The Vintage Life

The Vintage Life

My husband is a prepper (and I by proxy).

Now, stay with me here as we’re not extreme. Let me give you an example of why.

About five or so years ago, someone had an ‘oopsie’ in one of the power grid control centers. Part of Arizona and most of southern California was without power for at least 12 hours. Let me tell you about panic in the streets. Grocery stores closed down and were only letting in one person at a time to avoid looting. People were freaked out about not being able to eat since the restaurants were all closed and they didn’t have anything at home since they couldn’t cook. They were waiting in huge lines at the grocery stores just to get a can of tuna.

Let’s go to my house. I let everyone out of work early – mostly because it was pretty hot that day, and our office was sweltering. (We had work to do – there was a backlog of filing that needed to be finished, but whew. It was hot!) I managed to get home okay; I have a half-hour drive home, and the only challenging parts were where the signals weren’t working. (Remind me to do a post on how 4-way stops really are supposed to work…) I pulled a cooler out of the garage, dumped the ice from the refrigerator in it, and put in a few of the really perishable items since I didn’t know how long the power was going to be out. We have an upright freezer also, but as long as the door stayed shut, we should have been good for 24 hours or so. Now, while we ended up eating a couple of protein bars for dinner (we were lazy, you see, and did I mention it was hot?), we could have cooked on either the propane or charcoal grills that we have. (The irony is that while we had no lights or power, our cable modem had a backup battery, so we had internet to play with on our phones and laptops. If that hadn’t been the case, there were books and boardgames to entertain ourselves with.) We have a small flashlight in every room, so the ones we were in had one or two aimed at the ceiling so we could walk without tripping over things. It was had to get over the habit of flipping the light switch when we walked in a room, but we were fine.

I think it’s important to be prepared for emergencies – fires, earthquakes, floods, job loss, illness. They take all kinds of forms, some physical, some emotional, some financial. It’s not just about having food, water, and other supplies though. I think it’s important to have skills in self sufficiency. It’s important to be renaissance people, polymaths.

In Renaissance Italy, the idea of the polymath was expressed by one of its most accomplished representatives, Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472), in the statement that “a man can do all things if he will.”[6] Embodying a basic tenet of Renaissance humanism that humans are limitless in their capacity for development, the concept led to the notion that people should embrace all knowledge and develop their capacities as fully as possible. This was expressed in the term “Renaissance man” which is often applied to the gifted people of that age who sought to develop their abilities in all areas of accomplishment: intellectual, artistic, social and physical. (Wikipedia)

Even if you never come across an instance where you must rely on a specific skill, it’s important to have a broad knowledge. It helps in problem-solving and keeps your brain sharp. Learning new things is a skill in and of itself, and it’s important to keep practicing. The same can be said for keeping your physical self in shape as well. As another blogger once pointed out, what is the point in having a bag prepared in case you have to evacuate if you’re not physically strong enough to carry it? To me, being strong enough to do many things myself, if I had to, is an important part of being self-sufficient. It’s why I chose Crossfit since they emphasize functional fitness.

This is part of why I’m glad I know how to sew, knit, cook from scratch, camp, build basic things…if I ever needed any of the skills (whether to survive personally or contribute to a group), I have them.

What skills do you have already? What skills do you want to learn?


Sewist, knitter, reader, dancer. Wife. Lover of things vintage and retro.


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