Tag Archives: lifestyle

10 Simple Steps Toward Living the Prepping 101 Lifestyle

Today we talk about 10 simple steps that people can take toward making life’s road a little smoother.
Today we talk about…

  • Plan for disaster based on the simplified threat matrix.  Personal – Community – City.  99.9% of the things which can go wrong will fall into these 3 regions in your life.  There is no sense preparing for a global pandemic when you are not prepared for your wife to lose her income for two weeks because of foot surgery.  I can only say we are trying to cover the basics and once those are done, can we move to larger items.
  • Store at least 30-90 days of reserve food and water.  90% of disasters are personal, this should get you through most of them.  Having reserve food also saves you money and time.  You do not have to buy when you need it only when it is on sale.  You also get the added convenience of having your own personal convenience store in your house.
  • Plant a garden because you can only store so much food.  I want you to learn to grow your own food for a myriad of reasons.  The main two are 1) it supplements what you have stored. 2) It provides a valuable knowledge set.  Having a garden will enable you to extend your food storage for longer periods of time and give yet another piece to the diversity puzzle.  If you have 30 days worth of food and a garden you could extend this up to 45 days or more depending on how large your garden is and what type of climate you live.  Knowledge gained from the garden is invaluable.  From when to plant, what to plant with, pests, beneficial animals and insects, seed saving, food preservation, etc.  All of these skills you take with you wherever you go.
  • Debt is financial cancer, get rid of it. Enough said.
  • Understand you prepare for most disasters the same way.  We do not prepare for a specific event but for a loss of a system(s).
  • Have bug out bag (72 hour kit) for every family member.  Even the dog or cat
  • Have a plan for staying put and for leaving.  You will never know if you have to leave your house or stay for an emergency.  What if you have a storm or hurricane coming and it is better to leave and go to the in-laws?  Take you BOB and go for a day or two.  What if there is a snow storm coming?  Better to stay put and hole up at home where there is food and clothing.  You see we have to prepare for all types of events.  We do not get to pick our disaster.  Life does not give us a phone call and say “Hey, just wanted to let you know your house is going to burn down on March 16.  Have a nice day.”  This is why we prepare for leaving and staying.
  • Practice true diversity in your investment strategy.  Do not put all of your money into a 401k/403b, etc. plan.  This is just as foolish as having all your money in cash or all in gold.  What if the stock market goes up, how is your cash doing?   Same if the market goes down.  Diversity is not having all of your money in paper assets.  Look to stocks, land, commodities, cash, bonds.  Practice true diversity.
  • Learn to protect yourself, your family and your neighbors.  Have a gun (shotgun at minimum).   Most of all learn how to use it.  Go out and practice.  Get good training.  I believe all rights we have are due to the enforcement of the second amendment.
  • Everything you do to prepare should help to make life’s road a little smoother.  If nothing ever goes wrong in your life these things will make your life better.  This is the over reaching goal of what we do here, if your life is great you will be in a position to help some of those who’s life is not so good at the moment.

Remember who you are, and the skills and knowledge in your head are what matters.  What you do and stand for matter.

Prepping 101
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

The Freedom of Being Debt Free

The most common threads on this site are and will continue to be, Debt and Gardening.  I know talking about debt is boring so I wanted to come up with a twist.  Society tells us to continue to have debt until we retire and then it will be ok.  But once you retire after a lifetime of using debt it is hard to get rid of.  My father in law has retired and he still has some debt.  This boggles my mind.  How can a man who is 70 think he can continue to take on debt?  Why do we continue to do this?  Why is enslavement something we aspire to?  So today I wanted to write about what it means to be debt free.

Only a few years ago I was in debt, just like many of you.  I sat down with my wife and we discussed what we were going to do about it.  How could we have let this happen?  Then my dad died.  We were left with a small amount of inheritance.  What would we do with it?  We decided to pay off all our debt but the house.  In my head was screaming ‘serenity now’.   I don’t want the stress of having anymore debt.

So my wife and I began the journey of paying off our debt.  We were not able to pay off everything.  As we moved along in our journey, it didn’t seem like it was going to be possible.

