A search on Google for "self sustainability" returns 232 million results. That many results can only mean one thing: a whole lot of people are searching for information related to self sustainability.
How do we explain the growing widespread interest in this topic?
Easy. It's due to an ever increasing number of people becoming aware of how dangerously fragile the global economy is and by extension, how precarious their own lives are within it. People are picking up on inconvenient facts, they're adding two plus two together and they're coming up with an answer that looks a lot like economic collapse somewhere in the not too distant future. Seeing that, they are preparing, looking for ways to become self sustainable.
Being self-sustainable is all about growing one's own food, taking necessary measures to insure security, guaranteeing a plentiful water source and so much more.
What level of preparation is required to be self sustainable through a potentially long and catastrophic emergency?
1. Develop a means to generate sufficient income from your property
Even those of us who are debt-free are still most likely going to have to pay property taxes. That requires money. We need money to buy gas and diesel, to get our cars serviced and repaired, to take the kids to the doctor, to visit the dentist when a toothache strikes. Money is required to buy tools, home security items, replacement parts -- the list of "might need to's" is long indeed. All require money.
- The Urban Farmer: Growing Food for Profit on Leased and Borrowed Land
- Maximizing Your Mini Farm: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre
2. Develop the knowledge and acquire the assets needed to produce and preserve 100% of the food you need
Possessing the knowledge, experience, seed, land and tools required to grow and preserve food for long term emergency storage is essential to self-sufficiency.
- The Encyclopedia of Country Living
- More Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency
- The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!
- Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills
3. Secure a substantial source of renewable drinking and irrigation water
Next to oxygen, water is the most important resource required for human survival. A human can survive for up to three weeks without food, but only three to four days without water. For those contemplating total self sustainability, a plentiful and replenishable source of water is imperative.
- Build a custom rain capture water tank
- The Water-Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape
4. Build your collection of essential tools and materials
Even our pioneering forefathers needed tools and implements to survive. Without them they could not have been self sufficient. And either can those aspiring to self-sustainability today. There is some stuff that you're just flat out going to need.
- Tools for Survival: What You Need To Survive When You're On Your Own
- Practical Projects for Self-Sufficiency: DIY Projects to Get Your Self-Reliant Lifestyle Started
5. Maintain health and develop physical strength
Given that the ability to grow one's own food is a prerequisite for self-sufficiency, it follows that so also are good health and sufficient strength. Anybody who has practiced farming or large-scale gardening knows how physically taxing that work can be. Soil must be prepared and maintained. Seed must be sown. Holes must be dug. Weeds must be picked. Compost piles must be turned. Harvested crops must be transported from one place to the other. All of this requires manual labor involving sometimes significant levels of physical assertion. Reasonably good health and a bare minimum level of fitness are imperative for self sustainability.
- How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
- Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients into Foods and Remedies That Heal
- Strength Training NOT Bodybuilding: How To Build Muscle And Burn Fat
6. Develop handyman knowledge and skills
It finally hit the fan and the world has turned insane. You're on high alert. Something breaks and needs to be fixed. No spare parts available. Hey, you're self sufficient. What are you going to do, call a contractor? No. You're going to make that repair yourself with whatever materials you have access to, using whatever tools you've accumulated to hammer bend and twist that material to serve the intended purpose. You're going to have to think hard and figure something out. Lots of trial and error. You're going to need some tools.
- DEKOPRO 128 Piece Tool Set-General Household Hand Tool Kit
- The Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual
- Family Handyman Do-It-Yourself Basics
7. Protect yourself
ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE! COLLAPSE! PEAK OIL! MARTIAL LAW! SHTF! TEOTWAWKI!
And you think you won't need to take extreme measures to defend yourself and your family?
- Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected
- Prepper's Armed Defense: Lifesaving Firearms and Alternative Weapons to Purchase, Master and Stockpile
- The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse
8. Learn and practice beekeeping
Beekeeping has been around since recorded history. There's always been beekeepers and there always will be as long as the bees keep making honey. It is a valuable skill. Honey is a valuable product. It's highly nutritious and tastes good too. You also get beeswax for candles and many other practical applications. Total win.
- Beeswax Alchemy: How to Make Your Own Soap, Candles, Balms, Creams, and Salves from the Hive
- The Beekeeper's Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses
9. Get a heat source for protection against cold
Depending on where a person lives, heating a residence through winter months without the aid of electricity or natural gas is a prime concern. A wood burning stove is the most efficient method. A fireplace might also do the job, just not as well. Don't forget to stockpile one or more effective hand saws and/or axes to cut down trees and buck them up. Don't depend on a chainsaw since they need gas and oil to operate, and there might not be any gas or oil available.
- Samurai 13” Heavy Duty Saw
- Gransfors Bruks Small Forest Axe 19 Inch, 420 (works on zombie necks too)
10. Secure fire starter equipment and materials
Cooking. Sterilizing. Heat against the cold. You're going to want to make sure that you can strike up a fire whenever and wherever you have the need
11. Get set up to make moonshine
If you're growing fruits, grains, potatoes or corn, then a still and the knowledge of how to use it could prove invaluable. In the event of economic breakdown you'll be able to use home brewed liquor as a barter item. Alcohol is an effective disinfectant. It can be used in lamps, stoves and other devices specifically designed to operate on ethanol.
12. Obtain required food preparation equipment and accessories
So you've got a three month emergency food kit sitting in your closet. You're good to go.
Just one little problem. After three months have passed and all your emergency meals are gone, what next?
If only you had purchased some dried corn kernels, whole wheat berries and maybe some whole oats instead, you could have eaten just as good or better and still have seed to plant. Think about it this way. In a true SHTF scenario, once all the emergency kit meals are gone, what are you going to eat after that?
Same thing that all pre-industrialization civilizations ate, if you can get it. They stuck to the staples because it was what they could grow, it was healthy and nutritious, and they could preserve it for long term storage -- grains, corn, dehydrated vegetables and fruits.
A good idea would be to get set up early to process and prepare the staple foods because that's what people have always eaten, and what they'll be back to eating again post-collapse.
- How to Build a Food Dehydrator
- Manual Grain Grinder
- Large 8-Inch Thai Granite Mortar and Pestle
- Maximizer Corn Sheller (Green/Red), Manual Hand Crank Thresher
- Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware 5 Piece Bundle
- Bob's Red Mill Cookbook: Whole & Healthy Grains for Every Meal of the Day
13. Prepare to treat common medical ailments and physical injuries
It is very important that you or someone else in your family or tribe are able to treat medical ailments, physical injuries and take proper care of wounds. Preventing infections is something you have to be able to do. Nobody wants to play doctor, but sometimes there isn't any choice. When that time comes, knowledge and quality medical supplies will make a big difference in the outcome.
- MFASCO - First Aid Kit - Complete Emergency Response
- The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way
- Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use