As a neophyte in the prepping world you probably find that you have a lot to think about. For me there was a deep fear that all my worries and fears about the collapse of society werea lot closer and more possible than I’d ever believed. There was also a new feeling of interest and community that came with being a prepper. Suddenly you are part of something bigger than yourself. Along with those feelings there is also the sense that this new undertaking must be kept quiet. It’s not like veganism, where you can buy a witty T-shirt and wear that to work.
The Panic Purchase
When you’re in the grip of this new enthusiasm you feel the urge to do something. If you aren’t being pushed in the right direction you will make what I call a “panic purchase,” and as preppers we have all made at least one. In fact, given the attitude towards the 2nd Amendment over the past 10 years, many gun owners have made them as well.
This list is designed to give you some ideas on what things you really need to buy in your first days as a prepper. I will give you my suggestions and what I think is most important. Here are 34 items to get in the first month of prepping that will make a real and dramatic difference to your ability to survive the worst.
Some of the first purchases that you make should be to ensure you have access to clean water, no matter the disaster. There is a strange contradiction that I have noticed in the survival and prepping world. The basics steps of surviving in the wilderness are finding water, building shelter and making fire. Many prepping articles leave water out of the equation and focus more on things like food storage (which you probably also need water for), firearms, bullets and bugout bags.
Make sure that water storage, filtering and purification are all taken care of early on. Remember, you can survive for three days, max, without water. That water also has to be safe; if it hasn’t been properly purified, drinking water is always a gamble. If luck isn’t with you, contaminated water can easily leave you too sick to take care of yourself.
#1. Purifying Tablets
#2. Water Filter
#3. Titanium Cup
Related: How to Build a Water Purification System in 10 Minutes
First Aid is always a good thing to invest in. First aid purchases help us meet our overall prepping and self-sufficiency goals, although the purchases aren’t enough on their own – you do need to pick up some basic knowledge, and practice using those items that you purchased for first aid.
Most basic first aid kits are going to deal with minor scrapes, cuts and other ailments like burns, stings and sprains. You will want to have an expanded trauma kit for serious gunshot wounds or other damage. Remember, your job is to keep the blood inside the body. Also, have a set of first aid procedures to refer to. Even if you’re a first aid expert yourself, remember that one day a less knowledgeable person might be using the kit on you.
#4. Basic First Aid Kit
#5. Car First Aid Kit
#6. Travel Trauma Kit
#8. First Aid Procedures
Eventually the rubber will meet the road in a collapse. Whether you bug out safely, or stay quiet and inconspicuous in your own home, there’s always a possibility someone will approach you. This could be a desperate person looking for help, or it might be someone who plans to do you harm. Either way, your family will look to you for protection. All the preps in the world will be useless if you can not defend them.
While you can certainly purchase firearms in your first month, they require a lifetime of practice and safety precautions.
#11. Home Defense Shotgun
#12. EDC Folding Knife
As you can see our fourth section is food. It is not our first or second. Food is a priority, but it is not the highest on the list. There are eight items in this list that hit the concept of food sourcing from nearly every angle. I want you to be able to buy some food, preserve some food, and even go get some food if you need to.
Depending on multiple food sourcing methods will give you options if you have a wholesale failure on one opportunity. Your home could be destroyed, and that means your dry food storage is likely gone as well. Evacuation also puts you in a bad place with things like a garden or food storage. Steel traps work no matter where you end up.
#14. 1 month of dry food storage
#15. Millennium High Calorie Bars
#16. Canning Jars
#17. Pressure Cooker or Pressure Canner
#18. Stainless steel traps
Related: DIY $20 Survival Food Bucket
An integral part of any preppers plans is the Bugout. The bugout should be a well-thought-out procedure that is practiced and planned well in advanced. Even then, you will need some gear that will get you through. You could be covering tens of miles over several days. There is a chance of injury, and you could even get lost.
This list should be combined with other items listed above to create a true bugout bag. Still, these items are critical for the type of travel you will be undertaking.
