Are you ready for more? Did you work your way through Lists 1-5? This next list should keep you busy and out of trouble for a while!
1. Learn how to use a compass and a map.
It’s a lot harder than you might think, but it’s a skill that just might make the difference between you or a loved one wandering around in the wilderness, lost, and finding your way back to civilization.
Look for classes at stores like REI or Cabela‘s, state or national parks, or a nearby orienteering club. (The orienteering club near us has trails that start out so super-easy even a literal second grader can follow them.) This video does a pretty job explaining the skill.
2. Keep everyone in the family informed.
Do your kids know what to do if your home’s smoke alarms ever went off? Have a family meeting and make sure everyone knows these basic rules of home fire safety and where everyone should meet if there ever is a fire.
Depending on the age and maturity level of each child, they should know about preparedness and why the family is focused on being prepared.
3. Make sure your pets are prepared.
Have pets? Stock up on a month’s worth of extra food for each one. If you buy dry food, be sure to store it in a heavy-duty plastic bin with a tight fitting lid. Rodents, insects, and even the dogs and cats themselves will find a way into this stash. Trust me!
4. Add to your stash of blankets.
5. Make a mini-survival kit for each kid or grandkid in the family.
Here are some super-easy instructions.
6. Learn how to tie various knots and know when to use them.
If the only knot you know how to tie involves taking, “the bunny’s tail through the loop,” you could be in big trouble! Learn how to tie rougher, tougher knots, and then make sure you have rope and instructions in each vehicle and with camping equipment. This is a great skill for the whole family to learn. Here’s a great app for your smartphone. By the way, on road trips, this would be a great skill for the kids to practice in the back seat.
7. Learn a new method for starting a fire.
If you have never tried using a flint, give it a try. If you’ve never experimented with using dryer lint or Vaseline-infused cotton balls as a fire starter, they are both easy and effective.
8. Buy 5 or more pounds of oats and make at least five new, different recipes with them.
Try different recipes for granola bars, cookies, or hot cereal. Here is a great recipe source. Oats are inexpensive and store well. I store mine in empty, clean 2-liter soda bottles with a 100 cc oxygen absorber.
9. Always be ready to walk out.
Store a comfortable pair of walking shoes in your car, along with a pair of socks and 2 or 3 pre-cut pieces of moleskin. Additionally, keep a very good, detailed atlas or map in your vehicle with routes marked that will take you to safe places, such as the homes of friends, campgrounds, church, or other safe, friendly locations.
10. Keep the channels of communication open.
Set aside at least 2 evenings a month for a date night with your significant other. Talk about survival and preparedness, if you like, but more importantly, re-connect with each other. A strong, stable home is a resilient one.
Here are the rest of the articles in this series about how basic can you get: