Many of us prepare for the immediate after-effects of survival, but what if civilization completely collapsed and we had to survive long-term, or try to rebuild some semblance of what once was?
Supplies aren’t the only thing that will be needed, but rather, possibly more important will be skills. When you study anthropology, what defines civilization is when artisan crafts begin to be distinguished from everyone doing the same thing. Metal workers, carpenters, weavers, etc. Different people with different skills contributing to society as a whole.
There are of course many trades that would set you apart from the post-apocalyptic crowd, these are probably some of the most useful, and most realistic to dabble a bit in now. Anything you can learn about them will help, and it’s probably reasonable to learn a little bit about a lot, but you could also pick one or two to focus on and take on as a new hobby.
We sometimes take our modern buildings for granted, but carpentry is a vital life skill, especially when supplies are low but shelter, furniture, and tools are needed.
Soap is important, and it doesn’t grow on trees! Ok, so there are a few plants that you can use as natural soap, but an actual bar of soap is probably more effective and much longer-lasting. Soap can be the difference between life and death after a collapse, especially in the event of disease outbreak and compromised sanitation and sewer systems.
While the availability of gasoline is never guaranteed, understanding how vehicles operate and how to do basic repairs might come in very handy, even if its just knowing how to take them apart to salvage their different parts and mechanisms to build something else!
Gunsmithing and Ammunition Production
Guns are complicated instruments, and will be in high demand after a collapse. You might not be crazy about firearms now, but I guarantee you that early man would have loved to have gotten their hands on these powerful hunting and self-defense tools. But they are tools, and they’ll need to be repaired and maintained. As ammunition will probably also be scarce at some point, new bullets will need to be made which is no simple process.