Less talk, more action: what to do now to prepare, THE COMPLETE MANUAL
I’m fairly new here, but have been tuned in for a couple years. My biggest beef with the site and CC is there’s not enough info on preparation. I hope we can address that together- specific suggestion for action below.
For example, the What Should I do section mostly just addresses the importance of preparing. The "Planning Guides" just talk about paying debt down and buying gold. Am I missing something, or is there some good checklists, resources, etc. that can help people get going for real?
My wife and I started preparing 2 years ago. We sold our home in a larger city, and bought a home in a small town in a farming community two months ago. We paid down debt, just a small mortgage now.
Priorities, for me, are:
-Ramp up our garden, get some chickens, get lots of food storage and start canning our own food this year.
-Buy some hardware to help us prepare for energy shortages (wood pellet stove, generator, tools)
-Make more cash and diversify into gold and international via someone like Peter Schiff
-Self defense (currently attending jujitsu class with my brother and our sons- this has also been a lot of fun. looking into handguns)
-Set up my own local "network" for trade. My goal is to be the organizer of a barter website and monthly flea market/barter exchange.
I’m lucky in that my wife is also a little nutty about preparation, being thrify, etc. We’re striking a good balance between having fun in life but also preparing for big changes.
Back to my beef- I value the info, it’s a great summary of some of our biggest challenges, and I agree with most of it. But to be of real value, we need to do a lot more than just talk. We need action!
Here’s the kind of thing I’m looking for. Maybe it exists on this site or elsewhere. Maybe a group of us can pool together and create something like the suggested "guides" below?
LIVE COMFORTABLY OFF THE GRID TODAY
-Solar/human-powered resources for charging batteries/flashlights for when the power goes down.
-Wood, wood-pellet stoves, and other ways to diversify how your home is heated/cooled.
-Battery/generator backup systems, solar/wind systems.
CHECKLIST FOR THE TOP TOOLS AND HARDWARD YOU NEED
Non-electrice hand tools, self defense and security, food preparation and storage
LIVING OFF THE LAND FOR THE AVERAGE JOE
Tips on how to get as much output as possible from the average yard.
Box gardening, raising honey, chickens, rabbits.
Canning, freezing, food prep.
I know, I know, this stuff could fill whole volumes. I guess what I’m really looking for are good checklists, good lists of resources for where to buy the stuff at wholesale cost where possible, etc.
Anyone been there done some serious preparation? Why not pool resources and knowledge and make it easy for the next guy? Or to swap knowledge so we’re all a little smarter?
For us, much of this is a hobby that may save our lives someday, and we enjoy it. Status quo till you die? Well, maybe you lived 5 more years b/c you ate organic veggies you raise instead of eating more processed food.
I’m with you Waldendad. In my preparations, the first step has been educating myself on the many aspects of a self-reliant lifestyle. My god there is a lot to learn. I guess I would start by recommending a few books that I have found valuable in my education:
Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway
Toolbox for Sustainable City Living: A do-it-Ourselves Guide by Scott Kellogg, Stacy Pettigrew, and Juan Martinez
Designing And Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally by Robert Kourik and Rosalind Creasy
Edible Forest Gardens (2 volume set) by Dave Jacke and Eric Toensmeier
Food Storage, Home Security, and Survival Preparations:
Crisis Preparedness Handbook: A Complete Guide to Home Storage and Physical Survival by Jack A. Spigarelli
The Complete Book of Home, Site and Office Security by Bill Phillips
X10 Home Security System by Michael Maikowski
The Secure Home by Joel Skousen and Joel, M. Skousen
I haven’t got to researching alternative energy books yet, but I have owned many of the Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebooks and they have a lot of good info.
Real Goods Solar Living Source Book-Special 30th Anniversary Edition: Your Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Technologies and Sustainable Living (Real Goods Solar Living Sourcebook) by John Schaeffer
I’m not sure this is exactly what you were asking for, but I’m afraid this is all I have time to contribute at the present. I think it is a great idea to pool information and I will absolutely contribute more to this effort in the future.
Thanks Sam and Jeff… Nice to have all those links in one place.
Search through all the forums. Much of what you are asking about has been discussed before.
Here is a very short list:
I’d also add to the list
Frugal Living for Dummies http://www.dummies.com/store/product/Frugal-Living-For-Dummies.productCd-0764554034.html
Simple Living Guide http://www.amazon.com/Simple-Living-Guide-Sourcebook-Stressful/dp/0553067966
Hope this is of help to you.
Slightly OT but many options are closed to me for a variety of reasons. Anyone have any opinion on freezedried vs. dehydrated foods.? No wheat, rice, beans, in my future, I’m afraid.
I bought a 90-day supply from this website, and this is a page where they compare freeze-dried vs. dehydrated. I have no financial interest in them. They just seem knowledgeable and their customer service was good.
Happy hunting, Sager
One more thought —
Add "spices and flavorings" to your pre-SHTF shopping list. Pretty much all the survival food I’ve seen is super-basic. A little som’n-som’n added to the pot will help the simple foods in question go down easier.
work jeans, fire hose canvas clothing, extra roomy Chino pants and jeans, and
souped-up sweats… Just to name a few.
Let me amplify on Mrs. Dogs’ post:
Hurricane Store – best price I found for collapsible water storage jugs. Great selection of first aid kits and supplies.
Campmor: Camping gear and a good selection of clothing – look in the Hot Deal section for sale items. Usually very competitive prices in backpacks and tents.
Another site to add – Safe Castle – http://safecastleroyal.com/ Very durable Maxpedition backpacks, good selection of food supplies.
Will add more when I can track down the website addresses.