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It seems fitting that while things are a bit more relaxed, prepping wise, we take a few moments to reflect upon preparedness strategies that are universal. I have given this a lot of thought and found that the rules of prepping boil down to just a few simple words, twenty-two to be exact.
Here, in simplistic terms, are four steps every prepper needs to adhere to in order to succeed.
Prepping In 22 Words
Identify disruptive events that could happen to you.
Do one thing at a time.
Tackle the most important things first.
That’s it. Very succinct and very simple. These four rules will be guiding me going forward as I continue to add additional skills to my prepping repertoire. I hope you will do the same.
Prepping Ad Infinitum
In the comments to Do You Think Prepping Has Died? one reader made the point that compared to a few years ago, there is now a ton of prepping information available on the internet and elsewhere. To paraphrase, how much longer can you and I continue to show an interest in the same regurgitated material? Here is what Troy had to say:
I don’t know how much of what you’re seeing is so much a slow down in people living a Prepper lifestyle as it is a lack of new and fresh information being made available to them…
There are a “Gazillion” Prepper/Survival sites and blogs out there and so many of them contain information on the same topics.
How many times and different ways can someone tell you what an EMP event is, what the side effects of one will most likely be, and how you can attempt to minimize an EMP’S effects on you and your equipment…?
The same holds true with Natural Disasters, a broken Economy, Marshal Law, and a Nuclear Attack on our own soil just to name a few…
Then you have all of the information on how to be prepared for any of these events and once the basics are covered, such as, shelter, water, food, and protection the rest is just icing on the cake…
This is not to imply that this information is not important, but rather that it is time to take our thirst for knowledge to the next level.
The Final Word
In turning over this new leaf, the Backdoor Survival mission will be to promote these 4 rules of prepping with a greater emphasis on what I have always called “Homesteading in Place”. More DIY, more homemaking skills, and more emphasis on doing things the old-fashioned way while maintaining modern comforts.
I can hardly wait to get started and hope to see you over on the other side.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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In keeping with the spirit of this article, I sat down to list the a handful of items that I keep with me, no matter what. This was not an easy task because over the the years I have learned to rely on all of my preps for one thing or another. Still, right I this moment, I would pick these five items. Ask me tomorrow, the I may choose a different 5.
LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier: While the individual Lifestraw is important, it is a “straw” that you drink out of. The water can not be used for cooking or other purposes. On the other hand, the Lifestraw Family (available at BDS sponsor Eartheasy.com) will purify 9-12 liters of water per hour into a bucket or other container. It contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. Read my review of the Lifestraw Family here.
Portable Solar Charger: With so many important documents and eBooks stored on electronic devices, having the ability to recharge them when the grid is down is a personal priority. I have reviewed many over the years and with each new unit, the form factor, efficiency, and price gets better. My current fav is the Archeer 21W Foldable Solar Panel.
Lanterns and Flashlights: I refuse to pick a single favorite. Or perhaps I should say I can’t. That said, the flashlight continues to perform and the collapsible lanterns just keep on going!
Mini CREE Q5 LED Zoomable 1200 Lumens Flashlight: I am calling this my “3 buck flashlight”. As of this writing, this little gem is with free shipping for everyone. It uses a single AA battery (I am using a recharged Alkaline battery). This is another one of those great deals that is difficult to pass up.
Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern – Collapsible: I admit to owning a number of these collapsible lanterns. They use 30 different LEDS and are powered by AA batteries, including rechargeables. Instead of a switch, you turn these lanterns on by extending the lantern from its collapsed condition. There are many different brands available but I have not found much difference between them. Shop by price. For more, choices, click here.
The SURVIVAL MEDICINE Handbook: Third Edition: I went back and forth considering a book on survival medicine or a book on essential oils. Dr. Joe Alton’s book won. This is the definitive source of medical information for all Prepper’s and is my go-to bible not only for emergency medicine but for day to day ailments as well.
Kershaw OSO Sweet Pocket Knife: A decent pocket knife made it to the list. We use ours almost daily and I cannot imagine getting by without a knife. This is our favorite.
12 Responses to “How to Be a Prepper In 22 Words”
That first line about recognizing disruptive events that could happen to you really got me thinking. I live in the city, but a lot of the advice I read is geared toward the great outdoors and skills that you need when you have your own property. I always planned to move somewhere more rural, but I definitely need to prepare for the situation I find myself in right now.
I’m looking forward to seeing your thoughts on “homesteading in place”. It’s hard when you’re living in an urban area, but the idea of being as self-sufficient as possible appeals to me quite a lot. Do you think you’ll have more posts on saving money, like your post “Frugal Lessons from the Great Depression”?
There were a lot of apocalyptic pronouncements due the the Mayan calendar fiasco and prepper websites commercially exploited that and when it did not happen, all the inventory buildup anticipating that collapse sat in warehouses.
The scare has come and gone. Now, we just keep the plain old political, geological and astronomical catastrophes as the targets of our preps and they are not very exciting so the pace of prepping has slowed.
