Are you at the point where you are comfortable with your prepping progress? By that I mean you have done enough to know you can get by if you have to, and, for better or for worse, wonder if you have done enough.
If this describes you, I can relate.
As promised, this week I am going to tackle another one the questions that were posed during the April Lifestraw Go giveaway. Robin asked:
My question…. When you’re feeling like you’re mid-way (of your personal goals/expectations), how do you decide what comes next? You have food, you have water, you have a heating source, lighting, a couple methods to cook that food you’ve stored…., etc., You’re calmly, but not overly excitedly about “all” you’ve done….. but, what next? How do you move forward? Thank you!! So Much!
This is a great questions on many fronts. While it is easy to become obsessed with prepping, at some point you are going to ask yourself if it is all worth it. After all, the major global economic collapse and disruptive event we have been prepping for has not happened. It may never happen.
On the other hand, the more mundane, yet equally disruptive events such as floods, fires, winter storms, and power outages occur daily, just not to us.
So what happens next? I will speak for myself with the hope that it inspires you to keep on prepper, albeit at a less frantic pace.
Three Items to Add to the Prepping Priority List
Learn new pioneer and country living skills.
While I live in a rural area, it is not on a farm and is not what you would traditionally call “the country”. Still, part of my strategic SHTF plan has been to confiscate nearby land in our community common area and set up a community garden. I have the seeds, and the tools, as well as leadership skills to make it happen. The nearby property is sunny and the land is fertile. Growing food should not be a problem.
There are a myriad of other pioneer skills I want to perfect including soap making, smoking and other forms of food preservation, and campfire baking. I am finding inspiration from Carla Emery’s Encyclopedia of Country Living. Although I have had the Kindle version for quite some time, who browses their Kindle reference books on a daily basis?
I purchased the print version a few weeks ago and thumb through it often.
Additional Reading: 46 Pioneer Skills for the Modern Homesteader
Practice getting by with less.
We are a consuming society. At each stage of our lives we acquire physical baggage that gets carried from one home to another. Something I learned during my recent foray to Arizona that it is liberating to get by with less. This was an important lesson that has led me to start purging unused items from my cupboards, drawers, and closets. I can and will get by with less. What is left over upon converting to a minimalist lifestyle will be those things I need to survive in comfort.
At the end of the day, isn’t that what we will want to do if the stuff hits the fan?
Live in the moment.
For my entire life, I have planned for some future point in time. Whether it was reaching status within my career, becoming a stellar wife and companion, or living the proverbial life of riley as a retiree, I was always living for that magical spot sometime in the future. A funny thing has happened along the way. Except for retirement, these goals and other were reached only to find that others replaced them.
This is not to say that it is folly to have hopes and dreams. Rather, those hopes and dreams should not supplant living.
And thus it is with prepping. If you have reached a point where you are comfortable with your progress, don’t brow beat yourself into thinking you need to continue with the same fervor as when you started. Pick a more esoteric prepping task, stay in the game by keeping up with domestic and global events, and become nimble in your effort to learn new skills.
That is what I am doing and, because I am walking that walk, is the best I can do at this point in my preparedness journey.
I hope that in some small way, this helps those of you that are asking yourself the same question that Robin asks. It should also address the question posed by Stacey:
Have you ever felt like your mind is on prepping too much? Like maybe it’s possible to miss the now?
Backdoor Survival Mail Bag & Reader Tips
Becoming proficient in the use of herbals and natural remedies is another one of those skills to pursue once you have reached a mid-way point with your food, water, shelter, and first-aid preps.
Janis offered the following tip:
Here is a first aid use for cayenne that few people know. I learned it from a friend whose parents immigrated from Hungary during the Cold War days.
If a person has a cut that will not top bleeding, take powdered cayenne and sprinkle some in the cut. As long as you aren’t putting any on a mucous membrane, it will not sting and it works great. I’ve used this method to make bleeding slow down enough so a person could get to the hospital and the ER doc was amazed at how well it worked.
