How to Start Being a Prepper – For the Complete Beginner

If you are at a place in your life where you are worried about the state of the world or find yourself concerned about the likes of a natural disaster you may have entertained the idea of becoming a prepper. In this article we look at how to start being a prepper.

How to Start Being a Prepper – For the Complete Beginner

How to Start Being a Prepper - For the Complete Beginner

In an increasingly unpredictable world, the concept of prepping has gained immense importance. But what exactly is prepping, and why is it crucial in today’s society? In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of prepping, demystify its principles, and provide a roadmap to start being a prepper for complete beginners.

What is Prepping

At its core, prepping is the proactive and deliberate act of preparing for unforeseen emergencies or disasters. It involves acquiring the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to survive and thrive when faced with challenging circumstances. Whether it’s a natural disaster, economic instability, a pandemic, or any other crisis, preppers aim to be self-reliant and resilient.

The Importance of Preparedness

In today’s world, the need for preparedness cannot be overstated. We live in a time of increasing uncertainty, where unforeseen events can disrupt our lives in profound ways. Preparedness provides a sense of security and peace of mind, empowering individuals and families to navigate uncertain times with confidence.

Who Should Prep?

This guide is tailored for complete beginners, individuals who are taking their first steps into the world of preparedness. If you want to learn how to start being a prepper this is the article for you.

Prepping is not limited to a particular group or demographic; it is a responsibility that every individual should consider. Whether you live in an urban apartment or a rural homestead, whether you’re young or old, prepping is a proactive approach to safeguarding your well-being and that of your loved ones.

As we embark on this journey into learning how to start being a prepper we will explore the core principles that underpin it, delve into essential prepping skills and knowledge, and provide actionable steps for you to begin your preparedness journey with confidence. Remember, it’s never too late to start prepping, and the knowledge you gain here will serve as a foundation for your future preparedness endeavors. So, let’s begin our exploration of the art and science of prepping together.

1 – Understanding the Basics: Prepping Essentials

How to Start Being a Prepper - For the Complete Beginner

To embark on your learning how to start being a prepper journey, it’s essential to grasp the fundamental principles and terminology that form the backbone of this lifestyle. Let’s dive into the basics:

1. Core Principles of Prepping

  • Preparedness: At its core, prepping revolves around preparedness. It’s the proactive process of anticipating potential challenges and equipping yourself with the necessary resources and skills to face them head-on.
  • Self-Sufficiency: Preppers aim to be self-sufficient, reducing their reliance on external sources during crises. This includes growing food, sourcing water, generating power, and acquiring vital skills.
  • Resilience: Resilience is the ability to withstand and recover from adversity. Preppers focus on building both physical and mental resilience to handle unexpected situations.

2. Common Prepping Terms

  • Bug-Out Bags (BOB): These are portable kits containing essential survival items that you can “bug out” with in the event of an emergency or evacuation. They typically include food, water, first aid supplies, tools, and more.
  • Bug-In: The opposite of “bugging out,” this strategy involves staying put and fortifying your home or shelter during a crisis. It emphasizes making your current location as secure and self-sufficient as possible.
  • EDC (Everyday Carry): EDC items are the tools, gear, and supplies you carry with you every day to handle routine tasks and potential emergencies. Examples include pocket knives, flashlights, and multitools.
  • SHTF (Sht Hits the Fan)*: This slang term refers to a catastrophic event where societal order breaks down. Preppers prepare for SHTF scenarios by ensuring they can sustain themselves and their families independently.

3. The Prepper Mindset

Perhaps the most critical aspect of learning how to start being a prepper is cultivating the right mindset. It’s not just about stockpiling supplies; it’s about developing a mindset that fosters adaptability, resourcefulness, and resilience.

  • Awareness: Stay informed about local, regional, and global events that may impact your preparedness plans. Being aware of potential threats is the first step toward effective preparedness.
  • Adaptability: Prepping requires a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances. Be open to learning new skills, adjusting your plans, and improvising when necessary.
  • Determination: Prepping isn’t a one-time endeavor; it’s a lifestyle. Stay committed to your preparedness goals, even when faced with challenges or setbacks.

By understanding these core principles, familiarizing yourself with common prepping terms, and adopting a prepper mindset, you’ll be well-equipped on your learning journey of how to start being a prepper. In the next section, we’ll explore the importance of setting clear and achievable prepping goals tailored to your needs and circumstances.

3 – Setting Your Goals: Crafting Your Prepping Path

How to Start Being a Prepper – For the Complete Beginner

Now that we’ve laid the foundation of how to start being a prepper you understand the core principles and terminology, it’s time to set your prepping goals. Every prepper’s journey is unique, shaped by their individual circumstances and concerns. Here’s how to get started:

1. Identifying Your Reasons for Prepping

Before you can set clear goals, it’s crucial to pinpoint why you’re drawn to prepping. People prep for various reasons, including:

  • Natural Disasters: Some regions are prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, or wildfires. Prepping can help you weather these events more comfortably and safely.
  • Economic Instability: Economic downturns, job loss, or inflation can disrupt your financial stability. Prepping can provide a safety net during challenging economic times.
  • Pandemics: Recent global health crises have highlighted the importance of being prepared for health emergencies, including stockpiling essential supplies and knowing how to protect your health.
  • Societal Unrest: Concerns about civil unrest, power outages, or political instability may drive you to prep for SHTF scenarios.
  • Personal Health: Some individuals have specific health needs or dietary restrictions that require preparedness planning.

