Survival Lessons from The Great Depression

From 1929-1939, the Great Depression affected the United States.

Many times, when we think of SHTF, we think of civil disturbances or of losing ourselves in the desert, but an economic depression is something for which we must also be prepared. During the Great Depression, the more commercial skills you had, the more likely you were to earn money or exchange goods and food.

In this video, Sootch talks about some lessons we can learn from the Great Depression and how to apply them to the current situation of SHTF.

The music is from Jingle Punks Royalty Free Music through the full screen network. Used with permission

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Video credits to Survival Dispatch YouTube channel

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    Survival Lessons from The Great Depression

    Comments 32

    1. My grandparents also lived through the depression and the Dust Bowl here in Ft Worth, TX. They were farmers with very young children. They had no running water in the house and no electricity most of the time. Banks were foreclosing on farms left and right and our family eventually lost theirs. They were able to keep a small piece of the property and they were able to grow some of their own food but still sometimes didn’t have anything to eat. Neighbors would help out others when they could. My family gratefully accepted help many times and also graciously helped others many times as well. My granddad immediately diversified and became a carpenter. He worked very hard to support his family. He always maintained a very large fruit and vegetable garden his whole life and also farmed honey bees. Growing up we always enjoyed the fresh food he grew and fresh honey was a staple in our home. Chewing on that honey comb was heaven to me. I still have some of his honey in my cupboard to this day. It’s hard not to open it and spread some on a peanut butter sandwich (as he often did) or enjoy it in a hot cup of tea. One of my granddad’s favorite stories was actually witnessing a police chase with Bonnie & Clyde. He remembers he and his brother cheering on the gang because they hated the banks that they were robbing so much. They were local folk heroes at that time. This incident happened before they killed anyone and became the murderers they’re now notorious for. My grandma taught herself how to can so they could stretch the food supplies through rough patches. She could can just about anything but her Bread & Butter Pickles were the best. I wish I’d taken the time to learn those valuable skills from her. Thanks for sharing.

    2. We made our decision to pay cash for our property and why we chose its location for this very reason.

    3. I am 69 and grew up in my grandmothers kitchen listening to her tell the stories about the Great Depression. Then one day I came home from school and she was in the back yard skinning this carcass. I ask her what it was and she said it was the neighbors dog that got ran over? I just Grand at her because I thought she was kidding. Then my mother came to get me and the argument was on. Mother said to grandmother we don’t have to do that anymore, and grandmother said something like waste not want not. After we got in the car to go to our house, Mother said I was not to eat any thing that didn’t come from the store. The next day I ask my grandmother about it and she said with salt and pepper and catchup you can make anything tast good! That was about 1958. I did not eat any dog till 69 in Vietnam. Again salt pepper & catchup. Muum !

    4. Some of us had parents that went through the Great Depression, Sootch. I recall my parents, my Grandmother's and Great Grandfather's stories of survival. Grandmother's garden, rabbits, chickens and sewing helped feed the family. Her basement beer, wine and stilled spirits were bartered among family and friends. Great Granddad fixed carriages and cars in the carriage house / later garage and he raised racing pigeons (there was betting dollars to be had)…slow pigeons were Sunday Dinner he toothlessly joked, maybe…not. I recall eating squab as lad. And 'helping' Grandmother make headcheeze on her prized stove. Grandfather worked in the factory. They rented out an upstairs flat and side rooms.They were 'well off'. Their little girl of 8 fed my Father who as a 10 year old hustled odd jobs in the neighborhood like running pails of beer to the beer garden, he once said he had a pocket full of betting slips in his pocket. That little girl and young guy were together for 80 years. His family was damn dirt poor. Granddad there, a former lumberjack and baker hustled day jobs and what factory work he could. He had a fishing boat and story was told that he would fish nights crossing back from Canada with a couple cases of Canadian under a tarp and a stringer of fish. Grandma on Dad's side was the daughter of downriver swamp / river runners, she could skin up a muskrat or cook up a goose or any other critter that could be shot, trapped or netted. Tough folk. Gads, I remember the wet sheet to cool the room. Tough times and I believe it will happen again. Thanks for the opportunity to recall them and their lifetime stories, Sootch . Best

    5. If it's lessons about SHTF, I think talking to people that survived war in cities would be a great resource. Those that survived in France, the UK, Belgium, Sarajevo, etc. Talk to them to find out the skills they were either forced to learn or had to trade goods/services for someone else's expertise. Also, learning what was and what wasn't valuable for trade/hoarding will also give you invaluable insight.

