Showing posts with label preparedness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label preparedness. Show all posts

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Can You Really Live Without Money?


If there is something that the frugal tightwad and prepper in me love, it is stories about living without money. Stories, books, and videos about living without money keep me fascinated. I wonder how they do it. I wonder what they did in life that led to the decision to live without money. I also wonder what they did earlier in life that they could live without money now. I also wonder what circumstances brought about the decision to live without money.

Because...I don't think it is truly possible to live without money.

Call me a skeptic. Almost all people could not live without a little money. There are always rent and/or bills to pay no matter where you live. While you can grow a lot of food, you still need to go to the grocery store for a few essentials. Most things you need to function in a household need to be purchased or procured somehow.

Even those people who live with only the items they can carry had an initial purchase of the backpack and those items. Most items usually have to purchased somehow. Even though a lot of people barter and trade for things and claim they don't use the money, they don't realize that bartering and trading is a form of currency - just not actual money.

One of the things I notice in a lot of these stories of living with no money is that people are usually taking advantage of other people's kindness and their willingness to either donate goods to or spend the money on that person. The person themselves may not be using any money and technically living without money, however, other people are spending their money on that person somehow.

Many preppers have this idea that if and when WROL (without rule of law) happens, money as we know it will mean nothing. You will need gold and silver to pay for items or otherwise you will need to sharpen your bartering and trading skills. However, you will notice that some form of currency will still be needed or used in their line of thinking. While I don't disagree with them, without a standard unit of measurable value, gold and silver will not mean much either unless a value is attached to it. Without rule of law, who will attach a value to it? There is great potential for inflation in this problem which will cause people to live without as much as possible in order to not use any form of currency.

Many preppers also have this idea that they can run to the woods, live off-grid, live off the land, and not need money at all. They also have an unrealistic view of how hard it is to survive like this. They claim that people did this hundreds of years ago and it can be done today. I would argue this. First of all, read your history. Many people who did live in the wild still traveled to the trading posts and local towns to do trading and purchase goods they needed to survive. Otherwise, traders and traveling salesmen stopped at their homes at least once a year to replace or purchase items needed.

Very few people could make all the items they needed to survive. Items like clothing would need to be replaced which meant purchasing fabric and sewing items. They more than likely traded furs, produce, and crops for these items. However, some form of currency was happening.

Second of all, most preppers do not have all the skills and physical stamina needed to live a life like that. The pioneers were a tough group of people who learned quickly to make do, make it themselves, or live without if it wasn't a necessity. We have gotten used to purchasing the items we need and do not know how to make a log cabin without using nails. Even in the 1800s, windows for cabins were purchased or traded for. Again, some form of currency was used. They did not live without money.

So, as it stands, almost all people today cannot live without some form of currency. However, as much as I think we cannot live without it, I certainly think we can live with much less money than we do now. There are quite a few people in the world who make do for themselves - growing their own food, saving seeds for next year, sewing their own clothes, mending their things, and generally being self-reliant. They live and practice skills so they do not need as much money to live like the standard person.

Some people are forced to live without a lot of money. They earn just enough to survive and that is it. Some people have more than they need. However, being wasteful with money can cause hard times in the future when they may not be earning it but still need it. As preppers, we want to purchase and procure all the things we may need in a crisis, but we need to be weary of what that crisis may be. We may need to put money away and live simply now in order to survive the crisis later.

Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments. While I don't believe someone can truly live without money, you all might have some insight into this.

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Related posts:
25 Crazy Simple and Easy Ways To Save Money
You Have Lessons to Learn From Those That Survive The Great Depression


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

In Order To Be A Better Prepper, You Must Do Hard Things


Many people think prepping can be easy and it can be easy. It really can. Getting together the supplies, practicing and learning skills, and reading prepping material is easy and also very necessary to do. Many of us preparedness minded bloggers and writers advocate how easy prepping is so that we can get everyone to prepare. We want everyone to be prepared for the crises that can happen in our lives whether it is a job loss or a natural disaster.

However, when you decide to move beyond basic preparedness, you realize prepping is also very hard. You must be prepared for hard things. Because when a crisis happens, there is more than just having the necessary things on hand to be prepared.

You must be prepared psychologically. Your emotions and your mental health must be ready to handle the bad things that come along with a crisis. You must be ready for the challenges and the realities of the situation.

There are a lot of people in our country who cannot handle being uncomfortable in any way. They simply cannot handle being put out for any reason. They may think they have it good now and life could be better, but they do not simply comprehend how bad life could be.

We all know someone who could not live without their daily coffee run. We all know someone who expects to have their supper ready by 6:00 pm. We all know someone who cannot sleep on anything but a soft bed with a memory foam pad.

There are more scenarios, but the point is these are the people who suffer the most in a crisis. Why? Because they simply cannot handle any upset to their daily routines. They cannot handle being uncomfortable and would think their life is over if they did not have their daily hot shower.

As a prepper, you must learn to do hard things and not become comfortable with your daily routines. You already know how uncomfortable life will be when the SHTF happens. As preppers, we envision how hard daily life could be and we try to prepare for that. However, as preppers, sometimes we forget to mentally prepare for how hard daily life could be.

Since we are not really in these times now, you must challenge yourself to be mentally prepared. You must make yourself uncomfortable and shake up your daily routines.

Ask yourself these questions:
  • How long can you go without a shower? What would you do if you could not shower?
  • How long can you go without washing your hair? Could you handle the greasy hair and the itching?
  • Can you really sleep anywhere?
  • How long can you go without sleep and still function?
  • Can you live without your daily shot of caffeine?
  • Can you live without soda/pop?
  • How far can you walk? What if you didn't have good shoes or shoes at all?
  • How far can you carry heavy things? How far can you carry your young children?
  • How long can you wear your clothes without changing them?
  • Can you handle not shaving every day?
  • Can you handle not being able to brush your teeth every day?
  • Can you handle eating whatever you can find to eat? Can you eat food you don't like or isn't clean?
  • How long can you go without shopping?
  • Do you really have enough food in the house for one week? Two weeks? One month?
  • Can your kids really handle eating whatever is put in front of them? Will they starve before they eat something they don't like?
  • Can you handle going without an alcoholic drink or a cigarette?
  • Can you really survive with just the clothes on your back?
  • Can you scavenge enough supplies just to survive?
  • How creative are you really? Have you forced yourself to really figure that out?
  • Can you miss a meal and be okay? How about two?
There are so more questions to ask of ourselves. We come from all different walks of life and have experienced things that no one really understands. Some of us are really poor and can answer some of those questions with a definite yes because we have done those things. Some of us are financially comfortable and have never experienced anything that would make us uncomfortable.

