There are 12 tips to become more independent. The latest global crisis has exposed many to the reality of being dependent on others for their basic needs. Many in the prepping and survival community already know about the need to prepare for unforeseen circumstances and being independent. Yet, you do not know what you will need until a situation arises. For example, the current crisis exposed everyone to the need to keep N95 masks. However, getting through the next crisis may require you to store an abundance of an item that you never knew that you would need. The x-factor of preparing for an emergency is anticipating the resources necessary to endure it. Here are twelve practical tips to help you satisfy your basic needs and become more independent.
1. Plant a Garden
My maternal grandfather was a twenty-something during the Great Depression. He grew up on a farm in Oklahoma. He moved to California after his father died at an early age from tuberculosis. He always advised us to grow our food in some way. He practiced what he preached. My grandfather always was growing some sort of vegetables, whether in his apartment or the backyard of his home.
One of the best ways to start growing vegetables is by using planter boxes, pots, or troughs. The hobby of Square-Foot Gardening is an excellent way to begin this process. Small, inexpensive plastic planting pots can be purchased at your local nursery or hardware store. If you have a little more money to spend, you can obtain plastic planting troughs. Additionally, a great way to start growing your fruits and vegetables is with the use of an AeroGarden®.
2. Get Out of Debt and Save Money
Another piece of wisdom imparted to us from my grandfather was to save money and never purchase anything you can not pay for completely. In essence, he advocated paying cash for everything, including a new car. However, times have changed since his passing on in death. The cost of living forces many to finance many things that our grandparents would never do. A different aspect of our current era is the credit card. Yet, the advice of my grandfather would be the same as that advocated by the finance experts today; get out of debt and save your money. Additionally, the saving of money does not necessarily imply keeping it in the bank if you are afraid of a bank run in an economic crisis.
3. Learn To Make or Repair Clothing
A pleasant surprise of the current crisis is the rise of the home sewing projects to create cloth face masks. However, sewing has waned in popularity in the last few decades. Yet, as we have learned, there are still many people who sew. One way to be more independent is to learn how to make and repair your clothes. The Mennonites and Amish communities do this as part of their culture. You can help yourself by employing this habit as a way of limiting your dependence on the modern supply chain and boxed stores.
4. Keep A Freezer Stocked
A stand-alone freezer is an excellent help in keeping your food stocks ready to go when a crisis happens. Many people who live in apartments and condominiums have limited space to hold a freezer. However, with some innovation, you can keep a small freezer in an apartment or condo. Those who live in subdivisions can maintain a large freezer in the garage. One limitation of freezers is electricity. If the electrical grid goes down, the food stored in a freezer will soon become compromised. Therefore, there is a risk-reward analysis that one must do when determining if keeping a freezer is suitable for your situation.
5. Learn To Maintain Your Home and Property
Your home is your castle. It is also your primary means for shelter in a crisis. The same is true for apartments and condominiums. Therefore, one way to be more independent is to learn to maintain your home and property. Many apartment complexes have limitations on residents making repairs. However, home repair is still an excellent skill to develop even if you are under some limits where you live.
It is a good thing to become a handyman around your dwelling place. The skill will save you money. Additionally, it will help you to be less dependent on outside services except for the most critical aspects concerning your home.
6. Keep Chickens and Goats
The keeping of small livestock such as chickens and goats has been part of human experience for thousands of years. We know that local ordinances have rules concerning the keeping of chickens or goats. Therefore, we recommend that you exercise a bit of wisdom about what to keep. For example, in my city, you can keep hens but not roosters due to the maintaining of a noise ordinance in the suburbs.
Your keeping of chickens helps with supplying with meat and eggs. Goats provide a supplement for cow’s milk as well as beef. There is a cost, as well as a maintenance consideration for keeping chickens or goats. Some homesteaders like to keep rabbits for meat if they are not able to maintain goats.
7. Learn To Safely Harvest Water Sources
Water is a core resource to obtain and maintain for long-term sustainability and your independence. The harvesting of rainwater is controversial in some places and can be illegal. Thus, exercise some wisdom about setting up rain-catch barrels.
However, there are other ways to gain and maintain drinkable water sources that will help you to become less reliant upon the grocery store to provide such resources.
8. Reuse and Repurpose Items
The average home has many things that can be reused or repurposed. Many of our containers are made of plastic, which makes them candidates for reusing or repurposing. Additionally, there are many metal containers in our homes. For example, my paternal grandfather liked to reuse his empty metal coffee can to store his medications. He would take the can with him on trips when he and my grandmother would come to visit us. There are many other examples one could list on ways to reuse or repurpose the various things in our homes.
9. Learn How To Make Soap and Candles
A dying skill in our society is the ability to make soap and candles. The activity has to become more than just an occasional hobby. Candles allow you to have light when the electricity is down, and batteries are dead. Soap is an essential item for maintaining personal hygiene and home sanitation. If you can learn to make soap (bar, liquid, powder) in quantity, then this is another item you do not have to worry about purchasing at the store.
10. Learn How To Use and Maintain Firearms
There is more to having firearms than just point and shoot. Maintenance and repair of weapons are critical to keeping firearms in your home. Gun safety and security is another vital component of owning firearms. Recent events have demonstrated that keeping firearms is a sure way to maintaining the security of your home and property when law enforcement is unable to assist.
11. Network with Local Farmers
A great way to help yourself become more independent is to network with your local farmers and cattle ranchers. Local farmers and cattle ranchers can help you obtain beef, dairy, fruits, and vegetables to supplement your grocery list. Local and state laws govern some of the ways that farmers and cattle ranchers interact with individuals. For example, in some places, you have to pay into a cooperative agreement with a cattle owner to obtain milk from one of their cows.
12. Keep and Maintain a Reliable Mode of Transportation
We have heard much about keeping a bug-out vehicle (BOV). There are many suggestions that one can find about types, styles, or equipment to consider for a BOV. Yet, the most reliable transportation is the one you own. If you have the money to dedicate to a specialized BOV, that is a wonderful advantage. However, most people do not have that kind of cash to throw around. Therefore, keep your current vehicle maintained and fueled (topped-off) at all times. Just remember that one tank of gas averages about 300 miles. If you keep your car fueled, then you have at least a guaranteed 300-miles of travel in an emergency.
It is essential to strive to become more independent the further we go in this century. World, national, regional, or local disruption to our daily lives can happen in less than twenty-four hours. Therefore, we no longer have the luxury of waiting until payday to go to the store. The wisdom of the day dictates that becoming more independent is a necessity and not a luxury.