and making traditional corn tortillas
    Making plant/vegetable dyes
    Growing/preserving bushel and luffa gourds
    Seed saving/plant breeding

    That’s all I can think of right now…excited for this!

  14. Homestead animal husbandry (chickens, rabbits, fish, goats)
    Dog training (obedience, personal protection, and tracking – thanks Joel Ryals from Dunetos K-9 for being my mentor here)
    Rifle markmanship
    Concealed weapons permit
    How to filet a fish
    Local wild plant identification and use
    Experimentation with different types of gardening (aquaponics vs. square foot gardening vs. sub-irrigated vs. wicking bed, etc.)
    Thank you Jack, this is just the motivation I needed to get going!

  15. How about some fun ones?
    – salsa dancing
    – juggling
    – chess (I actually prefer the ancient Chinese game called Go, but finding someone to play chess with is way more common)
    – basketball shooting (no, not shooting basketballs with your AR)
    – massage
    – build/customize/repair a bicycle
    – get a motorcycle license

    These might not seem like survival skills, but they help build relationships and community which is what we’re ultimately surviving for, right?

    • Actually, music is a very important skill, especially if there are kids around. No TV, no video games, everything is different and the grownups are acting stressed. Mental health is a big part of survival in a traumatic situation. Guitar by candlelight, a board game and a good book are definitely on my essential list.

    • If you listen to Selco of , he speaks about how important music was during the complete breakdown in Bosnia in the city he was trapped in.

  16. Let’s see, what hasn’t been said yet..
    – (knife) sharpening
    – butchering
    – local plant/herb knowledge
    – making soaps (bar, liquid, laundry, shampoo..)
    – distilling fuel
    – dying (yarn, wool to be spun)
    – running
    – meditation
    – darning
    – knitting (more complicated stuff)
    – budgeting
    – not procrastinating

    • Looking at others’ lists and seeing where I could point out resources, is there going to be some way for us to provide links/information to those wanting to learn a specific thing? Like a wiki-like page dedicated to each skill where folks could point to good places to start out.

  17. Here’s my quick list, it may change though.

    Save seeds
    Soap making
    Make beeswax candles
    Brew beer
    Grow and harvest grain
    Gun skills
    Orchard planting and maintenance
    Simple auto repair and maintenance
    Small engine repair and maintenance
    Basic first aid
    Networking with other preppers

  18. Beekeeping
    Plant/Tree Grafting
    Foraging (Crabbing, Wildcrafting)
    Mushroom Cultivation
    Solar Heating (active/passive)
    Seed Saving

  19. * Law
    * Teaching
    * Business
    * Tool Maintenance
    * Computer Use
    * Computer Programming
    * Raising Livestock
    * Automotive Mechanics
    * Simple Mechanics (i.e. bicycle)
    * Fitness

  20. basic carpentry, pickling, creating a seminar,archery, marksmanship,making a windmill/wind generator, making a solar power system.

  21. One I haven’t seen on anybody else’s list yet is water catchment/filtering/purification and storage. It is definitely on mine.

  22. -Beekeeping…specifically top bar hives
    -Small scale livestock…want to breed rabbits for food
    -Gardening…just moved and am renting. Need ingenious solutions to container/portable gardening.
    -Brewing/distilling…nuff said.
    -Food preservation…long term, would like to be able to freeze dry on my own.
    -Recycling…ideas on using things that you’d normally just throw away. I have a serious container fetish (i cant throw out all the coffee cans and the like) but need to find some practical uses before my wife kills me.
    -Income…I have alot of useful skills but can’t seem to get my head around how to monetize them.
    -Water purification/filtration…things I can make/build so I don’t have to fork out wads of cash.
    -Medical skills.
    I have more but I’ll wait to see what else shows up on the list.

  23. Play an instrument
    Fermenting veggies
    physical fitness
    make cheeses
    use what I have instead of buying something

  24. Raising chickens for eggs.
    Rabbits for meat and pelts.
    Indoor gardening (my lemon tree is here and doing fine).
    Woodworking skills (I have zero).
    Making more homemade soaps, cleaning aids.
    Building a rain water catch system.
    Work on a book.
    Find a like minded male companion to share my life with.
    Display my auto-graphics in more places & offer to barter for it.
    Get my vinyl cutter paid off.
    Learn more about herbal medicines.
    Run for city counsel.
    Work on youth projects through like minded individuals.
    Fast and pray a great deal more.

