The Importance of a Survival Garden

Non Hybrid Seed packs Survival Gardening the Preppers Universe way!

It’s important not to get caught up in our newest survival gadgets and to start thinking about long term survival through survival gardening.  Let’s face it food is a basic human need, being resilient and having the ability to grow your own food is important for survival.  Emergency freeze dried foods will not last forever.  Survival gardens offer you a chance to produce highly nutritious food for you’re family. 

In recent years, survival gardens have enjoyed a resurgence as people look for ways to grow their own emergency food supply.  Gardens can be grown just about anywhere from backyards, apartments and community gardens.  There are container gardens, vertical gardens, raised bed gardens.  In fact, the options on gardening are numerous and at times can be down right confusing. 

Being skilled in gardening gives you an advantage in a post disaster situation.  Not having to eat freeze dried food and/or out of a can is a delicacy not many can enjoy.  Most people in a post disaster situation will be pillaging for food within 3 or 4 days.  They simply are not prepared for the long haul.  Additionally, canning you’re own food can be fun and provide you with long term food storage.  Sign up for my newsletter at the end of this post and receive my EBook “The survival guide to canning & preserving” for FREE.

survival seed vault

When starting you’re own survival garden there are a few things to keep in mind.  The first thing is deciding where to plant you’re garden.  Is it in you’re backyard, on your patio, in a raised bed, or a vertical garden?  Is the garden going to be inside or outside?  How much light is available in the area for gardening?  Are you growing in pots?  Are there other options that would work well?  As you can tell, there are many decisions and considerations when planning you’re garden.

There are many advantages to growing you’re garden in raised beds.  Raised beds are the best option for most people and produce the best results in a small space.  Survival type gardens thrive in raised beds and produce the most abundant and nutritious food because you have total control on the potting soil and there usually isn’t a problem with weeds.

Here are a few advantages of raised beds:

  • Soil warms up faster in the spring
  • Water drains easily
  • Garden is tended from the edges, soil does not get compacted from walking on it
  • Loose soil is easier for seeding, transplanting and weeding
  • Grow more vegetables in smaller spaces
  • Grow safely even when the land is poor and heavily saturated with heavy metals
  • Fewer tools needed to help plant and care for the garden

Once you figured out where you’re garden will be planted, the next step is planning.  A garden plan is essential in making you’re garden grow efficiently and abundantly.  For example, does you’re plant need full sunlight, partial sunlight or if they grow in the shade.  Does one plant complement another?  Here is an excellent “Sample Planting Guide for Raised-Bed Gardens“.

Once you start with these beginning steps, you are well on your way to feeding you’re family for years with nutritious foods from you’re survival garden.  A garden is an easy thing to start but it does take time and effort to make it thrive.  However, in the end it is worth it for the fresh food, the money you will save, and the new survival skills learned. It will help you feed you’re family in the regular world and in the post disaster apocalyptic situations or as preppers like to say WTSHTF.

Rodney Butler

 

 

 

By Rodney Butler

 

PS…Are you are asking you’re self – How do I begin?  The key is to start small and have fun.  Buy your self a few books on gardening and visit websites to help you in you’re ventures.  Here is an excellent e-Book for the beginner “How to grow herbs and veggies in your small Kitchen Garden“.  This would be a great place to start and then you can grow your garden as big as you want once you get started and learn the basics.

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The Top Seven Myths of Prepping

Preppers Universe’s take on the Seven Myths of Prepping

How to be Prepared

There are a lot of myths, misinformation and stereo types when it comes to prepping and preppers.  In this article, I will be discussing the top seven myths about prepping.  Understanding these myths are important because your knowledge could mean the difference between surviving and helping others survive around you.  The key- understand the true meaning of being prepared.

Myth #1: It’s too expensive!Prepping is too Expensive

Prepping does not have to be expensive. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars on a years supply of MRE’s for you’re family.  The key is to start small and gradually build your preps over time.

