Knowing who has what skills

So this is a new forum, and it could be a lot of different things, depending on what we make of it.

One thing that I think might be very useful is to have an idea of what the assembled skills and expertise of the members are. If I have a general idea of who knows/is good at what, I know who I can ask for advice on various topics, or ask to weigh in on a thread, etc.

I’m not even sure a thread is the right format for this in the long-term (it might get unwieldy to sift through with size/age), but just as a proof-of-concept, I thought I’d start it in this format. I’ll make an example post under this one.


  • Comments (8)

    • 10

      Survival Related:

      • Foraging: intermediate. I know how to ID and prepare/cook about 80 wild or feral plants in my area.
      • Water filtration: intermediate. Training as an environmental engineer, a little practice working with both individual and community scale water purification.
      • Food storage: low. I’ve done some research and stored my own grains/legumes in mylar bags.
      • Backcountry camping: low. I’ve gone a few times on one or two night trips in fairly mild weather conditions.
      • Off-grid solar power: intermediate. I used to run a small business manufacturing micro scale solar lighting and power systems, but I’m probably a few years out of date at this point.


      • Teaching: intermediate-high. I’ve taught hands-on skills for a number of years.
      • Fabrication/making: intermediate. Lots of experience with CNC machines like 3D printers and laser cutters, misc. other shop equipment. Also a decent amount of bike repair.
      • Environmental Engineering: intermediate. Degrees, licensed, but haven’t practiced in a while. Environmental Engineering focuses on filtration, purification, remediation, pollution abatement.
      • Logistics: intermediate-high. I’m pretty good at organizing complex systems and keeping track of details.

      I know this is kind of personal and may feel like bad opsec, but I think we can offer each other a lot more if we have an idea of each other’s strengths.

      • 5

        Thank you for such awesome initiative and being willing to share!

        We’ve love to publish a “bike repair when you’re on your own” or “dummies guide to foraging.” Not trying to give you homework, but that might be a cool thing to put together and share in the forum if you want to share the knowledge? If people like it and/or chip in more knowledge, we can turn it into a static guide, you’ll get credit, etc.

      • 5

        I’ve been mulling this over for a few days, and I like the idea in principle. But we would have to figure out where we can add value. On these specific topics, I don’t want to make a foraging guide that’s just a poor copy of eattheweeds.com, or a bike repair guide that’s just a poor copy of Sheldon Brown bicycle repair (both are excellent websites by the way).

        The main thing I can think of is that most widely renowned experts won’t answer your emails, so perhaps we put together a foraging thread that starts with a list of good resources, and then functions as a Q and A for people (here are some pics, do I have the right plant? how much of this can I responsibly harvest, etc.)?

      • 6

        Great topic. Great suggestion. This thread could definitely prove very useful, esp. given John’s announcement about the “merit badges”. Perhaps here, in this thread, we can suss-out the more common topics -both general and specific.

        Piggybacking on Sun Yeti’s (Sun’s) topics, I’d like to add categories, such as concepts in security (which, admittedly, is a topic unto itself), could also have subcategories for specialization, such as firearms (various platforms), personal (principles, concepts, strategies and tactics), group, digital (I didn’t want to use cyber here, but if it gets you to where I’m thinking…); and OPSEC, etc. Having this drill down, based-on-need approach can help individuals self-evaluate and focus on topics that could use a little work/enhancement/education.

        Speaking of OPSEC, I also think it’s important to respect the each other’s boundaries. For example, someone may not be willing to divulge their military experience in EWS due to security disclosures. So, I think we need to explore how one might respect that boundary while identifying ‘the more knowledgeable others’.

        Lastly, good ol’ fashioned common sense shouldn’t be left out of the equation, or these topics.

    • 8

      Love it Sun! You beat us to the punch… in a day or two we’re releasing user profiles where you can add this kind of info. We’re also developing something akin to merit badges that people can earn for topics like water, fire, medical, etc. — they’ll be earned and attached to people’s profiles via:

      1. We verify who someone is IRL, such as a professional instructor
      2. People who demonstrate knowledge in this forum
      3. People who pass our upcoming video courses

      The badges will likely be a few more weeks, as we’re still designing and coding it.

      Something we felt was a problem in other related forums was the lack of context about who someone is and whether their comment should be taken with a grain of salt. There are so many armchair quarterbacks repeating dangerously-false info (eg. “tampons are good for gunshot wounds!”) that we wanted to better highlight people who are qualified to talk about a topic.

      • 8

        John, Ef, et al. If you want or need some assistance in organization, creating visual elements, proofing, editing, etc., I’d be happy to lend a hand when I can. Just drop me a message.

      • 5

        Oo! I teach couples (and single women and teens) how to charge fertility to avoid pregnancy or for family planning and general health awareness.

        I’d love to include that somehow.

    • 2

      A less obvious skill is cordwainer/cobbler.  Cordwainers make shoes from ‘scratch’, while cobblers repair shoes that are damaged.  Both skills will be needed in a grid down situation, and could also be useful if/when global trade makes it difficult to find a new pair.  Going barefoot in winter conditions is not very pleasant.