Introductions, and welcome to all

Amanda Witman
By Amanda Witman on Tue, Sep 4, 2012 - 9:48am

Please, everyone, post a little intro here so we can get an idea of what our group looks like.

Thanks for posting your intro, Juli.  I'm so sorry to hear about the untimely loss of your husband.  Did you stay on the land in WI?  I would like to hear more about how you coped with building resiliency.

I became a single mom a year and a half ago.  My ex-husband ended our marriage suddenly after 20 years together and left the state for a new relationship.  It was quite a shock.  I have four kids, currently aged 8, 10, 12, 14.  They live with me most of the time.

  I was amazed at the support I received; I had no idea that structure was in place in my life until I needed to call it into action.  The hardest thing for me was learning to reach out and let people know what I needed so they could respond with support if they were inclined.  And to remember that there is no shame in needing help, and that it all goes around and around, so times I've helped others in the past were now coming back to me.

Being a single parent to four kids, I worry about how to make sure their needs will be met.  I'm prepping for all of us, and on a tight budget, and not knowing what the future will bring (or what size shoes they'll be wearing next year...)  I am also learning to handle all of my home maintenance and provisioning by myself; it can be a big job.  I have had to ask for help with a number of things.

There is much more to say, but I will leave it there for now.  I am interested in hearing about who's here and what has brought you to your current situation.  And also, if you have a particular question for the group, please ask it. 

Please note that if you are starting a new topic, you need to click on "Discussion: Create" in the upper right-hand portion of the page, not just fill in the box that says "Write something..."  I'm still figuring this out myself, but I think that's necessary for your post to be sent out to all members.

Glad you're all with us here!


EBRMOD0's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 20 2012
Posts: 3
Prepping with a disbeliever

I hope I got this in the right space if not, I'll get there. I have been awake for 2+ years and doing prepping on my own. My wife and family think I have lost it... But I am still moving on adding what I can as I can and have done a lot. Some areas I feel pretty good about, some not so much. Since I have been pressing on it has created a lot of personal issues and is a constant strain to do this now and on limited funds. So I proritise and go for what I can since I cannot do all this at once. I am sure ya'll know that too, at least some of you. I have some close friends that are prepping too, at least their signifcant others are on board and makes things a lot easier for them. I have a long history with guns, reloading, automotive repair, home repair, among other things I have learned like canning and connection to other local preppers looking to put a farm/bug out scenario together. I offer up what I can or ya'll too.


Jim H's picture
Jim H
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Posts: 2391
Welcome EBR...

Having a mate that sees things clearly, with open eyes, is a real advantage... and I hope that you get closer to that over time.  I really like your idea about pulling local groups together around a shared bugout plan... that is very cool and I had not really throught about it.  Are you actively doing that?  

The purpose behind my post is to point you to a short video of Chris that really encapsulates the story of why we are in trouble.. in a much more concise way than the crash course does.  I know it is hard to get the attention of one who denies the problem... so maybe if you can get your wife to focus for an hour... this may help her to awaken a bit.  Good luck sir - you have most certainly not lost it!

EBRMOD0's picture
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Posts: 3
bug out

yes, I have been in two groups, one disbanded, and still in two with +s and -s . My bug out plans involve what I need, but fit into others plans (A,B, C etc.). So in my mind, a scenario driven plan(s) that are local condition dependant are preferrable for short term anyway. Sort of like planning for a number of scenarios, so you don't have to come up with a plan you don't have when you need to bug out quickly. Saves time and maybe your life and those around you too. thank you for the suggestion on the link, I will check it out. Thx


thc0655's picture
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Posts: 1759
Welcome EBRMOD0

Glad you're here and doing all that you can with a spouse who's still in denial.  Keep it up - you're way ahead of 95% of the population, and that will probably be enough.

You know, they say Galileo got into trouble with the Catholic Church, the politicians of his day, and his fellow scientists and citizens because he told everybody his CONCLUSIONS based on his observations (i.e. the Earth is not the center of our system, the Sun is).  That's "Galileo's Mistake."  He might have had a better reception if he had shared with the public his OBSERVATIONS, and let them come to the appropriate conclusions on their own (or with a little coaching).  People often have strong mental and emotional defenses to keep them from seeing conclusions they don't want to see.  Their resistance to simple observations of facts is not nearly so powerful.  Therefore, I would agree with the assumption behind Jim H's suggestion above.  Try to regularly expose your wife and other loved ones to observations/facts without pushing them to drawing the conclusions you've drawn.  Don't make it into Chinese water torture where you constantly bombard them, but occasionally show them a video, an article, a book.  Better yet, expose them to some of the facts in your neck of the woods that support some of the conclusions you've come to: that family owned business that's been around for 95 years, survived the Great Depression, but recently went out of business; talk about friends who have become unemployed; point out the empty stores; point out national incidents of fraud and greed run amok, yet no one gets prosecuted; talk about human suffering and death in the midst of natural disasters that could've been prevented or reduced by undertaking commonsense precautions; etc.