Granted, if you spend too much time and effort prepping, the end result is a change to you’re lifestyle.  You will need to balance the changes needed for prudent preparations within reasonable limits.  There are a lot of options with prepping and many of them are not expensive.

You should start with an emergency 72-hour kit.  They are fairly inexpensive and for a few hundred dollars you can have a really nice kit.  Read The Preppers Universe Guide to 72-Hour Kits for more info.

Myth #2: Prepping takes too much time!

Myth - Prepping takes too much time!Many people have seen the TV show “Doomsday Preppers” and have a perception that in order to be a prepper means you have to dedicate you’re life to it.  This is not true, you do not need to change you’re lifestyle at all.  Prepping only takes couple of hours per month if done correctly.  The time you spend prepping is minimal considering the consequences of doing nothing.

The key is to have a plan and enough supplies to sustain you’re family during a disaster.  Lets face it, we live in a chaotic world and we need to be prepared and sustain our families and friends when things go south.  One only needs to look at what happened to the poor people of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to understand the importance of prepping.  A couple of hours per month is all you need to prep for survival.  Get rid of any notions that tell you otherwise.

Myth #3: Prepping takes up to much storage space!

food storage shelvesMany people believe they don’t have enough room to store their provisions.  Prepping for a disaster does not need to be complicated and anyone can find the space to store a little extra supplies.

For example, my garage was filled with crap I didn’t use anymore.  I simply got rid of stuff I did not need and made room in the corner of the garage to store my emergency supplies.  The common areas most people forget about are attics, basements and closets.  You can use these locations to store junk or items you don’t use that often.

Always store emergency provisions in a location easily accessible during a disaster.  They must be accessible even if you’re house is inaccessible.  I personally store my provisions in the garage near the roll up door.  It would be easy to get to even if I could not enter the house.

Myth #4: You need a bug out location or retreat!

Missile Silo BunkerPlease do not get on the Doomsday bandwagon and go out and by yourself a retired missile silo.  The sad truth is having a retreat is nice but in a real disaster you will most likely not be able to reach it in a timely matter.  I am a firm believer in BUGGING IN not OUT.  Don’t get me wrong I do have a bug out bag handy just in case.  But, it is the absolute last thing I plan on doing if there were no other option.

The key is to have a PLAN on where you’re family can meet up in case you were separated.  This could be another family members house or a camp site.  The kids are at school and you’re at work.  What does you’re family do when a disaster happens?  Where do you meet up?  What if you’re home is inaccessible?  These are the questions to ask yourself.  Having a plan is the key to survival – not a million dollar condo in a missile silo.

Myth #5: Prepping will turn me into a crackpot!

Crackpot PreppersThis image is from stereotypes of sociopath loners like Ted Kaczynski the “uni-bomber” and right-wing militias that thrive on visions of conspiracies to justify firearm fanaticism’s.  Being a prepper will not turn you into a crackpot in the woods, dressed in camouflage threatening trespassers with explosives.

The truth- preppers are your normal day to day people who over the years realize the system (Government) may not always be around to support them.  They feel a need to provide for their own safety and survival.  Even if you are a newbie prepper with no emergency supplies, once you get started prepping you will see positive results.  You will be more confident in the fact that you have done you’re very best in protecting you’re family from disaster.

Myth #6: Weapons are the most important thing!

Assault WeaponsIn light of the pending gun control debate.  Many preppers have lost focus on the true meaning of being prepared.  They have been buying up every semi-auto AR-15 in existence because they fear the government.  Ammo is non-existent on store shelves and because of this most of the average preppers budget is spent on buying weapons and ammo.

If you’re primary focus is on buying weapons then other areas of you’re prepping needs are put on the back burner.  If you don’t have enough provisions to provide for you’re family for at least (Minimum) 3-months then you are putting you’re family at risk.  If you already own a firearm with enough ammo to last awhile – do not waste money on more weapons.  It would be a mistake to play into you’re fears and forget the true meaning of being prepared.  Being prepared is more than owning a lot of weapons.