What a great year I hope you all have in ’17! Every day is a blessing. I started “Prepping” a couple of years ago due to a winter storm, and being an experienced Boy Scout and Leader I felt I was ready but I found some holes and started my quest. I quickly tired of the “TEOTWAWKI” scenarios and started looking for a more down to earth approach, mainly for long term food storage. Gaye, you and your followers have been a breath of fresh air. Thanks and God Bless. Remember that there is strength in numbers. Always ready to help, Friend Jimmy B.
First of all, Happy New Year, to all!
I live in England where preparing for unfortunate events is more or less nonexistent. People suffer from the normalcy bias ”nothing will happen that the government can’t fix in two hours” and this makes impossible to grow a group of people preparing within a community. which is sad and… dangerous.
One way or another it makes less safe to stash a lot of food because you will easily become a target and a disposable one, and safer to have skills, which still makes you a target, but indispensable (Not that I don’t prepare my pantry as much as I can).
this being said, I try to master as many skills as I can, because being disabled in an emergency situation I am easily considered disposable. And like most disabled-born people, I want to live as much as possible. SO if my skills can keep me alive, I am more than happy to learn every day something new. This is a reason why I don’t consider the multitude of prepper sites a menace or a useless experience. If I don’t find out something new today, I might gave an idea myself and it’s just as good. Maybe better.
I’m a long time “prepper” many, many years before the word existed. I grew up in a northern State. When a snow storm/blizzard was coming, I was the oldest child of 6 siblings and had to help my Mother; by going to the store for extra milk and bread, making sure all the blankets and quilts were clean and on each bed, ( taking down blanket tents, unwrapping blankets from 20 stuffed animals etc.) finding all my sister’s and brother’s gloves, hats, scarfs, snowpants, and boots then putting them together in one place while my Mother started cooking up meals that could go outside on the porch in the snow if the electricity went out.
Then after I was married I moved to a city 60 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Now I had to learn how to get ready for hurricanes and make sure we had water, food, grill gas tanks were full, cars gas tanks were full, plus new books, puzzles, and games that would help calm our children down during and after the storm until electricity came back on. Last job was helping my husband get the correct marked plywood up on our windows. (I have been through 5 hurricanes as of today)
When our children were grown, my husband was transferred to a Country that has small, and sometimes larger, earthquakes weekly. This natural occurrence required more learning how to protect ourselves and learn what not to do. I was cleaning out a trunk in the attic last year and found a duffle bag that had been packed from there if our house had been destroyed or damaged badly enough we needed to leave it. I have been back in the USA almost 20 years. It felt very strange to open the bag and see my husbands clothes, and medicines along with all the other items I had been told we needed to have ready at a moments notice. I’m not sure how it was missed being unpacked and was stored in the trunk instead.
I am now a widow, but I continue to read 3-4 blogs/sites for information because I’m now in a hiking club that camps once a month for 9 months of the year. I have actually learned quite a bit from them even considering my families history. Items that now go into my backpack when we are on the trails, items that might be needed while camping, items that always are in my vehicle “just in case of problems”, items that might be needed for immediate repairs to my home without electricity after a hurricane that I had not thought of, and have since acquired them.
Even someone who is now considered Elderly can continue to learn.
Please keep posting information, with the hope that the younger generations will decide they need to do some “prepping” and actually possibly help save themselves or others during and after future events.
My answer when asked that question is: It’s simple. In my 60+ years, I’ve learned that we don’t necessarily get the same challenge. Seems there are variations enough that, like electronics, I must keep current of what I’m storing and prepping. For instance—I just learned that instead of tossing the liquid from a can of chickpeas, it can be used in place of eggs (just in case you don’t have eggs for cooking. It gives baked goods the ‘rise’ while acting to keep the ingredients together. I knew about instant jello doing this for pancakes but this was new. Even tho I don’t like chickpeas, I might consider having some in storage just for this reason. There is always something to learn.
Thanks Gaye, Keep it up. 🙂 HAPPY NEW YEAR 🙂
I have learned so much from you and the other site I regularly go to. You have been a really great source of information WITHOUT all the doom and gloom and the “over the top” militaristic rantings I have seen on some other sites. I hope you and Shelly have a Wonderful and Prosperous New Year
Plus now that I am officially RETIRED I can spend more time getting better organized, learning new skills and more practice the ones I know how to do.
I have learned a bunch from your site. Happy New Year and please don’t stop.
I think Troy summed up my feelings exactly. I have a “prepping hangover”. I have read, watched and done most over it over and over again. Am I done? No, far from it, right now I’m reading Dr. Joe and Nurse Amy’s fantastic book, “The Survival Medicin Handbook “. I’m trying to improve my skills and knowledge that will carry me though hard time. Your website has been a huge help to me in this. Prepping from a woman’s point of view has made me think of things I never would have.
That makes a lot of sense to me. By now, those that are meant to get into prepping have plenty of resources for getting the basics. If people are so dumbed down that they won’t look at info unless it’s newly posted, tweeted, etc., they’re in bad shape. Pitch everything in every library because it just might not be the latest and greatest, right? Never mind how credible, reliable or useful the info is.