A Good Question…

Question posed by Carl

“If you had NO preps, were starting out fresh, living in an apartment in a moderate 100,000 sized city with an “average” paying job, the usual amount of debt mortage, car payment which left you with little at the end of the month, and essentially NO prep skills such as farming, animal husbandry, medical, electrical, HVAC, motor/mechanic but suddenly had $100,000 to spend, how would you spend it on preps, given ground rules that not more than half could be spent on land and / or land development.”

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. axelsteve says:

    First I would buy several guns while I could before the gun commies ban them all.

    • userError says:

      I don’t get the thumbs down on this. They are trying to ban them, and without a way to defend your preps, people will just take them… so why bother?
      Gun(s) are needed because different types serve different purposes.
      I swear we live in a country of cowards.
      I want to quote Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson here, but I think it would a) be preaching to the choir, or b) fall on deaf ears.

    • Carl,
      1. Get out of debt and start a budget. Whats left of your paycheck each month, after you pay your monthly expenses, will be yours to prep with.
      2. Don’t get back in debt.
      3. Don’t rush out and buy a years supply of “disaster” food. Those boxes will draw attention when delivered. Instead buy can goods a few at a time. Add to them a few at a time. Keep it balanced. Rotate by using them. Use 1 and replace with 2 or 3. Don’t forget soups, sauces, gravies and seasonings. Bisquick, pancake, cornbread mixes, packages of pasta are also a good idea. If you can’t cook now that should be the first skill you learn.
      4. Don’t spend a lot on weapons. It’s easy to spend a grand or more on a gun and foolish to have only $50 worth of ammo.
      There’s lots more but I’ll stop here.

      • Duchesssammi says:

        I couldn’t have said it better myself. I agree with everything. Too many people would be given that kind of money and just waste it on crap.

      • Duchesssammi says:

        I couldn’t have said it better myself. I agree with everything. Too many people would be given that kind of money and just waste it on crap.

  2. Without skills you might as well go take a vacation around the world. You will die anyway, so go out with style. My sister & husband are that type of person, so I can speak from personal experience on that one.

    • This question is something few of us could answer as even being in the scouts would give you some knowledge. If someone with the lack of knowledge as the situation presented I would tell him to get a place out side the city with a solar powered aquaponic greenhouse and some guns. While $50k to spend on property isn’t much it would make a good down payment.

  3. and a truckload of ammo of course.

  4. Mrs. K in MO says:

    First LEARN SOME SKILLS! You could still find a decent little chunk of land in the country and build yourself a cabin (provided you have learned some carpentry skills) on 50 grand. Then, buy some guns and ammo and food etc. By all means, get out of town!

  5. I believe everyone is trainable if they want to learn. Even five years ago I didn’t have the skills I have now. For half that you can buy a nice piece of land, by us small parsells go for $5500/acre, a little more if it has some sort of water source. Dont try to buy a homestead with established farm/pastures/barn. Just get the land. Then start like MD did with a small travel trailer.
    You will still have plenty left over for nice firearms and ammo.
    Then follow MDs list and fill in the holes, no matter what you get it’s better than not doing anything. As you progress don’t just collect “stuff”, learn to use it and you will develop your skill set.
    And make a few different plans on how to get to your area (if you plan to keep living in that apartment).
    But I think over time you will chose to move.

    • I live in Komradfornia. Guns aare cheap land is not. I would get armed straight away!

      • axelsteve
        Did you read those idiots are going after private wells and septic tanks so they can suck more money out of our pockets. It is now on the gobernuts desk, heaven help us.

  6. 1/ small acreage ( 5) 2/ gun & ammo 3/ food preps 4/ book w/info and classes 5/ small travel trailer .

  7. First I’d buy a “vacation” home in the mountains or a plot of land and an RV.
    I’d spend the rest on:
    Classes to learn basic skills – first aid, survival etc
    Food supplies
    Medical supplies
    Guns and ammo

  8. I got out my husband’s chainsaw, oiled it up and tightened the blade. I trimmed limbs from the trees and cut them up for firewood, stacked it and worked at getting the garden ready for fall planting.
    I did a lot of reading about water storage and rain collection. I went through the closets weeding out old clothes I could cut up to use for quilts.
    Some people would just call what I do puttering around the house, but I consider everything I do a part of being prepared.

    • Tongue in Cheek says:

      Well, then you ought to have most of that $100,000 left and a grateful husband!

  9. The first thing I would do, is just what I did. When I first started thinking about being prepared, aka, prepping, I scoured my home for things I thought I could use for prepping. I read a LOT and made a list of things I had, things I needed, things I wanted to do, etc. I thought long and hard about security and safety and started repurposing everything I could. I started stocking up on a few grocery items to make sure I could make it through an event, just in case, and I started storing water.
    If I lived in an apartment and came across that kind of money I would strongly consider trying to find a small piece of land outside the city limits and would look into a small cabin type house, much like the new ‘tiny homes’ now on the market.
    From there I would begin to do some serious prepping.

  10. Ok so getting a lot of money like that is probably going to make you want to buy ” stuff ” I am sure it will !

    So I agree with buying land but that might take some time for you to find the right land and location and so on .

    Started building your preps to shelter in place .

    Water , food ….guns .

    Then work on building BOD bag and car bag .

    By then you will have spent some money not a lot but you have your BASICS covered

    Good luck and God Bless

  11. 1 Man + God=A Majority says:

    In my humble opinion: the money is not the issue!

    Example: I know plenty of people who have very little when it comes to preps, BUT–and by golly, this is where they shine–they have developed wonderful neighbors, family, and friends.

