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Big Front Porch advocate
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Okay - since we're working on staying Preppers with our tin foil hats worn with a cocky air about them.... What does it mean to you?


For me - I see the Survival and Em Prep as many things, with many aspects and facets.
I know MOST think of The End of the World As We Know It scenarios. That's a given.
But then we get into our individual explanations of that, and what we prepare for.

But, there is the Survival of the Young - just getting out on their own and learning to take care of themselves. Be that in the city or in the farm areas. And what to do if they have a large power outage, or stuck in an elevator, or a snow storm or hurricane, etc.

Then we have the middle aged, still able but more knowledgable folks - probably most of us. Preparing for layoffs, family member going to a hospital for several days, or just staying away from stores during the crowded Holiday Shopping season.

And the one we all need to think of - what and how are we taking care of what may happen as we get older. Will we have a place to live? food? warmth/coolness, etc. Nursing home, assisted living, etc. (my parents out in N. TX are too far from me for me to help).

I think ALL these things, and variables of any situation that would cause us to need to be Prepared, is part of the forum.

And now - all of us preparing to stretch the paycheck as everything gets more expensive.

To me, the part of Survival that is the canning, growing food, etc = that Prepping, but to me that's probably the most true expression of what most think of as Homesteading.

Angie
 

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To me it's the logical extension of homesteading, which comes from a concept of self-sufficiency. My belief is that to be a good citizen I must first take care of myself and my family. Then I can stretch that umbrella a little to cover others.

All of the survival and preparedness is simply the logistical answer to the question, "For how long, this self-sufficiency?" I can't draw a clear distinction between homesteading and survivalism. They are too closely linked in my mind.
 

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I agree with Ernie. I was actually prepping before I started homesteading. I was buying extra everytime I went to the store. Then one day it dawned on me that if I grew my own food, and learned how to preserve it myself, then no matter what happened I would be able to feed my family. Once I got into that frame of mind it extended into alternative energy etc. I guess after being homeless at one point and time in my life I had determined that no matter what happened, I would not be placed in that situation again.
 

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shock absorbers.

there's gonna be bumps in the road of life. S&EP is just having a few shock absorbers along the way, to make the ride a little smoother.

of course, the analogy is a bit limited, as we have to apply our own awareness of the world to decide what areas to focus on, and evaluate which problems are most likely.

I think it's foolish to have 10 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammo but no health insurance. (Excluding the people who consciously go without health insurance because they don't agree with it.) I think it's equally foolish to have health insurance, nursing home insurance, cancer insurance, and every other kind of insurance, but have no food at home, and no means of self defense, and no means of heating your house or cooking a meal without electricity.

So I view it as a balancing act, doing a risk assessment of all the physical and financial threats and problems out there, and prioritize and adapt to them in the best way, to give the maximum cushioning given the resources you have, and still have a good quality of life.

I've heard it said, "If you can solve your problem by writing a check, you don't have a problem, you have an expense." I don't think S&EP is an expense; you have to think about it and integrate it in to your life.

Not on this forum really, but too many are caught up in the "technology" aspect or the "self-defense" aspect, thinking there's some particular piece of equipment that will solve all the problems. It's loads of MREs, and no beans and rice; it's SWAT team gear, but no retirement savings. (Of course, if you can afford all of these, that's great, it's only when it's not balanced against all risks that it strikes me as foolish.)

My view is the thinking/learning/analyzing/planning is much more important than buying tons of gear. While at first I was overwhelmed, after thinking it thru, and reading lots of insightful and knowledgable posts on this forum, I realized that a modest amount of camping gear, cooking gear, and food storage would go a long way. No, I'm not prepped for everything, but the most common problems all boil down to very similar needs in the end.

Within all the above, there's a role for camping/wilderness survival expertise and self-defense expertise. I'm just glad this forum keeps those topics with a larger context, rather than being the only topics discussed.

--sgl
 

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Mountaineers are free
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S&EP to me was living life like my grandparents did (for the most part) except we both work, we travel farther to do everything, etc... But growing food, canning the harvest and such have always been a part of me/us... And then I found the underground S&EP movement, WOW!

