Are We Preppers?

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A lot of Preppers prepare to “bug out” to a secure location in the event of the EOTWAWKI.

Prepper: An individual or group that prepares for any change in normal circumstances. 

I am enchanted with the burgeoning Prepper movement. I love reading about it. The show, “Doomsday Preppers,” is my favorite guilty pleasure. I have so much in common with Preppers. But does that mean Bob-O and I are Preppers, too?

EOTWAWKI

First there are the associated acronyms to familiarize yourself with: EOTWAWKI (end of the world as we know it), BOB (bug-out bag), and you can probably guess “when the SHTF.”

Many Preppers are preparing for a specific catastrophic event that would result in the EOTWAWKI. I hear a lot about the Mayan calendar’s alleged date of December 21, 2012, being the one. I have also read that since the Mayans did not recognize leap years that date has already passed us by.

I’m reminded of the Y2K frenzy. As renewable energy providers, we spent a lot of time back then calming people and actually talking them out of extravagant purchases.

What About Us?

It seems that much of the Prepper activities are really just old-fashioned farm skills. I think that a lot of those skills are making a comeback. Witness the whole Prepper movement and the rising popularity of “nose-to-tail” butchery. When most of America lived on family farms, people would “put by” enough food for two years.

All that being said, I can’t help but compare our life to a Prepper’s. No, we don’t have a bunker. But we do have a 20-foot-long steel container (dubbed “The Keep”) buried in the hillside, which serves as food and sundries storage (see HP140).

Our garden is larger each year, providing a greater percentage of our food. The garden harvest is canned, dried, pickled, frozen, and fermented. I can now grow and successfully store enough carrots, onions, and potatoes to last through the winter. I only use open-pollinated seeds and save them from year to year. Next year, we’ll begin the great pig experiment. I fully expect to learn a variety of old-fashioned ways to preserve meat and utilize those pigs to their full porky potential. 

Tattl(er)ing

We were watching “Doomsday Preppers” one evening when they interviewed a woman standing in front of ceiling-to-floor shelves full of home-canned food. Curiously, the tops of her canning jars were white. We wondered what that was all about. So we searched the Web for “white canning jar lids,” which led us to Tattler’s reusable lids (reusablecanninglids.com).

Every year, I wait for canning lids to go on sale at our local store. Then I stock up on the regular and wide-mouth sizes. Every year, they are more expensive. Tattler appears to have the answer—fully reusable canning jar lids, in both sizes, made from white plastic with a thin rubber ring. Both parts are reusable.

Back in 1976, a canning lid shortage struck the United States. Seeing a need, a tool and die maker specializing in plastic developed the Tattler lid. There are two parts—the hard white plastic lid and the thin orange rubber ring. The hard plastic lid has a lifetime guarantee and the rubber ring can be reused as long as it retains its shape and has no tears or nicks. According to the user reviews on the company’s website, people have been using them multiple years without a hitch.

Of course I bought some! So far, I have used them on jams and pickles. They work great, even though I had to change my canning routine a little. With these lids, you only tighten them finger-tight on the jar. After processing in a water bath or pressure canner, you lift out the jars and immediately tighten the lids as much as possible. Then you leave them to cool 24 hours, as you normally would.

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