Types of Prepping

Every time I start talking of disaster and collapse scenarios that are possible, my wife buys extra ice cream. If I mention we are in the final stages of the “Everything Bubble.” More ice cream appears in the fridge. If I rant about how we’re following the paths of Venezuela, Greece, and Cuba, more ice cream appears in the fridge. And if I mention the organized crime taking over our courts, border cities, and government, she buys more ice cream.

It sounds funny when it’s ice cream, but many preppers—especially fledgling preppers—take a similar approach to their preps.

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Acorns as Food

It doesn’t take a keen eye to spot the massive bur oak acorns next to regular sized acorns.

Acorns make great prepper food, because most people have no idea how to make acorns edible. Almost no one looks at an acorn and thinks “food!” That’s because they aren’t edible until they’ve been processed properly.

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Food When There is No Food

It couldn’t happen here. That’s all in the past.

Most people alive don’t remember famine, war, or disease in the United States of America wiping out large swaths of US peoples. War, plagues, famines, and food shortages are things that happen across the oceans, or at least across the borders.

You don’t have to live in an exotic location for natural and manmade disasters to strike.

In 1816, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted pushing massive amounts of ash into the air. The global weather turned so cold that crops across the US died due to frost in June. Pennsylvania had river ice in July and August that year. Many people starved to death the next winter. Luckily, that could never happen again in the USA because Indonesia no longer has volcanos.

In 1861, Democrats decided to go to war instead of accept the Republican Congress’s and Republican President’s call for an end to slavery. They started a civil war that maimed and killed 100,000’s of Americans. Armies confiscated citizens’ food for their troops and many Americans died because of starvation. The war Democrats started killed more Americans than any other war in American history, including World War II. This of course could never happen in America again, because extremist Democrats now embrace Republicans as their beloved fellow citizens and have no desire for their political enemies to curl up and die.

In 1918, the Spanish Flu swept the globe. One quarter of all US residents had the disease. On average, every household in the US had a death due to the disease. Restrictions were placed on stores, and other places people interacted publicly. As bodies very literally piled up, towns restricted transportation in and out of their city limits. The scene across the US was reminiscent of the European Black Death of the  Middle Ages.

Can you imagine what would happen in our modern society where most people rely on food shipped from all over the world to make it to the grocery store they buy from in the next town over? Don’t worry. It couldn’t happen again, because no one ever gets the flu or any other disease these days.

In 1934, a five hour dust storm hid the Statue of Liberty. “Black blizzards” swept the plains during one of the worst droughts and environmental disasters America has ever seen. Plagues of grasshoppers and jackrabbits destroyed farms all over the Dust Bowl states. Doctors gave prescriptions for food for malnourished and starving children across the US. Long food lines and hunger were common place everywhere in the country.

Of course this could never happen again, because humankind has learned to live as one with the planet, and droughts don’t happen anymore.

In 2015, … all is well, unless you live in California where water is running out, or along the southern US border where the government posts signs warning they can’t protect you if you get closer than 80 miles from the Mexican border. Most of us don’t live in either of those locations. So we’re fine.

No unexpected disasters are expected to happen any time soon.

However, if you have an understanding of history, and it’s constant repetition, you might want to consider being prepared for times when food is not plentiful. Even in the modern world, grocery stores end up with empty shelves.

The above examples are of big nationwide and global events, but regional disasters happen all the time. A town, or small region, can get cut off from shipping lines during floods or winter storms. Mudslides block roads and highways. Even workers striking can shut down stores.

A disaster doesn’t need to be global in reach to be a big deal for you and your family.

Some areas of the US are prone to hurricanes, earthquakes or other common natural disasters. Having at least a couple of weeks of food and bottled water on hand only seems prudent in those areas.

Unfortunately, not everyone behaves like a model citizen when natural and manmade disasters strike. As seen during the latest hurricane to hit New York City, looting can become common place and food may be stolen.

Learning what plants in your area are edible could prevent suffering for you and your family, if your food is stolen (or confiscated). If you are a land owner, plant some non-obvious edible landscape items. With any luck, you’ll never have to look at them as a food source, but they will be there giving you peace of mind if bad things happen.

