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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Is Being Prepared an Addiction, an Obsession or a Chore ?

Original Article

survival guideAnd if so, what do we do about it?
For many of us, prepping has been our mission and our passion for one year, two years, or perhaps even longer.  It started with storing some extra water.  Next was food and first aid supplies.  Ultimately we set up defense systems and evacuation routes to insure our safety in the event of a disaster, be it a natural, man-made or even a politically motivated apocalypse.

We have read the books, watched the DVDs, compiled resource manuals, and purchased gear.  And still we are compelled to do more.  So I ask, is being prepared an addiction, an obsession, or a chore?  Can we call it quits if we had to?  Do we know when enough is enough?  Or are we hoarding?  And what is the difference between prepping and hoarding?
These are tough questions which I will not even try to answer since the context of each may differ for different people.  I will, however, offer up some definitions so that you can come up with  your own answers and your own conclusions.

  • Addiction:  the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.
  • Obsession:  a compulsive or persistent preoccupation, idea, or feeling.
  • Chore:  a routine or minor duty or task.
  • Hoarding:  a supply or accumulation that is hidden or carefully guarded for preservation or future use.
My answers?
  • Habit forming. Check.
  • Compulsive and persistent? Check.
  • Routine task? Check.
  • A hidden accumulation that is carefully guarded? A definite check.
Oh boy – four for four – not so good Smile
Perhaps it is merely a perception, but it seems like every spare moment in our household is spent learning.  It is spent drilling.  And it is spent practicing the skills that will be needed in a SHTF situation.  This business of prepping can be utterly exhausting!  And not only that, any extra money we have is used to purchase more supplies and gear to get us through the tough and uncertain times ahead.

You know what else?  The like minded people that I pal around with feel the same way.  With a life that was busy to begin with, the additional time and energy taken up with prepping activities has taken precious time away from other activities.  I say it is time to regroup.
A Call For Balance In Life
How do you feel?  Has preparing for the unexpected taken over your life to the exclusion of everything else? Do you feel you have balance in your every day activities?  Or not?
To help come up with answers, I would like to share a quiz that includes topics I ask myself when I feel overwhelmed by the never-ending to do list:

Do you have more than enough time to do what you want to do?
Do you spend quality time with the people who matter to you?
Do you have at least one hobby or pastime outside of you work, family and prepping activities?
What have you done for fun and entertainment lately?
Do you treat yourself to something special at least once a month?  What is that?
Do you sleep well and do you look forward to getting up every day?
When is the last time you spent a day doing nothing more productive that watch a DVD or read a book?
When is the last time you ate a meal at a table, without the television or other distraction?

Do you have something to look forward to such as a vacation or special event?
I hope that you will take the time to ask these questions of yourself now, for in spite of the dire outlook for our country and our planet, we still need to get on with this business of life. What we perceive as a bubble in time may go on for decades and for some of us, a lifetime.
The Manifesto
Be content with the knowledge that you have prepared and then move on and move forward. Embrace the life experience now. Do not wait for some undetermined time in the future to have some fun, to relax, and to savor just being alive. That future, if the SHTF, may never come.
Take the cure from prepper addiction and prepper obsession.  Continue to prep but recognize and accept it for what it is and move on to include other things in your life.  Go out for an occasional movie.  Have a few beers with friends.  Shut down the computer for a day or two and share some special time with your sweetie.  But most of all, be balanced, be happy and go for the gusto.

Being prepared is a chore, but a chore that should have a happy ending.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Like this? You might also like:
In the News:  AlternativeNews.com went live this week, aggregating news headlines from alternative sources covering economics, health, politics, environment, preparedness and many other topics.  I checked them out and saw they even included an article for Backdoor Survival – coolness.  Which article?  Glad you asked: Survival Gear Checklist – 15 Items to Get You Started.

Survival Tip: Making Fish Traps

Original Article

In a survival situation, you want to conserve as much as possible: conserve energy, conserve water and conserve your emergency food storage. Use your freeze dried food when you don’t have access to other nutritious food. One of the most nutritious foods you can eat is fish, and if you are near a body of water that has fish in it, you can trap them for meals. Whether you are near a pond, lake, stream or river, making a fish trap can be relatively simple without expending a lot of energy.
Funnel Trap: This trap should be built in shallow water close to the shore. Gather a bunch of sticks that are long enough to be pushed into the soil and stick out of the top surface of the water. Push the sticks into the soil to form a funnel shape, with the wide end of the funnel pointing into deeper water. Form a circle with sticks so that the narrow end of the funnel is pointing into the middle of the circle. Space the sticks close enough so that a fish cannot swim between them. Cut a slit down the length of a stick on the end about two inches long. Spread the slit and wedge some bait in the stick, using a bug, worm or small fry you caught and then wedge the stick into the soil toward the back of the circle. A fish will swim through the funnel and into the circle to get the bait, and will not be able to turn around and swim out.

Stakeout: Tie a piece of cord between two sticks stuck in the ground under water several feet apart. Tie two short cords to the main line a couple of feet apart and attach hooks to the free ends. The short cords should not be able to slip along the main cord. Bait the hooks with worms or bugs. Hooks can be made from a piece of wire, a thorny branch, or by carving wood or bone, and the smaller the hook, the better. Notch the blunt end so that the hook doesn’t slip off the cord when bitten by a fish.
Gill Net: Using perforated material, such as the lining from a jacket or the mesh from a hat, form a net and attach it to a handle to scoop fish from above. You can also make a net with some small cord. Tie a piece of cord between two trees, and then double over some lengths of cord and tie them to the main line. Space them so that a fish cannot swim through the gaps. Then starting at one end and down about two inches, tie the second and third pieces together, then the fourth and fifth together and so on. Alternate on the next row to start forming the diamond pattern of the net. Tie another main line across the bottom once you have the desired length of the net. String your net across the current of a stream or river so that the flow of water brings the fish into the pocket of the net.
Finding ways to supplement your emergency food storage with fresh food will help support your health in a survival situation. Be prepared with skills that allow you to find and trap animals that may be available in various environments.

-Gary Jenkins-
Gary Jenkins is a father and husband in Oregon, and is a wildlife rehabilitation and outdoor adventure enthusiast.

Audio Podcast: Episode-757- Marc Hallee on Dealing with a Fire’s Aftermath

podcast_subscribeImage by derrickkwa via Flickr

Original Article

Marc Hallee is a practitioner of wilderness skills, martial arts instructor, Girl Scout Leader and recently published his first article in Self Reliance Illustrated Magazine. He is also husband and father of 3. Recently Marc and his family experienced the … Continue reading →