    NO AMOUNT of money can get that for you!

    My advice: best time to start making trusted friends was yesterday, second best time is here–right now!

    Develop relationships first and foremost–the “stuff” will follow.

    My coach in this is my Lord and Savior, Jesus! Get a personal relationship with Him, and then pass it on to others! You will be amazed. Money will really not be important. Things will start to happen for you, all to the good.

    that’s my .02

  12. First step: buy a clue. The easy way to do that is to get both of MD’s books and they will help you set your purchase priorities and provide realistic goals, not to mention help get the most for your dollar.

    Otherwise, shelter, water, food, defense. Pretty much in that order.

  13. Beginning with the assumption that you intend to keep your job, mortgage, car payment, and other commitments, the first thing would be to get some food, water (& portable filtration), and basic medical supplies stored. If you have no firearms, at least start by adding a decent 12 gauge shotgun like the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 -simple & reliable- and some ammo (add a handgun, rifle, and .22 soon). Practical gear can be crucial, and land is very important, but you need skills. Skills that will allow self-reliance, self-protection, and survival. Either informally seek out others with legitimate experience and expertise or search for and sign up with expert paid instructors (this can be expensive, but provides an excellent foundation). Another good resource is your local adult education training programs that can offer courses/training in a variety of disciplines such as EMT, construction, mechanics, gardening, etc. and for relatively low cost. Once you have some basic food/water/medical items stored and a firearm or two (or 3, 4, or 5) and the accompanying ammo; and once you have gained some foundational skills you should work to increase your food/water storage to about 6 months or more. During this timeframe you should also be searching for an affordable piece of land and either place a trailer, shipping container, or site-built structure on the property. And last but not least, spend time researching and reading what others are doing to learn from their experience and wisdom. Some basic skillsets to seek out would be (not in any particular order) -safe/effective firearms usage including training to think “tactically”, unarmed fighting (MMA, Krav Maga, Karate, etc.), DIY skills for things that allow you to take care of yourself/home/auto, outdoor survival and navigation, gardening, animal care, homesteading, using tools/running equipment, food gathering, hunting, fishing, rafting/boating, driving courses, tool/knife care, gun repair, and similar fields. $100k can set you on an excellent path to preparedness and self-reliance if you use it wisely. God bless ya and move quickly but don’t be in a hurry.

  14. If possible rent a storage unit within walking distance of your apartment. Think of it as your start over cache in case you have to abandon your apartment for some reason.

    Post TEOTWAWKI land ownership becomes what can you take and control. Owning five acres in the middle of nowhere today will be the same as owning all of nowhere if you are able to control and defend it.

    Do you have a survival group? Don’t automatically assume that friends, family or that nice neighbor across the hall are going to join hands and help you survive after an event. You will need a group. Your chances of surviving increase exponentially from prepping. Your chances of surviving decrease exponentially if you are forced to do it solo.

    If you can find a suitable location are you planning on moving there and going completely off grid? If not there is a chance that you might bug out only to find that someone is playing house with your supplies.

    Like TeriLee says, before you spend any money look at what you have on hand to get started. A large butcher knife with a card stock and duct tape sheath isn’t the best survival knife to have. But it’s a whole lot better than walking out the door totally naked.

    Most important of all is make a plan. Or several.

  15. Goatlover says:

    I would MOVE–buy 5 acres of land in the country, put up a pole barn and park a used RV under it for temporary housing. Make arrangements for clean water on-site and for alternate energy sources such as solar/propane/wood, etc. Obtain a year’s worth of long-term storage foods…rice, beans, grains, sugar, salt, honey, whatever you eat, plus recipes and a means to cook it. Research on line what fruits and vegetables can be grown in your zone….then get bulk seeds and teach yourself to farm. And last, but not least, get a long gun, and a handgun plus as much ammo as you can afford…..

  16. 1. Subscribe, read and research the archives of the Suvivalistblog! Begin learning survival skills and purchasing books to offset your lack of skills.
    2. Put together a very complete bug out bag and keep it with you at all times. Include high protein bars and water enough for 5 days, NVG, Cree lights and extra batteries, defensive gear (knife, bear spray, etc.)
    3. By a 4×4 3/4 ton heavy duty diesel truck with a shell. Have extra fuel tank installed to give you extended range. Diesel cause it’s more rugged than a gas model and it will be able to use fuel found in abandoned big rigs. Add heavy duty brush guard and winch. Outfit the truck with CB, SW com capability, GPS,
    4. Have a heavy type metal storage box(s) mounted in the truck to hold food, water, other gear and weapons securely.
    5. ,
    6. Buy several pistols and long guns plus a 12 ga. shotgun. The calibers should be the same if at all possible (357 mag, 9mm, etc.) Buy a minimum of 1000 rounds for each pistol & rifle and cleaning and tool kits. Purchase 250 12 ga. 00 shells. Add a 22 rifle for small game hunting. Purchase extra ammunition for practice shooting, learn your weapons and how to use them!
    7. Purchase up to date road and topography maps. Figure out a bug out location that is fairly close but offers security and seclusion by actually visiting the locations and scouting them out. Determine at least one alternate location. Investigate State and National Parks that might offer immediate locales for hunkering down. Contemplate burying caches of goods where you can retrieve them later.
    8. Purchase survival gear (water purification, fire starters, medical supplies, tools (axes, knives, rope. come-along etc.), tents and tarps, toilet paper, clothes for each season, multiple pairs of good boots, socks, etc..
    9. Purchase dehydrated meals (MRE’s, etc.) adequate for 90 days or more.
    10. Get fit! Have all medical and dental issues resolved. purchase extra prescription glasses if you wear them, etc.

