Roberto pokachinni wrote:
I stopped being interested in prepping and survivalism. My life is much more rewarding now just being interested in permaculture.
Interestingly, the step from survivalism to permaculture is not a huge leap, but it is a significantly different emotional situation/investment. What I mean is that Permaculture has as it's goal the development of a permanent culture, but it is doing this to build a better world by design for the long term. We do this, in my view, because it's high time we took into account our ecological footprint and our inherent ability to live on this planet without harming it. This is an intellectual and perhaps for some a spiritual decision, but it is not based on fear. Fear is grasping. Permaculture is about giving back. Therein lies the dichotomy, the split, in my thinking on it.
Survivalism might have much the same basic designs, but the reason for doing so is, in my opinion, basically selfish, but it might not feel that way to the person doing it. I say that it is selfish, not as a bad thing, but because it is based on personal self preservation, and that is based on a emotional response to the fear of theft, destruction, loss, violence et cetera, rather than on the larger needs of caring for the Earth or the greater long term humanitarian needs to build a better world. The survivalism mentality is never ending, and as such there is no relaxation, it is like a rat on a wheel in a cage, spinning away, and never getting anywhere really productive for even the person doing it. That's just how I see it, from my own experience. When we make decisions out of fear we are not making our best decisions. That is flight or fight. It is high stress, and shock, and lashing out sort of response to the situation. In contrast, we need that relaxed feeling to make better decisions, and figure out why it is that we really want what we are thinking we want, and coming up with a plan to make it happen that makes better sense for our emotional self.
Permaculture might still be selfish in a way; since a person is often doing this so that they can have their needs met, primarily. The difference, I think, for Tyler, but certainly for myself, is that with this slight change in emotional investment, there are rewards that are present that are less tangible than this tenacious but inexhaustible chasing down of every last bit of fear with bits of preparedness in myriad directions.
Survivalism seems to have the idea that it can alleviate the presence of risk to these numerous threats. But that, in my view, is a myth. These problems are not surmountable on the personal level by each person having everything. It's a nice goal, in a way, to be completely self sufficient, but it is not likely or easy to accomplish. Not that permaculture is easy, per se, but it is not fraught with the pressing down demand that all of these things be done NOW in order to push the fear of these unknown and myriad potential problems away. Life is not without risk, and never can be. We can chose to make our lifeways flow in conjunction with natural laws, and help and hope others catch on to the positive changes, and that's it.
My advice: Do what you do not out of fear but out of an expanding view of giving. Do what you can to build resilient systems, in all aspects of your life, including building community so that you are networking and have more collective resources and the ability to meet your and communal needs.
Nick Kitchener wrote:Personally, I think you are asking the wrong question because it drives you to a set of solutions that are all inherently flawed in that under a ZA scenario might is right.
Maybe a better question would be "In the event of a zombie apocalypse, what can I do to make me and my family indispensable?"
History shows that in times of feudal social structures (a warlord controls a territory) the general population form a mutually beneficial relationship with the "strong man". The mad max scenario even conforms to this although it's not highlighted in the movies so much.
The warlord and their enforcers need supplies, shelter, essential services, and a certain amount of luxury to maintain control over a territory. They get these things from the citizenry who live within the territory they control. In return, the citizenry gets protection, peace, and insurance against disaster (for example the warlord will often provide storehouses for excess non-perishable food and materials).
The warlord makes sure they take care of their people, because if they don't, the people will leave and seek refuge under the protection of a competitor or they will not support the warlord when a competitor attacks as they are seen as a liberating force. Sure a warlord can bully the citizenry like in the movies but in reality this tactic doesn't scale.
So in a ZA scenario you will be a warlord (unlikely), a soldier, or a "surf". Since you're in this forum, the chances are you would rather be a surf. So the trick to being a successful surf is to provide / produce things that the warlord values highly. In this way you will place yourself in a position to receive special care and attention since you will be considered a valuable asset within the territory, and these warlords control territory because of the assets that reside in them.
Roberto pokachinni wrote:Hi Tatianapretty much all (or the vast majority) of the information that you are seeking can be searched and found on Permies. The goal of this site, the way I see it, is to disseminate this information over the largest % of the population, in the shortest time period. This will result in a much more resilient global society in general, which is what is needed in order to survive natural or political disasters.
And if you had the possibility to buy a new piece of land and build everything on it from scratch, how would you design it?
I realize this is a lot of info in one post/thread, but if you can point in the right direction of where to obtain some of this info, that would be great, too!
