The TIME Component of Survival and Preparedness

by David Morris on August 11, 2011

This has been a crazy, but not surprising 7 days. Riots in England, S&P downgrade, an X7 Solar Flare and subsequent Coronal Mass Ejection from the sun, gold bouncing up and down like a yo-yo, silver barely moving, and the stock market drop has caused households to lose approximately $2 TRILLION in wealth since August 1st. ($181 Billion for each percentage point drop based on August 1st prices)

Just 7 days ago I said that I feel like Chicken Little sometimes, saying that the sky is going to fall…and somehow it doesn’t. What we’ve seen over the last 7 days is some of that “sky falling” pressure getting relieved. Will the bottom fall out of everything or is this one of many violent drops in a series? Personally, I think it’s one of many violent drops in a series. There are SO MANY controls that central banks have claimed over the last few decades that it’s unlikely that they’ll let the bottom fall out completely if they can help it. Unfortunately, every time they exert outside control over the market and artificially stabilize it, they’re virtually guaranteeing more pain when things finally do correct and stabilize or when a natural disaster/terrorist attack happen.

BTW, one of the big reasons why gold dropped late in the week is because margin requirements went up on gold.  This isn’t necessarily manipulation or evil…it’s just the way the commodities futures market works.  I wrote about it here when margin requirements went up on silver in May.  http://secretsofurbansurvival.com/934/dont-let-osama-distract-you/

The VERY positive side of having a series of drops is that each drop wakes up a new batch of people to the need to prepare, which means that we’ll end up with more stable neighborhoods, cities, and regions.

Every one of these drops also serves as a tool to get people already aware of the need to prepare refocused.

With that in mind, I want to share an important lesson about time. To do so, I’m going to tell you about a friend of mine and his new bed.

Let’s call him “Doug.” Doug’s wife wanted to buy a new bed, so they started shopping. They were really turned off by the thought of paying $700 for a bed set, so they found one on Craigslist for $250 about an hour away and bought it.

The whole family spent a couple of hours in the car going to get the bed. It didn’t have the finish they wanted, so they had to sand and stain it. Doug had all the tools, so he didn’t think it would be that big of a deal.  Because of the way the original paint was applied and the underlying wood, it was a lot more complicated than he thought it would be.

He spent the rest of that day (Saturday), the next day, took off from work on Monday, and did the same thing again the next weekend. The first day he was excited about it. The next day a little less excited, and so on until it was finished. 4 weekend days, 2 days off from work, a few hours after work, plus materials to “save” $450.

Doug did a great job. The finish is EXACTLY what they wanted rather than having to pick from the limited options that they had in stores.

With 20/20 hindsight, it’s easy to see that this may not have been the best use of time. Doug’s a highly skilled guy who makes very good money—more than $450 in 2 days (roughly $59,000 per year). In addition, he lost 4 weekend days and a few evenings that he could have spent with his family AND added a good bit of stress to his life.

Doug’s a smart guy too. He realized the error of his ways about half way into the project when he was beyond the point of no return. He won’t be making the same mistake again soon. He still plans on doing fun woodworking projects where the process is as rewarding as the finished product, but not projects where he’s got deadlines and expectations from other people.

I hear from a LOT of preppers who do the same type of thing. They completely discount the value and limited nature of their time and repeatedly spend large amounts of time trying to do things that they don’t know how to do well.  Even worse, they assume that they’ll be able to flip a switch and go from being a “chairborne ranger” to being a cross between MacGyver, John Walton, John Rambo, and Dr. Quinn overnight and suddently having the ability to complete any task perfectly and at a high rate of quality and effeciency.

Having grown up on a farm, this is a tough one for me. On one hand, I know I can do about anything I put my mind to if given the tools, time, and a little bit of knowledge. On the other hand, I know that in many cases I’m better off paying someone who has advanced training, more experience, and a higher level of skill than I do.

Some preppers scoff at the thought of asking ANYONE to do ANYTHING for them. For the most part, they’re just choosing to gloss over all of the things they ask other people to do for them.

Most could buy and build a “kit” plane and safely fly around the country, but choose instead to pay an airline every time they fly.

Most could buy and build a “kit” car, or design one themselves, but choose instead to buy a pre-built one.

Even if they “make” their own clothes, most buy thread and cloth.  (I’ve sheared sheep, made thread, and turned that thread into fabric on a loom…it’s fun as an activity, and I’m glad I have the skillset and experience, but I’m VERY happy I can go to stores and simply buy clothes.)

Like most, I also buy almost all of my electronics…whether it’s pre-built computers, radios, lasers, solar panels, or even pre-built integrated circuts for breadboard projects or manufactured solar panel components, even though I’ve been doing integrated circuit projects for almost 25 years now.

