First blog of 2016

First blog of 2016

Its been a minute or two since I posted a entry here.  The holidays, my family, and sickness grabbed up time from me and it is time to get back to normal.  I had a really good holiday this year even tho bad things happened during it all.  We pulled through as a family and made things work.  We have someone in our family struggling with their marriage and working to start over, and my father had a heart attack and surgery to add a stent all before Christmas got here.  Stress on top of stress and small children in our family that need a solid family for this special time.

Our family is kind of good at stress and sadness during the Christmas season, not that I am bragging or happy about that.  This past December marks 5 years since the passing of our two year old grandson Alex, he would have been 7 years old.  We miss him.

January 2016 is here and new ideas are coming for the new year.  I have decided to add my youngest kids to my blog and vloging, this was something I was avoiding when I started it all, but being a full time father makes time management difficult when trying to post or make video.  Blogging will still have to happen at bedtime, but content for YouTube, Periscope, ect would be almost impossible some days since they are always trying to be a part of it all.  So… I have no idea what will happen but I assure you they will be calling most of the shots, I’ll do my best to keep them on task.IMG_1848

When my wife suggested that I blog when all I was looking to do was do video content, I was resistant.  I was never a great student and I am a hands on learner/teacher.  I want to always teach my kids to follow through and finish what you start.  I went outside my comfort zone and started this, I am going to see it through.  Happy New Year everyone!!

Eric PSR



That moment you realize, “I need a plan”

That moment you realize, “I need a plan”

download (4)That moment you realize you need a plan is probably going to be a stressful moment.  You may realize it after a event and feel the pressure of not being prepared for emergencies, or you maybe you will be lucky and be able to work on your plan proactively not re-actively.  In any case, everyone needs a plan for themselves and their family.  Lets focus on a list of needs and build a plan based on those needs.

So lets identify what needs you and/or your family has. This list is surprisingly small.

  • Food and water
  • Shelter
  • Security

That’s a pretty small list isn’t it?  Most people believe they already have all of the things on this list.  The problem is emergencies most time happen outside of your current plan, so lets look at  worst case scenario’s and see how we be better prepared in a (5)

  1. Food and water: Its pretty easy to start a emergency supply of food and water.  Start small and just add a bag or two of dried beans and rice to your food budget.  Water containers used for camping are pretty cheap so add one or two to start and then watch them during the camping off season for a better deal.  Starting small and slowly adding things to your supply almost goes unnoticed in even the tightest of budgets.  Storing dry items in 5 gallon buckets is a cheap way to keep them.  Keeping water drinkable will require a bit of work but only done a few times a year, and can be done with a small amount of bleach that most households keep on hand.
  2. Shelter: Off season sale for a simple tent to met your needs, or investing into a hunting camp or vacation home.  Providing shelter outside of your home will be something you will have to weigh the pro’s and con’s and most of all your budget.  Having a tent will always serve you well if you find you need to leave your home and having another home to move to even better.
  3. Security:  If you rely on others to provide security for you than you are not in complete control of your plan.  Security only works when it is with you every second of the day.  Security is your ability to keep what is yours, provide food if necessary, and protect yourself and others from harm.  This part of the plan maybe the hardest part for some people, but make no mistake it is very important.

So, making a plan for you and your family is easier when you know whats is most important when starting one.  Using the three most important parts and building more to it will take most of your stress out of making your plan more complete.  Thanks for reading, and good luck building your plan.  Eric, PSR



I have finally posted content (on YouTube)

images (9)When I started my idea to share self-reliance it was going to be only on YouTube.  I didn’t think I could do the blog thing.  I am not a good writer, I still have much to remember from school.  I do the best I can and I hope to improve.  I have many ideas to share on video and even tho I knew making content to post would be time-consuming just in recording I have confirmed editing is just as time-consuming.  So far I have really enjoyed learning as I go.  I get to share things I find important.

I am not an extremist, I don’t think a zombie apocalypse is on its way or huge civil war is coming, but I also don’t think everything will be perfect all the time either.  I started self-reliance on my own when I was a young teenager.  I enjoyed the challenge of going remote and existing on my own work and effort.  I learned from anyone that would talk to me about things, and I read a lot of books.  I tried as much of things that I could from what I learned and I failed at things often.  I don’t challenge myself like that anymore.

YouTube and blogging have moved in to educate people like books and real people taught me.  I can reach so many more people this way than relying on the few people I have shared things with here in my area.  I am trying to making something special and share it with everyone.  So I posted my first video about making char-cloth for fire building.  I was nervous about it, but I think it turned out pretty good.  I will get better at keeping my work in frame and a bit more zoomed in.  Please take a look and let me know what you think, Making Char-cloth.  I plan to make additional video’s that focus on fire making and cooking, char cloth helps you get there.

Well there you have it, my beginning into video content.  I hope you enjoyed reading a bit about my new adventure, and took a moment to look at the link.  Thank you for following me here, please leave me a comment, like, share and subscribe to my YouTube channel here.  Practical Self Reliancedownload

Thanks again and take care, Eric PSR

Doing the work… EDITING

IMG_1727This past weekend, I started making the first of my videos for my YouTube part of Practical Self Reliance.  I had a lot of fun with the planning and making of my first of many topics and I was lucky enough to share it with a good friend.

