Self-Sufficient

All posts tagged Self-Sufficient

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By Staff Writer – The Survival Place Blog

When the world’s ending and there are no more manufacturing companies and farmers left to provide you with food, will you be able to survive? If the answer is “yes” because you’ve saved up tonnes of canned food, then there’s some bad news waiting for you: what will you do when it runs out? You can’t rely on the possibility of the world fixing itself after an apocalypse, and unless you’re going to hunt other people for their canned food then there’s only one way to feed yourself: being self-sufficient.

It’s easy to be self-sufficient, but you need to remember that there’s some skill involved and a lot of knowledge to pick up before you can really become self-sufficient with your food. So to help you get started, we’ve detailed four different methods of getting your own food so you can practice in the event the world is turned upside down.

Gardening

Gardening is basically just farming on a smaller scale. Start by learning how to grow vegetables and fruits in your backyard. Remember that the climate makes a huge difference to what you can and can’t grow, so don’t expect to grow everything in your backyard. Start with easy things to manage such as salad leaves, potatoes or beans. They’re relatively easy to get started with and they don’t require much work to get started. Once you’re comfortable with your gardening skills, expand by stretching your backyard, buying more plots of land, or writing down some farming notes in a handy notebook so that you’re ready.

Fishing

With so much water out there, there’s bound to be some fish in nearby lakes and rivers. If you’re lucky and live near a larger body of water, then the fish will be fresh and full of life. However, you may need to invest in a fishing boat or a similar device to get out further into the waters in search of more bounty. Check this trolling motor buying guide if you need a bit of assistance in picking the right motor for your needs. Remember that fishing requires a lot of patience and not everything you fish up is edible. Some fish might be infested with parasites and some might be covered in sewage and sludge from inner-city rivers.

Foraging

Foraging is a key still for any survivalist. Living off the land is something that many in the prepping community speak about, but people usually don’t know much about what is edible or not. You need to know where to find edible plants and fruits, you need to know what is poisonous and what is edible, and you need to be able to stomach nutritious plants even if they taste horrible. If you find yourself in a survival situation in the future with nothing but the land to live off, then you’ll be glad that you studied edible plants.

Hunting

Lastly, we can’t forget about hunting. While using a gun is the simplest method of hunting your prey, you may want to learn how to throw a spear, use a bow, or even create traps to get a hold of fast animals. Survival hunting, much like foraging, is an essential skill to learn but you need to be prepared to kill an animal for the sake of your own survival—something that not everyone can stomach.

This article was originally published at The Survival Place BlogFeeding Yourself the Self-Sufficient Way

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By The Survival Place Blog

Making your home more environmentally friendly is important. You need to live a greener life alongside the environment. Becoming more self-sufficient is a wonderful way of making sure you improve survival skills and help care for the planet too.

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Solar Energy

We are moving towards a greener and more eco-friendly world, and this is a good thing. But we still have a way to go yet. So you need to do as much as you can to make sure you are as energy-efficient as possible. In recent years we’ve seen the likes of Chile’s Renewable Energy Conference show the importance of greener living. It doesn’t matter if you’re a business or an individual, renewable energy is the future for all of us, so we need to understand that and prepare for it.

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Grow Your Own Food

One of the key things you can do to have a greener life is to start growing your own food. And you’ll notice that more and more people are doing that these days. You don’t even need an allotment to do it. You can convert areas of your garden into a vegetable patch, etc. Growing your own food is a wonderful way to enjoy the freshest produce and save yourself some money in the process. It also allows you to learn the skills of planting and growing and feeding yourself naturally.

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Limited Technology

Technology is so prevalent in life these days that many people have forgotten how to do things without it. There are a lot of things we take for granted these days because we have technology to do it all for us. So, to enjoy a more natural life, you need to make sure you limit your technology usage. This doesn’t mean you have to go all out Amish. But, you should try to cut down on the amount you use, and, where possible, refrain from using technology. This will give you a greater appreciation of the outside world and how wonderful nature can be sometimes.

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Learn to Live off the Land

It’s important to learn valuable survival skills wherever you can, and that means living off the land. You can take weekend or week-long excursions to learn how to do this. You can also move to somewhere more remote so you can make full use of the natural resources that are around. Our ancestors used to live off the land all the time, and we have lost our way somewhat. If you can learn to do this, then you will have picked up some of the most valuable survival skills. It means that if anything were to go awry, and you had to survive in the wilderness, you’d be fine.

Having a more simple and stripped back existence is crucial for helping you live life alongside the environment. You want to try to turn your home into an eco-home and learn to live alongside nature a bit more. We get so caught up with technology these days that we wouldn’t survive without it. At least you’ll be okay if the apocalypse should hit!

This article was first seen at The Survival Place Blog: Environ-Home: Live Life Alongside the Environment With These Awesome Hacks

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By The Survival Place Blog

So, what does it take to survive a disaster? It takes a lot to survive a disaster, but there are two crucial things that significantly improve your chances of survival. These are having an action plan and being self-sufficient. The action plan is important because, in an emergency situation, you don’t have time to mess around, you need to know what you’re going to do and do it. Being self-sufficient is important because often, disasters mean that local services aren’t accessible. So, for instance, your local supermarket may be shut for months.

Of these two crucial things, today we’re going to focus on self-sufficiency. And how you can ensure that you and your family are as self-sufficient as possible. So that, no matter what happens, you have what you need to survive.

Build a well

Instead of getting your water from a local water supplier, build a well in your yard. By doing this, you give yourself free water for life and don’t have to worry about the quality of the water that your local water company is supplying. Plus, all your water will be free. Having a well means that should a disaster impact your local water company, you wouldn’t need to worry.

Invest in solar panels

If a disaster of some sort were to occur, there’s a high chance that the power would be cut off at some point. For this reason, investing in solar panels for your home is a must. Solar panels make you fully self-sufficient when it comes to energy. This means that no matter what happens, as long as there is sunlight, your home would have power. Obviously, it’s still important to be prepared in case, for some reason, power was lost. But the chances of that happening are much lower if you are self-sufficient and use solar power.

Have a supply of tools on hand

To ensure that should any part of your home break down, you can fix it; it’s important to have a supply of tools on hand. Invest in quality tools, such as a Mitler saw from StraightKerfs, to ensure that you have what you need to deal with any problem. If you’re going to be self-sufficient, you need to be able to mend any areas of your home that breakdown, so having the tools on hand to do so is important. It’s also a good idea to have access to the blueprints to your home, so that you are aware of where the supporting areas are.

Ensure you have access to food

Often, in disasters, there’s a shortage of food. So it pays to ensure that you and your family will always have access to enough food. This means taking the time to grow your own produce, and also, ensuring that you have food with a long shelf life stored in your home. While you can buy tinned food for this, you can also opt to make your own food. Believe it or not, you can dehydrate or freeze dry food yourself, to store in your home for emergencies.

In an emergency situation, the truth is it’s every person for themselves. That’s why you need to ensure that should an emergency arise, that you are prepared and able to survive with what you have.

This article first appeared at The Survival Place Blog: To Be A Survivor You Need To Be Self-Sufficient

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By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

Most all of us are very dependent upon other systems (infrastructure) to literally keep us alive. Naturally, this is a result of many technological and societal advances that have enabled a more convenient way of life, a ‘modern’ lifestyle.

It’s a good thing in the sense of progress, however the thing is… the more dependent we become on other systems, the more we rely on them for our survival… and there is a certain amount of risk that goes along with it.

For most people, this dependence and associated risk is not a thought that enters the mind. But for a few of us, we recognize that it exists, and to an extent we try to offset it with some preparedness.

A question is this… What can we do to become a little more self-sufficient and a little less dependent upon modern critical infrastructure systems that literally keep us alive today?

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: How To Become A Little More Self Sufficient

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Venezuela is out of food.

After several years of long lines, rationing, and shortages, the socialist country does not have enough food to feed its population, and the opposition government has declared a “nutritional emergency.” This is just the most recent nail in the beleaguered country’s slow, painful economic collapse.

Many people expect an economic collapse to be shocking, instant, and dramatic, but really, it’s far more gradual than that. It looks like empty shelves, long lines, desperate government officials trying to cover their tushes, and hungry people. For the past two years, I’ve been following the situation in Venezuela as each shocking event has unfolded. Americans who feel that our country would be better served by a socialist government would be wise to take note of this timeline of the collapse.

A quick review: Why Venezuela Is Out of Food

In 2013, many began to suspect that the outlook for Venezuela was grim when prepping became illegal.  The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.

Shortly thereafter, grocery stores instituted a fingerprint registry to purchase food and supplies. Families had to register and were allotted a certain amount of supplies to prevent “hoarding.”

Then, just over a year ago, it became even more apparent that the country was falling. when long lines for basic necessities such as laundry soap, diapers, and food became the norm rather than the exception. Thousands of people were standing in line for 5-6 hours in the hopes that they would be able to purchase a few much-needed items.

Shortly after the story broke to the rest of the world, the propaganda machine shifted into high gear.  As the government began to ration electricity, it was announced that this was not due to economic reasons at all, but instead was a measure of their great concern for the environment.

As the situation continued to devolve, farmers in Venezuela were forced to hand over their crops last summer. They assumed control of essential goods like food, and began putting retail outlets out of business. Then, once they had control of the sales outlets, they began forcing farmers and food manufacturers to sell anywhere from 30-100% of their products to the state at the price the state opted to pay, as opposed to stores and supermarkets.

But that wasn’t enough to keep the population fed. (Isn’t it astonishing how much less motivated people are to produce food and supplies when they are no longer allowed to benefit from their hard work? Historically, collectivism and farming have never gone successfully hand in hand.) This January, the government told citizens that they would need to produce their own food. The Ministry of Urban Farming was created to oversee this. While self-reliance sounds great, it isn’t so great in Venezuela. Just so the urban farmers don’t get too self-reliant, a registry of the crops and livestock will be required. (And obviously, they’ve already proven that they have no issue forcing farmers to hand over what they’ve produced.)

Now, it looks like all of the socialist measures and forced food production haven’t been enough to keep the people of Venezuela fed. The country is in so much trouble now that it isn’t possible to cover it up with propaganda.

According to Breitbart.com, lawmakers have learned nothing.

Socialist legislators are hoping to manipulate the initiative in the other direction, and use it to expand government control of private food enterprises. Legislator Héctor Rodríguez has insisted that the economic emergency “does absolutely nothing,” and the government should impose itself on private enterprises. Another socialist legislator, Ricardo Molina, iscalling for the government to expropriate Polar, Venezuela’s largest private food corporation: “we have to intervene on private sector enterprises.”

Venezuela previously forced a Polar food distribution center in Caracas to shut down in July, putting 12,000 tons of food, six million liters of soft drinks, and 2,000 jobs at risk.

And now, the announcement of the “nutritional emergency” makes it official. Venezuela is out of food, and it’s only a matter of time before Venezuelans are quite literally starving due to a long series of terrible decisions by their leaders.

Prep before it happens

It’s essential to note as this all plays out that there is little people can do now to rectify their situations. If they aren’t already quietly prepared, they are completely at the mercy of their socialist government.  It is absolutely vital to put back supplies well before the general public is aware that a crisis is pending.

As well, consider the fact that many folks here believe that a socialist government is exactly what our country needs. They eagerly lap up the promises of “free education” and “free healthcare.” They warmly embrace a presidential candidate who is an unabashed socialist. It absolutely astonishes me. They’d be well-advised to pay attention to how well the freebies have worked out in Venezuela. Socialism is not a sustainable economic model, something that has been proven time and time again, much to the detriment of the victims of the misguided notions.

