Modern preppers.

Modern Preppers should look more to the past.

Modern Preppers look more to the past as a guide to preparedness.

What modern preppers call prepping or emergency preparedness, our not so distant ancestors called everyday life.

Less than a Hundred years ago(Three generations) in this country the majority of people produced more of their food than they bought. Family vegetable gardens, and fruit trees were common sights in every town and neighborhood in America. Small towns and rural areas of the country were much larger, and contained many more citizens than today. Chickens were kept by many Americans even in big cities. Dairy farms flourished around large population areas in every state, and milk was delivered to your door. When I was a kid growing up in a small town just nine miles outside of the Capital of Virginia in the 1960’s, I could pick and eat Apples, Peaches, Grapes, Pears, and Plums, between my house and the school I attended. There were multiple vegetable gardens on every street. Some small, and some large enough where the owners were able to sell fresh vegetables over the fence to neighbors passing by. Bartering goods was also a regular occurrence. I saw people trade vegetables, fruit, fish, and eggs, for sewing, mechanical work, and home repairs. These were things that happened regularly just Fifty or less years ago. We looked forward to the late summer when the “Black Berry Bushes” produced berries by the baskets full, and would go and pick them by the 3 gallon bucket full, after eating them to the point of being sick. Preppers that are too young to remember such scenes as these really should do a little research in to the past. Modern preppers can learn all they need to know about producing and preserving their annual food needs just with a quick study of how it was done a few decades ago.

Prepping for the future, by looking to the past
This turn of the century cabin in rural Virginia, would still make a prepper’s paradise today.

Prepping with a dual purpose.

Americans not only ate well for less money yesterday, but they also enjoyed a lot more freedom than we do today because of it. The prepping life style, or living a more self sufficient life frees you from the dependency of corporate, political, and economic forces, that have cut deeply into the liberty, and independence Americans used to hold dear. Modern preppers are starting to take some of that independence back from those entities by relying more on their own efforts to provide for themselves as opposed to the corporate, government, food industry. Another important consideration is: The Government can not take away something that they did not provide, unless they deem the situation to be a National emergency. That’s why “Shadow Preppers” keep their prepping efforts on a need to know bases. Your Root Cellar, and or pantry should stay out of sight, and out of mind….Thus out of the confiscatory grasp of government thieves. The same is true of many other aspects of prepping. Keep it to yourself if you want to keep it at all.

Modern preppers may already posses many past prepping skills.

I have been very fortunate in that most of what I love to do has a built in prepping element to it. I don’t know if hunting, fishing, and gardening, became the passions in my life because they helped provide a supplement for my eating habit, or if it was just dumb luck that I fell in love with these activities as a child. One thing I do know is that they have all come in very handy over the years as far as staying a couple of steps ahead of the hunger bug. As I got older, I realized that maybe giving away a lot of what I grew, caught or killed was probably a bad idea, and started to remember helping my Grandmother canning vegetables when I would go stay at her house late in the summer for a couple of weeks. This is when I became more interested in the old ways of preserving food. I bought books on canning, smoking, and curing meats and vegetables, and taught myself how to do it. Now we make stores runs about one third as often as we use to, and we enjoy a supply of food out to 12 to 15 months. This provides a great comfort, knowing where our meals will come from in case the world goes crazy.

Mixing the old with today.

Like everybody else (even my ancestors)we still shop at stores from time to time, but we do it more like people did back around the turn of the century. We visit the bulk quantity stores and buy dry goods, and even some canned goods. The dry goods like flour, sugar, dry beans, rice, corn meal, and wheat noodles, can be dry canned, and kept for incredible amounts of time before being consumed. Almost nobody is willing or able to grow a couple of acres of wheat to supply a years worth of flour, so this is an economical solution to keeping bread and biscuits in the house for months without running to the corner grocery every week. This is the case with many other food items, like peanuts, and  sunflower seeds. If you don’t have fruit tree’s on your property, no problem, visit an orchard once a year and pick your own by the bushel. Apples and peaches can be canned for future use in pies, and other recipes requiring them. Another skill of the past, and present, that should be used more is cooking. Going out to eat every night is a relatively new thing in our society, and it is a serious drain on any budget, not to mention the tax man loves it. When our county installed a brand new meals tax a couple of years ago, we stopped going out to eat almost completely, and on the rare occasion that we do go out we drive into a neighboring county that does not have a meals tax.

 

There is nothing new about prepping.

Though there is lots of new gadgets and technology, in todays prepping, there is nothing new about the concept of planning for the worst in the future. Preppers in the past were just everyday people, and there efforts were day to day life. I believe that the day is coming when all of the crutches we rely on today will suddenly, and dramatically disappear, and it would be a good idea for everybody to take stock of how disaster was avoided back in our history. Consider for a moment that our ancestors did not panic when the stores ran out of something, or when the electricity went out for a while. We have grown too accustomed to having plenty of everything provided for us, what happens if our currency won’t buy it anymore? When you can answer that question honestly, you will become a prepper too.