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Survival and Prepping or Homesteading

 
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For those of you who already have your homestead established, do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?
Could you feed your livestock without feed stores and only outside feed from close neighbors and friends?
Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?
What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?
What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?

For those of you who prep but do not have a homestead, what would be the turning point that causes you to bug out instead of bug in and hunker down?
What supplies would you bring with you and why?
Where would you go?
What obstacles are you prepared for versus what could go wrong?

Lastly, what are some of the modern day conundrums that you feel could be a problem that pioneers would not have had to face? What do you feel is the biggest difference between modern homesteading and prepping for survival?
 
steward
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Gail Jardin wrote:For those of you who already have your homestead established, do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?



Currently no, but we're getting there. My wife and I are on our first year on the new homestead. We could feed ourselves for a few months as is. We did plant a few dozen fruit trees, and 3 dozen berry bushes, but it will be 5-10 years before they're really producing. We're planning on getting cows on the farm this spring. Hopefully goats or pigs next year, maybe bees too. We do have a couple dozen chickens, but are dependent on a local small farm for feed. I anticipate a pretty good annual vegetable garden this year, and a bunch of canning & dehydrating this summer and fall. We do have well water, but need electricity to run the pump. We do have a generator. I can get a manual deep water hand pump, but don't own one yet.

Could you feed your livestock without feed stores and only outside feed from close neighbors and friends?



Cows, I believe so. Goats too. Chickens and pigs I'm not sure. I might need to make some more friends.

Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?



The land is paid for, the dwelling we have a 15 year mortgage on. We could dump our savings and pay off the house, but then we would have no nest egg for emergencies such as needing to replace a vehicle.

What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?



As far as pharmaceuticals, none at all. Herbs and such, we have some, and it's part of my plan for our first few years on the farm to plant more perennial herbs and roots so we do have medicine. We do have a few mushroom logs going, but I want more varieties. In time we'll get there.

What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?



Make do and do without.

Lastly, what are some of the modern day conundrums that you feel could be a problem that pioneers would not have had to face?



Population density and people that haven't learned how to be self reliant. Communities are one solution, where everybody helps everybody else, such as gardeners teaching others seed saving and how to grow food, and each person doing things that others can't or don't know how to do.

What do you feel is the biggest difference between modern homesteading and prepping for survival?



Here's my interpretation and understanding, and I could be very wrong, and my understanding of prepping/survival may be a stereotype, and I do not mean to offend anyone, but it's my understanding largely based on some TV shows I used to watch, internet websites and magazines I've thumbed through. Homesteading to me is producing; growing food and raising animals, and eating fresh during the growing months and sharing surplus with neighbors and preserving those foods for winter time, with that cycle repeating each year. Prepping & survival, from what I've seen/read seems to me to be amassing supplies such as canned/dried goods for example, learning hunting skills, and getting ready to hunker down and defend oneself if needed. I think homesteading can be and is also preparedness, but I don't think prepping/survival is homesteading. I do think preppers/survivalists can and do produce food, such as hunting and foraging for example, but from what I've seen there appears to be little gardening/orcharding as another avenue of production. I am sure there are folks out there at identify themselves as a prepper that do indeed garden and preserve their own food and do a lot of homesteading activities. But, to me, the large difference is growing and producing vs acquiring and amassing supplies.

 
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If I had enough grain products then we could manage for a long time.

I do not have enough land to raise grain and I do not even try. However rice with soy and garden vegetables make a good stir fry, vegetable soup with bread can make a dinner, an easy over egg with a piece of toast makes a fine breakfast, and I have fruit and this year I will likely raise  beans, etc.

I cannot feed the neighbors and I do not intend to try.
 
author & pollinator
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Gail, this is a topic that's always on my mind.

Gail Jardin wrote:For those of you who already have your homestead established, do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?  



Yes, but perhaps not the way many folks think. Establishing a homestead requires working at it from two ends: one is working toward meeting needs, the other is simplifying those needs so that they aren't as hard to meet. When we first bought our homestead, I thought we would just replace our modern way of life with a more natural way of doing things. It didn't take long to realize that we can't do it all. We had to learn to discern between a true need and a want. We could survive, but we'd be much more basic (perhaps primitive?) than we live even now.

Could you feed your livestock without feed stores and only outside feed from close neighbors and friends?



We could feed them only by cutting back on the number of animals we have now. On the other hand, there's a goodly supply of meat.

Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?



Assuming the major catastrophe wasn't an economic collapse that disabled the banks, or an electronic disaster such as an EMP or CME that wiped out all records, we'd be scrambling to pay off the bank.

What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?



For us, it's been learning alternative medicines. It's getting to where pharmaceuticals are no longer affordable anyway.

What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?



We're at the point in simplifying our lifestyle where we consider batteries a convenience, but not a necessity. Like James said, you simply do without. For toilet paper, more and more folks are already switching to washable "family clothes." I washed many a cloth diaper back in the day, so washing family cloths wouldn't give me a second thought. One thing I have tried to store plenty of, is salt.

What are some of the modern day conundrums that you feel could be a problem that pioneers would not have had to face? What do you feel is the biggest difference between modern homesteading and prepping for survival?



Our so-called conveniences. When people left the land, they left behind the knowledge and skills to live off it. I've know folks who don't know how to wash dishes without a dish washer. Who can't cook without a microwave. Who don't know where milk comes from. How many would know what to do with a bucketful of wheat berries? I fear too many people don't know how to live without their cell phones and the internet. Folks like this will have an especially hard time of it.

