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What are you preparing for?

Discussion in 'Emergency Preparedness' started by okra, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. May 15, 2013
    ORChick

    ORChick Almost Self-Reliant

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    I sometimes wonder, reading posts like this one, just where I was, growing up, in relation to everyone else? I think that you and I are of a similar age (I was born in the early 1950's), and yet I don't ever remember the "ubiquitous" "duck and cover" drills that everyone else seems to. Perhaps the central California coast didn't feel that threatened?

    My grandparents were adults, and my parents teenagers during the depression, but I don't remember them talking about it at all. Of course, they were all of a very frugal mindset, so perhaps it wasn't that big a deal? My grandfather owned his home, and, as a writer, was used to the fact that what he had to offer was not what a majority of people wanted to buy, so perhaps it was just 'business as usual' for the family. I don't know, but I didn't grow up with a great concern about the state of the world - perhaps that is a negative for me; I can't say.

    For me, I garden, and keep a full pantry, because I am essentially lazy. I prefer not to shop more often than necessary - necessary being every few weeks. We seldom have power outages here, but I would rather not be bothered by them when they happen, so I keep candles, and an extra gas canister for the grill. It happens maybe only once every 2 or 3 years, but occasionally our driveway has enough snow for a couple of days that we would prefer not to navigate it, so I try to make sure that we don't have to. My parents were not farmers, nor did they have vegetables in the garden (though mother was "into" herb cookery long before it was fashionable, and had a thriving herb garden). My mother never canned anything, beyond the occasional batch of jam, and her only preservation technique was the modern freezer, so I am not sure where I got my passion for preserving, veggie gardening, bread baking, "doing" for myself. She cooked from scratch, and sewed, and was very housewifely, but our talents, and interests, are very different - although I also cook from scratch, and sew. I tend to think that I am a throwback to an earlier time. That is fine with me, though other people tend to think that I am a bit odd. DH grew up in a large city, raised by parents also from large cities. They went through WW2 rather directly - being citizens of Germany - so had some interesting tales to tell. As did he - also being a citizen of Germany, and living there the first 27 years of his life. But my interest in gardens and chickens and food preservation is more of an amusing "thing" his wife does, rather than something he fully understands.

    So, what am I prepping* for? The winter snow, or the next bout of illness. Why do I prep*? Because I can.

    *"Prep", by the way, is not a term I use, nor one I like. It smacks of slang, and one thing my prim, housewifely mother discouraged in her children was the use of slang. :rolleyes: ;) :lol:
     
  2. May 15, 2013
    moolie

    moolie Almost Self-Reliant

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    "Couldn't dream of" is probably the key--so many things we have access to today are not necessary for living a full and happy life.

    I think this all the time. When you google anything prepper-related such as food storage you find all sorts of people who have basements and other storage rooms full of commercially packaged and canned food. Should something happen that would require using up that food, then what? My hubs was out of work for nearly a year a while back and we got through it by having savings, both in terms of our garden/pantry and our monetary savings. It is so simple and costs so little to grow a garden (mere pennies for piles of food) and only takes some basic skill and knowledge to preserve that food--but you do need that knowledge in order to do it. And then there's the personal choice side, we prefer to know what is in our food and to have it available in its simplest form rather than processed and full of additives.
     
  3. May 15, 2013
    moolie

    moolie Almost Self-Reliant

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    I've been busy lately with my Girl Guides unit (like Girl Scouts) and we have been doing a lot of hiking and getting ready for camp. Something we have to think about whenever we head out is a list of "survival" necessities known as the "10 essentials". The essentials of life are pretty basic: warmth, water, and food (and I would add something along the lines of family or community--a support group). In the woods, the 10 essentials include:

    Navigation: map & compass
    Shelter: tarp or tent/bivvy sack
    Sun protection: sunscreen & sunglasses
    Food: bring extra
    Water: method of purification plus backup method
    Insulation: extra clothing
    Light source: headlamp/flashlight
    Health: First Aid Kit
    Fire makers: at least 2 methods--matches, flint & steel, lighter etc.
    Knife or multitool

    Not sure if all of these really apply to the subject at hand, but they are on my mind today as I prepare for a particular upcoming hike so I thought I'd share in case it helps someone organize their thoughts and planning.
     
  4. May 15, 2013
    hqueen13

    hqueen13 <Insert Snazzy Title Here

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    You sound a lot like me, just further along. I think I've grown up in the wrong era numerous times, and I'm certain it will come up again. I'm not doing all the things I wish to do yet, but I will eventually.
    And I agree with your assessment of being a "prepper." I don't want to be a "prepper," I just want to be prepared, and live a self sufficient way of life so I don't HAVE to depend on anybody. Will I depend on others? Definitely, but I want to be in a position where the need isn't great... so that way when I do have a great need, I can call on them and they'll be able to lend support.
     
