Posts Tagged With: Self-reliance

Made by Hands: Make it or Buy it?

by Todd Walker

Made by Hands: Make it or Buy it? | TheSurvivalSherpa.com

My blogging buddy, Patrick Blair (Survival at Home), is credited with the idea for this post. He recommended I share all my DiY stuff in one photo. Haha… that’s a challenge which would take a wide-angle camera lens.

Instead, I thought I’d share some of the stuff I’ve made over the years in hopes of inspiring others to make their own.

We promote skills over “shiny object survival” gear around here. But honestly, I’m a gear junkie as much as the next guy. We’re members of a tool-using species!

Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.

~ Thomas Carlysle

 

There’s more to self-reliance than just buying gear and tools though…

It’s about making your own and living this philosophy… Prepare modern but practice primitive.

Could the 10 C’s of Survivability be reproduced in a 72 hour survival scenario?

Yup. However, specific skills, resources, and time are needed, which may be hard to come by. So, Buy it… but learn to make most, if not all, of these essential kit items.

  1. Cutting tools – Unless you’re a very talented craftsman or artisan, I recommend buying the best knife, ax, and saw you can afford.
  2. Combustion device – Learn to make primitive fire via friction and flint and steel. Flint or quartz can be used on the spine of your high-carbon steel cutting tool to light charred material. You carry a next fire kit, right?
  3. Cordage – Finding natural resources suitable for cordage expends calories. Making indigenous cordage is a good skill to learn though. I practice making cordage because I enjoy primitive skills. If you don’t, buy cordage for your kits.
  4. Cover – A USGI poncho or emergency space blanket doesn’t weigh much and can be found for under $20. I hammock camp with my bed sheet tarp but carry an emergency space blanket I purchased.
  5. Container – You must stay hydrated. Yes, you can make containers from the landscape but a metal container gives you anti-fragile options!
  6. Cotton – Never made it… buy this item for sure.
  7. Cargo tape – Practice making natural glues but buy and keep Gorilla Brand duct tape in your kits. If it can’t be fixed with duct tape…!
  8. Cloth sail needle – My metal repair needle is mounted on the back of my primary knife sheath with Gorilla tape. Primitive needles or awls can be made from bone, but, again, time and resources area factors.
  9. Candling device – Buy a quality head lamp that takes “AA” batteries. I carry a candle and have made fat lighter’d torches and oil lamps but a flashlight is too easy to pack.
  10. Compass – Navigation is the primary use for a compass. If that’s all your compass can do, you should consider buying another one. My multi-functional Alpine compass can also be used for combustion, signaling, self-aid, and tick removal.

Even if money isn’t tight for your family, there’s no better satisfaction than using gear made by hands… your hands!

Today is a celebration of making the stuff of self-reliance. Click the title links in the photo essay for details on how to make your own stuff.

Made by Hand

Below you’ll find DiY projects in two broad categories: Outdoor Self-Reliance and Homesteading.

Awesome photo courtesy of Connor M. Lamoureux on Instagram (adventureconwards)

Awesome photo courtesy of Connor M. Lamoureux on Instagram ~ adventureconwards

By the way, if you’re on Instagram, give us a follow at… ToddatSurvivalSherpa.

Make tag
Buy tagor

 

 

How do you know when it’s best to Make it or Buy it? Skill level, tools and equipment, space, time, and resources are determining factors on which project to tackle. The ultimate goal of making stuff is… making us more self-reliant.

What kind of person are you making?

Outdoor Self-Reliance

Wool Blanket Hunting Shirt

100% Wool Blanket = Awesome Hunting Shirt

My hunting shirt made from an Italian wool Army blanket

Oilskin Bed Sheet Tarp

homemade-oilskin-bedsheet-tarp

DiY Hands-Free Ax Sheath

How to Make a Hands-Free Ax Carrying System | www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

 

Outdoor Cooking Tripod

How to Build a Bushcraft Tripod for Your Outdoor Kitchen

Prefect!

Mountain Man MRE’s (Pemmican, Parched Corn, and Dried Fruit)

how-to-make-modern-mountain-man-mre

Smoke house teepee

Fixin’ Wax

A Simple Fixin' Wax Recipe for Fixin' Stuff

Tree Bark Archery Quiver

IMG_2047

Base Camp Sawbuck

How to Build a Sturdy Sawbuck with Logs and Rope - www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Primitive Process Pottery

Making Containers from Primitive Process Pottery - www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Brian Floyd, our main instructor, made a tasty stew in one of his pots for lunch.

Wooden Spoons

Spoon Carving with an Ax | www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Making Containers from Primitive Process Pottery - www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Blowing through a section of river cane to burn the bowl of my spoon

Char Material for Your Next Fire

Blowing-My-Lid-Over-Char-Containers

Embers on charred punk wood

Waterproof Fire Starter

A-Waterproof-Tinder-Bundle-Hack-That-Guarantees-Fire

A door hinge pin chucked in my drill

Pine Pitch Glue Sticks

How to Make Primitive Hot Glue Sticks | www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Fat Lighter’d Torch

pine-tree-uses-self-reliance

Natural Cordage

When Primitive Skills and Prepping Have Sex | www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Indigenous cordage I made this weekend. Clockwise from 12:00 ~ Dogbane; Tulip Poplar; Okra, and Yucca.

Base Camp Stump Vise

Make a Stump Vise for “Smoothing It” Camp Projects | www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

 

Sling Shot Bow

A DiY Survival Sling Shot with Big Game Capabilities

A DiY Survival Sling Shot with Big Game Capabilities

Duct Tape Arrow Fletching

Ducttapevanes6 - Copy

 

Cigar Fishing Kit

Screw cap taped

Screw cap taped

Altoids Tin Oil Lamp

30 Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh

DiY olive oil lamp

Survival Gig

diy-survival-gig

Used about 6 feet of cordage here

Homesteading

Compost Tumbler

 

30 Ultimate DiY Gifts in Santa's Survival Sleigh

DRG’s elevated compost tumbler

Rain Collection System

trading-theory-for-action

trading-theory-for-action

It’s not camo paint, but it blends in very well in the front yard.