As far as a difference between modern homesteading and prepping for survival, the homesteader working toward self-reliance is prepping. A year's worth of stored food can be stolen by looters, but having a permaculture homestead means you have food sources available. And likely, they will be food sources that most moderns won't even recognize as food. A stew of Jerusalem artichokes and foraged wild greens and herbs may not be a 5-star meal to some, but for those who know what to do with them, it can mean the difference between hunger and a full belly.

Anyway, that's is my not-so-humble opinion! LOL I used to play a mental game with myself and ask, "If SHTF today, what would be the thing I wish I'd focused on more?" Then we try to work in that direction. It helps me prioritize.
 
gardener
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The beauty of permaculture is that you are building resiliance. Though I often fantasize about total self sufficiency I'm afraid I have to be satisfied with self reliance.
Bugging out would be from a localized natural disaster most likely. An apocalyptic " On the Road" disaster is hopefully something none of us will ever have to go through and an entirely different mindset that we would have to step into. Can you step into that mindset? Bugging out through unknown possible unfriendly areas is initialy thrilling but ask anyone in the military or has been just how mentally taxing it can become.
If you have a community of reliable and trustworthy contacts, bugging in makes more sense. A couple or one person would find it hard to last beyond their stores if security was added to what would be a more burdensome life and no ability to refill staples.
I've been fortunate in having previous military experience and  employment that gave me more than rudimentary training in medical emergencies, Small animal husbandry gives many permies a leg up there as well. Many of us have wound care, antibiotics and IV's for animal care.
Educating yourself is something that can't be taken from you never stop learning.
 
pollinator
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I'd recommend anyone interested in either homesteading or prepping/survival take a Wilderness First Responder course. Its paid itself off many times over for me in hospital bills, hikes and lives saved. Plus it is a great time with almost entirely awesome people. I even understand plumbing better because of it (the human body and our houses' water systems are all about pumps, pressure and volume).
 
pollinator
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Gail Jardin wrote:

Lastly, what are some of the modern day conundrums that you feel could be a problem that pioneers would not have had to face?  




I'm guessing most of them did not have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars in property taxes every year. They didn't have building codes, permit fees, HOAs, etc nosing in on their business and charging them money for every single thing, or else banning things altogether.

(This is a bit of a sore spot right now.)
 
pollinator
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I started as a suburban prepper and then began the transition to homesteader.

I surmised that when supplies run out, i would need to replenish them. Genius observation, right?

So we packed up and moved to a rural location within driving distance of a mid sized town (read that as has a target and a mall) for the sake of spousal sanity.

Then began the skill building and experimentation phase. Putting in ponds, swales, hugel, optimizing foraging, learning to dehydrate, canning, butcher, etc.

This site has been a very useful community for archives and advice.

What challenge will we face that our forebears did not?

I suppose there is nothing new under the sun. But maybe we will have all the fun stuff at once..

By way of example, China is currently dealing with pandemic, martial law, supply chain collapse, and now a plague of locusts.

My approach is to homestead as a sanity relief valve. When my world seems out of control, I add value to something on my land that is within my control.

Essentially, I have adjusted my expectations as to how much influence I have on the outcome. Ie, not much.

Example 2: Australia just had massive wildfires, which in an instant can wipe out prepping supplies and homestead.

If its futile, at least its cathartic and virtuous.
 
pollinator
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Gail Jardin wrote:For those of you who already have your homestead established, do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?
Could you feed your livestock without feed stores and only outside feed from close neighbors and friends?
Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?
What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?
What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?



1st off I am building infrastructure before I get animals and plants to tie me down. I bought the land out right, but it is raw land so a lot needs to be done to get it in shape.

2nd could the homestead provide the necessities? Well there is a lot of game and veggies growing wild. Including lots of quail, grouse, pheasant, and turkey.

3rd could I feed things from my land. That is part of why I am working on infrastructure, so I have thing set up to be as sustainable as I can.

4th I have some pet meds stocked up, but part of why I am looking at heritage breeds of animals is so they are less dependent on doctors.

5th I live off grid, and if I lost all amenities, it would not change my life much.
 
pollinator
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My dad was a depression era child and always lived a slight/moderate 'prepper' style life. So I grew up as living that way was normal and have lots experience foraging weeds, berries, roots etc and dressing out small game and livestock. Some canning and preserving. I have spent my life working with horses and the past 20 years as equine vet tech and have some good basic medical skills. My little (3acre) homestead is paid for and has edible landscaping well established. When i moved here it was way, way out in the middle of the woods... No neighbors and quiet, but now i have lots of neighbors and the area has gotten busy. (too busy)
I would have to trim down the goat population to feed them from the property and yes I could keep a few but there's a lot to consider... And like the chickens, I can keep a few but have to defend them from the foxes, coons, bears, etc.... If I were defending my goats (and horse) from hungry poachers... Well that's a consideration. And I have come to love my refrigerator and freezer... Living without that would be an adjustment. For most of my life I lived without AC and only in the last few years... In the time of hot flashes... Have gotten used to it... Where I live the biting insects are a huge consideration for 4-5 months of the year... When I run out of repel and citronella oil it'll be tough. I have read up on natural repellants an tried some but nothing yet that really works like the deet/citronella. Theres lots of water around and i have a couple hand pumps that could be put on my well pump for water... I have also always walked around at night without a light just to keep my night sight... Wouldn't want to assist a dystocia in the black of night but navigating obstacles most nights I'm still good at...
There are many considerations to ponder in a TEOTWAWKI' situation. But I think I could survive. An as was posted by others... Now days there's just so many people and laws and taxes...
 
gardener
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Leigh Tate wrote:

I fear too many people don't know how to live without their cell phones and the internet.

