Is Prepping Success Kinda Like The X-Files?

The truth is out there.

But, “they” don’t want you to find it.

Those two sentences sum up the Fox hit show, The X-Files. Mulder and Scully, out there in a search for the truth. There were always hidden truths and inside men protecting that truth from average folks on the outside.

It seems to be human nature to suspect hidden truths or that we are being kept out of the loop or inner circle. That human nature also bleeds over into the field of survival planning. How do I know?

Recently, I’ve gotten several emails from readers asking me for the secret to being prepared for any disaster. They assume something more complicated is going on than there is. That I’m keeping secrets or hidden truths for myself.

They assume that survival planning or prepping is more complicated than it really is. And they want me to reveal my secrets – well the truth is I don’t have any. Perhaps, the “secret” is to actually do something.

When I started preparing, I didn’t know any more than anyone else just starting out – I was a prepping newb. And I made many mistakes along the way.

I’m still learning new stuff all the time. No one knows everything or has all the answers to every conceivable situation or skill. It is a continuing learning process.

We need to stop wasting time looking for secrets and instead put what we know to use before it is too late. And another thing, don’t just read about survival, actually learn the skills being illustrated.

Just because you read it once in a book, doesn’t mean you have mastered that survival skill or that it will a work in a real life situation.

Readers often ask me for ways to ensure their survival, build a supply of survival food, and to “tell me stuff that hasn’t been said by everybody else already.” We’ve all heard the saying “There is nothing new under the sun but there are lots of old things we don’t know” this is true also for survival planning.

While there are new products and new techniques being introduced, the core needs of survival stay the same. Air, water, food and shelter. We may all have different approaches, but it all basically comes down to the same stuff.

No secrets. No smoking man. It’s just a matter of applying the basics and hard work.

It seems everyone is looking for the easy button when in fact it does not exist. The truth isn’t out there yet hidden… it is everywhere and in plain view.  The problem is that you’re not applying what you already know.

Perhaps that is the biggest secret of all.

So I’ll ask you… what is your number one prepping secret and or tip… what’s the one thing that you’ve done or figured out that will help other preppers the most?

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. My secret….. Just Do It!

    Start with the basics and move on and upward. There’s a lot of good books on the subject, but if you’ve been on this site a while and have read the content of the articles and post you should have an idea what you need to do.

    The owner of this site has wrote some great books on this subject…

    • Selu Corn Mother says:

      That’s exactly what I would have said – ‘just do it’.
      I’m always learning too. Taking several herbal medicine correspondence classes. I’ve been researching how to clean the wool I got from our sheep this past spring, so now planning (within the next week) building a screen for the wool to dry on – although it will have to be in our mud room as temps are below freezing, and I do not think ‘freeze dried’ wool is a good idea. I have carding brushes and a drop spindle, need to practice using it.

      These are my current “NEW” projects for survival. We already have a HUGE garden, several years worth of food, and stores of gasoline that we rotate through, kerosene for lamps, we always have at least 6 cords of wood for heating, and I am in the process of purchasing a wood cook stove – on monthly payments from a friend. I couldn’t pick it up right now anyway, it’s likely frozen to the ground and under several feet of snow.
      Always learning new stuff – that’s the second secret after ‘just do it’.

  2. Prepping is like eating the elephant….you do it one bite at a time. Secure the most vital supplies of food, water, shelter, and protection first, then the rest is based on family needs and geared to what the most likely “natural” disaster could affect your area. Consistency is the key….you are never “done” . Just keep doing what makes sense to your situation.
    I went back through my families history in the great depression and learned skills that kept family going during that period of time.

    • Exactly. One bit at a time. Water, food, hygiene, medical/medicine.
      1. Berkey water filter, use it daily
      2. A few extra cans of food each shopping trip, then move on to #10 cans of dehydrated food.
      3. Vinegar, ammonia, soap.
      4. Hydrogen peroxide and gauze, an extra bottle of pain pills.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Your post sounds like a synopsis of my latest article. The only difference is I lay out a process. It looks like you and some others have already discovered the process, and that is good to see.
      The hardest part about doing it without a process is realizing where you are and where you are going; but, primarily not having those stressful moments of panic, that you’re too far behind.
      Some people are secure enough that they can cope, while others get that panicky feeling. Whatever you do, doing anything is better than nothing, and puts you far ahead of others.

  3. Babycatcher says:

    Taking responsibility for one’s own welfare is a major skill set that more people need to learn. With the growth of illegal aliens and the F SA, too many people expect someone else to care for them when the balloon goes up. There is no excuse for not getting out there, doing the necessary research and getting the proper tools. It’s work. But how badly do you want to live?

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Pardon my ignorance; but, what is the F SA.

      • Anonamo Also says:

        free “poop” army the hordes of people tht have their hand out for free things without any effort or expectations on their part.

  4. Prepared Grammy says:

    Live not only within your means, live below your means. By doing this you have the financial freedom to prepare for disasters.

    • Wise advice Prep Grammy! Dave Ramsey teaches this in his class called Financial Peace University.

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        Thank you. My husband and I live it. This sometimes brings laughter and criticism from others, but we don’t care. I’m not concerned with keeping up with the Joneses. They’re in debt.

        Also, I think from now on I’m going to refer to myself as a provider instead of a prepper. After all, that’s what we’re all doing…providing for our families regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves. God is our Ultimate Provider. We should be good stewards over His provisions.

    • I wish more people thought like this. Unfortunately we live in an age of “conspicuous consumption” otherwise known as keeping up with the Jones’ on steroids.

  5. Excellent advice. As the old Nike slogan says, Just do it! There are lots of articles & various books for beginner preppers. I usually tell new people to start by storing extra water & food.

    • OhioPrepper says:


      I usually tell new people to start by storing extra water & food.

      And when the balloon goes up, they’ll be upset at you for not mentioning TP, LOL.

    • Just do it, store what you eat and make my day. I had to throw something in from Clint. Just do it if you buy food water or ammo you can`t go wrong. People make lists and you can list til the cows come in so don`t go ocd on lists. List are useful but don`t get caught up in them. Start with the basics food shelter water and go from there.

  6. Mother Earth says:

    I think you just gave a prime example when people asked for your secret…learn to think for yourself!

    Here is a little story as an example. My dd is a designer in a large store. Last year she set up the Christmas display using fake trees and ornaments the company sells. They sold out of trees and got many complaints. This year she decided to use “decorative sticks” the company sells to make stick trees to display ornaments so as to not run out of trees. And of course the customers wanted to know where to buy the display stick trees and got angry when they couldn’t. Learn to think for yourself!

    Where and how you live determines what you need to survive. City/country, age and location (growing zone) will have a huge impact. MD has given you the basics, now assess where you are and learn….what grows in your area, what are the water options, what kind of shelter will you need. The good Lord gave you the tool you need to figure this stuff out. Of course I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but every day do we not run into people and wonder why? And every time I have to deal with the “entitled” I want to become a hermit.

  7. Learn how to garden. The most important part of gardening is the dirt. Have it analyzed and add what is needed, once its planted don’t walk on it. Top dress with compost.

    • There is an old saying that a poor gardener grows weeds,a good gardener grows plants and a great gardener grows soil. If you have good soil you can grow anything.

  8. taminator013 says:

    That’s a tough question. What would be my best advice?

    There is a ton of advice that I could give to you. Some comments above already said some of it. After tossing it around in my head for a while, for better or worse: Chill. Don’t panic. More than likely you have a lot of time to prepare. There is probably nothing major going to happen, but we can’t foresee the future. Take some baby steps first and learn as you go. If you have a fireplace in your house practice building a small fire in it and cooking something simple over the coals. Or even just boiling some water for tea, coffee or instant soup. It’s a great way to build confidence. You’ll probably make some mistakes, but that’s the way you learn. Baby steps. As you feel more at ease cooking this way, step it up a little by making something a bit more complicated. Find out which other skills that you may need and do it the same way. Start small and work your way up.

    • Great advice by all! Especially taking baby steps. I started by buying a little extra food every time I went shopping. I then looked at ways to cut expenses. Plus different ways to make extra money. Pay off your bills and avoid debt.
      Look at different skills to learn, most of those do not require an investment of $$, but an investment of time.

      • Prepared Grammy says:

        I had a friend ask me where I thought she should start as far as buying “stuff.” One piece of advice I gave her was that every time she ran out of something important (not cosmetics, hair coloring, perishables, etc.), buy two to replace it instead of only one. I also suggested that she should stock up on sale items that she used.

        • OhioPrepper says:


          I started by buying a little extra food every time I went shopping

          One of the best ways to do this is called “can copying” which means you just keep buying what you’ve always used; but, you buy ecxtra. Need a can of beans, buy two. If they are on sale, buy three or four.
          Make sure you mark a date on them when you get home (a sharpie marker works well for this) so you can use the oldest first; but, if you make this part of your shopping habit, you’ll soon see how much extra food you have accumulated in a short time.

          • OP,
            I only buy what we use and for a few yrs now I mainly shop the sales of what we use. I have a rotation system set up. I have not bought pickles, canned tomatoes or jams for a few years because we grow/make our own. I expand the garden every year, except for this past year because of me being in the hospital in April. I am glad I didn’t because of the drought. I do plan to expand it this year.

        • Prepared grammy,
          I do have a year’s supply of hair coloring! What’s wrong with that?…lol.

          • OhioPrepper says:

            Good for you, but hair coloring would do me no good, since the one thing in short supply with me is hair, unless of course you count the permanently gray beard that requires nothing but occasional scissors.

            • OP,
              You just need a little spray paint up there or always wear a hat…not that bald is a bad thing or matters to me…lol. I found coupons and a sale several times. I do suspect all fell into place as women often color their hair during the holidays. I will continue to buy with coupons and sales, pushing out my supply at least a year ahead all the time. Believe me, if things go bad, I will not be buying or trading for hair color. You made me laugh.

