Survival Buzz: How to Move From the Mid-Way Point of Prepping

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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!

How to Move from Midway Point of Prepping | Backdoor Survival

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!
Gaye

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Spotlight:  Encyclopedia of Country Living: The Original Manual of Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself

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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Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

For over 25 years Emergency Essentials has been providing the highest quality preparedness products at great prices.  Plus, each month they feature sales that quite honestly are fantastic.  This month note the great sale prices two of my favorites, the Mobile Washer (Hand Operated Washing Machine) now only $14.95 and the Tote-able Toilet Seat and Lid, now only $11.79.

Preptember

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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

Spark Naturals Oil of the Month Club | Backdoor Survival

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Comments

Survival Buzz: How to Move From the Mid-Way Point of Prepping — 8 Comments

  1. “Confiscate nearby land and turn it into a community garden”? While that may seem like a great way to help the community, who does the land belong to? I own rural land that is bought, paid for and has an underground spring with water rights. Squatters will not be welcomed.

    • I should have been more clear. I meant community common area and public land. I do not advocate stealing land from homeowners who have bought and paid for their property.

  2. Living in the now has always been a challenge for me. I’ve always joked that right now I’m just practicing for when my real life begins. Well, guess what – I just turned 70 & living in the now is suddenly a lot more important.

    • That is exactly what I mean. Somehow that “real life” milestone keeps getting pushed out, yet time marches on. Personally, I have been making great strides in coming to terms with the fact that this is it; life will not come around again.

  3. WOW! So much information on. This site. Truely awesome.

    I think the life straw bottle give away is perfect. The Creek near me would my only source of water in an emergency, and I’m pretty sure it is really germ nasty. Definitely would worked with the life straw bottle.

    Now to just learn more about essential oils….

  4. This article was right on time. After many years of prepping, there are few preps from the beginning that I am happy with.

    Today I decided to open my meals-for-a-months buckets. I was getting low on almonds in my regular food stock and decided to rotate them out of a bucket. These are five gallon buckets.

    Here is what I found: top of bucket dated along with how many weeks each bucket will feed one person.

    Inside on top of the food I found an index card listing the contents if the bucket by meal. I planned for breakfast, dinner and a snack. Each bucket covered three or four weeks depending on the size of the contents.

    Bucket contents: oatmeal daily, plus a jar of jam and bottle of syrup to improve the oatmeal bordom factor.

    Various types of beans and grains for dinner. A few fun extras such as a can of artichoke hearts, jar of Kalamata olives, box of spaghetti and jar of sauce. A couple cans of fruit.

    For snacks, almonds and dried fruit. I also found some Kashi bars.

    All the food was packed in heavy freezer backs with the air pressed out. And the items were carefully fit together in the bucket like a jigsaw puzzle. These buckets are heavy. They are for sheltering in place or evacuating by car.

    Honestly, upon opening these buckets, the food looks just fine, except the dried mangoes that changed color. They were packed about four years ago. And survived the summer heat.

    My main point is that the variety I packed in these buckets, allowing just one canned item per week as a treat, is SO MUCH MORE APPEALING than the way I prep now with large single-item containers filled with a grain or a bean of many varieties. I also prep sea salt, coconut oil, and honey.

    For once I have learned a GOOD lesson from the past.

  5. Having been preppers for over 10 years this article was written for us. Our solution to boredom was to buy a Harvest Right freeze dryer (a little expensive but worth it). All of our food preps were out of date or approaching it. Freeze drying has a 25+ year shelf life. Normal canning is hot, labor intensive work. Freeze drying is simple: place the food to be freeze dried on the stainless steel trays, slide the trays into the machine and turn on the machine. When the cycle is finished put the food into Mason jars or Mylar bags and seal the jars/bags with your Food Saver. That’s it! We have tweaked the process somewhat. We bought an extra set of trays and pre-freeze the food in our chest freezer so that when we finish one batch the next batch is ready to slide in the machine. Imagine adding ice cream sandwiches to your preps! You can freeze dry almost any food.

  6. I just came across your blog today and I love it! I really like your positive outlook, Gaye, and how “normal” you are.

    This particular article really hit home for me, especially this: “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.”

    I keep asking my husband, “So when is hyperinflation going go hit?” They’ve been saying “next year” for about the last five years. Add to that the fact that my children have all left the nest in the last couple of years. I’m just not as highly motivated as I once was. In a way I don’t think I really need to be, because my sphere of responsibility has shrunk quite a bit.

    So I love your advice to live in the moment, keep up with current events, and keep learning new skills. And those of us in this stage can be a source of wisdom and help to the next generation of preppers.

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