    6. Spot on. My grandparents survived during the great depression. My mother was 1 of 17 children .

    7. Good points Don!
      The people, that kept their heads on, stayed calm, thinking a problem through, often had a better chance.
      Having some ingenuity helps too!

    8. There was this series on YouSuck called Depression Era Cooking where someone videoed their grandmother cooking Depression Era recipes from her childhood.

    9. God Bless America, Long Live The Republic. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻’s way up. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🗽🗽

    10. My mother’s father was a farmer they always grew food for the family first. Then to sell, so the cows and chickens ate after the kids. Corn bread and milk was dinner many nights like we would eat spam and Mac cheese or jar Spaghetti today. Smoking meat, and canning was the rule of the day. I love to smoke meat like Thad!
      My other grand father was a rail road man out of Fremont Nebraska. Not sure of his job but it paid the bills. That’s all that matters right was just re-reading going home and when Morgan came home and made Spam for breakfast it focus my mind so much of my life, as Span has been at each event of our life as a family. Earthquakes, power outages, first dinner in a new house. Even camping trips steaks are great. But sometimes pot food is better. Info in Italy sun dried tomatoes are like poor peoples food and have been for years. They are only a recent addition to popular dinning go figure. My father and mother worked the war years as cook and waitress, so some of their recipes were iffy to say the least. And yes my mom could cook anything and make it eatable. SOS was common with pressure cooked taters whipped or so other way. Peace

    11. My great grandmother picked cotton for 20 cents a pound. She raised three sons. She saved dimes. I miss her. Enjoyed your video.

    12. Back in the 80's I knew a guy that made sandals out of blown out semi tires he found on roadways. Just think about getting 20,000 miles out of your sandals!

    13. Books from Ragnar Benson are a really good read for this. The main ones are:
      Urban survival
      Survival retreat
      You can find them for free online

      Can you recommend books?

    14. I can sew, knit, crochet, quilt, spin weave and dye. I have a host of "old" skills from growing up with depression era Grandparents and a "war-baby" mother. I garden, dry, can and so on. Believe me, today's millenials are gonna go hungry.

    15. The snowflakes just dont think it could ever happen they just done know how close we are to that happening again…

    16. Great video , we're currently in the middle of reading about the depression in my american history book and even though it does not go into intense details about it the book is Christian conservative oriented and is not afraid to talk about the all the problems about the depression( unlike more liberal textbooks ) from ww1 , the newer technology , the retraction from gold backed currency , FDR in general( I would say he's a lot more worse than some politicians these days , does the new deal sound familiar ) as well as the socialist programs set by guess who again . It's important to be prepared for problems as well as kind yet firm to your fellow people when these problems occur . I kind of want to know what the depression was like in other countries because around that time most major countries were in depressions with varying time periods and the countries in Europe were already deep in atheistic ideals at these time so maybe the depression was pretty good in America compared to other countries like Germany which the depression is what eventually led a certain person to be election later .

    17. The U.S. population is probably 350 million people including illegals. Out of that number probably less than 10 million have anything remotely close to the survival skill-set of a cira 1935 farming family. This means that almost all of the modern-day skills of modern families would be pretty much useless in a full-blown economic collapse. And if the grid goes down and stays down for more than three months, 9 out of 10 will ether be in very bad shape or dead.

    18. Excellent point. In the past people tended to help each other. And they were not under medication. Great reminder, great video.

    19. Don, thanks for sharing. It brings back stories my parents (as kids) & grandparents shared with my sister and I about the 'hard times' of the Great Depression. We have it so good now compared to then.

    20. Foraging for wild greens are great my pop was a child in the depression and they went by hopping train's all over the West to make sure my grandma had a place to stay and my grandma was a postmistress and he passed the skills down to me as a veteran who is disabled and only gets disability I make to much money and get only 29.00 in snap so wild foraging and food boxes

    21. Excellent video Sooth. I am 68 and my parents lived through the depression and I am one who lives frugal, I garden, do woodworking, plumbing, electrical work and rarely hire anyone to do things. I love it when you mentioned cleaning a rabbit, I learned how to do that when I was 8 years old from mu sister's mother in law an old ozark farm woman.

    22. Love this! My grandparents shared stuff they knew with me when I was young so I know how to garden, cook, can, sew including draping, construction and tinkering just to mention a few things👍 my motto- use it up, make it last, make it do, or do without.

    23. Wow, 33 views and I am the only one to hit the Like button. Y'all need to pay attention to this. 🤔
      Excellent Video. 👍👍😎

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