Author Topic: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective  (Read 1789 times)

Offline IKN

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Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« on: February 15, 2020, 10:36:25 AM »
What hobbies do you have that you have found to benefit your preparations ?

For instance, I have two that I'm finding invaluable.
The first is my small, hobby metal working shop. Having the ability to design and make items that are expensive or unavailable to order/buy.
While it's a fairly expensive hobby to get into, it can and does have the ability to create an income stream doing work for others or making and selling items.
I've also made sure my equipment is able to be powered from a small generator if it becomes necessary.

The other is Open Source Electronics. Platforms such as Arduino, TI MSP Launchpad, and Raspberry Pi along with the multitude of electronic sensors, motion control devices, and many others components allow for the possibility of custom controls, monitoring, or other needs.
Not growing up with computers, I'm still trying to learn code writing, but this has many possible advantages much like my metalworking hobby.

Hunting, fishing, and gardening are 3 other hobbies that come to mind for obvious reasons, but I found myself wondering what other hobbies people had that benefitted their prepper/homesteading life-style ?

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2020, 05:15:37 PM »
Funny, I was going to start a similar thread.

I'm also a fan of electronics.  I have a couple Arduinos, but haven't have the time to play around with them.  But I do make various projects out of Raspberry Pi computers.

Along with this, I just got a 3D printer.  I know that most people make a bunch of decorative junk.  I stick to useful stuff.  I've printed a many cases for various electronics projects.  A bench power supply case that I haven't built yet, but uses an ATx power supply.  Multiple different sized boxes to make Harbor Freight storage boxes more useful for my uses.  A replacement handle for a spatula we use often.  Multiple little bits and pieces to use in the camper.  Lots of parts to make the 3D printer more user friendly and efficient.

So far, the most useful has been a power supply that uses my Ryobi batteries to supply 5V USB or up to 18V via banana plug.

I have yet to get into designing via CAD, but it's just a matter of time before I do that.

Offline IKN

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2020, 05:37:03 PM »
I haven't ventured into 3D printing yet. It seems like something I should try eventually for making custom project boxes or other parts.
I'd be interested to hear what type of printer you have and your thoughts on it or others you're familiar with.

I occasionally use the free 2D CAD program from eMachineshop (https://www.emachineshop.com/).
While it's only a simple 2D program, there are a ton of YouTube videos and Tutorials for it. It has a lot of the functionality of 3D programs which would transfer over and did I mention "It's FREE" ! LOL

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2020, 07:18:06 PM »
I haven't ventured into 3D printing yet. It seems like something I should try eventually for making custom project boxes or other parts.
I'd be interested to hear what type of printer you have and your thoughts on it or others you're familiar with.
I have a Creality Ender 3 Pro.  I decided to go with for a couple of reasons.  First, it's inexpensive.  The Ender 3 is likely the best selling 3D printer.  I chose the Pro over the standard is the bottom rail is much bigger, so it's stronger and the Pro has a magnetic print bed.  But the vast majority of parts for the Ender 3 also fits the Pro.

I really don't know much about any others.  I just got this in December.  By numbers, I have printed many more parts for the 3D printer than I've printed for all other purposes combined.


Offline Carver

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2020, 10:13:48 PM »
Just to turn it around a bit, how can some hobbies be preparedness related? I'm a fan of watching "Tracks Ahead" about model railroading and restoration of trains. How could that connect with preparedness? I'm not a doer, only a watcher but these people are really, really into it.

Offline IKN

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2020, 08:48:05 PM »
Just to turn it around a bit, how can some hobbies be preparedness related? I'm a fan of watching "Tracks Ahead" about model railroading and restoration of trains. How could that connect with preparedness? I'm not a doer, only a watcher but these people are really, really into it.

I believe it's more of a mindset. Another hobby I didn't mention I have is prospecting. While not a direct prepping need, it allows for acquiring untraceable monetary wealth.
I've never seen or heard of "Tracks Ahead", but model railroading could require learning DC electrical circuits and inverters. Skills that could be handy if the need to repair or troubleshoot an inverter type generator.
At first glance, things like hobbies might not appear to be prepper related, but can have skill development that does.

Offline Carver

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2020, 08:10:35 AM »
Quote
At first glance, things like hobbies might not appear to be prepper related, but can have skill development that does.

I think you nailed it there. In other words doing a project is mind/hand development. "Hobby" has connotations of stamp collecting, model trains, astronomy etc. But if you substitute "hobby" with "project" it is easier to make a connection with prepping in that involves innovative thinking to accomplish a goal. As an example, I do not have a hobby of making a better mousetrap but I do have a project of making a mousetrap. This involves: 1) Studying my target; mice. 2) developing a strategy. 3) Trial and error.
Of course the University of YouTube is indispensable in research. The takeaway is that I am learning how to deal with a recognized situation that needs my personal ability to think and do.

