This was originally posted in Oct. 2017 by the author at Mason Dixon Tactical.
I was recently going through an old journal I kept when I was a young Survivalist (15 years old), and I came across a self assessment test that I apparently thought was important enough to write out verbatim in 1985 (I decided to re-write it in a Word format now). I have copied what I had written in the journal here for your own perusal and use. It was originally put out by a company called “Safety City” of Washington D.C.. I tried to find out if they still existed, but all attempts at googling that business showed nothing available. Some people think that if it’s not the latest and greatest info (this is 33 years old), it is “obviously” sub par. Think what you will, but I challenge you to come up with a more exhaustive generalized skills and equipment checklist. Enjoy.
A: HOME MANAGEMENT/HANDICRAFTS
- Home Water Purification/Storage
- Food Processing/Canning/Dehydrating/Storage
- Hand Powered Home/Kitchen Appliances
- Nutrition/Home Economics
- Soaps/Candle Making
- Home Product Chemistry/Formulation Process
- Home Energy/Resource Conservation
B: HOME BACK-UP SYSTEMS
- Back-Up Home heating Systems
- Back-Up Home Lighting Systems
- Back-Up Range/Cooking Systems
- Back-Up Home Water Heating/Pressure Systems
- Back-Up Food Refrigeration/Freezing Systems
- Back-Up Home Electrical Systems
- Back-Up Home Waste Disposal/Composting
- Back-Up Communication/Signaling Systems
- First Aid
- Non-Prescription Drugs/Medications
- Paramedical Skills
- Medical Lab Technology
- Paradental Skills
- Dentistry/Oral Surgery
- Public Health/Epidemiology
- Medicinal Herbs/Plants
- Natural/Folk Medicine
D: FOOD PRODUCTION
- Greenhouse Construction/Use
- Fruit Tree/Small Orchard Cultivation
- Small Animal Husbandry
- Farmstead Operation/Maintenance/Management
- Hand Tools Use/Maintenance
- Wood Cutting Equipment/Skills
- Bicycle Maintenance/Repair
- Small Engine Maintenance/Repair
- Auto/Truck Maintenance/Repair
- Home Appliance Repair
- Home Electrical System Repair/Maintenance
- Wood/Coal Stove Design/Fabrication
- Rope/Cable/Rigging Skills
- Well Drilling/Pumping Systems
- Trailer/RV/Mobile Home/Design/Fabrication
- Construction/Cabins/Sheds/Domes/Field Expedient Structures
- Shoemaking/Shoe Repair
F: ENERGY SYSTEMS
- Wood/Coal Energy Systems
- Solar Energy-Passive/Active Systems/Photovotaics
- Wind Energy/Voltaics
- Alcohol Fuel Production
- Liquid Propane Energy Systems
- Steam Power Systems
- Water Power Systems/Hydraulics
- Pedal Power Systems
G: OUTDOOR LIVING/PIONEERING
- Backpacking/Camping Skills
- Foraging/Wilderness Survival
- Hunting Skills
- Fishing Skills
- Open Water/Deep Sea Survival
- Search/Rescue Procedures
H: SECURITY/SELF-/HOME-DEFENSE SKILLS
- Home Security/Defense Systems
- Individual/Small-Group Defensive Tactics
- Personal Protection/Combat Skills
- Rifle Skills
- Pistol/Revolver Skills
- Shotgun Skills
- Non-Lethal Weapons/Defensive Skills
- Scouting/Patrol Skills
- Improvised Fortification Systems
- Lethal Weapons/Firearms Safety/Discipline/Responsibility
- Firearms Marksmanship
- Gunsmithing/Firearms Repair
- Blackpowder Firearms Skills
- Crossbow/Tomahawk/Blowgun Skills
- Edged Weapon Skills/Knife Fighting
I: EVACUATION, MOBILE SURVIVAL/RETREAT SYSTEMS
- Backpack Systems
- Bicycle Systems
- Motorcycle Systems
- Canoe/Small Boat Systems
- Automobile/Truck Systems
- Four Wheel Drive Vehicle Systems
- Recreational Vehicle/Trailer Systems
- Sail/Powerboat Systems
- Aircraft Systems
- Individual/Family Retreat Planning/Design
- Group/Organization Retreat Planning/Design
INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE:
There are four sections that you can complete for each topic within each category. “Interest Level”, the “Present Skill Level”, a “Desired Skill Level”, and finally the “Willing To Develop/Provide Training For Others” section.
Section One would be your “INTEREST LEVEL”.
Under “Interest Level” is three categories, “NONE”, “SOME”, and “HIGH”. These are self explanatory.
Section Two would be your “PRESENT SKILL LEVEL”.
The four levels of skill are, “NONE”, “APPRENTICE”, “JOURNEYMAN”, and “MASTER”. Be honest with yourself, it is a self assessment. You will never get better if you aren’t honest with yourself about where you are presently at.
Section Three is “DESIRED SKILL LEVEL”.
If you indicated in the “Interest Level” section that your interest was high in a given area, fill out your “Desired Skill Level” for those areas. Those levels would be “APPRENTICE’, “JOURNEYMAN” and “MASTER”. This will give you something to strive for.
Last but not least is Section Four which is “WILLING TO DEVELOP/PROVIDE TRAINING FOR OTHERS” and consists of whether you are willing to teach any area that you have a “Master’s” level of skill in. This is just a simple “YES” or “NO”.
Two things I added to my list years ago in the “Other” sections of two of the categories were as follows: in Category “G” I included “Trapping“, because if you are going to include “Hunting” and “Fishing’ as their own categories, “Trapping” deserves it’s own too. I also added “ATV Systems“ to Category “I”, because they are not an automobile, and they have many more “Survivalist” oriented capabilities than a motorcycle.
Sometimes it is very hard to get an idea of what you need to learn or invest in, where you are at with skills and equipment, and where you want to be regarding skills and gear. Hopefully, this assessment will help you figure out some of those needs.
"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.