Social Distancing Week 3: Online Socialization & Learning

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Not actually Erin. Picture by KJ Photography & is used with permission. Hello preppers! I'd ask how you are all holding up, but I've seen your Facebook posts. Those of us who are introverts are likely doing well, but our extroverted friends are likely not okay with all this.

But fear not! There are ways that extroverts can get their "people fix" without breaking quarantine. Additionally, if you're tired of reading books or watching Netflix, there are online courses you can take which will not only keep you entertained but also teach you useful prepping skills.

Online Socialization
Because I'm a nerd I play a weekly game of Dungeons & Dragons. Because I'm an introvert, I know more fellow D&D nerds online than I do in real life, so for the past 8 years I've been playing with friends across the country. Now some of you are using Zoom for telework and school, but I have no experience with that; I use Discord, which is a free chat service which works in both a browser tab and as a downloadable app. With Discord, a speaker and a microphone you can have group calls; you can also type in chat as if it were an old-school IRC channel or chatroom, drop in links to webpages, post pictures, etc. You can even have video chats, although the last time I tried that it was still awkward and limited. Still, I feel that Discord is best combination of voice and text conversation I've ever seen, and if it works for hosting a game of D&D then it'll work for chatting with your friends.

If you're playing an online game like D&D, then there are still some hurdles to be overcome: dice rolls, character sheets, and mapping with tokens. While it's tru that Discord has various dice-themed programs (called bots) which you can invite to your channel, I've found that I get my best results with another online service called Roll20. This is completely free to join and use, although there are subscription tiers which unlock additional features (I use the $5/mo service and have found no need for anything greater) and you can purchase things like maps and token in their Marketplace.  Using Discord for voice and text and Roll20 for maps, dice, tokens and character sheets meets all my needs as a D&D Dungeon Master.

If you aren't interested in role-playing games, there are still ways to have fun with friends:
Board Game Arena, like the name suggests, allows you to play board games online.  Similarly, Playing Cards allows you to play, you guessed it, card games like poker, Go Fish, etc with your friends. If you're a fan of Cards Against Humanity, then check out Remote Insensitivity, which is an online version of CAH using a Creative Commons license.  If you're more skilled with a computer and have a Steam account, check out Tabletop Simulator, which is a 3D physics engine that allows you to do whatever you want. If you hate playing online chess because you can't flip the board in anger, then this is the game for you!
Online Learning
If you want to make your time in isolation more productive then I recommend Outdoor Core, and online learning hub where professionals teach you skills in the following topics:
Archery & Bow Making Blacksmithing, Knives, & Metalwork Disaster Preparedness Leatherworking Navigation & Orienteering Outdoor Business Plants/Trees Uses & Identification Ropework & Knots Slingshots & Slingshot Shooting Throwing Sports Wild Crafting Wilderness Survival You can find course listing here. Not only are these classes very affordable, once you've bought a course it's yours forever and you can go back and re-watch it any time.

What's more, Outdoor Core is offering a 14-Day Quarantine Outdoor Skills Summit which has 14 separate 30-minute courses on such topics as
Urban Net Weaving: How to Make a Bottle Sling [Instructor, Joel Graves] How to Back a Wooden Bow [Instructor, Dave Mead] Eating Wild: How to Make Tough Cuts of Game (Venison) Tender [Instructor, Stacy Lyn Harris] Stone Tools: How to Make a Slate Arrowhead [Instructor, Creek Stewart] Animal Track Casting & Track Identification [Instructor, Craig Caudill] Urban Cordage: How to make a drop spindle and spin cord from plastic bags [Instructor, Hank Gevedon] Black Nail Knots Ashley Book of Knots (ABOK) #785 Knife Lanyard [Instructor, Mandy Clinnch] How to Make a Leather Altoids' Tin Belt Pouch [Instructor, Kevin Luebke] Knife Etiquette & Knife Handling Skills [Instructor, Maximilian Neukäufler] 3 Tips to Draw from Observation [Instructor, Brandy Klindworth] Nails to Knives: How to make a knife from a nail [Instructor, Nathan Summers] How to Make a Wooden Burn Bowl + Rock Boiling [Instructor, Hutch Hutchings] Foolproof First Bow Drill Fire Kit - How to Make a Bow Drill Kit at Home from Junk and a Shot Glass [Instructor, David Polczynski] Painting with Pencils [Instructor, Andra Jensen] FREE BONUS COURSE! Rescue: 2-Pole Flip Winch [Instructor, Creek Stewart] All for a discounted price of $43.
Note: Neither I nor Blue Collar Prepping are at all affiliated with Outdoor Core and we have received no compensation for this. I am just a big fan of Creek Stewart and anything he teaches. 
Hang in there, everyone. We can get through this! #SocialDistancing&Quarantine #OldSchoolSkills #ErinPalette #Tribe #KnowledgeWeighsNothing
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