Can you learn how to drive with a written course?
You can describe everything perfectly and expanded. By reading it, you know a lot. But to be able to use it, you will have to do it. Preferably with an experienced guide. 54 times. Exercise, experience, tradition and lore are keeping knowledge and skills.


Sustainable self-sufficiency is not to be underestimated complex but perfectly achievable. You can, preferably for and with your family (social group), do it for yourself. Only when people want to produce more than they need, it seems more like they cannot handle the job. Then there are machines needed, fertilizers, sprays, ... Some reserves and some extras as a means of exchange and to participate in society may be feasible. Want more, earn a lot of money ... then we come back in the same actual system that makes humanity and the earth will break.

Preparing to live independently

zelfdoenYou cannot recognize, know and do everything. Provide a broad general knowledge, and specialize in one or a few parts that are meaningful and useful in a group.

Knowledge is important for survival. There are several very wide disciplines which cannot be controlled in detail by just 1 person. In a community, people are happy to specialize (increasingly) and reinforce an support each other.

Progress occurs only by sharing and learning. If everyone always has to reinvent we shouldn’t make headway. By learning from others and build on it, we evolve faster. In school education a lot of knowledge is deleted to make room for information our politicians nowadays find to be important or useful (IT, accounting...). And the basic knowledge and experience to make things yourselves or grow stuff also is no longer available by telling from father to son. A lot of knowhow disappears. Or is unfortunately gone already. Networks (and internet) can help to save this knowledge for self providers.

A herbalist is aware of herbs, traditions, medicinal plants and preparations.
A botanist knows plants. A doctor knows the human body and our discomforts and diseases.
Specialized knowledge about insects, mushrooms, fish, habitats is bringing benefits for detecting, combat catch..

Acquire self-defense, and take a first aid course, learn how to swim.
Apprentice craftsmanship: follow a course pottery, glass blowing, basket weaving, blacksmithing, spinning or weaving.
Get to know nature: join excursions, guides, follow mushrooms tours, herbal walks, a trail about trees and bushes, butterflies, birds. Specialize yourself in one domain or component.
Learn at least 1 technique to produce an to conserve food: try beer brewing or wine making, drying herbs, making sauerkraut, preserve, slaughter. In a small community everyone helps the group to survive with his or her own specialization.

If you want to buy a tool or equipment (which you do not often use) you can choose for manual things that do not consume energy:

a meat grinder, juicer, coffee grinder, blender, a vacuum cleaner and petty can be replaced by a sweeper with rolling brushes, a (small kitchen) oven by a wonder saucepan’, egg beater, fruit zest, parsley mill, steam trap, volcano kettle, manual rotary beater (cream, egg, mayonnaise), (passe-vite or) food mill,
toothbrush, dyno torch, alarm clock, clockwork, wind-up radio, ECOFAN (see <Stove>)...
drill (machine), saw, pump (air or water), all wood and stone operations were done long ago without power tools, it only takes a lot more time. Even mowing without motor (hand mower, scythe) is possible.
(Some of this stuff you can find in camping equipment or outdoor shops).
deurfietsbelAfter some fooling around with a wireless bell of which I usually did not know whether the battery of the bell and the recipient was still working, I replaced it by a bell of an old bike. Works fine. A gong or church bell also was possible. And there is also nothing wrong with knocking (with or without a beater).

This stuff remains usable even if the power supply fails. But nowadays it’s hard to find an ordinary, simple windup alarm clock.

‘Expert: someone who has committed all the mistakes that he possibly could do in his narrow field.’(Niels Bohr)
‘Someone who may be wrong concerning the headlines, provided that the details are indisputable right.’(Julien De Valckenaere)
‘An expert is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows everything about really nothing.’(P. Weber)

All additions, corrections, clarifications and tips (about content and language) are very welcome.
Mistakes, questions, ambiguities, let us know and help us to make this info better.