First, there is a BIG difference being a survivalist who lives off the grid as compared to the urban survivalist. The urban prepper has easy access to gather the supplies they need to assure their survival. They are preparing for the unexpected events that may disrupt their lives.
The hurricane or natural disaster may contaminate the water supply or cause a food shortage, so we prepare by storing a fresh water supply and the staples needed to see us through the worst or at least until order is restored and we can get back to living our normal lives with normal conveniences.
The normal life of the pepper who lives off the grid is what the urban prepper is preparing for in an emergency. Living off the grid means finding and gathering your own food and water and, let us not forget, providing shelter.
Living off the grid is a different ballgame played in unfamiliar surroundings. This is next level stuff and you need a new set of tools.
Let’s take a look at the 7 crucial skills you’ll need to survive.
Working with your hands
It is essential to have a working knowledge of hand tools and carpentry, since you won’t be able to rely on technology or conventional power systems. Building a house, out buildings, fencing and maintaining such are carpentry skills that will be crucial to your survival.
Region, climate and wildlife will all be factors in your decision of what materials and method of construction you will use.
Gardening skills will also be crucial. You’ll need fruits and vegetables for the table. Once again comes region, climate and wildlife as considerations in determining what crops to plant and how to protect them against the environment.
Understanding soil conditions and crop rotation is important. Containers versus in ground planting gets thrown into the mix. A soil test kit will tell you what type of fertilizer, if any, to use.
A good gardener knows how to protect a crop from pests, otherwise there is no harvest.
Cows, goats, chickens and rabbits are all good sources of protein and if you’re not a vegetarian you need to know how to raise them. The skills needed to care for them and keep them safe from predators are essential to your survival.
The chickens will be your alarm clock, waking you at dawn to feed and water the livestock. It’s not easy but it’s a crucial skill.
If you are a person that’s used to pets it will be important to remember the difference between a pet and livestock. Pets nurture your soul and livestock fill your belly or your pocketbook.
Hunting and slaughtering
I know this subject puts some people off, however, if you’re going to eat meat, you must raise it or hunt it. Whichever one you choose, you’ll have to kill it and prepare it for consumption.
If it’s livestock you’re going to eat then it’s important to understand how to humanely slaughter the animal.
Hunting animals for the table has become an almost forgotten skill but may be an essential one for your survival off the grid.
First and foremost, can you shoot? A required hunting skill is being able to shoot what you hunt. Then comes the knife skills to skin and gut the beast.
Being able to shoot and hit what you’re aiming at is also important to protecting your livestock from predators. Wolves, coyotes, badgers and foxes, just to name a few, may be a threat.
Finding and Treating Water
You need to be able to find suitable drinking water and then treat it so it’s potable. Now you must have a suitable storage container for your treated water.
More practically, you may dig a well or drill a line and install a hand pump for your water supply. Either way, it’s a required skill for survival.
Handling an Ax
I’m pretty sure you won’t have electricity, so no electric heaters. Chopping and splitting wood for the fireplace you built is a skill. Your ability to wield an ax proficiently will make your wood chopping faster and more efficient and will ensure you have a good fire to keep you warm.
Cooking and Curing
Living off the grid means you probably won’t have a McDonalds or a pizzeria around the corner. Also no frozen dinners from the fridge and really no fridge.
So, preparing and cooking foods to be eaten is certainly a skill necessary for living and surviving off the grid. Anyway, I’m sure you’d prefer a tasty, well prepared meal to shoe leather.
In preparing your home in the wilderness, one of the out buildings you constructed was probably a smokehouse. This would be essential since you won’t have refrigeration.
By now I’m sure you realize that it takes time to master the skills needed to live off the grid, especially for someone raised in an urban environment.
Knowledge is not enough. These skills must be honed through practice.