The thing I would miss about the internet is "at my fingertips" instructions on all sorts of building/repairing/fixing/identifying plants tasks. I have a selection of quality non-fiction reference books which would help for a bunch of things, but if I owned every useful book there'd be no space to store them! I do encourage people to look for quality books like that even if the only place to store them is on a high shelf. I might only refer to Jacke's Edible Forest Gardens 2-3 times a year, but when I need to know how tall a tree grows and what sort of root structure it has, that book often has the answer - it's not perfect as it's area specific, so there are places where it won't have local plants listed.
 
Robert Ray
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I have a Kindle that I have put nothing but Permie style books on, my self sufficient libray. All my books in a backpack and I can highlight and make footnotes.
 
pollinator
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Do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?

Could you feed your livestock without feed stores and only outside feed from close neighbors and friends?
For Honey, Eggs, Poultry and Fish I plan on doing providing all feed from onsite.

Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?
The 2 acres of vacant/farmland I own outright but one of the 11 adjoining house, that I plan to live in unfortunately I don't even pay mortgage on, much less own outright.

What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?
Mushroom/Ferments, Herbs/Teas, Bandages, Splints, I am still acquiring knowledge on this front.  

Basic Infrastructure?
Sewage: Grid-tied but I want backup IBC tote+mulch pit system
Water: a creek onsite and I want to dig a shallow well
Domestic Hot Water: pollard firewood trees, solar.
Heating: in floor PEX-pipe heating, powered by the domestic Hot Water system
Cooling: in floor PEX-pipe cooling, powered by the creek 80% load. AC for humidity 20% load.
Electric: hydroelectric from creek for nightime load, solar-electric for peak, just in time daytime load, minimal battery.
Cooking: Indoor Electric + solar/wood powered outdoor kitchen
Laundry: Electric Washer, Solar Dryer

What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?
Soaps: laundry, dish, floor, bathroom, body.......soapnuts and lye from wood ash + fat/oil
Paper: Rags/Cloth vs Paper Towel. Bidet Tiolet (as a backup, maybe I should get used to it now).
Electrical/Electronic: they last about 10yrs after that, I guess I will be feral
Clothes: At a complete loss
Utensils: Chopsticks, wooden bowls, gourds.

What would be the turning point that causes you to bug out instead of bug in and hunker down?
If people are hostile and I can no longer defend myself, or if I need resources, that are elsewhere

What supplies would you bring with you and why?
Safety: Whistle, Machete, Medical Uniform/Badge, 1st Aid Kit
Food&Water: Life Straw, Oil, Multi-Vitamin, Sugar-Candy, Whey Protein,
Shelter: Ultra-Light Camping Setup.
Transportation: Bicycle/Kayak, Compass
Communication: Crank Radio

Where would you go?
Underground Off-grid Cabin+Food Forest in the woods or different country

What obstacles are you prepared for versus what could go wrong?
Lost of Water/Sewage for 2days .........Okay
Lost of Electric/Heating for 2day .........Okay
Lost of Supermarket for 7days ...........Okay
Lost of Shelter/Roof, so camping for 7day ............Okay
Lost of Income for 1-6 months............Okay
Healthcare, I hardly/never go to the doctor/pharmacy now, so ...... 1-5yrs sounds good.
Lost of Transportation ......... bicycle and walking so 1-5yrs sounds good
Lost of Internet/Communication/Entertainment ........ 1hrs, just kill me now, this would be the biggest difference now compared to the pioneers.
 
Gail Jardin
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Ben Zumeta wrote:I'd recommend anyone interested in either homesteading or prepping/survival take a Wilderness First Responder course. Its paid itself off many times over for me in hospital bills, hikes and lives saved. Plus it is a great time with almost entirely awesome people. I even understand plumbing better because of it (the human body and our houses' water systems are all about pumps, pressure and volume).


This is a great idea! I meant more along the line of emergency medical supplies not herbs and tea etc. It would also be nice to have a few antibiotics on hand for when someone does not respond to herbal medications. My main concern would be snake bites and wound care. What type of first aid kit do you have on hand at your homestead? What do you keep on you when you go out in the woods whether it be hunting or chopping firewood?
 
Gail Jardin
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Devin Lavign wrote:

Gail Jardin wrote:For those of you who already have your homestead established, do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?
Could you feed your livestock without feed stores and only outside feed from close neighbors and friends?
Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?
What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?
What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?



1st off I am building infrastructure before I get animals and plants to tie me down. I bought the land out right, but it is raw land so a lot needs to be done to get it in shape.

2nd could the homestead provide the necessities? Well there is a lot of game and veggies growing wild. Including lots of quail, grouse, pheasant, and turkey.

3rd could I feed things from my land. That is part of why I am working on infrastructure, so I have thing set up to be as sustainable as I can.

4th I have some pet meds stocked up, but part of why I am looking at heritage breeds of animals is so they are less dependent on doctors.

5th I live off grid, and if I lost all amenities, it would not change my life much.


What type of infrastructure are you working at at this time? How much experience do you have hunting? What did you tag this archery season? What type of pet meds do you have on hand? Do you have antivenom and antibiotics? Do you currently live full time on your property with no electric and running water?
 
Gail Jardin
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J Davis wrote:I started as a suburban prepper and then began the transition to homesteader.

I surmised that when supplies run out, i would need to replenish them. Genius observation, right?

So we packed up and moved to a rural location within driving distance of a mid sized town (read that as has a target and a mall) for the sake of spousal sanity.

Then began the skill building and experimentation phase. Putting in ponds, swales, hugel, optimizing foraging, learning to dehydrate, canning, butcher, etc.

