If You Had to _________, Could You?

Alright, tonight I”m whooped. And I’ve been really long-winded lately. So lets both have a  low-key night with our preparedness planning. I’m going to throw out a list of things to fill in the blank: “If you had to _______, could you?” I want you to consider if you could answer yes to any of the questions. If yes, then great. Maybe you are more prepared than you thought. If you can’t, then maybe you would like to have more information about a specific topic. If you drop me a comment/request, I’ll do the research for you and create a corresponding post. Or maybe you want to do some digging yourself. Either way, this is a critical thinking exercise. It is designed to get your preparedness juices flowing.  It is designed to make you think of preparedness as preparing for what could be a new reality. I know some of you don’t like the catastrophic chicken little stuff, so I’ve been taking it easy and going slow. But the fact is, many people do believe we could have an event (terroristic, natural, or economic) that could truly effect the infrastructure of this nation and therefore our lives for some time to come.

So, relax and let these ideas roll through your mind. How much do you really know about actually executing these topics? Could you really do it? Do you really believe you might have to? What sort of investment would it take to learn about these things, hone your skills, and really rev up your chicken little skills? Here goes…

If you had to__________, could you?

(all without electricity or running water)

  • Utilize weapons to kill an animal (for sustenance)
  • Clean, butcher, and cook your kill
  • Fish (minus traditional rod and reel/tackle box
  • Preserve meat (such as salting)
  • Render animal fat to create candles
  • Use wood ashes to make lye
  • Use lye to make soap
  • Create homemade ink
  • Plant, grow, maintain, and harvest a crop of vegetables and grains
  • Process homegrown grains for other uses (exp: flour)
  • Make butter
  • Turn wool into usable fiber
  • Spin yarn from fiber
  • Knit or crochet yarn into clothing
  • Sew clothing
  • Deliver a baby
  • Set a broken bone
  • Pull a tooth
  • Care for livestock
  • Purify water
  • Use a compass
  • Discern toxic plants from edible plants
  • Build a shelter
  • Make a fire
  • Mitigate bites (snake, spiders etc.)
  • Administer CPR



6 responses to “If You Had to _________, Could You?

  • David

    Whew, Eagle Scout training saved the day, or I’d be hosed. Relying really heavy on “Encyclopedia of Country Living” (by Carla Emery) for the rest. The sad thing is that my Great Aunt Edna (one SERIOUSLY German lady!) could probably do 3/4 of those without breaking a sweat. How technology makes us soft…

  • JoeCOOP

    Folks made fun of them but I have my original copies of the FOXFIRE books from the mid- 70’s when I got out of high school and entered the Navy. A collector’s item now I guess.

  • David

    Interestingly, a lot of this kind of stuff knowledge can be found at http://artofmanliness.com/. I find that website absolutely awesome, especially for teaching our young men how to do things and be respectful, much like the Boy Scouts.

  • Amanda Rea

    Is there a book I can purchase that would include the majority of these tasks? Have you ever heard of Turle Island Presever or Eustace Conway? They have programs that teach how to live off the land and I REALLY want to go one summer. I also really enjoyed the book “The last American Man” which was about him.


    • keepbuilder

      Actually, I hadn’t heard of him. But I’ve been looking at his site that you included. I have to admit dear, I first thought hippie…but then when I checked out their programs I was smiling. They do look good! It would be a real opportunity to get some hands on time with some of these crafts that without a large financial investment as well as space to store more items and work (soap making, etc.). For most people (city dwelling preppers) these types of activities are usually only read about and studied academically. This is a great hands-on option if you don’t have the means right now or if you want to try something out yourself before you do the full blow investment at home. Thanks Amanda! I’m going to look into this more.

      • Amanda Rea

        No prob. I hope to save enough money to go someday for “camp.” The book “Last American Man” by Elizabeth Gilbert is about him and it was an awesome book. I plan on re-reading it soon.

        The only thing on that list that I knew I could do for certain was make butter and I don’t think that will be very helpful since I can’t milk an animal. Oh wait, I can sew and crochet (not clothes though)!

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