Prepping is not some kind of “new trend”. It’s been around in some form or another for centuries. Those who thrived were those who put away food and supplies for the winter.
In the Old Testament of the Bible, Joseph had prophetic dreams. He convinced the Pharaoh to allow him to store away food from the 7 years of good harvest to survive the 7 years of famine that were to come. Joseph told his family, “God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” Genesis 45:7.
Archaeologists keep discovering caches of food that some archaic soul had stored away. For example, in Arkansas, a village of the Woodland Indians dating back to 600-900 AD was discovered. The settlement was a small farming village. Scientists found caches of nuts and seeds that had been lightly roasted, then buried in covered pits. The crops became larger as the Indians learned new methods for storing their harvests.
In the 18th century, Napoleon Bonaparte announced a contest with a cash prize to the person who could develop a reliable way to preserve food and keep his armies fed. Nicolas Appert, a French cook and inventor, spent 14 years perfecting his method, based on the process of wine-making. He originally used glass jars sealed with wax and reinforced with wire and discovered that heating the food in the jar kept it from spoiling. People have used root cellars, canning, drying and smoking for centuries in order to preserve their harvest and the bounty of their hunts, to prepare for the days when food might not be abundant.
During the Great Depression, those who lived in the country fared far better than those in the cities. They were able to grow food and livestock and preserve their harvests. The people who were able to acquire a pressure canner actually thrived, able to put back fruits, vegetables and meats for the lean winter months.
None of these people mentioned would have thought it was anything but common sense to store away food and goods for difficult times, but by today’s definition, they were all preppers.
We are on the cusp of facing our generation’s own Great Depression. Many people have lost their jobs, their cars and some, even their homes. There will be more losses to come as the economic situation becomes more and more desperate. However, a prudent person can prepare for many of these things. There are strategies for surviving an economic collapse that make up the backbone of preparedness. You must keep your family fed and sheltered and you may not be able to do that without some advance planning.
Being a prepper doesn’t mean that you are fearful and worried. It actually gives you a peace of mind that the non-prepper cannot attain. If you are a prepper:
- You have a food supply put away for both short term and long term situations.
- You have supplies for medical emergencies in the event that a doctor is not available.
- You have the supplies and skills to provide yourself with food self-reliantly.
- You have off-the-grid methods for staying warm in the winter.
- You have more than one way to meet the water needs of your family, including catchment and filtration for long-term needs.
- You have a pioneer “make do or do without” philosophy.
- You have (or are learning) valuable self-reliant skills to meet your needs and for potential barter.
Let’s face it; we’re all afraid, to some degree, of the unknown. Considering the things that might happen – the “known unknowns” – and preparing for those events, can provide us with the peace of mind then we, along with our families, will be okay. We all know what natural disasters might affect our areas: floods, hurricanes, blizzards. If we live near a nuclear power plant or a chemical facility, we understand the risks. Pandemics occur, jobs are lost and power goes out. Learning about these scenarios and planning for them will help to lessen the fear when and if they do occur. While others are paralyzed and trying to figure out what is going on, you and your family will be ahead of the game, well on route to survival.
Preparedness is an investment in your future. It’s insurance against the unknown. Nearly everyone is a prepper to some extent, whether they realize it or not. We don’t buy homeowner’s insurance because we are certain our house will burn down – we buy it just in case our house unexpectedly falls victim to fire or a natural disaster. We don’t keep Tylenol in the medicine cabinet because we want to have a headache or fever – we keep it just in case of such an event. Stocking up on food for a situation in which we might not be able to get any is the same type of insurance – it’s there if we need it.