  5. May 15, 2013
    cheepo

    cheepo Lovin' The Homestead

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    Not prepping for desaster but for future self sustainability...
    Hopefully we get a good 3 years before hubby has to retire..and hopefully will be ok...
    but with inflation..rising..i am trying to do all that i can ...
    we bought and own..our small slice of heaven...and i do feel blessed..is a lovely quality of life
    and our cost of living is low...and i hope to get as much in as perenial harvesting...that when the time
    comes, and we have a little income..there will be nothing but blessings around us too harvest and enjoy...
    everything i do i am inkng in either year terms , or future wealth...even if that is investing in future flower blooms..
    My hubby has really come to appreciate my ways...when we first got together he was a non aware overspender
    but has been reformed...and takes all my new ideas and ways in stride...and now rarely questions my stockpilling.
     
  6. May 20, 2013
    Icu4dzs

    Icu4dzs Almost Self-Reliant

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    Exactly! Frankly, the term "prepping" is another of the many ways we have destroyed the English language.
    Most of the people who are "prepping" (and I really do detest that term") have been stocking things that have short shelf lives and are NOT renewable. I am often amazed at the wisdom found in some of the old stories taught to me as a child. We all know the story of "The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg" and we have all heard the story of "Stone Soup" each of which tells the reader some truly valuable message veiled in allegory. How about "Jack and the Beanstalk"?

    How many of us have been duped by the fact that the hybrid seeds that we have been sold are not only unusable the following year but are purportedly "the property of Monsanto or 3M" or some other Agribusiness conglomerate whose intent is to make themselves so incredibly wealthy by making us dependent on them? They believe that we are prohibited from using "their seeds" without purchasing them year after year. Rubbish! Right now, a bag of corn seed is over $300! ARe you kidding me? It is less than a bushel. The yield is selling for around $6/bushel and would grow just as well. Did anyone notice that gasoline jumped $.60 a gallon this week? WHY?

    The Oil Industry has been very clever about this and very successful as well. The world is dependent on oil. So we see there are large businesses whose intent is to make us dependent on them; hence our loss of self-sufficiency.

    The term "prepping" is a misnomer because each of us has some specific purpose for what we do. Cheepo makes it quite clear that she is in this for the sustainability of her living, i.e. self preservation against the ever increasing inflation of the cost of survival that has been thrust upon us by those who have the "legal rights" to certain things, of which food has become under their "control".
    After I read this string again, and wrote what I wrote, I realized that I am NOT "prepping". I am on a completely different path and have been on that path since I was introduced to the concept in the early 1970's after my return from the war.

    It never occurred to me that I was headed in NO DIRECTION AT ALL in those days other than to become a member of a profession, which at that time was respected by society and has fallen into the category of disrespect by legislation as well as unscrupulous persons who came here from other countries with those "skills" and found out that they could get away with the same form of corruption that they learned from their own countries. Who needs that?

    Despite the fact that I had only one "track" in my mind at the end of the war, I did get a copy of the Mother Earth News and in it was a regular article called "The Self-Sufficiency Contest". Each volume of the MEN discussed the folks who had accomplished this.

    I made it my life's ambition to be one of them because it was obvious that the world was going a different direction and my country was going the same way.
     
  7. Jun 19, 2013
    Britesea

    Britesea Sustainability Master

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    This thread is a little old, but I'm just returning to SSF after a hiatus, and thought I would answer the OP's question.

    I'm not prepping. I'm developing a robust post-apocalyptic skill set :lol:

    First a little background... way back in my rebellious teen years, I wanted to run away from home. There was a small group of us that planned to go live what I would now call a self-reliant life on an island owned by the father of one of the group. I started reading up on pioneer lifestyles- learning at least the theory of soap-making, candle-making, and spinning. I ended up NOT running away (thank God), but my interest in "primitive" skills did not go away.

    Fast Forward to the first Gas Crunch in the early 70's... I learned to not go to the store every day, which meant stocking up in my pantry.

    Since then, I've been living in more rural areas where you just get used to the power going away every once in a while, and the nearest store is 15 miles one way, and sometimes the roads aren't plowed after a snow storm...

    Then there was the time when DH was on disability for 9 months (we are a one-income family) and I was intensely grateful I had extra food in the freezer and pantry...

    Now I look at what's going on in the world and I'm not sure if we are heading for a financial crash, civil war, hostile invasion, or pandemic (which we are overdue for), not to mention the "normally occurring" disasters like wildfire, winter storms, drought, and unemployment. I can't imagine doing anything BUT prepare for the future. I pray we won't see anything like the "war" on the kulaks in Russia in the early 1900's, as most of us on SSF have land in order to pursue our particular brand of happiness.

    We moved to a rural agricultural area (the largest town, and county seat, only has a population of 40,000). We have a small amount of land sufficient to grow a large garden, a small orchard, and a few ducks... but we have neither the land nor the energy to truly become self-sufficient. We have been slowly stocking up our pantry with canned and dried foods. I downgraded our freezer to a small chest freezer so that if the worst happens I have a fighting chance of saving the smaller amount of food in there. We have also been acquiring tools that do not require gasoline or electricity to use them- both in the house and outside. I have been learning more about making candles, soap and other cleaning products, and herbal medicine; DH is becoming a master at naturally-leavened bread. We are still a long way from what I would call "prepared", but every day is a chance to learn a little more and put by a little more.

    Now I have to go. I have about 20 pounds of carrots to dehydrate :)
     

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