Originally published at Women Not Dabbling by emphelan
This week in the survival series, we will be talking about long term preparations. Tansy wrote a wonderful post on short term. Many of these items should has be included in your long term. The goal is to make it harvest to harvest, not just for self-sufficiency, but also as a survival plan. Once you have figured out gardening by seasons, your various storage options, and seed saving techniques (all of which will be covered in stages by myself and other writers here) You will be able to guarantee a steady food supply. Milk, fiber and meat animals should also be on your list. Which types will be up to you, just make sure that you can care for them.
Transportation is another issue when you are in survival mode on your homestead. Horses are a good option, but not necessarily the best. Horses are good for speed, and draft. The problem is maintenance, and that they are not multipurpose. Oxen or low-line cattle might be a better option as they are good for draft, milk, meat and leather. All items that you will need. You need to consider space and your needs when deciding.
Your medical needs are something you should do your own research on. If you can replace manufactured medicines with herbs safely, that is something you should think about attempting to grow on your own. Making your own indoor grow room or closet is rather simple, and can help you keep herbs all year round. Your first aid kits should be well stocked at all times, suture kits, snake bite kits and epi pens are a must. Along with your fist aid kit, you should have animal kits as well, iodine, bleed stop and suturing kits, as well as powdered antibiotics. If you are unable to get bleed stop, a good trick to know for not only animals but for humans as well, is that grabbing and wadding up a handful of cobwebs will have the same effect. Several books that I would recommend when it comes to first aid, is Where there is no Dentist and Survivalist’s Medicine Chest. We even have books on how to reattach amputated fingers. ( of course my husband went to medical school)
A generator will come in handy for those of you on the grid. If you live on an electric well, a hand powered auger is something you might think about hunting down and purchasing. Don’t go to a big box store, they will look at you like you are insane when you ask where they are hiding them. Use the auger to find out how deep your water table really is. This will end up the start to your new well. Yes, you read that correctly. A hand well might become very important to your homestead. You need to be prepared to dig one, or have one already dug. Clean water could become a hard source to score, do not trust you creek or river that you are close to. There are several techniques for gathering water and cleaning it. You have rain barrels and water cistern (which are not difficult to make), you have sand filtering and boiling when it comes to drinking water, as well as a couple more options.
There seems to be a stigma around discussing the topic of survival. We are homesteaders, and at times will get defensive when someone calls us survivalists. This term drags up notions of gun totting, basement or backwoods dwelling homicidal freaks. But survival isn’t like that. Being prepared for an uncertain future is not something that should be ridiculed. People do call me names, call us names. Remember, sticks and stones will break our bones but words will never hurt me? Well my friends, that is another attitude to take when thinking about long term prep. It may never come to a point when we are forced to live this lifestyle that many of us have chosen, but there might come a time when it does, and then. . . then we need to think about security.
Guns, ammunition, bullet makers, knives, hatches and explosives. Well, we will talk about explosives later for now. . . I live in a wonderful country that allows us to have our own firearms. I live in a State that allows you to conceal and carry. We are still very much a cowboy and Indian country, and in an event that causes food shortages, having a gun on premises could become a life saver. I realize that there are many people out there that do not like guns, won’t have anything to do with them. But this is something that needs to be discussed. I use to be one of those people. I was a vegan, I was anti-leather, I was anti gun. But then I found myself in a situation where I had to defend myself. I fell in love with throwing knives after that. I bought a beautiful, well balanced set, and practiced. I carry my knives around my homestead now. I also carry a bolt action 22 rifle. I am sufficiently paranoid. The gun is for the murderer of my livestock. People dump their dogs on us and lazy or sick carnivores ravage chicken coops. My knives are for my protection. I don’t expect to be attacked on my property, but I will not take that chance. We have several other guns as well as a few other sharp objects. They are kept well out of range of my boys, but all of them, including my youngest, knows how to shoot. Gun safety courses are important. I highly suggest that those of you that are scared of guns to contact a gun shop in your area for classes. Most shops will not require you to purchase or even have your own gun (that is so for my area) to take a class. This will help you become more informed, and more comfortable with the thought of gun ownership. You will also get a chance to “feel” the guns and riffles, finding the one or two that are suitable for you. I can not stress enough how important self preservation is.
Security also comes in the form of fencing, electric fences on solar power are relatively inexpensive, barbed wire, and even chain link can help. Guard animals should be given consideration, everything from well trained dogs, llamas and Donkeys. Did you know that a male donkey will go after anything he might think is a predator? Not just kick if they come to close to him, but actually run after biting and kicking, bent on killing the intruder? All three of these guard animals can be used as pack animals, including the dogs.
When it comes to long term prep, take a look at what your basic needs are. Not your wants, things like coffee can be substituted with dandelion root. Your actual needs are what you are going to need to stock up on. Water, food, clothing, bathroom facilities, shelter, warmth and security. Continue your strive to self sufficiency, and you will be on your way to long term survival.
It would take me pages and pages to go into depth on each topic here. If there is a certain subject you would like for me to cover more, please let me know. And I will do my best to accommodate.