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Message Subject Last minute tips for parents when the SHTF
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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Chores and Future Supplies

Every single day you'll have chores to purify water, find fuel, find food, etc. Some of these will come in season, but something can be done every day to improve your security in these areas. Gardens happen from preparing and tilling, but disease and pests subtract. Some pests can be eaten. Weed also grow and some of them can be used for mulching, eating, and medicinal use. Your mistakes will subtract yields the most of all.

In the growing season, plants are continually replaced (succession planting) to spread out the harvest. Otherwise you have a ton of veggies coming in at once. You can only do this somewhat as many plants will peak based upon the length of sunlight and temperature. Others need cool weather, and so your early crops will also happen in the Autumn if lucky. Cold frames will be built to extend that further.

Compost that doesn't get hot enough or “cook” will result in longer periods to create it and weed seeds. Even accidental “volunteers” will result from this practice, for as compost is used to fertilize the soil, you'll be spreading accidental seeds. This means more weeding than normal.

Mulching is far easier to kill weeds beforehand and also reducing watering from evaporation. It saves you time and resources. The first idiot that spreads hay, and hence hayseed, will realize their mistake when it sprouts. Too much raw mulch will result in stealing nitrogen from the soil. It's why mulch must overwinter to decay some or else you ruin your yields and could change the pH to something very acid. There's only enough mulch if someone collected it, or deliberately grew something to create it.

The workload will be intense with breaking sod and planting, but then less work for watering, weeding and then more work for harvesting and preserving. This means a leader will redeploy forces based upon calculated workload.

It's highly probably that wells and cistern building will occur in times of less agricultural need. It's very likely that guardtowers are built to see far off, something you may not have considered. At the very least, treehouses can be created to quickly do this task.

Because you need supplies to last, you don't use more than you need. There won't be any obese people anymore. The only time to overeat is when you can't store it safely and food in your belly means fat and increases long term survival. Most people won't eat more, not unless it's done in wartime for soldiers to have the advantage of strength and stamina.

Supplies need containers, so you'll be harvesting either items in your home, foraging for items like natural vines to make baskets, clay pots, or “liberating” in the event it's TEOTWAWKI. Someone owned that place, and they know its value. Some communities will make the decision to share goods to create regular food and increase security.

To preserve food, you need things like a solar oven to dehydrate veggies. If drying meat and jerking it, then you need green wood to slowly do it, and then trying to avoid pests from laying their eggs and larva on it. Gross I know, but crucial to understand, because there's nothing worse than luckily finding a large animal for protein and then losing it to flies. I anticipate most meat will be consumed on the spot and not preserved.

Since animals grow and mature and are more prevalent at certain times, then that will govern the hunt and the time of preserving much of it. The same is true of animal products like wool.

Some herbs only grow at certain times. They grow long periods but are harder to identify by things that you remember. A community will need trained herbalists so healers will have supplies. Some items will be liberated again if it's really bad because that's the best chance for handling a knife or gunshot wound or the inevitable bacterial infections. Since liberating supplies is risky from their intrinsic worth coupled with competition for them, extreme planning is needed to acquire them. Many medical supplies will not be used up because there's a high probability that the patient will die regardless of there use.

Many items will not be in places you expect them. Many of you worked in occupations that also had inventories of supplies. Strong communities will have trained skilled workers who know how to harvest supplies, repair things, understand how to make things work from combining elements, etc.

There will only be some downtime and opportunity for educating the young (for practical and book knowledge) if a community is extraordinarily well planned. It was a luxury most of the time in tribal society. You learned by doing. Not everyone got as educated, with only the new shaman learning the most.

Most adults will have no practical skills, but they must also learn them to survive. They'll learn by doing some, but also by learning them on their own from mentors in the evenings as additional work.

Some people will have craft ability, and they may make trade items. This will slowly begin and happen in the evenings. It is very difficult to work by firelight or candlelight. Imagine sewing under those conditions, and you'll see why it took so long to make one item in history. For craft to flourish, supplies must be found or harvested, which also is likely to be down in downtimes from routine chores.

Sleep of more than six hours is a luxury. Much of the chores will require forgoing sleep since it may be a better time to harvest some edible, maintain security through watches, getting up since the fire went out, helping someone else who's sick or not coping well, being always short of help, etc.

Wouldn't you rather have supplies now and learn these skills now, be better prepared, and not have to start with severe handicaps?

Isn't this far different than what you imagined by learning to bugout?
 
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