Tomato Ladders

Todd's Tomato Ladders | www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Four Tomato Ladders anchored and ready with an old wooden ladder on the far left.

Pallet Fencing

Up-cycled pallets, windows, and doors.

Up-cycled pallets, windows, and doors.

Rat Trap

stairway-to-heaven-bucket-rat-trap

Paper Fire Logs

diy-firebricks-woodstove-logs-firewood

The wet fire log ready for drying

Farmhouse Table

Pipe clamps putting the squeeze on the 2x6's

Pipe clamps putting the squeeze on the 2×6’s

Foldable Sawbuck

Sawbuck: Work Smarter in the Woodpile

Sawbuck in the woodpile!

Battery Storage Rack

Attention Men: Pinterest is a Prepping Goldmine

Power at your finger tips

Self-Watering Container Gardening 

Image

 

Rendering Tallow

Almost ready.

Almost ready.

Homemade Sauerkraut

Get Your Gut In Shape: Down and Dirty Sauerkraut

Plumber’s Stove

How to Make a Plumber's Stove on Steroids for Cooking and Warmth | www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

Cedar Bench

Here she sits outside my shop

Here she sits outside my shop

Plantain Salve

how-to-make-lucky-sherpa-plantain-salve

This tin fits nicely in my haversack

Being a student of self-reliance, my expertise is limited in making a lot of the gear I own. However, it’s good enough to get the job done. For instance, the bed sheet tarp has been through extensive field testing and has performed like a boss!

Then there are DiY projects I’ve tried that failed miserably. The journey to self-reliance depends on failing forward.

Your turn. What’s your favorite gear or equipment you’ve Made by Hand? Let us know in the comments.

Keep Making the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network.

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

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: 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: Bushcraft, Camping, DIY Preparedness Projects, Doing the Stuff, Gear, Herbal Remedies, Homesteading, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival, Survival Skills, Water | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Manna from Motorists: 8 Roadkill Rules to Follow Before You Swallow

by Todd Walker

It’s practically a self-reliance commandment.

Thou shalt not waste food. 

You won’t find these words on a stone tablet, but these 5 words are rock-solid advice!

Manna from Motorists- 8 Roadkill Rules to Follow Before You Swallow - www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The smallest ripple in the industrial food machine can wreak havoc on food prices and availability. That’s one reason self-reliant types grow some, if not most, of their own groceries. Cultivating food independence is hard work, sweat-of-the-brow kind of stuff.

You deserve an unexpected gift, a miracle of sorts. The roadways are the perfect place to claim your next free-range fur or feathered meal.

Disgusting?

Hardly! It’s the ethically thing to do out of respect for the animal victim. See Self-Reliance Commandment above.

More questions swirl in minds of refined readers, followed by the inevitable…

Why, I’d never eat from a ditch!!

Here’s the thing, though…

Roadkill is an overlooked secret survival sauce. You gotta eat to survive. Food costs money. Roadkill is free. Plus, it’s healthier than factory farmed animals injected with who knows what.

How do you know if manna from motorists is safe to eat?

If you experience a fender bender with Bambi or witnessed the crash, you know the exact time of demise. When you run across a potential meal on a road trip or daily commute, how can you be sure it’s safe to harvest? There are many variables to consider.

8 Rules of Roadkill 

Follow these Roadkill Rules to help determine if food by Ford is safe to swallow.

1.) Legal Stuff

Any fur-bearing animal or bird is edible. However, laws on harvesting roadkill or possession of protected species vary from state to state. Check out this interactive map to see if your state allows the collection of roadkill.

In the Peach state, motorists may collect deer without notifying authorities. Bear collisions must be reported but you get to keep the bruin.

Texas, California, and Washington are among the few states that prohibit roadkill collection. In Alaska, the Fish and Wildlife personnel collect reported road-killed animals and distribute to charities helping the needy.

Check your state laws first!

2.) Impact Damage

The point of impact determines how much meat is salvageable. My experience with broadside impacts are not good. Internal organs usually rupture and taint the meat. Not to mention all the bloodshot meat. As in hunting, a head shot saves meat.

Tire treads over the body usually means a bloody mess. Squashed squirrel would require a spatula to remove from the asphalt and should be avoided.

3.) Clear Eyes

If the eyes are intact and clear, the animal is likely a fresh kill. Cloudy eyes hint that the animal has been dead for some time (more than a few hours).

Creamy discharges around the eyes or other orifices indicate a sick animal. If the eyes are gone, leave it alone.

4.) Stiffness and Skin

Rigor mortis sets within a few hours of death. This is not a deal breaker depending on other indicators. The steak in the butcher’s glass counter has undergone the same process of “decay” or tenderizing.

Pinch the skin of the animal, unless it’s a porcupine, to check if the skin still moves freely along top of the muscle beneath. If so, you’re probably okay. Skin stuck to the muscle is a bad indicator. If fur can be pulled from the hide with a slight tug, the animal has been deceased far too long.

5.) Bugs and Blood

Fleas feed on the blood of warm blooded animals. Brush the hair on the carcass and inspect for fleas like you would on a family pet. If fleas are present, that’s a good thing. Fleas won’t stick around on a cold body.

There’s usually blood involved when animals come in contact with 3,000 pound machines in motion. Blood all over the road may mean there’s too much damaged meat to salvage. The color of blood present should be a dark red, like, well, fresh blood. Dark puddles of blood have been there been there a while.

Flies could be a bad sign. They lay larvae in wounds and other openings of the body. A few flies present isn’t always a deal breaker. A prior wound on a living animal may contain maggots. We had a live deer seek refuge in my mother-in-laws car port who had a broken hind leg from a vehicle collision which was infested with maggots. I approached her in an attempt to humanely dispatch her and put her out of her misery. Sadly, she gained her footing and disappeared through our neighborhood woods.

