Taking prepping too far

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nedyne's picture
nedyne
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Taking prepping too far

I've just thrown away like 8 bags of legumes and cereals (some 4kg in all), which I bought like 8 months ago as part of my deep pantry prepping. They were all infested with bugs. Clearly the supermarket and the food suppliers are better and more efficient at managing storage of food than I am. 

I can't believe I could have been such a fool as consider stockpiling food. First, if it ever got to the point where I couldn't buy food at any price, my safety would have been at risk long before that because were I live there are a lot of poor people dependent on the government that will not take quietly to not being able to afford food. Crime would have been all over the news, and I would have been out of this country long before finding food became a serious problem.
 
And second, the whole concept of worrying about things that are quite unlikely to happen and that even if they happen I could figure my way out, those kinds of worries chip away at my mental health, energy and productivity. I'm prone to worry, and this whole prepping concept really struck a cord on me.
 
This is not blanket criticism of PeakProsperity. As a result of reading the site I've made some important changes to my finances for which I'm happy and grateful. It's just that my experience with physical prepping shows how out of perspective I was in the first few months after reading the Crash Course. Now I've come to appreciate how much more important it is to be optimistic about my capacity to deal with any uncertainty the future may hold and to not worry about highly improbable events. Only to take prudent precautions where the stakes are high and the benefits are high. 
 
Rwrek's picture
Rwrek
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May Need A New Approach

As a newer "prepper", I do not think you were foolish to try and hedge your bets on having some extra food stored away. Just look at the folks in NYC who superstorm Sandy did not destroy their homes or apartments but had no options because they had no simple extra's like canned goods, water, lighting or cash options that would have given them a little resiliancy. They were not likely threatened physically but were at the total mercy of the situation.

Perhaps you need to rethink what and how you are storing items.  Maybe canned goods you can rotate with everyday use as they reach expiration dates, a simple propane stove, protective containers, and some water stored away would reduce your worry for the more likely possibilities and you can expand (if you want) from there.

Being a little prepared is better than nothing.

Jim H's picture
Jim H
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Posts: 1627
Wow...

You are really getting worked up over some "spilled milk".  The reality is we don't know how long it will take before collapse happens... or how bad it will be when it comes.  I prefer to have a whole lot of food in storage as a precaution.. and the answer is to shift your storage emphasis to very long shelf-life items.  If you are just shopping at the grocery or warehouse store, then buy things like Goya canned beans (present stock dated with 2017 expiration... will keep longer at basement temps) canned Tuna (present stock dated with 2016 expiration), etc.  For me, I buy mostly freeze dried now... in #10 cans... 25 year shelf life.  It's expensive.. but you buy it once and you are done;

http://beprepared.com/

If you think total collapse is some kind of far out tail risk event.. then you have not been studying enough.  Take it from Hugo Salinas Price.. who could just sit back and enjoy his $$ Billions.. but instead feels the need to warn you and me of what is to come... and explain in a very clear concise way how we got here;  

http://www.plata.com.mx/mplata/articulos/articlesFilt.asp?fiidarticulo=194

Fiat money has destroyed humanity’s normal way of life; a way of life in which men and women could find their places and were thankful to have them. That old way of life is gone; the old attitudes toward life and work have been erased.

This is destruction many times worse than the worst destruction of any war. That is where we are today. This is what fiat money has brought to the world. Fiat money is the child of the arrogance of human intellect, which has sought to invalidate the laws of human nature which have regarded the precious metals as money for thousands of years, and sought to substitute an intellectual construct for the real thing. Now we are going to pay for that arrogance.

What now? Nobody knows. Unquestionably, we are headed straight into fearful problems never seen before. At least, owning physical gold and silver may be help some of us survive.

VeganD's picture
VeganD
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I remember something I heard at one of Chris' seminars

I attended the Lowesville VA Crash Course seminar run by Chris and Becca a few years ago. During the discussion on food storage, I remember someone asking Chris what he would do if he opened up his pails of food and found bugs. He said something along the lines of "I guess we will be eating bugs!".  We all laughed.

Your food is insurance, right? So money lost on mistakes is no worse than money spent on an insurance policy. That is "thrown away" too if nothing bad happens.  I can tell you I was very happy to have food preps after Sandy, even though I got to keep my heat, I had no gas, our groceries stores had no electricity and water quality was questionable. I got to shelter in place easily for 3 days and live on my stockpiles for 2 weeks and was happy to be able to do so. 

Don't be so hard on yourself.

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
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learn from your failures

Hi nedeyne,

I would hate to see you give up on prepping on account of a few bags of spoiled food. (And did it occur to you that the bugs or their eggs might have already been present when you bought the stuff?!? It does happen, so it may not have been your own storage) (especailly if it is from China...)

