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What is a “prepper?”
Some would say that when survivalists go off Zoloft, they become doomsday preppers. Whether it is the zombie epidemic, the collapse of the Federal Reserve, radioactivity from a supernova explosion, or the armed terrorism of ISIS, preppers believe that the world is headed for the Day of Judgment.
They call it SHTF – when the “sh*t hits the fan.” Consider it insurance against Uncle Sam. Across America, three million people identify themselves as preppers.
Here’s why you’re not one of them.
No matter how many Xbox Live hours you’ve logged on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, you are not adequately prepared for the pandemonium of martial law. You’ve put all your eggs in one basket: an automatic M4 Carbine or semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle.
Take a hint from the years 2008-2013, when AR-15 ammunition was harder to find than a Democrat in Alabama. AR-15 rifles have achieved market saturation, and once Armageddon cometh, ammunition will quickly be stockpiled and sold for Brobdingnagian black market prices.
Your better bet is a double-barrel, pump-action, 12-gauge shotgun. Ammunition is plentiful. Parts are cheap. Uses are multiple. With an adjustable choke, you can hunt everything from rabbits to turkey to fish. With a set of slugs, you can take down a deer or looting criminal.
Take a lesson from Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch in Robert B. Parker’s western novels: Nothing beats a trusty shotgun.
Think your bear spray and bottled water will protect you if a Category 5 Hurricane razes the American South? Think again! Three-quarters of Americans dwell in urban areas. For most survivors, people skills will be more important than survival skills. Ever watched “Survivor”?
Read, study and practice the seminal book, “Social Intelligence,” by Daniel Goleman, and then follow it up with his other work, “Emotional Intelligence.”
Goleman believes that social and emotional intelligence allow humans to navigate complex social situations. Humans are wired to connect at the neural level, he argues.
Mirror neurons encourage empathy, altruism and corroboration. So when you need a shot of penicillin for a bacterial infection, remember that the pen is mightier than the sword.
Thomas Hobbes contended in “Leviathan” that the pre-civilized natural condition of man is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
If Hobbes is right, then once Y2K Edition 2.0 hits, your stash of canned green beans, sourdough starter and salted venison will be under fire. So don’t brag about your stash.
Everyone you inform will either become an asset or a liability. Maximize the first; minimize the second.
Which will come first: a dirty nuclear explosion? Genetically-engineered killer bees? Solar flares? An electromagnetic pulse?
Where does the list end?
Keep your sanity. Plan and prepare only for the top three or four doomsday scenarios.
In the event of an apocalyptic societal collapse, Mother Nature will wipe out far more of mankind than man himself will. Surviving in the wild takes a lot more than a Swiss Army knife and a 120-pack of MREs.
Can you build a snow cave? Brew tea with spruce needles? Identify flint versus sandstone?
Build a water filter using charcoal, leaves and sand? Most preppers will survive the collapse of civilization squirreled away inside a home with a 2,000-watt inverter generator and a gutter garden, not playing hermit in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Can you find the North Star in Argentina?
No, you can’t. Because you didn’t know that once you cross the equator, Polaris disappears, and instead you use the Southern Cross for navigation.
Moral of the story: You must know how to use your gear! Can you convert GPS degrees, minutes and seconds into decimal notation?
Just remember this equation: Decimal value = Degrees + (Minutes/60) + (Seconds/3600). Can you tie a bowline loop, a prusik knot and a hunter’s bend? How about a highwayman’s hitch or a constrictor knot? Can you build a ham radio from parts cobbled together from eBay auctions?
Freeze-dried chicken breast. Canned French-cut green beans. Spicy Ramen Noodles. You spent $5,000 on food that looks like it’s going on a mission to the moon.
In starvation situations, men have been known to murder longtime friends over a spare bar of chocolate or a fresh orange. So don’t skimp on the sweets, and understand how food is stored. Fight against the six food storage enemies: temperature, oxygen, moisture, pests, light and time.
The most important, most ignored prep is a documentation package: Social Security cards, bank account numbers, family contact information, insurance forms – and a minimum of $5,000 in cash.
Doomsday will not be spent fighting invading armies or setting snares for jack rabbits. Most of doomsday will be spent in the shadow of candlelight, surrounded by family and friends, sharing memories and reading outdoorsman handbooks and mystery novels. So don’t ignore the power of entertainment.