My son's fiance has been very resistant to facing any realities that imply there are hard times ahead, that crime and civil unrest are in her personal future, etc.  My son has been trying the above approach with very limited progress.  However, she became aware of the theatre shooting in that safe suburban town in Colorado.  Shortly after that, there was an incident at the restaurant where she is the assistant manager.  A drunk came in from the street and got into a shoving match with her bartender, who then proceeded to pistol-whip the drunk and throw him out on the sidewalk.  Oddly enough, those two incidents built on the foundation my son has been laying have at least freaked her out about violence and personal safety.  Now she's interested in home defense and personal safety.  Hopefully, that will lead to a greater interest in the larger issues our society and world are facing, and they'll become true partners in getting ready for whatever's coming.

You should have some actions you want to take (but can't now because of spousal opposition) and the reasons for those actions just in case she is suddenly awakened by some terrible events.  If events were to finally and dramatically open her mind, you should be ready with a list of things that should be done and why and how she can help.  That may occur sooner than you fear, but even if it occurs very late in the game, you should be ready to spring into action with her cooperation and not have to spend hours or days or weeks adjusting to your new marital reality.

Warning: you have clear vision of the dangers ahead and are taking prudent measures to prepare, but it's still possible you might be a little off your nut!  Have you considered that? smiley

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Wendy S. Delmater
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Joined: Dec 13 2009
Posts: 1988
thanks for the thread, Amanda

...and welcome EBRMOD0.

How did I get here? I was allergic to debt after medical emergencies and a desire to keep up with the Joneses (or at least buy happiness) caused my birth family to be debt-poor the whole time I was growing up. I lived in an NYC suburban bedroom community and vividly remember the civil unrest of the 60s. Amanda, I was abandoned, too--by a man who proposed to me on a gas line during the Carter Administration--after 10 years of marriage. I was left with 3, 5 & 6-yr-old sons and plunged into extreme poverty. That was in 1989. My ex was a bad provider so we'd not been getting rich during the 80's - and one of the reasons the marriage failed was that while I refused to go into debt he was a spendthrift, addicted to debt. Like you, when we were abandoned the support system of a church kicked in - the only taxpayer assisted help I got was a few years of partially subsidized childcare. My church family helped with a food pantry, clothes, and occasional emergency help with bills. I got an engineering degree and, after years of struggle, got a well-paying job in construction safety engineering. I watched the insanity that was Wall Street financiers by working on things like the Goldman Sachs HQ building and saw corporations and governments being even stupider about rational financial policies than my birth family and ex had been. I began to realize that, placed at the very tail end of the Baby Boomers, I would not collect Social Security. I looked at where we were headed, and said to myself, "This will not end well."  I foresaw civil unrest when America's corruption and spendthrift ways caught up with us.

Not surprisigingly, I was drawn prepping from the "E" of Economy. Mind you, I was also somewhat onboard regarding the "E" for Environment since I was very into denouncing the unsustainability of factory farming, but I had no idea about Peak Oil until I saw the Crash Course.

I had just moved to a semi-rural part of South Carolina from Long Island, NY when I joined this community. The man I married here was also very concerned (freaked out would be a better description) about the economy. In the past three years we've basically set outselves up to shelter in place and have reached out to our neighbors, and belong to a small church that is like-minded about prep issues. We have a bugout location with relatives to both the east and west of us (a farm and in the mountains) and are doing our level best to be ready to be a resource for our community regarding food production and preservation. We've been working hard toward energy independence or at least growing conservation.

I run the Growing Your Own Fruits and Vegetables Group and want to thank all the wonderful member of this community that have shared selflessly on topics like woodburning stoves, solar power, home security/defense, food preservation, raising chickens (that's next!), community building, and all sorts of little DIY hacks and tricks our pre-industrial ancestors knew. If TSHTF tomorrow, we are in a much better place to ride out the storm, thanks to all of you.