2. Prioritizing and Tailoring Your Goals

Once you’ve identified your reasons for prepping, it’s time to prioritize and tailor your prepping goals to your unique situation. Here’s how:

  • Prioritization: Assess the likelihood and potential impact of the scenarios you’ve identified. Focus on preparing for the most probable and impactful events first.
  • Assessing Resources: Evaluate your current resources, including budget, time, and space. Be realistic about what you can achieve within your means.
  • Customization: Prepping is not one-size-fits-all. Tailor your goals to suit your circumstances. For example, urban preppers may focus on different aspects than rural preppers.
  • Progressive Planning: Start small and gradually expand your preparedness efforts. Create achievable milestones and build upon them over time.
  • Family Considerations: If you have a family, involve them in the prepping process and consider their specific needs and abilities when setting goals.

Remember that prepping is a journey, not a destination. When you are learning how to start being a your goals may evolve as you gain experience and as the world around you changes. By identifying your motivations and tailoring your goals accordingly, you’ll be better equipped to take practical steps toward preparedness. In the next section, we’ll explore the crucial step of assessing your risks to inform your prepping plans effectively.

4 – Assessing Your Risk: The Foundation of Effective Prepping

How to Start Being a Prepper - For the Complete Beginner

To build a robust prepping plan, you must begin by assessing the specific risks you and your region face. Understanding your vulnerabilities is the key to informed preparedness and a major part of learning how to start being a prepper. Here’s how to get started:

1. Why Risk Assessment Matters

Risk assessment is the process of identifying potential hazards and evaluating their impact. Whether you’re an urban dweller or live in a rural setting, assessing risks is crucial for several reasons:

  • Personalized Planning: It helps you tailor your prepping efforts to address the most relevant threats, ensuring your preparedness is practical and effective.
  • Resource Allocation: By focusing on high-probability risks, you can allocate your resources more efficiently, avoiding unnecessary expenses and efforts.
  • Timely Response: Early awareness of potential threats allows for better planning and a quicker response if an emergency occurs.

2. Tools and Resources for Risk Assessment

Here are some valuable tools and resources to aid in risk assessment:

  • Local Authorities: Reach out to local emergency management agencies, fire departments, and law enforcement. They can provide information on regional risks and preparedness resources.
  • Historical Data: Study the history of natural disasters and emergencies in your area. Past events can indicate the types of crises you might face in the future.
  • Online Resources: Many websites and apps offer interactive maps that display local risks, such as flood zones, earthquake fault lines, or wildfire-prone areas.
  • Community Networks: Connect with local prepper groups or community organizations. They often have valuable insights and experience regarding regional risks.

3. How Risk Assessment Informs Prepping Plans

Once you’ve gathered information about potential risks, it’s time to translate that knowledge into actionable prepping plans:

  • Prioritization: Focus on the risks with the highest likelihood and potential impact in your area. For instance, if you live in a hurricane-prone region, prioritize hurricane preparedness.
  • Tailored Prepping: Customize your prepping efforts to mitigate specific risks. If flooding is a concern, consider elevating your home or investing in flood-resistant materials.
  • Resource Allocation: Allocate your budget and time to address the most pressing risks first. This ensures your prepping efforts are cost-effective.
  • Training and Skills*: Consider acquiring skills and knowledge that directly relate to the identified risks. For example, if wildfires are a threat, learn about fire safety and evacuation procedures.

Incorporating risk assessment into your prepping plans ensures that your efforts are well-informed and targeted. It’s a crucial step toward building a preparedness strategy that can truly make a difference when facing unforeseen challenges. In the next section, we’ll delve into the psychological aspect of prepping and how developing the right mindset is essential for success.

5 – Building a Prepper’s Mindset: The Psychology of Preparedness

How to Start Being a Prepper - For the Complete Beginner

Prepping is not just about physical readiness; it’s also about cultivating the right mindset. In this section, we’ll explore the psychological aspects of prepping and dispel common misconceptions and fears associated with it.

1. The Psychological Aspects of Prepping

Prepping requires more than just stockpiling supplies; it demands a particular mindset that fosters success in times of crisis. Here are key psychological traits to nurture:

  • Awareness: A prepper’s first line of defense is awareness. Stay informed about potential risks and threats in your area and beyond. Knowledge is a powerful tool in preparedness.
  • Adaptability: The ability to adapt to changing circumstances is crucial. Preppers should be open to learning new skills, adjusting their plans, and improvising when necessary.
  • Determination: Prepping is a lifestyle, not a passing hobby. Maintaining determination and commitment to your preparedness goals is essential, even when faced with challenges.

2. Dispelling Misconceptions and Fears

Prepping often faces misconceptions and misconceptions. Let’s address some of the most common ones:

  • Prepping is for Extremists: Prepping is not just for doomsday prophets. It’s a responsible way to ensure your well-being during unexpected events, whether they’re large-scale disasters or personal emergencies.
  • Preppers are Isolated: Prepping encourages community and mutual support. Many preppers are actively engaged in their communities and local networks, emphasizing collaboration and shared knowledge.
  • Prepping is Expensive: While some aspects of prepping can be costly, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Prepping can be tailored to fit your budget, with incremental steps taken over time.
  • Fear-Mongering: Prepping is about being proactive, not succumbing to fear. It’s about facing potential challenges with confidence and resilience.

