Survivalists maintain their group identity by using specialized terminology not generally understood outside their circles. They often use military acronyms such as OPSEC and SOP, as well as terminology common among adherents to gun culture or the peak oil scenario. They also use terms that are unique to their own survivalist groups; common acronyms include:
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.
Pat I felt the same way you did about becoming a prepper. One day something inside of me said ok look, it’s time to start making a list and to get going on this endeavor. I started with the basics. I have been prepping for about a year + and have collected quite a lot of supplies. I educated myself in ways to store food. I am a You Tube watching fool, always looking at videos on how to do this or that. I’d like to know how to meet others who are prepping as well. I don’t really know… Read more »
So much of the history of the struggle between good and evil can be explained by Edmund Burke’s observation. Time and again those who profess to be good seem to clearly outnumber those who are evil, yet those who are evil seem to prevail far too often. Seldom is it the numbers that determine the outcome, but whether those who claim to be good men are willing to stand up and fight for what they know to be right. There are numerous examples of this sad and awful scenario being played out over and over again in the scriptures.
I can sleep at night because I’m well on way to having a year’s worth of the highest quality food freeze dried with a 20 year shelf life. I also am a huge fan of Berkey Water filters. We live in an intense chicken, turkey, hog barn agribusiness area – lots of potential harm to our water supplies besides roundup. Berkey is king if you read the independent lab reports – it does the best job purifying the water while keeping the needed minerals in the water your body needs.
I purchased a 30 day supply for 2 people of freeze dried food – that was when I had a basement to store it in. Now i live in the Arizona desert with no basement. I considered purchasing additional food storage but then realized, I for some reason I have no power, it’ll most likely be very hot (especially if summer time), therefore not way to regulate temperature. Any storage food I did purchase would be ruined ( I assume). Anyone else have this issue when thinking about the unthinkable?

For ideas, take a look at 12 Months of Prepping: One Month at a Time. Here you will find links to articles that take you though the process of gathering what you need in terms of supplies, gear, tasks, and skills to set you on a positive path of preparedness.  It may not seem like a lot, but at the end of the year you will will be better prepared than 95% of your neighbors.


When it burns, EPS produces heavy, acrid and toxic smoke. This obviously presents another serious problem when you are in a confined space, from which there is no escape. Even a small event in which this material merely smoldered with no open flame can/would have dire consequences for the occupants. Exposure to the heavy smoke generated, even if only for a few minutes, has been shown to be lethal.
Great article. Very informative and insightful. I also think learning how to store the right food most especially for leaner times is very important. For me canning is the best way to store food. But make sure that you can your food the right way. It is also a proven fact that canning as a way of storing and preserving different kinds of foods has been done since the 1800’s.

Vivos promises the biggest feature is the extremely low and affordable price with each bunker being privately sold for $25,000, with a land lease and bunker lease for 99 years. Owners can bring as many friends and family members for their private bunker at no extra charge. Each bunker is offered in its “as-is” condition, ready for outfitting and provisioning by the buyer, including the needed interior mechanical systems (plumbing, electrical, power generation, air filtration and exhaust), and the build-out and furnishing to suit personal needs.
I have been storing firewood. I also have two camp stoves, a single burner and a double burner. When things first fall out, my intention is to use the wood in one or more rocket stoves to heat water. Hot water will be a necessity for sanitation, utensil washing and general hygiene. The camp stoves will be used for cooking. That will continue until the fuel is exhausted. By that time I hope to have gained enough experience that I will be able to modulate the wood burning rockets stoves so that cooking on them will not be that much of a problem. I also plan to use wood burning to distill water as I anticipate that we will need to use ocean water for our water supply unless we just happen to have a wet year such as we are experiencing this year. If it were last year, we definitely would be distilling ocean water. Ocean water doesn’t have to be distilled for washing utensils, hands and clothing. It must be boiled however because there will be all sorts of stuff floating in the ocean that you wouldn’t want to touch let along wash with. Drinking water and water for face washing and teeth brushing will have to be distilled as one cannot drink salt water. I would recommend dehydrated foods for getting used to outdoor cooking, but for long term food you are going to need beans and rice. You can store a lot of calories in a small space for a long time with those two items. Beans and rice together release the protein in the beans to supplement the meat you eat. I always wondered why Mexican food featured beans and rice at the same meal. I thought it was overkill on carbs. Then I found out that the rice released the protein in the beans which otherwise was locked and unavailable.

