I try to have a long view, one that is both near and far in perspective. Whenever significant events occur, I do a quick review of my potential events risk analysis to see if anything’s changed that might impact how I’m prepared. For example, when North Korea started acting up, I realized that I needed to do some additional preparations to handle potential nuclear and EMP events. At the start of every year I also do a deep-dive review to see if there’s anything I might need to re-consider or adjust.
A Question During This Year’s Review
During this year’s review I thought of a question that I really didn’t have good answer to: How long am I really prepared to survive for? I have about a year’s worth of food stored. Every year I have a decent-sized garden that I harvest and can for the winter, and I also harvest the seeds for next year’s garden. I can fish and hunt year-round, so I have pretty steady access to meat. I have several waterproof bins worth of medical supplies, and my house can be heated with wood alone, if necessary.
There ared several hundred gallons of water stored inside, and several high-capacity water filters. (I live next to a lake and near a river.) But I also realized that many of these preparations aren’t sustainable in terms of multiple years, and many depended on having the right tools, supplies, and skills available and in working order to make them viable in the long term.
One question you need to ask yourself when preparing is, how long should I plan on the need to be completely self-sufficient? If you’re only worried about events like earthquakes or blizzards, you may only need to be able to take care of yourself and your family for a few weeks or maybe months. However, if you’re concerned about events with a long-term impact, where society may not reassert itself for years or even decades, you may want to consider expanding your preparations. For the purpose of this discussion I consider long-term planning to be anything beyond two years after a society-ending event.
One of the hardest changes for most people will be shifting from a “throw-away” attitude to a “repair everything” one. Since you won’t be able run down to the store or log onto Amazon to buy replacements for things that break, you’ll need to start developing repair skills.
Inventory Things You’ll Need
Start by taking an inventory of the things you’ll need use on an extended basis. These might include knives, saws, shovels, hammers, farming tools, solar systems, et cetera. Now think about all of the ways they can fail and how you could go about fixing them several years down the road when there are no stores available. Keep in mind what may not store well long term. These things might include welding gas, liquid glue, duct tape, et cetera. Here are a couple of ideas for items you may want to stock to help with repairs:
- Haywire clamper and wire – This allows you to create tight and strong repairs using wire.
- Powdered glue – If you store this in an airtight container, it will remain effective for years. You should also become familiar with making and using natural glues, like hide glue and pine-pitch glue.
- Nails, screws, nuts, and bolts – The purpose of these is kind of obvious.
- WD-40 – This stuff lasts forever and has thousands of uses.
- Hot glue sticks – You can melt these with any heat source and use them for repairs, and they’ll last a long time if stored in an airtight container.
- Files – Useful for hundreds of different repairs.
- Sharpening stones/pucks – These can be used to repair any edged tool.
- Self-fusing silicone repair tape– The manufacturers’ claim this stuff will store for decades and still be effective.
- Sewing supplies – This is handy because clothes tear.
- Solder – Yes, you can solder without a soldering iron.
- Manual tools – Your battery-operated drill and gas chainsaw are nice, but for long-term repairing you’ll need the tools and skills that your ancestors utilized for hundreds of years that only required muscle and skill.
Some Recommended Manual Tools
Here are some items I’d recommend acquiring and practicing with:
- Brace and bitwith a good selection of drill bits
- Various types of hand saws
- Hand planers
- Carving knives
- Treadle lathe
Skills To Do Repairs
Having the skills to do repairs is just as important as having the tools and supplies. You should start practicing a “repair everything” lifestyle right now. Not only will it save you a lot of money, you’ll have the skills you need to sustain yourself and your family long term.
One of your biggest long-term concerns will need to be food. If you aren’t currently completely self-sufficient in terms of food production, you probably won’t be able to become so after a major long-term disaster. The rule of thumb is that it takes anywhere from ½ to 1 acre of land to grow enough food to feed a single person per year, and that doesn’t include meat sources like chickens, rabbit, or cows. You also need the capability to preserve food for consumption outside of the harvest seasons (e.g. canning, smoking, et cetera.)
Even if you do currently grow and preserve a lot of your own food, you should take an inventory of what you need to continue to support that process on a long-term basis. Do you harvest and save your own seeds? What tools do you need for farming? Do you use commercial insecticides? Do you depend on commercial fertilizer, or can you feed a one acre farm using just compost?