3. Real-Life Stories of Prepping Success

Real-life success stories illustrate the tangible benefits of prepping. Here are a few examples:

  • Hurricane Preparedness: During a hurricane, a prepper’s family was well-prepared with food, water, and shelter. They not only weathered the storm comfortably but also helped neighbors in need.
  • Economic Stability: A prepper’s prudent financial planning allowed them to navigate a period of economic instability with minimal disruption to their life.
  • Health Emergencies: Prepping for health emergencies paid off when a family member faced a sudden illness. They had the necessary supplies and knowledge to provide care until medical help arrived.

These stories underscore the importance of prepping as a practical and responsible approach to safeguarding one’s well-being and that of their loved ones. It’s not just about doomsday scenarios; it’s about being prepared for life’s uncertainties.

In the next section, we’ll explore the practical aspect of prepping by discussing budgeting and how to allocate funds effectively for preparedness.

6 – Creating a Budget: The Financial Foundation of Prepping

How to Start Being a Prepper - For the Complete Beginner

Effective prepping requires more than just good intentions; it requires sound financial planning. In this section, we’ll delve into the importance of establishing a prepping budget, share tips for budgeting effectively, and suggest strategies for allocating funds over time.

1. The Need for a Prepping Budget

A prepping budget is your roadmap to preparedness. It ensures that your financial resources are allocated wisely and that your prepping efforts remain sustainable. Here’s why it’s essential:

  • Financial Clarity: A dedicated prepping budget offers transparency and clarity about your preparedness expenses, preventing overspending or impulsive purchases.
  • Resource Allocation: It helps you allocate funds to the most critical prepping priorities, ensuring that you’re prepared for the scenarios that matter most to you.
  • Long-Term Sustainability: Prepping is a marathon, not a sprint. A budget ensures that you can maintain your preparedness efforts over time without straining your finances.

2. Tips for Budgeting Effectively

Creating a prepping budget may seem daunting, but with these tips, you can build a solid financial foundation:

  • Assess Your Finances: Start by evaluating your current financial situation, including income, expenses, and savings. This baseline will help you set realistic budgeting goals.
  • Prioritize Essentials: Identify the most critical prepping priorities, such as food, water, and shelter. Allocate a significant portion of your budget to these essentials.
  • Incremental Progress: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a fully stocked prepper’s pantry. Gradually allocate funds to your prepping goals, focusing on one item or skill at a time.
  • Emergency Fund: Maintain a separate emergency fund for unexpected financial challenges. Having a safety net ensures that your prepping budget remains intact.
  • Track Expenses: Keep meticulous records of your prepping expenses. This helps you monitor your progress and adjust your budget as needed.

3. Allocating Funds for Prepping Over Time

To ensure your prepping efforts remain sustainable, consider these strategies for allocating funds over time:

  • Monthly Prepping Allocation: Dedicate a portion of your monthly income to prepping expenses. This ensures consistent progress toward your preparedness goals.
  • Seasonal Sales and Discounts: Take advantage of sales, discounts, and seasonal promotions to stock up on prepping essentials at lower costs.
  • Prioritized Purchases: As you set goals and prioritize preparedness items, allocate funds accordingly. For example, if your focus is on water purification, allocate a larger portion of your budget to acquiring quality water filters or purification tablets.
  • Bartering and Trading: Explore opportunities to barter or trade for prepping items with others in your prepper community. This can help you acquire needed supplies without spending additional funds.

Creating and maintaining a prepping budget requires discipline and patience. However, it’s a critical aspect of responsible prepping that ensures you’re well-prepared for whatever challenges may arise. In the next section, we’ll dive into the importance of knowledge and skills in prepping and provide guidance on acquiring essential prepping information.

7 – Gathering Essential Information: Knowledge and Skills in Prepping

In the world of prepping, knowledge and skills are invaluable assets. They not only enhance your readiness but also increase your chances of survival during challenging times. In this section, we’ll underscore the importance of acquiring knowledge and skills, provide a list of essential prepping skills, and recommend educational resources to help you on your prepping journey.

1. The Importance of Knowledge and Skills

While stockpiling supplies is a crucial aspect of prepping, knowledge and skills are equally—if not more—important. Here’s why:

  • Adaptability: Knowledge and skills enable you to adapt to various scenarios and improvise when necessary. They empower you to think on your feet and make informed decisions.
  • Resourcefulness: In a crisis, you might not have access to all the supplies you’ve stored. Skills like foraging, hunting, or basic carpentry can help you make the most of available resources.
  • Community Contribution: Your skills can benefit not only you but also your community. In times of crisis, being a resourceful and skilled individual can make a positive difference in the lives of others.

2. Essential Prepping Skills

Building a well-rounded skill set is essential for any prepper. Consider acquiring the following skills:

  • First Aid: Basic first-aid knowledge is critical. Learn how to administer CPR, treat wounds, and address common medical emergencies.
  • Basic Survival Skills: Familiarize yourself with survival basics like building shelter, starting fires, finding food and water, and using tools effectively.
  • Food Preservation: Understand various food preservation techniques, such as canning, drying, and fermenting. These skills extend the shelf life of your emergency food supply.
  • Navigation: Learn how to navigate using maps, compasses, and GPS devices. This skill is essential if you need to evacuate or find your way in unfamiliar terrain.
  • Self-Defense: While not all preppers may choose to carry firearms, it’s advisable to learn self-defense techniques and strategies to protect yourself and your loved ones.
  • Communication: Know how to use radios and other communication devices. In emergencies, staying connected can be a lifeline.

