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Friday, April 5, 2013

Where are the guidebooks for this new life?



Back in the 70s there were a lot of how to books out there on counter culture living. People really were heading back to the land. They were searching for many things, a life close to nature, a rejection of their parent's values, independence, and experimentation. Quite a few books were written on the nuts and bolts of the lifestyle. Of course, styles change and the demand for such books went away.

What we need are some good guidebooks for the time we live in now. The rules of money, employment, health -the whole social order, have changed. It's time to stop chasing a dream that's gone. Many admit to themselves that we live in different times, but are too busy mourning the old ways to develop new ways.

Sure, there's lots of info on the web, but it's scattered and in electronic format. We need real books. Books have a practical size limit, so everything in it has to be of value. There' s not room for fluff. We need a book that can be read by a homemade candle when theres no electricity.

Someone should gather all the best practices out there, stuff that's being done in the real world. Forget theory and concentrate on proven technologies, strategies, and philosophies.

Perhaps there should be different books for people in different stages of their life.

A book for the high school graduate just starting out.

A book for the college educated that can't find good paying work in their field.

Something for people who've lost their jobs, houses, money and whatever else. There are ways to start over and have a meaningful life.

How about the older folks who've discovered their retirement isn't going to be anything like they were told it was going to be?

Then we could have a master book for how all these people can work together in a community, strengthening and enriching everyone.

I'm betting all that information is out there. I don't know of any focused and sustained effort to gather the best into book form.

Of course, it's not necessary to wait for such a book. Get your computer, a printer, and a binder. Search for information that advances you towards your lifestyle goals. Print out all the good and practical information off the net and put it in your binder. Make your own how to book -preferably before you really need it.

-Sixbears

24 comments:

  1. I tell people to learn to live like their grandparents did when they were young and most of their problems would be solved. The younger ones would have to go to great-grandparents, I suppose.

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    1. That's a solid foundation to build on.

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  2. In a book form, yeah, I don't know either. In CD/DVD form, I know of several. Here is my page linking to them: http://thelongascent.blogspot.com/p/gaianomicon.html

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    1. Thanks for the link. Cd/dvds are great as you don't need an Internet connection.

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  3. It would be handy to have a couple of books as a guide, no doubt.

    I have no idea where any of these books could be found, though. I kind of agree with what Gorges says.

    I did print and store a lot of information in binders when I first got interested in prepping. Has come in handy several times!

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    1. Gorges makes sense, but I'd also like to think we've learned at least a few more useful things since those days.

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  4. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)April 5, 2013 at 5:44 AM

    Yup! I keep a index box right next to my laptop. If I see something with good info, I just write it on a card and file. It's easy to update and I don't waste printer ink.

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    1. Why is printer ink as expensive as it is?

      I bookmark like crazy, but organization can be a problem.

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  5. Mr. Six, I would humbly submit that many of the books valid in the 70s would be valid now as well. For instance I glance over at my shelf and see Carla Embry's Country living and the readers digest "back to basics" (purchased off ebay) next to the Blue ball book of canning. Growing up on a farm, I can tell you...the basics don't change much. I would say that adding Ferfal's book about suriving an economic collapse would be helpful...and there are many "hipster/trendy" books now on organic gardening that could be helpful...But its still all good...The classics never really go out of still, they just get updated slightly...

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    1. I must admit to still using those old books now and then myself.

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  6. I've been doing that for years (printing good information I read on the net). With my memory, I would not be able to recall the 'important' from the 'relevant' from the 'interesting'.

    I was fortunate to locate a set of the original Mother Earth News (MEN)issues #1 - #80, published at a time when DIY really meant something. I think you can buy this on disk, but like you said, hard copy is invaluable in case electricity is not available.

    The Backwoods Homes Anthologies are great resources of information too, as are the original 'Countryside' magazine when Jerry Berlanger was at the helm (pre 2000's). His pre Y2K articles were especially good.

    I wish life came with an instruction manual, but somebody keeps changing the script.

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    1. I keep hoping for one concise volume to put all the most useful stuff in on place. Those are great sources to pick from.

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  7. Ahem.... You're somebody. ;)

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  8. I am glad I know how to live off the land. There are many edible plants or parts of plants that can be found anytime of year. Of course, up north in the middle of winter, they are not as easy to find but not impossible.

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    1. A good edible plant guide book is essential.

      I think this time of year I'd be reduced to eating pine bark. :)

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  9. I recommend the fire fox book series. Another I recommend is a 1840's encyclopedia. They are my gotta have list. After them I use the 1930's-1940's DIY books, Home Mechanics and the like. Add a good carpentry book from that era and you got it made. OLD School all the way.

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    1. Old School is good because it had to work, no BS.

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  10. I have exactly what you suggest. Two 4 inch binders crammed full of info, my "Survival Bible". Oh, and a really good book called "Back to Basics". Everything from canning to building a log cabin with hand tools...

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    1. I'm sure it's a comfort to know you have that info where you can get your hands on it in an emergency.

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  11. "Dare To Prepare" by Holly Drennan Deyo is one of the most comprehensive that I have found. I have the Foxfire books (bought in the 70's), Country Living and many others but if I could have only one it would be Holly's.

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    1. How did I forget about Holly? Good resource.

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  12. I'll be working on that binder. Gotta call you soon, Dad. Love you!

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