Some of you will say that if I have to live without coffee, caffeine, or whatnot, life is not worth living. If you have to live a deprived or uncomfortable life for any length of time, you don't want to survive whatever crisis comes knocking. That is the wrong attitude. Many people who have gone through a crisis will say you learn to live with being uncomfortable because it becomes a new kind of normal. If you have lived through a natural disaster, those questions can become realities in just a few days.

Some of you will also say that this is why you prepare - so you don't have to experience those things. That is why we all prepare, but we all know life can turn in an instant. An earthquake or wildfire rarely give much notice before they hit. When you have to evacuate, you are faced with choices you may have not been prepared to make. You can have a bug-out bag or a 72-hour kit, but they will provide for all your needs. You may be ready to go to a hotel or a friend's house, but their house may in danger too. You may find yourself living in your vehicle for a few days. Then what?

You need to be ready to be uncomfortable. You need to be mentally and emotionally prepared to be challenged and to go without. Some of us will rise to the challenge beautifully and, just like in the movies, be just fine because we can roll with the challenges. Some of us will quite frankly lose our minds.

Now is the time to challenge yourself. Now is the time to get yourself in shape - physically and mentally - so you can handle the challenges. You may think you will know what you will do, but until it happens, you don't really know what you will do. However, you need to be prepared.

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Related posts:
We Are Nine Meals From Anarchy
Prepping Is About The Little Things


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

What Should The New Year Mean For A Prepper? Goals, Plans, and Assessing The Future!


Happy New Years Everyone!

You have successfully made it through another year. This last year could have been great for you or it could have thrown you through the wringer and left you wondering how much worse can life get. Either way, today is a new day.

Now, I am not one of those "New Year, New You" people. Life goes on day by day and a new year isn't going to make that change. However, New Years Day is a good day to reflect and reassess. As preppers, homesteaders, and more, we need to do this once in a while to get our priorities and our goals straight and align them with our lives.

This last year for me was not a particularly good one. It had its highlights though. I wrote a book (do you know how long that was on my list of goals to accomplish? Years!)! My daughter and son-in-law had another baby. Some big goals were accomplished and some big goals were let go. This years also had some heartache and re-examination which was painful. However, I am not going to dwell on that for now.

This year though is a new year. However we identify ourselves, we need to sit down and think about what we truly want to accomplish in the next year. Winter is a good time for planning out and starting to implement our goals. Whether they are big goals or small goals, you should be thinking about what direction you want to go and what you ultimately want to accomplish.

You can start with basic goals. These are my basic goals for the year:

1. Saving even more money and practicing extreme frugality.
2. Wasting less around the home and food.
3. Prepping more.
4. Expand the homestead.
5. Become more profitable through the blog and the eBay store

Like I said, those are the basic goals that I can keep in mind. I know what my aim is and I can tell myself what I need to do every day. However, those goals are not specific and they don't give me a direction to go.

These are my specific goals for the year:

1. Save enough money this year to purchase an older pickup truck this year, a small older utility tractor this year, and to purchase the acreage in three years.

2. Reduce food waste or completely eliminate food waste. I need to start a compost pile again. We also need to be conscious of what is being purchased and what is being consumed. We also need to be more proactive about canning and freezing food.

3. I want to double our food storage. We comfortably have three months of food on hand during the winter and four months during the growing season. I want to increase this to six months with a cushion of nine months.

4. Add a rain catchment system for additional water storage and use.

5. Pay off all debt except the student loan.

6. Add at least 30 meat chickens and five turkeys to the homestead and eventually the freezer this summer.

7. Finish writing a book about preparedness with kids. Finish writing my fiction prepping novel.

8. Double the offerings in my eBay store. Right now I have 620 listings and want to expand that to 1200 listings. The side hustles like this is what gives my family the extra money it needs to live and provide the funding for the projects. I will need to buy more shelving to hold the inventory.

9. Add a second garden and get it fenced in (or at least hot wired). I would like to start selling at the nearby farmers market to help add more income and reduce our food waste. I want to move the vining plants to a different garden to leave more room (and order) in the main garden. We will also be putting down black plastic to reduce the weeds.

10. Purchase a handgun and a rifle for hunting and protection. I have my conceal carry and would like to get a small handgun to carry where I can and for protection at home. We also need a rifle for protection as the chickens have become a target for predators. I also would like to start hunting and need to take the steps to get my license for that.

I am stopping at ten specific goals. I have smaller goals to make the specific goals happen, but they are a day by day and monthly goals and will need assessing all the time. I also will be doing a lot of monthly challenges as I find them on the internet and in Facebook groups. Right now, the Prep Club on Facebook has a make your own/cook from scratch challenge going now that I can certainly do!

Some of these goals do not seem to be prepping related, but they are all are. I also want to help you all to be better preppers. I take a self-reliance approach to prepping because that is the direction that suits me best. However, you need to do what is best for you in terms of prepping. I also like to learn skills for survival and in case I need to leave home. Being a well-rounded prepper will serve you better than being just an armchair prepper.

If you are interested in learning more about different areas of prepping, homesteading, self-reliance, and frugal living, I encourage to explore and learn as much as you can. Do not get comfortable with where you are in life! You should always be expanding your horizons and learning new things. Right now, I am fascinated with the back to the land movement, extreme frugality, and early 20th-century homemaking. You can bet I am learning all I can on these subjects and applying these things to my daily life as well as my goals.

I am here to help you all as much as I can. I hope to make this blog better and bigger this year with more postings on prepping, homesteading, self-reliance, and frugal living. I have some big plans and big ideas for this because I want to be an encouragement to you all. You all know that I am human and you are all human too. We make mistakes, but we are always learning and doing. If you follow me on Instagram, you can see all too well that I am human and I hope to be more real on there. If you need encouragement and ideas, you can follow my Facebook page or join the aforementioned Prep Club on Facebook for more ideas and support too.

If you need ideas for goals, last year I posted some goals that we all should be making:
10 Homesteading Goals You Should Be Setting This Year
10 Frugal Living Goals You Should Be Making This Year
10 Prepping Goals You Should Be Setting for The New Year

Please let me know in the comments what your goals are for the year. Also, please let me know what you would like to see in terms of content and subjects for this blog.

Happy New Years!

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Thursday, December 20, 2018

We Are Nine Meals From Anarchy


The phrase "There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy" was stated by Alfred Henry Lewis in 1906. He was an investigative journalist, editor, and lawyer who wrote for the Chicago Times-Herald. In 1906, the supply lines for food distribution was different than today, but the sentiment is the same.

