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Important Trades For Survival



Feature | Man busy for crafting | Important Trades for Survival

What will you do once the big event has passed and we're living in a post-SHTF world? Go into survival mode by learning these trade skills!

RELATED: 19 “Old World” Primitive Survival Skills You’ll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

Trade Skills for Optimum SHTF Survival


Carpenter crafting wood | Important Trades for Survival

When we can't all run out to the store for what we need, craftspeople will become invaluable to society. This includes carpenters as our needs will no longer be met by the chain furniture stores so utilized today.

Considering our access to electricity will depend on exactly what kind of event happens, having the ability to practice carpentry without modern tools is probably a good idea as well.

Learning the old-school methods and getting your hands on the more traditional carpentry tools is the best way to ensure your craft will be useful no matter what happens.

If you have the tools and skills to build survival equipment in a post-event society, you and your product will be highly sought after.

Gunsmithing and Ammunition Production

Many people believe that after the event, the government will take more control over their people, greatly limiting our access to guns and ammunition. Even if this weren't to occur, a lack of access to industrialized processes will bring the gun manufacturing industry to a halt.

This will lead to a huge demand for gun repairs and homemade ammunition. Learning gunsmithing will keep you in demand and your arsenal stocked no matter what happens. We may not know the future, but we know that folks will always want guns!

Household Product Manufacturing

Homemade milk soap | Important Trades for Survival

Yet again, a skill that will be useful to replace our reliance on the stores we use today. Household items like detergent, soaps, and cleaners will always be necessities.

So few people know how to make these items even though so many of us rely on them. These aren't particularly difficult things to make, but knowing how to do it, no matter how simple, makes all the difference in the world.

Learning this relatively easy trade will have you way ahead after the SHTF.

RELATED: 37 Urban Survival Skills To Master Before SHTF

Survival Supplies: Fruit, Vegetable, Seed Production

Planting seeds in small tray | Important Trades for Survival

It's easy to see why gardening will be of huge importance in a post-collapse world. People will certainly be looking to buy fresh food, but potentially even more importantly, they will need seeds.

Learning how to produce and store seeds would be a hugely marketable skill. Expanding the size of your plot to prepare for larger production is a great idea for those looking to produce excess crops.

This skill and preparation will keep your family fed in more ways than one.

Electronics Repair

So we may or may not have widespread access to electricity when the SHTF, but people will almost certainly still want and need to use some sort of electronics no matter what happens. Learning some basic electronics and wiring skills can be surprisingly helpful with all sorts of different electronics.

Being able to fix televisions, radios, telephones, and even kitchen appliances can be a great skill for the post-event.


Watch this video by Primitive Technology and find out how you can build a patch and grow sweet potatoes and yam vines:

With any or all of these four skills, you'll be in good shape in a post-event world. Once you make it through the survival situation, that's when the real test starts.

With this know-how, you'll be able to help yourself and other survivors after SHTF. For even more information, check out the full article.

What can you say about these SHTF survival skills? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on May 26, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Saltporkdoc

    May 26, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    You forgot EMT, RN, MD.
    While RN and/or MD may well be beyond the average person or be pushing the time envelope, EMT/Paramedic training is possible and will be invaluable.
    I also recommend collecting and studying as much as possible in the area of natural and homeopathic medicines.

    • medic23920

      May 26, 2014 at 10:47 PM

      I see every “prepper” blog on the Internet recommend “EMT/Paramedic training” for TSHTF event(s)… As a Paramedic, unless you’re going to WORK IN THE FIELD it is not anymore useful than learning from books or the Internet. You will not likely have access to the ambulance/meds on it after the ball drops. Trauma is NOT that hard to treat in the prehospital setting (if it requires surgery to fix, paramedic or not, they’re screwed). Medical ailments are treated either with those ambulance meds, or with herbs (EMT/Paramedic will not go into much on those). Besides, the amount of classroom and clinical hours to devote to this as a (presumably) “volunteer” (even after TSHTF) is ridiculous. A Medical/First Responder class is more realistic, unless EMS *truly* appeals to you as it did me. Not being hateful or flaming, simply an opinion from a current practice street medic, y’all. Thanks.

      • Laura

        June 29, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        As a former paramedic, I concur. BLS, First Responder, are all good. Anything more and you really need to work in the field.

    • Robert

      June 29, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      Good post. EVERYONE should have basic first aid if not EMT level 1 training. I am already seeing medical care in this county reverting back to pre WWII levels. People are graduating High School with almost zero knowledge of basic hygiene and first aid. Knowing how to treat a simple cut or abrasion may save your life or someone else.

  2. Joe124

    May 27, 2014 at 6:40 PM

    Let’s not forget welding and general blacksmith knowledge 🙂

    • Genn

      October 12, 2018 at 6:52 AM

      It would seem that everyone forgets blacksmiths, and when shift does happen how are people gonna fix those broken tools.