    I wouldn’t advise this person to buy land unless it can be purchased raw and has access to water and game …….. and can be had very cheaply. Might suggest they have a little bit of cash and precious metals just in case. They should keep an eye out for like minded folks and contemplate becoming a member of a small group.

  17. I would buy 10 acres of wooded and open land next to clean lakes/waterways, a used mobile home I could fix up and put on the land, get a wood stove, solar/wind/generator power, go to a community college and/or learn here at survivalistblog new skills, then put them to work being self-sufficient. I’d build a barn/shed for farm animals, drill a well for a hand pump in my kitchen and an outhouse. The new car and house in the city would be sold so I don’t have any debts, and if I have to find another job, and buy a used truck, that’s what I would do. I would have plenty left over for prepping supplies. Land is very cheap here, and some mobile homes go for 4k or less, so 100k would go a long way for me.

  18. 1 pay off all debt . Then stay that way. With no debt to suck you dry every month you will be surprised at cash available to use and save.
    2 1 month of food/water on hand.with ways to use it.After the first month is on hand copy can or what ever to add to your stores.
    3 buy a good gun and get training course.
    4 find a community garden and start learning to grow your food. 5 find a canning class
    6 find an edible wild plant class/group
    7 take a Red Cross first aid class
    8 when vacation time comes your going Woofing on a organic farm (prefer of grid farm) just set someone up on to work on one of those. This will give you rural exposer and hands on with livestock.
    Other than on debt level at the start I have spent very little money . You should be building cash reserves back up the whole time. Once you have spent time talking to people about their farms . Why they chose that piece of ground and what they would do different about buying and developing it then you are ready to buy what you can afford with cash. Use it first as a bug out location and then as primary home . Have seen to many come in with money that have never live rural life styles and be gone in 5 years broke and broken from lack of knowledge and skills.

    • I like the community garden idea, Fixit. It probably wouldn’t be tenable after a collapse, but it would be a great way for an urbanite to learn something about gardening. Good skill set.

  19. First thing I would do is not to spend the money. I would start looking for a new place; not to far from work and medical care, but far enough that walking would be difficult. I would setup a 6 month emergency fund and tuck it away. I would then pay off all bills that I could possibly pay off; and start saving the normal bill amount for future preps. During this process I would be researching prepping and figure out what my short term and long term goals were; this is an on going process and is always evolving.
    Once the property was purchased, I would then setup the security of the property, and occupants.
    So Shelter and Security are moving along time to start on Water. I would start with getting a two week supply of a gallon a day per person. Learn and have ways to purify and store rain water.
    Food – Buying normal food from grocery store I would get a two week supply per person. Learn to fish, hunt and trap.
    I would continue to accumulate food and water in two week amounts until I had whatever amount of time I felt was needed. 3 months to 5 years all depends on your goals. I may at this time also buy some long term storage food to have.
    So now you have your bills paid off, a secure location, water, and food.
    At this point you will start purchasing items based on your short and long term goals.
    This is where your research comes into play. Based on your goals you need to prioritize what you need make your lists and make your purchases and develop your skills.

    This is just a rough guide as to how I would do it. There is so much more but, it doesn’t happen over night. Prepping should become a way of life but not take over your life.


  20. mindful patriot says:

    The first thing that is required is the motivation to spend the $ on preps. If you are living the described lifestyle, why would you spend it on anything other than more of the same?

    It takes an event, an epiphany, or something that rocks your usual way of thinking to change.

    Once you have the motivation, you can do anything.

    One way or another. And whether or not you suddenly find yourself with bookoo cash.

  21. -Get some water stored. Buy some food, 3-4 guns & ammo.
    -Pay off the debts & quit my job.
    Then find 5-8 acres in a rural area, preferably w/ some cleared land suitable for gardens & sm animals & some wooded, w/ a creek/river or sm lake.
    -Move my water, food & guns out to the new homestead.
    -Learn about homesteading, gardening & raising chickens & rabbits. Set up a place for target shooting practice.
    -Plant some heirloom non-gmo seeds for a garden. Set up coops for chickens & rabbits & acquire some. Set up an irrigation system.
    Make plans to acquire more food & ammo & increase water storage. Make plans to build a shed or barn if neither are there. Set up solar system, rainwater collection system.

  22. tahoevalleylines says:

    Recently one of the US military service training facilities announced they were no longer requiring proficiency in Morse Code…

    Morse Code (… _ _ _ …) is really handy if all you have is a car battery and barbed wire over to your nearest neighbor, Or, abandoned phone/TV Cable wires to downtown??

    Morse Code can also be transmitted audibly over tube radios, still to be found at garage sales and old cars. Somebody can explain how to use things like old speakers or buzzers, etc, as “sounder”, the receiving end of Morse Code signals. Intercommunity or even inter neighborhood communication is critical after EMP or quarantine scenario, etc.

    As a thought, it seems important to consider cataloging and determining certain abandoned rail corridor for rebuild to de minimus operating standards. In some cases rail links will prove more useful than waiting for the trucking methodology to come back to normal.

  23. worrisome says:

    First off, even before I spent the money on land anywhere, I would buy a bug out vehicle, one with a tow hitch. I would start looking at travel trailers. Doesn’t have to be a thing of beauty, it is shelter!

    I would take a course in basic auto maintenance where ever I could find one. I would take a course in basic building skills where ever I could find one.

    Read up on raising chickens and rabbits.

    I would start looking for some property, but that property needs to have multiple sources of water on it.