Now I think S&EP is an addiction :) I am doing many more things now than before, I never saw it coming. But the day I found HT was a great day, a group of people who are helping each other find what works best for each. (Minus the anger, heated debates and political scenarios in GC)

I am ready for about anything coming my way, however the level of comfort one can expect during any of the millions of dreamed up SHTF scenarios requires much more thought. I will never be fully prepared but I will be working toward that goal everyday. Watching my health, my finances, my food, my weapons and my relationships with other like minded people.
 

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At the bottom line, to me it's about making sure that my family (new member on the way) has food, water, and a place out of the weather to sleep. I want and expect more of myself than that, of course.

Coming from a background of poverty, and having grown up in hurricane country, putting a little extra aside whenever possible is just second nature to me - not something I really have to think about doing. Beyond these basic necessities though, I put far more emphasis on mental preparedness than on 'things' - knowing what to do, when, and how; not to mention the simple gut-level knowledge that until you're actually dead there's always something you can do to make your life a little better.
 
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For me it's about making sure that we can provide what we need should times get rough, lay offs, low in finances, and of course I believe strongly that the world is going to change because it is written in my Bible.
I dont want to have to rely on the government for anything. If we can become as self sufficient as possible, then that is good. It is our goal and we are close to it.
There are so many SHTF things that can happen, and I dont want to see my family and friends go hungry or not be able to defend ourselves.
It makes sense to have a well stocked pantry, to be able to hunt, make your own clothes, have medications on hand and so on. Our ancestors did it and that is what helped them survive lean times.
Nowadays it is too easy to just go to the store whenever we fancy to get what we need. Relying only on that is a lazy way of living.
To me being prepared IS homesteading. Why have a garden if you dont grow enough to can or dehydrate?
It is about making the best use of the resources around you and having the knowledge to do that.

Rose
Good answer.
 

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For me it means there is food in the pantry even when I'm broke. I don't have to rush to the store to stock up when bad weather looms. I'm more or less ready for whatever happens. Bottom line - it means peace of mind.
 

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Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs
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I like what two people have said here and I think it very astute:

Farmerwilly2's "never having to say I'm in sorry shape," and "shock absorbers."
 

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As some have said prepping is just part of our way of life. Being snowed in most years for the last 35 years has taught us the range of preps and experience needed for our safety.
Whats different now that we are retired is we spend our time expanding our capabilities to be able to take in our far flung family members when they have a shtf situation. Its not just having enough food for 16 {family keeps growing} but to be able to house and have a decent quality of life if they have to all come here at once. So our situation is a little different as we are blessed with the opportunity to develop a family based survival center.
What one thinks as prepped another thinks as a start to prepping. All degrees are important in making us able to adjust to the new truths of our situations. With the new economic realities { which no one understands the ramifications yet} it has become imperative to be able to take care of your family without outside assistance. That being the case this site is a valuable source for those starting or well on their way to selfsufficiency.
 

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For me the survival part is the normal daily job of staying alive. Growing veggies, fruits, animals, milking, etc. The emergency preps part is being ready for hard times such as illness, job loss, lowered income due to retirement, loss of electricity, etc. Basically being as self sufficient as possible.

I'm not in a earthquake zone, not close enough to any shores to worry about hurricanes. I'm on high ground and the bad floods haven't endangered us. Forest fire is our biggest threat. We do things like having metal roof, mowing down the pastures in the fall, keeping plenty of water hose available, and learning how to use small backfires to keep large fires from approaching the house & barn. About the only other thing we could do would be to have an underground home and barn. I don't see that in our future so we do the best we can with what we have.
 

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Ditto what everyone else has said....I think of my knowledge, my livestock, my pantry, my books, and guns and ammo, my garden, and my access to hundreds of experienced people here on S&EP as my insurance policy. I'm still learning, I make mistakes, I don't have enough money to buy all the things I'd like to have, but at the end of each day I can say I've learned something that would keep my family alive.

Plus I really like keeping the old ways alive. Nobody in my family or real life friends can believe I actually MADE soap....and that's sad. 75 years ago everyone made soap. Everyone had a garden. Everyone preserved foods for the winter. Everyone repaired things until it was no longer possible. Those days are almost gone, and I'm proud to say I'll help them live one more generation.
 

