Ready for TEOTWAWKI: What’s Bringing Us Along – Part 2, by K.G.

(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)

Food for Health

I am also working on growing and preserving my own food. This is another family project that my wife and children enjoy participating in. We do not have a large plot of land, so we need to make the best use of what we do have. We really challenge ourselves to see if we can get more than the preceding year. We have had some successes and some setbacks. We learn more from the setbacks than we do from the successes. When the divine hand of providence reaches down and makes our garden thrive, we feel very blessed. It is humbling to see how the natural world of creation is not subject to the whims and fancies of man.

The biggest issue that we have in growing our own food is that we are city bound and unable to have an overly large garden plot. An organization in our city rents out garden plots at a very economical price on donated land and that does help increase our yields. The skills that we are acquiring in gardening under less than ideal conditions will help us when we are ultimately able to relocate. A number of circumstances will not allow us to relocate to a more desirable area for at least two years. It is our hope that when these circumstances are resolved that we will be able to relocate to an area that is conducive to the patriot mindset and self-sufficiency.

Natural Medicine

Another skill I am acquiring, is that of natural medicine and healing. My wife has had a huge impact on this area and could probably contribute volumes to this article. Our family library now consists of numerous works explaining how herbs and natural remedies will help the body. We also have like-minded friends that share many of their recipes.

Not only is herbal and natural medicine an important part of our prepping, but eating a better overall diet is contributing to our survivability. As I stated earlier, I previously took poor care of myself. I can do little to reverse the damage I did earlier in my life. But I am now focused on temple maintenance. By watching my diet and eating good healthy foods and avoiding the over-processed foods that contribute to many of our First World health and dietary issues I hope to at best maintain my health with the hopes of some improvement.

We eat very little white foods unless they occur that way naturally. Mostly we avoid the white sugars and flours that are so over-processed that they have little nutritional value remaining in them. We aim to eat locally grown foods that are naturally produced without GMOs, pesticides, and hormones.

TEOTWAWKI Planning Odd and Ends

Imagine what will be needed in a new economy after TEOTWAWKI. Cash will most likely be of little or no value. A barter economy will be in place. Precious metals and usable base metals will become the currency of the day. What skills and abilities do you have that will be of value?

Many local community and technical colleges offer adult or continuing education courses for the people of the community. Some of the offerings include metal and wood working, electronics, automotive repair, gardening and a host of other classes. These will help bolster our skill sets and provide us with valuable education that can be used in a barter economy. These classes are usually inexpensive and will offer students the opportunity to potentially meet like-minded people. Education is an intangible asset that cannot be taken away.

I have a basic knowledge of how vehicles work. To bolster my knowledge and to keep my skills sharp, I have sold my newer vehicle and have purchased an older vehicle that I am planning on using as my bugout vehicle. Currently, it is my classroom on vehicle maintenance. The vehicle I have purchased was mass manufactured and very popular so there are ample used vehicles around for parts as well as many after-market parts.

Reloading

Learning how to reload ammunition is a three-fold cord. It will provide you with ammunition, the skill to make more ammunition, and a highly-prized barter item. Start with a simple single stage press and a set of dies. When you go to the range pick up every piece of brass that others have left behind. My son sorts our brass by caliber and we then clean it and remove the primers. We then can sell or trade the clean, un-primed brass from the calibers we don’t use and get the necessary components for the calibers that we do use. As you increase your reloading skills, you will also increase the resources on your bench and that will pay off immensely when needed in the future.

There are myriad possibilities out there for what can be done to enhance one’s abilities and value in an TEOTWAWKI situation. Let your imagination run wild and see what you can find. It will be worth it when the times come to put those skills to the test.

Conclusion

So, as you can see, the skills that I am adding to my toolbox coincide with my abilities. If it appears that I am not trying to stretch my limitations then that is an incorrect assumption. At my age and present health condition it is highly improbable that I am going to become an MMA fighter or a marathon runner. So I need to set realistic goals and expectations and slowly stretch my boundaries.

I probably can’t provide foot patrols or security around a perimeter like I once could. That doesn’t mean I have to be useless. From my hunting and gardening practice, I can provide food. With Krav Maga training, I won’t be completely defenseless if we are breached. From my first aid training I can help the sick or wounded. My amateur radio experience will allow me to provide and help with the communications that will aid security. Eating a healthy diet and the knowledge of how diet can impact health will help my family and I maintain health during less than ideal conditions. I want to be an asset and not a liability and even more so in a TEOTWAWKI situation.

