The Quickest Way I Know To Get a Family of Four Prepped for The Coming Collapse

The Quick-Start Guide to Survival & Preparedness for a family of Four

This morning as I was trying to catch up on my email (I get a massive amount of email each month, last month over 3,000), I opened a great one from John W. In a nutshell  John, is new to prepping and hasn’t really done anything prep-wise yet, but he has been thinking and making plans.

John said that he has his home on two acres paid-off, and that he has a job and works to support his wife and two children (one 6 and the other 9 years old). He said that he knows from all of the news and the tell-tell signs that something big is coming, and that his main fear is a total economic collapse.

He said that he has $10,000 to spend on preps and that he wanted to be ready as quickly as possible, without all of the buying a can of food here and another can another day or a few extra cans each time he goes to the grocery store. He also insists on long-term storage foods, with a shelf-life of 25 years or more, because he doesn’t want to be bothered with all of the rotating and other stuff involved when stockpiling perishable foods.

John’s question to me was, if you had nothing prep-wise, and just starting out and wanted to be ready within the next month and with a budget of $10,000 what would you do and buy to be prepared as quickly as possible?

I’ll answer that question below.

One Year+ Food Storage for Four People 

Quick-Start Guide to Survival & Preparedness

To start I would order the Augason Farms Deluxe 4-Person One Year Kit – the $4,321 might seem like a lot at first glance, but considering this package will provide 21,116 total servings and approximately 1,300 calories per day per person, with a 30 year self-life it’s really a pretty good bargain, especially for those wanting to get prepared NOW.

The Augason Farms products make up the bulk of my long-term food storage and I can attest to the quality and taste of their products, the Honey Coated Banana Slices are absolutely delicious!

I would then order four of the Survive2thrive 100% USDA Organic 40-day Nutrition Emergency Food Supply Buckets, then I would top it all of with eight gallon of cooking oil (store it frozen and it will last a long-time), 32 pounds of salt, yes, some salt is included with the Augason Farms Kit above, but salt is cheap and has so many uses you can’t have to much.

Add another 35 pounds of sugar, and an extra two buckets of Augason Farms Country Fresh 100% Real Instant Nonfat Dry Milk in the 14 pound buckets with a 20 year shelf-life. Then I would add an assortment of herbs and spices for cooking and about 10 pounds of assorted hard candies for threats for the kids (and yourself).

I would also add 12 large jars of peanut butter, 24 cans of SPAM and 12 canned hams.

If you drink coffee be sure to add that in the amounts you normally consume over a 12 month period. And don’t forget multivitamins and extra vitamin C.

Total cost around $5,500 dollars for a family of four.

Protection and Foraging

If I had no firearms now (get training) I would buy a Mossberg  500 Combo package and 100 rounds of 00 buckshot, 50 rifled slugs and 200 bird shot (preferably #6 shot), then I would buy a Ruger 10/22, 1,000 rounds of .22 ammo and five of the Ruger factory 25 round BX 25 magazines.

Total Cost around $750

Water Storage and Purification 

I would store as much tap-water as possible (limited by space) in every suitable (but free container – avoid the plastic milk jugs, they are weak and fall-apart after a few months) that I could find. Then I would order a Big Berkey Water Filter and a set of extra elements.

Total Cost Around $350

Food Production

John said that he had two acres of paid-off property, so I would find the best place (most level, sun exposure and best soil) and have the largest area that I could work tilled and add as much free organic matter that I could get, check with any local large production chicken, horse or dairy farmers in your area, most of the time they will give you all of the manure that you need if you’ll haul it away.

Spread this on your newly tilled garden plot and till again, now cover this all with about six inches of straw and throw some old lumber on top to keep the straw in place. Leave it to compost in the ground over the fall, winter and into spring. When it’s time to plant in late spring, till it all up (including the straw) again and plant.

If I did not already have gardening tools on hand, I would get a good quality shovel, hoe, and a bow rake, spading fork,  a big box of  Miracle-Gro all purpose plant food  and a copy of Gardening When it Counts.

Then I would build a small chicken coop from mostly scrounged building material and buy 8-10 six-month to one-year-old chickens or ducks. Then I would build rabbit hutches along one of the side walls of the coop and buy two does and one buck for breeding stock.

I would also plant fruit and nut trees everywhere that I have space on my property…

Total Cost Under $650

Power Production

I would order a  Renogy 200 watt solar panel kit, panel mount, and marine battery,  solar 11-in-1 battery charger, rechargeable batteries, and a gas powered portable generator. Then I would get five-5 gallon fuel cans and fill with gasoline, add STA-BIL fuel stabilizer, then rotate every year.

Total Cost Around $800

Random Items 

Two hundred and sixty-five rolls of toilet paper, (more if you have room), 24 tubes of toothpaste, 48 toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products (ladies you know how much you’ll need for a year – I stay as far away as possible during that time), 24 bars of soap for bathing, 24 56 FL OZ bottles of dish-washing liquid, (can also be used for hand-washing of clothing.

A good first-aid medical kit (get training if you need it and include any personal medications), download free copy Where There is no Doctor and Where There is no Dentist and print them to paper or just buy copies from

Then while on, I would order a Zoom Versa Stove, a Kaito Voyager Pro KA600 Digital Solar/Dynamo AM/FM/LW/SW & NOAA Weather Emergency Radio and two sets of Motorola MR350R 35-Mile Range 22-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios for family communications when separated from family members.

Cold weather sleeping bags for every family member.

Total Cost Around $900


As you get more money put in a wood stove if possible, or at the least a propane wall heater and enough propane to last a winter. Having both a wood-stove and propane is a better and more flexible solution.

Then add a good handgun or two (I suggest a the Glock model 19 and a Browning Buckmark) extra magazines and ammo. Then look into buying a center-fire rifle, this can be something like an AR-15 or even a 30.30 lever action.

And get all of the training possible. Not only firearms training but, medical, auto mechanics canning, wood-shop, sewing etc. you can never know too much.

Add some non-hybrid garden seed.

So there you have it folks – how to get a family of four quickly prepped to survive for a period of one year or longer – in the easiest way possible… and at a total cost of under $10,000 (approximately)…

Further Reading

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of 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. Mighty kind of you to put all that together for him and everyone else. Saved him all kinds of hassle. If John W. doesn’t report back regularly with his progress, I’ll be sorely disappointed.

    • Canyonman,

      One thing that I’ve learnt over the last 8 years of publishing this blog is that when one person sends you a question, there are 100 other that would love to have the same question answered, but are afraid to ask.

      • EndOfPatience says:

        I also stock up on chlorine because of its multiple uses for purification and disinfectant. Any thoughts?

        • We have access to 35 and 50% hydrogen peroxide and we keep that stocked for purification and disinfecting. We dilute it appropriately for use. What we have is food grade.

          SSKI (Saturated Solution Potassium Iodide) is also useful. A few drops will purify a glass of water, no matter how bad it is. Also useful as a supplement.

      • You mentioned storing vegetable oils…coconut oil is better. It is healthy. ‘The only oil we should ever use for cooking’. And it keeps for years without refrigeration. We buy it from a popcorn supplier. It is naturally refined, pure 76 degree melt coconut oil. Doesn’t smell or taste like coconut. Ours comes in 50 lb pails, 6.5 gallons per pail. This is our source, I am sure there are others

        • Some people have an allergy to coconuts, and coconut oil.

          Plus according to Web MD;

          “Coconut oil is better than butter and trans fats but not as good as liquid vegetable oils,” says Penn State University cardiovascular nutrition researcher Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD.

          • Gpa Chuck & MD,
            Coconut Oil contains about 86% saturated fat, and Olive Oil only contains 13.5%. Everything I’ve read in general, is that the lower saturated fat oils are better for you, with Canola being one of the best.

            • The thinking is reversing with saturated fats now considered better. Read the works like “Grain Brain” for more on the research establishing this.

          • sw't tater says:

            Coconut oil crosses the blood brain barrier and nourishes the brain, it is recommended for people with memory issues.It has helped us re-balance triglycerides without medications. There is always a few people that can’t have something, but in general, it has a two year shelf life, when all others are labeled with a year or less.

            • because of gall bladder can only have olive or coconut oil. olive doesn’t seem to keep as long but rancid olive is used in oil lanterns so is still useful.