Practice Maintaining a Farm Now
Maintaining a one acre farm long term is very different than growing a small backyard garden, and if you try to accomplish the transition after a major SHTF event you’ll be well behind the curve. You should consider starting the process now. Below are some considerations in this process:
- Assuming you have the land, begin expanding your food production until you can support your family and have a surplus.
- Practice using easily produced and repairable manual tools to do as much of the labor as possible. You don’t need to completely replace your labor-saving gas and electric tools, but you should be prepared to continue farming if they aren’t available.
- Wean yourself off of commercial chemical products. Start using composting; natural, easily-available, and easily-stored insecticides; and methods like companion planting.
- Practice food preservation. Can the foods you grow, with the goal being to minimize the amount of food you have to buy at the store. Make sure you have plenty of spare canning supplies, since glass jars do break occasionally.
- Harvest your own seeds. Your goal should be the ability to plant next year’s crops without having to buy any new seeds.
- In order to extend your growing season, consider setting up a greenhouse. Make sure you have enough repair and replacement materials to sustain it in the long term.
- Learn how to forage to supplement your farming. While it’s probably not practical as a large-scale, long-term food source by itself, a good dandelion salad or a handful of fresh raspberries can add some much-needed variety to your diet.
The same concepts apply to farming animals. If you’re not currently doing it, even on a smaller scale, it’ll be extremely difficult to start after a disaster. Even if you’re currently raising chickens or rabbits, are you prepared to continue to do so on a long-term basis without any outside support? Can you diagnose and treat injuries and diseases? If you want to make yourself more self-sufficient, I recommend taking an animal husbandry class or two. ACS out of Australia offers a good online animal husbandry certificate course. Depending on your situation and location, you may also want to consider fish farming. It adds another dimension to your long-term food supply, and it’s not very labor intensive.
Tomorrow, we will continue with this section on food and move into water, weapons, and more.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 74 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 74 ends on January 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.
Always remember water weight 8.34 lbs per gallon. Your house if not a concrete slab will take only so much water in containers till it starts to warp the floor of your structure. Plan it out spread the weight around. You don’t want to buckle your floor. Also second story dwellers also need to spread it around to. You wouldn’t put 4 fifty gallon barrels in one closet upstairs…That’s close to a TON of weight!
Thank you J.M. For me, one of your most important and thoughtful suggestions could be found in the second paragraph: “How long am I really prepared to survive for”. This point not only brings up the material items and skills needed to survive, but also the psychological issue of “Why” we choose to survive. As a Christian, what am I to expect after surviving such unspeakable horror? Do I deserve entrance into the Kingdom of the One that suffered and gave so much, knowing that my brothers and sisters suffered famine and disease as I hid amongst the bushes with my garden and filtered water? Do I assume that a government that works so hard to deny us our rights will simply disappear, or will they emerge from their bunkers reinvigorated with plans for even greater oppression and tyranny? If so, we are nothing but perpetual targets for a metaphorical mass shooter, and instead of trying to take down the shooter, we are attempting to find a cure for gunshots. Imagine if we spent as much time trying to prevent the horror as we do preparing for it. Thank you for your inspiration.
” Imagine if we spent as much time trying to prevent the horror as we did preparing for it ”
Truer words have never been spoken. Yes, we need to do both, prep for the future and take a stand for the here and now make sure it does not get any worse, and to make sure it gets better!
Bang that drum brother, bang it long, bang it hard, bang it deep….Semper Fi!
Thanks for the comments. I actually consider well-planned and implemented prepping one way of helping avoid (or at least delay) some of the inevitable impacts of our current lifestyle. Can you imagine a world where people grow their own food, produce and fix their own tools, and don’t depend on the government or society to meet all of their needs?
This is a great series! Thank you very much.
This has become our lifestyle, growing a garden and fruit/nut trees to supplement our diet. However, animals are what has sustained the human race for many generations. For me, it is the practices down through the ages that we should learn a lesson from, because surviving was hard in most of those generations. It is thanks to animals that we still exist, despite what the prevailing modern wisdom says. Because of this, we have focused our efforts on raising our animals.
Do not plan on eating rabbits to keep yourself alive. Google “Rabbit starvation” and you will see that rabbits are not a good source of sustenance. They have zero fat stores, and fat is essential to being able to digest protein of any kind. I do have rabbits, but not for me to eat. I have them in rabbit tractors, to eat down weeds in the pasture that other animals don’t like. They also fertilize the pasture. One more source of fertilizer is always a good thing. They are very low maintenance, so I don’t mind keeping a few around for those purposes.
