Now, About Those Vices…

The middle of the Apocalypse is probably not the time to attempt to quit smoking, just sayin’! So what are you going to do about those ‘habits’ when the SHTF? When you’re out of cigarettes and the corner store was burned down during yesterdays ‘protests’ and the looters didn’t leave behind even the cheap beer? OK, those are pretty dramatic scenarios, but the concept remains the same; you need a backup for these items as well. Regardless of whether your addiction is coffee, bourbon, pot or cheese puffs; whatever it is, you need a plan.

Personally I have reduced or eliminated many of my bad habits thanks primarily to a heart attack and triple bypass, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t stashed a few (or a lot) of items for when things get nasty. For example, I have at least a years worth of brown liquor stashed away, a large amount of wine and even some tobacco I grew a few years ago. We have put away significant amounts of coffee, black and green teas and cases of carbonated drinks. We even have a small stash of chips and snack cakes as they can last close to a year. As always, it is important to rotate these items as you would the rest of your pantry.

Tobacco is, hard drugs aside, one of the most addictive substances available to most adults. A smokers brain is clearest and most focused right after smoking and least focused when the nicotine level in the blood stream is low. I smoked for many years and struggled through many failed attempts at quitting. I had to quit or die and Chantix, as nasty at it was, got me through it. If this is a tough one for you, you can try stashing cartons or cases of chew, but like almost everything else, quality deteriorates over time and must be rotated. If you have some extra space and a bit of time on your hands you might try growing it yourself, but it is a tedious process. If vaping is your thing, and it seems to be the thing these days, I simply don’t know what to tell you. Maybe you can store the juice? Extra batteries?

Long term storage of hard liquor requires little more than money and storage space as it can last a very long time. Beer doesn’t store very well as it can get ‘skunky’, but with the right equipment it is possible to brew your own. Wine can last a very long time and with little more than grape juice, sugar and yeast you can make your own in a few short weeks. We’ve been experimenting with one of these for a few months making grape wine and hard cider with pretty decent success. Storing clear liquors seems to be popular with many preppers primarily due to price and the option to use it for barter.

It’s always better to kick a bad habit if possible, but that might not be an option for you right now and in that case you need a plan. Every week as I’m reviewing our preps I always ask myself, ‘what am I missing?’ ‘What can I do to get in better physical shape, better financial shape; how can I improve our physical security?’ ‘What areas am I falling short and how can I fix it?’ Prepping is a process and even the smallest steps you take today may make a world of difference tomorrow.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

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