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29 Once-Common Survival Skills We’ve Lost To Technology


No doubt, all of us benefit greatly from technology. Unfortunately, though, there is a payoff for all this convenience: the loss of common skills.

Although I love being able to Google almost any question and click an icon to call home, the fact is that there are some skills we might want to consider keeping.

Imagine life after a societal collapse. How many of us would survive?

Here are 29 skills virtually lost to technology:

Home and farm skills

These would include skills such as:

1. Darning socks and mending clothes.

2. Tying specific knots such as sheepshanks, bowlines and clove hitch knots.

3. Identifying trees, edible plants, flowers and berries

4. Baking from scratch.

5. Knitting or crocheting.

Simple memorization skills

We used to rely on memorization for many things, including:

6. Phone numbers and even complete addresses of family members.

7. Highway names or numbers (Route 2, Highway 101).

8. Recipes and measurements.

9. Personal information, such as driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, employee numbers, locker combinations, etc.

10. Birthdays and anniversaries of relatives and close friends.

11. Simple math, such as simple division.

Writing skills

Although some people still manage to hunt and peck on their phone or computer, imagine getting most people to:

12. Write a proper letter.

13. Use handwriting or cursive that is legible.

14. Fill out forms or applications by hand.

15. Write a check.

16. Write anything and have most of the words and grammar correct.

Direction skills

Both giving and taking. If you didn’t have your cell phone, would you be able to:

17. Understand directions, such as “wait on the Southeast corner.”

18. Know where north or south is from where you are standing.

19. Tell someone, on the phone, the street names and directions they need to use to find you.

20. Read a paper map.

21. Read a compass.

Everyday life skills

The list is endless, but here are a few:

22. How to change a tire and/or check the oil and water in a car.

23. Understand pounds and ounces.

24. Look up something in a book or dictionary.

25. Read a recipe or a thermometer (non-digital).

26. Write shorthand.

27. Start a fire.

28. Make small talk with strangers

29. Wait patiently for someone – without looking at a smart phone.

What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:


© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. TheSouthernNationalist

    These things use to be taught in school but now schools have become communist SJW education centers.
    Even the boy and girl scouts have been corrupted to the point of being useless.

    I am thankful there are keepers of knowledge so they can pass it down to the next generation, I myself am teaching my grandchildren the skills I know and have learned from sites such as this one, thanks for being here!

  2. Thank you for your article. It’s nice to see mending clothes being the first item on your list. Any kind of sewing is often forgotten and not even mentioned on similar lists. While clothes mending may not be as common in today’s high-tech world as in the past, rest assured that there are still some of us out here mending clothing every day, even on treadle sewing machines. It’s not totally forgotten…..yet.

    CD in Oklahoma

  3. I agree with the other commenters, sewing is almost a lost art, I teach all my kids and now my grandkids. Under the home skills, I would add gardening and canning, very important! Also, one of my pet peeves, no one can make change…if they don’t have a machine telling them how much to give you back, they can’t figure it. Just basic math has almost been lost. Keep up the good work, I look forward to your articles.

    • That is one of my biggest pet peeves as well, Donna!

    • The influx of forgetful/inattentive “medicinal marijuana”-using cashiers aren’t helping matters, either. At first, I’d politely point out their overestimations of how much money I’ve handed them… Until one girl actually got snippy with me and chose to argue, instead. So now, I just don’t bother — and save some money at the same time. Tough luck, burnouts.

  4. I guess I’m old school. (Or maybe just old-ish)
    I thought most of these things were just normal.
    I have never tried darning sock, though my wife can.

  5. Doing dishes by hand, washing Sox and underwear out by hand, and line drying. Gathering wood for a fire…, tinder, kindling and fuel. Most people don’t even know what your talking about if u tell them to gather those kind of wood supplies. Oh and cook on an open fire. Cook on a wood stove with a cast iron Dutch oven, yes you can…, from stews to cakes and pies. So when society breaks down and falls apart, will you be ready? I will.

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