In spite of the warnings about winter cold all over the news and websites, it is apparent to me that the average person who has never been in a survival situation does not take time to even slightly prepare. I have an arctic rated parka in the back of my vehicle that I can sleep in if necessary.
I asked the teenage daughter of a friend of mine who was driving through the country on a recent frigid winter morning if she was prepared to survive a walk in the cold or if she would she freeze to death. She was on her way to work and dressed for the running vehicle that was going to be warm in just a few minutes and for the warm building she was going to be working in. She was not prepared to have to hike even a mile in the cold or to maintain body temperature if she slipped off the road and down over one of the steep hills. She said she would probably freeze.
Winter clothing is bulky. It is uncomfortable to wear inside a vehicle with the heater on. It is restrictive to the normal movements of driving. It is okay to not wear it in the car. However, it should be in the back seat of the vehicle and not in the trunk. If you are trapped in an accident there still exists the high likelihood of being able to retrieve something just behind you in the back seat. No sense freezing to death because blankets or a parka were in the trunk.
Keep a spare set of boots that are sturdy and warm enough to walk in snow, slush and water without allowing your feet to get wet or cold. If you leave home in a suit or skirt or other clothing not suited for winter survival, pack some jeans, a pair of sweatpants that will fit over the jeans, heavy socks, a t-shirt and sweatshirt and a fleece jacket to change into if you get stuck. Those layers will work well with the parka. You have to have a heavy winter coat or parka for frigid cold and wind. Don’t forget a heavy knit hat and waterproof winter gloves or mittens.
Packed down in one of those vacuum bags, the stuff doesn’t take up much room. You may never need it, but if you do need it you will really need it. Don’t be stupid. At least throw in the vehicle a good winter coat along with a hat and gloves kept in the pocket of the coat. It could save your life on some frigid winter or night.
I don’t have any pictures to go along with this entry, and I know folks just really like pictures. However, this is an easy read and won’t take too long.
There are lots of us who want to become more self-sufficient. We want to know that we can produce for ourselves. It actually is less expensive and much less time consuming to just go out and buy most of our food from the store. However, the cost does depend on the food items, where we are located geographically in this Great Land, and the season.
To just grow a plot of green beans and can them for use during the non-growing season would be a considerable investment in time and materials. Even if we got the seeds for free and planted them in an existing garden, the cost for canning equipment can make the beans more costly than ones already canned at the store.
Infrastructure for homesteading should be acquired over time. Most of it is skills, but there are some tools and consumer products that we can’t produce ourselves that make homesteading viable. Whereas our long dead ancestors may have made every implement from the containers to the tools used to acquire and preserve food, we need to buy some things such as canning jars for the food and shovels for the garden.
That stuff costs money. Money may be tight. It often can be for the person who is seriously considering becoming more self-sufficient. This quandary may cause some to just give up and have to settle for what I call “cheap commercial.” That is falling into having to settle for lower quality, less expensive foods at the store in order just to eat. I’ll be honest. When I lost my so-called day-job that provided the steady income and health insurance, we took a hit on the quality of food we are able to buy. Growing my own vegetables now sounds much more appealing than it ever did.
You don’t have to have a fortune to get started homesteading. I’m asking everyone who reads this to at least plant a tomato plant this spring. Even if you can’t stand tomatoes, you can be sure there is a neighbor or friend who really likes them. Even planting one tomato plant in a sunny spot can yield a bunch of fruit. Plant one in a five gallon bucket with a hole in the bottom for drainage. Stick it in a sunny spot and be disciplined about watering it. You will get a little taste of the fruits of homesteading and the discipline and labor it requires. Commitment will become evident in how well the tomato plant does.