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Monday, September 14, 2015

LowTech Skills & Old School

In the survival world what we see mostly are the skills pertaining to the wilds , the skill to make fire , to make and set traps , tracking, hunting in one form or another plant ID  and so forth , all worthy goals  .. In truth most will never need those skills in their lifetime , survival is a broad term but used in a narrow perspective in the survival experts world... Just being a good driver is skill and one that most think they have .. Where is that test ? many others come to mind , what about the simple act of shopping at a grocery store and making decent buys that save one money while being aware of a rip off product. The best value for your bucks. Same for any product . Not as thrilling as the ways to make fire but a skill none the less. I believe the primitive skills are important to own but they are not the end all of skills as some would lead you to think. 

 Enter the Lowtech skills that might mean more than all the others  in a down turn of a real shtf deal. . a solar oven and how to make one if need be ,some foil and  a few cardboard boxes is about all you need and some glue, solar for power and lighting ,  how about a  simple light that can be made from fat or grease . . How to defend your home without a hero but in a common sense manner. how to keep food fresh without a freezer or a fridge , it is called a Zeer pot and it works well under the right circumstances , I have used them and they work well keeping some things, up to a few weeks , edible . You need to plan ahead , and make them now,  get them ready , the learning curve is easy and short but is not great if you wait until the minute you need them , not good as on the job training. Google,  Zeer pot and the instructions are easy , will cost you a few bucks , as in cheap. In my article  "In a  Grid Down World" , on this blog  , I give a brief sketch on how to make the Zeer pot . They work best in a dry climate like the deserts , a humid climate  works against them.. 

 Lowtech cooking . cooking in a pit using foil , you can cook most items using foil. Many folks have said they will use their BBQ , but how many have months of charcoal stored. not anyone for the most part . Using a dutch oven is a good way to go , using the embers from a fire or bury the pot and make the fire coals around it , experiment at home while you can, make it a family fun experimental day.  , you can cook anything in a dutch oven. Fire, how many will have enough firewood , in parts of the country it is not uncommon to have a lot of wood stored but other parts of the country not so much.. almost in any urban setting you have trees and shrubs that can be used if the conditions call for it.. most have furniture that may have to be broken up and used as fuel , not an uncommon deal in history , Sorry mom its that heirloom or we dont eat today. Shelving makes for a good fire. put  the stuff on the floor. Furniture and shelving can be replaced. It is your life and the family we are taking care of. Cooked food lasts longer than uncooked food. You might have to cut some meat into strips to dry it or smoke it, learning how is easy and you might even be able to learn in your own backyard before  you really need to use the skill. Cold cooked food is better than nothing in your tummy and will last several days before spoiling. 

 Water , a must have , So much has been written about water that one should know by now to have several 100 gallons stored . Most are aware that your water heater has anywhere from 50 to 100 gallons of good water for your use in an extreme situation. , even the toilet tank has about 5 gallons , use all water as sparingly as you can as the resources might dry up faster than you might think , boil the water just to be safe. save every drop you can. Any prudent family will have stored some foods for an emergency , now you have no power and need to cook old school  skills come into play here ., combined with the primitive skills.  Cooking oveover r coals  or in a dutch oven are skills that you should own 

 Tools , like most guysI have some power tools , that in a SHTF will be useless , so over the years I have collected some old school tools , no power needed except a muscle or two and some sweat and spit. , a drill that is hand powered , a saw or two , a hammer and some nails , throw in some screws as well ,one never knows what you might need to clobber together or a fix for the now. No need to spend a small fortune on the hand tools that fall into the collector value , you just need hand tools that are functional . Another tool is light , I like the kerosene lanterns by Deitz, they are cheap and work well.Check ahead of time to make sure they do not leak.  Keosene will store for a very long time , I have some that was put away over 5 years ago and it worked just fine. a safety protocol has to be in place with these lanterns , they can cause a fire if not used right. , kids ,hands off. *I am not a fan of battery lanterns , I really do not care for battery's anyway but you might,  so go with what you  feel is right. 

 Explore the low tech and pioneer skills and how you can bring them into your overall skill sets..I believe it just could pay off for you . 

 this by no means covers everything but will be adding other articles as we move along. 

 by Dude McLean 

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  1. One "old school" gadget I grabbed at a flea market for "just in case" was s scrub board. It might not be fun to use for washing your clothes in an extended emergency, but it beats trying to rub the dirt out of your clothes using your knuckles.

  2. yep you are right Matt , I have a few of those boards , When I was in Corps bootcamp we washed our clothers with them , even those are hard work.. but we have to look pretty for the ladys.. thanks for the comment...