Pioneer Skills: Planning for Tough Times Ahead . by Alice B. Clagett *

Written and published on 19 September 2017; revised

    • Fats
    • Complex Carbohydrates
    • Protein
    • Greens
    • Water
    • How to Purify Water Before Drinking It Or Using It for Cooking
    • Beverages
    • Desserts
    • Spices
    • Fire Starting
    • Body Heat
    • Cooking Heat
    • Sanitation
    • Planning Together as a Family for a Natural Disaster
    • Neighborhood Watch for Crime Prevention
    • First Aid
      • Western Medicine First Aid Book
      • Alternative Medicine Books
      • Pregnancy and Childbirth
        • Herb for Abortion and to Induce Labor
        • Childbirth: Optimum Fetal Positioning
        • Delayed Umbilical Cord Cutting
      • First Aid Kit
      • Wild Herb to Staunch Wound Bleeding
    • Tools
    • Weapons
    • Twine, Rope, Duct Tape, Trash Bags, and Tarps
    • Spare Lumber, Nails, and Screws
    • Getting Viable Seed for a Vegetable Garden
    • Canning Supplies and Solar Food Dehydrators
    • Cheesecloth, Muslin Cloth, Clothes Fabric, and Coat Fabric
    • Treadle Sewing Machine
    • Cloth Loom and Spinning Wheel
    • Fishing Rod, Fish Catching Net, and Bait
      • Fishing Rod Kit
      • Fish Catching Net
      • Bait
    • Fish Traps and Cast Nets
      • Fish Traps
      • Minnow and Crawdad Traps
      • Cast Nets
      • Crab Dip Nets
      • W-Shaped Sticks Fish Trap
      • Pipe-and-Pit Fish Trap
    • Wild Plants That Are Fish Toxins
      • Wild Cucumber Roots
      • Green Walnut Husks
    • Simple Deadfall Trap
    • Homemade Survival Traps
    • Travois
    • Tumpline
    • Sleds
    • Rafts
    • Schools and Apprentice Jobs Teaching Skills and Trades for Tough Times
    • Earth Skills and Wilderness Survival Classes
    • Naturopathy Colleges
    • Books

Dear Ones,

In the event power grids went down because of a Carrington event, an earthquake, a hurricane, or other natural disasters, it is good to have basic survival supplies. Here is a concise blog on the essentials for survival.


I have done some research on short-term emergency food and water supplies, and have a few less-well-known favorites …


  • Ghee, or clarified butter, is a good source of fats, and keeps, after the jar is opened, for 3 months without refrigeration. With refrigeration (which might be one of the non-electric refrigeration methods mentioned below), it can keep for about a year. You can make your own clarified butter, or buy it: see, for example, “Deep Pure Cow Ghee Clarified Butter from India, 64 Ounce,” at Amazon ..
  • Another robustly caloric source of fat is bacon drippings, strained. These keep 3 weeks without refrigeration, according to the internet. However, in my youth, we kept a metal container of it at the back of the stove; we never refrigerated it, and it was always good.

Complex Carbohydrates

  • Instant mashed potatoes keep for a year or a year and a half at room temperature. A meal can be prepared from them by just boiling water. There are 40-pound bags of potato flakes available online. See, for example, “Instant Potato Flakes, Bulk 40 Lb. Case,” at Amazon .. The price of these has gone up in the last year.
  • Among complex carbohydrates, here is another option: Instant rice is available at Walmart. This product is more cost-effective in bulk; see, for example, “Saratoga Farms Instant Rice ValueBUCKET (1/2 cup servings size/186 Total Servings),” at Amazon ..
  • Pastas and bottled tomato sauces are also good complex carbohydrate staples


  • Walmart has pretty good deals on powdered milk, which keeps at room temperature about 2 years, if kept away from heat.
  • Canned, condensed milk is a country staple; since it usually has sugar in it, as well as protein, it would be good for making deserts.
  • Canned baked beans are also pretty cheap at Walmart, and hearty. Smaller cans are better, because less subject to spoilage after opening
  • Bugs, including …
    • Crickets and grasshoppers: Pull off heads, carefully remove entrails, legs and wings, and then dry roast
    • Ants: Boil 6 minutes to neutralize formic acid
    • Termites: Shake them out of a rotten log, and roast them in a pan
    • Grubs: Pull them out of a rotten log, skewer and cook over flame till crispy on the outside
    • Sow bugs: Boil thoroughly so as to kill any parasites in them. Do not drink the boiling water; just eat the cooked bugs
    • Earthworms, stink bugs, and scorpions are also said to be edible when properly prepared, but I will pass on those.


