I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first person to say that prepping has grown and evolved into a ridiculous and highly illogical money-making scheme. Let me, a homesteader, teach you what you need to stay alive in an SHTF (shit hits the fan) situation.
Problem: Here is my number one concern with Prepping, stockpiling. Do people really think 5 years of food in buckets will last them the rest of their lives? Or do they expect order to be restored within that period of time? Prepping is about preparing for a worst case scenario, the worst case scenario is that you are totally alone and nothing ever comes back online. How do you plan to survive off of buckets of food then? When they run out, will you know what to do? Where to find things?
The answer is no. If you rely on buckets of rice and flour and MRE’s (meals ready to eat), you will die once they run out. Stockpiling is a completely idiotic notion, even with medicines or medical supplies. They will run out or go bad.
Remedy: If you want to stockpile something, start stocking seeds. Seeds can be kept for up to 10 years when just buried in the ground in a waterproof container (and that container can be made of clay fired in a pit). Seed saving will be your only hope to feed yourself for years to come. This requires a certain set of knowledge and skills, something that won’t run out, something that can be shared with others. Save seeds for herbs and plants as medicine as well. That’s two birds with one stone AND you probably won’t get sick often because you’ll be eating fresh food and not old, processed junk.
You may think it’s easy to plant a seed and be done with it, then pick food a couple months later, but it is so much more involved than that. You’ll need to learn to compost, to raise seedlings, transplanting correctly, plant care, preservation and a whole multitude of other things. You should also put in fruit trees and other perennial plants immediately and learn to care for them as well.
Tools and Skills
Problem: Hate to break it to you, but a card you can keep in your wallet with a single arrowhead and a 2 inch sawblade aren’t going to help you for long or even at all. Native Americans lived in the US for over a thousand years and never bought their arrows or saws at a store. I suggest you learn how to fashion things the hard way or you’ll never make it.
This also goes for skills that are considered “crafts”. Can you make a pot to store your food in? Do you know how to fire that pot to make it hard and waterproof? Can you make clothing? Can you make cooking implements? Can you make fabric or string? These are all basic needs that get pushed aside by preppers for “practical” skills. I hate to break it to you, but eventually those plastic buckets will break and your clothes will rip. How are you going to repair or replace them once your supplies run out? If you have children, how are they going to survive after you are gone with no supplies and no skills?
Remedy: Don’t look up skills in prepping books, look up skills in cultural anthropology books. Find out how natives in remote areas used to live and how they make the things they need. No white man with fancy certifications is going to save you, learn to do everything you need from those who have lived or still live like natives.
Animals and People
Problem: So, they world goes dark and all these preppers have stockpiled ammunition. Rest assured that it will eventually run out (especially if they are American). First off, you should be terrified that people have guns, because they will run out of supplies and they’ll come hunting, not for game, but for your supplies. We all know people are only moral until their lives are on the line. First off, you should know how to defend yourself, which preppers are actually good at learning, so you can read their literature on that.
Second, you should worry about the safety of your animals. Once all supplies have been pillaged and hunting game becomes scarce, your cow/chicken/pig is gonna be on the menu. Not only do you need to protect them, but you also need to know how to butcher them when the time comes. You need to know how to breed and take care of them as well.
Remedy: I agree, looking at prepper literature on safety and defense is usually okay. It’s pretty militant and underhanded, but it’s alright. I would strongly caution you against setting snares or traps on your property that could hurt someone. Not only is this a huge liability for you and will get you sent straight to prison, it’s also a great way to hurt one of your kids or friends in or out of an SHTF situation.
If you think the world is gonna end, you better get some critters now. That means a breeding population of the animals that will produce for you and provide meat for you. Learn to care for them without store-bought supplies, learn to cure them without store-bought medicines and learn to butcher and preserve them by yourself and without refrigeration. Then, after you have learned that daunting task, make sure you know how to breed, control and keep the population contained.
This isn’t even everything you should know. I can understand why people choose to just stockpile and hope because prepping, for real, is a daunting task and people are lazy. But your laziness will be your downfall. Your food will run out and you will starve or someone else will steal all your supplies.
Prepping is nothing but a giant, money-making scheme for companies that capitalize on people’s fears. If you really want to be a prepper, be a homesteader and take the corporations completely out of the picture. Not only will you save yourself money, but you’ll find comfort in knowing that if anything happened, you and your children will be just fine.
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*I, in no way, condone the usage of prepper defensive systems. I think they are incredibly dangerous and stupid.*