              • OhioPrepper says:


                or always wear a hat

                I’ve been thinning since high school and mostly bald since just after college. If I grew hair or shaved my beard, no one would know me.
                As for hats, I have a collection with probably 50 or more and I never leave home without at least one.

  9. Make a plan and stick to it. Until it’s time to change the plan and sooner or later it will be. Develop the ability to recognize that time and the will to act on it.

    New and shiny doesn’t always mean better. Old doesn’t always mean inferior. Expensive doesn’t always correlate to quality. Cheap isn’t always cost effective. What works is what matters.

  10. George in Minnesota says:

    My basics for becoming a Prepper
    1.) Prepping needs to be created from things and actions that enhance my life in the here and now not in some imagined future
    The Country Living Grain mill we bought for a lot of money is a “prep” but it is actually a tool that helps us enjoy bread made from fresh flour. The difference between fresh flour and purchased ready milled is the difference between eating a fresh apple and a plastic bag. The mill enhances our lives in the here and now

    2.) Skills are more important than “stuff”.
    I have a master medical kit in the home and various smaller kits for travel or work. The materials in them are critical but without the knowledge a skills born of practice and study they are totally useless. Somebody could bleed out easily while I searched the manual for “how to control bleeding”

    3.) Location Location Location
    The best way to avoid tragedy is to not be there when it happens
    If we lived in a major metro area we might possibly survive a major event but the probability of being overwhelmed by a mass of idiots on the rampage or enslaved by a city government gone mad is too high to complicate. We choose to live in a rural area with a population who generally live in a self sufficient manner knowing how to and living off what the land can produce. These folks also have a sense of community that says “never tur your back on a neighbor in need and never back down from a bully”

    4.) Make it, Make over or do without
    Self sufficiency is the heart of prepping. It is also mighty tasty and very satisfying. When we eat food produced here by our own labor taste and nutrition is far and away better than that which we could buy. When we need something instead of buying it or hiring someone to fix it doing it ourselves not only saves cash but gives a sense of satisfaction and well being that is beyond price.

    5.) Rely on and grow a relationship with a “Power Greater Than Ourselves” We have a name for this power and we rely on it for our every need. It is the source of comfort, courage and a map to a place of unknowable joy. No one can do more than exist in isolation. We need powerful friends. We choose to align ourselves with the most powerful of the powerful. Everyone has access to this power. Not to recognize it and tap into it is foolish.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      There’s an AWFUL LOT OF WISDOM in what you just wrote, George!

      My biggest concern with a lot of preppers is that this field tends to be often all about “buying”. They buy this or that, or the other, thinking that it is STUFF that makes them secure.

      I like (among others) how you emphasized skills. But even there, preppers tend to be superficial. Sure, one can compress a bleeding wound and staunch the loss of hemoglobin — but what are you going to do about the perforated small intestine that will cause peritonitis and the agonizing death of the patient? I think people need to move on to some skills that seem rather scary at first — but are well within the realm of doing.

      a) simple surgery, simple anesthetics. A spinal anesthetic is easy if you know how and have the gear. A perforated intestine can be dealt with, the wound allowed to close by secondary intention, and the patient actually SURVIVE. (The surgery can be practiced on already caught fish, or already slaughtered chickens or other animals.)

      b) reloading. I don’t mean putting more cartridges in the firearm, I mean refilling the cartridge itself. An easy and valuable skill. Even if you start with a Classic Lee Loader!

      c) basic communications. So many people are horribly ignorant here, and it is SO EASY to learn while the “good times” still roll. A very simple QRP rig can be a cause of much learning. Build it yourself! Learn how electronics works and you are in a much stronger position to keep that vehicle going in bad times.

      d) power generation — either solar, or wind, or hydroelecttric, you need to be thinking bigger than just living without power for the rest of your life.

      e) basic machinework. If nothing more, learn how to mill using a drill press, and learn how to use inexpensive but accurate electronic calipers. Minor lathe work also.

      There are probably many others, but you get the idea. If you have a group, why not have each person choose a skill? Plus, you might make yourself a more valuable employee in your current occupation!

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Amen!! Amen!!
      Especially on the location part, assuming you actually make the move to the country both physically and mentally. I’m lucky to have many neighbors that like the rural lifestyle, and are similar to those you describe. On a few occasions, I’ve seen folks who like the land, the more lax regulations, and perhaps a less expensive environment; but, never really fit in to the rural life style. Please don’t be one of those folks, because we really don’t need you here

  11. PlantLady says:

    I think its because of the “normalcy” bias…folks think they should be able to be told “the” thing you need, buy it, then you are done and you don’t have to do anything else…then they can continue on with their normal life as it is. Same as with modern medicine…rather than eating well, exercising and living in a healthy environment (outside urban areas)…folks expect a pill or operation to instantly fix problems rather than making the simple lifestyle changes that can easily prevent these problems from ever occurring.
    Being prepared for whatever life may throw at you is an ever-changing process, not something you can buy once or do once then forget about it while you continue on with your present “normal” life.

    • I think you really hit on something. Imagine a business that sets up people with what they need for survival for one price… It could be a kit or could be tailored to individual needs.

      • That would be kinda hard to do as no one really knows what will cause them to need preps or need to survive. All the food and water in the world won’t help if you are run over by a fire. having a good fire plan won’t help if you are in a flood ect.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        That’s a great idea if you do it complete and correct like a financial planner.
        A good financial planner will look at your assets and liabilities including any health related issues etc., and then help you plan for the future.
        A preparedness planner could do the same thing, first working through a threat matrix with you, and then arranging not only for the materials and tools you need; but, also for classes to gain the skills you need. It could be a great service; but, I suspect for most would be too expensive

        • Exactly! I agree that it would be expensive, probably to the point of being cost prohibitive on both sides of the equation, but it would also be the right way to go about it. If we have Life Coaches, Financial Planners, and Home Organizing Consultants, why can’t we have Prepping Planners who are paid for their expertise?

          Plant Lady’s post about normalcy bias and people wanting a “just buy this one thing” approach to prepping just got me to thinking, because I think she was dead on right in her assessment. Unfortunately, most people want a box, not a lifestyle change.

          • OhioPrepper says:


            Unfortunately, most people want a box, not a lifestyle change.

            True; but in our case, the change would be to do anything else.

  12. patientmomma says:

    I would recommend starting by evaluating your existing situation. For example, if you live in a city, have all electric household, appliances and gadgets, figure out how you are going to get water, get heat/cool, cook, flush toilets, etc. What do you need to survive for 3 to 5 days? Look at what you have stored in your cabinets and ask yourself if you can live on that. Do you have a bucket to use as a toilet? Do you have enough blankets to stay warm? Do you have at least 2 gallons of water for every person in your house? If not, make a list and go get what you need if you can’t leave your house for 5 days. Once you can survive for week, get M.D.’s book and go from there.

  13. Most people are hesitant to “do something” with the knowledge they acquire on sites like this because they are overwhelmed by the immense amount of supplies and skills it takes to become truly “self sufficient”. What they don’t realize is how easy it is to get started. The easiest, cheapest thing someone can do TODAY to go from unprepared to “on their way” is pick up one case of water (about $3) and one 20 lb bag of rice (about $12-$15) for each person in their household. No fancy freeze dried food or expensive water filters, it’s down and dirty. That’s enough drinking water for about a week and enough calories to keep you from starvation for about 3 weeks. It’s under $100 for a family of 5. Even if you can only come up with $20 a month over the next year you can do this twice! If you can’t come up with that little to begin your journey you’re really not serious or you have much bigger problems than prepping.

    • Chuck Findlay says:


      Even if you can only come up with $20 a month over the next year you can do this twice!

      A fix for this is to do side jobs, extra night work, weekend work, make things to sell, buy things at garage sales & thrift stores to sell at a flea market or on E-Bay.

      It may be hard to make a lot of money doing this, but it does work to put money in your pocket that otherwise wouldn’t be there. This gives you extra money to buy preps, pay off debt, or build an emergency fund. But you have to put down the phone, turn the TV off, don’t spend all day on the net for it to work.

      The way to make it work is to not do one thing as any one income stream will not be that much, but rather do 30 things to make money. It will also prep you for a SHTF way to make money by learning how to read people, how to make the right guess as to what will sell and what won’t

      Not to pick on people about making soap, but I see it as an example of not understanding what will and will not sell. I can go to Meijer, Wally World, The Dollar Tree (any store) and buy a few bars of soap for $1.00, yet I see people selling homemade soap for $5.00 to $8.00 a bar. I don’t see them selling many of them. How well is a $5.00 bar of soap going to sell when everyone has no income and any money they have is going to have to buy food, heat and shelter first? Custom sented soap that is overpriced is going to be a hard sell. Would it not be better to go to a store and buy $50.00 worth of soap, put it up and sell them post-SHTF? It’s lots of work making soap.

      People underestimate the importance of money post-SHTF. I see almost no one talking about how to generate money post SHTF in a way that will work. I see post about what they will do, but somehow they don’t make the jump to understand that you need to build an income, it’s not going to suddenly jump into your hand post-SHTF. Customer relationships and good reputations take time to build, people need to learn who to and who not to trust. They need to know you are even alive and offering a service they may want. The small business world if full of good, honest, hard-working people that make little to no money doing what they do for the simple reason no one knows about them. I was one of them, I did (still do) great work, but few people knew about me. It took a long time to build a customer base so I could make a living. That and an incredible marketing program that once I had it was so easy to use. Pre-marketing program I was happy to make $200.00 a week, and that was a good week, the first day I used the program I made $185.00 in ½ day. It was simple once I learned a few basic things and understood direct response marketing.

      Good times or bad times government will be there to tax you and your property. If for no other reason then to stop them from taking your home (it happened too often in the 1930’s, in fact it was common) away from you, you need to have an income to keep the tax man at bay.