This site has been a very useful community for archives and advice.

What challenge will we face that our forebears did not?

I suppose there is nothing new under the sun. But maybe we will have all the fun stuff at once..

By way of example, China is currently dealing with pandemic, martial law, supply chain collapse, and now a plague of locusts.

My approach is to homestead as a sanity relief valve. When my world seems out of control, I add value to something on my land that is within my control.

Essentially, I have adjusted my expectations as to how much influence I have on the outcome. Ie, not much.

Example 2: Australia just had massive wildfires, which in an instant can wipe out prepping supplies and homestead.

If its futile, at least its cathartic and virtuous.



I too may be taking the baby steps approach to homesteading and just live on a couple acres on the edge of a town as my hunt for a real homestead is just to affordable to me at this time. I posted in the drivel forum about the economic impact of the pandemic in China. No one seemed to be interested in these ideas as I don't think anyone replied. As the economy collapses there I feel it will have an impact here in the US that could be bad, not catastrophic. I think the worst thing that could come out of this coronavirus is if the US were to mandate toxic vaccines against it and/or a martial law type quarantine. Your example about Australia makes me think how powerful nature is and how our developments need to take that into consideration. I can't even imagine how people live in areas prone to massive forest fires without having a solid plan to get out. I live in an area with tornadoes and floods, but there regular enough to be planned for, most places are built at higher elevations, basements are in most houses and they all have sump pumps.
 
Gail Jardin
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Annie Lochte wrote:My dad was a depression era child and always lived a slight/moderate 'prepper' style life. So I grew up as living that way was normal and have lots experience foraging weeds, berries, roots etc and dressing out small game and livestock. Some canning and preserving. I have spent my life working with horses and the past 20 years as equine vet tech and have some good basic medical skills. My little (3acre) homestead is paid for and has edible landscaping well established. When i moved here it was way, way out in the middle of the woods... No neighbors and quiet, but now i have lots of neighbors and the area has gotten busy. (too busy)
I would have to trim down the goat population to feed them from the property and yes I could keep a few but there's a lot to consider... And like the chickens, I can keep a few but have to defend them from the foxes, coons, bears, etc.... If I were defending my goats (and horse) from hungry poachers... Well that's a consideration. And I have come to love my refrigerator and freezer... Living without that would be an adjustment. For most of my life I lived without AC and only in the last few years... In the time of hot flashes... Have gotten used to it... Where I live the biting insects are a huge consideration for 4-5 months of the year... When I run out of repel and citronella oil it'll be tough. I have read up on natural repellants an tried some but nothing yet that really works like the deet/citronella. Theres lots of water around and i have a couple hand pumps that could be put on my well pump for water... I have also always walked around at night without a light just to keep my night sight... Wouldn't want to assist a dystocia in the black of night but navigating obstacles most nights I'm still good at...
There are many considerations to ponder in a TEOTWAWKI' situation. But I think I could survive. An as was posted by others... Now days there's just so many people and laws and taxes...


I believe Dalmatian chrysanthemum is supposed to be a potent bug repellent, one of the common synthetic pesticides is based off of it. I've never grown it but am hoping to have a small patch of it in my future homestead. Citronella is a type of geranium, they can be soaked in alcohol and used as a spray or infused in oil and used like a lotion.
 
Jay Angler
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I'm going to shamelessly copy S Benji's bold type and Gail Jardin's questions!
Do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?
We're in earthquake country and a really big one is overdue. If it hits and doesn't kill us, our chances are medium-high that we'd get by, but I suspect we'd have to downsize a bunch of small animals unless it happens at a perfect time as opposed to the worst possible time.

Could you feed your livestock without feed stores and only outside feed from close neighbors and friends?
Not at this time - that's where the downsizing would have to happen! Unfortunately, it would have to happen rapidly enough that it might be permanent, but first I'd try to reach out to neighbors who might have enough to maintain 3 chickens on their weeds and bugs and re-home them.

Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?
We own - no debt at all - but higher overheads than I'd like which means if the banks crash, things will get tight fast.

What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?
Large bandages/tape. I wish steri-strips weren't so ridiculously expensive or I'd have more.  No antibiotics - they have a shelf life and would only go bad before use - even our aspirin and like is stale-dated so it's a good thing there are a few willows around. Getting some Elderberry are on my wish list.

Basic Infrastructure?
Sewage: Septic but enough forest that faking up a safe system that will feed the trees is already on my list. Hubby already dumps most of his liquid gold on the cedar mulch pile.
Water: This is a serious issue - we've got two deep wells with pumps and a crappy deep well with no pump. A bad earthquake may or may not damage the wells, but if not, we will be able to pump until we run out of fuel. I'd be happier if we had at least some solar cell back-up. In the winter, rainwater will cover us just fine and we carry some barrels of rainwater into the summer, but a dry summer followed by shit happening in Sept and water could be a problem.
Domestic Hot Water: nothing specifically set up. I've been collecting up the materials to do a rocket stove test, but in the short term it would be camp stoves.
Heating: two wood stoves assuming the house they're in hasn't collapsed!
Cooling: not required, but humidity control sometimes is and that requires electricity.
Electric: We have a winter creek, and #2 son thinks he's got an idea that might harness that energy but it's flow is irregular and there's not much slope. The one location that has plenty of slope would require a *lot* of diversion to get the flow to the right spot, so that's not likely to happen for a creek that's flowing later and later each fall.
Cooking: Indoor Electric + open fire or camp stove if electric's not available.  
Laundry: Electric Washer, Solar Dryer summer - wood stove drying in the winter (but it means we have to run the dehumidifier more, which we empty into the washing machine as part of the water for the next load - at least it's "reuse"!)