  • Weeds Many wild area weeds and most city weeds are edible; however, many require cooking. Weeds are regional; look online for weeds in your area, and recipes for them.
    • For instance, this book looks pretty good for Los Angeles wild areas: “Southern California Food Plants: Wild Edibles of the Valleys, Foothills, Coast and Beyond the Valleys, Foothills, Coast, and Beyond,” by Charles W. Kane, at Amazon ..
    • And here are some edible Los Angeles city weeds: chickweed, dandelion, fennel, lamb’s quarters, purslane, red clover and sorrel: I would go to Google Images and print out photos of each of these.
    • If it tastes bitter or tough, it will need to be cooked. If you are not sure, if it smells odd or repugnant, or if the leaves are blue-green, do not eat it.
  • Sprouts are a great source of greens. You will need sproutable alfalfa seeds, and also a sprouter. Sprouters come in two varieties: fancy and down-home.
    • Here is an example of the fancy ones: “Deluxe Kitchen Crop 4-Tray Seed Sprouter by VICTORIO VKP1200,” at Amazon .. It looks to me like the top tray might be watered, and then the water might trickle down through the various trays, and out the bottom? If so, this would be ideal, as it would help prevent rot and mildew. Water daily. Keep in a shady window so they will germinate.
    • Here is a down-home sprouter: Put your alfalfa seeds in a mason jar. Cut a piece of cloth mesh or cheesecloth, and put it over the jar opening. Screw on the ring, but not the cap. Add water daily, swirl around, let the water drain out, and keep in a shady window so they will germinate.
  • Seaweeds. See Link: “Where to Harvest Seaweed and How to Eat It,” 14 October 2015, ..


  • There are one-time-use water containers that can be placed in your bathtub and filled with water for short-term emergency storage: look online for the WaterBob (100 gallon capacity) and Aquapod (60 gallon capacity). Here is a video comparing the two: Video: “WaterBob/Aqua Pod,” by Guns and Accessories, 26 October 2012 … .. One would think that a good stopper for the tub would suffice, but if the stopper should leak, all the water will be lost. Better safe than sorry. Before drinking this water or using it for food preparation, though, purify or boil it (see below).
  • You can also fill your sinks with water, using either a water-tight container in the sink, or a sink stopper. As above, before drinking this water or using it for food preparation, purify or boil it (see below).
  • By way of additional storage, you can reuse gallon water containers by filling them with water. Add 8 drops of Clorox regular (not scented) bleach per gallon, shake it up, and let stand for 30 minutes before consuming. Before drinking this water or using it for food preparation, purify or boil it (see below).
  • Here’s a backup water storage method to use in case your bathtub water system fails, through a leak happening with the WaterBob, or the tub stopper. If you live in a house and have local trash collection, it is possible to store water in your trash bin. The advantage of these bins, in Los Angeles, is that they are made of very sturdy plastic, and have wheels and lids. The disadvantage is that the lids are not lockable or airtight. We have 3 kinds of trash bins here in Los Angeles: One for trash, another for yard clippings, and another for recyclables. In a pinch, the cleanest of these bins could be washed out and filled with water for drinking and cooking. The next most clean could be washed out and filled with water for personal hygiene. The third and dirtiest trash bin could be washed out and filled with water to pour into the toilet bowl to flush the toilet. Water so stored must be purified or boiled before being used for food or drink (see below).
  • If you have no trash bins, a very good backup water-storage system is the kind of plastic outdoor wheeled trashcan with a locking lid. If you do not have that, then a very sturdy plastic trash basket or plastic bin from a dollar store, may be of use, but care ought to be exercised to buy one sturdy enough that it will not collapse with the weight of the water. Water so stored must be purified or boiled before being used for food or drink (see below), and covered between uses to prevent contamination.
  • If there is no deodorant disk or other chemicals in your toilet tank, the water in the tank can be drunk. Water so stored must be purified or boiled before being used for food or drink (see below).

