Outdoors, Green Living, Homesteading, Sustainable living, Green Building

6 main areas of life when prepping for Survival


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The Survival Pod Cast
Off Grid Net

  • Food
  • Water
  • Energy
  • Shelter
  • Security
  • Health/Sanitation

These are the 6 main areas of life to consider when preparing for survival. This is the “prepper” world. Not necessarily “doomsday prepper” however. How about preparing for things that are likely to happen? These are things Jack Spirko talks about on The Survival Pod Cast all the time.

Food

Dave Ramsey says in the “Total Money Makeover” that we should keep a $1000 emergency fund and then 3 to 6 months of “expense” money (not income) on hand. Preppers when storing up food say “Store what you eat and eat what you store”.  The pioneers stored food for getting them through the winter. We usually just go to the grocery store all winter. It is possible to store up food that last for years. The best used by dates on most food items means that it will begin to loose some flavor or possibly vitamins or nutritional content after that date. Many canned items could last 10 years in a root cellar. Dried and Freeze Dried items can last that long and longer. I have a blog post on Food Harvest Preservation you may want to read.

How about keeping 2 months food on hand? or 6? or a years worth? or 2 years or 5 years or 10 years? If you store food and do not use it then it spoils and is trashed after a given period of time. This is similar to the concept of insurance. You may just loose your money if you never need the food. If we rotate and eat the food that we stored then nothing is lost but effort and some time maybe. I think rotating and consuming is best, at least as much as you can stand. You need to be willing to know that you will eat the food that you store.

Also what about seeds? Yup you can set aside typical garden seeds and they can last for decades. Could there be a possibility that your or someone you know may in dire straights situation suddenly have no job and time for growing and harvesting food? Its something to think about. Other things to stock up on in this area might be garden soil, fertilizers, manures, compost, hummus etc. If we are going to be prepping for years into the future how about planting fruit, nut trees and vines around most especially native varieties of fruits and nuts and vines. Here I have an article on Square Foot Gardening. And here Types of Gardening. I’d add one thing to those also, the Critter Gitter Bag . If you have time to garden you may also have time to hunt and fish and trap.

Water

There are many possible problems that might arise in the current water systems. High prices are one problem. Contamination another. Outage another. We need to have alternative ways to get clean uncontaminated water. We need to have ways to conserve and recycle used water. I address these problems in two post. Home Water Production and Filtration Purification Distillation and more

Energy

Energy comes in two main types, electricity and fuel. We can store energy at home and we can produce some energy needs at home. No matter what you read or hear there is no such thing as free energy. Manipulating or converting energy has its cost. For the average prepper we are talking about a generator and battery bank for backup power. As Steve Harris says we need to be like a submarine, run noisy and charging then run silent and run deep. Fuel can be more difficult to produce than electricity. Wood and wood gas would be most prepper’s priority here I would think. That is other than the buying and storing of other fuels. Propane is a great thing to store. Here are my post on
Home Fuel Production and Home Energy Production.

Shelter

It cost under today’s economy around $50 to $70 per square food to build a new stick frame home. Stick frame means that dimensional lumber is used for the frame. It’s difficult to put up a new pole barn for $20 per square foot. If you bought a used mobile home one might get the cost down to $20 per square foot. A military tent might cost that much. I have been trying to figure out how to get a Mongolian yurt built for under $2.5 per square foot. Its not much more than a tent. Lets say you purchases a well used camper 8’x20′ for $300. That’s $1.85 per square foot. And for that price it will need some work.

Shelter is a huge cost in life with not much way to get around it. In a typical home 1/3 is material cost, 1/3 labor and 1/3 contractor cost. That doesn’t count land. If you need to buy land then make sure you have $3000 to $5000 or so on hand before you being your search. You will have extra cost up front to get the deal done and may have setup cost for services and other enhancements to the land. The one debt that I wouldn’t fault anyone for is a mortgage on home and land. Still larger down payments and lower payments are best. Shorter terms (with higher payments) are best in most cases.

I have a few articles related to shelter. Green Houses, Earthen Homes, Timber Frame Homes, Log Cabins and Metal Buildings

Security

Security is not simply about guns and ammo. Risk assessment is a very important first start. However if you do not exercise your rights you will loose them. So keep and bear arms. But this is only a minor part of it. The army uses obstacles as well as arms and armor. Think in terms of slowing down the assailant  or making expensive attempts to thwart your security schemes. We can’t always stop violations of our security but we can always provide resistance. My article on security is Home Security. Also Ham Radio might be important. And for financial security I have two post. Home Accounting and Investing.

Health and Sanitation

As far as the health part goes I don’t have a lot to say. Keep various emergency kits and backup medical supplies around. Keep a trauma kit around. Keep bee sting and snake bite kits around. Keep communications in order. Health insurance is always a good idea. Keeping spare cash on hand for doctors is a good idea, though I rarely seem to have it when I make a visit.  I have a lot more to say on sanitation however in my post on Home Sewer Treatment

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4 responses

  1. Mickey

    Mickey here, I believe water is #1. We can live weeks without food or with very little, scavenging for survival level food sources (bugs, edible plants, etc.) but we can’t last very long at all without clean water. Excellent post. I feel if more of we Americans literally returned to our roots, whether you are Native like me, or more to the Settler mentality…both Indigenous and Immigrant early people in this country were self sufficient. You are truly free when you are without want or need of someone else…and only the family matters.

    January 22, 2013 at 6:39 am

    • I don’t think this list was ordered by priority. I guess I need to make it a bulleted list. And I left out energy which would have been #5 making health and sanitation #6

      January 22, 2013 at 5:30 pm

  2. Mickey

    Mickey: Cool I understand now. Yes when I see a numbered list “priority” always rises to mind…I think you should leave it as a numbered list and intentionally make it prioritized. In the event of any happening we need to move on priority #1 first, then the rest until we hit the “luxury” part of the list. : ) I-phone, Computer, etc. : )

    January 23, 2013 at 8:43 am

    • Everyone has their own priorities with this. I think health is left for last most of the time. Some might have security as #1.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:21 pm

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