Posts Tagged With: Preparedness

The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis

by Todd Walker

Stuck in a paralyzing paradigm? Want to improve your skills but feeling overwhelmed?

If so, 2% is your solution.

The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis

Your preparedness equation

The American Heritage Dictionary defines paradigm as…

“A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them”

Paradigm and mindset are closely related. The emphasis on paradigm is geared towards our preparedness community. Mindset, for our purposes, will focus on the individual.

According to the Oxford American Dictionary, mindset is…

“an established set of attitudes held by someone”

Many believe mindset determines actions. Hipster life-coach gurus tell you to get your mind right before tackling a new skill, shedding pounds, or reaching goals. Your body follows your head.

This theory may sell books, but will it work in the real world?

Too often people believe they have to get mentally ready to start doing the stuff. A common result of information overload is prepper paralysis – drowning in a sea of knowledge.

It’s not complete gobbledygook that our thoughts determine our actions. However, I have found that my actions determine my mindset – for good or bad.

The act of doing a new skill or honing an existing one builds confidence in your ability. This cycle creates a circle, if you will, with no beginning or end. However, your circle remains broken until you take the first step… Action! Thoughts won’t get the job done.

Think of it this way…

The 2% Solution to Prepper Paralysis

Left: Closed – Right: Open  

Image source

Action (Doing the Stuff) is the light switch in an electrical circuit above. Flip the switch “On” and your circuit is closed or completed allowing electrical energy to flow to its target. Turn it “Off” and your circuit is open or incomplete. The energy is there but can’t bridge the open gap without action.

This should be applied to your preps – and life in general. And the good news is that it only takes 2% more time, energy, and resources to give you a slight edge.

Overrated Moments

There’s a dangerous mindset that new preppers embrace. This kind of thinking will sink you before you start. You have to have X amount of beans, bullets, and Band-Aids to be prepared. Once you’ve reached that defining moment, you’re prepared… for anything.

Nope.

Any veteran will tell you that preparedness is a journey, a marathon of skills, not a sprint to some illusive summit. Preparedness is a culmination of the tiny things over time.

Meaningful improvements happen with consistent, minimal changes. Don’t fall into the trap of large visible events.

The 2% Solution

The beauty of this mindset is that you only need an extra 2%. That may not seem like much, but over time it has a huge impact. This is why I say a daily process is more important than setting lofty goals.

In our Doing the Stuff Network, everyday people are challenging themselves to learn a minimum of one new skill this year. This is what we’re learning…

Our skills and abilities are not fixed… unless we decide they are.

Use 2% of Your Time and Energy

You’re life doesn’t have to come to a complete stop to learn how to safely pressure can your harvest or start a friction fire. Simply start giving 2% of your time to learn the basics. That translates to 30 minutes in a 24 hour day to learn a new skill. Take a Doing the Stuff lunch break.

When I coached football in the 80′s, I never understood why we asked our players to give 110%. Not a realistic goal. That’s when I began to understand the 2% Solution. I only asked my players to give 2% more than the guy they were competing against in practice or the player across the line of scrimmage in a game.

This was a mindset teenage jocks could understand and employ. They pushed themselves an extra 2% in fundamental drills, conditioning, strength training, and nutrition. Doing this stuff over the course of two seasons led to small gains over time which helped land us in the state playoffs after a years of losing seasons.

You can find 30 minutes a day to work on your skills, right? Set boundaries on common time sinks. Social media sites are one of the worst offenders. I mean how many cute cat videos are really necessary!?

Set a timer to budget the amount of time you’re willing to spend on Facebook or Twitter. When time is up, move away from the mouse! This saves you valuable time to devote 2% to your skill set.

Using 2% of Your Resources

Hopefully no one remembers my epic fail at fire by friction. Actually, failure is our best teacher if we fail forward. I created a bow drill on training wheels a year ago. What I learned from this experiment is that I don’t need training wheels to create an ember with a stick and string.

I successfully created an ember and fire with a bow drill last night with my friction fire kit!

The 2% Solution to Preparedness Paralysis

Fire at last!

Here are the tutorials I watched (took less than 30 minutes) on the finer tips and tricks of friction fire by David Wendell at Bushcraft On Fire.

<iframe width=”640″ height=”360″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/sNcYyUn38qY?feature=player_detailpage” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Resource gathering is an important part of preparedness. If you’re like me, you don’t have time to waste looking for value-adding resources. I’ll save you some time and point you to our Doing the Stuff Trusted Resource list. There are more out there, but these folks I know and trust. You’re welcome to add suggestions to our list.

The modern convenience-store mindset conditions us to want immediate results. If we could only reach that big event, we’d be ready. In reality, preparedness is not an event. It’s a chain of tiny stuff linked together over time.

How do you plan to leverage your 2% this week, month, or year? Share in the comments if you don’t mind.

Keep Doing the Stuff,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page. Trade theory for action and join us in the Doing the Stuff Network on these social media sites: PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

P.P.S ~ If you find value in our blog, DRG and I would appreciate your vote on the Top Prepper Sites! You can vote daily by clicking here or on the image below. Check out all the other value-adding Prepper Sites while you’re there…

Thanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, for non-commercial use with a link back to this site crediting the author. All links in articles must remain intact as originally posted in order to be republished. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

5 Ways to be the Luckiest Survivor in the World

by Todd Walker

With only the clothes on his back and a lighter in his pocket, William LaFever survived over three weeks in the Utah desert. His predicament was not part of some ‘reality’ TV show. There wasn’t a host describing the next reward challenge. No immunity necklace. No cameras or medics standing by.

 

Image source

He was lucky to be found alive.

This story is full of teachable moments. Here are some take-aways from LeFever’s brush with death.

1.) Recognize survival situations

Anytime your basic needs go unmet, you’re in a survival scenario – whether you admit it or not.

Seasoned woodsmen, survivalists, and preppers are familiar with the Rule of 3′s: 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food. Unless you find a way to meet these needs, you’re likelihood of dying grows exponentially.

2.) Ask yourself, “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do you, punk?

Luck is Unreliable in Any Survival Situation

The question must be asked…

Image source

Dirty Harry’s classic line makes you re-think dependence on luck. With a 44 Magnum pointed at the perps head, he had to decide if Clint had fired 6 rounds, or only 5.

Don’t roll the dice with Mother Nature!

Your luck increases by applying the 7 P’s (Prior Preparation and Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance). It’s smart to leave a detailed itinerary with at least one or two trusted friends about your trip plans. Do it even if you’re taking a short day hike, fishing, hunting, or camping.

These safe mini-adventures land many outdoor enthusiast in trouble. Mother nature is not fair and she finds creative ways to toss the unexpected into the mix.

