What old fashioned skills and abilities did your grandparents or great-grandparents have that, if you had those skills, would help you to survive in the event of a long-term survival situation: a real TEOTWAWKI (aka: “the end of the world as we know it”)? This is the question that was asked in a blind study of a group of online workers.
Here are the old fashioned skills most identified as being employed by their ancestors and considered necessary to survival:
My grandfather and father were good hunters; we always had meat on the table.
They also gathered nuts and berries which were wonderful to eat!
3. Cooking from Scratch
My grandmother could cook anything and made breads from scratch. She could separate chickens and clean and gut fish.
4. Cooking using Firewood
I remember when I was small, my grandmother cooked using firewood and she never got burned or overcooked anything. Now I use a modern gas stove and can never get it right.
5. Spinning Yarn
They could make yarn themselves, as well as knit and crochet, so they could make sweaters to stay warm.
6. Shoe Making
My grandfather was a shoemaker.
My grandmother sewed her own clothes. Born in 1901, she had 4 children and made all their clothes by making patterns from newspapers or meat wrapping papers.
8. Dowsing for Water
My grandfather (who was of Cherokee Indian descent) had the ability to find water located underground (for wells) using metal rods. This is known as “witching” in the Oklahoma area.
Both of my grandfathers had farms where they grew crops, vegetables and raised livestock.
They were craftsman and were able to work on fixing almost any item, making new tools, building homes and farming
As this last person describes, our grandparents and great-grandparents employed a variety of old fashioned skills and were all about surviving:
“I’m most impressed that they knew how to live off the land and how to make everything they needed. They knew how to make butter, candles, soap and clothing, and how to hunt and process meat – i.e. smoking, curing, defeathering, beheading etc. They could be described as being very practical, frugal, and pragmatic – as opposed to being rather squeamish and wasteful like most people in the U.S. today.
They were also better prepared to cope with people around them dying since people died all the time back then from diseases, infections, injuries, accidents, natural disasters etc. but they still had to tend to the demanding crops, animals, or other kids.”
We would all do well to learn some of those old fashioned skills, lest we some day fail to survive a situation that our ancestors would have taken in stride.
C.L. Hendricks is a “jill-of-all-trades” and an expert in some. She writes on a variety of subjects for several websites, including InvitingSmiles and Survival Homestead, to name a few.