Diapering During An Emergency (Or the SHTF)

When you first become a parent, one of the decisions you have to make is the type of diapers you use for your little bundle of joy. Cloth or disposables? A lot of people will already have an answer in mind. When the SHTF, will your choice still be the same?

In the current state of our world, we are relatively free to make decisions about how we will raise our children. There may be many factors that may contribute to our decision making process, including:

  • Is the environment important to me?
  • Do I have the time to commit to cleaning them?
  • Do I need an option that is convenient?
  • How much money am I willing to spend?

Cloth Diapers

I always knew that I wanted to use cloth diapers. When you consider the impact on the environment, cloth diapers certainly win the question of what is going to cause less waste.

They tend to win the cost factor as well. You can expect to pay anything from $200 for a second hand diaper stash up to thousands if you’re buying them brand new. However, this still works out cheaper than buying a pack of disposables every week. Even if you are buying the disposables in bulk, you would have to get a really good deal to be able to beat the savings to be made with cloth.

Disposable Diapers

The convenience of disposables is undeniable. As much as it hurts the earth loving mama in me to admit, being able to roll up that ball of destruction and throw it in the bin is certainly convenient. No rinsing, pre-washing or stain removing. Washing, let alone the time spent hanging them out, bring them back in and folding them, certainly adds up.

When our family moved interstate, we were staying in temporary accommodation and didn’t have regular access to a washing machine. This means that when it comes to diapers, we had to either go to the laundry mat or use disposables. Yes, we took the convenient option. To make myself feel a bit better about this decision, we chose to go with compostable disposables. This bumped the price up.

I never thought that we would be in a position to want to use disposables. Overnight and outings are often times where even people using cloth may consider using an alternative. We were still happy using cloth. Our experience taught me one thing.

Don’t Forget to Visit Mama Zed’s Homestead Site!

Cloth diapering is completely and utterly impractical if the SHTF.

When you’re considering the items for your bug out bag, you will not be reaching for the bulky cloth parcels that would take up the majority of the space. You won’t be more than doubling your drinking water stash to make sure that you have enough to be able to wash them.

You’ll be packing disposables.

Cheap, easy to stock up on, disposables.

Of course, there is an exception to this. If you were in a long term situation where you had constant access to clean water and could wash cloth diapers, it may be more achievable and could even be more practical. Rather than trying to find a constant supply of disposables, you could try and make cloth diapers work.

If you need to pack diapers in your bug out bag:

  • Do a test run with your baby first – You don’t want to find out later on that the brand leaks or that your baby has an adverse reaction to them.
  • Keep an eye on your stockpile –  As with your other emergency supplies, they will need to be rotated. Good luck trying to diaper a toddler with newborn sized diapers because you forgot to do this.
  • Don’t forget the other accessories – As a parent, you already know that diapers aren’t the only part of the baby cleaning process. You’ll need to make sure you have a solution for wipes and creams as well.

There is always one more option. Hope that toilet training becomes easy and that your baby miraculously picks it up really fast!

Dreams are free right?


You can find more from MamaZed on Facebook, Pinterest, and www.mamazedshomestead.com.




Featured Contributor: Dana of Mama Zed Homestead

There are only 3 regular guest contributors here at Homestead Dreamer, by choice. I have high standards (ok, so there’s typos 😉 ) for the information shared with people. It’s important to me that people can rely on what they read here as factual, useful, and without any fear mongering. A considerably amount of research is put into what’s written on the things I don’t have personal experience with and sources always given.

I want to give special recognition to these three hardworking people and bring to your attention who they are! We conclude the 3 part series with Dana of MamaZedsHomestead.com. She is the newest contributor to Homestead Dreamer and had added to the team immensely! Her “You CAN do it” attitude and message is something that is near to my own heart. An avid DIY’r, Mama Zed brings perspective from just about as far away from Alaska as you can get: Australia! I hope you enjoy getting to know her as I have.

I highly encourage you to check their site and follow them on social media – I do!


Tell us a little about yourself

I LOVE to DIY. If there is a project, something that we need or an item that needs fixing, I will usually try and do it myself. This has led to learning how to make our soap, brewing cider and mead and building our kitchen to name a few projects! My family means the world to me and my motivation in life is to see them living the best life possible. This is what made me the frugal, DIY, earth loving mama that I am today.