And you new members? Work on Disaster Preparedness. Get ready for a week with no power then two weeks, then a month. Just do a little something every day. Add a bag of rice or beans to your store. Repair a screen or storm window. Try growing something, even on a windowsill, wherever you are. Change a lightbulb at a time to a CFC or LED. Put up a clothesline. Buy some extra bandaids or socks. Learn a new skill - those of you with spouses or significant others who are not on board with prepping can call things like learning blacksmithing, learning to shoot, learning home canning, or learning to sew/knit/spin yarn or thread "hobbies." Things like first aid courses can be useful even if things stay the way they are, and you can justify all sorts of conservation things by saying they will save the family money. It's like building a wall of sandbags, one at a time. It's amazing what you can do, a little at a time.

EBRMOD0's picture
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Posts: 3
end run

yes even my own daughter thinks I have lost it, BUT (what she doesn't know) her significant other is now armed, buying metals (ok so I helped him along) and while fairly young, I think he gets it. So that one is off and running, my son in law is increasing his awareness. I am really focusing on him now. The wifey, may just have to be hit by the ole bus... As much as I don't like that, sometimes it is sheer confontation (not from me) on a given situation that works best. Sort of like she can get with the program when she realizes, yes the ship is really sinking and has been, so that is my hope for now. I also have to recognize that she may not and I do have contingency plans, as I am including my daughters, I may just have to react later on, been there done that too... 

thanks for the added insights, appreciated. 

HdRanger's picture
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Joined: Feb 3 2013
Posts: 1
New to the group wanted to say hi.


 I just wanted to say hi. I just joined the group today. I am a memeber of the local prepers group here in WI. I am former Army with a very big interest in preppeing. I hope I get to chat with most and perhaps meet some.



(just because there have been questions in other group the HdRanger stands for Harley Davidson , Ranger for the my old unit  25th ranger detachment.)

RJE's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 31 2008
Posts: 1369

WELCOME!  In my life I have admired with respect, awe and fear the Rangers. Hero's all, for a fact. Nice to have you here, and I anxiously wait for your input on a variety of issues that are bandied about. You know, scuttlebutt bullshit from those who think they know but just don't know. Hopefully you are free to express things as they are without having to hurt us for telling us. YIKES!... LOL

Seabea's, Class of 1975, Oxnard, California.


Calamity Jane's picture
Calamity Jane
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 10 2013
Posts: 34
Solo doesn't equal So Low

Hey everyone,

wanted to join in and introduce myself! I'm definitely prepping solo, and while its taken a lot of adjustment, I find that each time I successfully achieve something I would've relied on my husband to do, I feel more and more like there's nothing I can't do.

I had to make a choice to end a very bad marriage about a year ago. When he left, he took all of our prep supplies and the bug-out bag he'd put together for me. Stupidly, I'd relied on him entirely to manage the details of getting out of Dodge, if it came to that. Out of spite, he left me without my gear, or a clue.


since then, I've take my gardening skills to the next level and started learning various methods of food preservation via conventional methods, and researching non-conventional methods. I am building my first solar dehydrator and I'm anxiously waiting for the weather and the garden to kick into gear so I can try this baby out!

I also took up firearms training, and practice as often as time allows.

Its now entirely up to me to learn the essentials of survival, whether in an urban environment or rural. So I'm learning. My first test? I'm going on a weekend backpacking trip with 2 of my friends. The objective is to identify what we know and what we don't know, and keep training. On this first trip, we are going out with our established knowledge base of survival, and have each taken on learning a new skill set to teach and demonstrate. These include navigation, fire-building and establishing shelter, and field medicine.


I felt a lot of anger and sadness when I learned that he'd dismantled my bag. You'd think, in a dooms day type situation, the mother of your children would still get to keep her bug out bag....guess not. But as it turns out, I'm just so darn capable of doing it on my own. I'm really excited to find a group of people who are also learning how to do the necessary preparations for the inevitable collapse, without relying on someone else. We are that much more ready, because we are alone. If you're already accustomed to taking care of yourself, it's one less concern for the future.

besides, we're not entirely alone. We all have friends or family, church....some form of support. And, we have each other!

Glad to meet you all!



sdmptww's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 18 2008
Posts: 56
Solo (mostly) by choice

Hi All: Good to meet you and hear your stories.  I'm afraid mine might be kind of bland.  My journey brings me here solo (except for my elderly Mom) because I just never found anyone to attach to full-time.  My formative years were in the late 60s and 70s with the energy crisis and the Nixon nutty years and I've carried the books and ideas I accumulated then around with me all across the Gulf Coast.  A couple of close opportunities to hitch my wagon to someone just never got to the hitched stage.  Probably best.