Learn to play the harmonica. Amass a personal library. Laugh often.
Don’t just survive; live.
Modern estimates show that there are as many as 3 million preppers in the United States alone as more people than ever are noticing just how unstable the world can be.
Everyone has their own reasons for prepping and this will affect how they approach this ongoing process, but there are some common mistakes that most beginning preppers tend to make.
For those that are ready to ensure the safety of their family and loved ones in the event of a disaster, here are 11 important tips to keep in mind when setting off on this journey.
The start of this process is all about taking a hard look at one’s life and figuring out what is necessary and what can be left by the wayside.
Beginning preppers should do everything in their power to not just live within their means, but to start living below their means.
Whether it is putting off a new luxury car or finishing paying off debt, no one wants to begin prepping with huge monthly bills and ongoing debt.
Even something as simple as cutting back on eating out or taking a few movie channels off the cable bill is a great place to start.
If you have begun prepping you most likely have at least a handful of family members and close friends that must be taken into consideration.
In addition to the basics such as food, water, and shelter, it is also important to begin planning for any special needs and medical considerations.
Some may need a large supply of insulin shots or other medication while others need to stock up on some extra pairs of glasses or contacts.
There is nothing as important to prepping as ensuring that you and your family are as healthy as possible.
When a disaster occurs there is simply no way to plan for exactly what will unfold, but a healthy and in-shape individual is going to be at a distinct advantage.
Healthy people are more likely to survive extreme weather changes or even fend off a common cold or flu that can turn deadly when there is no medical infrastructure.
In an ideal situation a family is going to be together within a few steps of their essential gear when a catastrophe does take place, but the chances of this are somewhat slim.
Couples and families with children need to consider their options when they are at school, at work, or even across town getting groceries.
At the very least, this should include a place to meet and a timeframe for meeting no matter everyone’s location.
Every family member should have ready access to important documents including passports, drivers licenses, marriage certificates, and ownership papers for one’s property and vehicles.
The physical papers should ideally be kept in a waterproof bag inside of a water-resistant safe with a combination that immediate family members know.
It is also a good idea to keep a few flash drives around with all of this information lus some digital survival guides.
There is no single style of prepping that is right for every family in every location, and this means that some time must be taken to personalize a plan according to one’s unique needs.
A global food shortage or severe drop in the stock market make affect the entire world, but families should also take a look at localized disasters such as flooding, mudslides, earthquakes, or wildfires that are likely to occur near their home or shelter.
Having some sort of plan for entertainment is nearly as important as any other step in this process.
Many families will cover the essentials of survival, but this could be a major mistake if a long-term disaster takes place.
One major component of survival is optimism, and this is going to require a positive mindset.
There are few ways better to keep one’s spirit up than to have at least some form of entertainment or way to pass the time.
Immediate family members are always going to come first, but what happens when you need to rely on your neighbor for something after a disaster?
The most logical step is to prepare for every eventuality, but no matter how well one plans, a friendly, loyal, and helpful neighbor could be invaluable.
Staying on good terms with a neighbor and maybe even getting them into the prepping lifestyle can go a long ways.
Bunkers, defensive gear, food, and other supplies can quickly move into the range of millions, but this is only one extreme end of the spectrum.
Taking the time to compare prices is a great way to keep expenses as low as possible.
Instead of making all of the purchases at once, preppers should keep a running list of goods that they need and then pick up the extras as they go on sale.
Prepping is about much more than reading a survival manual or picking up some tips from old preppers.
A true survivalist is going to thoroughly test every single part of their plan and every single piece of equipment before the big day happens.
Some of the survival skills that may be required after a catastrophe will take some time and practice in order to get right amidst chaos.
A final tip for new preppers is to remember that this is an ongoing process and it will often take baby steps as well as some trial-and-error.
Once the basics of food, hydration, self-defense, and shelter have been collected, many of the other items can be picked up over time. Attempting to tackle this project in a single go will often lead to frustration, and frustration will result in mistakes.
Developing a survivalist mindset is the most important part of preparing for any disaster or chaotic mishap. These few tips will help all new preppers on their path towards not only surviving a worldwide event, but to thrive when any of these catastrophes take place in the coming years.
