How to Start Prepping, A Beginner’s Guide

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What do Preppers Need?

The prepared among us are concerned with the basics for survival and some additional comforts and protections that make life much more manageable in trying circumstances. Basic requirements for life are food, water, and shelter. These keep us alive, however quality of life is important in dire situations to maintain emotional and psychological health. I’ll get much more in depth in those in other posts, but if you are dehydrated, hungry, defenseless, and exposed to the elements, you aren’t likely to survive long enough for emotional and psychological comforts to be beneficial. Here are the absolute basics we need to have on hand at all times.

Survival Food and Water

Almost everyone has heard that water is the most important key to survival. dehydration will either kill you or put you into a mental or physical fog that will cause you to get killed faster via errors or injuries. Water must be clean enough, however, that is does not cause illness that often lead to diarrhea or vomiting, which dehydrate you quicker. Having a way to purify and store water is possibly one of the top concerns for prepping. A simple lifestraw kit like this one is a good place to start,

LIfestraw Water Filter

After avoiding the rigors of dehydration, food becomes important. In a survival situation where you are simply lost in the forest and need to stay put for someone to find you, or laying low through a major power outage, your calorie intake may not be as critical. In situations that require you to stay on the move, or use lots of physical energy to perform tasks, you’ll need adequate nutrition. Short term options can be found in the form of military style MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat). You can purchase them in bulk for a lot less than getting them a couple at at time. They pack a calorie dense punch of protein and carbohydrates and are usually decent tasting. These can be a great option for a few days, especially if you are traveling by vehicle or staying put in one area. Longer term options for prepper foods are often throwbacks to the days of our grandparents and great grandparents where grocery stores only carried staples like sugar and flour. They used centuries old methods of preserving produce and meats to make a harvest last through the winter. Also relying on shelf stable items like canned goods can grow a prepper pantry that can last you for weeks or months if rationed correctly.

MRE’s, Meals Ready to Eat

Survival Shelter

If you aren’t dehydrated and starving, you have a lot better chance of surviving a bad situation, however another factor that can take a huge toll on us is exposure to elements. Living in the southern United States, I can attest that most of the year is survivable with limited shelter. The summer months can be miserable without enough ventilation and shade, but the climate is rarely too harsh. Winters in the area are usually mild but as you move north and into some micro climates created by geographic changes, you find much colder temperatures. Freezing temperatures can zap all of the heat from your body quickly and lead to frost bite and quickly to loss of consciousness and death. To add to the need for shelter, even mild climates can be dangerous if you are soaked with water or sweat when the nighttime chills the air. hypothermia can set in in temperatures nearing 70 degrees if you are wet and don’t dry out.

Self Defense Methods

Being prepared for difficult situations in other aspects may keep you warm and fed, but in the current political climate, we find ourselves almost as concerned about our personal security as much as we are about disasters. Any plan to defend yourself is a start, however, there are numerous ways to improve your chances of survival by taking some time and learning what you need to know and buying what you need to have. A really good and quick read about personal defense is “Principles of Personal Defense” by Col. Jeff Cooper. one of the most well known firearms trainers around. Get your copy here:

Principles of Personal Defense, Col. Jeff Cooper

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5 thoughts on “How to Start Prepping, A Beginner’s Guide

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