Until yesterday, I had not really thought about this phrase until I met a guy who is also a prepper and has woken up to the lies we have been fed in this country. When you meet someone who is a prepper and you have a pretty deep conversation with them, you learn new things. (Or at least I hope you do!) He brought up the fact that we are nine meals from anarchy.

In this country, grocery stores, warehouse stores, and mass-market retailers only carry enough food on the shelves for three days. They have trucks scheduled for deliveries 1-3 times a week depending on the product and the sales. They may have another two days worth of food in their warehouse or storage inside the store, but usually not any more than that.

For example, stores like Walmart have huge distribution centers all over the country that make deliveries to their stores almost every day. Those distribution centers rely on loads being delivered to them and by them using trucks multiple times a day every day. The Walmart system does not work without the trucking industry.

For everyday shopping and in normal times, this is fine. People generally shop 1-2 times a week and they don't know any better. They might be a little perturbed if the store is out of a product or if the sale items are sold out, but they know in a few days more will be coming. They know they can usually get a rain check or just come back for that item.

However...

What happens when there is a pending disaster or a chaotic event?

What is the first thing that people do when they know a snow storm is coming or they will not be able to leave home for a few days?

They run - not walk - run to the grocery store. They load up on food and they wipe the shelves clean. They don't want to go hungry.

Suddenly, the three-day cushion becomes less than a day. Stores have to reorder what they need to restock and the trucks need to be back on their way to the store. This can be at least a 1-3 day turnaround because the trucks deliver from warehouses. Warehouses need to reorder and restock for the outbound orders.

And if a disaster or chaotic event hits before the trucks can make it back, there is no food at the grocery store.

If there is no food at the grocery store, there are people going hungry.

If people are going hungry, there will be anarchy. People do not like to be hungry. That is just a standard, basic fact. If they are hungry or their babies are hungry, guess what? They will go to any means necessary to get the food they need to feed themselves and their families.

They will loot the stores. They will ask neighbors and families for food. They will just start to steal food. They will start to waylay the trucks delivering the food. They will do whatever they can to get food and water.

You don't want to be them. The most important thing you can do for preparedness, besides increasing your knowledge and skills, is to be constantly increasing your water and food storage. You want to have at least a month's worth of food in your home at all times.

However, now the Department of Homeland Security is recommending SIX MONTHS OF WATER, FOOD, AND SUPPLIES. Does it seem like I am yelling that? I am. When a government agency who usually has its head buried in the sand says something like that, pay attention. They know our power grid is not defendable. They know it is vulnerable. They know it needs to be updated and secured. However, hackers can get into computer systems now and shut it down. They know terrorists can send an EMP-like bomb and shut it down for great lengths of time.

And guess what? No electricity means no to a lot of things. Grocery stores will be set back 100+ years. Most gas stations will not be able to pump gas which means no trucks delivering food. No trucks delivering food means the grocery stores have nothing to put on their shelves. No food on the shelves means people will start to go hungry.

When people go hungry, anarchy begins.

Anarchy is not a good thing despite the number of people who thinks it needs to happen. It is scary for the people who live in the area, the people who need to defend their homes and food, and for anyone caught up in the chaos. It causes a lot of damage, unnecessary deaths, and more because people refused to prepare for this and decided to become criminals instead.

Many of you will say that you never would stoop to this. You would never be part of the anarchy. I will call you out on that right now. Unless you have a superior sense of morality and ethics, you will never know what you will do or are capable of until you are in this situation. You ran out of food and now your babies are hungry? Hmmm...you will try to get food the right way at first, but then what?

This is scary to think about. Most people will not take it as seriously as they should because they don't want to think it will happen. However, look at what happens before a hurricane. Look at what happens before a major snowstorm in an area that isn't used to snow storms. It happens in Iowa before a blizzard and people here should be used to it. They wipe the stores clean in order to have enough food at home to get by.

I realize that most people who read this article are preppers in some shape, way, and form. However, you have a duty to tell others about this. You have the ways and means to encourage others to prepare and start adding food and water storage.

I know a lot of people reading this also grows and raises their own food. Do not take comfort in that fact because if the food is not ready to eat or stored away ready to eat, you do not have that food to eat. You still need six months of food and water stored in your home, ready to eat. Yes, you can still grow food and butcher meat, but have you thought about how to do that with no power?

Recommended reading:
Nine Meals From Anarchy by Doug Casey's Internation Man
DHS Says Americans Need to Start Prepping For Up to Six Months Without Electricity!
Surviving a Catastrophic Power Outage: Strengthing the Capabilities of the Nation

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Related Posts:
10 Preparedness Items You Should Be Buying Every Month
10 More Preparedness Items You Should Be Buying Every Month
10 Non-Perishable Food Preps You Should Be Buying Every Month


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Five Tips on How To Declutter and Get Organized While Still Being A Prepper


Being a clean and organized prepper can be difficult at times. You want to accumulate and keep all the things that you might need. You want to be sure you have everything you need. You want to be sure to have everything you might need. You aren't sure what you will need or not need though.

Pretty soon, you have a lot of stuff, not enough room, and can't find anything. Not being able to find what you need which a situation arises can be disastrous. You need to declutter and get organized.

Easier said than done, right?

I am here to help you. While I may not be the most organized person in the world, I have a few ideas on what works for me to be organized and declutter at the same time. What I do will not overwhelm you because I don't deal with being overwhelmed well. I like simple and easy methods that will help me find what I need easily.

First of all, before you even start decluttering and organizing your life and your preps, you need to know what you are preparing for. If you don't have an idea of this, you will have no idea what you need to keep and to discard. You can try to be prepared for anything and everything if that is your wish, but you need to know that ahead of time. When you have an idea of what you are preparing for, you can better decide what to keep and what not to keep. You can organize your preps better and with a purpose.

Five Tips on How To Declutter and Get Organized While Still Being A Prepper

1. In order to do this right, you should de-clutter your whole home. However, this should not be a weekend project. This should be more like a 1-3 month-long project. You do not want to be overwhelmed and quit before you are done (or even really started). The end result of decluttering your whole house is that you will create more room for your preps. You will have a better idea of what you have on hand.

For me, the easiest place to start is the clothes. Cleaning out the closets and dressers of clothes is usually satisfying and can free up a lot of space quickly. If you have clothes you have worn in the last year or so, you should probably think about getting rid of them. From there, you can move to the linen closets and so on.

2. What should stay and what should go? This is your stuff. You should be the one to make the decision, but there are ways to deal with the stuff. First of all, do you use it? Honestly answer that question. We keep a lot of things because we think we might need it someday, but we don't. Outgrown clothes, broken things, and more need to find new homes. We also keep a lot of things from old hobbies and collections we are no longer interested in. They also should find new homes. We need to keep an open mind about keeping things for preparedness, but you have a lot of items that will not serve you in an emergency or after an SHTF. You should find new homes for those things.