        • Dr. Prepper says:

          He’s right coconut is healthier, lasts longer, and my family of four have been using it for over a year now and I strongly recommend it for many other purposes and you can buy it from your local grocery store

      • An elder in my church once said about the same thing M.D. no such thing as a stupid question( within limits) If a question furthers a discusion it is useful since other people may have the same question about it.

        • We tell students in all of our classes, that the only stupid question is the one not asked, and therefore, goes unanswered. Chances are any question has at least two or three additional people afraid to ask it.

    • Did something happen to Canyonman I haven’t seen him post in a while?

  2. Only 2 things jump out at me from your suggestions, which are very good.

    Water storage and spices/gravies. Even though you talked about a water filter, You will still need storage of some kind even if you have a well, spring, or stream. Spices and gravies will make even the most boring food better, and for very little extra. I think the money for both could be found by getting some of the things you mentions used/on sale. Well worth the extra money spent.

    • JP in MT,

      Covered it in the article…

      “I would store as much tap-water as possible (limited by space) in every suitable (but free container – avoid the plastic jugs, they are weak and fall-apart after a few months) that I could find.”

      “Then I would add an assortment of herbs and spices for cooking.”

      Make your own gravies…

      • Sorry, it’s early and I missed the reference.

      • Actually the plastic jugs (like milk jugs) do have one good use. We fill them 90% full of water and place them in the chest freezer to take up any space not already taken by food. They keep well, provide additional potable water, and provide thermal mass to help keep the contents of the freezer cold during short power outages.

        • mom of three says:

          My mother does this also.

          • So do we. We keep at least a gallon in each refrigerator freezer. When we go shopping for perishables we throw one in a cooler to keep it chilled on the way home.

        • 2 good uses. I fill them with water and shoot at the from 50-100 yards to practice. They make a hell of a site when you hit them with a hollow point. For some reason I just like to see exploding water bottles LOL

          • poorman,
            Exploding water bottles are great. Our gun club runs an open to the public family shoot once a year, and one of the events, primarily for the little tykes, is shooting water bottles filled with colored water with .22 subsonics. Everyone has a ball doing it, and we quite often get older kids and adults who want to try. We easily run through 500+ bottles during the single day event.

          • Same here brother!

    • If cost weren’t such a factor I’d opt for a lever action 357 or 44 mag vs. a 30-30. With 180 gr bullets, difficult to get but do-able, my 357 will take any game a 30-30 will, with less noise, less recoil, and a greater magazine capacity (8-10 rounds vs. 4-5). Ammo prices being what they are, it’s about a wash, $20/20 for 30-30, $40 for 50 for 180 gr 357 Mag or $35 for 50 240 gr 44 Mag.

      • You made an interesting point and I’d like to add: if I was living in a free country as America, I would get the following firearms (aiming at minimal cost possible):
        1) mossy/maverick 12 gauge shottie
        2) mossberg/magtech plinkster 702 .22LR (can’t beat it for around US$ 100)
        3) rossi puma/el jefe .357 lever rifle
        4) taurus 65/66 .357 revolver (or other lower cost handgun in .357)
        5) .22LR handgun (be a revolver/pistol)
        6) .22 spring-piston airgun >=800fps.

        The 12 gauge needs no explanation. SD/HD, bird/small/big game hunter.

        Same as .22 rifle. Opted for this model because I know and shoot it sometimes (made in BRazil).

        357 rifle is powerful enough for hunting/SD/HD and it shares ammo with defensive handgun. For smaller game, .38SPL loads could be fine.

        Same ammo sharing concept as the .357 with the .22 and finally, I’d spend some pellets hunting small game/varmints than real ammo.

        Throw in a slingshot and bow and we’re done with ranged weapons.

        If money/restriction was not a problem, add bolt action .308 rifle and AR-style combat rifle also in .308, which would double as defensive/hunting firearm.

        • there was some articles on budget arsenals. What you can get for a certain budget. Some good ideas there.

    • I would also think about alternative cooking. I know MD mentioned getting a wood stove but I would add a rocket stove and/or a Zoom versa. I have both and can attest to the quality of the Zoom. The rocket stove I built myself so while it works I prefer the other.

    • Two things. If you use bleach in your laundry, get unscented bleach for your food storage. When you need laundry bleach take the Food storage bleach and replace it with a new one. (About six months storage on bleach). When farmers are busy pulling in the harvest, drive out to one and buy as much grain as you have space for. Clean a five gallon bucket out, put in a chunk of dry ice in about the size of your hand, fill the bucket 90% full with grain and lay (do not seal) the lid on the top of the bucket. Then the next morning (without lifting the lid) seal the bucket. Label. Keeps a long time. Animal feed or people feed.

  3. Don’t forget garden seeds. Md, who do you recommend for both seeds and your fruit trees?

    • Local tree nurseries would probably be best as their trees would have acclimatized to your growing zone. For seeds get heirloom.

      • And it pays if you learn how to propagate plants.

        Many of them are propagated by means of cuttings, layers et al.

        This translates in: BUY ONE plant, propagate and multiply.

        Learning how to bud and graft also pays dividends.

        I learnt this in my boyhood, while living in a farm. We also collected seeds from year to year and propagated many indigenous fruit trees.

    • Worrisome
      M.D. covered that one also…
      “Add some non-hybrid garden seed.”

  4. Well done, Mr. Creekmore! I wish someone had asked this question sooner. I wish I had. Regardless, now I have to print this post, and give it to a friend. And study some of it myself. Thank you.

  5. Where can you buy 1000 rounds of .22LR

    I have a ruger 10/22 and can’t find ammo for it.

    • Steve: I have seen adds from for $25 bricks of 500 for $50 + shipping. Along with MD’s sponsors, try

      22LR ammo is not all that easy to find, but if you are patient, it does turn up.. I show for 4 families now, because I get out and am not working. Gun show prices are about $55/500 with 100 “higher quality ammo going for around $15/box. Store prices are about $25 and $9. But then you have to look at the fact that people are WILLING to pay that kind of money at the shows. If you expect them to do the shopping, pay $50+ for a table, gas/food/lodging to bring stuff to your town (a lot of our shows are in smaller towns) then you should expect to pay more. Does it cost more to have your car’s oil changed than to do it yourself? Yes, but most people are not self-employed, don’t understand that we pay TWICE the income tax that “job” people pay, and have to cover our expenses.

      The availability of 22 LR ammo is why my grandson’s have bolt action or single shot rifles. Sometimes I even “pay” them for something special they’ve done in ammo.

      • That should be “shop” not “show”.

      • my country laws allow me to buy 300 rounds of .22 ammo per month (and I have to do paperwork and go personally to the gunshop and the Army is informed of my purchases).

        I try to shoot less and buy the max I can, every possible month. Had problems some months ago, couldn’t find ammo to buy, and guess what: there’s only one ammo producer in Brazil and it’s CBC/Magtech.

        I suspect the comunist govt’ is trying to restrict even more our right to have firearms, because the permits to buy are taking about a whole year to be issued, ammo is getting scarce and the Army is not issuing permits to get more powerful weapons (that is, anything better than .44-40 for rifles and .38SPL/.380 for handguns. At least, we have restricted access to 12ga shotguns, but can’t carry them freely to anywhere.

        • VF

          Would love to see a write up on firearm freedoms “from the common man on the street” in your home. Would be a fascinating read….

          • Hi III%,

            when I write to Americans and other people that live in more free countries, they get astonished to learn the way things are here.

            In America (in FREE America, not NY, Chicago or Detroit), firearms are seen and sold like hardware stuff, like a hammer or a power drill, isn’t it? I see guys buying shotguns at pawn shops and garage sales all the time on the net.

            In Brazil, a firearm is more or less a Ring of Sauron, or a “magic wand”, given the “fear” and character attributed to these inanimated objects.

            Here, the car crashes kill thousands annually, as well as medical errors and talking about street violence, hammers, bats and knives are much more used as homicidal weapons than firearms (yes, there’s a lot of firearm kills, but these are “illegal unregistered” firearms the Gov’t doesn’t give a sh*t about, they just want to restrict basic freedom from law abiding citizens).

            I see a global govt’ rising, see what obama is doing to America, the Latin America is plagued with communist ideals, that means simply “take out freedoms and let the govt roam free and do whatever it wants”. Think about Stalin, Saddam, Kaddafi, Castro and Chavez.