Your itinerary should include these three W’s as a bare minimum:

  • Where and when you’re headed out. Including a map of the trails and area would be useful in affecting a rescue if necessary.
  • When you plan on returning. Your family should know where you’re headed and when to expect your return. If your overnight excursion takes a turn for the worse, they will know you’re in trouble and begin the process of locating and rescuing you.
  • Who and how many are in your group. Are there any special needs in the group (age, special needs, health conditions, male/female, etc.). LeFever’s family described him as having autism. While that might seem trivial to most, it turned out to be very helpful in locating the lost hiker. All humans need water to survive but people with autism seem to be drawn to water. Search-and-rescue focused on following the river. It paid off.

3.) Know your limits

Before being lost, the son called his dad to ask for money.

LaFever said he had run out of money and someone had stolen some of his hiking gear. Authorities said they assumed he was given a ride to Boulder, as he did not have his own vehicle.

“He didn’t want me to come out there,” said LaFever’s father, John LaFever. “He wanted me to send him some money to get him to Page.”

The wise move after someone had stolen his gear and he had daddy on the phone would have been to accept the money and fly or ride home. His decision to go-it-alone with no gear almost cost him his life.

“He made the mistake ‘I know what I am doing and I will be OK,”’ Bronson told CNN. “There are many who have done that and paid the price.” [Emphasis mine]

Could you survive on your wits and a lighter? Forage wild foods? Everything is edible once.

4.) D0n’t leave home without a kit

William was found about 30 miles further along the river than most casual hikers traveled. Even though he had camping/hiking experience, this was not the time to attempt this long journey with nothing but his clothes on his back and a lighter in his pocket.

To his credit, he survived by foraging roots, eating frogs, and possessing one of the most important pieces of survival gear – FIRE.

It can happen to any of us outdoors. Taking a wrong turn or slipping on a root and tumbling down a ravine on a short day hike can turn into a serious situation – especially when you’re close to home.

The I’m-close-to-home mentality turns our preparedness mentality into mush. Spending the night in the woods unprepared can have dire consequences.

For short outdoor outings, a basic kit should include:

  • Water, filter, metal container
  • Fire making material and equipment
  • Cutting tool
  • First aid supplies
  • Cordage and duct tape
  • Signal mirror and whistle (your best chance of surviving is being found)
  • Snack/food
  • Shelter – tarp and/or contractor garbage bag
  • Security – sidearm and extra magazines/ammo

There’s no such thing as basic emergencies. Plan accordingly.

5.) Doing the Stuff makes you the luckiest Survivor out there

Knowledge, gear, and skills are survival aids. When your hands are wet and freezing in a 30 mph wind, that’s not the time to attempt your first friction fire. Have redundant backups.

Practicing your skills with your gear builds knowledge and confidence. Doing the Stuff closes the gap on sloppy skills making you the luckiest survivor in the world.

Do you feel lucky? Luck is unreliable.

What makes you the ‘luckiest’ survivor in the backcountry? Do tell!

Keep Doing the Stuff!

Todd

P.S. ~ Thanks for sharing the stuff! If anything from our site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook page

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form for non-commercial purposes, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. All embedded links in our posts must stay intact if you wish to repost our material. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: Bushcraft, Camping, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness, Real Life Survival Success Stories, Survival | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Jim’s DiY Fuel Transfer Pump: Don’t Spit or Swallow

[Todd's note: I love Texas! My maternal grandfather came from the Lone Star State. A lot of great patriots and preppers call it home.

One of our readers, Jim, from somewhere in Texas, read my post about the Shaker Siphon hose and sent me a note on his fuel transfer system. I like it! I thought you might too.]

Thanks Jim for adding value with your Doing the Stuff Tutorial!

How to transfer fuel without ‘swallowing’

by jim w, somewhere in TX

Here is my electric fuel transfer board.

DiY Fuel Transfer Pump: Don't Spit or Swallow

Jim’s compact DiY Fuel Transfer Pump wrapped up and pulled from storage

The board is plain pine that is 18″ long and 11.5″ wide.  It has a 3″ long by 1″ wide hand hold cut in the top of it to grasp it easier.

Jim's DiY Fuel Transfer Pump: Don't Spit or Swallow

Fuel board set up and unwrapped

I painted the board OD GREEN to go with my military equipment I collect.

It has a MR. GASKET diesel micro electric fuel pump #12D mounted to it, via two holes drilled and one bolt, two washers and one nut per hole that holds it in place.  I also used the inline fuel filter supplied by Mr Gasket, though you could choose another type if you wanted to as there are lots of them available.

Here is the description from Advance Auto Parts website – http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_electric-diesel-fuel-transfer-pump-mr-gasket_6340003-p   (I have NO AFFILIATION WITH THEM – I just surfed the web until I found a description I liked). On this website, they list the price as $59.99 – including the inline fuel filter:

Jim’s DiY Fuel Transfer Pump: Don’t Spit or Swallow

12-volt electric diesel fuel transfer pump is safe for diesel fuel use. Simple 2 wire design, self priming, includes 100 micron in line filter. 4-7psi 35GPH, small universal design allows easy set and installation anywhere. Solid state worry free electronics, 12 volt negative ground systems only.

Once the electric fuel pump was wired with an additional 6′ of wire, I added two alligator clips.  I then attached the inline fuel filter to the fuel pump. Next I added two lengths of 1/4″ fuel hose.  On the outgoing side, I put a 7.5′ piece of fuel hose.  On the incoming side, I put a 6.5′ piece of fuel hose.  That gives me a total of 14′ of fuel hose from source to destination.

Auto Zone sells fuel hose by the foot for $1.29 in my area: http://www.autozone.com/autozone/accessories/Armor-Mark-5-16-in-SAE-J30R7-fuel-and-emission-hose-Sold-by-the-foot/_/N-257j?itemIdentifier=4955_0_0_

It works great.  I either use a battery in the vehicle I’m transferring fuel to OR carry a spare battery along when I’m out in the middle of nowhere to run this pump.

While 35 GPH (gallons per minute) sounds fairly slow (and it is), MOST fuel tanks these days are 20 gallons or less.  So you could fill a 20 gallon tank in about thirty to forty minutes.

Please be aware that these days, new vehicles have some form of ‘anti-siphoning’ device built into the fuel filler tube before it reaches the tank.   If, on the other hand, you drive military vehicles like I do, that is never an issue.  Plus if you are just transferring fuel from one of your own fuel canisters, this is an easy, clean way to do so.

If you do not have ANY of these items on hand, as I did, your overall cost would be around $110.   That does not include the battery to run it.