How to Purify Water Before Drinking It Or Using It for Cooking

  • Keep on hand “Potable Aqua Water Tablets,” sold at Amazon and elsewhere. These can be used to purify stored water.
  • An inexpensive substitute for “Potable Aqua Water Tablets” is Clorox Regular Bleach (not the scented kind, or any other kind but regular, as these latter contain chemicals that may harm you). The rule of thumb is: 2 drops of Clorox Regular Bleach per quart of water, 8 drops per gallon, and so on. You could also use New Concentrated Clorox Regular Bleach instead: 2 drops of New Concentrated Clorox Regular Bleach per quart of water, or 6 drops per gallon of water. Shake or mix thoroughly after adding, and then let sit 30 minutes before using. See Link: “Disaster Preparedness and Purifying Water,” by Dr. Laundry, 31 October 2012, at “Clorox,” … ..
  • If you run out of water tablets and Clorox, or if you do not like their taste, and the water you have on hand is cloudy, let it settle, then separate the top part, that is clear, and strain it through a cloth. Next, boil it at a rolling boil for at least one minute, then let it cool, then drink.
  • Even for clear water … as from the tub or the toilet tank … it would be best to boil it at a rolling boil for one minute, then let it cool, then drink.
  • For those with a bigger budget, there is the LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier, a drinking water filter that hands on the wall or on the shower railing; it is said to be good for 3 years of water purifying. Smaller versions are also available. Sold at Amazon …


  • Teas, the ingredients for which can also be garnered in the wild
  • Instant coffee, instant Coffeemate, sugar


  • Jello, or
  • Add condensed milk to instant rice


  • Iodized salt, to prevent goiter
  • Ground black pepper, which is said, in India, to purify the blood
  • Dried citrus peel or ‘zest’, to use in sun tea … a good source of Vitamin C, which prevents scurvy. Dehydrate your own citrus peels, or see “Frontier Orange Peel Granules Certified Organic, 16 Ounce Bag,” at Amazon ..
  • Rose hips, wild or cultivated; also a good source of Vitamin C
  • Dried onion and garlic, said to be good for their mild antibiotic qualities of their ingredient allicin.
  • Fenugreek seeds, said to be good for fever, stomach disorders, diabetes, insomnia, inflammations, and wounds
  • Radish seeds, cultivated or wild, roasted and smashed; or radish seed pods (green), raw or cooked … said to prevent cancer, and also to be good for fatigue, indigestion, and as a blood cleanse

Fire Starting

  • Several large boxes of wooden strike-on-box matches: Here is an image of that type of matches (which are relatively hard to find in the stores) … ..
  • In case the matches run out: magnesium fire starter; see “SE FS374 All-Weather Emergency 2-IN-1 Fire Starter & Magnesium Fuel Bar (Everything you need to start a fire!),” at Amazon ..
  • Magnifying glass or fresnel lenses to start a fire with sunshine; for the latter, see “Fresnel Lens 4-Pack Credit Card Size Pocket Magnifier & Firestarter,” at Amazon ..

Body Heat

  • Have blankets on hand to preserve body heat in cold weather.
  • If you do not have blankets, wear your warmest clothes, and get into a big black leaf bag to preserve body heat
  • Layers of newspapers  can act as emergency blankets
  • Have firewood on hand, if you have a fireplace. See also, fire starting, above

Cooking Heat

  • Have charcoal on hand if you have a barbecue.
  • A sterno stove and sterno cans are a cheap source of cooking heat in a short-term emergency. Available at Amazon ..


