Weird Things I Know How to Do, and You Should Too


Posted on : 10:54 AM | By : Anonymous | In :

I like to collect skills.  That's what I collect, just like those people who collect ceramic pigs and coins and old dolls.  Most of my skills tend to fall into self-reliance and survival, but all of them are incredibly useful, and everyone should have them.  How many points do you have? (1 point each)

1. The Heimlich Manuever - this is for choking, asthma and drowning

2. CPR - for the heart stopping

3. Rudimentary computer skills - email, word processing, and why you should have a Mac

4. Internet research - yes, this is a skill.  There are better ways to ask Google what you want, and you need to know where the information is and how to use Wikipedia.  I can find anything on the internet.

5. HTML - most people need to know some basic HTML code to use the internet effectively.  

6. Keeping your life private - it amazes me how much I can find on the internet about people.  I think I'll make a whole other post about this.  Suffice it to say you don't need to fill in every field on every form, or use your real email address.

7. Budgeting - I don't know anyone else personally who keeps a budget, and this scares me.  It's a very simple process of just keeping track of where it all goes, and then limiting those so that you don't spend more than you make.  The best way to do this is to get any software for your computer.  For Windows I recommend Microsoft Money, and for Mac hold out for Quicken 2009 which comes out early next year.

8.  Teaching someone to read - everyone should know how to teach someone else to read.  It's actually a very simple process that starts with phonics sounds and works its way up to reading words.  All you need is a set of letter flashcards (drawn on cut pieces of paper) and a big book.

9.  How to deliver a baby - even if you never get to practice this, watch a video of a birth, and read up on the basic technique (my book has step-by-step instructions too).

10.  Basic first aid - know how to stop bleeding, splint a fracture, treat a poisonous bite our sting, care for a serious burn, poisoning, deal with hypothermia and shock, etc.  The best way is to take Red Cross training or study books from the library.  

11.  Beyond first aid - what if you are too far from medical aid, and after first aid you have to deal with more problems long term?  Extra points if you know how to deal with infection, give stitches, treat an abscessed tooth, set a broken bone, fix a dislocation, etc.  My book has basic information on making suturing materials and how to give stitches too.  Military and survival field guides also may contain this information.

12.  Pressure points - learn some basic acupressure points for common discomforts.  These are powerful and easy.

13.  Plant identification - learn to identify local plants, poisonous, medicinal and edible.  This doesn't really need an explanation.

14.  Knitting - I am a slow impatient knitter, and I only learned about 2 years ago, but it's surprising how many useful things I've managed make from free and cheap yarn from thrift stores - hats, purses, water bottle insulation.  

15. Build a fire without matches - Small children can start a fire with a match.  Keep a flint with your gear and also learn how to make a bow drill fire starter (that video is awesome by the way - two little girls use a bow drill).  Then learn how to put out a fire the right way.  

16.  Basic sewing - you should know how to sew some basic things... bags and pillows using a needle and thread.  You should also know how to fix a tear, sew a patch, and sew on a button.  

17.  Solder wire - I have done this, and I'm not super great at it, but I know how to do it.  Great for repairing simple electronics like radios.

18.  Drive a stick - The best way to learn is to learn to drive on a manual.  About 20% of older vehicles are manual, and about 5% of newer ones, so if you find yourself in a dangerous situation and need to grab a car, you need to know how.

19. Grow food - Learn how to plant a seed, and learn some organic pest control methods.  Figure out what grows best in your climate.

20.  Tie knots - I can tie a square knot and a slip knot.  Sometimes it takes me a couple of times, but these two are the most useful ones to know and at least I can do it.

Things I don't know how to do, that you get bonus points for:
Change a tire (ok, I know how, I just have never had to do it.  A nice gentleman always does it for me, lol.)  
Tie a necktie (I'm dyslexic and I've tried to learn and I fail.  Miserably.)
Jumpstart a car (another one I've never had to do.)

Comments (2)

This is a fabulous list! I would perhaps add:

know how to take care of essential livestock;

know how to make lovely flatbreads (what with the percentage of protein in wheat likely to drop dramatically in the next year or two; and

know how to cook and bake outdoors.

I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading your book someday.


Regarding #6 'Keeping Your Life Private' one of the best things you can do is get a private mailing address and have all your mail redirected to your private mailbox.

Never receive any mail or packages at home. Always use your private address when anyone or anything requests your address.

Nothing worse then having some stranger show up on your doorstep.

I have been using them for 3+ years. Great service.

A really good book on the subject:

How to Be Invisible: The Essential Guide to Protecting Your Personal Privacy, Your Assets, and Your Life (Revised Edition)