What is your dream?

To own our homestead debt free! Right now, we own 2 and 1/4 acres debt free and are currently saving to build our straw bale house on it so we can move in and start our debt free, self-sufficient life!

What got you into homesteading?

I grew up on 5 acres in New Zealand, so I was exposed to homesteading and prepping from a young age. I remember pouring over books like “The New Complete Book of Self Sufficiency” by John Seymour and numerous herbal encyclopedias as a child and plotting my dream homestead.

Were you raised in the lifestyle or did you choose it?

I would say both. While my mother’s dream was to become a homesteader and this was something we were raised with, I do think I chose it. I moved out at 16, have lived in the city, and I still came back to homesteading as being a core aspect of my identity.

What skill was the hardest one to learn that paid off the most?

For some, it may not be considered a “homesteading” skill, but for me, money management is essential to a successful homestead. I am 25 and had accumulated a nice chunk of student and credit card debt over the years. Learning about how to manage money has been a hard road. However, we’re now debt free and in the next few years will own our home without a mortgage – it has definitely been worth it.

What are you really passionate about in your genre?

I am really passionate about sewing and yarn crafts such as knitting, crocheting and spinning.

What goals do you have for this year to progress your overall dream?

This year we hope to save enough to start building our straw bale cottage! Between having two children under two and running a business, it will certainly be a challenge.

What skill do you think all humans should know?

I think all humans should know how to build and maintain shelter for themselves. I know far too many people who struggle when the air conditioner breaks down (though in Australia, this can be a valid struggle!) or when the power goes out. I would be mortified to see these same people trying to cope if it was something they had to deal with on a long term basis. Knowing how to do without or make do with what you have, having back up plans or alternative options is knowledge that I believe everyone should have.

What message would you like to get out to people?

Don’t rely on others to provide for you. Whether it’s the government, your family or a friend, there is no guarantee that they will always be there to help you out. Learn how to do things for yourself so you put yourself in control. It is a very empowering and rewarding state to be in.

Is there anything else you’d like to share or say?

Never stop learning! There are a million blogs, books, podcasts and videos out there for you to watch to access an enormous amount of information. Pick a skill you’re interested in, research the crap out of it, practice it, and then do it again! “I wish I could do xyz but I don’t know how,” is the WORST excuse. Don’t let yourself fall into the trap of thinking you can’t do something just because you don’t know how to. Yet.

You can find (and follow!) Mama Zed on her main websiteFacebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!




Featured Contributor: Bobbi Peterson of Living Life Green

 There are only 3 regular guest contributors here at Homestead Dreamer, by choice. I have high standards (ok, so there’s typos ;)) for the information shared with people. It’s important to me that people can rely on what they read here as factual, useful, and without any fear mongering. A considerably amount of research is put into what’s written on the things I don’t have personal experience with and sources always given.
I want to give special recognition to these three hardworking people and bring to your attention who they are! We continue the 3 part series with Bobbi Peterson of LivingLifeGreen.com. She and I have worked together on other projects and her factual insight and positive message are just a few of the reasons I accepted her as a contributor to Homestead Dreamer. She was gracious enough to be interviewed, which is shared below!
I highly encourage you to check their site and follow them on social media – I do!

Interview With Bobbi Peterson of Living Life Green

Tell us a little about yourself!
I recently graduated college and started my blog shortly after. I love to focus on the environment, gardening and homesteading!
What is your dream? 
My dream is to eventually buy my own land and start homesteading full time.
What got you into homesteading/prepping?
I began writing on environmental and gardening topics in May 2016 and found the homesteading community shortly after. I fell in love with it immediately!
Were you raised in the lifestyle or did you choose it? 
I chose the lifestyle.
What skill was the hardest one to learn that paid off the most? 
Gardening! I currently live in the woods in a very rocky area with barely any sunshine, but I’ve learned to cope!
What are you really passionate about in your genre? 
Gardening
What goals do you have for this year to progress your overall dream?
I’d love to learn some woodworking! I’m not very crafty, but I think it would be an excellent and useful skill to have.
What skill do you think all humans should know? 
Gardening and food preservation because you never know when you’ll need an extra food supply.
What message would you like to get out to people? 
I think everyone should look into this lifestyle and see if they could incorporate it into their everyday lives. There are so many skills that we’ve forgotten over the last few decades that we should bring back and make mainstream again!