Why do I bring this up? Because I don’t know how much time we have before we’ll be depending on our survival skills for day-to-day living. Of course, the timing and amount of advanced warning will be different for everyone…people who experienced wildfires, flooding, tornadoes, layoffs, and deaths/serious illnesses in the family in the last few months didn’t have weeks and months of economic reports to tell them trouble was coming…trouble just happened.  You or I could experience a life changing disaster that thrusts us into survival mode today, next week, or never…we just don’t know.

And if we’re aware of serious threats on the horizon and have a limited amount of time to prepare for them, it’s wise to spend that limited amount of time as wisely as possible.

A large percentage of you already understand this concept and that’s why you’ve gone through my trainings instead of wasting hundreds of your limited hours researching, testing, and re-inventing the wheel.

Some of my readers are completely off-grid and living mostly self-reliant lives on small, medium, and large plots of land. That’s awesome, and I’m not being critical of that lifestyle AT ALL. You’ve invested the time, energy, blood, sweat, and tears into getting where you are and are an inspiration. I would still bet that most of you are masters of AT LEAST one skillset and that others do or should seek you out for the value you add in that particular area.

But most of my readers still have a traditional income and are somewhere between eating out every meal and suddenly in a panic about the state of the world and being semi-off-grid. Most people in urban areas are also on a financial hamster wheel to one extent or another as well. And that makes this equation of doing stuff yourself vs. paying others VERY unique for every family.

As another example, I know how to grow my own food…both in the soil and hydroponically. It’s not easy for me, and I don’t always enjoy the process like many do, but I can do it. As a result, I “keep my toes wet” with gardening because I know it’s an important skill to own, but we buy most of our fruits and vegetables from farmers’ markets and local stores.

I just don’t want to take away too much time from family, time spent strengthening my faith, other things that are important to me, and skills that I’m uniquely good at and have fun doing. I happen to be in a stage with my family where my boys need a LOT of daddy time. I realize how important I am in their lives and, as a result, have chosen to pay other people to do things that I’m not good or efficient at so I can help form healthy, productive young men.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not CONTINUALLY learning new skills, but just because I know how to do something (or even like doing something) doesn’t mean that it’s not smarter to pay someone else who’s uniquely skilled to do it for me so I can focus on the things that I’m uniquely skilled at doing.

This is becoming more and more important to me as the economy in particular and threat matrix in general become more complex and less stable. Frankly, I just don’t know how much time we have to get “last minute” preparations in place and I don’t want to waste any time that I don’t have to.

Of course, this is a concept that will be multiplied after a disaster.  If you don’t have time now, when things are relatively stable, it’s probably wise to assume that you won’t have a large amount of “extra” time when you’re in survival mode.

So, when you’re making a decision on whether to do something yourself to save “a buck or two”, I want to encourage you to remember that your life is valuable…and your time is valuable. Not just your time working, but the time that you spend building relationships with friends and family.

What else?  Continually evaluate your skills, what you like doing, and what skillsets you have (or would like to learn) that will have value in a barter economy.  Also, start negotiating, bartering, dickering, and even experimenting with alternative currencies now…before it’s critical.

Personally, I LOVE lerning new skills and doing things by myself.  I get very excited when I do a quick analysis and realize that I’m better off doing something myself rather than paying for it. But more often than not, I’m better off working with someone who’s an expert…even if it’s something I have the tools, skills, and experience to do myself.

Where do you sit on this continuum? Do you do everything by yourself all the time? Do you outsource everything in your life? How has your world changed in the last week with the global turmoil? Have you changed your plans for how you spend your time and money over the next 6-12 months? Let me know by commenting below:

God Bless and stay safe,

 

David Morris.

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{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

+3 Vote -1 Vote +1Michele
August 12, 2011 at 10:05 am

I do a lot of things myself, because I’m a single mom who’s also homeschooling. Even though I’m busy, I have a lot more time than money. So spending time is often the only way I can get something. But even then, some things simply aren’t worth the time investment over the cost. For instance I host clothing exchanges, where everyone brings their old clothes (or anything else), & takes whatever they want. I’ve been able to build up a clothing storage in future sizes for my son this way. All for free! Yes it takes some time, but a lot less than making my own cloth & sewing them. He will have at least a minimum of clothing ready for him no matter what happens.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1RoyG
August 12, 2011 at 10:08 am

I do as much as i know i can do for right now….. I’m always open for new skills and do try to improve them as i’m going along… But i will as you say farm out the things i know i cant do.. i make sure i have the important things that i might need and try to improve my skills as relative to the items i will have to replace one day… like building a hand pump… i have 1 now but will try to build 1 at a later time…

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+6 Vote -1 Vote +1Tim
August 12, 2011 at 10:09 am

Just had this talk with a prepper friend of mine. We both can do many things pretty well but there is just too much to learn to be a lone wolf. Life is better with friends to help.

