For a time in the 1970s, the terms survivalist and retreater were used interchangeably. While the term retreater eventually fell into disuse, many who subscribed to it saw retreating as the more rational approach to conflict-avoidance and remote "invisibility". Survivalism, on the other hand, tended to take on a more media-sensationalized, combative, "shoot-it-out-with-the-looters" image.[9]
Although buying provisions like food and water before a disaster is the smartest thing to do, there will always be those who wake up at the last minute. Most people will rush to the store at the last moment. The majority of them are clueless that stores stock less than a week’s worth of food under normal circumstances. The stores are picked bare during emergencies and you will end up waiting in line for nothing. Keeping a healthy stock of survival foods in the house will make sure you overcome unexpected emergencies.
This could include things like researching a specific piece of gear to buy to figure out whether it’d be a good investment, or researching the ideal plants for an indoor herb garden. Of course, you can group these in with your prepper to-do list, but separating them out may help you get them done quicker – especially since they can all be done with computer access and thus be done while you’re couch potato prepping, i.e. prepping without leaving your sofa.
When Kafrina hit a few years ago, it was unbelievable to see the number of people who decided to ride out the storm instead of evacuating. As the “reliality” of the destruction of Katrina was sinking in on TV, what was so horrifying was watching all these “hundreds” of people without water! And nowhere to get it! They were completely cut off from civilization! As the next couple of days passed on, and still, no relief in sight, I watched in horror the actions do these people desperate for water! I wanted so badly to reach through my TV and hand them a bottle of water, but could not do that! I never felt so helpless in my entire life. And they were killing each over in an effort to get to water! With all the technology, with all the electricity, with all of our knowledge, we could not get a bottle of water to these people, and some died on the side of the road in desperation to get to water! I have never forgot how quick a people can destroy theirselves over they lack of water, and also for their lack of taking other precautions to keep themselves alive!
I started to store a tin a week – sweetcorn, beans, tinned tomatoes – and, over time, added cases of pasta, bags of rice, boxes of long-life meat and bottles of water. Most people keep a few tins in their cupboard – soup and beans, things like that. That’s what I’ve got in mine. It’s just that I’ve got 70 of each, stored in a brick outhouse that my husband converted.
After three days eating very little vegetable matter, I was thrilled to dig into Thrive Life’s Tuscan Quinoa Bowl, which included a ratatouille-like sauté combining asparagus, zucchini, and diced tomatoes. The cooking process felt kind of like a science experiment— you fry dehydrated garlic bits in oil, then pour in the dehydrated vegetables and seasoning along with a cup of water—but the result actually tasted like something I might cook at home, minus the strangely firm consistency of the vegetables. The following night, I prepared a Chicken Cranberry Pot Pie, rolling out the dough for the pastry, cooking the filling in a slow cooker, and carefully sealing the pie with the prongs of a fork.
In an emergency situation, you will be doing some home cooking. You will need oil to get the job done and prepare a hot meal. Lard is long-lasting and high in calories. You can use it to add a bit of flavor to your food. You probably remember even today how good your grandmother’s cooking used to taste. Our grandparents used lard when cooking and a large can would last them for a long time. In case of emergency, you can even use it as a butter substitute and it will provide you with the calories you need to survive.
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The one thing which hits home to me is a reminder to keep following what Frank Herbert wrote in his Dune series. “Fear is a mind killer.” A little fear helps motivate but we, humans, seem to overdo even or especially in our emotions. Whether it’s the ‘net’ or the news, it seems people want to push that fear button to motivate others. So now when it happens, I teach people to take 3 deep breaths in and out s l o w l y. This allows the dino rational self to catch up with the emotional lizard. Having experienced a few ‘events’ in life. This had helped me through. Thanks for the list. Am going through these as an evaluation 😉 and reminder.

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.

Depends on the size of your family and the time period in which you’ll use it. Once mylar or buckets are open, they are susceptible to many organisms that will make your food inedible. Double to triple serving sizes max. Filling tummies is fairly easy. Doing it safely and palateably is different. Also, your family will need variety to keep harmony. Much of our emotional well-being depends on the gut.
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87. Shotgun – Many will argue if you could only have 1 weapon for home defense, the shotgun would it. The ammunition is inexpensive, is a long gun so there are less background checks when purchasing one, and can always double as a hunting gun. Also, if someone is in your home, and they hear the pump of a shotgun, it will scary any would-be intruder and for close range encounters.
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:
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.

