Don’t you wish you could get all the answers you’re looking for? Duh! I think we all do. What if you could be stuck in an elevator with your favorite Prepper? You know, a little one on one time to bend their ear and get the best advice? What if you could just kick back around the campfire with a dozen of them and listen to them give you their number one tip for being better prepared to face the future. We reached out to some of our favorite pages, pages we share from regularly. I asked them to send me a paragraph or two with their best piece of advice. I didn’t give everyone a different topic. I didn’t even tell anyone which advice had been covered as the answers came in. I was extremely happy to see that everyone had different advice. There’s a little overlap but there’s a dozen different topics and a dozen different points of view. I’ve also added my two cents to each of their tips. What an amazing opportunity to learn.
• John Correia – ASP
Lots of people survive every day by pure, blind luck. They miss a traffic accident by inches, or pass by a mugger 5 minutes before they decide to strike. They live like the people in Panem in the beginning of The Hunger Games, hoping the odds are ever in their favor. The problem is, sometimes the odds don’t matter and you’re the one whose name is drawn! And when it does, you need the attitude, skills, and plan already in place to survive.
I like the Hunger Games analogy because it works well in survival. Katniss Everdeen was ready for the Games because she was trained physically, emotionally, and mentally. The old adage of Dave Grossman’s in On Combat is quite true, “Do not expect the combat fairy to come bonk you with the combat wand and suddenly make you capable of doing things that you never rehearsed before. It will not happen.” She had skills in the woods, skills with a bow, negotiating skills from the markets, emotional toughness from losing her dad, and a chip on her shoulder just from raw internal grit. All that training and experience prepared her for the moment of need.
The lesson, to me, is clear: TRAIN! If you don’t want to be at the mercy of pure, blind luck when the balloon goes up you have to have training and experience of similar situations to be ready to survive when feces hits the air mover. This is true of self-defense, true of disaster preparedness, true of first aid, and true of much of life. Train and practice like the odds aren’t in your favor, and you give yourself the best chance possible of surviving whatever comes your way.
John makes an excellent point. If you don’t, at least, practice for surviving adversity…your first practice will be real life and you won’t have the luxury to call it quits when you’ve had enough.
Many guys buy a few different guns, and different calibers for their family. I feel this is partially a bad idea. In my opinion, you should have a matching his & hers set. Same firearm… Same caliber… Why? So you can share ammo and magazine if there should be a fire fight. Keeps things simple during a stressful moment.
BTT makes a lot of sense with this. Whether it’s surviving a home invasion or a raid by looters, having a common platform and ammo will make a firefight that much easier. It’s going to be chaos. It’s going to be stressful. Why not give yourself an advantage. This is the same reason many law enforcement departments dictate the carry weapon of their officers. Commonality of parts, ammo, and controls. If you need a magazine or have to much up your partner’s gun, everything will function the same way you’re used to.
• Tin Hat Ranch
Let’s face it, electricity runs our lives. Nearly everything we do involves it. Sure, many devices driven by the electron are conveniences; microwaves, washers, and power tools to name a few. Tasks undertaken by these conveniences can revert to their precursors, fire, water and a rock, and hand tools. Yet, there are many implements we rely on that exist solely because we can harness the electron. Communications, computing, data storage, and even modern entertainment are only possible if electricity is present.
Many prepping tips will involve the basics, shelter, food, water, etc. I’m sure each of you imagine treks through the wilderness during a period where your emergency preparedness skills are summoned. Chances are, the best place to be in an extended disaster scenario might be in your home. Why not make the apocalypse as comfortable as possible…with electricity?
I’ll bet alternative energy is an all or nothing proposal for you. I’ll also bet that you feel it is an investment beyond reach. I’ll say you are thinking about it all wrong. Alternative energy, and in this case solar power, is not an all or nothing proposal; nor is it an impossible investment. In a world changing event you will surely pare back on many of the things you take for granted; unlimited food, water, clothing, transportation. You might have already prepared for the aforementioned, but what have you done about power?
If you cut back to just the essentials, solar power is within reach of most everyone. If you begin to think about power like you think about your bank account, things will begin to make sense. Plain and simple, we waste a massive amount of power; think the light that is left on in an unoccupied room for hours on end. You wouldn’t keep stuffing cash and credit cards down a pocket with a hole in it, would you?
Yes, it is possible to make electricity part of your preps. It takes understanding how much power you use, changing your thinking, and making an investment of learning, time, and a few bucks. Once the lights go out for everyone else, you’ll have lights. You will also be able to maintain communications, use power tools, preserve food with refrigeration, and maybe even have a bit of entertainment. My series on solar power is soup to nuts and will show you how anyone can have power in a grid down scenario. Check out-
The Ultimate Guide To DIY Solar Power
What a GREAT point! Many of us have experienced a power outage. We’ve lost power for more than a week. Have you even lost any food from a power outage? Refrigerated and frozen foods will only make it a few hours without some help and without power, it would be nearly impossible to make it a week without losing just about everything. What if you could build a solar kit just big enough to run your fridge and a few lights. That would be like living in a 4 star resort if the power grid was down for a couple months.
