While you can survive without food for a few days, the body will grow more and more lethargic as the days march on. The longer you wait to feed yourself, the harder it is going to be to gather food. Soon you will not have any energy and starvation begins. Dying of starvation is a terrible way to go, and even going hungry will give way to other health problems. If you go too long without food, you will quickly find that your body ceases to work correctly and the simplest tasks become difficult. How do you procure food in an urban setting?
The Barter System
One of the beautiful parts about hunkering down in an urban setting is that there are other people with needs. Of course, people can be one of the worst problems in a catastrophe; they can also be one of the best solutions.
Using the barter system is simple. You have something that they want, and they have something that you want. You wheel and deal, and eventually, you come to the “fair market value” of each item. This is the purest and simplest form of economics, and given that both people are respectable, this can work quite well.
Here are a few things to keep in mind before you try to barter:
- In a catastrophe, food is going to be one of the most precious of all commodities, aside from water. Food will not come cheaply, so be prepared to experience sticker shock.
- Not everyone is respectable, and you have to know what to look for in the event that they are trying to sell you contaminated or rotten food. If the food is contaminated and they know it, then it will be worthless to them. If someone is bartering food cheaply, then you have to ask, “Do they simply have a lot of it and can use it for other resources?” or “Do they know that the food is contaminated, and are they trying to deal dishonestly with me for my resources?” Most likely, the latter is true. However, if the first is true, then snatch that deal, as those won’t come along very often.
- Is the food high in caloric value and nutrition, or is it simply high in taste and enjoyment? You might be surprised, but potatoes are rich in vitamin C, calories, energy, and are filling. Meat, on the other hand, is not. Choose wisely.
Last, it should be noted that a great way to do well with this system is to gain a skill in making certain items that will have high values in a disaster scenario. This needs to be a skill that almost no one else knows. That will raise the price of your products, allowing for more buying power on your end.
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One of the best ways to feed yourself during a disaster is to grow a survival garden. These gardens don’t have to be big, but they should provide you with enough food to get you through a year. This means that you will need to grow high-caloric vegetables with good nutritional value.
Also, keep in mind that these gardens might need to be grown inside.
- An inside garden will be able to grow all year round, given that you have a UV light source. One way you can do this “without power” is to install solar panels on your house and use the electricity generated from those in order to power your UV lights. You can grow a garden in your basement with this resource, and you don’t even need incoming electricity.
- You can add hanging gardens in the windows. These gardens may not yield much, but it is still something extra. Do keep in mind that the growing seasons for your hanging garden might be subject to certain times of the year. You can still select a particular plant, such as tomatoes, that will yield many filling, nutritional crops.
- These indoor gardens will be protected from thieves, animals, and the elements. Provided that you have a constant water source, these plants will yield life-giving food all year round.
Also, you may want to note that an outside garden and a greenhouse may not be good ideas, depending on your area. Having a garden or greenhouse is like saying, “Hey, I have lots and lots of good nutritious food!” That means that it will be target for food thieves, and there will be a lot of them. Good people can become bad people when food is scarce. Also, your crops will be subject to pestilence, rodents, and unfavorable weather. If you do have a garden or greenhouse, prepare to nurture and defend it with your life.
Of course, the discharge of a hunting rifle will be very bad for you, especially in an urban zone. That is why many believe that they won’t be able to hunt if there is a catastrophe, but that simply is not true.
Avoiding shooting guns doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t take small game with a quiet, renewable source of hunting ammunition.
Slingshots make for excellent hunting weapons. They are quiet, you can reuse pellets, and stones and ball bearings will do just fine for ammunition. Slingshots can be very lethal, and if you don’t kill the rabbit or squirrel with one shot, they will be too wounded to flee, giving you a chance to take the game.
Also, throwing sticks can kill a small animal instantly, if not incapacitating them enough for you to finish the job. A throwing stick only needs to be a straight stick, about the size of a wrist in width, and totally smooth, allowing for aerodynamics. Obviously, the only sound a throwing stick will make is when it hits the target, and it is easy to practice with them. If done properly, they are also lethal objects, even to larger game and in defensive situations.
These methods are usually only for small game, as this is the only kind you will find in an urban zone.
Also, be sure that you’ve got the proper facilities in your home in order to cook your game. In many cases, urban game will have disease. If you cannot tell if the game is diseased, then cook it well done. Not many biologics can survive a sizzling golden fire or a boiling pot of water. If you need a way to cook your meals, then a small wood stove would suffice. You can either roast the game on the inside, or you can place a pot of water on the top, and the surface temperature is more than hot enough to get a lovely boil going. Throw on some herbs and spices from your indoor garden and you’ve got a meal. Bon appétit!
©2012 Off the Grid News