      Building a side/ part time income now gives you extra money to buy preps, pay off debt, or build an emergency fund. But you have to put down the phone, turn the TV off, don’t spend all day on the net for it to work. And be realistic in your income expectations, it takes time to build up a customer base.

      PS: It may be a good post-SHTF job if you understand direct response marketing, have lots of computer paper to make flyers, and are willing to put in a bit of leg work to hook up customers with people selling things. Most people that make or do things don’t understanding marketing so there will likely be opportunity for the right person.

      Or if you are a business person selling something, you could share advertising space (on a flyer) with another business person to offset or even pay for your marketing.

      Learning direct response marketing could be a useful prep and even a person up in age or with movement restrictions can do it.

      If I ever really need money I print up 1,000 flyers and go deliver them and I get jobs.

      But you need to understand how they work, The returns look horrible to most people. The normal average return is 1.5%, (1.5 jobs for every 100 flyers delivered) I get 4% to 7% because I bought a very good marketing program. 100 flyers takes me 58-min to walk a neighborhood and deliver. So for 2-hour’s work (1-hr delivering, and 1-hr prep of the flyers) I get 4 jobs. Not so bad when you look at it in the right way.

      But it takes time and a bit of money to work out the marketing to people, I don’t honestly think most people will be able to do it post-SHTF as there will be other things to do and little time and certainly little money to throw at it to learn what does and does not work. Better to work it out today then post-SHTF.

      One thing that doesn’t seem to gel with people is that money is a prep you must have. You can’t survive without it.

      PS: the marketing program was by a guy named “Joe Polish” Well worth the $1,000.00 I bought it for back in the 1990’s, and it’s still working.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      those are great thoughts!!!

      And if you oven can that rice, it should last for many many years….if you don’t at least freeze it, I think you’ll be unhappy in a matter of months with things growing in it….but that is a GREAT START!!

      Learning how to oven can was a huge success for our family.

      • PrepperDoc:
        Could you please explain oven canning?

        • Almost There says:

          Hi Moe,
          In case PrepperDoc takes a moment to reply, oven canning is the same as “dry canning”. You can find quite a few videos on YouTube. I need you do some of that myself. I’ve just learned how ty of water bath and pressure can. Next will be dry canning.

          • Almost There says:

            Ugh! Auto correct again. I need to do some of that myself.

            • Dry canning is something we’re also learning about………..sad, we should’ve done this from the start.

              • PrepperDoc says:

                Only works for dry goods, like beans rice maybe flour, etc.

                Only works for dry goods, like beans rice maybe flour, etc. place in clean mason jar, leave a little space at the top.

                200° oven, 90 minutes.

                At that point I open the oven, Drop in an oxygen absorber into each mason jar, lay the lid on top. 10 more minutes at 200°.

                Remove, screw the lids on using a glove, sit back and wait. That should all pop as the vacuum is developed.

                Mark what year and month you canned it.

                • PrepperDoc
                  Is using the mason jar attachments and food saver to store dry goods in mason jars equal to or the same concept as oven canning? I jumped in to prepping about 3 years ago when i found this site. Long story short i did the 10 things to do now and 10 more things to do now a total of 10 times as i have 10 people in my family. I’m slowly learning and trying to dig my way out from under it all and get it stored for long term.

                  • OhioPrepper says:


                    Is using the mason jar attachments and food saver to store dry goods in mason jars equal to or the same concept as oven canning?

                    Yes and No.
                    Vacuum sealing the dry goods may be better than oven canning for some foods.
                    The complaints I’ve seen about oven canning for foods high in oil, like nuts is that the heat can chemically change things; however, most dry good store quite well in a vacuum sealed jar, much like the partial vacuum sealed and low O2 environment you get with a Mylar bag and bucket.
                    Heat, Light, Moisture, and Oxygen are the enemies of stored foods, so anything you can do to limit these factors will help.
                    Vacuum sealing removes the O2 and storing the jar in a cool dark environment mitigates the others.
                    If someone is doing both methods, it would be good to hear from you.

                    • I have stored parboiled brown for years, same with beans. I just put in jar, freeze for three days to kill bugs and eggs, let sit for a day, put in oven for about ten minutes, and tighten the lid. I never heat anything. I don’t have O2 or a vacuum sealer. It works. However, when I can afford a vacuum sealer or O2, I will use those.

        • OhioPrepper says:

          Oven canning is a bit controversial; but, here’s the basic definition from preparednesspro.
          Oven canning is the process of canning dry goods such as flour, beans, oats, and even nuts in a 200 degree oven. The standard instructions are to place items in glass canning jars, wet the rim of the lid a bit, place lid and ring on top, and then allow jars to remain in the oven for about an hour. The premise is that this is a way you can extend the life of dry goods even in a scenario in which you have no electricity (because you can “oven can” in a solar oven, or frankly, even in a car on a bright sunny day).
          For the flip side read the entire article: Why I LOATHE the “Oven Canning” Method

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            I oven can Ritz Crackers, just fill the jar with them and put them in the oven. I set the oven to 240 as I want to kill anything that could grow in a vacuum.

            I just opened a jar that I canned 2-years ago, it’s been sitting on a shelf in my bedroom closet. It tasted as fresh as a new package of crackers.

            • Hummingbird says:

              I’ve oven canned flour, but not crackers. Around here soda and Ritz crackers go bad around the time the box is half eaten, so I’m going to do this. The oyster crackers seem to have a longer shelf life, so have been buying them instead for soup.

            • OhioPrepper says:

              Real dry goods like crackers are IMHO the ideal food for oven canning. Oily things like nuts are where I kind of hesitate.

        • Thanks to all for the education. I need to weigh the pros and cons for my situation.

    • I’m regularly amazed at the number of people I meet who simply do not know how to cook a pot of rice or anything that doesn’t come microwavable.

      • I haven’t owned a microwave for almost 20 years. Could never understand using so much energy to heat up a cup of coffee. And the food? You might as well pull the food out of the freezer and stuff it in your mouth for all the taste you get from heating it in a microwave. Your taste buds begin to atrophy. I want to smell my food as it cooks. I want the smell to permeate the kitchen and the rest of the house. After all, I have raised it, harvested it, put it in the dehydrator, freezer, or canned it. All that work. I want to enjoy it.

        • OhioPrepper says:


          Could never understand using so much energy to heat up a cup of coffee

          Actually a microwave oven is very efficient and heating a cup of coffee takes less energy than heating it in a pan on the burner.
          As for cooking, I agree; but, to reheat things, it is much more efficient and in the summer, generates less heat, meaning more comfort or less energy to run the A/C.

  14. I started with “What if the lights go out” for a day; how would this impact me? Then I worked outward to a week, then a month, then…

    I use the power outage scenario because it’s an “equal opportunity disaster” that can affect anyone who lives on the grid, anywhere, and at any time. It’s also one that most everyone is familiar with. It’s also the one thing that can cascade, creating bigger problems (the water can shut off, the sewer can stop emptying those pipes many flush into, etc). Start simple. Keep it simple!

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Wonderful! And EVERYONE eventually has the power go out. Batteries, generator, stored fuel, a checklist to start the darn thing every month…..a chain to protect it….move on to a rifle, a pistol….start to figure out food….. and you’re WAY ahead.

      but think about your neighbors in all this too. A group can survive a lot easier than an individual. Is there a way to keep your neighbors alive?

  15. Pam in ID says:

    My situation is a bit different than most of the pack. I am soon to be 73, live alone and have bilateral artificial hips and knees. Both femurs broke in 2013 and as a result, I must use a walker. So bugging out is not a logical option for me. I live in a rural area on 1/2 acre. When the SHTF, I will encourage those who do not have gardening space, to make use of my land, and hopefully share with everyone. I have a good supply of heirloom seeds stored. I am able to do a little gardening in 6 Grow boxes on my sunny patio, and I also have two Aero Gardens for starting plants and growing greens. I am in the process of turning one bedroom into a storage room for extra food, water and necessary supplies. I am working with a LDS family who is interested in setting up a neighborhood group to pool skills and help one another. They have been kind enough to look in on me during our recent heavy snowfalls and several nights that were as cold as 16 below zero. Everyone in the area has a well. I am on a 4 family shared well, so my best guess is that water will be available no matter what. One person has a generator. I am setting up water storage for myself just in case. This year I will be dehydrating fruits and vegetables, canning butter and cheese as I am able. I heat with a pellet stove, so I am looking into a way to bypass the thermostat and get some solar to run that, and if possible, the hot water heater as well. I have two and a half ton of pellets as of now and will be getting another two ton this month. My goal is to have four ton at the end of our cold weather. That would get me through two normal winters, or another one like we are having. Old bodies do suffer from the cold. My next purchase will be shelving for the storage room, while saving for a solar unit that I will be able to manage. Since my ability to defend myself is not good, I plan on storing food in some other spaces in my home. I am relatively new at prepping, but I do what I can while I can. I am thankful for everyone’s posted ideas and experiences as they are so very helpful and encouraging for someone in my situation.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Pam why not work on building a community garden on your property today, don’t wait for SHTF to do it.

      You will build relationships with people, make friends, work out all the kinks before it hits the fan. And probably enjoy helping people and yourself now and for the future.

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Sound like you are making REAL progress there, partner! Let me encourage you that I just heard of a 106 year old man running a marathon. In just a few years I’ll be your age — you’ve been through a lot more surgeries than I, but if your weight is under control. perhaps you can develop more mobility through some carefully gauged increases in walking time.

      That amount of fuel stored— wow! I’m very impressed. A firearm is a great equalizer. Can you find a way to earn a little more so that you could increase the rate of your acquisitions?

      Don’t overlook oven canning dry goods….you can sock away a lot of calories that will last years and years that way. And it is cheap!
      Far far cheaper than freeze dried; just not for meats….only grains, dry goods.

