Saturday, January 16, 2016

Self-Reliance Tip of the Week - Better the Second Time Around


Last Saturday my family was really excited to go to our mountain and play in the newly fallen snow on our mountain. We layered up with our Southern Arizona gear (which would make an Eskimo shake a head) and headed up. Man! Who knew snow could be so cold? Within only a short amount of time, we realized how under-prepared some of the kids were. My three year old was uncomfortable quickly. We had fun, but it could have been so much better if we would have been better prepared. So, Monday we were headed back up the mountain to try again. I had found some small snow suits for the younger children that I had tucked away and had forgotten about. We stayed and slid and played for several hours completely comfortable. The three year old didn't want to get off the sled. 

What was the difference? I believe it is because the first time we didn't have the experience that we fixed the second time around. 

The world has experienced some unusual, extreme and downright crazy weather lately that has left many people without homes, electricity, and other necessities. If people were to practice before an emergency, wouldn't they have a better time the second time around because they kind of knew what to expect? 

That was our experience. Lets focus for a second on electricity and how necessary...or rather unnecessary it may be. Our ancestors for many, many generations lived without it. It sure is convenient, but can we live without it? Sure!

What alternatives do we have if we do not have electricity? What substitutes are available? I found this list on

Think about every thing you do each day which uses electricity and technology, and come up with things that you can substitute.  Ask yourself, "What if I had no electricity.  What do I need to store NOW, to substitute for that item."

Here are some:

No electric washing machine?  Get some washtubs, and a wringer.

No Dryer?  Get a clothesline and clothespins.

No Electric drill, power saw, chain saw?  Get a hand saw, a handpowered drill, regular screwdrivers, etc.

No Electric wheat grinder?  Get a hand wheat grinder.  (I also have an antique meat grinder, hand powered.)

No electric sewing machine?  You might be able to find a foot-powered treadle machine somewhere.

No Computer or ipad?  Learn to hand write again.  Get pencils, pens, paper.

No computer files anymore?  You better have printed out all your recipes, and other important documents, in case you never have a computer again.  

No internet?  You better have all that stuff in regular old books, on the bookshelf, because you might not be able to look it up anymore.

No grocery stores, or trucks bringing food from faraway farms?  Better have food storage, plus garden tools and garden seeds, because you will need to grow your own food sooner or later.

This might be scary to think about, but if you have the low-tech equivalent, you will be able to make it through most crises and disasters better than someone who relies strictly on electricity.

I challenge you to become electricity free for a day or two and practice. You may not know how this will make your "second time around" better...maybe even enjoyable! 

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