What Are You Prepared To Live Without?

By Erica

Originally Published at Living Life in Rural Iowa

One of the things about prepping is that we tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. Granted, we all believe in food storage and having things on hand to survive a disaster or a power outage. However, I think sometimes the emphasis on accumulating things gets out of hand. We focus on stuff instead of skills. We don’t think about the idea that we could be living without a lot of things.

If you are preparing for a long-term event, you can only accumulate and use things until you run out of them or have a plan to replace them eventually. You can keep a lot of food on hand, but you need a way to replenish the food. Most people will garden or raise livestock. You can only keep so much potable water on hand before you have to come up with a way to replenish that water. The list goes on, but eventually, we will have to find ways to replenish what we have or live without them. Our priorities will shift in a hurry to important things like food, water, and shelter.

As Americans, we like to accumulate a lot of stuff that doesn’t really have a meaning to us. We think we need a lot of things that we really don’t need. We are subject to a culture that wants us to buy more and more without consequence. We are encouraged to buy new whenever possible and throw away the old. We are bombarded with processed food and gadgets to make life much easier.

The problem is that in terms of a cataclysmic event, we would probably not have those things available to us at all or would run out shortly. In a short-term disaster or power outage, we would probably not have those things to rely on. So the question begs, “What are you prepared to live without?”

I have been feeling convicted lately as I place orders online for things I am not sure we need. There are definitely things we have been buying that I don’t want to live without. I finally broke down and bought a grain grinder for flour and feed. I have purchased some books on cooking with more garden produce than meat. We have been buying a lot of materials for repairs and maintenance that been badly needed at our place. However, I even struggle with impulse purchases at the store or a cold drink at the convenience. That money would be better served in savings than on a temporary pleasure. While I believe you don’t live forever and we should live a little, that doesn’t mean we should live foolishly.

I think we, as preppers, are called to a simpler life. We should be learning to live without processed food. We should be living simply. We should be saving money instead of spending it foolishly. We should be living experiences and not be buying stuff that may have no meaning later. We don’t want our stuff weighing us down if we need to leave quickly or move in a hurry. We should be learning skills to make, fix, or replace our things and get out of the habit of buying new. We should be learning to live with less.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos and documentaries on decluttering, living simpler, living with less, and similar subjects. For some reason, it has been really hitting home lately. I know I have too much stuff and I don’t have as much as some. What hits home for me though is that these people live without a lot of stuff that we think is a necessity and are completely happy without it. They don’t have anything that isn’t a necessity or serves a purpose.

As preppers, I think we need to look at our preps that way. I keep a lot of emergency preps on hand, but I keep a lot of stuff for ‘just in case’. I might need it. I somehow doubt I will need those things. I think I will need to learn to live without a lot of stuff. I think we could all learn to live without a lot of stuff. There are things you need to have for prepping. Don’t get me wrong. I know that. In that case, “Two is one and one is none” philosophy still has its place.

Here the thing about SHTF: You will probably be learning to live without stuff because it might not be available to you anymore. Your things could be destroyed or you could lose some of your possessions. You might run out of certain items that cannot be easily replaced. You will be forced to live without and, for some, that can be a rough lesson to learn. Most people will be learning that way which can cause an undue burden on those around them. This is not a good thing and can be easily remedied now.

What do you think you could live without?

About the Author


Erica writes about preparedness, homesteading, frugality, parenting, and life in general at her blog, Living Life in Rural Iowa. A mom of four who has survived divorce, poverty, kids going to college, and teenagers! Always keen to learn more about what she writes about. Someday will write a book!

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