3. Educational Resources

To acquire these essential skills and knowledge, consider the following educational resources:

  • Books: Numerous books cover prepping topics, from first aid manuals to wilderness survival guides. Look for authoritative authors and comprehensive guides tailored to your specific needs.
  • Courses: Many organizations offer online and in-person courses in areas like first aid, wilderness survival, and self-defense. Local community colleges and outdoor education centers often provide relevant courses.
  • Online Communities: Join prepping forums, social media groups, and online communities. These platforms provide a wealth of information and opportunities to learn from experienced preppers.
  • YouTube Channels and Blogs: Many preppers share their knowledge and skills on YouTube channels and blogs. While not a substitute for formal education, these resources can offer practical insights and demonstrations.

By investing in knowledge and skills, you’ll not only enhance your preparedness but also gain confidence in your ability to handle various situations. In the next section, we’ll delve into one of the fundamental aspects of prepping: building an emergency food supply.

8 – Building Your Emergency Food Supply: Sustenance in Times of Need

One of the cornerstones of prepping is ensuring you have a reliable source of sustenance during emergencies. In this section, we’ll guide you through the process of building an emergency food supply, focusing on essential steps, beginner-friendly non-perishable food items, and proper storage guidelines with rotation tips.

1. Steps for Starting an Emergency Food Supply

Building an emergency food supply doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Follow these steps to get started:

  • Assess Your Needs: Consider the number of people in your household and your anticipated emergency duration. This assessment will help you determine how much food to store.
  • Set a Budget: Allocate a portion of your prepping budget to food supplies. Be mindful of cost-effective options.
  • Create a List: Make a list of non-perishable foods you’d like to include. Prioritize essentials like grains, legumes, canned goods, and long-lasting items.
  • Start Small: Begin with a manageable goal, such as a one-week supply, and gradually expand it over time.
  • Regularly Check and Rotate: Keep track of expiration dates and use the oldest items first. Regularly rotate items into your daily meals to ensure freshness.

2. Non-Perishable Food Items for Beginners

As a beginner, it’s essential to select non-perishable food items that are easy to store, versatile, and provide essential nutrients. Here are some suitable choices:

  • Rice: White or brown rice has a long shelf life, is highly versatile, and serves as a staple in many cultures.
  • Canned Vegetables: Canned vegetables like beans, peas, and carrots are nutritious and convenient.
  • Canned Fruits: Opt for fruits canned in their juices, as they provide a natural sweetness and essential vitamins.
  • Canned Protein: Canned tuna, chicken, and ham are excellent sources of protein.
  • Pasta: Dried pasta, such as spaghetti or macaroni, is an affordable and long-lasting carbohydrate source.
  • Canned Soups and Stews: These ready-to-eat options can provide comforting and filling meals during emergencies.
  • Oatmeal: Rolled oats or instant oatmeal packets are nutritious breakfast options.
  • Dried Fruits: Dried fruits like raisins, apricots, or cranberries are energy-packed snacks.

3. Storage Guidelines and Rotation Tips

Proper storage is essential to maintain the quality and safety of your emergency food supply:

  • Cool and Dry Location: Store your food in a cool, dry, and dark place. Avoid areas with temperature fluctuations or direct sunlight.
  • Airtight Containers: Use airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags to prevent moisture and pests from affecting your stored items.
  • Label and Date: Label containers with the contents and purchase or expiration dates. This makes rotation easier.
  • Rotation Routine: Regularly check your food supply for items approaching their expiration dates. Rotate these items into your daily meals and replace them with fresh ones.
  • Stock What You Eat: Building an emergency food supply doesn’t mean compromising on taste. Stock items that you and your family already enjoy to ensure you’ll eat them during an emergency.

By following these steps and guidelines, you can create a reliable and practical emergency food supply that will sustain you and your loved ones when needed. In the next section, we’ll explore another essential aspect of preparedness: ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water.

9 – Water Preparedness: Lifesaving Liquid in Prepping

Water is an absolute necessity for survival, and in the world of prepping, ensuring access to clean and safe drinking water is paramount. In this section, we’ll delve into the significance of water in prepping, explore methods for water storage and purification, and provide insights into sourcing water during emergencies.

1. The Significance of Water in Prepping

when you begin learning how to start being a prepper it is vital to remember that water is often referred to as the “elixir of life,” and for good reason. In a prepping context, it holds immense importance:

  • Human Survival: The human body can survive for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. Hydration is critical for maintaining bodily functions and overall health.
  • Food Preparation: Water is essential for rehydrating dehydrated foods, cooking, and food preservation methods like canning and soaking grains.
  • Hygiene and Sanitation: Clean water is necessary for personal hygiene, cleaning dishes, and maintaining sanitary conditions, which are crucial to prevent illness during emergencies.

