People should really turn their gaze away from modern survival thinking for a bit and look how the guys who crossed the West 150 or 150 years ago did it.

It’s one thing to prepare for a temporary catastrophe like an earthquake or a hurricane. It is quite another thing to prepare for a long-term disaster that will paralyze the electricity grid, communication systems and transport networks. Without these, we would basically live again in the 1800s.

The modern world has made life so easy that it is simply not necessary to learn pioneering skills. But if we have a big disaster, that will change quickly. Below is a list of 17 lost survivor skills that are worth learning to be truly prepared for the end of the world as we know it. If your ancestors learned these skills, then so are you.

1. Sewing
Sewing garments by hand becomes the norm as shopping malls and department stores are a thing of the past. You need to know how to use a needle and a thread and create patterns. In addition, you need to know how to sew buttons and apply patches to clothing as needed.

2. Community – We should not stay isolated forever. There are many skills we can learn from each other. Nothing will help people to survive more than a close community looking after their members. In this community you will find different skills, access to different resources and an improvement of mental morality. Finding others with the same mindset will help you survive in the long term and make the situation much more bearable than defying the dark ages alone.

3. Making soap
The production of soap will prove useful if the supply of soap leaks or is destroyed. You do not want to endanger your health by not being able to wash your hands regularly. In addition, you will feel much more comfortable if you can clean yourself from time to time.

4.Stockpiling wood and keeping warm was a chore in winter. The only thing people had to burn was wood. There was a pile of wood or a woodshed that was connected to almost every house. In early Texas there were no iron stoves – they arrived late in the Republic. Heat came from a fireplace, and it was generally not very effective. On the Rio Grande, especially in the poorer areas, there were no fire pits in houses. This is because Spain and later Mexico taxed chimneys. These people cooked outside. Because they were mostly built of mud bricks, their house walls were very thick, so even a small fire would keep the room pretty warm. In the summer, going into a properly built mud brick house is like going into a cave. They stay cool even on the hottest days.

5. Gunsmithing
Gunsmithing is a skill that will not only ensure that your weapons are in good condition, but can also become your craft in a post-collapse world. Learn the inner workings of different types of weapons and what it takes to fix them.

6. Brain Tanning Leather – Learn how to skinnish a deer, deburring, stretching, drying, scratching, soaking, brain tanning and then smoking the skin to become waterproof. Deer skins, horse skins, Coon skins – were used for almost everything, and rawhide was very useful. It used to be called “Mexican iron”. The stuff is as stiff as a plank, but when you put it in boiling water for a while, it becomes pliable. You can then use it instead of nails to tie the stringer of a corral to the posts. If it dried, it would shrink and keep the stringers as good as nails.

7. Mostly clothes were handmade on the border. Almost any substance source could be used for making shirts or dresses. One of the reasons why flour sacks were made from patterned fabric for many years was the fact that women gathered them to make shirts or dresses for themselves, their husbands and their children. I remember when I was a kid, farm ladies with white flour sacks to make kids underwear.

Read the review of the The Lost Ways, by Claude Davis,  a book full of ancient survival techniques that allowed our ancestors to survive in the most challenging conditions.