  • Pump $65
  • Fuel hose $20
  • Board  $5
  • Two nuts/bolts & four washers $5
  • 6′ wire and 2 alligator clips $10

With the exception of the fuel pump and hose, I’m guessing on the cost of the other pieces.  I ACTUALLY HAD everything but a new pump on hand and splurged the $50 for it.  I made this several years go and it works every time I hook it to power.  I also have these installed in my military vehicles, one of which I’ve owned more than four years.  They all work every time you turn the key.

If power is an issue, for fuel stored in barrels, I recommend a rotary hand pump.  http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200129224_200129224    – that link is for a ‘Fill Rite’ from Northern Tool company $200  (again, NO AFFLIATION, I just got mine there). Not cheap but will last for your lifetime.

I hope that helps give insight into OTHER choices other than the fuel pump [Shaker Siphon] displayed here earlier.  It’s a good alternative, but if you are serious about your preps, a great fuel transfer pump is the way to go.  Whether you are transferring 5 gallons or 500, not having to do it by ‘sucking’ is a good thing.

This Doing the Stuff Tutorial contributed by WALLEW (aka - jim w – from somewhere in TX)

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If you have a Doing the Stuff project you’d like to share with our Survival Sherpa community, drop me a line via email ~ survivalsherpa (at) gmail (dot) com

Keep doing and sharing the stuff!

Todd

P.S. ~ The Reader Appreciation Fall Giveaway ends at midnight today. You’ve still got time to enter for a chance to win!

P.S.S. ~ As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook pageThanks for sharing the stuff!

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information.

Categories: DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff, equipment, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Distance Learning for Preppers

by Todd Walker

I teach in a brick and mortar institution which takes an obscene amount of money to keep the lights on, salaries paid, kids fed, and the yellow school buses rolling.

unschool bus, unschooling, homeschool, distance learning

The fate of the yellow school bus

There’s a growing consensus that our sacred system of compulsory schooling is a waste of time and money. I’m on record as having no disrespect for the teachers and concerned parents in the system. I’m simply pointing out a few observations, raising questions, and offering options.

Options make us anti-fragile.

What if there was a better way to educate yourself and your children? What if the brick and mortar buildings that eerily resemble prisons were no longer needed? What if students were free to follow their true interests without the use and threat of force?

To answer these questions, look no further than the medium that magically made this article appear on your device.

You are engaged in distant learning right now! The world-wide web is world-wide. Why limit yourself and your children to one teacher? You can easily click away from this site (after hanging out here a while!) and learn from anyone around the globe while wearing pajamas.

Here are some excellent distant learning resources for you and your family that I visit frequently for world-class learning:

Education:

Liberty:

General Preparedness:

Homesteading and Food Freedom

Outdoor Survival Skills:

Natural Health

Self-reliance and preparedness happens on an ultra-local level. It all starts with you. Take advantage of these distance learning resources to help you on your journey.

What resources do you find adds value to you? Let us know in the comments!

Keep doing the stuff,

Todd

P.S. ~ As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook page

Copyright Information: Content on this site (unless the work of a third-party) may be shared freely in digital form, in part or whole, with a link back to this site crediting the author. If you are interested a third-party article, please contact the author directly for republishing information. Thanks for sharing the stuff!

 

Categories: Preparedness | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Security Advice to My Daughter: Essential Pillars of Preparedness Series

by Todd Walker

All I heard was crying on the other end of the phone!

“What’s wrong!?”

My daughter told me, between sobbing, that their home had just been broken into. I’d never heard her that upset. She and our grandson got home from work and school to find the backdoor kicked in and their life violated. Thank God they didn’t come home with the invasion in progress!

A Letter to My Daughter: Essential Pillars of Preparedness Series

Even though they escaped physical harm, emotionally they were wrecked. I took the day off work and put together a plan and found her a new place to live. Daughters need their daddy, especially in times like these.

As times get harder, I’m afraid these stories will become more common. Unknown to my daughter, thugs had broken in to homes on her street in December 2012 and July of this year. Had she known this info, she would have never moved to that neighborhood. She asked if there had been any crime or break ins before moving in. Her property manager, who is no longer employed there, told her it was a safe neighborhood. Sure it is.

As preparedness minded people, we want the best home security. We will protect our families by any means necessary. But the regular guy, like me, isn’t made of money and can’t buy all the fanciest bells and whistles on the home security market.

There are practical steps for regular guys to provide proactive and reactive defense and security. I had not planned on writing this installment of our Essential Pillars of Preparedness Series yet. Now it’s appropriate – and personal.

You may have seen articles dealing with security measures in a post collapse scenario. If you’re looking for info to defend against Mutant Biker Zombies, which I’m told will ravage our land, you won’t find a tutorial on building a fortified bunker in this post.

This is simply a dad’s advice to his terrified daughter and grandson.

To My Sugarbear

First off Sugarbear, predators pick easy prey.

There’s no such thing as living in total security. Taking security measures only buys you time to allow you to respond with the appropriate level of defense and slow them down. Thugs, even rookies, pick the low hanging fruit.

Together we will make you and your home less appealing.

Fortify Your Doors

An experienced thug knows the weakest links in security are exterior opens in the walls of your house. In modern homes, doors and windows are easy access points. They know that most doors can be breached with a swift kick – even with a deadbolt – unless properly fortified. The weak point in your home was not the metal door itself, but the wooden frame securing the bolt, latch, and hinges.

We could retrofit the doors of your new house with metal door frames. That’s too expensive. An intruder determined enough would go through a window. Installing one-piece strike plates on all your exterior doors will help. Don’t use the short screws that came with the strike plate. Use 3 1/2 inch or longer decking screws. These screws will reach the studs behind the door jam.

I’ll make sure the doors have at lease three hinges. The more points of contact a door has to the door frame the better. Long screws for hinges too.

Since you’re renting and won’t be able to install more dead bolts on your doors, these reinforcements will give you time to ready a response should you ever be home during a break in. I’ll talk to your landlord about installing added security measures to your doors. He seems to be a very reasonable man.

Security storm doors are available. I’ve installed a few of those for friends over the years.

Having neighbors (retired) adjacent and across the street now will also give you other sets of watchful eyes when you’re at work. They’re good folks to have on your side. Nosey in a good way. Get to know them.

Windows

Many methods exist for securing windows. Bars or window grills are available. But the problem with making windows secure from outside intruders is you’ve just creating a trap from the inside as well.

I will make some simple strips to stop the windows from being opened from the outside. If you need to make an emergency exit for from inside, simple remove the strip wedges and open the window.

A crook would have to break the window to enter. The sound of broken glass takes away his element of surprise and stealth.