Cayenne pepper is inexpensive and relatively easy to grown. It makes a great pain reliever, too, when compounded as a salve. If you want make your own, visit Make an Awesome Cayenne Salve for Pain Relief.
Essential Oils Deal of the Month – FREE Shipping!
For those of you interested in essential oils, I am thrilled to let you know that Spark Naturals is offering free shipping all month long when you use my code BACKDOORSURVIVAL at checkout.
If you have been hesitant to dip your toes into the essential oils water, now is the perfect time to pick up some Melaleuca (Tea Tree) or Lavender. Both are quite inexpensive at $6.99 each plus you get an extra 10% off (as well as free shipping) with my code.
Need some inspiration? I am currently using Melaleuca in a roller ball to remove an annoying skin tag. It has been less than a week and it is half gone.
Additional Reading: The Miracle of Tea Tree Oil: 80 Amazing Uses for Survival
The Final Word
As you may have surmised, I am back home in Washington State. It took a few days to become acclimated but the smell of the saltwater and the pine trees is simply fantastic and I am glad to be back on San Juan Island, tucked far away from big box stores and cactus!
A number of you had question relating to my move. How did I adjust to the diametrically different environment and cultural challenges. What about my preps? Was I comfortable knowing that I had only the bare minimum of supplies? What was the biggest adjustment?
These are great questions not only for someone moving from a temperate climate to the desert, but also for someone moving from the city to the country, or from on-grid to off-grid. As the dust settles back into a normal routine, I will get back to you with my thoughts. Promise.
So what about you? What did you do to prep this week?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!
The bestselling resource for modern homesteading, growing and preserving foods, and raising chickens, The Encyclopedia of Country Living includes how to cultivate a garden, buy land, bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, can peaches, milk a goat, grow herbs, churn butter, build a chicken coop, catch a pig, cook on a wood stove, and much, much more. This comprehensive resource is the most authoritative guide available to a sustainable lifestyle and living off of the land.
Bargain Bin: A number of these items are mentioned by Backdoor Survival readers in the article 39 Fantastic Prepping Tips as well as some personal favorites.
Smart Soapmaking: If you have any interest at all in making soap, this is the book you will want. Anne lives close by in Friday Harbor, WA and is a lovely friend as well as someone who really knows her stuff. Not only that, if you go to her website (there is a link in the book) and ask a question, she will respond personally via email. Only 99 cents. You just can’t lose.
One Second After: For many, the novel “One Second After” was a game changer that convinced them of the need to be prepared. If you have not read this book, you really should. This is my #1 pick when it comes to survival fiction.
BaoFeng UV-5R Dual-Band Ham Radio: The Baofeng UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz. It is a compact, economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65 – 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported. Here is the antenna I ordered along with the programming cable: NAGOYA Antenna for BAOFENG UV-5R and USB Programming Cable for Baofeng UV-5R UV-3R+.!
Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets: These come in compressed packets small enough to fit in a pocket or wallet. You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you and they are dirt cheap at less than $5 for 10.
Windstorm Safety Whistle: I have many cheap whistles but for in my bug out bag, I stash the Windstorm whistle. I have tested it and this particular whistle can be heard a long distance away and above howling wind and other competing sounds.
Swedish Firesteel: Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version.
Pepper Spray: It is always good to have some form of defense that will temporarily halt a bad guy that is in your face.
Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife: This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing.
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An Update on the Oil of the Month Club
There is some exciting news for essential oils enthusiasts. Spark Naturals has introduced a Premium Oil of the Month Club that features the higher priced oils at the bargain price of $24.99 with free shipping. To give you an example of the savings, the May oil is a 15ML bottle of Frankincense, normally $70. That is a discount of almost 65%.
If you would like to learn more about the Oil of the Month Club, visit the page I created for you (shown below) or click on the graphic to head on over to the Spark Naturals web site.
Additional Reading: Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club