Second of all, if you have things that you are holding on for memories, think about finding a better home for those things. Again, no one can tell you what to do with these items, but you are probably not using them. Sometimes they are not worth holding on to, but that is your decision. If you are that attached to the item, keep it. If you are attached to the memory of the item, think about it.

Lastly, how many of one item do you need? Sometimes we have a lot of one item and it is taking over a closet. However, you only need and use just a few of that item. You should probably find a new home for the rest. At one point, I have three desktop and two laptop computers. All but one of the laptops ran, but I only used one desktop and one laptop. The other two were cleaned off and recycled and the non-working laptop was recycled.

3. Organize as you declutter. If you just got done decluttering a closet, organize the closet so you can clearly see what you have and where it is. Organize your things into totes, baskets, and buckets so you can easily grab them and go. Label all the totes and stick to keeping in the tote what the label says. You can make printer labels, but I use either the super-sticky Post-It Note labels or chalk labels for easy removal and reuse.



4. Buy the baskets, buckets, totes, labels, and shelving. I know they say that if you properly declutter, you won't need to buy these things. That is rubbish. You need these things to be better organized and see your preps better. You do not need to purchase these things new, however. My local thrift shops often have basket, totes, and shelves on their shelves. If they are in good condition, buy used. I use buckets and gamma seal lids for my food storage and I usually purchase these new. You can find them at local bakeries and restaurants and they often will let you take them for free or a small price.

5. Put together your kits and bug-out bags now. While you are organizing, you should be putting together your first-aid/emergency kits and bags. This way, you can be organizing them too while you go. Make a list to put with the kits and bags so you know what is in them and what you need to buy for them. Find a closet or designate some of the shelves for these kits so you can easily grab and go.

Again, this is how I like to organize and declutter. I do not hurry and push myself to get it done. I also find that I have an easier time putting stuff away because I know I have a home for it already. I also stop myself from bringing more stuff home that I may not need because I know I don't have a place for it or will not need it.

How do you like to declutter and organize your preps?

Thanks for reading,
Erica

(Yes, there are affiliate links in this post. The extra income which cost you nothing helps support this blog and this writer's family. Thanks!)

Related Posts:
Ten Prepping Habits You Should Be Working On!
Is Your Home Ready For An Emergency? Four Things You Need To Do Now To Be Ready!


Saturday, December 8, 2018

Prepper's Dehydrator Handbook Book Review


(This book was sent to me to review. I am not being paid to review this book, however, there will be affiliate links attached to this review. There is no pressure or expectation to purchase anything unless you feel like this book would be an awesome addition to your library!)

One of the major areas of food storage is dehydrated food. Dehydrated food lasts a long time stored properly. However, this area of food storage can be a little tricky. Can you dehydrate that food? For how long should it be in the dehydrator? How do you store it once it is done? How do you use it again?

Those are some good questions, but my friend Shelle Wells has the answers for you in her book, Prepper's Dehydrator Handbook: Long-Term Food Storage Techniques For Nutritious, Delicious, Lifesaving Meals. She covers all areas of dehydrating food. She tells how to dehydrate food even if you do not have a dehydrator (but you should have one!).

She covers all sorts of foods to dehydrate in this book too: herbs, vegetables, fruits, meat, frozen fruits and vegetables, and more. She covers how to make your own fruit leather. She also tells you how to make your own powdered soup that you can just add hot water too for instant soup! She also gives you great recipes to use your dehydrated deliciousness to make some great dishes and desserts.

This book will be a very important book in my cookbook collection as well as a great reference book for my food storage. I found this to be one of the most complete books on dehydrating that I have seen or owned. I think you will find this to be a very important part of your food storage books too.

In addition to this book, Shelle also offers a free three-day mini-challenge so you can master the three fears of dehydrating! I suggest you check it out!

Thanks for reading,
Erica


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Five Types of Items You Should Not Have in Your Preps


When you first start prepping, you are just focused on accumulating the goods. You think you need so much stuff and there is a lot of advertisements that will convince you that you need a lot more.

You know you need to focus on skills, but in the course of learning the skills, you still need the stuff to learn them. Everywhere you turn, you need things to be prepared.

However, you are not always sure what to have on hand to be prepared and what not to have on hand to be prepared. As we become more experienced preppers, our tastes and needs may change too. We end up having even more things on hand to be prepared. More things than we need or even want to have on hand.

In the course of time and experience, we find out what not to have in our preps. We learn what things are useless or could be replaced with more suitable and better items. Sometimes we learn this the hard way in a crisis or situation and sometimes we have the chance to learn before that happens.

Five Types of Items You Should Not Have in Your Preps

1. Anything you do not know how to use or will not use now. So many preppers have items in their preps that they have no clue how to use. This can be anything from a crank radio to small solar panels to weapons to generators. You need to be familiar with and know how to use your preps. If you don't know how to use it now, how will you be able to use it in an emergency?

The same goes for any preps you will not (or refuse to) use now, but have just in case you might be forced to. What is the point of having them then? You should be familiar with and ready to use anything you have in your preps. If you will not use them now because you are not comfortable with them, then why have them?

I see this a lot with the weapons that preppers possess. They have guns that have never been fired or even loaded. They have no idea how to load, shoot, or clean the gun, but they have a gun just in case. It will not do you any good if you don't know how. That goes for all your preps. You need to know how to use them and practice using them. Otherwise, don't have them because you or they will be dangerous without the knowledge and practice of that item.

2. Anything that is single use and not imperative to survival. A lot of prepping items are single use: food, soap, bullets, etc. Those things are also important for survival. However, a lot of new preppers accumulate gadgets that are cheaply made or are only single use. In a short-term situation, that would be fine, but in a long-term situation that could be disastrous.

Your tools in prepping should have more than one use if at all possible. You should be learning about all the different ways to use those items. Preppers should also carefully consider whether the items they have set back for preparedness are really essential to survival. Many things can be used in a pinch, but they are not really preparedness items.

An item I see a lot in preparedness lists are solar lights. I have even included them in lists, but here is the thing about solar lights - they need the sun to power and charge them. They are worthless during a snowstorm because there is no sun to charge them. They may provide some light, but they will never be better than a good lantern or a candle. They also do not get a good charge in the winter which will shorten their light life on days when the dark is longer than the light. So solar lights are not really essential to your prepping items because there are better items to replace them.