  • Keep plenty of emergency toilet paper supplies on hand.
    • A face towel or kitchen towel, which will be washable, will do in a pinch.
    • In the old days, people used to use corn cobs and pages torn from phone catalogs instead of toilet paper.
    • A handful of grass can also be used.
  • If you have plenty of water, then some can be poured directly in the toilet to flush it, even if your house water is not working.
  • If you do not have water, buy big, black yard bags to line the toilet with, and dispose of the bags when full.
  • If you have access to dirt, you can dig a simple pit for a squat toilet. Throw a little dirt in after every use. When full, put dirt over and dig another hole.


Planning Together as a Family for a Natural Disaster

Families have special concerns about getting in touch with each other during a natural disaster. See Link: “On Planning with Family for a Natural Disaster,” by Alice B. Clagett, published on 11 September 2017 … ..

Neighborhood Watch for Crime Prevention

Neighborhood Watch programs are an excellent way to build community spirit and prevent crime during natural disasters.

It is best to meet neighbors in advance, elect a Neighborhood Watch block captain, attend the meetings held for community members at your local police department, and keep the communication lines open with neighbors through programs such as … 

That way, when an emergency arises, you will already know your neighbors.

In addition, you may get to know which folks on your block may need special help during an emergency … such as the housebound, those with young children, and so on.

First Aid

  • Western Medicine First Aid Book, with simple illustrations. Red Cross has a good one.
  • Alternative Medicine Books: Books for moxibustion, acupuncture, and acupressure, and herbal medicine using wild herbs local to your area.
  • Psychology/Psychiatry … Here is a wonderful yogic resource for psychological self-help in times of crisis, when no psychologist or psychiatrist, and no psychopharmacological medications may be available: Link: “Crisis Kit,” by Kundalini Research Institute … good for both men and women, I feel.
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth
    • Herb for Abortion and to Induce Labor: Watercress (Nasturtium officinale) grows wild in Los Angeles riparian habitats, including canals. It is an edible wild; but care must be taken while pregnant, as it induces abortion. At term, I have heard it can be used to induce labor.  Here is a photo of watercress …,%20Irvine,%20CA%208-28-11%20004.jpg ..
    • Childbirth: Optimum Fetal Positioning. Childbirth is bound to happen, and there may be no doctors available in time. In a survival situation, position of the fetus during childbirth has a lot to do with survival of mother and child during childbirth. As I understand it, a breech baby is life-threatening in a survival situation. There are ways to turn the baby in the womb for optimum fetal positioning;
    • Delayed Umbilical Cord Cutting. As well, do not cut the umbilical cord until it stops pulsating and turns white; the cord supplies the newborn with vital nutrients for a little while after birth.
  • First Aid Kit. Be sure and pack …
    • a big bottle of One-a-Day vitamin mineral supplements
    • a big bottle of aspirin or ibuprofen,
    • Midol for cramps,
    • plenty of contraceptives and contraceptive ointments,
    • bandaids, gauze bandaging, extra tubes of 3-way antibiotic ointment
    • Nitrile or Latex Exam Gloves, available at Amazon .. These are either sterile or nonsterile; the latter is much less expensive, but not as safe in preventing infection.
    • Pepto Bismol for heartburn, indigestion, nausea, upset stomach and diarrhea
    • and Castor Oil, which is antibacterial and antifungal, and strengthens the immune system. It is also laxative, cathartic, and purgative. It also induces abortion. At term, I’ve heard it can be used to induce labor.
    • Target has Betadine (povidone-iodine) 10%, which would be good as a hand wash before treating wounds and assisting with childbirth, and also as a wound disinfectant and infection preventive for the vagina after childbirth. Read the instructions to find out whether it ought to be diluted before being applied.
    • Povidone-iodine 2.5% can be used to treat eye infections in newborns caused by Chlamydia and bacteria.  A 10% solution would need to be diluted to 1/4 the sold strength to be used for the eyes of newborns, and apparently ought to be pure; for instance. it should contain no detergent; see Link: “The Ocular Application of Povidone-Iodine,” by Sherwin J Isenberg, MD, and Leonard Apt MD, ..
    • Moxa Rolls (Amazon has these) for moxibustion; acupuncture needles, and instructions
  • Wild Herb to Staunch Wound Bleeding. Note that the root of yarrow (Achillea millefolium), which grows wild in most parts of the United States, can be used to staunch the flow of blood in wounds. It is also anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and pain relieving.