You can find Bobbi on their main website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!




Featured Contributor: Dan of Survival Sullivan

I get emails from people who claim to follow my site and want to guest post for me all the time. Last week alone, I had 8 different ‘offers’ to guest post and “help provide important information to my readers.’ Needless to say, I delete them without replying and mark them as spam.
There are only 3 regular guest contributors here at Homestead Dreamer and that is by choice. I have high standards (ok, so there’s typos ;)) for the information shared with people. It’s important to me that people can rely on what they read here as factual, useful, and without any fear mongering. A considerably amount of research is put into what’s written on the things I don’t have personal experience with and sources always given.
I want to give special recognition to these three hardworking people and bring to your attention who they are! We start the 3 part series with Dan Sullivan of Survival Sullivan.com. He and I have worked together on other projects and his factual insight and positive message are just a few of the reasons I accepted him as a contributor to Homestead Dreamer. He was gracious enough to be interviewed, which is shared below!
I highly encourage you to check their site and follow them on social media – I do!

Interview With Dan Sullivan of SurvivalSullivan.com

Tell us a little about yourself!
Well my dad was military but I didn’t find out about prepping until 2012 I think, right around the Mayan Apocalypse. I started looking deeper into it, I saw there are legitimate reasons to prep and that was it! I got hooked, started practicing, I started my blog and trying to help as many people as I can
What is your dream? (Example: Mine is owning land/homesteading) 
 A 2-3 acre survival farm with a permaculture garden, chicken and a pond 100% energy independent and more.
What got you into homesteading/prepping (If you focus on only one, please specify) 
 The fact that I worked for a survival company and spent enough time managing products to learn more about prepping
Were you raised in the lifestyle or did you choose it? 
I chose it, although I was raised partly by my grandparents who lived on a homestead.
What skill was the hardest one to learn that paid off the most? 
Perseverance. I read people stopped prepping after Trump was elected, big mistake.
What are you really passionate about in your genre? 
I would have to say bug out bags. They fascinate me. I believe there is a perfect BOB for everyone.
What goals do you have for this year to progress your overall dream?
Well my biggest hurdle is that I can’t afford the 2 or 3 acres of land… hopefully I’ll make some financial progress this year to reach my biggest survival goal.
What skill do you think all humans should know? 
Awareness. If they learn that, they’ll be naturally inclined to learn more.
What message would you like to get out to people? 
 That preparedness is a lifelong journey and they should not abandon it. Ever.

You can find Survival Sullivan on their main website, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter!




Can You Homestead With A Baby?

I have gotten a lot of questions about being able to homestead with a baby. While I am past the age where having one would be wise, my initial reaction is always “Of course you can! Heelllooo….pioneers had babies, and they made it!” In truth, during those times, you never really knew if your child would make it to adulthood or not. The lifespan was considerably shorter overall but infant mortality was also considerably higher.

Logically speaking then, with our modern conveniences and better healthcare, it should almost seem easy to start homesteading with a baby. Right?

Since I don’t have any authority on the matter, I turned to fellow blogger and Homestead Dreamer guest poster, Dana from MamaZedHomestead.com. She lives on the opposite side of the planet in Australia. I love her down-to-Earth, quirky style. Here’s her take on Homesteading with a Baby.


Can You Homestead With A Baby?

There will always be a long list of excuses for not getting something done. We as a species are fantastic at procrastinating and making up reasons about why we can’t achieve a task. It could be due to a lack of funds, a lack of knowledge or just a shear lack of motivation. Your dream of homesteading just gets further and further away. One question that I asked myself was, “Can You Homestead With A Baby?”

Short answer? Of course you can! More honest answer? You can, but you have to be willing to work hard.

Life in general gets harder when you have a baby. You might have these wonderful images in your head about your baby sitting in their highchair while you bake. How about feeding the animals while your beautiful toddler holds your hand as you’re walking? I know I had that one quite a bit. There will be days where your life is idyllic and you think to yourself, “Why was I ever worried?”

Then you wake up with a foot shoved in your face, the smell of dirty nappy wafts through the air and a high pitch scream for breakfast snaps you out of it.

