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Basic Skills

I’ve been surprised today with the number of people that are without what I call basic skills. As you know I am a first believer in everyone having basic First Aid experience. Most of us do not and I think that is wrong. It should be part of the school curriculum rather than media studies or flower arranging. Although saying that how many people leave school not being able to perform the three R’s. Reading, writing and arithmetic. I wonder if that is the right place to be teaching First Aid.

I consider there are several skills that everyone should have as basics. The three R’s, First Aid, being able to cook (at least for you), being able to work out your bank balance, basic hygiene, logical skills and being able to swim. Most people have all bar the First Aid one.

The next one missing is being able to swim. I was surprised at the number of people that couldn’t swim. Never have, never needed to and never learned. I was taught when I was much younger and could swim when it was taught in school. Obviously it was not compulsory or something. I think that being able to swim is a must but it obviously depends on your location and your risk factors. I would say decide for yourself but you probably already have.

Being able to cook is a no brainer. Everyone can put pasta into water, beans into a pan and heat them until they are ready. That is a meal and you can build on that. Cookbooks even talk you through how to boil an egg so you have no excuse.

Working out a bank balance should be easy if you have learnt mathematical skills. Simply add to the total what you get paid, subtract what you spend and if at the end of the week or month you have money left then be happy. If not then you need to stop spending on some things. Use a spreadsheet if necessary.

Logical skills are a bit more awkward. You either have them and use them or you don’t. Either way remember the six W’s. Who, What, When Where, Why and How (Don’t ask). That should gather your information before you consider them and make a decision. It is amazing how many people do not recognise when they are being led astray.

Basic hygiene should also be easy, watch where you go, clean up after yourself, keep your teeth clean and wash all your bits. Wash your clothes and keep your boots clean. If you can’t do them then a live on your own is the best way to go.

If you can’t do any of the rest then you should go to college to get that fixed.

Many others have basic skills lists. This is mine and I consider the logical skills the hardest to learn. You need a good teacher.

4 comments to Basic Skills

  • Skvez

    In a survival situation I might be tempted to add ‘starting a fire (and keeping it going for at least an hour)’ to this list.
    A lot of fire starting ‘training’ focuses on making a glowing coal; as though once you are there you are finished.
    There is a level of skill required even to starting a fire with a match. I’ve seen many people start BBQs and too many people rely on chemical fire starting bricks or flammable liquids that are not going to be easy to replicate in a survival situation, even if you have stockpiled 1000 matches to ensure you can get a flame. In the UK a lot of the time our tinder is damp, there is a reason why the ‘tinder box’ existed rather than people trying to collect tinder locally when they wanted a fire. Pick it when it’s dry and store it.

  • Skean Dhude

    Skvez,

    You make a good point. I’ll add it to the list and put a primer up on starting a fire. I’ve tried several times to start one using a stic and can tell you it is not easy.

    There must be a few things like this that we can’t think of now. Need to get thinking.

  • John

    Thank goodness, at last a site dedicated towards UK survivalists and anyone who just wishes to be prepared for future events that we may have to deal with.

    As far as first aid goes, basic training is something I would recommend to everyone. If you are working, check to see if your employer needs Fist Aiders. Apply to be trained up for the work place and they will put you through a course for free and this will start you on the road to learning how to cope with medical emergencies and to start preparing and building up own medical kit and supplies.

    Also look out for free courses run by your local authority or community groups as well.

    I have been fortunate to have been in the Wolfcubs, Scouts and TA (many years ago) and always had an interest in being prepared for some sort of emergency or other.

    Nowadays,I’m more concerned about the political and economic crisis that I believe is heading our way than the planetary events that many think may happen. I am yet to be convinced of them myself (so far) but uphold the right of each individual to prepare for what he or she wishes to prepare for.

    Thanks again for setting up this site

    John
    Ayrshire

  • Skean Dhude

    John,

    Welcome. Glad you like the site.

    That is good advice to see if you can get your company to pay for it. Also some of them pay you extra if you do this roll. You win on both counts.

    I’ve looked at local courses and they all charge. A perfectly good course provider if you need the training but not for free training.

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