      Developing core strength is one of the key things to keeping older citizens independent. I’ve had patients who could not move themselves from one bed to another — and they were completely un-injured.

    • Anonamo Also says:

      for one in the “older” and “limited” category..You have a good handle on getting started!
      I am so thankful that you have good neighbors who check to make sure you are ok. When there is an injury someone finding the injured often determines the impact of that injury on the future. Having a system/plan in place by which you call and talk to someone several times a day will give an alert to those receiving the call that you are ok…or could be in trouble.Ideal would be to call one person morning another mid afternoon and another at bedtime.. , Having them know about a hidden key could save you from further distress.
      If you have lived at your location for a while and have had a garden there, giving tips to those who use your property for growing vegetables can help them increase productivity… Those tips on fertlizing and other requirements vary from location to location. Having you there to help with those tips will increase the yeild and cut their learning curve. Don’t forget that greens can be grown in a “setit and forget it” hydroponics container… get the seed, start in a peat cup.. when a few inches tall. place in a plastic coffee can , make a slit in lid, over to a hole where the plant comes thru.. place a bit of foam around stem where it goes thru lid.. put basic fertlizer water in not top off…leave a little airspace. You tube is your friend…Keep on learning
      Core strength prevents falls, I know if you are using a walker that is one key concern. One exercise for building core strength is to sit on an exercise ball. many of those are big and could be difficult for you, but you could start increasing core strength by placing a short stack of books the same size in a chair…and maintain posture without touching back and sides of you build confidence and strength, lift each leg, alternating.This would be a good time to do arm strengthening as well.

  16. My four sons says:

    Keep it Simple Stupid
    I have often out thought myself on many things through the years. The answer is almost always the easiest one. For example:
    2 weeks of food Is better than no food
    Any gun is better than a stick
    Any stick is better than a fist
    Strive for what you can afford, and makes you more ready. Saving for the best of everything has merit but not at the cost of sitting idol and doing nothing. Taking action beats standing still everytime. Learn as much as you can on as many subjects as possible. Learning is often the least expensive and most important prep you can have. Knowledge is power.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      Learning is often the least expensive and most important prep you can have. Knowledge is power.


      U-Tube is your friend!!!

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Knowledge and Skill have at least three attributes that are lacking for other prep items
      1. Very easy to carry
      2. No one can take them from you
      3. You can share them with as many as you want and not diminish your supply

  17. Get your house in order. All the rest is just LARPing and end-of-the-world survival fantasies.

    Ignore all that must-have prepper bling and doomsday BS. Your efforts and money are better spent on practical and everyday preparedness (for those little life disasters that hit us all) and knowledge.

    It’s not as sexy as a nuclear-hardened underground bunker or armored bugout vehicle, but these things will go a long way toward giving you peace of mind: debt elimination; extreme cash hoarding; proper insurance; self defense training and all that goes along with that; exercise and strength training; a healthy diet; a prepared domicile (backup sources of energy, defense, heating, cooking, sanitation, water filtration, etc.); extra food and water (at least 3 months); get-home gear (if you travel for work); car kits (for being stranded); and if applicable for the area you live in, an emergency evacuation plan with all that entails.

    For long term disaster, it’s not so much about what you have, but what you can produce. And that’s a whole ‘nother side of prepping.

    Regardless knowledge and skills are your friends.

  18. Marine Mike says:

    The best advice was in the article – LEARN & PRACTICE NEW SKILLS. I go to my bug out location every other month and live on the items that are there and I do chores with out electricity. I have an emergency solar generator that I hook up to well pump then I fill up any water containers and use the containers only. I cook in the fireplace and eat only food that I have stored there. I make a list of anything I run into that needs attention that I cant do while I’m there. The next trip I bring resupply and anything I found out that I needed to preform more task. Its hard to think of everything, but when you try living it for a week or two at a time the holes in your preps show up.

  19. I just plain got started. there is the secret to it all. think of what you will need to survive and live in the way you are reasonably comfortable living at and prep for that.

  20. Owl Creek Observer says:

    Start out by making a list of what you and your family would need to survive if your part of the country lost power and water for a week or two and there were no shipments of food coming in. Start buying those items. Then extend it to a month, then two months, etc.

  21. I recently backed up and began reassessing what I have and what I have learned along the way. I have two options. 1) I can strive to maintain my present standard of living. I live in a trailer on many acres of land; some productive and some not. I have many acres of oak trees. This is not a standard of living most have living in the town or city. If I choose to maintain the standard I now have, I may need to have on hand a supply of electricity and propane gas for as many as 5-10 years or more. History has shown resources are finite. To put these resources in place is expensive sand their is a 50% or better chance the system will break at some point. Now, I look at option 2. Forget about the present standard of living and duplicate the rural farm in 1930 in the hills of Kentucky, Tennessee, Carolinas, etc. Basic needs were water, food (garden), and shelter. Nothing to break or finite resource there. How does that relate to my setup?
    First, I would be off grid. Is that a doable? I lived off grid 11 years with a propane tank to heat water. How do I heat water and cook without my propane stove? 1) I have a wood burning stove. I have camping skills to heat water outside. I have tubing to build a water heating system on a south facing roof. Lower costs of setting up option 2 with less cost in breakage leaves more funding for long term food supply, a secondary source of water, and in my case, more fabric and kerosene for wall lamps. No table lamps as I have several cats.
    I firmly believe something will happen sooner than later. I think my best bet is not to strive to keep things “normal” but to allocate available funds on true survival and not on frills, i.e., tv, computers, forced heat, A/C, phones, and common utilities.
    My priorities are changing a little. Food preservation is top of the list. My daughter and I are working on a 2500 gallon refillable buried water tank. Next, I need lots of kerosene and additional wall lamps. Seeds are more than adequate but I plan to buy more the end of this month. Planting more fruit trees in March. I have already purchased many manual appliances and will buy more. The kids laugh about me having more tools than most men, but they mean nothing without electricity.
    Sorry about the ramblings of an older lady, not old lady (76 almost 77 LOL). The kids will need to provide a good amount of the muscle, but I will be right there trying to keep up with them. We are talking 3 generations. We may also be working with a young mother of four children who is a really hard worker. She has a lot of skills, but she will need baby care to work with the men and stronger ladies.
    Summary: Going to keep it simple and put my money where the rewards are the greatest.

    • Almost There says:

      Agree with you on option 2. Hard, but not impossible, to work towards, if one is “tied to the grid” with both arms and legs. I think it was on the tv show “Alaska”, where they heated water using a copper coil wrapped around the stove pipe, which is heated when the stove is running. It was stored in a barrel inside the house. Something that has been done for a while for those off grid.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        When I did winter tent camping (Operation Eskimo) as a teen in the boy scouts, we used a similar heater. A coil of hard copper sat in a 50 gallon drum and we kept a fire going in the drum. You needed to bring a bucket of water and an empty bucket to the contraption. The empty was set under the out flow pipe, and the water was poured into the inflow funnel on top. Hot water then came out into the bucket and you went on your way, with hot water ready to use.
        Many of the wood fired cook stoves have a reservoir on the side to keep water hot and ready at hand as the stove is used.

        • Axelsteve says:

          When my friend was active duty in the usmc. They had cold weather training. They shipped them out from 29 palms to minasoda for it. Later they had warm weather training and they shiped them out somewhere i forgotten where but they could have done it at 29 palms or in the vicinity outside.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      It seems that you have figured out and summarized what many people do not understand or perhaps just get confused.
      Standard of Living and Quality of life are not the same things.

  22. Gypsydancer says:

    Usually I occasionally read the thoughtful advice here, but don’t say much. I attended gatherings over Christmas and New Year and heard discussions that concerned me, though I’ve been concerned for a long time.

    Corpus Christi, Texas, had experienced a shut-down of water services before Christmas because of a ‘back-flow’ failure at one of the chemical or oil plants there. The approximate 5-day outage took everyone by surprise. Price gouging happened at some convenience stores. Water was in short supply. Until they discovered what chemicals got into the water, they told people not to bathe, wash dishes or do laundry. This all happened over a few hour period. Water was quickly stripped off the store shelves. When water was brought into town, not everyone in line got water before it ran out. Schools and businesses shut down.

    During the holiday gatherings among our families and friends, discussions that started on this topic were enlightening. People seemed to think this was an extremely rare event…unlikely to happen again. I said, “Gee, maybe everyone should think about stocking up on food and water, just in case.” You can imagine what direction the discussions took. Massive normalcy bias at work!

    Our own children and their spouses have strong feelings that prepping is for paranoid idiots. A few years ago we gave 3-month food supplies from Auggason Farms, Life-Straws, and assorted items for get-home bags to our grown children one holiday, as well as M.D.’s basic lists, and we quietly explained the concept to the adults. We got odd looks, especially from some of the spouses. Private discussions with the ‘well-educated’ children got us no further. No telling what ever happened to ‘the stuff’ and the lists we gave.

    I’ve convinced my spouse to join me in stocking up on many things. We’re retired and older than some of you, and have decided to worry only about ourselves. In addition to a house in town, we have a farm, an old house and barn, and grow a large garden. I dehydrate and can a lot of food and have more from the L.D.S. Store and other places. We have a very large stock of refrigerated non-GMO and non-hybrid seeds. We have weapons, ammunition and know-how. Our children have no clue as to what we have, and won’t unless they’re shocked into believing, or until we die. If they never clue-in to possible realities, it will sadden me, but some food-bank or individuals might benefit from our food supply once we’re gone. Our heirs will be shocked by some of our preparations. Estate sale fans will be offered a wealth of useable ‘stuff’. We will go down in family history as being the nuts on the family tree. That’s all O.K.