  3. BigJon

    May 27, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    I would add high-proof distilled spirits making. You will be the most popular person around and want for nothing. It also has medical use.

    • Robert

      June 29, 2014 at 8:29 PM

      Yes indeed. My ancestors raised this skill to an art form. Growing medicinal herbs may be a good idea too.

    • William

      December 29, 2017 at 5:39 PM

      I agree whole heatedly, as you said it has has medicinal value as well as recreational value. With it you’ll want for nothing, as everyone will be wanting to ‘knock the edge off’. Same with certain natural herbs, they will be worth they’re weight in gold. It also having a medicinal value, and recreational value. To me these two items will be sought after as much or more then the others mentioned. Also One who has the skill set and material to create certain other recreational medicines might fare way better then all.
      Time will tell……..

  4. Josh

    May 28, 2014 at 2:38 PM

    I believe that sewing will be a good thing to know as well. For men and women. It seems today that it is a dying art and would be very useful in a post SHTF world.

  5. mixplix

    June 1, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    Keep a pair of welders gloves in your vehicle. You’ll be able to handle broken glass, very hot items, and be insulated from electric shock during an emergency. A used pair work the best and there’s no need to break them in.

    • Bill Mc Caslin

      October 12, 2018 at 10:59 AM

      Welders gloves ARE NOT the same as high voltage gloves, an can conduct thru the leather with sweat, really bad idea to try that.

    • Anonymous

      March 11, 2019 at 11:25 PM

      Welders gloves are inexpensive too as they are produced in such huge quantities. The cuffs protect your wrists and much of your forearms from cuts & abrasions.

  6. Crystal

    June 29, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Sewing, crocheting, knitting, food preparation, canning, etc. I’d put these “trades” in this group as well.

  7. Robert

    June 29, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    Do you wish to survive or prosper? Quit thinking of “survival” per se and focus on prospering and doing well. Along those lines I agree with the poster who mentioned making booze. Add tobacco growing, food preservation including smoking meats, basic construction skills, trapping, fish trapping, and gardening. Another thing to keep in mind for you seriously independent types: you do not and will not have all the skills needed to survive, much less prospering. You will need a community. Some hand skills like simple sewing are so fundamental they should go unmentioned, as is cooking, canning, pickling, etc. It all boils down to LEARN TO USE YOUR HANDS!

  8. Sara

    July 21, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    Tanners and cobblers. Most of the shoes people wear are plastic, they break, wear out and the glue fails. Zippered boots may be quick to put on but those zippers break leaving you bootless.
    Knowing how to tan animal hides, and then turn that into shoes will be in the top ten of needed skills.

  9. Julie

    September 22, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Add to list:

    Fiber Arts: Spinning, weaving, knitting, quilting and sewing.

    Automotive and smalll engine repair: along with understanding of retrofitting for biofeedback like vegetable oil.

    EMERGENCY medicine and dentistry knowledge: Not a degree but knowledge of anatomy and basic wound care. Wilderness first aid classes come to mind. Possibly midwifery as well.

    Foraging skills: I know I don’t know enough to confidently forage berries, mushrooms, roots and plants to eat.

  10. Dana

    October 21, 2014 at 6:01 PM

    Bear in mind with the making of household products (soap, etc.) that after the SHTF you may not have access to things like baking soda. So you’re going to have to think NOW about ways to make soaps and detergents and so on that don’t require those pre-boxed inputs. You can still make soap, you’ll just have to figure out how to do it with tallow and wood ash. Olive oil and coconut oil will be pretty much completely out of the question.

    Same goes with clothing-making. For a while we could get by with recycling all this surplus junk clothing lying around. Eventually someone’s going to have to produce fiber again, though, and spin it and (if necessary) ply it.

    These four skills mentioned here are vital ones but think about all the other little things that make your life more pleasant–how would you replace them? I was thinking in those terms about my hairbrush the other day. Right now I’m at the conclusion that I’d have to cut my hair very, very short (how do you make scissors? Guess at some point we’d make do with knives) and make do with a comb, which at least I could whittle. A hairbrush? No idea. They make them all in China now. I tried to look up instructions for making one on Google the other day and… pretty much nothing.

    • Diana D

      November 22, 2017 at 5:15 AM

      Youcojuld make a hairbrush of sorts out of teazles, like they used in the ‘olden days’ to process fleeces for spinning into yarn. The teazles were set into a block of wood by drilling little holes and pushing the stem ends in. I saw this n a wool museum in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England.

  11. Had

    February 6, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    Ammunition production went on the list but no medical profession did? Let me guess, you’re American?

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  13. Jeanie Wood

    June 11, 2018 at 5:21 PM

    This one is for the girls (guys too but girls are generally a little more vain! Another skill that will be valuable is the knowledge of hair cutting. It is a skill that is not only necessary but will make us all feel better if we look better.

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