How to Live a Self Sustainable Lifestyle

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The future is a mysterious creature. With a giant shaking of the earth or a large wave hitting shore–mother nature can unleash her fury and strike at any time. Part of living a self sustainable lifestyle is considering these events. There is no need to live in fear or obsess on the matter, but taking steps to gain the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to provide the basic human essentials to survive catastrophic events is a wise decision.

By taking action now you ensure you will have the ability to provide food, water and shelter to your family should you ever be called upon to do so. In addition it is also good to make a plan for transportation and a means of bartering and trading for items you need.

  • GROW YOUR OWN FOOD:  Learn how to grow a vegetable garden. It takes practice to be able to grow a garden well and should the time come you have to grow your own food or starve it is best to already know the basics about growing vegetables. The benefits of having a garden now are many. You will reduce your grocery expenses, learn to preserve your foods properly and stock your food pantry well. If you grow organically you will also gain wonderful health benefits from eating fresh, organic vegetables and the taste of your food is superior to retail store purchased produce. You won’;;;t ever want to go back once you have had a taste of organic food you’;;;ve grown and preserved yourself.
  • SEED SAVING: Saving vegetable seeds from the plants you grow in your garden is easy once you learn how to do it. Saving seeds has become a popular organic gardening hobby and many people are learning these skills. Join a seed saving group or start reading lots of books on the subject. Then gain the skills by experiencing it now in your own vegetable patch. Develop your own seed bank for long term self sustainability.
  • WILD FOODS IN YOUR AREA: This is probably one of the top skills to seek out on a regular basis and acquire. Most areas have an abundance of food growing in the wild–you just don’;;;t know it yet. Go to the library and start learning. Observe what grows within walking distance of your home throughout each season; spring, summer, fall and winter. There are many wild mushrooms, berries, weeds, fruits, nuts and other plants in your area and all will provide you with nutritious food IF you know what you are looking for, where to find it, how to prepare it and what NOT to eat. Hire a well-educated nature guide to walk your property or surrounding neighborhood to teach you what plants can be eaten. There are many species of edible plants in the wild, but it is important to know which parts of the plants are good to eat and which are not. These skills can only be gained by spending many years learning to recognize plants and through trial and error how to prepare them.
  • FOOD PRESERVATION: Learn to can, dry/dehydrate, smoke or otherwise cure and preserve foods. From canning vegetables to making homemade jam and from smoking fish to drying herbs, fruits or berries naturally under the sun. These are great skills to help you ride out times of hardship.
  • WATER: Tap water or even well water is expected to cause the human population problems in the future. If you have a well, install a hand pump so you don’;;;t have to rely on electricity for the pump to operate. Think and find other areas near your home that could provide an alternative water source. Learn how to properly purify water without using electricity or other fuel sources. Invest in a hand cranked water purifier.
  • SHELTER: If you are a good camper, then you will probably have many skills under your belt to live in a temporary shelter situation. Imagine your home is unstable or gone. Where would you seek shelter? Do you own property with trees that could be harvested quickly to build a make-shift log cabin and provide firewood for warmth? If not, you need to consider other alternatives. A shelter should keep you dry and warm and be in an area away from rivers, creeks, streams, volcanoes, mudslide prone areas and other locations that could threaten your life.
  • TOOLS: There are some basic tools everyone should have on hand. Primarily hand tools (non-electrical) that can be used to build with. A hammer, ax, handsaw, screwdrivers (phillips and flathead), nails and screws. You can build many things using just these simple hand tools. Other considerations might be rope or other binding materials, plastic tarps and scrap lumber. A flashlight that works by hand cranking it. Batteries don’;;;t last forever. Think back when you were a kid building forts and tree houses. What did you need then?
  • HUNTING/FISHING GEAR: Many people enjoy hunting and fishing as a recreational sport. If the time ever comes it is the hunters and fishers who will best be able to put fresh meat on the table. Invest in basic fishing and hunting gear. It doesn’;;;t have to be expensive as long as it works well. Then, get outdoors and do some target practice shooting and find an experienced hunter to teach you tracking and other hunting skills. Keep in mind, bullets won’;;;t last forever either. For long term survival a investment in a bow and arrow or even a simple wrist rocket slingshot would pay off if one knew how to use them. Practice the skills now. Invest in a tackle box and fishing pole. You can feed a lot of people by fishing or learning how to gather various shell fish if you live near an ocean. The basics for fishing gear include fishing pole (could use a heavy wooden stick in a pinch), fishing line, hooks, swivels and a fish stringer. For bait–the wiggling worm on the end still competes with the best of lures. As extra gear you can purchase some lures and other commercial baits. A boat is a real bonus if you live on the water, but consider how you would transport it if fuel for vehicles wasn’;;;t available.
  • TRANSPORTATION: What if there was no fuel available due to shortages or a natural catastrophe? How would you get around? Do you own a horse and buggy? Do you have a solar powered vehicle? Invest in a simple mode of transportation for emergencies–a bicycle. Not the fastest wheels, but it is better than walking and can be taken in many off-road locations. If you can afford some sort of towed trailer (like the baby carriers towed behind bikes) it would come in handy for hauling items towed behind your bicycle.
  • BARTERING/TRADING: Money. Green paper money, checks, credit cards–our usual form of paying for items may be temporarily or permanently disabled in the future. How will you get items you need? You could barter or trade with other people in your area, but you must have items of value or skills to offer first. This is a very important aspect of being able to survive and obtain items you need or want. The best form of “money” in a barter/trade system will most likely be gold and silver. Don’;;;t buy large gold bars. Purchase standard 1 oz. size gold or silver coins and put them away in a safe place at home (not a bank) where you can access them in an emergency.  Learn new skills now that could be valuable in the future–beekeeping, gardening, hunting, fishing, hand sewing, medical skills, cooking, baking, fermenting vegetables/sauerkraut making, raising livestock, butchering, meat smoking, cheese making, soap making, wild food guide. You may be able to barter your services or teach others your knowledge in trade for something you need in the future. There are many classes teaching the old pioneer skills to interested people. Have fun. Learn them now.
  • FIND NATURAL WAYS TO DO EVERYTHING: In everything you do in your day to day life now, consider what would happen if transportation, communication, food, fuel, water and so forth ceased tomorrow. Most of the gadgets and things we use around the home are electrical appliances. Learn how to do without. Take a trial run by shutting off the power to your home for one week. You will discover how unprepared you truly are. Make a plan to have a natural means for cooling, heating, refrigerating/preserving foods, cooking (outdoor bonfires and baking ovens make for delicious meals), baking, sewing, lighting, communication and much more. 
  • MEDICAL SKILLS AND SUPPLIES: Stock up on basic medical supplies and take CPR and First Aid courses. Many courses are offered at no charge to the public through local fire departments. Take one. Keep a well-stocked cabinet with bandages, splints, sewing needles/thread, antibiotic ointments, hydrogen peroxide, diarrhea and constipation medications, cough medicines, pain medicine and antihistamines. If anyone in your family requires medications it is best to also keep at least 2 months worth of spare medication or more if you can afford it. Also, stock up on personal hygiene products for menstruating women, toilet paper, toothpaste, deodrant, bar soap, shampoo/conditioner. Laundry and dish washing soaps are a bonus to keep on hand.

COPYRIGHT © 2011 Cherie Kuranko ~ “InkSpot”

All Rights Reserved.

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