by Todd Walker
Part 1 ~ Essential Pillars of Preparedness Series
Don’t be deceived. No matter how elaborate or advanced you think you are in your preparedness journey, it won’t be enough for every conceivable situation. Life has too many unknowns.
Not knowing, or some cases – knowing, motivates us to prepare. It’s easy to be lulled into complacency by our convenience-driven lifestyles. Press a button, get what you want. Food, water, medicine, security, and shelter get taken for granted in our neo mindset.
Just ask school-aged children where that fried chicken breast they’re munching on came from. I once had a 7th grade student tell me that steaks grew in gardens. I kid you not!
I probed deeper. Apparently, farmers dig a hole, cover a piece of meat, and you pick steaks off the stalk. I’m sure the nice gardener takes his ‘produce’ and wraps it in a styrofoam tray with clear plastic wrap and delivers it to the super market.
Chalk this up to youth and our teach-to-the-test public schooling culture.
In this series, you will learn practical ways to increase your chances of not only surviving, but tipping the scales towards thriving in the coming chaos.
We humans have been adapting and changing for thousands of years. If your alive, things change. No matter how much you plan and prep though, our customary way of living can change without notice. Stocking up on essential supplies, resources, skills, knowledge, and relationships will help you get through the hard times – however they appear. No one knows it all. That’s why we have to help each other.
Doomsday events are relative to the individual. Losing your job, being diagnosed with cancer, or the death of a spouse or child all qualify for personal SHTF events. In my world, lessons from our personal SHTF events are transferable to the big picture disaster scenarios – total economic collapse and the coming Reset.
Preparing necessarily means doing the stuff in advance or before the need shows up at your door. There’s not an Easy Button to press to magically make you prepared.
But… here’s the good news! Even if you’re too broke to pay attention, it’s not too late. You can start today!
Once you start your journey to preparedness and self-sufficiency, good habits replace the bad and a whole new lifestyle is forged. You’ll find yourself applying the famous words of Weaver D (of REM fame) as your prepping becomes…
If you’re taking your first steps to climbing the preparedness mountain, I recommend that you focus on these 7 areas first. Any event that disrupts our ‘normal’ can be softened by building firm, sustainable foundations in these 7 areas.
These are my priorities which reflect my paradigm. If you agree, glad to hear it. If not, chew on the hay and spit out the sticks.
Keep in mind that all areas covered in this series must to be applied to your individual situation (see my Individual Preparedness Plan series for more help). This is not meant to be a cookie-cutter solution for all people. For example, if you’re surrounded by natural, abundant sources of potable water, you may put water further down your list.
With that being said, here’s my list:
- Health and Fitness
- Water and Food
- Skills and Knowledge
- Shelter and Energy
- Waste and Sanitation
- Natural Medical
- Security and Protection
If you don’t have health and some level of functional fitness, you’re already running on a deficit. This point seems to be lost on a lot of good folk in the preparedness community.
Let me stop right here.
I’ve been there and done that and lived my first two statements. I don’t want to come across as ‘preachy’ or having arrived. I haven’t. Remember, this preparedness journey takes time, effort, focus, and encouragement – NOT bashing!
Here’s what worked for me. Your results may vary.
“Diets” don’t work in the long run. You’re in this for the long-haul, right? Plus, how will all that Jenny Craig ‘food’ get delivered post collapse? Think of all the real food and preps you could buy with the $7,000/yr. you would spend buying prepackaged JC food.
Developing a healthy lifestyle was the key for me. I eat healthy fats, meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other nutrient dense foods. Basically, I stopped eating the Standard American Diet.
I traded our government food pyramid for this one:
Image Source: Mark’s Daily Apple
But my Primal lifestyle goes deeper than just eating like a caveman. When it comes to fitness, I don’t float the mainstream.
I hold two degrees in Health and Physical Education. Over three years ago, I made this discovery – the conventional wisdom I was taught in school was a big waste. Eating what the USDA’s food pyramid recommended and following conventional fitness regiments left me hungry, tired, and fat.
Image Source: Mark’s Daily Apple
Burn out and injury typically accompany conventional fitness wisdom. You can reach optimal fitness without wrecking your joints and being a permanent fixture in the gym.
If functional fitness is your goal, randomness is a good thing. I define functional fitness as being able to do the stuff (fill in the blank) when it counts.
Would you be able to carry your spouse or a stranger from a burning building? Even if you’re never in a life and death situation, lifting heavy things helps you burn fat, improve bone density, survive longer, and enjoy life better than weaker folks.
Humans have been pushing, pulling, squatting, running fast, and walking slowly throughout our entire existence. Although we won’t have to outrun a saber-toothed tiger or battle rival tribes for hunting territory, these basic movements can help you survive.
Here are four bodyweight exercises every SmartPrepper should incorporate into their physical training: Pushups, pullups, squats, and sprints. There’s no expensive gym equipment involved. And you can do these exercises most any place.
If you’re engaging your fast twitch muscle fibers with maximum force over a short period of time, you’ll need 2 to 5 days to recover properly before lifting heavy stuff again.
Mainstream conventional workout programs will have you spend day after boring day on some machine trying to isolate a particular muscle group. When I flip that piece of chimney at our park, all my muscles, tendons, bones, and joints work together at maximum effort. This is how our bodies are meant to function.
On days when you’re not ‘destroying’ your muscles from lifting heavy stuff or sprinting, remember to walk long distances at a slow pace.
Do you want to look like a bag of skin and bones just to finish a marathon? Or, do you want to build your body into a functionally fit prepping machine?
The crazy part is that you can gain maximum effect with minimum effort. And you’ll no longer look like the other zombies brainlessly walking on those treadmills at the gym.
This is meant to be a primer on our first Pillar of Preparedness for SmartPreppers. There’s much more that can be added on the topic of functional fitness and healthy living. If you have questions or something you’d like to add, please feel free to drop a line in the comment section or email me.
Essential Pillars of Preparedness Series
- Part 2 ~ Water: The 2nd Essential Pillar of Preparedness for SmartPreppers
- Part 3 ~ Food: How to Build a Big Fat Pantry
Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,
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