In the hot, humid summers of Georgia, it only takes a few minutes for flies to zero in on dead stuff. Which brings us to our next consideration…

Manna from Motorists- 8 Roadkill Rules to Follow Before You Swallow - www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

A large beaver I found on the road last month

6.) Climate and Weather

The weather conditions and geographical location are variables to consider. Cold to freezing temperatures is ideal – think… roadside walk-in freezer or fridge. Meat will decompose quickly in hot and humid conditions.

One steamy August evening years ago, I was in my backyard and heard tires screech followed by a distinctive thud on a nearby road. I walked two doors down and found a freshly dispatched deer laying on the grassy right-of-way. That gift primed my freezer before fall hunting season.

7.) Smell

This one is pretty obvious.

If it has a putrid odor, leave it alone. You don’t have to be a TV survival expert to identify bad meat. Your old factory sensors will let you know… along with your gag reflex.

Ever break the cellophane on a pack of chicken breasts you forgot about in the back of your fridge? Register that stench for future roadside foraging.

8.) Collection and Processing Tips

Our vehicles are prepared with Get Home Kits. You may want to add a few items to it or build a separate Roadkill Kit. My kit is simple and includes:

  • Tarp
  • Surgical gloves

If you don’t drive a pickup truck, wrap large carcasses in a tarp and place in the vehicle for transport. Smaller animals usually go in a contractor grade garbage bag to get home.

It’s common sense in my mind… Do NOT field dress an animal on the side of the road! It’s dangerous, illegal (hopefully), unsightly, and disrespectful to both animal and human. I’ve seen some really stupid and disgusting practices over the years from unethical “hunters” and idiots. If you’re not prepared to harvest game properly, stick with the supermarkets.

Don’t practice slob self-reliance!

Rant over…

When processing wild game animals or fowl, (road-killed or not) always check the internal organs – heart, liver, lungs, kidneys – before going any further. Dispose of the animal properly (or report it to local wildlife officials for study) if the organs are discolored or showing yellow-greenish discharge. Again, use your sniffer. If it smells bad, it probably is.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

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

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: 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: Doing the Stuff, Food Storage, Preparedness, Real Food, Self-reliance, Survival Skills | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

How Busy People Extend the Shelf Life of Survival Skills

by Todd Walker

[Personal Note: I want to thank our online family for the prayers, love, and support after the recent loss of my brother. We appreciate you more than you can know!]

How Busy People Extend the Shelf Life of Survival Skills - www.TheSurvivalSherpa.com

The most able are the most free.
~Wendell Berry

On the journey to self-reliance, we all start with different skill levels, locales, and motives. Some are even convinced of an inevitable zombie apocalypse. As we say in the south, “Bless their hearts.”

The Doing the Stuff Skills we promote here aren’t very flashy or of the “sky is falling” variety. They are, however, practical and useful for common sense living… a cross-fertilization of old and new paths of emergency preparedness, urban and wilderness survival, natural health, homesteading, energy independence, and making stuff to decrease dependence on others.

Skills require action beyond stocking and storing stuff because of these two little words…

Shelf Life

For instance, that extra pair of boots in storage will eventually dry rot without ever touching feet. Like food, leather and rubber have an expiration date. So do your skills.

The problem with skills is that there is no “out of date” label like the one you found on that dusty can of beans in the back of your pantry. But you already know which skill sets you’ve allowed to rust around the edges.

But here’s the good news…

Unlike food, skills are renewable!

Here’s a self-directed strategy to help busy people take survival skills from average to awesome.

Doing the Stuff on the Fly

Your busy. I know. Aren’t we all! Dedicated time for skills training is a luxury for most of us. We have bills to pay, families to feed, and routine responsibilities to fulfill. However, these three strategies keep my skills fresh – even during what seems to be a shrinking 24 hour period. Try them out. Hope they help you, too!

Take Mini-breaks

The skill you’re developing may take hours to learn. And the answer to the proverbial question, “How do you eat an elephant?” is… One bite at a time. Leverage your break times to practice a specific aspect of the skill. I’ve learned to tie several new knots with a short piece of cordage I keep in my Get Home Bag while standing at my desk on break.

Imagine what you’d accomplish if you find five of these 10-minute breaks in your day.

With today’s technology, watch an instructional video and take notes to ensure accuracy in the skill. Caution: YouTube can be a time sink. So be sure to find value adding channels to follow. I regret not watching more instructional videos over the years.

Take Mini-lessons

At times, all you need is a short lesson to keep moving forward. You probably don’t have time to read an entire book or take a full course. Find sources who summarize or curate content from value-adders in the niche skill your pursuing (self-reliance, wilderness survival, wildcrafting, self-defense, homesteading, food preservation, camping, etc.).

Prepper Website is an excellent curator of self-reliance stuff! Also, be sure to check out our Doing the Stuff Trusted Resources Page for a list of virtual hotspots to connect with and learn skills.

Find Mini-mentors

Questions are easily answered when you find a mentor. Local is best. But don’t discount online learning groups. Avoid groups that only post articles without real discussion of skills. I’ve found a couple of online groups where members, of varying skill level, actually engage and learn from one another.

Like I mentioned earlier, a local mentor is ideal. I’ve been fortunate to find knowledgeable local instructors and online teachers.

When time and money permit, take a class or workshop from a teacher who practices the E.D.I. method of instruction… (Educate: teach the skill, Demonstrate: doing the stuff with the skill, Imitate: allow you to imitate the skill). Two things happen with quality instruction: (A) your learning curve is shortened, and, (B) you build micro-communities and connections. These students of self-reliance share your passion and can be your best mini-mentors.

There is always more to learn on our journey to self-reliance. Finding the time to practice and learn skills is the challenge. Hopefully these tips will help.

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

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

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: 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: Doing the Stuff, Survival Skills | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

How to Dress for Winter Survival Success

by Dave Steen

Going out in the wintertime can be dangerous, even when things are normal and you’re living at home. The cold winter weather can quickly sap your body’s heat, bringing you to the brink of hypothermia without notice. The one defense we have against the risks of cold weather is dressing properly to prevent the cold from winning the battle.

