It’s not to late to start preparing or getting self-relient

It is never to late to start getting prepared or self-reliant. No one knows what will happen in the future though we can make educated guesses based on history or what has happened to people but the biggest thing you need to do is start/begin. That is often the hardest step to take so it’s okay to whine we have all been there.  While I do think there is time to prepare you will need to priortise how you spend your money because things are getting tight and you can’t afford to make many mistakes.

  1. Shelter:  I know this might seem an odd item to put first compared to most blogs, but for a late/new prepper you have to know that without shelter, cooling/heat you can die in a matter of hours, either from heat stroke or hypothermia in winter.  So evaluate your shelter, do you have a basement? Basements stay cool in summer and warm in winter and since the are below ground they make a great start for a storm bunker.  If you don’t have a basement can you cut off heating/cooling part of your home so you are cool or warm?  I’m not a big fan of central air and I have found you can put a small A/C unit of 5000-6000  BTUs in a window and have a cool spot to sleep and only uses 500-1000 watts of power depending on it’s size. Cost for the small A/C unit is about $200.00 or less.  Heat in winter: If you don’t have alternative heat source like a wood stove or fire place I would recommnd the Mr. Buddy type heater and store a few propane tanks away from the house.  I have tested these heaters and in below zero temps it will keep at least 2-3 rooms warm if supplied with a fan. A 1 pound tank will last about 4-6 hours depending on temp. outside and how hot you set the stove. For my test I used a Mr. Buddy heater and the hose adapter for the average propane tank and about -10 to 20 degrees as a test. Well insulated small house 1200 Sq. ft stayed about 60-65 degrees with an added fan to circulate heat. An average propane  tank would last about 5 days. The Mr. buddy heater will cost about $70.00-$140.00 depending on features and a small 15-20 gallon propane tank will cost about $50.00 or less. It’s not easy to come up with that cash but add in a small 1500-2000 watt generator and for about $300.00-$500.00 you will have a backup heating and cooling system that you control and will last a week or so.
  2. Water: You need water to regulate your body’s thermostat in both hot and cool weather. Water is a great cleaner and is needed for yards and gardens.  Now filtering water is needed  I recommend the Sawyer water filter for about $20.00 on Amazon. I recommend rain barrels of some sort but if you can’t afford a rain barrel I would go with a tarp and any rain collector you can set your hand on.  I have no faith at all that any local creeks or river will provide clean drinking water without some sort of treatment. If you are counting on a local creek as your backup water supply there must be others thinking the same. Water is very heavy, one five gallon jug weights over 40 pounds if you don’t have some sort of vehicle to transport the water. You are screwed!  You can store all the water you want for pennies per gallon if you want to have it on hand all you need is a container. Your choice but I figure about a $1.00 per gallon storage price is okay.  I’m sure there will be plenty of excuses that you can’t afford rain barrels, or water storage barrels. That’s okay for you as I have been preaching to get prepared for at least 5 years. Your choice, I know I have safe drinking water stored today and have tested my water plan.
  3. Security: I think guns is a big part of security, but you may not be of that mindset.  I do think a person should escalate if allowed from pepper spray on up. But when push comes to shove many “bad guys” or desperate people will kill to eat. If you stand in front of your preps the “mob” will see you as a threat and as a person that is keeping them from the basics of life.  I hope the “mob” will move along when faced with deterrent and a person that is willing to implement but I can’t say that will happen.  I think knowing your neighbors and setting up a small little barter collective is the best defense against the mob! I don’t know for sure as I’m new to the whole global economic collapse idea. But I know it is a good idea to know your neighbors.
  4. Food: Store long term foods, all grains, rice, beans and any basics like coffee, salt, sugar.  Other than coffee most of these item last for decades if store properly. Learn how to grow a garden, gardens take work and it is not easy to grow plants. It takes a bit of practice but even a black thumb like me can grow a darn good garden if persistent.
  5. Skills to barter:  I have no idea what you are good at. I seem to be good at medicinal and some basic thing like soap. I’m fairly good at building PCs.  I also have a good selection of tools. I have no idea what will be of value if the SHTF all I can do is try and learn basic skills and hope for the best.   I think bread making might be huge and of value. I have all ingredients on hand already and it strange that many people think making bread is akin to magic if not bought from a store.

It won’t be easy to prep but it is doable for a 3-6 month time frame for your family. Will it be enough? I have no idea but at least some minimal prep gives you a bit of time to plan to keep things going.

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15 Responses to It’s not to late to start preparing or getting self-relient

  1. Making bread is akin to magic 🙂

    • Jamie says:

      pioneer preppy: I love getting those little yeast “beasties” working for me. From beer and ciders to bread. This year I’m very excited to try making femented veggies from my own garden.

