Are you a newbie prepper? Here’s a quick starter checklist!

Step 1: Take a small notebook, and for the next week, record every single item you use. Whether it’s a bottle of water, some toilet paper, or food. Record the type of item and the quantity. At the end of the week, look at your list and extrapolate for one month, two months, a year – whatever you want. Then go and buy that. That should be a start (make sure they’re not perishables).

Step 2: Start thinking about the stuff you DON’T use but MIGHT NEED, such as an extensive first aid kit, a first aid and survival manual, radio and other communications, etc.

Step 3: Finally, when your current “bug in location” is setup decently well, with at least a few weeks of food and water (and preferably some barter goods like Bic lighters), then think about a bug-out bag. For this, look first at what backpackers bring with them on trips. Then also look at what bushcrafters bring. Finally, add a few emergency survival type items (for example, backpackers frequently have no serious first aid or trauma kits). Then walk around with your backpack and actually try to live out of it for a few days. You’ll probably realize it’s too heavy and start ditching half the stuff. Look at Ultralight backpackers for some ideas on lightening the load.

Step 4: Create a bug-out location, preferably close enough to walk (200 miles or less) but far enough away that it shouldn’t be affected by local natural disasters. Then stock said bug-out location with important items, start a vegetable garden or collect seeds for future planting, etc.. A lot of people (me included) start thinking about bug-out bags, without realizing that the purpose of a bug-out bag is to get you to somewhere, not to become a refugee (although that is also a possibility to prepare for).

Step 5: Start acquiring skills. Concentrating too much on gear can cost you your life if you find yourself without some essential item. But skills weigh nothing and you can take them everywhere with you. Take a survival or bushcraft course nearby, take a (serious, such as a wilderness) first aid course. Most importantly, practice your skills regularly enough that you don’t forget them. And remember that virtually everything has been documented and explained on Youtube. You could easily search for “How to find tinder fungus” or “How to make charcloth” and get dozens of videos.

Step 6: Think about your EDC, or Every-Day Carry. This is the stuff you have in your pockets, at all times. Unfortunately, disaster may strike when you’re not at home, or even if you’re out of town, and hence without access to the majority of your preps. This is why it’s a good idea to carry a mini survival kit or just some useful items (such as a flashlight and a multi-tool) with you at all times. Additionally, think about creating a GHB, or Get Home Bag, which is a fairly small pack with some vital necessities to get you home, like water, a little food, a self-defense item, etc.

I hope this helps 😉

3 thoughts on “Are you a newbie prepper? Here’s a quick starter checklist!”

  1. step 5) practice. great advice. im one of those who have seen a lot of survival shows(bear grylls,dual survivor, etc) not the reality show survivor, i’ll save that for the woman. But I never practiced the info I gathered. spent over $500 on military gear off ebay and haven’t utilized any of it yet

    1. Practice really makes you realize how easy or difficult some things actually are. For instance, starting a bow-drill fire looks deceptively easy on a screen, but try actually doing it and you’ll realize a lot of preparation needs to go into making the spindle, board, etc., out of the right materials, collecting good dry tinder, and practicing your drilling technique before you get a good coal.

      Besides certain survival techniques it’s also really important to know stuff like 1. How far you can walk before your feet hurt from blisters or you’re exhausted and have to stop. This will make planning bug-out routes a more realistic endeavor. 2. How much weight you can carry on your back (most people bring way too much when they first start), etc.

      Probably the easiest and most fun way to start is by going on day hikes, then when you’re comfortable with that a trip where you sleep out overnight (you can practice in your backyard to make sure your tent, sleeping bag, mattress, etc., work as intended), and eventually work up to 2-3 day trips.

  2. Albert Einstein

    good ideas. personally i would definitely pack a lifesaver water bottle to make almost any water usable (and can filter enough to keep 3 people hydrated for a year) and i’ve come to the conclusion that the best food to prep… bodybuilding protein & mass/bulk powder, keeps for years and you know some of those have like 1000 calories in just 1-2 scoops, have a few half scoops of those a day and you’ll live for months with all the essential amino acids (basically lived off them during bodybuilding training and was in the best condition of my life), it will keep your muscles and bones strong and help injuries heal fast, and some of them are filling and taste pretty good (get small ones to test them out). multivitamins and minerals, etc, help the body cope with long term lack of fresh fruit and veg

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