    Read everything here and figure out your particular circumstances and start making lists. Let that windfall gather some interest while you are learning.

  24. Canyonman says:

    I often trip over the hypotheticals. You’ve received some SUPERB advice here, and excellent lists.

    I suppose my question is, who or what is setting the ground rules that “not more than half ($50K) could be spent on land and / or land development…” I swear, if it’s that same gang of Ransacking Realtor Transvestite Zombies who are going to take away a family member of your choosing (see ‘Conflicted’)…

    • “who or what is setting the ground rules”

      Good Q., Canyonman. But dems da roolz.

      Of course, rules are made to be broken….

    • Obviously you should scout out land to buy in an overloaded airplane that someone manages to get off the ground so you can reconnoiter if there are any Rabid Roving Ransacking Realtor Transvestite Zombies

  25. Michael see says:

    Get a Mustang (car) and a burrow. The Mustang will get you to your underground bunker; fast. You will need a bunker – underground – to escape the “heat death” of nuclear war. Watch “Cosmos” (End of the dinosaurs) for a description of the asteroid impact. It wasn’t the impact that killed the dino’s – it was the all the rock that came down and heated up the atmosphere – to pizza oven temp’s.

    The “burrow” will be a lot less likely to be seen from a distance and you will avoid many fights, out of sight – out of mind.

    • Michael

      Mustang = Ford

      Ford = Fixed Or Repaired Daily. 🙂


      • Schatzie Ohio says:

        Make sure you are near a Chevy dealer for all those recalls 🙂

      • Michael see says:

        That’s exactly why you do want a Mustang – fix it your self. I know what you will say; “it has a computer”. Well, I can plug in my “computer” (tuner) and read the problem, in plain English, and fix the problem. Check out the internet for “Mustang Mods” to see what is possible.

        There is exceeding dependability in a simple car with a big engine, nothing really exotic.

  26. If I were in an apartment I wouldn’t have a mortgage, so maybe it is a condo. Car payments: nope. Paid cash ten years ago for a new Toyota truck and it is still chugging along, but the scene says mortgage and car debt.

    So, if it a good, relatively new vehicle and of an appropriate type, pay off the loan, make any repairs necessary, and put all of the saved monthly payments into preps.

    Otherwise (assuming the collapse will not be from an EMP/CME) trade it in for an appropriate new vehicle like a light pick up truck with a cap. No frills, just a plain jane 2 wheel drive pick up with either an extended cab or a 4 door, depending on perceived need. No loan: pay it in full, whatever I had been paying on the loan on the old one would now go to preps.

    Either way, get the emergency gear like jumper cables, first aid kit, blanket, heat if in a cold climate, two sturdy flashlites, a sturdy shovel, bottles of water, a basic GHB.

    After that, buy some time:

    Water: Minimum 30 gallons per person in the household, in containers no more than 5 gallons each so they can be transported in an evacuation scenario. Raise this if in desert or extremely hot area. 1 LifeStraw per person, one LifeStraw Family size filter for household. Unscented Clorox, 1 gallon to be replaced every six months. A sturdy metal bucket and rope, in case it is possible to get water.

    Food: Our standard canned goods and pasta, enough for at least three months, making allowance for not being able to buy fresh ingredients for cooking. Three cases (c.90 pounds) each of LDS #10 cans of pinto beans and white rice, three cases of quick oats (They don’t need to be cooked- cold milk is fine). Dried apple slices. Canned condensed milk. A camp stove with fuel for at least a month to start. Learn how to make a camp fire with matches, fire steel, and probably with rubbing sticks, but that last could wait. The basics are critical, tho. Learn how to cook over a fire as well as the camp stove.

    Meds: A big first aid kit which I would assemble, prescription meds, bandages and splints, all the standards for whatever problems I think the most likely. Spare eyeglasses for anyone who needs them: Again: plain jane versions, and sturdy.

    Communications: Radios, batteries and adapters. Possibly a small solar charger.

    Security: Take a defensive shooting class, get a good handgun and appropriate long gun for each person old enough, ammo for same, and spend money on practicing regularly (this could be with the car payment money I wouldn’t be spending anymore). Don’t forget the defensive shooting class. Holsters and a cleaning kit. Two good belt knives for each person: multi-tool and one bigger sheath knife, even something like a KaBar Cutlass machete. A sharpening stone. Learn how to use it.

    Cash: $10,000 in small bills.

    PMs: US silver coins, $2,000 current value. Gold: US coins about $5,000 current value. A money belt for each family member.

    Go camping! Figure out what I need to camp at a prepared site: tent and bedding, stuff listed above, whatever, and learn how to use it. Create a set of camping gear, ready to go.

    Clothes: whatever camping teaches me I need for outdoors activities. Certainly comfortable boots, gloves, broad brimmed hat.

    Books/knowledge: look for the highly recommended books, get them and read them. Then practice. Take classes in first aid, shooting, whatever seems appropriate.

    Get a passport for each member of the family: bugging out may require crossing borders.

    Check out our host’s Things To Do Now pages and pay attention.

    OK, I hope this would buy me time. If this wasn’t off the cuff it might be more complete, but this will do to start, as it is at this point about buying time.

    Then I would think about longer term issues like relocating.