The increased inflation rate in the 1960s, the US monetary devaluation, the continued concern over a possible nuclear exchange between the US and the Soviet Union, and perceived increasing vulnerability of urban centers to supply shortages and other systems failures caused a number of primarily conservative and libertarian thinkers to promote individual preparations. Harry Browne began offering seminars on how to survive a monetary collapse in 1967, with Don Stephens (an architect) providing input on how to build and equip a remote survival retreat. He gave a copy of his original Retreater's Bibliography to each seminar participant.[citation needed]
Onsite amenities are planned to include, a General Store, a members-only Restaurant & Bar, BBQ areas, a Community Theater, Hot Tub Spa, Gym, Medical Clinic, Hydroponic Gardens, Meeting Rooms, Classrooms, a Chapel, Horse Stables, Shooting Ranges, Vivos Equipment and Construction Supply Depot, Woodworking Shop, Maintenance Shop, Metal Fabrication Shop, and a fully built-out showroom bunker to demonstrate how each can be outfitted and equipped.
You should be doing your homework and putting in practice ahead of the fateful day, not counting on whipping out your manual in the middle of a crisis, but knowing how to best deal with any given situation is too good to pass up. In lieu of first-hand experience, a good set of instructions can help carry the day. I really like the Pocket Ref guides for general knowledge and skills, as they are tiny and positively packed with useful info.
Another possibility is a pre-fab concrete tornado shelter delivered to your site. They can double as storage sheds in good times, including as pool houses. Google ‘precast concrete storm shelter’ and variations on that. Anything which can stand up to a tornado would stand up to a fair blast. Not ground zero, but if you are worried about nuclear war, you probably don’t live at ground zero.

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!”

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.
Great list 🙂 The only thing I would suggest to add would be applied knowledge- for example there is no point in having seeds if you don’t know how to grow what you’ve got. Even if you don’t have access to land or a garden atm try growing crops in pots. Learn about the different soil and nutrient requirements for your selected plants, how to make fertlisers etc. If you are collecting tools know what to do with them, if you have info on foraging apply it now or go on foraging walks with local groups. Whatever skills you think… Read more »
Barbara – I know what you mean. It is easy to become both overwhelmed and disorganized at the same time. The nice thing about the list of 20 items is that you can purchase them all at once or one item a week. Then you can set them aside and at least for the short term, consider your food shopping done and move on to the gear or the next major task on your preparedness to-do list.
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.
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rlb- Have you visited an urban school and seen what they have to work with in resources compared to wealthier schools? In the cities, real estate pimps rule and have all the power. Schools suffer. The media only ever shows the students & people after they have been driven from their houses by gentrification & lay-off’s. The corporations are the problem.
If you can only afford one gun, get a 12-gauge pump action. The Remington 870 is always a popular choice – militaries around the world value its reliability. A shotgun is the most versatile gun you can own, because it can take a wide variety of game as well as being an awesome home defense weapon. For preparedness it’s far superior to a small-caliber rifle like an AR15.
I feel so lost here….smart meters being forced on your house, then they catch fire and the insurance co. refuses to cover, they also emit radiation 24/7 at a much higher frequency that first reported (Watch “Take Back Your Power, by Josh Del Sol–excellent info on these cancer causing devices), the fracking ruining our water, the greedy corporate “health” system with their outrageous prices for meds that then maker you sicker, the chemicals in our food,air,water,environment, the ‘me me’people, —with their huge egos & the ‘hell with everybody else’ attitude that you encounter with almost everyone you meet anymore, 1/2 the country is gonna be doped up on pot & too stupid to be of any real help when the SHTF, the other half—well, they will need their anxiety meds and as soon as they run out, will be frozen in fear and mental cloudiness and start to go off the deep end in short order….. what the hell is going on anymore??? 5G is going up everywhere—the electric & phone companies want to blanket the universe with this shit & it’s been proven that all this crap is eroding your brain cells at an alarming clip, not to mention disrupting blood chemistry and your DNA, but do people listen??? Politicians, government, cops, lawyers, doctors, clergy, teachers we are supposed to trust them, but just look at the news……. every day there’s something. Who do you trust anymore?? Who do you believe? The powers that be, screaming take “God” out of schools, take him off money, everybody bitching if you say “Merry Christmas’— but yet we, (the United States), were founded on a Christian principal…..so much filth, disrespect, evil, hatred—all over the world anymore. It’s so sad….. what man has become. We are poisoning the well of our own offspring, a million times over…….
A selection of old communications bunkers and underground data centers are also out there on the market, including a few for sale (where else?) on eBay. They’ll all require extensive TLC before they’re inhabitable. One 8,000-square-foot communications structure in Kansas built in 1958, for example, is listed at $650,000, though it comes with only one bathroom and no bedrooms to speak of. Another doomsday bunker near Tucson, Arizona, consists of a three-story command structure that’s 40 feet in diameter, surrounded by 12-inch-thick blast doors and buried under 10 feet of soil. The raw structure, described as “ready for sandblasting and paint” and shown in the photo with this slide, has a “Buy It Now” price of $550,000 on eBay.