Outdoor Lighting

Smart crooks like to operate in anonymity under the cover of darkness. Your new place doesn’t have motion detection lights at either door. I’ll install them for your back and front door. You simply leave the light switch turned on 24/7. They automatically turn on with any motion near your door.

Making A Safe Room

I know your duplex isn’t very large. I’ll replace the hollow core door in your bedroom with a solid wooden door. You and the boy can lock yourself in your bedroom giving yourself more time to access your tools of defense if ever needed.

Again, doors only slow down intruders. The weak links are the door jams and sheet rock walls. But this will slow them down. In your situation, this is all you can expect. But it’s enough time prepare to ventilate the intruder.

Just for informational purposes, a good blogging friend of mine, Laurie Neverman, offers helpful advice on safe rooms. While this isn’t an option for you now, keep in mind that you won’t always live in a rental. You’re just starting out. And doing an excellent job raising our grandson!

Tools of Defense

Getting the job done takes the right tools, no matter the situation. The handgun I gave you is just that, a tool.

In untrained hands, it’s a liability. Though you’ve shot my guns growing up, now is the time to up your training and start doing the stuff of self-defense. I’ll start training you in the proper use and safe handling of your handgun. You’ll learn to shoot a firearm safely, confidently, and accurately.

By the way, Dirt Road Girl and I have agreed to pay for your Concealed Carry Permit.

Here’s the best advice from an author I highly respect concerning firing your weapon in self-defense when your life is in danger:

You shoot to stop – not to kill. Any kill is incidental, unless the only way to stop his lethal actions was to kill.” – Kenneth Royce, Boston Gun Bible

There are several options for concealing a weapon in your home with the boy present, yet making it easily accessible if the time to use it ever arrives. Remember our conversation yesterday? I’m working on that piece now.

You can start reading up on best practices of self-defense from these links:

Situational Awareness

Follow your gut, Sugarbear. That gnawing feeling is there to tell you something ain’t right. Listen to it. Even though your new place is in a better neighborhood, never take security for granted. In tough times, people get desperate.

Like our journey to preparedness and self-sufficiency, security is a step by step climb as well. One of the first steps towards your goal is to be aware of your surroundings.

There’s a color code for awareness created by Jeff Cooper years ago to help you stay in a state of readiness. I’ve listed it below.

White – unaware and unprepared; yellow – relaxed alert for potential danger; orange – specific alert, potential danger; red – threat identified; black or triggers – a fight is imminent unless circumstances change. 

Keep in mind that doing the stuff in real life is different from reading about it. Practice Keeping It Sherpa Simple. Physical self-defense is not about fighting but avoiding being hurt by violence. To protect yourself and our grandson, you are justified in using the amount of force needed to avoid being violated, robbed, or killed.

You’ll find it difficult at first to live in the color yellow at all times. I even catch myself in ‘white’ from time to time. But the ‘white’ times grow less and less. We’ll cover this in detail together.

I’m so sorry this happened to you, Sugarbear. We are so thankful that y’all weren’t home. But I think it’s a blessing in disguise and a wakeup call to start your journey in earnest.

All of these measures are an attempt to deny easy access to your life and property. The more layers you provide, the less likely predators will target you.

We’ll do this together.

I love you,

Daddy

Categories: Firearms, Preparedness, Self Defense | Tags: , , | 33 Comments

The Top Ten Posts of Our First Year!

by Todd Walker

Top Ten, Top 10

It’s 11 actually.

It’s been one year since I started this blog in an ocean full of preparedness blogs. I’m just one little fish. For every site that promotes preparedness, offers original content, and practical prepping advice deserves a hat tip. Even more than a hat tip, a big fat thank you.

On a personal level, this year was the most challenging for my family. Through all the dark times we’ve continued to grow and build resilience in our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual life. We want to thank each of you who have offered words of support, prayers, and encouragement! and have become a part of the Sherpa family.

Though Dirt Road Girl and I haven’t met you face to face, we feel very connected to our online family and friends.

In April 2012, we saw a whopping 37 visitors. Not in a day, but the entire month. Last month we had 36,478 visits. Our best month so far. After 314 posts, 177,624 visitors, and a lot of hard work, we’re stoked about the coming year.

This may not seem like much to the big boys of the bloggersphere, but we’re thankful, and humbled!

We’ve found a whole community of very helpful and knowledgeable people this year. Some have contributed articles, many have become regulars in the comment section, and others quietly offering advice privately.

To celebrate, we’re sharing 10 of the top blog posts here on Survival Sherpa. Whether you just discovered us or have been with us the whole year, thanks for joining us on our journey!

1. 160 Reasons to Stock Coconut Oil in Your Larder - Source:  Wake Up World

2. 7 Surprising Reasons Why Americans Aren’t Prepared for What’s Coming - by Todd Walker

3. Six Dangerous Miseducation Lessons You Should Unlearn Immediately - by Todd Walker

4. 3 Healthy Fast Food Meals in Mason Jars - Source: The Organic Prepper

5. 5 Must Do’s Before the National Nipple Runs Dry - by Todd Walker

6. Death of the Nickel: A Hoarding Strategy - Source: LewRockwell.com

7. Top-Ten-List-Of-Not-Famous-Yet-Preparedness-Sites - by Todd Walker

8. Get Your Gut In Shape: Down and Dirty Sauerkraut - by Todd Walker

9. 6 Cold and Flu-Fighting Recipes Your Doctor Probably Didn’t Tell You About

- Source: Caroline Cooper

10. Neighboring Matters: Preparing For Unknown Unknowns - by Todd Walker

Here are even more friends and contributors that add value to the preparedness community and this site:

Bug Out Nutrition

The Herbal Survivalist

Sensible Survival

Survival Punk

Prepared Christian

Prepography

Ready Nutrition

Backdoor Survival

Before It’s News

Prepper Website

The Daily Sheeple

Misbehaved Woman

Family Survival Protocol

Living Freedom

The key to lasting success is lasting! One more post, one more connection, one more day, one more year. Doing the stuff… one more time!

Any suggestions to improve our site? Please leave your suggestions in the comments or email me. 

Follow me on Twitter @SurvivalSherpa and find us on Pinterest if you like.

Categories: Preparedness | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Applying the 7 Characteristics of Living Things to Your Survival Plan

by Todd Walker

 

Change is inevitable. Survival is optional.

One of the most liberating days in your life is when you come to realize you are responsible for your own success. No more excuses. No more blame game. You’ve entered the no-victim zone.

The concept of survival distills down to pain management and increasing pleasure. Bingo! You start planning. You spent long hours studying, reading, buying, and mining data to build the perfect system. You attend preparedness expos, interact on discussion forums, devour books, and maybe even start a blog.

