Think you know what it takes to survive when SHTF? What about long-term, when survival is not a matter of days or weeks but months and years? That’s where Amish wisdom becomes essential.
The art of long-term survival is a challenge for most preppers because it’s hard to fully anticipate the reality. We spend as much time as we can in the wilderness, putting in our practice hours for TEOTWAWKI, but the time we have is limited.
Our jobs and lives back on the grid always come calling eventually. For the Amish, that’s not a problem.
The Amish are a unique and special community who have built a whole way of life on self-reliance. They avoid most forms of modern technology, choosing to drive horses rather than cars. They generate their own electricity, if they use it at all. Even indoor plumbing is a luxury that’s forbidden by some affiliations. When the grid goes down, institutions close and money becomes obsolete, day to day life for the Amish won’t be much different.
The Amish see the value in living off the land in a sustainable way. They put family and community first. Instead of putting their faith in governmental structures and high-tech devices, they rely on shared responsibility and hard work to get things done. They know what’s truly important: the people we love and the things we can make and do with our own hands. It’s a mindset and a way of life which all of us can aspire to.
Every prepper should have a handle on Amish traditions and techniques. Here’s our rundown of eight lost skills you simply have to know.
1. Garden And Grow For Food And Health
Growing your own produce is a great first step in living an off-the-grid lifestyle. All you need is a patch of land and some seeds to get started. Learn how to grow staple foods like cereals, as these can be stored in bulk for long periods of time. Like the Amish, you should be growing not only for food but also for medicinal purposes. Your herb garden should include natural remedies for short-term injuries like burns and bee-stings as well as for long-term ailments.
2. Can And Preserve For The Long Term
Selling canned goods, home-made jams and pickles is something the Amish are famous for. Learn their ways for an efficient, low-cost food-storage solution that also reduces waste: you’ll never have to throw away any over-ripe fruit again. While you’re at it, learn how to smoke and salt meat and fish. This will be vital when hunting is on the cards and refrigeration is not an option.
3. Know The Lay Of Your Land
In order to live off the land as the Amish do, you need to know it like the back of your hand. You should know which produce can be grown successfully in your soil type and climate. You should be aware of the closest running water source. You should be able to positively identify local fungi and berries. You should also know which types of wood grow near you and how different types of wood behave. Know which wood is best for building fires and which wood is most weatherproof.
4. Harness Alternative Energy
The Amish make the most of solar, wind and water energy. They use these sustainable energy sources to power the few modern devices they allow, like refrigerators for example. Not to mention, sustainable energy allows them quick warm water and lights at night. Amenities like these may not always be essential to survival but can make all the difference between positivity and despair. As all survivalists know, winning the mental game is half the battle.
5. Use Horse Power
To the Amish, a horse is not a pet or a friend but a crucial piece of equipment. In a survival situation, owning horses is even more important than owning livestock. Horses allow for travel without fuel, carrying heavy goods and operating traditional machinery like ploughs. Without them, any serious farming off-grid is simply impossible. Knowing how to clean, train and care for your horse is both responsible and wise for the long-term.
6. Get Skilled in Carpentry
Woodwork isn’t just about making pretty furniture. It’s a vital skill if you want to build your own long-term shelter or carry out essential repairs to roofs and doors. It’s also a must if you need to fortify your structure and keep others out. Learn how to prep lumber and cut joints by using manual tools like hand planes and hacksaws, both Amish essentials. A lathe won’t get you very far when power is in short supply.
7. Stop Calling The Pros
The only person you need to fix anything is you. The Amish certainly don’t call plumbers out every time they have a problem. Master all common household repairs as well as more complex work like plastering and roofing. Amish communities are also home to accomplished blacksmiths and tanners. Like carpentry, these skills will be in high demand when society is rebuilding. Your skills might become your way to earn a living.
8. Make Do And Mend
Sewing and mending clothes are important skills in a survival scenario. The items you have in your closet won’t last forever and if you bug out you won’t be able to take them with you. The Amish sew all their own clothes by hand. They don’t believe in owning a lot of clothes at once, as this is seen as a sign of vanity, so every item is made to last. Hand sewing is also especially useful when it comes to shelter-making and devising dressings for injuries.
You won’t be able to do adopt an Amish lifestyle overnight, but that’s not the idea. Adapt to this new mindset step by step, committing fully to learning each new skill and achieving a mastery you can take pride in. That way, when SHTF, you’ll be ready for the long-haul.