We continue from Jason’s first six months of prepping resolutions in: New Year Prepping Resolutions: January – June.
The summer months are always a great time to practice skills. One thing I’ve always wanted to learn how to do is start a fire with sticks. I know with all of today’s technology this skill has become a lost art, but it is still important to know. I also know that a well prepared guy will have a dozen different ways to start a fire before he needs to rely on sticks. But still, I think it is an important skill to learn. I was really happy when my son’s high school made all of the kids learn CPR and first aide skills. He’s our groups “medic.” That being said, more of us need to learn these medical skills as well so we will also focus on that.
I’ll always remember from my football playing and coaching days the saying: “Perfect practice makes perfect.” I take great pride in sheltering my kids from the realities of this cruel world, but as they get older, I also feel like I owe it to all of us to practice for emergency’s more often. Simple things like a bug-out drill or a family camp out are good drills for starters. Also, we need to practice for situations in our daily lives, like how my wife should walk when alone in a parking lot, with her car keys in her palm, with one between each finger. Or how my kids should react when a stranger offers them a ride home after school. These types of situations are very real, and unfortunately happen often. So, not only will we practice for a few emergencies, we’ll also practice for daily dangers.
I love beans for several reasons. First, they are a delicious source of protein and fiber. Second, they are easy to grow and store. Dried beans represent food and a future crop. So in September when the beans are starting to dry, I plan on stockpiling several pounds of them. It’s very easy to dry beans, I simply let them dry on the plant Then, when the pods are dry and starting to crack, I pick them and continue the drying process on an old window screen in the sun for a day or two. After that, I place them in jars. Sealing beans for eating in a vacuum bag is fine, but if you want to keep the beans on hand for potential seeds, they need to be exposed to some air so I keep them in Mason jars with plastic screw on lids. Seed beans also need to have been cold for a while, so I keep many in our refrigerator. Seed saving is a whole topic in itself, read online for more info. This skill could be the difference between a successful long-term bug in…and death.
A few years ago I built a small passive solar greenhouse. It’s not much, and I made it from all salvaged materials. For most of the year it sits empty, but when the cooler weather comes around all fall, I start to think about growing winter vegetables. My goal for this fall is to have all of our greens produced in my greenhouse. Currently I just raise kale, which is great, but there is so much more I can be doing. The more I raise in the greenhouse the more I save at the store, and the better we eat.
I hunt all year, but November is really when I get serious about deer. I’m always after mature bucks, but this year my goal will be to take a few more does. I like to make jerky and it stores very easily. I also like to can venison which also stores easily and tastes amazing. So, this year, instead of just being obsessed with killing a monster buck, I also am setting a goal of harvesting four does. If I can kill five deer a year, we’ll never need to visit the meat counter again!
Many are predicting that fuel prices will remain low, and I for one am ecstatic about it. If we can continue to depend less and less on Arab oil then that is a good thing. But we still will need it in an emergency. Especially in the winter. My house is wired so I can plug in my generator in an emergency to get us through a short term power outage. My goal is to buy more 5-gallon gas cans and fill them up with gas, plus an additive like Stabil to make the integrity of the gas last as long as possible. Gas will also be valuable for cars and trucks, chainsaws, other power tools, etc…
Another fuel source is firewood which I constantly have a huge pile of. Firewood will not only be valuable in an emergency for survival, it will also be currency. Firewood needs to be split, stacked and stored as dry as possible. I have a small shed that holds a cord and a half, and then the rest I store in giant piles that are covered with tarps to keep them dry. So, my goal next December is to stockpile fuel, and preserve it properly.
As I thought about my goals, I realized that some of them need to be dealt with on a daily basis. I call these “all year” goals. One of my all year goals is to continue to exercise as often as possible for several reasons. First, in an emergency, I need to be physically able to do whatever it takes to keep my family alive. Most who live on the couch and sustain themselves on a drive through diets have a lot of fat stored but no muscle or stamina to really accomplish much. I prefer to store my food energy outside of my body, and stay in shape. Also, I feel best when I exercise regularly, and I tend to have a lot more energy than when I don’t.
Another all year goal is to continue to be diligent in my daily life. In this modern day where racial tensions and civil unrest are gaining momentum, where shootings and terrorist attacks are coming commonplace – red blooded Americans like ourselves need to continue to be aware of our surroundings and refuse to be victims. Walk tall, pay attention to details, arm yourself whenever possible, and take a stand. Every day we need to protect our freedoms and our families. No excuses, and no need to put it off for a certain month.
And lastly, I want to continue to make it a goal to enjoy my life. I want to get out and live! I want to spend time with family and fiends, try new things, tackle fears, and become my best self. I think often we get caught up in the fear cycle, and forget to enjoy the moment. Yes… the world could end tomorrow, and if it did, would I have any regrets? I certainly hope not.
So in closing, I wish you and yours a happy and prosperous new year. Happy Prepping!