Survival Skills for Real People
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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Five Acres and Independence: Living Your Dream

 

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 My Dream is Born                                                  

I still remember that day. I’m not sure exactly how old I was but I was still in elementary school. My mother decided not to send me to school because I had a nasty cough so she dropped me off at my grandmother’s house.

Bummer! My grandmother had her “soaps” on all day on her one TV so I was out of luck there. Because I loved to read I started searching her bookcase and just about gave up finding something good.

Then I found it! It was a dull looking book with small print but the title grabbed me, “Five Acres and Independence”. I can’t imagine what a kid found intriguing about it now but I remember settling down on the sofa and starting to read. The chapter titles swept me forward: “City vs. Country Life”, “Choosing Your Land”, “Poultry”, “Bees”,… Continue reading

Buy Land Without Money: Rent-to-Own

Rent-to-Own? What does that mean? Is it a good deal for the would-be homesteader who is interesting in buying land but doesn’t have a down payment?

Recently I received a comment from a reader who mentioned that he got the land for his homestead by using the rent-to-own option. Intrigued,  I asked if I could interview him so he could let the rest of you readers learn how to do this.

Thanks for agreeing to this interview, Carl. Your comment started a lot of questions from homesteaders who are struggling to save a down payment for their land. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I got married about fourteen years ago and my wife and I both were interested in moving out to the country and making a living out of the land. The only problem was, we were flat broke. Both of us had good jobs. Rose, my wife, worked in a Child Care Center and I worked in construction as a drywall specialist.

Our pay was decent but it seemed to take everything we made just to pay the bills. We would dream about someday having enough to start our homestead but that’s all it was,… Continue reading

Making the Leap from City Life to Country Living: Green Acres Here We Come

 

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So you’ve decided that you are ready to get out  of the city, and start Country Living. Your dream coming true! Congratulations, you just made the most important  step! Now, “how do I make this a reality” you wonder to yourself. You are in the right place because we are going to go through it step by step. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by all the choices you have to make. The best way to avoid that is to break it down into a series of steps.

Resources

First thing: read, read, read!!!. One of the best publication is “The Mother Earth News”. They have been around since 1970, and they also have many spin off publications. I suggest you order The CD titled

“The First 10 Years”The Mother Earth News CD       You can usually find it used on Ebay  or Amazon. While some of the information is a little dated, most of it still applies.

Another great  publication is “The Encyclopedia of Country Living.” Country Living Almanac  It can be found both online as well as at any of the major Booksellers. By reading these books and magazines (and by subscribing… Continue reading

Orlando Shootings

I’ve received a number of emails regarding this terrorist event. While I normally wouldn’t speak about this matter in this blog, my conscience demands otherwise.  So for the record, let me state my opinion clearly.

 

1. This was a horrible and despicable act by a religious fanatic.

2. There were 300 people in that bar and 1 gunman. He could have been easily overpowered if the bar patrons had immediately rushed him. There still would have been a few casualties, but certainly not 100 people shot!

3. Clearly there there is something seriously wrong with the attitude of people in America. Have we already forgotten 9/11? There were 4 planes involved. On 3 of those planes, the passengers passively sat and offered no resistance to the hijackers. All three of those planes hit their targets, causing massive damage and a huge number of casualties. The 4th aircraft, United Airlines Flight 93 went down in a field in Pennsylvania. The passengers fought back and stopped that plane from striking it’s target. They behaved as True American Heroes!  They didn’t die on the hijacker’s terms but on their own. For years afterward, Americans were able to hold their heads… Continue reading

Top 10 Reasons to Live the Self-Sufficient Life

First, let’s say that being self-sufficient and living an alternative lifestyle  means different things to each of us. It’s both a journey and a destination and begins with small steps.

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It starts with a dream of being independent and then we develop that dream into reality. Yes, it does require motivation and hard work. But don’t be fearful, it’s not as hard as you think! If you are fed up being stuck in an overcrowded city, where you’re surrounded by people speaking every language but English, where criminals roam the streets freely, and the noise and stink never stop, well then….Read on…

  1. You’ll regain your freedom:

Freedom from being a wage slave.

Freedom from constantly having to worry about your job.

Freedom from an unpleasant overbearing boss.

  1. You can say good-bye to long commutes. No more snarling traffic and road ragers. No more breathing the fumes of cars and trucks. No more wasted time which you could use for your own benefit.
  1. No more dress codes. Dress the way you like and the way that expresses you best.
  1. Forget about going to a gym and paying dues. Forget training for marathons or running down hard pavement. Get… Continue reading

10 Reasons For Backup/Off Grid Power

A complete solar system in a moveable package

A complete solar system in a moveable package

1. Sitting in the dark really sucks. Subscribe to my blog now and take the first step to follow my Off grid power plans.

2. You’ll be able to charge your phones and other devices no matter what.

3. It’s not that hard to get started.  Subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you the help you need to have Off grid power in simple steps.

