Author Topic: What's your prep "focus"?  (Read 27324 times)

Offline flagtag

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #30 on: November 05, 2008, 09:46:22 AM »
Another possibility for those who don't want a firearm would be a Bow and some Arrows.  While still somewhat dangerous (deadly) they would be safer around children and more acceptable to family, friends, and neighbors.  Better than pepper spray or nothing.

GroundPounder

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #31 on: November 05, 2008, 09:51:11 AM »
They are a pretty stealthy weapon (in terms of noise).  A little hard to conceal carry though!  ;D

Offline flagtag

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2008, 09:41:12 AM »
VERY baggy pants?   ;D

Offline DarkEyes

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #33 on: November 06, 2008, 05:48:52 PM »
A blade of any sort never needs reloading.

Offline Mrs. ElyasWolff

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #34 on: November 06, 2008, 11:46:11 PM »
It is a lot easier to get dinner with a rifle than a knife or a bow though. And the knife still needs to be sharpened and arrows break... not sure how easy arrows are to make Im sure it can be done though. Myself, I prefer to reload ammo for food though archery is very appealing.

Offline Conductor71

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #35 on: November 07, 2008, 07:52:27 AM »
We basically got into prepping about mid-July.  The economy was really showing signs of tanking so we started a slow run on our bank. I heard about bug out bags and 72 hour kits so I did a search on the internet and that's how I found Jack's podcasts.  Once we started listening we really started prepping with what Dave Ramsey (the finance guy) calls "Gazelle-like Intensity" aka "The Fear of God" (as in, "I'm a Gazelle and this lion's gonna eat me unless I can outmaneuver him with my gazelle-like intensity").  The one thing we learned from Y2K was that buying stuff you weren't going to use in your everyday life was a bad idea for the most part.

We started with my husband's safety so we got him a rolling bug out bag backpack.  He works in downtown Chicago and having both been downtown (me two blocks from the Sears Tower) on 911, really opened my eyes about how important it is to act quickly and decisively in "out of the ordinary" situations.  On the way to meeting my husband that day, I stopped and took out a couple of hundred bucks -- just in case things got weird.  I'll never forget how that idea just came to me as I was no prepper before then.

We did the run on our bank and stopped on our debt paydown momentarily and started at home on food and water storage and rotation.  It's difficult because we live in a teeny apartment but it has really caused me to clean and reorganize the place from top to bottom (man where did all those spiderwebs come from -- and when did I outgrow all of these clothes ;))... Once we got our place done well enough for a couple of months, we started on my mother's.  (We even have her listening to Jack's podcasts) She's good now and we just got everything for the car (including two more bug out bags).

Got into silver a month or so ago -- just buying some American Silver Eagles (for way too much money) and was able to transfer my IRA into a American Gold Eagle holding account.  It's taken a couple of months of prepping like a wildwoman (thanks in large part to some slush money I had stashed in my checking account over the year).  Fortunately, I think we're pretty well done on the food prep for now -- which is good because I think my husband was starting to get antsy about all the outlay for food, shortwaves, flashlights and stuff (although I have my eye on a steam canner ;)) and somewhere along the way we stocked up on clothes and shoes.  We start arms training in January with a certified instructor.  Now we'll be focusing more on replacing my slush fund, debt paydown and saving (as in Ramsey's steps 2 & 3) to get that 3-6 months of savings.

