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View Full Version : Post-apocalyptic skills - do you have any?



juniper
01-10-2015, 08:10 AM
In a post-apocalyptic world so much that is valued today just wouldn't be important anymore. If your society and culture have collapsed, who cares about the stock market? Or celebrities? Or new tech toys? Or whether your food is organic? Or writing about those things? Goodbye, blogs.

I have few skills that would be useful post-apocalypse. I have some basic medical training so could assist in keeping people alive and well. I'm good at analyzing problems and thinking up solutions. I could write instructions for others. I can drive vehicles with manual transmissions.

But I don't know how to do electrical work or build things well or hunt. I haven't shot a gun in 30 years or used a bow and arrow in 40 years. I can't fix cars or repair heating or plumbing systems. And those are things that I think would be immediately needed, to form some kind of society or even just to survive.

I could improve my knitting and spinning wool into yarn, so I could make some clothing. I know some about gardening and soil management. I could do farm work. I used to hike and backpack so could find my way around forests and mountains. I used to kayak - but I don't know about sailing ships, using different sails and stuff.

I think I might be useful on some level, but certainly wouldn't be a major player in rebuilding the world.

Would you be a useful companion post-apocalypse? What skills do you have?

Ladyxkaa
01-10-2015, 08:34 AM
I can usually tell where I am, so I could help keep us in touch with our little base? I used to run around on the property of this farmer that was covered in mesquite woods. ALWAYS knew how to get home.

kuwisdelu
01-10-2015, 08:51 AM
We can write and tell stories.

That will always be valued.

Osulagh
01-10-2015, 08:51 AM
Short answer: Yes.

Long answer:

I've been taught for the longest time to be self-sufficient, either strictly taught or self-taught. Because of this I have gathered a wide variety of skills. Though I don't know how much help I'll be in a group, unless they share the same mindset as me.

Probably my most useful skills would be:

- Bushcrafting and wilderness survival. You'll be amazed what you can do with a knife, a strop, and a hank of paracord. I used to spend my summers in a forest forging these skills, and have survived a long duration of time with just a knife and strop. Though I'll need knowledge on the general area to be efficient.

- Hunting/trapping/foraging. Again, need knowledge of the area, but I've been taught how to hunt with a variety of weapons (traps, sling shots, guns, black powder, bows) and how to forage for wild edibles (and how to sustain them).

- General awareness. I'm a paranoid person by nature and tend to keep an eye and ear out for anything unusual. I've honed this while in the forest, but oddly enough I've found video games like Dayz to help me with this.

- Problem solving/repair. I'm well known to be able to jump into a problem without prior knowledge and solve it within a good scope of time. Add that with my already large variety of skills, and I can solve most things or can help someone more knowledgeable.

I wouldn't mind learning advanced electronics for like assembling and repairing solar panels, or how to work on boats and planes (already have everything ground-based taken care of).

Chase
01-10-2015, 09:34 AM
I have long tended camp, fished, hunted, and trapped. More importantly for my age, I can teach those skills.

My father was a 20-year navy cook and passed the knack, including meticulous dishwashing, on to me.

In the army, I was a small arms instructor and also taught use of Russian- and Chinese-made small arms. In civilian life I'm certified to teach effective use and safety with firearms.

I like all gunsmithing (not requiring a metal lathe) and maintaining firearms.

I'm proficient in American Sign Language and good at teaching it to others.

I regularly update Heart Association's basic life support and Red Cross's first aid cards and once held instructor ratings in both.

Ladyxkaa
01-10-2015, 09:36 AM
holy s*** chase, that's cool! you AND osulagh

Layla Lawlor
01-10-2015, 09:45 AM
I grew up in rural Alaska and have useful farming, fishing, and animal husbandry skills. I also know how to spin fiber into yarn, and have a variety of yarn/fabric crafting skills. And I'm good at first aid and level-headed in a crisis.

My husband is excellent with repairing mechanical and electronic stuff; he also does gunsmithing as a hobby, including making black powder, and has a blacksmithing setup and can make knives, machetes and such from old automotive leaf springs (or whatever raw materials are at hand). He's currently working on a hydroelectric generator that goes in our creek, just for fun.

