If you were to log onto the internet and look up “Prepper” and “Prepping,” you’d be completely swamped with endless links to blogs, website stores, and beyond. It can get a little overwhelming, and I’m certainly overwhelmed. One thing I noticed at many of these blogs is that the preppers would say that you need to prep for what you need specifically. Prepping in Utah would look different than say prepping in Alaska. Different geographical locations have different climates and therefore different needs to prepare for. And also when looking at this through an intersectional lens, different identities and bodies have very specific needs on top of the basic necessities (which to people like us are basic necessities too).
After spending a couple weeks skimming and scouring the many tubes of the interwebs I decided to go to my local bookstore and see if I could find a form of tangible media. I picked up a copy of Backwoods Home magazine because it had the perfect article for someone in my situation: a very concise guide of beginning prepping and prepping on a budget.
In the article, Prioritizing Preparedness when Money is Tight, Patrice Lewis points out that there is so much more to being prepared than storing away a few 5 gallon buckets of beans. The writer breaks it down to their analogy of a three-legged stool: Supplies, Skills/knowledge, and community. Each leg of the stool is equally important—with out one the whole stool will fall apart! This really spoke to me and reminded me of the Feminist Ethics of Care which involve the 3 C’s: Community, Communication, and Collaboration.
In a previous issue of (#133 Backwoods Home), Lewis wrote about what they call:
The Core Area’s of Preparedness
There are more to it than that but this is a nice template to work from. This list is the kind of template to look at when it comes to the supplies side of the prepping stool. Lewis also warns about focusing too much on supplies because then that could neglect the other legs of the stool:
“Beginning preppers, faced with a plethora of competing information can quickly reach circuit overload. They freak and conclude the only way to solve the problem is to go out and buy stuff,”(Lewis 15). Oh man, did this speak to me! This is exactly where I was sitting at the other day. Lewis gives the reader two ‘secret weapons’ to combat this kind of overload: A Wish List and a Master Plan.
I’ve been putting together a wish list on a private list on Amazon.com. The sky is the limit when it comes to the wish list. There’s nothing wrong with dreaming.
I’m making a wishlist full of supplies needed and also a wishlist for skills/knowledge I wish to learn.
When it comes to having a Master Plan I realized that I need to have more than one plan.
- Prepping for present needs
- Prepping for natural disasters (72hr prep)
- Prepping for future
- Bug Out Bag
- Get Out Of Dodge Bag
Skills I want to learn
- Medicinal Herbs
- Gardening in cold climates/hydroponics
- Food preservation/fermenting/canning/dehydrating
- Knife Throwing
- Martial Arts/Self-defense
- Map reading/drawing
- Star navigation
- Rough Shelter building
- Basic First Aid
This list will continue to grow.
I was feeling discouraged earlier because I don’t have all the financial means to prep the way I want. However, after reading that Backwoods Home article, I feel more empowered. There are so many ways of preparing. I’m smart and capable of figuring things out. Just because I don’t have the means to buy the biggest gun, best water filtration system, or off the grid underground bunker, doesn’t mean that I can’t survive just as good, if not better. Learning self-reliant skills are vital in the times we are living in now. I have all the information I need at my fingertips thanks to the internet and an incredible resource at the community library. I definitely plan on learning more basic HandyMan skills. Job insecurity due to where I live, discrimination, and also my health issues make it extremely difficult to work a ‘normal’ person job. For the last couple years I’ve been making up for that by doing odd-jobs for friends/family and other folks in the community. I’ve painted fences, mowed lawns, fixed shingles, and this winter I’m shoveling snow. I’d like to learn more fix-it skills so that I can be the go-to guy around here, and that means more money for groceries and prepping.
I was thinking that what I really want to get out of all of this is to be fully self-sufficient and reliant. I want my backyard to be my grocery store and pharmacy. I want to be able to grow and make things myself, not so much as depend on going out and buying everything. I want to craft it. If I know how to do it then I will never run out of what I need because I will always find a way.
I will go more in depth in a later post about my planning and strategies.
“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou