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Can you help me to start prepping?

(36 Posts)
GreenWalls Sat 07-Nov-15 17:40:03

Hi all,

I want to be a prepper. I think I might sort of already be one because DH and I have always had an eye on the place we live being potentially self sufficient. But where do I start?

DH not so into prepping as me. So I will have to be a bit subtle.

I work FT. 3 kids under 7. 10 acres of land, including a currently unproductive veg parch. Prob £100 per month to spend on prepping.

GreenWalls Sat 07-Nov-15 17:45:15

Sorry, had to dash away.

Any advice very welcome. Thanks in advance!

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 07-Nov-15 17:48:01

You could start with getting your veg patch up and producing maybe. Start storing food and water. Get a book or two, and learn the basics.

GreenWalls Sat 07-Nov-15 17:49:54

THanks ThickandThin I started on the veg patch last weekend, and plan to do a couple of hours a week getting it back into production. I've got a couple of books too, but it all seems so much to do. I need to start simple I think - maybe I chose the wrong books!

winchester1 Sat 07-Nov-15 17:53:22

Tell us a few more details im sure we have lots if ideas.

How much time do you have? Could you start to keep animals (hens are quite easy) or grow some veg (in th UK I found courgettes, potatoes, turnips, lettuce easy starter veg).
How is your home set up? have a log burner or open fire, and access to a decent stock of fuel? Any access to water?
What skills do you have - would you know how to kill and prep meat of you had an animal, would you want too?
Do you know first aid, canning food, sewing, knitting etc

Of course you could just store some cash, bottled water and some tins of food it would be a start.

YouBastardSockBalls Sat 07-Nov-15 17:55:12

What's prepping??

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 07-Nov-15 17:55:43

I'm only really a prepper in my head, not really practically yet, but Ive just ordered the book someone recommended on another thread which sounds a but of a Preppers bible.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Sat 07-Nov-15 17:56:57

Being prepared for some sort of crisis YBSB

howtorebuild Sat 07-Nov-15 18:03:32

I would suggest some hens too.

GreenWalls Sat 07-Nov-15 18:12:09

Ok, so we live in the middle of nowhere in the SW, on a farm (but not hugely productive - clay soil and hasn't been farmed commercially for about 20 years.). It's not prone to flooding. Has it's own well but we can't find it - DH and I did talk about putting a well in again for contingency when we moved in but we haven't done that yet.

We have solar panels on the roof but the electricity is fed into the grid - I guess if we needed to we could divert the electricity elsewhere. We have a generator (will fire up lightbulbs and a kettle - not that powerful).

Central heating is oil fired but we have a woodburning stove. We have about an acre of woodland that we coppice for firewood.

No weapons (!) but DH would get a shotgun for rabbits if I asked him to (lots of them here). Fishing nearby and we have friends with a fishing boat. I know first aid, DH knows plants. DH would like a pig, I would like chickens but we haven't done either yet as we have a LO of only a year - maybe next summer? I can sew, crochet and make baskets out of willow.

I worry about things like the petrol crisis. We are 20 mins by car from the nearest supermarket. I also worry about a terrorist attack or similar on water / food supply or solar flare taking out electricity. I worry about the DCs getting ill and us not having ready access to medical help.

I have an illness that means I am in a pretty bad way physically without weekly injections. I have managed to stockpile 8 weeks worth, but they are delivered by road so in a crisis would be stuffed after a couple of months.

GreenWalls Sat 07-Nov-15 18:16:57

We have 4 year old apple trees and pear trees. Only about 5 or 6 apples per year so far!

We have outbuildings that we could store stuff in, camping stuff (like a stove and a gas canister) a propane fuelled bbq and our cooker runs off bottled propane too (and the oven is electric).

howtorebuild Sat 07-Nov-15 18:17:32

A good landmark, for emergency services to recognise your home is a good idea. What trees/wood do you have? Any free manure nearby? Get some grit/sand into the soil.

GreenWalls Sat 07-Nov-15 18:27:17

Thanks all smile

We have a cone that we put at the end of the track when we are expecting visitors!

Yes we have a barn with a lot of manure in it! Yes, will set DH on getting some manure into the veg patch!

We have mainly ash, which we are hoping will not get ash dieback. We have planted lots in an additional field for coppicing - hornbeam, birch, sallows, field maple, oak.

winchester1 Sat 07-Nov-15 18:28:06

Ok ill be back after dinner -,sounds similar to our set up.