Offline Greekman

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2020, 01:29:03 PM »
I think that the core f the question is which of your hobbies would be valuable to a community/group family (say in an economy collpase.)

IKN, i think metal fabrication would be of the most sought after skills, next to a surgeon

As for me:
HAM RAdio & Flashlights (among others)
Beyond the obvious uses and value, they both require off grid power to run, hence you can call me Advanced on such systems.
That means the ability to set up a solar system and the ability to convert one type of electrical current to another (220V to 12V  to USB etc)

Offline IKN

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 07:44:28 AM »
Greekman is correct, although skills and/or equipment attained can have function for things other than a major collapse.
For instance, camping and hiking could hone skill sets invaluable if one were to become stranded in the middle of nowhere. Developed skills like making a fire for cooking, warmth, and security until help arrives or learning to navigate cross country using a compass or even without.

Offline CarbideAndIron

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2020, 05:46:05 AM »
I definitely enjoy working with metal too (I have carbide in my screen name, haha). Mostly just cutting it, as I used to be a machinist, and now program cnc mills for my job. But I am honing the welding skills now, working on making stuff for my Jeep. I am very much looking forward to getting my move over with, so I can finally put my manual mill in my shop, then get a decent welder and press brake.

But the move will make us hone a whole new set of skills, animal husbandry. We are getting a decent size of property that has pasture and all the outbuildings needed for some livestock! Except my wife and I have zero experience with that. Luckily we both have friends and family that do, so my next few years will probably be some tough lessons on how to deal with animals that aren't pets.
I am qualifying this as a hobby, since we aren't getting many animals, and are not interested in making money off of them. We would just like to provide our own food and teach our children in the process.

Offline IKN

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2020, 08:35:38 AM »
Kudos, my wife and I have a small farm and raise animals as well. It's a rewarding endeavor, but comes with its own cost.
We find it difficult anymore to find responsible people to care for the animals if we decide to travel. Even our kids (grown and out of the house) don't want to do it, yet they still want to enjoy the benefits of having the farmstead to come and play, hunt, etc.
Any idea what type of animals you wish to raise ?

Offline robkaiser.me

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2020, 12:45:15 PM »
Interesting...as I begin to take this seriously now - I'm beginning to think about hobbies that I can monetize.

However, my entire *life* has basically been my hobby and vice versa.

I've spent more than 20 years in the green industry and work what could be considered a dream job.

Working even harder to leave it because I'm not working for myself...and therefore less free.

But - that's a lifetime of experience that I think I could harness, especially given my current situation.

It's amazing how much financial debt can cripple you, but the freedom from it can open so many doors.

I'm learning this right now and am hoping to turn current hobbies/career into self-employment/freedom.

Then I'll consider finding a new hobby.  Currently, I just need to optimize the current ones!


Offline CarbideAndIron

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2020, 08:47:47 AM »
Kudos, my wife and I have a small farm and raise animals as well. It's a rewarding endeavor, but comes with its own cost.
We find it difficult anymore to find responsible people to care for the animals if we decide to travel. Even our kids (grown and out of the house) don't want to do it, yet they still want to enjoy the benefits of having the farmstead to come and play, hunt, etc.
Any idea what type of animals you wish to raise ?

It sounds like you guys have set up the life that we are working towards. I am really getting excited already for next years hunting season. We get a lot of nice looking bulls and bucks on the property, probably lured in from the fruit trees. And I have plenty of land to shoot there. We're building a shooting range as well.

Care for the critters while on vacation is definitely something we are talking about a lot. We don't go on many vacations, we like to stay around home when I'm not working. But for the 2-3 camping trips we look forward to each year, we will certainly need someone to watch over our animals. I am hoping that just 6 chickens and 2 goats will be a very manageable amount. We have friends local that know more about this stuff than we do, so it wouldn't be much effort for them to check in.

Offline IKN

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2020, 09:50:39 AM »
Sounds like you have a plan.
Chickens don't require a lot if free ranged besides predator concerns. Goats would be similar unless they are dairy goats and need milked. That's part of our issue since we have dairy goats and milk them.

Offline Gamer

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2020, 01:32:17 PM »
What hobbies do you have that you have found to benefit your preparations ?

I've been a strategy gamer for over 40 years, first with figures, then boards, and now computers, and I like to think I'm a bit of a hotshot at strategy, tactics, overall organisation and planning, so I say bring on a post-apoc world survival situation, I can handle it..:)
Below- a 6" trophy I won for topping an online wargame league under my wargaming name 'Poor Old Spike', it sits on its own small table in my living room carefully positioned so that it's the first thing guests see when they arrive, and I can keep steering the conversation towards it during the course of the evening..:)
 



 

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2020, 07:08:56 PM »
So taking another look at this thread.  Since I've been home for the COVID thing, I've been looking at what I can make to help with the pandemic.  I've been trying my hand at some masks.  I've done a lot of digging around and found that there are many models around that make use of things like HEPA vacuum cleaner bags or MERV 13+ furnace filters.  There's also the bands for supporting the face shields. 