How many people, when trying something new, nail it the first time? Very few, and that includes some of the most brilliant people to ever grace our planet. I am sure the Wright brothers had more than a few crashes and disheartening moments before finally taking off, so to speak. Where would the world be if all of those marvelous inventors, artists, builders etc gave up at the first sign of defeat?

I bought a food dehydrator this past summer and have made my fair share of mistakes that caused me to discard food I had lovingly grown in my garden. Does that mean I should give up or send it back for a refund? I've had a few loaves of bread fail on me as I work on the finer aspects of that craft. Do I give up and go back to buying expensive store bought bread? I think not. I keep at it, because I believe in what I am doing. There is a learning curve in all aspects of prepping, and a healthy dose of patience is necessary to figure things out on an as you go basis. We do not learn from success, we learn from failing.

Your post seems to say that you do not really believe in this ideology, at least not with conviction. Because of this you are rationalizing your decision to give up by telling yourself the odds of something bad happening are slim anyway, so why bother?

Your choices are yours of course. I personally will stick to the "better a year early than a day too late" philosophy. I am confident that in a true crisis I will be a heck of a lot better off than most, and not only will I be happy to to eat a loaf of bread made from buggy flour, I may very well be thankful for the extra protein it contains. wink When hungry enough, you would be surprised at what all of a sudden becomes palatable to otherwise discriminating tastes.

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RNcarl
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Posts: 365
More than frustration

Well,

I think there is more to nedyne's response than the loss of some stored food. He/she is going through one of the five stages of grief. All of us that have swallowed the blue pill (or is it the red pill?) - and have seen that "something is just not right" have gone through the stages of grief. I think Chris identifies them as the "Six Stages of Awareness" which he admits that he based loosely on Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' "Five Stages of Grief."

I made big changes in 2009 because I thought total collapse was imminent - and yet - here we are, kicking the can further and further down the road. There are many reasons why there has not been an unravelling in the US like what happened in Argentina, Zimbabwe, or the Weimar Republic.  Personally, I think that the shear size of our country and it's economy has as much to do with a slow decline instead of an apocalyptic crash as much as any other reason. And, because of that slow unwinding, it is hard to see why small changes in one's personal life will matter.

The reality is, there will be those who never see the train coming, never prepare, and live out their lives in total ignorant bliss.

I will also say this, "prepping" has become "cultish." Humans are drawn to the thought of impending doom like a moth to a flame. Let me ask you, what comes to mind with these phrases, "Y2K" - "fallout shelter" and my personal favorite, -  "Mayan Calendar"? 

To steal a concept, it depends on one's personal narrative and where they are in their own story. If having a year's worth of food and supplies makes you feel safe, then by all means, fill up the closet. On the other hand, I would suggest doing some introspection first, find out what is really important to YOU personally and then make adjustments as necessary.

lastly, read about how we as a country lived a century ago. Look at what "suburbia" really was. I lived in a neighborhood that was developed not long after the start of the last century. Each house was equiped with a real coal or wood-burning fireplace (or two) they had a water well along with "city water," they had a "shed" a garden area and some, even had chicken coops! Being in a sizable city, most folks got their meat from a local butcher but the majority of their vegetables came from their own "kitchen garden." It hasn't been until the "green revolution" that we have come to rely on-industrialized food production.  

So are we really talking about "prepping" for the coming Zombie-Apocalypse, or are we just trying to take back some responsibility for our own well-being?

~ Peace

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Posts: 291
If at first you don't succeed...

When I read your post, I was thinking along the same lines as Rwrek.  There are a lot of ways to store food, some better than others.  I don't expect to pick up an entire new set of skills over night.  I started with a medium size back yard garden three years ago.  I've learned a lot.  The next step is to expand the garden and start storing the excess seasonal produce instead of giving it all away.  For veggies, I'm dehydrating and shrink wrapping (5-10 year shelf life).  I can also use food stored like this for back country trips.

My wifes forms of resistance are effort and cost.  She doesn't want to prepare in any fashion that requires more effort or cost.  Can't be done.  That's part of what peak energy is all about.  Without cheap energy we will have to expend more effort to feed ourselves.  It's that simple.

I hear you regarding folks that rely on the government for support.  It is a matter of pride for me that I don't and have never once taken handouts in any form.  My plan going forward will not include expecting the government to feed me, nor do I expect the government will be able to continue to support half the population of the US indefinitely.

The clearest example of idiotic thinking that I see regularly are bumper stickers refering to "free" health care.  They actually use the word free.  Who on this site thinks that "free" health care exists, or free government food for that matter?

Wendy S. Delmater's picture
Wendy S. Delmater
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pantry vs deep larder

The sad fact is, I've thrown a few things out myself. Early on, we had a stash of saltine crackers that went rancid. And here in the American South, I discovered that the upper pantry shelves can't handle things like creamy salad dressings. We had grain weevils and a devil of a time getting them out of some of our stash. And we bought too much of things that we don't really use - at first. That does not mean a deep larder or a pantry are bad things.