  27. If you are willing to work for it and give up luxuries, on $100k
    you can move to a county without building codes ($5- $50k for the land)
    Then using your own labor build a structure to live in or put down an rv/travel trailer and sheds ($2- $10k) Setup rainfall collection or well ($1 -$15k) a big garden and greenhouse(s) ($1- $5k) Solar and Alternative energy system and rocket mass heater($3 – $20k).
    At this point TOP END you would have invested up to $95k, probably less. BUT you have also provided for all your minimal food, water, shelter, heat, energy needs for the foreseeable future. Spend the remainder of your money on classes/books/training, security (guns or the like), storage food (basics like wheat and beans).
    And you would have it all done in less than a year.
    You should keep working and paying down your existing debts during this time – then move on to your land (even if it means taking a much lesser job) selling all the luxury assets you had, and finish paying of your debts.
    BOOM – no debts, few to no expenses beyond luxuries you pay cash for, and a much healthier lifestyle than 90% of Americans.
    Start saving to cover any surprise medical or repair expenses.
    NOTE the key to all this is moving to a cheaper place to live (no building codes) and doing the labor yourself as much as possible (acts as a training for how to maintain and repair what you are getting.

  28. $100,000.00 – I would buy 10-100 acres outside the area I live in, move my travel trailer and start to build our bug out/hideout. We the money left over, I would pay off bills.

  29. Happy Camper says:

    Rule one: tell no one !!
    From experience when people find out you have money, the rules of friendship and respect change.
    People will spend time with you and attempt bait you into what they think is the best thing to do with the money, when in a round about way they will benefit.
    Rule two: tell no one !!!
    Rule three: tell no one and think hard, write down the pros and cons of each decision, write a budget out and allocate a contingency. Ultimately what you think something will cost, it is usually more expensive, harder to find and difficult to keep confidential.
    Rule four: tell no one !! Jealousy will rear it’s head, roumors will start and the snake oil salesmen come out.
    Juggling large sums of money is stressful in itself because the banks are not to be trusted, the economy is on a knife edge and when you acquire property or items, people notice and people talk.
    All bets and friendships and kinfolk need to be kept away in this situation.

  30. I just went down the list giving thumbs up to just about everyone, what great advice. It would be amazing if our gubment gave a crap about us and gave us that kind of money instead of wasting it. I read once that if all people over 55 were given a cool mill with the agreement that they would quit their job, buy a home and American made car (any home and any car) then it would have been cheaper than the first bank bailout. Unemployment fixed, housing crisis fixed, American mfg fixed. Just remember how big a billion is- if I got a dollar every second 24/7 then it would take 31.7 years to pay me a billion dollars. We just finished helping a neighbor convert one of those rebuilt sheds into a nice little house, bathroom, kitchen and front porch, better than an rv I would say.

    • Schatzie Ohio says:

      Would love to see the details of the shed rebuild! Pictures too!

      • I had typed in pre built shed not rebuilt and spell check changed it. I will ask the neighbor but want to respect his privacy also. The Menonites make them here, it was their biggest model with lofts on both sides we made stairs for. Wired it for his generator, dug him a big septic without permit. He still needs a better rain catch system but supplies water from a barrel via a small pump to the bath and kitchen. Think he has a little over ten grand in it now but it is cozy and all new.

        • billbo,please reconsider.
          the pictures could be taken so that nothing of location or ownership is revealed. the shed picture could be taken from any literature the mennonites have for advertizement.
          it would be amost interesting article.
          i like this idea better tan using a mobile home or camper, if $$$ would permit.

  31. Assuming that the money must be used for preps, not to pay down debt/pay off mortgage, and that it must be spent not saved or used to buy gold/silver/jewels…first buy MD’s Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat. Then look for land two to ten acres in a nice location outside of town, next find a good mobile home/modular home or travel trailer to put there, $50,000 can get a very nice place. This can be used as a bug out location or a full time residence. The rest of the money will be divided up, 1/4 on education and training, books, videos, training courses, the rest will go to gear, firearms, ammo, supplies, ammo, tools, ammo,… Practice by living the prepper lifestyle. Within a couple years of gardening, raising chickens and rabbits, firearms/tactical training, hunting, alternative medicinal plants it will be second nature.

    • mountaingypsy says:

      Big D, I especially liked your comment to ‘practice’ the prepper lifestyle. The sudden change of lifestyle in an event will really be too much for a lot of people. Most will freak out and not know what to do. Just being without electric will cut off everything we know. My fear is lack of water, I can do without electric I think. People need to save water, and food, like we preach. Learning skills now, and getting into a mindset will help, rather than waiting too late. Most people can not relocate as is recommended, due to work or family. Then the issue is finding that safe place. Some of us are lucky and do not live in a city. Downsizing even from the McMansions would help people adapt. I assume, the rich will be hit first for food and supplies. MD’s book was a great help. The $100 grand is a lot to fathom! But land can be purchased or borrowed when something happens. Many will die and their homes or property will get used by someone. But without the cash, careful planning and purchases bit by bit will be the way. In my area, lots of land for sale, but too many restrictions and POA’s, and no RV’s or mobiles and such. No tiny houses either. Bummer…..Also no rainwater catch allowed, and no garden watering from out own well. I will have to purchase water and a tank to use to grow food.

      • mountaingypsy,
        learning as you go slowly changing old habits/lifestyles to new good habits is what I was trying to say. A sudden change to something completely foreign seldom goes well, like going on the rice cakes and water diet while joining gym, steady progress towards your goals is the way to go.
        Water, food, and electric are the things that will be the biggest shock, but if we plan, prepare, practice they are manageable.