            Our govt’ is a leftist from hell, who condemns the Israel State for using force in selfdefense.

            BTW, selfdefense here is not encouraged, in fact, the govt and police says “don’t react” (to rape, robbery, burglary and other crimes). That is: they protect the criminals and leaves alone to ourselves.

            Many people wants to buy firearms in selfdefense, but it’s expensive to buy, keep and attend to all govt exigences to have a firearm. You can’t hunt here freely, you cant’ put your shotgun in the trunk of your car and go to where you want. If want to do this, you need a special permit from the Army.

            If you want to know more, I may write a whole article and submit to MD, so he can see if it’s feasible to publish.


      • I haven’t bought any ammo in bulk. Can u negotiate a discount for bulk ammo w/ some sellers?

        • RedC,
          It depends on what you mean by bulk. I purchase a lot of ammo in 1000 round orders or more, and generally you do get a better price.

          • Dustin All Precision Ammo says:

            I wish more people held your viewpoint about supply and demand and pricing. If walmart raised their prices from 25 to 40 you are right 22lr would be available for anybody who found it important enough to pay.

            But half of the people would be outraged, harboring bad feelings, call for boycotts, all that stuff. The one I like best is when they call it un-American. Since when did it become un-American to charge whatever the hell a private entity wants to charge?

            3 0 Rate This

      • Watch auctions on there usually is a lot of ammo there for auction.

    • It’s not the where it’s what you will pay. Ammo supply wear house as armscor 22 lr at $55 a brick .

    • Steve, Wal-Mart sells .22lr for around $25 a brick. It’s hit and miss, but I’ve been able to find more of it lately. You have to go early in the morning though, as soon as the speculators get word, here they come. Local sporting goods stores in my town sell for around $40 a brick. You might look around your local gun shops. $55 sounds a little high.

      • our walmart (and local gunstores) limits purchases top 3 50ct boxes per customer, and never has any in stock.

        • You need to call the manager of your Wal-Mart store. Most stores of the same size are given the same allotment, and bricks of whatever count can’t be broken down into 50 ct. boxes. Someone at the sporting goods at Wal-Mart is pulling your leg. Again, until I contacted the store manager at my local Wal-Mart I was unable to get ammo. Some sporting good’s employees at Wal-Mart stores might be in on the hoarding/reselling scam. That’s why the manager has to be contacted. Pitiful that it has come to this.

          • local gander mountain sells their 22 ammo 5-8 cents a round. Limit of 1 or 2 bulk (above 100 rnds) per person on Wednesday morning. Need to be in line a hour or better before the doors open. Otherwise they are sold out. See the same people every Wednesday sometimes even if I’m 10th in line I have been shut out. Its OK have good talks with the people in line.

        • Dustin All Precision Ammo says:

          I wish more people held your viewpoint about supply and demand and pricing. If walmart raised their prices from 25 to 40 you are right 22lr would be available for anybody who found it important enough to pay.

          But half of the people would be outraged, harboring bad feelings, call for boycotts, all that stuff. The one I like best is when they call it un-American. Since when did it become un-American to charge whatever the hell a private entity wants to charge?

          3 0 Rate This

    • And strangely enough, Steve, it’s companies like Wal-Mart that refuse to raise their prices that are keeping the shortages going. If Wal-Mart raised it’s price to $35-$40 a brick, the speculators who are buying at Wal-Mart and turning around and selling to local gun shops at a profit would lose their margins. Prices would start going down, and ammo would be widely available again.

      • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

        I wish more people held your viewpoint about supply and demand and pricing. If walmart raised their prices from 25 to 40 you are right 22lr would be available for anybody who found it important enough to pay.

        But half of the people would be outraged, harboring bad feelings, call for boycotts, all that stuff. The one I like best is when they call it un-American. Since when did it become un-American to charge whatever the hell a private entity wants to charge?

        • MPTP, the average American has been dumbed-down to the point that they don’t know the law of supply and demand, and how free markets work. When markets operate the way that assures the least price with the most availability, they then get mad as you say. They would rather get nothing for $25 than see the price go up to $35, and get all they want. Then after a while the same people will give in and pay $50 for a brick. If they had only let the market work to begin with, none of this would have happened. And large companies share the blame for behaving like socialists.

      • Wolfman, I can see how walmart’s pricing would stabalize prices, but how would that affect production or demand? I don’t see walmart’s pricing affecting production or demand. Walmart is a large volume seller, but just another big seller in the overall scope of things.

        • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

          You don’t think pricing would effect demand?!? If people had to pay more for 22lr than for 9mm you think people would still demand 22lr? At some price point (probably .12-.15 per round), most people that already have some 22 wouldn’t bother to pay for it anymore (that is a decrease in demand). There would still be some demand from people who had a ruger 10/22 but not a single round of ammo like Steve Spence.

          Somebody at Walmart’s job should be to find that price at which people are buying at just about or a little below the rate that the rounds are coming from the manufacturers. No reason to sell it faster than that.

          I think you are thinking demand is just “Would I like to have some 22?” that is not demand, that is skittle sh*tting unicorn crap. Demand is: how much will you actually buy at XX dollars for 525 rounds. At 1$ a round no sane person should buy, that price should send demand to zero. Anybody in their right mind should realize they should just switch to another caliber. At $0.01 everybody and their mother wants every round that comes off the line. For that price I’d consider taking a second mortgage on my home. Do you see how price effects demand?

          • Oh, I understand supply & demand & pricing’s effect. But it seems to me that u’re over-estimating walmart’s influence on the overall ammo mkt. It’s not like walmart controls 50% of the ammo market. They’re a large seller, but one of numerous large sellers. Seems to me that govt’s ammo purchases have a bigger influence on the ammo marketplace than walmart.

            • RedC,
              Bingo. To have any real effect on the market and price, you would need collusion with a lot of big sellers, and that would be an illegal conspiracy of price fixing.

            • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

              All that wolf man and I are saying is that if prices were set by demand (the way you’d think they would be) at walmart than I should be able to walk in leisurely at 5:30pm and decide if I wanted to buy that box of 525 rounds for $40. They would be there. In most stores around the US. Instead I have to show up at 6am or look every day just in case I might get lucky.

              They haven’t cornered the market, they can’t increase production, they are not the only supplier, but they could set their prices according to demand instead of… (what? I can’t figure out what they are doing) And then every american would be able to saunter in and buy (given at a pretty high price). When nobody wants to buy at $45 they can have a “Sale”.

              • I think some missed the point, MPTP. I used Wal-Mart as the example, but Dick’s, Gander Mountain, Bass Pro, etc., all used the “we’re not going to gouge our customers by raising .22lr prices” doctrine to make a little politically correct hay at the expense of the public who wished to have a product available at some price.

    • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

      In my area on ARMSLIST individuals are pretty regularly selling off some of their hoard for about .10 a round. If you’ve never checked before, take a look. If you, like a lot of folks, demand that you will only pay under .08 then I guess it’s just not that important.

      I’ve still found it at that price range .07-.10 but few and far between, and I’ve kept my eyes open weekly for about 2 years now. I’ve been able to add about 4,000 rounds to the stash shopping on my own and never paying more than .10 or .11.

      If I could just convince the wife to show up with our two pre-school boys at gander mountain an hour before they open I’d have twice as much. Oh, too bad I married a sane woman.

      • We have std .22LR ammo here running around US$ 15/50rd (~R$ 35). Seems cheap, uh???

      • I recently bought federal 1100 .22 rounds for about 13 cents/rd. It was from a guy selling it on facebook gun group. If u have a facebook, search for a gun group or sportsman’s group in ur cty or a nearby city. What I appreciated about this approach was the chance to pay in old fashioned cash, leaving no transaction record.

        • RedC,
          $0.13 per round is IMO robbery. 5-6 cents per round is reasonable. and can be found at local gun stores and even Wally World. You just have to keep checking and find out when the shipments come in.
          As for old fashioned cash withno transaction record, you can do that most anywhere.

          • OhioPrepper and RedC, check this out.

            I guess I made a mistake in my accounting. Since I pay about R$ 35 (today exchange: US$ 15) per 50rd box, it means I’m paying around US$ 0.30 per round of .22 ammo!!!

            And this won’t get any better.

            RedC, I thank your suggestion, but we can’t even discuss firearms freely in my country (Brazil), let alone buy ammo legally (every purchase is informed to the Army, believe it or not).

