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  • #23715
    Whirlibird
    Whirlibird
    Survivalist
    member10

    As the title says, if you were starting over today what would you do differently? What would you focus on? What would you put off until later?

    Especially considering todays world tensions, prices, and availability.

    Looking for those differences because of area/countries and situations.

    #23726
    Malgus
    Malgus
    Survivalist
    member8

    Not sure I would do anything differently…

    If I were forced to make a choice, perhaps focus more on meds and medical care of the injured. Perhaps take some EMT classes.

    Second would be converting my tractor and truck to run on ethanol. Yeah, it’s a waste of damn fine sippin’ whiskey, but when gasoline can’t be bought at any price, I’ll at least be able to make fuel. It’s gonna suck to run hooch in my truck, but if ya gotta, ya gotta…

    That’s about it. Everything else is on time and on schedule…

    The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1

    #23730
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    If I had started stockpiling food a few years ago and put in a big garden I would feel more comfortable.

    #23733
    Profile photo of Novus Ordo
    Novus Ordo
    Hunter
    rprepper

    Man, this one hits close to home at this particular timeframe.

    This technique will seem mundane and one of those things we’ve “all heard before” (especially from elders), but if I were to start my preps all over again and I were 20 years old again there’s one thing that would definitely do differently and it has to do with living life in general, not just for prepping.

    Here it is –

    If I had to do things over again I would minimize or eliminate as much revolving credit as I could and pay for things after I had saved for them.

    Thats it – but just this one little thing would have saved me hundreds of thousands of dollars that went to the bank(s) over a 35 year working career and could have been put back into preps, property, travel, etc. I’m currently going through a third refinance on my house and this has all been put in stark perspective (should have caught on before now!). Let’s just say that the banks (legal thievery) got all their interest up front, I got little to no equity and get to start my 30 years over again for the privilege of saving $900 a month. Had I learned why my grandfather had taken three jobs and paid off a 30 year mortgage in 5 years, I would have been much better off. Had I learned that the credit card companies do the same thing, I would have been much better off.

    So my advice to anyone who’s “starting” – watch very closely what the credit world will do to you and run the numbers first before you buy into it. If you don’t it will cost you.

    What would I have done with all this hind sight?

    1) Buy raw land, without a house and pay it off as soon as possible.
    2) Live in an RV, used mobile home, shed, whatever and build a house a little at a time as you can pay for it. Save up for the foundation, then the framing, then the roof, then the siding, etc.
    3) Learn to shop wisely – closeouts, scratch and dent, combined orders, whatever.
    4) DON’T carry a credit card balance if at all possible. Use them to get credit so you can survive, but pay off at the end of the month or as soon as you can to keep charges low.
    5) Learn to grow your own food and raise livestock if possible. Even a few chickens can go a long way.
    6) Live frugally, even if just for a few years to get established. It doesn’t have to be forever.

    Anyway, hope the helps some – it’s lesson that cost me a second house (or more land). Put off what you don’t “need” until later after you’re living in that mortgage free house.

    Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
    - Thomas Paine

    #23737
    Whirlibird
    Whirlibird
    Survivalist
    member10

    <div class=”d4p-bbp-quote-title”>74 wrote:</div>If I had started stockpiling food a few years ago and put in a big garden I would feel more comfortable.

    That’s more of what I was looking for.

    I’ve been talking back and forth with a friend who’s getting into the life. He just got his first ‘real’ job, has a kid on the way, and is trying to both prep and put stuff back in the best order.

    At the same time, I am rebuilding my own preps. Moving a year and a half ago, both house and shop meant certain items and supplies were run down or sold. Having just closed on our house, and looking at needing vehicles in the near future, mine and our eldest is nearing driving age, is making me rethink my plans and methods as well as supplies.

    Gardening around here is laughable without a greenhouse, so that’s not a good option at least for a while.

    Those things in mind, what would you all say now.

    #23739
    Jay
    Jay
    Survivalist
    member3

    Sound advice Novus. We went a bit in debt now for our homestead but should be out of it early next year hopefully. We really only build what we can afford that we do not end up paying too much interest. We dont need much anyway.

    Great topic Whirlibird, I had to give up all my preps after leaving Europe to move back to Asia for the second time so we are starting now again from scratch.

    Like in Europe we will store lots of rice. Its cheap here in SE Asia and we eat it anyway. We will also add more fruit trees and create a food forest according to some permaculture principles. Gardening and growing our own food or at least a bigger part of it is also on top of our priority list.