  32. Well, 1st thing is to get out of the city. Buy 7-10 acres off a dirt road where no one who doesn’t live there has any business being ( There are many such spots in KS). Make sure there are water sources and rights.
    If say park a travel trailer, but I’ll be honest, it hits -10, and that legendary Kansas wind will blow right through your soul so I think you at least build and insulate. Then start learning gardening and husbandry, starting with goats and chickens. Pick up a Ruger 10/22, Remington 870, Remington 770 in 308, a budget AR, a Glock 19 and a Glock 21. Then begin the food storage i have

    • mountaingypsy says:

      III%, Great remark about the “KS wind blowing through your soul”! I was born there, but TX and CO are really windy. I was naïve in not realizing that it blows daily in CO. I had no idea. We have been trying to finish painting outside, all summer, windy everyday, or has rained…..Also, it is difficult to find land here that has no restrictions and no POA’s, unless one buys many acres. Water rules and building rules are tough. Hard to build a ‘dry’ cabin anymore if you wanted one.

  33. How would I spend $100,000 on preps?

    1. Become debt free
    2. Take care of any medical or dental issues (to include glasses/contacts)
    3. Then sit down and do my due diligence. Read everything in sight about prepping and self sufficiency
    4. Make a list of what my goals are
    5. Figure out where I want to live
    6. Prioritize my list of goals
    7. When a handful of goals are done evaluate the list, add, subtract and prioritize again, until you are satisfied with what you have done.
    8. Never be satisfied with what you have done as there is always something you didn’t think of.

  34. Chuck Findlay says:

    As far as ground rules about spending it, It’s my money and I would spend it any way I wanted.

    And if a person was as clueless as the first paragraph implies they are I don’t see that person suddenly becoming a prepper because they got a windfall of money. So they would be a good consumer and buy junk not preps. Getting $100,000 doesn’t suddenly make you aware of the problems around you that you didn’t see up to that point.

  35. OldSoldat says:

    “If you had NO preps, were starting out fresh, living in an apartment in a moderate 100,000 sized city with an “average” paying job, the usual amount of debt mortage, car payment which left you with little at the end of the month, and essentially NO prep skills such as farming, animal husbandry, medical, electrical, HVAC, motor/mechanic but…”

    A few years ago, I had no preps nor weapons. When I decided to move on it, the first thing I did was come to this site. 🙂 Just saying. The rest is history. Been adding a bit at a time in all categories.

    But I wouldn’t forget wealth preservation just in case of future need, i.e can’t find the acres yet, medical bills, retirement, etc. This day and age, other than buying bulk items pre-inflation or good land, that may include some PMs.

  36. Carl, you don’t know it, but you are asking some of us to write a book, but I will try and make it short and sweet. First a comment though, you would get betters answers if you didn’t set rules on how that money can be spent.

    (1) I would use the first 50k to buy land, and then I would build with my bare hands everything on it so as to maximize my funds. I would buy solar power, drill a well by driving a pipe in the ground, fortify my place, etc.

    The other 50K I would first buy some of the big ticket items that are needed, such as Night Vision and Infrared optics, a 50 caliber rifle with optics and ammo, keep in mind I already got my other weapons covered.

    I would buy a Rokon with the single track trailer, and anything I didn’t already have for that would be purchased. By that I mean plan B which is to never come home again.

    Some of the money would be used to live on while I built my place which will take several years. So this is my short version.

  37. Rod Zeigler says:

    I would not buy any land. Period. Land is taxed, when SHTF happens money will be tight and land will be seized for non-payment of taxes. It also puts your position on a list at the county treasurers office. I would be more inclined to purchase an old RV with no electronics necessary for it to run. Make it as secure and mechanically sound as absolutely possible. Have spare starter, alternator, fan motor, etc. shielded from EMP. Have spare fuel on hand, treated for long term storage. THEN acquire long term storage food, water filtering, spare clothing and boots, tools (this can get to be a BIG one), communications gear (again, shielded in case of EMP). After you have the above THEN pick up a small selection of firearms. Shotgun, handgun, rifles (.22, military weapon, and long range game rifle with scope). GET PROFICIENT with these! Along with your weapons pick up spare ammo. NOW….Make sure you do not go overboard on anything but have a balanced number of the above. A semi-load of ammo you can’t eat is as bad as a semi-load of food you can’t defend. LEARN, LEARN, LEARN, and practice basic skills until you become proficient. I just purchased an RV like I suggested above and I am doing electrical, plumbing, genset, diesel engine, communications, carpentry, and a number of other things on this rig. All of these skills I have gained over the years and are my number one survival asset. Knowledge weighs nothing, and is your most valuable commodity. This was a FUN question!

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Where would you park the RV if you owned no land?

      RVs have limited storage and prepping takes lots of storage space.

      An RV parked on zone-free land (junk land) that seems to be of limited value to government may work as they are going to go after the most valuable land when they make a grab for it.

      But in the Eastern part of the country zone-free land is hard to find.

      • Rod Zeigler says:

        Like all things survival, location plays a huge role in planning. East of the Mississippi the population density makes many things difficult. Out here in the far Mid-West things are a bit different and there can be places found to park an RV for a while. As to space limitations. trailers can make up for that, as well as allow you to cache at a main site and sortie with the RV if necessary.

  38. Thanks for the responses. I made the arbitrary provision of 50% land just to eliminate blanket responses like “buy a truck full of ammo and guns or a 50 acre spread.” The fact is, this question really applies to the non preppers out there who may have suddenly awakened to a looming possibility. Their needs and strategies, and expenditures may differ radically from those established preppers.

    Interesting comment about those who would recommend storage facility first, and who skimp on land purchase for simple reason that you can not be certain whether you can hang on to it, due to either govt taxation/foreclosure or outright confiscation at gun point. I agree.