Thanks for your posts everyone -- it's good to be part of a community of thoughtful preppers who although they are preparing, aren't giving up their regular lives.  I've tried to subtly mention stuff to people I work with (like, hmmm with all of this weirdness going on, might not be a bad idea to have some cash and extra food around eh?) but they just look at me blankly.  Some have even said that the whole economy thing is all okay now (what?! no, I'm serious!)  We tried to mention it to my in-laws and they said there's no way there could EVER be a run on the bank.  (The didn't live in this country during the depression but one of them actually worked at a bank for like 30 years.) My husband just shot me a look like "forget it, there's no talking to them". 


coffecat

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2008, 07:23:56 PM »
Looks like I better focus this week on baby stuf.  Daughter had a boy - adorable - and broke her tailbone in delivery.  I saw her baby formula cans in the closet but it won't go all that far.  She is not able to get up on her own and we have to have someone there all the time.  For myself I need  odd stuff.  Need to get juice stocked for 2 children and am worried about my neighbors - young family hard working nice 2 boys but no worries about prep. I guess we shouldn't worry so about other people but I sure can't sit around and watch others starve. Read some on this site about trade goods and need to give that some sincere thought.   Read somewhere in this site that some thought had gone to prepping clothing which I think we have a tendency to forget. C.

Offline DarkEyes

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #37 on: November 10, 2008, 06:55:13 PM »
With my last child, I got lots and lots of diapers--probably 10 or 15 packages.  I foolishly thought I would never run out.  Congratulations on the new baby.  I hope your daughter is up and at 'em soon.

Offline susan1957

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #38 on: November 12, 2008, 07:56:36 AM »
Working on a garden calendar for my zone. Christmas survival.  If you have kids right now childrenswearhouse.com has Gildan sweatshirts for 2.50 all sizes.  I stocked up for the kids and will applique some on them for Christmas.  They also have great buys on School uniforms if you need some.
Getting Extra Vitamin C in the family to ward off colds and flu after already going through one round.  Our new motto...Zicam is our friend.  Taking a tip from the President...forcing them to use a squirt of hand sanitizer.


edibleyards

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #39 on: November 12, 2008, 06:50:37 PM »
I replied about the yard a while back, but I don't even see it on here now. Am I missing something? I didn't want y'all to think I didn't reply!

Kara

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #40 on: November 13, 2008, 06:14:05 AM »
Hey Edibleyards,

You did post about it, but it was in another thread in the Lady Survivor's forum. There is a whole thread about edible landscaping in the gardening section (under permaculture) too though, if you are interested.

:)

edibleyards

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2008, 01:43:09 PM »
Doh! I'm just a little confused. I was trying to do too many things at once!

And if I haven't already posted on this topic, I will say my prep focus is probably gardening and actually learning to cook food. Years ago, I was primarily a consumer of mostly prepared stuff, and really didn't grow up knowing much about whole food. So preparing whole foods has been a really major area I have focused on.

At this point, I am kind of focusing on earning money, because in that respect we are in sort of a SHTF situation right now! I also have been focusing since September on learning to play the mandolin, and I mention it here because, though it is not necessarily "prep" per se, it will be useful as entertainment when there's no electric. I have often ignored the creative aspects of life, and one day I heard this voice in my head that said, "You need to learn to play a couple of chords today. The time is now." I decided to listen to it instead of answering back with "No, I need to earn money, because that's more important. No time for fun and games." I see, though, that it opens me up to my full humanity and I can be more productive working because of it. It doesn't take time away, it adds to my life, and that makes it important, even though it may not be considered the highest priority. Does that make sense? I wish I'd known that lesson long ago, but at least I got it now!

So it doesn't sound like prep exactly, but for some reason, the mandolin is a prep focus for me. If for nothing else but to have that creative outlet to turn to when times are difficult.

This got a little long all of a sudden! : )

Kara

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2008, 07:50:08 PM »
That makes perfect sense, Edibleyards. Learning to play an instrument not only gives you a creative outlet, but you can possible trade that skill, or the ability to teach that skill to another person, for something you need if TSHFT. A skill is a skill, and there's always someone looking for something they can't do for themselves...you just never know. It makes me wish that I had kept up my piano and guitar playing... I've not touched either in years.

Offline DarkEyes

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #43 on: November 14, 2008, 09:53:41 PM »
I have been buying instruments on www.shopgoodwill.com.  So far, we have a violin, a trumpet, bongo drums, 3 guitars, a flute, a clarinet, some sort of a long chili pepper looking thing that is supposed to be some kind of percussion instrument, a tamborine, 2 harmonicas, and a keyboard.  I learned to play the piano as a child, and rusty doesn't even describe how it sounds when I play now.  BUT, I still remember basic chords, and how to read music.  My son and I taught ourselves how to play the harmonica on a trip to our bug out location with a "how to" CD.  I can jam pretty well with Toby Keith now.  I want to get other how to CD's and books so that if we are stuck in for a while, we can pass the time doing something constructive.  My grandaughter plays the violin, and she is now working on the flute and french horn. (at school)  My husband has art supplies.

Kara

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #44 on: November 15, 2008, 09:06:56 AM »
Wow! +1 for such good entertainment prep! That's something I think people forget about, is how we will keep ourselves amused after TSHTF.   ;D

Offline DarkEyes

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #45 on: November 15, 2008, 11:08:37 AM »
I would like to learn how to knit, bought sceins of yarn and needles, but alas, it seems I am all thumbs. I guess in a shtf deal though, it wouldn't matter if one sleeve was longer or wider than the other.

Kara

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #46 on: November 15, 2008, 11:30:35 AM »
Dark Eyes, have you tried crochet? The directions can be really cryptic, but once you learn all the basic stitches, you can make your own blankets and stuff without a pattern. I tried knitting, but it is just too slow compared to crochet, and I just can't stand the clicking sound. Crochet is SO much easier and faster than knitting...at least imho.

I found a couple of basic crochet tutorials on You Tube that might be helpful:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w45qDIM5S9Y

Offline DarkEyes

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #47 on: November 16, 2008, 06:40:57 AM »
It's early and I thought you meant "Croquet".  I actually haven't tried crochet, that's a great idea, and thanks for the link to the how to video. Plus 1 on the Karma.

Kara

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Re: What's your prep "focus"? (Crochet)
« Reply #48 on: November 16, 2008, 09:35:42 AM »
Thanks, Dark Eyes...I hope you have lot of success with it. Be patient with yourself though, and don't give up too soon.

What I like best about crochet is, after you get practiced at it, you can almost go on auto pilot and make blankets while watching tv, or sitting around with friends. It's gotten to the point with me that I have a hard time sitting still without something in my hands. I've made blankets, bags, pillow toppers, doilies...all sorts of things. Right now I am making an afghan out of a two color, large granny square as a wedding gift for a friend.

And, if you lose your crochet hook in a SHTF scenario, you can always pick up a stick and carve yourself a new one as long as you have a means to sand it down to make it smooth. Sandpaper...another thing to stow a way. Good thing it's flat!!

If you, or anyone else, have questions about crochet, please let me know and I'll do my best to help out. It's really a useful skill.

Honorbound

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #49 on: November 28, 2008, 12:32:42 PM »
I've focused on food storage and Whole Food Preperation for quite a while now, and it's resulted in our discovery of the lost arts of homemaking, which we have thouroughly enjjoyed.  We've been grinding our own grains, baking and eating fresh and in season more and more.  I've been able to focus alot on herbal and alternative medicine as well and have enjoyed the learning process.  Right now though we have gaping holes in the area of NBC preperation so I'm turning my energies toward that in reading as much as I can.  We can't dig here without hitting water, so I'm putting things away for expedient sheltering in place should the need arise.

Offline susan1957

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #50 on: January 29, 2009, 10:47:57 AM »
My new prep focus is work.  I am unemployed now so I'm working on doing what ever I can to find a job and get out of debt.  I had the food put up, and I had the meds worked out.  Thought everything was going great then I lost my job so now my focus is to make the best use of what unemployment I get and find a job.  My focus then will be applying every dime to savings, and paying off my house. 