    I will do some research in the coming days if I can find a way to get a reasonably priced gun anywhere. They are pretty expensive here and we will still have expenses for our garden coming up in the next weeks but yeah those are the most important things.

    Probably also organizing our storage. Besides our small first cabin we have a bigger storage building and need to organize all our stuff in there. We probably get a local metalworker to build some more shelves for that.

    To clarify this we wont stock any comfort foods because we dont eat them anyway. Even today we mostly eat fresh produce so our focus will be more on self sufficiency than on typical prepping. I will still keep at least half a year of rice, cans and some vitamins around though.

    Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")

    #23744
    Profile photo of MountainBiker
    MountainBiker
    Survivalist
    member10

    Good question, but I’m not sure of the answer. I’m heading out shortly to a friend’s camp for a couple days, and will ponder this. I initially thought I wished I had moved to VT when I was young and bought a large acreage in the country then. Fruit trees would be mature by now and I’d be much more ingrained into the community, but had I done that, I likely wouldn’t have had the career I had and might still be working on account of not having been in a position to retire early like I did. For every action there is a reaction so to speak.

    Back when I was 15 I got a job scrubbing pots in a corporate cafeteria after school, and then did other assorted things there on snow days, holidays etc. Like any teen I was always wishing for time to go by,,,, can’t wait to be old enough to drive, can’t wait to go to college type stuff. There was a kindly old woman working with me who was about 70 though at 15 she seemed like 100 to me being she was older than my grandparents. She had to work because her husband was sick and somehow they needed the money. One day she says to me “Bobby, don’t be wishing your life away, soon enough you’ll be as old as me and wanting these days back again.” I never forgot that and now I’m in my early 60’s so those years did slip away. Back then I heeded her message, but now I see a second message in it to not be wishing I hadn’t lived my life in the manner I did. Yes I could be in a better position than I am in now but different decisions might have had unintended consequences and maybe I wouldn’t be in as good a position as I am. Still, getting that country acreage when I was young sure does seem like it would have been a good way to go…..

    #23748
    Selco
    Selco
    Survivalist
    member6

    Lot of thing I would do different. But some of the most important are that I would start to learn some things and skills, and I would definitely kept my mind more open.
    I would try to learn more skills that actually are important, like gardening and similar.

    #23763
    Profile photo of 74
    74
    Survivalist
    rnews

    I think there has been some good advise in everyone’s comments. When I answered Whirly’s question my response was directed to my imeadiate situation. I couldn’t even count or think of all my errors. 20 years ago I was concerned that I might have to deal with minor civil disturbances. Well I thought, I’m well armed I’l ake it ok. About ten years ago I became concerned with the overall condition of the country, but I didn’t have a realistic understanding of what would transpire if shtf. Additionally our dependency on electronics blossomed in the last 20 years creating a higher need on independent sustainability. 20 years ago if power went out I could still find stores that could operate and make sales. Now that is impossible.

    #23768
    Profile photo of ronym
    ronym
    Survivalist
    member5

    i thing i will make digital library or some “manual book” library
    including chemistry, physics, mechanics, etc
    .
    if the nuclear war really hit…
    we will losing many “technique”, even the simplest one
    thanks to mass producing era
    that lot of people not knowing anymore
    to produce even simple thing like soap or candle
    ( even if they know how to manufacturing it,
    still they have no idea about homemade lot of “ingredient” )
    .
    for an example
    how to make homemade caustic soda or lye
    which have chemical formula NaOH
    ( we need lye to convert fat or oil to become soap
    or even diesel engine fuel / biofuel )
    .
    to some extent we cannot just homemade silicon chip computer processor
    even in making DIY simple transistor, we still need some chemical and special equipment and technique…
    maybe vacuum tube are the easiest one
    we just need simple furnace, piece of glass ( we can salvage it from glass window, etc ), alumunium plate, nichrome or tungten wire
    ( we can salvage it in incandescence lamp or any heating element )
    .
    for some reason, i already have ( or will buy ), few 20 century tech, like :
    .
    Solar cell
    just expose it on sun ray… it’s done… we have electricity
    no moving part… no oiling required… no special anything
    even we dont have to buy expensive charge controller
    just one simple diode and stick it to 12 v battery… it’s done
    .
    Outdoor wifi
    which have range up to 15-50 km, like cheap TP Link 5210
    easy to setup, plus solar cell it can run well in any condition
    suitable for mobile SHTF station or even post SHTF event,
    when existing copper or fiber opting are not existing anymore,
    we have simpe wireless device which can send and receive data, video, voice, foto… anything… even simpe SOS beep
    .
    LED Lighting
    we just need some cable and stick it to any battery available
    no resistor required if we have correct voltage match
    it run “cooler”, brighter and energy efficient
    have lifespan uo to 50.000 hour…
    that’s 15 years life or more
    ( no other lighting device can handle that long )
    .
    yup lot of knowledge back to early 60 ‘s or 70’s
    or even “steam engine” era
    but we still have reliable 20 century gadget

