Monthly Archives: April 2012

Commonly Over Looked Preps

As I talk to more and more people about their preparations, I’ve noticed some things that a lot of them seem to have over looked. (This, of course, is no judgment on them). Here’s a bit of a list of the ones that I’ve noticed over and over.

Entertainment – there is no way I can express how important this really is. It doesn’t matter if you have 30 years of food and water in your location, if you have nothing to do, you WILL go stir crazy. Put a book in your back pack and have everyone in your group do the same, or stock up your retreat location with some books you’ve never read. You can get books cheaply at garage sales or for free on websites such as freecycle.org. Get a deck of cards or some board games. If, for whatever reason, these things are not feasible for you, make a routine as soon as possible in the situation you’re facing. People thrive on routine. (example: wake up, make breakfast, check traps, have lunch, tend garden, make tools, etc). The last thing you need to deal with in a SHTF situation is cabin fever.

Oven mitts/Pot holders – almost everyone I’ve spoken to has the plan to cook over fires but none of them have oven mitts or pot holders to protect their hands. While this isn’t necessary and there are tools that you can fashion out of sticks to do the same thing, pot holders will protect your hands from the burns that you ARE going to get. You can get a pot holder at a dollar store or use a bandana or scrap of fabric.

Burn care- this goes with the pot holders. People will get burned; a lot of people are relying on fire to cook, clean and heat. There will be burns. I see the med kits people have and most of them focus on cuts or illness. While living in a SHTF scenario, yes, there will be a lot of cuts too but burns require care to prevent infection. Get a tube of burn ointment and bandages or whatever your preferred method of burn care is and have lots of it! (I use straight lavender essential oil for burns, more on this in a later post).

Water additives- it is easy to get diet fatigue when you’re drinking nothing but plain, sometimes boiled, tasteless water. I recommend, especially for those of you with kids, that you stock up on some additives such as Kool Aid, Crystal Light or whatever your favorite drink crystals are. These don’t take up much room and can add a sense of normalcy to your situation.

Again these are just some of the things I’ve noticed and I’m sure I’ll add to the list. Make sure you think of how you’re going to survive and all things required if you had to start from scratch. A big part of prepping is planning!

Prepping When You Have No Money

Earlier this week, I realized I have been doing as much prepping as I wanted to. I don’t have as much done this far in the year as I had planned and am far behind my goals. Money has become tight, as I’m sure is the case for a lot of people. I’ll be honest, it got me down for about a day.

But! There’s lots that you can do that takes no money at all. I started out by taking inventory of what I do have and looking again at my list of what I would like to have. Reassess and reevaluate your goals.

Next I spent hours watching videos on everything prepping and survival that I could find. Youtube is great for this, but make sure you take everything with a grain of salt. The people that make these videos could be anyone, just like you or me. So really think about the things that these people do and say but there really is a wealth of information out there, for free. So find the videos and take notes. There is also a lot of information on facebook groups and hashtags on twitter (check out #preppertalk for one)

After that, I decided I could use to be in a bit better shape. If the S were to HTF, being in good physical condition would definitely make it a bit easier.  So, I revamped my workout routine. Anyone can work out and you don’t need gym equipment and you don’t even need to run. One of the easiest things you can do is sit on the couch and watch an hour long program. Each time there is a commercial, do 20 sit ups or push ups. That should give you close to 100 in an hour! If that’s too much work, cut it down to 10 or 5 or even 1, anywhere is a good starting point. By doing the exercise in small sets, it doesn’t feel like as much of a work out. This is how I started a while ago, now I can just do the 100 sit ups or push ups in a row (which means it’s time to up my numbers or make it harder.)

The last thing I did was mentally prepare. I realized that I may not have thousands of dollars tied up in my preparations but at least I have prepared. That’s more than what most people have done. I thought about what could happen in my area (snowstorms, tornados, economic collapse etc) and thought about how my life would be affected. What would I do in _____ situation? What if _____ happened? And make your plans from there. What would it take to get you to bug out? Where would you go? What would you bring? Make your plans and constantly reassess them, always be willing to change them and be flexible!

Starting Seeds

Starting seeds doesn’t have to be rocket science. You don’t need green houses and heat lamps. Kindergarten children plant beans in their classrooms to learn about spring time.

All you need is a cup, some paper towels or napkins, some water and a window sill.

I use clear plastic party cups to start my seeds. I stuff a little bit of brown paper towel in the bottom and then add water. I let the paper towel absorb as much water as it can, then pour any extra out. I put two or three seeds in each cup then set the cup in a warm, sunny window sill. After a couple days to a week, the seeds should start showing some signs of life. If they haven’t, don’t give up, recently my cantaloupes took almost three weeks to start sprouting. Keep your paper towels moist (but don’t drown your little roots) and wait. Once your plant has developed a good size tap root (the biggest root in the middle that the other roots sprout from), carefully pull the plants out of the cups and put into some good quality potting soil until it’s warm enough to plant outside.

This is how we start the majority of our seeds. Currently we’ve got every window sill full of beans, peas, carrots, peppers, chilies, butternut squash, sunflowers, radishes, cucumbers and countless herbs. This is also great for any little helpers you might have hanging around (children, grandkids?), they usually get very excited to see their little projects grow.