  2. Dannyboy53 says:

    Jamie I agree with you. Doing anything no matter how small is better than doing NOTHING! Even though it may appear to be too late, we never know that for sure.

    You never quit the race until you are across the finish line, never.

    • Jamie says:

      Dannyboy, I was able to do a lot of stuff start with little money by getting camping stuff. It’s perfect for a bugout/mandatory evacuation and you also can use it at home if there is a disaster.

      I believe many people actually have a start on prepping if the think “out of the box” as far as what they have on hand. Summertime yard sales are great for getting gear cheap. If you have a grill and fuel you have a backup cooking source. I have a couple hundred pound of lump charcoal on hand that I paid $12.00 or less per 40 pound bag. Perfect for BBQ and smoking meats and I could barter a bucket of charcoal easily.

      Those little butane burners are $15.00-$25.00 and I can get a 4 pack of butane fuel for under $7.00. Kellene at preparednesspro. com has a great video using one of those burners to cook inside using a little pressure cooker. She uses about a can of fuel every 1-2 weeks depending on what she cooks.

      My $150.00 food shopping list could be done over a few months and it provides a lot of food for a low per serving cost. It’s okay if you don’t have all the “proper prepper” stuff to start. A 10-18 gallon tupperware bin is okay to start with, for a few months until you get something better for storage.

      Getting started and upgrading is how I did my prep on the cheap. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good eenough to start.

      • Dannyboy53 says:

        “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good enough to start.”

        Well said Jamie! We have only been prepping close to a year and a half now and are very well stocked. Of course we will continue to add and improve until that is no longer possible for what ever reason.

        We think back over all the flea markets, yard sales, etc that we have picked up things we knew could be used and it is surprising how much it will save a person. Some things I have “manufactured” myself with just a few power and hand tools. I’m no Engineer, if I can do it anyone can!

        As others have pointed out here, this site has been invaluable and my thanks for it.

      • Jamie says:

        Well Danny my carpentry skills are medicore at best but I made a my first small raised bed and compost pile out of pallets. The raised bed looks pretty good the pallet compost pile is not my best work and not square at all. I embrace failure becuse I learn so much from it. We have far to many people that fear failure so much they never try anything new. No one is perfect, in fact I believe the last perfect man was hung on a cross and who needs that sort of pressure?

  3. kymber says:

    Jamie – it’s post like these that always keep me coming back for more! don’t think that i don’t read every post because i do – i just sometimes lack a proper response. i love the advice that you share here and i love how far you have come in such a short time!

    your friend,
    kymber

    • Jamie says:

      kymber I can’t believe It’s been about 5 years sine I began preping and almost 4 years doing the blog, moving towards self-reliance. I surprise myself at times on just how much I have accomplished and the time just seemed to fly by. I owe a huge thanks to our “community” for help and encouragement on my little “Adventure”.

  4. Jamie says:

    I should not have talked about building PCs as my Desktop died! I hope it’s just the video card but it’s over 8 years old and need to update a new PC. I’m working with my laptop and it should be okay until I can buy the parts.

    • Dannyboy53 says:

      Jamie my oldest daughter told me she buys all her PC parts at Tiger Direct as they were the cheapest she has found. Don’t know myself as I have never dealt with them.

      http://www.tigerdirect.com/

      • Jamie says:

        Dannyboy: I have used Tigerdirect, but newegg and Amazon have a good price on parts. I have a a pretty good set of replacement part just under $300.00. I’m going to get the Video card first and hope tha fixes it for a bit and then order the rest of the parts later in July.

    • Mensa Graham says:

      @Jamie – look into solid state hard drives – newegg. Fastest thing you can do to a PC. Also extends battery life in laptop.

      • Jamie says:

        Mensa, I will recycle my hard drive, DVD burner and case with power supply. The cost is high because I have to get a new CPU, MOBO and memory for the upgrade. I used to be a gamer but I don’t need a pwerful PC and what I am building will play the games I already have. I haven’t seen a highend game that I want to buy, they are all just sequels anymore or same old “Space Marine” save humanity types!

  5. And do not barter in volume, and let a third party mediate the trade. To keep your supply, your supply.

    • Jamie says:

      rat It will be hard for most folks to trade as many folks will assume you cheated simply to excuse their lack of planning. I mean I just went without all the geegaws of modern life. Built a garden bartered for wood and sacrificed to build a stockpile of basic goods. I mean how dare I grow a garden full of cheap and nutritious food when they did not do the work! How dare I learn skills from baking bread to making soap and healing salves?

      I ain’t rich but I get by without EBT and other government grants. I may be wrong about the price I paid for my disability but I sure as hell paid the tax.

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