Paracord: It’s so handy that many preppers wear a bracelet made of braided paracord that can be pulled apart and used as a normal 20-foot line in an emergency. Some bracelets are just the paracord, others have tools like a compass or whistle built in. If you don’t want to wear it on your wrist, you can tie it to your purse or bag as an accessory. We don’t yet have a specific favorite here, so just shop around.
Nygaard is a busy woman: In addition to working a full-time job, raising chickens, and growing sweet corn, potatoes, and peppers, she runs a blog called Living Life in Rural Iowa, where she shares bits of wisdom that she’s learned on her prepping journey. Looking back, Nygaard says becoming a prepper encouraged her to develop new skills, including the sorts of home repairs and outdoor work she once counted on her husband to tackle. “Before you get divorced, you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s outside. My husband can take care of that.’ And then when you become a single parent, you’re like, ‘Wow, I have to do outdoors and indoors — why did I think he should take care of all that?’ You have that sense that you can do just about anything you set your mind to.”
I’m a Christian and I’ve had Christian friends question why I put things by, as my grandma used to say. They say they just trust in the Lord to provide. They go to the store every day or two to get what they want. I follow my parents way of thinking. They said that if you have a grape vineyard and you get 5 bushel of grapes but only need two, you don’t throw the others away as next year you might not get any. And it’s true. God provides what is needed but we’Re not to just sit at the table and wait to be served, but to help provide for ourselves.

This is a partial list of many things that disappear fast in an emergency.  Look for things you should stock pile before the crisis.    Many of these items can be used to barter for items that you or your family might want or need. For example: During the gold rush of 1849 the people who had shovels became wealthy from the miners who needed them.  Remember:  A wise man purchases his insurance before the fire starts.  Create a scheduled plan to get any of these things.


If a crisis persists for a long enough period of time, it is very difficult to have an extended comprehensive food stock pile. Having the ability to grow vegetables is a great supplement to your stored foods. Be sure to have varieties that do well in your area, in your soil, and that you know how to grow. Have seeds for medicinal herbs and flavorful spices as well.
The other thing I want to point out is that there is a bit of redundancy to the solution and resolution of some the listed prepper mistakes.  It stands to reason that a mistake doing one thing will overlap with something else, and so, for the purpose of this article, I felt it was important to maintain those small redundancies.  Now that I think about that, isn’t that the prepper way?
If you are reading this article, I would imagine that you have never eaten an MRE before. Why do I say that? Well, for anyone who has eaten MREs you probably already have a strong opinion about them or at the very least, your experience might be based upon military service years ago. That is the perspective I was coming from when Meal Kit Supply approached me about reviewing their MREs that they produce. I had eaten more than my fair share of MREs when I was in the Army, but things have changed as you would expect with the passage of more years than I want to think about so I decided to take them up on the offer and while I was at it, share my opinion on what if any place MREs have in the food storage plan for preppers.
Another wave of survivalism began after the September 11, 2001 attacks and subsequent bombings in Bali, Madrid, and London. This resurgence of interest in survivalism appears to be as strong as the 1970s era focus on the topic. The fear of war, avian influenza, energy shortages, environmental disasters and global climate change, coupled with economic uncertainty, and the apparent vulnerability of humanity after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, has increased interest in survivalism topics.[20]
Mountain House, Wise Food, My Patriot Supply, and Ready Store need to get better in this regard. In some cases, we had to call a company and dig deeper than reasonable in order to find out calorie content — or we had to look at individual nutritional labels to reverse engineer the math. In other cases they called something a “1-month bucket” but that was based on silly calorie numbers.
Up until that time there had been no weight categories. As a result of his stunning victory, weight categories were instituted world wide in judo. Unless you are a highly advanced black belt, advanced in inter-club competitions to the seventh or eight degree the first guy who comes along who outweighs you by probably 50 or more pounds is going to stomp you. Anyone who has had experience in street brawls is going to stomp you. There is a reason why people say, “God didn’t create all men equal, Samuel Colt did.”
Although canned fruit and vegetables don’t offer much regarding survival food, they are an excellent way to supplement your diet. They can become comfort foods when food fatigue sets in. On your last trip to the grocery store before the blizzard sets in, make sure you get some cans of green vegetables and low-acidic fruits like pears because those canned foods have a longer shelf life. If you have kids, pick something they like as well. It will help you deal with those picky eaters when the crisis is in full effect.
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]

Despite a lull following the end of the Cold War, survivalism has gained greater attention in recent years, resulting in increased popularity of the survivalist lifestyle, as well as increased scrutiny. A National Geographic show interviewing survivalists, Doomsday Preppers, was a "ratings bonanza"[81] and "the network's most-watched series",[82] yet Neil Genzlinger in The New York Times declared it an "absurd excess on display and at what an easy target the prepper worldview is for ridicule," noting, "how offensively anti-life these shows are, full of contempt for humankind."[83]

Above ground level, this 4,500 square-foot luxury house, located about 140 miles west of Dallas, has three bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, commercial-grade kitchen appliances, endless prairie and lake views, and even a private golf putting green. Below grade, there’s a 1,000-square-foot structure with reinforced steel walls, bunks for 12, plus a kitchen, laundry facilities, a periscope so survivors can view whatever remains on the post-apocalypse surface, and two hidden escape hatches. The bunker comes equipped with an NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) filter system and a hydroponic plant-growing system. Six backup tanks of oxygen, as well as 10 years’ worth of emergency ready-to-eat meals, are included in the sale too.
When I first started prepping, I was making meals in jars, or called “just add water”. They are quick and convenient, but will use up water, fast! So now have home canned meats, fruits, veggies, soups, etc. These will compliment my jar meals because they already have liquid in them. Just use a little common sense and think food prep in everyday life, then think of ways to prep with little to nothing….prep conveniences.
I know that in my own case and also with the majority of the readers on Backdoor Survival, hunkering down and bugging in will always be preferred to taking off into the unknown with our stuff.  For many, the choice to bug in has to do with family, health concerns or financial considerations.  That, plus the availability of stored supplies makes bugging in – or staying at home – the choice when a disaster strikes.
You can find rice in any store in this world. It’s a cheap and healthy addition to your emergency survival foods stockpile. It will provide you with the carbohydrates that will fuel you through a disaster. Half a cup of dried rice makes 1 cup of cooked rice. When it comes to survival foods, rice will help you stretch your food supply without breaking the bank. Every time you go to the grocery store you should pick up a large bag of rice to add to your emergency food supply.
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Light: It’s fine to have battery-powered flashlights for your home — provided you have some extra batteries around. We love this Mag-Lite XL200 LED flashlight because it’s tough and has multiple modes including SOS and dimmer timer. It’s a good idea to have crank-powered flashlights as well. And make sure you have candles, like this pack of six 115-hour emergency candles.
The ceramic filters in the Berkeys can filter lots and lots of water before they need to be cleaned. Thousands of gallons, as I recall. Also, they come in several sizes, so you can pick one to most closely fit your needs. I bought a “Big” Berkey along with a complete set of spare filters. It is in my supply room along with my FD supplies, and back up emergency paper supplies.

