This is probably opening a #10 can of freeze dried worms, but if you haven’t gathered by the subject matter of my posts, I’m a prepper.
When people discover this fact about me, one of three things usually happens:
- The laugh
- The side eye
- Actual curiosity
Now before too many assumptions are made as to whether I am literally wearing a tinfoil hat, let me explain a few things.
I have only been doing this for a year or two and I’m still building up my useful tools and supplies, but in that time it’s amazing what you can learn for free. I’m not preparing for a specific disaster. I don’t think Obama is creating FEMA camps to take our guns through mind control hidden in our vaccines. I was raised in a scouting family with grandparents who taught me to enjoy growing and catching my own food, and I try to take measures within my means to ensure if the shit hits the fan, we’ll manage. I also believe that there is a tremendous amount of privilege in the prepper movement, which I’ll talk about in depth in another article (oh yeah, there’s going to be more of these. GET READY). I think it’s one of the major things that rubs people the wrong way, and it’s a totally valid criticism. Any episode of those bullshit Doomsday shows (preppers or castle, pick your poison) shows preps that are akin to a new form of wealth porn, and I hate it so much. I’m pretty sure if you google the term “hate watching,” you’ll see me flicking off my TV as Doomsday Castle plays.
You’re probably wondering why I’m even writing an article like this. To be honest I’ve been hesitant because of the possible backlash an article in support of prepping would be. But I feel very strongly that rich white men have cornered the market on being prepared, and I think it’s bullshit. Having enough food in your house to last through an emergency (a serious financial emergency counts here, such as losing a job, a medical disaster, etc) shouldn’t be a luxury. This knowledge should be for everyone to have at their disposal. The fact that you have to comb through mostly hardcore right wing websites to pick out the kernels of useful facts or troll through garage sales and resale shops for useful books on the subject makes the whole endeavor challenging for many. As is tradition with my posts, I shall be your vulgar and useful condenser of what I spend wayyy too much time reading and doing around my home. I hope to produce nuggets of information for you to squirrel away for a rainy day.
So then, why am I practicing preparedness?
It started with our garden. At the time, my partner and I were really not well off financially and the garden was a source of food even when we otherwise might not have been able to feed ourselves much of anything other than ramen. It snowballed into an intense interest in homesteading, which in turn snowballed into prepping. It stems from that gut panic when you see the negative bank balance or the empty fridge…what the fuck am I going to do now? No matter what else was happening, we had the option to walk behind our house and pick dinner. That alone is so fucking freeing, knowing that no matter what other bullshit is going on, you have dinner growing in the back yard.
I personally believe that we have infinite demand for finite resources, and at some point in the coming years, we will have to change our lifestyles to accommodate this fact. I also believe the choices we are making now personally and also in our policies (or the absolutely infuriating lack of progress regarding them; as Republicans in Congress vote to repeal Obamacare for what, the 40th time now?) are making it harder for us to live sustainably down the road in regards to our recourses and energy options.
I also believe that a natural disaster can effect your ability to care for yourself no matter where you live, and being prepared in some form may help make a devastating emergency manageable, if not actually save your life. It also means that emergency resources can help more people if you already have what you need.
I don’t have a safe room full of *seriously overpriced* MRE’s or freeze dried luxury meals, but I have managed to build up enough food that until recently, we probably could have lived off of it for possibly six months (you better love rice) and I have the capacity to store over 100 gallons of water should a crisis arise. But my pantry was put to good use. I found out a friend lost her job and was literally rationing her food because she couldn’t afford to feed herself and her pets, so she chose to feed them. My months of slowly building up supplies of discounted canned goods, various mixes and bulk products actually came in handy as I was able to give my friend some reprieve from her bullshit circumstance. I was really happy I had the ability to help her, but had I not been prepping the best I could have done was offer her the petty cash I had in my wallet, which would have been a fraction of what I was able to buy beforehand. That alone makes prepping worth it to me, knowing that if something really fucked up happens to me or someone I care about, at least no one will be hungry. Our circumstances are actually changing for the better with new careers in both of our futures, but I will never stop prepping.
Hopefully in the next few articles, you’ll find something useful or interesting, if not you can always enjoy the memes.