GreenWalls Sat 07-Nov-15 18:52:42

Thanks Winchester.

DH has just agreed to both the air rifle and well smile

He is happy to prep for fuel crisis/ snowed in etc but won't consider any other SHTF scenarios.

howtorebuild Sat 07-Nov-15 18:57:50

This may help you select which trees to plant.

winchester1 Sat 07-Nov-15 18:59:53

Do you have / can you start a compost pile?

Nest summer try starting some easy veg and get some hens. Pigs are nice pets/meat but very friendly and you need to keep at least two or they get lonely. If you've not kept and butchered your own meat before I wouldn't start with pigs tbh.
Solar need to be on the mains to work so maybe look at an alternative if you would need it -,personally I'm looking at a little thermo electric generator as I'm in a cold climate so not worried about freezers and fridges so much.
Do you have wind up/solar radios and lights/ torches?
As you've young kids is there anything special.they need -,do they sleep.with white noise, night lights, have you lots of spare batteries etc?

How do you prepare your wood and could you manually it.needed?

GreenWalls Sat 07-Nov-15 19:27:03

Hi Winchester

We have a friendly farmer over the road who could slaughter / butcher a pig if we asked him to. But you are right, it doesn't sit easily with me so maybe chickens and rabbits would be a better start.

We have an axe and a chainsaw.

We have a wind up/solar radio and wind up torches.

What should I do first? What is the best book or website do you think, for our situation?

GreenWalls Sat 07-Nov-15 19:27:32

Oh and yes, we have a compost heap smile (and rats)

winchester1 Sat 07-Nov-15 19:28:33

Not read the link but generally leaf trees burn harder and give more heat and evergreens burn slower and hold embers and heat longer. Putting stones in the fire holds the heat longer as well.

StrawberryTeaLeaf Sat 07-Nov-15 19:32:47

Subtle prepping grin

I'm tempted too but I think my subtle prepping will be different as I have no acres or pigs sad

winchester1 Sat 07-Nov-15 19:44:04

Oh I've not read any prepper books I'm just aiming to live as self sufficiently as possible.
I've just started thinking what's likely where I live (national and local disasters),what's likely for us (job loss, illness/injury) and how would we cope. We have a well (good to get that sorted), forest (hand saws, chain saws, axes and spare chains and ability to maintain them and we use them regularly so know how to use them and keep them sharp (we have a manual sharpening wheel),), we hunt and butcher some of our own meat (have reared but don't at the moment), grow veg and have and use hand tools for planting and harvesting, obv have wood fires and oven which we use daily so know how to cook our normal food which the kids like.
But like town preppers we have cous cous and noodles and tinned food etc in the cupboards as well.

In you position I'd think what's likley, snow or fuel problems and make a plan to cope for 2-4 weeks in the first instance. I would then also work towards just being more self sufficient generally (will your friendly
farmer want most of that pig if he butchers it!) don't forget the finance side of things no point having a well if job loss will lead to you going bankrupt.

Just my two.pence worth. smile

winchester1 Sat 07-Nov-15 20:03:27

Oh and please go and learn how to shoot and aim before you start trying to shoot animals if you injure one and leave it to run away that's just mean.

GreenWalls Sat 07-Nov-15 20:18:09

Thanks - all useful stuff.

DH is very thorough so I have no doubt that if he got a gun he would learn how to use it properly. I guess the most likely scenario here would be a long power cut or loss of fuel supply.

We could keep the house warm with wood. Heat food in and on the wood burner.

I'd like chickens for the eggs (and meat, if we needed to). Again, DH would learn how to dispatch them properly.

Good point re job loss - I suppose as much savings as poss would be helpful too!

So, key priorities are:
Veg patch, wood supply, well, food stash.
2nd priority
Chickens, air rifle.

winchester1 Sat 07-Nov-15 20:33:00

First first priority - important papers (insurance, passports, wills -,in place and copies n a fire safe with some cash (small denominations)), tinned food and bottled water, torches radios batteries candles, matches, spare fuel for lighting fires, extra meds for yourself

Then well, wood, veg patch, out side loo (area), first aid kit and kids meds/basic adult stuff, pay down debt and build savings.

Then ability to maintain supplies of wood and food (trees, animals) and axes, guns (shotgun rather than air rifle personally but I'm not in the UK so not sure on the rules there.), veg patch, good food stores. Learn hoe to store with out freezers etc

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