The game pieces here are already lined up to control the American people should our economic situation continue to worsen. For example, there are already laws in place to “prevent hoarding.” Remember a few years ago when President Obama signed an executive order that gives the federal government authority over every resource and infrastructure element in the United States?

There are a lot of uncomfortable parallels that can be drawn between America’s financial situation and the disaster in Venezuela, and one thing is clear: self-sufficiency is the only way to protect your family. Even if you haven’t really begun to prepare, there’s still time to become more self-reliant. Here are some steps you should consider:

It is vital to practice OPSEC (Operational Security) by keeping your preparedness related activities on the down low.  Preparedness and self-sufficiency author Tess Pennington warns that in a crisis situation, things you said months or years ago could come back to haunt you.

A person should think twice about telling others about any prepping investments they have made.  If a SHTF scenario occurred, anything said previously can be used against that prepper.  For example, if you tell your neighbor you have silver coins stashed away, if times were desperate enough, that neighbor could turn on you.  Keeping quiet about what one does is second nature to some.  But for others that are new to the idea of prepping, they do not see the whole SHTF picture.  If one person tells another about their preps, one person could tell another person about what preps their neighbor has.  Then, the word spreads throughout; especially when a severe situation occurs.  People will remember what you have told them, and come to you for help (if they are unprepared).  Helping a neighbor or family member in need is a noble deed.  However, those preparedness items are an investment for you and your family; and therefore, no one outside of the family should know what you have (unless you want that person to know). (source)

As people become more desperate, they behave far differently than they would in normal circumstances. You have to be prepared for the day when you might have to defend your home, family and supplies. When an economic disaster strikes, the one thing you can count on from the government is that they will not be prioritizing you and your family. In a situation like the one in Venezuela, you will be completely on your own at best. At worst, your supplies will be targeted “for the greater good.”   Maintain your freedom by becoming quietly self-sufficient.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Venezuela Is Out of Food: Here’s What an Economic Collapse Really Looks Like

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

 

6 Clever Off-Grid Ways To Conserve Resources (And Become More Self-Reliant)

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By Kathy Bernier Off The Grid News

It isn’t recycling. It isn’t upcycling or reusing, either. Not even buying local. The number one way to conserve resources, both yours and the planets, is so simple and obvious that it might startle you.

The way to conserve resources is to avoid using them in the first place.

That’s right. It is just that easy. The amount of products people think they cannot live without has burgeoned to such an enormous list that it’s difficult to envision where it will stop. The truth is we just do not need all that stuff. And by learning how to “do without,” we in turn become more self-sufficient.

I have seen more than one post on social media about how those leftover plastic containers from single-use coffees can be used to make cute crafty items. That’s nice, but being able to convert trash to trinkets doesn’t justify creating all that trash. First of all, only a tiny fraction of those little cups are going to be upcycled. And is the end creation really worth using up petroleum and water to make, ship, process, ship again, discard, and ship yet another time?

Wastefulness is by no means limited to coffee containers. Our culture uses disposable and single-use items at every turn. Paper towel, plastic grocery bags, milk jars, soda cans, aluminum foil — it all contributes to a mountain of unnecessary garbage.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: 6 Clever Off-Grid Ways To Conserve Resources (And Become More Self-Reliant)

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By Pat Henry – The Prepper Journal

If you are looking into becoming more self-sufficient, one of the first places you can begin to impact your reliance on our modern systems is in how you get the food you eat. Most of us get our daily bread from the grocery store which as we have pointed out before, works pretty darn well if the grocery store is full of food, you can afford to pay for that food and you can get to the store. Fortunately for us, that is usually the case.

Convenience is a great thing, but we are reliant on a lot of systems for that convenience to work. Take some of those systems away and you could have problems. If there is a disruption in the supply chain, stores might not be restocked. If there are conditions that prevent you from getting out of your house like road closures due to flooding or ice you may not even be able to make it to the store. If you lose your job, you might not be able to afford to purchase food for your family.

