For Beginning Preppers: A Prepper’s List

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A prepper is someone who realizes that emergency situations are likely to occur at some point in their life and proactively prepares for the worst. This preparation involves acquiring supplies necessary for survival, often things we take for granted like food, water and shelter. It also involves acquiring skills and knowledge to deal with any conceivable emergency situation.

Beginning on this path to protect yourself and your family can seem overwhelming. Here are some tips for a beginner to get started. The sections below are broken down by categories of skills and supplies to consider as you begin your journey. You can prioritize according to your own circumstances (e.g. location, family, likely scenarios, etc…) and start making a plan to acquire what you think is necessary.

Do You Have A Supply Of Water?

gallons_of_waterA good rule of thumb when preparing for water needs is to keep 1 gallon of water per person per day. You can find much information here about methods for purifying water. Become knowledgeable about more than one way to purify water. Boiling water is one of the most effective and safe ways to purify water.

Do You Have A Supply Of Food?

As you start on the path of prepping, plan to acquire several weeks of food supply for your family. Try to build up to a month’s worth to meet the needs of your household. Keep an inventory of your food with expiration dates, so you can maintain your supply. Once you develop a system, continue building up to 3 months supply and beyond. Non-perishable foods include items like:

  • Dry Beans
  • Canned Foods (Meats, Vegetables and Fruits)
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Powdered Milk

Consider acquiring skills to be able to gather your own food. These may include hunting, fishing and recognizing edible foods from wild plants. You can also learn to grow your own food. The potential is unlimited here depending on the time you’re willing to put into it. You could learn to harvest seeds for future planting, keep your own livestock, learn to preserve the food you grow using canning and smoking methods.

Besides the food itself, you will need ways to access it and cook it. You will need a can opener. For cooking, some essentials are a gas grill or camp stove. You will need a lighter or matches and equipment for cooking over a fire: grates, pots, pans.

Do You Have A Supply Of Clothing For Different Circumstances?

Try to build up to 3 complete changes of rugged clothes for each person and several more underclothes. Be sure to have a pair of waterproof rugged boots and outerwear for all climates for each person. For example, each person should have gloves, scarves and hats for cold weather and a rain coat for rain, etc…

Consider learning how to make or repair your own clothing. When you reach this initial goal, you may want to consider getting spares of all the above listed items.

Do You Have A Supply Of First Aid And Hygiene Products?

first_aidBe sure to have a first aid kit on hand at all times. Start by building up a supply that will last at least one month with extra bandages, pain relievers like Tylenol or Ibuprofen, Neosporin to disinfect minor wounds, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol. Consider having a supply of sun-block and insect repellent. As part of your kit, you should have tweezers and know how to remove splinters and stingers. Consider taking CPR and First Aid training!

Build up at least a 30 day supply of hygiene products including:

  • shampoo
  •  soap
  •  toothpaste
  •  floss
  •  toilet paper
  •  razors
  •  shaving cream
  •  deodorant
  •  feminine hygiene products
  •  anything you can think of that you use daily

Are You Have A Plan For Security and Defense?

One of the keys to survival is prevention of bad situations. Do you have a security system for your home with monitoring of the inside and outside? Outside floodlights triggered by motion sensors are also a deterrent to potential intruders. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home can alert you to danger.

Do you have firearms and ammunition for defence? Consider acquiring these along with the skills to use them.

Are You Prepared Financially?

gold_and_silverA good goal to start with is saving to cover a full month’s worth of bills and start building up a reserve of precious medals like gold and silver. If the currency becomes drastically devalued, that hard currency will be a true savings. It can help you get through a crisis.

Once you reach this goal, try to build up to 3 months and eventually 6 months. Besides acquiring gold and silver, start looking into acquiring other types of goods that might be in high demand during a crisis… goods that can be bartered. These would include everything that was mentioned previously. All of the survival goods, the medical supplies, hygiene supplies and clothing that you have acquired for yourself and family are the same things other people will need during a disaster they haven’t prepared for! Other items that may be in high demand are liquor, coffee and tea, cigarettes, candy, flashlights, just to name a few.

Are You Prepared To Live Off The Grid?

You have most likely experienced a power outage already. This can be an inconvenience or potentially a very dangerous situation. You will eventually want a generator with enough capacity to power the most critical equipment in your home, like your refrigerator, freezer, some electronics and some lights in your home. You will also need to save enough fuel to power the generator for at least two weeks. Portable generators are ideal, as they can serve as home backup generators as well as power supplies while away from home.

Installing a wood burning stove will provide heat and an indoor cooking surface during periods of no power. Using it during winter months can also save you a lot of money on heating bills!


The information provided here is by no means exhaustive. Furthermore, how you prepare will depend so much on your unique circumstances. These are just some of the things I have done and found to be very helpful. You will find some obstacles reaching your goals, but if you start tackle them slowly, you will eventually find yourself more prepared and equipped to handle any situation that comes your way. I wish you the best on your journey!

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