What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?
Soaps: laundry, dish, floor, bathroom, body - We use this minimally and buy in bulk so it would have to be a *long* emergency. I'm planning to try making some fruit vinegar (plum wine as the base) and I use vinegar a lot for cleaning, but I don't know how to make a regular clear vinegar.
Paper: Rags/Cloth vs Paper Towel. A role of paper towel lasts a year or more in my house.
Electrical/Electronic: if the internet goes down, there will be sad faces in this house
Clothes: I sew and we have a fair number of spares because "good clothes" gets down-graded to farm clothes. Fire would take out that and many other of our plans though, so let's hope that doesn't happen.
Utensils: Chopsticks, wooden bowls, pocket knives.

What would be the turning point that causes you to bug out instead of bug in and hunker down?
Too many animals to leave, so we'd bug in.

What obstacles are you prepared for versus what could go wrong?
We can handle most short term crises just by 'getting by', but we are vulnerable to a serious forest fire. Our location could have a bad one, but it would have to be limited due to the proximity of the ocean, so we'd likely be dependent on friends/acquaintances/bank accounts in the short to medium term. Believe me, I would love to have an earth-bermed, earthquake-proof, fire-proof root cellar, but that's years down the road.
 
gardener
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We definitely have a much much greater population than when pioneers were truly homesteading, so most of us are specialists and lacking in lots of basic skills including food production and preservation. There were little to no codes and regulations outside of a town, and people were responsible/accountable for what they did and only those who were competent or lucky survived. If something so severe were to happen that we no longer could rely on healthcare, food distribution, or the jobs paying us, then I'm not too concerned about banks coming around evicting anyone for a year or two. In 2008 I had a coworker who went 18 months not paying his mortgage after the house value dropped below the loan amount, then he paid interest only as part of a program, and after 3 months when it went back to normal he stopped again. So it was a full 2 years before they had to move out, and paid maybe $3000 total out of $72000 due during that time. If "zombies" are roaming about, good luck to banks trying to evict!

For those concerned about some long-term outage, I'd follow the adage "one is none, two is one, and three is done" as far as having spares for items you can't repair or make. My plan is having at least one spare well pump and charge controller on hand in case the first fails, regardless of societal collapse. While I have a little chest freezer with temp adapter to convert it to a fridge, and that plus the well pump and lights will be running off a solar system with lead acid batteries sized to last 15-20 years, I'm looking at other food preservation options like smoking/salting meat, and lacto fermenting/drying fruits and veggies. Between fruit and nut trees and shrubs, plus perennial and annual vegetables and a root cellar, I'll hopefully have enough to get by regardless of what's going on around me. With 20 acres of land, keeping some chickens and rabbits will be the route I'd take for meat and eggs. Relying on hunting out of season will either mean large game will disappear pretty fast (within months) or worse you get shot accidentally or intentionally by hungry people with guns or bows.

I think there's a difference between being "resilient" to short-term issues, like a power outage lasting several days or up to a week, and planning to survive a zombie apocalypse scenario which is highly promoted by those selling the gear/supplies. I think the latter is a distraction and some people encourage it for personal gain which is unfortunate. I don't have a TV and ignore most news, and I seem to be far less stressed about things as a result. Sensationalized "news" aka entertainment is really hyping the latest corona virus but we've had several in recent years like SARS. From what I hear, it's just a stronger version of the flu, so those with compromised health should be careful. I don't believe it's going to be "disaster movies come to life" though. Fear and panic breed avid viewers and advertising revenue for those spreading the fear. Plus the novelty factor garners attention. Compare it to the danger involved with driving 5000 pounds of metal down the road at 80mph and how many bored people distract themselves while doing it, despite the risk to life and limb. It's a dangerous activity that some people are totally oblivious to and far more people die each year to it.
 
master pollinator
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Mark Brunnr wrote:
I think there's a difference between being "resilient" to short-term issues, like a power outage lasting several days or up to a week, and planning to survive a zombie apocalypse scenario which is highly promoted by those selling the gear/supplies.



I used to identify with the prepping movement, and now I strive towards homesteading.  For me, being prepared for your first scenario, be it a power outage, loss of employment, blizzards, tornadoes, that type of thing, is just common sense and I don't really understand people that don't do it.  Even a power loss of a week should be no more than a slight inconvenience if you are at all prepared.

Trying to prepare for TEOTWAWKI is just an exercise in futility as I see it.  
 
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Do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?
Surviving yes, probably, but I would have lots of regrets about all the things I haven't finished preparing/learning yet.
We are still in our first year and we already get tested by a long drought. The task at hand is currently to tap into our small springs and get water tanks for storage.

Could you feed your livestock without feed stores and only outside feed from close neighbors and friends?
The only live stock we have are bees, they are also our livelihood. They overwinter on their own honey, but the Varroa mites could be a problem.
In that case we would have to cut drone brood to control the infestation levels.
We are thinking about getting a few ducks, they can eat anything, so we would simply share our food with them.

Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?
The land is all payed. But homestead is too big of a word for it. It's just movable tiny huts and shipping containers, all very primitive.
House building is too expensive with all those regulations and fees. And any dwelling bigger than 10 square meters is illegal without a consent.

What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?
Band-aid, enema bucket, hydrogen peroxide, iodine, epsom salts, benzoin and 30 + essential oils, colloidial silver and some herbs. Haven't got a suturing kit yet.

