September 13th, 2010
I am new to the whole idea of being off the grid and to survivalist thinking. I’ve also been a very poor money manager and I’m going through steps to correct that. I’m working on tackling some debt and looking into investing in gold in the future, but I have a long way to go to save for all that.
I hear phrases like, “You better get what you can now because tomorrow it may be too late.” It’s very overwhelming to consider everything that would have to be purchased and collected to be prepared when you have very little money to start with and you haven’t been preparing. I am also not a home owner and that adds another challenge to my situation.
I’m not freaking out over a possible collapse. I think you should continue to live your life as normal but at the same time I think it’s wise to be prepared for possibilities. At the very least, anyone who learns more about being self sufficient is spending their time well.
For someone like myself who is new to survivalism, who lives in an apartment, and who is on a limited budget, WHERE DO I BEGIN? What is most important? Should I start buying small increments of food over time or wait and save for a solar generator? Would it be better to just invest in survivalism training rather than trying to save for gold?
Also are there ways to find local people that are interested in the same pursuit of survivalism that I am?
I would appreciate advice on where to begin (what first steps to take) including any books or articles that address this issue related to the newcomer.
Thank you for your advice,
The fact you are not a homeowner is actually an advantage; you’re not saddled with a residence that may or may not be best for a future crisis situation. You still have the chance now to find an ideal location, whether for your residence or your retreat, and put your energy and resources towards the most important thing: food.
To work towards this you should begin immediately stockpiling food. Start with the basics and follow the guides we’ve provided online (you can use the search function or go by category). You don’t have to do this all at once. In fact, just a little bit extra every time you go to the grocery store is sufficient. Just begin buying the normal foods you buy, but add a quantity here and there. Your first goal should be to have a month’s worth of staples on hand, then two months and so on. It’s important to rotate this stock, so date things. As you rotate it through and eat it, replace it. That way nothing will get too old.
Next you should begin to think long term because you can only store so much. Your follow-on plan should include hunting, fishing and/or farming. The only way you can support yourself long term is with a renewable food supply. We’ve written extensively on these topics.
About the networking with others, this forum is one of the best I can suggest. Just remember at all times to be discreet about your views and preparations, because just this simple step can be taken as threatening by the various agencies who are working to bring about the collapse.
The poll results on how folks intend to get their food in “hard times” proves interesting. It looks like storage is ahead by leaps and bounds. That’s interesting in lieu of the fact that most things (dry goods included) don’t store for much over a year. If hard times last longer, one will have to consider other means. Looting is a short-term answer as the grocery store only has a five-day supply of food for the area it serves, with maybe two weeks in the warehouse and about a month to six weeks worth in transit. So who are you going to loot? In Katrina they had the Wal-Mart stripped of TVs and VCRs in a day and all the food in two. That leaves hunting, fishing and other. Now, gardening is a good idea but that’s going to be one of the next things other folks will loot and you can’t take it with you. Hunting (unless you’re in the right spot and know how to do it without calling attention to yourself, in a place where there’s lots of game) is not going to produce all you need; and again, like hunting, you have to be in the right spot for fishing. That leaves a couple of things under “other” that probably should be considered primary survival techniques that weren’t even mentioned—foraging and trapping. Foraging requires little more than knowledge of what is edible and where to find it, and simple traps can be set up anywhere to do the “hunting” while you are doing something more important (like foraging). Did you know that an equal dry weight of dandelion leaves has more vitamin C than an orange? These are techniques that can be used in city or country, whether you are moving or staying put. If you know how, you don’t have to take much baggage or equipment.
Just a thought.
SA Roach, Taylors, SC
Dear Mr. Roach,
We don’t think looting is a good “plan” for anyone and suspect that, in a crisis, the only ones who will resort to looting are the criminals and those who have been avoiding any effort at preparing. We still have time, so prepare now rather than procrastinate. Ultimately the only long-term food supply will come from gardening, fishing and hunting. As you mention, not every location is ideal for this, which is why we are encouraging people to plan ahead and either move now or find a retreat that is suitable for one or more of these food sources.
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