The first thing you want is a couple of weeks of staple foods set aside, and I'd a few items that are premade and ready-to-reheat in case of power outages. Gradually bring that up to 2-3 months worth of food, and rotate your stock. That's your pantry. A pantry is so cool: you purchase what you normally buy on sale, in slightly larger than usual quantities, and then save money as long as it gets used up. It's like a savings account you can dip into when you have an unexpected expense like a dental bill, car or bike repairs, or other one-time needs. Use the pantry instead of buying food that week, and then build your stock back up.

The main mistake with a deep larder is to buy more than you can use , not rotate, or to buy things "everyone says you need" like beans, when you hate or will not use those beans before they go bad. We learned that the things we normally eat will get rotated and used up. In our case that's barley, brown rice, oatmeal, lentils, split peas, and black-eyed peas. We are (literally) grinding through our too-plentiful hard red wheat and may start sprounting some of it to use it up. I'm still glad we have it but we're learning as we go.

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers were both scientists and businessmen.  If you haven't, you should read "Wind and Sand."

They picked Kill Devil Hills so that their crashes would be in sand.  They also made the commitment to fly very low until their skill level made higher flights safe.  They did not want to die in a crash before they could accomplish their goal.

Failures were anticipated and built into their plan.

I admire them.

nedyne's picture
nedyne
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Hey thanks for chipping in

Hey thanks for chipping in with comments.

My position is still not changed. I saw the wreckage that worrying about collapse did to my life, my sleep, my emotions for a couple of months, and I came out the other side realizing I've always been an optimist and I work best when I'm optimistic about my future, and courageous in my thinking. Too much worrying made me forget what courage felt like.

That's not to say that collapse will not happen, it's just that with the prudent financial precautions I've taken (which don't include food and water) I know I will weather any storm, and this allows me to apply myself full-hearted to my work. I realized that the important thing about risks is not to obsessively think about them and try to minimize them at any cost; it's to have perspective as to what's important to manage and what's not even worth thinking about. There are just too many risks in life and most of them are remote, and manageable if they happen.

Don't worry about trying to change my view. I'm just offering this as my experience for others who may find something useful in it.

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
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Posts: 468
this is how discussions benefit

Hi again nedyne,

Good comment back, and most certainly I would not want to try to change your mind. You are correct about the perspective part, particularly as it applies to balance e.g. not becoming obsessed. That goes for anything in life really. More is not always better.

The thing I like about this site and the people who frequent here is that the focus is not about doom and gloom, but rather how we can help ourselves to prosper as things inevitably change. Mind you that is a subjective thing - what is prosperous to some might not be to others. I don't know about a big apocalyptic collapse, but I do buy into the idea that our standard of living will erode quite a bit more in the coming years. That is both quantifiable, and believable.

One of the bonuses I personally have found is that the resilient/self-sufficient style of living will help me to better plan my retirement - I don't envision life being a whole lot different than it is now, and therefore it is easier to forecast my potential expenses. I feel good with the realization that I don't have to save a gazillion dollars to have a nice life.

Cheers, and stay optimistic! That is a great trait to have!

Jan

Jim H's picture
Jim H
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Resiliency is a multi-legged stool....

Think what you want Nedyne.. but I would not suggest to anyone else reading this that a resilient finance plan is all you need.  Having just lived through Sandy.. I can tell you that you could have had a wad of money at the ready, taken out of the bank before the ATM networks went down ... but there was no gas to buy within a 50 mile radius of NYC on some of the days after the storm.  Your generator would have been no good to you.  When and if collapse comes, you are not going to be able to buy the other legs at any price....  Sandy just proved that.  

Leg one:  Wealth that will live through the demise of fiat currencies.

Leg two:  Food, water, shelter, skills.  I sleep well and am able to focus on my work because I have enough stored, long shelf life food to tide me over to the point where I can use the seeds I have stored in long shelf life seedbanks to start gardens.  

Leg three:  Security, for if and when it comes down to your neighborhood to provide it on your own.  If you don't have a gun/ammo now, and think you will be able to buy one once SHTF... I think you are kidding yourself.

treebeard's picture
treebeard
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resiliency

I have taken the approach of reorienting my life in a way that I can do constructive and positive things that make sense for the long term survival of the species and healing the planet that also give a deeper meaning to my daily activities. These are things that make sense whether a collapse is coming or not. That gets you out of the trap of preparing for something that we can not as of yet conceive of, and wasting a lot of time and energy in an activity that this self and fear centric.

To quote EE Cummings “tomorrow is our permanent address”. My goal is to live as if the collapse has already happened, which I see as a natures way of correcting our errant ways. That lets me stay positive without ignoring our current predicament. Rather than preparing for the transition, I'm trying to live in the future now.

RJE's picture
RJE
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nedyne you have this all figured out so good for you...

nedyne, being dependent on anyone else is the most dangerous situation you could ever find yourself in. Jus' sayin' because they own you for all intent and purpose. Yikes!