You are moving your family to a vast homestead in the country.
You have an excellent start on your prepper plan: a large wood pile, plenty of backup medication, a huge stash of non-perishable food and water filtration tablets, a strong method of home defense.
What plans have you made for alternate energy?
It is essential to remove your household from the grid. The following are the top 10 reasons why you should consider using green energy instead.
The fossil fuels (coal, gas, and oil) many Americans currently rely heavily on have become very limited resources. One day they will completely dry up. You need to ensure your home’s continued functioning by implementing green energy practices.
Americans continue to drive around in gas-guzzling Hummers, leave lights on around the clock, and keep television sets running day and night. Once the fossil fuels are gone, panic will ensue. Cars will not be drivable. People will be at a loss regarding how they should function in this new, powerless world.
Without power, water will no longer magically appear from your kitchen faucet. There are over 300 million people in the United States alone. While it is usually easy to find a body of water, not everyone has the knowledge or means to ensure this water is properly and safely filtered.
Most American households are only equipped with electric or gas fireplaces and stoves. Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves have become unwelcome dinosaurs in our modern age.
Most people will not be able to get in touch with loved ones living far away. There are many devices out there that run off of solar or hand-crank power, such as radios, phones, and flashlights.
They are unbelievably easy and fairly cheap to build from scratch with tools and materials you can find at your local hardware store. The guide found here will give you all the information you need to build them. Solar power can be used as an energy source, it can be used to heat your water, and it can also be used to cook your food. It is clean, free, and readily available. Just ensure that you have a suitably sized battery bank to store your solar power for nighttime use and cloudy days.
Windmills as power generators are another excellent energy source that is easy and cheap to build by using the instructions in this guide. You will need to ensure you have an appropriate sized battery bank to store this wind power for times when the wind is low or not blowing.
If you live near a flowing stream of water, you can build a water mill that will provide continuous power.
Vegetative roofs are a fairly new enterprise for America, but they have been around for centuries and they offer many benefits to the user and the environment.
They provide insulation, reduce rain runoff, and you can even plant a vegetable garden up there. Get rid of those shingles and add some vegetation.
In this technique, fluid is piped through the ground to capture the Earth’s natural heat. It is then piped into a geothermal heat pump located in the house. The pump then uses this energy to heat and cool your house.
These are ten important reasons to convert to green energy. There are many more reasons that can be found with a little research. In the end, the crucial question is just how ready do you want your home and family to be for an energy deficiency?
We decided it would be a great idea to put together a top 20 list of the best websites for Survivalists. This is what we’ve come up with from our research and we wanted to provide you with the best information possible.
So here you are!
1. Graywolf Survival – http://graywolfsurvival.com/%20
– One of the most popular survivalist sites, Graywolfsurvival is informative and easy to navigate.
2. American Preppers Network – http://americanpreppersnetwork.com
– This website caters to a wide range of preppers. From novices to seasoned survivalists, this site contains information for everybody, as well as a blog to help you pick up tips from other preppers.
3. The Prepper Journal – http://www.theprepperjournal.com/%20
– This site is very thorough and has a wealth of information, particularly for those who don’t know where to begin. The attractive layout is an added bonus.
4. Sovereign Survival – //tipsforsurvivalists.com/%20
– This site is particularly helpful for preppers with families, and is chock full of links to other resources across the web. Great for people at any experience level, particularly those with small children.
5. The Survival Mom – http://thesurvivalmom.com/%20
– While this site appears to cater to women, don’t let the name fool you! This site is great for beginners of all genders who want tips on organization, prepping food, and keeping your kids entertained in the event of a crisis.
6. Doom and Bloom – http://www.doomandbloom.net/%20
– Doom and Bloom is both fun and informational –containing helpful articles as well as a radio channel where you can tune in and get helpful survivalist tips.
7. Off Grid Survival – http://offgridsurvival.com
– While this site is not super heavy on tips for beginners, it is a wealth of knowledge in terms of related news stories and information on practical gear.
8. Survival Spot – http://www.survival-spot.com
– This site is attractive and well laid out, but is recommended for those who already have base-level knowledge; otherwise the high-tech advice could bury a beginner.
9. Prepping To Survive – http://preppingtosurvive.com/%20
– Where most prepping websites focus on disaster related preparedness, this one targets wilderness survival in general, and is great for the adventurer who wants to be ready in case of emergency.
