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"You don't save grasshoppers by feeding them when winter comes; you save grasshoppers by turning them into ants." -- Jack Spirko.
"When grasshoppers get hungry they turn into locusts." -- LdMorgan

everyday preparedness

"Everyday preparedness" has at least two meanings.
  1. preparedness can be simple, low drama, low tech and completely unremarkable to your neighbors and co-workers.
  2. once we have a guiding principle in place we can prep every day with no extra effort. It does take a bit of thought and paradigm shifting on the front end but after you've made that investment the rest is gravy. Preparation becomes integrated into one's life so neatly that there is no clear line between prepping and non-prepping. It is just what you do, your lifestyle, your zazen.
    Another way to put this is: "make your preps do double duty in your normal life".

I have been half-consciously toying with this idea for most of my adult life but never engaged it explicitly. I owe the crystallization of this idea to a statement by Jack Spirko. Regardless of any differences I might have with his approach, I admit he puts it convincingly: "Everything You Do Should Improve Your Position in Life Even If Nothing Goes Wrong". Before hearing Spirko's take on it I lumped it under "way of life" but I think Jack's take is richer.

how everyday preparedness informs my choices

Containers make a good place to start. I try to leverage existing (and preferably free) containers rather than buying new, purpose-built ones. I have relatively few prep-only containers. I use the following around the house for normal and prep purposes.


A key to successful food prep is to utilize your stored food reserves in everyday cooking. This seemingly simple idea has many ramifications:
  1. you will be automatically reminded to "store what you eat" if you are "eating what you store"
  2. you will be automatically be familiarized with cooking your stored foods.
  3. in order to rotate your stores successfully you will have to be on top of your inventory and expiration cycles. One tip I learned from LDS folk is to tape the inventory to the outside of the food container (or keep a printed copy in the pocket of your pack). I do my inventories on the PC and edit/print them as needed. Very simple and effective. I have heard of people organizing their food stores by expiration date so they could tell at a glance what needed to be used first.
  4. your food storage reserve means you can buy low, waiting for sales. It's not like you will run out and have to pay premium prices.
  5. this might seem random, but consider cultivating a taste for decent looseleaf tea. Bulk looseleaf is cheap compared to almost any other liquid, there is no bag to throw away, it can encourage you to drink sufficient water and can warm you up. A cup of tea is a tiny bit of civilization in even the worst of situations. And it's the traditional way to test the water-boiling abilities of any new stove.


My thoughts on water are on their own page.

light and heat

If you choose to use camping stoves and lanterns make your life easier by standardizing on one camp fuel: kerosene, coleman fuel, propane, alcohol, whatever. Many people prefer kerosene for its non-volatile nature. Kerosene may also be useful in indoor heaters built to use that fuel. There are also easy-to-build "hobo" stoves that make efficient use of small quantities of wood, and are made of a tin can, a can opener, and a bit of time.
If you need an excuse to crank up that stove, use it outdoors to cook something like fish that would otherwise smell up your home. My father used to deep fry catfish outdoors in a dutch oven on his green Coleman suitcase campstove.
If you need an excuse to crank up that lantern, bring one out next time you have people over in your backyard in the evening.

Make firestarters and practice using them. Examples: cottonballs/vaseline. My favorite used to be those paper-mache egg cartons, each spot filled with dryer lint and melted wax. Cut apart. 12 starters that work great! Unfortunately, most cartons are foam now. Firestarters have obvious prep value, but also can be used to start fireplaces, chimenea fires, or small practice fires in your back yard.

daily carry

Normally I carry only a cellphone, a pocketknife (SAK, Spyderco folder, or sometimes a leatherman). I use them almost every day that I carry them.


If you choose to arm yourself, my advice is to make your life easier my standardizing on a caliber early on. If you have one caliber for several firearms then you only have to stock one caliber instead of five or however many. The .22lr is probably the most versatile round for normal and emergency situations. It is easy to carry hundreds of .22lr rounds and they are trivially cheap. Another good choice might be a pistol and carbine in 9mm.

/ GnuPG public key

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