3. Anything with a short shelf life. This applies to mostly food storage but can apply to more. A lot of food storage should be food with long shelf lives so you can have plenty of food on hand and not have to worry about spoilage. However, I see a lot of people include what they have in their fridge and freezers as part of their long-term food storage. That is okay to do, but when the freezer quits running or the power is off for an extended period of time, your freezer food just became perishable. You might have a generator to keep it running, but for how long? 

Your long-term food storage should be items that you can keep on the shelf and be able to store for at least a year, but 2-10 years is better. If you are planning on the meat and vegetables in your freezer to be part of your long-term food storage, you need to can them. If you can them, they just got an extended shelf life that will not depend on whether you have power or not to stay edible. 

4. Anything electronic or relies on electricity to run. A lot of preppers use electronic means to store information, important documents, and reference materials. While that sounds like a good idea, in theory, most preppers lack the long-term abilities to charge and maintain those electronics. You may not think about long-term power outages or a power surge taking out your electronics, but when it does, you will be out of luck.

Print out and purchase paper reference materials. You can still store your information on flash drives, SD cards, ebooks, and tablets, but keep a paper copy as a back-up. Keeping some basic reference books on hand will also give you a peace of mind.

The same goes for tools and other items you have as part of your preps that require electricity. If your drill requires an extension cord to run, it should not be part of your preps. A battery powered drill is better, but will still need electricity to charge the batteries. Unless you have a solar panel to charge those and adequate sunlight, your drill should not be part of your preps. A hand powered drill would be a better option, but you need to use it to understand how much work it will take to power it.

5. Seeds and roots. Survival seed banks are very popular items for sale online nowadays. They are usually a good purchase for the price, but there is one thing they leave out in the advertising. They are usually not good for longer than a year or two. Most seeds lose their rate of germination after a year or two. Even if the seeds are stored in mylar with an oxygen absorber, they will not last any longer. While having one or two of these packets on hand is not a bad idea, you should be learning how to save seeds yourself so you can continue to plant a garden for the next year.

While some seeds do last for longer than a year, you need to be aware of what seeds those are. Most seeds need to be planted and replaced in your stash every year. I also see people keep roots and tubers in oxygen absorbers and mylar bags in their preps. This also does not usually work out because they will either rot or dry out and will not produce when planted. If you want to plant items that need roots or tubers to get started, plant them now. Most of those items are perennials anyway so you can plant them now to get them started. You can always save a few potatoes back every harvest to start the next year's crop. Just don't try to save them as part of your preps.

Honestly, the most important prep you need in your preps is common sense. With common sense, you will be able to understand what you need and don't need in your preps. In addition to common sense, gaining and having knowledge will improve your ability to decide what you need and don't need.

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Related Posts:
Prepping Is About The Little Things
10 Ways You Can Be A Self-Reliant Prepper


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

20 Books To Give Your Favorite Preppers (and Non-Preppers) For The Holidays!


One of my favorite gifts to give and receive for any holiday is books! Almost everyone reads books. Beyond that, reading increases knowledge, brings pleasure, and is generally a good way to relax. 

These are my favorite prepping fiction and non-fiction books to read and to give. You can give most of them as an e-book, but I recommend a hard copy to keep in the home library. If you can give the e-books as a downloadable book, this would be good too so the recipient can download and print the book. 

You will see fiction and non-fiction on this list. While most preppers like non-fiction, non-preppers will enjoy fiction books more. Sometimes the fiction books do more for opening the eyes of non-preppers than any talking to them will do! 

20 Books To Give Your Favorite Preppers (and Non-Preppers) For The Holidays!

1. How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times by James Wesley, Rawles. (This is my favorite prepping book ever!)

2. Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse by James Wesley, Rawles (Fiction and the first book in a fantastic series!)

3. Going Home: A Novel (The Survivalists Series Book 1) by A. American (Fiction and another great series.)

4. One Second After by William R. Forstchen (Fiction and the first book of another great series)

5. CyberStorm by Matthew Mather (Fiction and being developed for a movie)

6. 36 Hours (The Blackout Series Book 1) by Bobby Akart (Fiction and an author with at least four great series)

7. The Longest Walk by Ron Foster and Pat Lambert (Fiction and very eye-opening!)

8. Prepper's Long-Term Survival Guide: Food, Shelter, Security, Off-the-Grid Power and More Live-Savings Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living by Jim Cobb (Non-fiction and another fantastic resource to get better prepared)

9. Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath by Ted Koppel (Non-fiction)

10. The Prepper's Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster by Bernie Carr (Non-fiction and this would make a great stocking stuffer!)

11. Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios by Lisa Bedford  (Non-fiction)

12. A Year Without The Grocery Store: A Step by Step Guide to Acquiring, Organizing, and Cooking Food Storage by Karen Morris (Non-fiction)

13. Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient When The Unexpected Happens by Kathy Harrison (Non-fiction)

14. Prepper Supplies Checklist: A Simple Guide to Emergency Preparedness by Nettie David (Non-fiction)

15. The Prepper's Canning Guide: Affordably Stockpile a Lifesaving Supply of Nutritious, Delicious, Shelf-Stable Foods by Daisy Luther (Non-fiction)

16. Holding Their Own: A Story of Survival  Book 1 by Joe Nobody  (Fiction)

17. Going Off The Grid: The How-To Book of Simple Living and Happiness by Gary Collins (Non-fiction)

18. Prepare Your Family for Survival: How to Be Ready for Any Emergency or Disaster Situation by Linda Loosli (Non-fiction)

19. Making the Best of Basics: Family Preparedness Handbook by James Talmage Stevens (Non-fiction)

20. The Prepper's Yearbook: Prepare for Emergencies Large and Small with 5 Budget Friendly Tasks Per Month by Erica Nygaard (Yours truly! Download and print!)

There should be something for everyone on this list. From the non-prepper to the experienced prepper, you should be able to find something for the special people on your list! 

(This post is riddled with affiliate links that support many authors who also happen to be friends and associates of mine! Please consider supporting one of these fine people who do this for a living and with the purpose of wanting you to be better prepared. Thanks!)

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Related Posts: 
Prepper's Total Grid Failure Handbook: Book Review
The Survival Savvy Family: Book Review 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Prepping Is About The Little Things


Prepping can seem like such an expensive adventure. Many people think that in order to be a good prepper you need the big things: a whole house generator, a safe room, a bug out shelter in a hidden location, every gun known to man with several hundred rounds for each gun, and more. With that thought, we scare away more people from prepping or feeling like they are prepared because they don't have the biggest prepping ticket items.

In fact, I don't have any of those things. I wish I had a generator. Truth be told, a couple of different guns too. However, I don't have them and I still am considering myself a prepper.

