I started canning this year with excess berries from our garden. Was not as hard as I though it would be and I really like knowing exactly whats going into my foods.
I just started canning this season. I like knowing exactly what went into my food. It's easier then I thought it would be as well. Already planning out new canning recipies for next summers haul.
I really like the point you're making about learning these things now befor you "need" them. Prepping is not just about stockpiling, it's about being prepared to do all kinds of things and aquiring skills and knowledge that will make the difference. I'm big on the gardening aspect and always make sure to have a store of seeds for the comming season.
I don't think this is true Regulator5, regarding the outlawing of the general public from buying silver and gold. I very recently purchased several oz of sliver from APMEX (American Precious Metals Exchange) without issue. Paid by credit card and coins were delivered by USPS, no problems at all. Prices are a bit above spot but easier for me then dealing with locating a precious metals dealer in my area who's not a rip off artist.
In a short term situation like a bad winter storm or natural disaster when I know that normalcy will be restored then I would certainly help out family and neighbors to the extent that I could. In an extended SHTF situation or TEOTWAWKI, I would have to take the hard line and send people on their way. Children are my weakness, as I have a 2 yr old daughter myself. I would have a lot of guilt turning away a child in need but any stranger can not be trusted. They may be a scout or decoy for a larger group who plans to come back en mass and wipe out you and your entire family for whatever you have in your caches. Best to pretend you have nothing if resources are that scarce. If it got too bad to stay in my home due to lack of security I would have to bug out to somewhere that no one would be "passing by". If someone was able to locate me at my BOL, they would already be trespassing on posted private property. You would have to be an idiot or totally desperate to even try walking into someones BOL in an end of the world type of situation and either way you can expect to be met with the business end of a 12guage.
My Grandpa is also 90, and also sharp as a tack. He can walk short distances with his cane but spends most of his time seated in his lazy-boy recliner. I also have a 65 year old mother in poor health and a 2 year old daughter. Bugging Out would be difficult if not impossible for us. We also live in RI (yes, Rhode Island...) where we typically experience at least 4 months of glorious winter each year. If SHTF and we're deep into winter then no one's going anywhere in 2 ft of snow, no fuel is getting delivered, and no one is going out for food unless you count picking off small game from the back deck. My hubby and I are working on our preparedness including security, food, fuel, a 5kw genset and soon to be installing a wood burning stove for secondary heat source (with oil prices, maybe primary heat source). Bugging Out would be a last ditch effort with the entire family in tow. Realistically, one of us would be carrying the baby, one pushing grandpa and my mom would have to walk... we know we couldn't go far like that so bugging in is our best option. Great article and discussion, it raised a lot a thought provoking issues to be considered for any planner.