Put Your Prepping Skills to Good Use NOW: Ideas for activities that encourage preparedness (and are a lot of fun, too!)
by Daniel Weatbrook, Sr. of Bear River Rocket Stoves
Just because you are preparing for a possible emergency in the future doesn’t mean you can’t have interesting experiences and make great memories now.
Along my preparedness journey, I’ve realized that with preparations for emergencies, there can also be enjoyment in family activities. Here are some ideas for you and your family to use emergency preparedness skills and have fun in the process:
Go for a week without going to the store. Make it an exciting challenge for your family to let them plan meals without a trip to the supermarket. You’ll likely manage fairly well on your food stores, with hopefully minimal grumblings from your family if you model a positive attitude. Letting children plan meals from only the items on hand isn’t just a good learning activity; it’s also a trial run to see what might be missing and what you could add to your storage.
Plant a garden. While children won’t always relish time spent weeding, families can grow closer as they work together.There’s something satisfying in planting seeds, seeing the first tender sprouts, cultivating, and finally harvesting.
Since gardens aren’t always an option, especially in the winter, learn to store fresh root vegetables and winter squashes. Sprouting seeds and legumes is another way to get fresh vegetables. Your children will appreciate seeing just how quickly seeds can germinate.
Try camping or backpacking. Finding a destination for roughing it--even if it’s your own backyard--is a fun activity for children that can double as a chance to test out your emergency or 72-hour kit. A campfire, tent, and sleeping bag just add to the adventure--and the family memories. After your camp, ask yourself and your family what items were incredibly useful during your camp? Be sure to include those items in your preparations.
Bake bread without power. Can you bake bread without power? That’s been an emergency preparedness question that’s troubled me for years. After all, baking your own bread is a cheap food. It’s high in valuable calories and carbohydrates. It’s filling and even comforting. It can also be challenging to grind your own grains by hand and to bake without a proper oven. Over the years my family and I have tried several methods of baking bread including roasting bread dough on an open fire, warming flatbread on a skillet, and even steaming bread in a tin can.
When I designed Bear River Rocket Stoves, I wanted to find a way to duplicate the convenience and capacity of a home or commercial stove top and oven. What I’ve realized is much more than emergency preparedness. Cooking outdoors may be practice for a time without power, but more than anything, it’s another chance for a pleasant gathering with friends and family.
Practicing preparedness brings confidence. Building preparedness skills with your family can be a fun adventure. It is also a way to teach resilience, resourcefulness, and confidence in any situation. These are preparations that can’t be bought but must be earned. By practicing emergency preparedness skills, you’re not only building a wealth of practical knowledge with your children, you’re making memories.