People often wonder how we do it, and how we make it in a remote forest. So I've put together a Survival 101 Guide below. These sections cover some of the basics how we prepare for the everyday and for the unexpected.
We live in an old cabin built circa 1909. Back then there wasn't insulation so the walls are three boards thick, the windows are wavy due to age, and the cabin is heated primarily with wood we cut from the forest.
Most people have a few days worth of food, but we put back extra dried goods like flour, sugar, salt, oats, beans and rice. These last forever, don;t require refrigeration, and they are easy to store and prepare.
While not getting into details our main concern is for wildlife and protecting ourselves from bears and mountain lions. So we are prepared to do just that.
This is so important! We need lots of wood to heat our cabin, but we try to have at least three different sources of heat in case one fails. We couldn't live here without a reliable heat source because we'd freeze.
Everyone needs water to survive. Here we have creeks that are abundant and natural springs are everywhere. We filter the water when we do not know just how clean it is. So important!
Flashlights, oil lamps, and solar lights are very inexpensive. We keep them throughout the cabin for when the power goes out. Believe me, it happens a lot.
Because we're so remote we can't rely on quick emergency services. We keep a first aid kit on hand just in case, and we have back up plans should we need them. As far as prescriptions, we try to keep an extra supply. We never know what could happen and we want to be prepared to care for ourselves.
Good hygiene prevents a lot of sickness and disease, so hit the dollar store and stock up. Seriously for $20 you can get a lot of stuff you need. It may not be the brands you prefer, but in an emergency situation you'll be glad you did. That's what we do, and we've never been sorry to have extra soap and toothpaste!
Can you live without electricity? Actually, yes you can, but we have a generator to power the essentials when we need it. We have one and we've had to use it often, but it's not completely necessary.
In our area we need four wheel drive vehicles, snow chains, extra water, oil, gas, and tire repair equipment to keep us mobile. But we don't underestimate good walking shoes, boots, and appropriate clothing for those times when we walk, hike, or are travel by foot.
We always fill up before leaving town, and we keep an extra jug of fuel for those times when we run a little low. So important!
I grow tomatoes, green beans, and potatoes, for a summer garden and they're so easy. And for a winter garden I grow sprouts in my kitchen. Anyone, can do this. It's very inexpensive and takes zero skill. Growing my own food ensures I can have healthy food in case there isn't any available elsewhere.
Believe it or not we have no cell service up here, but we still have a way to reach others or to hear what's going on out there if for some reason our current communication g. A radio, CB radio, or even a HAM radio keeps us informed and offers a way to reach others if all else fails.
Grow your skill base. This one may seem hard, but it's really not. I can't fix a lot of things but I can use a chainsaw, cut down trees, and split firewood. Having some basics skills is essential. One skill that is so important is knowing how to build and start a fire. Sounds easy, right? But until you've done it yourself you don;t actually have the skill. I practice until I'm comfortable.
We plan for the weather, plan for being stationary for a while, plan for the power to go out, plan for the unexpected. Once something is on my radar I make a plan for how to handle it. I can't plan for everything, but we try to be prepared.
This is huge. So many people have practiced bushcraft, been preppers, and learned survivalist tips before us, so we reach out and learn from others. Simply asking for help, or asking questions shows we don't know it all, but we want to learn. This can save us a lot of time learning it on our own through trial and error - and probably more errors than we'd like!
We try to have additional supplies on hand like bleach, batteries, tools, jumper cables, a shovel, an ax, a tow rope, matches, lighters, rubbing alcohol, fire starters, socks, jackets, and any other items we can think of.
A community doesn't have to be a lot of people. It can be a few people you know - those you can call for help, and those you will go help should they need it, too. It's important to be a part of a community - even if they're a ways off. Knowing someone is out there is a reminder we're not alone, and when things get too hard or we need a helping hand it's important to have someone we can rely on.