  25. I love all the skills that people are posting – there are a lot of interesting posts and I’ve already added some of them to ‘my list.”

    Here’s a couple that I’m planning on in ’13

    – “Web Application Development” – (I learned [and continue to learn] Ruby on Rails in 2012 – my sub category will be “JavaScript / Ajax” ) – Not a typical ‘Survival Skill” in the common definition; but, for me improving my financial situation is survival.

    – “Arduino Development” – There are a lot of things these little boards can do to improve the functionality of things like wind turbines, aquaponics, etc..

    – “Aquaponics” – which will go hand-in-hand with my “Gardening” that i’m sure will be on the seed list.

    On a side note: I’m not sure where to leave this suggestion, but I think it would really be helpful for community members to help each other using YouTube. For example – I have been teaching myself welding and metal fabrication over the last 3 months. i noticed some people had those things on their lists. Although there are thousands of ‘how to” videos on YouTube for welding – none of them really helped me actually get started. I would have loved to be able to post my questions, and have a ‘like-minded’ community member be able to either point to, or upload a YouTube video that would answer them. Just an idea, since I believe most of us here are interested in helping one another out.

    Great idea on the 13 and 13! I am loving this. It’s always better for me personally to have a place that I can be accountable, and this seems like the place that will make that happen for me!

  26. fly tying
    bait casting
    electrician apprentice
    Concealed Carry Training
    basic first aid and CPR
    off-roading skills

  27. Rabbitry
    Chickentry 😉
    Construction – specifically rabbit and chicken pens
    Baking- sourdough
    Medicinal herbs & essential oils
    Debt reduction, budgeting ,investing
    Be more politically active locally
    How to build community

  28. This is my list.
    How to build a root cellar in your basemnet(as a woman I am trying to do this right now).
    How to deal with a spouse or partner that doesn’t believe things are going to get worse.
    How to identify edible weeds and berries.
    How to make great homemade fertilizer for your garden (besides compost, and shredded leaves).It’s chicken manure which leads to the next on the list.
    A way to conceal you have Chickens, when the bi-law says” not allowed in your town”.
    Growing grains.
    Harvesting grains.

  29. A few more…

    Starting plants from cuttings
    First aid
    Pet first aid
    Making sprouts
    Making lye from wood ash
    Organization/time management
    Web design
    Primitive fire-starting
    Landscaping for insects, birds, and bats

  30. My list so far:
    Construction (Drywall, Framing, Roofing)
    Food Preservation
    Car Maintenance
    Seed Saving
    Ham Radio

  31. Here is my list of 13 for next year:
    Archery (for hunting deer primarily)
    Canning (pressure canning)
    Growing veggies in greenhouse (have the greenhouse)
    Handgun training
    Construct solar hot water heaters (for greenhouse and possibly residence)
    Fermenting (sauerkraut and other veggies)
    Construct solar food dryer
    Bee keeping
    Cheese making
    Cutting down trees efficiently for firewood
    Raise rabbits for meat
    Making bread from scratch (includes grinding grain for flour)
    Develop online business

  32. Some things from my master list:

    Driving – tactical, motorcycle, trailering
    Fishing – pole, net, deep sea, spear
    Metalworking – welding, soldering, casting
    Practical Chemistry – demolition, metallurgy, medical
    Airplane Pilot
    Navigation – orienteering, sea nav, astro nav
    Hydro power – waterwheels, microhydro
    Dental – diagnosis, cleaning
    Tool Making
    Finish Carpentry
    Water Systems – grey water, purification, hot water
    Sewing – clothes, gear, tailoring

  33. Archery

    There are many things I could teach but I want to learn archery.
    I’m not worried about doomsday prophesies but in Ohio most deer are taken with bows at under 20 yards. And I don’t know how to shoot a bow, or at least not well enough to hunt deer.

    I’m a little baffled that the new site doesn’t seem to want teachers but I guess you’ll figure out how to make connections.

