When you are looking to become more self-sufficient from outside factors in your neighborhoods and communities, there will be a time when you look at all that can be done and needs to be done and feel a bit overwhelmed. Rest assured, there is now way you will be able to master all the skills that are available to be had. But with that bit of “good news” there are dozens of skills you can learn to do well to get you what you need in any hard going or disastrous situation.

It is good to have the gear that can facilitate the actions and activities that bring convenience to one’s life in a non-technical scenario. However, you can have all the gear in the world and not knowing how to use them will get you nowhere.


Once you have the latest piece of gear and new fangled gadget you may have the false sense security of being prepared. But if that is lost, or worn out, or becomes non-functional in any way you could be up a sheep creek pretty quickly. Learning the learning and practicing the skills (remember practice makes permanent) needed you can never lose.

Learned skills don’t break, they cannot get stolen nor do they wear themselves out. When the anticipated happens or something completely unknown previously to you, you can be ready come what may.

So with only so much time in the day, you need to prioritize which skills you need to learn first and work yourself the way down that very important list.

Your Basic Life Hack Skills

Here’s the order that I would suggest that you follow as you begin this journey of self-reliance.

  • Necessitated Move – If you have to move from your area quickly you need to not only have a plan but have the skills to get to your pre-determined destination.

The lost art of navigation (when google maps are no longer working) of the land marks, the distances, the time to cover those miles. If it is a matter of days to your destination. Knowing how to keep yourself safe from outside elements (man-made or otherwise), find or build a temporary shelter, building fires, cooking on the go and keeping warm/cool all are skills you need to have.

Knowing what are dangerous triggers and the places to avoid for self-defense perhaps even the use of force (fists or guns) being the options here. Knowing which type of plants, trees, or grasses can assist you in that shelter. Knowing how to start a fire without the hand use of matches (batteries and aluminum gum wrappers). Campfire cooking to foraging, to the digging of edible roots to keep your energy going. All of these are skills you can be working on and learning now.

  • Hunkering Down – When moving to another location is not feasible, or advisable, you need to know how to optimize what you have at your disposal close to your domicile. In regards to natural disasters, gathering and finding clean water sources, foods that can last longer without refrigeration. The turning off of dangerous of natural gas or sewage, for example, is also needed.

Also, there may be an element there that a defense of yourself or your foodstuffs may be needed. Knowing how to de-escalate tense situations to be prepared to take action at the right time are all scenarios you need to become clear about.

Lastly here, knowing how to ration, what is needed for thriving versus mere sustenance of water and food reserves is an important skill to have.

  • The Essentials – Water, Food, Shelter the big three that all people need to have to remain on this earth of ours. No gear can definitely help with all of these, no doubt about it. But take the instance when those gadgets are lost or taken away, what can you do? Do you know how to build a rudimentary water filtration system using common items? How to build a water condenser that pulls the H2O out of the atmosphere?

What can you do about food? Instead of chewing on shoe leather and tree bark, how will you find the stuff you need to keep your energy levels up? What could you forage for in your back yard? When the grocery store shelves are bare, what choices do you have for sustenance? If you have the food storage how do you use it in the wisest manner? How do you store food without refrigeration? Food preparation as well, with or without utilities, do you have the skills that you feel confident in being able to take care of yourself let alone your loved ones?

Shelter building skills beyond the temporary shelter spoken of above. How to put together a structure that will last you for the time you need it if your present home has been damaged or destroyed. Building structures without nails or conventional materials and the skills of sound building principles so that the elements do not creep upon you and yours.

In Part two we are going to discuss further the following skills which build upon each other to move your future altered living conditions.

  • The Surviving
  • The Thriving
  • The Driving

Click Here for the Second in the Series