It's certainly not critical, but I dropped my bottle of lime juice and broke the lid.  I 3d printed a replacement.  I also had some small gears that I lost, I printed out some replacements.

Offline Carver

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2020, 09:28:59 PM »
Masks could become a very promising cottage industry; I've toyed with an idea for a design based upon the winter scarf. To prevent inhaling cold air the scarf funnels warm air from underneath the coat. A mask with a long tail covering the chin and neck, like the bandanas that bank robbers wore in cowboy movies, pulling the air in through garments, more filtering elements.

Offline PorcupineKate

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2020, 06:11:04 PM »
Sewing is a useful hobby.  Making, altering, and mending clothes is a skill not too many have these days.  I have made insulated window treatments and now I am learning to quilt, make various bags, purses, and storage containers.   I have a heavier duty home machine so I can do heavy canvas, luggage materials and leather if I wanted too. I do need to make some masks since friends are asking for them. 

Jewelry making has been useful in small metal bits and the odd repair of something.  Soldering copper pipes is easy for a jeweler.  Having a zillion different kinds of pliers is always a plus. 

Gardening is a big hobby me these days. 

I mentor a high school robotics team with my husband.  Not only are the mentors really good people but the team members are an endless supply of responsible teenagers that can be hired to watch the animals while we travel and do various odd jobs for us. 



 

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2020, 01:05:03 PM »
I've been very impressed with the 3d Printing community and how they're banding together to mass produce masks and clips to ease strain on ears from surgical masks.

My main hobby is miniature painting. While not directly 'prepper' related it does help my mental state as I find it very relaxing. This year I've begun to take commissions so the monetization aspect is nice. It affords me some money that I wouldn't otherwise have. Given the current situation having skills that others will pay for outside of my job is a huge benefit to me.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2020, 02:30:24 PM »
I've been very impressed with the 3d Printing community and how they're banding together to mass produce masks and clips to ease strain on ears from surgical masks.
There's lots of plans out there for masks, face shields and strap extensions.

Around the home, I've been using my 3D printer for a bunch of stuff.  Yesterday I did some work on the fence and the posts didn't have caps.  I printed the caps.  I'm organizing my tools and hardware.  I use those Harbor Freight storage cases that use the removable bins.  You're stuck with the size bin they provide.  I've been printing off custom sized bins.  I'm now printing off mounts to hold my power tools to the wall.  Very useful tool around the home.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2020, 03:32:34 PM »
Yes they are. I've got a monoprice and am looking at upgrading to an Ender or going way out there with a Prusa. The MP is good but only has a 6in x 6in print area so it's very limiting. I'd like to get the bigger print area with one of the other printers so I can print larger, functional things and work with different materials.

What did you print the fence post caps out of? Are you concerned about warping in the sun/heat?

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2020, 03:55:10 PM »
Yes they are. I've got a monoprice and am looking at upgrading to an Ender or going way out there with a Prusa. The MP is good but only has a 6in x 6in print area so it's very limiting. I'd like to get the bigger print area with one of the other printers so I can print larger, functional things and work with different materials.

What did you print the fence post caps out of? Are you concerned about warping in the sun/heat?
I have an Ender 3 Pro.  It's about 8.5"x8.5"  You may want to look at the Ender 5, it's almost 2x the print size of the Ender 3.

I just used PLA.  In this case I'm not worried about warping or anything with these.  The whole purpose is to keep the rain out and they will do fine for that.  I printed a couple spares just in case.  I've been using Inland filament from Microcenter, it's only $15 per spool, so each cap cost about $0.02 each plus electric use.

Offline Ken325

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Re: Hobbies, a prepper/homesteader perspective
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2020, 10:29:10 AM »
My number one rule for hobbies is no expensive hobbies.  No expensive  boats, airplanes, horses, sports cars, or expensive hunting trips.  It may seem like I spend a lot on my hobbies, but compare it to really expensive hobbies and my hobbies are nothing.  I may have a lot of pocket knives, nice camping gear, and a high end computer but this is nothing compared to the cost of a $20,000 boat. I know people who spend 40,000/ yr on horses. Don't  fall into this trap.  There are lots of enjoyable hobbies that are less expensive.  Spend $400 on archery equipment and you can shoot for hours and have a blast.  $400 will get you an nice set of backpacking gear.  So my advice is have a few hobbies but no expensive hobbies.