    SUGGESTION: Many of us have things to teach that we are good at. Should be a category for that. Anyone want to learn how to double clutch an 18 wheel truck (or get marital advice.. HA!)?

    • You know, that’s funny. I recently thought learning how to drive an 18 wheeler would be fun (alright, maybe part of it was also fantasys of “Oh no, the only way out is this truck but no one knows how to drive it!”). Unless that’s not what double clutch means. Then again, I can’t drive stick yet either, but that’ll be going on my list.

      • Amy: I can teach you how to not only drive a stick shift but also how to (yes you are correct in guessing double clutching has to do with big truck transmissions) AND! how to back up a 75 long truck with a 53 foot trailer.

        Give you a hint about backing trailers of any size: put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and whichever way your hand turns the wheel, that’s the way the back of the trailer is going to go.

        Been around the block (and 45 States!) a few times.
        PM me if you wish to learn more.
        Being an old fart I am mostly harmless 😉

      • and that’s what I thought when I was a DAC with the army. Battalion Commander let me go the the firing range with troops and qualified with M16 and 45 because I argued that in combat, if a man fell and weapon was there, but I couldn’t pick it up and deal, I’d be mad at him. lol

  34. My list I started working on when I heard it mentioned.
    How fantastic this is.
    I agree it would be helpful to link folks that have the skills with folks wanting to learn. I regularly teach many of the skills listed here (above)

    My list at present

    Knots (learn the ones on the proknot cards)
    Sorghum (all about, growing harvesting and pressing, then do it, which is the best way to learn for me)
    Sickle, (get custom one fitted and a class for operation)
    Wine makeing
    Canning (pressure / Meat for me)
    Trimble Sketchup use
    Lacto Fermantation, Billtong, Jerky (maybe food preservation?)
    Paleo Diet (learn, read, understand more)
    Constitution and Amendments
    Metal detector proper operation (darn thing frustrates me more than helps)
    Bee keeping

  35. 1. Tactical Home Defense
    2. Reloading
    3. Shelter building from leantos to two story houses
    4. General carpentry
    5. Plumbing
    6. Gunsmithing
    7. Homestead veternary medicine (there might not always be a vet around)
    8. Dam building (small and medium scale)
    9. Stick fighting from kuboton to staff
    10. Small scale do it yourself metal recycling and re fabrication
    11. Glazing (glass making and working including blowing)
    12. Barrell making
    13. Basket and bag making

  36. Reading the above comments, I could also teach woodworking, including traditional cabinetry, including hand cut dovetail joints. Used to be pretty good at it.

  37. Skimmed the responses and I didn’t see this one, Hope I didn’t miss something:

    Critical Thinking — Training the mind to a proven process of determination.

    This I believe is a Fundamental.


    Tom D.

    • Tom – if you’re interesting in Critical Thinking, I have a book or two I can send you and/or online resources to help you develop this skill

      • Rick – I’ve been collecting resources for that and would love to know what you’ve found to be good. My favorite book on the topic so far is Logical Self Defense, but I haven’t found much online that I thought was spectacular.

    • I was thinking along the same lines–tactical decision-making, or critical thinking under duress. You have to have a way to focus your mind, to sift out the noise, and to cut to what matters and let go what doesn’t. Perhaps something written for USMC officers in training to lead infantry? Just because the thought process is developed for use in combat doesn’t mean those same tools won’t be as useful in other non-combat emergencies. Otherwise we wouldn’t have CEO’s studying Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”.

  38. Most of mine have been mentioned so I won’t re-hash, but I don’t think anyone mentioned learning an additional language. Spanish & Mandarin are my top 2. Good for prepping, good for future business, and good brain exercise!!

  39. Hello – wondering if this 13-in-13 idea may morph into those with skills helping others to develop skills, and vice versa? Great for community building. Maybe we can list skills we have and then can be paired with others who are close physically, or via the web, who we can help?

  40. – Site fertility management (compost, manures, ‘green’ manures)
    – Tractor use
    – Seed saving
    – Plant breeding
    – Public speaking
    – Internet communication/effective social networking
    – Community building/cooperation
    – Personal financial planning

    Just a few thoughts, thx.