I wrote a longer post but I deleted it. Basically I just agree with Jim H. Lock and load, eats for weeks, and cash money and Gold which is the only real MONAY!!!

Hey, good luck with that.

Respectfully Given.

BOB

pinecarr's picture
pinecarr
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Live and Learn

Learning as we go is just part of the process, as with anything.

I have also learned some costly lessons re stocking my freezer too much, beyond the rate at which we use things.  When I discovered I had meat in there that was 12 months old, I realized I had to adjust how much I stocked to more accurately reflect the rate at which we use things (I had purchased the freezer a couple of years ago, and stocked it right up).  It burns my $%^@, but I now understand that you need to have a "rotating freezer" much as you have a rotating pantry, and to limit what you save to what you realiztically expect to use.  Better to get into the swing of things now.

As my mom used to always say "live and learn"!

gillbilly's picture
gillbilly
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Overprepping/Underprepping

I think there is the ability to overprep and/or underprep, but it depends on your personal situation (living/financial/skills/etc.) and experience. What I think about in regard to being resilient is knowing myself and what assymetrical talents/skills I have, also those of the people who make up my support structure, and finally putting that into context of my living environment and experience.  For instance,  I live in a wooded area with 3 or 4 trusted neighbors with very limited access to our properties (no not gated community, just not very visible from the public road...funny to find out I live within 10 miles of Chris M). I can trust my neighbors because we have lived here for 20 years and they have given me no reason not to. We have had to deal with power outages, major road repairs, etc. and we've all worked together. I have skills and talents that compliment my neighbor's skills. He has a machine and wood shop in his house and can fabricate anything. We have a deisel backhoe, he has multiple grease cars and trucks (he hasn't paid for gas for his vehicles for over 4 years - how nice is that!), and has loads of excess vegetable oil on hand because of barter system he created with local restaurants. We are currently discussing running a deisel generator (powered by veg. oil) to power both our houses. Two of my neighbors own firearms, I do not nor do I think I need to. I am not debt free and don't have a six figure income but I do have a degree and experience in economics and finance. My wife and I usually have a month's supply of extra food stored, not because we are prepping for an emergency, but because we don't like to shop that often (but it definitely helps in an emergency).

I could see living in a city environment, the entire scenario, some aspects being more resilient, some being less. I can also see if I made a lot of money and lived behind a gate, (i.e. think Alpine, NJ) I might be a lot more paranoid about security and wouldn't rely on my neighbor who might be in his plane flying to another country if and when things went drastically south. It really just depends. As Sandy has pointed out, those who live in coastal areas definitely need to be thinking about their resilience in a way that fits their surroundings, or moving to a new location. Finding the balance depends on knowing yourself, your living environment, and your support structure. Nedyne, sounds like you're doing and thinking about the right things, and your post, in my opinion, shows you are tailoring your resilience to who you are. There are many ways to be resilient and this site definitely help us all exchange ideas that may or may not fit our personal situation and experience. Keep doing what you're doing!

Thank you

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jdye51
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Posts: 157
Educating myself on collapse

Educating myself on collapse for two plus years now has brought up all types of emotions. My own process has been to go through all of those emotions and feel them - anger, fear, sadness and all the rest of the normal reactions one has to such an enormous calamity. Underlying them all is a feeling of helplessness which, for many of us, is quite uncomfortable. I wanted to do something! So my response is to sporadically focus on personal preparedness (including financial) as a way of dealing with that. It gives me something I can do that is immediate and practical for myself and those closest to me. Being proactive, given the information/evidence we have at present, seems sensible. Yes, mistakes are made but one learns. Better to learn now than regret later! I am no where as prepared as some but more prepared than those who are oblivious. Sometimes I wonder if it makes any sense to prepare when I can't know just what will happen - good or bad. But I do it because it makes me feel better. And going through all of those emotions, while painful, helps prepare me emotionally. I wonder what will happen for those who are unaware as collapse becomes increasingly impossible to ignore/deny any longer. I'm grateful for the time I've had to adjust somewhat.

A friend said to me recently, "don't worry so much" after I sent him an article on climate change. Actually, I no longer "worry" because I've given up any hope of personally changing anything in the larger scheme of things. I accept that I have no control over anything but my own situation and choices. So I agree that worrying doesn't change anything and is upsetting. Thankfully, I've come to see that worrying isn't the only reaction I can have. Instead, I choose to be aware. I am consciously aware of, and a witness to, what I see, hear, experience and read. I find I can't "unknow" what I know, but I can stop worrying about it since it has no affect anyway! Do I occasionally find myself slipping back into worry - sure, but I try to bring myself back to just "being with" whatever is happening.