            As I promised to III%, I’ll find the time to write a decent article, without typos, to show you how things are here. I wish I lived in free America…

            Please, don’t let your freedom be taken from you. You live in probably the best country in the whole world, in every sense (climate, economy, freedom, size et al).

            Not that I dislike my country. It’s wonderful, but what the gov’t are doing since the 1990s is destroying it.

            Best regards,

    • Go to wikiarms. There is a link right on this page. They are showing REMINGTON 40 grain in 500 round box’s at 50.00 max 3 box’s per order. Price is a little high in my opinion but if you really want to get some they have it

    • Try gooseislandsales (dot) com

  6. Under spices I would add condiments . You can hide a less than pleasing dish with enough goop on it. Hot sauce , soy sauce ect.

    • Sriracha sauce FTW!

    • mmm…
      HOT SAUCE…


    • We get chili powder and cumin powder in the big CostCo/Sam’s Club containers. They are mighty handy, and a whale of a lot cheaper than buying the little bottles at the normal grocery stores.

      • Country Vet says:

        I get my spices by the pound from Amazon. The Frontier brand has TONS of organic spices at very reasonable prices. They come in mylar bags. You can easily break the amount break down into smaller units. They have not been irradiated so be sure to freeze to kill insect eggs for long term storage.

      • Babycatcher says:

        There’s a place I get mine from, Frontier Co-op, and they have herbs, botanicals, spices, all kinds of goodies at pretty good prices. I buy in bulk, then divide it up in my storage containers(Tupperware canisters and empty clean mayo jars( the square ones)

  7. Mother Earth says:

    Any suggestions on where to buy bulk salt? I don’t have a business license and shipping is too expensive.

    • You can try a feed store for curing salt. Around here they carry it in 50 lbs sacks. Personally I use Sea 90 stock salt . It has a lot of trace minerals .

    • We have a store that is like a mini-Costco, but no membership fees. They have 25 lbs bags if salt for under $5. Most of our major stores that carry canning supplies also carry 25 lb bags.

      • mom of three says:

        I thought Costco, had 25 lbs for 6 or 7 dollars. I wish I had room for that much. I may have to get another small bucket.

        • if you have a store that has a deli, they have one gallon containers that potato salad and slaw comes in, these would be ideal for salt, purchased in bulk. Most stores use so many they throw these away…

        • I get it at Costco for 5.00 for 25 lb. As MD said many uses so I store about 200 lb. The bulk stuff is not iodized most of the time ( I think ) so if you are depending on it remember that. You mentioned a bucket but salt doesn’t spoil ( it may clump ) so you can store it in the bag.

    • Mother Earth –

      if you have a restaurant supply store nearby – check there. My local one is called Cash n Carry – no membership required, have meats, vegetables frozen and canned good –

      Bulk oats, salt, sugar, flour, etc and it goes on including restaurant style cooking gear. also the bottles of flavorings for those of you addicted to Starbuck’s styles flavored coffees…..

    • Country Vet says:

      Mother Earth
      Go to your local feed store and buy as many 50# bags of livestock salt as you can possibly store. It takes a tremendous amount of salt to cure meat using the dry cure method. Also- Even mixing brine for one container will use 1.5# (along with about 5# of sugar) to cure bacon. [That being said, every one needs to put up more sugar than they can ever imagine using also to cover curing and preserving fruits. ] A added advantage of buying livestock salt is that no one will question the volume you are buying. Salt could well become worth its weight in gold. The old term “worth his salt” goes back to paying laborers in salt.

    • We keep 1000+ pounds of plain water softener salt on hand at all times. It gets used in the softener; but, in the end, it’s just plain old salt. Just make sure you get plain salt and not something like “Red Out” or salt with other cleaning addatives.

    • The west coast has a chain of restaurant supply stores that does not require a business license. They are called Smart & Final or Cash & Carry. You might search in your area for something similar in your area. They have tons of things for preppers including 25-50 pounds of pasta, grains, beans, and flours as well as large containers of spices and herbs, They also have #10 cans of everything from pasta sauce to fruits/veggies. I stock up on food server gloves. Their prices are good too!

  8. Pretty much perfect list MD, IMHO. Would just like to add what most of you probably know already. My wife just had minor surgery leaving a 3 – 4 inch incision just under the elbow. In my cleaning and redressing it I have come to realize I don’t have near enough gauze and tape. Just redoing it twice now and I’m about out. So, when the time comes we may all need a bunch of the stuff, even for minor cuts and bruises. Will be going to drug store to stock up on more, maybe you all need to recheck your stock.

    • Same issue here with a burn type wound.. I would suggest, if you have the resources, to stock 20 times what you normally use in two months…..try using thin femine care pads.. they come in short and long are sterile until unwrapped and are individually wrapped. they are also very absorbent and wound dressing ointment is sufficient, they do not stick to wound.

  9. I wish I had that much to spend on prepping. Theres a sale going on where you get a free first aid kit when you buy three first aid supplies. Look for sales like that no matter how much money you have. Theres lots of seasonal sales on stuff thats great to stock up on.

  10. Extremely helpful article, thank you so much! We’re relatively new to this as well, and it’s so easy to get overwhelmed. We don’t have a choice, money-wise, but to get a few things each week, but both this article, and the Recommended Gear article, really help us to focus on the most important things to do first. So far, we have 2 months of food & household products, 55 gallons of water, and enough small bills in the safe for food & gasoline for 2 months. Plus supplies — lights/heat/first aid — for a short grid-down emergency, up to 2 weeks. SO much further to go — and I’m praying that tomorrow comes and goes quietly…. thanks, MD and all of the pack, I feel like I’ve found a new family!

    • Congratulations! It’s so nice to be able to set in the comfort of your own home, watch Mama Nature throw a curve ball and not have to go out in it.

      • Definitely, KS Judy — up here in the northeast we get hurricanes/nor’easters/blizzards just about every year — nothing like a hot woodstove and hot food when it’s howling white-out conditions outside!

  11. It really bothers me that so many emergency food vendors focus on number of servings which is meaningless. Calories are the core criteria. 1,300 calories per day per person just won’t cut it for a hard-working lifestyle.

    • Sid,

      And that’s why I added more food to make up for it…

    • You can make up calories cheaply with rice. Growing potato for calories isn’t that hard. But yea you do have to check the details.

      • Rice and beans: Cheap and they last forever.

        They do take cooking fuel, but with two acres for some trees aka a small woodlot, a small wood stove, and preparing ahead to have a camp stove and containers of fuel, that should be OK.

  12. So we’ve gone from prepping for 4, to where to buy ammo, to a recommended Hunker In The Bunker firearms list, to the caloric intake of the average human. With which I generally take exception, given that I’m not one of the larger members of the species (5’10”, 170 lbs) – and I always think of the Japanese and Vietnamese armies surviving on very little food. I think of the German and Russian armies in WWII on the Eastern front and what they endured. And on the oh-so-rare occasion when we eat out, I always feel like I’m watching hogs at the trough. So yeah, those serving lists from food vendors mean little to me and my size 2 wife. And I sure don’t eat the calories, or the portion sizes, of most people I see around me….

    My wife and I have looked at a number of calorie charts, and shook our heads. Oh yes, and there’s always the guy who cites the caloric intake requirements for Alaskan fisherman, or knights of the Round Table, or Greek stone masons. Based on some charts, the DW and I will need 10 sides of beef and 129.3 eggs each day….

    • The calorie complaints are valid in that you have to check out all of the details to make sure you are comparing one offer to another. Yes people can get by on less but malnutrition makes people get sick easier. If people are just laying around watching movies waiting out a die off in their underground bunker they don’t need much calories. Without the power grid and fuel everyone will need more calories than before. A gallon of diesel fuel can do the work it would take a man a week to do, without fuel you would have to replace with calories.

    • So what’s wrong with Alaskan Fishermen???? I buy what we eat and stock up on canned meats like chicken, turkey, spam, DAK ham. Also expanders like extra rice & beans

  13. AVERY HORTON says:

    This article reads like an ad. Most of the stuff is overpriced and over-hyped!

    One example:
    Why Berkey? Sawyer water filters can be had for around $40 and filter a million gallons. One Sawyer filter and 2 five gallon buckets is all you need. Connect the Sawyer to one bucket that is higher than second bucket. Fill the top bucket with the water to be purified and it will flow through the filter into the second buck. You can process up to 175 gallons of water a day using this method.

