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Prepping Introduction

Thursday, 31 May 2012 04:07 Written by 

Are you new to prepping, a veteran, or somewhere in between? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed? Prepping can be a hard concept to understand at first. Some people believe prepping involves having camping supplies, a case of MREs, and a few bottles of water. While those items can be used for a mini-disaster and be part of your larger preps, if you are a true prepper you actually have a plan. And, multiple contingency plans. When you are a "true" prepper, you have made a life choice, and the prepper's cause usually consumes every available dollar and every second of your free time. So here is my introduction to prepping. 

There are two groups that I generally use to categorize Preppers. The first group consists of individuals that have been prepping for several years, maybe as a reaction to Y2K, the dot-com bubble, 9/11, Katrina, or because of religious beliefs. The second group of Preppers falls within what I identify as the media generation. This group has been influenced by recent movies, books, and T.V. shows, such as Doomsday Preppers, the Book of Eli, or Rawlesian survivalist novels. I am of the second generation, and proud of it. If I were able to rewind time back a few years, then I would have jumped on the prepping bandwagon after 9/11. I was in my 20's, financially stable, items were cheaper, and silver and gold were financially within reach. Whether you are a veteran prepper, or new to prepping, we all have the ability to learn from each other and to improve how we prepare.

Before I get into what is needed, first we must identify what defines a Prepper. To me, a prepper is an individual that has analyzed his/her surroundings, and determined they need to prepare for future events, whatever they may be. The main difference between a prepper, and the layman, is that a prepper has decided to make a life style change, or commitment, to focus their available resources to the prepper’s cause. In the prepper’s mind, having only a few days of food in the house, not having survival related items, and not having a disaster plan is unacceptable. Preppers are able to sustain their families for an extended period of time, using what they have stored and the resources around them. When I was in the military, we used acronyms for literally “everything”, so I have created one for P-R-E-P-P-I-N-G.


Prepare – Identify what type of event/s that could impact you, and prepare to counter the negative impacts of the event.

Resources – Gather food, equipment, and other items needed for survival.

Education – Educate yourself and family on sustainable living, health/hygiene, survival, personal defense, and other areas needed for survival.

Provide – Provide for yourself, your family, and/or friends

Protect – Protect yourself and family at all costs.

Innovation – Find innovative solutions to achieve tasks, to reduce cost, and have the ability to make things work during a grid down situation.

Network – Establish a network of likeminded individuals, and persuade other’s to support your cause.

Goals – Establish realistic goals which can be accomplished within your financial, time, and family restrictions.


Identifying Your Prepper Mindset

The initial stages of prepping can be an overwhelming experience. Most of us do not have the finances to rush to the closest big box store, and acquire all items at once. Therefore, we must prioritize where we spend our hard earned dollars. First, you must identify your prepper mentality. Whether you label yourself as a Rawlesian survivalist, a naturalist, a homesteader, or prep because of religious beliefs, having the skills necessary for survival and living off the land should be an integral part of prepping. This identification is important, since it will help prioritize your direction. For instance, if you are of the Rawlesian clan, purchasing land, silver, weapons, and plenty of ammunition are important. If you are a homesteader, then having a sustainable environment, full of gardens, wildlife, and livestock are necessary. You may choose not to label your specific prepping style, or you are a hybrid. Either way the next step is to identify your requirements.

Determine Requirements

Determining your requirements can be a complex part of prepping. Depending on current situation, you may not need to rush out and purchase a lot of supplies. Many things can be repurposed for prepping use. In reality, prepping is not that much different than weekly purchases at the grocery store, camping/outdoor activities, and personal hobbies. To identify what you may need, first ask yourself the following questions:

    1. How many people am I responsible for?
    2. Where will I go if I decide to leave my home?
    3. Are there any immediate or long term medical needs?
    4. What do I currently have stored (camping equipment, hunting/fishing, firearms, etc.)?
    5. How much money can I initially commit to prepping, and how much can be applied monthly?


After these rough calculations are made, conduct an inventory of items. The next task would be to build a Survival Bag for each member of your family/group.

The Survival Bag

Preppers generally lean to areas we feel more comfortable, or that interest us. That is why a lot of preppers first start out purchasing firearms. In contrast, when people ask me where to start, I generally follow the rule of three’s. Three hours without Shelter. Three days without Water. Three weeks without Food. I personally believe ensuring you have potable water is more important than having firearms and ammunition.  These three items (shelter, water, food) should be easily accessible, and if in a moment’s notice are needed, you can quickly pick them up and move out. 

Here enters the mobile kit, generally called a Bug Out Bag (BOB), Get Home Bag (GHB), FEMA 72 hour kit, or whatever you may label this system (I refer to my kit as a Survival Bag). It can be in the form of a backpack, military rucksack, or a Tupperware box in the trunk of your vehicle. The general rule is to have enough food and water for a minimum of three days (72 hours). The important thing is to possess these survival items, and ensure they are in close proximity at all times.


This information can be a lot to take in. The Survival Bag should be your first stage of prepping. Ironically, these items become the foundation of your larger preps. From a satisfaction/motivation stand point, you are more likely to put together items in your Survival Bag, well before you store several months’ worth of food.

    1. Identify why you are Prepping.
    2. PREPPING – Prepare, Resources, Education, Provide, Protect, Innovation, Network, Goals
    3. Identify your prepping mentality (Rawlesian, naturalist, homestead, or religious).
    4. Determine requirements.
    5. Create a Survival Bag, which contains three days of food and water, and some form of shelter.
    6. Supplement your survival bag with a quality knife, a way to start a fire, some form of cordage, a tarp or tent, and a container to store and boil water. 


And another note… I am of the belief that anyone can come up with a Survival Bag, and the components within the system can be customized for each user. But, stay away from those Altoids survival kits you have seen on YouTube. There is simply not enough equipment or supplies to use during a prolonged survival scenario. Be Prepared. Get Connected.

Last modified on Tuesday, 12 March 2013 18:04
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