For a time in the 1970s, the terms survivalist and retreater were used interchangeably. While the term retreater eventually fell into disuse, many who subscribed to it saw retreating as the more rational approach to conflict-avoidance and remote "invisibility". Survivalism, on the other hand, tended to take on a more media-sensationalized, combative, "shoot-it-out-with-the-looters" image.[9]

Great article! It is so helpful to read about the basics again and again. IMHO, the most important guiding point in the article is to prep what you will actually eat. This week my husband cooked DAK ham in a skillet with potatoes and melted cheese. It was just okay. I’m not crazy about the ham and am choosing not to prep it. Proteins have been the most difficult for me. So far, proteins I am SURE I will eat are all kinds of dried and canned beans, shelf-stable tofu (Mori-Nu), and Campbell’s Roadhouse Chili. This chili tastes a lot better than Hormel and tastes great over rice. The Mori-Nu tofu can be heated in a minute in the same pot with a pack or 2 of ramen noodles. I don’t use the seasining pouches b/c of MSG so I add a little soy sauce and dried ginger to the noodle-cooking water. Dehydrated scallions would be good addition but I have not tried dehydrated food yet. Although I do not like canned salmon or regular salmon pouches, I found pouches of grilled salmon and smoked salmon which I’m going to force myself to try this week.
Mel doesn’t subscribe to the “every man for himself” philosophy that is a hallmark of many preppers’ Cormac McCarthy-styled nightmares. “My grand plan is that I will build a community around me, rather than think that I will be in a post-apocalyptic bunker where I have to do everything. You don’t want to be scared of your neighbours and worry about whether they will take your stuff."

Include a few boxes of variously sized nails and screws and you are ready for impromptu construction, extrication or repair.  Add tarps and plastic sheeting and you have the ability to create water proof enclosures or seal openings against movement of air. A multi-tool or Swiss Army knife is incredibly handy to keep on you or when you are traveling and do not want to pack the kitchen sink.
Expert advice isn’t always as expert as we’d like to believe. There have been many times when I tried to follow how-to advice, only to get frustrated that I can’t seem to do what they did, or I sometimes figure out a more efficient method on my own anyway. This is especially true for the prepper lifestyle. When the internet started exploding with prepper advice a few years ago, most of the bloggers and self-proclaimed experts were learning as they go along with their readers.

When you go back to the last depressing days when we were in a survival mode, the last one the Y2K of course, before the 1970s, what had happened was you only saw this one element of survivalist, you know, the caricature, the guy with the AK-47 heading to the hills with enough ammunition and pork and beans to ride out the storm. This is a very different one from that: you're seeing average people taking smart moves and moving in intelligent directions to prepare for the worst. (...) So survivalism in every way possible. Growing your own, self-sustaining, doing as much as you can to make it as best as you can on your own and it can happen in urban area, sub-urban area or the ex-urbans. And it also means becoming more and more tightly committed to your neighbors, your neighborhood, working together and understanding that we're all in this together and that when we help each other out that's going to be the best way forward.
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.
19. Coconut Oil – What substitutes for cooking oil, butter, & health salve? Coconut oil! Most cooking oils will go rancid in a very short time. However, extra virgin coconut oil can last 2-4 years if stored properly. It has many uses including cooking, dry skin, energy boost, reduces inflammation, and even heals diaper rash, but my favorite is to use it for popping popcorn. Gives it a nice buttery flavor.

As you can see, even the specialty foods are really just your everyday foods that have been prepackaged for you so that they come already preserved and ready to be put on the storage shelf. It just means all the work has been done for you. However, no one type of prepared food is the one and only one to use. The best thing for you to do is have a combination of stocked up regular food and specialty food so that you have the ideal food for any situation in which you might find yourself.


Most of us have some sort of toolkit around the house, but if you want to be prepared you need to make sure it’s ready for anything. At a minimum you’ll need a good carpenter’s hammer, a heavier ball peen hammer, wood saw and hacksaw. Other essentials include a monkey wrench, measuring tape, square and level. Cordless drills are great, but a hand drill is also good to have – what if your generator goes and you need to fabricate a replacement part? A set of good screwdrivers is also vital – don’t rely on an electric one. Make sure you have wrenches to fit all bolts on your vehicles and equipment, too.
It is has been a couple of years since I wrote about some of the mistakes and goofs we all make while prepping.  Since then, a lot of things have changed. For one, the mainstream media has caught on to “three-day kit” mania which means more and more families are now ready for short term disasters. On the other hand, threats from wacko foreign leaders have escalated to the point where terrorist-driven EMPs, pandemics, and outright wars have become more of a possibility, if not a probability.  Talk about two very different sides of the same coin!
Do you have a way to measure the prepping milestones you’ve hit?  Are you looking for a list of survival gear that can help you determine the right preparedness supplies for you and your family?  Have you ever felt anxious or overwhelmed on your prepper journey?  You are not alone. I’ve noticed that on several Prepper discussion boards people are looking for an extensive Prepper Supplies Checklist, a way to organize their preps, wishlist, and survival goals.  If you are one of the many looking for a way to organize your preps then I hope this article and checklists will help get you organized and stimulate new ideas.  If you haven’t thought about getting organized here are some reason to consider it:
Fact is, Bible-waving folk were more often opposed to chattel slavery and other wrongs – abolitionism arose from churches. Foregoing isn’t to whitewash nominal conservatives, whose numbers have contained the likes of greedy, exploitative, and murderous land, cattle, railroad, and mining ‘barons’, the likes of those who overran and murdered (for their lands) aboriginal tribes, and who today are arrant hypocrites, like those neo-cons and RINOs.
Food Supply- Non-perishable, calorie-dense food is the rule of the day. Variety is fine so long as it will keep for extended periods. Here you can go with either dry staples, like beans, pasta rice and flour, or canned or foil-pouched foods, like meats, veggies, fruits and stews or soups. Canned and pouched items are also conveniently ready to eat after opening (don’t forget a few can openers). Consider adding drink mixes like electrolyte powder or Kool-Aid for energy and some variety.