Offline TXChikk

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #51 on: January 29, 2009, 12:00:53 PM »
Definitely growing and storing my own food and acquiring more water storage containers. While I am busy adding other necessary items (guns and bullets  ;)) my real focus is on the basics, food, water & shelter. I credit this forum and podcast with helping put the nagging necessities in perspective behind the important ones. I am working on debt and thank goodness I have very little consumer debt, the biggest part of my debt is from student loans so eliminating that will be my next major focus along with guns and bullets  ;)

Offline BigDanInTX

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #52 on: January 29, 2009, 01:39:57 PM »
Because my children are very young, my focus is on the Bug-In.  Work on building up a good store of food and water, provide a means of replenishing our stores (garden and filtering), knowing how to prepare what we're storing, and building up my personal supply of firearms and ammunition just in case.

Offline krymsonowl

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #53 on: February 02, 2009, 09:02:15 PM »
I think I got into prepping when I was 19 and had a baby with my husband overseas in Vietnam.  I had a grand total of $20 a month to buy groceries for her and myself.  Most of the $20 went for her food and milk and the bit left over was for me.  I had enough to buy a jar of peanut butter and one of jam & a couple of loaves of bread and maybe a bag of rice or a box of barley.  Things were cheaper then.  I would take a walk to the butcher's and ask for dog bones (they were free back then).  I would come home and boil them up for broth and add the rice or barley.  After a year of that it made me a bit frugal and I felt a need to have a stock pile of food in case something like that happened again.  It helped over the years and now that I am alone, kids grown, I still prep.  I do worry now that I am alone and have no family near, but things in life do change, so perhaps I should not get to comfortable and keep on prepping.

Offline sassiesmom

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Re: What's your prep "focus"? (Crochet)
« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2009, 12:06:07 PM »

And, if you lose your crochet hook in a SHTF scenario, you can always pick up a stick and carve yourself a new one as long as you have a means to sand it down to make it smooth. Sandpaper...another thing to stow a way. Good thing it's flat!!



Thanks for that hint.... +1!!  I love crocheting rather than knitting, I just could never get into the two needles thing!  But you're so right....once you get a rhythm going, you can go and go and go!  I made a king-sized afghan for our bed...took a long time working at it a bit at a time, but it's nice to have the extra blanket.  Have made scarfs, baby blankets, etc...haven't really tried my hand at wearables, but if need be, I think I could follow a pattern.


« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 12:48:06 PM by Sister Wolf »

Offline sassiesmom

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2009, 12:14:28 PM »
My prep focus has changed over the past several months...at first it was to get a BOB going for each of us (dh and 16 yo dd).  In the past, we had always just gone to the store and bought whatever we saw we wanted....but ended up using credit way too much and have accumulated a hefty debt load.  DH lost his job in January and was off work for about a month...just started with a new shop 2 weeks ago thank goodness....but it really taught me a tough lesson about how we spent our money and how much we really DON'T need.  At least because of all our spending (and hunting) we had a deep freeze full of meat and meals....and a pantry that could sustain us fairly well for a while.  Now that DH is back working...I'm going to get back to paying down our debt and NOT go back to my old spending habits.  We also have some assets that we will be liquidating (hopefully!) and will use that to help pay down the debts.

So after this long post..I guess our focus now is getting out of debt!!
 ;)

Offline ebonearth

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #56 on: February 15, 2009, 07:59:26 PM »
My prep focus is really just every facet of prep. admittedly I have made a lot more progress in some areas more than others. In fact, prep trumps almost everything else right now as the upcoming move (yay!) means I don't have to worry about employment outside of the home until things get settled near the end of next month. Well I worry but I would rather have my domestic infrastructure setup before another job keeps me so busy I can't work on being as prepared as I would like.