#19. Quality Backpack
#21. Comfortable Hiking Boots
#22. Duct Tape
#23. Foot Balm
Related: 13 Shelters That You Can Build With A Military Poncho
POWER & FIRE
As preppers and survivalists it’s easy to shy away from technology and electronics. Of course, much of this attitude comes from the risk of a solar or nuclear generated EMP strike. In most cases our technology will survive a disaster, and some piece of it will be incredibly helpful. Don’t forget, there was a time when a stone axe was advanced technology.
Today’s tech needs power, and you should have some answers for that. Of course knowing how to make fire is also a very important art of survival, and can also generate power, heat and cook our food.
#27. USB Power Source
#28. Solar Array
#29. Solar Generator
#30. Gas Powered Generator
#31. Ferro Rods
#33. Waterproof Matches
#34. Prepping is a journey. It’s a long journey with many stops. If you are smart you will spend time at these stops and take an interest in what you find there. Prepping touches many subjects, and the more expansive your mind the more adaptable you will be when the world starts crumbling around you. Adaptation is the key to survival.
Now you have a list. This list is merely for suggestion. Be thoughtful about the modifications you make. There may be things to add and some to take away. You may also find that you have some of these items on hand already. In that case, you are ahead of the game.
Editor’s note: Thank you so much your comments and for bringing this to my to my attention. It was an oversight on my part. I’ve edited the article and we don’t recommend fireproof matches anymore 🙂
You may also like:
Easy to Build Root Cellar in Your Own Back Yard (video)
50 Low-priced Items That Will be Invaluable when SHTF
Emergency Bag to Keep in Your Car in Case of an EMP
30 Survival Items You Forgot to Buy
Under the food category #17 shows as a pressure cooker, it should read pressure canner. There is a difference. Using a pressure cooker for canning food can be dangerous – it may or may not kill all bacteria and microbes in the canned food. A pressure canner kills everything and can also be used as a pressure cooker.
I wholeheartedly agree and I would suggest two different sizes. Having learned to appreciate the convenience of canning with a 12qt canner to supplement the 23 qt canner, one can use one as a still and not interrupt the canning process. I do like to be able to can 4oz jars of ground and browned meat to add to casseroles and a quick burrito or taco for two or three.
While I have and electric canner for now, I’ll invest in an AA Canner; no rubber gasket to replace. Also it can be used on an open fire. i’ll also be investing in a rocket stove. again for when the need happens.
Great info, Thanks
I get several e-mails about prepping and SHTF scenarios. This is the one I never delete and often print out in hard
copy. I wonder how practical it is for you to sell a monthly or quarterly compilation of your articles. I would be interested
This is definitely the best site! And the comments section, while we sometimes follow various rabbit trails waayyy off topic, always has some golden nuggets of information from our extended prepper family. Thanks to all who contribute!
You can already get all of the articles ever published on this site for free. And you can get them right now.
Look up at the top margin, over on the left you’ll see the word home. Right next to that you’ll see the words all articles. Click there.
This will open up a listing of all of the articles that were ever published on the site. You can select anything you like and print it if you want.
As a suggestion to save paper and ink, consider printing these articles to PDF and saving them as files on your hard drive. Then the thing about all of the articles in which seem to fit the way you want to prep the best, and perhaps also consider the articles that you would not want to be without if there was no way for you to access your computer because of perhaps a power outage or the Internet not being up. Then print just a those articles and put them into a loose leaf binder. Maybe even by page protectors for that binder in case you need to access that information while you’re out in with the weather. This website has offered some great books you can purchase as well, but it would be very difficult to tailor a prepping Book of survival. If you live in the Northwest, it would be very difficult to Taylor a book for just the northwest, as well as for the way you like to go. Someone who is in the southeast who has completely different prepping habits than you do, would find your book very unuseful. But at the same time, we all need access to information. So maybe this way will make it most pertinent to how you work and your locality. All of the stuff you need is here.
Don’t forget to click those other links up there on that top margin. There is lots of good stuff there.
HTH and good luck!