Most importantly, is engaging family and a select group of like-mined friends. If we try to go it alone, we will most likely not face very good odds. There is usually safety in numbers. We all see what the mob mentality brings out in people. They have little fear in robbing, burning, and looting in a riot situation. Imagine trying to face that alone. Additionally, different people will bring different perspectives and different skills to the group.

Just like a good leader has a council of people around him or her a prepper needs to have a similar group of people situated around him or her. Look at the Presidents of the United States for example: As intelligent as they may be, they will not be educated in every area. Our current President, Donald J. Trump has experience in business and may not lean as heavily on economic advisors, but he still has them for the different perspective they offer. He will lean more heavily on those advisors that have education in areas that he may be weak in. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a five-star general that became president. He would most likely not need much council in the area of national security but again would still have advisors in that area. President Eisenhower would probably rely more on the council of economic advisors than would President Trump. We need to recognize our strengths and supplement our weaknesses.

It is not weakness to ask for or incorporate help into your plan. It is actually a sign of intelligence and strength. The expression “Jack or all trades, master of none” is quite appropriate in survival. As you can see, I am attempting to acquire knowledge in many areas. My God-given abilities make me stronger in some areas over others. Knowing where I am lacking is the wisdom, I need to fully fill my toolbox. Selectively allowing people into my planning will help me to overcome my shortfalls and cover gaps in the plan. I am not saying that my plan is foolproof or 100% complete. To the contrary, it is a living breathing plan (unlike our Constitution) that is being honed and crafted daily.

I am blessed with a job that provides a decent income and allows me to purchase many of these preps while my wife can stay at home and educate our children as we believe the Bible commands. Many of these items have not been purchased all at once, but they have been worked into the budget. Take it slow and make a budget. Buy one prep or add one skill at a time. Get involved with a group and you will be amazed at how much help is out there. One today is one more than you had yesterday.

I am not adding these skills to make myself invincible as that part of my life is far gone. What I am doing is hopefully adding to my survivability in the event of TEOTWAWKI. And isn’t that what preparedness is all about?




23 Comments

  1. Good luck with your preps. Sounds like you are nailing it down.

    Would recommend that you look into vertical gardening based on your space limitations. It would allow you to better utilize the limited space you have more efficiently.

      1. Yes! Cattle panel add to vertical gardening real estate. We have ours arched between raised beds inside the greenhouse, but they work in outdoor gardens as well. Cucumbers, sugar snap peas, and small cherry (or one of the cherry-like tomato varities) have produced nicely for us. We hope the idea helps, and is successful for others too!

  2. You are so correct that getting ready includes skill learning and experience. Many younger folks feel invincible and count on their physical strength to power through tough times and the community needs these young folks to do just that. But experienced gardeners, health and medical professionals, hunters, tanners, those who know how to preserve food in many ways, tailors and seamstresses, cobblers, etc., know it takes time and experience to be successful with these skills. Keep learning and practicing.

    1. Dan- proper storage and stack it deep! Kept dry, dark and cool, think steel cabinets and dehumidifiers. Powder and primers can last almost indefinitely. But a steady hand loader rotated as well

        1. Do that as well, can you ever have enough? but stored materials allows the handloader to load various clibers from the same stock ( 30-30 Win, 30/06, .308, etc) and there are several powders that work across several calibers, and various stored bullet weights and types allow various loads for different size game/ threats.

        2. Reloading is generally less expensive. In my experience pistol cartridges can be reloaded for very roughly 1/3 the cost of equal quality purchased ammo. Often less. Rifle ammo probably 1/2 the cost. Again often less.

  3. Excellent article. Thank you.

    In a TEOTWAWKI situation is there a more labor intensive activity than security and observation? Even we old coots (and our young brides) with decent vision and firearm skills should be an asset to most groups.

  4. My first thought concerning gardening was the square foot gardening, companion planting and vertical gardening combined. You can grow a lot in a small area using these methods. Many years ago in the old Mother Earth News magazine they showed an experiment of vertical gardening using stacked concrete blocks with spacers (approximately 1 inch) in each of the 4 corners. They placed perforated pipe down the middle and used well fortified soil. Inside the blocks. They watered from the top. The man was able to grow 4-6 plants on each layer. He pre started the plants fist then tucked them in the sides. He used netting to make little slings for the larger fruit. It was truely amazing all he could grow in a very small area. We may need to get resourceful down the road.

  5. An excellent 2nd installment and conclusion… The strategy and underlying philosophies are good ones with a focus on steady, balanced, broad based, forward progress.