    My advice to those of you who are beginning to prepare, at any age, is to review possibilities for troubles in your world. Learn to garden, even in pots, split up your supplies in several locations, if possible, and keep it safe from flood waters. Make sure you plan for the ability to stay warm, hydrated, sheltered and fed. Stock up on dried beans, rice, and what you truly know your family will eat. Rotate your food. Watch YouTube videos and practice survival skills so you have experience and confidence in doing those things. Tell the younger kids that your stockpile is (current or future) camping supplies and maybe they won’t blab! Down-playing the threats and making your preps just a normal part of life may allow your children to begin to ‘get-it’. Good luck to all of you!

    • Almost There says:

      Personally, Gypsydancer, I’m partial to nuts, as a few of us here are.

    • OhioPrepper says:


      Price gouging happened at some convenience stores.

      Just exactly what is price gouging? I hear this all of the time and it’s basically just supply and demand. If I have a supply and you demand it, I can get what I want for it. OTOH, if you have the supply and the demand, then you go to your pantry, and I’m out of the loop, and no longer gouging you.
      An remember that some of our best hardwood trees like Oak and Walnut are nut trees.

      • Gypsy Dancer & OP:

        IMO “price gouging” is a term invented by the unprepared (and the government). Here’s an example I overheard at the sporting goods store. They had a sale on 5.56 ammo that went on for 6 weeks. Events changed and they took it off sale. A guy came in and said he would buy 3 cases if he could get it for the old price. And I’d like to walk in and buy 1/10th ounce gold coins for the $50 they were at one time; it just does not work that way without government intervention.

        OP is right. I use “current price = my cost + availability of replenishment + demand”; that’s how I determine what price to put on the items on my gun show table.

        In other words: If you want your stuff at today’s prices, buy it today. Not to be mean, that just the way it is.

        • OhioPrepper says:


          I’d like to walk in and buy 1/10th ounce gold coins for the $50 they were at one time

          Back in 1975 when gold was legalized again you would have gotten a 1/10 ounce coin for about $14-15. I was out of college about 2 years making a whopping $800 per month as an engineer, so after taxes, benefits, rent, school loans and general living expenses, I had not much left for things like gold. I of course wish I had bought some. Doncha love that 20/20 hindsight LOL.

  23. My “secret” is what I learned in the Boy Scouts back in the 60’s working my way to Eagle Scout. “Be Prepared”. Scouting taught me to be a generalist and prepare for many different situations. I have kept that philosophy all through my life and it has served me well.

    We are not preppers, we Are Prepared. For what? Nothing specific but for whatever comes along.

    Just tackle things, one at a time and work to completion. Lists are great for keeping track of things like tasks to complete, inventory, goals, needs, etc.

  24. Chuck Findlay says:

    Good advice above as far as just doing it instead of sitting on your rear.

    And slow progress is better then no progress.

    Always have a notebook on you so you can write down ideas you have (ideas that otherwise seem to get lost as you go about your day) so you don’t forget them.

    Along the same like as above always use the notepad make list of areas you feel are important.

    I have at least 100 things on my lists I work off of, thinks like of-grid power, off grid sanitation, heat, radio communication, medical supplies, using herbs, tools I need to get, supplies I need to get, things that I need to fix, things I want from Amazon, things I can build to make money, foods I want to get, books I want to get, things I want to learn, Alternative energy production, how to deal with waste if the infrastructure goes away. Projects that need to be done soon, projects that can wait a while, things I need to look up on the net, skills I need to learn to make money now and post-SHTF. How did they do things 100-years ago and what I may need or learn to do things like they did back in the day. How to mix old ways (slow and inefficient) with modern ways and tools to still get the job done.

    Plus 50 other things I feel I need to address. Working from lists and being able to look at and edit / update them any time of the day is a powerful prepping tool. When in a store I can pull out the Palm and check my stock of any item or area I need to work on. It has allowed me to get more done, remember to do things and fill in areas that otherwise would go unattended because they would have gotten lost. The only 2 areas I don’t research are guns and home repair. I have more guns and ammo then I will ever likely need. And I can fix pretty much anything in a home and don’t need many books to show me how to do it.

    I don’t actually use a notepad; I use a Palm Pilot as it’s just about the best portable data management tool ever made. I keep it on hand all the time. I don’t know if a Smart Phone can do what it does (I suspect no as phones these days are more about extracting money then doing a job) but if it did, you could use it.

    The Palm has several advantages, it backs up data to my computer, it doesn’t need a cell network or the net to do it’s job, unless someone actually takes it from me my data is safe (it can’t be hacked as it has no outside connection to the net or phone system) and it’s free to use, no monthly cost like a smart phone.

    You can also buy them used for next to nothing on E-Bay

    • Chuck F, I like your idea of having a notebook to write down your ideas. I have many ideas, & one has to prioritize. Having one’s ideas written down would also help in planning. Thanks.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      I used to carry a list on my Palm Pilot until my vision issues made that virtually impossible. I still have one or maybe two in a box here somewhere. What I’ve switched to and now even have a spare I received as a Christmas gift is a voice recorder. It’s arranged as 5 folders that each hold 99 messages. If I want your information like name, address, phone number, email, etc. I simply hit the record button and have you speak the information into the unit.
      The units can be backed up to a computer or a micro SD card on the new one.
      Like you I keep it with me all of the time and everywhere I go, since you never know when you’ll see something you need to check out or come up with an idea that needs to be researched or performed.
      I hadn’t really thought of it as a prep; but, thinking about it, it is at least for now, vital.

  25. My #1 “secret” was the same one you already stated…I got started and did SOMETHING. I didn’t wait to get it perfect. I didn’t even read what a lot of other people did.

    I read Alas, Babylon in high school. It’s been on my mind ever since. Starting when we finally bought our 1st house, it got brought closer to the front on mind.

    Now, it’s top of mind awareness for both of us. Not that it stops us from living our lives, but it changes how we look at what we spend money on. How I look at the grocery ads. How I look at shooting sports ads. What I think about weather issues.

    I’m not “ready” today, but I’m a whole lot farther along than anyone else I know locally. That includes family; they are either not local or don’t get it. Some things you just can’t fix.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I think we all have family that doesn’t get it. And we don’t have an answer on how to fix it as some things can’t be fixed.

      So I prep for me, and they buy stuff like HD TV’s and such…

  26. Remain “Semper Gumby”! Always flexible. You can plan, equip and train all you want but that doesn’t guarantee that things will still go the way you thought they would. If you don’t quickly assess and revise your plans you could only make the situation worse. Anyone remember the great movie Jeremiah Johnson when he made the fire under the snow cover pine tree? The key to being able to remain flexible is good situational awareness and asking yourself “if” “then” questions. Disasters are chaotic, this might sound funny but, do you practice by subjecting yourself to chaos or stress or do we organize and plan our days out for maximum efficiency? How do you practice chaos or subject yourself to stress? Do you drive the same way to work everyday? Take a different route. Do you have a morning routine? Change it up. Sounds funny but I double dog dare you to try. Good luck.

  27. 1. Start small. You’re not going from “zero” to “my bunker makes Cheyenne Mountain look like a tool shed” overnight. Just acquire enough extra food and water to last a week, and go from there.
    2. Start with something that interests you. I accumulated a lot of ammo before I accumulated food, not by design but because I like shooting. I’m branching out into learning other prepper skills, but nobody wants to start with something they find tedious.

  28. Mother Earth News magazine is a great source for prepping info. Few years ago they had an article about wood gasifiers to use wood gas to run a vehicle. I actually found a WWII document showing gasifiers to run the farm tractors (since the gasoline was needed for the war). Lately I have seen pix of British busses with a gasifirer on the back bumper so that technology does still work. Not sure about the new versions of fuel injection but a carbureted car/truck should work. Recentlysaw a u-tube video of a guy using pellet stove fuel to run a gasifier that powered a generator to run a circular saw.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      A few years ago I bought The Mother Earth News 41-years on DVD. It has a lot of info on it for such a small space. Well worth the $40.00 I paid for it…

      After all how hard would it be to have over 40-years of the magazines and think how long it would take to find a specific article in them.

      The DVD has a search feature to make finding something easy.

  29. City Clampett says:

    As God would have it, I happen to be in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the south and the most affluent part of the city. Most of my preps (or provisions) are things that would get me a long way in any disaster: water filtration, food stores, ready cash, maintained vehicles, et al. Since we’re in a hurricane hit zone, a lot of these measures go unnoticed. If someone does ask, I can very truthfully share stories about the last hurricane that cost us 11 days of electrical outage and found me washing clothes in the bathtub by candlelight. The rest is chalked up to my eccentricities. In order to keep from drawing the wrong kind of attention, I call us the Clampetts and go on trying to grow food, collect rainwater, make compost, raise chickens and otherwise prepare for the worst in my million dollar neighborhood. I now have a group of folks meeting at my house who are learning alongside me. We kind of spur one another on and help each other feel a little less like a Clampett and more like a good steward. To your point, our motto is, “faith not fear”…one step at a time.

  30. mom of three says:

    Debt, is a killer we got rid of the debt except house payment and normal bill’s. Coupon shopping, is a awesome way to save money and stacking coupons is even better I’ve been getting $80.00 worth of food for around $28.00 it can be done. So here is my stupid story : Second time this happen to me!!! My rice buckets got infested with the rice bug’s, so I said no more and yes, I did freeze the rice but not long enough. I bought a 20 pound bag it will go in my chest freezer, for a full week and then I will oven can it so I won’t have to have this happen again… But definitely try a new skill or read a book, magazines, research, research, research………

    • Anonamo Also says:

      Mom of 3,
      I freeze my rice and beans for 10 days to three weeks. depending on how soon I need the space. and I pack mine in buckets with oxygen absorbers. I also put bay leaves on top, so nothing will migrate to them once opened.
      Rice with bugs can be fed to chickens or used to make dog food. In a time of limited-availability. it can be treated with DE, (by adding a cup of food grade DE to a five gallon bucket…wash rice before using, as you use it…I used a collander covered with cheesecloth or hose to flush with water til clear.
      I have some I am going to place in mylar gallons, after freezing with oxygen absorbers and put in a mixed bucket.mixed buckets don’t weigh as much and can be prepared to be as varible as you can think. these would be good to have the easy open tops on.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Anonamo Also,
        While I have not yet tried this, many articles suggest adding a little diatomaceous earth to the grains to kill off any creepy crawlers that do get into the grains. It is also supposed to be harmless in small quantities for human consumption.

