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Editors Note: A contribution from R. Ann Parris. The Prepper Journal hopes the content of the summit recommended here lives up to her expectations, as does she! Also note this starts in just five (5) days.
Free Online Summit & Email Protections
Every year we see more and more free online summits come out. Some are excellent. Some are … not. Most have good nuggets in there somewhere.
This time around, it’s the Self Reliant School hosting one. (I am not affiliated with SRS, nor to my knowledge, with any of its staff or scheduled speakers.) They have 28 speakers on a wide variety of topics running from Sept. 10-Sept. 16.
As usual, you visit a site, http://backtobasicssummit.com/, and provide a name and an email – some tips for that later. They send you a “Welcome” email and it usually includes some goodies.
SRS’s “Back to Basics” summit is no different there. This time around the freebies you can download just for signing up are, in PDF format:
- Day After Disaster (150+ page fiction piece by Sara F. Hathaway, the uncut edition from “The Changing Earth” series; somewhat unique in prepper fiction in that it takes a woman’s perspective – I’ll try to read it tomorrow night)
- Easy Homemade Crackers
- Oxygen-Absorber Chart
- Simple Salad Dressings
- The Soda Quick Start Guide
- Tutorials for Homesteaders (It’s actually recipes for sauerkraut, smoking bacon & gouda cheese.)
Several include links to related or additional information within the pdfs.
Videos Released Daily
I prefer the format of this summit to some of the other types. Each day, they’ll provide access to a set of presentations. You have 21 hours to watch those videos, whenever you want. Whether you can pause and back up or skip ahead remains to be seen.
I haven’t seen many of these speakers before, but the topics and faces are largely fresh compared to some of the prepper and homesteading summits in the last few years.
Not being familiar with past presentations of the speakers, I can’t tell you how many or which ones will basically be 15-30 minute advertisements for their books and DVDs sets, etc., but even when there’s self-pumping, there’s regularly good information available, too.
Nor can I tell you how many are going to stay close to topic, which has been an issue with some of the prepper-focused summits in the past, or how much is going to end up being a re-hash of stuff we hear pretty much every summit.
Even so, it’s free. If you also have open internet access, it might be worth giving a listen.
Topics of Interest
I’m doing a quickie TPJ write-up for this instead of just posting it to my forums because some of the presentations are actually topics that I’ve seen come up here as suggestions and questions. Some of those include:
- “Never Buy Garden Seeds Again – How Our Ancestors Had it Right”
- “Seed Saving”
- “How to Plan a Year’s Supply of Food”
- “Jump Start Your Urban Farm”
- “Secret Garden of Survival” (This one may be repetitive if you’ve watched others, but it’s really, really, really good if it is what he’s presented before.)
- “Year Round Gardening” (Season extenders if it holds true to his DVD-book-online course)
- “Starting a Homestead from Scratch”
- “DIY Everything” (I suspect this may be about the DIY mindset or basic tools, because that’s a pretty broad topic; if it’s a book or DVD set, I will suspect lots of self-promotion)
- Intros to mylar bag storage, preservation, & canning
- Off-the-grid lifestyle challenges and perks
- Syrup tapping and boiling, farm cheese, bread, & booze among other recipes
- Intros to homesteading businesses, budgeting, & frugality needs
- Homestead purchase & setup tips
Put Up Protections
The summit is free. Since it’s free, it will likely include not only the daily emails during the summit, but also several to “many” ad-type emails leading up to it.
They’ll be pushing not only their own sale of the presentations to watch at our leisure (wait until some of us watch to buy – we’ll stick up reviews and an overall “great” or “too much of this is out there for free somewhere to be worth THAT much money”), but probably the sale items offered by sponsors, presenters and people/things the presenters promote.
That’s part of what you get with free summits.
Happily, it’s more free than the “let me send you a free knife” that costs $10-25 to ship and comes with a lifetime of spam that will find you and all of your friends.
Too, there are ways to make these things easier to deal with.
One, set up a “drop” account.
Go with gmail if you like. It’s apparently preferred by the SRS summit’s tech people. I go with Yahoo and Hotmail for “use-and-forget” accounts. I find them faster and easier to set up, and they rarely make me jump through hoops to log in from different devices and locations.
Use an initial, nickname, location, inside joke, or favorite author instead of your actual first and last name. Something like “C Lemmingsrun”, “Four Freestuff”, “H Franklin”, or “My Prp-Ntwkg”.
Write these down somewhere, either physically or keep a little notepad sheet with a running tally of account info, along with the password or a hint to your password – which ideally does not match the password for your actual emails and other accounts.
Two, DON’T link/synch that email to the ones you open and use daily – you’ll just have to wade through stuff you want if you do.
Three, If you email yourself or somebody else from your free-stuff spam-happy email account, delete the contact information later. That way, if it ends up out in the world, you’re not sending crap to everyone you know and yourself.
Keep The Spam Temp
I do have “drop” accounts that have developed somewhat long lifespans, usually for preparedness networking or those free sites. Some of them are solely for initial contact, and if I decide you’re a keeper, you get pushed to a more permanent drop account and updated when I move on.
The biggie though, is that besides stuff like monthly site contests (grabagun, seedsnow, etc.), once a competition or freebie’s time has come and gone, I largely unsubscribe to the site(s). No more email inundation, mass “delete”, easy-peasy.
Yes, some stuff is persistent. Happily, the free email providers I use allow for me to block and-or report persistent problems (unsubscribe first, or you won’t be able to get their stuff from another run).
Then, when I feel like it, I can abandon that drop email account, without it ever having affected my business or personal email accounts or my preparedness networking accounts.
Online Summits & Drawback Mitigation
Online summits do require you to have the bandwidth available for them, which is a bummer. Locations like McD’s, Starbucks, and the public library may work with some, but most of us would only hang out for an hour or two, tops.
Even if you’re not going to “attend” you may want to go ahead and sign up. Eventually they’ll drop the price for the summit for members.
I’ll try to check back here after the first day or two to give a quickie review of “so far” and how much new and useful information is available with that buy-skip roundup later.
That way, you’ll have some feedback to help decide about buying if you just can’t watch it but wanted to.
As I said, this is a new summit and SRS is a new host for me. I don’t know if it’s going to be QA, stay on topic, be sale promotions, or be useful.
I’m not familiar with many of the speakers. I’m likely to go do more research on them to see what they’ve done in the past to help me decide which ones I’ll watch. I’m lucky enough to have a job where I can get hours of listening done, and September is still processing season, so I can pop a device open while I husk, shell, winnow, chop, sweep, wash dishes, and groom animals.
I can already tell you there are presentations I’m likely to skip. They just don’t hold interest for me at my stage. However, I’m likely to keep a notepad open for marking good tips, info to research and regulate the video times, and I usually run some commentary on the preparedness forum where I’m an admin and moderator.
Good or bad, the freebie summits usually have something for everybody, beginner or old hat. (Psst … take no single authority’s word for anything.)
With some five-minute steps ahead of time to keep from being inundated with spam and reminders, we can take advantage of those freebies and good nuggets without having to pull our hair out.
Hope you can catch it and add to the reviews!