Thursday, May 2, 2013

Alternate Lifestyles and Prepping

Photo     This photo was sent to me from a friend and a family friend.  They thought I would enjoy seeing their camp setup at a Renaissance fair where the friend sells Viking themed leather wear.  He has quite a following among famous rock bands and we have even met someone online that bought one of his items and wears it to Viking fairs in Germany.!  I am soo jealous.  This week I am all soggy in Florida.  No complaints about the rain because we need it.  I am suffering a little jealousy since my schedule won't let me get out of town and start a big cook fire!

     I am posting this pic and others as examples of living alternative angles of the prep life.    He has a wife who is also in the business of making and selling leather work. These friends also used to have regular day jobs as a paralegal and a motorcycle mechanic.  They just happen to have learned a skill that started out as a hobby and made more money from sales at a single fair than they made in half their workaday year.  

     To outsiders they look like they live like gypsies. He wears his leather work. Our family friend who makes a good living with his traveling leather work booth is living the prep life.

     Yes, he is tattooed.   But, he and his wife also have a huge network of friends who think the way they think.  They are Republican, gun owners, responsible taxpayers, and  they are building relationships along their work route with people who appreciate their skills and will let them "in", if they can't get home in a crunch.  Trust me, if you have leather armor and weapons making skills, you are someone I want to know, too.

    Don't look now but one of my immediate circle is in this picture.  This is a dance circle surrounded by booths of people we know who have axe, spear, bow and arrow making skills.  80% of the people in this circle have made their regalia with their own hands.  The other 20% are little kids!  This is not a store bought function.  There will be an occasional newcomer who has shiny new everything who asks where to buy the costumes.  It is called Regalia.  This isn't steam punking.  This is not a fad.  These are other ways of living. 
     I have mentioned the family fun we have by attending MegaCon each year.  That is a family fun outing where we enjoy the people and arts and crafts of the sci-fi crowd.  It is not a way of life.  

     Pioneer days, Pow wow, Renaissance Fairs and the people who turn off the television and make their way to these functions are different than your average tourist.  Even some of the battle re-enactors have gained skills for making the things they need to portray their parts.  There is no drop in to the corner store to buy this gear place.  They comb thrift stores, yard sales and antique shops.  They make replicas.  They beg the people they know who can sew to make them a new jacket.  (And, I mean BEGGED me to find the time for one more jacket!)  

     If your spouse and family are not quite on board with the preparing for hard times you have started, consider these alternate activities for a moment.

     This is a great way to get the family enthused with your little "hobby".  Listen carefully and recall if any of them ever expressed a desire to go to a fair or festival.  Take them.  Then suggest you get together and learn how to make some of the things you have seen.  Imagine actually spending time with a child when neither of you is plugged in to an electronic device.  Imagine building a memory that pays off now in fun and later as you have acquired a skill for survival without electricity.
Start with something small.  Try this shirt, for example.  You can make it by tearing the fabric, stitching it at the seams, by hand and wearing it to a fair!

     This dress to the right is called a Cherokee tear dress.  It is made by tearing the fabric and stitching it together.  Scissors were a valuable and expensive tool not everyone could afford.  These two items are made the same way.  See how you can gain a skill and then build on it with experience?  

     Maybe you and yours would be interested in making something more dangerous for home use.  This is a photo of a bone knife.  This tool was used by ancient people around the world and is still in use in what we call primitive regions.  This may be a skill you could use.  The point is, not all prepping activities look like the end of the 1960s in a bomb shelter.  Some prepping and the skills acquired look like a Pow wow or a Renaissance Fair or a Civil War re enactment.  Either way, it looks like living without electricity and sounds more fun than going camping.  This may be your way to get the family involved in the fun part of prepping without talk about the end of the world.

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