I realize that while the world is still spinning that most of us reading these words don’t have to worry about that, but those are real examples of how your dependence solely on that grocery store could leave you in a pinch. Preppers can mitigate some of the inherent risks with the traditional model of food acquisition and availability by raising their own food. Gardens are normally the first thing that springs to mind, but smaller livestock make great additions as well as sources of protein.

Once you have a good garden going, people tend to look at chickens and rabbits to fill the holes in their food plans. Chickens are excellent for meat and their egg laying production and rabbits are prolific breeders. Both are relatively low-maintenance animals and can give you quite a considerable return on your investment and provide you with a source of food that isn’t dependent on you getting to the grocery store down the road.

If you are new to raising chickens or still considering trying this out on your homestead, one aspect of raising chickens that you should be aware of is that chickens produce fewer eggs in the winter. If you are counting on eggs for your diet, this could be alarming and several people have asked why chickens stop laying eggs in the first place.

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Why do chickens stop laying eggs?

There are really a few reasons why chickens could be less dependable at any time of year but I will go over a few of the more common reasons below.

  • Shorter days = Less light – Chickens rely on their endocrine system to send hormones out that tell them to lay eggs. The endocrine system in chickens is affected by many things, but sunlight is one of them and when there is less daylight, chickens can lay fewer eggs.
  • Improper Nutrition – Just like any other animal a chicken needs a good balanced diet in order to produce eggs. The better her nutrition, the better her health, egg production and even the quality of the eggs.
  • Broodiness – Broody chickens are doing what comes natural really and they are trying to hatch the eggs that they and other chickens have laid. If you let a bunch of eggs collect, they may try to sit on them in order to hatch these eggs. When they are doing this, they are not laying additional eggs. This is pretty easy to remedy by removing the eggs at least once per day.
  • Age – Chickens, like women are born with all of the eggs they will ever lay. Not necessarily in “Grade A Large” sizes thankfully, but 2-3 years is a good guideline for many breeds. Once they have passed that age, or their eggs are all gone more precisely, they will no longer lay. We usually purchase a few each year to replenish the supply and sometimes if you purchase the same types older chickens can be mixed in with the newer. I am still trying to figure out if I want to cull the old before getting new. That would tend to fix some acclimation problems as well as keep me from purchasing food for birds that aren’t giving back so to speak, but there is the moral side of the argument that says I should take care of them because they took care of me. I guess it depends on how hungry I get…
  • Disease – There are many diseases that can affect egg laying in chickens. If you suspect any of your chickens is sick, it is best to consult a local veterinarian that specializes in poultry.

Shedding a little light on the issue of fewer eggs in the winter.

Is there any way to help your chickens lay more eggs in winter?

Many of the reasons why chickens stop laying eggs are going to be out of your control, but you can cheat Mother Nature in one area. Daylight.

Simply putting a light bulb in your chickens coop in the winter time will mimic the longer days of summer and tell their endocrine systems to produce eggs on the usual schedule. If you are going to do this, I would keep the light on a timer though so it doesn’t stay on 24 hours a day. The amount of daylight they should receive shouldn’t be longer than a long summer day and will still give you their fullest egg production. Leaving the light on around the clock would seem to cheat them out of a little rest.

If you are installing a light in a chicken coop you need to be aware of potential fire hazards. I keep pine flake for the bedding in my coop and I know that wouldn’t react well to a hot bulb. The bulb should be mounted high enough so the chickens can’t burn themselves on it obviously. I would also protect the bulb with some wire mesh just to be safe.

You can add a heat lamp in there if your climate warrants the additional protection. I put a heat lamp on my water, but not in the coop and they seem to do fine. There are studies that say the red light puts chickens in a more relaxed and chilled out mood if you can believe that, but a normal white/yellow light should be just fine also.

What chicken tips do you have? Do you light up the coop or is it dark for your girls in the winter?

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: Why Do Chickens Stop Laying Eggs in the Winter