As we work on redefining our mission here at the Frugal Farmer, I spoke earlier on how to practice spiritual (emotional) self sufficiency and how to practice financial self sufficiency. I also shared some important survival tips for everyday life. Today we’ll talk about the third part of self sufficiency: physical self sufficiency.
The Keys to Physical Self Sufficiency
Physical self sufficiency involves a couple of different aspects of preparedness: the self sufficiency of your actual body, and self sufficiency pertaining to the things you need to care for yourself and survive. Physical self sufficiency is equally as important as the other two elements of self sufficiency (emotional and financial), but encompasses different things.
A Self Sufficient Physical Body
It’s vitally imperative for those interested in preparedness and self sufficiency to work to get their bodies in the best shape possible. There are two reasons for this: First, preparedness and self sufficiency require a lot of physical work and clear thinking. Second, the more physically healthy a person is, the less he/she has to depend on others to get things done. Some keys to getting your body to a physically self sufficient state include:
- Regular strength training and cardio exercise. This doesn’t have to cost money. Commit to doing pushups and squats at home, and to walking, running, hiking or biking for improving cardio strength and endurance. Do it with a friend/family member/group for added motivation. If physical fitness is not your thing, start out slow: 5 squats, 2 pushups, walk around the block. Just start!
- A clean diet. This is a tough one, especially for us Americans, where we are sold junk food on a regular basis by advertisers. If you’re not used to clean eating, you can either take a slow approach and start with eating one whole foods meal a day or go to healthy eating “bootcamp” and start out with a week long Mean Green Juice fast. A clean diet will catapult both your physical and emotional health. You’ll think clear, have strength and energy like you’ve never had before. Here’s the juicer we use. MUCH cheaper than many brands, and it works just fine for us.
For those not used to having a self sufficient physical body, you might find it difficult at first to make these changes, but the results will be well worth the effort. A healthier body will give you the strength you need to ramp up your self-sufficient lifestyle, and can also decrease or eliminate your need for some medications, which may decrease your need to depend on pharmaceutical companies.
A Stockpile Storehouse
Another part of physical self sufficiency is to have a long-term stockpile of things you need to survive. We recommend at least six months. What might you need to have a six month stockpile of? For instance:
- Food and Water. Think long shelf life food such as rice, beans and certain canned goods, including veggies. Buy stuff you like, though. You can survive and thrive in your self sufficient life. Don’t forget spices: spices last forever, so stock up on the basics such as salt and pepper, and your other favorite dried spices. Our list includes garlic powder, cumin, chili powder and dill. Buy at the warehouse club to save big bucks and storage space. One container of each spice from the warehouse club should easily last you six months. Have water storage containers filled and ready to use in case the water supply is tainted or unavailable.
- Toiletries. Toilet paper, soap, contact solution, dish soap, ingredients for homemade laundry detergent, cotton balls and q-tips, etc. As you go throughout your house, keep note of the toiletry items you use each day or week, and commit to having a six month stockpile of each item.
- Over-the-counter and other medications and first aid supplies. Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Benadryl and/or an Epipen (for allergic reactions). Bandaids and gauze/first aid tape. Prescription meds that are necessary. Wraps and stabilizers for knees/ankles/wrists/elbows in case of injury. Isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment. Suture supplies in case you need to stitch up a wound and medical care isn’t available.
- Animal food/meds/water. When we lost power on our farm a couple of years ago, it hadn’t occurred to me that our electric horse waterer would be unable to supply water to our horses. The average horse will drink 5 to 10 gallons of water each and every day. A long term power outage could’ve spelled disaster for our animals, and since it was winter, the nearby lake wasn’t an option. Consider having rain barrels or water storage containers filled and ready to hydrate not only yourself but your animals. Also, keep a good stockpile of food and any necessary medications on hand for your animals.
- Options for heating your home and having light. A wood-burning stove or solar power would be great. Battery-powered lanterns (be sure to keep them charged) or flashlights (have an ample supply of batteries) for light at night. Things like heat and light are so easily accessed these days that we forget that one storm can take them away. It’s important to think like a pioneer and ask yourself “How did the pioneers get heat, water, light back in the day?” and plan accordingly for yourselves.
- A bugout plan. You may or may not be able to use your auto, but keep the tank at least half full just in case. Determine a bugout location where you might be able to get away from the crisis. Have a list of things ready and waiting in your bugout bag, including snacks, water and important papers such as birth certificates and passports. Designate a meeting place or plan should your family be in separate places when a crisis hits.
It is important not to let fear dictate your actions as you prep for a potential crisis situation, but at the same time, a little preparedness goes a long way in keeping fear at bay. My friend Lance wrote here about how having a good preparedness plan in place helped three of his friends thrive instead of flounder during a time of layoffs in their city. Knowing that they had six months of food and toiletries stockpiled eased the potential for a financial burden during their layoffs and helped them better be able to focus on getting new jobs.
Choose to implement a plan that includes all three of the elements of self sufficiency, and better prepare you and your family for the things that life throws at you.
Am I missing anything? What is your biggest fear when it comes to NOT being prepared?
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