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About

Allegheny National Forest Scenic Overlook

Every time I visit someone’s blog, Patreon or YouTube channel, podcast or any other social media source, I ask why I should listen to them; why should I give them my time? It has to be worth it to you. Likewise, you want to know a little about me and why this site, and my other content sources deserve to receive your valuable time. So here goes.  I’ve been “prepping” all of my life and have always approached it from a very straightforward and practical viewpoint.  The approach can easily be tailored to your specific situation and needs.  I’m not offering rocket science; just clarity in the fog of information that is the internet, and calm in the storm that the various media sources churn up.

Let’s get this out into the open: I really don’t like the word “prepper.” It used to be a good shorthand to describe someone who believes in being prepared for life’s uncertainties. It has morphed into something derisive, a synonym for “crazy” or “paranoid” or “gun nut.” But we can thank the media for that. The media has an agenda; everyone who can think critically knows that.  I see people who call themselves survivalists liken preppers to hoarders.  I see preppers deride survivalists as, to put it kindly, not being realistic.  In a society that thrives on polarization and conflict, those of us in the preparedness community need to stick together. And we need to realize that we are not different in our goals, just taking a different approach.  Am I a prepper? Yes, the way that I define it.  Am I a survivalist? Yes, the way that I define it. Am I a homesteader? You guessed it: Yes, the way that I define it.  My definition works. It works. Period.  It works for me because it’s practical and rational. If it doesn’t work for you, that’s fine.  You do what’s best for you.e

The "Seeds" of Prepping

I began my “prepper’s journey” as a kid. I grew up on a farm so we were always “prepping.” In the spring we “prepped” the fields. In the fall we harvested and “prepped” the food to last until the next harvest. We “prepped” for having meat on the table by raising livestock and hunting. Prepping was what we called living. I was also a scout so I was always camping, hiking, doing the things that we glamorize today with a new term — bushcraft. When I went to college I continued my hiking, camping and other outdoor pursuits. I hike, camp and “bushcraft” frequently.

Formalizing my Prepping

Even though I’ve always kept a good supply of emergency food, water, medical and other supplies, I began seriously prepping after a prolonged power outage. I was fine, but I started thinking about what I could have done better, and what other “disruptions” were likely. This was way before Doomsday Preppers hit the airwaves. That’s when I began my first Preparedness Plan.

I’ve been studying preparedness ever since. My expertise? I hate braggadocio. So I hesitate to claim expertise in anything — there is always more to learn. That being said, here are my skills:

Skillset

Research & Planning
Research & Planning 95%
All of my life, I’ve been able to break down complex “things” into discreet elements, complex tasks into simple steps. I made a good living doing that.
Food Preservation
Food Preservation 95%
I’ve been growing and preserving food since I was old enough to walk, from gardening, canning, dehydrating, pickling and fermenting, all the way to brewing and distilling. The one area I plan to experiment on in the near future is freeze-drying.
Shelter
Shelter 75%
I’ve rehabbed five houses, plus I’ve built significant additions onto two, but I’m not a professional contractor — that’s why I give myself only a “C” grade. I plan to increase my knowledge of solar and related electrical systems.
Carpentry, Cabinetmaking & Woodworking
Carpentry, Cabinetmaking & Woodworking 85%
Okay, I’ll pat myself on the back — I’m pretty darned good at woodworking. I mostly do cabinetmaking and furniture. The skills I want to improve the most are my work with hand tools.
Bushcraft
Bushcraft 80%
I give myself a decent “B” in bushcraft skills, but I do want to hone my practical skills.
Communications
Communications 95%
I’ll congratulate myself again with a solid “A”. I’ve had my Amateur Extra ticket for a decade. I’ve set up home shacks / base stations, mobile rigs and “go kits.” If you need a comms shack set up, including homebrewing an antenna, I’ve got you covered.

So Where am I?

My primary residence is in a suburb in the People’s Republic of Maryland. I’m currently building one retreat/bug-out location and I’m contemplating/planning a second because within a few years one of those two locations will become my primary and I’ll retain the second as a BOL/retreat. We’ll talk more about all of that in future installments.

Living outside of our nation’s capital puts me right next to the vipers’ den. But my information can help anyone in any suburb who is in the process of moving toward a safer, more sustainable existence.

My Other “Channels”

As I develop meaningful content, I’ll open other information channels.  I’m also planning a ham radio net where we can discuss prepping issues on the air while developing radio skills.