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+5 Vote -1 Vote +1Sarah
August 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm

We joined a prepper group. We have had a few meetings and we each have learned new things. I have learned to use a pressure cooker/canner. We now have canned meats along with canned veggies:) My hubby has learned about radios. He is very skilled in a majority of survival skills. It’s taken him almost 22yrs but I now have a full a camo outfit!

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1TS in Colorado
August 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm

How do you find a prepper group?????

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1lightyeare
August 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

Good stuff, David. You mentioned gardening a while back and again in this post. I’ve come to realize that after 3 years and digging up half my yard that I would have been better off, and had more food stored, if I had made just a small “practice” garden to hone my skills, bought some canned goods, and used my time in more productive ways. The thing about gardening is that not only must you spend all the time planning, planting and tending but then you have to have time and energy left to prepare it for storage. The first 2 years I have been so burnt out come harvest time that a lot of yield was wasted.

I spent 5 hours the other day harvesting, preparing, and canning some of my yield. For that time I got 10 quarts of stored vegetables. I could driven 20-minutes to the store, bought that much for under $40 and had 4.5 hours to spend with my family or do other necessary things. I’ll be scaling back my garden even further next year to just what we can eat fresh.

There is a lot of emphasis by some people on “survival gardens” and feeding yourself all year long from your garden. Stop and very carefully think about the TIME component before you get sucked in. And don’t forget that in a crisis you will have to protect your garden and pray that it doesn’t get wiped out by disease or a bad storm while dealing with everything else coming your way.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1come-and-take-it
August 12, 2011 at 11:13 am

If you had been growing and storing your food, dealing with other things becomes easier. Every season different things do well and some poorly. If you grow to eat and store the surplus you’ll be ready for more of the “everything else coming your way”.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Sarah
August 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I feel the same way about gardening. We have stocked much more in canned goods from the store than we would have been able to plant. It increased our feel safety level by being able to buy in bulk, we do have seeds incase. I have also done sprouts, which are very nutritious and so much easier, because they are done inside. I did alfalfa sprouts but recommend a larger seed, they are too small and harder to clean the empty casings off. I plan on getting and storing bean sprout seeds.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ken
August 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm

I worry that in desperate times our gardens will be pilfered and then gleaned by people wanting to feed their families. Is this a worry of yours/

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Feeb
August 20, 2011 at 10:50 am

Ken, I worry about it constantly. Also, will I have to set someone with a shotgun next to my cattle and chickens to keep others from stealing them. I worry about my fences, too. They would be easy to cut.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1MP
August 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm

The whole thing with the survival garden, or even regular gardens for that matter is the idea thatyou’re taking control of yet another aspect of your life. You dont have to worry about the integrity of the food system especially during these SHTF episodes. While most of the time its true that you can get just as much food from the grocery store as you can from your garden when you factor in the moneyspent in terms of seedlings or fertilizer or what not, gotta also remember that poor people in many rural areas make the idea of big gardens part of their livelihood, they don’t go to grocery stores due to lack of money. They have the time to tend to large gardens, and if TSHTF, they won’t have to worry about eating. They many not have power, or fuel much of anything else but they’ll eat. It is always true to start off small so you don’t overwhelm yourself, but with the intent on growing more as time and experience allow. Even if you do stay small for a while, you may do good to grow things that dont require a lot of work, like fruit trees or berry bushes, once establishe pretty much take care of themselves, other than some routine watering and fertilizing. One could even try other alternate gardening methods like hydroponics or growing in buckets, etc. Any way you go, having the ability to grow some of your food easily without the worry of the outcome due to first timer’s anxiety is a good skill to have as you never know what the “food supply” situation will turn over in these troubled times.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1bob wheeless
August 12, 2011 at 10:41 am

Just recieved course study on Solar Photovoltaic Introduction. Looking forward to constructing a small power system. BTW, I’m eighty going on a hundred.

Your article gives me hope of success–on both counts.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Carole Wood
August 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm

What is Solar Photovoltaic Introduction?

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Vote -1 Vote +1TS in Colorado
August 13, 2011 at 6:01 pm

80??? Your awesome!!!!!! Great for you!!!

