Friday, January 23, 2015

Does your place look like an episode of Hoarders?

I am constantly on the hunt for information, how-to's, and tools that are essential for practicing our skills and learning new ways to be self sufficient and self reliant.  I have to say that the more I look at what other people are doing to accomplish this task really is sometimes shocking.  It is the American way apparently to think that the answer to all our problems can go away if we buy something, or take a miracle pill and instantly our problem, challenge, issue will go away.  News flash, but it don't work that way...

When was the last time you bought something that really addressed an issue, problem, or challenge and it worked as "advertised"?  The problem with the buy something mentality goes back to clever marketing and conditioning by our culture.  Many times the very stuff we are buying is some half attempt to recreate things we do today while living "in the system" and "on-the-grid".  It is sort of like trying to replace bad food you used to eat with "look alike" food on your new better diet.  Frankly it doesn't work.  You really do need to cut the ties with the past way of eating and living and build a new life, new habits, and new ways of thinking.

Next time your thinking of buying something ask yourself how the early pioneers of your country would have done it.  No supermarkets, no super-stores, no internet to offer you what you need.   How did they do it?  What would have been considered "essential" for making their lives work and be complete?  Have you ever looked at how much gear you could put on a horse?  Or how large those early pioneer wagons were?  They were tiny by todays car standards.  Do you really think they had the room to haul all of the garbage that you and I think are essential today?

Does your place look like an episode of Hoarders?
I ask this question almost tongue in cheek, but it never fails to amaze me how many people I see buying stuff.  They know what they can use it for, they may even sound like they have the fundamentals of prepping, homesteading, back to the land figured out... But I keep seeing them buy things... and then they never do anything with it.  It just sits.  You see them talk about how they are going to get around to it, but they are still out buying "stuff".  It is all too easy to turn our homes and homesteads into a "warehouse" as we prepare, plan, and work toward a better life.  But how many times have we been talked into buying stuff that is more geared toward preserving the life we have today instead of embracing the life we say we seek to have?

I have heard it said many times and I have seen it in action myself.  The the less skills and practical hands on knowledge we have the more we think we need "stuff".  What we really need is to evaluate our thought process and ask if we are trying to cling to the old and in doing so adding unneeded complications to our lives and planning.  Once you evaluate that then decide if the thing you think you need is really essential.  Next the more hands on you get doing things the more you start to realize you really didn't need all that "stuff".  The more "dirt" time we have getting our hands dirty doing things the more we find that with some good tools and some time we can build, modify, cut, craft, or create pretty much anything we need to live and thrive.   I have wasted a lot of money, and time buying stuff that was a feeble attempt to preserve our current way of life without ever asking if this way of life isn't the problem to begin with?  Isn't this really a creation of the very people and systems that are causing the global and national instability in the first place?  Any time we think something is essential maybe it is time to ask some of these questions.  The sooner we change that thinking the sooner we can begin living and thriving in ways we could never have imagined.

It is a sign of the sickness our society has created that we think there is a magic bullet  in buying something to address what you think you need.  I am not saying we don't need to buy things.  I am saying that we first evaluate based on need, and asking ourselves how would we have done this 100 years ago?  Then decide if you really need it or if it is just a want.  Essential tools, equipment, and furnishings take on a new thought process once you start to evaluate them in this context.  We will "need" less and less "stuff" the more we get our hands dirty.

I was out looking at a fellow preppers web site yesterday and enjoy some of the things he has posted and shared.  Lots of great videos on YouTube that I am enjoying, but I looked at many of the other topics he has posted and all the stuff he has bought, but little evidence that most if any of it was or has been put to use.  I am just as guilty and as I have been working through this mountain of stuff I bought I am figuring out what I wasted money on vs stuff that I am really going to need.  I can definitely say that I will be reducing the amount of stuff that I have as I replace it with knowledge and skills.  But what I saw on this fellow preppers site really made me take note that I think we have lost our way.   We are trying to recreate this life we live today in our preps and planning.  We end up buying tons of what I would call now "useless stuff" and end up looking like something from an episode of a Hoarders show.  It is this image that I think many people associate those of us who are on this track to become more sustainable/self reliant and they just laugh at us.   I have to admit the more I am learning I just grimace and laugh now at myself for being sucked into so much of the nonsense.  Fear and conditioning sells stuff... And that is what is happening.  Our community is using fear PORN to sell garbage we don't need since we have not taken the time to figure out that what we need looks NOTHING like what we have today.  That is the cold hard truth.   We should be laughed at... Seriously, until we learn and grow to understand what sustainable living is about, off the land living is about, and what prepping should be about we will live in FEAR and buy useless nonsense that in the long run will be totally useless, and worse if your plan is based on this stuff your lives could very well be in jeopardy.

Are you new to prepping, homesteading, back to the land?
Let me encourage you not to buy anything... Really, just don't buy anything.  If your new to the prepping thing and afraid the world is coming to an end... Don't panic!  Many of us have already been there, done that... You will waste your time, money, and effort until you understand what you REALLY need.  You cannot buy your "salvation".  You will have to learn and earn it... I know that sounds harsh, but just telling you I wish I knew even a fraction of what I know now when I started all of this...  So DON'T run out and buy an emergency seed bank, a pile of Mountain house food, and a bunch of guns and garbage... Seriously!  Learn what it takes and what the priorities are....  1. Shelter  2. Water  3. Food   Start there.

With an equipped Bug out Bag, some basic tools, and some skills you can not only survive, but build a life.  A life that does not need most of the stuff that you probably think you need right now.  

When starting, don't start thinking your buying a food supply... You have to look beyond that.  Your looking for a way to grow and sustain yourself by providing an endless supply of food.  Your looking for a way to provide yourself a safe and sustainable supply of water...  Your looking for a way to provide yourself a safe and sustainable shelter.   We are not looking for a way to "stock pile" a mountain of stuff.  We are in fact looking for a way of life that reconnects us with our roots, to the earth, and to our Creator.  Will you have to buy some things to do this?  Yes, quite possibly.   But we are not talking about running out and trying to buy everything you will ever need for the next couple of years.  You will sooner or later figure out that you cannot account for every possible thing that can happen and will surely run out of money before you get it done. 

I can recommend some YouTube channels that will get you started and maybe I can post some of those to help you if your interested.  Some tools, some skills, and a willingness to learn and get things done is really all you need.  If you have some time and a little money I can recommend some courses that will teach you the skills we are talking about.  Look around for local meetup groups.  Many times they are hosting classes, and meeting with other folks just like you and me.  Those are the things we need to invest in at this point.  Learn the skills, needed essential tools, and then lets go out and practice it.  That is the challenge in my own life today as we speak and I am learning more every single day.   Now what I crave is more dirt time to put it to use.

I hope your having a great day... If your thinking about buying something for your prepping... Stop and ask some questions.  Let's not be the laughing stock of the world as we create our own mini Walmart warehouses of "stuff", and lets reconsider what we spend our time, money, and energy doing.  We can do better...  I can do better!

Take care and God Bless,

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