    Preppers need to learn how to do for themselves rather than just buy stuff and call it good. Prepping is not something you do, it is how you live and think.

    • Everyone has their favorite guns, foods, drinks & toys. Skills are more important than products to the extent you are willing to trade time for money. Anyone earning over $20 an hour is better off buying superpails of food packed in nitrogen instead of saving money packing them themselves with dry ice for CO2. Planting fruit/nut trees & grapes are a great exchange of time for food.

      • Country Vet says:

        Steve- Unfortunately at some time those superpails are going to run empty. Hopefully by then those trees will have come into production and they have honed their gardening skills to the point where they can produce enough to survive. Gardening has a major learning curve. Irregardless of the $/time ratio, while the pails are great for short time eventualities, I very strongly believe that these are essential skills and preps for long term survival.

    • nick flandrey says:

      Hi Avery, the email asked for specific recommendations. I see articles all the time that are kind of wishy-washy. “you could get this, or this, or make your own that,” etc. Ham radio forums are the worst for this. NO ONE will give you a straight answer.

      He asked for a list and MD gave him one. Are there other choices, yes. BUT this is what he asked for. $10k, no existing preps, long term storage, large purchases, specific recommendations. Could it be called ‘panic buying’? Probably, but I’ve done my share of panic buying. It gives you breathing room to learn, research, and accumulate, knowing you’ve got that basic need covered. Is it covered in the best way? That is what friendly debate is for.

      And if we have time, I’m hoping the email-er will breathe deep, and start his prepping journey. If it turns out we don’t have time, at least this is one less family that will be starving and defenseless.


      • Excellent point. And there aren’t many folks on the planet with $10K to plop down on insta-prepping. For the ‘quickest and easiest way possible’ question, MD gave great replies, and a helluva lot more info than I thought he could put together quickly.

        A general note… The majority of the folks here are on tight budgets. Ever notice how many are waiting for money or a paycheck so they can do or get something? And it’s also VERY noteworthy how many people come up with a great idea and post it here to share, how to refabulate your hooziejiggit and turn it into a steam-powered turnip processor …

        • Schatzie Ohio says:

          I would like to see that “how to refabulate your hooziejiggit and turn it into a steam -powered turnip processor” It sounds like a hum dingger. 🙂

        • Hi Canyonman, “there aren’t many folks on the planet with $10K to plop down on insta-prepping”

          On the planet, quite true, especially as a percentage of the world population instead of absolute numbers.

          However, in North America, among middle aged and older people who have had time and the foresight to aggressively sock away money for retirement, there are actually a lot of people who could, if they truly believed it was important, come up with $10,000.

          They might then be wise to cut back on some other big expenses for a while, like put off a new car for a couple more years, defer a new and bigger TV, put off the cruise, but they could do it. They could borrow the money from themselves, and pay it back out of their discretionary budgets.

          As you pointed out, there are plenty people who could not do that, but there are loads of older people who could.

          For that group it isn’t a matter of “can’t”. It is a matter of making the decision that it is important enough to do.

          Wherever John W. gets the money, I applaud his willingness to commit the money to instant preparedness.

          After he does that, he can work on improving it, but he will have gotten a lot of basics set.

      • nick,
        You state in part, ” $10k, no existing preps, long term storage, large purchases, specific recommendations” and I would add the implied, no existing skills to speak of. The purpose of any food preps are to buy us time. Time for the event to complete (hurricane, etc.) or time to get alternative food, fuel, etc. up and running. Although one could argue about any specific thing in the list, this list would get someone in good shape, and buy them that all important time.

    • My goodness, the questioner asked for a list to get started quick. A list was given to him. Everyone should know a list is a list, not a bible. The list can be changed, added to or subtracted from. At least the questioner has a starting point.

    • While I agree with a lot of what you said the tone of your reply seems to be a bit bitter. I don’t have a Berky and I have made my own out of 2 5 gl buckets and a filter and spout kit I bought for about 40.00 ( don’t remember the brand right now ) I also store my own staples in 5 gl with Mylar. While I have some buckets of the pre packaged stuff that I bought when I first started I prefer to do my own due to cost as you said. This person asked MD how to spend 10k on getting his family set up NOW and MD gave him an answer. Just because you would have given a different one doesn’t make his wrong.

  14. The common soft lead .22LR will not work in my ruger 10/22. The bullets jam, bending or ripping the bullet from the shell. Might it be the magazine and not the bullet?

    • I don’t have a 10/22 so I can’t speak specifically, but magazines are a very frequent cause of feeding problems with semi-autos. I’d try several different magazines and see if they make any difference. I’d want a few magazines anyway: if one’s only mag goes kerflooey or gets lost, the gun doesn’t work very well.

    • Penrod,
      Are you using the standard 10-round rotary mag that comes with the gun? I have several 10/22’s with the standard rotary mag, plus some RamLine 10, 20, and 30 round magazines and have had no issues with any kind of .22 ammunition. I also have a 50-round drum for the gun and it sometimes has issues; but, that is I suspect not your problem.

      • Hi OP, it was Steve who asked, not me.. I have shot 10/22s, but don’t have any. I do like them, though. I’d probably get at least half a dozen factory mags to start.

        Thinking of which, does anyone have experience with the take down model? How does it compare for accuracy with the standard versions?

    • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

      I use Ruger’s standard 10 round rotary mags in my 10/22. It has eaten every brand I have fed it. Including Remington thunderbolt lead round nose – isn’t that the cheapest softest lead there is?

      Never had a misfeed. I think I did have a few “stove pipe” ejection failures.

  15. Don’t forget if ordering on line to go through MD”s link on this site. Good article.

  16. LittleAnniePrepper says:


    First, thanks for all the effort you do. I’ve become addicted to The Daily Collapse Report!

    As far as this list, it’s perfect. MD gave the man exactly what he asked for. Maybe this man will never be a hardcore prepper, but at least they will have a solid head start. That’s better than most people.
    As to those complaining about the cost of things, when I see a list like this I think to myself “How can I do this cheaper?” Then I do my research and go from there. Like the Berkley. I have a Sawyer and a back up Katadyn unit. I mylar bag grains and veggies I dehydrate, but try to plug my “holes” with buying a case of stuff from Emergency Essentials every now and then. Oh and medical, yes, I have a wound I’m treating and I made another run to the store for more medical supplies. You can run through them quickly!
    This will be a good reminder of areas I still need to work on.
    Thanks again, MD

  17. …here is my take on things…

    (i believe that the above article is a really good start…i am only suggesting an alternative of at least
    how i do/am doing things)…

    …$10,000 would be awesome right about now to add to my System/Plan.


    …i would invest in What i call the

    -5 or 7 gallon FOOD SAFE PLASTIC CONTAINERS..about at least 200
    minimum…to start…
    (You can also get these containers free sometimes…from a restaurant/bakery etc.).
    Use and rotate stock.
    (note. you do NOT have to use plastic containers…Mylar Bags/Oxygen absorbers can
    be hauled in a backpack if extra care is taken…and there are other ways to contain Mylar/food…
    …if you had to…and it will still last a long time).
    can use multiple layers of Mylar/oxygen absorbers…bag within a bag within a bag then wrapped in other things.

    -get enough OXYGEN ABSORBERS for that many containers…and buy many hundreds if not thousands…of extras.
    (Have lots of extras…and they are very cheap would be good for barter?).

    -buy enough 5 or 7 gallon MYLAR BAGS for these containers and buy several hundred extra on top of it!
    (have LOTS of extras, and they are cheap)!

    -also buy at least 500 or more…ONE GALLON SIZE MYLAR BAGS!
    (have LOTS of extra, and they are cheap)! i think these are the best most practical size to have.
    (use the 1gallon Mylar bags
    to portion smaller amounts of whatever i want to store…and seal several 1 gallon “packages” within ONE of the 5 gallon Mylar bags INSIDE the Food Safe Plastic Containers…variety etc.).

    -Buy several hundred Gama Lids.

