Friday, February 20, 2009

SHTF: Some fun skills to have post-SHTF


60 military press with 40 lbs
35 squats with bar bell - 80 lbs
90 sit ups
45 curls - half 40 lbs, half 20 lbs

two eggs
half can salmon
two tortillas
two cups tea

Here's the deal folks.. better get in shape now for manual labor, both at home, and at the next job. Hopefully, it won't be forced, but like the Great Depression, many of us may end up digging ditches for the new Stimulus Infrastructure Project in the near future.

Also, better start eating right and out of stored foods. What? Stored foods? I thought those were for when the SHTF? Guess what? It has hit the fan.

In the meantime, I am looking at the big picture and working on long term plans.

For instance, a list of things which are worth knowing now (bad economy across the country) and later (when things get even worse).

They are practical little tidbits which I hope to flesh out as time allows. They are also activities I am working on learning myself.

Making home made wine, cider or beer. Google hobo wine for some great answers.

Give myself and son haircuts with the neat barber set I picked up from Harbor Freight.

Dehydrating food without the dehydrator. I like my dehydrator, but doing it outside with an old window screen is better.

Routine auto maintenance. I have been able to do this sort of stuff since I could drive, but many cannot. One should know how to change oil, tires, windshield wipers, lights, hoses and belts. And how to use the tools required. It is not a hard skill to learn and most of us can do it with time.

Also, be available to fix things at your neighbor's home for barter. Say a dozen eggs or some of that canned chili they were saving. Mmmmm..

Sew. I can do buttons and hems, but I have never sewn something from start to finish. A good Singer, some patterns and material and I can make some simple clothes for my kids.

Card games. Cards are cheap and games are numerous. I can play go fish and poker, but knowing how to play things like Hearts, Spades, Bridge and so forth will kill some time when the TV is a distant memory.

Butcher something other than a bird. I have dressed a couple of rabbits, but never anything bigger. Time to learn and get good. Dog may be on the menu soon.

Scavenging 101. This means dumpster diving, clearing foreclosed homes and businesses, refurbishing dumped furnishings and stuff left on the side of the street.

Cook for 20 or more at one time. Can you say "neighborhood potlucks"? I knew you could. This will be the new past time in most subdivisions before long.

Washing clothes by hand and hang drying outside. Sure we know HOW, but we also know its HARD to do. Be ready for rolling brownouts as home electricity usage is determined by available carbon credits.

Like I said, it's here now and like I told a customer yesterday, it's going to get worse before it gets better. And a note to the uber-rich out there.. with the announcement from FedGov on Swiss bank accounts and Stanford's arrest, there is nowhere safe offshore any more. Might want to look at a nice hidey hole in Idaho or Montana about now..

Good luck!

1 comment:

Bitmap said...

I would get a spare set of belts and hoses and keep in the car along with the tools you need to change them. At least the ones you can change on the side of the road. I try to change the belts before they break and I keep the old ones in the car for spares. They won't last forever but they will get me home.

In addition to card games, don't forget dice games, chess, and checkers. The required hardware is fairly compact and stores well and you can easily make the pieces and boards for all three. If you have to you can draw a checker board in the dirt or on an old shirt so you can roll it up and stick it in your pocket. It doesn't matter if the checkers or chess pieces don't all look the same, which is not true for cards. There is a modern version of dice called "Pass the Pigs". You guessed it, the dice are disguised as little pigs.

Cleaning and butchering big animals is much the same as smaller ones. Just open it up without puncturing the guts, dump the insides out saving the liver, kidneys, and heart if you want them, then cut off the head and feet and skin it. You just have to have a bigger place to store the meat. You don't even need a big knife. A guthook makes it easier if you haven't done it many times. Gerber makes one for about $10 that uses utility knife blades.

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