Some time ago I read a truthful statement: Preparedness is a three legged stool. The first leg is supplies, the second leg is community, and the third leg is skills/knowledge.
Why three-legged? It’s the classic geometry answer: three points define a plane. A three-legged stool doesn’t wobble. Take away any one of the legs, and the stool topples.
Most novice preppers understand the need for supplies (food, gear, etc.). Endless businesses have sprung up to fill those needs.
Community is less appreciated but just as important. That’s a whole ‘nother blog post.
But what about skills? That’s the part of the triune a lot of people either forget or dismiss as unimportant or unnecessary. After all, that’s what supplies are all about, right? Who needs skills when we all have the latest whiz-bang nifty gizmo to provide us with what we need?
But remember, without that leg of skills/knowledge, the stool topples.
“There comes a time when every prepper finally says, ‘Enough with all of the food and enough with all of the gear!'” starts the article.“After years of seeking out the best stuff at the best prices, creating a stockpile, and purchasing equipment, you just might want to stop — at least for awhile — and focus on something else: the vital qualities and abilities that no amount of money can buy. … The biggest stockpile in the county won’t be enough if you don’t learn the important skills that will carry you through when you’re faced with hard times. Likewise, there are certain personality traits that will enhance your ability to survive.”
The article is well worth reading in its entirety; but in a nutshell, here are the skills listed:
Six vital skills for preppers
- First aid skills
- Gardening skills
- Basic fix-it skills
- Home-keeping skills
- Defense skills
- Outdoor skills
Essential traits of survivors
- Compassion for others
- Interpersonal skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Self-knowledge (with the interesting notation: “Some people really delude themselves with regard to their abilities…”)
The author then invites readers to add to the list.
To my way of thinking, this list also underscores the need forcommunity. No one can know it all (if they do, they’re either super-human or — ahem — a know-it-all). But most people possess a few of these skills, either innately or by training. Ideally, within a community there is a good spread of people who can contribute to the overall skills level of the group.
But that added notation after “Self-knowledge” (“Some people really delude themselves with regard to their abilities…”) is so so so true: Without exception, we all think we’re more knowledgeable than we really are. None of us will know the limits of our knowledge until we’re tested.
In other words, how “short” is that particular leg of your stool?
Good stuff to think about as we face an uncertain future. Meanwhile, feel free to add to the list. What are some other important skills for preppers to acquire?
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