•Preparing for SHTF
Fear caused by lack of knowledge will cause some people to rush out and literally grab up things they likely do not need, or know how to use. If you were to gather everything that you thought you might need, or were told you needed in a survival situation, you would need two mules and a wagon to haul it all. There is no question about what you need to survive, but the question is, has fear and lack of skills driven you to carry it all on your back. Facing your fears means gaining the knowledge and skills needed to survive, so you can lighten the load. Remember knowledge weighs nothing!
I’ll just let this motivational poster of ours do the talking.
• Sunny’s Survivalist/Prepper Tips
The first Prepper I EVER heard about was Noah. Yep, Old Testament Bible, Noah. God commanded him to build an ark. If you know anything about Noah, you know people laughed at him, as it never rained in those lands. Noah built the ark and filled it with food, water, and animals (2×2), along with his wife, sons & their wives.
As I said, people laughed and made fun of Noah. People will laugh and make fun of you, also, for prepping. My advise to you is not to let anyone discourage your efforts. Personally, as a single Mom of 4 Boys, I would rather prepare my family for nothing than have nothing prepared for them.
Most times, people make fun of Preppers for 2 reasons:
1. Fear – Fear of the unknown, fear of the “known” but misunderstood, or just a simple fear of not knowing how to be better prepared. Many people fear Preppers. They don’t know if you’re preparing for a harsh winter or an alien invasion. Let’s face it, some Preppers ARE crazy. Why do they keep putting them on TV?
2. Delusion – The live under the delusion that it is someone else’s responsibility to take care of them, especially in a crisis. This picture explains that one…
• The Homesteading Housewives
Food preservation is the key to staying alive. After taking down that deer or harvesting your crops, there are several methods to preserving your bounty. These include canning, dehydrating, freezing (but only if electricity is available or you have purchased a solar refrigerator), curing, and using a root cellar.
Canning is a very versatile method in which you can can fruits, vegetable, nuts, meat and seafood through the technique of pressure, or hot water bath canning. Dehydrating foods, mostly meats and fruits, is to be done using a dehydrator, which can be electric or solar, that removes the moisture from the food. As with canning, freezing is extremely effective, but only if you have access to a freezer in post apocalyptic times. Curing is the use of salt or nitrates/nitrites to preserve food either through a dry cure or a water cure. And finally, a root cellar helps prolong the shelf life of highly perishable foods.
All essential information regarding the methods of food preservation can be found on the National Center for Food Preservation website (nchfp.uga.edu/index.html).
Remove one of these, for too long, and you’ll die.
When prepping, the best advice I have is redundancy. Recently a neighbor of mine lost everything in a house fire. He was an avid outdoorsman, hunter, and a Prepper. He was better funded than me so he had more and better gear. Where he went wrong was that he kept everything at home. Now I have more and better gear. I keep some at home like everyone, but I also keep some in every vehicle, at work, at my mother’s, and at my brother’s.
I wonder how my friend would have fared if he would have spread his prepping out a bit and not put it all in the same place. A loss like this during shtf would be devastating and possibly fatal…
Man, it’s hard to hear about someone losing everything. Even in good times, it’s a difficult loss to take. But, this guy didn’t just lose everything he had…he lost his plan for the future. Being prepared for right now is hard enough. Being prepared for an uncertain future can be daunting. Hopefully insurance and a better “Plan B” will help this gentleman be better prepared for both.
•Poor Man’s Preparing
Don’t be in a hurry! Being prepared takes time, that’s the first thing you should know. It’s not something that you can just knock out in a weekend, it takes years and years of acquiring knowledge, supplies, and the gear that you will need. Doing things like adding a few food items when going to the grocery store, asking for a knife as a gift when your birthday rolls around, or picking up a good book (such as Fully Prepped?) when you can. That is how most of us do it. Most importantly, learn what you can when you can, knowledge is generally free and weighs nothing. Being prepared seems harder than it really is and anyone can do it if they are willing to put forth the time.
No one gets “prepared” overnight. No one gets “prepared” in a week or a month. Even if you won the lottery, you’d still need skills, attitude, and a plan.
• Survival Betty
When the author Stephen R. Covey wrote, “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities” I am fairly certain he was talking about the human experience and not prepping but I can think of no greater reminder to building a solid preparedness plan as the word diversity evokes. Diversifying your skills, your supplies, even your location and resources is the key to being prepared for a variety of circumstances. Let’s break this down to the nuts and bolts and use one of the crucial pillars of survival as an example, fire:
Diversity of supplies: A smart prepper will have more than one tool designed for starting a fire; a lighter, matches, fire piston, Ferro rod, and etcetera.
