Hone your skills. 

Okay, so what does that actually mean? (And, who the heck even uses the word 'hone'?)

Well honing your skills goes back to the old adage 'practice makes perfect'. It simply means; make perfect or complete, optimize, get the most out of, improve, to make better.

What is being encouraged here is to think about all the many talents you have, big and small - the ones that you can actually do physically and do well.

Say, thread a needle (don’t laugh, you'd be surprised how many people can't do this), or sew a button on something, or even hem a garment.  These may not seem like huge talents or even talents at all - but if you are the only one who knows how to do it - guess what?? Bingo! You have a bartering tool or tools.  A coat without buttons doesn’t keep you nearly as warm as one with.  Or, what about a shirt with a rip in it?  Or, a hole in a sock that needs mending.   These may sound simple but in a time of need they are huge.  

This is what honing your skills is all about.  Perfecting the things you know how to do for both personal survival and as bartering tools. 

Barting is exchanging one talent for another’s (they have something you need or want and you have something they need or want).

After a catastrophic event, we will have to make things and do things ourselves or barter for them.

Plain and simple.  The purchasing power to obtain something may lie solely on what you have to bring to the table.

Some of the very basic skills we need to know are how to build a fire; where to find and make a shelter; food gathering and preparing, water and, first aid or medical assistance.

Think about each of these areas of survival.  Each has a multitude of skills involved and can be broken down to numerous skills.  Think of the steps it will take just to make a shelter if you don’t have one.  Chopping wood (and knowing what wood is better than another), making a floor plan, preparing the ground, using tools (for that matter making tools to use) this goes on forever and ever. 

So what man wouldn’t want a hot meal in exchange for his labor?  That my dear is bartering.  Honing your skills for another’s.

It's not if, but when, an event in our life will happen. So, now may be a perfect time to take inventory of what skills you actually possess and which you are lacking in.  Think back on your home economics class or girl scouts – all of the many things you learned in the past write them all down.

You may just find you have more skills than you ever thought!  Practice them – perfect them.

- Survivor Jane

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