Preparing can be a very daunting thing to consider. Most of us are in agreement that there is some sort of “event” in the future that will disrupt life the way we know it, potentially forever. We are preparing to weather this upcoming storm by stockpiling food, water, preparing shelter, the means to protect ourselves and our families, and the list goes on.
Let us, for one moment, assume that this cataclysmic event has occurred. We are in the survival mode. We’ve got the shelter, we’re taking care of our families and learning to live off the land, using our food stockpiles as a buffer as we learn a completely different life than what we had.
But then what? What happens once the adrenaline wears off, and the post-SHTF life comes to its own new equilibrium?
In prepping, people often overlook what they will do after the dust settles. So really, think about this – what will you do once the food stores run out? All the things you have stockpiled for barter will eventually run out if they are not being replenished.
Let’s think, for a moment, in terms of a timeline. Immediately after SHTF, I imagine we would be entering a great learning curve that will happen regardless of how well we are prepped. There will be considerable bartering and teaching going on.
However, eventually life will get to the point where you have no more ammo or seeds or salt to trade, or the person you have to trade with already has enough and does not need yours. What then?
Now is the best time to prepare and that includes for your post-event life. Most of us agree that we prep because we want to be able to survive in the future. But what about prospering? Living a life of sustenance is not going to be satisfactory for most once it becomes the “same old, same old.”
The point is this – there are things you can prepare yourself to provide that no one else can. Here’s an example: Where I live we have great agricultural land here, and I am confident that post-SHTF I will have lots of tree fruits like apples and pears and also I will still be able to get wheat.
Unfortunately, I will most likely have to live without bananas, citrus fruits, or avocados. Likewise, my friend who lives in Florida will most likely have to content herself with not having wheat in any kind of quantity, but will have all the avocados and citrus she wants. Post-SHTF we will most likely not be able to trade from that far away.
But what if I was able to set myself up to be the one in my community who had those things? What if I was able to periodically bring bananas or oranges to the market? What about spices? No one else would have them, and simple economics tells us that if you are the one in your area who has what no one else has and everyone wants, you are setting yourself up to be quite comfortable.
This does not just apply to growing food, although that is a significant part of it. Ten years post-SHTF, the person who has the knowledge and equipment to distill their own essential oils from flowers & plants is going to be a wealthy person. That is not something the average person will plan.
My friend in Florida? She planted some low-chill apple varieties a few years ago and this last year she actually was able to have her own homegrown apples. Her apples will have a lot of self-renewing barter power once the emergency is over, while everyone else in her community is overrun with oranges and avocados.
Think critically of what you can provide or learn how to do that will be uncommon in your area. Did you know you can grow black pepper as a houseplant? Many of us who don’t live in the tropics take that simple spice for granted, but would really miss it once the stockpiles ran out. Imagine, once again, the bartering power of the person who would have a continually renewing source of this high-demand consumable.
And that, my friends, is the key. What can you do or provide that is:
- Continually renewable without inputs from modern civilization
- Would be rare and high in demand post-SHTF in your community
- Consumable – people will continue to need it
Obviously, what your answer to this is going to vary considerably. It all depends on your locality and what can or cannot be produced there. There are also some items that can be universally produced. The easiest way to figure out what you will do with this is to go about your day with a critical eye. Look at everything you use, and think about how much you would miss it if it was not there.
In a few days I’ll post some specific ideas to contemplate