Spiritual preparedness for me also takes the form of prayer and meditation. It looks more and more like we may be facing, not only the end of industrial cilvilization, but the potential extinction of our own species along with all life on earth. How does one deal with that? How does one deal with the extinction of 200 species a day right now? I'm learning to let go and turn inward more. Perhaps this is more natural given my age than for someone just starting out in life.

Nedyne, this is my perspective and experience which I offer to you as just that. As others here have said, we make different choices based on our unique situations. All the best to you as you walk your path through these challenging times.

Jbarney's picture
Jbarney
Status: Bronze Member (Online)
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Posts: 99
Apply Frustration to the World Today....

Hi,

It sounds like you have your mind made up, and plan on relying on your $$$$ if anything does happen.  Not sure how to address the pullback you have had, except to encourage you to continue to think things out.  At one point you believed that prepping was necessary, that it was something you needed to do.  Perhaps you will get there again.

I am a fan of the film "Gettysburg".  There is a a scene on the 3rd day of the battle where Longstreet is examining the chances of Pickett's men being successful attacking across the open field.  He looks at all of the information, weighing various possibilites...finally he saddens and understands the future is just a mathematical equation.  He can look at the information he has and deduce what the likely outcomes will be.

The message of prepping here is very similiar.  The future is a mathematical equation.  Can any of us honestly look at the debt loads of our government and the rapidly increasing size of that debt, and think it can continue?  Can we honestly have faith that policies we really have little understanding of (QE3, etc) are going to be able to save purchasing power on the local or individual level?  Can we honestly look at the price of gas (which has more than tripled in 11 years) and deny peak oil is not around the corner? 

We all have the ability to look at information and come to conclusions.  Some people are better at this than others, but the writing is on the wall.  The middle east is in turmoil in a big way.  Greece and Spain are in the middle of unemployment rates around 25%.  The rest of Europe is trying to figure out how to deal with so much debt. 

The writing is on the wall.  Do the math.  Now is not the time to stop prepping.  Just my two cents.

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
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Joined: Mar 18 2009
Posts: 1382
I don't know why anyone's...

trying to change his mind.  We've all seen this type as we've gone through the process/enlightenment.  "It can't happen" or "Everything's fine as I can handle anything" or etc, etc, etc....  Really, how many people have most of us tried to get to see reality, that they need to prepare for what's coming, and they do little to nothing because of the Normalcy Bias?  

Maybe this guy will wake up, but most likely not.  At least not until he can't get out of the house to get those funds that he's relying on, due to tons of possible situations, and is down to his last can of peaches.

Sorry if this is harsh, but reading his posts screams of denial, and at this point in my preps, people in denial are a virus.

RNcarl's picture
RNcarl
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Posts: 365
I am sharing to re-affirm myself

LogansRun wrote:

trying to change his mind.  We've all seen this type as we've gone through the process/enlightenment.  "It can't happen" or "Everything's fine as I can handle anything" or etc, etc, etc....  Really, how many people have most of us tried to get to see reality, that they need to prepare for what's coming, and they do little to nothing because of the Normalcy Bias?  

Maybe this guy will wake up, but most likely not.  At least not until he can't get out of the house to get those funds that he's relying on, due to tons of possible situations, and is down to his last can of peaches.

Sorry if this is harsh, but reading his posts screams of denial, and at this point in my preps, people in denial are a virus.

I have been at each of those points.

As first, you feel foolish that you have prepared at all, or spoken to anyone about any form of collapse of "our way of life." I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer nor am I the dullest. I thought for sure by 2009 or early 2010 TSHTF economically would have happened. For some, it already has. What I mean is the total economic collapse where 80% or more of us can't pay rent/mortgages etc. I expected "Marshal Law" to have been enacted as well.

Yet, here we are.

The issue is, in "Maslow's hierarchy of Needs"  is important here in this example because it is too hard to become self-actualized when the basics of food, water and shelter are not met. However, if one feels that basic needs are met, it is easier to move up to higher social needs and then finally to self actualization. At that point, to prep or not to prep no longer become important.

I think the hardest part is that "the event" has not happened.

I believe that our (the U.S.) psyche has been conditioned to the 90 minute time frame of television and movies. Disaster movies can't take a decade to unwind into chaos. There has to be a cataclysmic event that happens, a strong male lead needs to emerge and a strong female character needs "saving." Along the way minor characters are sacrificed for the drama and then at the end, there is an uplifting spiritual (or actual) rebirth and a new beginning. Nice and tidy.

Real life does not happen that way. "There ain't no free lunch."

The enormity of our "predicament" is hard to wrap one's mind around. There may be starts, fits, stops, and calm along the way. The larger issue is that this "situation" is a journey, not a destination. I have never feared for my children's world more than I have in the last year or so. Right now, I am afraid that the can will be kicked far enough down the road that I will no longer be in a position (read too old) to help my children (or maybe grandchildren) navigate what is happening to them.

So, all I can do - is all I can do.