2. Methods for Water Storage and Purification

When it comes to prepping, you need both a reliable supply of stored water and the means to purify additional water from potentially contaminated sources. Here’s how to achieve this:

  • Water Storage: Consider storing water in food-grade containers specifically designed for long-term storage. Clean and disinfect these containers before filling them with water. Rotate your stored water every six months to ensure freshness.
  • Water Filtration: Invest in water filtration devices, such as portable water filters or filter straws. These devices remove impurities and make water safe to drink. They are especially valuable for purifying water from natural sources like rivers and streams.
  • Water Purification Tablets: Water purification tablets or drops are handy tools for disinfecting water on the go. They’re compact, lightweight, and have a long shelf life.
  • Boiling: Boiling water is one of the oldest and most effective methods of purification. Bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute (or three minutes at higher altitudes) to kill most pathogens.
  • Chlorination: Household bleach (unscented and without additives) can be used to disinfect water. Add 1/8 teaspoon (or 8 drops) of bleach per gallon of clear water or 1/4 teaspoon (or 16 drops) per gallon of cloudy water. Allow it to stand for 30 minutes before drinking.

3. Water Sources in Emergencies

During emergencies, you may need to source water from alternative, non-traditional sources:

  • Rainwater: Set up rain barrels or containers to collect rainwater from your roof. Ensure the collection system is clean and properly maintained.
  • Natural Sources: Lakes, rivers, and ponds can be potential sources of water. However, it’s crucial to purify water from these sources, as they may contain contaminants.
  • Snow and Ice: In cold climates, you can melt snow or ice for drinking water. Ensure you melt it before consuming to avoid lowering your body temperature.
  • Water from Plants: Certain plants, like cacti, contain water that can be extracted for hydration. Research local flora to identify safe options.

By understanding the significance of water in prepping, having the right tools for water storage and purification, and knowing how to source water in emergencies, you’ll ensure a critical aspect of your preparedness plan is in place. In the next section, we’ll explore shelter and survival gear, which are essential components of any toolkit when you begin learning how to start being a prepper.

10 – Shelter and Survival Gear: Building Your Haven in Times of Need

As we venture deeper into the world of prepping, the concept of shelter prepping takes center stage. In this section, we’ll introduce you to the vital role shelter plays in your preparedness journey, recommend essential survival gear tailored for beginners, and emphasize the importance of customizing your gear to meet your unique needs.

1. The Significance of Shelter Prepping

Shelter, in the context of prepping, is more than just a roof over your head. It’s your sanctuary, your fortress, and your source of protection from the elements, wildlife, and potential threats. Shelter prepping revolves around ensuring you have a safe and secure place to weather any storm, be it a natural disaster or a man-made crisis.

2. Recommended Survival Gear for Beginners

When it comes to survival gear, simplicity is key, especially for beginners. Here are some basic survival items you should consider including in your prepping kit:

  • Shelter: Begin with a sturdy and compact shelter option, such as a lightweight tent, tarp, or even a good-quality emergency bivvy. Your shelter should be easy to set up and provide protection from rain, wind, and cold.
  • Clothing: Invest in appropriate clothing for various weather conditions. This includes waterproof and insulated layers, sturdy boots, a wide-brimmed hat, and durable gloves. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you dry and comfortable.
  • Fire-Starting Tools: Fire is not just for warmth; it’s a source of comfort, security, and a means to cook food and purify water. Carry fire-starting tools such as waterproof matches, a reliable lighter, and fire starter sticks. It’s wise to practice your fire-making skills before you actually need them.

3. Customizing Your Gear to Your Needs

While the basic gear mentioned above is a solid starting point, remember that prepping is a personal journey, and your needs may differ from others. Here’s why customizing your gear is crucial:

  • Individual Requirements: Consider your individual needs, such as any specific medical conditions, dietary restrictions, or mobility issues that might affect your choice of gear. For example, if you have dietary restrictions, ensure your emergency food supply aligns with your needs.
  • Climate and Location: Your geographical location and the prevailing climate should heavily influence your gear choices. Someone in a cold northern climate will require different gear than someone in a hot, arid region.
  • Family and Group Considerations: If you have a family or group of fellow preppers, customize your gear to accommodate their needs as well. Ensure everyone has appropriate clothing, shelter, and supplies.
  • Skill Level: Consider your level of outdoor and survival skills. If you’re an experienced camper or hiker, you may opt for more advanced gear and equipment.
  • Budget: While it’s important to invest in quality gear, be mindful of your budget. Prioritize essential items first and gradually expand your gear collection over time.

Remember that the goal is to strike a balance between being well-prepared and not overburdening yourself with gear you may never use. Regularly assess and update your gear based on changing circumstances, ensuring that it remains tailored to your evolving needs and skills.

11 – Security and Self-Defense: Safeguarding Your Preparedness

Security and self-defense are integral components of any comprehensive prepping strategy. In this section, we’ll delve into the crucial role of security in prepping, provide recommendations for basic home security measures, and explore self-defense options suitable for beginners.

1. The Role of Security in Prepping

Security in prepping extends beyond protecting your physical possessions; it encompasses safeguarding your well-being, your loved ones, and your preparations in the face of unforeseen challenges. Here’s why security is paramount:

  • Asset Protection: Your prepping supplies, food, water, and gear represent valuable assets during a crisis. Proper security measures help protect these resources from theft, damage, or unauthorized access.
  • Personal Safety: In uncertain times, personal safety is of utmost importance. By securing your home and learning self-defense, you enhance your ability to protect yourself and your family.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that you’ve taken steps to secure your environment and deter potential threats can provide invaluable peace of mind, allowing you to focus on other aspects of prepping.