Having more than a couple of weeks of food and water on hand, may come in handy at some point. Hopefully, no major global disasters will strike in our lifetimes, but history tends to repeat itself. Knowing even a little about the past tells us that the future is likely to have surprises that involve food shortages lasting longer than a few weeks.

Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram … Secret Combinations

Today’s news highlights the reasons I garden, grow fruit trees, bought a ranch to build a house on, and spend my little spare time learning prepping skills. No one believes in an actual zombie apocalypse, but every terrorist organization in the world (and several nuclear-capable countries) repeatedly state their objective as “death to America”.

I think they mean it. No matter how much we ignore them, they are at war with us. “Death to America” is not just rhetoric to appease their constituency.

In case you missed the news from the last six years, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram are the three most notorious terrorist organizations in the world. Yes, Hamas, the PLO, and the Muslim Brotherhood, and various drug cartels are bad, but these other three trump them currently. Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Boko Haram are all training together in Mauritania, and probably working together in other ways. They are an evil triumvirate that swear to destroy (they state this publicly!) all first-world nations, and especially the United States of America.

Today, Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against the new Al Qaeda based government of Yemen. Egypt already is launching airstrikes against ISIS and Al Qaeda in Libya, Jordan is actively flying airstrikes against the Caliphate run by ISIS. Pretty much every country in the Middle East is actively at war with terrorists, controlled by terrorists, or sponsoring terrorists.

In Central Africa, Boko Haram continues to grow with little effective opposition. In the Middle East whole countries are falling to ISIS and Al Qaeda. And, ISIS has created its own country it calls the Caliphate from parts of Syria and Iraq. World War III has already begun, and the stated goal of the enemy is “death to America”. Worse yet, so far, they are winning!

These organizations finance themselves through criminal activities such as selling women and children as sex slaves and international drug trafficking. They secrete themselves among civilized communities, and use both public and secret means to find, recruit and test followers. These terrorist organizations (along with other organized crime syndicates) are clumped under the term secret combinations.

These terrorist organizations, or secret combinations, seek very openly the complete destruction of every first-world nation. The news may not report it, but they’ve said it, and they are very serious.

The secret combinations / terrorists of our day have grown so powerful that they have declared their own nation, … the Caliphate. To us, this is a new experience. Organized criminals and terrorist groups have never grown so powerful, in our lifetimes, as to create their own countries. This has never happened since the founding of the USA.

However, this is not the first time a civilization consisting of multiple nations has had it’s existence threatened by secret combinations. In March, 1830, Joseph Smith published an account of an ancient people of Central America called the Book of Mormon. In it, a scenario eerily like our modern predicament is described.

Secret combinations and organized crime began among the more wicked parts of a people calling themselves the Nephites. In time, the secret combinations spread to another civilization called the Lamanites. Eventually, they became so numerous and powerful that they set up their own country in the neighboring mountains, and stated that their goal was to destroy all neighboring civilized countries.

A massive regional war ensued. It culminated with members of the civilized countries gathering themselves to a giant heavily fortified refugee camp. The country founded by the members of the secret combinations laid siege to the refugee camp for several years. It looked like ever member of civilized society would be killed. However, they trusted God, believed in Christ, and were saved. The country founded by terrorists was eventually destroyed and their leaders killed.

The scale of our current conflict is global, but the threat to civilization itself is real. The stated goal of our enemy is our death—not our surrender, but our death. We are really only near the beginning of this conflict. We don’t know how many years or decades the current World War against terrorists and secret combinations will last. However, being prepared and trusting God give us a chance to survive the current conflicts.

Hopefully, those screaming “Death to America” will not succeed. I hope everyone I know grows old, happily living in the country I love. However, prudence says to prepare for the worst and pray for the best of outcomes.

22 More Signs You Might be a Prepper

I’m a prepper.  I previously posted, First 10 Signs You Might Be a Prepper. I’m at it again with 22 more signs you might be a prepper.

“Prepper” sounds like such a harsh word. It took me many years to come out of the pantry and admit I was a prepper. Coming out of the pantry helped me find tons of people with similar interests. It’s been very liberating.

Preppers look at the world differently than other people. This unique outlook lends itself to plenty of humor. Yes, people point the finger of ridicule at us now-and-then, but that doesn’t mean we can’t smile at ourselves, too. I hope you share a smile or a laugh.

