Saturday, December 29, 2012

13 Skills in 2013
The hubby and I really enjoy listening to The Survival Podcast with Jack Spirko.  Jack is truly a "jack of all trades."  You will sometimes hear him discuss disaster preparedness, hyperinflation, economics, libertarianism, self defense, firearms, food and water storage, alternative and back-up energy, homesteading, and permaculture design all in a single episode.  It's a great way to broaden our knowledge and make better use of time where we otherwise would not be learning anything such as while doing work around the house, while commuting, or while filing and doing other administrative tasks at work.  I will warn that Jack and some of his guests do use "colorful" language at times, so if that's a problem for you, you may not like his show.  But if you can get beyond that, you will learn a lot from the show.

Jack keeps talking about this new website he launched called "13 Skills."  Basically, it's a website where you create an account, choose 13 skill categories in which you want to become more proficient during 2013, and then further define your specific goals with a brief comment on each category.  You can use the website to track and document your progress as well as connect with others in the community who are pursuing similar goals.  It was very very easy for me to quickly choose 13 skills for myself for 2013.  I think it was harder narrowing it down to just 13!  I have come a long way in a short time, but I also tend to bite off more than I can chew and get overwhelmed at times.  I think this website is a great little tool to sit down and think about what I really want to accomplish this next year across multiple categories.  Most of the skills and goals I chose are things I was already planning in my head to do anyway.  By setting and quantifying each goal in writing, I can make sure that I spend enough time on each to accomplish that particular goal, yet also make sure I limit my time on any single goal to ensure that I meet the other 12 I have set by year's end.

So without further ado, here are my goals for 2013, in no particular order of importance.  You can also check out my profile on 13 Skills here.

1. Fermenting
To master sauerkraut and at least one other type of ferment this year. Bonus points if I can make something hubby will eat and enjoy.

2. Food Storage
To beef up our stores until I am confident we have at least a 6 month supply (or better yet, 1 year). To re-configure and reorganize our pantry to accommodate our stored food better.

3. Gardening
To have a successful spring, summer, and fall garden in our backyard which meets at least 25% of our produce consumption needs during harvest time.

4. Permaculture Design
To read Gaia's Garden and to integrate at least 3 basic permaculture design elements into our backyard.

5. Building a Solar Oven
To educate myself and select a method for building the oven, to gather the required materials, to build the oven, and to practice cooking at least 3 different food items in it.
6. Butchering
To butcher at least 1 chicken from start to finish.
7. Canning
To learn how and to obtain the required equipment to be able to put up at least 20 cans of tomatoes this year.
8. Composting
To obtain a proper bin and attempt composting (again) until I am more successful. To make further use of vermicomposting where appropriate.

9. Midwifery
To educate myself further on natural and home birthing options. To read at least 2 books on this subject this year.
10. Self Defense
To identify and learn skills and weapons which will help me to be more situationally aware and able to defend myself, particularly when I am alone after dark (i.e., leaving work and church in the evenings).
11. Sprouting
To sprout, dehydrate, and grind whole wheat berries and to make at least 2 recipes using sprouted grain.

12. Shooting
To go shooting at least 4 times this year and to feel comfortable shooting at least 2 of our guns.
13. Animal Husbandry
To obtain our first flock of laying hens as well as our starter rabbits for meat. 

So there you have it - those are my 13 Skills!  To keep the motivation going, I intend to document my progress on each goal on this blog.  At the end of 2013, I will have to a do follow-up post to see how far I have come on each.

What skills would you like to gain or refine during 2013?


  1. I subscribed to The Survival Podcast. I'll give it a listen. These 13 goals seems pretty big! I'll be interested to talk with you about it all.

    1. Hey Steve! Thanks for commenting. Let me know how you like the Survival Podcast. And yes, we'll definitely have to chat about all my projects I have planned for this year.