One of the coolest things that I’ve experienced in my journey as an aspiring homesteader so far is that it has taught me to always keep an eye out for opportunities to preserve or conserve whatever I grow or find. Likewise, I’ve also been studying a lot of prepping and survivalist material as of late and the more I learn, the more I’ve started to see uses for every day things that most people would probably discard or not think twice about.
For all intents and purposes, let me specify up front that I’m still nowhere near expert in the realm of prepping and that I prefer to use the term enthusiast as I’m very enthusiastic about it and strive to learn more. Likewise, this article is a bit more lighthearted in nature as well (even though it’s still useful). With that said, the more I contemplate prepping and survivalism the more I realize that being married to my beautiful Mexican bride has helped me a lot in learning many lessons that could be useful in a SHTF type situation. Among those are the following.
5. Chicken Feet Are Not Only Edible. . .They Are Delicious!
It’s not uncommon for us in the States to discard parts of the animal we find personally unappealing or disgusting, but in Mexico that rule generally doesn’t apply. Point and case: Patas de Pollo (Chicken Feet).
If you can get over the visual, they are actually quite tasty and contain a fair bit of nutrition from what I’ve gathered. When food is scare, just remember that chicken feet can provide that extra zip of vitality that you might need.
P.S. If you kill a pig, you can pickle it’s skin too. . .don’t judge, it’s delicious!
4. Never Waste Water
People in Mexico are particularly anal about wasting water. It’s not uncommon in Mexico for someone to scold you openly if you do not use a bowl when washing your hands or brushing your teeth. Because of this, people in Mexico are always open to using buckets to save water (not for the purpose of drinking though) and reusing the water to save plants. My wife having came from this background has a similar idea about water and it’s one that has not only helped me to be mindful about resources but how vital of a habit it is not to use water unless necessary.
3. That’s Not A Butter Dish, That’s A Bowl!
I know this one is super stereotypical, but it’s truer than sin! God forbid you throw away that Country Crock bowl or cuerito jar! Containers can always be re-purposed and should not be thrown away unless they A.) Don’t work or are tampered with or B.) You do not have room for them. My wife is always creative in the ways she finds new uses for things other people would find to just be junk. Like so, from what I’ve gathered about prepping, this is the perfect mindset as well because in dire situations you won’t always be able to find new containers to keep tools dry and materials conserved, so you need to work with what is available.
2. There Is A Fine Line Between Hoarding Trash And Saving Resources
This is more of a compliment to A.) mentioned above. Space is of the essence and needs to be reserved for the things that have the best functionality and things that can be used (as opposed to things that we want to be able to use). With that in mind, hording things like a radio that cannot possibly be repaired, batteries with little to no juice or drained disposable lighters that won’t spark is counterproductive to that goal. It’s better to keep the best on hand instead of trash that you’re “going to get around to fixing one day” that is just collecting dust.
1. Don’t Complain, Just Get It Done!
Without a doubt the most important lesson you could learn in any endeavor. Even when tempers are flaring and frustration sets in, don’t complain, just get it done. My wife hates wasting time with anything (something she inherited from her mom, coincidentally) and will not stop for anything when she is doing something. This attitude has rubbed off a lot on me as well in my day to day life. It is especially important in prepping from what I’ve gathered because prepping is 90% mindset when you get down to it. In a genuine survival situation, if you fail to act in the moment, it could easily prove deadly. For this reason I put “don’t complain” as probably the most important prepping/homesteading lesson that I’ve learned from my Mexican wife. However in all fairness, I think this is a lesson that could be extended to every aspect of life.
Thanks and God bless,