Monthly Archives: May 2018

Are You Prepared For 19th Century Living?

By: Tom Chatham

Those that are aware of the EMP commissions report have probably also heard the statement that this type of event would suddenly transport everyone involved back to the 1800’s almost instantly. It is also possible that up to 90% of the population could die within 2 years due to the sudden lack of modern technology. It does not matter if it is an EMP, CME, cyber attack or terrorist attack on the grid, the results will be largely the same.

This is a sobering notion that you can either believe or disbelieve. If you think it is all hype you need only to go back to your daily activities and hope it never happens and leave your survival to someone who will do something if it ever happens. For those hardy souls that take responsibility for their own fate and that of their family, it falls to you to determine what this type of event will mean for you. An event of this magnitude will affect different people in different locations in different ways.

It is important to first realize what changes you will likely see following this event. To understand this you must look at what a 19th century lifestyle would look like to you. Understanding these differences will help you to determine what plans you need to make ahead of time to adjust to these changes in a way that will allow you to survive. Here are some of the things you will face with a collapse in modern technology and this does not even take into account problems you will face from the ill prepared.

19th Century support systems included the following

Sailing ships for cargo and human transport
Steamships for cargo and human transport
Steam locomotives for cargo and human transport
Horses and wagons for cargo and human transport

Horses, mules and oxen for cultivation and harvesting
Root cellars for common storage
Ice houses to store ice cut in winter
Open pollinated seeds for planting
Livestock manure for fertilizer
Local mills for processing grains
Shallow dug water wells for fresh water
Manual tools for building and repairs

Developed systems for kerosene, whale oil and candle making for lighting
Mechanical power systems for factories and machinery
Telegraph lines for communication
Local craftsmen to build and repair items
Human and animal means to produce coal

Wood stoves for cooking and heating
Outhouses for sanitation needs
Buildings designed for natural ventilation

Limited clean water systems
Limited hospitals and doctors
Limited drugs, medications and medical equipment
Limited firefighting capabilities
Limited law enforcement capabilities

Physical currency of silver and gold
Banks utilizing paper records

Many of these systems exist today only in museums or historical sites and in insufficient quantities to support the population we now have. So simply going back to 19th century living standards would be impossible for the vast majority of people even under the best of circumstances. This brings to light the conclusion that 90% of the population would not survive long term under these conditions.

Assuming this type of event did occur, what would you need in advance to insure your survival? That is a question many people need to ask but most will not simply because their belief system would be shattered if they acknowledged potential threats and that they need to be responsible for their own lives.

There is the potential for many types of catastrophic events that we may never see but the potential should be enough to cause reflection on the individuals part to at least ask the important questions for their own survival. To prepare mentally as well as physically is important to survive the worst of the potential events we could face. You may not find yourself living in the 19th Century tomorrow, but what if?

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Seven Acres and Independence

By: Tom Chatham

Any size homestead that fulfills your needs is a good size but here are some things to look at when designing one. Different people desire different things and that will determine how much land you need.

I have determined that 7 acres is a good size small homestead that can provide all of the items you need to be self sufficient to a large degree.

Two acres for a wood lot
One acre for buildings, garden, orchard
Two acres for pasture
Two acres for grain crops

Two acres of mature timber will produce about 1.5 to 2 cords of wood per year sustainably. That will provide you with wood for cooking and heating during the winter months.

One acre is enough for a home and out buildings, a large garden and a small orchard. This will provide enough food not only for your family but extra to sell.

Two acres for pasture will provide enough grass for two cows. A milk cow and a beef cow to provide dairy products and meat throughout the year.

Two acres will produce enough grain for your family’s needs and extra to feed hogs or chickens and still have extra to sell.

The amount of acreage you need will depend mainly on the systems you decide to have for food production and how much extra you want to produce for sale but the 7 acres outlined above will satisfy the needs of most people. It is important to understand that different people will have different needs. Some people may not want to produce meat for consumption and elect to rely on a vegan diet. This would require much less land, while others may want to produce excess meat for sale that requires more land.

Whatever you decide your ultimate goal will be, this 7 acre plot is a good starting point to insure you allow room for the production systems you plan to use. A farm of this size is within the ability of just about anybody in terms of cost and work load. The ability to produce food, shelter, products to sell and even a large portion of your energy needs can provide a good nights sleep when the world around you ceases to function as normal.

A homestead of this type can not only provide a means of income but provide a survival position to insure your family has the basics they need if financial difficulties grip the world once again. Having little money on hand becomes less of a problem if your needs are provided for internally. This is something many people never think about until they suddenly find themselves in desperate need of resources.

Most people work for a paycheck to provide enough income to buy the resources they need on a daily basis. The more resources you provide for yourself the less income you will need to produce. Producing a dollars worth of resources for yourself is worth much more than a dollar when you take into account taxes, transportation costs and other assorted expenses associated with making that dollar at an off sight job. Producing most of your resources internally can greatly reduce the income you need to get by which is becoming harder every day for many people.

Something as simple as a small homestead can provide you with many benefits depending on your situation. It can provide relaxation from a fast paced world, a retirement home to reduce expenses, a means to produce extra income or an escape when chaos engulfs the world. Building a small homestead does not have to be expensive or difficult. All it requires is a solid plan and the will to make it happen.