As far as designing and developing a piece of land that can feed and house you indefinitely, I would recommend looking at This webpage, and consider ordering their first book, Miraculous Abundance. This is not a 'how to' book, but more of a memoir of how they came across their various ideas, but the inspiration towards very efficient permacultural food production is without parallel, and they give a list of the resources that connected them to this path of sustainability. It is a good start to read such a book, not only because it is full of great ideas-but because it is super positive-and then follow up researching the things that they are referring to. Their next book, due out in French later in 2018 with an English translation to follow, is going to be all about detailing the specific techniques and tools that they use. I will order the English version as soon as it is available. In the meantime, Elliot Coleman's 4 season Harvest (available through inter-library loan) is a good place to start on figuring out how to grow in this direction. Elliot bought land from Helen and Scott Nearing, whose own book Living The Good Life is also available through the library, and is well worth the read to figure out what you really should be focusing on.
Another thing that I would suggest is to take baby steps. There is a mind frame that comes with being truly prepared to deal with anything, and that has to be developed like a muscle that is weak. Our society is full of weaklings in this regard, myself still included. But I am developing that sort of mind, and as I do I notice just how far I need to go. One thing that helps to begin to develop this mentality is not to consider so much of what we need, but what we can do without. We are incredibly spoiled in our culture, and have many 'needs' that are not needs at all. Most of the global population does not need the majority of the stuff we have, and in fact our lifestyle and abundant consumption was foreign to our own quite recent ancestors.
As an example, I met my own needs in a small cabin without a vehicle, propane, electrictiy, running water, et cetera, for a couple years on what was considerably below the poverty line as far as income went. I lived like a king, since I had a roots and greens low maintence garden, a seafood harvesting permit, and the skills to get wood and fix a bicycle. I also was developing skills that would allow me to camp permanently as a nomad in the forest, if it came down to having to leave my cabin for some unknown political or natural reason.
By lowering our expectations of what we need, we gain massively in the time that we have to consider everything else. I sat a lot in my hammock reading, and did a lot of walking on the beach and in the forest. My life improved considerably by 'doing without' much of the things that people in our culture tend to think they need. My job, as a small project carpenter and landscaper could be done with a bike and trailer, and was going to be needed even if the unstable thing known as 'the economy' collapsed.
Dan Grubbs wrote:I agree with Nick in that I believe the better question isn’t about making one’s property self-sufficient. The better question is about making the people of a homestead self-sufficient. If we’re talking about surviving independently and not being assimilated into some type of collective, which I believe is more aligned with the independent mentality, then I offer an alternative approach to the survivalist scenario.
This alternative is needed when either a civilian force or a government force is, at some point, going to come for your land and operation. The timing of this depends on the duration of the SHtF scenario and your proximity to population centers. No, contrary to what tens of thousands of survivalists believe, you will not be able to out gun or defend your property should a motivated force leadership decides they want your operation. Even if several well-armed families band together and train properly, regional authorities or even a civilian force will only attempt to take your property with superior firepower. Yes, you may encounter a scouting group, but once the larger force or authority learns of your resources, they will come with force enough to take what they want. Dying does not constitute successful defense of your property.
You could possibly make yourself and your family indispensable in some way. But, growing food and managing animals is not an indispensable set of skills. I know that may bristle some feathers here at Permies. But, those skills will already be in the attacking force or within the collective supporting them. Yes, these are good skillsets to have, but you are not indispensable as one farmer. You need to find something else. Even then, however, you are at the mercy of the warlord or local government leader. That seems to me to be contrary to the independent objective we’re discussing.
My thinking is that to truly survive and not be subject to some power or force is to be mobile. One writer refers to it as going gypsy. I’m not referring to bugging out. Bugging out is usually to get you to a planned destination, which then you are again subject to the external force, no matter how well trained your family is. Your food supply has to be mobile. Since you can only carry very little food and water, your ability to forage is key. These are some of the best skills you can acquire on your homestead now, more important than than say, auto mechanic. You don’t have the ability to preserve food on the go, so you need skills at foraging and scrounging. In addition to foraging, in my opinion, goats are one of the best mobile options for fresh food supply (dairy, meat). I think goats are better choices than small cattle or sheep, which are both more difficult to move clandestinely and more picky about their feed. Goats are good foragers and can be better managed in a mobile situation as you have to move from place to place to avoid external forces. Goats eating leaves from trees are theoretically going to provide more mineral nutrients than purely grass-fed grazers – arguably.
Once the external force has either exhausted the resources of your property or lost interest they may leave it. You may have an opportunity to return. However, your risk of discovery is pretty high once you plant yourself back there. Going gypsy means that your value system is not based in your land but in the people of your family or mobile group. Where you are on any given day serves as either a resource or as cover; it is not your home. Your home is defined by the people you’re with, not a physical location. Choosing when to move is based on external threats and resource availability and your family or group’s ambulatory nature. Going gypsy is on foot. Vehicles are loud, require fuel and maintenance, and most require some kind of roadway and are easily spotted. Your homestead is whatever you can carry or lead.
