With all the weird things happening in the world every day, you’ve probably heard the term “survival prepping” or “preppers.” Prepping for a disastrous time is wise in the eyes of many. While to many it means being able to survive the catastrophic collapse of society, at its heart it means living self-sustainable and being ready for anything. This way of life and the skillsets it requires can be pretty cool and rewarding whether or not the apocalypse comes.
If you’ve thought about taking up the prepper lifestyle, there’s a long road of learning ahead. However, knowing that you and your family have what they need to survive a catastrophic or even just a disruptive event is pretty comforting.
Learn some basics about what it means to be a prepper.
What Is Survival Prepping?
Survival prepping is just what it sounds like it would be. Survival preppers work hard to gather the materials, tools, and supplies they would need in the case of an extreme emergency. Additionally, preppers think through how they would get power if the grid went down, water if the tap is turned off, food if the grocery store never reopened, and how to deal with waste without water treatment facilities.
They prep for survival in a wide array of situations. There’s preparation for a war on American soil, the onset of an economic or social collapse, or even a zombie apocalypse.
Whatever the reason, prepping is all about being prepared to be self-sufficient and well protected from dangers and surviving until the coast is clear. Many expect preppers to fare best in the toughest times.
What Is An Apocalypse?
The word apocalypse can be a religious term for some folks, but it has a general err of death and destruction. An apocalypse simply refers to an event that causes death and destruction on a catastrophic scale. In short, it’s the end of the world as we know it.
How Many Preppers Are There in the US?
If you do a little research to try and find an answer to this question, you’ll find that the numbers are pretty much all over the place. Some say there are less than 10 million preppers in the U.S., and other sites state that there are closer to 70 million who regularly prep.
The one thing you can count on for sure is that there are way more Americans prepping for unknown disruptions to everyday life now than ever before in recent history. The sudden societal changes and supply chain issues during the COVID-19 pandemic made many realize just how dependent they are on the infrastructure and systems in place to get what they need.
Prepping Can Be Cool: Check Out The Benefits
The benefits of survival prepping should be somewhat obvious to the untrained eye. If you’re preparing for tough times ahead, you always have the security of knowing you and your family are safe and secure in the now. You don’t have to be concerned about running out of toilet paper, food, or some other intricate pieces of stability and safety.
Prepping teaches you which items and systems you rely on and need to replace on your own should you become cut off from support. Examples are setting up off-grid power, gardening, collecting water, waste management, and medical skills. Even just thinking through these and having plans in place makes you much more prepared in the case of an emergency.
Prepping also gives you a new community of people for fellowship. There are millions of preppers, and they get together in many different ways. The prepping community is a strong one.
Are There Any Disadvantages of Prepping?
There are certainly some disadvantages to living a prepping lifestyle. You have to find room to store all of your supplies. You have to maintain your storage, making sure the food doesn’t go bad, and water doesn’t leak or ruin other parts of your prep. This can take quite an investment in both money and time.
Prepping can also lead to some pretty severe anxiety and paranoia. There’s a fine line between being aware and present and being consumed with the fear of something terrible happening to you and your family. Additionally, the form of the catastrophe is unknown.
How Do I Start Prepping?
If you’ve been thinking about getting into the world of survival prepping, it’s not as hard as you might think. You can start small and don’t have to have everything you need to survive a long-term zombie apocalypse in one day. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Build a Survival Space and Buy Gear
You need a safe spot to hide out if everything goes awry in the world. A bunker or secured home is the choice of most preppers. You also need protective gear like gas masks, bulletproof vests, a chemical suit, weapons, and whatever else you think you’ll need.
Get Ready for Two Weeks of Self-Reliance
Start by aiming towards having everything you need to be self-reliant for at least two weeks. Clearly, you’ll want to have more than two weeks eventually, but remember to start small. What do you need to provide safety, comfort, and security for yourself and your family for two weeks?
Pack a Go Bag and Be Able to Leave Your Home With a Moment’s Notice
As a prepper, you should always pack a fresh and well-equipped bug-out bag. A bug-out bag is something you can grab if you have to quickly leave your home in an emergency. You should always have a little food, water, and first aid gear in your bag. It’s good to place your bug-out bag near the door for added convenience.
Prepare for Emergencies That Happen When Away From Home
Your home may be your main base, but you should also be prepared for uncertainty when you’re outside of your home. Keep some supplies with you as you travel outside of your safety bubble. Your vehicle should be equipped to serve as protection should hard times strike while you’re away.
Learn Core Skills and Practice With Your Gear
Teach yourself some core survival skills. Learn to hunt, start a fire, find clean water, and other essential things that will keep you alive without the structure of modern society to help. Then, practice. Keep your skills sharp because you never know when they will come in handy.
Pro Tip: Don’t know how to start a fire? Use these five techniques to start a fire like an expert.
Build Self-Sustainable Systems and Skills for Longer-Term Survival
Serious preppers know that short-term supplies and long-term supplies are different. When you start thinking in terms of months and years of survival versus two weeks, the gear and supplies needed will become more advanced.
For example, off-grid homes and gardens from heirloom seeds need to be built. Hunting and livestock raising will become part of the daily norms. Preparing for potentially toxic environments will also require special gear and research.
What Food Do Preppers Store?
If you’re going to be storing food for an unforeseen amount of time, it must be non-perishable. It must be food that will best serve your survival needs. Canned, dried, and freeze-dried foods are all useful for prepping. A quick Google search will bring up many different storable food options for preppers.
What Food Never Expires?
Surprisingly, there are a lot of foods that never expire. Beans are an excellent example for beginning preppers. Baking soda, corn or maple syrup, salt, sugar, vinegar, and white rice are also food items you can store indefinitely.
What Do I Need for Doomsday Prepping?
You need a lot of things for prepping, and it also depends on what you are preparing to survive. Not everyone preps for the same reason. In general, however, you need non-perishable food, potable water, protective gear/weapons, and a safe place to batten down the hatches. Think of your basic needs first.
Beyond that, think of what you do on a daily basis and imagine how you’d do that in a “grid down” situation. No internet, no cell, no power, no fuel replenishment.
Should I Stockpile Water?
You certainly can stockpile water, and a lot of preppers do. However, it’s even more advantageous to find a clean water source that you can depend on should the world as we know it starts to break down. It’s probably best to combine both methods, so you know you have water regardless of the situation. A stockpile will allow you time to set up the other systems without the ticking clock of dehydration looming.
Pro Tip: If you’re in a pinch and need to consume water that’s not from your tap, use these 5 Ways to Purify Water for Survival in the Wilderness.
Is Prepping Worth It?
Prepping is worth it, as long as you keep your mind in the right place. There’s no way someone can tell you that it’s a terrible idea to have survival items stored up in the case of an emergency. However, you have to make sure there is balance.
For instance, don’t spend your mortgage payment on prepping supplies. You have to balance maintaining the stability of your life and your prepping goals. If you can do that, then prepping is totally worth the time, money, and effort.
Whether you’re a prepper or not, we think Everyone Should Know These Basic Survival Skills – Do You?
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