    #23774
    Profile photo of namelus
    namelus
    Survivalist
    member7

    for an example
    how to make homemade caustic soda or lye
    which have chemical formula NaOH
    ( we need lye to convert fat or oil to become soap
    or even diesel engine fuel / biofuel ) – See more at: http://community.shtfschool.com/forums/topic/starting-over-today-what-would-you-do-differently/#post-23768

    you take ashes from fire drip water through that makes potash which gives you KOH which will work for diesel

    For a capacitor you will need to find at best Nd… it is a REE rare earth element you can make into wafers/ metal sheets and isolate by using different metal a attached to each end you can charge and hold electrical current with the different meals acting as the poles. or you can go to clay pot full of piss or another acid and a copper rod seal with pitch. strong acids are easy to make but you need equipment and training which most lack even most modern chemists can make things they can only combine things to make other stuff… I think Renaissance chemist is closer to what you would need. There are a few around but will be worth more than most anyone else. You can learn stuff from you tube but really need at least basic organic chemistry + equipment+ training or you will hurt yourself. 4 things you should learn 1)(lye/potash/) 2)nitric acid 3)salt peter potassium nitrate from pee, lost of references during American civil war 4) antibiotic distillation and refinement.

    But in most cases we will become scavengers of the old world not able to make most things…

    Do not the errors define us more than the successes who would trade who they are not for an easier past? Not really a fair trade is it?

    #23787
    Profile photo of ronym
    ronym
    Survivalist
    member5

    capacitor actually the eaziest thing
    we just need alumunium / copper sheet or plate ( can be alumunium foil from bakery stuff )
    few sheet of mica or mylar ( like OHP sheet )
    or can be glass ( leiden jar… 18 century bottle capacitor )
    .
    making homemade battery also another interesting project
    can be simple table salt battery
    copper and alumunium plate ( can be nicle or dime and alumunium coin )
    adding salt in water… and it’s done
    we can light LED led by attaching 4-5 salt battery in series, so we can have “free” lighting
    .
    actually this idea for emergency only…
    because we have different kind of battery which can last up to 5 year or even more
    NiCd, NiMH, Li ion, Flooded Lead Acid Battery, Sealed Lead Acid Battery
    plus Solar Cell, have simple electricity to light LED, radio, wifi, laptop, smartphone
    .
    we can use smartphone for other function beside communication
    ( in SHTF situation big chance that cell phone tower will not work )
    such as photo or video storage and viewer, music player
    and even as important daily life function
    digital clock, calender, calculator, notes, etc

    #23814
    Tolik
    Tolik
    Survivalist
    member10

    How far back are you talking about , one day matters little , day to day .

    #23822
    Profile photo of ronym
    ronym
    Survivalist
    member5

    i don’t know Tolik
    if the neclear war are becoming reality
    we will have all big industries and tech stop
    that means no more car, computer, cellphone
    many thing in city are toast
    .
    even industry who making bicycle tyre are not many
    maybe we can salvege few of 20 century product
    ( which is still function … atleast are not completely destroyed )
    but still many-many technique will gone forever
    .
    except we are inventing time machine
    to get technique or anything in the past
    ( he… he… i must be dreaming )

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20060073976.pdf

    #23872
    Robin
    Robin
    Survivalist
    member8

    My “starting over” begins Sept 1st. This time:
    Buy food with 25 year life. Install rainwater system (thanks NETexas Granny) designed like wine barrels on their sides. Buy a big box of rust erasers (my old location was a touch damp.) This time buy a gun safe with a manual dial lock.
    Robin
    Jay: If you get the chance go upcountry to the “Mountain People” and get a crossbow. I had one a long time then loaned it to a friend. He was making a template but had a house fire. Yep, lost the crossbow.

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