Prepping in Spain and why we’ve moved up a gear.
During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in Spain daily life ground to a halt, unable to go out for no other reason than to buy food or medical supplies some of the local shop owners [who deserve much recognition] began to deliver to your door. You’d place your order by Whatsapp then wait… It gets you out of a pickle if you’re running short but for us it was a wake up call to start prepping for the next wave.
Overlanding kind of gave us a nudge into the whole prepping thing, if we could do it for the vehicle then why not start prepping the home? Prepping in Spain is gaining a lot of momentum although you don’t tend to hear about it or see it on social media as much, people prefer to keep under the radar, perhaps for good reason.
In November 2021 Covid-19 is once again sweeping across Europe and it is a matter of time before Spain sees another increase in cases, the reasons are varied but with the introduction of the vaccine it appears that much of the population in most countries thought it was ‘back to normal’. Mother Nature is going to give us another kick up the backside, how hard it will be is unknown and Covid-19 won’t be the last virus we’ll see.
Prepping in Spain – Rural Spain
Prepping in Spain, at least where we live in rural Granada is a little different, sure, we can travel and go to the bigger supermarkets but this rarely works out cost effective so we tend to stay local, picking up a few bits at a time.
In the beginning we started with a box and a couple of packs of that good old toilet roll which you know will be the first thing to disappear from the shelves, now though we’ve upgraded to some racking. Having supplies laid out on shelves is much more convenient than boxes, some food items such as rice for example which is an easy target for mice still needs to be boxed but for jars, tins and non food items having it all shelved means that stock rotation is easier and you can see what you have.
The first target of a 72 hour food supply was reached straight away, most people will have this in their home already, the second target of 2 weeks happened pretty quickly too and now we are working towards a full month, then 3 months then 6.
Heating a warehouse
Heating a warehouse is no easy task, 3000ft up in the Granada mountains sees winter temperatures go -10 to -18 degrees, having a self contined flat inside makes life easier and wood for the log burner is free but we still need a trailer load of hard wood [olive or almond] to see us through to the following Spring.
A trailer of almond is €450 which will last the winter mixed with pine collected from the wood but this time, instead of leaving the next purchase until the following winter we’ll be buying another straight away – keeping the following winter’s wood supply in is one less thing to to worry about plus we have all year to top it up with pine. More on firewood in a future post.
Our main aim is to be able to handle any forthcoming restrictions without putting ourselves in a position where risk is unnecessary, masks or no masks having to make trips to the supermarket twice a week is not something we want to be doing. While there may be supermarkets in small rural villages you also have to consider that shopping cannot generally be done all in the same place, it’s old school just as we like it but the butchers requires a visit for meat, the grocers or market for fresh veg etc, there is no one stop shop and the more places you visit the higher the risk…
Having shopping delivered to your door is convenient, during a lockdown it may be essential but not having to rely on such a service is better, what if the shop owner has to self isolate – that’s two weeks with no delivery then he has to clear a backlog, there were only two stores offerening this service during the last lockdown so it was plain to see how fragile the situation was and how easily it could have stopped without warning.
Having an accurate record of your stock is essential, it’s like running a retail or wholesale business on a micro scale but the same rules apply. Writing the expiry date on the packaging helps with stock rotation and keeping a spreadsheet also helps as long as you remember to keep it updated.
Buying food that you actually enjoy eating is key, one mistake many first time preppers make is to stock up on things they would not normally buy and it simply sits on the shelf and goes out of date, our supply may not have a huge variation at the moment but it’s food we use on a daily/weekly basis, no dodgy jars of spinach in brine gathering dust at the back of a shelf somewhere.
Is there urgency?
Perhaps not urgency but prepping is something that we wish we’d started sooner, looking at the world at the moment and you get a sense that something is changing, when we talk about Covid-19 ‘herd’ immunity the herd refers to the population as a whole and the herd is beginning to sense that something may be on the horizon.
At present we have China and Taiwan in the news, the Ukrain and Russia, the US and Canada are suffereing from shortages and prices as well as inflation are climbing across the board. Throw climate change into all of that and a pandemic and the situation we find ourselves in is worrying to say the least.
The more we hear about it on the news the more it becomes ‘normality’, something the governments and the ‘experts’ will deal with, we’ll be okay, it’ll get sorted out, life will get back normal right? Maybe not this time and this is why we are preparing.
The Last Minute Prepper
Panic buying is a reality which only exacerbates the situation – look at toilet roll in the early days of the pandemic. Essentially, one who panic buys at the last minute is a prepper, they are stocking up on as much as they can, the only difference is that they are doing it at the same time as everyone else who also have the same idea.
Our aim is to avoid any such situation, why would you want to be in that position? Being prepared and having everything you need already stocked in your home is a distinct advantage over the masses who will be left competing with others for less, there won’t be as much choice, key products will already be exhausted and the risk is of transmission is ever present.
We’ve all seen those images of customers bursting through the doors of American department stores on Black Friday, people falling over, battling over a TV. If that is what it can be like for things that that people don’t need imagine what it will be like for things that they do, food is a matter of survival, a bargain TV is insignificant.
Are you prepping in Spain? Let us know in the comments how you are approaching your stock and supply.