Starting over.

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This topic contains 15 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  Whirlibird 1 year, 3 months ago.

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  • #2080


    Ladies and Gents, here’s a question for you to ponder.
    After a bit of background of course.

    A while back now I ended up in a conversation with a friend, he’s new to the lifestyle.
    We got to comparing notes, some of mine dating back nearly 30 years, his last weekend as it were.

    We moved a while back, new house, new jobs, new area.
    With a finite amount of space and time, much was sold, given away or abandoned.
    A minimum of gear and supplies was kept, bare bones at best.
    Some guns, camping gear, etc. Bare minimums.

    He’s starting with basic gear, camping, hunting, etc. And a newborn to add to the challenge.

    Me, I’m looking to streamline my process, avoiding mistakes where I can.
    He’s looking for direction so it doesn’t take years to get the basics.
    Okay, now to the question.

    If you were starting over tomorrow, what would your prorities be?
    What order for purchases, what would you put off until tomorrow?
    Any specialty items to prioritize?

    What says the board?

    P.S., This is a post that I have put on a couple of different boards over the last three years, the difference in answers from place to place has been interesting.

    Keep returning to it because there are always new people coming in as well as those of us who may need to revisit our own situation.

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Whirlibird.
  • #2083


    I would start with skills and PERSEC.

    Preppers so quickly get caught up in trying to buy their way to a sense of security, but a closet/room/shed full of gear isn’t going to get it done.

    Of course, get a basic food and water supply up and running and budget money towards building it each month. Go slowly and use the food you store.

    Pay off any debt ASAP. Live below your means.

    Get a membership to a gun range and USE it. Become proficient with your firearms. I’m amazed how many folks just buy a couple guns and check defense off their list.

    Stay active or get active and never stop. Mobility is so important. Walk as much as possible and do squats as your bare minimum. My husband is way more ambitious than I’ll ever be when it comes to fitness (he has to be able to carry adults out of burning buildings) but maintaining the ability to walk long distances and squat to pee are two things I intend to be able to do even when I’m a little old lady. That’s actually pretty ambitious now that I think of it.

    Breastfeed that baby. Obviously, Dad can’t do that but he should move heaven and earth to support his wife in that. Breastfeeding is the most basic and powerful prepping you can do to keep babies/toddlers safe. I won’t bore everyone with details on that, but truly guys care about this. It’s a little awkward to talk about, but this should be an area of prepping that you don’t ignore if you and your wife/girlfriend are still in a fertile stage of life.

    If you really want to be prepared for a long-term scenario and are prepared to do the work? Start living and learning now. Don’t wait to try to grow food. If you can’t move yet go ahead and start a container garden. Do something. Do whatever you can do where you are at. Take up hiking/camping/backpacking and use the excuse of that hobby to gain experience. All the camping gear in the world is worthless if you don’t know how to use it. You don’t want to try to learn things under stressful conditions.

    And don’t get so excited you tell everyone you know. That is really difficult for a newbie, but spend some time reading about the gray man concept and apply it to how you talk to people, how you store your preps and how you go about making your home secure without making it look like you have something worth taking.

    Working on my first cup of coffee, but right off the top of my head, those would be my priorities.

  • #2088

    Crow Bar

    Yeah, I have had to do that a few times.
    After all this time, I think skills, knowledge and experience are priorities. You can have all the books, PDFs, videos, but until you actually do it yourself it is all academic.
    I learn a whole lot slaughtering, gutting and butchering my first hog that was not in the book.

    After that, well the usual,

    What do I need to grow my own food?
    Do I have the means to access fresh water?
    How is the house?
    Do I have the means for defense?

  • #2097


    Starting over? Okay, I’ll take that literally even though it may not be exactly what you meant.

    1) There’s nothing more important to prepping than having practical skills. As a recent white-collar retiree, I’ve found that I have very few and it is a huge problem. So get some experience in PRACTICAL things: Construction, Electronics, Plumbing, Farming, Animal Husbandry, Welding and the like.

    2) Buy farmable land with its own (non municipal) reliable water and start developing it. I’m sorry for those of you in Arizona and Nevada, but the lack of water means you’re probably in trouble if TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) happens.

    I’m doing this right now, by the way. I’ve had some land since 2005 and just retired to it this year. Unfortunately, it was 500+ miles away and I did nothing with it except to build a vacation home. This year, I put in a garden (in June). Unsurprisingly, it didn’t go very well. (Of course, June is VERY late to be planting seeds but this year it was the best I could do.) Gardening comes with a big learning curve. One of the things I’ve picked up is that it will take years before I have a garden that is large enough, diverse enough and productive enough to sustain a family and the skills needed to preserve what such a garden grows.