Now in no particular order:
  • Homestead and Fuel - Moving to my workable BOL means a lot more security for the household. Getting the new home ready is taking up a lot of energy now as it needs a little more work before we can fully relocate at the end of the month. The barn needs to be cleaned out and assessed, repairs need to be made, scrap must be removed, and the house needs to be insulated. That's a lot of work! I need to apply for the State Land Firewood program in the hopes of getting one of the lottery bids. Short Term Goal: Move in. I know it seems simple but seriously, closing on a foreclosure in this market means banks are so inundated they can't seem to do anything right. Then again that is probably one of the many reasons the economy is in the shape it is in. When that gets done, putting in the new basement oil tank, a secure bin for the propane tank and a remote surveillance system for the perimeter.
  • Farmland and Gardening - There is a lot left to discover in this category, especially since it will be my first time tilling some of the most fertile soil in the US and I haven't done much outside of container gardening in years. I am erecting a greenhouse early next month which means I am getting a bit of a late start in the garden but that can't be helped. I will probably focus on plants that prefer to be set in the ground after the last frost just so I have more time. I already built my square foot gardening boxes although I will probably work on another five more, making a total of ten. I am also plotting to turn the back of the lot, which is thankfully protected by woods and my neighbor's small warehouse into an orchard. I am probably most behind in this but it is what I am spending a lot of energy catching up on these days. I really need to get my seed order in! Short Term Goal: Get seed and tree order in, clear out the established kitchen garden plot and build the greenhouse.
  • Livestock and Animals - We just got our bird dog, a French Brittany, from a local pheasant hunter about a month ago. Before long we'll be taking him out to get him accustomed to hunting and hopefully he'll keep pointing as he already has been. Eventually, I would like to get a Maremma Sheepdog when we get our flock but that in at least a year away, since getting a dog without a flock is rather pointless. Our goal is to have a the chicken coop repaired and stocked by the end of March, a rabbit hutch in time for post-Easter bunny castoffs, and place for pigs by midsummer. I would like to specialize in raising squab and quails in time but at least for spring and summer I have enough on my plate. Short Term Goal: Get chicken production up and running.
  • Financial - I've been pretty diligent about clearing out all of my personal debt and other than an old student loan, everything else has been eradicated one way or another. I keep no credit cards and prefer it that way although I may have to work on getting a secured one to bump my credit score, I just hate credit. I need to reallocate my retirement accounts for this volatile economic climate and that must be done this month. I want to work on growing my collection of junk silver as I missed the last dip, this has probably been the hardest part, that and building my savings as I have been pumping all of my funds into getting the house and stocking up. I need to learn more barter-friendly skills still. Short Term Goal: Continue clearing my student loan and develop a 3-mo nest egg
  • Medical - I ran down my 12-month prescription stockpile down to 2 months because I was literally sitting on expensive almost expired medicine. So I used almost all of it up and now I can build it back up again. Thankfully, I have a great relationship with my urban physician who lets me stock up and occasionally hands me piles of drug samples. I want to get a nice emergency medical cabinet setup before the end of the year with serious supplies (minor surgical equipment, several childbirth kits, medicine, syringes and such) but that will require some serious dedication on my part. Down the road I would like to get a twin murphy bed setup but that can double as an infirmary when it's not a guest bed. Short Term Goal: 12 months of Rx, BLS kit, make a stockpile of cravat bandages and an AED.
  • Food and Drink - Food Storage for me is key. Now that we are relocating to somewhere more remote I need to stockpile more dry goods. While I have some already I want to extend past the 90 day mark to get to 12mo. by the end of the summer. I am still learning how to make preserves and canning, so this growing season will only be my second attempt at it but at least this time I will have more space for my practice efforts. I learned how to make homemade ginger ale and root beer as well as mead and beer and desire to work on my efforts within a month of moving into the new place. I need to work on my dehydrating efforts again as it is excellent for storing harvest surplus and found food. Also, I joined the local food foragers who know a lot more about finding wild greens and mushrooms and I look forward to learning more from them. Short Term Goal: Get my LTFS to 180 days. Brew my first batch of ale at the homestead.
  • Weaponry & Protection - This is the one department where I am completely out of my depth. I took the Hunter's Education course and got my license but have gone no further. The challenge here is trying to make progress when no woman I know locally shares my desire, in fact every woman I know is totally anti-gun which is sad but regrettably a sign of the times. Short term Goal: Educate myself more and get a shotgun. The rest will have to come with practice and a CCW permit.


