My Philosophy Of Prepping (Part 1)

4 Feb

Thank you to all the readers who’ve posted reviews of my book. I really appreciate them! I received one comment I wanted to address. The comment said I went into too much detail, discussing things like toilet wax rings.

Point Number One: Toilet wax rings are very important!

Point Number Two: My philosophy of prepping is that you should understand, as well as you can, all of the key support systems in your life. Day to day, we rely on many things, from our vehicle, to our heating system (HVAC), to our plumbing, to our electrical system. The more we understand about these systems, the more capable we are to maintain them if they fail. The more we know, the longer we can keep our systems well-maintained and functioning.

Many times, we’re nearly helpless to repair a problem. In the book, I write about an earthquake ripping apart the sewer system in Christchurch, New Zealand. People were forced to use portable loos for months while the professionals repaired the sewer system. I’m not saying that you, as a citizen, must go out and rebuild a city’s infrastructure after a disaster. Although, you should lend a helping hand, if you can. Volunteers make a tremendous difference.

Homeowners can make many repairs on their own. Water supply pipes that freeze in winter crack and leak inside a home. This is a problem many people have seen recently. The best thing is to maintain your heat, then this won’t happen! If you can’t continue to heat your home, the second best solution is to shut off the water supply and drain the system. If it does happen, it’s good to know how to repair this. It’s not really that difficult.

Why not just call in a “professional”? If the professionals are busy, because local conditions damaged many homes, service doesn’t magically appear in a few hours. All the plumbers are booked solid for days. Professional help is lacking or delayed. What happens if the person doesn’t even know how to turn off his water? Major problems.

A more fundamental reason why I feel you should learn these things is that it fundamentally changes your relationship to the things in your life. You’re no longer a blind user who doesn’t understand, but merely uses a system.

Too many people today don’t understand how anything works. We live in a throw away culture where most people are clueless about repairing the simplest thing. These people don’t have the personal sense of satisfaction that comes from a successful repair. They lack mechanical insight that comes from doing.

The worst are celebrities who earn millions of dollars and because of this can remain totally  ignorant of the mechanical world around them. With the exception of Jay Leno, how many celebrities could even point out the air filter in their car? A bubble of affluence has allowed them to become totally helpless. In a disaster the more self-sufficient you can be, the better. The more you understand about the physical operation of the world, the better.

Knowledge of mechanical things helps you operate things better. A example that comes to mind is the good old Remington 1100 shotgun. Growing up, many duck hunters said these guns were crummy, unreliable. Others said they were reliable with the proper cleaning. Same gun. For one person, it’s reliable. For another it jams. Why?

It comes down to understanding a few things: That gas operated semi autos have gas ports that can become fouled, and that these gasses must be constrained. A faulty seal causes problems. A dirty gas port, problems. The more you know, the better your shotgun is maintained and the more you understand the key parts you should keep as spares. Or, do as I did as a youngster, and go with the 870 pump!

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