Someone in an above posting mentioned the feeling of helplessness. There will be another revolution - Another turning - There has to be. The world that we have built simply cannot continue on the trajectory it is headed. The question is, as always, how much longer will/can it last? There are many predictions, some based on sound principles of information. There are other predictions that are made on information that the predictor has not peeled back the cover far enough. So, do what you can do. You are not helpless. Change your perspective. The world is a beautiful place.

The "predictor" made me think of the imfamous words of our last president in the waning hours of his presidency. "If money isn't loosened up, this sucker could go down." That president made some pretty telling gaffs during his two terms. Perhaps that one has predicted the outcome.

~ Peace

tictac1's picture
tictac1
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Joined: Sep 25 2009
Posts: 174
changing your view

"Don't worry about trying to change my view."  Forgive me if I have misinterpreted, but this sounds an awful lot like "I am immune to logical argument."  Not a good place to be.

Sounds like you shored up your finances, that is awesome, congratulations.  Many people get stuck right there, can't make it happen.

However, your optimism could easily become denial, especially when it comes to the comments about not worrying about food, you can leave anytime you want.  Look at the historical evidence, this is rarely true.  This isn't the world's first rodeo, there are plenty of countries whose woes you can read about, and exactly how their citizens were effected.

Leaving a country that is in upheaval is frequently close to impossible, governments frequently lock down their borders financially and physically.  Now, if you really have a LOT of something valuable, you can get out of just about anything, for a price, but that's not most of us.

I don't want anybody to be stripped of their optimism, but let's be realistic.  The easiest way to stay realistic is to ask yourself, "has this every happened before?  If so, where and how did people deal with it?"

If your opinions do not jive with historical fact, you might want to re-think them.

osb272646's picture
osb272646
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 14 2010
Posts: 120
too far

You won't get much sympathy out of the crowd on this website. 

Forecasting social and economic collapse has been a big business for decades.  In the '60's and '70's, there were a proliferation of books about the collapse (that never happened).  Now, the internet makes it easier to get caught up in the hysteria.  And, the web makes it easier for folks to prosper by promoting that hysteria. 

Eventually those who get sucked into this fantasy fall into two categories - they either come to their senses and get on with life, or they double down and become fanatics that miss life altogether. 

You are on the right track, nedyne.  Keep a skeptical attitude about all this stuff.  There is a happy medium.

Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 1627
Osb...

Osb presents no logical arguments to explain how the current system will be sustained, other than the backward-looking, "it hasn't happened yet" argument.  This site, and many others, are full of cogent discussion of the myriad reasons why a crash is coming.  If your argument is that we are going to muddle through this somehow.. I would sure like to hear your speculation as to how that is going to work. 

The Fed will be buying 90% of the new US Gov't debt flow next year (see source below)... we are now at a point where essentially all new deficit spending is being monetized.. all markets are captured, and there is no effective rule of law if you are part of the monetary status quo.   

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-03/treasury-scarcity-to-grow-as-fed-buys-90-of-new-bonds.html 

Here is how the Mexican Billionaire Hugo Salinas Price describes what is to come;

Fiat money has destroyed humanity’s normal way of life; a way of life in which men and women could find their places and were thankful to have them. That old way of life is gone; the old attitudes toward life and work have been erased.

This is destruction many times worse than the worst destruction of any war. That is where we are today. This is what fiat money has brought to the world. Fiat money is the child of the arrogance of human intellect, which has sought to invalidate the laws of human nature which have regarded the precious metals as money for thousands of years, and sought to substitute an intellectual construct for the real thing. Now we are going to pay for that arrogance.

What now? Nobody knows. Unquestionably, we are headed straight into fearful problems never seen before. At least, owning physical gold and silver may be help some of us survive.

source: http://www.plata.com.mx/mplata/articulos/articlesFilt.asp?fiidarticulo=194

Sucked into a fantasy?  There is plenty of fantasy out there... Chemtrails for instance... but the pathway toward some form of monetary collapse is entirely, rationally, mathematically demonstrable.   

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 30 2009
Posts: 291
Osb

It's not just websites like this that have been "sucked into the fantasy."  The US Government, in the form of the GAO (General Accounting Office) has been reporting annually for a lot of years now that the US Government is on an unsustainable path.  Their prediction of the tipping point ties closely with what you find on websites like this.  Look up the Citizen's Guide that the GAO publishes every March.  Pick a year in the last 5 and read it.

Even the GAO got a bit sneaky with the 2011 publication.  The revenue shortfalls didn't look nearly as dire going forward as they have in past publications.  You have to look closer to see that they omitted interest on government debt from their key charts.

Head in the sand is one way to feel good about the world today, but I'd argue that a rude awakening when things go completely off the track will be more painful than a gradual awakening brought about by seeing the advance warning signs.