    If TEOTWAWKI had already happened and I’d bugged out to here, I’d have been unprepared despite 15 years of thinking about it and buying things. I’ve stocked several months’ worth of food, but my family would have run out and starved long before I could have created a garden to sustain us.

    I can’t say it enough: Start your garden soon and learn to can or freeze dry what it produces.

    3) Form a solid relationship with like-minded neighbors. I’ve seen advice here to keep one’s prepping plans private. While I understand the reasoning, I respectfully disagree because in a true TEOTWAWKI situation – as opposed to a limited crisis such as a month-long power outage – you aren’t likely to make it on your own. You’ll need others to split the work and to look out for each other. Stockpiled weapons aren’t going to save you if it’s just you and your your family against an armed gang.

    But good neighbors might.

    How do you go about finding allies and preparing for TEOTWAWKI with them? I have no idea. Maybe you can tell me. Living in a rural location improves my chances in that I’m surrounded by more people who are competent, independent and distrustful of government than I might find elsewhere, but there are also a large number of addicts (Surprisingly, opioids are a *huge* problem in New Hampshire and Vermont!) and crooks, as there are in any state. How to avoid them while finding and bonding with like-minded neighbors who will have my back? That’s the question.

    4) You must have guns. I don’t really think that hunting is a viable solution in TEOTWAWKI since wild animals you can eat will quickly be GONE, but there will be smaller critters raiding your crops and a .22 rifle is a good way to take them out. Hey, I actually ate a groundhog this year! I figure that if I shoot it, I’m going to do my best to eat it (If it’s reasonable. I refuse to eat a skunk.)

    At a minimum, you should have at least one handgun (self defense both in the home and out), one shotgun (home defense, hunting and putting down your larger animals), one .22 rifle (varmints), and one larger rifle (.30-06, .30-30 or .308). Don’t forget the ammunition. Stock 1,000 rounds per gun – more than that for the .22s since .22 LR is still inexpensive. Ammunition not only keeps forever if it’s clean and dry, but I think it may serve as a medium of exchange (a currency) in TEOTWAWKI.

    5) Water filters. I don’t think an explanation is needed.

    6) 3-months worth of food. Costco used to sell buckets of dehydrated food. They were cheap and advertised as edible for 20 years, but they were bland or downright awful to eat. You might want to spend more and get something your family would be willing to eat even if TEOTWAWKI doesn’t happen.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Decomposed.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Decomposed.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by  Decomposed.
  • #2103


    First, run to the closest Asian market and get 50 or 100 or more pounds of rice. Last I bought was available in 25 and 50 pounds heavy duty sacks, at about $1.25 a pound.

    Buy the books Daisy recommends and read those. That will bring the newbe up on what skills are needed, tools, gadgets needed.

    Water barrels and water filters. I like the Big Berky.

    Guns and ammo, of course.

    Fire making stuff and cast iron dutch ovens to cook with.

  • #2105

    Crow Bar

    Great post!

    Around here, lots of people have gardens. You can see them driving down the road. There are likely more, but you just cannot see them.
    I think of it as hiding in plain sight.
    I trade seeds with my neighbors. Their honey or maple syrup for some of my bacon or pork.

    Around here, it is a given every household has a firearm of some kind. More likely at least a deer rifle, a shotgun and a .22LR.
    You might want to consider a .22 or .25 PCP air rifle for small game. Quieter than a .22LR and even cheaper ammo. Easy to work on, o-rings are cheap and last a long time if you keep them lubed. I got one air pistol with the original o-rings. It is 10 years old now.

    Community is important and I cannot agree with you more. I talk to my neighbors, give them eggs when I have extra. I always wave to the Amish as they go by.

  • #2134


    Crow Bar-I lived in south central Kentucky for over 8 years and was surrounded by the Amish and Mennonites. There was a significant ice storm late one winter that took out power for weeks in some areas. I recall reading a newspaper article about a family effected by the storm and how their Amish neighbors brought them hot coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls every morning until their electric was restored saying, “We figured you might need this.” 🙂

  • #2135


    Because I’m a crazy wandering nomad, I may have a slightly different approach.

    I’ve lived all over North America during my adult life and have learned to become very adaptable on a dime. The things I find the most important, in no particular order:

    ***Learning to grow/acquire food in new places (if you ever had to leave your homestead, you’d need to adapt your growing processes, right?)
    ***Acquiring and purifying water
    ***Making fire
    ***Staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer
    ***Protecting yourself
    ***Being frugal and creative

    And perhaps, most of all, being able to adapt to new groups of people. I like to learn a lot about the places I go, find out where the locals hang out, and get to know people without seeming like an outsider.