Diversity in skill: A smart prepper will be resourceful enough to use what they find around them to create fire; a piece of glass, a plastic bag and some water, a battery and a chewing gum wrapper just to name a few.
Diversity in education: A smart prepper will have an education in primitive means in order to create fire from their environment, because you know that the gear or means to build fire may not be available and must come from Mother Nature herself.
So how does this apply to other areas of preparedness? Well include a greater variety of foods. Don’t just get beans and rice, have a variety of means to prepare it like a solar oven or a dutchoven for example. Do you posses the skills to cook from scratch with those supplies? Make sure you have multiple ways to stop bleeding: Cellox, tourniquet, Quik Clot and how to make one… You get the idea. While tools and supplies may fail you, if you take the time to educate yourself and build skills as part of your preparedness diversity, you’re giving yourself a backup plan. So while you are getting your prep on, remember the quote from Mr. Covey and look for ways strengthen your preparedness by creating greater diversity.
Diversity… It’s not just the political buzzword of the day, it’s the key to a well rounded preparedness plan. What’s the point in surviving the apocalypse just to survive on beans and rice. That’s not LIVING that’s just EXISTING! A diverse plan, not just adding spices and honey to your food preps, but a truly diverse plan…that’s the key to THRIVING.
• Paracord By Jeff
Take it with you.
If you have the newest and coolest gear it does you no good if it’s at home. The best advice I can give someone is to have the basics with you at all times. It don’t matter if it’s a small tin or a 20 pound backpack that you keep in your car, but keep it with you.
My EDC bag is a bit excessive, but that is how I am. Among other things it has a 2 liter bladder and a couple of power bars in it. When my Jeep died on the side of the road I was stuck there for 5 hours waiting on a friend to get off of work to tow me home, if not for that bag and its contents my wait would have been pretty miserable. Remember that it does not have to be the end of the world when an emergency hits, it could just be a dead fuel pump.
Just because you own one, doesn’t mean you HAVE one. If you don’t have it when you truly need it…you might as well not even own it. Does this mean you should have your full Bug Out Bag strapped to you at all times? Probably not. It depends on a lot of factors. I can tell you that you should have a decent EDC Kit or a well thought out Car Kit. Either one of those has a better chance of saving your day than your BOB usually will.
• Effective Tactics
Many people put off preparing because they don’t have a plan.
Because they don’t know where to start.
Because they are afraid of doing it wrong.
Here’s the deal, just start by buying extra of the food you already buy. Buy extra batteries. Buy some bottled water. Buy something that would help you out if it was days or weeks before you could get to the store. It doesn’t have to be much. Five or ten dollars a week could make a huge difference over time. It WILL make a huge difference.
The catch is…you have to start.
Do NOT overwhelm yourself. That has to be the biggest piece of advice I can honestly give. Emergency Preparedness is something that ultimately requires a lot of time and commitment. You’re not going to be a “prepper” or a “survivalist” overnight, and thinking you can could prove very dangerous. Try to think about the most likely scenario that could happen to your, or in your area, and start there and branch out.
For example: If you live in Tornado Alley in the United States, but focus your preps on nuclear war and fallout, more than likely you’ll find yourself in a scenario where you were prepared for something, but not the most likely something. Every region has their niche of what could happen and will happen and it’s best to start there, then maybe move on to a more “long term, nationwide” thought process. Familiarize yourself with local threats first and make sure you can handle what goes down in your town.
This is an extension of our theory on a tiered preparedness plan. We recommend an EDC Kit, a Car Kit, a Bug Out Bag (or evacuation kit), and a Home Kit. Each of these perform a different function in your prepared life. Your EDC kit contains stuff you’re likely to need in every day situations. Your BOB serves a different function. A more expanded function. Just like KYPrepper recommends. Prepare for your most likely emergencies first. Then EXPAND your plan to include wider spread catastrophes.
•Mrs. Prepper’s Portal
1. Yes, prepare and learn new skills and practice existing one’s, but don’t feel you have to compete with anyone else, you know like the people who have to buy the biggest, newest, most expensive stuff.
2. Don’t let it run your life so much, that you forget to live for the present. Just like any addiction, you tune out everything and everyone around you. If SHTF happens, sure you’ll have a bunch of stuff/skills, but may be alone for having neglected the important things in life.
This is why we promote prepping as an everyday lifestyle. It isn’t an bury your head in in and forsake everything else kinda life. It’s a more casual approach by living the steps daily. “It’s not Doomsday Prepping…It’s everyday prepping”. It’s not, “life consuming” it is, “life enhancing”.
So live your life…
I hope you’ve enjoyed this campfire chat with your friends. There are many links to their Facebook pages, websites, and recommendations, in this article. Please take the time to check them out, give their pages a “LIKE”, and cruise their websites for more incredible information to improve your life and your preparedness.