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It means living a sustainable self sufficient lifestyle, with some extra stored up in case of a crisis. Being able to take care of yourself, family and home without outside help or supplies if necessary. At least a few times a year power goes out, and we get snowed or iced in at least occasionally . One year we didn't have heat or power for 4 days , it was pretty cold, and made me realize we needed to be better prepared. Now I have solar panels with batteries for backup. My parents and grandparents all were pretty good at keeping a good supply of food around, it just makes sense. I'm also educating my kids for their future. I've learned so much from this forum!!
 

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AFKA ZealYouthGuy
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Homesteading=sustainability=survival and emergency prep=sustainability=homesteading.

(For me)

As I said, "self-sufficient" is an idea I am trying to move away from. I don't think it's attainable, desirable or healthy to try to be "self-sufficient".

Much of this thinking started spiritually for me.

We are not made to be "Self-sufficient".

In fact, in perfection, in the Garden, the only thing God pronounced that was "not good" was for man to be alone.

Furthermore, Satan's temptation to Eve (and Adam who was beside her at the time), was really, in a lot of respects, to be more self-sufficient.

God created Adam and Eve to be God-sufficient.

They (and we I would argue) were to work together with our family and to ultimately understand that it's God who was supplying their needs. They worked the Garden (even in perfection there was work) together, but God created the Garden, the sun, the mist to water the garden and gave the increase.

When I began to seek "self-sufficiency", I began to forget the real things the God has given us that are eternal (our souls and the souls of those around us) are much more important than the carnal, passing items and pleasures that we really heap around us.

THOSE things are given to us solely for the purpose of securing the eternal things. Man's purpose is to bring Glory to God and all the stuff he created and gave us is for that purpose.
 

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Many good answers so far will save me alot of typing.

I see it as making sure my family is going to be OK if I lose my job, get snowed in, some kind of an attack that upsets "normal" life.

I do not prep to bug out, because if I were to bug out, I would be looking for a place that I have here at home.

In many ways, it brings peace of mind more than anything else.
 

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In memoriam
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As I said, "self-sufficient" is an idea I am trying to move away from. I don't think it's attainable, desirable or healthy to try to be "self-sufficient
I think it would be possible, but it certainly wouldnt be much fun.
We are too accustomed to having luxuries like heat , light, good food, and most everything else we can think of.

I mainly just try to be ready to take whatever comes and maintain a level of comfort that is as close as possible to normal.
 

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NJ Rich
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Here in NJ where we live, our house is well above storm tides surges from any storm we may get. Yes, I believe there will me a Catagory 5 Hurricane here sooner than later. We are in need of window protection and that is on the prep list.

Our ground here is limited and the soil very poor. Growing food is a poor option and as we said by another, "we can buy food cheaper than growing and canning". At least that is my thoughts about that part of prepping.

My dear wife says, "everything in moderation". So we prep across the board: save money when we can; buy food when it is on sale; I am in charge of being able to cook if we lose all our utilites and I have everything I need to cook outdoors or in our fireplace i.e" Dutch ovens; a set of pots and pans set aside just for fireplace cooking; over fire cooking racks; welders gloves; long handled utensils; we just had two cords of wood delivered and I had all the propane tanks filled last week; hunting is a option and my brother and I sighted in some of our firearms yesterday; we rotate our preps but we should do a better job of that. A complete inventory of our stocks is needed and that task falls to me.

I worry about the economy more than anything else. The job market is in shambles nationally that makes us worry about us and our three married sons and their wives losing their jobs. None of them could last long if their pay checks stopped.

You would think they would take measures to prep some but they don't and won't listen to my encouragment to do so. :bdh:

My list of SHTF is: job losses; deadly storms with long term loss of utilites; having to support our sons and their families if thet lose their jobs: can you say dormatory living? And running out of food if that happens.

We can not afford to continue living in NJ and moving to another state is an option my wife is fighting. :grit:

Everyones list is different but one thought continues to say: PREP when you are able and review where you need to do more.
 
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