Simply said we live in a disposable society. Consumerism and planned obsolescence have trained us to use things only until they are old or break and then throw them away. It wasn’t always like this. Our grandparents or great grandparents lived and died by what they were able to repair. They wouldn’t have dreamed of throwing out many of the things that we now consider disposable. They repaired or re-used everything they could and developed useful skills doing so.
As preppers it’s important that we push back against these societal trends. We know that you may not always be able to simply go down to the store and replace whatever is broken. We need to cultivate the skills of repair and reuse for our own long term benefit.Being able to repair things is a key prepping skill. Click To Tweet
Why should we repair it?
Much of the technology we work with on a daily basis may as well be magic for all the understanding most people have of it. It’s becoming a mystery how exactly things work. If you didn’t have the internet would you be able to troubleshoot or repair anything? Cultivate the skill now in good times while you have the resources.
Let me give you a simplistic example. The other day I broke the handle on a hatchet. Given how difficult it was for me to find a replacement I can only assume that most people would have simply thrown it out and bought a new one. Instead of doing this I replaced it. I gained a better understanding of how it was put together. If I had no other options I could replace it using only a knife, branch and some pieces of metal. I increased my own self sufficiency and saved some money doing it.
Let me be clear, it won’t always be that easy, and you won’t always be successful. There is one power tool that I have replaced multiple parts on and it still doesn’t work! But in the process I have learned much more about how that tool works and by association how many other tools work. I value the opportunity that trying to repair it has provided me to expand my knowledge.
I will sometimes use a specialist. For instance I use a cobbler to repair my shoes. But I try and learn from what they do so that if I’m in a tight spot I have an idea on how to approach it. That said as preppers there are specific things that we should always be trying to repair ourselves. Outdoor or camping equipment, tools and even clothes are at the top of the list.As a prepper you should always be trying to repair outdoor or camping equipment. Click To Tweet
If it doesn’t need repair can you reuse it?
Finding new and different ways to use the things that you might be throwing out is another way to cultivate these important skills. It provides you an opportunity for lateral thinking. How can you use something in a different way to accomplish a specific task?
It may be because of the industry I am in but I see people constantly replacing their smartphones. Where many simply see an outdated piece of technology I see many possibilities. There are all sorts of things you can do with an old smartphone to give it a second life. The first would be loading it full of useful apps and leaving it as a backup in your car, your bugout location, or even a Faraday cage. If you’ve already done that they why not re purpose it and build a trail cam, home security system, baby monitor, e-reader, digital frame, or remote? There are tons of possibilities.Turning trash into tools is an invaluable skill for a prepper to learn. Click To Tweet
Another example is reusing the tin cans you are recycling or throwing away. Have some large cans? Build a rocket stove or container garden. Have some small cans? Build a solar hot water heater or make some fishing hooks. Play with them and see what you can come up with! Being able to make your own tools will mean you are infinitely more prepared.
Cultivating the concepts of repair and re-use because they will make you a better prepper.