Walk on the Wild Side

Is it time to take another giant step toward self sufficiency?  A great addition to your emergency preps, 72 hour kit, 3 day to two week bag and go food supply is a longer term food storage plan.  Some organizations suggest that you may want to store about three months worth of food at home in case the just-in-time supply system breaks down.  This supply would consist of regular canned and boxed goods that your family is used to eating on a regular basis.  Three months can be a lot of food to store for a family so I learned how to use coupons to get them fast and cheap.  It has been an ongoing project.  Maybe eventually a one to five year food storage plan can be put in place.  This would be even more expensive since it would require purchasing dehydrated or freeze dried foods along with bulk items in buckets.  And where would we put it?  Learning vegetable gardening, preserving and seed saving was the logical next step in order to extend a food supply beyond storage which will not last forever and would be difficult to replenish during hard times.  It’s a wonderful skill set to own even if you never have to use it in a survival scenario.  A satisfying hobby.

Emergency Preps or Survivalism?  Another segment to add to these preps and skill sets is something that many preppers have never thought of, but most survivalist types include in their repertoire of knowledge.  It’s actually a very natural transition.  Always an active, outdoors child used to a variety of activites including hiking, camping, and fishing, the interest carried over into my adulthood.  In my 20’s and 30’s in particular, the out of doors experience drew me out of hibernation (I tend to be reclusive) and into the wilds, even if it was just a short adventure near to home.  I began to carry various field guides with me on these little adventures, books with pictures and information telling me about birds, insects, animals, tracks, reptiles and wild plants.  Jotting down notes, locations and drawing little sketches became routine.  Soon I had chosen my area of special interest and felt there was a very practical application for the things I had learned.

Ever thought of doing your grocery “shopping” outdoors?  There is no shortage of hunters and fisherman in my neck of the woods, and if ever a disaster hit, they would know where to “shop” for protein for their families, probably overlooking the obvious (and trampling over) the wild garden of goodies that’s free for the taking and is not a moving target.  Wild edible, medicinal and useful plants abound in every ecological zone and in every season.  The Native Americans knew about them, the pioneers and mountain men learned about them and once settlements were built, food and supplies began to be shipped in, they were all but forgotten.  Many of these plants are considered to be the weeds growing in your yard.  Every year when my husband wanted to spray herbicides to make his job a little easier, I reminded him that we may need those weeds to keep us alive.

Set your sights beyond your cupboard shelves and take a walk.  Look in empty lots, nearby fields, parks, greenways and picnic spots to start educating your family about what’s available in your area.  Get familiar with the names and uses of each plant and if you feel adventurous, start experimenting with preparing and eating or using these plants in your every day meal routines.  You’ll be amazed at what you’ve been missing!

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