There is a reason that fat was the sacred part of the animal down through the years, in every culture of the world. This is naturally sourced, naturally raised saturated fat from animal sources, such as lard, tallow and butter. If you sit down and ponder it, you will see that vegetable sources of fat/oil, with the exception of olive oil, are not easily extracted by the common peasant. It requires huge factories and expensive, modern equipment. Would God hide the most healthy source of fat/oil in a hard to extract place like a plant? Probably not. He placed it in an animal, that can be easily processed with simple tools. That alone tells me that we should be using those simple sources to get our fat. Ironically, saturated fat also stores the easiest for longer term. And it is finally being found to be the healthiest fat we can eat. Most of the modern diseases would be nearly cured by cutting out modern unhealthy eating habits and getting back to eating animal protein and fat, such as raw milk, cream and butter, and eggs. Raw cream alone is a perfect food that will keep a person alive and thriving and a heathy weight. Eggs are also a perfect food source. Because they are so easy to produce, they alone are credited with keeping the human race alive down through the years. These are lessons we would be wise to pay attention to. Sure, animals require constant care. Just by their nature, they have to be fed and watered everyday. You can’t bebop all over the world and have animals at home. But what they give you is well worth the trouble of staying close to home. Having spent my childhood stuck in the city with little to eat, I have a large amount of appreciation for the opportunity to stay close to home and take care of my animals. The sacrifice of not being able to travel is made up many times over by the valuable food they give me, as well as the entertainment. This is food that is so much higher quality than anything that can be bought in a store. City people pay a lot of money and search high and low for food of the quality that I commonly produce through my animals.
The benefit of animals as protein and fat comes from the fact that they utilize mostly plants that humans find unuseful, and they can utilize plants that naturally grow without help from humans. This is their strength. Cows, poultry, goats and sheep eat unusable-to-human-plants and bugs and turn them into valuable food. This is why humans have depended on them for so long. They have the digestive tracks that can convert them into usable, palatable food. This is how the human race survived and thrived down through history. The cow alone is historically the producer of wealth. She can turn grass and various weeds into valuable milk, butter and cheese. She can also survive on many tree leaves, as can goats. I use the chickens, geese, ducks, guineas, rabbits and goats as support for the cows, since no land does well being grazed by one type of animal. Isn’t it amazing how God created woody bushes to grow and thrive by themselves for the purpose of feeding animals? He knew what he was doing. Now, people spend a lot of their time fighting the system God set up, trying to destroy that system and make just grass grow, which they then cut with a bought machine. God made an animal to take care of all that, an animal that we can eat! Most woody bushes or trees will not thrive where a cow or goat can get to! They will make sure to take care of it.
Coconut oil/butter are the easiest oils to extract(easier than animal fats),store well and a medium chain oil is better utilized by the body.
We evolved over millions of years as hunter/gatherers and omnivores,to say livestock need constant care means are trying to fight nature instead of working with it. We transplanted many species that are not very suitable and therefore need a lot of maintence insted of finding a place and livestock that are compatible and would need little care or maintence
On canning,it is not sustainable long term due to the single use lid,even a deep stockpile will be depleted,the reuseable lids are better but will only last as long as the sealing rings. A skill to practice is drying/dehydrating for storage(how much are dried tomatoes now? How much could they be worth in the future?
I find it incredibly fascinating how much emphasis people place on so-called clean water. I get that water can become contaminated by the really bad stuff that can kill you. That’s not what I’m talking about. I am talking about clean by modern American standards. I had a friend who didn’t want her chickens or cow to ever, ever drink rain water. She wanted them to only drink bought, from the tap, chlorinated, florinated water. Yet she was busy buying a filter to filter out the chlorine and Floride from her water so her kids wouldn’t drink it or touch it. She completely missed the idea that a chicken would rather drink rain water that has a bug or two in it, that fell from the sky, than water from the tap. I have had open rain barrels for years now, as well as a water trough under the eave of the barn to catch the drip of rain for the cows. I have pulled from this rain water for years without having to draw much water from the tap. We have ponds for the cows to drink out of, and they survive and thrive on it. Nature is not dependent on human methods of water filtration to keep water clean. What does a deer or any other wild animal drink? Do you really believe that they wouldn’t survive without humans? Do you think wild birds are sick? Only if humans intervene! We would be wise to observe God’s creation in its natural state and copy the animals who are in touch with the things of nature. Animals know what’s best and what isn’t. If I was ever in a situation where I needed to know if something was safe, I would copy an animal first. Their instincts are trained to correctly judge the health of whatever is available and choose what is best. Once, I was cracking pecans off my tree. A few were bad, and I’d throw them on the ground. If it was a good pecan, my dog or chickens would eat it. If it was a bad pecan, they would ignore it. I was once trying to figure out what a certain plant was, a weed. I picked some and threw it to several different kinds of animals (cows and chickens). They ignored it. Some types of weeds they both devoured. Some, they ignored. Come to find out, it was a highly poisonous weed, that I needed to eradicate. I didn’t know, but they did.