2. Basic Home Security Measures

Enhancing home security doesn’t necessarily require expensive systems or elaborate measures. Here are some fundamental steps to bolster your home’s security:

  • Secure Entry Points: Reinforce doors, windows, and other potential entry points. Consider installing deadbolt locks, window locks, and security bars where applicable.
  • Outdoor Lighting: Adequate outdoor lighting can deter intruders. Install motion-activated lights around your property and ensure well-lit entrances.
  • Landscaping: Trim bushes and trees near windows to eliminate potential hiding spots. Keep your property well-maintained to avoid giving the appearance of an unoccupied home.
  • Security System: Consider investing in a basic home security system that includes sensors for doors and windows. Many systems today are affordable and easy to install.
  • Neighborly Watch: Foster good relationships with your neighbors and consider starting or joining a neighborhood watch program. Neighbors can look out for each other during emergencies.

3. Self-Defense Options for Beginners

For beginners, self-defense should focus on personal safety and non-lethal methods of protection. Here are some self-defense options to consider:

  • Pepper Spray: Pepper spray is a widely accessible and effective non-lethal self-defense tool. It incapacitates attackers by causing temporary blindness, coughing, and discomfort.
  • Personal Alarms: Personal alarms emit loud, attention-grabbing sounds when activated. Carrying one can deter potential threats and alert others to your distress.
  • Self-Defense Classes: Consider enrolling in self-defense classes designed for beginners. These classes teach basic techniques for escaping or subduing attackers and can boost your confidence.
  • Safety Awareness: One of the most valuable self-defense tools is awareness. Stay alert to your surroundings, avoid risky situations, and trust your instincts if something doesn’t feel right.

Remember that self-defense is about protecting yourself and escaping dangerous situations whenever possible. Avoid confrontation when you can and prioritize your safety and well-being.

12 – Bug-Out and Bug-In Plans: The Art of Preparedness Strategy

In the realm of prepping, having a well-thought-out strategy is as essential as the supplies you gather. In this section, we’ll delve into the concepts of “bug-out” and “bug-in,” elucidate how to create and implement both plans, and provide insights into scenarios where each strategy becomes necessary.

1. Defining Bug-Out and Bug-In

  • Bug-Out: Bug-out refers to the prepper strategy of leaving your current location in the event of a disaster or crisis. This typically involves relocating to a predetermined, safer location, often referred to as a bug-out location (BOL). The primary objective of bug-out is to escape immediate danger.
  • Bug-In: On the other hand, bug-in involves staying put and fortifying your current residence or shelter. This strategy is suitable when your home or designated shelter provides a higher level of safety and security than venturing outside.

2. Creating and Implementing Bug-Out and Bug-In Plans

Creating a Bug-Out Plan:

  • Selecting a Bug-Out Location: Identify and prepare a bug-out location in advance. It could be a remote cabin, a friend’s secure house, or a wilderness retreat. Ensure you have a plan for reaching this location, including alternative routes.
  • Bug-Out Bag (BOB): Assemble a bug-out bag containing essential supplies such as food, water, shelter, clothing, first aid, and crucial documents. Customize your BOB to suit your specific needs.
  • Communication: Establish communication protocols with family members or group members. Determine how you’ll stay in touch if you get separated.

Implementing a Bug-Out Plan:

  • Early Decision-Making: Make the decision to bug-out early. Don’t wait until a situation becomes dire.
  • Route Awareness: Know your bug-out routes thoroughly. Avoid congested areas, if possible, and stay alert to changes in the situation.
  • Keep a Low Profile: Maintain a low profile during your bug-out. Avoid drawing attention to yourself and your supplies.

Creating a Bug-In Plan:

  • Fortify Your Home: Identify weak points in your home’s security and take steps to reinforce them. This could include reinforcing doors and windows, adding security measures, and securing access points.
  • Stockpile Supplies: Have an ample supply of food, water, medical provisions, and other essentials to sustain yourself and your family during an extended period.
  • Defense Measures: Consider home defense measures, such as alarms, cameras, or even reinforcing safe rooms.

Implementing a Bug-In Plan:

  • Stay Informed: Monitor the situation closely. Stay updated with local news and developments.
  • Maintain Low Visibility: Keep your home as inconspicuous as possible. Minimize noise and light sources that might attract unwanted attention.
  • Community and Mutual Support: If possible, build alliances with neighbors or like-minded individuals for mutual defense and support.

3. Scenarios Requiring Bug-Out or Bug-In

  • Bug-Out Scenarios:
    • Natural disasters (hurricanes, wildfires, floods) that threaten your area.
    • Civil unrest or riots in your vicinity.
    • Immediate threat from nuclear, biological, or chemical hazards.
    • A breakdown in societal order and lawlessness.
  • Bug-In Scenarios:
    • A secure home or shelter that offers protection and resources.
    • Situations where venturing outside poses a greater risk than staying indoors.
    • A well-fortified and self-sustaining location.

By defining and implementing bug-out and bug-in plans while considering various scenarios, you’ll be better equipped to respond effectively to a wide range of emergency situations. In the following section, we’ll explore the importance of building a Bug-Out Bag (BOB), an essential component of your bug-out strategy.

