You’ve heard the word prepping thrown around so often that it’s piqued your interest to investigate further. It sounds logical to learn how to start prepping now, especially since there’s plenty of time at hand.
But what exactly is prepping? Is it just like some of the shows portray? Is it a bunch of people stockpiling guns, ammunition and food for when the end of the world arrives?
Yes. And no. While some people do take prepping to the extreme by building everything from an underground nuclear bunker to a lifeline of supplies to last for a thousand years, others are more sedate. It just depends on your own long-term goals and what you hope to achieve by preparing.
You see, prepping isn’t just about preparing for the end of days. It’s also about just being prepared in general. During my time in Search and Rescue, I found many people struggling with basic survival after minor events disrupted their normal everyday lives.
A severe thunderstorm or minor earthquake was enough to unsettle many, often left struggling for basic needs for a few days.
What to Prep For
When you first decide to become a prepper, take the time to really think about why you want to take on this task. Ask yourself the question and really bite down to find the answer. I say that because prepping isn’t always prepping.
While some people do go all out and live off the grid, build bug out locations and stockpile vast amounts of supplies, others limit their prepping to a few bags scattered around their homes. So, what’s the difference?
The first thing I suggest you consider is how many people are you prepping for? Is it yourself, your wife, your girlfriend/boyfriend, their family, your parents, your siblings, their families, your pets? The list grows exponentially the more you think about it.
The next thing I suggest you spend time deciding on is just how long you plan on surviving with the supplies you plan to stockpile. Is it nothing more than a bug out bag or will you begin a long journey of growing an ever-increasing stockpile of supplies?
How to Start Prepping
Step #1: Begin with a Plan
This is the most important part of any intention to start prepping. Without a foolproof plan in place, your efforts will end up all over the shop. Start with a simple notepad and take notes as you go, thinking about your overall goal you’re aiming for.
Commit to the number of people you’ll include in your plan. My suggestion is to stick with your immediate family. Unfortunately, the more people you share your plan with, the more chance you’ll be targeted when an event takes place.
Once you know the people/animals included in the plan, consider what you are prepping for. Is it for a minor event like a power blackout, or something more substantial like an earthquake? Will you prep to survive a few days or will you plan to live in complete isolation for as long as it takes? These are all questions you’ll need to answer before you begin.
Step #2: Consider Your Budget
Unfortunately, prepping will come down to your budget to some degree. While some emergency supplies already fill your utility draws, there’s more important supplies that will need purchasing.
Things like a bug out location, water supplies, water filtration systems, food stockpiles, weapons, communication devices, ammunition, hardware, tools and a plethora of other items all cost dollars.
You might decide to start with a few things and build on them, devoting a certain amount each week with which to build your plan. You don’t need to purchase it all at once. If needed, take your time. It’s far better to do things right over the long term than to put half a plan together for the short term.
Step #3: Research Your Options
Once you know which direction you’re taking, start researching your options. There’s a lot more to learning how to start prepping than to simply jump on Amazon and order emergency supplies.
Look at your surroundings and decide whether a suitable bug out location is doable. Will it fit into your budget? While many prefer a bug out location, there are other options if money won’t stretch that far.
If you remain home or do purchase a bug out location, what sort of water supply will you have? Water is the number one resource you will need. Let me repeat that just to make sure you understand the gravity of running out of water.
It is the single most important resource for you to stockpile. Without water, you and your family will die within 3 days, period.
Step #4: Begin with a Bug Out Bag
It’s always a good idea to get a sense of just what it is you’re buying. A bug out bag is a great way to introduce yourself to the types of items you’ll need to include in your plan. Whether a premade bug out bag or building your own, understand why things are added and what purpose they’ll serve when you rely on them.
Step #5: Learn to Live Off the Land
Try to understand the land you live in. Before modern civilization arrived, indigenous tribes survived for thousands of years without any modern conveniences or supermarkets. How? By understanding their surroundings.
Step #6: Grow Some Food
Relying on your food stockpile won’t be enough. What if the stockpile is stolen or destroyed by fire or flood? Learn to grow a vegetable garden and understand what it takes to succeed. It may just save your life.
Step #7: Get Handy-manning
Get down and dirty and learn how to fix things. Buy tools and other bits and pieces that serve multiple purposes, like cable ties and multi-tools. Quick repairs could save your life.
Step #8: Get Building Your Kit
There will be a bunch of things you’ll want to include in your survival kit. An extensive first-aid kit, paracord, tarps, duct tape, cable ties and an assortment of nails and screws are all worthy additions to your survival kit. Some you may already have lying around.
Step #9: Don’t Forget the Water
Did I mention how important water is? It’s not enough to buy a heap of emergency water kits and hope for the best. Give yourself several options so you will have access to pure water no matter what. Whether it’s water purification tablets, water filter, or a simple LifeStraw, your life will depend on how well you plan today.
Step #10: Don’t Wait, Start Now
The biggest mistake made by would-be preppers is to wait. Things take precedence, others crop up and before you know it, another week has passed, and another. Don’t put prepping off. If you are serious about it, start now, today.
Grab a pad, a pen and some quality alone time and start to build your plan. Because disasters are unpredictable. There could be one heading your way right now.
The whole point of prepping is to be ready for a significant event that interrupts your life. The time to start prepping is now and the more time you spend now in preparing, the better chance you and your family will have of surviving.