Sunday, November 25, 2018

Survival 101: Going Old School


In any future long-term grid-down scenario, we will be living in a new world. Excuse me, I mean an old world. We will loose most of the modern conveniences we've grown accustomed to in this age of high tech, the Internet, Amazon, and a throw-away economy of disposable goods. We will suddenly be thrust back into a world in which our grandparents and great grandparents lived. For most of us this will be a hard adjustment to make.We need to start thinking now about how people used to live back in the "Olden Times." And to start planning how we can live there ourselves.

For example, take something as simple as entertainment and recreation. Modern entertainment typically revolves around screen time: TV, movies, video games, e-readers, smart phones, and so forth. But our grandparents, and definitely our great grandparents, didn't have these options. They had to entertain themselves. Shocking, right? I mean, how on earth did they do that? Well, they read books made of paper (barbaric, right?). They played card games and board games, told stories, made their own music, and got together with neighbors to celebrate holidays and special occasions.To go old school, maybe pick up some classic board games (you know, the ones that don't require electricity or batteries) and a few decks of cards. Or maybe learn a (non-electric) musical instrument (I want to learn to play the harmonica). Many other possibilities exist.

Another example: In today's modern times, there are plenty of readily available doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and other medical options for when we get sick. In Olden Times, doctors were scarce, especially in rural areas and small towns. When folks got sick, they usually had to rely on Mom's chicken soup, or Grandma's home remedies. In other words, do-it-yourself healthcare was the first line of defense. To go old school, start figuring out how to take care of your and your family's health yourself. Pick up a few good books on home remedies and herbal medicine  

More Examples

Modern: Riding lawn mower for cutting grass.
Old School: Reel Mower (no gas required).

Modern: Computer/printer.
Old School: Manual typewriter.

Modern: Washing machine and dryer.
Old School: Hand washing and clotheslines.

Modern: Electric mixer.
Old School: Hand mixer.

Modern: Electric can opener.
Old School: Manual can opener.

Modern: Take-out, microwaves.
Old-School: Cooking from scratch, cast-iron cookware (gas stoves, wood stoves, outdoor cooking).

Modern: The Internet, Wikipedia.
Old School: Reference books (paper!), the library.

Modern: GPS, Google Maps.
Old School: Road atlas, folding maps.

Modern: Credit & debit cards, ETFs.
Old School: Cash, silver coins, barter.

Modern: Debt, installment plans, rent-to-own.
Old School: Delay purchase until you can save the money (modern folks are going to have a real hard time with this one). 

Modern: Baby formula, store-bought baby food in tiny jars.
Old School: Breast feeding, making baby food at home.

Modern: Disposable diapers.
Old School: Cloth diapers.

This is, of course, only a very limited list - merely some examples to get you thinking.  There are lots and lots that can be added to this list. The point is to start thinking through how your world will change if and when the grid goes down. Then, start taking steps to prepare.

P.S. You might want to read my article Understanding Preparedness - Loss of Comforts of Civilization for more on how the world will change, post grid-down.
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