I'd also argue that the effort we will have to expend to exist after the coming changes will be a lot more than the effort we are expending to prepare now.  If you can't motivate yourself to prepare, how do you expect to motivate yourself to provide for your needs in the future?

Finally, if you want to see proof of where we are headed, look to the past.  Some of the mistakes we are making have been tried over and over again.  The results are completely predictable.

bloodyrich's picture
bloodyrich
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 22 2010
Posts: 1
i'm sure others already commented this but...

to say you were a fool to think to store food is being really hard on yourself... You are not a fool, and in fact if you think you'll always be able to find food, then that is foolish.  There are people who are hungry right now in New York due to Sandy. Is your fridge totally empty? I assume not. Are people fools for keeping food in their homes? Prepping just means keeping more than what most people are keeping currently. Up until recently, people kept months of food in their homes. Also, if your food was stored in a sealed containerr then the bugs probably came with them. We eat bugs routinely [just google that]. And remember people starving & dehydrated after Katrina? I wouldn't call it unlikely to have trouble accessing food. I just lived through a blackout, empty shelves, people loosing homes, etc. To give up because a food storage project went bad is silly - chek out The Survival Podcast. jack Spirko's philosophy is to not assume the worst. It is to hope for the best, prepare for the worst- but be prpared in a way that you benefit even if nothing goes wrong. His food storage methods saves you money- You are eating food you purchased at lower prices, and you are not storing food to only be eaten in a disaster. good luck

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 621
Problem - Solution

Here you go:

Solution

You could also go with smaller mylar bags (say, 1 gallon) if you want to rotate your dry stores more frequently.

Rhiahl's picture
Rhiahl
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 17 2012
Posts: 2
RE: Taking prepping too far

I think that when you took the effort to store a bit of food you were on the right track.  Losing food to any situation is frustrating.  When I began learning to store foods many, many years ago it wasn't because I expected a collapse or emergency.  It was just something I found fascinating and could do with my great grandmother and grandmother (my mother was never interested).  Also, later, I found myself a single mother with a minimum income struggling to get through school, yada yada yada. One thing I discovered.  Pantry stocked, kids eat and any income paid for gas to get me through another school/work day.

The move to store food was the right move.  Honestly no one would expect, in this world today, that someone will realize the next step is how to make sure the food was there for a long time.  Why would we when we can run to the grocery store anytime and the food is always fresh and wholesome?  We can just buy it.  

Obviously, food is a perishable item.  Dry goods (beans, wheat, spices, flour) are packaged with bug eggs in it, there is no method of packing today that is free of them.  In order to be "pest free" it would have to be sterilized to the point of no nutritional value.  Improper storage, meaning storage that is optimum for the pests, was the failure here...  not the intent to store the food.  The next step was the most important.  Research on the web will inform anyone how to buy dry goods at the grocery store, on sale, and keep it safe for anywhere from 2 to 30 years.

Planning for financial upheaval is good thing.  Having savings is a good thing as long as the plan doesn't involve selling a house no one can buy, a hundred dollar bill will buy tomorrow what it buys today, my property taxes don't run me broke because of property tax inflation imposed by local governments.  That my debts are settled (which I don't have..debt).

I for one don't feel stress and worry over preparing for something that may lead to a hardship.  The more I can set aside, grow, create, save leads me to greater optimism about my family's future.  The more I learn about bread baking, cheesemaking, soda making, brewing, dehydrating, canning, curing meats, cooking with dry goods the more secure I become.  Even after 30 years of preserving food, I learn something new every day.

It's perspective. If a person sets out to prepare for "doomsday" with a feeling of doom, then of course defeatism will guide their emotions.

Maybe all those summers, as a young girl, spending time with women who lived through the Great Depression made me less fearful.  Whatever the reason, I'm grateful to those wonderful women who have departed this world, leaving me with priceless knowledge.

If a person looks at the world around them and thinks there is a problem, takes steps to mitigate the problem in their own life, then defeatism shouldn't play into their thinking.

The intent to leave the country is an interesting one.  In Iraq, during the war, soldiers heard from locals they felt better under Saddam than the upheaval they were experiencing.  Better the devil and rules you knew than the day to day uncertainty of the war.  

Having traveled the world, I can only hope that a person would have already set up the passports/visas/residency requirements needed.  Because if there is an economic emergency, countries are not going to willingly allow more mouths to feed across their borders.  A person would have to hope, when the time comes, airports are functional and other countries are allowing people pre-prepared to leave in.  Because people cannot just hop on a boat or plane, land in a country, and be welcomed in.  At that point the term for the person's status is refugee.  A camp is the most likely outcome.

In a world of instant gratification it would seem logical, just up and leave.  But, history tells us that even if allowed to leave it would be without money (it will not be allowed out of the country) and no way to get home if the situation is worse elsewhere, highly likely if the US economy fails.  If the US fails it has worldwide implications.

