Monday, April 30, 2012

On being a Homesteader vs Prepper Survival

A friend of ours posted a long post on Facebook this morning that struck a cord. Our friend has been living a frugal lifestyle for a long time, learning to live on the few dollars he gets for disability and learning to recycle to create useful things.  We all could learn a thing or two from him.

He had recently watched an episode of the popular survival prepper show on television and it struck a nerve with him. It also reminded me of a comment from someone not too long ago comparing our partially self sufficient modern homestead lifestyle to a doomsday prepper, one I quickly defended.

So, what is the difference? There are many differences and they are mostly in the mindset of those who are living their chosen lifestyles.

Modern day homesteading, being partially self-sustaining or fully, off the grid, self-sustaining is like living the way our grandparents and their parents before them. It's learning to live with what you have and learning to take care of yourself by living off the land. We live similar to an Amish lifestyle but allow ourselves the privileged of some modern conveniences.

Many of us adopt this lifestyle because we know we can produce healthier food for our families now and gain the skills to take care of ourselves if the need arises. For those of us who live rural we have the added pleasure of a simpler life, free from all the chaos the big city can bring.

Homesteaders, partial or fully self sustaining are also gentle people who have had the opportunity to appreciate what Mother Nature and the good Lord gives you, are often willing to lend a hand to a family in need either with an abundance of produce or a borrowed tool or left over supplies.

Modern day Preppers however are those who are preparing for a doomsday event. Many of them stock pile store bought foods, study up on survival skills and warehouse ammo to protect their homestead from human intruders. Many Modern day Preppers also stockpile seeds but the majority of them really do not understand the earth and what challenges it can bring, something that you learn only with trial and error. It truly is a different mindset.

This isn't to say that Modern day Homesteaders don't have an abundance of ammo. Many of us do. Perhaps not enough to fill a substantial space but we do keep it on-hand. Homesteaders generally do not have ammo on-hand to protect their homestead from human intruders but we will use it on four legged intruders and occasionally to hunt food and put down an animal when there isn't any hope for a quality life. And yes, we will use it on a human intruder as a last resort.

Modern day Homesteaders are always prepared for an emergency. In our case this means generators and the ability to generate enough electricity for our water well, canned food, and equipment to preserve food if we loose electricity. We have not learned our skills for a doomsday event but rather as a lifestyle change, a healthier mind and body and, if the need ever arises, we will survive no matter what the event.

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