What exactly is Prepping?

The definition of Prepping is “The action or process of preparing something or preparing for something“. This latter part is of utmost importance as the “something” is left ambiguous. Depending on your location, family size, needs, and the propensity for disasters in your area this could mean different things for different people.

Prepping/Survivalist Categorization

Prepping (or otherwise known as Survivalism) is a social movement of individuals/groups who proactively prepare for emergencies. The end goal is to anticipate short and long-term disasters and be able to adequately survive and flourish during these times. All Preppers tend to emphasize self-reliance, stockpiling food/water, and gaining the skills and knowledge to be able to survive any catastrophic event.

Short-Term Prepping (Emergency Preparedness)

When talking about short-term or small-scale prepping you have to first look at what these are. A few examples of this would be:

  • Job-Loss
  • Damage to your Home
    • Wind, Fire, Flood, etc.
  • Winter Storms
  • Power Outages
  • Civil Disorder

For these types of situations, you are preparing for one day to a couple of months that you may have to rely on yourself or your group to sustain you. These types of preparations can be small and you will see in our later section that you may be doing this already without the label of Prepper.

Long-Term Prepping (Doomsday, SHTF, TEOTWAWKI)

When focused on long-term prepping you are envisioning Doomsday, SHTF (shit hits the fan), or even TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it). Examples of this type of situation:

  • Earthquakes
  • Hurricanes
  • Nuclear Attack
  • Tornadoes
  • Volcanic Eruptions
  • Space Object Impacts
  • Social Collapse
  • Wildfires
  • Floods
  • Droughts
  • Landslides
  • Tsunamis
  • Blizzard
  • War

While not an exhaustive list the above situations can have long-term devastating effects that would impact you and your family for an extended period of time. These extended periods could be 6 months to years in which you would have to hunker down, use your skills, and survive the worst odds. Long-term preppers have things such as seed banks, gas masks, food supplies for 5 years,  and underground bunkers. You can even go as far as living completely off the grid without the need for societal advances or supplies.

Our own personal preference lands between short and long-term preparations that can easily sustain us for 6 months to a year before being forced to venture abroad for supplies.

Are you already prepping?

You are prepping every time you go to the grocery store with a list. You may only be meal planning for a week or two out but that is a beginning prep. If you extend that time frame out to 3, 6, or 12 months you are a prepper. Take stock of your cupboard and freezer and if you and your family can survive on that for a month you are on the right track!

Some preps you may already have such as tools, tape, kerosene lanterns, tarps, and even a generator. All of those things can be impossible to find during a supply chain breakdown. Everyone remembers the bare shelves and hoarding of masks, toilet paper, and even nitrile gloves. The cost of a simple 2×4 board skyrocketed to 2-3x the ordinary cost.

We aren’t saying to have a room dedicated to toilet paper but buying in bulk during a sale is not only a frugal decision but an excellent prep. We consistently find these sales and normally stock up a 6 month supply.

What benefits are there to prepping?

We prepare for the absolute worst scenarios and it makes the lighter scenarios easier. When our checking account gets low I start thinking of all of the things that could go wrong and I wouldn’t be able to afford. This causes undue stress because I’m not prepared.

Having good storage of food and supplies gives me a sense of peace that I’m ready for almost anything. A food shortage or logistics breakdown in our supply lines doesn’t give me stress but only makes me take stock of what I have and how long it will last. Simple 3-day power outages during an ice storm are a breeze when properly prepared. 

An added benefit to prepping is that we almost always have a little extra of everything. Before prepping we were constantly running to the store for necessities that we use daily. Now, I merely go to the basement and open a tote for things like toothpaste or dish detergent. 

What is the best way to start Prepping?

In the act of Prepping my family and I started rather small with a house the size of a normal apartment with about a half-acre yard. We began with meager preps in our learning phase and our main goal was to have food and water for a few days.

Starting in 2020 we bit the bullet and started buying water jugs, mylar bags, rice, and beans. It wasn’t going to be a life of luxury if we had to dig in but we wouldn’t starve! That drive and preparedness made us want to take it even further so we started a decently sized 30’x30′ garden space. Soon after we built a coop and run and raised 6 laying hens to have eggs.

I always recommend everyone start small (just like savings) and ensure your family has 2 weeks of rotatable food and water.  Make sure that you stock things you would normally use as this will help morale as well as make your prep easily rotatable.

SuppliesPer Person Per Day2 Week Supply Per Person
Food2000 Calories28,000 Calories
Water1 Gallon Potable14 Gallon Potable

Make it a lifestyle change

The more we prep the further we reach a self-sustaining lifestyle. Almost all of our vegetables are either fresh, water/pressure canned, freeze-dried, or dehydrated from our own garden. Our eggs all come from our hens and will keep for months.

As we expand on this lifestyle we hope you can grow along with us as well and as a community create a definitive resource.


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