When I first started this blog it was mainly about how we were trying to lead a more self-reliant lifestyle. Chickens, gardening, and old-timey skills were always on the menu!
We’re nowhere near doomsday preppers, but we do recognize that stuff happens and it’s good to be prepared with common sense, skills, and a few supplies on hand. This is just how people lived before our lives were overtaken (and in many ways improved) by modern conveniences.
Over the last couple years we have had some major life changes and let our level of common sense preparedness slip right along with our level of organization.
When the new baby came (Can you believe she’s already THREE?!) and I left my job we adjusted to the smaller budget and lower energy by dipping into our food storage, and even some of our emergency supplies. (Why hello, paper plates, yes I would like to use you rather than wash dishes tonight!)
Then we added homeschooling. Planning and adjusting to that new norm dominated my mental energy for a long time.
Now the dust from all those big changes is mostly settled and we’re ready to put preparedness back into the rotation for 2018 by boning up our skills, knowledge, and supplies.
KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
The nice thing about knowledge and skills is that once you have them, all it takes to keep them up is a little practice.
The nice thing about country living is that it gives you lots of opportunity to practice those useful everyday and survival skills like building fires, food preservation, gardening and scratch cooking.
Even so, it doesn’t hurt to add a class or tutorial to the line up and learn something new. This year I’m going to focus more on outdoor skills including target practice (archery, pistol, and rifle) orienteering, and intensive gardening.
I’d also like to improve our game processing skills by watching some tutorials, and gleaning knowledge from (and offering to help) our more skilled neighbors!
Since the supplies are what took the biggest hit when our preparedness took a back burner these past couple years we’re going to start by restocking our 72 Hour Kit. This is really just a few basic items you might need to get you through minor emergencies like a big storm or a power outage.
FEMA recommends three days of supplies, but we’ve all watched enough news to know that you need more than that for more serious disasters that do happen every year. That’s why we try to have a deep pantry, including some home canned, dried, and commercially packaged long term storage foods.
Obviously I can’t blow the budget by doing a big one-stop shopping trip for this stuff, so I’ll start by taking an inventory and then plan to add a case of this or that to our regular grocery shopping trips.
I rarely buy anything for storage that isn’t part of our regular eating habits, but I do try to have a can or two of freeze dried dairy products (cheese sauce, milk, butter, etc) on the shelf. I use them occasionally so that the family is accustomed to them, but mainly they are just for the horrifyingly dystopian possibility that our cheese and butter supply might be interrupted by a disaster some day!
Physically we could endure it. But our souls would die a little.
Aside from the pantry we’ve taken a hit in the first aid and emergency lighting departments.
The “sexy” first aid items have held out, mainly because they are for real emergencies which we thankfully haven’t had. But at one point last summer, I asked myself why I even bothered putting the basic First Aid kit away between ouchies.
Burning through Band-Aids is just the price of having outdoorsy kids, and I’m 100% willing to bear it. I’d rather have kids who pilfer my supplies and get scraped up on adventures than couch potatoes who only burn through remote batteries. (although they do dabble in couch potatory if we’re honest)
Speaking of the little pilferers, I might be able to find a flashlight if the power were to go out right now. That’s a big might, and and even bigger might that the batteries would be good. For the longest time we had two headlamps hanging from the same hook as my aprons in the kitchen.
That was a good system while it lasted, but now that the kids can reach said hook our handy lights are MIA. In addition to locating and replacing batteries in the flashlights we do have I’d like to get some solar recharging ambient lights. My neighbor has several Luci lamps and they are super durable, and give a decent light for basic tasks.
The last preparedness issue we need to correct this year is to replace our water storage containers. We have always loved Aqua-tainer water storage jugs, (I shared why here) but we’ve had one crack each of the past two summers leaving us short on stored water.
Thankfully they both cracked while we had them out on camping trips, and not while they were in our basement. The remainder of our jugs still look good, but I’d like to replace them before they blow out leaving us high and dry. I’m happy to hear your recommendations!
In addition to correcting the above issues I’m using The Survival Mom’s FREE 2018 Prepping Planner. It’s an easy-to-follow calendar of two or three small, common sense steps you can take each week toward being better prepared to handle whatever life throws at you.
No bunker necessary!
What are some small things you could do to be ready to face life’s challenges confidently?
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