  41. Gunsmithing
    Aquaponics to the next level
    Making cheese
    Cooking from the garden
    Raising goats
    Get my rifleman badge from Appleseed
    Dehydrate my food storage

  42. My skills include more than 50% of those listed so I could help others, and most of those on my own list are already named, so I won’t rehash either. I’m really interested in the most primitive way to survive at this point and am adding to my foraging skills by learning more about trees and their best uses: carving eating tools, eating their fruits ( acorns and other nuts), etc.. Also am working on primitive tools, and weapons. Started making cordage, and am identifying suitable materials around me. I’m also trying to learn to work in the dark without light. I guess I’d call it acclimating to the environment. (?) I just learned to brain tan a hide, but still have to smoke (or cure) it. I want to develop some materials on prepping with and for children. I hope the website will have a section for finding and connecting with others nearby for teaching/learning/sharing with some identity security.

  43. I’m gonna add this one definitely for me. Physical fitness. Not such losing weight, but gaining stamina. Being able to run more than a mile, bike five miles, bench and squat more, hump a pack instead of just jogging, sit-ups, etc…

  44. Such a GREAT idea!!! Can’t wait to watch this all progress. I believe the vast majority of my list has been covered but I did not see here (and did see in the forum)….driving a team of horses for plowing fields, hauling lumber/sleighs/wagons, etc.

  45. SKILLS FOR CHILDREN….3 sisters garden,,, plant identification,,, using & caring for a knife, ax, saw,,,, fire building,,, shelter building,,, Prepping food for canning,,,, hunting,,,, gathering,,, purifying water,,, sun oven cooking,,,
    Bless U & Urs Thanks Larry

  46. Some of the skills I would like on there
    Soap making
    Leather tanning
    Campfire/ Dutch oven cooking
    Darning socks and repairing clothing
    Vehicle maintenace
    Bee Keeping
    Plumbing Repair
    furniture repair

  47. Canning
    Sharpening a handsaw
    Sharpening a chainsaw
    Butcher and clean rabbits, chickens,etc
    Harvest and save garden seeds
    Raise vegetables from seed
    Keep bees
    Learn basic auto maintenance
    Learn basic plumbing

  48. Think these may be helpful to add to my skill set.

    Tanning hides “Deer hides to Buckskin”
    Blacksmithing and metalworking (tool repair)

    Just a few to think about. Guess I’m just saying getting back in touch with our roots and heritage.

  49. I’ve seen lots of knife sharpening, but how about knifemaking, even if its a kit.
    Electrical Work (lots of books out there on wiring an outlet to wiring a whole house)
    Map Utilization/GIS (Google earth, ArcGIS, and many apps in between)

    • Yep knife making is a good one, it will be on the seed list and please remember that any skill can be member added once the profile is set up.

  50. Unarmed self defense
    Knife/edged weapon sharpening
    Communication(speaking to others about prepping)
    Alternative Heating (rocket mass heaters)
    Business development(turn prepping tasks into business)
    Homeschooling/Supplemental schooling
    Efficient land management(Permaculture, grazing rotation, water collection and flow)
    Alternative food storage(Canning, salting, smoking)

  51. My 13 are:
    1. Chicken raising (for eggs)
    2. Build a chicken coop
    3. Alternative fire starting
    4. Fishing
    5. Gardening (more of it)
    6. Canning
    7. Alternative cooking (over volcano stove, Emberlit stove, etc.)
    8. Marksmanship (improve rifle shooting accuracy)
    9. Learn to install a sand point well
    10. Build and learn to use a solar oven
    11. Wild plant identification and foraging (to eat)
    12. Learn more cooking
    13. Learn/memorize most of the roads and trails throughout the area I live in. (I realize that’s an oddball one, but I find it useful to be able to navigate quickly without the aid of GPS or maps, and to be able to make last-second corrections to deal with changed plans, blockages, etc.)

  52. Permaculture (large topic I know, how about “sustainable gardening” where the focus is on perennial vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs with high protein, carbs, vitamins, and calories.