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Vote -1 Vote +1John Chappell
August 12, 2011 at 10:55 am

David. I have done a decent job of becoming more self reliant in th past ten months. I have started investing in alternative currencies, Began the process of storing foods and even though I made several mistakes in my gardening venture I still got positive results. My Wife is now on board and that has been a very big help.I have been learning Gun repair and maintenance to the point where most of my gunsmithing needs can be done at home. I have been honing first aid skills and storing everyday medicines and supplies.Water storage is what i am working on now, also need to get off my duff in regards to weaning myself off the grid.I take all of your advise and listen to all I hear, and make every effort to keep informed.We live on the Texas Gulf Coast so Hurricanes have taught us how desperate good people get when our lives are disrupted for even a very small amount of time. Thank you for all your advise and help. God Bless us all.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Sailorman Andy
August 12, 2011 at 11:02 am

Since we began our plans, and implimented them before we found you David, we had little choice other than to do most research and work for ourselves. We did find that some projects might have been better left to those “in the know”, however since we did our own with nearly every project from converting to solar, raising our produce in a greenhouse rather than the garden we previously maintained, and even basic electric transportation in the form of a converted bicycle, we have the expertise and hard gained knowlege to maintain what we have built so we don’t have to depend upon outside assistance if we encounter a problem. That gives us confidence and less stress as we use our developed projects each day. It made sense to me, since I suffered from painful arthritis, to have back-up with the bicycle as well as research into any possible cure. Again my hours of research has paid off in that, after over twenty years of pain, I am now free from my infliction. Doctors I still have to work with, since I also have a heart condition, still don’t want to recognize a cure. The “specialist” I employed told me that there was no cure for rhumatoid arthritis and pain medication was what I would have to rely on. Anyway, to make a long story a bit shorter, I no longer rely nearly as much on “conventional” care, and have in place more ways to care for ourselves. Again, I think that in order to survive when things really deteriorate, we will be on our own to care for our health and sickness we may encounter. I wish that I had found you sooner. Much of what you are teaching took me hours to dig out on my own several years ago, but I think that it was time well spent. I realize that we all don’t have the time and resources to do our own information gathering, and for that you are providing a great service. I’m still learning from you and I thank you again. Andy

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Vote -1 Vote +1TPPatriot
March 4, 2012 at 11:12 am

Hi Andy-
Your arthritis cure is what interests me since I too have been diagnosed 3 weeks ago, with osteo in my neckm rheumatoid in my shoulders & upper back and carpel tunnel complicated by arthritis in my wrists. IT isn’t constant, BUT I still hate medications.

I know my diet of veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grain, legumes, tubers & roots helps in some way, along with a reasonably active employment & outdoor life. Can you share any more about your “medicine”?

THANKS! CY6,
TPPatriot

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1come-and-take-it
August 12, 2011 at 11:09 am

Yes the time component should be considered and food is occasionally to be had for a reasonable price. For now. But, you play the way you practice and find ways to become more efficient and to avoid mistakes along the way. If you haven’t had to supply the totality of your nutritional needs because the supermarket relieves you of the chore, you don’t know what self-reliance really means.

Being an accountant (your job description here) and thinking you know what it takes to provide for your daily needs if anything out of the ordinary happens is wishful at best. Consider a test. Turn off the main electric breaker and the water supply to your home for one weekend. It will give you a whole new perspective on your preparedness. If you add to that challenge eating only home produced or barterable items then you’re really having a good time. We Americans talk a good fight. Some of us even have guns. Whether we know how to use them effectively or are prepared to use them is another good question.

What would you do with all of that free time you didn’t spend making that bed? Watch TV, see a movie, play golf? The time spent in preparation for hard times is an investment in your family’s future. Not to mention the comradery and esprit that growing food and feeding animals together as a family will create. Get off the couch, make some bread, become more self-reliant. It’ll do a body good.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1jimpenny
August 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

“I happen to be in a stage with my family where my boys need a LOT of daddy time.” Bravo! for being a caring dad. We need all that we can get. I enjoy the site.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill in Colorado
August 12, 2011 at 11:35 am

I outsource a lot because, as you said, David, there isn’t enough discretionary time to learn to do everything that needs to be done. However, I’m concentrating on learning the true essentials. I’m trying to learn facts and skills about generating power, accumulating and storing food safely, shooting straight and wisely, hardening my home, etc.

