In a recent interview with Lisa Bedford (Survival Mom), Lew Rockwell posed a question about prepping for those who choose a primal lifestyle. There is, indeed, a perception that building a reserve of storable food and primalism must be mutually exclusive. Fortunately, there are many options available for those who want to thrive in any scenario, sans cream of wheat.
When considering dry food to store, one can come up with quite a few choices:
Dried Mushrooms Kale Chips (dehydrated kale) Basically any dehydrated veggies Jerky Canned Fish/Seafood (choose wisely – low mercury, high omega-3) Seeds (including chia and/or hemp) Nuts Oils (especially coconut and olive) Ghee (clarified butter) Pre-cooked Bacon (nitrate-free)
When shopping for these items, pay attention especially to packaging – choose products with solid color containers, as light tends to diminish the shelf life of a product. Look for the newest product by examining all of the "sell by" dates on the back of the package. Most importantly, make these items a part of your everyday regimen. This will allow you to keep rotating in fresh product, with the added benefit of avoiding the experience of shock as you start realizing you are going to be eating an MRE for dinner tonight – and many nights to come…You will, instead, be snacking!
As for fresh food, a garden is a fun, low-cost insurance policy against the ultimate deal-breaker: hunger. Another option is container gardening. Especially in an urban scenario, one may find it handy for valuable food to be somewhat portable.
Also, what could be more primal than hunting and fishing? Wild game is one of the most rewarding and healthy choices for the human body – a body that will desperately need the "fuel" it receives from such pursuits. Getting up to speed on the techniques involved, as well as acquiring the equipment needed to achieve such ends is an obvious choice for the primal prepper.
On this note, one has to consider the philosophical and practical merits of primal hunting and fishing tactics vs. modern methods and technologies. While a gun is more efficient than a bow, primal tactics are more stealthy – meaning a much lower chance that other hunters will notice your kill. Fishing is an incognito, and potentially abundant, source of wild meat.
Foraging for wild food is another essential skill for the prepping primalist. Setting yourself up with someone from your area who can expertly identify native wild edibles is a must, as is practice. Uninformed choices could lead to severe illness or death, therefore hands-on knowledge is the superior choice when it comes to orienting yourself to the edible plants in your area. Although some species are poisonous to varying degrees, a potential bounty of edible wild food exists – if you know how to identify, prepare, and store it. Ironically, most people, driven mad with hunger, will be scurrying around within a natural buffet attempting to find something, anything, they recognize as food. Primal foraging skills will put you ahead of the pack – potentially keeping you safe from starvation, and droves of starving lunatics!
When considering how to store all of these items, keep in mind you will need them to be within easy access, yet hidden from jealous eyes. Mother Earth News has a nice article about building a basement root cellar, which satisfies both needs. Dehydrating or canning fresh meat and wild foraged food can extend your harvest during plentiful times to prepare for occasions when it is impossible to hunt.
If you are forced from your home, a shallow hole in the ground covered by a rock or heavy log may have to suffice. However, in this scenario, you are likely better served spending your calories foraging or hunting. Primal hunting and foraging skills are best learned beforehand. If you have to make a hasty retreat, you will be very happy you have these tools immediately at your disposal.
Thinking about the primal diet, one tends to daydream about what life must have been like for our ancient ancestors. "Prepping" – as we call it – was the lifestyle of those who came before us. They had to constantly provide for, at a minimum, their fundamental needs without modern "conveniences" such as supermarkets, electronic gadgets, and refrigeration. Imagine what they would have given for something as simple as a knife!
When one considers the ultimate end to many of the scenarios we prep for, it is easy to imagine how "primal" it will actually get when simple things like power failure occur, and life for us all rapidly and dramatically changes. For instance, what will people do when they cannot bake bread? As a primalist, do you remember what you thought and how you felt when you imagined – gasp! – not eating grains?
When the power goes out, people will be forced into a more primal diet by necessity – and most will not be prepared with the literal and mental primal "tools" to survive without resorting to immoral and malicious activities. Indeed, one cannot imagine a worse place to be in a societal collapse, than in an urban area with ubiquitous panic and despair – and craving for baked goods, an underestimated threat. By already having your body and mind tuned in to this mode of thinking – you can separate yourself above the rest, and dramatically improve your chance of survival. The primal lifestyle is, in fact, intertwined with the prepper lifestyle.