Thursday, October 21, 2010

Putting together the "book"

My outlook on the whole "TEOTWAWKI/SHTF/ZOMBIESOMG" thing is mutlifaceted. And generally I don't actually include zombies in my planning. Those guys are RELENTLESS.

On the one hand I worry that I have started "too late" meaning that when everything happens, whatever 'everything' is, I wont have done "enough" to prepare. Part of that is just knowing me as a person. Follow through is sometimes a struggle for me and I tend to lose focus sometimes.

On the other hand I know that whatever happens it will be long term and things may never get back to "normal", at least not in my lifetime.

I sit down and think about what I believe is most LIKELY to happen in the near future and I try and prepare for the short term and the long term.

I suspect that peak oil/high energy cost are most likely going to be what sets our society off. I believe we have been experiencing the slow buildup to this but that at somepoint we are going to experience more rolling black outs, more energy distruptions, possibly rationing or astronomical pricing.

On top of this I see food cost continuing to rise. Climate change is causing zones to change and the US is not exactly diversifing it's crops. As it subsidizes corn and soy beans to add into processed food and allows GMO to be the norm we will begin to see the cost of other food, especially fruits and vegetables rise. Couple that with the way we continue to treat animals as "protein product" and assembly line raise them with little actual attention paid to conditions or safety and we will see health continue to decline for our population.

What I'm saying is, I don't think I'm going to wake up one morning and nothing will work ala One Second After or Dies the Fire. I think it's gradual decline like putting a frog in water on a stove and gradually turning up the heat.

I do still wanna have a back up plan for the stuff not working thing though too.

So my plan is two fold. On the one hand is the storing of food, especially food that I'm not sure I'll be able to grow or get easily as food costs rise. So I gradually store some of that and have a chart and a plan as to what I want/need to aquire and in what priortiy.

On the other hand I am working on sourcing our food locally when possible, learning to grow and garden our food as well as incorporate wild edibles when possible. It's a slow process right now.

I worry though that the time may come where I wont have access to the internet and so things that I need to know wont be available to me and I wont have it in a book.

Things like recipes for a dutch oven or using dehydrated foods. Medicinal plants, wild edibles and when to plant things are also on the top of my list. I have some canning information but would love more.

So I'm working at putting together a binder with some of that information. At least to have it on hand until I have estabilished a library or learned how to do things from memory.

So. That's my winter project.

If it were you, what things would you want to have on hand in case you didn't have access to the internet? What information would you need? What information would you want a beginner to have? What books would you want in your library?


Wendy said...

You should check out the Foxfire books. They're chockful of great information about all sorts of "lost" skills.

If I were taking info off the Internet, first, I'd take recipes, which you're doing. I'd also look for plans for things like solar window heaters (this page has a ton of resources, as well. I'd be looking for simple plans for methane digesters and/or wood gas generators.

I might try to find some plans for a simple root cellar - if I didn't have a basement or a garage.

If I didn't know how to do things like knit, crochet, make a quilt, braid a rug, darn a sock, weave a basket, carve a bowl, mend a tool, patch a roof (and where to find a plant that would give me tar to use and how to extract it), build a fire, treat infections, or make simple herbal remedies from plants I could grow or forage in my area, I might look for some information on those sorts of skills.

And planting guides, like what grows best where I live (and when to plant), and also information on companion planting (what plants like to grow together and what plants really don't play well with others).

Mostly, I'd look around my house and take a very close look at my life, and for those things that I do now on which I am dependent on oil, I'd try to find an alternative, and then, I'd make sure that I had the information I needed to develop that skill later, if I didn't have the opportunity to do it now.

A couple of other great all around books are Carla Emery's "The Encyclopedia of Country Living" and the book "Back to Basics." We have both, but use the latter more than the former.

What you might also enjoy doing, for part of your winter project, is to read historical fiction or biographical stories about people who lived through some hard times (or people who lived before grocery stores were on every corner), and the sorts of things they did to get by. Doing that has been a real eye-opener for me, and I've read some great stories ;).

Stacy said...

I kind of feel the same way...I personally think (hope) it will be a gradual decline so we'll have more time to prep. Although, I don't think you can ever feel prepared enough...there's always something else. I have Carla Emery's book, Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook, cooking with sunshine...and a number of others in the garage. When I started prepping a number of years ago I practically burned out a printer creating binders off the net. I got the bulk of my info from Mrs.Survival. It's a great resource.

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