I completely agree with your assessment of this site. I stopped getting emails from or visiting many of the other survival/prepping/SHTF-type sites because they either regurgitate the same old run-of-the-mill articles (10 Survival Hacks You Haven’t Thought Of!, smh) or they’re simply fluff pieces meant to sell their made-in-China cheap products.
This site always has quality material, even when the mark is missed to some degree. But the real treasure here is the quality of readers and comments. I rarely comment, but I’m here almost daily, and I love that I can gain as much or more high-quality information from those of you who do comment regularly as I do from the articles themselves, not just thoughtless “great article!” or “this article sucks”. I really do appreciate the community here, even if I’m mostly watching and listening from a close distance.
#33.. fireproof match…am I missing something?
I believe they meant waterproof. An easy way to water proof matches is to paint over the ends with nail polish. You can use clear or a color; it doesn’t matter.
These are extremely rare. Just add water…..lol
I have some fireproof matches. They are all black and kind of skinny. The problem with them is that they break easily. I don’t have them in my bug out bag though. I haven’t found them to be all that helpful. You can usually get them free if you go by your local drug house. You can pick up all that you might need.
Sorry, sometimes my evil half takes complete control.
Unless you are a combination of Rambo, MacGyver, James Bond, and Jim Bridger, you are going to find it a challenge to stay alive if TSHTF in a real way (total collapse of civilization). Therefore, it improves your chances to be part of a group of folks who are prepared, have the training, and have a range of skill sets that will be required for facing the day that all of us hope and pray will never happen.
I would post this as # 1
I think that if we are here on this site, we are concerned about the future. It is not important specifically talented as any of those people you named, but it it Is vitally important that we strive to prepare, and prepare ourselves as best we can.
If you were Rambo, and I was MacGyver, how do you think you and I are going to feel about that group of folks that are not prepared, and are going to rely on us to do everything for them so that they can survive? With all due respect to people in general, I can tell you that I’m not going to suffer fools an extremely long time, and I would likely bug out away from those parasites as fast as I could, so that I can preserve my stack and live. I am not prepping so that I can be a martyr for other people. I am prepped so that I can take care of myself and my family. This is a very real and dangerous scenario that I am talking about.
You will not want to let yourself be mobbed. And if people find out you are prepared, you will be mobbed. Operational security and communication security about how prepped you are is important.
So in the case at a total collapse on civilization, it will be good to know friends who are also prepped, but there will need to be developed trust. Unfortunately this isn’t Daniel Boone, where is everybody knows how to contribute by cooking over fires and hunting and gathering and making log forts. In the modern day, we will be lucky if 10% of us know how to do this and I suspect it will be less. Of course 100% of us will suffer under such a collapse, but only some of us will know what we know. And if the ratio is 9 to 1, and nine of them need you more than you need them, you might not find yourself in the position you think you are.
Be careful of people under crisis. Be extremely careful. Mob mentality is real, you don’t want to find yourself in a mixture of gangsters and haters, that group of folks who are prepared, Will need to be people that you actually can pretty near trust with your life. You’d better know them before anything hits the fan. At the same time you’d better be prepared to go it without them. That’s just as real a scenario as any other alternative.
As to what should be number one on anybody’s list? That is up to them. We all need to be pragmatic, think about what each of us is really capable of in any particular situation, and then prep to bolster our strengths, and guard our weaknesses. It’s just not going to be the same for everybody. I would bet you a dollar that number one could wind up being many different things. It just depends on who you’re talking to. Just my thoughts. HTH
Good Day Tac! I probably should have posted this response farther down the thread. That said, I am not surprised and I expect that you should be pleased that your posts have generated so much interest from the readers. This says a great deal about what you share.
Although a newbie to prepping, I am somewhat surprised that so few individuals address the concept of finding and associating with an actual “prepper community.” I am not talking about what we all share here on this website but rather being physically located in or near a group of like-minded folks. I understand the necessity of such a community to be discrete and the issue of absolute trust required. However, the age old axiom “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts” holds true here as well. I would much rather stand beside or have at my back several like-minded brothers or sisters when facing a mob than try to do so alone. And this does not even address the issue of the shared skill sets that would be available in such a community.
