How Much of a Stockpile is Enough?

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

MOSCOW - FEBRUARY 6: Shelves with canned fish in shop, on February 6, 2011 in Moscow, Russia. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev demanded that Federal Agency of Fishery not charge money for fishing.

As we start into the New Year, I hear a lot of people talking about their resolutions, specifically talking about their newfound energy to restart their efforts to prepare for a disaster. This is great, especially considering that most of these people had let their efforts lag during the last year. I hope they are able to momentum this year, rather than allowing their prepping efforts to go the way of most New Year’s resolutions.

This, of course, raises all sorts of questions in people’s minds, the same sort of questions we hear all the time. Amongst the most common of these is, “How much of a stockpile is enough?” This is normally considered to be the proverbial impossible question, as there are many variables that affect it. However, there is an actual answer, at least in my mind.

To start with, your stockpile must be enough to carry you through any disaster you’re preparing for and its aftermath. The problem is, different disasters have different recovery times. So, you have to determine the longest recovery time you’re likely to face and build your stockpile based on that.

In juxtaposition to that last statement, most people are preparing for a TEOTWAWKI event. If that’s the case, then there really is no recovery from the disaster. What you have to do instead, is to be ready to survive in the new reality. In other words, you have to be ready to produce your own food after the disaster, because normal supply channels will not be restored anytime in the foreseeable future.

That’s the ultimate prepping scenario and therefore must become the basis for our stockpiles. Anything less leaves you and your family vulnerable. You’ve got to become self-sufficient to survive and your stockpile has to carry you through to that point.

So, what does it take to make you self-sufficient? Basically, that means that you convert your home into a homestead and start raising your own food. Your entire backyard has to become a garden, except for those parts which are used to raise chickens or animals for protein.

Now the question becomes how quickly can you turn your home into a homestead? Once again, we’re at a variable answer. A lot depends on how much preparation you do for that, before any disaster strikes. But another important factor is the climate where you live. People living in the deep south, where they don’t have much of a winter to speak of, have a great advantage here, as they have a longer growing season and can more easily work outdoors in the little bit of wintertime they have.

At a minimum, you’re going to need a year to turn your home into a homestead. That’s assuming that you’ve got at least some of the work done ahead of time. If you already have chickens and a good vegetable garden, you’re well on your way to creating a homestead. But at the same time, your main effort will be in increasing your garden and possibly adding some other type of animals.

On the other hand, those who haven’t stated had better give themselves two years to get their homestead working. The hardest part of this is usually getting the soil for your garden in shape, which most experienced gardeners say takes a year. So, you’ll need to figure that your harvest from the first year isn’t going to get you through the winter; meaning that you’ll need to eat off your stockpile until the next year’s harvest.

In a worst-case situation, you shouldn’t need more than a two year stockpile. If you have a good head start on your homestead, one year should be enough. But you’re better off thinking conservatively in your planning. Giving yourself a few extra months of food won’t hurt.

One easy and inexpensive way to do this is to stock a lot of staples, such as rice, beans and grains. While that might not provide you with the greatest of diets, it will keep you going. If it turns out that you have extra, you can always use the extra as trade goods to your neighbors, helping them and getting other things that you need.

Of course, turning your home into a homestead is going to require that you stockpile other items as well, most especially heirloom seeds. So don’t forget them in your stockpile. Ultimately, it’s going to be your ability to convert to self-sustainability which is going to make it possible for you to survive.

Maybe you were thinking that three months of food would be enough. Sorry to tell you, that’s not enough. You really need a whole lot more. But that doesn’t mean that you have to rush out this month and fill up your stockpile. Remember, this is a gradual process, working towards a goal. Keep your goal in sight and keep on working; and in the mean time, keep your powder dry and your survival equipment close at hand.

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