I want to tell you what it is like on the other side for those of you on the same journey.  We were able to pay off everything before the crash.  My existing business was cut in half.  I wish I had heeded the same advice in business.  I had debt there I had to work through.  Though the sales were 50% of what they were the year before, I had to take a 50% pay cut.  The amazing thing was we were actually able to make it through.  We had money put away for a rainy day and it was pouring outside.

What I never realized until things calmed down what a relief it was to have no debt.  I was able to put my head down and go to work without having the burden of payments.  I took a hit on my income and survived.  It seems like things are easier though I still do not make as much money as I used to.

I have realized when you have to work because all your money is spent before the paycheck comes is harder than wondering what to do with the extra you have since there are no payments waiting for you.

Victory is the ability to say to your existing job, ‘I quit’.  It is working less with better quality of life.  It is working more and retiring early.  It is realizing you are not a slave anymore.  The freedom and liberty which comes from being debt free is almost like witnessing birth.  Just like kids, I wish I could have 10 of them.  Debt is something I wish I never had.  I am only glad I realized it earlier rather than later.  It is an accomplishment worth sacrificing for.  I know you can do it.  If you do nothing else, getting out of debt will change your mental state.

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Finding Time to Prep- Part 2

Finding Time to Prep- Part 2

In part 1 we discussed

  • Making a list and prioritizing
  • You will do what you see as most important first
  • Stored food is money in the bank
  • Prepare in incremental steps
  • 2 meals a month out of food storage
  • You can’t do it overnight
  • Finishing other projects

Today we have more things to discuss.

  • Gardening is easy.  If you do it a little at a time.  I know gardening is hard work.  I have 5 raised beds and the perimeter of my backyard.  The thing I have tried to do is cultivate the garden to allow me to do as little work as possible.  I do this by mulching heavily and composting.   I am a lazy gardener.  I do not weed very often, heck weeds are part of nature right?  Try to come home from work and spend 10-15 minutes in the garden.  Pull a few weeds, check on and water the plants.  If you truly love to garden than by all means spend time, but if you are overwhelmed by the amount of preps you have then allow the garden to “grow”.
  • Get out and exercise.  Take a walk around the block.  Breathe fresh air and get to know your neighbors.  Think of exercise as community building.  See what your neighbors are planting.  Ask them gardening questions.  Last year by just walking around my neighborhood I was able to trade pears (from my immense pear tree) for other goodies.
  • Prepping builds assets while everyone else is building debt.  As you start to prep understand you are building wealth.  Those thing you can touch and feel are true wealth.  Things which hold their value are true wealth. Eliminating your debt is wealth. Food, trees, land, water, guns, knowledge.  These things are assets and wealth.  When everyone else is buying things on credit, sit back and be happy you are accumulating wealth.
  • Start building your bug out bags for both home and car.  These are great cheap things to do while in the early stages.  Have a bag for home for each family member and one for each car.  You never know what may happen.  I use my bag in my car at least once a month.  I am thirsty so I get some water or I need a flashlight.
  • Think of how long it took you to become unprepared.  It will take time to become prepared.  This has been my number one piece of advice for myself.  I have to realize it took me almost 40 years to become unprepared.  I figure it will take me at least 5-10 years to become prepared.  I know I will never be fully prepared for everything, but I will rest better knowing I am doing what I can.
  • Plan, Plan, Plan.  Write a plan and continue to revise it.  A plan allows you to focus on what is important in an objective manner.  You will be able to work as a unit with clear goals.  Along with your plan I recommend you to work on one project at a time.  Working on multiple projects can become distracting, and shows no clear focus on the most important project.  So if you can focus on one thing at a time, do so.
  • Educate yourself.  Become informed as possible.  Read the news, find new skills to learn, read opposing opinions, teach a skill to someone.  The part between your two ears is the most valuable survival item you have.  Fill it to the brim with good stuff.

I hope this has been of help to you.  If you have any other suggestions for topics please let me know.

What has helped you find time to prep?

Prepping 101
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Finding the Time to Prep- part 1

Finding the Time to Prep- part 1

If you are new to the preparedness community you may already have the feeling of being overwhelmed.  It never stops.  I have been preparing for a few years and still feel overwhelmed.  I wanted to discuss dome things to help reduce the anxiety which comes form having to many things to prepare for.

