10 Skills Female Preppers Should Have That Aren’t About Food
The niches of prepping and survival sometimes seem like a man’s world, what with all the guns, camo, and armchair warriors that proliferate in comments sections and forums. But you might be surprised to find out that recent demographics show that female preppers make up one-third of those who identify as prepared, and that number is growing.
Female Preppers Need Skills That Have Nothing to Do With Food
Now, a lot of folks look at female preppers and think that they spend most of their time in the garden or kitchen, raising food, preparing it, or preserving it. It’s true that women often do spend more of their preparedness time performing food-related tasks. But it would be doing female preppers a disservice to relegate them strictly to the kitchen.
Preparedness is all about self-reliance, and that has many factors. While there’s nothing wrong with traditional gender roles, you can’t always be assured of having someone else on which to depend. Everyone needs to have a balanced skillset. Women in the survival world need to know plenty of other skills that have nothing to do with food.
Lighting a Fire
How much practice have you had lighting fires? If you heat with wood, chances are this is a skill that comes pretty naturally to you. But if you don’t, you might be surprised to discover that it can be pretty challenging for newbies. Often, when families go camping, Dad gets the fire going and Mom sorts out the food. But female preppers need to learn to start fires, too.
Some things to note:
- Starting a fire in a woodstove is very different than starting a fire outdoors because you have to learn to manage the dampers and vents to keep your fire going.
- You need to learn how to start fires in difficult conditions, such as rainy or windy weather.
- You need to learn multiple different ways to start a fire. Look beyond matches and lighters at Ferro rods and magnesium fire steels.
- Of course, you also need to know how to safely put your fire out so that it doesn’t spread out of control.
One of the most important things that any prepper must learn is how to purify water for drinking. Water is near the top of our hierarchy of needs, but you can’t just go to the nearest creek, scoop some up with your hand, and expect to be fine.
Water that you acquire must be purified unless it comes straight from a natural spring. There are many different ways to purify water. Consider becoming comfortable with at least three methods: one for at home, one on the go, and one using improvised items.
Treating Traumatic Injuries
If you’re a mother, you’ve probably spent your fair share of time taking care of sick children (and adults, too, for that matter.) You have most likely mastered handling a fever, relieving pain, treating stings and bug bites, icing bruises, and tending to minor wounds.
In survival situations, however, you may face traumatic injuries that far exceed your Dr. Mom skills. That’s why it’s essential to learn all you can about treating traumatic injuries. Those same skills female preppers developed caring for childhood health issues provide a strong foundation for adding more advanced medical skills. See if your area has any of these courses:
Female Preppers Need to Learn Self-Defense
Being able to protect yourself from an attacker is an important skill for anyone. But there’s more to self-defense than a couple of clever moves and a concealed carry permit. Self-defense is a combination of skill, fitness, and the will to protect yourself.
Skills are certainly important so that you have an idea of what you’re doing. Female preppers need to play “what if” and go through potential scenarios.
You also need to develop a certain level of fitness. Practical self-defense classes, kickboxing, Ju Jitsu for ground defense, and Krav Maga (a personal favorite) can help you gain the skills you need, build your strength, and improve your cardiovascular capability. Pair your chosen activity with a daily walk or hike, and you will be far more prepared than most to protect yourself.
But possibly the most critical factor is the will to protect yourself. Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh, I could never actually shoot someone?” or “I couldn’t hurt another person?” That mindset is dangerous because, in a self-defense situation, you have to be determined to inflict as much damage as necessary to stop the threat, whether that means disabling an attacker briefly so you can flee or a fight with a different ending. Female preppers must adapt their mindset to be able to do whatever is necessary during a dangerous situation.
Creating a Shelter
If you were stranded somewhere, would you know how to create a shelter to protect yourself from the elements? This is an essential, potentially lifesaving skill. You can learn to erect elaborate lean-tos out of found materials, create something with a tarp, or simply use something like this heavy-duty hooded poncho. It will cover one person quite thoroughly if she tucks her arms inside the body of it.
What if you didn’t have any supplies with you? The woman in this video makes some really interesting survival shelters.
We rely so much on GPS for navigation that many people have no idea how to read a paper map. But that isn’t the only type of navigation you need to learn. You should also be able to use a topographical map and a compass.
A topographical map is used in places where there are no roads and uses geological elements (mountains, bodies of water, etc.) for navigation. Using a compass is practically a lost art, and you must make certain your compass is calibrated correctly. (Just say NO to those dinky little button compasses.) At the very least, a compass can keep you walking in a straight line instead of going around in circles.
Being able to harvest rainwater can help you to shelter in place for a lot longer than if you’re merely relying on what you have stored. Depending upon your climate, you may be able to harvest enough to supply most if not all of your needs.
There are a variety of ways to harvest rainwater. You can collect the runoff from your roof by directing your downspouts into barrels. Another option is simply having open vessels covered with screens to catch rainfall while keeping out debris. Here’s an article with a variety of different ways to harvest rainwater.
Using weapons doesn’t just mean learning how to shoot, although that is strongly recommended. Take the opportunity to learn to use as many different types of weapons as possible: guns, longbows, and crossbows are great additions to a woman’s arsenal. But don’t stop there.
The beauty of learning to use things like knives and batons is that those lessons can cross over into improvisation. As much as we’d like to be armed all of the time, that is becoming more and more difficult. Sometimes you have to use what is available. Once you know how to defend yourself using a knife, you can apply the same principles to any sharp item, from a pair of household scissors to a shard of broken glass. The same thing goes with the use of a police baton. A blunt instrument is a blunt instrument. While the improvised versions may not be quite as efficient as the original, using the knowledge of where and how to strike with a weapon can carry over and help you to launch a successful defense.
Tying knots is a skill you can practice for almost no money while sitting around relaxing after dinner. Why do you need to learn how to tie knots?
There are so many survival uses. You can use them to secure a shelter, to corral an unruly person, to keep something from blowing away in a storm, when climbing, in boating, or to tie something to your method of transportation.
Here are 5 of the most important survival knots to learn.
Female Preppers Need to Learn About Outdoor Survival
Many of the skills already mentioned relate to outdoor survival. But there’s more to it than just creating a shelter or finding your way through the forest. Learning to survive outdoors means knowing how to locate and purify water. You have to know how to find edibles, stay warm, and avoid becoming prey. When you are in the wilderness, you may find that you are somewhere in the middle of the food chain. As humans, we are more accustomed to being apex predators. Learning to track can help you know exactly what’s out there with you, and you can reverse the skill so that you make yourself more difficult to find.
Outdoor survival skills can keep you alive if you become stranded due to an accident, if you have to flee a pursuer on foot, or if you get lost while hiking. Those are just a few examples. A wonderful bonus to learning outdoor survival skills is that it’s just plain fun.
What Skills Do You Think Female Preppers Should Learn?
In all honesty, the skills recommended for female preppers are ones that I would recommend for any prepper. They’re on this list because women often overlook them since they’re things that the men in their lives handle. But one cannot always depend on being with her partner during an emergency. If you want to be as prepared as possible, it’s essential to learn to do these things for yourself.
Articles about preparedness for women tend to focus on skills like gardening, food preservation, cooking, sewing, herbalism, and inevitably, how to deal with menstrual periods without tampons. Limiting yourself to only skills that women traditionally perform can hinder your ability to survive.
What other skills do you think female preppers should learn that aren’t generally included in lists for women? Share your thoughts in the comments.