For some people Survival/Preparedness is a weekend gig, for others it’s their favorite topic of discussion on their chosen forum, but for some folks the survival/preparedness lifestyle is simply the way they live. Of this group there are two more divisions, the first is the rare breed of people who deliberately set aside modern conveniences and choose to live “off the grid“, the second group doesn’t think of their chosen lifestyle as survival at all.
To this group, their life is simply what they know.
I realize that we can’t all live on a ranch or farm in in the middle of nowhere but we can learn from those people that do.
The first thing that these people have is an attitude! I am not referring to a “bad” attitude, but instead an “independent” attitude. They don’t expect a handout, charity, or freebies.
They do get help from their friends and neighbors; but that help is reciprocal (it works both ways).
Instead this type of people expects to find a helping hand on the end of their arm. That said, these folks can be some of the most generous people you will ever meet! Why? Because they understand what it’s like to have very little.
The second thing these folks have is the ability to improvise. I used to joke that my granddad hadn’t fixed something until it had 3-4 large nails in it and a yard of duct tape wrapped around it! However his ability to adapt what he had to what he needed surprised me. One example of this would be the water pump he mounted on an old push lawn mower. He used the deck, wheels, and handle to make the water pump easily moveable. Another example of this is the fact that he kept any kind of old bent nail, fencing staples, nuts and bolts, and other hardware in jars and cans in his workshop. His work will never be considered fine craftsmanship, but with basic tools, scrounged materials, and the ability to improvise, he could build what he needed.
A third part of these folks lifestyle, is planning ahead. This attitude or philosophy is reflected in many areas of their life. For instance canning food for later use, laying in firewood before it’s needed so it can season (dry out), keeping a pantry or root cellar stocked up, or sprouting plants inside so they have seedlings to put in their garden. Saving for a rainy day is part of life for people like these.
The fourth thing I have noticed about folks that live this lifestyle is their willingness to use the resources available. An excellent demonstration of this is people’s use of natural materials to build houses. Here in the southeast most houses are stick framed from wood. Traditionally this region had many log houses. This is explained by the abundance of trees in the area. Out west in prairie areas people made houses using sod blocks. In the south west people traditionally used mud/clay bricks known as adobe. In the northeast wood structures are plentiful with brick and even stone houses as well. In other words, use what you have!
This article is not meant to be a comprehensive list of the qualities of backwoods farmers or ranchers. It is meant to inspire those of us who are new to the survival/preparedness scene. Take these ideas and adapt them to your situation. Ok, so you live 15 stories up in an apartment building, make a window box and grow your own tomatoes. The important thing is do what you can, with what you have. You might be surprised with what you can accomplish with limited resources.