How to Dress for Winter Survival Success

How the Body Heats Itself

Before talking about clothing, I want to make sure we understand how the human body heats itself. Our clothing doesn’t do a thing to generate heat, it merely acts as an insulator to keep that heat inside our bodies, rather than radiating it into the cold air around us.

The body’s heat comes from the chemical reactions involved in breaking down food into energy and then using that energy. The heat produced is actually a by-product of the chemical reaction, albeit a by-product that we need. Glucose is considered by many to be the molecule that cells use for energy, but in fact, glucose breaks down into 38 molecules of Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP), which is the molecule that cells use for energy. It is the process of breaking glucose down to ATP which provides most of our body’s heat.

Each and every chemical reaction in the body produces heat. The liver, which performs more chemical reactions than any other organ, can be seen as the body’s heater. Blood actually leaves the liver warmer than it enters it. However, the liver isn’t the only heater, each and every muscle and organ performs chemical reactions, causing them to generate heat.

The most consistent source of heat in our bodies is from the body’s core. The organs in our body cavity work, regardless of whether we are exercising or are at rest. Muscles, on the other hand, only produce heat when they are active. Shivering is merely a means of forcing the muscles to work, so that they will generate heat.

Heat is moved though the body by the blood. As the blood passes from the core to the extremities, it carries heat with it. If there is not enough heat, this blood flow is restricted, so that the core can maintain its temperature.

Dressing for Warmth

Many people dress in the winter by putting on the heaviest clothing they can, hoping to keep warm. In reality, that may not work. One problem with piling on the heavy coats is that it can make you too warm, causing you to sweat. You never want to be sweating in the winter, as the sweat can turn to ice, pulling out your body’s heat.

The human body’s normal temperature is 98.6oF. So, if you manage to insulate yourself perfectly, it’s going to be like being outside on a 98.6 degree day. What does your body do on such a day? It sweats. Obviously, your insulation job has to be less than perfect, so that your body can get rid of excess heat and not get hot enough to sweat.

It’s actually more effective to dress in layers, than to dress in one heavy garment. That way, if you find yourself getting warm, you can remove a layer, adjusting your clothing to keep you comfortable, without keeping you too warm. Ideally, you want to be just a touch cool, rather than being warm.

Dressing Your Core

The most important part of your body to dress in layers is your core. You’re best off starting with a foundation of a shirt which will wick moisture away from your body. Some athletic wear is designed specifically for this, but other than that, it’s hard to find.

Your next layer should be a long-sleeve sweater, preferably out of wool. Most of the time when doing physical activity outdoors, a good sweater is enough to keep you warm. Wool repels water and can actually insulate when wet; the only material that does.

Over the wool sweater you should have a coat. It’s a good idea to have a selection of coats to choose from, so that you can pick one that is appropriate for the temperature. Even if your sweater will be enough for while you are working outside, you should wear a coat for the time going to and returning from that work. Having the coat with you is also a good precaution in case the temperature should drop suddenly.

Any coat you buy for use in the wintertime should be water repellant. You really don’t want it to be waterproof, as that will make you sweat when you are wearing it. The best insulation for coats is down or polyester fiberfill. Unfortunately, both of those will absorb water readily. Once wet, they will make you lose your body heat considerably faster than being naked. A water repellant covering will prevent that problem.

Dressing Your Legs

The most common pants that I see people wearing out in the cold is blue jeans, which are made of cotton. That means that they don’t resist water at all, but rather, they absorb it quite well. If you are going to wear blue jeans, then you should wear something that is water repellant over them.

There are actual snow pants available on the market, for about the price of a good pair of blue jeans. These are insulated, and have a water repellant nylon covering, which makes them ideal for being out in the cold and snow. However, they may be too warm for wearing out in the snow if you are working. The leg muscles are the body’s largest and can produce a lot of heat. If you are going to be working outdoors, you’re better off with wool pants.

Dressing the Rest

A hat is the most important single article of clothing you wear when going outdoors in the cold. One-fourth of the body’s blood supply goes to the brain. If your head is uncovered, you will lose a lot of heat. A good hat needs to provide insulation to the head, as well as covering the ears to protect them from the cold. The best hats are actually the fur hats, called Ushanka, they wear in Russia.

Good warm boots are an important part of dressing for winter weather. Your feet are the part of your body which will become cold the easiest, as well as being the part which your body restricts blood flow to, in the case of hypothermia. Wearing good warm boots, with wool socks will help prevent any risk of frostbitten toes.

The last thing you need to consider is gloves. After your toes, the next place that your body restricts blood flow to in the case of hypothermia is your fingers. If you are not doing work that requires fine motor skills, mittens will keep your hands much warmer than gloves will. Having all the fingers share the same space allows them to share heat as well, keeping them warmer.

davepreppingplanAuthor bio: Dave is a 52-year-old survivalist; father of three; with over 30 years of survival experience. He started young, learning survival the hard way, in the school of hard knocks. Now, after years of study, he’s grey-haired and slightly overweight. That hasn’t dimmed his interest in survival though. If anything, Dave has a greater commitment to survival than ever, so that he can protect his family. You can learn more about Dave on his site, PreppingPlans.com

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, YouTube and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

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

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: 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: Gear, Preparedness, Self-reliance, Survival Skills | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

Applied Physics for Self-Reliance: Newton’s 3 Laws of Doing the Stuff

by Todd Walker

Scientists use applied physics to find solutions to real world problems. These smart people put principles of physics to work to add value to our everyday lives. They trade theory for action!

In one of the most monumental scientific books ever written, Sir Isaac Newton painted a different picture of how the world works. His three simple laws of motion transformed the scientific community and set in motion a revolution in math and science.

Have you ever thought about applying the 3 laws of motion to improve your life, skill sets, and self-reliance?