What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?
Haven't used toilet paper in a while, I prefer washing with water, feels much cleaner anyway, wouldn't want to go back to using paper.
Don't have a toilet because I think humanure is too valuable to waste it.  
I made lamps from oil and beeswax with home made wicks for lighting in case the power goes out. We have solar panels as well, but need to replace the deep cycle batteries.
For making lamp oil I've just started growing Moringa trees. They grow fast!
For tooth brushes I'm growing licorice root, which can be chewed to clean the teeth. They are good for gum health as well.
I've planted white mulberry trees to feed silkworms, so I can make yarn for clothes etc. There's so much to learn! How to make a root brush, a broom, sandals, hats, wicker baskets, casting metal, firing clay pots, making cement. So exiting to learn new stuff all the time.
In case electronics won't work anymore I write all kinds of useful information into journals. It's also a good way to memorize things.
Making paper and ink for writing with feathers, it can all be done! Information and skills will be more valuable than things, I believe.

Lastly, what are some of the modern day conundrums that you feel could be a problem that pioneers would not have had to face? What do you feel is the biggest difference between modern homesteading and prepping for survival?
Modern day problems are pollution, excessive government interference/regulations and natural disasters of the kind that happen during a grand solar minimum.
Also the sheer volume of unprepared people who will panic when some unexpected bad situation happens. It could potentially get nasty.
For me that means spiritual preparedness as well. Not to be afraid to die in case things don't work out. I'm not prepared to harm anybody to protect myself. My survival isn't more important than that of others. Just glad I don't have kids to worry about. But I'm concerned for my neighbors kids.  
 
pollinator
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For those of you who already have your homestead established, do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?

My household is nowhere near ready for anything more complicated than losing power for a week or two.  With me becoming semi disabled 2 years ago we are realizing we are not prepared for more common and more personal disasters that are more likely to happen so we are focusing on those.  Things like job loss, permanent severe disability, death of spouse, caring for elderly parents, and other major life events that can get in the way of long term goals.

Could you feed your livestock without feed stores and only outside feed from close neighbors and friends?
Nope.   We currently have a flock of laying hens and many would have to become soup if we couldn't get enough feed for them.

Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?
We are working on that.  Of course we would still have the property taxes.  


What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?
 Other than a first aid kit I have an impressive collection of braces and walking aids.  Luckily I don't need to use them daily.

What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?
Can I live in denial that it won't ever come to that?  If things got bad enough we would adapt because we have no choice. We are both creative people who build things so I am not to worried about it.

My husband and I are working toward an organized, easy to manage life where we can retire early and have the time and energy to do the things we want to.  Homesteading is a big part of that.  It has improved the quality of our lives and we are working on reducing our cost of living.  If it brings us more resiliency even better but we don't have the band width to worry about survival or prepping for a major long term disaster since we still do have our act together enough to handle mundane stuff that happens.  

One thing I do not see a lot of homesteaders and preppers plan for is major disruption in their ability to do stuff.  I see this in videos, forum posts, and blogs.  Your systems and routines should be designed that anyone in the household should be able to do them easily.  That means things shouldn't  be so heavy that only the strongest person in the household can lift them.  Garden beds shouldn't be so wide that the shorter members of the family can't reach the center without stepping on the beds.  The care of the animals should be set up in a way that anyone in the family can take care of the daily chores.  One back injury can make a reluctant spouse into a stressed, overextended and resentful spouse because they are taking on things that were not designed for them to manage.   Between travel, illnesses, injury, and possibly your death you will have someone step in and do all that you do when you can't, so plan for that.



 
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Mara Hermann wrote: Do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?



Yes as much as any one can be.  We have already been through a number of natural and man made disasters.

Could you feed your livestock without feed stores?

Yes.  You grow food for the table right?  Better grow food for the stable.

Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?

Truth be told,  None of us owns anything.  Not even our own bodies.  Don't believe me?  Try going a year without paying taxes.  Or refusing "approved" recommendations/mandates/licensing.

With that caveat in mind ..... Yes we are in front of the financial sector in our claims


What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?

All of the usual/available over the counter stuff.  We employ a rotation schedule.  Donating to extended family/friends/local community when items near real expiration.

We have a fairly extensive medicinal garden.  We distill oils and formulate tinctures.  We make and store C.S.

We have a pretty complete trauma kit.


What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?

Well energy is the key isn't it.  We make our own power with PV, Anaerobic Digestion, Wood Gasification.  Our batteries are Nickel based.

Toilet paper is too valuable to wipe your butt with.  We use a poor person's bidet, (dipper/garden hose/tabo).


Lastly, what are some of the modern day conundrums that you feel could be a problem that pioneers would not have had to face?

Fraudulent monetary systems obscuring real value and nullifying market feedback.   Being indoctrinated/propagandized for the 70 or so years.  The "soft slavery" that is constructed by these tools.

What do you feel is the biggest difference between modern homesteading and prepping for survival?

Why do folks differentiate between "Survival/Prepping" and "Homesteading"?   They are one in the same.  

Names like "Survival" and "Prepping" are like the term "Conspiracy Theorist".  They are labels that dehumanize and marginalize rational responses.

"Survival/Prepping/Homesteading" is the norm for humanity.  Given a longer sampling time scale.

The current paradigm of fiat financed consumption is the aberration.
 
pollinator
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Kate Muller wrote:
One thing I do not see a lot of homesteaders and preppers plan for is major disruption in their ability to do stuff.  I see this in videos, forum posts, and blogs.  Your systems and routines should be designed that anyone in the household should be able to do them easily.  That means things shouldn't  be so heavy that only the strongest person in the household can lift them.  Garden beds shouldn't be so wide that the shorter members of the family can't reach the center without stepping on the beds.  The care of the animals should be set up in a way that anyone in the family can take care of the daily chores.  One back injury can make a reluctant spouse into a stressed, overextended and resentful spouse because they are taking on things that were not designed for them to manage.   Between travel, illnesses, injury, and possibly your death you will have someone step in and do all that you do when you can't, so plan for that.