Vivos or any contractor can provide the components and equipment systems required. Vivos can also provide a totally turnkey shelter. New owners decide if they want solar or wind power to back up generators; a nuclear, biological and chemical (NBC) air filtration system; back-up battery power and an inverter; a hydroponic and aquaponics garden area; geothermal heating and cooling; low voltage lighting systems; a full kitchen, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, dining and living areas, a theatre, flooring and wall finishes, the size of your storage area, private security safe(s) for your valuables and toys, satellite service, virtually everything to meet your personal requirements and concerns. The bunkers will be a blank canvas to prepare as much, or as little as you like, with no restrictions on when you can use it, or how many people will share it with you when catastrophe hits.
2. At least two ways to cook food in a power down situation.  I’ve used the Sun Oven for years (visit the official website here) and own the Stove-Tec Rocket Stove.  The Eco-Zoom stove is another version of a highly effective, fuel-efficient stove that weighs less than the Stove-Tec.  If the prices of energy skyrocket, and it looks as though that may happen in the near future, it will be a blessing to have alternative ways to cook food without cranking up the gas or electric range.
In both his book Rawles on Retreats and Relocation and in his survivalist novel, Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse, Rawles describes in great detail retreat groups "upgrading" brick or other masonry houses with steel reinforced window shutters and doors, excavating anti-vehicular ditches, installing warded gate locks, constructing concertina wire obstacles and fougasses, and setting up listening post/observation posts (LP/OPs.) Rawles is a proponent of including a mantrap foyer at survival retreats, an architectural element that he calls a "crushroom".[8]
Articles on the subject appeared in small-distribution libertarian publications such as The Innovator and Atlantis Quarterly. It was during this period that Robert D. Kephart began publishing Inflation Survival Letter[6] (later renamed Personal Finance). For several years the newsletter included a continuing section on personal preparedness written by Stephens. It promoted expensive seminars around the US on similar cautionary topics. Stephens participated, along with James McKeever and other defensive investing, "hard money" advocates.
Anyway, in a general crisis only organized communities are likely to practice formal kinds of ‘execution’ or exiling. For North American urbs, formal reorganizing is initially unlikely; as with the failing Roman Empire, people will attempt to maintain prior forms until it’s clear that those require much more than that which is locally available (ie., records, ‘honest’ record-keeping, knowledge, skills, imported or difficult materials…).

This is not rocket science. You can really just thrown some meat, veggies, and spices in a pot and add some water, boil, and eat. What I hope this article does is get you thinking about food combinations that will get you through tough times and makes those that are just starting out with cooking realize that you don’t always have to measure everything down to the tbsp.

Any canned foods you purchase at the grocery store will store for a number of years under the right conditions. Canned food makes great prepper food because it can be stored for such a long time and because you can eat it right out of the can if necessary. Canned food will also provide a hot meal when you have the means to heat it and you don’t need any extra water or ingredients. Plus, depending on what you buy, you can get a complete meal in a can (think soups and stews) and you can get almost anything you could want in terms of canned food, including:


I’ve just explained why EMP wouldn’t be as destructive as a full-scale nuclear war, but it would still be devastating – and it’s a lot more likely than a Cold War-style missile exchange. There are two reasons for that. Firstly, it’s a lot more survivable for the aggressor; our government might hesitate to launch a retaliatory strike on a country, killing millions of its people, because its leaders exploded a nuclear warhead in space. Secondly there are more countries who are capable of doing it right now or could be there in a matter of months.
“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!)
To your closing, I’d like to add something that Solomon said in the book of Proverbs: “The prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.” So, we all should work, as Claude said, to keep making our personal situations stronger, and safer. God gave us incredible minds. Lets put them to good use. I like to do something every day; no matter how small it may be. Because, when you add up the little things, it turns into a great accomplishment.
Some products are no different than a normal box of mac and cheese: you boil water in a pot, mix the packaged product into the pot, turn the heat to a simmer, cook, and serve. Others are as simple as pouring boiling water in the pouch and waiting a few minutes. In some cases, the water doesn’t even need to be hot (although flavor and texture is better if it is).
How would you like to call a missile base home? America built 107 missile bases around the country during the arms race in the 1960s, including the Atlas F Missile Silo located about 130 miles north of Albany. It was decommissioned after only four years and has sat dormant and neglected for decades, eventually selling for $160,000 in 1997 and again for $575,000 in 2015. Bear in mind that the “super hardened” facility, built for the equivalent of $100 million in today’s dollars, was designed to withstand almost any bomb imaginable.
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.
When I first started prepping, I was making meals in jars, or called “just add water”. They are quick and convenient, but will use up water, fast! So now have home canned meats, fruits, veggies, soups, etc. These will compliment my jar meals because they already have liquid in them. Just use a little common sense and think food prep in everyday life, then think of ways to prep with little to nothing….prep conveniences.
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