If not, follow along as we go back to science class to explore, without boring lectures and calculus, the physics of Doing the Stuff of self-reliance.

“Self-reliance is the only road to true freedom, and being one’s own person is its ultimate reward.”
~ Patricia Sampson

Newton’s big idea became law after many people verified his theory with action. Here’s a simplified version of his Laws of Motion and how to apply them on your climb to self-reliance and preparedness. Keep in mind that each of these laws builds upon the previous law.

The 1st Law of Doing the Stuff

Newton’s first law of motion simplified…

Objects tend to keep doing the stuff they are doing, resting or moving, until some other force is applied to them.

Your level of self-reliance will not change without an unbalanced force being applied. Your lack of motion will not change unless something happens to you. Your life and skill set will stay the same.

applied-physics-selfreliance-doingthestuff

The flip side of this law is also true!

If you’re already in motion Doing the Stuff, you tend to continue in that direction. Once you start doing the stuff of self-reliance, momentum builds. The act of doing is the force needed to break the dam of dependence we all float in at times.

The first law of Doing the Stuff is to start. I put together 13 Preps You Can Do in 120 Seconds or Less to help you get moving. You’ll also find several self-reliance projects to try on the DIY Projects tab at the top of this page. Once the ball is rolling, it’s easier to keep it moving.

Self-reliance is a climb with many small steps. You may be putting off one or two skills you’ve always wanted to learn. Owning the skill will never happen until you take the first step of starting.

For instance, I was reluctant to start crafting leather. There was a 40 year stretch between my first leather project and my new leather creations. I’m no professional but, by starting, I’ve learned to make functional stuff from raw material with my own hands. That alone is reward enough for me.

By far, the biggest mistake I’ve made on my journey to self-reliance is failure to launch. Not starting a new skill, for whatever reason, effects zero motion. Overcome inertia with small starts.

Get this out of your mind. You don’t have to master the skill. But you must start! I would argue that combining many self-reliant skills trumps expertise in only one specialized area. Robert Heinlein said it best, “Specialization is for insects.”

Start doing as much as you can as much as you can!

The 2nd Law of Doing the Stuff

Newton’s second law of motion simplified…

When a force acts on an object, it will cause the object to accelerate.

Obvious, right?

A simple equation sums up the second law of Doing the Stuff:

F=ma (Force equals mass times acceleration)

applied-physics-selfreliance-doingthestuff

The more force applied to an object, the more it accelerates. This implies that working hard (applying force) will accelerate your skills.

Not so fast, speedy!

Force is a vector.

What’s a vector?

You can’t hold a vector. It’s not tangible. Simply put, it’s a number value. Vectors add both direction (focus point of the force) and magnitude (size of force) to the 2nd Law of Doing the Stuff.

The entire concept of accelerating your skills depends on where you apply force and the size of the force. Acceleration has direction. Speed does not. To accelerate your Doing the Stuff skills, it’s important to understand that acceleration is any change in an objects speed or direction.

To get an object (you) moving in a direction of self-reliance, focused force must be applied in that direction. The size of your force depends on the mass of the object (simple or complex skill) you want to move forward. Grabbing yourself by the bootstraps and hard work alone won’t get you there. You need force applied in a specific direction.

Here’s the thing…

You only have x amount of force available. It’s a limited resource which needs to be conserved – just like calories in a survival situation. Where you apply force is more important than how hard you work to hone your skills.

For instance, anyone who practices primitive fire craft understands the importance of direction and magnitude of force. Learning the nuances of friction fire methods takes practice and properly prepped material. Even then, all you’ll get is smoke and a sweaty shirt until you apply the proper amount of force at the correct angle. You can’t know that until you’ve created a primal ember.

applied-physics-selfreliance-doingthestuff

Our son’s first bow drill ember!

But once the ember is born, you’ll be in a state of euphoria staring at its glow!

The 3rd Law of Doing the Stuff

Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion simplified…

When one object exerts a force on an other object, the second object exerts and equal and opposite force back.

The chair you’re sitting on exerts an upward force equal to the downward force of your butt. If the size of the downward force exceeds the upward force, the furniture fails. In this example, you want equilibrium.

Forces come in pairs. If forces are symmetrical (equal), balance is achieved. No movement, forward or backward. The object is at rest and will remain at rest. Forever. See Law #1.

However, to move your Doing the Stuff skills along, you must create an unbalanced state. Controlled. Reproducible. Consistent.

applied-physics-selfreliance-doingthestuff

The Battle of Forces

There are two options to create motion (unbalanced state) in the battle of forces:

  1. Increase the magnitude (size) of one force against an opposite force
  2. Decrease or eliminate an opposite force

As mentioned in Law #2, force is limited. Option 1 is unsustainable for long-term self-reliance. You can only pump yourself up for so long before reaching exhaustion. Caffeine induced bursts of energy and hard work are necessary at times (and I partake in both), but eventually you body runs out of force.

The sustainable choice to build skills is to take a deuce. Eliminate and flush unproductive forces.

To illustrate, apply physics to your 72 hour kit or bug out bag. If your reduced to foot travel, the latest shiny survival stuff only adds mass on your back. Are these shiny objects even necessary to effect your survivability? Probably not!

With proper skills and essential tools, you increase skill set acceleration with the same amount of force. F=ma. The older I get, the more I realize the need to simplify life and remove opposing forces.

Less stuff x skills = self-reliance

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,

Todd

P.S. – You can also keep up with the Stuff we’re Doing on TwitterPinterestGoogle +, and our Facebook page… and over at the Doing the Stuff Network on PinterestGoogle +, and Facebook.

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

Thanks for Sharing the Stuff!

Copyright: 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: Doing the Stuff, Self-reliance | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Not Your Typical Recipe Book: Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living

by Todd Walker

What I’m about to share is ‘Dirt Road Girl’ approved!

When Stacy Harris sent me her new book to review, Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living, before I could get my hands on it, DRG snagged it and wouldn’t put it down. She immediately performed her sniff test ritual. She opened the book, plants her face between the pages, and inhales deeply. Congrats Stacy! Your book passed DRG’s sniff test with flying colors!