We have sometime joked that all our friends are invited to our post-apocalypse compound. It will almost certainly have electricity and wireless internet! :D

jennontheisland
01-10-2015, 10:00 AM
I've been brushing up on edible wild plants, and herb uses for food, medicines and chemistry. I know which mushrooms you can eat, will kill you, and which will make you think you can kill that dragon over there.

I'm really good at climbing things, and can run up and over an 8 foot wall. Plus, I'm only 5' tall so I can get into really small places.

I've got a good understanding of thermodynamics and enough knowledge of structural engineering that built things shouldn't fall down.

I know how to ferment and distill things. And I know how to build a solar distillary (in theory, haven't tried yet).

Chasing the Horizon
01-10-2015, 10:04 AM
I'm fat, slow, and useless. So I imagine I would be food. :tongue

Layla Lawlor
01-10-2015, 10:05 AM
I know how to ferment and distill things.

You'll be the most popular person around! :D

Qui Amat Scribere
01-10-2015, 10:11 AM
I like this question! I've always wondered if I could survive in a post-apocalyptic world.

I grew up in the woods, so I picked up a few things - how to prepare a grouse for eating; tricks for keeping warm (we didn't always have heating etc.); I can sew; I can cook from scratch (including over and in an open fire); I know a few basic survival tricks and first aid. Almost all my woodcraft knowledge is for the northern Canadian interior, so I could tell safe food from poisonous, how to escape predators, how to predict and survive the weather etc., but outside of that region I would be much more helpless.

I'm patient and pretty tough and pick up physical skills pretty well. I like to think I'm adaptable enough to survive, as long as I had help from other people. For example, I have no idea how to track and hunt, beyond using a pit trap and fishing. I don't even know how to set a snare. I do know how to use a bow, though.

Honestly, I think one of the things I would fear most would be predatory humans. I wouldn't feel safe until social order was established.

And Kewisdelu is right - people able to remember and tell stories and retain and record information will always be valuable, just as they were throughout most of history.

Vito
01-10-2015, 11:15 AM
I'll bring the napkins and the paper cups.

mccardey
01-10-2015, 11:20 AM
Will there be ironing? I'm a really great ironer. Otherwise, I guess the fact that I usually have vegetable seed packets somewhere about my person would be possibly useful.

Oh - and children love me. I'll mind everyone's babies :)

MaryMumsy
01-10-2015, 11:20 AM
I can sew and crochet. I'm a whiz with soups and stews, including in a dutch oven over coals. I can make the biscuits to sit on the top of the dutch oven. Someone else will have to bring me the meat and veg, I wouldn't be very good at hunting/gathering. I have very small hands, to fit into tight places. And a fairly phlegmatic nature for dealing with crises of all kinds.

MM

Tazlima
01-10-2015, 06:25 PM
I can shoot and knit...not at the same time.

I'm also an experienced dog handler/trainer, so if this post-apocalyptic world needed dogs for, well any of the historical reasons people have needed them, I'd be in good shape (assuming other species survived).

regdog
01-10-2015, 07:34 PM
I can boss everyone around when I'm not napping.






Hey, go with what you know.

Vito
01-11-2015, 03:00 AM
Will there be ironing? I'm a really great ironer.

I predict that ironing will be a prized skill in the P.A.W. (Post-Apocalyptic World). I'm thinking of the freshly-pressed, wrinkle-free turtlenecks that Michael York wore in "Logan's Run" and Charlton Heston wore in "The Omega Man".

ShaunHorton
01-11-2015, 03:17 AM
I was a cub/boy scout growing up, so I learned a lot of stuff about the world outside of society, including camping, cooking, tracking, and a lot of basic survival skills. I also keep up on my CPR and First Aid certifications.

I also have good situational awareness, and I'm calm under pressure and in emergency situations. I'm a quick study on things that are new to me and I'm very good at improvisation and adaptation.

I also have some leadership skills.

Downsides - I don't generally like people, and if I end up using my leaderships skills, I am prone to power trips.

