I love the line from the book The Little Prince... what is essential is invisible to the eye...
We have a fundamental change going on and with it a new (and no one knows what it will really be) normal? My view is any change is ... a time to change to something you want or need.
What is Essential in these times is peace of mind and a plan.
My top suggestions are...
- Focus on what matters. Your family, your health. Everything else is just stuff. And if you don't own it outright as of today... get rid of it.
- Have 2-5 years of food. It takes a LOT of calories to get food so it seems this is just common sense. You can do it very inexpensively by going for dehydrated beans, rice, veggies and fruit. I just helped my best friend make her worst case list. 400 pounds of rice and beans supplemented by3 servings a week of something fruit or veggie. All deyhdrated and all store and forget. Total cost - under $1200. It isn't fancy, but it is there if she needs it and will hold for 20 years. She will add to it to get more variety as money permits.
- Get a piece of scrub land. The good part of this crisis is land is cheap! Find anything at least 100 miles out with water. Using my best friend as an example. She put her well into her land for 1/2 price cuz of the economy... her solar well pump was also half price. Want to go even cheaper... dig your own and put in a hand pump. Box a spring, or sink a cement culvert uprignt near a creek and set it on gravel. It should fill or if not, trench to it from the creek, fill with sand and cover. It should fill. Make building your retreat a family fun project! Reality check - many people say you need a LOT of land for a retreat... etc. I think not. Reality is if things get tough you will maybe keep chickens and goats (milk meat and they reproduce by twins most of the time) not cows or sheep. You don't need much room at all.
- Build your shelter on your scrub land with handouts, salvage, storage containers. Use cash! If you have a payment for land... ok, but plan to live very inexpensively.
- Find old sliding doors (Not double pane) and build a lean to greenhouse up against a southern wall. Use old motorcycle shipping crates (free) as raised beds. Lots of ways to skin the grow your food game.
- Still working in town. Start your scrub ground as a weekend retreat. But do it now!
- Did I mention the part about Style...? he-he Everything... even things done cheap can look fabulous, so make your retreat wonderful... mismatched, inexpensive and beautiful.
Things to think about if you are a seasoned prepper!
I am finding lots of tools being put out for sale due to hard times. I buy chainsaws everytime I see them. I also buy shop vacs and the 4 inch hoses... You can use these to move water if you don't have a handy pump.... just plug the shop vac into a power converter/battery, pump into a big barrell and have a hole cut into barrell with hoses .going out. This is also my back up plan for emergency pumping of my SEPTIC down the road... . (ya .. you have to think of everything as a prepper...:-)
I converted to 18 volt saws for my orchards a few years ago and have LOTS of back up batteries and solar to charge the batteries.
I am springing for a 12 volt freezer from lemans. I have been using my chest freezer on batteries with a solar array to help, but I find that I have my trickle charger on all the time too....As long as I turn off the freezer (using a timer) several times a day it seems to all work. But... in my plans I end up with deer. So need the freezer. Also on the luxury list is ice cream so need that ice for the hand crank.
Hidden caches. Alot has been said about them. But I think you really need to think about what can go into a cache that doesn't spring a metal detector. Food, etc.
Fruit trees. We put in 50 last year around town and will do another 50 in our town this year (or more including the school kids take home a fruit tree fund raising project) through our farmers market. Get sustainable yards into your county and neighbors! Drip is cheap!
Garden Clubs - I hang out with two different ones. I have found they have all become unofficial prepper groups with the new safe local food efforts in everyones minds! This is a low key way to find like minded folks without screaming "PREPPER".. he-he
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