You will hear plenty of "experts" tell you that you need to be able to be off-grid and be able to completely unplug from the grid if you can at a moments' notice. That can be very expensive also considering most people either need to purchase a new house, build a home, or retrofit their current dwelling. Most of those experts do not exactly admit to the fact that it took them years to become off-grid and the amount of work it takes to be off-grid.

Admittingly, I would love to have an off-grid home with solar panels and a wood stove/boiler system. However, again, I don't and I still consider myself a prepper.

You will also hear a lot of preppers telling you that you need to be homesteading in addition to preparedness. The reasoning behind this is so that you are not suffering much when the food supply is interrupted and you can be self-sufficient. You need to be growing your own food, raising livestock, and living on an acreage somewhere.

This one I am guilty of. I have been homesteading and do so in addition to my preparedness. However, this may not be a possibility for a lot of people who want to prepare. While it is a great addition to my preps, I have no illusions that I can supply all my food needs with what I raise and the eggs my chickens lay. I would need to grow a lot more and get a rooster so I can repopulate my chickens.

Having the big ticket prepper items is not what preparedness is all about. Being off-grid or being a  homesteader is not what prepping is about. Being a survivalist who can live in the woods for weeks at a time is not what prepping is about. They are nice things to learn, practice, and live because they are things that will enhance your preparedness. 

Prepping is about the little things. Prepping is about the skills you learn, the items you need to have in an emergency, the knowledge of what to do in most situations, the daily habits, and the life you live in general. 

Prepping is about having plenty of food and water on hand to take care of your basic needs. Prepping is about having a shelter, being warm, and having some light to see by. Prepping is about being able to fix and mend most things. Prepping is about being to thrive and survive with what you have and making the most of what you have.

The reality for most preppers is that they cannot afford the big things. They cannot afford to move. They can not afford to build or renovate a home. Most of us are still living our normal lives with our regular bills, family expenses, and other daily living expenses. We cannot afford the big things. We can try to save up for them, but we also need that savings for any emergencies that may come up (which is prepping, by the way).

Prepping is 100% personal effort. You get to make prepping as big or as little as you want it. You get to explore what interests you and you get to do what is best for you and your family. If you are happy and comfortable with having two weeks worth of supplies on hand to withstand most emergencies, great. You are still way ahead of most people when it comes to crisis time. If you want to go further and prepare for more, you have the right to do.

However, prepping is about making sure the basics are covered. We may call it little things, but they are the things that will save your life and keep you out of the FEMA/Red Cross lines.

So they aren't so little really. They are more important than having all those big-ticket items that most prepping "experts" will tell you need to have.

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Related Posts:
10 Totally Free Prepping Things To Do
10 Prepping Goals You Should Be Setting For The New Year


Friday, November 2, 2018

55 Ways To Save Money on Your Utility and Water Bills


The single biggest expense most households have are their utility and water bills. Sometimes those two bills combined are more expensive than the mortgage. Sometimes those two bills are the same as the mortgage and monthly groceries. In other words, they are just expensive.

In the twenty plus years of paying for a utility bill and growing up in a house that was very conscious of its water and electrical use, I have learned some tips and tricks to drive down the costs of those bills. Some of these tips will not cost you a thing and will provide immediate results. Some results will not be immediately seen. For some of these tips, you will need to pay to save. You will need to purchase items will that will pay for themselves in the future.

I realize some towns/cities/companies have minimum usages for utilities and water. If you are above the minimum usages, you want to get down to those if you can. You can also call and try to negotiate the minimum usage amount, but most places do not allow that.

55 Ways To Save Money on Your Utility and Water Bills

1. Shut off the lights. Most houses are lit up like they are a light show. If you are not in the room, shut off the lights. Use lamps, oil lamps, or candles instead of overhead lights to save money. During the day, use natural lighting.

2. Unplug the small appliance especially the ones with lights or a display. They draw power even though they are not in use.

3. Hang your laundry instead of using the clothes dryer. You can hang inside or outside depending on your weather. Hanging inside during the winter also provides some needed humidity too if you live where it is cold.

4. Plant trees to shade your home. Tree shade keeps a home cooler and is better for the environment.

5. Fix your leaking faucets. You lose a lot of water with a leaking faucet. If you have well water, you are losing electricity too by keeping the well pump running.

6. Use low flow showerheads. These also help save money and you still have good water pressure for a great shower.

7. Clean or replace the faucet aerators (screen on the end of your faucet) to use less water.

8. Replace old dying appliances with new (or newer) energy efficient ones.

9. Use your grill or firepit to cook a meal instead of the stove.

10. Have a no television, no electronic times of the day. Extend this further by having a no television week every month. Not having the television on will save money and using electronics less will save on charging times.

11. Plastic on the windows during the winter to cut down on drafts and keep the house warmer.

12. Set the thermostat lower in the winter and higher in the summer when you are gone from the home.

13. Set the thermostat two degrees lower than usual in the winter and two degrees higher than usual in the summer to save money.

14. Get an energy audit done by your local utility company. They will tell you where you can make changes and often you get a free kit for the having the audit done. The audit isn't always free though.

15. Turn down the water heater to 120 degrees or lower yet. You can still take a hot shower with 120-degree water.

16. Set a timer for showers. Most people do not need more than ten minutes for a shower. Teenagers seem to forget this so set a timer.

17. Only flush your toilet every 2-3 trips. You know the saying, "If it is yellow, let it mellow. If it is brown, flush it down." You do not need to flush the toilet every time you pee. Worried about pets or toddlers? Use a toilet lid lock so they can not get into the toilet.

18. Put a brick covered in plastic wrap in the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water needed to flush.

19. Have a leaky toilet? Replace the seal, replace the float, and/or replace the toilet. If you are replacing the toilet, definitely spend the money for the low flow toilets. Most of those toilets use less than two gallons of water per flush.

20. Save the warm-up water from your showers. You can use this normally wasted water for flushing toilets (shut off the water to the toilet first) or watering plants.

21. Check your water heater. Have the water heater serviced or learn how to service it yourself. Flush the water heater out once a year to remove sentiment. If it is over 20 years old, consider replacing it with a tankless water heater or something much more energy efficient.

22. Warm your water heater with an insulated blanket if it is in an unheated basement or room to reduce heat loss from the tank. You can also wrap the pipes coming from the water heater to prevent heat loss further which causes your water heater to work harder.

23. Set up a rain catchment system. Catching rainwater to use for watering lawns and plants is certainly going to save you a lot of money. Some cities/townships/counties/states do not allow for this practice so check your local laws. You may need to have it flow into hidden tanks if you want to do this.

