I do things differently than most. I spread my perspective in hopes to assist and inspire others. I only list the things I do here that aren’t often or aren’t mentioned at all in most ‘prepper’ or ‘survival’ circles.
* My favorite prep item is my library. I have been collecting books ever since I had access to bookstores, not only for fun and survival, but almost as a cultural ‘ark’ of sorts. My private library consists of over 1000 books. I have books on homesteading, natural medicine, midwifery and childbirth, survival, ho-to’s, nature and wildlife guides, as well as a collection of worldwide ancient scriptures, classical learning books, works of Shakespeare, Dante’s Inferno, H.P. Lovecraft, etc. I have books on psychology, mythology, and many other subjects. If I retire today, I could spend the rest of my life happily studying my books.
* Laptops, and a huge digital library of music, audio books, ebooks, TV shows, documentaries, lectures, and movies. This collection is a secondary ‘ark’ to my paper books, as real books don’t need electricity to access! (And they double as a weapon, or kindling!)
*Washboard, plunger washer for washing in buckets, and a little tumbler tabletop washer. Clothespins, rope, and a free-standing clothes drying rack.
* I made a cloth toilet paper and menstrual pad set. I have a small collection of fabrics, cloth diapers, and old clothes to make more. (I believe if the SHTF, cloth reusable toilet paper and menstrual pads would be in high demand.)
* Items for a small portable power system: 12 volt deep cycle batteries, portable solar trickle chargers, power inverters, and device chargers.
My approach to food storage is multi-level, but across all I go as organic and GMO free as possible. It’s not just the BPA in plastic that is toxic, so I also try to get glass containers instead of plastic whenever possible. For example, I take the labels off and re-use large glass vodka bottles, and smaller glass drink bottles, for storing filtered well water. I can also use these glass bottles to treat water in the sun, and not worry about the sun cooking plastic particles into my water.
Here are my levels of food storage:
Level 1. Food for portability and immediate consumption.
This would be food from the middle of the grocery store, with up to a year shelf life. This food is for homemade MRE’s and short term use. Food from this level is rotated in and out of my car kit and BOB. (For example, granola bars, nuts, etc.)
Level 2. Cooking food.
This food crosses into other levels, So I will elaborate. This would include groceries from the middle of the grocery store, but if stored correctly can last much longer. Some of this food can be used as farming seed stock, sprouting seed, etc.
Level 3. Sprouting food.
Organic sprouting seeds and bulk beans, grains, etc. purchased at the organic market that germinate. I sprout all food I can before preparation to get the most of the extra nutritional value of the food. I have wheat that goes in this category, but I only purchase ancient varieties like Emmer, Farro, and Einkorn.
Level 4. Long term storage food. (2-20 years)
This level includes all of my level 3 food, as well as level 5. Most my long-term bean and grain supply doubles as seed stock, so a cup could be a meal, or a small field of crops. What is on this level also is my small collection of freeze-dried non-gmo long term storage food pails. Some food in these pails cross into level 1 and 2 but not 5. Confused yet?
Level 5. Garden food and herb seeds for food production.
This level is for my garden seeds that are not for human consumption. I created a survival seed back in 2006, and I add to it every year. I also keep a container garden of herbs and small crops. I use food from levels 1-4 as garden seed stock.
My overstock / barter items:
Collection of hotel swag sets. (Soap, shampoo, lotions, etc.)
Collection of Zippo lighters, fuel, wicks, and flints.
Collection of supplies for making household products. (Baking soda, washing soda, bar laundry soap, borax, vinegar, etc.)
Collection of essential oils for healing, home and bath, and morale. (Highly underestimated for healing!)
Collection of office supplies, esp. pens, paper, and notebooks.
Collection of knitting needles and crochet hooks, books, etc.
Tobacco and other smoking herb seeds.
Sewing supplies, machine, serger, and a collection of thread.
Collection of art supplies.
Collection of decks of cards, Magic the Gathering and Pokemon game cards, Uno, dice, and other off-grid games.
SHTF barter I could offer:
Selling garden seedlings
A mini mobile movie theater – DJ service
Selling homemade soaps, shampoo, laundry detergent
Solar 12v battery charging
Leadership and communication skills, and conflict resolution
I know all this is nowhere near a complete list, but I believe I have here things that are often overlooked or underestimated. I hope this helps!
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