Image

Our first impressions of Stacy’s new book were high quality, glossy pages with excellent photos of food, recipes, family, and sustainable practices for self-sufficient living. It’s good that the pages are high gloss since I began drooling by just looking at the food photos and recipes.

Stacy’s passion for growing heirloom plants and animals that are natural, pesticide, hormone, genetically modified free is clear. And she’s able to cook for a family of 9 from her heirloom garden, pastured animals, and wild game. Very inspiring!

The tips for sustainable living are mixed in throughout the book. One of my favorites is on page 88 – The Perfect Boiled Egg.

“To determine the age of eggs, place eggs in about five inches of water. If the egg lays flat on the bottom it is very fresh and is good for baking and poaching; it the egg tilts on the bottom it is about 10 days old and is great for boiling; if it floats throw it out.”

There’s also tips on foraging wild foods, beekeeping, seed saving, and other self-reliant skills. The tips aren’t going to teach you everything you need to know about sustainable living, but they will motivate you on your journey.

Being an avid hunter and fisherman myself, I loved the ‘Woods and Water’ section of Stacy’s book! I’m always happy to try new recipes for venison, wild turkey, duck, quail, small game, and seafood and fish. Even if you don’t harvest wild fish and game, she provides a substitution page to incorporate domesticated animals for recipes to please everyone.

Not Your Typical Recipe Book: Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living

10 slices of bacon on Stuffed Venison Meatloaf – perfect!

A note to my Primal/Paleo readers – a few of the baking recipes call for sugar and flour. You can easily substitute for these if you wish and still enjoy the goodness of these traditional home cooked recipes.

Reading Stacy’s story and new cookbook will inspire you to take your next step towards personal freedom and sustainable living. All while eating the best prepared foods on the planet!

You can also connect with Stacy on her blog, Game and Garden, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube channel. Enjoy!

Special Announcement: Congratulations to Stephanie G. on winning an autographed copy of Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living from our Reader Appreciation Fall Giveaway! We appreciate everyone’s continued support of our blog as we continue Doing the Stuff of self-sufficiency and preparedness together!

Keep doing the stuff!

Todd

P.S. ~ Thanks for sharing the stuff! You can 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.

 

Categories: Gardening, Homesteading, Preparedness, Real Food, Resilience, Self-reliance, Wildcrafting | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

This One Step is Guaranteed to Continually Improve Your Preps

by Todd Walker

You want to improve your preps.

I know this because you’re reading Survival Sherpa. Our motto here is, “Helping each other on the climb to self-reliance and preparedness…the Survival Sherpa way…One step at a time.”

I also realize that you are afraid of change. You’d like things to stay the same. But you also feel the tsunami coming and want to head to high ground. You’re worried that all the boats will sink. You don’t have enough time, energy, and resources to get there.

Here a truth that set me free. Preparedness is a journey, not a destination. You’ll never arrive! But what if you only had to change one thing to be better prepared, you’d think I was crazy, right?

Headlines often promise more than they deliver. But this one simple step really will increase your level of preparedness, self-sufficiency, and resilience.

What’s the one step?

Prepping Kaizen!

What’s Kaizen? Breaking the word down, “kai” means change/make better, “zen” means good. Apply the word to prepping and it means “continuous improvement.”

Kaizen was practiced here in the U.S. during the great depression and later to help rebuild Japan after WW II. Once it took root, it helped this war-torn country bounce back and become a dominate economic power. I own one of their success stories – a Toyota Forerunner. It just turned over 235,000 miles. I’d say it’s middle-aged now, thanks to kaizen – and regular maintenance.

Preparing for the coming chaos may look like a cooked elephant sitting on your table, so add a little Prepping Kaizen to help clean your plate.

That’s the purpose of this article – to help you bounce back from whatever gets thrown at you… without being overwhelmed. If you’re new to prepping, you may feel like throwing your hands up in despair. You’ve  managed to click away from a well-meaning, self-proclaimed expert prepper blog extolling you to get ready for the zombie apocalypse. Anxiety grips your mind and emotions.

“You mean I’ve got to have 10,000 thousands rounds of ammo, one years worth of food storage, and live off grid – by next month!?!”

None of these are bad if that’s you goal. But for those newly initiated to preparedness, this is a blueprint for burnout.

This is where Prepper Kaizen comes in handy.

You see, you don’t need to have to have it all. You never will anyway. But what you do need is the ability to see the whole picture and take the small, simple steps, master these, and look back at how much you’ve improved and accomplished. Those weekly Buy-One-Get-One deals at the grocery store start to accumulate. You notice that your pantry mysteriously grew from a three-day supply to a three-week supply.

The key to lasting success is lasting.

Micro manage your preps

Prepping Kaizen is a strategy that takes your focus off the size of the tsunami and helps you do the little stuff (micro) to get you to safety. This approach is like taking your first step as an infant.

You learned locomotion one step at a time. You didn’t crawl up on the sofa arm and run sprints in diapers. You mastered walking first.

Most of you aren’t building a multi-million dollar corporation. But you can benefit from the kaizen model that rebuilt Japan.

Here’s how to get your Prepping Kaizen on.

  • Step 1: Start

Sometimes a tiny step is all it takes to build momentum and confidence for your journey. If all you see is the approaching tsunami, you’ll be tempted to just bend over and kiss it all good-bye. 

Stacy (new to prepping) drives home this point in her recent comment to me, “I feel more like I’m in a whirlpool!” She’s not alone. 

She and her husband have made the first step on their journey to self-reliance. They started with emergency water containers. Now she’s working on food storage. Her husband wants to know how to get 6 months of food storage. Simple answer: One bite at a time. Start buying extras of what you already eat. Before long, you’ll need to find creative ways to stash all this food – under beds, furniture, and other unlikely pantry spaces. 

