A Change In Thinking

April 22, 2011

Prepper Mindset

Preparedness is a mindset as much as anything else.  Sure, it involves acquiring physical items to protect yourself from hunger or crime, but it is also a shift in thinking too.

It is marked by considerations of the long term versus just the present, permanency and durability versus cheap and convenient.  It is the constant weighing of choices and how they fit your long-range goals.

Should we pull up stakes and move to the country or do we stay in the city close to family and jobs?  Is a major outlay of cash for a new plasma tv of greater importance than a grain mill, wheat, and a water filter? 

Small Incremental Decisions

One of the first things I noticed that had changed in my own thinking was making assumptions about future availabilities.  Considering how I would get along without various things (fresh produce, electricity, city water, etc) helps me in my buying choices.  For instance, I recently decided to get solar charging and crank-style flashlights to reduce our dependence on batteries.  We get open-pollinated garden seeds so we can save our own seeds for next year.

Every little step we can take to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on a system that must have every cog turning precisely to work, the better off we are.  We will not always be at the mercy of things we cannot control.

Maybe it’s time to stretch your own thinking.

Your Turn

Can you identify any ways you can help yourself reduce dependence on outside resources?

Please share any thoughts you have in the comments section.

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17 Comments on “A Change In Thinking”

  1. Beck Says:

    Not many people would break in to steal a grain mill, wheat or a water filter.

    I love the thought provoking comments you are writing. Thank you so much for making us think and prepare for the unforeseen.


  2. Joe Says:

    Yes, I would doubt that the kind of person that would attempt to break into our home would even recognize what a grain mill is, much less actually covet it enough to steal it.


  3. Melissa Says:

    My husband and I decided to move our family to the country because we want to have more freedoms in making our own sustainable decisions. That was a major step that we have taken, but we have done many small things as well. We now raise our own chickens for eggs and meat. We cut our own wood for heating purposes as well now, and we plan to have a wood cook stove installed before next winter. We have laid out our property in a way that mowing won’t be as big of a chore. Because mowing requires gasoline and other maintenance, we have purchased a quality reel mower and sharpener. We’d like to have a second one for backup, but having one takes a load off my mind for now. 🙂


  4. Joe Says:

    Great point about the mower, Melissa. The amount of area we mow is more than it probably should be. Currently we bag the grass and feed it to the animals. Perhaps we should skip the middleman, fence in more of the yard, and let the cows/goats “mow” for us?



  5. Allison Hartley Says:

    Why can’t I see the comments? It says there are 11 comments, but I can’t ever see them.


    • Laura Says:

      Hmmmm…. I can see 4 “real” comments ahead of yours here and then the “pingbacks” that WordPress counts as comments for some reason. Essentially, they are just links back to this post from other similar ones.

      I’m sorry you are having trouble with the site.


  6. Secular Emissary Says:

    I’ve had the prepper mindset my entire life. I can explain why, but it’s complicated for people not familiar with Alice Miller’s works. Doesn’t matter.
    I prepared for TEOTWAWKI around 2000 and learned a lot from my mistakes. My main mistake then was basing my estimates of what might happen on a single source that i trusted.

    Recently i’ve learned that the people you involve are the main upset: you can change your own thinking but you’ll certainly never change anyone else’s. But let’s face it: if i’ve had the prepper mindset my entire life, i was fooling myself to ever find someone like myself who just happened to be part of my existing circle of acquaintances. And these last years i’ve been learning the hard way that even if others SAY they will join me, they just lack what it takes to stick with it.

    My own thinking has needed to change in how i relate to others mainly, therefore.
    When it comes to preparing for TEOTWAWKI, research brings about the real change. If you can’t even IMAGINE civilization ending, how will you ever motivate yourself to prepare for it? But research suggests that civilizations, even global ones, have ended many times, hence constructs like the great pyramids and Puma Punku.
    Research can change your mind about survival scenarios and the stone age will come again if no one prepares against it, just like it came in the past.

    If you’re a creationist you can believe mankind popped into existence a few thousand years ago, hence civilization only going back that far. Otherwise, the data, logic, and sense that points to TEOTWAWKI happening again and again can change your mind about WTH you’re preparing for in the first place.


    • Laura Says:

      I have to agree that you can’t count on finding lots of deeply committed people in times of plenty and ease. In some demographics, it’s probably easier than in others. I continue to be amazed at how many people in our circle of acquaintances are making very concrete steps to prepare themselves for adversity. I’ll bet we know at least 6 other homeschooling families (outside of our own extended families) that are convinced of the need and learning all they can.

      My own thinking has vacillated between “How can anyone with a pulse not see the handwriting on the wall and get busy?!” to realizing that I have some close friends with problems so big in their personal lives that they are oblivious to anything beyond the next paycheck or custody issue. That’s where charity and generosity will come in.

      You and I can agree to disagree about creationism, but the history of the fall of powerful societies is out there for anyone to read. And assuming that it can never happen here because, “By golly, this is America!” is nice sentimental national pride,but it’s foolhardy. Collectively, we are a spoiled people now, far removed from the work ethic that made our country great. Our government is bloated and will do anything it has to to remain in power. Very few people (like Ron Paul) end up having the backbone to make the hard choices necessary to hold things together.


      • Source of Sense Says:

        my point on creationism is that mankind should go back millions of years, genetically speaking, yet even preppers always seem to be talking like creationists, i.e. they believe mankind popped into existence a few thousand years ago.
        If mankind has been around for millions of years, then where are our ancestors?!
        That question should elicit some alarm. It suggests that mankind is being wiped out regularly, never technologically (and otherwise) evolved enough to survive what (apparently) comes again and again.
        The ‘mysteries’ about where great civilizations around the world disappeared to might well be simply explained by independent research from people like Paul LaViolette who speak of frequent cosmological destruction. Research into other people’s works suggests an 11,500 year cycle of destruction. That means that we’re facing a global civilization killer, either in 2012 or not too far in the future.
        We know very little. Mainstream science has far too many ‘mysteries’. Mankind has no business feeling safe on Earth.



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