The Knowledge | Lewis Dartnell

Summary of: The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm
By: Lewis Dartnell


Embark on a gripping journey to rebuild civilization in the wake of catastrophe with the book summary of ‘The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm’ by Lewis Dartnell. This riveting summary guides you through the crucial steps to survive and thrive amidst the chaos that follows cataclysmic events. Learn vital skills, such as securing shelter, staying warm, finding clean water, scavenging for food, and cultivating your own crops. Gain insight into the importance of thermal energy, healthcare, crafting soap, and near-forgotten methods of timekeeping and navigation. Throughout this enlightening guide, you will acquire the indispensable knowledge necessary to rebuild a civilized society from the ashes.

Surviving Catastrophe

A catastrophe can result in the collapse of society. In such an aftermath, it’s important to take the right steps towards securing food, shelter, warmth, and water. After a catastrophe, empty homes are a good source of shelter while malls could have clothes that would last for a few years. As electricity would not be available, clothes are a more reliable source of warmth. Matches, lighters or a magnifying glass can be used to generate fire. In the immediate aftermath of a cataclysmic event, municipal supplies and supermarkets would be a good source of drinkable water. It’s critical to store as much water as possible and keep it covered to protect against contamination. Water can be quickly purified by boiling it for a few minutes.

Surviving on Supermarket Food

The aftermath of a catastrophe can be chaotic, but with the right knowledge, you can survive for years on the food available in supermarkets. While fresh food spoils fast, there are foods that can last for years, such as grains stored in a cool, dry place. It’s crucial to maintain a balanced diet and consume the food that will expire the soonest. Scavenging for seeds is also essential; they can be used to grow a garden when the supermarket food runs out. Knowing the composition of soil is vital for successful gardening. Ideal soil for growing food should consist of 40% sand, 40% silt, and 20% clay. With these tips, you can extend the available food supply and ensure your survival.

Growing Healthy Plants

Growing healthy plants requires hard work, including breaking up compacted soil, controlling weeds, and preparing topsoil. To maintain healthy soil nutrients, rotating crops is crucial. Harvesting is relatively straightforward but varies between crops.

The Importance of Charcoal Production

In a post-catastrophe scenario, the production of thermal energy through burning wood will be a crucial step in rebuilding essential industries such as baking bread, brewing beer, blowing glass, and forging metal. However, for accomplishing these complicated tasks, burning wood won’t be sufficient, and a fuel that burns much hotter than wood will be required. This is where the production of charcoal comes in. Charcoal not only burns hotter than wood but is also a clean energy source that is easy to produce. To produce charcoal, one needs to dig a large trench, fill it with wood, start a large fire in the trench, cover it with corrugated sheet metal, and put soil to prevent oxygen from entering. In a few hours, charcoal is produced, which will play an indispensable role in civilization’s rebirth.

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