  • Step 2: Stick to it

Now that you’ve taken the first step, pick an area you feel is most important and break it down into smaller steps. This is a very personalized process. Priorities are dependent on your individual scenario. If you live on property with fresh water springs, water storage won’t be as important to you as the family living in an arid climate.

With that being said, pick one area to improve and focus your energy and resources for one month on that priority prep. If it’s food storage, take conscious steps each week to improve this area. Having spent a month dedicated to the process of storing food, the remaining 11 months will become routine. You fix the kinks and streamline the process. This discipline will easily transfer to your next area of focus.

  • Step 3: Pick the low hanging fruit

This is how smart preppers apply Prepping Kaizen. Smart people pick the easy stuff first. The stuff that’s free, inexpensive, or readily available.

  • Buy an extra case of bottled water for 4 bucks
  • Do some bodyweight exercises – no expensive gym membership needed
  • Buy a 50 cent box of table salt
  • Read free ebooks on prepping and survival – knowledge weighs nothing
  • Never pass on Buy-One-Get-One deals
  • Save your pocket change in a jar to buy more preps – don’t trade in your nickels though
  • Become a yard sale junkie – chew on the hay and spit out the sticks.

Easy pickins give you immediate, tangible results. The foggy path to preparedness begins to clear and you grow more confident. So does your knowledge and skills. Build off this new-found confidence and pick the next area of improvement. How hard can it be?

  • Step 4: Ask why with an axe in your hand

Mistakes are not a sign to quit. They’re markers of what not to repeat. Even if you’ve been prepping for years, you make mistakes – sometimes stupid ones. I’ve made my share. Mistakes improve the process if we ask… why, why, why, why, why. 

Part of kaizen is asking 5 whys. There is always one root cause to every problem. Some issues won’t take 5 whys. Other may take more. Instead of dealing with the symptom, the 5 why method digs until you find the root. This forces you to stop the hurried Do-Do cycle and fix the real problem.

Try this. You notice the bottom of your tomatoes are developing brown, rotting spots on their bottoms:

  1. Identify the problem. That’s easy. The spots are visible. You’re green-thumbed neighbor tells you it’s blossom end rot.
  2. Identify the cause by asking, ‘why did this happen?’ Brainstorm all the possible causes.
  3. Write it down on paper. Insufficient calcium, not enough water, too much water, soil PH, etc.
  4. Ask why for each of the causes you’ve just identified. Ask 5 times per possible cause.
  5. Once you’ve identified the root cause – use your axe.

Was it the soil, minerals, or watering that’s destroying your fruit? Whatever it is, this process will help you lay an axe on the root cause. Armed with this knowledge and experience, you’ll make continual improvements to bear more fruit next growing season.

  • Step 5: Take Curly’s advice

If you’ve made it this far, you want to be better prepared. Keep in mind that you don’t have to ‘get there’ immediately. Making sweeping changes to your lifestyle is not a prerequisite to being more resilient, self-sufficient, or whatever it’s called these days.

Remember the scene from the movie City Slickers when Curly (Jack Palance) gives Mitch (Billy Crystal) his simple version of the meaning of life?

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?

Curly: This [as he holds up one finger]

Mitch: Your finger?

Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.

Mitch: But what is the ‘one thing?’

Curly: That’s what you have to find out. (smiles)

Figuring out your one thing is up to you. I don’t assume to know what you need. I’ll leave that to a fictitious cowboy. Curly wisdom maybe right in the movie…

But, if you want to be better prepared to face uncertain times, you have to do more than one thing. Lots of things actually – without freaking out.

You have to take that first step. Then another, and another, and another.

Maybe you’ve already gotten your fundamental preps in order. Congrats! Now take the next step and apply Prepping Kaizen through out your journey. You’ll notice steady improvement in quality and quantity over time.

You’ll be more prepared tomorrow than you are today.

Keep doing the stuff – one step at a time,

Todd

P.S. 

Did you find us from a link from a friend, or Twitter, or Pinterest? However you found us, we’re glad you here. Please feel free to share anything you find useful. All we ask is that you include the original line to this site. And comments are always welcome.

 

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

What To Do If The Nightmare Becomes Reality?

by Todd Walker

I’ve waited all day trying to decide to post this or not. I don’t know what to think. So I’m putting it out there.

Last night I woke up in a panic. “It was only a dream,” I told myself.

The dream was real.  But could the terror in my dream materialize? I’m not a mystic or prophetic, but I do believe we should pay attention to dreams … and even nightmares.

It’s unusual for me to remember the details of a dream. In this one, I was horrified. Sweating. Agony. I don’t ever remember utilizing all 5 senses in a dream. Last night I could smell, feel, hear, taste, and see the detailed devastation.

It was a dark night of the soul experience.

photo

TEOTWAWKI happened and I was caught with my pants down. Literally. It was like the scene from Schindler’s List where the Nazis were making their captives run around naked in the yard of the concentration camp. The older, weak, and less “useful” were sent to the furnace. Horrible!

The worst part about it was that I felt responsible somehow. I didn’t do enough.

DRG was ripped from my arms. Terror gripped me because I had no control. I couldn’t fight back the overwhelming numbers and force. “What would happen to our children, grandchildren, and expectant daughter-in-law,” I remember thinking.

Why am I sharing this miserable night? I’m not looking for an interpretation. The meaning is crystal clear to me.

Here’s what I took away from my twilight zone.

A.) Prepare now! You can take it as a warning or write it off as a dream from a crazy mind. Each of us are free to choose. The catch is that we can’t choose the consequences. Redouble your efforts in these areas.

  • Self-sufficiency skills. Increase your ability to acquire the basics – water, food, shelter, and security.
  • After the basics, begin to build resilience into systems like alternative energy, sustainable gardening/permaculture, and self-employment.

B.) Never give up your ability to defend yourself. Owning modern weaponry keeps the State in check, some what. Giving up your natural right to defend yourself from Enemies, Foreign and Domestic, leads to genocide. History is full of examples of the wholesale mass murder of disarmed subjects. Beware of lethal laws. Are you sure you’re not an enemy of the State? Are you on any lists?

