My mother set herself to teach me some basic skills to survive as a man. I was taught to sew a button, patch a hole in my pants and also fix the hem of my pants. Washing my clothes and some basic rudiments on ironing. She also taught me to cook a variety of items, taught me basic gardening and how to keep a domicile somewhat clean and neat (this last one never went good enough for her.) Her reason was simple: she said she did not trust the new batch of women she saw coming out in my generation to take care of themselves and much less their men. “Do not depend on a woman.” was her admonition as she felt many were being raised to be “princesas” and expected to be married to men that could provide with both maids for the chores and nannies for the kid.
I was lucky enough that when I finally found my wife, she was also skilled in housework besides being a self-sustaining individual. She does not trust me with the washing (In fact, I am forbidden from touching the washer. Just one small accident with her delicates and I am an outcast) but the combination of our home skills made for an easier living for two strong-headed individuals. The other advantages is that if one of us is down, the other can pick up the load without any hesitation or effort.
So, when I hear about “Prepping” and see people talking about skills that are fantastic if I am stuck somewhere in an abandoned forest in the Himalayas, I have to wonder if any of these experts can fix a pair of tor part without the use of a stapler or glue. Hell, how many carry in their survival kit a simply sewing kit? What are the proportions of rice and water and how much will it grow once cooked. Ditto for beans. How to handwash your undies and how high and where to hang then to dry (Hint, never downrange from a fire, construction or anything that can be picked up by the wind and carried far.)
How to change a baby, how to clean and bathe kids, dress them without having eternal fights. (Yeah, I was forced to babysit, hated it). How to keep them entertained when the modern electronic means of distraction fail. But I will not dwell much in this section because I believe there are parents that learned the hard way and have better teaching points than I could ever share.
The amount of people I have seen (young and not so young) with a total dependency on skilled third parties to solve their most basic city living needs is nothing short of shocking. I believe we are at a point that we are growing a generation that see the good old hand cranked can opener and do not understand what it is for or how to operate it.
One thing is to know how to leave alone in the wilderness and something different is how to live alone in a community. Both are different and truly neither is easy.