Do You Have Life Skills?
You never know what life may throw at you, and it’s best to be as prepared as possible for any scenario that comes your way. Expect the unexpected, as the saying goes! While you can’t keep every base covered all the time, you can learn basic life skills. Doing so allows you to survive (and even thrive) in all manner of scenarios, and it’s an incredible way to live more sustainably. You’ll know how to handle your basic needs and care for your household and property.
Beyond that, learning life and survival skills is interesting! It’s a way to test your mettle and take in new, ultra-useful information. Keep reading for some ideas of where to start, even if you’re an absolute beginner!
Grow Your Own Food
Of course, we’re big fans of this one. Growing your food ensures you’ll never go hungry. Beyond that, realizing you can turn bare earth and seeds into meals for your family is empowering.
With gardening, you can tailor your experience to your needs. Small families and single individuals may not need to plant as much as larger households, although it’s always a good idea to give yourself a bit of excess to put away for the future. Gardening has another advantage – it’s easy and inexpensive to get started, especially if you’re not throwing money away (and damaging the environment) with pesticides and chemicals. Just follow along with Stoney Creek Farm’s Gardening Without Pesticides guide and you’ll have everything you need to start growing your own food safely, sustainably, and reliably!
Whether you hunt, garden, or stockpile in another way, food preservation is a vital life skill. It cuts down on waste in the literal sense and regarding your time and energy. After all, if you spend hours tending to your garden or hunting, throwing the fruits of your labor in the trash is a tragedy.
Depending on what you’re trying to preserve, there are a few basic methods out there.
- Canning – Canning is a tried-and-true way of preserving vegetables, fruit, jams, jellies, and more. It also requires some know-how, as you want your food to be safe and well-kept. If you’re interested in food preservation and canning, join Stoney Creek Farm for our upcoming Canning 101: Preserving Your Own Healthy Food class! We’ll teach you to stock your pantry the healthy way.
- Dehydration – This is the perfect method for preserving meat, fruit, and so much more.
- Freezing – Properly freezing food requires more than just tossing it into the freezer. When done correctly, it prolongs the life of certain food for months or even years!
- Pickling – You can pickle nearly anything, including eggs, meat, vegetables, and fruit.
First Aid and CPR
You can’t predict an emergency, but knowing how to respond gives you power and control over the situation. Learning basic first aid and CPR allows you to treat injuries and potentially save a life. You never know when you (or someone else) may need it, and it makes a particularly big difference if you live in a rural area with longer response times from emergency services.
Fortunately, the Red Cross offers First Aid courses as in-person, online, and hybrid options and keeps CPR classes available, too. The American Heart Association also has similar classes available. Look for one near you and learn to save a life. Hopefully, it’s a skill you’ll never need to use but will always have.
These days, most of us rely on our cell phones and the internet to get just about anywhere. It only takes a few seconds to pull up a GPS, after all. But what happens when you’re in an area with no signal? There are plenty of “dead spots” around, especially in mountainous and remote areas, where you won’t have a reliable phone signal.
If you’re heading into an unfamiliar area, especially if you’re hiking or won’t be near civilization, learn to navigate with a map and compass and always keep both on hand. There are guides online that offer instructions and advice to keep you from losing your way.
Like CPR and first aid, hopefully, you’ll never need to use your self-defense skills, but having them at the ready is best. You don’t need to become a competitive martial artist to master the basics of defending yourself.
Learning self-defense comes with a few added bonuses, like improved confidence and self-esteem. Practicing martial arts and other defense techniques is a great way to get exercise and keep your body healthy and strong, too, which comes with many benefits on its own. There are many online resources to learn self-defense, or you may sign up for classes at local martial arts studios, fitness centers, or even through some police and fire departments.
Fishing and Hunting
“If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” We’ve all heard some variation of that proverb, and the core of it rings true. Fishing and hunting are both key survival skills. Coupled with gardening, they ensure you’ll always have enough food for your family (and a varied diet, too). They’re skills that follow you everywhere, even if you’re not on familiar land.
Learning to hunt if you’ve never tried it before may seem daunting, but groups like the National Deer Association offer events and classes to get you started. You can also check for local hunting groups and associations, including hunter-conservation groups.
Fishing takes practice, but getting started is simple enough. You’ll find plenty of online resources for beginners, including guides and YouTube videos. Local fishermen (or just fishing enthusiasts) in your area are an invaluable source of information, too. Like hunting, a local angler conservation group may be helpful.
The handful of life skills in this article doesn’t cover everything, but they’re a great place to start. Learning to care for yourself, your family and your property is essential – especially when the rest of the world feels turbulent and chaotic. Whatever happens on the outside, you’ll have a plan and know you’re capable of handling whatever comes your way. If nothing else, that knowledge offers an unmatched peace of mind.
We hope you’ll join us for our Canning 101: Preserving Your Own Healthy Foods class on August 5 and let Stoney Creek Farm be part of your life skill journey. We’d love to see you there!