Once our bomb shelter’s food supplies run out and we crawl out to make tribes will it be better to be a jack of all trades or master of one?
After the weak are gone I would expect those that are left roaming will have certain basic skills; how to start a fire, how to build a shelter, how to trap, skin, prep and cook animals in the wild, and how to fish to name a few.
However, those with more specific skills will be in greater demand and will be able to pick the tribe they want to belong to.
Based on hours of movie watching, along with reading one of the Godfathers of the survivialist movement, Mel Tappan, the most obvious answer for the most useful skill needed is someone who knows how to use a gun. However, is it really that hard to use a gun and know how to clean it? I suspect any military trainer would tell you that using a gun on the firing range and using it in an actual combat situation is a far different thing. After all, that is why all that time is spent on military training.
Two comments, I bet bullets will be scarce after the apocalypse, so we won’t be inclined to fire willy-nilly. Plus, those who survive the first couple of gunfights will have the skills to know how to use a gun in a gunfight. So my thinking is someone who knows how to use a gun, while being extremely useful in the apocalypse, will be one of those skills that everyone, or at least many people have, and it won’t be a skill that sets one apart.
So what will be the skills that makes one more valuable? Obvious choice is doctor. Would it really be that hard to be a doctor in a post-apocalyptic world? I mean we are not going to be able to treat people for cancer, or perform triple heart bypass surgery, or take x-rays or a thousand other things. Would a doctor just be anyone who happened to stockpile a pile of antibiotics. Note to self: stockpile antibiotics. What is the expiration date for antibiotics? What else could a doctor treat after the end of the world?
MacGyver would be also awesome to be. But chops like that would take a lifetime to gain, no? One can’t just go out and become a whiz at figuring out how to make a high dense bomb out of baking soda, ritz crackers, and toothpaste overnight.
Back to my original question, master of all trades of master of one? Master of one will make you more valuable for a tribe, and secure your position among the tribe you like. However, you got to survive long enough first to find the tribes that are out there. Plus master of the skills that will be the most prized are skills that must be gained over many years So master of many is the way to go for now. Or maybe I should become a quack medicine man.