13 – Building a Bug-Out Bag (BOB): Your Lifeline in Crisis

A Bug-Out Bag (BOB) is your lifeline in a crisis. It’s a compact and portable collection of essential supplies that can sustain you for a short period when you need to evacuate quickly. In this section, we’ll dive into the intricacies of assembling a BOB, offering guidance on selecting the right backpack, and discussing factors to consider when packing it.

Check out these bug out bags by clicking here.

1. Contents of a Basic Bug-Out Bag

A well-structured BOB contains a carefully selected assortment of items that cater to your survival and immediate needs. Anyone learning how to start being a prepper should most certainly begin by putting together a bug-out bag. Here’s what a basic BOB should include:

  • Shelter and Warmth:
    • Tent or Tarp: Provides shelter from the elements.
    • Sleeping Bag or Blanket: For warmth during the night.
    • Extra Clothing: Including waterproof and insulating layers.
  • Food and Water:
    • Non-Perishable Food: Compact, high-calorie foods like energy bars and dehydrated meals.
    • Water: A collapsible water container or water purification tools.
  • First Aid and Medical Supplies:
    • First Aid Kit: Including bandages, antiseptics, and essential medications.
    • Prescription Medications: If applicable.
    • Personal Hygiene Items: Soap, toothbrush, and hand sanitizer.
  • Tools and Equipment:
    • Multi-Tool: Versatile and compact.
    • Fire-Starting Tools: Waterproof matches, lighters, or a fire starter.
    • Flashlight and Extra Batteries: For visibility at night.
    • Communication Device: A portable radio or two-way radio.
  • Navigation and Documentation:
    • Maps and Compass: For navigation.
    • Important Documents: Copies of identification, insurance, and contact information.
    • Cash: In small denominations.
  • Self-Defense:
    • Personal Protection: Pepper spray, personal alarm, or self-defense tools if legally allowed.
  • Miscellaneous:
    • Duct Tape: For repairs and improvisation.
    • Paracord: Versatile for various uses.
    • Notepad and Pen: For documentation and communication.

2. Selecting the Right Backpack

Choosing the right backpack is crucial, as it determines your ability to carry and access your BOB efficiently. Consider these factors:

  • Size: Select a backpack with enough capacity to hold your BOB items comfortably. The size should be suitable for your body type.
  • Comfort: Opt for a backpack with padded straps and back support. An adjustable and padded waist belt helps distribute weight.
  • Durability: Ensure the backpack is made of durable materials, with reinforced stitching and zippers.
  • Compartments: Look for a backpack with multiple compartments and pockets to organize your BOB contents effectively.
  • Water Resistance: A water-resistant or waterproof backpack helps protect your supplies from moisture.

3. Packing Your BOB

When packing your BOB, consider these factors:

  • Weight Distribution: Place heavier items closer to your back and lighter items on the outer pockets for balance.
  • Accessibility: Keep essential items like your first aid kit, flashlight, and navigation tools easily accessible.
  • Compression: Use compression sacks or bags to maximize space and reduce the volume of your packed items.
  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically check and update the contents of your BOB. Replace expired items and ensure everything is in working order.

14 – Community and Networking: Strength in Numbers

In the world of prepping, community and networking are invaluable assets. Stress the importance of building connections with like-minded individuals who share your preparedness mindset. Here’s how to go about it:

  • Community Support: Encourage readers to establish connections within their local community. Neighbors, friends, or acquaintances who share an interest in preparedness can provide mutual support in times of crisis.
  • Prepper Groups: Mention the existence of prepper groups or communities in many areas. Joining such groups offers the opportunity to share knowledge, resources, and expertise.
  • Online Forums and Communities: Recommend online prepper forums and communities where individuals can connect with preppers worldwide. These platforms provide a wealth of information and a space for discussions.
  • Skill Sharing: Highlight the benefits of skill sharing within a prepper network. Each member can bring unique skills and knowledge to the table, enhancing the group’s collective preparedness.

By emphasizing the importance of community and networking, you’re not only encouraging preparedness but also promoting a sense of unity and support among preppers. In the next section of learning how to start being a prepper, we’ll wrap up this comprehensive guide by discussing the significance of staying informed and adaptable in an ever-changing world.

15 – Staying Informed and Adapting: The Keys to Prepper Resilience

In the ever-evolving landscape of preparedness, staying informed and adaptable is not just a suggestion; it’s a necessity. This section delves into the vital aspects of staying informed about changing circumstances, regularly updating and adapting your prepping plans, and provides practical tips for remaining current with news and developments. Anyone learning how to start being a prepper would do well to remember the following:

1. The Need to Stay Informed

Staying informed is your first line of defense in the world of prepping. Here’s why it’s crucial:

  • Awareness: Awareness of current events, emerging threats, and evolving situations allows you to assess potential risks and adapt your plans accordingly.
  • Resource Allocation: Being informed helps you allocate resources effectively. For example, if a hurricane is heading your way, you can prioritize water and shelter preparations.
  • Timely Decision-Making: In crises, timely decisions can make all the difference. Staying informed ensures you have the information needed to make quick, well-informed choices.

2. The Importance of Regularly Updating and Adapting

Prepping isn’t a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process. Here’s why regular updates and adaptations are crucial:

  • Changing Threats: Threats are dynamic. New challenges, risks, and hazards can emerge at any time, requiring adjustments to your plans.
  • Resource Availability: Availability of resources may change due to supply disruptions, market fluctuations, or evolving circumstances. Regular updates ensure you have what you need.
  • Growing Skill Set: As you acquire new skills and knowledge, your capabilities as a prepper expand. Updating your plans allows you to incorporate these new skills effectively.