Evan Henry
01-11-2015, 03:23 AM
Hell no! I've only ever started fires accidentally. :)

asroc
01-11-2015, 03:47 AM
Well, I'm a certified and experienced paramedic, including wilderness EMS and mountain rescue con ed, so that might come in handy.

I'm a pretty decent hunter with a gun and a bow.

I'm also small and don't eat much.

On the other hand I like thinks like broadband internet and central heating, so after a week or so I'd probably be perpetually cranky and get killed in my sleep by exasperated co-survivors.

Lavern08
01-11-2015, 06:20 AM
I make incredible pies and I'm a good singer.




What? :Shrug: Somebody's gotta lead us all in Kumbaya.

KellyAssauer
01-11-2015, 08:30 AM
I'm a pretty decent hunter with a gun and a bow.

Even if the targets are singing kumbaya?

*just curious*

Amadan
01-11-2015, 09:11 AM
Well, I retain some knowledge from Boy Scouts and a stint in the Army, so I'd probably do better than the average city person at outdoor survival, but my hunting/hiking/camping skills are pretty rusty.

I do have firearms training (and guns!), and I have a black belt in jujutsu, so I could teach self-defense.

I know very little about mechanics, but I have some minimal gardening and carpentry/handiman skills.

In those "How long would you survive the zombie apocalypse?" online quizzes, I usually make it past the initial outbreak, but not to the end.

MacAllister
01-11-2015, 09:36 AM
I can build a smoker. And butcher animals and create ham and bacon.
I'll trade for good beer. :D

Also, I know horses and mules, and all the stages between birth to riding to harnessing and working teams.

Helix
01-11-2015, 10:11 AM
Are we talking about the aftermath of THE APOCALYPSE or just any old apocalypse? Because I'd imagine the skills needed would be quite different.

mccardey
01-11-2015, 10:13 AM
In those "How long would you survive the zombie apocalypse?" online quizzes, I usually make it past the initial outbreak, but not to the end.

Oh hey - if it's a zombie apocalypse, I could bring my son because he runs Zedtown (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eETeZDtsfcU)s.

KarmaPolice
01-11-2015, 11:47 AM
I'd put money on me surviving longer than most, due to the three facts...

1/ I grew up poor. While this sucks in many ways, it does encourage creative problem-solving and a wealth of practical skills - such as how to jerry-rig repairs, make edible meals from odd items and how to 'make do' with what's at hand. It also means I'm not adverse to violence, if it needs be.

2/ I'm fairly mentally tough. A generally crap childhood means I've got a thicker skin than most, and a stubborn streak a mile long. Yes, people say the last is a bad thing, but you won't be saying that when I'm being a mule about 'staying alive', will you?

3/ I'm a clever bastard. I know lots of bits of information which would prove useful, can do long-term planning and most importantly know how to learn new things. If we're facing a complete civilisation collapse, I'll prove to be very handy - particularly in the 10 years+ stage when teachers are needed to educate the new crop of kids.

redfalcon
01-11-2015, 05:05 PM
I am a plumber, so I can get the good water to a place and the bad water away from it. I have been to school for HVAC so I have a better than basic understanding of how a system works.

I was a paratrooper and still retain my understanding of small unit tactics(I'm not sure if they would apply to zombies). I am proficient with firearms and even have a few handy, offensive and defensive.

I can read and understand most tech manuals about plumbing, HVAC , electric, and mechanical systems. I can usually apply what I learned to good effect, granted with some cussing.

Most importantly after a stint in the 82nd Airborne and a career as a plumber my mind does not consider if it can be done, just how can i get it done.

+1 for KarmaPolice, mental toughness would be the deciding factor in an apocalypse. If you can't come to grips with your situation all the knowledge in the world is useless.
just my .02

tjwriter
01-11-2015, 05:47 PM
I can build a smoker. And butcher animals and create ham and bacon.
I'll trade for good beer. :D

Also, I know horses and mules, and all the stages between birth to riding to harnessing and working teams.
Anyone who can make bacon is someone I want on my team!

I'd probably struggle horribly without my husband. He's the pro. I know enough to not be useless. But he hunts, builds and repairs things, and knows all kind of things.