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+3 Vote -1 Vote +1FLB
August 12, 2011 at 11:46 am

I have been self-sufficient all my life, 69 yrs. So much so that I’ve “broken” my body with hard work and now am mostly disabled and can do virtually nothing. I MUST depend on my wife for the things that we can team up and do together. Other than that we “buy” someone to do things we can’t. I have LOTS of time, and can’t use it. I use most of it on the internet or T.V. My advice: Be careful trying to do too much; take good care of your health and your back; and keep learning. Your friends will desert you, but God is with you always and is willing and able to respond to your needs. Get to know Him well.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Carole Wood
August 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm

FLB,

Wow your story sounds like mine, only the roles are reversed. I ‘gave my back at the office”, so I can’t do much and rely on my husband for most chores. I can do a little lite laundry, and once in a while go pull a weed or two (gardening was my favorite thing).
Yes, to everybody reading, please take care of your backs,,,,, once trashed,,,, there’s no return. Know your limitations in the process of getting ready. You don’t have to do everyhing yourself to get ready. We have some very great friends a few miles away.
‘We have started beekeeping, as a food source, and a barter commodity. This is our first year trying to do some gardening. Because of weather, we got a late start in planting, but may get some corn, carrots and radishes and maybe onions. Bees are lots of fun to watch, easy to care for and already have folks waiting for samples and hope to be future ‘customers’. I wish we could afford to go Solar, but I think it’s way to expensive.
We;re retired and on a fixed budget….. and if Obama gets re-elected, we may have
to give up our post retirement healthcare BECAUSE OF COST. We have well water,
so are saving to put in a manual pump next.

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Vote -1 Vote +1TPPatriot
March 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

FLB-
GOD Bless You, brother & your wife & family. Your brief message moved me to express my gratitude and support to you.

I too, have had some rough mileage, orphaned at age 4, emotionally, mentally, sexually & physically abused, stoned cold drunk from age 12, drug addicted by age 16, homeless sleeping in a dumpster by 18, defied death in countless car and motorcycle wrecks, beaten and left for dead in a snow bank, attempted suicide and found GOD again at age 20, beat prostate cancer last year, and now diagnosed with osteo & rheumatoid arthritis consuming me. I have had more blessings than any 10 people that know me.

As I see it, your knowledge, wisdom and experience are of great benefit to us all. PLEASE share more in a blog or just post prolifically so we all be blessed. ;-}

THANKS, CY6
TP

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Pastor Garry
August 12, 2011 at 11:53 am

At times it seems only logical to utilize skilled labour rather than your own. As always life requires a blend (perhaps balance is a better term) of doing it yourself and having others do it. I have the knowledge and skills to build a home from bare untouched ground to a finished building, fully wired and plumbed (I teach construction as well as being a pastor). BUT, when I needed a reshingling job on our roof, I hired a younger man to do it. I used my skill set to choose the right contractor.

I guess wisdom is in learning when to do it yourself and when to seek help… when its prudent to make it / fix it, or to buy it.

Time remains our most important resource, and it can not be replaced. If income is in short supply, then its a good use of your time to do it yourself. If you can make more income than what it will cost, buy it (be it labour or product).

If you are prepared with the knowledge (and hopefully the skills) then its your choice to do it yourself or have someone else do it… so be prepared… and the choice will be yours.

Pastor Garry

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Sailorman Andy
August 12, 2011 at 11:58 am

Lightyeare, We experienced somewhat the same problems with the garden and preserving our produce. That’s why we converted into a greenhouse. Since we were living from paycheck to paycheck, we didn’t have finances for much so we started with a relatively small visqueen covered frame that we could put together from recycled lumber that we gathered. The advantages were that we no longer had to spend hours with weeding, harvesting, and trying to preserve what we grew. We were no longer at the mercy of the weather, and did away with the various predations that our regular garden suffered. What little heat necessary during the winter was counterbalanced by the ease and savings in really fresh produce. I wonder if that might be a solution for you since we don’t know how long we will be able to drive to the store and buy what we need. We are fortunate in that we have been able to expand to an eight by sixteen foot greenhouse with more recycled stuff that is totally solar. Our secret has been to start small and add as we have time and finances. Nothing compares with harvesting as you consume what you grow. God bless and hang in there. Andy

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Vote -1 Vote +1Carole Wood
August 12, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Andy,

We just created a 30 x 40 garden this year, and have put our bee hives in the same area.
We surrounded it with 7 foot elk fencing and put 36 inch 1/4inch fencing half in the ground and half above to keep the ‘critters out’. However, we are kind of thinking of also doing a greenhouse. Question: you mentioned your greenhouse is totally solar. Can you elaborate on how you did that? We are living on a limited budget, so it’s sounds like we could learn from your experience. Is your greenhouse all ‘raised garden’ type?

