Preparedness on a Tight Budget, Part 1
by Dan Hendrickson
The first thing you want to do is relax and take a breath. Why? Because your on limited funds, you cannot afford to waste money on a panic purchase. A panic purchase of an important item while not a total loss, costs you money. Slow down and wait for a sale, and of course keep an eye on the classifieds for used but serviceable items that you need. For now lets take a look at the necessities of surviving in general.....
Some will disagree with the order above or even may want to reduce that to simply water-food-shelter, or even add more to that, BUT the first three are FREE to nearly FREE, and without them long-term survival will not be viable. With them, you will be able to improvise, adapt and overcome, even if you are separated from your planned water-food-shelter preparations.
This is the #1 most important thing to develop. You have to have the drive and determination to survive anything! You NEVER give up!! This of course is absolutely FREE, and can be improved with a judicial dose of confidence, confidence that will be developed while working on the next 2 necessities.
Without Knowledge your done, so learn about the subject the best that you can. While you could pay a bunch of money to go to a survival school, the reality is that you can learn an awful lot for FREE or near FREE. If your reading this, your obviously on the internet, so start surfing!!! Another great source of info, Boy Scout Handbooks, the older the better. You can often find these at resale shops and thrift stores CHEAP! Go through all of the lessons and you will be way ahead of the game when it comes to surviving. While I prefer a book in my hands, there is a FREE online version of the handbook that you can find here... http://www.bsahandbook.org/
What do you need to know? Anything that involves the acquisition, preparation, and preservation of Water-Food-Shelter in a TSHTF situation.
You can “book learn” yourself all you want, but if your not applying that “learnin'” in practical training exercises, when the chips are down, you will fail. Your first failure in the field will put a ding into your confidence, and confidence directly effects Mindset! Again, you could pay someone to teach you this stuff, or you could apply your new found knowledge on a regular basis until you master it.
Become a “Weekend Warrior”. Pick at least 1 week, preferably more, every month and use that weekend to apply your new knowledge. Camping is a perfect training opportunity and if you have friends and family involved, it can be a great Team Building Exercise. Camping can be as simple as your backyard, or as you become more proficient with your skills, the middle of nowhere. Try a weekend without “power” and camp inside using ZERO electricity or grid supplied fuel sources such as natural gas or fuel oil. Once you master that, go for the whole week without power.
Use lists to organize and track your Training. It could look something like this....
a. Acquisition … Find/Collect water + fuel for sterilization
b. Preparation …. make the water safe to drink, filter and make a fire to boil water.
c. Preservation …. properly store water for later use
a. Acquisition … Grow, Gather, Hunt, Trap food + fuel for preparation.
b. Preparation …. Safe preparation of wild foods, field dressing game, etc. making fire
c. Preservation..... preserving the excess. Canning, smoking, drying. Secure storage animals (2 and 4 legged)
a. Acquisition …. finding materials to work with, or secure an existing shelter + Fuel for Heat.
b. Preparation …. building an improvised shelter/making an existing shelter safe and defensible + making fire.
c. Preservation.... routine maintenance, especially with an improvised shelter. And developing a defense strategy.
Notice that I brought up Fire more than once. You should have at least 3 methods to make fire, and be proficient in all of them!!!! Practice it all the time in both ideal situations as well as in wet raining weather.
One thing I have not brought up yet is First Aid. First Aid is kinda out of order. They call it “First Aid” because it is supposed to be the “First” thing you do after an injury. You can look at this a couple of ways, but the best First Aid is the avoidance of injury in the first place. SLOW DOWN-DON'T RUSH THINGS-HYGEINE! When using knives and other tools, PAY ATTENTION!! It isn't called “Last Aid”, so that means that “First Aid” is simply what you need to do to keep the injured alive long enough to get them to a real doctor with access to real medical supplies and medicines. Avoidance of injury is the key. In a Survival situation you may not have access to antibiotics at all, or any of the other wonderful miracles that you can find in the modern emergency room.
All of the above is the Foundation to Preparedness. It is for the “Worst case scenario”, and if you start with that, you will be way ahead of the game if TSHTF in an inopportune an inconvenient manner (like it ALWAYS does). In a “Best Case” Survival scenario, you would never be separated from your supplies and preparations, and the emergency would never last longer than 72hrs.
Stay Tuned for Part 2.