Signs you might be a prepper …

1) You and your spouse have arguments about bugging out vs bugging in.
2) You substitute freeze dried foods into your favorite recipes
3) You prefer wide-mouth Ball jars.
4) You prefer regular-mouth Ball jars.
5) You look for BPA free plastics.
6) You’ve ever said, “BPA,” … ever.
7) Your pantry feels too small.
8) Your child’s first word was, “Pectin!”
9) You’ve done both hot water bath and pressure canning.
10) You ignore city-wide do-not-drink warnings on tap water, because your filter “can handle it.”
11) You own a rain barrel.
12) You built your bed-frame, … out of canned goods.
13) You want to take your house off the grid, but you still hate
“tree huggers.”
14) You hate National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers, because they’re always doing “it” wrong.
15) Anyone has ever used the word “orchard” while describing your lawn.
16) You know the difference between a clip and a magazine.
17) You only buy ammo with reloadable cases.
18) You spend more time at the shooting range than the grocery store.
19) You have duct tape storage.
20) You own a summer and a winter sleeping bag.
21) You’re mentally taking notes as you read this list.
22) Someone sent you this list.

First 10 Signs, “You Might be a Prepper …”

You might be a prepper, if …

1) You look at your neighbor’s dandelion filled lawn and think,

2) While visiting Cape Canaveral, you spot astronaut ice cream in the gift shop and ask, “What’s the shelf life?”

3) You look for wood stoves at the department store.

4) You see a wood stove and want to know if you can cook on it.

5) You end up not buying the wood stove of your dreams, because your rocket stove is more fuel efficient.

6) You landscape based on plant edibility.

7) While on family vacation, you scout good bug-out locations.

8) You catch your spouse browsing websites on paracord arts and crafts.

9) You walk into a room and count the exits.

10) You bought a house, because of its garden and fruit trees.

Some Shows for Homesteaders and Preppers

I love shows that relate to homesteading and prepping. Unfortunately, there isn’t a genre selection on Netflix or Hulu for prepping and homesteading enthusiasts. They’re all ready for you if you want to browse Disney flicks or find Broke Back Mountain, but nothing for people with a little bit of pioneer in their souls. Let’s be honest though, I’d probably hate their selection even if they had a genre for us.

So, here are a few shows I’ve found fun, that I’d put in the Preppers and Homesteaders genre if I was in charge. I’ll see if I can come up with a few more for future posts, but this selection will be a good place to start.

Tiny: A Story about Living Small

This documentary follows the efforts of a man pursuing his dream of putting a tiny house on a trailer on isolated piece of property with beautiful views. He spends a full year building the house, with the help of his girlfriend. The reason he puts the tiny house on wheels is to avoid issues with zoning laws.

The documentary features many interviews with people that already live in tiny houses. It explores the challenges, advantages, and social responses to tiny house living.

This approach to living may be advantageous to preppers or homesteaders that seek a residence while developing the agricultural potential of land in an area that does not lend itself to home construction.

The last 50 years have seen the introduction of extremely restrictive building laws even in the remotest of areas. Imagine what the early settlers of your area would have thought about the outlawing of their lifestyles. (“Sorry. Do you have a permit for that log cabin? No? You’ll have to tear it down or face a fine.”)

Food, Inc.

If any documentary can inspire you to grow your own food, this one will. Food, Inc documents the treatment of animals and food production now that the farming industry has gone corporate. Not surprisingly, food production in modern times results in less healthy meats, vegetables, and fruits showing up on grocery shelves.

Solutions to the factory treatment of food production include homesteading, hunting, or growing a garden. If you have the resources, buying from small farmers or grocery stores that are supplied locally can help you vote with your dollar for a different supply chain for our food.

Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment

This is a great documentary series for the prepper in your life. The first season starts out with nine ordinary people dropped in the middle of Alaska with only minimal survival training and a heap of supplies—some useful, and some not so much. Their goal is to get out of the wilderness on foot, … and alive.

The great part about this series is that you get insight into mistakes easily made in a bug out situation. If you’re a prepper planning to leave civilization behind for a while during the next local or global zombie apocalypse, then you’ll want to see what worked and what didn’t for this group.