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Karl Murphy is a professional journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. After obtaining his Master’s degree, he’s launched his career and over its course, Karl was contributing to the popular publications for men.

The world has come a long way from the time human beings had to fend for their needs from scratch. With artificial intelligence and robots’ introduction, more people keep relying on technology to get things done. But before the world experienced the tech boom, there were several skills honed by people to survive against incredible odds. 

Today, Millenials and other “Modern people” refer to those skills as “The old ways” of doing things. Old or not, technology can sometimes fail, which is why we need to remind ourselves of the survival skills modern people have forgotten. 

Here’s what we came up with: 

  1. Washing Clothes with Hands

Before washing machines and laundromats became a thing, people washed their clothes with their hands. In the 1950s, only about 33% of households could afford a washing machine. Today, most people turn to the washer and dryer whenever it is laundry day. This bodes doom for people if they suddenly find themselves without electricity or running water. It’s time to relearn this skill. 

  1. Gardening

At the turn of the 20th century, most people in the United States still lived in rural areas. They grew virtually everything they ate and bought only a few products from the market. This is because almost every home had a garden. With the urbanization of today’s world, and most people choosing to live city life, gardening is disappearing. The few who still garden plant mostly flowers and not edibles. 

  1. Raising Animals

Like gardening, raising animals is fast becoming extinct, and having pets doesn’t count. When animal husbandry was still a thing, people milked cows for milk and had chickens for eggs. They produced their meat and didn’t have to rely on the slaughterhouse for everything. 

Raising animals is a skill worth rediscovering; it will teach you responsibility and patience. You will learn to build coops and pens, a skill needed should you need to bug out and create a survival shelter suddenly. 

  1. Hunting 

Hunting used to be a fun and bonding activity. People used to look up to it, and the adrenaline rush from chasing an animal and taking it down. It meant food and bragging rights for the one who succeeded. 

Today, there are very few hunters globally, and gun manufacturers are trying to modernize it with auto-aim rifles. Also, people used to set up snares to catch games rather than hunting with guns. Knowing how to do the preceding will help in a SHTF situation.

  1. Making Meals From Scratch

It is wise to keep a supply of non-perishable foods, dry beans, and flour at home in a disaster. Having these items and knowing how to prepare them are two separate things. Most people do not have a clue on how to make these meals. In the United States, more than half of its residents live on processed food. 

This quick-fix mentality has led many to forget or fail to learn how to make a meal from scratch. Thus, just as you will not marry someone you met on without dating them, you should know at least the basics of making meals. 

It will help when you can no longer get canned food and need to cook from scratch. Plus, home-made meals are more healthy and nutritious. Consider having the following food preservation skills:

  • Lacto-fermentation
  • Pickling 
  • Smoking 
  • Dry salting
  • Curing 
  • Drying
  • Cellaring
  1. Natural Ways of Administering First Aid

Before multi-billion drug manufacturing companies came into being and modern medicine became a savior, there was a natural way of getting things done. Without insurance coverage and healthcare access, people creatively used herbs to treat wounds and prevent infections.

For example, cayenne pepper stops bleeding, while thyme is a miracle worker for coughing. These remedies still work but have long been abandoned for modern drugs like cough syrup. 

  1. How To Move Around Without a GPS

In 2005, Google launched Google Maps, an app that shows your location and gives direction no matter where you are in the world. Since then, no one bothers studying maps or owning one. But, what happens when you suddenly can’t access technology, and you have to move from location to location? How will you find where to go? 

The only way out is to revive your map learning and rely less on GPS. Hang a map of your community at home, and pinpoint where you want to go in case of a disaster. Use the map and a compass to mark out terrains, and try driving without using a GPS tracker. 

  1. DIY Home Maintenance

There are apps to help people locate a roofer, carpenter, or plumber close to them. This way, they don’t have to wait hours or days to get any problem in their homes fixed. While we agree that it makes life easier, it has dire consequences. People no longer learn how to fix a broken faucet or light switch. 

These were skills most homeowners had. You should be able to fix your home so that it won’t become inhabitable when those services cease. Here are three things you must know how to do:

  • How to shut off the main water supply
  • How to shut off gas 
  • How to board up a window in case of a hurricane or other natural disasters
  1. Memorizing Phone Numbers

Smartphones and cloud storage are two of the best things modern like offers. You can save a significant amount of information without committing them to memory. So, what’s wrong with this time-saving task? 

Here’s one: while the internet is endless and relatively safe, there’s a thing called grid collapse. It can be from malware or a cyberattack, so you need to prepare. Memorize and write down all the essential phone numbers, and keep them in waterproof storage with all your survival documents. 

  1. Bartering

This custom is as old as time. Before currencies came into being and the world had banking systems, battering was a way to get what you didn’t have by offering someone who does something in exchange. During the time of the great depression, many people survived by battering. 

Should the world face another economic crisis of that magnitude, it will also come into play. Practice battering when you go to the farmers’ market to get produce. Modern people’s fixed-price mentality might make this challenging, but you have to overcome it. 

  1. Foraging for Food

Modern life is comfortable with people buying anything they want from supermarkets. Those who don’t want to leave their homes can order whatever they want and have it delivered to them. But there was a time people didn’t have this, and they had to forage for food. 

How did they do this? They left the comfort of their homes or settlements to look for edible plants and fruits. To grow your foraging skills, go camping with limited supplies. Then venture into the woods around you to find foods to supplement them with.

  1. Making a Fire

If you were ever a boy scout or in a girls’ guide, you must have learned this skill. But not everyone who was a scout member remembers how to make fire. Matchboxes, lighters, and electrically powered cookers make it seem tedious to start a fire with anything else. 

Learning to make fire with a stone, and keeping it going is a skill needed for when the cities aren’t safe, and you retreat to camping areas. Very few people can do this today; make yourself one of them.

  1. Purifying Water

Before water corporations emerged and provided access to purified water at a cost, people had to purify water themselves. Knowing how to do this was essential for survival, as failure meant diarrhea, and in some cases, death. 

Today, few people know how to purify water or that it needs purification. Standard purifying water methods include boiling, bleaching, sand filtration, iodine, solar distillation, survival straw, and purification tablets. 

  1. Food Preservation

Freezers and constant light supply led many to forget that there are other ways to preserve food. With or without these modern-day conveniences, food preservation is vital for survival. Have a cellar for storing non-perishable food items and ensure it does not directly access sunlight, has enough ventilation, stays dry, and is pest-free. 

  1. Predicting the Weather

Today, anyone who wants to find out weather predictions only needs to turn on the TV or use an app. Predicting the weather is essential for survival, making total reliance on modern conveniences dangerous. 

Some of the old fashioned ways of predicting weather include studying the clouds and the sky and smelling the atmosphere. Perceiving flowers, compost, or checking if the birds are flying too high in the sky are ways to determine weather conditions. Honing these skills helps you stay prepared and ensure you don’t get taken unaware. 

Your Survival Depends on You

The modern world offers us many benefits that make life easy and more comfortable. But history shows that they can be gone in a moment, and as such, you must do all you can to ensure your survival. Remember, it depends on you alone.