Actually animal fat and fats from dairy are not the best source of fat. Fish posses the best fat and oil which doesn’t cause Heart Disease. Americans have a high risk of Heart Disease due to their large consumption of beef and dairy products.
Perhaps you both are correct. Fish oil is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are also present in Pasture fed animals. These animals are far more likely to retain the Omega 3 fatty acids that are present in fresh pastures that they graze upon. Many a dairy rely on corn based feed to feed their animals and would thus be more deficient in nutrients. Thus you would both be correct 🙂
1) One lesson is that when humans lived in primitive conditions the land could only sustain a few million of them –esp here in North America. 9000 ago, people around the world were at about the same level of technology and living standards. There are good reasons why Europeans with iron tools, guns and sailboats that had crossed the Atlantic found people still living in the Stone Age here. No food surplus -> no progress. Because people on the constant verge of starvation don’t have the spare time to think , innovate and advance science and technology.
2) Given that there are over 7 billion people, a lot of people are going to die of starvation or disease if our civilization collapses.
3) Plus much of the natural resources that let us get to where we are have been depleted. If civilization collapses we may not be able to rebuild it — no vast reserves of easily extracted coal, oil, and metal ores. Plus as I noted , about a century ago farming depended upon horses/mules and there was about 1 horse for every 3 persons. Today, the ratio is much less –around 100 people per horse on a large area of the East Coast. So we have no way to plow the fields to the extent we would need to if the tractors’ parts and fuel runs out.
Don,you need to review your history,almost everything you site as European was taken from elsewhere iron and steel were worked at levels we still can’t replicate in feudal Japan,guns and gunpowder were Chinese,sailboats were ubiquitous but the largest fleets were sailed by the Chinese in exploring the pacific as far as Central America. At the time of the European conquest the largest cities were in Mexico and Central America with standards of living that exceeded the europeans(you don’t need immunity from diseases you don’t let flourish). Please control the eurocentrism when it isn’t factual. As far as a ratio if people to horses on the east coast,a number closer to several thousand to one would be more accurate. The last century has been fueled by easy energy in the form of past sunlight stored in coal and petroleum. We have burned millions of years of sunlight and now have used up the easiest part and need to wean ourselves off it to cleaner more sustainable forms or our civilization will fail and our species may also fail.
The truth is, we don’t know who really invented, learned or did what first. As humans we see something that works and use it. Some cultures are more geared towards improving and expanding on a technology, some discover something, and then just never improve on it. This really is a matter of social emphasis on inventions.
For centuries we thought China was the oldest civilization, until a few years ago when large buildings were excavated in northern Syria. In the Mexican and Central American civilizations you talk about, you assume a standard of living that you can’t possibly assume since we know so little about them. What we do know is mostly in reference to their elite and not common people. You assume that somehow drilling for oil and digging for coal is worse for the land than bulldozing mountains for rare earth minerals used in “sustainable” energy. We assume the Earth’s temperature is getting colder, warmer, oh heck let’s just call it Climate Change.
Heck, there’s even some (disputed) genetic evidence that Europeans crossed a ice bridge and colonized North America thousands of years before anyone crossed the land bridge.
Being Politicallycentric is just as wrong as Eurocentric.
Thank you all for the fantastic comments. Some of the issues you’ve raised will be discussed in parts 2 and 3 of the series.
Thank you for all the hard work you put into this and your future parts of this article. We The People need to be constantly reminded that we need to stay on top of our prepping weather it be educating our selves, food, books, weapons, tools, farming, ect, ect, ….
Thanks to you and to all who contribute and run this Blog.
To you wise preppers that intend to plant gardens to help feed your families I have just one word to you……..JAR LIDS. Okay, that’s two words but anyway don’t forget to get an over abundance of jar lids. You can’t get too many because they will be in demand and will be great bartering items. This was a really good article. I’m looking forward to part two.
Here is my long view, my plan for survival if things go south, and I think this a very likely scenario in the coming years.
