Posts Tagged With: homesteading

When Disaster Strikes

I’ve posted before about being prepared for emergencies. Sometimes, those emergencies involve having to get out of town. Whether it’s an emergency like “oh my gosh my friend just called and can’t use her concert tickets in the next state, let’s go!” or “oh god, my mom just called and my dad had a heart attack,” you need to be prepared to get a move on and be able to live comfortably, for no matter how long you’ll be gone.

I’m not gonna lie: I woke up to the news that something very scary had happened in politics. I’m literally afraid of what the next few weeks and months are going to bring. I’m not an idiot, I’m not afraid of the actual office of the President because there are checks and balances and a Constitution to abide by (no matter how much many politicians want to pretend that’s not true). But I am very afraid of what’s going to happen among the more rabid followers who see the election as license to act on the hatred that fueled them throughout these past months–on both sides of the aisle, mind you.

So I’m writing this from the safety of the woods! My kids and I took a mental health day and we’re enjoying nature, while there’s still any left (sorry, couldn’t resist taking a stab at one party’s views on the environment!). We’re avoiding social media, we’re staying away from the people who are boasting, we’re avoiding the people who are only going to get louder in their outcries and arguments. We’re resting peacefully in wilderness while the rest of the world burns, all because we keep our gear ready to go at all times.

Before you start to wonder just how unstable I might be–and I’ve had to swear before that I’m not a deranged prepper!–the real lesson here is being ready for any possible scenario. It doesn’t have to be the end of the world, it just means being able to get your act together and do something that you need to do. Again, it could be that once-in-a-lifetime trip to see something amazing, or it could be a family crisis that requires you to drop everything and go far from home. Preparedness is the thing that makes those situations possible.


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I Wouldn’t Exactly Say We’re “Preppers”…

But if the homemade silent-trek stalk boots fit… just kidding.

Being outdoorsy is great. We have a lot of fun, we can vacation for pretty cheap, and we’ve got enough gear to see us through just about any kind of crisis. But when people throw out the word “prepper” as though you have to stockpile ammunition and adjust your tinfoil hat to be part of that crowd, I admit I cringe a little.

There’s nothing wrong with “prepping,” since it really just means being prepared. Yes, if your prepping hobby starts to interfere with your grasp on reality, you probably need help. But if your interest in preparedness doesn’t extend beyond making sure you keep a few rechargeable lanterns, a well-stocked first aid kit, and knowing how to purify water in the event of a disaster, you’re probably still sitting on this side of normal.

Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with studying up on a few survival techniques. If it makes you feel safer to carry a hook, some fishing line, and a homemade bobber when you go out on the water, then go for it. If you can’t leave shore without a system to harvest liquid water from the air, you might need to read some statistics and understand just how safe you are.

I will admit this much: learning some of the same methods that “preppers” and “homesteaders” use is actually really interesting. Reading a few homesteading survival guides will give you not only a keen sense of what it took to survive in the olden days, but also arm you with a little bit of back-of-your-mind knowledge for those unexpected situations. Do YOU know how to make a natural deodorant out of oil, corn starch, and flower petals? See, I didn’t think so. But homesteaders do!

The most important thing any outdoors family can do is to understand what the viable threats are, and know how to prepare for them. Knowing how to build your own life raft is cool…if you’re actually in danger of being stranded on an island. Those of us in landlocked states are still trying to figure out the deodorant, thanks.

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