The one main thing that I liked about the Nearings and Coleman, is that they only had genuine respect for people with a strong work ethic. Back then in the mid to late 70's when I would go to thier "schooling" there were a lot of "long hairs" like myself that were dropping out to live off the land. Most of them lasted a year or two because of the intense hard work of establishing a homestead on almost nothing.
Most would start in a tent or tipi, plant a garden that just went to the weeds, built a simple shack, cut a half cord of firewood and sat around tokin' playing pioneer waiting for things to "happen". Many went scurrying back to the cities and comfort when old man winter came a knockin'. I saw a LOT of people on the homesteader scene come and go this way. That's how I got a lot of my tools cheap, as they would sell-out. Sad but true!
A genuine "homesteader" were people that would "do without" if they couldn't afford something. The Nearings warned against going into debt, Scott rightly said that credit immdiately made you a slave to the Corporate State. Most of us that "survived" the first critical year or two would usually discover each other again attending more evenings at the Nearings and at thrift stores, auctions, yard sales and flea markets to save money. We all started a farmer's market, but it took years before that took off. It was all hard, bone crunching work!
Besides building the homestead and farm in the early years, I fixed Volkwagens and farm tractors for extra cash, occasionally I'd get a job fixing heavy construction equipment like dozers and excavators. As I had an engineering degree, I later got a job in the local paper mill until the whole Maine paper industry took a dive during the late 80's, so I went to Germany (I speak it well) to work for 10 years making pretty good money to save up.
Not being one who likes to help the banking business and risky stockmarkets, I put most of my savings in gold and silver - which was a wise decision, as those metals values have multiplied by leaps and bounds now that I am retired.
STILL, you will find me wearing hand-me-downs from Goodwill, driving used VW diesel 50mpg cars under $500 I can fix myself and convert to free restaurant fry-grease, buying and growing
bulk foods to store.
I am always helping new homesteaders get a foot-hold to survive, but many only listen to what they want to hear and not the important stuff. Watch carefully what you spend your money on. Don't go into debt, climb out ASAP if you are! Learn how to do everything possible for yourself. SAVE save and save some more!
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." -is what we say in New England
There are "Survivalists" and there are "Homesteaders" -- well folks, most Survivalists ain't a-gonna make it, blowing all thier money on guns and ammo as you can see from all their posts on those kind of forums in the net. They will no doubt turn into looters and scavengers WTSHTF, and even may have to resort to cannibalism! That's also a warning to us homesteaders to have just enough "firepower" on hand to keep them away.
I grew up in a gun shop, my dad was chief gunsmith at Stoeger's at one time. I'm an NRA expert match marksman and "lifer". Get a good caliber handgun and semi-auto rifle or two in a caliber that the ammunition is relative plentiful, reloadable and cheap, and that you can hunt with also. For instance 9mm (Glock, Baretta, P-38) is plentiful/cheap and packs enough whollop to stop most thugs, and the same goes for a 7.62 x 39 (Mini-30, AK or SKS) for keeping them at a safe distance. A 12 ga shotgun is awesome to own for security if you have no other gun experience! - but get educated in handling and safety. No need to have a full blown arsenal. Along with that, it is important to have alternative communications besides phones, so a CB and/or a 2 meter Ham radio would be good (a Ham Technician license is easy to get... google "ARRL"). You can call for help in more than one way then.
Just a few thoughts today... I sure most people here are well-along on the highway to self-sufficiency by the looks of the posts.
Gotta get to work - the Nearings always said "6 hours of honest, hard work every day on the homestead, and you'll make it"