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1gil
August 12, 2011 at 12:01 pm

i have some skills, but i outsource sometimes because of the family committment.

however, last nite i was watching a youtube video (2008) of John Moore talking about the planet x coming in (coment elenin).

because of this, and for the need to occasionally sew up a cow, chicken, cat, etc., i’m going to take an EMT course this fall. i have most of what i need to live in a conventional grid, but i know i’m lacking if the grid falls for mos and years, which it will if the comet does the damage i expect.

so, i’ll focus on the emt school and also on stocking up on medications, medical supplies and dental supplies…i’d rather have to pull a tooth than die from not pulling it.

also, time to check the ammo and licker supplies…licker will be necessary for making herbal tinctures and for disinfection & pain control if some minor surgery is needed.

lastly, if you have the money, you should pick up the book by Dr. Christopher (famous herbologist) on healing with what’s around you and available. also check out the book: “ditch medicine”…again, for healing with what’s available.

thanks David for the continued great emails!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Ken Rogers
August 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Although I probabably did’nt retain a lot of my grandmother’s wisdom about surviving the depression, I did get a basic primer in self Sufficiency from her. I never practiced many of her skills like canning until the last few years. I do know that her family came throught the depression in good shape, because of her skill. I now plan for future events for my family and exteneded family. We put back food, and water like many folks now do, but also look at other needs such as medicine, fuel, clothing and other necessities.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ross & Nita Folkers
August 12, 2011 at 12:48 pm

EXCELLENT article David !! We have actually talked about this b/c we are still on the ‘financial hamster wheel’ as you put it so have learned to place a value on our time, not just our talents. Also LOVED the fact that you encouraged others to spend time ‘strengthening your faith’; after all, all preparation outside of that is ‘wood, hay and stubble’. Appreciate you! R&N

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Susie
August 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Appreciate the information! What type of liquor (gil’s comment) would be best for making herbal tinctures and for disinfection & pain control during minor surgeries?

Thank you. Have a smilin’ day!

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Vote -1 Vote +1Cheryl Rector
August 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm

You make tinctures from Vodka. Not sure about pain control, but I’ll bet it would work for disinfection also.

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Vote -1 Vote +1jim
August 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Cheryl is right on target. Do not use rubbing alcohol. If you keep Vodka, you will also be holding trade goods.

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Vote -1 Vote +1TPPatriot
March 4, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Dandelion wine is pretty fine!

Whiskey is most plentiful, even shine will disinfect & deaden simultaneously and has been used for generations.

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+2 Vote -1 Vote +1Roger W. Grim D.C.
August 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Hi David, I have really enjoyed your Urban Survival course, At the age of 10 ,I became a Cub Scout & when I became 13, A Boy Scout and up to the rank of Star Scout. At the age of 10, Mom would take us out into the country to Grandma’s & Grandpa’s farm.At the age of 10, I was asked by Grandpa if I wanted to help him kill & butcher the yearly cow , to put steak, hamburger, ect in the freezer for the year & I said yes….! We went to the barn & got the cow in position & tied up in the middle of the barn & Grandpa , handed me the Winchester pump rifle and said here Billy, you do it! Grand pa, put a mark on the steers forehead , I took the rifle and hit the spot & the 8-900 lb. cow dropped to the ground. One Shot…One kill….!
Even through out the years as I was growing up, Mom would take us out to the farm & at that young age Grandpa, passed his knowledge of being self sufficient on to me, so I could pass it on to my children when I grew up and got married. I would help him butcher a cow, a 500 lb. Hog, many rabbits, and many chickens. So today I Praise the Lord, for Grandpa Watters of Amity, Pa.
I want to pass this tip on to all of your readers, Grandpa, taught me to Butcher a Chicken from the time you ring the neck or chop it’s head off, in 20 Minutes or less. I f your readers will go to Backwoods Home Magazine ,web site & type in they will find the complete article with pictures “How to Butcher a Chicken in 20 minutes or less.” The article will be a Blessing to them you do not pluck the feathers out of a chicken or turkey, “you skin the chicken or turkey. At the age of 73 now from the time I kill the chicken or turkey , I can have it in the frying pan or oven in 20 minutes or less.
David you keep up the Good Work & Keep us informed. At the age of 73, on Social Securiiy & retired now, my only concern at the present with the state of the economy is now I am dependent of my S.S. check once a month, of which I hate., I still am an avid camper, hiker, backpacker, my pack is always ready, to go into the woods & have fun, with my family & friends.
Through out my entire Life I have be as self – sufficient as I possibly could at that given time in my life. Since we moved to Vero Beach, Fl. this past year, I put in a 4’x8′ late garden and grew some Cucumbers, and harvested 16 last week & I made 8 pints of Sweet Crisp Pickles, I have 8 Tomato plants about 2-3 feet tall, if the heat or blight doesn’t get them I will can alot of tomatoes for my home made soups that I make.
David you are doing a Great Job…..Keep….It….Up….