  31. Almost There says:

    Besides all the excellent advice already mentioned, for the current economic situation we are in, my one tip would be to go through everything you have, and if it doesn’t fit into the new goal you have set for yourself (being prepared), sell it, give it away or throw it away. Question everything you have accumulated. You can’t eat your Barbie doll collection. Take the money you make selling stuff and flip it for something on your list.

    My second tip would be to start trying to find like minded folks in your area to form a MAG (mutual assistance group). If you’re like me, who lives alone, it’s important to seek out those folks as you can only do so many things alone. You will have to sleep.

    The main prep tip I have is to get right with the Lord and have faith that He will protect you, read and learn the Bible, as no matter what you learn and no matter how many preps you have bought, none of that matters without the Lord.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Almost There,
      We have been going through things and doing general decluttering, and right now the DW is finally tearing down the Christmas tree. We’ve found things to toss, sell, or donate; but, we’ve also found usable preps I purchased years ago and now remember that we have them.
      We have a MAG here; but, some of the members are more of a long distance support group, which is another good reason for radio communications. Others are virtually neighbors who have done things for each other for years.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        I live alone and am pretty well prepped for most things. It seems clear I’m going to live alone for the rest of my life. I actually like it that way.

        I do fairly well at coping with expected and unexpected events. I feel I can handle the most likely event we will have, (ecnomic SHTF) just fine as I’ve been through it.

        But at the same time a MAG would be nice to be part of.

        Problem is I don’t see a clear way to finding such a group and vetting them so I don’t end up with the wrong or incompatible people or people you just can’t trust. Like most preppers I have a lot of things that have value (lots of guns, food, tools, silver and other supplies that could be sold for quick cash. I don’t want to loose it and have to start over. I did that after a divorce and don’t ever want to go through starting from scratch again.

        My family doesn’t prep, they think preppers are kooks. I have no friends that prep.

        I don’t see much use to a long-distance group as they would be too far away to be of use in a bad event. Risk of travel would factor as would fuel available and cost. Local would seem to be the best group.

        How do you work through this process of finding worthy people that you can trust and have skills, supplies of their own and tools to survive? Not that I would be apposed to new preppers being in a group, after all we all were new at it at some point in the past. But I don’t want to be the only one with food or supplies and being money is tight these days most new preppers have little of it to get up to speed fast. So I could see them not having much of a supply of all the things we need to survive and using up in higher percentage stuff I would bring to the group.

        • patientmomma says:

          Chuck Findlay, I have learned thru sad experience trust is a rare thing. I gave up trusting folks a while back because they have proved by their actions that they cannot be trusted. I have seen family members turn on each other, spouses who deceive, children who are selfish and destructive, neighbors who steal, and many more sad situations. I like and get along with lots of folks, there are a few like minded people around about that I cooperate with, and there are many good people who are honest and kind, but they do not know the extend of my preps. Every time a repairman comes to my place, I wish I had one of those “Men in Black flash devises” to wipe their memory clean. In a “you have what I want” situation they would shoot me in a heart beat. Stay safe.

        • Almost There says:

          No disrespect here. I understand where you are coming from. But… not everyone that may be a good member for your local MAG is where you are with your preps and even mindset, but that doesn’the mean you disregard their potential. Heck all of us are at different levels of being prepared. You started somewhere and you have done well. What I read from your post is you don’t want this and you don’t want that and you want people to have as much as you do when they could very well provide something you don’t have and need. You have been at this a while. Give someone a chance. Not everyone is out to take what you have. Not everyone is rich, but doesn’t mean we don’t try. You can certainly vet people. I listen with my eyes. An example of this is about a good friend who went with me to prep meet ups and we would go prep shopping together. She needed to buy for 4 people at the time, and had the money to outspend me 4 times over, but she would only buy a little at a time. Her husband was not on board, and that may have been part of it, but year after year, I would see that she was too busy with other things and prepping wasn’t her focus. We are no longer friends because of another issue, but it is just as well because she would tell me I had too much food (just like a few of my other non-prepping friends do)…She would cancel plans at the very last minute to go together to a prep meet up, that had been planned months in advance, because her husband was off that weekend and he would get mad if she and I did something together. To find people for a MAG, they have to be serious. A way to find locals is to talk to people and ask not so inquiring questions, that would lead to more inquiring questions. I made some peach salsa and gave it to the manager of TSC. His family cans and the conversation started when he asked me what I was canning.

          Nothing in this life is a sure thing. I have prep friends, but none close by. And even one of them that is a good friend said they will have to take care of their family first, so that means to me, that I still need to keep looking. One place I need to check out more is the local chapter of the gun club. I also meet people in some gardening meet up groups. I’m still searching and staying open to hearing with my eyes. I want to “see” what people say they are doing. Just a thought.

          • OhioPrepper says:

            Almost There & Chuck,

            I made some peach salsa and gave it to the manager of TSC. His family cans and the conversation started when he asked me what I was canning.

            We have run into quite a few folks with potential at our local TSC and Rural King. Hang out around the guns, the beekeeping supplies, the canning supplies, pay attention and make noncommittal small talk.
            Rural King always has a pallet of 10# bags of sugar for $4.49-$4.99 per bag and if you just hang out there and see whose grabbing 2 or more bags.
            You can start up a conversation. I start with something like:
            That’s a lot of sugar. I thought I was the only one who buys that much at a time. You go through it fast when making candy, baking, and canning, don’t you
            It’s very noncommittal; but, a good first probe to start a conversation.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            Almost There, It’s not so much I want people I feel are as prepped as I am. It’s that I want people to be as committed to prepping as I am and are moving forward with their mindset and that offer something of value. I feel I must offer value to others if I’m part of a group, why should others not do likewise?

            I’m not in the slightest way rich, in fact most here have more money (way more) then I do (I don’t count silver as money as I buy it, put it away and forget it.) In the past when I had as little as $50.00 (and no bank account) to my name to live on I still bought rice and canned food. Instead of buying a 50-pound bag of rice I would buy a $1.00 bag of rice at The Dollar Tree. I prepped even when I had little money to prep. I learned skills as they are free to learn if you have the right mindset. U-Tube can teach people a lot for free, then you go practice what you just watched.

            I gave up an awfully lot of things to buy preps. It was a lifestyle change and decision to never be caught like I did after the divorce/ motorcycle accident / job loss / and being raked over the coals by the hate-men divorce court steam roller. I got hit by all that at the same time. It was a very dark time, but even then I still prepped a bit and my food supply grew. Yea it was Ramen noodles, and rice with spices, but I moved forward as best as I could.

            I feel it was the right thing to do as you have to eat to stay alive.

            I learned a lot about SHTF, things like you must have money. I talk about this here (and get no response to it) to survive SHTF as taxes will still be there, you will still need fuel and 1,000 other things that money can buy. I don’t see most people that haven’t built up an income stream for post-SHTF surviving too well. It just doesn’t resonate that you must have a way to make money.

            Why should I be part of a group of people that really only play at prepping? It takes a serious decision to prep it can be done by anyone. A lot of money to spend on preps is nice, but you can go far prep wise if you just decide it’s the right thing to do, I did it.

            Problem is most people don’t want to stop the massive consumerism living that is America today. And with the easy money (debt) it’s the norn to build up debt to the point it will consume most of your money. Money that could have went for food and preps. So building up food, perps, tools and even skills just doesn’t happen. And being in debt makes most people work even more to service that debt. So they have no time to learn and practice skills that will be mighty handy post-SHTF. This in effect makes a person not too useful to others as they have no food, supplies, tools and no skills.

            Sorry to sound like an A-Hole, but I don’t want these people around me.

            If a person goes on a cruse, buys a big 50-inch TV, takes the family to Disney World for a week. Everyone in the family (including the 5-year old kids) has a smart phone, drives a new (leased autos that they build no value with) auto, has Christmas lights that light up their house so well you can see from space. And 100 other things, and at the same time has only a weeks worth of food. Having skills or not these people can’t take care of themselves and I don’t want to be around them post-SHTF. As when they run out of food they will use a gun to get more.

            I see all the things in the above paragraph all the time as I have free run of people’s home all the time on an almost daily level. It gives me a look into people’s life that few of us have.

            I just built some storage benches today for a friend 3-houses down the street from me. I played with him when we were kids, I’ve known him my whole life. He is a very nice guy. He feels we are heading for tough times, but he doesn’t have any food, supplies, guns or ammo, or skills of any kind. I know this because I was in his home today, there is nothing there. But he does have cable TV, a big TV (he’s always got some sports game on, his only skill I can see is the ability to watch football and eat junk food while sitting in his Lazy-boy, the TV is on every time I’m over there) lots of junk in his home that is worthless if we get any kind of SHTF event. Friend he is, but I would not want to have him as part of my group, and he has no idea what I have. If it hits the fan I will look to be in as bad shape as he is. To do otherwise will not go well.

            As far as the new prepper that has some supplies but has not had the time to build much up. Why did this person not become aware that the World was a dangerous place long ago? I figured it out in the 1980’s when I was 25-years old. If they are above 30-years old and haven’t been prepping for a while I really question their decision making abilities. Also even with not having much extra money a person can buy rice, Ramen noodles, spices, Band Aids, water filters, used tools and spend time learning how to use those tools on new skills that will be useful today and post-SHTF.