    Would buy land in a temperate zone, have at least a cold winter to slow the migration of drifters/looters and benefits of cold storage. Too cold, not long enough growing season, even with greenhouse, and too much energy expended getting firewood, staying warm. (Two hand saw in addition to chainsaw in case need for silence.) Live too far south, I think you are more likely to face the constant presence of intruders.
    Because most non prepppers lack skills, I think that would mandate putting at least 10% in gold /silver or very barterable items AND I think food storage for a non prepper would have to take very high priority, much more so than most preppers here would allocate…preppers who already have gardens, chicken coops etc. Thus my vote would go to 1 yr supply of freeze dried food which for family of 4 would cost $15,000. Whoa! But that is the price one pays for prepping late. It (food storage) would have to be idiot proof to buy one time to get his act together-that is assimilating information via various books like Seed to Seed, City Chicks, Gardening When It Counts and mitigate the numerous failures inherent in the learning process.

    So, my thought is: Buy 4-5 acres of partially wooded land in temperate zone with timber, undeveloped, with water supply, immediately sink a well casing for later installation of Flojack or Bison well, usual Berkey or equivalent water purification. Dig a basement or cistern, or if in lowlands build it on ground level and get heavy equipment to build up berm around it, allow to settle before building small house. Cover it with steel panels ( later used for construction of your house) and a layer of dirt. Leave it for several months, and see if it is disturbed.
    If all clear, and no SHTF yet, then would preposition bulk items like fencing (Concertina?)wire, treated posts for fencing, a 500 gallon propane tank, even fertilizer/pesticide (during first year or two-you are going to have to “cheat” in order to get any of your first attempts at gardening to be productive), and other lumber or building materials that would generally be a pain in the ass for anyone to steal. Don’t forget roofing for rainwater collection, gutters, and collection barrels. Meanwhile other storage items would be in a climate controlled unit near your present living quarters-temporarily leased. (Flour, grains, chicken feed.) Thus, requires a 14 foot trailer (max)-around $4,000 as part of the price to be paid for lack of an already prepositioned BOL. Assuming you have a pick up truck to pull it. Also as tempoorary shelter. You would also need to have at least a dozen NATO Jerry Cans to store fuel. 5 gallons/ a can and 10 miles to the gallon tops, assuming detours etc= 600 miles range.

    Other concerns:
    1.) Definitely need provisions for security, especially if you are on your own (admittedly a bad situation to be in, but we are talking here about making the best of a bad situation).
    Would need a MURS type perimeter system-one that could be set up quickly, plus vibration sensor for incoming vehicles.
    Definitely need night vision binoculars or thermals for screening and at least one NV scope on a gun. Won’t get into guns much since that subject is well debated, just to say would have one shotgun, a .308 like a Springfield M1A, a 22, and a carbine or .223 AR 15. Would then go for body armor before spending too much more on guns or ammo. You need advanced alert AND shield to have any chance.

    2.)Food storage capability, and the fact that others nearby may have excess food from farms that they can not store due to the fact that the electricity is cut off and they have no way of storing and suddenly be more inclined to barter rather than have to throw away what they can no longer store. Thus would probably throw a pallet of Mason jars for canning, plus a pressure cooker, Ball Canning book, and a couple of efficient Rocket Stoves to take advantage of any opportunity for additional food storage via canning. Dehydrators take up too much electricity.

    3.) Solar power- need a LiFePo battery capable of generating at least 200 A with low light military portable panels the 62 Watt kind….4-6 of them with the built in charge controller and the converter so can go either 12 volts or 120. Keep it in a Behrens aluminum trash can for EMP precautions.

    4.) propane converted generator in case you need power for special projects like pumping water from well or water transfer. (High priority on that 500 gallon propane tank, and no it will not last forever if you have to run your generator continuously for a week.)

    5.) Communications. Got my amateur extra rating and my radio, but it is still harder than it looks and needs practice. Get a high frequency rig for distance and some 2/6 meter handhelds for short distance line of sight communications. If cell phone or internet service is disrupted, curtailed, or censored, (more likely due to regional power failure?) can you imagine the chaos? Wars and empires have been won and lost on the communications ability.

    Just my thoughts from an awakening non prepper.

  39. I am looking in Arkansas, TN and Missouri for my retirement bug out location. As much as I like wide open spaces in other areas, (American Redout) I just don’t have the money for that kind of set up. WA, ID and SE Oregon is expensive to live in. Carl, good for you on your knowledge and last post.
    For 50K, I think I can find some privacy and some water rights in those states. I agree permimeter security is paramount. I would like to find like minded individuals that would assist me and I could assist them to accomplish that task. Going alone would suck. Especially for us older folks. Just saying.
    For work, get a skill that pays. Gunsmithing, dog training, medical transcription, or anything that can be done at the privacy of your hacienda. My neighbor sells quilts she makes from old scraps of clothes she gets at the Salvation Army. Gets top dollar under the table and shares her knowledge. There is always a market for those. She works all winter and spends the spring and summers on her property canning, planting, and maintenance. Another sells canned goods at Farmer’s Markets and word of mouth. The money she makes goes towards paying of prescription drug costs they have. She tells peoople that she needs the help and most people willingly assist. Pride doesn’t pay the bills.
    Firearms: Have at least three for starters. A pistol, a shotgun, and a rifle. At least 1000 rounds of ammo. A good set of knives.
    Where I live, the community college system puts out lots of classes that cost little and are practical classes to get started on skill building. For example, another friend who is retired puts on Dutch Oven classes through the college. For 40.00, a person can learn how to cook anything using these. I have seen small engine repair, computer classes, and basic home repair being offered in my area. Check with the college in your area for availability.
    Just a few thoughts that came to mind…

  40. IndianaAli says:

    Ok this is really hard for me because I have been prepping for awhile, am older, settled into my ways and my location, etc. For myself at this point in time the most important think I can do is pay off my consumer debts, then I would be set. At my age, I’m afraid only winning the lottery is going to do that. Anyway, if there is a truly large SHTF situation, not sure that I’m going to have to worry about debt repayment, may be worrying just about how to survive.