Most of this journey so far has been pretty easy, I get to write about things I have knowledge about and share those things with you.  The filming part was equally fun, I also got to film me doing self-reliance in the outdoors to share with anyone interested in following me on YouTube.  I have enjoyed these parts but, this is where the WORK comes in…  I have found the work part, editing.

I have been pretty lucky so far with figuring out things for myself here in the cyber world, most of what I have learned has been self-taught.  I am only  on day two of learning editing, and I find this part to be the first of what feels like work.  It has been frustrating.  I know I will figure it all out, and I am sure I will power through.  I want my blogs and video uploads to be available together, time to do the work.

Thanks for reading, take care, Eric PSRIMG_1724

Time for family and second chances

IMG_1713I am in a unique family.  We have adult kids, and 2 young kids.  My wife and I both have kids from previous marriages, and have 2 little ones ourselves.  Well that being said, that’s not too unique, a lot of people have a blended family like that.  What makes our family special is that my wife and I are in our mid 40’s, but we met when I was 13.  We dated throughout school and life took us different ways.

We spent a lot of time being young talking about what the future was going to be like and boy did I think I had that figured out.  I had BIG plans, but they didn’t include lots of money and fancy things, I wanted simple and basic.  My wife has always been the listener type and being young she wasn’t sure of what she wanted like I was, so she worked on the plan her family wanted for her and go to college and mine was to go into the military.

Well my life never felt settled and I had many unsuccessful relationships both personal and professional.  I always knew the life I was living wasn’t the life I was supposed to be living.  Simple was never simple for me and I struggled.

I somehow managed to to find my way back to my get my second chance.  I had no control in that, I never did.  I followed the path I was supposed to follow.  I had the kids I was supposed to have and my relationship with them isn’t always the best it should be, but I admit my faults there and do my best to do right by them.  I hope they will always want to be a part of my life.

This past weekend my parents brought my oldest boy with them for a visit and I got to see something I should have taken a picture of.  I was in that moment with them and I lost out on making a memory in a picture.  I got to see my oldest boy, who struggled with our relationship over the years, hold the hand of his 2 year old brother and help him walk with us.  He may not see or feel what I did in that moment, but I will be forever grateful he accepted his little bother as a part of our family.  Holding-Hands

I have a chance to continue going forward  and have my whole family be a part of that.  I am blessed, but not everyone in my family wants to live the life of being self reliant.  Taking the time to mend fences in your personal life is as important as the work  in your day to day life.  Remember to take that time and share those moments, because sometimes life takes the people you need in your life on a different path. My wife has been the example I try to follow, her help and understanding has made my journey back to the beginning very worth it.

Thanks for following me on my journey to being self reliant, If you like the blog, please consider liking, commenting and sharing it with someone.  Take care,  Eric, PSR

Food Prep: Canning

Canning is a great way to put away food for long term storage, and start up is pretty cheap if you bargain shop, or use places like Goodwill, Salvation Army or other thrift stores.  Flea markets are great places to get canning supplies and cheap produce.

DISCLAIMER:  I AM NOT A CANNING EXPERT  I learned canning from YouTube and using references like  I strongly recommend doing your own research or learning from someone you might know to help.

We are fortunate to have a local orchard , its about 5 miles from us, and we got a great deal this year on our apples.  Our orchard sells multiple types of locally grown apples, vegetables, and fresh honey.  We try and shop here as much as we can, not because it is always the cheapest, but because its local and we support our community.  Food prices are increasing everywhere, people have to choose between healthy and cheap, but sometimes you can get both.  Our orchard offers “Utility” apples at a deep discount.  Utility apples are like a scratch and dent sale, the produce has bruises and blemishes, they are ugly fruit.  Since we planned to can and freeze them, being ugly was not a concern for us.  We saved 50% on quality apples!  IMG_1689

Processing apples is time consuming even when you got the fancy little peelers and corers like we do.  Prepping jars, lids, rings, and simple syrup, it takes the better part of the afternoon.  I love to do it, that work is part of the reward.  I know what is in this food I prepared for my family, not a collection of ingredients I can’t pronounce and crap that’s just not good for you.  There is also the time I spent letting my boys help and the time my wife and I spent together, it all is worth it. IMG_1678

When it was all said and done, we had canned 12 quarts of apples, made about 4 quarts of apple sauce, made a 9×13 pan of apple crisp and I held back a dozen or so of apples to bake later.  Total cost for our bushel was $ 20.00!!  I promise you, ugly apples made a great tasting apple crisp.IMG_1685

Learning how to preserve food is a great way to be self reliant and knowing what you are consuming.  I hope you all take the time to learn a bit more about canning or other ways of keeping healthy food, cheap for you and your family.  Thanks for coming back and reading my blog, if you liked it, please consider leaving a comment, clicking the like button and share it with someone who also might enjoy it.

Take Care, Eric,PSR