50 Practical Skills Everyone Needs to Know

50 Practical Skills Everyone Needs to Know

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Some people seem to think that prepping is all about stockpiling food and ammunition and waiting for the end of the world. This is not me. But really, prepping is just about trying to be prepared for any situation. Whether you’re dealing with a natural disaster or a societal collapse, there are some practical skills everyone should know.

What are Practical Skills?

Practical skills are those that help us to get things done in everyday life. They are skills that are useful for solving problems and achieving goals. Many of the things we take for granted, such as cooking food, using tools and appliances, and driving a car require practical skills. 

Practical skills can be divided into three broad categories: physical skills, mental skills, and interpersonal skills. Physical skills involve the use of our bodies and our hands to perform tasks. Mental skills involve the use of our minds to remember information or to solve problems. Interpersonal skills involve the ability to communicate effectively with others. All of these skills are important for leading a productive and successful life. 

Practical skills can be learned through formal education, but they can also be learned through personal experience and trial and error. The best way to learn practical skills is to put them into practice in everyday life. With time and practice, they will become second nature.

50 Practical Skills Everyone Needs to Know

50 Practical Skills

It’s a fact that we all need to know certain skills in order to survive. Whether you’re a prepper or not, it’s important to have some basic survival skills under your belt. Here are 50 practical skills that everyone should know.

Outdoor Skills

  1. Gardening– Learn what, where, and when to plant your garden according to your location and your personal preferences of what you like to eat.
  2. Hunting- If you want to provide some or all of the meat from the wild in your meal planning, it’s important to know how to hunt.
  3. Fishing– Not only is fishing a great way to get food, but it can also be a relaxing hobby.
  4. Tracking– Knowing how to read tracks can help you find prey, avoid predators, and navigate your way back home.
  5. Prune plants & trees- This is a useful skill for keeping your garden healthy, productive, and neat in appearance.
  6. Building a fire– Whether you’re trying to stay warm, cook a meal, or signal for help, being able to build a fire is essential.
  7. Identify edible plants– In case you find yourself stranded in the wild, it’s important to know which plants are safe to eat.
  8. Orienteering– This skill can help you find your way if you ever get lost.
  9. Building a shelter- If you’re stuck outdoors overnight or in the heat of day, knowing how to build a shelter can mean the difference between life and death.
  10. Water purification– Whether you’re dealing with contaminated water or just wanting to save some money versus buying bottled water, it’s important to know how to purify water.
  11. Compost– Did you know that you can turn your food and yard waste into valuable fertilizer?
  12. Knots– There are many different types of knots and each has a specific purpose. Learning how to tie them can be useful in a variety of situations.
  13. Rope work– From lashing together a makeshift raft to building a shelter, there are many uses for rope.
  14. Store rainwater– Collecting rainwater is a great way to conserve water.
Read More of My Articles  Emergency Essentials Every Child Needs

Indoor Skills

  1. Cooking from scratch– With this skill, you’ll be able to cook anything from a gourmet meal to survival food.
  2. Baking– Baked goods are always a welcome treat, whether you’re at home or camping.
  3. Canning– This is a great way to preserve food for later.
  4. Sewing– Knowing how to sew can come in handy for making your own clothes, making fabric repairs, and making alterations as needed.
  5. Carpentry– This skill can be used for everything from building furniture to fixing a leaky roof.
  6. Dehydrate Food– This is a great way to preserve food for later. In the picture below I have cinnamon and plain dehydrated apples.
  7. Grind wheat–  If you want to be prepared for a societal collapse, it’s important to know how to grind wheat so you can make flour.
  8. Butchering– If you hunt or raise livestock, knowing how to butcher animals is a valuable skill.
  9. Candle making– Candles are not only useful for light, but also for heat and emergency signals.
  10. Cook without electricity– If the power goes out, you’ll still be able to cook with this skill and the right equipment.
  11. Generate electricity– If you have a generator, you can use it to power your home, or even barter or sell electricity to your neighbors.
  12. Store food for emergencies– You should have at least a 2 week supply of food and water for every member of your household, but I recommend more. 
Dehydrated Apples

