Throughout the years, mankind has learned many new ways to simplify our lives. But what about the skills that are needed at a bare minimum to survive and thrive if a situation arose that required it? Sure, a smart phone can give you plenty of tools – but what happens when you need to survive on your own?
There are numerous skills that you simply must know in these scenarios, and reviewing some of them can help you ensure that you’re ready in case something goes wrong and you need to survive or be self-reliant.
We’re not talking about opening a box of pre-made lasagna and popping it in the oven. Can you really cook from scratch? Emergency food storage is important, but so is being able to turn those stores into an actual meal – and it’s something that many can’t do. Not only is knowing what you can eat from your garden and the plants that grow around you but can you prepare a real meal, or multiple meals, from the 100lbs of wheat, flour, beans, rice and other options? It can be harder than you first think, and you will want to also store spices and seasonings to help make your food taste as good as possible for your family.
1. Dutch oven cooking. I love cooking outdoors with my cast iron Dutch ovens. Let me say it again, I love cooking outdoors with my Dutch oven. It makes me feel like a bonafide pioneer woman, saves me money on my electricity bill, and I swear, food tastes better when cooked outside.
2. Outdoor Camping Stove. This stove is the perfect starter stove. It’s light weight, talking 3.9 ounces peeps, and great for boiling water or reheating food. Wanna know the best thing? It’s under $10. Yes, for less than $10 you can have a stove to cook with outdoors.
3. Solar Cooking. Use the power of the sun to cook your meals. I love this one because all you need is a sun oven to cook a meal. Not having to worry about fuel, smoke, or heat makes this my new favorite way to cook outdoors.
I received an All American Sun Oven from Sun Oven (in exchange for my review) and it’s seriously my favorite new toy. I didn’t think a solar oven would work all the way up here in the Pacific Northwest and I was shocked when it heated up to 300 degrees in just twenty minutes. Not only does it save on electricity, but no heating up the house on hot days, and it can double as a dehydrator–> All American Sun Oven
4. Wonder Oven. Basically, you bring food up to temperature, pop it in a wonder oven, and it continues to cook without any fuel. You still have to have a way to bring food up to temp before putting it in, but these are easy to make at home. Think the off-grid slow cooker. Food cooks all day while you go play!
Not having to stand over a stove or feed a fire all day option, go here –> wonder oven *affiliate link and some great reviews to boot.
5. Outdoor fires and smoking. I love how this uses just a plain old outdoor fire and smoke to cook and preserve food. This is true pioneer fashion at its best. Did you know you can even smoke your own cheese at home? How to Smoke Cheese at Home
We’ve owned several smokers and this one is by far our favorite. We only have to load it with fuel once and it holds the temperature for over 12 hours without adding anymore. Our favorite smoker— Weber Smoky Mountain
6. Cooking on top of a wood stove. We use our wood stove as our main and only heat source. I love being able to use our heat source for a second purpose and frequently cook on it even when the power is on. Here’s my tutorial on how to cook on a wood stove.
7. How to cook on an open fire. This is the way many a pioneer cooked on their trip’s west or on the frontier. And if all you have is a cast iron skillet, it will get the job done. This picture tutorial is great if you don’t have any other supplies on hand. Did you know you can make a pumpkin pie in an open fire, without a skillet? This is one of the coolest recipes I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot, Pumpkin Pie “Pioneer Style”.
8. Earth Oven. An earth oven is an oven made from clay, sand, water, straw and newspaper. I kind of love DIY and being able to make my own outdoor oven would be a priceless skill. Here’s how to cook in an earth oven and make your own.
9. Tea-light ovens. Yes, you read that right. You can cook a meal using tea lights. And, you don’t have to purchase those expensive ones, you can make your own for less than $40! Sometimes little things can have powerful impact… here’s how to make and use a Tea Light Oven.
10. Volcano Stoves. Volcano stoves are the ultimate in versatility. You can use either wood or charcoal. It packs down to 5″ and comes with a carry bag. The neat thing about this little stove is you can use it on multiple surfaces and it can be used to grill, bake, Dutch oven use, or open fire cooking. Because you know I’m all about multi-use tools!
11. Propane and Grills. One thing most folks has is propane grill or camp stove. But not everyone realizes just how much and how many different things you can cook or do with them. You can use your outdoor grill for canning (hello no more hot kitchen in the summer), cooking meats, corn on the cob, and even baking. This is our favorite propane stove for both canning uses and cooking seafood. My husband loves crab but I hate the way it makes the house smell, so we only do our crab and seafood boils on this outdoors. Best part, the legs come off and it breaks down into a fairly compact bag for storing and traveling when not in use. We take it camping and use it for all of our cooking when the burn ban is on.
What about basic medical care for you and your family? Do you look up every wound or symptom online or head straight to the doctor for medication? There are numerous first aid and basic medical treatment skills everyone should learn in case they’re needed. First aid skills are mediatory for all of us, especially in an emergency situation. Not only is it important to know how to address the situation now, but what about the lasting effects of infection or with the healing process. We encourage everyone to take a first aid class to make sure that you are ready.
Red Cross First Aid Classes
Did you know that about 70 million people are taking some kind of medication to control their emotions in some way? In some cases, many are needed to combat things like anxiety or depression. But some could be borne from a culture focused on dependency, and the fact is that learning skills to control your emotions and mental acuity can help you in a big way. Other ways to help with this is small comforts of home, like chocolate or favorite books can help get your mind off hardships.
From storing food to growing basic vegetables to knowing how to start a fire, or finding water things like these basic skills like these are the keys to being able to sustain yourself in an emergency. They’re important for anyone to learn and we shouldn’t delay. Start with the basics like food water and shelter and then move to energy and transportation. This way no matter what happens, you will be ready and safe.
All in all, you need to be able to take care of yourself and your family when something goes wrong. This goes beyond the kind of ‘far out’ preppers that the media makes light of – being able to be self-sustaining is something everyone should know how to do in order to be ready for the future and to give themselves some basic peace of mind.
The basic skills above are all things that need to be given attention in order to prepare yourself and know that you’re ready. Plenty of resources are out there to teach you what you need to know, so be sure to take the time to master the basics.