Imagine this scenario: It’s time for breakfast and you need to cook food for the whole family. Do you want things to be convenient or simple?
You can conveniently reheat premade waffles and turn on the coffee maker – or you can follow a simple, natural recipe for homemade waffles that uses healthy ingredients and make coffee using fresh beans. (h/t to AYearWithoutTheGroceryStore.com)
The difference between convenience and simplicity
Convenience is defined as “anything that saves or simplifies work, adds to one’s ease or comfort.” Simplicity, on the other hand, is defined as the “absence of luxury, pretentiousness, ornament, etc.; plainness.”
Simplicity is found in the second example above. It may take more time to prepare breakfast from scratch, but it is not that hard. Several hundred years ago, people lived simpler lives. They did not have groceries, but they grew their own vegetables in a home garden.
However, simple does not mean easy and someone who lives in modern times may prefer to buy their groceries instead of tending to a garden.
Do you need to choose between convenience and simplicity?
Take a minute to consider your prepping goal: Do you want your life to be convenient or simple? Do you need to choose only one option?
If your ultimate prepper goal is simplicity, your homestead will be full of simple machines like a hand crank grain grinder, hand crank flashlights, kerosene lamps, knife sharpeners, a mandolin, various tools, and other essential supplies.
However, if your ultimate prepper goal is convenience, your home may have solar panels and various electrical equipment that may make life easier, such as a generator. You may also make it a habit to buy freeze-dried MRE’s and survival food kits or buckets instead of individual ingredients. (Related: Tips for the beginning prepper.)
Why does this choice matter?
If your goal is convenience, your prepping lifestyle will be different from people who prioritize simplicity. If you are a busy parent, you may value convenience. You may want to save time by using modern gadgets instead of learning how to do things manually.
Instead of making bread by hand, you may choose the convenient way, like buying a bread maker or buying bread from the store. If your ultimate goal is convenience, you probably would not learn how to chop wood with an ax so you’ll stick with a chainsaw. However, choosing convenience over simplicity means you may never learn how to use manual equipment like an ax. You would not bother planting and cultivating a garden if you live near a grocery store.
Finding a middle ground
If both options are too extreme for you, find a middle ground. It is fine to rely on technology, but you need to make sure that you know how to do things by hand so you can help your family survive when SHTF.
Do things one at a time. If you want to learn how to bake bread by hand, practice for several days or weeks until you get the hang of it. Once you are familiar with the bread baking process, move on to other skills like preserving food or home gardening.
After you have mastered crucial prepping skills, there is no harm in returning to a convenient method. But as a prepper, you need to practice your skills from time to time so you will be ready no matter what kind of emergency you may face.
Invest some time and effort in learning various prepping and survival skills so you can enjoy both convenience and simplicity.