    However if according to your scenario I would be starting off “fresh” so to speak, I would definitely pay off debt, trade in car for practical vehicle, most likely older pick up truck. I would definitely think about selling the home, moving out of the suburbs into the country, trying to find a place with the least amount of building restrictions, etc. I like the idea listed above about using one of those premade cabins and converting into a small home. Of course priority on the land would be water supply, watcher catchment system, some type of solar alternative power supply (even if you are able to hook up to local electric/water, etc). Some type of water filtration device with extra filters. Bleach for purifying water. Definitely some type of wood stove for heating. Once the food/water/land is situated learn to garden (yes there is definitely a learning curve) and start stocking food supplies. I would probably go LDS for rice/beans/oats/wheat for long term supply and also use grocery for regular canned goods, etc. Learn to can, it’s really not that hard. Stock salt/sugar/coffee, anything you cannot grow/produce yourself. If you are going to raise any type of livestock I would suggest chickens, rabbits, maybe a goat or two…. if you are going to eat meat. On that subject… if you think you will consume meat before you go all in for livestock…. KILL SOMETHING! I know this sounds harsh but if you have never had to kill an animal it may be more difficult. I know I used to be a “city girl” and there are some people who just won’t slaughter or butcher an animal. I even know of people who raised a small beef calf, hauled it off to be butchered by someone else, got their meat back and could not eat it…. if you have not been exposed to “farm life” you may not psychologically be able to handle this… no sense in getting a lot invested in livestock only to have to give them away…. of course I would gladly take your unwanted beef steer… LOL. Start accumulating hand tools, household appliances that do not require electric (egg beaters, food choppers, etc) and wind up alarm clocks, camper stoves, small charcoal type grill, etc. Lots and lots of canning jars and tons of extra lids in all sizes. I pick these type of things up at yard sales all the time, never know when you may need’em. Stock up on medical supplies, bandages, first aid supplies, masks, ointments, absorbant pads (think puppy pee training pads), feminine pads, tampons (great for wounds) ointments and fish antibiotics. Also stock up on some soap, shampoos, personal need items along with generalized cleaners (think Lysol) bleach, etc. Of course the prerequisite toilet paper… or extra flannel to make personal wipes. Throw in a few bottles of vitamins and some TANG for additional vitamins that your diet may not provide. Look into stocking up on some extra clothing, boots/shoes in various sizes, especially if you have children. Extra sheets/blankets/flannel cloth will all be helpful. Also sewing supplies for mending or making clothing. Extra coats if you are in a winter climate along with hats, gloves, mittens, rubber waterproof boots, etc.. It goes without saying some type of personal protection (most likely a gun or two with lots and lots of ammo), a collection of useful knives (utility/pocket/machete), slingshot, bow and arrows, for protection and also hunting if you are so inclined. Wire, string, rope, etc. Any extra fencing, chicken wire, fence posts, saws (extra chains for chain saw along with oil and gas), extra gas cans (hopefully kept full of treated gas), generator, matches (kept vacuum sealed if you can to keep out moisture), fire starter, fishing line and hooks. Rolls of plastic sheeting, duct tape, electrical tape, etc. Mechanic tool set/wrenches in standard and metric along with blow torch, grinder, hammers, etc. Also extra oil/ lubricants/antifreeze/wheel grease, etc. Lastly make sure you have some junk silver, 1 oz American Eagle silver coins, a few gold coins, a stash of smaller demomination bills on hand and somewhere safe to stash them.

    Well I’ve gone on and on here… probably spent more than the 100,000, oh well we can all dream. I think the point is to start doing something (anything) to get prepared.. Things add up over time if you keep at it. Most people probably have a lot of prepping items they do not even consider preps, just stuff they have accumulated over their everyday life. Go to some estate auctions/farm auctions of an elderly person who is deceased and you will see an accumulation of preps from over a life time and may get a few good deals too.

  41. Since you are starting from scratch with no skill level i would say start off by buying basic camping gear. Go camping and use the time to develop woods craft skills.
    Next start by buying your groceries in bulk and work towards building a stable reserve. this simple technique will save you a lot of money to help you work your way out of debt.

    Get firearms/ hunter training and education and buy firearms nessissary for hunting. Go hunting. build up the shils to identify your target, kill it, butcher it, Store it and eat it. These are all skills that you will need in a survival situation. Firearms that you use for hunting can be used for defense but combat weapons can rarely be used legaly for hunting.

    Work to develop contacts and skills for post SHTF. The right mix of skills and contacts can be more valuable than all the preps.

    Now that you have some experience an skills consider refineing and developing more tatical weapons and ammo stores, make your purchase decisions with developing your pereps in mind.

    This will get you started but be warned there is no end! Growing up My father was a Survivalist and i dont remember not having the skills and gear. that said i have been developing my preps for 40 years and feel that i have only just begun. Prepping is not a task it is a lifestyle.

  42. TLDR. Back up to original post:
    “living in an apartment in a moderate 100,000 sized city with an “average” paying job, the usual amount of debt mortage…”
    OK, apartment or mortgage? You rent AND pay a mortgage?

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