I am continuing to share some of my hard-learned lessons as a single woman who moved out into the country. My story and lessons that follow, provided in no particular order, might save you money, time, injury, and humiliation as you make this journey towards self-sufficiency and preparedness. Yesterday, the lessons were on chainsaw, firewood, and wood stoves. Bears, Birds and Bullets One part of moving out of the suburbs and into “the country” that I was really excited about was being more in touch with nature, especially birds. I have always loved watching wild birds and hearing them sing …
I assure you that all of the following lessons are ones I have learned the hard way. I am sure that for those of you who grew up with a self-sufficient lifestyle or have been doing this for a while or even just possess a tiny bit more common sense than I do, this will be a good laugh. These are embarrassing but all 100% true. Feel free to chuckle, guffaw, head slap, ridicule, or otherwise enjoy my complete and utter loss of pride. I can take it, and I certainly deserve it. Sometimes even I wonder how I have …
Most preparedness information out there seems to assume that everyone is part of a family with a mom, a dad, three kids, and a dog. Or, if not that, an extended family that includes brothers, uncles, and a grand-pappy. Somehow, the picture presented always includes a man.
The truth is, that is not always the case; there are a lot of women alone out there who are also preparing, and it often seems like they are left out of the equations.
There are all sorts of reasons that a woman might be living alone. She may have just left the nest and is out there joining the adult world with her first job and apartment. She may be divorced or widowed. She may not have children, or those children may be off raising families of their own. Whatever the case, family-based preparedness suggestions don’t always apply to the woman living alone. Not that these tips are only for women. Many of them are important for any person who wishes to be prepared, and especially for the female prepper that is living alone.
Be extra vigilant with home security. As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Make sure that you have motion-sensor lights at all of the entrances to your home and property. Get a dog. It does not have to be a big dog; a little dog is a great early warning system!. Install high quality locks and be sure you have a fortified door frame.
Learn to use a weapon. If you decide to purchase a firearm, get some instruction and go to the range frequently to optimize your skills. If you aren’t comfortable with guns, your weapon of choice can be something else; just make sure you have a way to defend yourself. Consider pepper spray or a stun gun such as this one that doubles as a flashlight. Heck, even a can of wasp spray has a long range and can do some very painful damage.
Take a self-defense class. Classes geared specifically towards women are the best if you need a crash course. Of course, if you’re already a black belt in martial arts, all the better! If you can find a recurring class that lets you spar with a bigger “attacker” this will help the moves become more natural for you.
Learn to use tools. Being able to repair things yourself is a big part of being self-reliant. Practice makes perfect. Find workshops that teach you how to make something. It is a great way to get your feet wet. Also, if something in your home breaks and is in need of repair, search YouTube for some related repair videos and give it a shot yourself. If you do have to call a repair person, hang out and watch, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Be careful what you say. Obviously your closest neighbors will be aware that you live alone. But when you’re out and about, don’t broadcast it. Many stalkers first became interested in a victim in the most innocuous of settings. Court records have shown that some stalkers were repairmen, pizza delivery guys, and mechanics who realized that the woman they became obsessed with lived alone. As well, in the event of an emergency, you do not want people to remember that you mentioned having a year’s supply of food in the basement. You don’t want to be a target.
Don’t make it obvious your house belongs to a woman alone. While you shouldn’t need to be afraid to be feminine, you might want to tone down the pink girlie stuff in the front yard. You can also purchase a large pair of used men’s work boots, get them dirty, and leave them beside the door as though someone just took them off to go inside. And for heaven’s sakes, don’t get those stick figure families for the back window of your vehicle to represent you and several pets. Be discreet.
Learn to change a tire. If you don’t already know how to do this, be sure that you know how to change your own tire. A flat is one of the most common vehicular issues that will leave you stranded.
Do not be discouraged if you aren’t part of a large family or group. For you, it is still very important to prepare and perhaps even more so. Go ahead and adapt the preparedness information that’s out there to fit your personal situation, and be the hero of your story, not the damsel who needs to be rescued!