What Can Modern Day Preppers Learn From Past Generations?

Great Depression era survival skills

What Can We Learn From Our Depression Era Ancestors?

Do you ever wish we could go back to a different time? Or mourn the loss of skills that have all but disappeared with modernity? There are plenty of skills from time-gone-by that could become hugely useful to preppers now – especially if a crisis situation comes along that forces us to live differently than we ever have before.


We can learn from the philosophy of ‘using and reusing’ that Depression era folks were forced to live with. We can learn by examining what the skills were during the Great Depression era. Who were those that were able to find some work, those who were better able to survive those very difficult times?

What were the survival skills of that time and would they apply to surviving in a future post-collapse world?

Homesteading and Farming Skills

Farms. There were lots of farms back then. Today in the United States, fewer than 1 percent claim farming as an occupation.

The farm was a place where resources and nothing went to waste. The cows, chickens, livestock were mostly fed from the food that was grown on the farm as much as possible. Old bread, corn cobs, apple cores, and other kitchen scraps were fed to the hogs. Then the livestock’s manure was collected and used to fertilize crops.

The farming lifestyle was self-sustaining. Gardening. Food preservation. Outdoor skills. Animal husbandry. Butchering. It involved many and countless hands-on skills from building fences to successfully growing foods to managing livestock, and everything in-between. If you lived on a farm, and the farm was not indebted (or indebted beyond the ability to keep paying), then you could survive.
– via Modern Survival Blog

What Can Modern Day Preppers Learn From Past Generations

Bygone Skills That You Need To Learn

There are plenty of skills that nearly everyone had when our grandparents were growing up that have been lost as society progresses. But should they all have died out? Just because you don’t always have to do things like purify water or hunt for your food doesn’t mean you won’t have to someday. Below are some great skills that preppers should pull out from the past and master now – in case you need them down the line.

 Skills from past genarations


  • Learn basic firearms repair (gunsmith) and start gathering parts for firearms that could be used. Parts for firearms will be a barter item, so do not discard anything, because someone may need the parts and would be willing to trade.
  • Sewing skills will be in demand at some point and while it may not be a lucrative endeavor you may be able to use those skills to barter for small items. If you can make clothes then that is a more advanced skill that would be more marketable during a crisis.
  • Knowing how to raise livestock and foods of course, will be needed if the crisis is an extended one. This takes knowledge and hands on experience. Simply gathering up the supplies is not enough. To be successful you would need practical experience behind you.

The Ability to Generate Electricity

Humans depend on electricity for almost everything in our lives, including cooking, heating and communication. Some people have the ability to create their own power by harnessing energy from the wind, water or sun. We don’t know what resources will be available after doomsday, so it is a good idea to have several ways to generate electricity available to you. Being able to create your own electrical generator and repair the generators of others is a very useful skill that will likely be highly coveted after doomsday.

The Ability to Purify Water

The human body can only survive for a couple of days without water. Water filtration systems will be vitally important after doomsday because nobody will know whether the water is still safe to drink until they have the time and equipment to run extensive tests. A portable water filtration system made from charcoal is an easy and convenient way to treat water before you drink it. These systems are small and can be stored easily.

If you don’t have access to a water filtration system, boiling your water is an effective way to make it safe for drinking. The water should be heated to boiling for at least 20 minutes to kill microorganisms and bacteria. It is equally important to make sure the water doesn’t become contaminated after you have purified it. The best way to prevent contamination is to keep all drinking water in closed containers and make sure that the containers are stored at least 70 feet from any existing water source or dwelling.
– via Bio Prepper

What are some skills you’re currently trying to learn?

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