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What is self sufficiency in the modern world? I hear all this talk about Bug Out Location, Bug Out Vehicle, Bug Out Bag. I can move into the woods with my BOB and live for weeks even months if necessary. I could camp beside and in my BOV indefinitely though I probably wouldn’t want too. In the 20’s we had HOBO’s which were homeless people or migratory workers who camped in the woods vs getting a hotel room. In an economic collapse do we all become HOBO’s? Hopefully that is not going to be the case for most of us self sufficient survivors. If I’m going to camp, I want my own land to camp on. If I’m going to forest bum it should be my forest and neighbors forest and national forest near my homestead.
The truth is that we all need and want things that the modern world gives us that we are poor without. Sure, much of it we could live without, but we wouldn’t want too. Should the economy fail and we fall on hard times then we want to be in the best position possible to make due until it comes back and then be more ready for the next time. The problem is that it’s possible it may not come back in a given person’s lifetime or not in time for that person to enjoy the new good times.
I think we get the order of importance of skills needed backwards sometimes. Here is the correct order. And I’m not saying that you can’t work on all these skills at the same time only noting order of importance.
#1 Personal Finance skills.
#2 Career skills.
#3 Selling and Trading skills.
#4 Homesteading skills.
#5 Wilderness and primitive living skills.
Personal finance is first because we are not yet in a state of economic collapse and there is still time to use the current economy to improve our positions. Also prepping requires money. And land is not cheap in case you haven’t noticed.
Career skills is closely related to the first. But also in that during an economic collapse some people will still be able to work. What career skills might be best to gain before an economic collapse? Its something to think about.
Why selling and trading? I have never thought of myself as a good salesman. Matter of fact the only things I’ve ever thought I’d be good at selling where things I knew a lot about and liked. I mean a good salesman should be able to sell ice to an Eskimo right? In a depressed economy selling and trading things that one produces from their own land would be important. Supplemental income or any income will be important. And bartering will be all too important when money is worthless.
So the first three are money/goods related. Next is living off of your land or homesteading. You might think this would be number one in self sufficiency but I’m betting you would be wrong. It is very difficult to be totally self sufficient, I mean are the Amish? No they rely on community. So did the first pioneers in America. Even if you organized a self sufficient community similar to the Amish or pioneers then you live at a reduced standard of living until the money system and all other systems come back online. Homesteading is important because it gives some measure of self sufficiency greater than most other situations. Its also important because it gives longer periods of complete self sufficiency than camping and forest bumming alone.
Lastly wilderness and primitive living skills because you may need them on your own homestead. You may need to travel from your own homestead and live primitively for a day or two at a time. Or you may just choose too. There is something therapeutic about primitive living for a few days every now and then.