  • #2161


    skills comprising Food, shelter and clothing should be first priority.Food supplies should include Non GMO sprouting seeds.
    even the beans and rice will sprout and provide an almost instant food supply while waiting for the first garden crop. Sprouts can be added to most dehydrated foods to enhance the flavor and it certainly boosts the health factor.
    Try sauteing those sprouts, add reconstituted eggs and butter or bacon fat. A delicious, quick and nutritious meal.
    After that, prepare the garden spot. It should be tilled and with compost, rotted leaf mold and rotted manure. If possible do this in fall and let it ripen over the winter. In spring, re -till and plant.
    A garden will not produce well if it is planted in poor soil.
    Learn clothing skills. Hand sewing, mending, weaving and spinning will provide the necessary clothing in a grid down situation.
    Handyman skills.
    A minimalist view of necessities will cut costs and clutter.

  • #2167


    Definitely building a trusted support group. If you can do that, the learning curve can be drastically reduced and so many other daunting tasks made more palatable (pun intended). Have a canning day with your group where you can learn and have something to store away. As opposed to learning and acquiring that equipment on your own. That could shave weeks/months off.
    I think the gray man part is important as well. There are way to many factors to that though for a one size fits all answer. You don’t want the red, neon doomsday prepper sign in the front yard and you don’t want to be paranoid, freak loner and there’s a big space in between. One has to balance that out the best they can.
    Like Decomposed hit on and Selco and Daisy often expound upon, expecting to go solo or anything resembling that, is probably the least survivable SHTF scenario. Having a trusted support group is a no brainer.

  • #3461

    Valerie Stonecypher

    This interesting article kind of fits into your thread, if you’ve ever quit prepping for a period of time because you had to or just wanted to, for whatever reasons.

    Have you ever “given up” on prepping for a period of time? Why, if you don’t mind telling us? What caused you to begin again?

    7 Awful Reasons Why Preppers Give Up

    The short version:

    1. Political climate
    2. Cares of life
    3. Feeling completely prepared
    4. Opinions of others
    5. Lack of financial resources
    6. Loss of interest
    7. Lack of goals

  • #3482

    Molly Malone

    I think the first priority is to save money and create an emergency fund. I think the second priority is to pay off debt. So you are trying to do both at the same time: save money and pay off debt. I think this comes before buying food, or water filters, or weapons, or anything else.

  • #3648


    Money storage and debt reduction are big in most collapse cases.

    Without water shelter food the debt thing will take longer to cause a problem.

    Daisy has lots of info on cheap and free preps try to incorporate mm or if thing go Venezuela bad money is not the thing they worry about.

    I personally believe we are in the time after any change is possible and the crash. Even $20 a week in preps would go a long waoy once hyperinflation hits.

    Some of the big msm places now saying hyper inflation in northamerica is forgone conclusion, stock collapse imminent just don’t leave yourself debt free with cash and no stuff thinking you can buy at last minute.

  • #3660


    @whirilbird, I think the question you’re asking is good as a subject of conversation but not really to start planning. Each person/family is unique and what you do to prepare depends on the situation you’re in. Too often I read on boards like this advises that are questionable because they just reflect the needs and situation of the person giving the advise rather than the needs and situation of who is receiving it.

    People say pay off your debt first. What if your debt is a 0% interest credit card debt? What if you have enough money in your savings to pay it off any time you want? What’s you employment situation? What if you’re on the verge of bankruptcy anyway?

    People say put money away. How much? Why money? They could be useless when needed. You could be better off buying food. If doesn’t spoil you know you’re going to use it. If things go south, can be bartered.

    I think that whether you are a new prepper of restarting, the best thing you can do is look around and find out what your vulnerabilities are bases on the risks more likely to present in your situation and start fixing that. Learn from others but do not take what others do as something to blindly follow. Accept that you cannot fix everything and that whatever you plan will have to be adjusted the moment the plan is executed. Enjoy life because S might never HTF or life could get rid of you before it happens.

  • #3662

    Molly Malone

    @namelus said: “Some of the big msm places now saying hyper inflation in northamerica is forgone conclusion, stock collapse imminent just don’t leave yourself debt free with cash and no stuff thinking you can buy at last minute.” That is a good point.

  • #4190


    Dark Future,

    That conversation is exactly why I keep bringing this question up.

    Each persons situation and needs are different, but by everyone putting forth information, we can all find something that can help each of us.

    Personally I realize that my prepping has changed several times over the years. For better or worse is questionable, but a comparison over the years definitely shows the changes and the magnitude of differences.

    Looking  at it with fresh eyes every so often can show flaws and missing things that need to be addressed.

    Help from others can be a boon. I recently was reminded of a serious hole in my plans. And looking back I realized that I had pretty much always assumed that any financial collapse would be large scale not of a personal nature.

    My bad.

    So we all continue learning.

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