I guess the way to start off this blog is to share some of my thoughts with you so that you can get a better handle on me and how I look at the World today. For one, I think that Survivalism, emergency preparedness and self reliance are all pretty much one and the same. Or it should be in my opinion. I don’t consider myself as a “Survivalist” in the traditional sense that most people think of a Survivalist. Let’s face it, when most people think of a Survivalist, they think of Rambo holding out in some remote area waiting for the World to collapse. That’s not me and I’m sure it’s not most of your folks. If you’re one of those folks, more power to you and please save a spot for me if I’m wrong! =)
Our First Survival Steps At Becoming Self Reliant – Eliminating Debt
It’s my belief that one sure way to prepare for any upcoming disaster or global crisis is to be as self reliant as possible. This means carrying as little or no debt as possible. Back in 2005 we got on the Dave Ramsey plan to become debt free. Now we have very little debt. That we do have will be paid off this year. We have no credit cards. We both have debit cards and only use them rarely. It’s cash for us. I’ve heard all the excuses for having a credit card. None are valid. I’ve been able to do anything with my debit card that I was able to do with my credit card. Plus, you simply get better deals when paying with cash. Like it or not, people will bargain with you when you’re holding a wad of cash, even the big box stores.
Part of our long term plan is to leave as little paper trail as we can. That trail is getting smaller all the time. There may come a day when we don’t want to be found. Having debt and other recurring bills along with all the accounts that go with them can lead anyone to you door. Plus, when you have debt, you have to have some way to pay for it and most of the time that’s called a JOB! A JOB is something that most of you go to each day. You have to go back and forth on a predictable route and generally at a predetermined time. Just another reason to become debt free and learn to live using cash and bartering as a means to obtain what you need.
Also, when you’re in debt, you’re basically a slave to whomever you owe money to. Why would you want that for yourself and your family? Especially in this day and age when uncertainty abounds? Get out of debt and stay out of debt. If you need a solid plan, get Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. It will teach you what you need to know. Just a reminder though, it won’t work if you don’t work at it!
Survivalism Is All About Becoming Self Reliant
When you’re self reliant, which should mean you’re prepared for any number of emergencies, you can handle just about any situation that comes up. Think about it. If your home is ran off of Solar or Wind power or you have a generator large enough to run your home and there’s a power outage, you’re sitting pretty with electric while others go without.
Not only will you be prepared in case of an emergency, but when you use alternative energy sources, you’re cutting your electric bill and eliminating another trail to your door step.
I’m not there quite yet, not in my current home. But I have been able to do things that have cut my electricl bill down to 30 or so dollars per month. I also have two generators I could use in a pinch if I have to. One is propane and the other is diesel. I have a small solar set up that runs my shop and in the event we ever lose power in Summer, we’ll be sleeping in there because the little window A/C unit cools my shop nicely!
When we find the land to build our next home, it will be Solar and Wind Powered. If it’s a mile from the nearest electrical line, more the better!
Just as survivalism is more than being armed to the teeth in a hardened bunker, being self reliant means more than just living off the land growing your own food and using the Sun and Wind to power your home. To me, being self reliant means not having to depend on anyone, or any government, for my basic needs. This includes food, water, power, finances and security. I’d love to tell you that I’m there, but I’m not. I’m working on it, but it may take a few more years. But I will eventually get there and you can to.
Do You Really Need All That “Stuff”?
I’m constantly amazed at all the material things people think they “need” in order to survive. When I talk to people about becoming self reliant and the things people can do without, I get that funny look from them. I’ve seen people horrified at the thought of giving up their credit cards, their big homes, new vehicles, toys such as jet ski’s, boats, big screen HDTV’s, monster sound systems and other stuff. They simply can not think of life without these items!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you need to move to the backwoods and live in a one room cabin like a Hermit. I like my toys also, but mine are paid for. If I had to leave them in a hurry, I could and would never look back. Granted, leaving the nicer things in life would be harder on my Wife and Daughter than it would me, but they would handle it.
I’m also not saying you have to give these things up and live miserably. But if you’re in debt because of these things, you need to get rid of them until you’re debt free.
As I’m reading the ‘back to the Earth’ and self reliant magazines, I find it funny the things people think they need in order to ‘live off the land’. It’s like they think you need a half million dollars worth of stuff just to begin. Of course, some of this is the magazines fault as they need the advertisers of these overpriced and worthless ‘must have’ items. The editors and writers for those magaiznes have sold out for the almighty dollar and have forgotten why their type of magazines were started for in the first place.
You don’t need a $500,000 home and land to start. You can get started where you live right now, even if it’s an apartment in the middle of Manhatten. You don’t need 100 guns. A $200 shotgun is a good start. You don’t need a $40,000 tractor or Utility Vehicle. A wheel barrow, shovel and pick work nicely.
Becoming self reliant means letting go as much of the material stuff that is dragging you down as it means living a simple life without having to depend on others for the basics of life.
If the current state of the Government, both Nationally and the World, has you concerned and you’ve been thinking about “starting” to become self reliant and preparing your family in case of a National or Global crisis, then I challenge you to start now by taking a good long look at your situation to see what you can start cutting out and being less reliable on others. You don’t have to do it all at once, but you do have to start!
Because, it is my opinion (and has been quite some time), there is no difference between a Survivalism, Emergency Preparedness or self reliance. There all the same thing!