One Area of Self-Reliance
The idea of becoming fully self-reliant is extremely overwhelming. There are many areas to think about, from what it means to cultivate a garden preserving high yields of food, to raising chickens or small livestock. Then there is the topic of hunting, a massive undertaking in and of itself. Learning how to craft even small shelters is a lot harder than you might think but learning how to build your own cabin takes hours of learning and physical experience. Expanding out of immediate needs there is the issue of power, medical needs, communication and transportation.
Where do you even begin?
Like anything, start with one topic and master it. If you have the ability to grow a garden, learn how to do it so well you could teach almost anyone how to accomplish a producing garden in nearly any space. If you want to learn the art of preserving but do not have time for a garden, get to know your local farmers and purchase in bulk, then spend time on weekends learning how to preserve every kind of food. You do not need to master it all to be truly self-reliant, just learn self-reliance in one area and you will be vastly ahead of most of the population.
What is one area that you can commit to learning before the year is up? Can you learn how to be a fire-building expert? You could then branch into learning how to cook over a fire, balancing temperature and hot spots? Maybe you can commit to an herb garden, not only learning the skill of growing but the skill of drying and storing herbs for use come the winter. You could also learn how to seed save from your plants and try your hand at planting your own seeds next year. Maybe hunting is of interest to you, find a mentor and ask them to take you out, showing you the basics of spot and stock, playing the winds and learning animal movement. Another idea is to offer your services to a hunter and help them break down a recent harvest, learning butchering skills.
We do not need to be the expert in all things, we just need to choose one area of interest and become better at it. Bringing even one self-reliant skill to a group of people could prove to be just the area they are lacking in!
May God bless you and your families,