    -Food to stock them. Rice/beans/spices/grains…etc.
    (lots of great ideas for that in previous posts this Blog)!


    i would buy in Bulk…a good %
    of remaining $ on:
    a variety of the SMALL sized Pre-made
    FREEZE DRIED Food Packets!
    (pre-taste them for ones you like and will eat).
    (they are good for up to 5 years…and
    in my opinion are better for the first 5years of any emergency…as once you open up a #10 freeze dried food can…you HAVE to eat it a.s.a.p.)!
    (also the small size packs are better for caching AND for backpacking/ can change up the
    variety…and some people have dif tastes than others). (You can also eat
    right out of the packets)!
    …always keep on buying more! like ammo… you can never have to much!

    i recommend and would buy the M.S.R. XGK EX camp stove/Annual maintenance kit/and Field maintenance kit…and fuel.
    (it will run on 5 dif fuel types…is strong…a expedition proven stove…and very light weight).
    (this stove will boil water fast even at high elevation…for these food packets and would also be used to purify water).

    -a Swiss made Katadyn pocket water Filter. (or Two)! Spare Filters).
    (tough…small…expedition proven…light weight).
    -Buy the adaptor for the Katadyn to fit into M.S.R. Dromedary bags which i would buy several of!
    (i have used this system for years…
    i also have the M.S.R. Miniworks
    water purifier…it is made for the Marine Corp supposedly? and love it)!
    (Dromedary Bags are very light weight water containers…like a canteen excellent for light weight back packing)!
    -Buy some pool shock!
    -i would also recommend a stainless steel army canteen and food/liquid type cup that fits onto the canteen
    you can boil water with it and eat out of it. i have tried many many eating utensils/bowls/cups etc. over the years…and only recommend stainless steel. plastic sucks for practicality and longevity.

    …stock up on canned foods.
    (and descent containers for them).
    (up North my main issues are freezing of water and canned foods-
    there are ways to deal with it but a daily winter struggle for such a cheap easy prep item espec. if nomadic).

    A good load carrier/web belt system…
    and descent outerwear as per climate/season…especially footwear/SOX/boot kit also a sleeping bag/bivvy sack/hammock..(a bag that suits your climate. (even up north here a hammock CAN be used year round-great keeping your ass of the ground).
    (my newest thing i do is use a trampoline net for a hammock…i want those tree spikes for climbing…so can climb crazier trees…and sleep on hammock above tramp net/extra safety. Safety/climbing harness for above “tree” system. (thats my thing…not necessary…but being high off the ground helps keep predators away when sleeping).
    Also things like work gloves/coveralls…
    (the more Sox and types of footwear the better)!

    Two Ruger 10/22 Takedown Rifles…with as much ammo as you can afford…spare parts/tools cleaning kit…and always keeping on buying more ammo!
    -Lots of: snare wire/fishing line-hooks-sinkers.
    (Keeping a low profile when seeking food is more important to me than
    having a main battle rifle…i can carry lots of ammo when backpacking and it is very lightweight…the take down helps keep a low profile (able to “hide” it easy in abackpack)…and a well placed shot will still take down a deer or a human…

    add other aspects like M.D. suggests.

    i believe in hard times that staying in place might not be an option.
    Practicing outdoor living skills and preparing to live in all climates/all seasons is mandatory for preparing.

    i also am very much a believer in

    Lastly and only after i have so many other things taken care of would i begin Stocking #10 Freeze Dried Cans of food.
    (Longevity up to 30 yrs).

    -The final thing i would add (as i always do this blog)… besides some of the great books that have been described in other posts…and this post…
    …is buy a hard copy of Cresson H.Kearneys Nuclear War Skills…
    -Build a homemade K.A.P-Kearney Air Pump/K.F.M.- Kearny Fallout meter…or if can buy a dosimeter
    and a Geiger counter. And buy/gather the basic tools supplies
    to be able to build an expedient fallout shelter.

    This list is nowhere complete…

    Ten grand goes fast…

    remember that home made tools can be made to save $! (and thus be able to put $ into other things…
    -Beer Can Stove. google it…
    -Hobo Stoves.
    -3 pipe expedient grain mill.
    and of course it would be great to have a world class top of the line
    expedition mountain tent…
    but learn the basic SKILLS to
    build nature shelters.

    *think light weight backpacking.
    get in shape…practice living outdoors…and remember…
    if things REALLY GET UGLY…
    you can only carry so much on your back…and you might have no choice
    but to go on foot AND live out doors.

    so…Master Caching.

    • just wanted to add the trampoline net makes a great mosquito net
      for when sleeping etc. on ground.
      also some thin wire and twine can be used with natural materials go make a camo net.

    • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

      A minimum of 200 5-7 gallon buckets?!?!?

      My guess is that you are a teenage male – playing a bit of fantasy prepper. Or maybe you have an income that I could only dream about.
      I guess either way I should say good for you.

      The way a budget prepper might see it is: I can fit about 40-50 lbs of dry rice in a 5 gallon bucket (so more in the 7). Each pound is about 1600 calories. With corn, wheat, flour, lentils, sugar, pasta, the numbers are similar. So 1 bucket means I get about a months worth of calories for myself. For my family of three eaters 3 buckets = ~1 months. 200 is 5 and a half years. For single person this is over 16 years of food. While that is great, I would not start that description with “At a minimum you need…”

      I live in a 1200 sq. ft. home. Where am I going to put 200 buckets? Then you talk about bugging out being a likely plan? What are you going to do with your 5 tons of food, that you purchased with hard earned money, when you do this.

      I do hope you are a young person. If you are not, you should really run the numbers with a closer eye to making efficient choices.

      • “MorePooperThanPrepper”:

        Calling me:
        “a teenage male – playing a bit of fantasy prepper.”
        …is a shot below the belt…
        …YOU definitely are living up to your name…
        Your comment could have been more RESPECTFUL AND HUMBLE.

        How is your comment in anyway
        helpful regarding something that i and MANY OTHERS HERE take so damn serious?

        • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

          It does give some info on how to plan your food needs.

          I believe a gave a good wake up call to you and anybody reading your suggestions. Unless you have an amazing income 16 years of food might be overkill.

          If you are young like I said good for you. At 25 maybe even 30 I was alone, entirely self centered, often drunk, and pretty self dresctuve.

      • “A minimum of 200 5-7 gallon buckets?!?!?”.
        yes! storage facility and Wilderness Cache the rest!
        (a Utility Trailer on Storage Facility property is good also and can store a lot of buckets inside….if it is dried goods…it does not matter if it freezes (Winter)…it actually helps with the Longevity).
        (many people up North at least store their Trailers and R.V.’s at these facilities for cheap each Winter).
        (and remember we are talking about how to spend only $10K here).

        ” John, is new to prepping and hasn’t really done anything prep-wise yet”…
        “He said that he has $10,000 to spend on preps” for himself…
        his wife and two children.

        i gave my humble opinion on what
        i AM DOING…
        …AND what i SUGGEST “John”
        COULD DO!
        (M.D. gave good advice also like i said).

        “He also insists on long-term storage foods, with a shelf-life of 25 years or more”.

        i recommended the “Gama Buckets
        System”. First.
        …you do not have to use them (the buckets)… just to contain and store food but can utilize them with a huge array of items. Great for caching.
        you cannot have too many Mylar Bags or Oxygen absorbers or buckets and they are very cheap and versatile.

        second…The small sized freeze dried food packets are superior for the short term in my opinion and i gave reasons why.
        (i suggested the short term…because ya gotta also have a short term plan dammit)!

        third…having a good supply of canned foods is cheap.

        then…and only then after i had a good supply of the above items would i start stocking #10 freeze dried cans! (yes…they ARE great for longevity).

        i also gave some suggestions/ideas on other preparedness items.

        i believe in Wilderness Caching.
        And in storing items in a varied amount of ways…
        (see my comment).

        so i do not put all my eggs in one basket.
        (or just in one Region)!
        Nukes/Super Volcano etc.
        (read my comments on this issue to see more on why i believe in Caching)!
        i especially believe two of the most likely things that are about to happen
        are Nuclear war…or Fuchushima getting waaay worse!
        (so yes…really have a good bugout plan)!

        i believe in having and i BLOODY WELL AM working on gathering
        a 20 year preparedness supply!
        (and Bloody well believe me if i had a million bucks…well you get how i think)…
        i believe in Civil Defense so…
        and if i had ANY Political power…
        i would be building towards aSwiss or Swedish type Civil Defense system!!!!