I always wanted to be a mother. It wasn’t just one of those goals that I had to tick off my life’s to-do list. There was a deep seated need that wouldn’t be fulfilled until I had my baby. There is not a single day that goes by that I regret our decision to start our family. However, I also have to remind myself daily about why we swapped to life on hard mode in the first place.

Little dude is now 17 months old and we are due with his little sister in 3 weeks. That’s right, we went back for round 2. What is wrong with us? We still can’t answer that.

I’ve learned that you can still get your chores done when you have a baby. You just have to be a bit more creative about it.

These are the tried and tested ways that we survive homesteading with a baby.

“Cages” are your friends

Alright, maybe not real ‘cages’ (though some days…). By this, I mean any cage-like device that exists these days to keep that mini human in one spot. Get yourself a baby gate, a play pen, a blow up pool without the water…find a way to trap that little monster into one place so that you have some sense of control over the situation.

While inside, we have a baby gate that successfully keeps the child out of the kitchen. I can still see him and the trouble he is usually in, but I don’t have to worry about opening the oven and having him throw himself towards it.

While outside, we are lucky that our current property is fully fenced. That’s not to say that he can’t get himself into something he shouldn’t. It just means that it narrows down the amount of distance that he can put between us. Before he could walk, play pens and blow up pools were a great way of keeping him in one spot. Right now? I’m just thankful for the enclosed fence.

Get them involved whenever possible

I’ve been told time and time again that they are never too young to learn. While this is true to a certain degree, I think the phrase, “They’re never too young to try to help” is a more accurate statement. Even though he is only 17 months old, little dude has ways that he helps out. These can include:

  • Carrying the peg basket when we are putting clothes on the line (inevitably dropping them and deciding to play with them at some point but USUALLY we make it to the line first)
  • Putting dry washing into the basket while I fold (before taking it back out. Then putting it back in…You get the idea)
  • Sweeping. I have no idea where this fascination comes from, but my kid is OBSESSED with brooms. He has two of his own mini brooms which he uses to move dust around. I’m hoping this will lead to an older child who is just as enthusiastic about cleaning as he is now. One can dream, right?
  • Wiping the table. At this age, he loves to mimic us. As soon as I see him trying to do a job I would normally do, I will either get him to help or do it himself. As he gets older, he will be able to take on harder tasks.

It will all depend on the age of your child and really, their attention span. Even if you can get them to do a job for a few minutes, you are still supporting their development. One day it will pay off!

Use A Carrier

When I first got my Manduca carrier, I asked myself how I had ever coped without it. All of a sudden, I could be hands free! This was great when he was younger and clingy, just wanting to be carried all day and see what was going on. I could get outside or I could get a sink of dishes done! Sometimes he would fall asleep. Other times he would be happy just peeking out from the carrier and watching the world go by.

Have older children? Here are some tips and tricks for gardening with kids!

The only reason I stopped carrying little dude was because my current bump got too big. As soon as little miss is born, she’ll be in the carrier and I’ll be back to figuring out how to do my chores with two. Silver lining? At least it’ll almost be hands free.

They sleep. Eventually.

This one isn’t as reliable, but it can work out. When I wake up first thing in the morning, I mentally try to prioritize what I want to get done that day. These jobs are usually split into what I can do with bub, what I can do while he is entertaining himself, and what needs to be done while he is asleep.

It will take practice to figure out what chores fit into which categories for you. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and have a reliable nap time and length. Other days, baby might decide that your plans really don’t matter and you’ll be lucky if you even get a shower that day.

The main thing to remember is that you have a baby. It’s obviously something you won’t really forget, but looking after that little life is a chore in itself. You might get to the end of the day and think you haven’t been able to get anything done. Actually, you have. You made it through another day. Cut yourself some slack and try again tomorrow. Try to plan ahead, just don’t be too heartbroken if that plan gets thrown out the window.


You can find more from MamaZed on Facebook, Pinterest, and www.mamazedshomestead.com.