    Animal House makes a very good point as well and reinforces what you’ve shared… Time and experience are important to building and developing skills. There is no question about this. It is no doubt not lost on members of this community!

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts and your experiences with all of us!

  6. Dan,

    Besides the flexibility that Wingfoot mentions (which in itself is a huge advantage), one can purchase the supplies necessary to reload today for roughly 50% of the cost of cheap, target grade ammunition, and roughly 25% of the price of specialty or match grade ammunition.

    Some specific examples: I can reload 9mm target rounds for .11 per round and 9mm hollow point rounds tailored to self defense for .25 per round, and 308 Win rounds suitable for whitetail hunting for .36 per round.

    That means I stretch my ammo dollars by 200-300%, and I can build nearly anything that anyone requests.

  7. In competitive weightlifting there is at least one formula to allow people of different ages to fairly compete with one another. For example a 30, 40, 50 year old could all compete with each other. It is called the Malone-Meltzer Age Coefficient.

    http://www.mastersweightlifting.org/forms/malone.htm

    To use them, you multiply the weight you lift by the Coefficient for your age. For example, if you lift 100 pound in a lift at 60 years of age you multiply it by 1.509. So it is equivalent to lifting 151 lbs when you were 30.

    The coefficients were calculated by comparing the competition lifts of lifters of all ages over many years to see how well trained individuals decline over time. I find the values to be scary accurate.

    What is the point? For me it is to set reasonable age adjusted goals. When I lift today my heavy lifts are now what my light warmups were when I was 30. It can be discouraging and could lead me to just abandon the weights, exit my garage, sit in my easy chair and just drink. Or it could lead me to throwing a stupid amount of weight on the bar and injuring myself. But when I complete a hard workout, multiply it by my coeffient and find that I am lifting as much or more, age adjusted as I was when I was when I was 30 it keeps me motivated. I can compete with my younger self on a reasonable basis. This helps me to keep going out to the garage and and keep striving to improve at least on an age adjusted basis vs. quitting.

    Yes it is fundamentally just a head game but I think it is a healthy head game.

    A good book (the only book I know of) on serious weightlifting for older people is “Gray Hair and Black Iron” by Brooks Kubik.

    https://www.amazon.com/Gray-Hair-Black-Iron-Successful/product-reviews/B003334Y26

    If you are 50+ and into barbells I would consider buying it. He has a slew of other good books he has written over the course of many decades as well. His theme is researching the training methods of the competitive lifters and strong men prior to the advent of steroids in the 60s and 70s. This also coincided to the time when competitive lifters made little or no money and so had demanding day jobs which took their time and energy as well. In other words he researches training methods for regular people.

  8. For your herbal medicines, try to find herbs that grow in your area that you will likely need post SHTF, either ‘weeds’ that grow naturally in your area or herbs that can be easily grown in your area. For those you will likely need, should something go seriously wrong, I’d advise purchasing them in bulk and making tinctures with cheap vodka. Herbs lose their potency after awhile but once they are tinctured they will likely last mostly forever, just try to keep them out of bright light. Get a good book on making herbal medicines, such as ‘Making Plant Medicine’ by Richo Cech, because not all herbs release their ‘good stuff’ n alcohol, for example, Lobelia (which is a MICRO-DOSE medicine) for asthma needs to be tinctured in apple cider vinegar. Also, there are some people who cannot take ANY alcohol for one reason or another, and so you will need to understand alternate ways to make your medicine. Also, do not be terribly concerned about alcohol and children, most doses for children are less than a tsp.

    As with anything, NOW is the time to do your research and get your herbs, you will likely not be able to do it after TSHTF.

  9. Really enjoyed your article. Encourging us to do what we can with the skills we have, always open to learning new skills, being honest with our own personal assessments and getting involved with trusted people. You’re invited to my place anytime. Maui dan.

  10. Great article, lots of good stuff. We geezers are going to be a treasured asset amongst the youngsters after the SHTF. “WOW! Grandpa converted the chainsaw over to run off moonshine! And Grandma cured me with some kind of weeds she found in the north pasture! I hope all that Geritol has a long shelf life cuz we’re gonna need Grandma and Grandpa around for a LONG time!”

  11. Re: Community garden. Though you want to think the best of people there are nefarious characters out there. If the plot is big enough to put a small shed on it be sure the lock up all your tools and equipment after every visit. My friend has had several shovels, bags of soil, etc taken by the “homeless” who come by and snack on others hard work. So if you have an almost unripe tomato you would want to pick it when you see it or it would be gone the next day. Same with melons and other individual fruits of the garden (not so much lettuce, chard, peas, etc).

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