It is always good to keep on hand plenty of hand tools (as opposed to power tools, which will not be useful for long in an extended emergency situation. This ought to include …

  • woodworking tools,
  • building tools,
  • brickworking tools,
  • animal husbandry tools, and
  • gardening tools
  • cooking and food preparation tools … the usual, and also including …
    • including a mortar and pestle for grinding dried herbs and seeds,
    • and a rolling pin and bread-rolling board


Firearms will not be much help in a long-term survival situation, because bullets will be scarce. Instead, I suggest buying …

  • Knives, both for defense and for survival activities
  • Slingshot and ammo balls (clay, steel, or both).
    • Consider getting the collapsible slingshot with a wrist support, extra latex tubing, and extra slings.
    • Consider buying a slingshot with a removable arrow guide, such as the “Marksman Pocket Hunter,” at Amazon ..
    • Or, if you have a slingshot without a removable arrow guide, your slingshot can be converted to a bow which works for up to about 10 yards, for hunting small and large game and for fishing. Lightweight, portable substitute for a  bow, and is easy to use in confined quarters, such as thickets. You will need …
      • 4 wide, thick rubberbands (#64, for example),
      • 1 keyring (1 inch diameter might be good)
      • and arrows. The fletching (feathers) on the arrows needs to be able to slide without much friction through the keyring. Used arrows are ok. I’ve heard that even duct tape can be used for fletching, in a pinch. Note that arrows have different tips for practice, small game, large game and fishing. Weight of tips also varies. Blunt tips can be used to stun small game, and these are easier to make.
      • Here are videos showing how to do the conversion …
  • 2 good bows, within your own drawing strength, along with spare string and plenty of arrows. See note on arrow tips under slingshot, above.  Also, extra fletching and fletching glue.
  • Crossbow and arrows, if your budget allows it, along with spare parts.
  • Atlatl (spear-thrower) and fletched darts … see, for example, “Nanticoke Atlatl (Simple) and Three Five Foot Fletched Darts,” at Amazon ..
  • Boomerang … for example, the “Fury Martial Arts All-Wood Boomerang (22 -Inch)” at  Amazon looks like a good length.
  • Spear
  • Bo staff or club to be used as a weapon …
    • Hardwood bo’s are available online; for example, at SparringGearSet … and at Karate Supply … ..
    • a sturdy, 6-foot length of hardwood dowel may be an inexpensive substitute. If only pine dowel is available at your local lumberyard or hardware store, make sure there are no knots or imperfections in the wood, and that the outside is finished (to avoid getting splinters in your hand). Pine is not very strong, so it might be best to get another length or two of 6-foot dowel in case your bo breaks.
    • A wooden baseball bat is a good, inexpensive club. These can be found at thrift stores, and are good for short-range combat, and especially help women, children, and older people even the odds.
  • Ma: It is much to the advantage of women, children, and older people to stay outside the reach (or ma) of a potential assailant, however. In practical terms, this means at least 3 feet away, and 5 feet away if the person is lithe and combative. Thus the baseball bat is best used as defense at a doorway or in a hallway, if there is not other form of defense. There the bo, which is longer, could not be used freely.
  • See also Link: “How to build primitive weapons and tools from natural bone, rocks, shells, antlers, or animal teeth,” by Wilderness Arena, 31 December 2015 … ..

Twine, Rope, Duct Tape, Trash Bags, and Tarps

These supplies are very useful in emergencies.

  • Twine and rope have a hundred uses, ongoing, and are time-consuming to fabricate by hand.
  • Duct tape has a limited shelf life, but is a good emergency supply for on-the-road car repairs and for short-term emergencies.
  • Trash bags can be used to store food, can be placed over open water containers to keep the water clean, and can be used to hold waste till trash collection resumes.
  • Tarp can keep your roof rain-proof, even when damaged, and to keep firewood and equipment dry even when it is stored outside.

Spare Lumber, Nails, and Screws

Spare lumber is useful for boarding up broken windows and doors, for instance.

