Monday, December 10, 2012

Planning For Survival As You Age

The majority of preppers and survivalists do their planning as if they have found the fountain of youth. Acting like Paul Bunyan is fine when you are a teen or twenty-something, it can look less attractive when you get to be a thirty-something. 

By the time you get into your sixties the idea of felling trees and splitting cords of firewood can look like a very bad idea. You will want to know about rocket stoves waaay before you get into your sixties. 

I have already posted quite a bit about rocket stoves, but am going to give the highlights again to encourage those who have not read them to do so.

Rocket stoves are very fuel efficient. They allow extra air to be fed into the fire and encourage the gases given off by the burning wood to be burnt along with the wood. This makes a fire that does not require as much fuel as one that only burns the wood itself. 

Rocket stoves can cook an entire meal using only a few twigs. This allows you to use less fuel and requires you to do less chopping of large pieces of wood. You can pick up sticks that have fallen on the ground to fuel a rocket stove.

All of the above means that as you age you will probably appreciate having a rocket stove that makes less wood cutting work for you.

Another way to avoid as much wood cutting is to keep your home warm enough without a fire so that a small fire will be enough to keep you comfortable.

An underground home is a good way to stay warm enough to cut down on firewood needs. If you can not have an underground home, you can add more insulation to your home to lower your need for  heating fuel. 

Anything else you can do to make your home more weatherproof and energy efficient will help. That can include things like caulking windows, adding insulation, and stopping other warm air leaks like from electrical outlets, cable TV and computer connections and insulating plumbing pipes.

You can install ramps instead of stairs before it becomes a necessity. Even people who don't need ramps usually prefer them to stairs.

Change your window coverings so that they will not require an athlete to clean and maintain them. Do whatever else you can to reduce your need to get up on ladders or do a lot of climbing. 

Falls are never good, but they become more serious as you age. Even a brief period of being injured could be fatal during an emergency when you are older.

Plants and decorations that require you to climb or use a ladder on a regular basis should be reconsidered as you age. The same is true for storage of items that you use often. It is a worse and worse idea as you age to even need to climb around to get to your Christmas ornaments or other seldom needed items.

Gardening should be planned to accommodate your decreased agility as you age. Gardening is an integral part of long term emergency planning. If you have all the heirloom seeds you need and can't tend them, it won't do you any good. 

Raised beds have other benefits, but the ease of tending them as you age is an important consideration. They should be planned so that you and anyone else who will help you tend them, can easily reach more than halfway across them.

I think the sides of raised garden beds  should be made so that you can sit comfortably on them as you tend the beds. Some people use a board extending from side to side of the bed to sit on as they tend their raised garden beds. This is fine as long as the plants are small, but once they are larger this approach is more likely to damage the plants.

If you want to look for more ideas on how to adapt your preparedness for your ageing process, AARP usually has good safety tips for seniors. They do not charge to just look at their site. You can't print from it unless you are a member and there are other member only restrictions, but you can always find ways to remind yourself of the best ones. You could even join.

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