I am really excited to introduce to you Patrick from Survival at Home. A real busy guy. He works with Homestead Bloggers Network and with Prepared Bloggers. It is always an honor to get to work with people who have the same goals. I hope you enjoy getting to know Patrick.
How old are you?
Do you consider yourself a prepper, a homesteader, or a mixture of both?
I think I'm a little bit of both. I really believe the two intermingle more than a lot of people realize. My family is stocking food and supplies, learning everything we can, and trying to do everything for ourselves so we're able to live as self sufficiently in the future as we can.
What do you think the greatest challenge our society faces?
At this point in time, I honestly think the biggest problem is entitlement. People who think everyone owes them something and they shouldn't have to be held accountable for the things they do. It's running rampant in the new generation. That sense of entitlement will lead to social uproar should a true SHTF situation ever arise. People need to learn to start working together more and stop blaming each other when something goes wrong. Fix the problem and move forward with a lesson learned so you don't repeat the problem.
On your site you state that you are working toward a homestead life. What advice would you give those who want a more wholesome life, but do not know where to start?
My advice would be to start where you are. Do one thing at a time - if you find an interest in learning to make your own cleaning products, make them! If you want to learn to can your own food, learn! Just don't overwhelm yourself by trying to change your entire lifestyle overnight. You'll cause yourself more stress and lose a lot of time and money in the process. It's an easy transition if you learn at a pace that's comfortable to you.
You have a special needs member in your family. How does that change your preparations and/or daily routine? Do the physical limitations of a family member change your priorities list in any way? If so Please explain.
Our little girl can't walk, talk or crawl. She has a wheelchair and a cart (like a big stroller) we use for mobility. It definitely changes the way we prep. We always have to think of her comfort first, because she doesn't understand basic concepts like a typical 9 year old would. As far as a daily routine, it's built around making sure things get done around the house as well as working with her constantly to ensure her safety and making sure she's content and happy. As patient as she's taught us to become, she's a pretty patient kid, too... but when she wants something, she wants it NOW. lol As far as physical limitations, since she can't do the things a typical 9 year old does, we have to plan ahead to do those things for her. We have to get her dressed, fed, cleaned up, as well as carrying her where she needs to be carried and doing things for her she can't do on her own. It can be stressful, but with a prepper's mindset, it's a LOT easier - always plan ahead!
Did any of your family members try to discourage your lifestyle change?
No, most of our family doesn't really know what we do. We're not the "wacko" preppers that shows like 'Doomsday Preppers' make folks out to be, so the family members that know what we do don't poke at us. Some even want us to teach them to do things, too... and others are teaching us to do other things... so it's more of a give-give situation.
If you are a prepper what preparations have you made or do you feel everyone should make?
We lost everything we had (literally, everything) to a house that was infested with mold. My wife and daughter both got very sick, we had to move out of our house and leave everything behind, so we've had to start over. With that said, the preps we have done since the move have been more "back-to-basics" kind of preps. What would we do if the lights went out? We have tons of homemade emergency candles, plenty of flashlights, and some rechargeable glowing stuff... We're freezing and starting to can our own foods... and we're putting together new bug-out bags for multiple situations (medical emergencies, INCH bags and the like). I feel that everyone (EVERYONE) should think back to the worst situations they have ever been in, relive them in their heads, and figure out what they could have had prepared to lessen the impact of the emergency, then apply that to their preparations for the future. Really, that's what prepping is all about - lessening the blow of emergency before emergency strikes.
IF you are a homesteader tell me a little about your homestead.
We are "homesteaders" in the sense that we have the homestead spirit. We were on 2 acres with huge garden plots and moving daily towards a more self-sufficient life. Due to the mold, we had to move out of our home and into an apartment temporarily, so while we don't have animals and huge gardens, we are still learning skills that will help us on our path to self-sufficiency now and when we get back into a house. Making our own cleaners... food storage and preservation... things like that are what we're currently working on.
How long have you been homesteading, prepping or both?
I have been prepping since I went into basic training in 1991. My son (who is now 18) was in Boy Scouts for a while, so that reinforced some of our prepping, too. As far as homesteading, with information and daily living stuff, since I was a child. My parents grew up during the depression, so a lot of it was instilled from the beginning. My dad ALWAYS had a garden right up until he just physically couldn't do it any more. Mom always hand-made gifts for family and friends. My wife is the same way - their family had chickens and huge gardens, always canned stuff... it's just always been what we've known.
If you could tell every person one thing what would it be?
Learn to do things for yourself and take responsibility for yourself. In the end, you and your family are all you can truly count on. Pass along information and skills traditionally like our parents and grandparents have tried to do for us.
What do you think your best asset is in helping others achieve self sustainability?
Knowledge. Always knowledge. Learn everything you can, and practice your skills often. Knowledge (and patience) can help you through any situation.
If you could talk to every parent out there how would you encourage them to become more self reliant?
I would encourage every parent to be more self sufficient so their children learn to do the same. Entitled children who rely too much on technology will be truly lost in severs situations. They'll panic, and panic always leads to bad things happening. Learn and teach skills that will help you and your family survive and thrive under the worst situation you can possibly imagine. Prepare for zombies, hope they never come. lol
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Patrick with Survival at Home. When you swing by tell him The Rural Economist sent you.
Working together we can all achieve our
Rural Dreams and Homestead Wishes.