- YouTube. YouTube has videos on every possible topic under the sun. How to start a fire without matches? Check. What to put in your backpack? Check. Tactical shooting drills? Check Check.
- Free community training. As noted in yesterday's post, when you volunteer through various community groups (Search and Rescue, CERT, Red Cross, etc) you will get the benefit of free training that can come in handy during a survival situation.
- Stores. Many retail stores offer free classes that can teach you valuable survival skills. From home improvement stores that offer basic construction classes on the weekends to REI which offers free outdoor skills classes to crafting stores that will teach you how to sew or knit for free, these are excellent opportunities to learn or improve your survival skills.
- Churches. Church classes (many of which are offered to anyone who is interested, not just church members) can really teach you a lot of useful skills. Examples here and here.
- Meet Up. Many city Meet Up groups (and other groups that organize online) can teach you everything from hiking skills to health and exercise skills to cooking skills, etc. Simply find a group of like-minded people who are willing to share their knowledge and you are golden!
- Library. Before the internet and YouTube, people checked out books to teach them things they wanted to learn. It still works the same today and many libraries now offer free classes on a multitude of topics as well.
- Parks. Our local parks (city, county, state, and federal) offer a bunch of cool classes every weekend. From edible wild plant tours to cast iron cooking demonstrations to guided hikes to orienteering challenges, this is a great way to learn new skills for free.
- Online classes and webinars. Everyday my email box is flooded with info on upcoming classes and webinars that are free and hosted online. From FEMA courses to CDC classes and more.
- Ask an expert. There are experts on a myriad topics all around us (there are also a lot of people who are full of crap so know the difference). By simply asking questions of these experts (a grandmother who is an expert at canning, the old timer at the shooting range, a friend who is a trauma doc, etc) you can garner a lot of knowledge and know-how (be sure to pay it forward with your own knowledge and skills).
Self study should be your first task when you decide it's time to learn some survival skills. Of course paying for expert education is also important, but by starting with the basics you will be well on your way to being prepared for any eventuality.