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.”
I run the BSc psychology course at the University of Central Lancashire. I wrote my doctorate on survival psychology and completed the write-up in LA, on the San Andreas fault. I’m a big sci-fi fan, and obviously tales of the apocalypse creep into every great story in the genre, but I only really started to consider my own preparatory behaviours when I began living in a city that experiences major earthquakes and spending my days writing about people dying horribly in disasters. I remember thinking, wouldn’t it be embarrassing, writing what I was writing, if someone found out I’d never looked into prepping myself?
If it’s at all below the level of the water table, it will flood, concrete, steel, or other materials be damned. Sure, there is some top-notch engineering you can do to keep the water out, but it’s expensive. One solution is to put the bunker at ground level and then pile dirt on top of it, but you need very large amount of dirt to protect it from impact.
Regarding the general category of water purification, you have essentially combined reverse osmosis with UV disinfection PLUS the necessity for solar and/or gas generated power. Take away the essential electrical power and you still have to boil your water. If you do the math, you could invest up to $2500 for your version of water purification. That’s a “big ticket” indeed. Once again, there are abundant information sources that provide instruction for long term water purification that cost far less.
17. Spices and Condiments. Adding some spices and condiments to your food storage pantry will allow you to vary the taste of your storage foods, thus mitigating some of the boredom that is likely to occur over time. The exact mix of spices and condiments is up to you but some suggestions include garlic, chili, Tabasco (hot sauce), salsa, oregano, thyme and black pepper. For a full list of the best prepper herbs and spices, check out the BDS guide here.
After 15 minutes, I was startled to discover that the cereal had puffed up into a Kashi-like multitude of grains, flecked with tiny pieces of apple, complete with green peel, that looked just-chopped. It didn’t taste as good as it appeared: Eyeballing a fourth of the bag had resulted in a poor distribution of seasoning, yielding a flavor I can only describe as water laced with traces of cinnamon and sugar, though subsequent attempts tasted better.
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.
Still, as I sat at my desk one afternoon, eyeing the colorful salads my coworkers were having for lunch, I realized the absurdity of my experiment: I live in a city with 24/7 access to fresh food and work a job that affords me the privilege of eating healthfully most of the time. Even quibbling over the nutritional content of these freeze-dried meals was something of a luxury, because I wasn’t in a position where I actually needed to eat them. Then again, you never know what’s going to happen.
I can’t agree with your solution for water purification. If the argument is to “also” include scenarios where boiling isn’t practical, there are other options that fit the bill. For us, we’ve been using a Berkey filter system in our home instead of something that needs water pressure or power to serve in both bug out and Flint, MI like scenarios. We use it day to day today. Not cheap upfront but the cost per litre/gallon over time is a fraction of what you’ve proposed – with all due respect.
Like I said, way up there on my #goals wishlist. Seriously need to make sure if I get this, it goes into a forever home, as it’d be a complete waste to get it or something like it before, but boy is a wood burning stove like this an amazing thing to have. I don’t even cook, but I do eat, and have always found food is tastier when you cook it the “old fashioned way.” Yum.
Hey, Possum. The only thing we can do about the evils of this world is to pray for a speedy return of the Lord and in the meantime try to live our lives as well as we can – to try to not contribute to the insanity and misery going on around us but at the same time to not allow ourselves to be marginalized or taken advantage of. And to try not to freak out, which is difficult because it’s hard to not want to choke some of the awful, truly despicable people that we have to share planet space with. But that’s why we have a living God Who came down here in the first place. He had to deal with worse than most of us have to and will help us deal if we ask Him. Faith is an important survival tool we haven’t discussed much. It gives you hope, and without hope you won’t survive anything. You may continue to exist, but you won’t be living.
It’s mostly natural disasters we’re preparing for. I’m concerned about a war’s potential knock-on effects on the food chain, although I haven’t dug a bunker in my garden or anything. And then there’s Brexit. If that doesn’t go the right way, who’s to say we’ll be able to get hold of the things we can get hold of now? But, realistically, we are mostly likely to be affected by flooding or severe snow. There have been times when we have been cut off, unable to get out. We’d need to be prepared if that happens again.
This isn’t the end of the world prepping. If the end of the world is happening there is no need to prepared. What you just described is a good way to die really fast. You think you’re going to wait until something happens and hold down a store for supplies? Last place you want to be is in the middle of a situation happening. Looting and stealing supplies while a disaster or incident is happening good way to die. Why? Because there’s going to be thousands of other people doing the exact same thing. Anything happens, i’m going to sit… Read more »
I would never advise you start a survival food stockpile with something like this, but once you have a year or two of long-shelf life survival foods you can grab at a grocery store, and you’ve saved up enough in emergency funds of course, investing in something like this is, in my opinion, serious peace of mind. You, again, hopefully won’t have to use it, but if the time comes when you do, and you run out of your year or two supply at hand, this would come in really handy, especially since it will a quarter of a century before it even remotely starts going off.