In 2004 with my big, fancy job making me nuttier by the day I was given the chance to bail, and I did.  Haven't regretted it at all.  I moved back much closer to home and started looking for property and a home big enough to move my Mom in with me and all her life accumulations.  That happened in 2005.  While the house was in liveable shape it needed work and the property that was cleared was mostly grass and ornamentals and the uncleared was some old trees and a lot of brushy yaupon.  Lots of good, honest labor later we have a year round garden, a developing orchard, a workshop and greenhouse, a culinary and medicinal herb garden (really all over depending on what they need to thrive), and a house that is coming along in terms of energy efficiency.  I have space I'm clearing now for a chicken house, I'm planning for a few bee hives next year, the property is all fenced with heavy, thorny brush around three sides on the outside of the fence, I'm collecting a fair amount of rainwater, and I can now identify many of the trees and "weeds" that I co-habit with (as well as the critters).  I know my neighbors and I think they have a sense of who I am though this area can be hard to settle into if you are a "stranger".  I am a bit strange but I have an advantage.  A number of my ancestors helped settle the area and you can usually make friends if you start talking about "your people" who were in the area.

I would say I've always been a big believer in resilient and self-reliant living, just didn't achieve it at times.  Disasters are a fact of human life, mostly because we can make such a mess out of anything very complicated and nature loves a good, old-fashioned dust-up at times.  Living in hurricane country means you are kind of stupid if you don't already know how to live a week or two without electricity, pumped in water, and a run to the grocery.  I've lived through so many I'm quite comfortable at this point.  Just expand that out to every other kind of natural and man-made mess you can imagine and plan accordingly.  I was raised around a mother and grandparents who grew their food, preserved it and ate what they had.  You didn't do debt as a permanent lifestyle choice and you didn't live beyond your means or put on "airs".  While I've bumped around being stupid at times in my life, my compass always managed to right me so I survived and prospered.

My focus at this point in life is to be self-reliant in terms of food and energy and be able to help my neighbors as the slide moves into high gear.  This part of the country, as I told a neighbor recently, has never been much above the make-do line so the folks here are already adapting whether they recognize it as that or not and while most are still in the denial or angry phase of acceptance they are moving along.  They thought some of my growing without benefit of fossil fuel dependence was a bit odd until gas passed $3.00 a gallon and fertilizer became too expensive to buy.  Now I see some flicker of understanding appearing in their eyes and questions about mulching, composting, my worm bins and my raised beds are increasing.

I encourage everyone to work on not seeing what is waiting in the future, and unfolding as I write, as something to fear but something to embrace and work toward with joy and anticipation.  The mess we have now makes only the very paper wealthy happy, mainly because they are in serious denial.  Everyone else is in various stages of struggling.  Will there be pain?  You bet'cha, but we can plan to help each other and not roll up around our stuff in fear.  Moving to something more akin to the lifestyle of my grandparents or their parents has some upsides as well.  If nothing else the logging trucks that drive way too fast on the road in front of my house will be much fewer to zero.

MyBackAchers's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 27 2013
Posts: 26
Gone fishing ...

Nice idea for a group. Guess a year ago I never would have investigated but got UN-hitched last summer and got the farm, 20 sheep, 50 chickens and a lot of unfinished plans.  It's a mountain to climb to finish the dreams, but like most in this group, I have found friends through church. 

My main support are other couples and a handful welcome me into their private life like a sister. These are farmer types of the same low energy goals but they are more the living on a shoe string hung on the poverty line type with less resources but lots of skills.

as things are right now, it's been a long cold winter here in southern MN farm and I'm looking at finally getting some long term plans played out including increasing the pasture chicken production and buying the needed wool rug making equipment to use all this wool coming off these dang sheep....year after year! 

I plan on making a couple Rocket Mass Heaters and I have several friends wanting to help and learn how to make them so man-power is set and heating with them should be a huge improvement over the system here now.

ill post in th Garden groups with all th things I have learned from the old farmers over the last year as the old guys knew how to farm before chemicals. But getting the garden expanded is a major goal I have to do myself now. As is getting off grid...mountains again!

 yu!just a word for you girls with kids- you are so much stronger than you ever imagined. My Prayers are with You!

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