I think we as preppers have seen the “light” and somewhat know what is coming our way or we have an inherent sense of these things.  So here are some things to help you relieve some stress.

  • Make a list of all the things you want to do and prioritize.  I know as you look at the list it may appear daunting the amount of things you need to do.  Realize the list you have made is a pie in the sky list.  You will probably not heave either enough time or money to complete everything on the list.  Realize first and foremost it is ok to not get something done.  Every day of your life you have chosen, I repeat CHOSEN, not to do something. If you did everything you would not have anything to do.  I think realizing this helped me the most of all the things I do to reduce anxiety.
  • The things you see as being most important are the ones which will get done.  This is why you have to continually re-prioritize your list.  Things in life come up, you have a baby, your kids move away, you lose your job.  These are all part of life and as things change you will be able to rearrange your list to accommodate these changes.
  • The food you have stored is better than money in the bank.  The food you bought today will be cheaper than the food you purchase in six months.  We are buying food at today’s prices to consume at a later date.  Since food goes up in price we are buying it at a discount.  This capital deferral actually saves us money in the long run.  We no longer HAVE to buy food when we need it, we buy it when it is on sale.  Knowing you do not HAVE to buy food today is a wonderful stress reliever.
  • Look at your preps in incremental steps, especially food storage.  Start with copy canning.  When you go to the store to buy corn, instead of buying one can you buy two.  Put one can on the shelf and the other in storage.  Do this until you have what you want for food storage.  This incremental approach will mitigate any anxiety you may have over acquiring extra food.  Do this with all of your projects.  Break them down into tiny steps you can accomplish.
  • Try to make 2 meals a month out of your food storage.  This will help you identify the areas you are weak.  You will then be able to fill in the holes.  Doing this once or twice a month allows you to slowly identify where you need help.  Thus reducing your anxiety.  This also takes minimal time.
  • Realize you can’t do it all overnight.  Even the tiny ant takes spring, winter, and fall to accumulate enough for winter.  You are just a bigger ant.  Slow methodical accumulation of preps is the best way.  Life continues to change and as you move slowly you will be able to modify your plan to accommodate your familial needs.
  • Preparedness is not just about stuff.  Realize there are things around your house which need to be done.  Are there projects you need to finish?  We have decided to put off some preps this year because we are remodeling our basement.  Having our basement finished will allow us to sell our house and move into one with a lower payment.  We won’t be able to sell our house if the basement is not done.  So remember to put some of those household projects in your list as part of your preps.  A home in need of repair does you no good in an emergency.

Tomorrow we will discuss,

  • Gardening
  • Exercising
  • Building your assets
  • Bug out bags
  • Planning
  • Education

Prepping 101
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Liberty- Do you want it or not? pt. 2

In my last article I wrote about liberty.  I want to continue with the same theme today.  We will discuss the following

  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Getting everything you want
  • “pretty” liberty
  • Victimless liberty
  • The Liberty you hate
  • You are not born free

Rights and Responsibilities

I think as we talk about being free and having liberty we are lulled into thinking about only one side of the coin.   We tend to focus on the rights side of the equation.

If you don’t vote you may someday lose your right to vote.

This classic line iterates the correlation between rights and responsibilities.  With rights come responsibilities.  The right to free speech comes with the responsibility to speak.  We can not abdicate the responsibility away.  I think sometimes we want to accept some rights and dismiss others.  I believe I have a right to protect my life and as such, I have the right to defend myself by any means possible, which means I have the right to carry a gun for defense.   My responsibility is to have someway of protecting myself.  There are some who may say otherwise, but to think you have the right to free speech but not the right to defend yourself is ludicrous to me.  Just remember when you say you have a right ask yourself what your responsibility is.  By exercising your responsibility, you preserve your right.

Getting everything you want

Liberty does not mean you get everything you want.  Getting everything you want means someone else did not get what they want, since there are finite resources.  We all can’t get what we want.  Liberty means you are able to pursue what you want or not at all, but it is up to you whether you succeed or not.  As an example, if you want free medical care and they take money from me to provide for you, neither one of us have liberty.  You are now being provided for and as such are subject to the entity providing the service.  I am having my money taken from me, which means my work is not my own.  Thinking you have the right to your wants at the expense of others is not liberty.  I think it is theft.

