10 Survival Skills Your Great-Grandparents Knew (That Most Of Us Have Forgotten)


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I remember traveling in Mexico about 20 years ago and having a spring on my car’s suspension break. A local blacksmith fashioned me a new spring, tempered and shaped exactly right for my vehicle. Blacksmiths can make or repair just about anything out of metal. Yet few today know this valuable skill.

Maybe we don’t need blacksmiths today, but if an EMP hit the country and we were without electrical power, the skills of a blacksmith would allow people to have their tools repaired — and new ones fashioned. Since the manufacturing plants presumably would be shut down, that ability would be essential for rebuilding America.

6. Basic Carpentry

Image source: cauthencarpentry.com

Image source: cauthencarpentry.com

Everyone should know how to make basic repairs to their home. Without the ability to repair damage from a natural disaster, it might not be possible to use the home as a survival shelter. Woodworking skills also allow one to make furniture and other items to help survive.  That might include the use of or making of a home sawmill to cut up wood. 

7. Basic Mechanical Repair

Depending upon the type of disaster that hits, the family car may just end up being a large paperweight. But there are many survival scenarios where it would be useful to be able to fix your car, keeping it running for general use. As long as there is gasoline, that car would be useful.

The ability to diagnose and repair an engine is useful not only for keeping a car on the road, but also for fixing lawn mowers, chain saws and other power tools.

8. Herbal Medicine

The roots of medicine were herbal medicine. While doctors have existed for millennia, it hasn’t been until recent times that those doctors had such a wide range of pharmaceuticals to work with. Before that, doctors made their own medicines.

Many women also learned to use what nature provided for medicine. It was not uncommon a few generations back for mom to take care of her family’s medical needs, using recipes that she had learned from her mother. Today, that sort of medicine is called “old wives’ tales” but it works just as well as it always did.


9. Horseback Riding

This may not seem like much of a survival skill, but in the Old West, stealing a man’s horse was a hanging offense. That’s because being stranded without a horse was generally a death sentence. While horseback riding today is only done for sport, if the automobile becomes no longer usable, people will be looking for horses once again.

Riding a horse is actually more complicated than the movies make it appear. Breaking a horse is a skill that few know. Likewise, there are few today, outside of the drivers for the Budweiser Clydesdales, who know how to hitch and drive a team of horses. But in America’s past, our ancestors drove teams with as many as 40 horse or mules in them.

10. Hunting

Now, I know there are a lot of hunters out there, maybe even some who are reading this. But I have to say that a lot of what we call hunting today and what I learned as a kid are nothing alike. I have a hard time calling it hunting when corn is put out as bait and the hunter hides in a blind, waiting for their choice deer to come to eat.

Real hunting, at least what they did in the past, involved knowing the animal’s habits and staking out a place where the animals were likely to come. It required patience, understanding of the animals being hunted — and a pretty good shot with the rifle.

What would you add to this list? Is there anything with which you disagree? How many of these do you know?  Most off-gridders who live in the wild can do all of this anyhow...

Here's A Beautiful Video Of A Couple Who Are In Touch With Their Surroundings:

Via:  OffTheGrid News

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