When to Call Professionals vs. DIY

There is so much Mr. Dreamer and I wish we knew how to do. Like being able to completely build a house from scratch – HA! Sure, we could fuddle along with it but in the end, all the hard work would likely be for naught. Being unskilled in certain things isn’t bad of course. What’s bad is being overly confident. Sometimes, you just need to call professionals in to do the job right.

when-to-call-professionals-vs-diy

There’s comfort to be taken from those staunch and fiercely DIY’ers out there: you are not alone. Many people in the homesteading and preparedness communities take great pride in doing for themselves. Whether you’re in Alaska where I am or in Australia where my new friend, Mama Zed, lives, there are just certain times when you really should call professionals to come handle things.


3 Times When You Should Call Professionals

There’s a big stigma over men asking for directions. There’s also a stigma over men starting a project when they should’ve paid someone to do instead of tackling themselves. Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but this applies to women, too! I’ve been guilty one too many times of attempting a DIY project when I should’ve known better.

Yes, I’m usually the first person to promote DIY. There are times you should call in the experts for your own safety and sanity. The question is, of course, when? When is the right time to call in the experts? Here are three situations when it’s best to call in help.

  1. When it includes wiring and electricity -Unless you are a licensed electrician, you need to seriously think about your options. First, you should always check the legal requirements for your County/State. There are some states that may allow you to do minor changes yourself. There are others that won’t let you touch anything outside of changing a light bulb. This can be frustrating when you are looking at a How – To tutorial and thinking, “It doesn’t look that complicated!”

There are a few reasons why it’s better to listen to them. You’re putting the safety of you and your family at risk, but you’re usually putting your insurance policy at risk, too! If you have performed what’s classified as “illegal” modifications to your property, your insurance could be null and void. Even if a house fire were to start in your house that had absolutely nothing to do with your wiring! If someone were to find out you had played around with it yourself, say good-bye to that insurance check.

  1. Waterproofing in the home – This is one that I’m still on the fence about. Again, no matter where you are, there will be a law that dictates what you are and aren’t allowed to DIY. There are waterproofing kits available at most hardware stores. While I’ll admit that I did do our laundry floor before tiling, I would still get a professional in if we were ever to renovate a bathroom. At the end of the day, you have to be the one to make the call. If your bathroom has a leak, you could end up with rotted walls and nasty mould.

If you’re a bit nervous about doing it yourself, and making a mistake could cost you big time down the road? Call a professional. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you really feel guilty about it, make sure you watch them and ask them a million questions so that you’re more confident to give it a crack next time!

  1. If you are pregnant or unwell – This is something that I’ve struggled with and have had to be reminded of several times. There will be times that it’s not in your best interest, or the best interest of your unborn child to DIY. Yes, I was tiling our kitchen splash back while sitting on the kitchen counter pregnant. When it came to painting, heavy lifting or dealing with other substances that could cause potential harm to the baby, I bowed out and my husband took over. As I said before, you have to decide what you’re comfortable with doing, but you should always make sure you know the possible risks. Don’t forget safety gear!

Quick disclaimer: I am in no way qualified to tell you what you should and shouldn’t DIY. You are responsible for the decisions you make. All I ask is that while you’re in DIY mode, you make sure that you’re aware of all of the risks and act accordingly.

DIY can save you a lot of money. A crazy amount of money. DIY disasters, on the other hand, can end up costing you ten times more than it would have if you’d just paid the professional in the beginning. Play it smart people!


About Mama Zed

I am a wife, mom to 1 (soon to be two), a hippy, an arts and crafts fanatic, a geek, a book worm, a do-it-yourself advocate, and a homesteader – among a million other labels. Really, I’m a woman who found my strength in being able to do things myself and that’s a gift I want to share with as many women as I possibly can. You can find me helping women to become empowered through self sufficiency at my blog, Mama Zed’s Homestead or on Mama Zed’s Facebook Page. I hope to see you there!




7 Survival Hygiene Tips for When SHTF

It’s no secret that, in a survival situation, you’ll face an enemy just as dangerous as a man with a gun: disease. Survival hygiene can be just as deadly as a mob if not prepared.

7-survival-hygiene-tips-for-when-shtf

I asked my friend, Dan Sullivan of SullivanSurvival.com to help put things into perspective and give some expert advice on ways to keep your hygiene up as a means of protection (not to mention morale boost) in a survival situation. He kindly agreed and penned this informative and thought-provoking article on the subject.