            If they don’t have a garden it’s a big red flag, gardens don’t cost much other then time. I see almost no gardens in people’s homes, it’s kinda hard to hide them. Although I do a bit of off my property gorilla gardening to hide plants.

            I personally don’t have a big garden, but I have one and do grow a portion of my own food. I plan on expanding it this Spring. I bought a lot of seeds on closeout last Fall, many packs of seeds were only .10-cents a pack. Being aware of seasonal pricing deals is a survival skill that anyone can practice.

            The new prepper should be hard at work building skills (that cost little to build) along with food, to do otherwise is not going to make them attractive to a survival group.

            And it’s not the fault (don’t blame the well prepped) of the potential group these people want to be part of that they have little to offer and the group questions their value. If they want to be part of a group they must bring something of value to the table. If they have little to no food and preps they better have some jedi-like skills that will benefit others.

            It’s like a job, you have to learn before you can get the high paycheck. A doctor had to spend 12-years learning his or her craft, went in big-time debt, worked long hours in an emergency room as an intern, didn’t have a very nice auto, lived in a small apartment, ate low cost food (Ramen several times a week?) didn’t go on vacations. They earned their position and pay. Would this doctor that sacrificed for 15 or more years want a new person to just move into the office next door without putting in the hard work they did? Yon can bet the answer is a big NO!

            And while you can say a doctor makes life and death decisions and therefore of course you would not want an untrained person in the job. You can make the same statement about prepping and post-SHTF as it will require life and death decisions and the un-prepped or under prepped could cause suffering and death to others just as an un-trained doctor would.

            So while a MAG would be worth it in a perfect world, I just see it as a hard thing to actually get done.

            I think my answer to the MAG is to do my own thing till post-SHTF and let the dust settle. Then look for others to group with (or at least support each other in time of need) after the lesser prepared have fallen to the side. This way we all will know that the other person can handle hard times and will probably continue to pull their own weight. I know it sounds harsh, but the reality of SHTF life is going to be harsh. It’s best to prepare your mindset to this fact today then it is to let it come at you cold.

            It sucks, but there is not an easy answer to this that allows everyone to get what they want or need.

        • OhioPrepper says:


          How do you work through this process of finding worthy people that you can trust and have skills, supplies of their own and tools to survive?

          I think in part it is the same as the old Real Estate mantra: Location, Location, and Location. I have some MAG members hours away that act primarily as informational resources. Several more engineers and an E.R. doc.
          Locally I have two or three people that I can count on whenever I need help with nearly anything, as they can with me. These are all rural folks with property, skills, and other resources that make each of them semi self sufficient. We’ve met through gun clubs, ham radio, some political groups, etc. These groups will often form spontaneously; but, they almost always take time. Time first to get to know the individuals, then to understand that they are LMIs and then to gingerly start discussing preps and skills and needs and wants that eventually allow you to build trust and a relationship.
          If I had a formula I’d write an article or a book; but, the simple fact is that each of us just needs to do what we do, and apply that situational awareness with those we meet, not only for danger; but, for spotting likely LMIs.
          It also helps when you’ve been doing it a long time and are not completely hidden or embarrassed by what you’re doing.
          BTW, Chuck. The Mansfield Mid Winter Hamfest is coming up on February 19. Let me know if you’re planning to attend and we can try to meetup again on 52 simplex.

          • Chuck Findlay says:

            OP my next Hamfest will be Dayton.

            Never been to the Mansfield Hamfest.

            I have been to a church “Grace Haven” a few times in Mansfield, beautiful place. The building looks like a Swiss styled building.

            • OhioPrepper says:


              OP my next Hamfest will be Dayton.
              Never been to the Mansfield Hamfest.

              Once upon a time, Mansfield was better than Findlay; but, even Findlay isn’t as large as it used to be. The Lima Hamfest is growing again and may have somepotential in a few years.
              As for Dayton, now that they have closed Hara Arena and are moving the Dayton Hamvention to Greene County Fair & Exposition Center at Xenia, I suspect even Dayton will not be like the old Dayton.
              In my opinion, using the state fairgrounds in Columbus would have been a better venue, with lots of space and tons of parking or area to setup flea markets; but, no one asked me.

  32. OhioPrepper says:

    A lot of good points have already been made; but, I think that what makes me a good prepper is not only planning and hard work; but, managing expectations.
    We’ve been in this location for 33 years and I had plans for a whole house generator, a summer kitchen, and numerous other things that are just now being completed or have not yet been achieved; but, will be coming in the upcoming year. I now have some limitations due to health issues that were not in the original plan; but, you just back up for a second, regroup, and take another route if required.
    I learned from the Amish who will sometimes use modern conveniences; but, are not slaves to them, realizing that they are conveniences and do not let them become necessities.
    Another way to look at where you are in your prepping adventure, is to look around you at the absolute necessities in your life, and then have a plan to do without each of them, if they suddenly went away.
    Personally I would really miss electricity and TP; but, many generations before did without these and not only survived; but, thrived.
    Along with stuff and skills, attitude really is everything.
    One of the final points to consider is OPSEC vs. living an open as in not hiding in the prepper closet life.
    I’ve been open here and those who wish to find me may do so; but, I am not alone and have many local friends and allies. Come as a friend and be welcomed, especially if you call ahead; but, come as a non friend, well…

    • PrepperDoc says:

      Excellent points. I’ve taken sort of a middle Road, tried to keep my identity secret from the general public on the Internet, it would be impossible to keep it secret from the feds of course. No sense trying that, locally I live a modestly revealing life, at work we discuss fringe issues of prepper ship, people who tell me they’re coming to my house and the disaster are told that the password is ” I am bringing one year of food and 2 good rifles. ”

      That helps get the point across. I’m teaching lots of people ham radio and disaster communication skills, hoping to keep society stitched together, because anarchy is really really horrible.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      OP a summer kitchen is nice to have. I go to the Countryside Magazine 4th of July gathering every year in Southern Indiana and they have a very extensive Summer kitchen.

      Last year I had a friend junking a 1970’s travel trailer, I parted it out before he junked it. I got the furnace, 12-volt sockets, 12-volt fuse box, 12-volt lighting (bulbs need updating to LED, but the fixtures are what I wanted) and I got the kitchen range. The range is going to be part of a Summer kitchen I plan to build this Summer. I’m going to make a brick patio and it’s going to be built into it.

      PS: the Countryside 4th of July homesteading event is well worth going to. you have to camp (tent, trailer, motor home are all welcome) and it’s free. You can’t possibly eat all the food they have. Lots of homesteading events going on. Good people and a good time.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Countryside 4th of July homesteading event , eh?
        I forwarded this post along with the link to the event to the DW and a few MAG members. It might be worth the approx 265 mile trip.
        BTW, are you thinking about the Mid Winter Hamfest at Mansfield?
        I had several aunts and uncles that had summer kitchens when I was growing up, and we have been planning one here for more than 20 years; but, we’re finally in the time and money category to actually do it. We’ll be looking at some cabinets and countertops from a local Amish / Mennonite cabinet shop later this week, and I’m on the hunt for a good used or new scratch and dent gas range. Hoping for a 4 burner with an oven at the least cost we can.

        • Chuck Findlay says:

          As far as the Countryside 4th of July homesteading event.

          You can stay for the weekend (most do) or go for a week. I usually show up several days early, the early days are quieter then the main weekend.

  33. For us, this term called “prepping” is more than just stock-piling food/water/ammo.
    It’s been a change in our lifestyle of living.
    The more we can actually press into use today means the less it will be a problem to deal with later.
    * During our last cold snap, I worked on fire starting with a homemade hand/bow drill on our brick hearth of our woodstove. Hey, it’s not that easy as it looks.
    * My DW has used hot coals in our woodstove to cook & bake with. I didn’t mind brushing off a little ash from her woodstove baked bread…………It was Great!
    Basic living skills building, is what I call it.
    I’d rather score a downed oak tree from a storm in our little town for firewood than a game of golf & beer drinking with fake-buddies from work.
    I’d rather spend time skinning rabbits from a day hunting with down-home simple folks than shooting quail with those that are too good to pick up their own dead birds.
    I don’t think I’m changing my ways as much as being who I really am. ( Sorry, I’m getting deep now )
    * Then there’s what we nick-named the ( Noah-Rule)
    Know that bad times are ahead, and prepare for that time BEFORE it gets here………………Keyword: BEFORE.
    That’s what the secret of “prepping” is in a nutshell for us.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      A lifestyle change is the only way to do many things. Three that come to mind are finance, diet & exercise, and preparedness.
      You can start with store what you eat and eat what you store. The time to find out if your food is tasty enough to eat consistently is before it is forced on you.
      For your stove beaked bread, add a Dutch oven and learn to use it, and you not only lose the ashes on the bread; but, have a new way to prepare all kinds of food.
      I agree on Golf and would rather do nearly anything thanplay. I played a round once decades ago with my brother and some of his business friends and did extremely well for a newbie. Everyone encouraged me to play more since I seemingly had a natural talent; but, I was bored to tears the entire time and have never played again.
      That reminds me of a story told years ago by Bill Cosby who said that playing golf was the second stupidest thing in the world, with the stupidest thing being watching golf on TV.
      I found out I was a survivalist of sorts at about age 8 or 9 and along with the way my family lived it’s pretty much been a lifestyle as long as I can remember.
      I think that perhaps one of the best ways to know what’s coming is to look at history and see what happened in times past. There is nothing new under the sun and if you see the points in history that parallel our current state of affairs, people being people and the laws of nature such as economics being what they are, you can get an idea of what could happen, and at least brace yourself for it.

      • Chuck Findlay says:

        I like golf, I take a bunch of golf tees and put golf balls on them at 100-yards and shoot at them with my bolt action 22 rifle, my contender 17-Rem barrel. Lots of fun.

