Thursday, August 7, 2014

Meet the Homestead and Preparedness Writers Maximus aka Alex of Survive Hive

Over the next couple of weeks we will be doing interviews with some of the writers involved with homesteading and preparedness. We will have the full spectrum of writers from exclusively homesteading to exclusively preparedness. There are so many people out there we can learn from. Do not make the mistake and think you cannot learn from someone who focuses on an area in which you are not interested. I personally am going to really enjoy getting to know my fellow writers better. I am sure there will be plenty for me to learn. I hope you enjoy this as well.

I would like to introduce Maximus from Maximus considers himself primarily a preparedness blogger. His site features preparedness topics like ultimate bug out vehicles and homestead topics like tips for small gardens. His site also features an Alert Center, Gear Reviews, Check Lists, and How To Guides. His site has a lot to offer those focused on preparedness.

So without further a due, here is Maximus.

How old are you?

I am 28 years young, and counting!

Do you consider yourself a prepper, a homesteader, or a mixture of both?

I am a mixture of both. I probably lean more towards the preparedness side of the fence. We garden, and I have raised chickens, but in reality, you can’t really consider our suburban lot much of a homestead. I really strive for self-sufficiency, so I can certainly relate to the REAL homesteaders out there. As far as prepping goes, we take that pretty seriously. Although my wife and I are fairly new to the preparedness lifestyle, we bring a lot of real-world experience with us on our journey that makes us well suited for the lifestyle.

What do you think the greatest challenge our society faces?

Our society… No, that was my answer. Haha! Seriously, I think our society is its own worst enemy. We have a tendency as a society to shun things that we don’t understand, agree with, or that which we are scared of. It’s like why men don’t want to be cheerleaders. Despite the fact that they get to hang out and touch beautiful women all day, God forbid someone think they’re homosexual. We have a society in which it’s not okay to be different. What does this have to do with prepping? Everything! Watch a show like “Doomsday Preppers” and you’ll see that we’re made out to be crazy paranoid people hiding behinds thousands of round of ammunition just waiting to carry out our G.I. Joe fantasy. We preppers know that is wrong, but society has this notion that we’re paranoid freaks. I explained this to my wife recently, who said “So what?” In a way I agree with her, but the problem is that because people tend to shun things they don’t understand or are scared of, how many people do you think avoid storing two of our greatest necessities as humans (food and water) because they don’t want to be labeled as a “Doomsday Prepper?”

Prepping is important. I don’t care what persecutions you may face, it’s wise. Blind ignorant faith hurts us all, but I think many have their eyes opened by natural disasters, only to shy away from being prepared for fear of the label. If a large scale disaster of any sort were to hit, our society may experience irreparable losses simply because our society is scared of what others may think of them for getting prepared.

For me, I’ll take being the “weirdo down the street” over being the “corpse down the street” any day of the week, and ultimately, even if nothing happens in our lifetime, I will have saved tons of money by buying food on sale and rotating it, supplemented by the garden and livestock. To top it off, I’ll be better prepared with the knowledge I’ve attained to be able to start a fire if my next hunting trip goes awry.

I wish that our society could get over the fear of what society itself will think, and instead do what’s best for all of us, and our society as a whole.

If you are a prepper what preparations have you made or do you feel everyone should make?
Remember the rule of threes:

You can survive:
- 3 minutes without air
- 3 hours without shelter
- 3 days without water
- 3 weeks without food

Of course, this is a generalization and circumstances might change those rules, but knowing this, you should prioritize your preparations accordingly.

The first thing we ever prepared was first aid kits. Knowing that you don’t last long without air, we both stay up to date on CPR certifications,

The next thing we prepared was water storage. We bought large barrels custom built for water storage to keep in our garage (review link:, along with rain catchment, and developing ways to use less water for human waste removal (How-To Guide: Lastly we will be able to take advantage of snow by melting it in the winter.

We’ve made “Water Retrieval Plans” to be able to harvest water from nearby streams and creeks for treatment if the need arises.

The next thing we prepared was food. I built a First In First Out (FIFO) canned food storage rotation system (How-To Guide: as well as multiple raised garden beds (How-To Guide: for gardening to supplement canned food. In addition we keep freeze dried food, and are learning to preserve our own food through canning and dehydrating. We’ve already saved tons of money by being able to buy food on sale, and store it for use later, as well as what we’ve grown ourselves.

We are always preparing mentally by honing skills, such as fire-building, creating shelters, hunting, etc… Prepping absolutely suits our lifestyle.

If you are a homesteader tell me a little about your homestead.

I don’t want to take anything away from the REAL homesteaders out there, but I think homesteading is first and foremost self-sufficiency. We certainly strive for that, but we still live in suburbia. We garden, collect rain, tinker with alternative energy, and all around strive for self-sufficiency as much as can be expected for living in a neighborhood. Our dream is to one day be able to be completely self-sufficient, but we certainly haven’t gotten there yet.

How long have you been homesteading, prepping or both?

Like I said previously, we’re fairly new to the lifestyle. I grew up gardening, raising chickens, and striving for self-sufficiency, but it wasn't until 2009 when an ice storm in the town where I was stationed knocked out power for 14 days that I realized just how under-prepared we were for dealing with even small-scale disasters, Really it’s then that we stopped calling it a hobby, and started taking it seriously. If you’re really interested in the ice storm story, I've written the entire ordeal on the about me page over on Survivehive.

If you could tell every person one thing what would it be?

It’s impossible to be perfectly prepared, because it is impossible to anticipate exactly what will happen next. For that reason I believe that prepping is about being as knowledgeable as you can in as many fields as you can. It’s more your mindset and your skills, than the items you have on hand that will get you through. Furthermore, living your life in fear is not a life worth living. Prepping is not about fear of doomsday, or “SHTF” or “WROL” or “TEOTWAWKI” or <insert your acronym of choice here>… Prepping is about minimizing risk, while learning and adapting to change,

What do you think your best asset is in helping others achieve self sustainability?

My wife and I both served as enlisted active duty members in our armed forces. She spent 7 years in, and I spent 6 (yes, she out-ranks me, and she never lets me forget it!) She’s lived, and deployed overseas, and I have been deployed overseas in combat zones. I spent many years as an Emergency Management Volunteer in a town in the middle of Tornado Alley.

Our life experiences, trials and tribulations, and training have been our greatest assets in our own preparedness, and I think they are our greatest assets in helping others as well. Ultimately, we’re not prepping Gods. We’re learning too! Every day we strive to learn more, add to our preps, and ultimately share that experience with others. I’m not Les Shroud, or Bear Grylls, I’m just a guy, like every other guy. I just want to share cool projects I work on, review cool gear I find, create preparedness tools on Survivehive to make prepping easier for all of us, and share general thought provoking concepts that help us all grow on our journey to self-sustainability.

I have really enjoyed getting to know Maximus better and hope you have as well. He is a really tuned in guy that is doing everything he can to help people be better prepared. Remember when you go by his site tell him The Rural Economist sent you.

Remember all of us who write about homesteading and preparedness are trying in our own way to help you achieve your.

Rural Dreams and Homestead Wishes.

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