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


Thursday, December 6, 2018

My 10 Favorite Frugal Living/Financial Books To Read and To Give


Finances are a hot topic any day. We are all looking for ways to save money and ways to better spend our money. With daily and monthly expenses threatening to overwhelm us, who wouldn't be interested in how to make our dollars go further?

Financial preparedness is just as important as emergency preparedness. We need to be ready for anything. Making a dollar go further, saving money, and getting out of debt should be at the top of our prepping lists.

So we all need good frugal living/financial books around to give us good tips and advice. I love to give these books as gifts when I can. Just like preparedness minded books, these books only serve to help people live a better life and be prepared for whatever hits them.

These books have all been read by me personally, either as a paper copy or on Kindle, and would be books I would read over and over again if I can.

My 10 Favorite Frugal Living/Financial Books to Read and to Give:

1. The Tightwad Gazette: Promoting Thrift as a Viable Alternative Lifestyle by Amy Dacyczyn (My favorite frugal living book, hands down!)

2. America's Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money: Your Guide to Living Better, Spending Less, and Cashing in on Your Dreams by Steve and Annette Economides

3. Be Thrifty: How to Live Better with Less by Pia Catton and Califia Suntree

4. Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames

5. The No Spend Year: How you can spend less and live more by Michelle McGagh

6. The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey (okay, just about anything from Dave Ramsey is recommended reading. I don't totally agree with him, but if you need your finances put on the right track, he is the one to read.)

7. How To Manage Your Money When You Don't Have Any by Erik Wecks

8. Living Well, Spending Less: 12 Secrets of the Good Life by Ruth Soukup

9. The Homemade Housewife: The Last Book You Will Ever Need on Homemaking and Frugal Living by Kate Singh (Kate Singh has a few books on saving money and being frugal - they are all good!)

10. Why Did They Teach Me This in School?: 99 Money Management Principles To Live By: Cary Siegel

These are ten of my favorite frugal living/finance books, but there are so many more to read.  I have plenty of them loaded onto my Kindle or in a pile of books to be read.

What are some of your favorite books in the frugal living/finance areas? Please list them in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Related Posts:
20 Books To Give Your Favorite Prepper (And Non-Prepper) for the Holidays!
The Prepper's Canning Guide Book Review


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

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