3. Tips for Staying Current with News and Developments

To stay informed and adaptable, consider these tips:

  • Diversify News Sources: Rely on a variety of credible news sources to gain a well-rounded perspective on current events. This reduces the risk of bias and misinformation.
  • Emergency Alerts: Sign up for emergency alerts and notifications from government agencies. These notifications provide real-time information about local threats and emergencies.
  • Online Communities: Engage with online prepper communities and forums. These platforms often have sections dedicated to news and current events, allowing you to discuss and share information with like-minded individuals.
  • News Aggregators: Use news aggregator apps or websites that compile headlines from various sources. This simplifies the process of keeping up with breaking news.
  • Local News: Don’t neglect local news sources. Regional events can have a significant impact on your prepping plans.
  • Regular Drills: Conduct regular drills and scenario-based exercises to practice your response to different emergencies. This not only hones your skills but also identifies areas in need of improvement.

In the realm of prepping, staying informed and adaptable is the hallmark of resilience. By understanding the importance of awareness, remaining flexible in your planning, and actively seeking reliable information, you’re not only enhancing your preparedness but also bolstering your ability to face the unknown with confidence.

In the final section of this comprehensive guide, we’ll summarize key takeaways for complete beginners and reiterate the importance of taking those initial steps towards preparedness.

How to Start Being a Prepper Conclusion

In the concluding chapter of our comprehensive guide on how to start being a prepper, let’s recap the key takeaways for complete beginners and reiterate the importance of embarking on your journey towards preparedness.

Key Takeaways for Beginners Learning How to Start Being a Prepper:

  1. Prepping Defined: Prepping is a proactive approach to preparedness, encompassing a mindset and a set of skills and resources aimed at ensuring your well-being in times of crisis.
  2. Core Principles: Understand the fundamental principles of prepping, including preparedness, self-sufficiency, and resilience.
  3. Prepping Vocabulary: Familiarize yourself with common prepping terms such as bug-out bags, bug-in, EDC (Everyday Carry), and SHTF (Sh*t Hits The Fan).
  4. Goal Setting: Identify your reasons for prepping, prioritize your goals, and tailor them to your unique circumstances and concerns.
  5. Risk Assessment: Assess individual and regional risks using tools, resources, and historical data to inform your prepping plans.
  6. Prepper’s Mindset: Cultivate a prepper’s mindset, characterized by awareness, adaptability, and determination. Address common misconceptions and fears related to prepping by drawing inspiration from real-life success stories.
  7. Budgeting: Create a prepping budget and allocate funds wisely over time to build your preparedness gradually.
  8. Knowledge and Skills: Recognize the importance of acquiring knowledge and essential skills, from first aid to basic survival techniques, and explore educational resources.
  9. Emergency Food Supply: Learn how to start building an emergency food supply with non-perishable items suitable for beginners. Understand storage guidelines and rotation tips.
  10. Water Preparedness: Appreciate the significance of water in prepping, explore methods for storage and purification, and identify emergency water sources.
  11. Shelter and Survival Gear: Discover the importance of shelter prepping, recommended basic survival gear, and customization based on your needs.
  12. Security and Self-Defense: Embrace security measures for your home and consider self-defense options suitable for beginners.
  13. Bug-Out and Bug-In Plans: Understand the concepts of bug-out (evacuation) and bug-in (hunkering down), and create plans that align with different scenarios.
  14. Building a Bug-Out Bag (BOB): Master the art of assembling a basic bug-out bag, including selecting the right backpack and packing essentials efficiently.
  15. Community and Networking: Recognize the value of community support, prepper groups, online forums, and the benefits of sharing knowledge and resources.
  16. Staying Informed and Adapting: Grasp the significance of staying informed about changing circumstances, regularly updating your prepping plans, and practical tips for staying current with news and developments.

Your Journey on How to Start Being a Prepper Begins Now:

Being a prepper isn’t a destination; it’s a journey. By taking these first steps towards preparedness, you’re already positioning yourself for a more secure and resilient future. Remember that every action you take, no matter how small, brings you closer to self-reliance and peace of mind.

The Time Is Now:

In a world where unpredictability is a constant, your commitment to preparedness is your greatest asset. As you close this guide, take a moment to reflect on your newfound knowledge and determination. Then, without hesitation, embark on your journey towards preparedness. The time is now, and your future self will thank you for it. No is the time for you to begin learning how to start being a prepper.

Prep well, stay safe, and thrive in any challenge that comes your way.

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Written by doc cotton

Meet Doc Cotton, your go-to founder of NowShack and a goto for all things adventurous and outdoorsy. With an unwavering passion for van life and a deep connection to the great outdoors, Doc is your trusted guide to exploring the world off the beaten path.

Doc's journey began with a fascination for the freedom and simplicity that van life offers. From there, it was a natural progression to spend countless hours prepping and converting vans into cozy, mobile homes on wheels. Whether it's turning an old van into a comfortable living space or sharing tips on the best gear for outdoor adventures, Doc has you covered.

But Doc Cotton is not just about life on the road; he's also a dedicated student of survival skills. Always eager to learn and share, Doc's insights into wilderness survival and bushcraft are invaluable for anyone looking to connect with nature on a deeper level.