  • 3/4 inch plywood sheeting, 2x4s, and planking
  • Several kegs of nails, including roofing tacks, 8 penny nails, 10 penny nails, and mason nails
  • Screws in assorted sizes

Getting Viable Seed for a Vegetable Garden

In recent years, I have had trouble raising vegetables from seeds bought at hardware stores. Is this a Monsanto thing? Have I lost the knack?

If you have been having the same trouble, it might be good to ask around and find a viable source of vegetable and grain seeds to keep on hand in the event a truck garden comes in handy.

Viable seed might also be a good form of barter in the event of a longer-term survival situation. It would be a ‘cash crop’ … planting viable seed would produce more viable seed, which could once more be used for barter.

Canning Supplies and Solar Food Dehydrators

Of course, it would be good to brush up on canning skills, and to have on hand mason jars with good lids, and maybe a solar food dehydrator.

Amazon … … sells both.

For the food dehydrator, to prevent fly specks, it might be good to buy

Cheesecloth, Muslin Cloth, Clothes Fabric, and Coat Fabric

In a long-term survival situation, lengths or bolts of these fabrics would be very helpful.

  • Cheesecloth is useful for cooking: in making cheese, in canning, in straining, and so on.
  • Muslin is good for making diapers for babies and undergarments for everyone. It can also be used and reused for menstrual pads.
  • A bolt each of clothes fabric and coat fabric could provide for clothing and outerware needs for several years.

These supplies can be bought as yardage from Amazon or fabric stores.

Treadle Sewing Machine

If there is no electricity, then a traditional treadle (foot-powered) sewing machine would be a good choice.

It looks like Lehman’s offers these new at … ..

Cloth Loom and Spinning Wheel

Cloth looms and spinning wheels are pretty expensive, but I feel they might be an important staple, and a skill to use in bartering for needed supplies in a survival situation.

Anyone can buy a book on how to build these items, and blueprints might serve very well in future. For example …

Link: “Anyone Can Build a Spinning Wheel,” by W. C. West (1975-06-01) … … May be available used at a reasonable price. I gather from the web page that this is a blueprint book.

The loom-building books I found online look pretty daunting to me … perhaps less so to a handyman. I gather from reader comments that this is a pretty good book …

Citation: “Loom Construction Paperback – November 1978, by Jeri Hjert and Paul Von Rosenstiel, at ..

FISHING        top

Fishing Rod, Fish Catching Net, and Bait

Fishing Rod Kits. Fishing rod kits are available at .. It is good to get a good fishing rod repair kit too, and extra line, hooks, and sinkers.

Fish Catching Net. It would be good to get a fish-catching net too, as many good suppers have been lost for want of a good fish net. I like the ones with telescoping handles and a flat bottom edge, such as “Fiblink Folding Aluminum Fishing Landing Net Fish Net with Extending Telescoping Pole Handle” available at ..

Bait. Without bait, there is no way to fish. This video suggests putting crushed green-walnut husks in a trash cup of water, turning over a rotten log, and pouring the water on the ground. Worms do not like the green-walnut-scented water, and come up for easy catching …

Video: “walnut husk secret for catching worms, and illegal for fish,” by Billy Joe Denny, 31 July 2014 … ..

Worms do not like being flooded with water, so if you do not have green-walnut husks handy, try turning over a rotten log and then just pouring lots of water there; with luck, worms will surface for catching.

Fish Traps and Cast Nets

Fish Traps. Everyone thinks of fishing rods, but the easy way to get seafood on the table is a fish trap,

  • Whether half-dome shaped, for estuarial or still water trapping, such as this one:

    “Goture Portable Folded Fishing Net Fish Shrimp Minnow Crayfish Crab Baits Cast Mesh Trap automatic,” at ..

  • Or cylindrical in shape, for faster moving waters. This one looks good and sturdy: “Tomahawk Rigid Single Door Extra Large Fish Trap,” at ..

Minnow and Crawdad Traps. Minnows are a staple of Asian diets, and far more plentiful and available than larger fish. Thus I feel a minnow trap might come in handier than most people think.