Vivos, a company owned by Robert Vicino, a California entrepreneur, has the rights to lease 575 of these concrete bunkers in Igloo outside of Edgemont, S.D. People from across the country were in Igloo on Friday, May 19, 2017, looking at the bunkers as end of the world shelters.(Chris Huber /Rapid City Journal via AP) Chris Huber / Rapid City Journal
Broderick isn’t sure if the doomsday preppers have a point. “Are they narcissistic or are they just wise? Is there merit in their capacity to project on to scenarios and to plan to survive them? Well that is for others to judge.” Yet for those still on the fence, he points out that things don’t generally work out well for those who fail to heed the signs.
This country is one of the safest in the world. We have no killer animals. We don’t have earthquakes. There are no major tsunamis. We don’t really have to prep for a huge natural disaster – and there’s very little you could do to prepare for a nuclear event even if you wanted to – so we prep more pragmatically. Suppose you lose your job and money’s an issue. Or the electrical grid goes out and the food chain goes down and all of a sudden every man and his dog is arguing over a bag of sugar. Do you have your own supplies? Do you have the means to cook? And what about keeping warm – could you make a fire? Some of us buy food through an app; groceries are delivered to our front doors. Do people know how to survive without electricity?
If you have a bunker in the blast radius of a nuclear bomb, (the usual rationale for a bunker), it won’t survive. And, because you’ll have very little notice, if any, in the case of a nuclear bomb or explosion, you’ll have to be near your bunker when it goes off. Which means those of you who live in a potential attack location probably won’t be saved by a bunker.
Interesting article but do not Prep because of fear. Prep because things happen and you need to protect yourself from disruption. For example, the food supply chain is getting tighter, there used to be 3 days worth of food in grocery stores but now major grocery chains like Whole Foods no longer have stock in the back of the store (inventory is delivered straight to the shelves). With less than one days worth of food in grocery stores, you must already have food storage or go hungry. So, be prepared instead of fearing disruption.
When I was 17, Nasa announced the discovery of a far-off planet. News reports hinted at the prospect of the Voyager being deployed, but I never got to hear what the probe actually found. The excitement eventually dwindled and I got on with my life, but the discovery sparked an ongoing interest in space and exploration and, later, in the environment and geopolitics. About 18 months ago those interests led me to prepping.
Hopefully, you will be able to bug in for an extended period of time. Having bottled water stored away will help ease the burden when you are getting your footing in tough times. You should have a minimum of two weeks’ worth of bottled water stored away, but as much as a couple of months. Again, if the emergency is short-lived, this will be enough to get you through.
Looking at the state of the world, being prepared is more important than ever. Terrorism is on the rise around the globe. Rogue states like North Korea become more dangerous as their stability fails – and North Korea has nuclear weapons. The USA’s neglected power grid is vulnerable to a solar flare that could wipe out electricity across most of the country for a decade. The climate’s changing – calm down, Al Gore, it’s been changing constantly for 4.5 billion years – and that could lead to major storms or even larger scale disasters. Imagine the chaos if a freak wet spring devastated the US wheat crop. That’s a real risk; it’s happening in France right now – but France can replace its crop with imports. We can’t.

There wasn’t much weather tracking prior to the late 19th century. Certainly, some individuals kept track of the weather as best they could locally, but it wasn’t organized into a regional or national scale perhaps until the mid 20th century. I am reading about the great desolation of the 1930s in the Eastern Colorado, Western Kansas, Oklahoma panhandle, North Texas area and even in the 1930s weather tracking was at best primitive. Dust storms came as big a surprise to the weather bureaus of the region as it did to the farmer on the ground.
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.
When I am going through a grocery store gathering survival food, I get some strange looks from people close enough to hear me muttering under my breath as I discount items. Phrases like “not enough calories”, “needs more fat”, not enough carbs”, and the like roll off my tongue frequently. The truth of the matter is that what we consider to be a healthy diet in normal times is probably inadequate in a high stress, very active, crisis situation. There is a reason we like carbs, and fats, and sugars, and that reason is our body needs these things. The human palate developed in times when being physically active and dealing with life threatening events was the norm, and when a steady supply of food was not a guarantee. Hence the urge to get all we can when we can, which leads to rampant obesity in modern sedentary times but is adaptive to survival in harder times.
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