This^^ We got one set of wood pellets for the furnace in 25kg bags, I can lift and move a 25kg bag, but I can only do 3 or 4, and when they are put away we're moving 1-200 at a time. one time he couldn't help he was away and a hurricane and heavy rain was forcast. Several bags got ruined as I couldn't move them in in time. Now we buy in 20kg bags I can keep moving them. I do almost all the gardening, but at least once a week I drag him out and show what I'm doing, what's needing harvesting weeding etc etc (we have 1/2 acre intensive garden and sell from it) If something happens to me I may not even be in a state where I can explain it, it's important he knows what's happening all the time.
 
pollinator
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I see myself as a homesteader and not a prepper. But there are many shades of grey.  I am  certain  I have more than a years supply of food for my wife and I.  That happens when you can and own a dehydrator. Our freezer is still pretty full. We don't put food up for survival......we just put food up. Livestock is another story.  We have over a three month supply of feed on hand.  On top of that, maybe six months of hay.  Medical wise,  my wife and I are RNs.  We are secure in terms of medical supplies.
 
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Location: PNW Columbia Gorge
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Gail Jardin wrote:For those of you who already have your homestead established, do you feel that you are prepped enough to survive a major catastrophe?
Could you feed your livestock without feed stores and only outside feed from close neighbors and friends?
Do you own your homestead outright or would you loose it to the bank?
What medical supplies do you have on hand if you can not get to a doctors or vets?
What would you do when you run out of basic amenities like batteries, toilet paper etc?

For those of you who prep but do not have a homestead, what would be the turning point that causes you to bug out instead of bug in and hunker down?
What supplies would you bring with you and why?
Where would you go?
What obstacles are you prepared for versus what could go wrong?

Lastly, what are some of the modern day conundrums that you feel could be a problem that pioneers would not have had to face? What do you feel is the biggest difference between modern homesteading and prepping for survival?



My personal belief is its all about your personal skill set and value in community. Ive gone over and over this for 20 some years. It all comes back to community, hyper localized. Hope my answer helps.
 
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Ok, I'll add an answer, just so everyone else can feel better that they're more on top of things then I am :)

We are, mostly, totally unprepared. Just not organized. Being on a homestead, raising our own food and heating with wood, gives us an advantage over many of our neighbours. But I've definitely got a long to-do list on the emergency prep.
Winter would be very difficult to manage without outside inputs for any extended amount of time.
Oh, and we have a big 'ol mortgage on the property.

I just so happened to have picked up The Resilient Farm and Homestead today at the library, so you know, I'm working on it. :)
 
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It’s pretty straight forward to prepare for EXPECTED emergencies or shortages or power outages, it is the UNEXPECTED that gets us!  Who would have thought Coronavirus or Covid19 would spread like it has and have the ultimate potential of taking down the economy and limit trading partners with other nations?  All we can do is prepare the best we can and hope and pray we can make it through the rest.  

Someone mentioned how to deal with a rattlesnake bite.   A few years back my dog was bitten by a copperhead and I remembered something from the Jiuliette DeBaircli Levy book, Herbal Handbook for Barn and Stable. and another herb/healing book which I cannot remember the name of, but written by Adele Davis (very old book).  This was the recommendation for any snake bite.  
Give the animal or human Vitamin C in a liquid solution, 10, 000 units at the time, wait a little while,  30 minutes in my case, and give another dose.  I syringed it into the dogs mouth.  Also rubbed his bitten mouth with crushed plantain.  
At the time he was limp and unable to hold his head up and had rolled partly down a hillside.  I carried him to the house (Australian Shepherd), and treated him.  Within 1 hour he was lifting his head, another hour and he was standing, and a few minutes later ran back up to guard the goats, his favorite job.   Totally amazing.  Would be good to store some Vit C powder but in our humid climate it turns to stone in a short time.  However, could have some moisture absorbers put into the container after opening and would probably help.  

Make your own antibiotic by tincturing usnea and making sure you have plenty on hand in your home medicine cabinet.  Garlic, as we probably all know, is called Poor Man’s Penicillin in Russia.  Everyone should be growing it if they can.  I used it to also worm my goats when I had livestock, and eating a little raw every day will protect you from all those nasties out there, viruses, etc.  

Appreciate every one of you living on the land and trying to make a go of it.  I know how hard it is, having been there and done that.  I can just imagine what a beautiful world this would be if we had more permies doing their thing.  Thanks to Paul for his massive efforts in making the world a better place.  
 
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Annie Lochte wrote:.. Where I live the biting insects are a huge consideration for 4-5 months of the year... When I run out of repel and citronella oil it'll be tough. I have read up on natural repellants an tried some but nothing yet that really works like the deet/citronella.  



Try- Permethrin Insect Repellent for Clothing Gear and Tents ...
sawyer.com/products/permethrin-insect-repellent-treatment/https://sawyer.com/products/permethrin-insect-repellent-treatment/
For use on clothing, tents, sleeping bags, and other outdoor gear, Sawyer Permethrin is more than just an insect repellent — it actually kills ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects.
 
pollinator
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For those of you who prep but do not have a homestead, what would be the turning point that causes you to bug out instead of bug in and hunker down?

Not sure I count as a prepper per se, but I like to be prepared for emergencies. When the government tells you to have certain things on hand (like a three day supply of everything) it's a good idea to do that. And I've seen enough situations on the news that lasted longer than three days that I can see the virtue in planning for longer term issues too.