Congrats! Your hard work has finally paid off.

Just as you finalize your sacred plan, even before the laminating film cools, some world event or local elected thug makes it a non-perfect plan. An unexpected health issue, job loss, or simply ignoring that nagging gut feeling about your family’s future can blow your plan to nothingness.

The beauty of pressure and time is its ability expose weaknesses. Ignoring science and history, you find yourself driving down the road to your fatal dead-mans curve clinging to your laminated preparedness plan.

I apologize up front to anyone reading this who happens to be “set in their ways” or downright rigid. You’re not going to enjoy what follows.

Adaptability and agility are two key elements you must develop to increase your chance of staying alive. Unplug your laminating machine, grab a pencil, paper, and several erasers because creating a living Individual Preparedness Plan gets messy.

First, let’s go back to your middle school (junior high in my case) science class for a refresher course on the 7 Characteristics of Living Things. And please, no spit-wads hurled at the teacher.

Learning Goal: The student (you) will identify and apply the characteristics of living things to your Individual Preparedness Plan for survival and resilient living.

1. Living things are highly organized, from the smallest part to the largest.

  • Cells are organized into tissue (muscle)
  • Tissue into organs (liver)
  • Organs come together to form organ systems (nervous system)
  • Organ systems work together to form an individual living thing
  • More than one living thing makes a population of these particular things (the population of wild turkeys on your back 40)
  • The population becomes part of a community composed of different kinds of living things (species). It’s were living things live, work, play, etc.
  • An ecosystem is then formed when all the living things, non-living things, environment, and energy come together in their happy place

2. Living things have the ability to get and use energy.

  • Without a constant supply of energy (food) living things die and become food (energy) for much smaller living things
  • For humans, we use energy (food and fuel) to maintain the our core body temperature around 98.6 degrees F – our happy place

3. Living things have the ability to respond (movement) to their environment.

  • Sensitive to changes and responds (movement) to the stimuli in the environment
  • For example, the ability to move your hand off a hot stove (pain), or marry a hot wife (pleasure)

4. Living things have the ability to remove waste

  • Living things use different methods to excrete waste
  • For humans, the simple act of breathing removes waste
  • If a living thing is unable to excrete waste, it quickly becomes an organism formerly known as a living thing

5. Living things grow

  • Living cells grow to a certain size and then divide
  • A living thing turns stuff unlike itself into more stuff like itself – eat kale (plant) and it chemically turns into more of the eater (human)

6. Living things have the ability to reproduce and pass on genetic information to baby living things

  • Reproduction is essential for the survival of the species 
  • All living things reproduce by either asexual or sexual reproduction

7. All living things have the ability to adapt to their environment

  • Adaptation is a trait that helps living things survive in its environment
  • Living things that are better at adaptation increase their survival and reproduction rates, thus strengthening their species
  • Important note: only individual living things have the ability to adapt – species do not adapt, they evolve
  • Variations of individual living things makes the species stronger (individualism)

Now, let’s discuss the application of this mini-lesson to your Individual Preparedness Plan.

When evaluating your IPP to determine if it is living or non-living, all 7 of these characteristics must be present.

If your plan follows just a few on the list, it’s a non-living IPP. To stay in the living category, your plan must show all 7 characteristics. Granted, we are all individuals at different stages of development. Our progress in certain areas may be strong while other areas need immediate attention. A humble analysis will be required, as will ongoing monitoring to ensure you and your IPP maintain living thing status.

1.a. Applying “Living things are highly organized” requires, um, organization. Lists are popular with most preppers. Simply having a list of lists doesn’t mean your organized. Lists will get you pointed in the right direction, but energy and focus are required to fill the list. SurvivalBlog offers the best lists I’ve seen to help organize, acquire skills, and stay on the living things list. You can find the “List of Lists” link on the left side bar near the top of his blog.

Organization applies to more than just stuff. Your living IPP should include finding other prepper populations and building community. Lone-wolf living organisms rarely survive.

Now, if I could only remember where I put my list?

2.a. What’s your plan for “Living things have the ability to get and use energy”? To avoid becoming room-temperature, pay close attention to these basics: food and water. Plan now to secure the knowledge and skills for sustainable food and water – to be converted into energy for your body. We all need energy to push, pull, and move.

Also, since we don’t hibernate, alternative, sustainable methods of energy production keeps us in our happy place, warm and dry. Consider passive solar, geothermal, hydroelectricity, and wood heating. There’s more. Any suggestions?

3.a. Think movement when applying “Living things have the ability to respond to their environment.” Your IPP should include a plan for Getting Out Of Dodge if you sense or see that your present environment will soon be hosting a bunch of non-living things. Keeping a 72-hour emergency kit ready is for smart living things. Or, if you know your environment will be full of non-livers, avoid the rush, make the necessary sacrifices, and move already.

Physical movement takes energy (see 2.a.). Natural selection favors those living things that are able to move efficiently. Stop neglecting your fitness. Nuff said.

4.a. “Living things have the ability to remove waste” must be applied if you plan on being a living thing. Applied to your physical body, elimination is essential. For the purpose of your IPP, the same holds true. Apply the Sherpa Simple philosophy to your stuff. Cleaning out that colon you call a storage closet brightens your day and makes room for useful stuff. Today’s society of consumers collect shiny stuff that, unless eliminated, turns toxic. Eliminate and flush.

5.a. Applying “Living things grow” to your plan. Your paradigm of preparedness should grow exponentially. Your IPP should include specific skills that need to be developed for you to be a well-rounded living thing. This is not meant to be applied to your waist line. What you thought you knew was the best today, changes tomorrow. Stay informed on practical ways to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Remember, to grow, we need energy.

6.a. Applying “Living things have the ability to reproduce and pass on genetic information to baby living things” to your IPP. Is your plan reproducible? Could your neighbor, neighborhood, or community reproduce what you, the individual living thing, are doing? The genetic information of preparedness and building resilience needs to spread to audiences outside the present prepper population. When each newbie living thing begins taking personal responsibility, the community and entire “ecosystem” becomes stronger.

7.a. How you apply “Living things adapt to their environment” is the cornerstone to all living Individual Preparedness Plans. When living things are involved, expect monkey wrenching. Mother Nature keeps a tool box full of monkeys and wrenches. Bouncing back is easier if you have flexibility and redundancy built into your systems. A rigid tree won’t last long in the coming storms.

The problem with life is it changes. Well, it’s not a problem, it’s just reality. As a matter of fact, change is what keeps us out of that state of atrophy. Avoid pain and increase pleasure by applying these middle school science lessons to your Individualized Preparedness Plan.

Change is inevitable. Survival is optional.