Whether we’re talking about mosquitos, rats or other crawlers, you’re looking at an entire array of medical issues that can kill you or make you sick, such as tuberculosis, dysentery and hepatitis. And don’t think that if you bug in, you’ll be safe from all of them. The way you live inside your home right now is different than post-collapse. Just think about the mice and rats that will start showing up when you can’t take your trash.

In what follows, I want to give you a few hygiene tips that will do one thing: minimize the chances of you needing a doctor where there won’t be any. Even if they will be, that doesn’t mean they’ll have the medicine and equipment to treat you. Venezuelans doctors (who are facing total collapse these days) can’t do surgery because the Government restricted the usage of medical equipment and, to make matters worse, they’re importing cheap medicine from China.

#1. Have a Hygiene Kit

It all starts with stockpiling the right items. Hand sanitizer, paper towels, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, disposable nitrile gloves and toilet paper – all of these are needed. The good news is, they cost pennies today so stock up before their prices will increase tenfold. The other good news is that, unlike the bow drill or a crossbow, they’re easy to learn how to use. As you’re about to see, it’s all about discipline.

#2. Make Trash Your #1 Priority

We mentioned trash in the intro, now it’s time to take a closer look to it and how it can affect you.

When garbage accumulates, you get disease. That’s a big problem particularly if you live in the city or the suburbs where there are lots of people who generate lots of trash. We aren’tjust talking about cockroaches and thinks like that, but also about the things you don’t see with your naked eyes such as lice, fleas and fungi.

If you have a dog, you can safely assume fleas are going to feast on everyone when you won’t have access to a vet. They might not like to actually live on humans but they never say “no” to a feast should they get there.

So what do you do with all your trash? There are actually three main things you can do with every little thing you plan to throw away:

  • burn it
  • take it to the dumpster yourself
  • or reuse it

Of course, there’s always the option of burying it in your back yard but, unless you live on a farm, you don’t have that much space to dig so many holes, particularly since you’ll rely on your land more than ever before to feed your family.

Now, reusing it is probably the best option, because you don’t get to throw it away at all. Everything form plastic bottles to old clothes can be reused, and there are plenty of articles titled “X ways to reuse this”, “X ways to reuse that” – you just have to look them up online. Plus, kitchen scraps can be used as compost in your garden.

The other two options, burning it or taking it to the dumpster, depend on your unique situation and on what things will look like. A fire creates three things that attract attention: light, smoke and smell. Taking it to the dumpster requires you to take regular trips, which may not be safe. I’ll leave it up to you to think about these two scenarios but, to help you make the right decision, let me just say that the less neighbors you have around you, the more likely it is that you’ll have to burn your garbage.

#3. Store more water

It’s easy to think you’ll just shower less post-collapse, but that may not be the best thing for you to do at all. Yes, you save water but the trade-off may not be worth it. So what can you do?

Three things:

  • stockpile more water
  • install small water catch system
  • and learn to stay clean with minimal water

The way you clean yourself with little water is by using a towel or a rag soaked in water, then meticulously rinsing all your body parts. There are other options out there, such as the DryBath gel on Amazon for $10 bucks, that requires no water whatsoever.

#4. Don’t mix your first aid kits

What I mean is, the first aid kit for your pet as well as its stockpile should be kept separate from your FAKs and your own stockpile.

#5. Get a good garbage can and plastic bags

The goal is to seal the waste as much as possible. This is why a tight-fitting seal is mandatory, and so is putting all the trash inside plastic bags. You don’t want flies or rats getting inside and you certainly don’t want your garbage to get inside the can. If that happens, you should definitely clean the can thoroughly.

#6. Keep your pets outside

I know you love your pet but, in a post collapse situation, keeping it at a distance may save you a world of trouble. You probably won’t be able to give it proper and regular baths, and you certainly can’t control the other animals it plays with.

#7. Keep your hands extra clean

Our hands come into contact with so many things throughout the day, it’s staggering. In an SHTF situation, pathogens will spread faster than wildfire. A few tips to keep your hands clean:

  • wash your hands as often as you can
  • use hand sanitizer if water or soap are not available
  • wash your hands every time you come home

Final Word

If you can (and there’s no reason why not), please practice better hygiene today. Practice all these things to make sure you remain just as strict when the big one hits. Teach them to your children too, of course.

Stay safe and out of trouble,

Dan F. Sullivan

www.SurvivalSullivan.com