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26 Useful Hobbies that Pair Well with Prepping
Prepping, while a way of life, is usually accompanied with many hobbies. Hobbies are a great way to learn new skills and have fun at the same time. A hobby can even be trying new hobbies. Take a look at the list for ideas on any new prepper hobbies you may want to give a go:
1/26: Hunting and Trapping
Hunting and trapping require licenses in most areas, but are invaluable skills for a prepper. Knowing how to track, hunt, trap, and clean game has been a skill set used for self-sufficiency since the dawn of man.
Besides providing food, fishing is relaxing and a stress reliever. Trapping is one of the oldest forms of fishing, and provides a ‘fire and forget’ method.
Getting outdoors and familiarizing yourself with nature and your area is a great hobby. Hiking can improve physical fitness and provide the opportunity to learn how to move through the woods easily.
Geocaching is treasure hunting using a GPS. This hobby teaches you how to use a GPS if you do not already know how, and improves your critical thinking by looking for hidden caches. The use of caches can give you great ideas on creating survival caches as well. This hobby pairs well with hiking, since many caches are in natural areas.
5/26: Amateur Radio
HAM radio is a great hobby for preppers to get into. While it requires a license and taking a test, the importance of long distance communication in emergencies, disasters, and SHTF situations cannot be stressed enough. Your local amateur radio club can also provide information on how they get involved in regional disaster response- a great opportunity for a prepper to give to the community. The cost and difficulty of the license test keeps many people from pursuing this hobby, but those who take the plunge find it rewarding.
While this is a more of a lifestyle, many specific hobbies fit under this label. Whether you take up running, hiking, or another type of physical activity, it all leads to you being in better physical shape than when you started. Fitness hobbies are important for a prepper to maintain a good level of physical fitness to be able to respond accordingly to disasters and threats. Best of all, many fitness hobbies are free and just require a time investment.
Canning is a long favorite hobby of preppers. Canning preserves food for long periods, allowing for long term storage. Creating a stash of delicious custom food is possible with canning, and it is a fun activity that is not overly time consuming. A Basic Canning Kit is a great start for a beginning canner.
Similar to canning, dehydrating is a great hobby to increase food stores. It has a slightly higher cost over canning, since dehydrators are a big entry cost. This hobby also pairs well with hunting, since you can preserve the meat by dehydrating it for later. Dehydrated meat is also packed in protein and great for travelling and hiking due to its portability.
Keeping bees has been growing in popularity with preppers. The benefits of honey do not go unnoticed- local honey can help with seasonal allergies even. While the cost of entry into this hobby seem prohibitive, many find they have enough honey to sell at local stores and this hobby can create some revenue while also teaching a skill.
Taking a page from the 1800s, candlemaking is a great hobby for the prepper concerned about EMPs and the aging US power grid. Candles are very useful during regional disasters and power outages. They are another relaxing hobby, and is great for preppers since it is an artform with utility.
Wilderness skills are great for the prepper with a bug out plan. It has skyrocketed in popularity since the onset of survival TV shows such as Naked and Afraid and Alone. Primitive bushcraft is impressive as well, using primitive tools to survive instead of modern equipment. Teaching others wilderness skills could earn you some income as well.
12/26: Shooting and Marksmanship
When you first start this hobby, it can be an adrenaline rush. This hobby is expensive to get into, and requires training and discipline. Once you are comfortable with your weapon, your home security and confidence will greatly benefit from these hobbies. Learning your firearm and cleaning are just as important as getting out and firing it.
Any sort of gardening is good for preppers, but vegetable gardens are the most useful. Growing vegetables on your own provides a food source, and this can be extended to year round if this hobby is combined with canning.
This hobby is usually looked down upon as being ‘shady,’ but locksmiths and hobbyist lockpickers take their craft seriously. This hobby can come in handy sometimes in everyday life, but it really excels when SHTF. A Simple Clear Lock and Kit is a great starting kit to learn lockpicking.
This hobby is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. There are many different ways to camp, from RV to minimalist camping. This hobby is useful to a prepper in that it prepares them to use less modern equipment and limited supplies to survive.
Leatherworking is a great skill to have for creating clothing and accessories built to last. Leather is very durable and this may be a preferred hobby to have if society goes south. You can start small with a belt and work your way up to bigger projects.
We have hunting and shooting on the list, so archery had to be here somewhere. With reusable ammunition, Darryl Dixon from the hit show The Walking Dead has proven this skill to be very useful if SHTF. The hobby/sport has gained interest lately due to its prominence in movies and television.
Backpacking is the combination of the other hobbies of hiking and camping. This is a great hobby for bug out bag testing and getting familiar with all of your gear. It is time consuming, so you need to enjoy it enough to want to set aside large amounts of time to push your comfort zone further.
19/26: Martial Arts
While martial arts do keep you fit, they are much more than fitness. Mental discipline is stressed and personal protection as well. This makes it a great hobby for preppers, and if you have not tried one I suggest you try it. It takes up as much time as you are willing to give, and is not very costly unless you are taking lessons.
20/26: Learning a Foreign Language
This hobby may seem tough, but some people learn foreign languages as a hobbies. It definitely could come in handy in emergencies and everyday life.
Another “art doubling as utility” hobby, blacksmithing is a great hobby and skill to have. Being able to work metal to the form you want is a powerful ability. This is especially useful for homesteading or living off grid.
You can literally collect anything as a hobby. Coins are a preferred collection item for preppers. Guns, knives, and other utility items with collectability would be good choices as well. This hobby usually involves a pretty good amount of money, so be prepared to spend if you get into a new collection.
The cost to start flying an airplane and get your pilot’s license is pretty large. It requires a large time commitment, an airplane, fuel, and training. The benefits of knowing how to fly an airplane could be realized in your flexibility with your bug out plan and location.
Everyone loves to eat. Knowing how to make bad food taste good is not just a hobby, it is an art in itself. Many of the prepackaged foods and grain supplies stored by preppers could use a boost in flavor, which is where this hobby comes in handy. Learning about nutrition as you learn to cook is a great idea as well, so you can understand balanced, healthy meals and our body’s needs.
A very popular hobby, woodworking is also very useful. With enough imagination you can create almost anything woodworking. While it does not cost much to get started with woodworking, many hobbyists find themselves purchasing new woodworking tools often to gain new techniques.
Reloading ammo is a great hobby to pair with shooting and hunting, and can actually save you money if you shoot often. It is a simple, repetitive hobby, but it provides great value and flexibility every day and if SHTF. While the process is simple, there are many things to consider when you start so do plenty of research before purchasing a press.
Known online as SG, I am a manufacturing engineer by day, but a prepper 24/7. I am an Air Force veteran that developed emergency and disaster plans as an emergency manager. I also responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. From aircraft crashes and typhoons to live Vx nerve gas and earthquakes, I have lived a good share of it hitting the fan. TruePrepper was developed to share a prepping resource grounded in risk analysis, while keeping my own knowledge current and relevant. I have 11 of the 26 hobbies listed above. How many hobbies are you pursuing, and do you have any more to add to the list? Keep learning and stay safe.