See, for example, “Frabill Minnow Trap, 8 x 8 x 18-Inch, Black,” at .. There are other sturdy-looking minnow traps on Amazon as well.

Here is another good minnow and crawdad trap at Amazon: “RUNNACC Portable Folded Fishing Net Zipper Net Shrimp Carp Crayfish Crab Baits Cast Mesh Trap, Black”

Cast Nets. There are also cast nets, which worked quite well for Christ and his apostles, and might work fine for us as well, in a survival situation.

For example, this is available on Amazon: “Goture American Saltwater Fishing Cast Net for Bait Trap Fish 4ft/6ft/8ft/10ft/12ft Radius, 3/8inch Mesh Size” … This technique is illegal in freshwater in many areas of the United States, as I understand it.

Crab Dip Nets. Crab dip nets are also good for those who live near salt-water estuaries.

W-Shaped Sticks Fish Trap. Here is a great fish trap that can be made using sticks in still water …

Video: “Wow! Primitive Survival Fish Trap (FISH CAUGHT) – How To Make A Very Simple Fish Trap,” by CN Daily HD, 4 March 2017 … … [broken link]

It is a W-shaped trap, with a space in the ‘V’ portion of the ‘W’. Note how they use green water plants and a little food to lure fish in, then close the gap in the ‘V’ and catch the fish by hand.

Pipe-and-Pit Fish Trap. Here is a pipe-and-pit fish trap that is used, in various renditions, quite a lot in Cambodia. Cambodia must have lots of very still, shallow bodies of fish-filled water, is what I think. Still, it is good to know about this technique …

Video: “The first Trap Can Catch Alot of fish & Crabs And Eels By 5 Bambo With deep Hole,” by Amazing Video, 22 July 2017 … ..

Wild Plants That Are Fish Toxins

There are wild plants in many areas that can be used to stun fish, so that they float to the surface of a pool, and can be caught while immobile. This technique is illegal, as I understand it.

Wild Cucumber Root. The crushed root of the California wild cucumber vine is said to be one such plant, but I do not know anyone who has tried to stun fish with it.

Link: “The Arroyo Sage: Plant Profile – Wild Cucumber,” 24 December 2014 … ..

Green Walnut Husks. Green walnut husks are also apparently fish toxins; if so, they might be put in a basket and lowered in a pool to stun fish in a survival situation. Walnut trees grow wild in California and on the East Coast of the United States. This technique is illegal, as I understand it.


Trapping animals has this advantage over shooting them: You do not need to keep a firearm in good repair, and you will not run out of bullets.

Trapping has its pro and con …

  • Pro: You can catch your dinner while taking a nap.
  • Con: Some varmint can come along and steal your trapped animals while you are gone.

Simple Deadfall Trap. Further, in most areas of the world, traps can be made out of local materials. Trapping is still being done in Siberia using local materials. Here is a simple trap …

Video: “Survival Trapping: Siberian Style Deadfall Trap Trigger,” JJR Survival, 21 May 2014 … ..

Homemade Survival Traps. This reference on building your own simple, survival traps looks pretty good to me …

Link: “Guide to the 15 Best Survival Traps of All Time: Master these now so you can feed yourself in an emergency, by Tim MacWelch, 21 October 2019 … ..


The most important things in this category are …

  • Books for your region of the country showing pictures of edible plants, berries, nuts and grains, and with recipes on how to prepare them, and
  • Hands-on field experience trekking round your area, gathering and preparing wild foods


I suggest learning these primitive transport skills …

Travois for animals (including dogs) and people to carry loads: See Link: “Travois,” in Wikipedia … ..

Tumpline, to utilize power of spine in carrying loads: See Link: “Tumpline,” in Wikipedia … ..

Sleds: Instructions for horse-drawn sleds can be had through Mother Earth News: See Link: “Build a Horse-Drawn Sled,” by Gladys Mackey Beattie, January/February 1980 …

A sled can also be improvised by …

  • buying a heavy duty plastic utility tub and rope at a home improvement store,
  • then drilling holes high up at either end of one side,
  • passing a length of cord through both holes,
  • tying a knot on the inside to keep the cord in the holes,
  • and then using the rope as a handle to pull the tub.
  • The tub can also be used for water or food storage, cement- or clay-mixing, etc.