        ( You can help others who have prepared not…
        And can help those whom cannot prepare).
        i can help in a small way…my Community/Country rebuild if and WHEN things get really ugly!!!
        (i am working on my upgrading my first aid amongst many other skills…

        i am a recently single (lived in Sin)…
        never been married Christian with no dependants… 45 year old oilfield worker…
        Healthy…Thank God…
        with very little debt.
        i have been preparing for many
        Bloody years!
        i am nomadic and dont even pay
        rent unless i choose to.
        …my Bills are very low…on purpose!
        when in camp all my needs are taken care of and when i come out i have a nice pay check after taxes.

        not everyone has $10k to suddenly spend.
        but what i described is what i recommend for anyone starting out
        even without much $ …
        but in that case i would say start out first with canned food then the Gama…and small packs freeze dried.
        at least here in Northern Canada you can buy a can of meat/vegies/fruit…for around a buck or so…
        and even cheaper some times.

        as for Caching…i suggest:

        The importance of the secure cache – your survival could depend on The importance of the secure cache – your survival could depend on it!
        (Yet another great post by M.D.)!

        Questions and answers with The Wolf Pack : Why invest in Gold and Silver?
        (for more on what i think read my comments about this issue).

        (Read my comments on if you have a
        homestead…fallout shelters for your
        livestock etc.).

        i only want to help others with my ideas…humbly and respectfully!
        …if even one thing helps save a life…
        that would be great.
        …i am still just beginner…and i learn so much from this Blog and sites like this!
        i humbly acknowledge i have a lot to learn…but i also have come a long way.
        …so i want to say thank you to M.D. and the Wolf Pack!

        Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!

        Master Caching!

  18. mom of three says:

    I think I’m finally getting my mother and my boss, on board.
    My mother has been asking questions, and this week is going to buy two cases of water. My boss, is feeling very weird about our weather, and food prices. So if I helped these two to start small then yea, I’m happy. I wish I had more too but day after day week after week it gets better and better.

  19. I would not recommed buying a 1 year kit of freeze dried food. Instead your better off trying each item before you buy a years supply. I started out buying mountain house pouches to see if I liked them. All but one was so good that I eat them every Day. The only one that I would say wasn’t great was the mac n cheese. The flavor was good but the macaroni was to andante for me. I then ordered a case of strawberries and banana s. I didn’t like the bananas at all and now I have 5 more cans. now has ma y of there food in small cans so you don’t have to order a number 10 can. Also between there monthly group specials and sales you can get up to 50% off. They also ha en good prices on grains and beens in metalized bags seemed in buckets. I ordered a bucket of ears from Augazonf farms and it was only 1/3 full and not in a met a liked bags. If you buy a 1 year kit you may find you have a lot of food you don’t like.

    • if it is an item you don’t like you can barter it…or find a LMI who does like it and sell or trade to them now…

      • Hi sw’t tater, I agree with both you and merlin.

        In ideal circumstances one would definitely sample, then buy the favorites. That is what we did with the LDS sample case of canned ingredients, and very glad we did. Same thing with foil packets of freeze dried entrees.

        However, in this particular scenario, where John wanted specifics for immediate purchase/delivery, one has to accept that some things will not be to one’s taste. And as you say, they can be traded off or just kept back for last resort.

        Eating food you don’t like, or actively dislike, increases stress during an already stressful situation, but it is still better than not having anything to eat.

        So I think it was a really good list, and I hope John W. keeps adding to it after he has nailed down these basics.

        I hope that once he has gotten the basics, he also considers stocking up on their standard canned goods, rice, and pasta, and rotating stock: The best, least stressful transition to storage foods is to keep using what the family is used to.

    • I don’t like the freeze-dried bananas either, but they make wonderful banana bread after you re-hydrate them. Just my 2 cents.

  20. its a great list for a “ive got the money but no time honey” list.

    Check the salt contents of the bucketed, pre packaged food. If you or anyone in your family has certain health problems, know the salt and sugar contents of the bucketed food you are buying. It could be dangerous to your health and you might need a different brand.

    I would say that going to Wal-Mart, Cabela’s and anywhere that sells samples of pre packaged foods and buying a few for taste would be advisable. You don’t want to hate the food and then go spend 3,000 on it. my local Wally has National Geographic brand just add hot water packages, Augason Farms, packages and several others in the bulk foods and camping gear area….Try a few of each to see what you like…it could be money well spent.

    Also, don’t forget that the LDS church has canned starter packages etc that can be purchased, and if you live near one that still has bulk oats, onions, etc and the canner for “renting” and cans, you would do well to buy a lot there “rent” the canner and do a marathon canning session.

    I have canned 5-6 hundred pounds of beans, rice, onions, flour, etc in less than 3 hours. Organization is the key. It’s easy, cheaper, and good food.

  21. I think that was a really good list, M.D. It gave John W. exactly what he asked for: Get it done right now on a specific budget. Not the cheapest possible, not the most expensive, but good solid stuff, readily available for delivery next week.

    There is an old saying in business: ‘You can have it quick, you can have high quality, you can have it cheap. Any two of those. Take your pick.”

    Geared to ease of buying and without spending a fortune, at some point I would look seriously at LDS (Mormon) canned products as a meaningful part of the food reserve. I’d get a sample case and try it out (as we did) and then buy cases of the stuff we would actually use. We buy right from a local outlet, but I understand that they ship.

    One addition I would make is a big first aid kit, long on a variety of bandages, splints, and antibiotic ointments, and liquids like Betadine (or generics), and chlorine bleach (which would have to be rotated every few months).

    For water, I would seriously consider several 55 gallon barrels if there is any place to keep them. They cost around $100 each out here (Honolulu) and cheaper on the Mainland. Maybe some 5 gallon jugs for ease of transportation.

    I’d also have at least a single burner camp stove with fuel.

    After all that, John W. would have the time to add commercially canned food to their stocks, and add to the various stuff they have, but until then, M.D.’s list would go a long way to getting them into shape to get by.

  22. ArmyRetired says:

    As far as weapons goes in the prepping/protection world, I decided to go with AR15’s and .40 cal sidearms. Both can be used for protection and or hunting for food. God help us if we ever got in a situation where we had to defend family and home. If this should happen, I want everyone to have the same caliber weapons that I have. As in a military firefight, you can share ammo. Just a thought. Guess I’ll always think that way. now.

  23. Chuck Findlay says:

    In a nut shell the way to prep fast is to learn everything you can, buy every book you can find on every subject that will be useful and throw lots of money at prepping. Meaning you spend every dime you have buying supplies.

    With that said you can have things
    or good.

    You can only have 2 of them, not all three. It’s this way with everything in life.

    If you want it fast and good quality it’s going to cost a lot.

    If you want it inexpensive and good, its going to take a lot of time.

    If you want it fast and inexpensive it’s not going to be done very good.

    These are hard rules of everything in life including prepping.

    My feelings are that slow steady progress is best.

  24. Chuck Findlay says:

    $10,000 is not a lot of money for prepping, it may be a lot to spend at one time. But considering most preppers are prepping for the rest of their life, it’s not much to work with. It sounds like a lot because few of us have that much sitting around waiting to be spent in one day.

    I know I have way more then that invested in the rest of my life, but the thing is I did it slowly over time and while I’ve never sat down and figured it out, I’m sure I’m well above that.

    If I add silver, I’m WAY beyond $10,000, I bet I have at least $600.00 in books alone.

    $10,000 is really only a start. Each new skill learned adds a lot more money to the need side of the scale that you didn’t know you even needed. It all adds up, and it adds up fast…

  25. Chuck Findlay says:

    I’m just getting into Herbal meds and every few days for the last 2-weeks I stop at a health food store and dump $40 or 50 dollars per visit. I’m buying things that I know I’m going to want or need and while I may not be real knowledgeable yet, I can see the need for things and I’m expanding my information base fast. But alternative Meds are not exactly low priced. This is why I say 10-grand is not a lot of money.

    • Chuck, when you go to a doctor, they give you a prescription for a “round” of medication, it will have a cost per dose. natural remedies and alternative medications are the same way.. some are not as expensive, but must be used longer, and some are much more expensive, but are effective in shorter intervals..example, My DH had a throat infection, started in ears and sinus,went to chest….as Did I. I am a caregiver ,had to go to Dr because of the sudden onset and severity, hubby did not.I took prescribed antibiotics for 10 days, then had pleuracy after. He took collodial silver 4 x a day for three days and was done, and better. The herbals you learn how to use now and have a sufficient stock of, will enable you to help others and yourself…

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        My understanding is (I think) as you explained it. Herbs are best taken over time (and ahead of time in some cases) and modern western medicinal practice is to do fast corrections. In the USA we do trauma medicine very well, but diseases and preventive medicine we do not so well as there is a lot of money in doling out doctor visits and pills. It’s all about the dollar, not making sick people well.