Myth #7: Prepping is everyman for himself!

When a disaster strikes it is important to understand man is not an island and he cannot survive on his own.  It is not human nature to be alone and when you have an army of people scavenging the neighborhood looking for food you will need to compromise and provide help where needed.  The key is to create a support or community group.  The bottom line, you will need to band together with you’re neighbors even if they are not preppers.

Keeping the peace is important because when things go south society norms will go out the window.  People will form vigilante groups and pillage for food and water.   You will want you’re neighbors on you’re side to help protect (the neighborhood) at which helps protect you’re emergency supply and in turn protects you’re family.

I know you have some questions.  Like why should I provide them with food and water when they did not prepare themselves?  Heck they may even have called you a crackpot because you were a prepper.  This does not change the fact that you will need help.  This should be part of you’re emergency plan – have provisions to use as barter or as I like to term keeping the peace within you’re neighborhood.

I personally keep extra supplies for this exact purpose.  I keep several cases of “cup-of-noodles” on hand to use as barter.  These noodle cups can be stored for up to a year, don’t take up much room and the best part is they are VERY CHEAP.  You can get 5 CASES for around $100.  Trust me, when a disaster happens and you’re neighbors haven’t eaten a thing in three days they would be very and I mean very appreciative to have a cup of hot noodles.

Conclusion

In this article we discussed the seven myths of prepping and why being prepared is so important.  Prepping is the everyday norm in our society and it’s not only fanatics that plan for disasters.  Protecting you’re family should be you’re number one goal.

Look out for my next article on “How to form a community group during a disaster.”

Rodney Butler

 

 

By Rodney Butler

 

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The Survival Blog Guide to Prepping for Newbies

Preppers Universe Emergency CyclePrepping for Newbies

Prepping unfortunately is one the least focused aspects in most families.  We have become all too comfortable having things given to us on silver platters.  Over the past few years, there have been many natural and man-made disasters that left many families in dire circumstances.

Being prepared is the key to surviving and thriving when things go south.

There are many resources on the internet that range from the budget conscience to those who can afford to hire consultants and build underground bunkers with a year supply of food.   Such as those on the hit TV show “Doomsday Preppers”.  Preppers range from one extreme to another. Prepping begins with a level of awareness of possible threats and having the necessary provisions (Basic Needs) such as food, water and shelter to survive the situation.

Getting Started With the Basics

Preppers Universe Disaster ChecklistLet’s face it, not everyone can afford to purchase a years supply of emergency provisions for their family and/or hire a consultant to help.  Actually, in my opinion a years supply of food is nice but not necessary for the common prepper and there is no need to hire a consultant.  The key is to not overwhelm yourself and use common sense and practicality.

  1. Be patient and start slowly.

First things first… Start building a emergency 72-hour kit immediately.  It’s not expensive and you can probably assemble the kit from items laying around your house.  Compare prices when shopping around for food and gear.  Prepping does not have to be expensive.

In many instances, a 72-hour kit could mean the difference between life and death.  After a major disaster, it may take up to three days for relief workers to reach certain areas.  Most likely the relief workers will be overwhelmed with the magnitude of the situation.  In such a case, a 72-hour kit is the absolute minimum you should have available.

      • Here’s a checklist of items to include in your kit. Checklist: 72-hour kit (pdf)Emergency Food Supplies
      • I personally store my 72-hour kit in a plastic bin in the garage.
      • There are many pre-made 72-hour kits on the market.  Some are better than others.
      • Sample pre-made emergency 72-hour kits can be seen here.  SAMPLES
      • Don’t forget about your Pets when building your kit.
      • Each family member should have their own kit with food, water and clothing.  Distribute heavy items between the kits.
      • Keep a light source (flashlight, candles) in the top of the kit.  Don’t bury it on the bottom.  This will most likely be the first item you grab.
      • Inspect the kit twice a year and replace old items when necessary.
      • Read The Preppers Universe Guide to 72-hour Kits for more info.