If you found this helpful, maybe you could help get the word out by sharing it with your social network, family, and friends. We certainly appreciate all the support we get from you!

 

Also, please follow me on Twitter for updates on our journey: @SurvivalSherpa

 

 

 

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, IPP: Individual Preparedness Plan, Preparedness, Survival | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

Preparedness Community: Individualism vs. Collectivism

Too big to fail globalists want us to believe their titillating noble lies. Their mouthpiece, the Main Stream Media (MSM), denies the Newspeak coming from elite lips and to disguise  what their hands are doing. To reduce thought and critical thinking, truth is labeled ‘conspiracy theories.’ You’re a whack-job if you believe alternative news sources.

Elitists hate individuals. To them, we’re a pebble in their jack boots.

MSM is not their only promoter. Public schools are shills for the Collective. It matters not whether the school is populated by offspring of mostly conservative, liberal, or fence sitters. Every government-run school in America is a decoy for State enslavement – for the good of the group.

For those unfamiliar with the term collectivism, it is the complete opposite of individualism. Many times my students yell the answer of the math problem, 4 – 10 = 6. The answer given is the complete opposite of the correct answer, (- 6). Leaving out the negative sign seems like such a trivial matter. I point out the ‘simple’ error more times than I care to admit. The two numbers are on opposite ends of the number line.

“The answer is correct, except for that little sign,” Mr. Walker.

The importance of building resilient communities for not only survival, but to thrive in the coming days, can not be overemphasized. Neighboring Matters was an article I wrote about the importance of community in dealing with unknown unknowns. Today, some of the unknowns are turning into knowns. Confiscation in Cyprus ring any bells?

We’re social animals and thrive in community. What we don’t do well is live in the societal super-organism called the Collective. In this living, breathing entity, the individual merely survives by sacrificing his/her own self-interest for the “good of the group” – unless you’re at the top of the elitist pyramid.

“Collectivism often sounds humane because it stresses the importance of human needs. In reality, it is little more than a rationalization for sacrificing you and me to the desires of others.” — Jarret B. Wollstein

Individualism and Community

First, let’s explore building community based on individualism. By community, I’m referring to building mutual assistance and aid based on voluntary association without force, coercion, or treat of violence.

What makes you happy?

In a community of individuals (anti-collectivists), one is able to exercise his natural right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. A moral individual wishing to pursue her happiness will find it necessary to cooperate with other like-minded individuals, not just in trading goods and services, but sharing knowledge, and developing genuine relationships as well.

The aim of building community should be to increase our quality of life. In a true free-market, these pursuits (life, liberty, and happiness) would be more easily attained.

Individuals make up a community, obviously. We’ve all witnessed how individuals come together during a crisis to serve (voluntarily) to help others in their community. Remember the devastation of Hurricane Katrina? The communities that rebounded quickly took matters into their own hands. They weren’t coerced into giving charity. They saw a need and made a decision to help neighbors.

The recovery time of any natural or manmade disaster takes longer when collectivist thinking dominates a community or society. Charity to your neighbor becomes a duty – enforced by the State. Give until it hurts or until the-powers-that-be say stop. Violating my rights in no way motivates me to give. I’ll gladly and willingly help others out of love for my fellow man and mutual benefit. However, coerce me and I resist.

No amount of guilt, force, or pressure applied by the Collective can be matched by the power of individuals motivated to pursue their own self-interest.

Individuals in the Collective are like oil and water. They don’t mix.

Collectivism and Controllers

Look no further for a shining example of that living super-organism called the Collective than our public schools. Students are trained to snitch on individuals who don’t play by the rules. Schools are a reflection of our nanny state encouraging “see something, say something”. The Powers of Fairness rule schools. Individualism is ferreted out and dealt with brutally for the good of the group. Parents chained to their office cubicles see no way out of their compassionate cage and allow the hostage taking to continue.

It’s only fair, right?

There seems to be no escape.

Ask yourself this question: Who benefits from those dependent on the Collective?

From an evolutionary point of view, bad ideas should die out. The Collective not only controls the bad idea factory, they have the State in their pocket to enforce their insanity. As the bad idea of collectivism becomes worse, it manifests destruction, an unproductive class, theft, vice, and pure evil. The Controller’s matrix punishes producers and rewards dependence. Before long, your proper position in the food chain is established.

Exposing the self-sufficiency myth

There’s a myth (or dream) floating around the prepper community about being completely self-reliant and self-sufficient. I’ve been guilty of falling for and even promoting the myth. Is it really achievable or just selling snake oil? With so many odds against us, I sometimes feel like I’m constantly selling some secret elixir out the back of a wagon.

The main obstacle to self-sufficiency is not money, resources, land, or skills. The biggest hurdle is the Collective.

That pesky Collective keeps us dependent on their matrix. I’ve got to keep my health insurance, pay for shelter, food, and other needs – rinse and repeat. Stop paying rent (property taxes) on what you may call ‘free and clear’ land or house, and the Controllers send in goons to take what you once called home. Fiat greenbacks are required to pay tribute. Bartering in this situation won’t work.

Is there a better way to earn your freedom and escape the Collective cage? Freedom and liberty trump control and forced servitude. I’ve tried to wrap my mind around living off the land, hiding in caves, or some other Hollywood Doomsday lifestyle. It’s not for me, DRG, or our loved ones. If you think you’d enjoy that lifestyle, more power to you. I enjoy things that satisfy me personally and connect me to my true nature – without extravagance. This forces me to rethink my preparedness paradigm.

Redefining preparedness 

  1. Get your mind right. Ditch the spin doctors. Whatever label you have pasted to your forehead, spinning your version of truth doesn’t apply to everyone. We’re individuals. Not groups crammed into the Collective. Absent regulatory control, the free market will expose fraud and bad ideas. The Medical Industrial Complex, Industrial Food Machine, mass media, and whoever you voted for are cogs in the collective wheel.
  2. Adopt a depression lifestyle. This one involves distinguishing between the needs and wants. Take pleasure in withholding produce from the Collective. They need me more than I need them. Play their game better than they do. Do it all legally and above-board. Shrug.
  3. Bloom where you’re planted. If you’re not already living in a sparsely populated western state, and don’t have the resources to relocate, or better yet, don’t want to relocate to what experts call the safe haven states, what’s a prepared family or individual to do? Bloom right where you are. No doubt the number of potential roving gangs of looters drops in less populated regions, but if every follower of this brand of prepping acted on this advice, wouldn’t these states quickly grow in population? Yes, but they’d all have the right mindset. Don’t be so sure of that. Follow your gut.
  4. Down size. Learn to love less. Houses, cars, gadgets, etc. Decide what’s a priority in meeting needs, not wants. Tangibles and quality equipment and tools and things that hold value over time are stuff to go after. When the balloon goes up, you’ll be glad you collected stuff smartly.
  5. Take advantage of living in our modern world with our modern conveniences. Use technology to resurrect lost skills – and make them better. Alternative energy (passive solar, hydro, and even wood gasification) will be a key element to bouncing back from chaos. Every family needs at least one geek. Khan Academy is an example of a ‘geek’ who has bypassed traditional brick and mortar classrooms to teach effectively online. The same strategy can be applied to starve the Collective and build resilience. Geek on!
  6. Resilient health. Health is wasted on youth – among other things. After our personal SHTF experience, we don’t take our health for granted. Be proactive about what you put into your body. This one act alone can reprogram your health. You’ll also need proper amounts of sleep, exercise, sunshine, play, and down time. The last thing you want is to be dependent on the medical/pharma system to keep your ticking. This is one more step in pulling the plug on the Collective.