AndreF
01-11-2015, 10:14 PM
I learned how to make toe-poppers (makeshift landmine), Napalm, (just recently learned how to disable someone with a simple handshake), apparently I'm a natural when it comes to throwing sharp objects too.

asroc
01-12-2015, 12:57 AM
Even if the targets are singing kumbaya?

*just curious*

Yes. They're much easier to stalk when they're making noise.

*probably missing a joke*


*understanding the joke now*

Amy Writes
01-12-2015, 12:59 AM
One of my proudest accomplishments was baking bread in an old oil drum on a deserted island. I felt pretty bad-ass.

I've learned how to live without a lot of things - phone, TV, regular access to groceries. I may not be as super handy as some of the other commenters, but I think I'll at least adapt my expectations pretty quickly if the apocalypse comes.

Albedo
01-12-2015, 01:05 AM
I have several thousand hours down playing zombie games, so I'd be an asset to any small group of ornery, wisecracking survivors.

Albedo
01-12-2015, 01:57 AM
(Serious answer: I can remove the fragments and patch you guys up when you're done shooting each other. Just don't ask me to take out an appendix or anything. I mean, I could get it out, but I don't rate my chances of putting you back together too highly.)

Emermouse
01-12-2015, 06:31 AM
Now I'm depressed. I have no useful skills whatsoever and given that I fall to pieces under ordinary circumstances, my only hope is that when extraordinary ones hit, I die on the spot, because I'm not going to last long. Though I suppose if there's a zombie apocalypse, you can always use me as bait. I wish I could say that was something. :(

C.bronco
01-12-2015, 06:34 AM
I can make guacamole. I can also landscape, do minor masonry, chop wood and paint.

I win for the guacamole skills!

Maryn
01-12-2015, 07:09 PM
I don't want to live in a world without guacamole. You're in!

Myrealana
01-12-2015, 07:46 PM
I have a couple of PA skills that might keep me from being the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

1) I am an excellent cook. Whether I have a 5* kitchen or a campfire, I can put together really good food, even from a mish-mash of seemingly unrelated ingredients. I can gut small animals and birds and cook them up nice.

2) I am a brown belt in Kenpo Karate

3) I am excellent at research. Not just in Googling things, though I have been called "The Oracle" at work for being able to divine answers when other people's searches fail them. No, I am great at finding, skimming and understanding books on how to do just about anything. Need to convert an engine to bio-diesel? I'll read up on it and walk you through it. Need to build an outdoor solar oven? I've got a book on that. So, as long as libraries are still around, and people haven't burned the physical books for heat, whatever your need, I'll find you the answer.

heza
01-12-2015, 07:50 PM
My husband and I were going to assemble bug-out bags and get our bush-crafting skills in order, but then we had an internet outage that lasted six hours and decided we'd rather just check out right at the beginning of an apocalypse.

I was raised in the country and we went camping every summer when I was a kid. My mother was super resourceful. I remember her doing things like fashioning a grill out of a coffee can and some old grating and cooking our dinners over a fire when the power went out in the winter.

I think living in the city as long as I have has made me soft. I'm not sure I could manage much of anything.

For that matter, I'm not sure I even do anything very well suited to urban life, either. It's a miracle I'm still alive.

The only thing I have a knack for is planning for efficiency. I started my degree in Industrial Engineering before I switched majors, and I still have a tendency to mentally streamline a process or a facility layout before I begin anything.

Chase
01-12-2015, 08:20 PM
I win for the guacamole skills!


I don't want to live in a world without guacamole.

I got a Magic Bullet for Christmas. After my initial disappointment when it didn't fit any of my guns, I found I could whip up a mean guacamole with it.

I sure hope our apocalypse has 120 AC current and Tom Selleck keeps growing avocados.

AndreF
01-12-2015, 08:48 PM
I have several thousand hours down playing zombie games, so I'd be an asset to any small group of ornery, wisecracking survivors.

Seems Legit





ROFL I needed that laugh thank you.

Just don't shoot the sobbing girl that's bent over and we're cool. Personally I'd logged a quite a few hours in a SU-32 simulator. I could never get the ATA part down pat ... it didn't end well for me and sometimes them.

