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Episode 49 S2-14

Benefits of Being a Jack-of-all-Trades


Special Guest:

Without Land Ch 14

James Hart

In the Without Land adventure, Erika goes to find Vince and Greg. Greg is at the gardens but as a Jack-of-All Trades he can be found at multiple locations throughout the camp. Survival professional and author of Urban & Wilderness Survival, Emergency Preparedness, James E. Hart, joins Sara to discuss the benefits of becoming this Jack-of-All Trades.

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By becoming this Jack-of-All Trades you won't be limited to a tunnel vision focused on one specialty. You would quickly rise to number one in the camp because of your versatility and resourcefulness. You would be able to look at resources and decide which is the most important and how to maximize the usefulness of that item in many different facets. You would have trading skills because your abilities would cover many different trades and you would be able to secure items for agriculture, security, construction, etc. and have a better idea of what is essential and what isn't. For these same reasons you would be a superior scavenger. With knowledge of multiple trades your ability to make repairs and build would be more efficient. You would also be able to assist with multiple different projects while thinking about multiple other ones. You would not be limited and people would quickly look to you for direction. This does not mean you should put on a false front and pretend you know more than you do. People will have more respect for you when they know you know what you are doing or you are honest about your short comings.

There are a few skills that you should begin putting in your tool box to become this Jack-of-All Trades if you were in a long term survival situation. You should know how to build a good shelter. Even if it is a shed. You can put together six sheds and make a four bedroom home with a kitchen and family room. You should know the basics of masonry for heating and air conditioning control. Dirt, mud and the thickness of such will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. You should have plumbing knowledge so you are able to work pumps for wells and water delivers. Plus these skills can be applied to hydroelectric production. You should also have electrical skills for building generators and supplying power.

The benefits of becoming this Jack-of-All Trades are numerous. While you may be placed into a leadership role, often these people are not power hungry people. They are content to gain respect and the benefits of such based upon their knowledge while still remaining lower down on the social order. People often feel obliged to repay kindness with kindness and your assisting them with their problems will most likely lead to their reciprocating that kindness in the future. If you have a skill like gun smithing, you will have major bartering power and will most likely be a recipient of whatever food is ascertained with your weapons. But remember, be honest about your skills, with both yourself and your community. Do the best you can with what you have and your efforts will be rewarded internally and externally.

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Without Land Ch 14

James Hart

A veteran of 2 tours of duty in Viet Nam, James began his survival training at the age of 7 when he was stranded in the Mojave Desert for 7 hours without food or water during a family move in 1954. Since then he has been through the scouting program where he attained Life scout, served as Scoutmaster, Assistant Scoutmaster, Venture Advisor, and earned the Badden Powell Award. An avid outdoorsman, he has winter camped in Utah and northern Quebec, Canada, snowshoed in upstate New York, Utah and Quebec, and camped in the Mojave Desert of California, the Uintah Mountains of Utah, and the Piney Woods of East Texas, among numerous other locations. James has traveled and been through 42 of the 50 states of the US. Three provinces of Canada, sailed the Pacific Ocean, and crossed the Equator and 35 countries from jungles of South America to the Himalayas of Nepal.


Having earned an Associates of Photography Degree from Houston Community College, he has beautifully captured many of his travels with his camera.


Now retired from a career with the Trinity River Authority of Texas, James resides in Dallas, TX, where he lectures on Wilderness and Survival Training. He is the author of SWET Survival & Wilderness Experience Training, Urban & Wilderness Emergency Planning, 35 other booklets on wilderness training, monthly articles for Survival Life Magazine, and a column and articles for The Garland Messenger Newspaper. James also does workshops and speaking engagements.

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