What’s In Your Prepper Garden?

food-960070_960_720If you haven’t started your prepper garden, you still have time in most areas of the country. That means you still have time to think about what you want to grow. Unless you have acres and acres of fertile land to use for your garden, you need to use the space you do have wisely. While it may seem fun to plant this or that just because it seems like the thing to do, think about whether or not it is the best use of garden space along with your time and energy.

A prepper garden will ideally feed your family during harvest season and for months following the harvest. Not all foods are suitable for preservation that doesn’t require a freezer. While it is certainly okay to grow enough broccoli to have plenty of fresh, it isn’t a vegetable you can really can. You could dehydrate it, but the quality is going to be pretty funky. There are plenty of other veggies that are great fresh, but not so great for canning or drying. You have to assume you won’t have electricity, which means you won’t have a freezer.

Some prepper favorites for the garden are things like beans, corn, peas and carrots. Corn can be an issue if you have limited space. Each stalk will only give you a couple of ears. It takes several ears to get a single pint jar filled with corn.corn-fields-928380_960_720

Potatoes are an excellent option and can be a meal in themselves, but it is not wise to can potatoes. Drying potatoes is an option. If you have a root cellar, the potatoes you harvest at the end of summer will easily stay fresh until early spring. This applies to a number of other root crops as well and apples. As far as space goes, yes they can take up some serious space in the garden, but you don’t have to grow them in the garden. In fact, growing potatoes in a large garbage can is an excellent way to maximize space and save yourself the problem of weeds and pests.

Your prepper garden is what will keep your family alive after a disaster upsets the food supply chain. While you are thinking about the foods you like to eat fresh, also consider adding plants to the garden that you can preserve. Home food preservation is an ideal way to stock your pantry without costing a lot of money.

Are You Physically Ready to Bug Out?

walker-1208261_960_720Preppers are experts in varying aspects of preparing to survive some major event that puts the world into chaos. They have a ton of food, water and basic supplies that will sustain them for months or longer. They have plans and back up plans that will lead them away from danger and to a place where they can start over. Preppers can make fire from just about anything and have a great deal of knowledge about how to survive with nothing more than a knife in their pocket.

But are preppers physically prepared to do all of the jobs necessary to actually put that gear and those skills to use?

If you get winded walking upstairs or walking to check the mail, you are not going to make it. It is that cut and dry. How can you possibly expect to walk 20 miles or more with a heavy pack on your back if walking into the grocery store from one of the far out parking spaces is a lot of work? You have to get in shape. If you are out of shape, you are likely not in the best health either. Your physical health should be put at the top of your list of things to do. You will dramatically increase your odds of survival if you are physically capable of strenuous activity.

Here are some things you can do now to help get you in a little better shape and more prepared to handle the physical aspect of survival.cliff-1081762_960_720

  • Spend at least one of your days off hiking or backpackin
  • Chop wood with an ax
  • Manually plow your garden or spend some time using a rake
  • Take walks around your neighborhood
  • Walk to work if possible or walk to the corner market
  • Park in the way out parking lot when you go to the mall or big box store
  • Do some minor weight lifting
  • Yoga—not a joke, very good at building up your muscles

You don’t have to be the toughest, strongest or the fastest, but you do want to be able to keep up. If you tire after the first couple of miles, you are going to slow down your group. The weakest and slowest are always going to get picked off first. Do your part and get your booty moving and get in shape! Eat right and lose those extra few pounds you have been talking about losing for years. Doing the activities above is going to get you in shape and you will be better prepared to live in a world where modern conveniences are a distant memory.

Canned Food 101 for the Beginning Prepper

If you are interested in stocking up food to use in the event of an emergency, you may canned foodhave some questions. When you talk to other experienced preppers or do some research online, it is easy to panic and think you can’t possibly build up a supply of food that will last you for months. It can seem like an impossible feat, especially when you think of the cost involved.