24. Check the seals on your doors. You can lose a lot of hear/air from doors that are not properly sealed. Replace the seals if you can. If they are doors you do not use, seal them off completely.

25. Close off rooms you do not use. Unless there are pipes in those rooms, you can shut off those rooms. Close off the heat vents and close the door. You can always open them back up and turn the vent on again if you need to use those rooms.

26. Switch out any old electrical plug-ins and light switches. Most of them become weak over time and do not securely hold the plugs in right.

27. Use thermal lined or insulated curtains to keep rooms cool or warm depending on the season.

28. Use solar power whenever possible. You may not be able to purchase a large system, but you can take advantage of solar chargers or small solar panels to run small appliances.

29. Use a wood stove or a wood cookstove instead of electric or gas to keep your home warm and cook your meals. Some insurances do not allow wood stoves so you will need to check into this and maybe switch insurance companies.

30. Fill your sink with water when washing dishes. Fill one side or a tub with wash water and the other side with rinse water. You waste more water by running the faucet than you do with just filling the sink.

31. Use draft stoppers on doors. If you do have a bad seal on a door or an inside door leading to an unheated area, you can make or purchase a draft stopper to seal off the door better.

32. Wear more clothes in the winter and fewer clothes in the summer. Most people do not want to be uncomfortable. However, you can add layers of clothes in the winter to keep the heat bill down. There is also nothing wrong with wearing a fleece jacket, stocking cap, and fingerless gloves inside the house in the winter.

33. Add more blankets to beds in the winter to keep the heat down overnight.

34. Only shower every other day if you can. A good deal of people do not need to shower every day. Most kids under the age of twelve only need to shower or bath 2-3 times a week. Most people just do not get dirty enough or gross enough to shower every day. However, if you do get really dirty and/or sweaty every day, shower. If you have an illness in the house, please shower or bath as often as possible.

35. You do not need to wash your bedding every week. Save your water bill and wash your bedding every 2-3 weeks. If you are worried about the sheets being gross, shower before bedtime or sleep on a towel.

36. Only run full loads of dishes in the dishwasher and full loads of laundry in the washing machine. With most washing machines, you can at least adjust the level load to keep the water usage down. However, you will save money on your electrical bill by only running these machines with full loads.

37. Kids do not need a full bathtub to get cleaned. Save your water bill some more by only using no more than five inches of water in the bathtub. If they are toddlers or preschoolers, you can use even less water.

38. Keep rooms clean and uncluttered. If the rooms are dirty and cluttered, they will take more energy to heat because they are trying to heat your stuff too.

39. If you are using the oven, try cooking multiple things in the oven at the same time to conserve power. If you are baking a casserole, plan to bake bread or bars at the same time. You can also put potatoes or vegetables into roast for another meal.

40. Have blankets available to use and cover-up. You can keep the heat lower while everyone is just sitting in the living room watching television.

41. Wear clothes more than once to keep your laundry down and use less water. Most of our clothing can be worn more than once (yes, undergarments are the exception). Unless you get gross and dirty, you can wear clothes at least twice if not more. You can wear the same pair of pajamas all week.

42. Open your windows instead of using the air conditioner. Most people need to air out their homes on a regular basis anyway. Unless you live in a really dirty area or have severe allergies, you should be opening your windows to save money.

43. Look for opportunities to shut off your heat or air conditioning. Unless it is really humid or hot (over 85 degrees), I keep the air conditioner shut off and will open the windows if I can. The heater gets shut off if the outside temp is over 60 degrees during the fall, winter, and spring. Most of the time, the heater will not run anyway because the inside temp will stay over 65 degrees during the day, but I like to shut it off and see how long we can go before turning it on. Once the inside temp drops below 58 degrees, I will turn it back on.

44. Are you using a small appliance for something you can do easily by hand? You can really nit-pick here, but you could use a manual can opener inside of an electric one. You can use a whisk instead of an electric mixer. The list goes on, but you are trying to save money. The little savings add up too.

45. If it is winter, keep moving. In the winter, we tend to get colder because we sit more. We naturally want to hibernate or do as little as possible. However, to keep your body heat up and the thermostat turned down, you need to keep moving. You can deep clean a room, clean house daily, and more. Just keep moving around.

46. If it is summer, consider energy conservation for yourself. In the summer, we tend to do things that make us hot and sweaty which causes us to turn the thermostat lower to stay cooler. Keep the heavy work for morning or late afternoon/evening. If you feel the need to heavy, sweaty work during the day, consider a cool shower or even an outdoor solar shower bag to cool off instead.

47. In the summer, cook outside or eat cool meals. Heating up the house will make us want to adjust the thermostat. Keep the cooking outside if you can. If you are a canner or caterer, consider installing an outdoor kitchen to keep the heat outside.

48. Unplug electronic devices after they are done charging. Most chargers still keep drawing power after they are done charging. Unplug them or put them on a power strip you can shut off so they are not drawing power anymore.

49. Use slow cookers, toaster ovens, and electric skillets instead of using your stovetop or oven. They use considerably less energy than a stovetop or oven.

50. Replace your standard light bulbs with a CFL or a LED bulb. Some bulbs are better than others, but all of them will save you money over the incandescent bulbs. I will say this: from experience, it is far better to invest money in the LED bulbs and get a better quality for better lighting. Going with cheap bulbs will more than likely result in less quality lighting.

51. Consider changing your outdoor lighting to LED or solar lights. We also use dusk to dawn lights and motion sensor lights. We replaced and added a good deal of our outdoor lights last year with no impact on the utility bill because we choose LED and solar lights.

52. If your furnace or central unit is over 20-25 years old, consider replacing it. The newer systems use considerably less energy and have many more options to make them a better fit for your home.

53. Insulate your attic. A contractor friend told me one time that most people could save a lot of money if they would just insulate their attics. A lot of homes have uninsulated attics and lose a lot of heat through those attics. Make sure you have at least 8-12 inches of insulation on your attic floor to keep the heat escaping through your roof. Be sure to check your insulation every few years because it can settle and collapse.

54. Borrow and use a kill a watt monitor and find out if you have any appliance or electronics that are sucking power without you being aware of how much. You would be surprised how much aquariums and dishwashers use.

55. Consider replacing your thermostats. After a time, they become unreliable and could be heating your house or rooms warmer than they should be. We replaced one a year ago after realizing that the room seemed very warm. Using a thermometer, we discovered the room was really almost 80 degrees instead of the 65 degrees the thermostat was set at. Every year, you should be checking to see if they are accurate by using a thermometer and checking the temperature.

This is just some of the ways you can save money on your utility and water bills. Some of these may be too extreme for some of you and that is okay. Some of these may cost too much money for you now to implement them. That is okay too. Just take care of them when you have some money saved up.