10. Prepper Resources – http://www.prepper-resources.com/%20
– This resource is not only provides information on prepping basics and gun safety, it will also link you to other sites on the web that can expand your knowledge.
11. Survival Cache – http://survivalcache.com/%20
– While it does contains articles on storing food and water, this site’s main focus is weaponry. While it may seem extreme to some, it is an often overlooked aspect of being prepared.
12. SGT Report – http://sgtreport.com/
– This website is less about active survival tips and more about the danger we are facing on a daily basis – however, it can be helpful to train yourself to know the warning signs of crisis.
13. The Prepared Ninja – http://www.thepreparedninja.com/
– A short, simple, and well-organized blog for those who understand the fundamentals, but need help with practical execution.
14. Authorized Boots – http://authorizedboots.com/
– Authorized Boots is for all things related to Army boots and tactical gear. They provide their expertise as well as team’s insights to provide high quality reviews of your favorite army boots based on their experience, opinions, and relentless research to be a trusted source in your purchase journey.
15. The Organic Prepper – http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/%20
– This website is very beginner friendly, but also focuses more on an eco-friendly approach to survivalism. The blogger has several other sites that are related to prepping.
16. Backdoor Survival – http://www.backdoorsurvival.com
– While this site is slightly more difficult to navigate, it has a wealth of in-depth preparation tips, particularly for those with large families and those who want tips on training their mind as well as their bug-out bags.
17. Survival Blog – http://survivalblog.com/%20
– Where some sites are a little skimpy, this site has almost an overload of information; however, it is very organized, and has information that appeals to all level of prepper.
18. Survival MD – http://survivalmd.org
– This website has the only complete medical field survival guide for the laymen…showing you how to treat yourself and loved ones in an emergency when doctors, pharmacies and hospitals are shut down.
19. Suburban Prepper – http://www.suburbanprepper.com/blog/
– Suburban prepper has a few tips for those who are a little more outdoors-y.
20. Blackout USA – http://blackoutusa.org
– This site is all about educating you about a threat so powerful it will wipe out 281 million Americans in the first year. And while NASA, the CIA and the Pentagon are warning us like crazy…no mainstream T.V. or radio outlet is talking about it.
We all know the many reasons why being a prepper rocks. However, there are some downsides as well. Here are just a few reasons why it sometimes sucks to be a prepper.
Is that a through street? Where does this alley lead? We are constantly thinking about long and winding paths out of our areas just in case the other twenty are blocked.
From lizards to mountain lions to Siberian huskies, you can’t help but make secret predictions about taste and texture. Surely they can’t all taste like chicken?
Why is it odd to keep a spare tire in your trunk but not blankets, water, and a week’s worth of MREs? If you’ve ever picked up your car and gotten the side-eye, you know what I mean.
Maybe your sister didn’t appreciate the slingshot you made for your toddler nephew’s birthday. Perhaps Grandma isn’t thrilled with the Gillie suit you bought her for Christmas. One problem with being a prepper is that you discover so many cool items and skills that the mainstream just don’t appreciate.
Rotating the food stores means eating a lot of freeze dried food. Let’s face it: fresh grilled venison beats dried beans any day. You know you’re hardcore when dried green beans start sounding tasty.
From middle of the night squawking to early morning crowing, chickens just have no respect for human sleep habits. Other pets seem just as impolite. For some reason, all animal emergencies must occur at night.
We all know the trials of prepper storage. You aren’t truly a prepper until there are cases of ammo under your couch and bags of freeze dried food in your linen closet. You get bonus points if you have sheds to hold the overflow from your other sheds.
Is the power out again? Is it worth firing up the generator to finish your discussion on new used for 5 gallon paint buckets? The answer is usually yes.
People who wouldn’t hesitate to save in a savings account act like putting away food and supplies is a special kind of crazy. We all know that they will eventually realize the crazy guy down the lane was right… but that doesn’t make things any less awkward right now.
The time will come when everyone realizes we were right. That time isn’t right now, though.
One thing that doesn’t suck about being a prepper is the sense of humor. We are all experts at laughing both at mainstream society and ourselves. That sense of humor is one of the most important things to keep in your stockpile.
What else would you include on this list?