I'm not dismissing a leaving the country plan.  I mean no offense when I suggest having a pre-planned way to move to another country.  Because, like buying food to store, researching the next step for preserving it was essential.  Exit plans require that next step of research.

osb272646's picture
osb272646
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 14 2010
Posts: 120
sucked in

I'm not saying this website has been sucked in.  I'm saying that preppers that get carried away get sucked in.  A few of the prepper community live the fantasy, looking forward to the day it all comes down.  Some of them are active on this website. 

Let's look at the past.  This is at least the fifth time the US Government has monetized it's debt since it came into existence in 1789.  Three of the monetizations have happened since 1945 one of which we are currently enduring.  Did the economy collapse in any of those prior monetizations?

History has plenty of events that are every bit as challenging as the current one.  A few examples:  The War of 1812.  The Civil War.  The two World Wars.  The Cold War.  Even the Reagan recession.  During the 50's, 60's and 70's, one could say that our life expetancy was about 30 minutes; the time it takes for an ICBM to get from there to here.  On many metrics (inflation rate, unemployment, deficit spending) the Reagan double dip recession was worse than the recession of 2008.   Neither our society nor economy collapsed during those events.  There were plenty of doomsayers back in the 70's and 80's, I remember many of their books.  The difference is that there was no internet to spread doubt and panic like there is today. 

I have been visiting this website for a few years now, and I went through all the phases that many describe on here.  I experienced the concern, fear, despair, anger, etc. etc., that many people here say they went through.  I was planning my prepping down to a T, just like some of the others on these forums.  The low point was after I read the Mormon preparedness manual that someone linked on these forums. 

It doesn't hurt anyone to take a step back and assess whether they're doing the best thing with their allotted time here on this earth.  To continue down a path because of previously "sunk costs" is a terrible strategy.  The person who started this thread seemed to me to be trying to make that assessment.  My response was to tell him to make sure he understands the reasons and the downsides to going beyond what makes sense for his own needs.  He should not let others tell him what to do, or to scare him into doing things that he wouldn't do if he could step back and put things into perspective.

Being one of those who grew up in the era of the 30 minute life expectancy, it makes sense to me to have the wherewithal to survive and protect ones loved ones during an extended emergency situation.  That covers the Katrinas and Superstorm Sandys.  In fact I encourage my city dwelling adult children to go somewhat beyond that level of preparedness.  Maybe a little physical PM, and if one is comfortable with it, a firearm and some ammo.  Does this mean that I think that the economy or society is going to collapse?  Heck no. 

I read somewhere that it is a human tendancy to believe that one is living in the end times.  Our predecessors did it, we do it and our descendants will do it.  It's why the Mayan Calendar and Y2K get traction.

If you want to believe that things are going to go down the tubes, then go ahead.  I do believe that those that have chosen the extreme prepper path will look back at some point and realize that they've misspent the best years of their lives.  I just hope that if that happens, they don't get angry.

Jim H's picture
Jim H
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 8 2009
Posts: 1627
OSB

That the pathway to a worldwide economic calamity is not apparent to you does not make it not so.  This is simple math... all major Western style debt ridden economies are on the same path.  You make no valid argument that I can see in favor of continuing stability in the face of the current realities;

*  Diminishing real resources

*  Unsustainable debts

*  Attempts everywhere to maintain the unsustainable status quo via money printing

I have posted elsewhere a recent presentation by Kyle Bass where he lays out the math regarding Japan, which will probabaly be the first nation to fall to economic catastrophe.  I will make the math very simple for you in relative terms we all can understand:  They have a yearly income of $100,000 (their tax revenues) and a credit card balance of roughly $2.5 million.  The reason they are not already bust is that their credit card interest rate is near zero... and even then, the yearly bill, for interest service alone, is $25K, or one quarter of their entire income.  If their interest rates creep up, they are dead.  Their new leader, Abe, wants to create inflation...which means that their interest rates will creep up.  This cannot and will not end well. 

I have explained in very detailed terms how the world is interconnected, and how if Japan breaks, the entire world economy will break as well.  You act like you are someone who has broken the bonds of a cult and are now proclaiming that the rest of us are cultists. I am not in a cult.  I am a realist and an engineer that looks at data and draws conclusions. Your backward looking justification for passivity in the face of this data is a danger to those who may be just waking up, hence my strong rebuff.        

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 4 2012
Posts: 468
and furthermore...

I do believe Jim, that OSB is guilty of "optimism bias", as discussed by Kyle Bass in the video you sent us the link to on another thread.

OSB, you would do well to go to the link posted today by Arthur Robey in his post "CM mentioned in the dispatches". In roughly half an hour of reading, James Howard Kunstler lays out rather succinctly why sane and intelligent people like Jim, myself, and many others are doing what we do. We are realists who are taking steps to try to mitigate the very real risks that are out there. While we cannot control the big picture things, we can control some of our destiny. Contrary to what many may think, we do not wear tinfoil hats.

Jan

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