This all you need to get started!

This all you need to get started!

4. It’s good for the environment.

5. You can reduce or even eliminate your electric bill as you build out your Off grid power system.

6.In the event of an extended power failure (tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.) you’ll be the only person in your neighborhood  with lights, television and radio, to get current news and emergency information.

7. The wonderful feeling that you are in charge of your life, and not dependent on “Big Brother” for everything.

8. It’s a great first step in becoming independent, and starting your own self sufficient lifestyle.

9. A small system can move with you relatively easily.

A complete solar system that folds up and fits into a pack

A complete solar system that folds up and fits into a pack

10. When your… Continue reading

What We Learn from the Amish

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I live in SW Missouri in the rolling hills of the Ozarks. Near me are a number of Amish communities. The state of Missouri says there are over 9,000 Amish from several sects living here at the present time. Their numbers are growing rapidly as Amish from other parts of the country are moving to Missouri.

One of the highlights of visitors touring our area of Missouri is seeing an Amish family in their plain clothes traveling slowly down the road in their old fashioned, horse-drawn buggies. There are often cars stopped in the middle of the road photographing Amish homes, farms, and people. They desire privacy and anonymity, but the tourists don’t respect their wishes. It’s quite common to see the tourists laughing and pointing at the Amish folk, and their lifestyle. It reminds me of the way that most of society views people who live alternative lives, or the prepper community. We often make fun of those who are different, or things we don’t understand.

These tourists tend to romanticize the Amish and believe that they live totally independent from the world around them and that their life consists of churning butter and taking warm, fragrant loaves… Continue reading

Self-Reliant Living, Homesteading, and Prepping: The Perfect Trio

A New Direction

I love to read blogs. Prepper blogs. Survivalist blogs. Homestead blogs. Self-Reliant Living Blogs. When I decided to start my own blog I was faced with several important decisions. What direction should mine take? The Prepper Lifestyle of living offers so much necessary information that I started there. I enjoy many of the prepper websites and have my own favorites.

But as I was writing for my blog I realized that’s not really who I am. My real love is living an alternative lifestyle, which I’ve been doing for my entire adult life. Although my parents lived conventional lives my mother was a faithful reader of Mother Earth News. You could find me sprawled out reading them too. What I liked most were the articles about people who went off-grid and were in remote and/or rural locations. I didn’t know it then but they filled me with a desire to live like this.

Is total self-sufficiency possible?

However I also liked my “creature comforts”. Electricity. TV. Especially grocery stores! I’ve spent many years trying to balance the two with limited success until the last few years.

I have learned that living a self-sustaining lifestyle is very… Continue reading

Kid-Size Situational Awareness

Guest blog by Granny O., Michigan

Granny here. I hope you’ve been playing awareness games with your kids and grandkids since my last article, “Granny’s Games For Prepper Kids”.

I can’t stress enough that all of us should be aware of what’s going on around us at all times. This is especially true of children, who tend to ignore anything that doesn’t interest them.

Awareness Away From Home

Today we’re going to extend that awareness away from just the home and go out into public places. I like to start with an outing to a park because children love those. The younger ones can play on the equipment while the older ones race, organize a game, or just talk.

After an hour of playing, I call them over and pepper them with questions. I’ve been observing what was going on in the park so my questions are timely. For example:

  • Did you see someone wearing red? Was it a child or a man or a woman?
  • How many babies did you see?
  • Were there any dogs in the park? What kinds? How many? Did you see the owner?

You get the idea. During this time of questions I let them… Continue reading

Readiness 101 (Or How You Can Cause A Riot At Home)

You think you’re ready for anything because you’ve been prepping a long time? Your food supply looking good? Your water supply in place? Your medical supplies on hand?

But, wait!

How ready is your family? “Great,” you answer. “We’ve discussed all the possible things that can happen and what we should do.”

That’s what I thought about my troops. Then I decided to run a little experiment. I chose a Saturday when  everyone was home, including grandkids and some of their friends.

My Little Experiment

All I did was disconnect the satellite TV dish from the box. You would have thought World War III had started.

Within minutes I had a riot brewing as my hamshack was flooded with hysterical kiddos. They stormed in announcing that they couldn’t get their favorite programs. In fact, one said, “It feels like my umbilical cord has been cut.” (She’s the dramatic one.)

I acted surprised. Soon the room was filled and from all sides they were demanding that I do something and that I do it right now! I went into the living room, looked at the TV and said, “Yep, it’s not working.”

They weren’t amused.

Grabbing my phone, I made… Continue reading

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