Some of you may be wondering if making ink has anything to do with preparedness. Well, it does, although the reasons may not be so readily apparent.
Why make ink?
We need to communicate all of the time. We speak to others by voice, we send electronic messages by computers and texts, and we even continue to write messages on paper. In a grid-down scenario, it is still possible to communicate by all of these methods, but many will still find the old-fashioned pen/pencil and paper to be very convenient, especially if operational security is a concern.
Besides sending written communications to others, one may wish to keep their own written records, to label foods, supplies, etc., or to otherwise write down information to remember. Home education is another area of preparedness where homemade supplies may be needed due to a scarcity of materials, and having something unique to barter with may be another use as well. Really, for any situation that you can think that you may need to write something down, the need for something to write with arises.
Of course, one can use pencils, and that is a great option. The only requirement here is that it would require you to store as many as you would think you would need for a long-term scenario. Again, that probably would not be a big deal if you planned ahead, but it may be helpful to know that one can make their own pens, paper and ink just with some natural materials found around them. In addition to this, there are also some times that ink may be preferred over pencil anyway…especially if permanency was desired. Although pencils can store indefinitely, ink does not. So in order to avoid the disappointment of dried-out ink, knowing how to make your own could be an answer.
Natural ink has been around for centuries, and in many ways, it is a lost art for most people. However, recipes for making natural inks are still around, and it is not too difficult to do. Furthermore, different plants can produce different colors, so variety is easily obtainable.
Here are some links to recipes for various inks:
- using huckleberries
- using laundry bluing (Yes, it’s not a self-sustaining source, but it still may be something you might have around the house.)
Different situations may call for knowing how to make different kinds of inks. For example, knowing how to create black, brown, or blue ink could be useful in recording “binding agreements” between parties. In addition, the ability to make multiple colors could be advantageous for different purposes, especially for home education. Furthermore, how to make and read invisible inks may be especially interesting to the survivalist for opsec reasons. The uses for homemade ink could be many.
In reality, making your own ink may not be a top priority, (nor should it be,) but having this knowledge may help you if you had the need to write something down in a scenario when resources were scarce. Others may wish to make their own inks for other reasons such as the desire to avoid chemicals, or to be more environmentally friendly. In any case, making your own ink is just another example of a self-sufficiency skill that one can learn. It could also become an enjoyable hobby as well.