Sunday, November 9, 2014

Can You Produce or is the Clock Ticking?





I think it was one of those early shows they started doing about preppers several years ago that finally jolted me into a new way of seeing things. Up until then I was pretty much your average garden variety prepper guy,  storing pails of rice and sticking ammo cans of 5.56 in every nook and cranny I could find around here.

Sure it was completely obvious they were out to make preppers look like complete fools and only found the real looney characters to come on the show. It more than likely helped that only the real idiots would want to show off their stuff for the world to see anyway so I doubt they had a whole lot of vetting to do.

Out of that first (and only) episode I watched I couldn't tell you how many individuals they had on and after all this time only one has really stuck with me. They had some guy who was introduced as a doctor or lawyer (as usual) who had purchased some hillside and dug himself out a bunker. Inside he had rooms full of food, rooms full of cut wood, and huge water tanks. They showed off his sewer drain I believe, that went for like a mile, and then a panned view outside of one of the driest hillsides I had ever seen with downed trees laying around and some seriously bad erosion ditches. Still I thought it was a nice setup all alone in a bunker away from the world.

Then they asked him how long his food supplies would last and he told them five years.

This guy had a storage room full of food and it was enough to last him five years? How can that be I thought? Then I went and counted up my own room full of pails lining three walls in stacks five high, ran the numbers and came up with about two and a half years for three people. Of course the guy in the show had one hell of a menu, much better than mine so the space difference kinda made sense. Not to mention the guy on the show obviously really liked his food.

But that five year number kept coming back to haunt me. I just kept thinking about it.

Now I don't know about you but when I look at the train wreck coming down this track, look at the victim politics and sheer social hatred that permeates our world and then divide it by my own not quite ready to retire age, I find I plan on living a lot longer than five years.

Then I started thinking how it would feel to be watching the end of society as we know it, the end of grocery stores, UPS, Sportsman's guide with easy internet shopping and free delivery over $100.00 and knowing right then and there my clock began ticking the day the financial system died.

What would be important in life at that point? Knowing I could gnaw on MRE's for five years or building something that would sustain me and mine until I was rocking in a chair watching great grandchildren play around Apple trees I had planted 25 years earlier.

I suppose it could be said nothing is permanent. You cannot in the end protect a Pear tree any better than you can protect a pail of Rice. You cannot stop a looter from throwing one of your lambs over his shoulder any more than you can stop him from carrying a case of tuna out your door. If you can protect one you can protect the other. Yet one commodity continues to produce more or less while the other just sits there.

The clock still ticks on that orchard but it ticks at a speed I find comforting not a count down to doom.

Prepping is not sustainable unless you have the skills to go along with it. Without the skills all your doing is hoarding and letting the clock tick.

So Keep Prepping Everyone (And that includes learning your skills).

17 comments:

  1. I got into the medical field so that I could trade my skill set for more food if the collapse came before I was ready. My job just allows me more breathing room until we find and build up our retreat. Just hedging my bets....

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    1. K - Willingness and skills of medical knowledge is more than likely THE most valuable skill someone can have. At least as long as there are more than two people still alive anyway. No one with an IQ score higher than a single digit would harm a medic, nurse or doctor even if they had one in their own group they are never a waste of resources.

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  2. Great thoughts and wise thinking. I am doing the best I can also, and I wonder if it will be enough.

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    1. Jane - Well you're a nurse so you are way ahead of the game as K above. You will always have a place I imagine and skill you can trade even into old age. Personally I don't have the right personality for that line of work. I mean sure I can handle some things but it takes a special person to really minister to the sick and those in real pain. I don't think I could handle it for long stretches.

      Outside of that you got land, a barn, and resources. Buy yourself and yours as much time as you can and then just start producing more. Willingness is most of the battle I think.

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  3. PP,

    Great post my friend! We keep prepping and always looking to learn new skills.
    Also make sure to rotate food and medical items.

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    1. Sandy - Yep rotating is important. Shelf life is never as long as we would like. It seems once i finally get an amount I am happy with it's time to start all over once again.