Keeping what you earn is a surefire way to get more out of someone.  If I say you get to keep what you worked for and not having 20-40% given to the government, how much more productive are you going to be?  Liberty is the greatest motivator to the individual.  The main reason the colonists moved here is they could own a piece of land and they were able to keep what they produces off of the land.  They did not have to give some back to the Duke of the land.  They were able to reap what they sowed.  If they did not plant they received nothing.  You have the freedom to receive an A or a F.  Does this mean we leave those who received a F to go hungry?  Of course not.  But we do allow them to fail and then we come in and help them up.  We do not prop them up.  I get to decide who is worthy of my charity.  I do not think it is right to take my money and give to whom YOU see fit.  I of course will do all I can to help those in need as will you.  We just want the choice to be able to do so.

“Pretty” Liberty

Liberty is not always pretty.  There will be people who choose to do things which are not in their best interest.  They are going to do drug, make wrong choices, make religious choices, buy a fast car or whatnot.  There are people when given to do what they want are not going to do what you would do.  This is the point of liberty.  The ability to choose for oneself.  There will be failures, many of them.  If you are not allowed to risk you are unable to receive a great reward.  Some may choose poverty and some may choose to never give their money away.  A society based on liberty is not utopia.  It never will be, but it will be the greatest way to achieve your dreams and goals.

Victimless liberty

There is no such thing as a victimless crime.  Liberty means a crime has a victim.  For me to file assault charges, someone had to be assaulted.  I think if you want to do something to yourself then it should not matter to me.  If you want to abuse yourself then go ahead, as long as it does not encroach on the rights of others.  I know you may say what about if this person is pregnant.  Then we have laws for protecting the rights of that child.  It’s rights are now being violated.  I will always try to help those who have made wrong choices, but I will not make it illegal for you do so.

The liberty you hate

There are those who will do thing you hate.  There will be things like how fast they drive, do they text while driving, they smoke, they will engage in activities you do not approve of.  If you can not allow someone else to do something without it affecting you then you can’t live in liberty.  You are still living in captivity.

If your happiness is dependent upon the actions of others you will always be a slave to them.

We need to let people make their own decisions without it affecting ourselves.  I think debt is horrible and the surest way to enslave a person to another.  This does not mean I think we should outlaw credit cards or debt.  I try to give advice showing why I think debt is bad, but it does not mean we should not let people feel the repercussions of their own actions.

You are not born free

You are born into captivity.  When you are born you are not allowed to do everything you want.  Hopefully your parents were there to guide and show your the correct way to do things.  As you get older you are allowed to make your own decisions and reap the reward or result.  Eventually we understand liberty in its fullest as an adult, which is why we do not let our children do what they want.  We have to understand as adults to help guide those around us toward a liberty lifestyle.  This means we teach them how to grow food, how to get out of debt, become independent, make good decisions, show compassion and service to one another.  The ability to choose for oneself is the greatest gift given to man.  Used wisely it can promote the true worth of the individual, used poorly it can degrade the human being to nothing.

I ask you as a human being, what do you want?  Do you want freedom to make your own decisions or do you want someone to tell you what to do?  Do you want control the actions of others or let them decide for themselves what is best for them?

What does liberty mean to you?

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

Liberty- Do you want it or not? pt. 1

We often think of liberty as something associated with self-reliance and preparedness.  It seems to be an easy concept.  We are free.  Right?  What really is the definition of freedom?  What is the difference between liberty and captivity?  Is there anywhere in between?

Liberty is a natural state for human beings.  We want to be free.  This does not mean we live in a free society.  We often think of freedom as being associated with democracy.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  There is a saying, it goes something like this,

Democracy is like two wolf and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.

You see democracy is ruled by majority.  There is not consent for the minority.  The minority’s rights are not protected in this instance.  By definition this is way a democracy works.  Majority rule does not account for the minority.  This is why we have a republic.  It insures the rights of the minority.  The majority can not make a law which infringe on the rights of the minority.