  53. I will definitely utilize a skill tracking system.
    My list would look something like this:
    Bee keeping
    Growing mushrooms indoors/outdoors
    Butchering/tanning small livestock
    Making moccasins
    Dehydrating food via solar
    Building a rocket stove and mass heater
    Terracing a hillside for perennials
    Fire arms training
    Seed saving/cutting propogation
    Rain water collection system

  54. Primitive Weapons (Sling, atlatl, spear), Grill, Season Cast Iron correctly, Blog. I think most everything else is covered by someone else.

  55. Livestock care for the homesteader
    Home meat butchering/processing
    Lumber harvesting & safety (chainsaw, log-splitters, hand axe, etc…)
    Wild edible foraging & useage (food & medicinal)
    Small engine maint. for the homesteader
    Assessing security weaknesses and implementation of passive homestead security measures (physical, electronic, etc…).
    Map reading/orienteering (compass & GPS)
    Small scale communications & scanner use (non HAM trasmissions)
    Understanding firearm optics and what works best for which ranges/applications.
    Learn how to minimize one’s digital footprint and maximize personal privacy.

  56. Advanced Cardiac Life Support
    Tactical Handgun
    Master Logger Course
    Livestock Fence Erection
    Basic Building Skills
    Raising Chickens for eggs and meat
    Raising sheep
    Processing wool

  57. I would like to build a wood fired – outdoor clay / cob / earth oven, and of course learn how to use it!

  58. I would like to see current level of proficiency and current skills that you have but will not be counted towards the 13.

  59. One skill I haven’t seen that I would like to develop is bow making. I got the traditional bowyer bible books last year but I haven’t really put them to use yet. I need to focus on getting in better shape too. Thats the first 2 of my 13.

  60. i would like to teach myself/learn:
    basic carpentry
    small backyard animal “processing”
    beer/wine making

  61. * Permaculture design
    * Comfortably and discreetly carrying a concealed weapon
    * Keeping a family cow
    * Square foot gardening
    * Coppicing/pollarding trees

  62. 1. The art and science of influencing others.
    2. Use of geospatial data, map reading, hydrology.
    3. Assessing risk and risk mitigation.
    4. Advanced defensive driving skills.
    5. Marksmanship.
    6. Media, strategic communication, information ops.
    7. Homesteading.
    8. Modern and primitive survival skills.
    9. Power generation. KSA (knowledge skills ability) of electricity.
    10. Mechanics, repair, and metallurgy.
    11. KSA of weather.
    12. Building community the art and science of social networks.
    13. Long term food/water generation, storage, and use.

  63. Not sure if these will be okay but these are a few of the things I want to learn to do for myself.
    How to repair a working horse harness, bridles and the like.
    How to safely sharpen a Scythe.
    How to safely sharpen an axe.
    How to make an ointment for hand milking cows/goats.
    How to build a portable milking plant.
    How to make a working butter churn.
    How to make a cream separator.
    How to repair a shearing plant.
    How to care for horse tack.
    How to treat mastitis in cows and goats ourselves.
    How to dehorn lambs, kids and calves.

    • Site should be up this coming week but I just want to say most of those are not skills but goals.


      Skill – Sharpening
      Individual Goal to learn how to safely sharpen a Scythe and an Axe this year.

  64. Food Preservation (Canning & Dehydration)
    Home Brewing
    Baking (Pie Crust and Bread)
    Knot Tying ( Add 13 new Knots to base)
    Navigation /Orienteering (Map&Compass)
    First Aid (Field Trauma)
    First Responder skills (CERT Training – County/State?)
    Marksmenship / Weapons Training (Advanced Pistol and Carbine)
    Communications (Ham, Verbal, Nonverbal)
    Meat Processing (Field Dressing, Biltong – Skinning)
    Composting or Plant Identification (County Extension Class?)
    Basic Weather Predictions/Forecasting

  65. Holy Cow! ALL of these are great!!!!!! You all have included what I would have said. I was going to add, for us women or guys could do it as well: crocheting, knitting, weaving and spinning wool or fiber for use in these arts. I know how to knit and crochet ~ need to learn to spin with hand spinner and spinning wheel and then learn to weave on looms.

    • You don’t yet, should be up live out of pre beta today or tomorrow and I will announce it then.