Not everyone is going to grab the flag and lead the charge. But once one person storms the hill, they won’t be alone. Many will follow. If you haven’t begun building a group or community, it’s not too late. It’ll take some time, but it can happen, one individual at a time.

If you found this helpful, consider helping get the word out by sharing it with your social network, family, and friends. We certainly appreciate all the support we get from you!

Also, please follow me on Twitter for updates on our journey: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Economic Collapse, Preparedness, Survival | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Ability Is A Poor Prepper’s Wealth

by Todd Walker

“To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” Lao Tzu

 

Image source

I use to look at all the preparedness blogs and books and turn green drooling over all the cool stuff these folks say I needed to survive an emergency, SHTF situation, or TEOTWAWKI.

I’d wake up at crazy hours of the night wondering how I’d get my family to safety in an emergency. I still envy some of my self-reliant heroes and heroine. It’s addictive. But I’ve come to realize that only makes me more stupid.

I’m no expert on anything. I’m a self-professed serial multitasker. I consider myself the stupidest survivalist on the planet. I’ve added lots of preparedness knowledge to my brain, but I have to balance my knowledge with wisdom. Taking away things like prepper envy adds wisdom. It’s so unwise to envy what many in the prepper community have in terms of gadgets, supplies, skills, and tools.  But I catch myself still doing it. Then I remind myself to live Sherpa Simple.

Here are 7 ways to beat the envy trap.

Prepper Envy Cure #1:

Be honest. Seems simple. The most useful, yet most neglected, item in my preparedness toolbox is honesty. I wish I was more honest with myself. I said I’m the stupidest survivalist on the planet. I really feel this way. This isn’t false humility or self-depreciation babble. This falls into the more I know, the less I know category.

Arrogance humbles. Last year I decided I needed to start working out with my BOB (Bug Out Bag). I consider myself to be in above average shape for my age (50). So I sling my 40 pound pack on my back and start my daily 4 mile walk with my Dirt Road Girl. Into mile 2 I discovered I hadn’t been honest about two things: A) my fitness level; B) the amount of “needed” stuff in my BOB. Find out before showtime if you’re ready. Be honest and adjust your lifestyle.

Prepper Envy Cure #2:

Don’t worrying, be happy. Pollyanna notions about whirled peas is not what I’m talking about here. Worrying may be the biggest drain and waste of energy in the prepper community.

A friend gave me this advise in the early 90′s that has served me well since (when I do it): Be prayed-up and laid back. At some point, we all have to get over ourselves and depend on a higher power. Mine happens to be God. This is by no means a He’ll take care of everything excuse not to prepare for my future. Prepare. But stop worrying about things you can’t control. Do what you can do, do all you can do, and let go of the rest.

What’s your biggest fear?

Prepper Envy Cure #3:

Hone your abilities. Coach John Wooden once said, “Ability is a poor man’s wealth.” You don’t have to be wealthy to be prepared. Skills trump gadgets.

Ability comes from experience and practice. Doing the stuff. Turn off the TV or computer (ONLY after you’ve finished my article) and get outside and practice bushcraft skills. Take a kid fishing/hunting. Walk your lawn and identify common weeds that might be useful for meds or food. You do have weeds in your yard right? I know exactly were to find plantain in my yard for the occasional tick bite or skin irritation. It’s an amazing wild weed!

Quit wishing you had the latest shiny object some experts say you need. Time spent developing yourself helps dissolve prepper envy.

Prepper Envy Cure #4:

Avoid stupid mistakes. Avoid getting a personal “Darwin Award”.

“That could have put your eye out,” Mama said.

Why? Because we were shooting our BB guns at each other and she found out. It was obvious with the welt over my eye. I’d be envying the ability to see if the BB had landed 2 inches lower.

We all make stupid mistakes. Prepper envy doesn’t have to be one of them.

Prepper Envy Cure #5:

Exercise mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know I should have only listed 4 cures. But I refuse to have “list envy” on top of prepper envy – (you’ve seen it, “The 39 Top Threats…”,  “7 Myths That Schools Teach as Real History”, “30 Canned Foods You Never Knew Existed“).

I touched on the physical aspect here. I’ll develop these four in a later post.

Prepper Envy Cure #6:

Fail forward. No regrets. I regret way too much.

When I was five, I wanted to grow up to be the guy that rode on the back of the trash truck. It looked fun at the time. I don’t regret following that childhood dream. I do regret wasting so much money, time, and energy on stuff that really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of life. I envy those with no regrets. See how it’s a vicious cycle.

Regrets waste energy and stop your momentum. Let the past go. In an earlier chapter of my life, I read a John Maxwell book or listened to one of his cassette tapes (that dates it, huh?). I remember hearing the phrase “fail forward.” That stuck with me. I don’t always follow this wisdom, but it’s still true.

Regrets kills future ideas! I’ve never read any science on this, but it’s been proven in my life. The more I wallow in regret, the less creative I am.

Prepper Envy Cure #7:

Perfection is overrated. If you have OCD (Obsessive Compulsion Disorder), I feel for you. My mother-in-law has it. I don’t know how I passed the vetting to marry her daughter. Somehow she overlooked my many imperfections.

We’re bombarded with thousands of images daily promoting perfection – the perfect figure, job, car, drug, home, makeup, gun, knife, etc. Resist the urge to envy ‘perfect’ preppers. They’re photo shopped. Be yourself. That’s enough.

Be honest about your imperfections. This quality opens more doors and opportunities than the vinyl veneer of perfection.

See, I told you I’m the stupidest survivalist on the planet.

Keep doing the stuff,

Todd

P.S.