Liberty is a personal thing.  Your definition of liberty is different from mine.  I believe as long as your definition of liberty does not infringe on my definition then all will be well.  I think that is where we get into trouble.  You make think different from me.  As long as we have an honest debate then we can resolve most issues.  Where I think we get into trouble is I think you ought to not be doing what you are doing.  Remember, as long as what you do does not infringe on my rights then I am fine.

We often hear about rights and how they were violated, but we as a general rule forget where they come from.  I think the big issue are those to look to government to grant right or grant freedom.  They can not.  Government is only there to retroactively give retribution to those whose rights have been violated.  They can not create them.  We have to understand that we are given rights by our human nature.  I think most would agree that you have a right to live.  Government can not grant you life.  It can not give you life.  It is only there to protect your life or pay retribution to one who took your life.  If government could grant you life, by default it could decide whose life not to grant and take away life.  The purpose of government is to defend rights when they have been violated.

We next have to look at liberty and the results it has upon us, the individual.  With liberty and rights comes opportunity.  If everyone has the same playing field available it allows all to compete.  This does not mean everyone gets to hit a home run.  Can you hit?  Do you want to play?  Can you see the ball?  Many factors go into hitting a home run.  In this scenario everyone gets to play on the same field but what happens is up to the individual.  Just as in life, if the playing field is level, the outcomes will be different.  This is a basic understanding of liberty.  Each individual gets to choose how they want to play the game of life,  you can hit a home run or not even get up to bat the ball.  But you do get to live with the consequences.

With that each person must be the one to defend liberty.  It is up to us to preach its virtue.  Since liberty is a personal issue for everyone, everyone must be the one to defend it.  By its definition we can not allow government to defend them.  Government enacts retribution when they are violated but they are not the defender of the rights.  We are the defender of the right.

Stay tuned for part 2 where I will discuss

  • Rights and responsibilities
  • Getting everything you want
  • “pretty” liberty
  • Victimless liberty
  • The Liberty you hate
  • You are not born free

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother

How to get your spouse to start prepping- part 2

Part 2

  1. Discuss the “better life” you want.  Talk about how you want to live the “better life” on less cost and how you want it for your family.  You should be able to show your spouse the ways to live a better life on less money.  Show them how you plan to go about improving the family’s lifestyle.
  2. Start with a small plan and work from there.  Don’t start off with, ‘Hey we should move to the country and hole up for armageddon’.  That’s a sure fire way to not go anywhere.  Start with a small plan and work the plan.  Show how it makes your life better.  Move to other things as the easy ones fall into place.  Remember- to walk a mile starts with one step.
  3. Offer to do the first step  with them.  You can start with one or more.  By showing you support them, it shows you care about the concerns they have.  Doing it together promotes unity.
  4. Have your spouse suggest a second step.  Do the second step together no matter what you think of it.  You will not always have the same ideas, but by doing it with them it shows you value their opinion.
  5. Discuss how you want to spend time with them.  Show how you want to spend time now not when you are old and can’t do anything together.  Doing things together is how you build your family unit.  Caring about one another is how we show them they are important.  Getting our of debt and saving money will enable you to spend more years together.
  6. Get them to talk about their fears and REALLY listen to them.  They are the most important person to you.  Without them you will not be able to succeed.  Find out about them.
  7. Be positive.  The future is bright.  Show them it can be brighter.  There may be some tough times ahead, but you want to thrive during those times.  Prepping is a little like insurance.  You buy it hoping you will never need it, but if you do you are glad you have it.
  8. Don’t expect to be perfect in everything you do.  You will make mistakes.  Learn from them and move on.  Do not expect your spouse to suddenly change their mind and be 100% on board.  It took you time to realize what is going on.  Give you spouse some time also.
  9. Come up with a long term vision and what it means to the family.  You are doing this so your family will be better prepared.  Preparedness is about the family not about an individual.
  10. Share this blog with them.  Sometimes people need an outside opinion.  They need to hear it from someone else other than you.

Remember to convey at all times, what you are trying to do is improve your families lifestyle.  You care about them and the conditions around them.

In the comments, what other ways have you had your spouse come on board?

Prepping 101

Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother