You may feel helpless if you have not been an outdoorsy or rugged person for most of your life, but the most essential lifesaving and survival skills and concepts are easily learned, if not mastered. Below is a list of several core skill sets you should make a point to get trained on and practice when you can. In all but the smallest towns there will be someone who has something to teach you about all of them.

I don’t own very many of the items on this list. Some of the items I own smaller, more cost-friendly alternatives of, others are way out of my league price point-wise and to attain them would take years. #18 for instance, which you really only would bother to buy if you had an off grid location of your dreams or had your forever-home which you were planning on using to bug in. There are items on this list that are much more attainable, having price points closer to $100.
Bogwalker lives here with her partner and 20-month-old daughter, Hazel. Inside an open-air living room and kitchen on the property, the baby snuggles up against her leg as she imparts instructions to a crowd of students. They’re here for the fourth and final day of Basic Women’s Carpentry, one of a number of courses Bogwalker and her majority-female staff offer specifically for women, with the aim of equipping them with the tools they need to become more self-reliant. “It’s not primitive skills by any means,” Bogwalker says of the class. “It’s using power tools, table saws, chop saws, impact drivers.”
Our world headquarters is located just an hour east of Dallas, Texas. This plant manufactures shelters with sizes ranging from the affordable BombNado that goes in under new homes being constructed to the popular round culvert pipes which have been around for decades to the Billionaire class poured in place concrete hardened bunkers that cost into the millions.
We handle all aspects of the project internally with our own staff. We oversee the entire project from design to delivery to installation. This ensures the highest quality product for our clients. It also protects your privacy and ensures that the secrecy of your bunker, bomb shelter, etc. Our employees are not only trustworthy, they are also like-minded individuals that are also preparing their own families for what the future has in store for us.
Not so sure I agree with some of this list. Sure, you need to clean water, shelf-stable foods and alternative ways to cook it, but not so sure I would recommend beginning preppers bother with a rifle or seeds quite yet. I would suggest they worry about items like a comprehensive first aid and hygiene/sanitation concerns first. You need to be able to get through a disaster before you should worry about a long term survival scenario.
Many food products will market themselves around a 4 week / 30-32 day / 1 month timeline for one person. Which was fine for us, because we standardize against two weeks but assume that an average household is two people. So it’s easy to buy a “30-day supply for one person” — assuming the calories per day are appropriate — and use it as a two-week supply for two people.
The remote island nation, clinging to the southern part of the globe 2,500 miles off Australia’s coast, has 4.8 million people and six times as many sheep. It has a reputation for natural beauty, easy networking, low-key politicians who bike to work, and rental prices half those of the San Francisco Bay Area. That makes it an increasingly popular destination not only for those fretting about impending dystopia, but for tech entrepreneurs seeking incubators for nurturing startups.
I live about an hour outside Manchester. It’s not the back of beyond, but there are things that could happen, especially as we’re approaching winter: a delivery drivers’ strike, an oil strike, floods. I store a bit of extra food in case the food and petrol chains crumble. I travel with a blanket and thermals in case I break down in snow, lose a phone signal and am too far away from home to walk. My husband once got stuck in poor weather on a motorway. He was grateful for the self-heating food packages I’d packed.
I use Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Powder.It is about $10 a bag but it goes a very long way. It will make 45 cups of sweet cream buttermilk. I did some research and vacuum sealed buttermilk powder can last up to 10 years. Of course this is dependent on storage conditions. Keeping it out of direct sunlight and extreme heat is required to get a long shelf life. Even under mediocre conditions I would expect 5 years. There is a lot of varying opinions on shelf life unfortunately. Thanks for reading!
#10 Wow, who to trust and how to meet those “truth worthy” people?? This one hit home. Due to various experiences with people from ever walk of life and every religious persuasion I’ve become a very distrusting person. So to even consider trusting someone, these days, I don’t know with the lives and safety of my family would be nothing short of a MAJOR miracle. Anyone else like me?? How do you over come that natural mistrust??
While media coverage has often focused on a certain gun-toting, masculine segment of the subculture, both women described being drawn to prepping as a form of female self-empowerment. As Bedford sees it, finding yourself unprepared in the midst of a crisis can be a “terrible feeling of weakness” for a mother. “It makes sense to be empowered and trained and have the right supplies—and in this case, to have extra food on hand—because as a mom in particular, your family just relies on you,” she said.
Didn’t see this on the list and it could be an entire new thread. But first have a olan of what you will do. Think of all scenarios. What to do if you are not at home with the family. Where do you meet? Do you have a bug out site that everyone who needs to know has a map to it and knows when to bug out. Make sure you have what you need from this llist at the bug out site already. Do not try to haul what you need once you get there. You wil never make… Read more »
Forgetting to store spices, salt, oil and basic condiments that are needed for your food storage. How will your famous spaghetti sauce taste without Italian seasoning, salt, olive oil and that pinch of sugar? Beans are a great staple to have on hand and can be seasoned in a variety of ways using salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce, ground red pepper and more. 
My very first concern would be water. Water is essential. Second would be First Aid supplies. Third would be sealing the room or space I am in. Fourth would be protecting food and putting it where it can’t be easily contaminated. Fifth would be setting up communication in a way that doesn’t require electricity or Internet. Sixth would be prepping for nuclear winter. Lots of blankets and warm clothing to cover up with.
Individual pouches: For this use-case, we prefer packages where one pack equals one meal or serving. Pouches are easier to store, can often be used to cook the meal without any other utensils, are more portable, don’t need a can opener, can be traded, and so on. No. 10 cans, which are like big coffee cans, are great for staple ingredients like flour or corn.
With freeze dried foods you can get a good selection of nutritionally balanced foods and they are easy to carry, even if you have to bug out. They have a very long shelf-life of up to 25 years. The only drawback is if you don’t have water, you can’t rehydrate your food. Plus, it is ideal to have warm water so you can have a warm meal, so if there is no way to heat your water, then you will be eating a cold meal.
In his book Dancing at Armageddon: Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times, Mitchell, the sociology professor, develops a working theory of survivalism as a response to living in a society where every object we could possibly need is already taken care of for us. “The shelves are full, and the channels are full,” Richard tells me over the phone. “This is a response to a culture that has stripped away from us our sense of efficacy, our capacity to craft culture.”
“Title-1 schools are on the free-breakfast and free-lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I’m not talking about a glass of milk and a roll. But a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make the Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. (Our tax dollars at work!)
Lynching is a terrorist ploy, like the beheadings Daesh committed in West Asia and like those usual practices of the Zionist infestation in Palestine. During the latter 1800s, wealthier ranchers also used lynching in efforts to frighten off sheepherders and would-be farmers. ‘Law enforcement’ (irregular ‘sheriffs’ and ‘regulators’) also got co-opted.
Laura B. "You have no privacy on the internet, and probably never have."You got that almost rite, all except the word "probably." You have never had any privacy on the internet, and very little anywhere in this country for a lot longer than the internet has been around. Your credit cards track you and your perches. Your drivers license tracks you. Your phone, both cell and home, tracks you. Everything you buy, car, home, property, even the groceries you buy are tracked. Every bill you pay tracks you. The only way to not be tracked is to not have a birth certificate, a social security card, a credit/debit card, never own anything taxable and never pay for anything with anything but gold, silver, or barter. Even the government currency called the dollar has a # on it so it can be tracked. All the things I've listed were put in place for 1 reason, and that is to track. Privacy hasn't been a part of American life for over 100 yrs.
Roll out your dough into squares. You can make these loafs individual sized or sized for a whole family to slice and eat. Put fillings in the center and then fold over to make a pocket or shape however you want. Seal with some water. Cut or poke a few small slits. If you are lucky enough to have an egg you can brush it on the outside of the loaf to get a golden brown crisp crust.
For Erica Nygaard, an Iowa-based mother of four who started storing and growing her own food after a divorce 11 years ago, the desire to prepare for the future stems directly from the vulnerability one can feel as a single mom. “When you become a single parent, that weight really hits you: I am completely responsible [for my children,] no matter what. No matter what happens, these four people have to be taken care of.”
This was an informative article, but I would like to see a bunker industry comparison of bunkers. Perhaps this has been done, but I just haven’t run across it yet. If anyone knows of any credible and objective comparisons, I’d be interested in knowing the link to that info. Right now, I’m considering Rising S, Vivos, or Bombardo. I don’t need an underground city, nor do I like communal life (been there, done that in military). I just want a functional bunker for 4 to 6 people that is reasonably priced and will last for a long time.
In addition to a newly built three-bedroom, two-bath ranch home, this 104-acre property in central Wyoming features a heated barn with an extra 800 square feet of living space on the top floor and a 400-square-foot bunker reinforced with tire bunches. The bunker, wedged into the side of a hill, isn’t finished but is hooked up for electricity and water, and everything is powered with a pair of generators connected to an underground 2,000-gallon propane tank. While outfitting the bunker for comfortable living, you can take advantage of the property’s fine farming and hunting possibilities. There are plenty of elk, deer, pheasants, and waterfowl on the tract, which comes with its own well water and equipment that will irrigate 65 acres of land.
I use Bob’s Red Mill Buttermilk Powder.It is about $10 a bag but it goes a very long way. It will make 45 cups of sweet cream buttermilk. I did some research and vacuum sealed buttermilk powder can last up to 10 years. Of course this is dependent on storage conditions. Keeping it out of direct sunlight and extreme heat is required to get a long shelf life. Even under mediocre conditions I would expect 5 years. There is a lot of varying opinions on shelf life unfortunately. Thanks for reading!

A lot of prepping is common sense, but there’s very little of it around. The theory goes that it’s psychologically uncomfortable to think about death and dying, so people tend not to. And people often think that a disaster won’t happen to them, so they’re less likely to prepare. But it’s not very difficult, and it’s not expensive – I buy equipment from Amazon: a survival blanket, a sleeping hammock, one of those bottles that filters contaminants found in water. Most of the time you won’t need it. But it’s that one time when you really do, and you haven’t got it, or you haven’t taught yourself how to use it… that’s when it’s too late.
In the event of an EMP situation, I fully intend to band together with my neighbors to protect our neighborhood from outsiders who may to try to loot or worse. I fully intend to share resources if they are into that. I fully intend to share medical supplies, knowledge, recipes, seeds and more if necessary. I know for a fact that my neighbors and I differ greatly on political issues, and especially political candidates from every election since we’ve lived here. But in a SHTF situation, we’d all be in it together. Please remember that before jumping down each other’s throats in the comments here. We are all interested in being prepared, because we are all alarmed and or scared of what may happen in the future, because not everything is in our control. But our behavior toward each other is absolutely within our control.
We placed these on heavy-duty shelves, $39–49 at Lowe’s. Plastic totes are great for storing sauce bottles, small cans, etc. just make sure to rotate your stock. If you find someone who is like-minded, you can share things like 50 pound bags of pinto beans, rice, etc. We got corn and wheat from the feed store. No need for expensive freeze-dried MREs. Two IBC totes and a Berkey water filter and you can survive hurricanes, natural disasters and snowbird season here in Florida. Welcome to the world of just common sense.
That leads to forget about being totally self sufficient, it won’t happen. There are things you need aside from food, but even just food, nobody can produce all they need unless they live in the perfect environment. Going into the great outdoors and becoming the great hunter… not happening either. Even skilled hunters and fishermen will starve because there are too many looking to do that. If you are like us and have ponds, therein lies 1 solution, stock it with fish.
For example, have you considered the need for feminine products?  What about canes, walkers, and manually operated wheelchairs?  Pets need food, crates, and toys to keep them occupied while the rest of family members are recovering from chaos.  It will be impossible to cover every contingency but be aware of what those needs are now then prioritize those that you deem most important.
This one I’ve started doing recently, especially with the foods I’ve been buying online through either Amazon Pantry or Waitrose’s online delivery. Am really happy having this list around as it means I don’t have to remember what I need more of to hit the limit for free shipping or to have enough to get a certain amount off. It also means I don’t miss out on buying things I was running low on, as if there are staples I regularly buy and I forgot about them long enough to miss adding them to a cart, I usually really regret it.
Pasta Primavera … wow! Huge hit. Generous amount of vegetables and a creamy Parmesan sauce. Unlike its competitors, the pasta in this dish isn’t mushy, but has a great, chewy texture in a surprisingly delicious sauce. All testers would eat this as a regular meal, and thought it would be good to just keep on hand as a pantry staple. “The kind of food that makes you hope the power goes out!”
Our testers unanimously voted MH the best tasting, even going as far as to buy some to use in everyday life. Nutritionists we spoke with thought MH had the best overall nutritional value, too, with tons of meat-based proteins and fiber. It’s also the most convenient to cook. No external dishes needed, just pour some (ideally boiling) water into the pouch, let it cook, eat, then trash.
Label everything with the date of purchase.  Sharpie pens were created for this purpose.  However you choose to keep track,  rotate your stored food items the best you can without getting paranoid about it.  Many of the “use by” and “best by” dates on canned and packaged goods are put there by the manufacturer but relate more to taste and texture than actual spoilage.  See the next item.
Potable Water Supply –Your basic supply should be a gallon per day, that will cover drinking and basic sanitation. That is per person, and is a baseline. Hotter climates necessitate more, and some people just need more water. Your next trip out to the grocery, grab at least a 3 day supply. You should have no less than a week’s worth of water on hand for all family members. Get extra if you are storing a lot of food that requires water to prepare.
A lot of prepping is common sense, but there’s very little of it around. The theory goes that it’s psychologically uncomfortable to think about death and dying, so people tend not to. And people often think that a disaster won’t happen to them, so they’re less likely to prepare. But it’s not very difficult, and it’s not expensive – I buy equipment from Amazon: a survival blanket, a sleeping hammock, one of those bottles that filters contaminants found in water. Most of the time you won’t need it. But it’s that one time when you really do, and you haven’t got it, or you haven’t taught yourself how to use it… that’s when it’s too late.
I would like to add something, not necessarily to the list, but more like “food for thought” ideas that could very well save you and your family’s life. Living in the South, you “will almost” grow up around some natural disasters, whether it be a hurricane or tornado, most of us here take “prepping” very serious..and we learn a lot from those disasters also (I.e. Hurricane Katrina). I grew up around great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, other relatives and friends, who have a garden, almost for the entire year. Learning to can and freeze food was as natural as brushing your teeth! During the summer, when school is out, we shelled peas, shuck corn(yeah say that fast!), canned beans and tomatoes, picked berries, smashed berries, and, on occasion, churned butter! I wish I had a dollar for every pea I shelled! I be richer than Midas! Knowing these “techniques” can make a huge difference in feeding your family for several months without electricity. There have been lots of times when we would get lunch or diner straight out of the garden, washed and prepped, cooked, and on the plate in a couple of hours. No storage. No refrigeration! Scraps of food went into the garden or compost. And you can cook this stuff straight over an open fire. Two words…”cast iron”…it is a very good investment…it is great to use anywhere…open fire or stove! You don’t have to wash cast iron(I know it does sound gross, but believe it or not, that is the “beauty” of cast iron)..you wipe it out and keep it seasoned. You can cook anything in cast iron, from biscuits…to a cake! People with cast iron can cook almost forever! I would view it as essential. Enough about the garden.
On a humid day in early August, I traveled to Wild Abundance, a homesteading and primitive-skills school in the rolling green hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Founded by Natalie Bogwalker in 2012, the facility in Weaverville, North Carolina, offers courses in gardening, foraging, herbalism, tiny house construction, hide tanning, and any number of practices that might come in handy when living alone in the wilderness. It’s also a functional homestead with a sprawling vegetable garden and a series of charming hobbit-like outbuildings fanned out across a wooded hillside.