There are many, many more ways to save money on your utility and water bills too. I plan to have a part 2 coming, but I would love to hear your ideas! Please leave them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,
Erica

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Start Saving Money by Having A Poverty Mindset: Learn 25 Ways To Extreme Living and Saving! 
What Place Does Extreme Frugality Have In Your Life? Can You Live In Extreme Frugality?


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

10 Ways You Can Be A Self-Reliant Prepper


When you first start prepping, you think you have to spend a lot of money to be prepared. And in some ways, you do need to spend money to build up your food storage and purchase some necessary goods. However, at some point, spending money will not continue to make you a better prepper.

Being a good prepper is about learning the skills and using your knowledge to cope and survive in any situation or crisis that you are faced with. While being prepared for a large-scale disaster is a good thing, being prepared for the everyday situations and your own personal potential crisis takes more skills and knowledge than you could ever think possible. You need to become a self-reliant prepper.

Being able to rely on your own self is so important in prepping. A lot of preppers have groups or people that they can rely on and that is great. However, being a self-reliant prepper can bring a lot to the group too. So if you are a lone wolf or apart of a prepper group, being a self-reliant prepper is important.

10 Ways To Be A Self-Reliant Prepper

1. Buy used goods. This may not seem like a self-reliant skill, but it is. You are doing your part to stop the cycle of consumerism and keep perfectly good items out of the landfill. Beyond that, buying used goods helps the person or business you are purchasing them from. Usually, the person or business selling the used goods is a local person or a small business owner. By purchasing their items, you are helping to support the local economy and increasing someone else's self-reliance.

Here's the thing about prepping and being self-reliant: You may be able to produce most of your own goods and make things stretch for a very long time. However, at some point, you will need to purchase/trade/barter for some goods. You will need your local economy and you need to get to know your local economy. If you establish these relationships now, you will have a better chance of doing business after a crisis or an SHTF situation.

2. Mend your own clothes and other broken items. Fixing and mending items is a skill that most self-reliant preppers treasure and seek to grow every chance they are presented with. By fixing and mending your own things, you are decreasing your dependence on the economy. You should be fixing your own things instead of buying new every time something breaks.

3. Learn new skills - learn to be self-reliant. Self-reliance is not something you are born with. Some people may be more naturally inclined to be self-reliant, but most people have to learn how to be self-reliant. If you were raised in a self-reliant family, you are a step ahead of most people. However, not all is lost. You can learn skills and become self-reliant. Self-reliance is a conscious choice that you make every day. Learning new skills only increases your self-reliance.

4. Grow your own food and supplies. This is one of the most important things for being self-reliant. You need to be able to grow your food, have the ability to grow your own food and be actively practicing how to grow your own food. If you are able to, you should be raising your meat too whether that be just rabbits and chickens or even larger livestock. You should also be trying to grow herbs, medicinal plants, and more to provide for your needs.

5. Make your own things. We have already talked about mending and fixing your own things, but you also need to know how to make things too. Whether you are building a fence, building a shed, sewing new clothes, making salves and remedies, and more, you should be learning how and actively practicing these skills as much as you can to be self-reliant.

6. Cook from scratch. This may seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of people have no idea how to cook from scratch. They don't know how to take vegetables from the garden and make a meal from them. They still buy a lot of junk and/or processed foods from the store. Learn to cook from scratch now and actively use these skills every day. There may be some ingredients that you can not produce yourself like baking powder or baking soda. However, being the good prepper you are, you will have a good stockpile of those ingredients you cannot produce yourself!

7. Use your own power instead of gas or electric. In the case of a crisis or an SHTF, you will need to learn how to do a lot of things yourself because of fuel shortages or a lack of power. Being a good self-reliant prepper, you will understand that you may need to use your own strength and muscles to get the job done. Now would be a good time to start thinking of ways to do things yourself and getting into shape so you can. You can also set up solar and wind power solutions to produce your own power, but sometimes you will need to conserve those too. I would make sure you have hand tools to fix things and be purchasing or building non-electric/non-fuel powered items to do the work.

8. Read  - increase your knowledge. Learning and doing is some of the best ways to increase your knowledge, but having a library of books will give you the knowledge you need to start learning and doing. I would encourage you to build up a physical library with several good reference books. You can find a lot of books used through eBay, Amazon, thrift stores, and garage sales. Then you should sit down and read at least 1-2 chapters of a book a day to help you in your quest for self-reliant living.

9. Learn to make your own medicines, cures, and remedies. I also know this has been brought up already to learn how to do, but this needs its own discussion. We talked about growing your ingredients and making your own salves and remedies. However, you need to be growing your knowledge of how to treat simple ailments and injuries. You should be making and using things to help boost your immunity, help with colds and coughs, treat ear infections naturally, and more.

You should be lessening your dependence on conventional medicines and doctors if you can. You should be eating well and being active as well which helps your overall health tremendously. Too many people run to the doctor for things that could be dealt with at home because they want a quick fix. Most illnesses cannot be treated with a quick fix, but with home remedies and time.

Resources: 
Prepper's Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils, and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor by Cat Ellis
The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not On The Way by Joseph and Amy Alton

*I am not a medical professional. If you have serious ailments and injuries, you should be seeking medical intervention. Some things cannot be cured at home and even the pioneers sought medical attention when necessary.

10. Simply life - want less, need less. We are so accustomed to giving what we want when we want it. We often buy or procure a lot of things we don't actually need. We own a lot of things we don't use. We see the latest prepping (or other) gadget and think we need to have it to be prepared. The truth is we don't need nearly as much as we think we do.

Being self-reliant does not mean you need buildings and a basement full of junk. The two things you need most in your journey to be a self-reliant prepper is your brain and your hands. The rest of the things you need to be self-reliant are tools and things that will help you be self-reliant. There will be tools and things you need. You need jars for canning. You need tools to fix things. You need candles, lamps, and flashlights for lighting.

I could keep going on, but you need to distinguish between your needs and wants. Then, to be self-reliant, you need to want less and try to need less.

This all being said, you want to be a self-reliant prepper. However, this has its limitations too. You shouldn't be so self-reliant that you cannot or will not ask for help if you need it. Sometimes the costs of doing something yourself is far more expensive than just buying the item or hiring the work done. Only you will be able to know the difference and act accordingly. Sometimes you may not have the knowledge on how to do something and need to learn. You should not be so prideful and into your self-reliance that you cannot ask someone to show you how to do that particular skill. You should not be afraid to ask for help.

What ways do you practice being a self-reliant prepper?

Thanks for reading,
Erica

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