If you’ve been following along this week, you should have a list of things that you feel would be absolutely necessary if displaced. Today, we’re going to examine your selection in a slightly different way.
One principle in the design of a permaculture system is to ensure that everything in the system is multi-functional. Let’s postulate for example, something is added to the system because it keeps you warm in winter. (Do you have anything to keep you warm in your pack?) But what if that one thing that serves that one function breaks down? Wouldn’t it be better to have several things that serve that same function?
It’s one of the problems of mono-crop agriculture. Remember the Irish potato famine? Multiple crops will ensure there is some food available when one of the others fail. And something will.
A fire is an example of something that has multiple functions. It’ll keep you warm, you can cook with it, you can use the ashes (if wood) to help with soil building, it keeps insects at bay, it’s a focal point for social interaction, such as singing and storytelling and more.. In your pack though, you might want to include more than one item for creating your fire. What if your matches get wet, the lighter runs out of gas?
We met experienced motorcycle travellers and as I’m putting together my displacement list, I saw it as a good opportunity to ask questions about essential equipment, dealing with bureaucracy etc. One tip we gained was to make sure that everything we bring has at least three functions. It made me laugh as it reminded me to think in terms of permaculture design for all aspects of my life. If you haven’t put a knife in your pack – you’re going to need to!
So today, review the list of items in your displacement pack. How functional are they? How many functions do they serve? Did you omit something that is essential to include? How would you pack differently in light of applying the multi-function principle of permaculture design? What does your list look like now compared to yesterday?