That is a great idea Scott! When I started writing this article it was my intent to get people thinking about how to cook in an emergency or SHTF situation. While a lot of the readers of Backdoor Survival are experienced at cooking, there are also a lot of folks out there that are just learning how to cook. I am 34 and I have to say that a lot of people my age don’t cook but they are learning. I always have cooked. Mom headed out the door when I was 4 so it was me and my Dad who cooked for me a lot of the time but I had to do some too. Donating food is a great thing to do if you are not able to use what you have stockpiled and it is set to expire. Thanks for a great suggestion as we enter the holiday season!
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.
Rather, this preppers supplies and gear list is meant to cover all of the items that a normal person would need in order to survive virtually any disaster. Since there are multiple items which can perform the same task (such as matches and a flint both being able to start fires), I’ve divided up the items into categories by the survival task that they perform.
The Survival Condo Project has 15 floors divided into 12 family homes including general access areas and space for operations. A full-floor unit which costs $3 million measures 1,820 feet, a bit bigger than one-thirds of a basketball court. Each units include three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, a dining area, wash & dry area, and a great room.
There was a time when I was a prepping newbie and even now, seven plus years later, I have more to do and more to learn. In my heart of hearts, however, I still feel like a beginner and so I empathize with those that are just getting started. They may be moms and dads, seniors like myself, or enlightened millennials. That said, these days I feel fortunate that I have come so far with my prepping activities. Moving beyond obsession, the prepping way of life is now a part of my core. It is “what I do” as well as being a hobby and a passion.
While not all household conditions are perfect, be aware of the six enemies of food storage and do your best to mitigate their effect on your precious food supply. This means you should avoid storing food in garages that are 90 degrees in summer and 30 degrees in winter. I am repeating what I said before but it is important: empty your cupboards and closets of excess stuff and stow these items in the basement, attic, or garage. This will make room for you to store your food inside your main living area where the ambient room temperature is stable.
The secrecy thing, a must. If you notice I haven’t said how many years of food we have stocked up, or how much ammo to defend it. The ammo is mute though. 1 against 1, great. 1 against 100, not so much. And there will still be laws. So perhaps if you are like us, when the dates get close to the end, donate it to people or churches in need. Perhaps the Daily Bread type thing feeding the homeless. That excess is a tool you have to use now for the future later. Just don’t drop it all off at the same spot or the same time. We don’t grow everything we need and have to buy food too.
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 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.
A lot of electric mountain bikes have hit the market lately. I’ve listed one instead of a regular mountain bike because they can help you travel substantially faster than you would be able to without the extra boost. Of course it’s important to get a bike that will continue to work well even after you run out of electricity, in case you only want to use the boost initially, but not waste your precious post-SHTF electricity on bike speed later, which is why the ability to remove the battery off an electric bike completely is very helpful. No one needs to carry dead weight.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in their "If You See Something, Say Something" campaign says that "the public should report only suspicious behavior and situations...rather than beliefs, thoughts, ideas, expressions, associations, or speech...". However, it is alleged that a DHS list of the characteristics of potential domestic terrorists used in law enforcement training includes "Survivalist literature (fictional books such as Patriots and One Second After are mentioned by name)", "Self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)", and "Fear of economic collapse (buying gold and barter items)".
We have our wheat, rice, oatmeal, sugar, beans, etc. in 5 gallon FOOD GRADE buckets. Make sure they are food grade. Our local Winco grocery store sells them. We make sure at least one bucket of each thing has a gamma seal lid on it. If you take the regular lids off and on and off and on they will eventually break then you have a bucket. The gamma seal lids have a screw on/off lid. Never stack buckets with gamma seal lids more than two high. Regular lids can be stacked three high. I know people who stored wheat in 55 gallon drums then found out they had to move. HUGE MISTAKE. We disinfect the buckets with apple cider vinegar then let them air dry before putting food in. We’ve been doing this for 40 years.
Canned meat: Get about 20 cans of assorted meats. Without refrigeration it will be hard to keep meat from spoiling, and that’s if you can get it in the first place. There are quite a few options, SPAM, Ham, Beef, Chicken, Tuna and sardines, but remember buy what you eat now. Also make sure you have a manual can opener, your electric can opener might not work.
Prepping is such a personal thing that we cannot just take someone else’s list and think it will work for our needs. We need to develop a plan and have supplies that work for us given our needs and unique situation. If we live in an urban area our needs will be different than someone who lives on a farm,we might feel the need to have a bug out plan in place while others plan on staying put.
*We wanted to test the Augason Farms 30-day bucket, but due to the 2017 natural disasters driving up demand for emergency food, we couldn’t get that exact one in time for this article. Instead, Augason sent us a 1- and 2-week bucket, which together have the same food as the 30-day. We used the nutritional data from the 30-day bucket in our analysis.
For experienced preppers like Daisy Luther, founder of the blog The Organic Prepper and the online survival goods store Preppers Market, ready-to-go freeze-dried meals are more of a last line of defense than anything else. Though she insists these products “have their place,” her version of long-term food storage sounds more like a way of life, a process of slowly building up a pantry that will enable her to feed her family as healthfully and economically as possible. Sometimes that means stocking up on the freeze-dried stuff, or buying whatever’s on sale at the supermarket; but it’s also about living in sync with the seasons, growing food in her own garden and using timetested home preservation methods—like canning and dehydrating—to ensure she always has food on hand.