Face it. You can’t just drop your normal city life and move to the countryside without SOME skills. You’ll end up in a lot of little catastrophes like an episode of Green Acres!
There are skills that need to be learned/relearned or honed to live off the land. In our parents/grandparents time those skills were taught season after season, a little bit at a time so that you’d have experience to draw on when you were on your own.
Didn’t grow up raising a garden, harvesting fruit or gathering eggs? That’s allright. You can learn now. In fact, just ‘doing’ is a great method of learning.
When you learn by doing you get to see the results of your mistakes and figure out on your own how to fix it.
In the country, it’s often a hefty drive to town to pick up parts, or groceries and often time cell service is down so you can’t ‘call a friend’. You learn to rely on yourself, using what you have with the knowledge you’ve accumulated.
So… what kind of skills do you need and can work on now?
You need at least some basic carpentry skills. You might want to build a barn someday… or a bigger chicken coop. If you’ve never built with wood before do yourself a favor and start small.
Build a birdhouse. Build an open front bookcase. Add some shelves over the laundry. Just using the tools, experiencing the measuring, cutting and putting together will aid you in any future woodworking endeavor.
At least one of you needs to know some basic plumbing and electrical knowledge. You might want to install a water faucet down by the barn but you’ll need to ‘get’ the water there first! Same with electricity. Now, I’m not saying that you should forgo the inspectors but there’s a lot you can do yourself.
Practice where you are by changing out a light fixture, installing a doorbell, or adding a water feature to your yard.
Yard work doesn’t sound hard does it? You’re riding a mower, how hard can it be? Well, sometime that mower will break down. Do you have basic mechanical skills? Can you safely use a chain saw to cut up a tree that fell during a storm? Having someone walk you through these in person will help you feel more confident when the task needs to be done, and you’re the one that has to do it!
Do you have a firearm? Whether you want one for personal safety reasons or for hunting you need to know how your piece works, how it comes apart, how to clean it and importantly how to use it safely. You might need feel the need to have one…. but… what if a big ole rattlesnake is hanging out on the porch? What if there’s a predator after your chickens? What if one of your animals gets hurt badly and needs to be put down?
There are certainly more skillsets that the prepared person needs to know. Add some of these to your ‘to do’ list!
Learn to use different power equipment such as tractors, lawn mowers, 4 wheelers and power tools.
Learn to change your own oil.
Learn how to maintain your home, inside and out.
Learn and enhance your gardening skills
Learn animal husbandry.
Learn outdoor cooking skills such as dutch oven cooking, open flame and more.
Self reliance and self sufficiency doesn’t just happen overnight. Read more, practice more, learn more. The more you know, the more you’ll be prepared for. (Darn it, I ended a sentence with a preposition… I should learn better grammar skills!!!)