Sanitary Skills

  1. Make your own soap– This is a useful skill for both everyday use and emergencies. It can also save you money.
  2. Wash clothes by hand– In a pinch, you can wash your clothes without a machine.
  3. Laundry– You should know how to do laundry by hand and with a regular washing machine.
  4. Cleaning– Knowing how to clean properly can help you keep your home clutter-free and sanitary.
Read More of My Articles  Buy or Die: Things to Store for Emergencies

Health Skills

  1. Basic first aid– Everyone should know how to administer basic first aid in case of an emergency.
  2. Learn natural remedies–  There are many plants and herbs that can be used for medicinal purposes.
  3. Make your own medicine– This is a great way to save money and avoid side effects. Use caution!
  4. Essential oils– These can be used for a variety of purposes, such as relaxation, first aid, and cleaning.
  5. Use honey-Honey has many uses, including as a natural sweetener, medicine, and skincare product.
  6. Make herbal tea– This is a great way to relax and enjoy the benefits of medicinal plants.

Safety Skills

  1. Self-defense– Knowing how to defend yourself can help you stay safe in dangerous situations.
  2. Firearms safety– If you own a gun, it’s important to know how to handle it safely. If there are guns in your home, all family members need to be trained.
  3. Prevent home accidents– By taking some simple precautions, you can avoid accidents in your home.
  4. Evacuate safely– In case of an emergency, it’s important to know how to evacuate safely. Plan for things like fires, floods, heavy winds, etc. 

DIY Skills

  1. Basic car maintenance– This is a useful skill for keeping your car running smoothly and avoiding breakdowns.
  2. Change a tire–  Everyone should know how to change a tire in case of a flat.
  3. Jump-start a car– If your battery is totally drained, you’ll be glad you know how to jump-start a car.
  4. Basic home repairs– From fixing a leaky faucet, patching a hole in the wall, to unclogging a drain, there are many simple repairs you can do yourself.
  5. Homemade cleaning products–  These are a great way to save money and avoid harsh chemicals.
  6. DIY laundry soap– This is a great way to save money and avoid using harsh chemicals.
DIY Laundry Detergent

Entertainment Skills

  1. Board games– These are a great way to pass the time and have fun with family and friends.
  2. Card games– These are a great way to pass the time and have fun with family and friends.
  3. Chess– This is a great game for exercising your mind. It’s also a great way to pass the time if you don’t have electricity. 
  4. Puzzles– These are a great way to pass the time and exercise your brain. The whole family can enjoy a puzzle together. 
  5. How to tan hides and do leatherwork

Final Word

Prepping isn’t just about stocking food and water. There are many practical skills that everyone should know. By learning them, you can be prepared for many challenges life throws your way.

What practical skills do you feel we need to learn that I haven’t listed? Let me know in the comments below! May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Sewing Machine AdobeStock_132655233 by Maybeiii

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  1. Great list. Between Larry and me, we can do all of these. I’m so glad. He built a shop after we moved here and it’s built similar to the house. He knows wiring and plumbing and everything. He even did that chain wall for the underpinning.

    1. Hi Deborah, that’s really a blessing to know all of these skills. Not very many people are mechanically inclined. My husband is one of them. Thank goodness we have my son-in-law. Life is good when we have skills! Linda

  2. Quilting! It’s a skill women have had for generations to be able to take fabric or even old clothes and make them into a warm blanket. You can quilt by hand if needed or with a machine. You can stitch it together or tie it with yarn (with the correct knot) to hold the two pieces of fabric and batting together. I can do small to medium blankets with my machine. It has become a favorite hobby to take a pattern, fabric, and make something beautiful to treasure.

    1. Kay, I am also a quilter and have several quilts my grandmother and great-grandmother made. I also sew garments and do mending on the husbands work clothes. He gave me a treadle machine for my birthday one year, so I can sew when the power is out! Also knit, crochet, cook and can the food from our garden. Husband has the green thumb, however!

      1. Paula, That is wonderful! What a great feeling to have those skills! I wish I had quilts from my ancestors like that – you are so blessed! I got a treadle machine too and love knowing I can sew if the power is out. I made sure it was in good working order and bought extra bobbins. I wish my mother was alive to teach me the knack of using it though. It will take some practice if I ever need to use it permanently. 😉 Meantime it makes a lovely decoration LOL.

