Pretty much every SHTF scenario you can think of includes the added bonus of high gas prices. So, it’s no surprise to me to be seeing higher prices at the pump. The supply chain from the ground to your gas tank is so complex, volatility is practically built in. I’m going to assume that our readers already know about gas efficient cars, and hit on some other ways savvy preppers can buffer their lives from the sting of high gas prices.
Isolate your SHTF job from gasoline needs. Whether it’s shipping in components or ingredients, or running the equipment that makes your job feasible, make sure you can get it done without gas if needed. Find local suppliers, figure out ways to grow/make what you need. Shipping runs on gas, whether it’s trucked in from California or floated in a container from China, shipping is going to get expensive whenever gas gets scarce or pricy.
Find alternate forms of power. Most of the time, your best bet is going to be people power, muscle power. Bikes can be very useful, especially if you or someone you know is handy about building things like trailers. Even broken bikes can be useful, if the pedals and seat and gears work, they can direct muscle power into a machine. Carts could make a comeback, anything that can haul loads and be pulled or pushed by people or four legged companions.
Practicing those plans can take on many forms. You can practice parts of the fall back plans, without having to go whole hog. For instance, if my hubby wanted to do cord knotting as a post SHTF job, he’s going to run out of the cord we have in the house eventually. He’ll need more supplies, at regular intervals, without having to pay a fortune for them in order to have a viable, long term, SHTF proof, source of income. So, maybe we practice growing some cordage fibers one year. I don’t think we’re in a warm enough place to grow something like Agave sisalana (Sisal twine is made from it) or Jute. But we could do hemp, flax, we could do some species of bamboo, nettles, yucca and cotton. Cordage can be made from all of those, so maybe once we figure out how to grow or gather sufficient quantities, we switch our focus to learning how to process the fibers into cordage. Then of course there’s learning which knots work best with it, and learning variations to the process for dyeing or coloring. There’s no need to do all of it every year, but practice with the individual steps can make an emergency transition that much easier. If baking is your thing, think about growing some wheat, or grinding some local grains into flour, maybe practice your wild yeast harvesting.
At the very least, have some plans in place. If your children’s school stopped bus service due to funds, can you still find ways to educate your kids? If you can’t afford to gas up your car, can you still get to work? Can you find replacements for things that you currently use gas to procure? I think we’re likely to see lots more volatility at the gas pump, make sure you’re ready for it.
– Calamity Jane