It isn’t nearly as difficult as it seems. These are some tips that preppers have been using to get their supplies built up. Yes, it does take time. Yes, it does take money. However, slow and steady wins the prepping game.

Set a Monthly Budget

Before you head to the store and start shopping, set a budget. You don’t want to buy too much, too soon. You will burn out. You will also end up spending more money than you need to. Part of prepping is doing what you can to get yourself in a good financial spot. Spending a lot of money on food that you are storing away could result in financial hardship.

Pick the Right Foods

Don’t buy foods your family will not eat. It is a waste of space and money. Do what you can to diversify your food storage, but keep it to the foods you eat. If your family isn’t a fan of tuna or peas, skip them and spend your money on foods they do eat.

Use Coupons and Shop the Ads

Don’t be afraid to be a bargain shopper. Have some money set aside so you can buy big when a canned food sale does hit. Learn some of the tricks mega-couponers use. Buy one get one free sales are an excellent way to beef up your pantry at half the price.cans

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

Buying in bulk is generally the best way to save money. You will still need to do the math and make sure the bulk price is a good bargain. It isn’t a wise idea to buy bulk cans or family size cans of foods. You have to assume you won’t have refrigeration. Can your family eat a huge can of tomato sauce in one sitting or a big can of chili? You don’t want it to go to waste. An option is freeze-dried foods. This allows you to use a portion of the can, seal it up and it will be good for several weeks or longer. The freeze-dried foods have longer shelf lives and will taste just as good in 20 years as they do today. Canned food will lose flavor and does run the risk of spoiling.

Prepping is a great way to give yourself peace of mind. You will sleep better knowing you have a supply of food to sustain your family should there be a disaster or a financial collapse that leaves the budget stretched thin with no room for groceries. A supply of food is smart. Start with these simple tips and get started building up your food supply today.

Is Your Dog a Prepper?

german-shepherd-525804_640Many preppers have dogs. They have dogs for many different reasons. It may simply be because the kids wanted one or maybe you were looking for a companion. Homesteaders like to have dogs to help keep an eye on things and serve as an early warning system. Others like to have dogs trained as guardians of their people, willing to attack anybody who tries to harm their owners. No matter what the reason for owning a dog is, you have to ask yourself; is your dog a prepper?

No, your dog isn’t going to have a stockpile of food hidden under the porch or buried somewhere. But, is your dog ready to survive an apocalypse of some sort? If you don’t know, then you need to bring old Fido up to speed on things. Your dog needs to be prepared to help you out after a major event. A dog that isn’t prepared is going to be a hindrance and may even get you killed.

Can Your Dog Deal with Loud Noises?

If your dog is the kind that runs or hides when there is a thunderstorm or a door slams, you need to work with him. In a disaster and immediately after, it will probably be pretty loud. You don’t want your friend running off at the first loud bang. Help the dog be okay with loud booms, like gun shots, by either hiring a trainer or exposing the animal to noises and providing the reassurance that is is okay.labrador-805838_960_720

Does Your Dog Come when Called?

This is a frustrating scenario for every dog owner. They often have a mind of their own and will completely ignore commands to heel or return to where you are. Again, hire a trainer or train your dog from a young age that returning when called is important. This is to protect your dog from being injured as well as keep you from having to go out on a search and rescue mission and potentially putting yourself in harm’s way.

Does Your Dog Bark Incessantly?

A dog that barks constantly will not only drive you crazy, it will alert others to your presence. In a post-collapse world, that is probably not going to be a good thing, unless you want to be found. Train the dog to only bark when an alert needs to be sounded.

These three traits are crucial to your dog’s ability to help you after a disaster. Fortunately, these are all traits that can be trained with a little work. There are going to be a few dogs that are timid and will not do well in a chaotic situation. Do your best to help the dog overcome fears by keeping calm yourself. Your furry friends will usually take their cues from you. If you are panicking, they will feed off that energy and panic themselves. Enroll your dog in a training class or do some serious research and learn how to train your dog without a trainer.