        • what i was trying to express,isthe cost of treating an illness is about the same in “M” or in alternative care.but in alternative care you must do your own research because the doctors and nps are clueless. they are not trained in anything but drug care.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            I actually don’t look at it as a cost as much as an investment in good health.

            It still cost money, but it’s not a negative cost, it’s a positive investment.

            I’ve also been dabbling in gardening and am working on acquiring herb seeds or transplanting wild plants to my yard as a way to have an ongoing supply. And it’s fun to have them growing in the yard.

  26. On the issue of salt – make sure at least half is non-iodized. Iodized salt ruins cheese if used in the making of cheese also it isn’t good for most preserving applications either.

    • Exile1981:
      Thanks for that info!
      i have several 20kg bags of iodized salt.
      is it no good for curing meat?
      (i thought it was)…

      anyway t.y.! will look into it.

      • I know for sure from experience that substituting iodized salt in cheese making is a bad idea and ruins the cheese.

        I’ve read that you shouldn’t use it for meat curing as the iodine interferes with the curing process, but other books say it is fine. I’ve never tried it with the iodized salt for fear of ruining the meat.

        • I don’t “know” about the ruination of cheeses, but I do know about the effects of Iodine. It is an antibiotic, anti fungal, antibacterial,etc. that has been used for more than 150 years. A former governor of GA was shot I think 7 times during 1 battle during the Civil War (1 a very gruesome face/jaw shot), medics essentially gave him up for dead after they did what they could. His wife, I believe, was instructed to swab wounds with Iodine a couple of times a day. She continually swabbed the wounds and he not only survived, but ran and was elected Governor.
          Back to the cheeses. So yes, I believe that Iodized Salt would kill the bacteria present in the cheese mixture and therefore give you probably just sour milk. Thinking along those lines, I know that bacteria has a function in the aging of meats also, so the use of iodized salts would probably not be a good thing.

          • I make cheese on a regular basis. I have made the mistake once of substituting iodized salt in a batch – the result never set and was unusable for anything.

            It was a very soupy – nasty mess as it interferes with the setting and aging of the cheese.

            I always recommend that people have stocks of both types of salt for this reason.

  27. question for the Wolf Pack…

    i have spent a long time researching everything i can about SAFE Pemmican making.

    i would appreciate any info/books/sites etc. on it as i am certain i have missed lots and i need to learn all i can.

    i still believe that properly prepared Pemmican is one of the best short term
    survival foods and from my research it has an amazing longevity?

  28. Women should look to alternate feminine hygiene products that take up a lot less storage space than bulk buys. You can buy excellent reusable cloth pad kits on ebay and silicone Diva Cups will last many years when cleaned properly.

    If you have or are expecting babies/infants look to buying cloth diaper kits (which are a major upgrade to the old fashioned cloth diaper) also on ebay.

  29. -Fish antibiotics
    -powdered juice drinks (Tang)
    -canned bacon, sausage, hamburger, tuna, butter and cheese
    -sized up clothing and shoes for the kids. My son is 13 and has moved up from and 8 to an 11 in less than a year.

    If time allows… beef up your solar so you can have a large freezer full of meat, and luxuries in the house that might not be available post SHTF.

  30. What you offered for John who already had the $10,000 to spend was a wise investment. However, most people don’t have enough saved to spend $10,000 on preps, let alone, $400. 50% of working people barely make it paycheck to paycheck. These preppers and non-preppers will be the ones hurting the most when shtf.

    I sent you an article “Saving Money” about how to cut your household expenses in half to pay off debts and save money for preps. I hope you put it here soon. I hoped responders to my article can add solid contributions to help. There isn’t much time to save if there is a collapse in the next year or so, and I think many readers here haven’t prepped the amounts with your recomendations because they can’t afford to spend much. They may learn something so they can be more prepared.

    • Good pt in ur 1st paragraph. One could rework the items in MD’s article, into a certain amount per month, say $300. & prioritize the items in the list. $300 per month would buy approx the same amount in a little less than 3 years.
      I’ve been prepping for about 2 yrs now. Think I’m going to print this article & check off the things I have, & then go back to review what items I need to get. Thanks for another good one MD!

  31. AVERY HORTON says:

    Seems like my original comment has sparked some hostility. That wasn’t the intent. How one preps is a personal matter. What works for one person/family may or may not work for another. Having a civil debate on the pros/cons of what was written is how we all learn. Attacking the messenger detracts from the conversation.

  32. Gasoline… “add STA-BIL fuel stabilizer, then rotate every year”. That’s good advice but let me share something. I have 30 gallons of gasoline I bought almost 4 years ago. Put it in the on board fuel tank of my 5th wheel RV. (We live in it). Following information on the manufacturers website I doubled the amount of STA-BIL. They said it would keep it safe for use for 2 years. We used the generator a few times for short periods of time. We tested it a few times but not religiously as we should have. Last Sunday night the power went off and we ended up going to the generator. I was really concerned but surprise! surprise! surprise! it started right up and ran perfectly until we turned it off 2 hours later.

  33. Our city water was shut off this afternoon for repairs. It was such a sweet experience to hear skeptical family members say: “I guess it’s a good think u had some water stored up.” Easily the highlight of my week!

  34. Correction: “thing” not “think”

  35. I would have added a pressure canner, water bath canner, and dehydrator along with a plethora of quart and pint jars along with the rings and a large quantity of lids. Even if this family did not have the current skills to preserve all that food that they are going to grow, they may have a neighbor that could assist with learning the skills and have a reference book that would walk them through the procedures.

    Speaking of books, I only saw one mentioned (unless they have a good survival library). A book on chicken & rabbit care and health is necessary in case the internets are down. 🙂 I would also suggest the Encyclopedia of Country Living and Dare to Prepare as two comprehensive manuals.

  36. I haven’t read the whole thread, but it was a wonderful article. Thanks MD. If I was going to add anything; I would add some cast iron cooking utensils. At least one pan and a pot with cover. You could use these in a fireplace, on a stove, and over an open fire.

  37. Dang that’s a nice list! Would only tweak a few minor things but I’m jealous. If I could forgo 35% of my annual take home salary I would do it.

  38. BlueJeanedLady says:

    Excellent response MD! Next time I amass $10,000.00 for preps, I’m checking this list twice for a reference point! (I’m serious and I’m not being flippant here. Just very thankful that someone who has that amount of money to “get prepped quickly” has the common sense to ask a real prepper’s advice and that you, MD, had the time, wisdom and patience to respond thoughtfully!) Again, great response / list for starting to prep with a significant budget!

    I did read through all of the comments (although I did so quickly and might have missed some good points) but do have a few items to add to your list that shouldn’t cost more than a couple hundred extra dollars to the total of this well rounded, beginning quick prep fix, on a good sized budget.

    I would add several gallons of bleach . . . (I think someone in this thread did suggest adding bleach to this list) for disinfectant purposes and laundry uses. Also, I would add several gallons of white vinegar and several gallons of apple cider vinegar, a dozen or more boxes (each) of baking soda, washing soda, & Borax for additional cleaning purposes (the vinegars and baking soda could also be used in cooking plus many a good home remedy for minor ailments) PLUS a year’s worth of dog and cat food for several canine and feline pets . . .

    Even if John W and his family don’t currently have any dogs or cats, should SHTF he’ll want a few dogs for extra warning(s) / protection and some cats for rodent control. And of course the fur family helpers will all need meal options, too, and John & family will need to keep them nourished and healthy as they help the skin family survive.

    Just my 2 cents worth! Thanks for what you do here, MD.

  39. Getting all these stores is great but if you store them as the picture shows, be assured there will be someone who finds your ‘grocery store’ and take it all. Better to store it either in 12 different places or seasonally. Not out in the open but disguised and hidden. This happened to me 30 years ago, I kept it all in one place. Looked good but what a loss! So store in caches and only use one cache at a time. This helps with rotation AND if someone sees you going to one cache, it’s only one loss, not total. And keep your inventory hidden as well.

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