Not everyone will be cut out for gypsy survival. Some will submit themselves to some authority or new collective. Some will resist an external force and may or may not survive. Some will be in a remote enough area where they may not ever encounter an external force. For the rest of us, I believe only by evasion will independent individualists survive. In my opinion, mobility is the way to survive a widespread SHtF scenario.
Sonja Draven wrote:I agree with Tyler and Roberto.
I enjoy reading memoirs and I have read several about people (fundamentalist Mormons in this case - although the specific religion matters less than the "apocalypse" mentality) who spent their entire lives focused 100% on preparing for the end times. Having more children than they could support. Living in fear and poverty. Stockpiling at the expense of pleasure / joy. Alienating friends and family. I would rather be somewhat unprepared IF it happens than look back on my life seeing a wasteland of joy. (Or having someone hundreds of years from now reading my journals and shaking their head because of the waste I had made of my life - and the end times STILL hadn't come.)
Tyler Ludens wrote:
Terri Matthews wrote:some buckets of grain.
I bought a bunch of dry beans and rice that we never ate. The beans got so old they wouldn't even sprout when I finally threw them into the garden. So my suggestion is to store food you actually eat and eat it regularly, rotating it to keep the supply as fresh as possible. Otherwise you might just waste a bunch of money like I did.
We never did like to eat dry beans.
Anne Miller wrote:A few things that I have done that I have not seen mentioned:
Learn to identify all the edible plants that are growing on your property. You might not want to eat them now but in a disaster they might look more appetizing.
Learn how to can and to preserve meat. There are several way to preserve meat other than canning; learn to make jerkey, corned beef, ham and other preserving techniques.
Learn about medicinal herbs and how to use them. Learn first aid. Learn how to stop bleeding, sew up deep cuts, take care of burns, set broken bones, etc. Learn how to take care of dental issues for when there is no dentist.
Get or better make a good first aid and dental kit.
Invest in some "how to " books for when the internet is not available. Or get some ebooks and print them out now.
Chris Kott wrote:Prepper culture is fear-based, and it spreads by compounding people's fears. If you feed it, it will surely grow.
So if people enter into preparations for a survival scenario intent on the absolute certainty that everyone will be out to get them for their food, and they then spread that fear, they are actively encouraging a culture wherein this is acceptable behaviour; it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
For those completely sold on that as an eventuality, it makes more sense to train with and stockpile guns and ammo, map out the homes and bug-out locations of as many preppers as one can fool into divulging such sensitive information, and raid them all, eliminating the competition.
Now don't get me wrong. I am going to need firearms for protection, but probably for my livestock and crops, and from wildlife more often than ravening hordes.
I don't understand the fear porn some people disguise as prepping. It makes more sense to homestead, in my opinion. It involves much of the same preparation, but if you leave out the emotional baggage of fear and hostility to those with whom you could form community, you have more room to store food.
Bryant RedHawk wrote:Every time this scenario is run (just about every psychology department at every university has run the doomsday scenario at least twice) it turns out that the further you live from the city, the less likely you would be to ever see any "roving hordes" or even "marauding bands" of city dwellers.
The reasons for this happening in the computer models are; gasoline shortages force city people to hoof it, city people tend to stick to their city and so localize their destruction.
I live far enough out, in a fairly inaccessible area (off the beaten path) and even the delivery people tell me they had trouble finding us the first time.
The few people that do live "near by" have the same mind set (who are you looking for? why are you here?) and we all tend to have side arms and concealed carry permits.
So we all really don't worry about such a thing happening. We live in an area with a known tornado track, the last one to hit our area was in 2014 and killed seven of our community.
Since that time, over 500 families have left the area, so our population is falling below or near 2000.
Just about everyone has a well, even if they are hooked up to "city water".
I think it is a lot like the Hank Williams Jr. song "A country boy can survive", we have the skill sets already, we don't depend completely on grocery store for our food, and we tend to be survivors, willing to do what is necessary, when necessary.
This is not fear it is simply practicality, fear is for those city folks who think they can "go country" to survive. If that should happen they will be more likely to do themselves in because they are the types who succumb to panic.
Emma Carver-Barrass wrote:Well slap me sideways and call me Edmund, if that wasn't one of the best threads I've read in a long while.
.....after a life full of fear and anxiety I'm learning to embrace the 'What will be, will be' philosophy.
I'm a wimp though. And we aren't allowed guns. X
I HAVE stored rice, as I cook a MAN Chinese dish.
John Weiland wrote:
The secret is to stock and prepare only the most distasteful dishes so that you are the last stop on the zombie bus route..... plus, I hear they can be way-laid by boxes of Hostess Twinkies....
When I put chicken in it, yes.
Mike Barkley wrote:My apologies in advance.
I HAVE stored rice, as I cook a MAN Chinese dish.
Does it taste like chicken?