amberwolf

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #57 on: February 25, 2009, 02:31:57 PM »
Learning how to cook on a woodstove with iron skillets is a never ending learning experience, I try to incorporate a different meal each time I do. I just used a small dutch oven for the first time last month, the dutch ovens with the inverted lid in order to place the hot coals on top. I made biscuits in it which wasn't as perfect as the electric oven but with practice I know they will surpass soon.
This fall I cut most of the flowering yarrow and put them in paper lunch sacks hanging the sacks from a small clothes line until they dried. Now I have plenty of yarrow for making herbal tea for female regulation, and I did work out a nice little trade with some of it for blue pumpkin seeds that will planted this year.
I think its important to share what's grown with the community, around here we do trading of veggies all the time and having the heirloom is really a great one that everyone seems to want such as the Cherokee purple tomato, they are very tasty and will come up again year after year if you leave a few to rot on the vine. I started this the first year we moved here in 2004 and since then at least ten different gardeners will bring in stuff to trade, so not only is it good for self its getting the whole community involved in something our ancestors once did for self-sustenance.
The one thing that has been pressing on my mind though for the past few years is cooking food without it emanating smells for miles. Anyone starving will try any means to get that food from you, I picture in my mind a group of individuals. I think also of standing in line at a fast food place during lunch and how unnerving some people - who have been hungry for just a few hours- and think what if it had been days without food for them- how will they react to what smells your food is producing. I read up on tagines, they are a sealed cookware that would good to cook in in such a situation and also pit fires. Has anyone else thought of these things also.
   

Offline flagtag

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #58 on: February 26, 2009, 10:03:03 AM »
Right now, my prep focus is on trying to get my truck's tranny rebuilt as still being able to get one of those "evil, black, "assult weapons" before they are banned.  (Bleeping tranny!  >:( )  Can't get what I want (AR-10), so will have to go with something cheaper.  (A kiss my big fat fanny, Obama! message)

PeaceChicken

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Re: What's your prep "focus"?
« Reply #59 on: February 26, 2009, 11:26:04 AM »
I've only been "doing this" for about a month and a half, so I'm still learning a lot and realizing how much more there is to left to know. I scanned through the LDS Preparedness Manual and was instantly overwhelmed. I can't afford nor do I have space for all the things they think a family should have for a year. I finally decided they're at the far end of the Survivalist spectrum and I don't need to aim for where they are. I'm trying to live more simply, so I will never need to complete a 3+ pg. checklist of materials in order to feel prepared. People talk about getting livestock and bug out land, etc. and there is just NO way I can do that at this point in my life. Those are long-term goals, of course, but not realistic for me now.

That being said -- I am doing what I consider to be a fair amount of prepping within my current means. I'm trying to take small steps and be as well-rounded with them as possible. Mostly working towards getting a month's worth of food and water stored, which I think I'm at now, yay! I'm also planning my first summer garden (small but organic), working on my firearm skills, getting myself healthier, paying down debt, etc. I try to do a little each day to lessen the amount of dependence I have on the many systems to which we're enslaved.

Jack is good to remind us that in our heads we're thinking of the absolute worst-case scenario and always coming up short in readiness for that, when it's more likely that something smaller-scale will come up before then. As I stand now, I could handle another big Ohio ice storm, or a month of martial law and bugging in, and that's more than a lot of people can say. I try to find some confidence in that, realizing I'm not as far along as many people here on this forum, but even so, I'm doing better than a lot of Americans. And every day I do a little more and a little more, growing my independence one small step at a time.