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  4. PP - another great post! and this post makes me think - move to a place that is sustainable. learn how to grow your own food, can it, dehydrate it, learn how to store it, learn how to hunt it, learn how to build a spring well on your land (we don't need one, we have the river)...and after all of your storing and storing....learn to fully comprehend that in a total grid-down, shtf situation - well you gotta learn that if you can't grow avocadoes in your locale - then you just better learn to live without them. we are and have been discussing and practicing this for years! we can grow and we love potatoes - not a problem. we've got the ocean, our river and several nearby streams to fish from (6 mountain streams enter into our river). and if that is what we must live on....plus all of the herbs that i collect seeds off of every year, and replant the next year....as well as collect our seeds for both sprouts and microgreens.... all the shellfish and other fish, and every veg that grows well here....i guess that is what we will eat. pine needle tea goes a long way...just ask the Donner's.

    we're big believers in foraging what food is already in your environment. i haven't mentioned various fungi, moss, sea salt or seaweed just to keep this comment short. but trust me - we have spent several years learning what we can forage here. and save seeds from. and not even worry about the gardening aspect. it's almost like we do the gardening for fun!

    love you buddy! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber - Well you guys got it going on. You are in a spot where you don't need to learn animal husbandry or grow large amounts of grains for said animals. In fact if it wasn't for Canadian gun laws, immigration laws and the fact that I already have so much land and family here I would seriously think about your location as a retreat. You simply cannot beat that ocean arrangement in my opinion. People say the oceans are dying but I doubt it extends to areas like yours or even to individual/family subsistence just commercial fishing.

      Foraging is also super important. I true sustainable skill. People were foraging their own greens down here until well after I was born.

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    2. PP - i love these kinds of posts that get people thinking and talking and learning. you have some awesome posts and i am glad to call you friend. but if it ever gets real ugly down there, you grab your family and git yer butt up here! you and jam will have so much fun fishing - neither of you will even remember that the poop has hit the fan! cuz yer both nutters that way! oh and heck - if Sweet Sandy and Bulldog Man make it up here too...i'll probably never see the 5 of you! bahahahahahah! love ya buddy...and looove these kinds of posts!

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  5. I haven't seen a prepper TV show in years but it always struck me that so much time was spent talking about weapons, food and water which are obviously important but pale compared to the real threat around here which is winter. I have lived out here for nearly 15 years learning how to make it in this environment and most of my time and work involves being ready for winter. The first winter will take out most of the unprepared and every winter after that will take out preppers who don't know how to live in their environment. Of course there will be an exodus to warm climates but that is a whole other set of problems down south.

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    1. Sf - It was those discussion that turned my way of viewing it around. I noticed the same things you did and I kept thinking just how long will a collapse last. The older I get the more five years seems to be a short time too and that helped change my opinion too.

      Winter is a special time. One I look forward too each year. It will truly separate the men from the boys and the shirkers from the workers. I do a special "Snow Ape" post each Winter because of it. People will learn to appreciate Winter I think, if they can survive it.

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  6. We try to rotate as much as possible with our stored items. But, our real goal is to grow & preserve enough for the next two years so as not to be caught off guard with a failed crop or two. That's what my ancestors & cousins of today do to this day. You just keep producing & using what you grow. Rice & other long term items are just to sustain us until we have reached our real goal of self-sustainability, like our ancestors did, without even thinking about it!

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    1. DFW - Exactly. You express the same plan I am following more or less. Have at least 2 years stored back and then plan on producing. I really cannot understand how anyone who isn't in the medical field, a blacksmith, or a wizard would think they can just sit back on live off hoarded food. If it was possible someone would have already done it before I think.

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  7. I know I've said it before but skills and knowledge are the best things you can have. As a farmers son and a carpenter by trade my skill set is pretty good for this I think. I've also done some survival/wilderness training and courses in fruit growing and the like. My plan would always be to grow what we need.
    The land is so fertile here and there's so much we can grow, cereals and potatoes as staples, but having the skills to do it is the hard part! Hopefully as we continue here we should have more and more perennials that need low maintenance providing us with easy food plus the harder annual crops that take more time.

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    1. Kev - Yep. The skills are the most important part. I always get a chuckle out of the one who say "they will do it when they need to" types.

      Low maintenance is the best. Another thing I like about them is people may in fact raid fruit trees and the like but when they start destroying stuff they rarely think to burn or cut the down. They might torch your house or barn but I doubt they will even pay attention to the trees.

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