Thanks, Dr. Roger W. Grim

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Vote -1 Vote +1Jack
August 12, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Something for you to consider would be a way for those of us that have a strong tendancy to go it alone, regardless of the degree of difficulty, to learn how to work with others. I am a mechanical designer (design engineer) by profession in a fairly large machine and fabrication facility. In addition to the related skills of welding, machining, and mechanic work, I am a fair plumber, electrician, both finish and rough carpenter. I love being outdoors so therefore I am also a fair gardner, hunter, and fisherman. Over the many years, I have tackled many projects but each time, I have done them alone. I really don’t know how to work with others and in fact generally would rather someone just get out of my way and let me do it instead of explaining why I am doing what I am doing or in telling them what to do next etc.. I know that is not good.
I enjoy visiting with other people and I enjoy seeing others enjoy the fruit of my labor, so I don’t think that I am anti-social. I just don’t know how to work with others outside of my normal profession. I especially have a hard time in asking others for help once I have committed myself to doing something.
Suggestions, comments, or concerns????

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Vote -1 Vote +1LIBERTYWATCHMAN
August 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm

In reading you note I was reminded of my Dear Dad, a gunsmith and builder of custom rifles, and the fact that growing up in his little one man shop, I mostly got in his way. I well remember his “move son, let me do it” admonishment as he did not have the time nor the patience to allow me to muddle through a given chore.
I very much appreciate you as you make me remember my Dad who was a great father; a perfectionist in all things!

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Vote -1 Vote +1TPPatriot
March 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Jack-
Your not so far from me, long ago of course. Your wisdom, skills, talent, et al, is a blessing to us all once shared. PLEASE, don’t keep it from the world. Persevere and Persist is what a mentor taught me, thank goodness long ago. Let go and let GOD.

We anxiously await more sharing from you in future posts.

THANKS, CY6
TP

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Paige
August 12, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Since starting your course, I’ve started storing food, water, dog food, medicine and books about natural healing. Also other items you recomended: Sawyer water filter and some silver coins and I’m assembling go bags for my husband and I. I’ve been practicing my situational awareness and have studied my area for hazards and for out of the way roads and trails in case we have to leave our home. My husband is a Realtor and we also routinely identify vacant homes that are in better, more rural locations than we are, in case we have to relocate. We are sure hoping to be able to stay in place, but also have a few other locations with friends that have skills that we do not. I love your analysis of time vs. money, I sure don’t have the time to learn everything. I think I will focus my time sharpening my skills as a natural healer and seek others out that are skilled hunters and security people. I find it hard to really trust people though, there are so many bad stories out there. My trust is in my Savior Jesus though, and I know that whatever plan He’s got for us is the best one, and whoever He will put in our path are the one’s we’re supposed to be with! I must admit to not doing any of the exercises you prescribe, like going without power for a couple days to see how we do. With that sense that time is running out, I’d better get on it! That would be time well spent. Thanks for keeping the info comming everyone, God Bless!

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Lisa
August 12, 2011 at 6:24 pm

To Jack, just ask, the worst they can say is no. Make a list of things you would like to know, and ask around. My family keeps a flock of chickens for eggs. Each 6 months we order 6 to 12 chicks. We do this so we always have eggs. We share with family and friends and some trade us eggs for home baked bread or fresh vegetables from their gardens. We did not know how to butcher our chickens so my husband asked around and we found a friend that knew how and was excited to teach us how. I also have Nubian Milk Goats that give a lot of delicious rich milk. We offer fresh milk and eggs and many skills that we have and trade for valuable knowledge or work that we either could not afford to attain otherwise or have time to do. Thank you David I always look forward to your newsletters. It is helping me sharpen my prep knowledge.

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+1 Vote -1 Vote +1Sailorman Andy
August 13, 2011 at 8:28 am

Carol, I would never trade my greenhouse for a garden, so will be happy to provide what information I can. We live in southern Idaho where winters are rather mild so that helps a lot. After our small visqueen structure we advanced to corregated plastic sheeting. While it is a pain to make a really tight structure, it works for us. One secret to using passive solar, other than location , has been to make it narrow enough for the southern sun to reach the back wall and floor. Originally we used recycled jugs painted black along the back wall. As those deteriorated, we had to replace them with something more substantial. What we have now is a stack of black painted cement block holding up a narrow plant shelf. We aligned the cavities in the blocks so that air can circulate through them. It’s important to build enough support for the weight of whatever you use for heat retention. We left our floor simply gravel covered with “road mix” that contains a lot of clay and packs really hard. We built our house backing up to a hill on the southern exposure with the greenhouse built as a leanto along the southern wall. The southern side of the greenhouse is on a cement footing and is two cement block cources high as a retaining wall, so the floor of the greenhouse is about fifteen inches below ground level. The basic structure is of two by four studs and rafters spaced on two foot centers because the plastic sheeting we use is designed for that spacing. Since we have already installed solar on our house, we provided wiring for a cooling fan and the possibility that we might have to provide heat during the winter, With a rather large shuttered vent in the lower east end and a window we can open in the west end, we have tempretures reaching about ninety for a high without the use of a fan for cooling. With the “dirt” floor and a fairly full compliment of veggies, the humidity stays relatively high. Winter temps can go as low as low forties, but so far we have needed no backup heat. Planting produce that will tolerate cool weather in the fall probably helps our production. We started with a single layer of corregated plastic covering with the thought of adding a scond as insulation with air space between each layer. We have yet to try that partly because of limited finances, and partly because we have so many other projects in the works. We are in the process of digging an eight by eight by fourteen foot cellar in order to store the extra produce we have been giving to our neighbors and safeguard things in the event that our house is lost to some disaster. Actually, we will probably plant fewer of some varieties as we experiment with what we need. We grow in home made boxes and in planters that are portable so that they are easy to clean and replace the soil in as we harvest and reseed. Anyway, I hope this helps. If we can do it just about anyone can. I’ll be celebrating my seventy fourth this month and enjoying every day. I want to thank David for providing the information that he does as well as a forum for us to trade ideas and experiences. God Bless, Andy

