Well they said we were all crazy. We rolled out of bed one morning and the world had changed. Red Dawn became a reality, the zombie apocalypse finally happened, or some terrorist decided that it would be good idea to spread smallpox in a high traffic airport. Whatever the cause, nearly everyone is dead or dying and the world is in the beginning stages of total destruction. Being the hardcore survivalists that we are, we stocked our basements with food, water, ammunition, medical supplies, and of course, firearms on firearms. We have firearms to fight our way back to a stack of more firearms, which are stacked behind that other stack of firearms. Therefore, in our mind, we have the supplies to fight off the commies, the looters, and even the smallpox-infested zombies roaming the countryside. But what happens when the smoke clears and we have no more power, our supplies run low, and we have to go on the move to find more? Certain conveniences that Americans in particular are used to, simply aren’t available. What skills will we need to help us should the feces hit the fan?
Reading a map sounds easy. Many of us are used to looking at our smart phone or GPS when we get lost on some highway somewhere trying to find the one remaining shooting range that lets us shoot those 2,ooo rounds of FMJ .233 ammunition you got for next to nothing at that gun show. However, in a world-ending scenario, the GPS devices we rely on will cease to work; those of us who survive will rely on paper maps and compasses to tell us not only where we are, but also where we should go. Learning these skills is essential to knowing which way to the safe zone, or which way to the easily defensible mountain pass.
All you can eat
Eating habits would change drastically. Canned food will last a very long time, but not forever. Finding ways to sustain ourselves is very important in staying healthy and allowing our bodies to have the energy to fight off disease, infections and of course communist zombies. Learning to hunt, trap, and track prey is valuable in a world without Walmart. After you capture your prey, gutting and processing the meat is just as important. Salting meat for storage may be your only option for having meat supplies through the winter. It is also important to study which wild plants are safe to eat. The last thing you want to ingest in a survival situation is something that will make you sick, or worse. More important than having food is having clean water. There are many different ways to clean a water source, but boiling is probably the easiest. Remember that a few drops of bleach in a five-gallon jug sitting over night might also work.
Paging Doctor Gun Nut
If you find yourself wounded with no access to a hospital, being able to patch up moderate to severe wounds is an essential skill. Basic combat first aid could be the difference in saving your life or someone you care about should the need arise. Anything from patching up a sucking chest wound to setting the bone after a fracture are just a few of the hundreds of life saving techniques that may come in handy. Being prepared to be your own physician might just save yours, or someone else’s life.
I Would Gladly Pay You Tuesday for an AR-15 Today
Work on your bartering skills. Remember that money will be useless and supplies will be the new currency. Bottles of alcohol, cigarettes, canned food—all of these items and more will be worth their weight in gold. As Americans, we tend to be bad at bargaining because our culture typically doesn’t haggle over the price on small items. When the supplies run scarce though, we may find ourselves willing to squabble over the last piece of stale bread.
These skills may help you in your post apocalyptic quest for normalcy. What other skills or talents would be handy in a world without mega malls and restaurants? I would like to think that we as survivalists and gun enthusiasts would have a veritable leg up on the competition should the need arise. Remember what they say, a man with a gun never really goes hungry.