I am a reasonable person who values the security of my family, that being my wife, myself, and our dog. I have taken the necessary and prudent steps to keep us safe and protected and fed for a period of time should a calamity occur. I have several choice and practical firearms, I have an adequate pantry of freeze dried food to keep us fed for a good period of time. I plan to remain at home and I apologize in advance to anyone who threatens my family, I understand you may be hungry and unprepared for a disaster, but if I see you coming up my driveway I will demand that you halt, you will not be allowed to threaten me. These are my preparations, if they are inadequate and I face a survival dilemma , then I am happy to go home to be with my Lord. I am in my sixties and have no aspirations to stick around to pick up the pieces of a broken world. Our Lord Jesus Christ has a plan, and I defer to Him. He will surely wipe away all tears, come Lord Jesus!
Ya know I just gotta say this and it is not directed at the writer of this article but to all.
I read this stuff and all these folks have all this stuff, I mean thousands of rounds of ammo, years and years of food, thousands of dollers of medical supplies, all this great stuff tucked away in fifty acres of perfect land with ponds and streams abounding , you get my drift. Any one of us including me could say the same and much more without ONE ounce of proof to show anyone. I ain’t got c**p compared to that. I and my wife will be raped killed and eaten by the hordes within hours because we do not have the resources to prepare. Just thought I would throw out some TRUTH. To yall. Good luck.
It’s about choices and priorities. It wasn’t that long ago that I had a friend in need. They had just lost their job. They had sold all of their furniture, expecting to move. When the move fell through, they were nearly destitute. I had started saving extra food about six months earlier and I decided to split my carefully saved food and share it with them. I had one box of canned foods that weighed about 35 pounds and that was it. I split it in half and gave half to them. That was a mere 12 years ago. It’s like a snowball rolling downhill. You start small. Make good financial decisions. Each time you refuse to go out to eat at McDonald’s and instead buy those extra cans of beans, you will help your situation. TV broken? do you really need a new one? Why not spend that money on an alternative water source? Do you really “need” that vacation to Disney World?
It starts small and soon becomes a way of life. Choosing to be wise over your resources is a way of life. There is no one in the U.S. right now that can’t make a start today. Quit thinking in terms of the thousands of dollars and bring the decisions down to right here, right now. The small stuff matters because that is the principle that the big stuff is built on.
“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” – Luke 16:10
I would also argue that skills and attitude are more important than ‘stuff’. There are hundreds of free resources, including SurvivalBlog.com, that can help you learn how to do everything from starting a fire to foraging for food to building a shelter, and you can do all of it with a few halfway-decent items you can pick up at any Walmart for less than $20. It’s up to you to learn and practice those skills, and anyone outside of prison (or California) has the freedom to choose to do so. We are all blessed with free will, and deciding whether you’re powerless to do anything to be prepared is entirely up to you.
Exactly. Oh I love amazon, but having a book and a tool is not the same as having a skill. Good luck flipping through “When there is no Doctor” with your hands covered in blood, and adrenaline has your hands shaking.
The single most important prep I work on every year, is developing a new skill. These things take time, and lots of practice. Heck, getting near 20wpm in CW has taken me close to a year of daily practice.
Learning simple electronics tasks like making devices work with batteries of different voltages, using batteries in parallel or serial configurations, all take time (and a few smoking parts). And don’t talk to me about my nemesis – soldering. Time, practice, mistakes, because when SHTF there will be no time for practice and mistakes.
I agree with you on this point, I have an average income and below average bills. A reasonable mortgage on a very reasonable house, utilities without frills, a flip phone and basic cable, My car is paid for,I helped my son through school where he majored in computer engineering and just joined the Air Force (it’s the family business)but I have less than 10Kin debt for all that due to his hard work and scholarships. I don’t take fancy vacations (or any at all in fact). I live in a small rural southern town 75 miles from ANYWHERE but raw land prices are at nose bleed levels around here. 50 acres of good land would cost 250 – 350K easily without a house or infrastructure. Much more with stream or river frontage. Per capita income in the county is $21,000 per head or $38,000 per family. Very few crops survive the blasting summer heat here and due to the limestone underlying 2 feet under the surface everywhere few deep rooted crops or trees can thrive. We have one Walmart and one other market kept in business only by constant city subsidy and sales tax return. I maintain prudent stocks of food, supplies, self defense, and hard financial assets (worth easily 35-50K after years of hard work) but they wouldn’t add up to a hill of beans compared to (seemingly) every person or prepper website owner who posts on these types of pages with apparently multi million dollar homesteads, livestock, solar panel arrays able to generate nuclear plant level outputs, unlimited hydro assets, NORAD level Bugout Bunkers, decades of food and medicine etc… They all advise us to “do this and that or ELSE” _ You get where I’m going here. The only person who I have actually met who has this level of preparedness is worth over 100 Million and who really has that in reality? Sorry,I often have to call BS on many of these stories. Not saying some aren’t true but as my favorite President Ronnie said: “Trust but Verify”! Best regards.
