8. Basic camping gear. In the case of an evacuation, take this with you in case hotels are already filled. Additionally, camping skills double as survival skills. Learning how to locate the best camping spot, how to pitch a tent, how to cook over a fire, and how to enjoy nature are important for every member of the family to learn. A good quality tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads (for us older folks!), and a campstove are good basics to begin with.
Bogwalker, a Washington state native with a degree in ecological agriculture who built much of the compound with her own two hands, says she considers herself much more of a homesteader than a prepper. Still, she says she’s seen many women who identify as preppers take her courses. “I think no matter where you are on the spectrum with your definition of prepper, a lot of the people, probably 65 percent of my students, are curious about the future,” Bogwalker says.
Though its light weight and long shelf life are ideal for navigating harsh conditions, freeze-dried food is probably most famous as a cultural curiosity: Like many Americans, I discovered it in a museum gift shop, gawking at the styrofoam-like ice cream that astronauts used to have for dessert. More recently, I encountered it at a disaster preparedness convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, where smiling, gray-haired preppers manned tables piled with plastic bags full of vegetables, meats, and stews.