    2. Hi Kay, Oh I love to quilt! My sister bought a long arm and now does her own machine quilting. We used to take our quilts to a store in Southern Utah to have them quilted then we would bind them. It really is a fun and very rewarding skill! Great reminder!! Linda

  3. Balance in all things.
    Skills and Supplies
    Stockpiles but also Training
    The most common “prepper” mistake is thinking you can buy your way outta stuff

    Watching a YouTube but having smooth hands ain’t gonna cut it

    1. Hi Matt, you nailed it again! I’ve been working on making bread in a thermal cooker. The post will go live this week, hopefully. I can use a thermal cooker to make just about anything but the bread took two tries. If people have prepper cooking tools or whatever they stock, I sure hope they practice using them before they need to use them. I have friends with Sun Ovens that haven’t taken them out of the box. I have shown people how easy they are to use BUT you have to want to use them. Don’t be afraid of taking your items OUT OF THE BOXES. I totally agree I think a few people think they can BUY your way out of anything. It’s not going to happen….Linda

  4. This isn’t a skill, but if you believe that tough times are coming, have all your health things up to date. Make sure you get a good prescription for glasses, and if you need them hearing aids.

    1. Hi Janet, oh this is a good one. I always get two pairs of prescription glasses because I can’t be without at least one pair. Hearing aids are another great one. It really is an important part of being prepared in our lives, whether health or cooking devices. Great reminder, Linda

  5. Wow! I know alot! Hahaha! I hadn’t realized I knew as much as I did. I grew up on a ranch, know about animal husbandry, hunting (I can gut it, skin it and butcher it), fishing (yup, can clean ’em too), built our house with my husband (who can fix/build most anything-civil engineers are reeeeal handy!), know a ton of medical skills, can delivery a baby, can cook, bake, sew, quilt, change a tire, jump a car, fill fluids (but that’s about it!), make my own laundry soap, oh! I’ve never made candles tho! There are some real good suggestions here, Linda, that I need to work on! I know nothing about ropes/rope making/knots. I rely on my husband for that. We’re getting older so we’ll need younger help with alot of the heavy stuff. I’ve never split cordwood but I can sure stack it! That’s where our grandson comes in handy. He’s still young enough to think all the hard work is fun!

    PS. Got another section of the basement cleaned up! Woo hoo!

    1. Hi Robbie, you are so lucky, my friend! Thank goodness for grandsons and sons-in-law. Here’s the deal, we all need a team, or whatever you want to call it. We all bring something to the table. You can always tell at neighborhood parties who YOU would want on your team at least as far as their work ethic. Setting up stuff, cleaning up stuff, etc. It’s called teamwork. Yay, for another section of the basement is cleaned up!! I love it! Linda

  6. Linda, I completely agree with Matt’s comment, but I would add learning how to tan hides and do leatherwork to the skills list. The most important tool anyone has is their brain.

    We prep because it is our duty to keep our families safe.

  7. I need to put a lot of these on my list. I have been trying to get some of the things but my daughter always forgets to go to the toy department to check them out. I know last year I checked out the prices and I could not believe the prices. I am hoping I can find some at yard sales or resale shops or find them on sale.

      1. Hi Jackie, it’s so hard on everyone’s budget now to stock up. The price of food and groceries, I do not know how people are feeding their families. It’s so hard. Linda

    1. Hi Jackie, I hear you on the prices going higher and higher. I don’t expect to see anything come down in price the next few years. Hopefully, we can even get the products we need. Linda

  8. Linda, just getting around to this and that is quite a list! One thing that is missing is to learn to barter. It’s not common for one person to be good at all things, however, if you know how to barter you can trade your skills with someone who has skills that you may not have.

    For example, I cannot sew and quite honestly the only thing lower than my sewing skills is my desire to learn. However, I can cook over an open fire, babysit and other things. My husband can build a log cabin and build furniture, plus he can repair electronical items. We could trade the skills we have with someone who is skilled at sewing and loves to do it.

    1. Hi Topaz, you. are so right! This is just a list, but it makes us all think about things we may be able to do or learn how to do. I can sew and make bread but I do not know how to fix a carburetor. Yes, in fact, we can barter so many of these skills. I have written several articles on bartering. Great reminder, thank you! Linda

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