A “prepper” is someone who is preparing for some unknown, but catastrophic eventuality, variously known as “a zombie apocalypse” or TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it). Some preppers are more specifically preparing for such things as the collapse of world financial systems, peak oil and/or a coronial mass ejection. Whatever the reason, the idea is the same, to be prepared to live self-sufficiently, to be able to provide for the needs of oneself and family without assistance from the outside world for an indefinite amount of time, without warning.
|this is my "overflow pantry" in the spare room, its mostly dried good bought in bulk|
Setting up systems
This means setting up systems to provide food, water, shelter, and often defense, in case of any of the above catastrophes. Pete and I are not preppers as such. We are not preparing for anything in particular, with no real urgency, but we do get a sense of comfort from knowing that we are in control of our food and water supply. Even in minor disasters such as the flooding we have experienced, it has been very reassuring to know that we can survive isolation from local towns, from shops and even the grid electricity supply. Although we’ve only been tested for a few days at the most, I am certain we would be fine for weeks. And I suppose this is how some people react to all the doom and gloom in the media these days, if you can’t control what’s going to happen, you can at least feel prepared….. for something.
|making soap - prepared for not being able to buy soap|
Being self-sufficient is also a very frugal way to live
Growing your own food and using what you grow is far cheaper than going to the supermarket, and with the time I’d waste driving around shopping all the time, I can spend some peaceful time in my garden instead. We still go to the supermarket for a few things, mainly bananas and potatoes, but we will grow them too eventually. While prepping can take the form of stockpiling dried food, I prefer to keep our food “on the hoof” as OFG says (and I like to keep some of my seeds in the soil, if I don't save them carefully and ruin the whole jar, at least some will come up next year in the garden). This is far more sustainable as we can keep producing more, as long as the animals keep breeding, rather than having a finite amount of dried food that will eventually run out.
What is a Bug Out Bag?
Preppping usually also involves some form of escape plan and “bug out” bag. This is not a bad idea considering that we are at risk of evacuation due to either bushfires or floods through most of summer (depending whether it rains or not). This should include a plan for animals that can’t travel with you (oh the thought of leaving our cows behind is too much for me!). Your bug out bag should contain various survival needs for a few days and essential documents. Some preppers even have “retreats” set up in the wild where they could go to hide in the event that SHTF (sh*t hit the fan), but I think we already live in such a retreat.
|first attempts at growing potatoes, the purple ones happen to grow well here!|
Are you a prepper?
While we are somewhat prepared for being stuck at home, until now we hadn’t done much about being prepared to evacuate. This seems like a good idea, whether or not you consider yourself a prepper. There is a wealth of information out there, so even if you are not a serious prepper, its an opportunity to learn how to be more self-sufficient and live well for less money. And you don’t want to be one of those people that needs a food drop after only a few days in an emergency situation.
Are you a prepper? Any good resources or ideas you'd like to suggest?