SwallowFeather
01-14-2015, 01:28 AM
A couple of years ago I learned (from the internet!) to make buckskin from a deerhide using only natural stuff: the deer's brain, wood ashes, and smoke. I've only ever done three hides, because I've had a baby since then, but I understand the process & I could teach it. It's one heck of a lot of work, but in a living-off-the-land situation it would be a ton easier than trying to make cloth... so depending on the kind of apocalypse, I could make sure my group had clothes when theirs wore out. (Buckskin is for clothes, not so much belts or wallets or stiff shoes like you usually picture with leather. It's much softer and more supple than normal leather, almost like a cross between felt and suede.)

And I can grow food and stuff. Someone else would have to hunt the deer for me though.

Ken
01-14-2015, 01:37 AM
good at making the best of situations:
"who needed that stupid earth of ours anyway?"

Maggie Maxwell
01-14-2015, 01:43 AM
I can feed probably two or three people off my corpse when I die, because I can't do a damn thing other than be told what to do, and I learn fairly well.

Before I die though, I wanna be on Mac's team, because if I'm gonna croak, I'm going down having last eaten bacon.

TessB
01-14-2015, 02:01 AM
I've done a decent amount of brewing, and I can make a pretty deadly orange-ginger mead. I can can (can-can! ... no. can't.) and preserve fruits and have a decent handle on pickling, so that's winter storage! I know how to bake a few different kinds of bread, though I've never done it over a fire or in a wood-burning oven, so the first few tries would be exciting.

I can make rushlights, render suet, schmaltz and probably tallow, though I've never tried that one, and while I can spin (poorly), knit, felt, dye, pattern draft, and sew, I only have rudimentary academic knowledge of how to assemble and use a backstrap loom.

Oh, and I'm an okay shot with a crossbow and an atl atl, but don't ask me how to make them.

quickWit
01-14-2015, 02:12 AM
I can spread the milk of human kindness.

You're welcome.

MaryMumsy
01-14-2015, 02:12 AM
If we could figure out a way to get us all in one place, I think we'd do OK.

No one has mentioned building any kind of shelter, but maybe there would be enough ruins to take care of that need.

MM

Silenia
01-14-2015, 03:08 AM
Depends somewhat on the type of apocalypse, but generally, yes, I have a few.

1. Reasonably good sense of direction.
2. Basic woodcarving skills
3. (Very) basic archery skills. Don't ask for a high accuracy rate on long distance or hitting the bullseye, but if we're talking about some reasonably-large object/animal that's standing still or moving slowly (aka "not a squirrel, not a mouse, not a flying bird, thank you very much") that is not too far away, I would likely be able to aim and hit. It's not perfect, but better than nothing.
4. Good knowledge of edible plants, what those plants look like and what kind of area to find them in, as well as which parts of 'm not to eat.
5. Direct result: good knowledge of poisonous plants, what they look like, what kind of area they're found in and which parts are poisonous.
6. Some food preservation skills.
7. Nocturnally active, which is useful if you need someone to keep watch and don't want to wake up to find they have fallen asleep.

Still unlikely to survive any apocalypse for long, however, since I get ill rather frequently and have some muscle issues as a result of that + being borderline underweight.

arcangie
01-14-2015, 04:04 PM
I can mix killer cocktails and have no sense of time. Kids love me an I love to entertain them with art and educational games. I can even stop them from whining.

onesecondglance
01-14-2015, 05:09 PM
I can make beer.

I can also do an uncanny impersonation of a trombone using just my mouth.

Sedjet
01-14-2015, 05:30 PM
No.

Please don't feed me to the zombies. I can learn! I'm a quick learner, I swear! Someone give me a bow, or a gun. Anyone?

KarmaPolice
01-14-2015, 06:22 PM
You're in the shelter. We'll need beer for when we run out of electricity to power other forms of entertainment. And to 'aid' our species repopulation efforts... :)

Siri Kirpal
01-14-2015, 10:51 PM
Sat Nam! (Literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

What I have on offer would be yoga techniques for the nervous system, for intuition, for healing, etc.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Altiv
01-14-2015, 11:31 PM
Does a post-apocalyptic world need a lawyer? If not... well, I'm screwed XD

So let me think... I'm... good at strategic reasoning (If I don't get panicky) yeah, that might work =)

Xelebes
01-15-2015, 12:05 AM
If it's post-apocalyptic, why would I be there?