        • OhioPrepper says:

          Now that’s a good use of a golf ball and T. I had a friend who thought that teaming golf & sporting clays would be a good fit. Instead of the shooter calling Pull, the golfer would yell Fore, and the shooter would then get a shot at the ball. This would be for advanced shot gunners only; but, everyone needs a challenge.

  34. Goatlover says:

    True long-term preparedness means being able to rely upon yourself for survival in all the basic areas we constantly discuss: food, water, shelter, medical needs, and physical protection. Short-term preparedness means acquiring “stuff” from the system and storing it for a period of difficulty. Long term preparedness means you have the knowledge, skills, and tools to acquire these things for yourself. It’s the difference between storing food and growing/preserving it; storing water and having a renewable source of water; storing medicine and growing medicinal herbs or learning alternative medicinal skills; etc. If you’re new to prepping, start with the short-term “stuff”, and also begin the education process toward long-term self reliance. Eventually, you will find yourself relying more upon your skills than the stuff you have crammed in your closets!

  35. If you plan to shelter in place, plant your yard with as many perennial vegetables and fruits as will fit your space and climate.

  36. Anonamo Also says:

    Learn, Learn, Learn… Don’t let what you don’t know stop you from beginning.
    Know:You will make mistakes in storing and securing your food/water and necessities.. It is better to do it before any event and find out about it , than to not find it until there is no way to correct the problem.
    Begin with get more of what you need/eat. Add things you can use to stretch those foods.. instant potatoes, rice, beans, quinoa,..
    as you get a couple of months supply begin adding dehydrated/freeze dried and other long term foods that are already packed for long term shelf life.
    You must have a stable place to put all your foods. storing them where they are not temperature stable will cut a shelf life of 25 years to just a few in excessive heat and humidity.

  37. BlueJeanedLady says:

    To throw in my 2 cents worth concerning the site mastermind’s question for others who have asked about the The Secret of Prepping that any of the pact members could share,

    So I’ll ask you… what is your number one prepping secret and or tip… what’s the one thing that you’ve done or figured out that will help other preppers the most?

    I’d be happy to offer my most succinct and simplistic answer which, by the way, is probably the most obvious to understand in the long haul but definitely somewhat difficult to recognize initially. That said – – – great question(s) & hope this all helps! 🙂

    My secret?:

    Prepping, also referred to being prepared, is not a goal to be finally and perfectly reached &/or conquered. Prepping, also referred to being prepared, is a routinely lived lifestyle to be learned, practiced, honed one day, always to be re-started from where you left off yesterday while welcoming the continuation of the next day’s challenges – – – and often, (vacations encouraged) every other day thereafter.

    Once anyone looks at the challenge like a new way of doing things instead of just another thing to do without changing any old habits it becomes much easier to go forward in developing this New Lifestyle.

    Read all you can in this post. Tons of fantastic ideas just in this one comment section and many many more located on this site, alone. Don’t forget to take notes as you browse. Start small if it all seems overwhelming (water, rice, beans, oats for the humans – water & food for pets &/or livestock) just enough for a week or so if finances are tight. Next…

    1) Start compiling & gathering all those notes / pieces of plans / things to stock up on, etc., listed on scraps of paper, in books &/or videos; 2) organize a plan of action (step by step) that could work for you and yours; 3) start learning how to perform the tasks involved to follow a prepper lifestyle; 4) practice the points involved to learn the needed skills for the lifestyle; 5) inventory, use, restock all actual products needed before you need them – to keep growing your new& unique to you, adopted lifestyle (and #6 – don’t forget to the ditch some of the old, not so self-reliant habits you once depended upon, after you’ve replaced such with a practical prepper practice or two).

    Some day, hopefully sooner than later, with all these seemingly new and challenging tasks, learned with both trials & triumphs / successes & failures – as is to be expected… Soon, like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle solved piece by tiny piece, the emerging picture becomes more visible and more pleasant to enjoy. As an added gift to witnessing and utilizing your new self sufficiency lessons & growing your new skills, I guarantee, the sense of accomplishment as you learn, practice, hone, repeat, makes a soul grow merrier & wiser, too! We all need more merry and wise souls, too! 🙂

    In summary, IMHO, the secret is in creating a new & successful new & different lifestyle change – – – as fast or slow as it goes for anyone. Enjoy the learning process(es) and keep taking care while staying safe & smart. 🙂

    • OhioPrepper says:

      You’re correct IMHO in understanding that lifestyle is the real key to success. While it may seem strange to others, I’ve been living like this for more than 40 of my nearly 66 years and have reached the point where I know no other way to think.
      Decades ago when I saw my first Altoids tin, I had no idea what it was or what it cost; but, did realize that the little tin could be great for making char cloth, and it was. These little tins have also been used for electronics projects and tiny survival kits, so I guess I was not alone in my thinking. And as an added bonus, the little mints are also rather good and store for a long time.
      When you say:

      Don’t forget to take notes as you browse

      I have what for me is a better method. I use Mozilla Thunderbird as an email client, and all of the incoming missives from these post go to their own folder. From there I can read them and comment if I feel the urge. I delete many of them at that point; but, the worthwhile ones are not deleted and are marked with a green color (the color of money) to remind me that they contain good information. While I have computers, I will use them like any other tool.

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      I have a program on my computer, it’s a free download. It’s called “Sticky Notes”

      It looks just like a post-a-note only it’s on the computer screen. I copy and paste things to it all the time. I don’t have to save a file or note for it to stay there. When I shut down the computer, and restart it the note is there just as I left it. It’s a great tool for quickly saving things.

      I use it as a temporary place to jot down a note, web address or any area I want to look into at a later time. Someone here says something I want to look into I make a note of it. Same thing with U-Tube videos and the comments below the video.

      Just search it out and download it from C-Net or some other download site.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        I use those sticky notes also. In my case it’s one of the apps you can run on the Windows Sidebar, along with clocks, calendar, performance tools, etc. You can run as many of these for which you’re willing to give up screen space.

  38. Do not just read about something, do not just buy something, DO IT! USE THAT PIECE OF GEAR! Time and time again, when we have actually used a piece of gear or tried a technique we read about, we’ve discovered issues, some easily overcome, some harder. In every case, we ended up KNOWING how to do something or KNOWING how to properly use our gear. So, in a disaster or emergency, we will be able to focus on what’s going on while we confidently use our knowledge and equipment.

  39. wow. So much good stuff here. Maybe I can add a few things? First off look at everything you do and analyze if there is a better or cheaper way to do it. Second don’t turn down any food freebies. Gratefully thank the giver, take it home and research ways to fix or preserve it. You will soon get a reputation for accepting and may receive more. And don’t forget to return the favor. And lastly please don’t be presumptuous and expect God to take care of you when you could have done it yourself. God will not do for you what you could do for yourself. Prepping is fun, creative, economical, healthy, and more. Now let’s get out there and do this! 🙂

    • Oh. And one more thing. This time of year in much of the country, freezing food to keep out buggies is easier. I just put anything I want to freeze for a few days on the unheated back porch, don’t need to stuff the freezer. I can bag up a 25# bag of flour inside a 5 gallon can, stick it out on the porch for a few days, and it’s good to go for a long time.

  40. Chuck Findlay says:

    If we do get a bad SHTF world (rather WHEN we get it) I think a valuable skill we all should learn is to salvage, reuse, adapt things. To be able to make a new different thing out of a collection of seemingly useless junk will be handy to the extreme.

    The infrastructure we have today that delivers anything we want and can pay for in a day or two could very easily go away. Or it may be there and we won’t have the money to buy it at the inflated prices it may be gong for.

    When you can build or make what you need, or what others need you become a valued person and it makes your life better while allowing you to do a job with little money.

    • Chuck,
      Using my collection of useless stuff, I made a water heater for my metal chicken waterer that sits in the open all winter. I spent NOTHING, just thought it over, looked in the basement and into my supply of cords and electrical stuff=free water heater.

  41. Every hour of every day is an occasion to prep. For example, today I went to the dentist and had my teeth cleaned. I wanted the toothbrush and the Crest. I did not want the mint floss, so it went into my stock of stuff for others. I only like one kind of floss and it’s not mint. But, I did not turn it down. I asked the tech if they had any of the little brushes to clean between teeth, the little skinny ones. She gave me a pack of six and insisted I take toothpicks, too. Since I cannot stand wood stuff in my mouth, the toothpicks go into my stock to share. Now, this is not to share with just anyone. Actually, it will be more of a trade, but not a tit for tat situation. That is not a big prep, but it works for today. Another day might bring more in the way of prepping. I do not get discouraged or discount even the smallest stored/collected amount. (I cannot stand the feel of a popsicle stick in my mouth!)

    My friend who hates to floss gives me two mint samples of dental floss every year…not much, but I have quite a bit now since I have known him for ten years.

    If I see something on sale at the grocery, I buy all I can afford and use a coupon if I can.

    I talk to two male friends in particular about having enough food and water. One is severely disabled so others will have to protect him in the event of a crisis. However, he now has lots of canned food.

    The other has supplies for reloading any gun made and dozens of guns. He was the person who had all he needed for protection. However, I talked to him about food since he never thought about being prepared in that way. He now has four huge chest freezers full of meat. I taught him to make and can jelly. That is the only thing he wants to can. After we talked, he got a whole house generator that runs off propane, natural gas, or gasoline.

    I shared and encouraged two men I knew would not tell others. One lives 65 miles to the south and the other lives 50 miles to the north, but they are helpful to me. The ammo guy collects pumpkins and other things for my hens. The one to the south wants nothing extra that he will not use, hence I get the dental floss.

    I never mention “Prepping.” I talk about my chickens, canning, planting a few tomatoes in buckets. With anyone, I only go as far as the person seems interested.

    I suppose my best advice would be to take advantage of even tiny preps.

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