Preppers are very good at gathering the things that they need to survive. Sadly, having the correct gear is merely half the struggle. The rest lies not in what you have, however what you can do. Information is the most precious currency in the world of survival, and those who know how to make their lives easier are those who will come out of a disaster in the best safe. It doesn’t matter what you own or what’s in your kit – you need information to survive.
If you’re the kind of person who thinks about worst-case scenarios, you can’t get any worse than the total collapse of society. All of the things that are taken for granted will merely go away once the power goes off and the infrastructure to maintain it shuts down. This will mean that so many of those conveniences of life will go away, replaced by a world where people have to once again work by hand.
Learning basic industrial skills is a great way to survive, however it’s a a lot of important way to set yourself up in a post-collapse world. If you have the power to make something, you not only have the tools to support yourself, but the ability to trade those tools and talents with others who may have the items that you need. If things go badly, there’s nothing a lot of valuable in the world than having a real-world skill.
What skills will you need?
There are a lot of skills out there than any one person will learn, and it’s necessary to realize that you won’t be a master of everything. If you’re already a doctor or engineer, you’ve most likely got a ability set that will save your life – and people of others – if there’s a collapse. What’s a lot of important to learn, then, are those skills used to improve the daily lives of those in a post-collapse world. Skills like blacksmithing, masonry, or maybe trade are going to skyrocket in value when people can’t merely hop down to the local store to pick up goods.
It’s funny, but most people forget that building will be a large part of rebuilding society. A precious few people truly know how to really build things, and even fewer can make do without trendy tools. Having the skills to make tools and construct much-needed things will be a key part in putting society back together.
If you want a valuable challenge, you can begin learning a way to become a blacksmith. Mastering the process – becoming someone who can build wonderful works out of metal – will take years, if not decades, of training. Starting out, though, is relatively simple and can be done with things that you can buy at any store. You’ll want a set of basic tools – a hammer, a vice, an anvil and a forge.
The key element of blacksmithing is the forge. This heating element can assist you to refine and heat metals, giving you the pliability you need to create new things out of scrap. You don’t need an industrial-grade model – indeed, most are too large and complicated for the layman. Your goal is to create a home-made substitute, usually out of something like a steel sink, and fueled by propane or coal with a set of bellows for oxygenation.
Next up is the anvil – base on which you’ll work your metal. The great news is that you don’t want anything too expensive – a good, flat base of scrap steel will stand in fine for the expensive models you might realize at an antique store. You can place that pile of metal on something like a tree stump to succeed in waist level, and you’ll have everything you need for work.
Luckily, your hammer doesn’t need to be fancy. If you’ve already got a decent ball-peen hammer at home, you’ve got all you need. Learn the way to wield it properly and accurately, and the rest of your work is already done.
The real issue with turning into a blacksmith is getting the metal that you will need to get your job done. Since you’ve only got a limited amount of space to work with in your survival area, you’ve got to prioritize. As always, real survival gear – like food and water – is going to take up the bulk of this space. If you’ve got the room to keep some spare metal, do it – if it doesn’t cost much and it’s available, you’re in good shape. If you can’t, you’re going to turn to recycling – anything made out of regular, non-galvanized, metal is going to be a beautiful in which you can do some great survival work.
An important part of working with metal is welding. There are some ways to go regarding it, and having the necessary skills will be quite useful. Sadly, the most accessible kind of welding these days – using flammable gasses – isn’t exactly sustainable without infrastructure. That’s why you’ll need to take the plunge and learn about arc welding. Welding will be done in a variety of ways, with some easier and more practical than others. If you’ve got the time and cash, picking up a decent welder and generator can be a good plan.
The good news regarding your new combo is that it’s going to be helpful for welding and emergency power. If you’ve already got a generator, you can even save cash by buying a stick welder and leaving out the generator purchase in favor of a lot of survival gear. Stick welders take a little more ability to use than their flux-core counterpart, but can be worth the effort to learn a way to use.
The good news regarding welding in after the collapse is that you won’t sometimes be doing major jobs. In fact, you’ll mostly be doing easy work that will just need you to learn which rods to use and what amperage you’ll need to properly weld. This ability will assist you to keep not only your equipment repaired, however will make you a valuable commodity in any post-collapse society.
Traditionally, the most effective way to get started with blacksmithing and welding is to apprentice yourself to a tradesman. Sadly, they’re hard to find these days in several areas, and most aren’t interested in an apprentice. Instead, take some time to visit a community college or watch some tutorial videos – you can learn quite a bit on your own. It won’t take long for you to learn the fundamentals, and you’ll have all the you need to make easy tools with your new skills. Your ability to shape metal won’t just assist you to survive, but to thrive when the worst comes to pass.