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Vote -1 Vote +1Auntie
August 13, 2011 at 5:01 pm

A couple of books everyone should have are WHERE THERE IS NO DOCTOR by David Werner and WHERE THERE IS NO DENTIST by Murray Dickson. Mine were gifts but you can find them online. Missionaries have used them for years on the fireign fields.

For the one who likes to work alone. This is a personality trait & not necessarily a bad thing. . However, I learned in a leadership course I took that we all fall into what they labeled with colors. A “red” would forge ahead to the goal quickly butwould take shortcut & couldn’t understand why others might question their work because they did get the job done. They become CEOs, lawyers , etc. A “green” preferred to be alone to work & chose career paths that allowed them to do so. A “blue” was patient & compassiionate — they became teachers, doctors/nurses, etc. The 4th kind was called a “rinbow”. They could become a red leader, when needed; or could work alone, also when needed; and they love to “share”.. They were “team players”. It was discovered that a “green” needed a “red” to bring them out of their shells &:red needed a :”green” to temper them. And a blue is always useful. If you have a red tempered ith a couple of greens and blues you have a have a rainbow for teamwork — & I think we’ve learned we all need others of like minds, just as each Christian is but one cell in the Body of Christ. We need each other.

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Vote -1 Vote +1Dev
August 13, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Your article brings up some very valid points; time VS skill set and bartering. My husband and I are retired now, but we still make good use of our time. We’ve even added more skills as we age and have bartered many times. It started back when our kids were (3 under age 5) babies, we had little money and had to learn to become self-sufficient in our neck of the woods. In western NY the winters can and have been long, cold with lots of snow. We live in a very rural area and there were times when the electric was off for two weeks or longer. I remember in the blizzard of 77, we had just put in a wood stove and the storm hit. Electric went off which meant no water from the well. Long story short, I learned quickly how to melt snow to do dishes, wash clothes (by hand in the tub), give baths, and it took lots of snow! Clothes hung all over the living room to dry from the wood stove. We burned candles, kerosene lanterns, and kept our food cold in an ice chest buried in the snow. After that year, I began canning and freezing, vowing to NEVER be unprepared again. Today, even though its just the two of us, I still can, freeze, dehydrate foods and we keep three years worth of wood on hand. We also stocked up on emergency items and keep a good supply of everyday use items. Friends laugh and call us chipmunks hoarding for winter, but I say laugh. At least if an emergency comes along, we’re prepared! Are YOU?

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Vote -1 Vote +1KJQ
August 15, 2011 at 5:28 am

Good article. I’m 53 and realized a number of years ago that my discretionary time is limited, and therefore valuable. I have good do-it-yourself skills but whenever I think about doing some job I say to myself “Work pays $47.50 an hour, so will this save or cost money?” I have to remind my wife that her time is valuable as well sometimes, and so that driving 40 minutes to use a $2 off coupon is costing us money, not saving it. I recently paid a man $100 to do a minor replacement job on some damaged eavestroughing on our house. Sure I could have done it myself, but not for that price if I factored in the time to go get the requisite replacement (matching) pieces etc. Worth every penny I paid him. This is the same reason I bought pre-made 72 hour kits. I did the research on finding the best one commercially available and did buy some additional items, but it was worth the ‘extra’ cost paid (item for item) to get everything at once. It probably would have taken me many hours to buy each item individually. We did pack our kits as a family so that everyone knew what everything was for and where it was. Now that was time well spent.

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Vote -1 Vote +1TPPatriot
March 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

David-
Over the years I have read quite a bit of your writing, seen you at some public appearances and most recently rediscovered you in your blog.

THANKS! CY6
TP

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