Anyway, with my situation and no bug-out location available, it would take a total societal collapse leaking out into our rural area for us to leave. By then it would probably be life or death, with a chance of not even making it to wherever we decided to go.

What supplies would you bring with you and why?

Food, water, clothing, medicines, first aid, boredom fighters, something for a creative outlet (blank notepad, pencil, really good pencil sharpener), lighting if possible, a good knife, an eReader loaded with important info and a solar charger, a select few light/short books, something that can be used for shelter, rope or string or paracord, dental floss, and duct tape, important documents in a waterproof container. Also our dog. Can't abandon her, so we'd also have food and a toy for her. Some of these things are just plain common sense, others like dental floss can be surprisingly versatile.


Where would you go?

Great question. I don't know. My parents' house would be a great option in some situations, but awful in others. My little sister used to own a rural property with a barn and not much else and that could have worked but she and her husband sold it.


What obstacles are you prepared for versus what could go wrong?

Sadly not prepared enough for the obstacles. The one that scares me is a grid-down situation where we can't get insulin for the two Type 1 diabetics in our family. It's too expensive to store much extra and even with rationing it will eventually run out. Gluten free food for our resident celiac could be an issue too, I guess. That said, we're working on sustainability and self-sufficiency, doing what we can, learning what we can't do quite yet, and planning to get out in the country again so we can expand our efforts.

Lastly, what are some of the modern day conundrums that you feel could be a problem that pioneers would not have had to face?  

We are all too dependent on the grid (except for you off-gridders, more power to you [no pun intended]) and the increasingly global economic system. How much of what we use comes from another part of the country, or from another country? Being really well-prepared can be expensive. How many of us can afford to have a backup Kindle say, loaded with all our best stuff and safely stored with a great solar charger in an EMP-proof improvised Farady cage (which may or may not actually work)?

And in a way, being really well prepared could backfire. I think the materialistic nature of our society works against many preppers because the one thing some of them haven't prepared for is not having their stash of supplies available. The pioneers were much better prepared to start with nothing than we are. What happens if a tornado, hurricane, or fire destroys our house and all of our back-up supplies? What if I sink a cache of supplies in a river and plan to find them based on a specific tree that stands out on shore but a massive flood rips that tree out and sends it downstream? Can you tell I have a vivid imagination and can think up just about every way things can go wrong? Point being though, that skills are more important that stuff. No one can rob you of your skills, and unless you die or are incapacitated no disaster can remove them either. That's why I'm trying to focus on skills and knowledge more than a bunker and five million rolls of toilet paper, neither of which I could afford anyway...and I have no place to put all that toilet paper.

What do you feel is the biggest difference between modern homesteading and prepping for survival?

I think homesteaders are often more in touch with nature and less prone to the materialism bug, so that helps. I also think for long-term survival--as long as you don't have to leave the homestead--homesteaders are actually better prepared. Yeah, I can learn how to set defensive perimeters and stock up on ammo to shoot anyone who's trying to get my secret cache of industrial strength peanut butter, but when the crisis point is over will I be able to live with the other people who survived the chaos, or will I be so entrenched in survival and prepping that I can't adjust to the post-crisis world? Homesteaders face challenge after challenge after challenge and learn to roll with the punches and move on. I don't know if it's the experience, the connection with nature, or a mindset that gets people into homesteading in the first place, but it's something. I'm sure there are non-homesteading preppers who fit this more positive, adaptable model as well...they just don't improve ratings so we won't be seeing them on TV.

 
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I haven't really thought whether I am a prepper or homesteader so much but wanting to be wise and be prepared. I have seen a lot of decline in so much and a lot more to come. I want to be ready and not rely on the unreliable. I've had to relocate and overcome some health issues but it's not stopping from learning and doing all I can. I'm impatient and it's not fast enough but I keep going forward. I don't know if where I live will be my permanent homestead and is way too close to the city for my liking.
It is true many I know couldn't survive well without a microwave, dishwasher or many amenities the world offers. I have few and am learning to get ready to do without reliance on power and those amenities (many of which I don't have)
I'm learning and a ways to go definitely. Learning things like how to find my water table so can put in a well and making my own solar power in unconventional ways that don't tear my head off financially. I also want to create an underground greenhouse to grow year round as well as my regular food production.
There is a lot more but for the sake of keeping it simple for now I thought I'd start sharing. I'm learning a lot from the time I've been able to be back online and here. Look forward to learning more.
 
pollinator
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As a single woman in my 50s,   self-defense and physical injury would be my two biggest concerns and weaknesses if I were in a situation where I would have to be self-sufficient for a long period of time.   I do believe I could sustain enough food and shelter for myself,  and to keep a couple ducks and rabbits alive over the winter months.   I don't want to be without a large dog though both for sleeping body heat and the alarm/protection provided.   Supporting a large carnivore over the winter by myself would be a huge undertaking.    Hunting/trapping skills would not be on par with what I would need,   although a spring trap for squirrels might get me close.   It's an interesting thought experiment.   Having a partner would make this a much more secure scenario.
 
John F Dean
pollinator
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Hi Heather

Nice observation.  Many of us are exposed to security issues because we live in remote settings.  There are always trade offs.  My setting bring me a high level of privacy but it also brings risks.
 
Or we might never have existed at all. Freaky. So we should cherish everything. Even this tiny ad:
Rocket Mass Heater Plans: Annex 6" L-shaped Bench - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/wiki/138231/Rocket-Mass-Heater-Plans-Annex
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