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Πέμπτη, 9 Μαΐου 2013

Preparedness, but… Light?


Note: This is an delayed yet improved version of an earlier article in the Greek language. We are happy that our late-served English speaking readers are getting a better version of the article! Enjoy!

In the following few paragraphs we will approach something that has been troubling us for quite a while. How can one keep Preparedness a small part of his daily routine -and life for that matter. In other words how can a Prepper devote a little of his time only?

It came as a surprise to us seeing preppers -in the pilot episode of Doomsday Preppers- admitting that their whole life after work is devoted in prepping.
Two years later we are involved in prepping even more than then, but we still think that a huge consumption of personal and family time is abnormal. Life is many good things more than preparing for safety and comfort in troubled times.

Yet it is true -and a concern for us- that prepping indeed demands a LOT of time, especially since -and maybe because- prepping is a practical and empirical action. It is not organized and taught as a system but it is (re) discovered through the experience and suggestions of other fellow Preppers. In our eyes this makes it all the more time consuming.

A devoted Prepper must -in just the short span of a few years- acquire skills, practice them and manage to bridge the distance –or gap for some- between the modern life and the more self-sufficient life style of our grandparents and their small communities.
They were born in a more self-reliant society and had their whole life to acquire, hone and transfer skills and methods to the next generation.

On top of these, a modern prepper must also deal with the necessities and unique demands of modern life, especially on novel objects that were unheard of half a generation before.
It is not only not the gardening, husbandry, food preservation and herbal medicine he must learn from scratch, rediscovering traditional skills and forgotten knowledge.
He also has to acquire foreign language skills (if he does not reside in the US), computer and basic internet skills, and delve into communication systems other than the landline and mobile phone. And get a graps of the current complex economic and political situation.

And further on, grasp the basics of sciences and mechanics. To name just two, the prepper has to educate himself on setting an alternate/emergency power system and basic engine and vehicle maintenance. In an age where most Men do not care to learn how to change a tire, relying on phoned-in help to drag them out of what should be considered just an inconvenience.
All these demand lots of time to be used (not spent), especially if one wants to be “ready” in 2 or 3 years since he feels the breath of modern (everyday) dangers on his neck. Crime, Recession, Unemployment, Health Bills, and Mounting Dept to name a few.

But too much time devoted into any endeavor soon results in attrition taken.

Thus we should quest a new approach to Preparedness.

But we admit we have not found anything definite yet.

At the moment we are still striving for a balance between gear and provisions, and skill development. Among them maintaining and expanding our First Aid knowledge, setting up back up power systems -stay tuned for an entertaining new article on this-, expanding on our contingency plans and finally cooking with preps. We seem to have good luck and a breakthrough on the discussed herein issue with the latter.

It is our bread making.
We have chosen not to make our daily bread. It demands time, a lot of power used,  making it uneconomical to make small, frequent batches. Also going through our stores frequently requires even for more time spent on the resupplying process.
Which is what this article is all about.

So we have now chosen to bake occasionally.
It helps that after some fails we are now able to produce something reliably chewable . Thus the rare baking occasions are for rotating our flour stores, honing our technique and trying new recipes.

We can offer one more example, Soap Making. This thing has gotten a cult status for the local prepping and survival crowd. The sort of a fraternity initiation process.
It is charming and to a certain extend a fulfilling accomplishment, but we feel it does not warrant the effort, failures and initial setup cost.
Being objective about it, soap shortages mean that we have ended up with a post-apocalyptic, end-of-technology like scenario that has become Suddenly real.
It pays more –especially in our real daily life- to devote the same amount of time and effort –please remember, this is all what this is about- on gardening.. potatoes. The product is a food, stores well, and is equally tradable.
Yet if you feel MadMax will happen anytime now, go ahead with setting up a fallout shelter first. It is more pressing. You can try soap making latter.

Back on track, it is ironic that conceiving a revised Preparedness method to save time requires some time in itself.
Time to rethink and reform our priorities. Time to study and reevaluate the objectives and necessities of prepping not only on the amount time spent perspective, but on how this time devoted is distributed within the day, week and year.
And calculating the free time, labour and monetary cost of the various preparedness objectives.
For the purpose of achieving the perfect equilibrium between them.

We hope we will be moving forward with this in the short future. Till then we will leave you with some food for thought. A parting shot by Jack Spirco of the Survival Podcast.

“You may Prepare for Disaster, but do you Prepare for Life?”

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