SOLUTIONS

Create an On The Go Knowledge Pantry

By Zack Pack

Having a diverse set of skills is perhaps one of the most important ways to prepare for an unpredictable future. But which skills are the most useful to learn? How can you predict what you’ll need to know?

These were the questions that haunted me when I started taking prepping seriously.

I love learning how to do new things and picking up new skills. And the internet has been my best teacher. It seems like I’m far from alone too if you consider about a quarter of Youtube’s 800+ million hosted videos are dedicated to DIYers like me.

However, with all the supply-chain disruptions, outages, and threats to infrastructure encountered since the pandemic, I’ve personally become a little fearful that I might not be able to get online to teach myself something crucial when it might matter most.

My solution has been to stock up on how-to resources in a “knowledge pantry” that I could access offline.

My “pantry” is just a low-cost tablet with a solar charger (solar chargers go for around $20 online) that I can fit in a bugout bag and take with me. However, I’ve loaded it with tons of downloaded videos, how-to guides, maps, and eBooks which can be referenced without access to the internet – everything I’d need to teach myself a new skill at the time I’d need it. What’s extra nice about having it on a tablet is that it’s affordable (something I’ve been given out as gifts to my family), has a long battery life, and something I can use as a visual aid right next to whatever project I’m working on. It covers a slew of topics too, including:

· How to treat a medical condition (e.g. performing CPR, treating hypothermia, stabilizing fractures, etc.)

· What to do in a natural disaster.

· How to find/collect drinkable water.

· How to forage for food.

· How to build emergency shelters.

· How to find/signal for help.

It also contains apps designed for offline-use, such as the detailed traffic maps available through https://osmand.net/ and all of Wikipedia and Wikihow’s articles that can be viewed offline through the free app on kiwix.com.

Here’s a demo of my rig:

I’ve also personalized my knowledge pantry with favorite recipes, music, contact info of my friends/family, owner’s manuals for my (and my extended family’s) vehicles, and webmd information on the prescriptions my family takes (just in case there are ever side effects we want to research while unable to reach a doctor). And of course, I’ve also archived the investigative reports on Corey’s Digs to be able to carry all that info around with me into the future.

Even though I don’t know what kind of crisis I might encounter, having a pantry of knowledge that’s not vulnerable to outages and can teach me some quick skills is reassuring and something I wanted to share. Whether you are just printing out a few articles or going whole-hog digital like me, it’s important to ask yourself what information you want to keep accessible offline so you too can be better prepared for a SHTF situation.

It’s best to go broad when you don’t know what you might need, so tips for creating your own pantry—including links to downloads—are available on TheKnowledgePantry.com.

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Zack Pack is a web developer who loves scouting for technical solutions to empower individuals. Most recently, he developed "The Knowledge Pantry," a tool to help preppers keep critical knowledge in an offline/portable format.

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