2. Make an Emergency Plan.

Being prepared is the key to survival.  Having emergency food and water is nice but if you don’t have a plan then it’s all for nothing.  Planning is probably the most effective strategy when prepping.  The skills of survival planning is knowing what to do and when to do it.  Strategically storing emergency provisions is just the start of your prepping journey.  Prepping involves learning new skills and testing your abilities to see what works in real world disaster situations.

But where do you start?  What needs to be included in my survival plan?  What skills do I need to learn?  These are all common questions you need to be asking yourself when devising your emergency plan.  Bottom line, you need a plan and the best thing to do is write it down.  Set realistic goals within your budget as your budget will dictate the depth and content of your emergency plan. 

Practice, practice, practice!  Once you have your emergency plan written down and your goals set.  It is important to test the plan and make sure it’s going to work.  Sit down with your family and do mock up tests at least every six months.

Read my post on emergency planning here: Be Prepared: Emergency Preparedness!

Here is a good place to start: Family Emergency Plan (PDF)

3.  Personal Protection.

When the SHTF the normal day to day rules change.  For example, you get a family of four who have been without food and water for three days, what happens?  The man of the household will most likely do anything to feed his family.  This includes but not limited to breaking into your home and stealing the provisions you have saved for your family.  There will be no police or emergency personnel who are able to respond.  What do you do? It’s easy! Protect yourself and you’re loved ones at all costs.  You will have to handle you own.

Most folks are genuinely good; they would never hurt anyone under normal circumstances.  Desperate times calls for desperate people.  There is an old saying that in our modern privileged society we are only nine meals away from anarchy and chaos.  The personalities of the the people around you will change in only three days.  Behavior that is traditionally forbidden will now be rational.

What type of personal protection you go with is totally up to you.  You must be comfortable with the items you decide to use.  A lot of folks will go out and buy tons of firearms and ammo to protect themselves.  However, they lack the discipline and training to be effective at using it.  If you decide to use a firearm for personal protection then you must get safety training and learn to use it. 

At the very least, if you are new to prepping I would stick to pepper spray in your 72-hour kit.  Go out and buy Bear Repellent – Pepper Spray.  Bottom line, Bear repellent is stronger than normal pepper spray and has a longer range.  If it can stop a bear in it’s tracks then it can stop any HUMAN instantly.  Just saying…

4.  Research.

There is a ton of information on the web and at your local library that deals with prepping.  Research is the key to being a successful prepper.  I recommend reading a few books on prepping and survival to gain more knowledge.

Here are a few recommendations:

The Preppers Pocket GuidePreppers Instruction ManualEmergency Food Storage

Conclusion

This article is geared toward getting a newbie up to speed with the absolute basics of prepping.  This includes having a plan and at least a 72-hour kit with provisions to provide food, water, shelter and some type of personal protection to protect your family when the SHTF (Sh@& hits the fan).

New preppers should always start with these items.  When you have mastered steps 1 – 3 then you can research further and get more training.  Prepping will take time and money.  I recommend you slowly build up your preps over time.  During the journey train and learn as much as possible.  How much you put into prepping is totally up to you.  Here is a sample progression of preps you can start with and you can adjust it to reach your own goals.

First 3 Months:

  1. 72-Hour Kit
  2. Emergency Plan
  3. Personal Protection

Next 3 Months:

  1. Build 3 month Supply of Provisions
  2. Long Term Water Storage
  3. Invest in a Firearm and get training
  4. Practice Your Emergency Plan

Next 3 Months:

  1. Build 6 Months of Provisions
  2. More Long Term Water Storage
  3. Take a Survival Training Class

Next 3 Months:

  1. Build 12 Months of Provisions
  2. More Long Term Water Storage
  3. Practice Your Emergency Plan

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Rodney Butler

 

By Rodney Butler