by Kellene

PreparednessA great deal of my articles attempt to be a conversation between myself and those who haven’t quite got on the preparedness bandwagon.  However, today I’d like to address those of you who have begun your preparedness efforts in earnest in hopes that I might add just a bit of redirection for you (If it’s necessary, of course).

I hope that those of you who are actually going through the time, effort, and expense to be more independent are not doing so only to find yourself miserable when the time comes to rely on your efforts.

Choices in Preparedness

What I mean by that is that many of you, by your own choice—more so than by financial circumstances—have set aside items that are intended to assist you during a crisis that you already know you’re going to despise when the time comes where you’ll have to use them.  As an over-the-top example, I actually had a woman come up to me and tell me she has a year’s supply of wheat, but that she is severely allergic to wheat.  I asked her, “how long have you had your wheat?  How long have you had these allergies?”  She informed me that the wheat was about 8 years old and her allergies are about 10 years old.  I will spare you the details of the rest of that conversation. Yes, this is a bit in the extreme offense against common sense, but I use this example because for some of you it’s more appropriate than you think.

Let’s say that you have a great varied supply of food, fuel, and other essentials on hand.  Let’s look closer at them.  So, you’ve got 3 cases of Ramen noodles.  Does the thought of eating Ramen noodles make you happy?  I mean really, happy?  Or does the anticipation of having to live off of what you’ve got stored in your basement make you cringe?  How about that solar oven you have stored away that you’ve never used yet?  Does the anticipation of having to use that thing make your cringe?


Are you cringing at the thought of actually having to USE your food storage?

Here’s my point, if you aren’t emotionally satisfied with the tools and supplies that you are intending to use when things get tough, then you are certainly not going to be your same-old competent self in the midst of turmoil.  Your mental strength is too powerful and too important to be at the mercy of some prelude shortsightedness.  If doing “just enough” to cross something off of your list doesn’t work for your emotional peace of mind today, it’s NOT going to provide you with some much needed emotional strength when things are tough.

Here’s an alternative example in Preparedness.

Power’s out. Pipes are frozen. Eight feet of snow on the ground. No problem.  Grab the remote controlled long-life battery lamps, pull out the butane stove, make a scrumptious Thai Coconut Curry chicken in your pressure cooker with rice, have everyone settle down in front of the Lil Buddy Heater which doesn’t require any ventilation, and play a rallying game of “Shoots and Ladders.” Afterwards pull out the graham crackers and peanut butter, with a little bit of milk that your family enjoys, read a bedtime story by lamplight. Make sure everyone goes to the bathroom using your biodegradable Chemsan bags rigged on your toilet, and tuck everyone in to their beds which have comfortably been made on cots and blow up mattresses. Diffuse a little bit of lavender oil to help everyone rest peacefully. Then you go and enjoy a hot eucalyptus shower with your propane heated shower in your portable “privacy hut”—positioned just outside the back door. Afterwards, you snuggle down in your flannel PJ’s and read that fictional book you’ve been hoping to get to all of this time. Enjoy the comfortable family respite.


Have an enjoyable evening with your family–even during an emergency scenario.

No, I haven’t been sniffing the fairy dust.  Sure not every moment can be this great amidst a serious challenge. But it would sure stink if you didn’t even have the capability of making it that way simply because you prepared to be miserable. You need to PLAN for great moments. You need to plan for comfort food. You need to plan for happiness.  If the thought of using your preparedness supplies makes you more stressed and strung out with worry, then you are going about it all wrong. I’m telling you, the opposite is very real. You can actually look forward to such a time of challenge knowing that all will be well. Such knowledge will bring peace and comfort and sanity to you and your loved ones. You literally have a choice. Prepare to be miserable or prepare to be comfortable.



Debbie · February 1, 2010 at 8:17 pm

No problem here, I only stock what we eat. And yes I do have three cases of ramen noodles,LOL but if you google ramen noodles there are quite a few site that have recipes for them that look good. I use them (the noodles) for Oriental dishes. I save the flavour packages and use them when I make a pot roast in the oven or slow cooker. I love the fact that when my hubby sez oh yeah by the by we are out of whatever and I can go to my store room and say no we’re not. I have a few ways to cook, light and solutions for the privy, I even bought a kids pool to put in the shower stall to catch the water if the drains are plugged, when we use the solar shower bag. Might be a bit of a problem getting rid of the the gray water in the winter (I’m working on that one). The one concern I do have is not enough wood for winter heat and I can’t seem to talk hubby into buying a cord or two of it. I have a fairly large garden and fruit trees and shrubs, not enough to survive on year after year, but I am expanding a little bit at a time. Wish I could have chickens city sez no way. I do thank you for all, tips, help and information.

Sherry · February 2, 2010 at 12:57 am

This is just what a friend (and fellow prepper) and I were talking about! You have to continue to live and enjoy life, even in the trying times. I personally enjoy the family time as we all “pull together” rather than everyone going in different directions and sitting in front of a tv, computer, game etc. We live in the ‘boonies’ so the power goes out here pretty regularly and I do just like you said and gather the lanterns, put food on to cook and grab the crank/solar radio and enjoy the quiet! Keep up the great blog, I read it every time and have learned alot.

Cindy Bowling · February 2, 2010 at 3:33 am

As a matter of fact, we just had a power outage due to an ice storm. I wasn’t worried about food, water or heat because we have all that in stored food, water and propane. However, I was standing there thinking what am I going to do? Our little oil lamp doesn’t put off enough light to read, and everything else requires electricity. Do you realize how much time we’re going to have on our hands? Definitely need a bigger lamp:) By the second time the power went out, all we wanted to do was go drive around in the car.