I’m not sure what in the article gave you the impression I was working with a ‘multi-million dollar homestead’, but that’s not what I meant to convey. I live on a 1-acre lot next to a lake, and I’ve slowly built up my preps over a period of 15 years. My garden started out with a few vegetables and herbs, and I’ve been slowly adding to it every year. Most of what I’ve bought in terms of equipment or supplies has come from dollar stores, yard sales or Craigslist. I’d say the most expensive items I’ve invested in arms my firearms/ammo and solar system, and those have taken me years to build up to where I am now. I’ve also done a lot of the work on both myself. I don’t think you have to be rich to be prepared, but I do think you have to be willing to make the effort to learn and apply the skills that can help you become self-sufficient.
Thanks for your reply,
please understand I am not criticizing your article specifically. I’m agreeing with the main point of the OP above. I’m referring in a global sense to the (it seems like) umpteenbillion prepper oriented sites that often begin by urging readers to chuck all and bury themselves in remote corners of the country on “homesteads” or “off the grid retreats” to live the Grizzly Adams lifestyle with self sufficient everything often involving massive investments of time and treasure to just get started (often by pushing very dubious new occupations to replace the one you are supposed to give up) – usually with hair raising dire warnings about TEOTWAWKI and the Golden Horde breathing down our collective necks. I personally have to call BS on much of it. I – like you have a small chunk of land in a very rural town and I too have developed it as well as I can to allow some very limited self sufficiency in terms of fresh produce, fruit, and herbs as well as accumulating stockpiles of supplies to last a while in a bad situation. However, I really don’t think most folks interested in getting involved with this lifestyle realize the sheer HARD WORK and expense involved in developing and maintaining even a very modest operation such as mine. Aside from the prohibitive cost of land and infrastructure in much of the country – even in very rural areas such as mine. there is the very real challenges put forth by Mother Nature in the Deep South for example. Aside from 100 days in the summer with heat indexes past 100 F in the summers, swarms of biting insects, and extreme humidity which make it very very difficult to address the relentless maintenance requirements of plantings, infrastructure and gardens. There is also the problem of ravenous insects, birds, and rodents destroying hard grown produce (I usually only get about a 40 – 50% return on my harvest from my climate appropriate crops such as figs, muscadine grapes, and pears due to them). Water for the crops is a tome by itself and the possibility of having to hand carrying 25 – 50 gallons of water every couple of days to keep the garden alive at the height of summer is not something many folks can do regularly – you simply can’t catch enough water to supply this much. Then there is the issue of TIME to do all of this since most of us having to work for a living to support our families and to pay bills which leaves little time to
dedicate to even more hard labor after a long week in the salt mines. I’m not even going to get into the subject of trying to squeeze out the funds needed to procure some of these wild fantasy “must have requirements” pushed by so many sites. Most Americans can’t even cough up $400 for an emergency as you well know. I’m really not involved in a rant here. Just trying to point out some of the fallacies I see in so many sites in limited space. For what it’s worth, I agree with much of what you say in terms of long slow preparation. I personally believe it’s much more cost and time effective to simply stockpile a multitude of 44 cent cans of veggies and 90 cent cans of fruit from Walmart than to try and grow them
on your own as I do with very hard work and very limited success and certainly not in the quantity needed to sustain life when TSHTF! Just my 2 cents! Thanks for listening.
J Dub :
You do not need 50 acres all need is anywhere from 1 to 5 acres anything else becomes to much to defend when the golden hoards head out to try and take what you worked so hard to earn, build, set up, etc, ect. Get organized get family involved to help defend, work and up keep after he SHITF. No ne can defend any type of homestead by themselves. Do not quit. Do not dispare. Do not be afraid to ask for help. Last and certainly not least trust in the Lord God Almighty. Peace.
Thank you! We are a multi generational career military family and in the words of the great Mr T – “I pity the FOOL who decides to try robbing us” 😀