The Cold War era civil defense programs promoted public atomic bomb shelters, personal fallout shelters, and training for children, such as the Duck and Cover films. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) long directed its members to store a year's worth of food for themselves and their families in preparation for such possibilities;[3] but the current teaching advises only a three-month supply.[3]

Gluten free flours are another tricky cooking skill to master. One of our close friends and neighbors eats a gluten free diet so I have learned to cook some things without wheat but when it comes to baking I usually just buy the gluten free baking mixes that you can use just like regular flour. For SHTF, you may want to mix up your own mix and vacuum seal it for easy use.


But if you stay, take note of the time. When the outage strikes, the clock is ticking on the food in your refrigerator and freezer. The USDA says food in a fridge will stay safely cold for four hours if the door isn't opened and a full freezer will maintain temperature for about 48 hours (if it's half full, that's 24 hours) as long as you keep the door closed. And don't rely on just looking — and certainly not on tasting — to see if the food's safe, they say. Instead, keep appliance thermometers in the fridge and freezer. You want to see 40 F or below in the fridge and 0°F or lower in the freezer. When in doubt, take individual foods' temperature with a food thermometer.

Dehydrating your food is a fabulous way to preserve it. Provided you have a dehydrator, you can dehydrate fruit, vegetables, and meat. Dehydration means to literally take the water out of the food. Without water, the food stays is less susceptible to spoilage. It can be eaten that way (think fruit leathers or beef jerky) or rehydrated and put into soups and stews and other meals.
I usually go into lists like this thinking “this person is going to prove how little they know”. But, you just proved how much you know. This list is spot-on, especially the parts about preparing both for and against human nature. IE: in a perfect “bad” situation you want to be that person that is prepared, and can help others learn how to survive by teaching them to hunt, farm, build shelter. But, in a realistic survival situation you need to protect yourself to ensure you’re not just prepping for the big dude down the street with a gun to come over and take advantage of you.
I think that one reason we focus on the big national disasters is that it’s somehow easier for some people to deal with something impersonal that affects everyone. If you focus on your own personal shtf situation, like your spouse dying and leaving you with a mortgage you can’t pay by yourself, it can be too emotionally difficult to clearly assess your preparedness and your needs. Far pleasanter to contemplate slaying dragons than the bear in your back yard.
@ Oldnamvet I can only imagine the horrors you encountered in Vietnam. You had great courage to go over there and fight for your country. Now. To the present day. I don’t want to be a nitpicker, sir, but the US is a Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic. These days more akin to a dog and pony show with Trump as the handler and maybe even more like one of the reality shows that Trump is so fond of. But that’s my personal opinion. I’m not quite sure what the difference would be between a limited and unlimited Constitutional Republic. And I’m not asking these questions to be a jerk but to learn. By definition Canada is a Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy and as we don’t have a Queen on our soil (unless you count Trudeau as a “queen”…LOL!) our head of state is Queen Elizabeth II. We are still tied to Britain even unto this day still being part of the British Commonwealth of Nations. This all a side issue anyways as to the main theme of this article. I just like to make sure we’re all on the same page.

I giggled about your reason for not including wheat berries. I agree that many have few or no backing skills or how to make flour but…. I like the idea of wheat because if it is properly stored it can last 30 years and when I first started prepping I told my self that I wasn’t looking for a part time job rotating short lived stock. With my first 5 gal buckets of wheat (from a farmer friend) I also got a manual flour mill. Lots of fun and good exercise. I make some version of whole wheat bread every week. (Don’t want to be heavily invested in prepping and not know how to use what I got!) One season we had a complete wheat failure so I picked up a couple of buckets of soybeans. Another learning curve but eventually made pretty good bean dishes. Question for you and yours, during general internet research I found some articles on Trypsid inhibitor (TI)in beans and how it could be a real problem. Most of the articles appeared to be aimed at telling farmers to not feed soybeans directly (with out some processing) to pigs – in time it can kill them. The TI is neutralized when sufficiently heated. So the hours of boiling beans would take care of this condition but it doesn’t answer questions like:


Ned in the comments reminded me that a bike really should be on this list. Of course, I don’t really need to say, but a good mountain bike is incredibly useful in a SHTF situation where fuel is hard to get. Ned mentioned that it’d be a good idea to couple the bike with a carrying rack on the front or back, and if you can, an electric generator. I think that’s a pretty damn great idea; only problem is I haven’t managed to find any electric generators for bikes that actually have good reviews. If you know of one, please recommend one down in the comments section.
Okay, if you have the ability to carry where you live, an air gun may seem like a ridiculous thing to bother to have – but hear me out. If anything ever changes about laws, if you happen to move to a place where regulations are tighter, or if you just need something much more quiet for hunting than you’ve got, I feel like an air rifle is the way to go. Cheaper ammunition, too. Rabbits are game, squirrels are an easy bet (they’re everwhere!) – if you’re desperate, air rifles are great in a pinch.
The first item to go into the stash is the first item to be used up, and then when you head out shopping or running errands you replace the used quantity in the stash. So after eating a can of chili out of your emergency stash, for instance, you would replace the can with another one bought at the grocery. The next oldest can of chili would be the one you draw next time you need chili, and so on. This is known as “rotating” your supplies.
Combine dry ingredients and oil then add enough water to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead for 5 minutes and let rest for 15 minutes. Roll out to whatever size you want them to be and then fry in a lightly oiled pan on medium heat, flipping once. You can flip more if needed. It can be hard to gauge cooking times well when you are using heat sources like wood fire or a camp stove.
As with everything in life, don’t take prepping to the excess.  Hoarding is not the same as prepping and the accumulation of useless or marginally useful items can take up every spare corner of your home or apartment.  Although it is wise to keep extra on hand for barter purposes. be realistic about your ability to prep for the long term while maintaining a clutter free home enviroment.

Just be aware, if you have stored mixes like bisquick or cake mixes which have baking powder in them. Baking powder has a shelf life, after that shelf life, the bp isn’t stable so your product may not rise and/or may taste funny. Depending on what form of dry milk (powder as opposed to instant milk) is used, that can also make your premixes go bad.
This is by no means an exhaustive or comprehensive list of the items available for your long term food storage program. You can tailor your program to your tastes and your budget. Remember the key elements are calories (LOTS), nutritional value (Vitamins and Minerals), storage life, storage space, and flavor. By consulting this list however, you can get a pretty good idea of how to get going on your program.
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