C.) Build a strong relationship with your family, group, community, and God.

  • Find ways to add value.
  • Exchange value for value within your group and community.
  • Establish beneficial bartering relationships locally.

D.) Wake up. Don’t fall for the it-could-never-happen-here doublespeak. Read some history. Our government has engaged in civilian round-ups before… in the name of national security. And we willing traded liberty for security.

  • In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which permitted the military to circumvent the constitutional safeguards of American citizens in the name of national defense. Over 120,000 Americans of Japanese decent were forced to leave their homes, livelihoods, and families with the stroke of a pen. About half of these prisoners were children. Source
  • President Andrew Jackson signed the The Indian Removal Act of 1830 which forced Native Americans to relocate to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi. It was spun as voluntary, but always remember that government equals force. Over 100,000 people were forced to follow the Trail of Tears. 15,000 died on the journey. Source

We don’t have to have this kind of nightmare to jolt us into action. World events and the poly-ticks are evidence enough to shift your prepping into overdrive.

Was my dream just a nightmare or a premonition?

 

Categories: Preparedness, Resilience, Self-reliance, Survival, TEOTWAWKI | Tags: , , , , , | 7 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

Fear Built the Coffin, Are You Carrying the Shovel?

by Todd Walker

Preppers seem to be an intelligent, discerning bunch. They embrace individual responsibility, self-reliance, preparedness, and self-sufficiency. Very admirable traits indeed. My intention here is to shine some light on the foundation of many doomsday preppers – fear.

Grave digger removing a casket

All fear is not bad. It’s a gift in many cases that has been passed down ancestrally.

Fear of our future has motived many of us to change our lifestyle. Too much fear paralyzes. Picture your health. You’re chilling on the sofa after work with remote in hand – feeling fine physically. An ad from the Industrial Pharmaceutical Complex interrupts compelling you to take action (and their newest wonder drug – which may cause anal seepage). Hum, as the thought bubble forms. I do remember not being able to remember the name of my co-worker’s daughter’s husband. Is this the onset of …. [fill in the blank]. I can put up with a bit of seepage if that pill can help me.

Then there’s the pesky problem of information overload. We’re drowning in a tsunami of threats, boogeymen, four-horsemen hype that would make for a bad day – even for the most prepared. Anxiety and hand wringing in the corner or buying the latest shiny object seem to be our only hope of survival for our species. Negative news sells. Who tunes into a local newscast with stories of families that made it home safely for dinner? No one. We rubberneck to see the disconnected devastation and destruction on our idiot tubes. We want to have our fear – and be happy too.

But we have to stay informed on all the potential S hitting the fan, right? There’s better ways to stay informed than faux news. I try to find a happy medium – staying informed – without succumbing to anxiety-induced anal seepage.

Last year our family experienced our own genuine, personal SHTF scenario. This was not a drill or practice session. DRG’s life was on the line. Discounting or overlooking real threats to our families is just plain stupid. Minimizing our risk in this preparedness game is all we can do. The first step would be to prioritize what’s really likely to happen in our individual situation.

I’m not your typical prepper – whatever that term implies. I don’t own a single gas mask. I know the three minutes without air rule. It’s just that, in my estimation, owning a chemical suit and gas mask is not a priority for our family now. Would I buy one if I thought breathable air was in short supply? Yes. But for now, my priority is to fry bigger fish – like water and food.

Here’s the good news! We don’t have to watch fear-based TV news to stay informed. No more throwing remotes or shoes at the talking heads on your screen. Online alternative news sites are everywhere. User beware. Some prepping sites fall into the fear, doom and gloom category. I’ve found that I was guilty of this myself in the early stages of this blog – fanning the flames of fear drives web traffic. Again, look for information that offers practical advise and steps to living a more simple life. A lot of “non-prepping” sites offer excellent information. Meaning, surf outside the prepping wave pool. I’m always interested in other non “prepper” sites y’all ‘Commentistas’ have discovered. Please, do tell!

How do we avoid the coffin that fear built?

Put down the shovel and stop digging.

  • Relax. Take frequent breaks from the potential unknowns that keep you from sleeping. Health-destroying headlines top my list.
  • Turn off the TV. I use to be a news junkie. I’ve broken the addiction. I value my psychological health. Here’s a study that found that watching the news on television triggers persisting negative psychological feelings that could not be buffered by attention-diverting distraction (i.e., lecture), but only by a directed psychological intervention such as progressive relaxation.
  • Erase the hell-in-a-handbasket mindset. Bad stuff has happened in our time and to our ancestors – yet they prevailed.
  • Fire the worker bee in you. What if the secret to survival was to fire yourself? You’ve probably read the “What did you do to prep” threads on forums. If not, they’re easy to find. I sometimes get the impression that if you’re not doing something to prepare everyday that you’ll eventually get caught, um, unprepared. We have to escape the tyranny of the urgent – the daily grind. Well Mr. Knowitall, who’s going to do all that stuff ‘experts’ say are essential to survival? You will. But first, you must fire yourself. Go ahead. Step away form the food dehydrator. You could use the break, right? Take a weekend off to concentrate on your long-term plan. Act like a CEO, not a worker bee. Then, step-by-step, begin implementing your plan. Scurrying around full of fear is unproductive.
  • Focus on the main thing. Every trivial “news worthy” event has side-track potential. Your main thing may not be my main thing. Discover yours and focus your energy there.

What’s the next pandemic? I don’t know, and frankly, don’t care. Viewing life through the lens of fear shapes our future. Sadly, a lot is written in prepperdom that reinforces the panic-stricken mindset. My job is to decide what’s worth my time and energy. Standing over my coffin of fear with a shovel and dirty hands is not an option for me. Fear not.

How about you?

If you’ve found this helpful, please share it with your it with your family and friends. 

Also, if you’re on Twitter, you can Follow me for the latest on our journey to self-reliance, preparedness, and resilient living: @SurvivalSherpa

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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