I’ve been struggling with this for the last few weeks—at least—and I’ve come to a few conclusions. Very few, I might say. But here’s my advice:
You CAN do everything you need to do on a homestead by hand, toiling 12 or more hours a day, just like our ancestors. Who died at age 50.
Or, you can make things easier on yourself without relying too heavily on power and technology.
Of course, the third option is still there—spend money, go into debt, buy all the latest gear—but when SHTF, you might be in a world of hurt.
I mentioned before that someone was surprised that we weren’t planning on regressing into the Dark Ages just yet, and honestly, it would take a very strong and skillful individual to make that decision at this time. I doubt if I’m either.
Think about some of those reality TV shows—yes, I know, but these are the folks who actually do live out in the middle of nowhere, and support themselves by living off the land. Fascinating. I’d tell you the title, but I don’t remember . . . go figure. Rather, go Google . . .
But they were raised that way, or transformed themselves over a period of years or decades. Just out of curiosity, a social experiment as it were, I’d like to know how long the average person could make a move out into the woods and stay there, hermit-like, before having to run to town for something. In a gas-powered vehicle.
But you always have choices. You just have to make smart decisions. And hope that you’re right.
Do you need a tractor? Maybe. Could you garden and/or farm without one? Of course. You could use a tiller, a horse-drawn plow, or a shovel to break ground. If you’re planning on feeding your family for a year with that garden, or perhaps selling surplus produce for an income, you’re going to need at least an acre. That’s roughly 43,560 square feet, or a 209-foot square.
That’s a lot of shovel work, or tilling, or, if you go the plow route, that’s also feeding and housing a horse.
So, if you’re buying a tractor, what else could you use it for? We’re looking at road grading, moving stuff, brush hogging, knocking stuff down, dragging, and so forth.
Huge expense, yes; multiple uses, also yes.
What do you buy? I’m certainly not going into tractor details, but you want sufficient horsepower and PTO to do the jobs you’ll need it to do, and in a newer tractor, a 3-point hitch to make implement-changing easier.
Buy the best you can afford, while paying cash.
Debt-free is certainly the best way to go, particularly now. You might think that when SHTF, all credit bureaus and creditors will magically disappear, but I don’t think it’s going to happen that way. I do think that those bloodsuckers will hang until the very end, and they’re going to get nasty on collections.
I know, I know. You thought they were already like that . . .
Unless the Big Event is complete immolation of everything, in which case you’ll be dead anyway.
New or used? Doesn’t matter. Buy the best you can afford to pay cash for—tractor, car, truck, communication devices, weapons. All of it.
And then learn how to do it all by hand, without power, without assistance from anyone but your family or group, with whomever you’ve chosen to face SHTF.