As our society has modernized, our self-sufficiency has diminished. The "Jack of all trades" has become a relic and "specialization" is not only the new norm, it's expected in most fields. Becoming a specialist makes sense in a highly functioning society. When each of us is adding our own special element to the system, the gears run smoothly and when they're all turning like they're supposed to, our economy thrives and society benefits from increased efficiency and productivity.
However, our reliance on the smooth sailing modern society becomes clear when bits and pieces slow down or grind to a halt. Our complacency becomes obvious when the system shows itself to be more vulnerable than we'd like to think. The corona virus is a good example of how something so small (literally microscopic) can jam up the system, disrupting day to day activities and creating ripple effects across the world.
There is a movement happening that has been gaining traction through the years. Around the world, people are moving away from reliance on infrastructure, which some see as a house of cards, and towards self-reliance. Home-steaders, survivalists, and preppers have been practicing skills that many see as antiquated and long forgotten, but others see as tried and true, even critically important.
We, at Tickled Dragon Forge, are not "dooms-dayers." We don't subscribe to the theory that the end of the world is coming soon or that we will all be living in Mad Max times. We have too much faith in the goodness of mankind. But we do believe that being prepared for emergency situations, and having useful skills for worst-case scenarios is a smart practice.
There are obvious skills surrounding preparedness such as hunting, gathering, farming, shelter-building and basic first aid. But there are some skills that are under-estimated such as food preservation, tool-making, sewing, blacksmithing and welding.
Blacksmithing is often overlooked, but is a critical survival skill. There is a reason there was a blacksmith in every town across the world up until 150 years ago. Before factories and line-manufacturing there was blacksmithing. Blacksmiths were responsible for the fabrication and repair of tools, farming equipment, knives, even firearms. Blacksmiths were essential to everyday life.
If you are looking to decrease your reliance on infrastructure, and pick up a useful SHTF skill, blacksmithing is a great one to learn. Hands-on training under the tutelage of a knowledgeable instructor is the quickest way to develop any skill, but this is especially true for blacksmithing. Consider learning with us if you are near the San Antonio area.
What do you think is an underestimated skill? What are your thoughts?