We push independence around here, along with experience and resourcefulness.
Many folks take a lot of what’s around us for granted. We run down to the store or some sort of specialist (doctor, mechanic, plumber, etc) to get done what needs doing. That’s not really living and promoting those core principles.
I HOPE that as preppers, you’ve already built the skills and knowledge to take care of the very basics: Make fire, potable water and shelter.
But what about some of the other stuff? How about food skills? Acquiring, processing, converting. Here are some food and drink info and ideas –
Which edible “weeds” (this guy is a wealth of knowledge), fruits, vegetables and nuts are indigenous to your area? Do you know when they are in season? Do you know the ones that will make you ill or dead? Do you know how to preserve your bounty?
Make buttermilk by adding one tsp of vinegar to a cup of milk. Wait 5 minutes then use/consume.
Dressing a rabbit (squirrel, too) – GRAPHIC and lifesaving.
Like biscuits but you’re out of baking powder? Make baking powder by combining 2 tsp of cream of tartar and 1 tsp of baking soda. You’ve stored up some cream of tartar and baking soda, right?
You know that pine needle tea is full of great stuff, dontch? Big on vitamin C, antioxidants and lots of other great things. Be sure to read the warnings, especially if you are pregnant.
Every freshwater fish in North America is edible.
Lost your measuring cup? A quarter cup is 4 tablespoons. Do the math. Oh, and there are 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon. Do more math.
Lost your scale? 181 pennies weighs about 1 pound. Do the math.
Pain/anxiety management – please, no fist-shaking prohibitionist comments. No suggestion here to break a law, even one you may find ignorant or unconstitutional. Prepping is about making do with what’s available.
If things get ugly, your stress level will soar. If someone is injured and medical assistance is not available, whatcha gonna do? How are you going to “take the edge off”?
Alcohol is nothing more than the by-product of yeast eating sugar. As I used to explain to my boys when they were little kids watching me brew beer, yeast eat the sugar, then pee out alcohol and fart out carbon dioxide!
You can make a basic alcohol by adding one pound of white sugar to one gallon of warm water. Completely dissolve the sugar in the water. Add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of any kind of yeast you have around – make sure the water is no more than 90F. Keep the mix in a warm, draft-free area, loosely covered (remember the farting yeast!). In about a week, you’ll have alcohol.
Not tasty alcohol, just alcohol. It will be around 4-4.5% alcohol by volume. It has a yeast-y, and for some reason citrus-y taste. Consume with some sort of mixer if available.
The more sugar you add per gallon of water, the higher the alcohol content. I’ve taken regular old bread yeast up to 15% alcohol production levels! At those levels, though, the yeast needs some nutrients. Old, unproductive yeast works very well. So does smashed-up fruit.
Don’t have any kind of sugar available? Learn how to mash. This is the process of extracting the natural sugars out of grains – usually barely or corn.
In reality, you’re extracting the starches and converting them to sugars. This requires the introduction of some enzymes to facilitate the conversion process. Luckily, nature provides a way to do this as well. It’s called malting.
And of course, there are fruit juices – grape, apple, etc – that can be fermented as well. A simple hard cider might be very well received in a difficult situation…
Even here in California, without a card from Sacramento, marijuana is technically illegal (though greatly de-criminalized). If TSHTF, even us non-pot smokers might think it a decent option!
MJ recipes. Very interesting stuff, actually.
Honestly, if I were going to use this stuff, I wouldn’t smoke it. Maybe it’s just me, but I can smell pot from a mile away. I figure others are the same, and sending up a Smoke Signal to, “come take my stuff” doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Start figuring out what you don’t know, but need. Then figure out how you can get it in a pinch.