So in ‘prepping’ many are simply getting back to the basics: trying to grow more or all of their food; canning and drying food for preservation; learning how to use tools and make repairs; having backup sources for heat and power.
This has become the new definition of homesteading, but in America we are forever changing the definitions of words and phrases. Just a hundred years ago, or less, homesteading meant the open frontier and building your own home and well and barns. Now some homesteaders are building their own homes but it is also used to mean using our “gardens” to the fullest and well, surviving. Okay so I do not want to raise rabbits for food because to me that would be like eating my dog, but you can bet if there was no other food I might drool when I look at Mr. Bunny.
What is a prepper? Not always a prepper – maybe just a survivalist.
– Someone who is preparing to handle their own issues and be comfortable with dealing with loss of power or heat
– Someone who is gathering knowledge and resources in case some of those things last longer than we want
– Someone who is having a preparations to leave home during emergencies so that sheltering is not such a nightmare.
I am a prepper. I do not have much money for stocking up like I would prefer but I am learning how to do so and how to store things like food and water. I am learning to value what few gardening skills I have and earnestly putting them to use. To me this means moving my kitchen garden closer to the house for easier watering and maintenance and looking at blueberry bushes in a new light. I have had a small chest freezer for a few years now and it was gifted to me so I could freeze my raspberries and zuchini. Adapting means adding containers of water like I did when I camped a lot and learning how to dry some of my harvests and purchases before they go bad. You should smell how fresh the strawberries are that I dried!
There are hard core preppers out there that scoff at what some of us are trying to do but many others are more willing to let us define what a prepper is on our own terms. For instance, if you have a generator but do not keep gas for it; if you have stored food but have no way to cook it; if you have a well but no pump to access it without power. This is known as being half prepped and explains why so many ‘preppers’ are paranoid. So many citizens are completely unprepared they are afraid of being overwhelmed by hordes of hungry and thirsty citizens.
So what do we do? LEARN. Think for ourselves and become more knowledgeable. Not just from the television but by learning from others, asking questions and doing some simple reading. If you are reading this you have an unlimited source at your fingertips. That does not mean that all you read is the truth. Gather skills and not stuff. Just sit down and discuss the issue with others, like, say your family and practice with them the skills we all need. Cook and eat what you buy and buy just a little extra for the stash. You not only need skills – you need to practice them. This is also about trying to keep our awareness level a little higher and as they used to say “preparing for a rainy day”.