Brutal Mustang
01-15-2015, 01:41 AM
I can break in wild horses.

sassandgroove
01-15-2015, 02:11 AM
I know how to make food from scratch and have cooked on a fire. I've built fires. I can sew, and crochet. I have camped and know how to put up tents. Um...I have a gun and have had lessons on how to use it...Hubby and I have enough ammo to get to our friend's house who was in the military.

RCtheBanditQueen
01-15-2015, 11:31 AM
Ooh! Just my kind of thread!


A couple of years ago I learned (from the internet!) to make buckskin from a deerhide using only natural stuff: the deer's brain, wood ashes, and smoke. I've only ever done three hides, because I've had a baby since then, but I understand the process & I could teach it. It's one heck of a lot of work, but in a living-off-the-land situation it would be a ton easier than trying to make cloth... so depending on the kind of apocalypse, I could make sure my group had clothes when theirs wore out. (Buckskin is for clothes, not so much belts or wallets or stiff shoes like you usually picture with leather. It's much softer and more supple than normal leather, almost like a cross between felt and suede.)

And I can grow food and stuff. Someone else would have to hunt the deer for me though.

I want to be on your team! I've just begun learning how to tan goat hides. Let's just say my first attempt did not go as planned. :D


Let's see. I can garden. I'm currently playing with some fun and crazy experiments involving dry farming, olla irrigation, and landrace gardening. I know how to select, collect, and store garden seeds.

I am not a bad cook, traditional kitchen or woodstove.

I raise, milk, and (help) butcher goats. Which also means I can play livestock midwife. I know about raising and training horses, and poultry (minus the training part).

This summer, I turned my car into a very successful solar food dryer. Zero electricity for the win!

My husband can build or fix anything in the world with his bare hands, baling wire, and a Leatherman. He can reload ammo, shoot, hunt, fit in small places, raise cattle, and do quite a bit of vehicle work. He is a mad scientist and is working on rainwater catchment plans. He also built the house we live in.

I have moderate skills with Feather, my shotgun, and I am learning to use a slingshot (fun!).

But I'm not a good problem solver, I have a terrible sense of direction, and I crumble under stress and chaos. :P Maybe those are fixable. I guess I could at least be helpful and follow orders. That's one thing I'm good at. :P

We are piece by piece converting to off-grid in our house. Unexpected ice storm? Whip out the solar charged lamp, chunk another log on the woodstove, and play poker for chocolate bars. The life of kings. :)

KellyAssauer
01-15-2015, 04:29 PM
I'm not a half-bad writer, so I could simply write us out of any worrisome post-apocalyptic scene with something that had a much brighter future. Or, maybe I could rewrite history to give a false legitimacy to the current jack-boot's vision. I could even create propaganda and misinformation that sang praises or induced fear, or an entirely new religion, government, or belief system. I could build new worlds, destroy entire regimes. Wow. Come to think of it, I don't need to be a useful companion in a post-apocalypse world since all of you will doing my bidding.

The very phrase Kellyassauer will be known as a blessing and be heard on the streets as salutation and prayer while I'll be addressed as simply 'She who allows me to live'.

It won't be much different than it is today really.

RCtheBanditQueen
01-15-2015, 08:55 PM
I'm not a half-bad writer, so I could simply write us out of any worrisome post-apocalyptic scene with something that had a much brighter future. Or, maybe I could rewrite history to give a false legitimacy to the current jack-boot's vision. I could even create propaganda and misinformation that sang praises or induced fear, or an entirely new religion, government, or belief system. I could build new worlds, destroy entire regimes. Wow. Come to think of it, I don't need to be a useful companion in a post-apocalypse world since all of you will doing my bidding.

The very phrase Kellyassauer will be known as a blessing and be heard on the streets as salutation and prayer while I'll be addressed as simply 'She who allows me to live'.

It won't be much different than it is today really.

:ROFL: Awesome.