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Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Preparedness, SHTF, Survival | Tags: , , | 18 Comments

Six Dangerous Miseducation Lessons You Should Unlearn Immediately

by Todd Walker

Schools teach many things. These dangerous lessons may not be explicitly taught, but they are definitely ‘caught’ by every student – even parents. Good or bad depends which side of the desk you’re on.

the Radical Roldans UNschool + LIFEschool + HOMEschool

As an insider, I’m giving you my top six most dangerous lessons that need to be destroyed before the coming chaos. Before sending me angry comments that this is just another teacher bash session, honestly explore the list with your school aged children or grandchildren at the dinner table. You may be convinced, if they’re allowed to talk freely. As I’ve said before many times, I work with some of the most dedicated, selfless, and knowledgable teachers who aren’t allowed to do the job they are passionate about – to teach.

Ready to be un-schooled? Warning: Unlearning these lessons carry a heavy price tag. But the freedom you discover is priceless.

A.) The Powers That Be knows what’s best for you. Questioning authority – or even worse – resisting TPTB will land you in the re-education compliance camp. Once labeled and drugged, your status and future path is set. Your child knows some of the system’s victims. Just ask.

B.) Learning only takes place in the classroom. Just ask TPTB. Students are taught inside the box. Some teachers encourage outside-the-box thinking. The problem with thinking outside the box is that students don’t have time to even explore the edges. Every minute of their day is planned and spoken for. Even after the last blaring dismissal bell screams, schooling follows them to their bedroom. Homework eats the remains of the day. Forget playing outside (some kids still do that, right?), stomping through mud to the creek to observe crawdads and tadpoles, or reading a book of her choosing for pleasure.

Discovery is replaced with memorizing facts from revisionist historians. We teachers correct ‘wrong thinking’. Constant correcting teaches the student to be dependent on us – the “experts”. Critical thinking dies.

C.) Going to college is your only hope of elevating your worth. TPTB plaster school walls with posters comparing different levels of ‘education’ with earning potential. Why all the one-size-fits-all college propaganda? Our rulers need more debt slaves.

Here’s my advice. If you’re in college now, drop out. If you’re 18, you probably have no idea what you want to do with your life. Don’t buy the lie that you’ll get left behind if you don’t go to college. College will not teach you real world skills. You learn that doing what interests you in the real world. College is pure theoretical. I’ve worked in different fields over my life and have found nothing beats the school of hard knocks. What I learned in college was that I had to perform to get a permission slip to teach kids. It’s a hoop I jumped through. Letters behind our names does NOT qualify us to teach your children.

Alternatives to college until you figure out what you want to do…

  • Start a business. Become a producer.
  • Travel. Save all your money – you’ve got a job, right – while living in your mom’s basement. Explore places you’ve always wanted to see. Pay attention to the local culture. Ask lots of questions. Take notes in your travel journal. Maybe even self-publish it.
  • Volunteer. Not because someone says it’s the ‘right’ thing to do. Go help feed hungry people, build shelters, or work the local farmers market – for free. You’ve got low overhead living in your mom’s basement remember. This may not be your career path, but giving without expecting anything in return will expand your horizons, make you thankful, and even make connections for later life. It’s an antidote for self-absorbed navel-gazing.
  • Self-educate. Take your education into your own hands. Figure it out. Teach yourself to play an instrument, write computer code, or draw.
  • Work in a trade, find a skilled tradesman and become his/her apprentice. Contrary to what you’ve been told by your high school guidance counselor, you don’t start at the top – at least not in the real world.

D.) High Stakes Testing measures your future contributions to the collective. The dirty little secret about state standardized tests is that if your child ‘met the standard’ (passes a subject with a score of 800), little Susie only got 50% of the test questions right. And the parents breathe a sigh of relief and throw a pizza party for kids that score a 50. What kids learn is that vomiting facts and test taking skills are all answer-centered. Problem solving is not taught. It’s hard to when schooling institution’s accreditation (Federal and State money) is on the line. Right answers pay off for good students – the State gets especially giddy. Welcome to Answerland.

Kids in school seem to use a fairly consistent strategy…it is answer-centred rather than problem-centred…

– John Holt – from ‘How Children Fail

The ridiculous amount of energy, time, and money spent on High Stakes Testing has kids walking blindfolded into a train tunnel – with their parents cheering them on. These tests do not measure true value.

E.) We own you. Nothing about forced schooling teaches self-ownership. On the contrary, we (the State Collective) dictate what students need to learn, how to dress,  what to eat, when to talk, how to obey, how to think, and that you don’t own yourself. You have no right to privacy. We can search you and your possessions without cause anytime. You are under constant surveillance. Even that picture your first grader drew, or the app your high schooler created is fair game in one school district in Maryland. I’m sure this will be a catchy trend. The lesson: You belong to the State.

F.) Learning is separate from living. Some things in life should be dropped. Schooling is one of them. Compulsory schooling is a type of child abuse. Yes, I just went there. Every child that enters school at age 5 will have his or her creativity, curiosity, confidence, individualism, playfulness, independence, intuition, and self-reliance crushed under the school steamroller. It’s painful, but these poor lumps of clay have to be molded into what the State thinks they should be.

What passes for ‘education’ today promotes fear of making mistakes, fear of failing, constant pursuit of everybody-is-a-winner awards (Student of the Month bumper stickers and gold stars, for instance), and conforming to the collective. We group students according to age. They spend their most formative years never exposed to adults or other children outside their age bracket. They are now dependent on the one ‘expert’ standing in front of them to gain all the knowledge they need. Sure, we’ll invite an occasional guest into talk about their job in the real world. But that’s far enough. These commoners don’t possess the credentials to ‘teach’ kids – anything.

If you’re curious, here’s a list of people who quit being schooled and ended up doing something with their lives.

  • William Faulkner – dropped out of high school
  • Walt Disney – high school drop out
  • Wilber and Orville Wright – never graduated. They tinkered with things.
  • Richard Branson – Branson’s dyslexia caused him a great deal of trouble as a student, so when he was 16 he left school to go into business for himself.
  • Thomas Edison – Dropped out of school to be taught at home – over 1,000 patents followed.
  • Albert Einstein – Dropped out at age 15. He later went back to get a diploma so he could enter the university. He failed the entrance exam twice.
  • Colonel Harland Sanders founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken dropped out of elementary school.

If you’ve attended, or you have children in public schools, the chances are very high you need to unlearn these dangerous lessons. Un-schooling your mind is your first step in becoming prepared.

I have hope and confidence in the human spirit. Once freed, there’s no limit to what we can accomplish.

Feel free to share your miseducated lessons in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

 

 

Categories: Economic Collapse, Government "Education", Preparedness, Self Ownership, Self-reliance, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 25 Comments

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