|Garden hen – Wikimedia Commons image|
By Dan Sullivan
Whether you believe or not in the fall of the dollar, one thing is clear: we’re all going to have to learn how to barter if we’re gonna survive in a post-apocalyptic world in the (temporary) absence of money.
I can think of many reasons for this but the main one is that, even if the currency survives, we’re still going have to face sky-high inflation. In 1990, after the Romanian revolution, I witnessed the national currency go down the drain and, believe me, it was not pretty. In circumstances like these, it makes sense to consider bartering as an alternative and a much better way of exchanging goods and services.
Now, I’m not saying bartering is good in every case. In fact, money evolved precisely because bartering became cumbersome as people had more things to trade. See, the problem was fractioning. If I had a cow and you had grapes, it was hard for me to give you half a cow because I’d have to kill it and then do something with the other half.
This is exactly why I’m a firm advocate of bartering with your skills. You can fraction (read help) others with what you can do a lot easier as you’re about to see. Plus, the really neat thing about it is that you don’t see your stockpile diminished as a result. You have it, you barter with it and then you still have it!
So let’s see what some of the most important skills will be post-collapse…[/tps_header]
Skill #1: Woodworking
It’s pretty clear that the world as we know it is going to look awful after the initial disaster. Once the dust settles, people will want to fix their homes or even build new ones from scratch, not to mention sheds, chicken coops and so on.
You could prove yourself to be an invaluable asset if you’re willing to learn woodworking right now or take it to the next level if you’re already good at it. I bet there are plenty of projects you can start today (to practice) as I’m sure a lot of people would like tree houses for their kids, desks, beds, tables and on and on.
Skill #2: Homesteading
With no supermarkets to feed them, people will be forced to start their own gardens, worm farms, hydroponics and aquaponics systems, to grow fruit trees and so on to feed their families. The ones who make it after the first wave of post-collapse deaths, that is.
If you not only learn but become passionate about agriculture now, a lot of people will be knocking on your door for help.
Skill #3: Teaching
What kind of teaching? Any kind. Survival skills are going to be very sought after even though most people couldn’t care less about them now. If you haven’t read enough on the subject, don’t let that stop you.
And if you’re a real teacher, your knowledge might be worth a lot post-SHTF. A lot of parents will want their kids to continue their education, so teachers are going to be sought out … and you could be one of them!
Hint: instead of throwing or just giving old books away, why not put them in a safe place like your attic so you can use them later?
Skill #4: Medical
This goes without saying but medical skills are going to be critical when and after it hits … and you have every reason to learn them beforehand. You will want to know survival medicine really well and you’ll also want to buy or save some old medical books for reference for a time when there might not be any Internet.
Skill #5: Counseling
Boy, do I need to tell you how many people are going to break down mentally? It won’t be easy to see half your family die in front of you. It’s going to be war out there and war leaves marks that are both physical and mental. And don’t even get me started about children; many of them will be completely traumatized by what’s about to happen.
Skill #6: Gunsmithing
If you’re already a firearms enthusiast, you already know the basics of firearms and how to take care of them. To make sure your knowledge is, indeed, useful post-collapse, you can do the following:
- Play with and even purchase a wider variety of firearms to expand your knowledge.
- Stockpile as many gun cleaning kits and supplies as possible, you will have a lot of guns to clean!
Skill #7: Midwife
This is one of those skills no one seems to learn or care about anymore. However, when children are going to be born at home (like it used to be in the past) someone’s going to have to be there helping them through child birth. Why can’t that someone be you?
The great thing about these skills is this: you have them, you trade them and then you still have them! In fact, the more you barter with them, the better you become, which will allow you to “charge” more for them.
Of course, there are a lot more survival skills out there that you can learn. You never know which ones might come in handy … you never know who’s going to ask you for help and offer you the world in exchange.
Well, I’d be extremely happy if you went ahead and wrote a list of all the skills you could learn or improve upon starting today. I suggest you focus on one skill at a time and properly learn it before you move on to the next. Also, you probably don’t want to learn things that are too advanced and you may not need. You’ll be much better being average at 5 skills than being excellent at only one.
Keep in mind that, post collapse, you will have to know a little bit of everything unless YOU want to be the person who will seek other people’s skills for bartering purposes….