DeAnne · February 2, 2010 at 6:08 am

What are ‘Chemsan bags’??? I have never heard of them and when I googled them nothing came up?

Thanks for another thought provoking post.

razr · February 2, 2010 at 10:46 am

Kellene, am actually interested in the Heaters (Lil Buddy) or something safe…I have built a log cabin right next to my house and put in a great wood cook stove…I am old and my house only has butane heat now.. …I did ask for some alternatives to water supply (well) Todd suggested that I buy a well bucket…from lemans….was a great thought……but If I were capable of pulling my 150 foot pump….I could go get my own water …. Anyway just signed up for your first info video an excited have been checking out Berkly lits…. an now pretty well set but still need to learn more…..there is always more…….But I would like to let you know …that I now feel more in control….I have much more confidence, spend more time target practicing,and am actually having a lot more fun in my life!!!!!!! PS A friend that lives in another state…..came for a visit…..Her thoughts were I have never seen you happier, so busy and you have inspired me …..Yes I made her read all my survival blogs

    Kellene · February 2, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    The Lil Buddy’s are easy to come by. they require propane canisters, but put out a nice amount of heat without ventilation needed. Or you can get the adapter that uses a full sized propane tank. Then you will need to ventilate though.

Anonymous · February 2, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Eat only what you want to eat 🙂

TODD · February 2, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Hey I like ramen noodles, I just ate some the other night..

Razr, check to be sure you need to remove the pump first. Also there are holding tanks you can get and bury, this would hold several hundred gallons of water, you can then use a small pump, or hand pump to get it out. Maybe you could come up with some means to run the well pump once a month to refill the holding tank.

Michael B · February 4, 2010 at 11:52 am

I like the picture of the picky eater. That is my 4 year-old precisely. I have wondered how long it would take him during an emergency to break down and eat our food. I think we have a food storage full of delicious foods, but we would eventually get to the veggies he hates, or the canned meat that is not breaded and deep fried. We try to introduce new foods now, but I think he would adapt to them more quickly if he HAD to for lack of anything he is used to…hopefully!

jamie · February 8, 2010 at 4:03 am

No one needs practice at being miserable. We need practice at being optimistic and proactive.
In the Army we had a saying “Train as you will fight.” What most folks forget is you will fight as you have trained. Same for prepping.

In the military some of our officers took absolute delight in making things as unpleasant as possible. I guess the idea was ” The troops will be miserable let’s practice that, so they get used to being miserable.”

I went to the cook’s and asked them if they could put on a pot of water for a “Cambro” of warm water so troops could wash their hands in warm water instead of cold. No extra fuel just an extra pot of water on the stove. I even offered a a troop besides myself to help.
The Soldiers loved it and the cooks got a nice atta-boy. For just putting out warm water instead of cold water. Morale went up, folks cleaned up better, camp was healthier. So overall it was a win-win.
I was very popular because I carried a little backpack stove and a thermos. I always wanted to wash my face in the morning, but with warm water. Better than coffee or tea for getting ready to face the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. I could make coffee,tea, ramen noodles, enough water for a spit bath or to wash your hair.
When you have been in the field for awhile and you can smell the clean on folks and you hate the idea of what you must smell like. Or it takes 3 showers just to get clean when you get home. You really appreciate those little niceties.
A candy bar, cookie, twinkie some potato chips or a soda became huge for morale. Not all the time just as a treat. Now these were mostly folks that ate well and were in great shape, and they still craved fats.
Can you get by with cold water washes? Yes you can, some folks claim to love them. I never loan folks like that money. 🙂
Why not make life the best you can while you are prepping. Thermoses are fairly cheap, great multi-taskers. Grab a couple those. Wash basins/Dishpans, Canning jars and vacuum seal a few snacks in them.
Get out of the box, get creative and start thinking about how you can use stuff. Your sanity and survival may depend upon it.
Be positive and optimistic. What’s next, take control be proactive.

Even a manure pile has possibilities. Either there is a pony in here or I have fertilizer. 🙂

jamie · February 16, 2010 at 3:27 am

I went to few other websites and one had a thing of creating your own “motto”. Something that you base all your prepping on. I mean why are we doing all this? There must be a reason. We sure aren’t doing it to be popular, cause it ain’t.
I think my motto is “Thrive”. Whatever the circumstances is to thrive and not just live. To be positive and optomistic is a lot of hard work. You get bogged down in the news which is usually bad. Folks that say “Why bother? or the government will save us.”
I love learning from Kellene and all you folks. You have got me motivated to get beyond just getting by. All I can say is thank you all.

    Kellene · February 16, 2010 at 3:36 am

    I think that’s great idea, Jamie. If I had to summarize our purpose for preparedness, I’d have to say “Freedom”. The more prepared I am the more free I am to live as I see fit instead of in accordance to the shallow dictates of others.

Eunice Robertson · February 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm

This actually amazes me, and yet you would get people who store foods that they can’t eat.I can’t tolerate wheat. When I first joined the church I was OK, but the condition developed as I got older. I also became insulin resistant. So we had to change our diet, and I had to get rid of the wheat. Now I store low-carb, sugar-free (my husband is diabetic) products. It is only logical to do that, when your health depends on it.

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