The Troika is a variation on the sled theme, for use in snow

Rafts: See Link: “WikiHow to Build a Log Raft,” co-authored by Wiki-How Staff, 10 March 2020 … ..


My feeling is, considering the high price of college education and the relative lack of skilled jobs in the American economy, it might be better to put one’s educational money into learning trades and skills that would be useful in a sustainable living scenario.

Schools and Apprentice Jobs Teaching Skills and Trades for Tough Times

Schools and apprentice jobs that teach these skills are tops on my list for young folks today:

  • firestarting, firebuilding, clay oven building
  • digging wells, sanitizing water, making solar water stills
  • sanitary disposal of waste: latrines, pit-toilets, composting of wastes, utilization of human wastes in gardens
  • fishing, tracking, hunting, trapping, butchering, and tanning skins
  • farming, including primitive crop irrigation techniques such as the water lift and the shadoof
  • bee-keeping
  • animal husbandry, especially care of chickens, ducks, rabbits and goats for eggs, fur, meat, and milk
  • travois-building for animals and for people to use to transport goods
  • ironworking, knife-, sword- and arrow-tip forging, welding, and horse-shoeing
  • weapon making, especially knives, swords, bows and arrows, crossbows, atlatls (spear-throwers), slingshots, staffs or bos, and boomerangs
  • tool-making
  • first aid, naturopathy, and herbal medicine using local herbs, midwifery skills, bonesetting and cast-making skills
  • cooking, including solar cooking, minimalist third-world cooking techniques, and cooking on a wood-burning stove
  • canning, and dehydrating food
  • primitive methods of keeping food cold, such as root cellars, ice sloughs and ice houses, window sill trays half filled with water, with a cloth cover dipped in, and pot-in-pot coolers
  • water mill building and use … for grinding grain
  • spinning, weaving, knitting, and sewing
  • leather work: shoe-making, belt-making, saddle- and harness-making
  • soap-making and candle-making
  • basket making, including gathering baskets, food storage baskets, and trapping baskets
  • pottery, kiln-building, and where to find local clays
  • making cement and gunpowder using local materials
  • glue-making, paint-making
  • glassblowing
  • finding, mining and working useful rocks and minerals

Earth Skills and Wilderness Survival Classes

Earth skills classes, if available in your area, are an excellent approach.

For youngsters, there are the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, and the 4-H Club, among others.

For adults and young adults, there are primitive living skills schools.

For instance, there is Earth Skills, in Frazier Park, California … … offers some of these very useful skills.

In Crestone, Colorado, there is Earth Knack: Stone Age Living Skills … ..

There are many other schools teaching primitive living skills across America. Here is a list …

Link: “Wilderness Survival, Primitive Living, and Nature Awareness Schools of North America” by Thomas J. Elpel … ..

Naturopathy Colleges

Naturopathic physicians have studied four years as graduate students. In addition to medicine, they know about nutrition, homeopathy, botanicals, and psychology.

Here is a list of American Association of Naturopathic Physicians … ..


Almost everyone can afford how-to books on these topics; in the event of a long-term disaster, or if you desire to return to America’s pioneering roots, just out of personal preference, these sorts of books would be very helpful. Used books are great for those on a budget.

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars


Here is Wikipedia, with separate lists for shelter, first aid, food and water, and signaling and reference books …

Link: “Survival Kit,” in English Wikipedia … ..

Here is a list of long-term survival foods, with shelf-life, and another list of supplies to keep on hand for short-term disasters …

Link: “Survival Food – 56 Long-Term Survival Foods and Supplies at the Grocery Store,” by


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survival skills, sustainable living, pioneer skills, emergency preparedness, natural disaster preparedness, Carrington event, farming, husbandry, ranching, raising animals, tracking, trapping, fishing, homemaking, naturopathy, herbal medicine, psychology, psychiatry, law enforcement, crime prevention,

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