Perhaps I am over reacting but I don’t think you can be armed enough or protected enough if you are indeed facing a very angry and hungry mob that has nothing to lose by trying to take what you have worked so very hard to save. The current mentality in this country of “what is yours ought to be mine!” is unbelievable but real. Being an urban dweller deeply impacts my thinking as I have no choice at the present time but to prepare for a “defend in place” scenario. It seems sad indeed but most of the folks that I speak to think that the scenario we are prepping for will never take place.
With all that is taking place in our country today, I expect there will be an aweful price to pay when it all falls apart, even for those of us who are doing our best to prepare.
I am always delighted to attend this sight to listen to all the opinions and suggestions presented. Wishing you all a very blessed day.
You are more RIGHT than you might even know. Early in 2010 when I first started prepping, I went to a meet up in a park where my fellow preppers were gathering. During a moment of down time I overheard two ‘fellow preppers’ laughing at the fools who were storing food and other essentials. They how much ammo and weapons they had stock piled and boasted how they were gleefully going to take what they wanted from other preppers. Those evil bastards represent the worst in humanity. History can teach; think Weimar republic in Germany post WWI. And these were previously decent friends, neighbors, and church goers. Imagine the level of evil in those planning for this before times are bad.
Have a good one.
This did teach me two things: choose my friends wisely and not to tell others about my preps. Sad because I love to teach and share and help others.
Hi CT, thank you for the wise words. It wounds my heart to hear your experience at a prepper meeting no less. There are wolves among the warriors as well.
Perhaps I am simply an old school romantic whose father taught him the value of honesty and hard work. I have to or rather so want to believe that there are good, honest people out there who are willing to work together and share when times are difficult.
For example and forgive me if I seem to be rattling foolishly on, I personally do not know you, Left Coast Chuck or Tac but my instincts tell me that the four of us could get along and prosper in even the most difficult of times. I am not asking for an invitation here just sharing a personal thought. Words are indeed “cheap” and the three of you know nothing about Timo but without trying to be too prideful, I think you would like him.
I am not a pessimist by nature but as I read all of these comments by people who seem to be honest and hard working I get this terrible feeling that we are going to be picked off by the “mob” one by one. I have witnessed this mentality first hand, perhaps many of you have as well. It is ugly and uncompromising. The “mob” is not moral, cognizant or willing to negotiate. They simply take what they want without remorse. A wise man once told me that when you have nothing to lose, losing your life is of little consequence. I can hardly imagine what society will look like when all the pieces are falling apart. In this case, it almost seems pointless to try to prepare.
Anyway, with all of that said, we soldier forward, prepping as we can and hope for the best. You all give me hope. And if you someday meet a guy wandering aimlessly about with his carpenter tools, willing to work for his room and board and answering to the name of “Timo” give him an opportunity to join you before you decide to shoot him! (Big smile here!)
Okay, I’m just kidding. Have a blessed day.
I can remember talking to a cop. I don’t know how the topic came up, but he stated to me he had all the preps he needed and patted the gun on his side. He said he didn’t need to store up food or water as long as he had his sidearm. I was too shocked to reply. Instead of trying to suppress banditry, he was actually going to instigate it. My only hope is that someone with a shotgun puts an end to his banditry on his very first try.
Thank you for the kind words I appreciate them. The reason why I am here in this thread, isn’t because I was seeking any self gratification. And so being careful about what I’m trying to say, means that it was not my intention to create any discord or step into the fray.
My initial premise was simple. This Post suggests that we spend thousands of dollars in our first month prepping. Nothing could be further from the truth.
To suggest a list of 34 prepping items, without regard to the reason behind those prepping items is more confusing, then any information it hopes to provide that would give direction to someone trying to plan.
If you’re new to prepping, the terminology is important. Prepping has a lingo.
If you’re bugging me in, that is a situation that has its own set of problems and solutions. Some of them can be interchangeable with other scenarios but that’s not important at first. To understand this scenario and what it takes to be self sufficient is it is what’s important at first.
And then bugging out, it takes what it takes to do it, and some of what it takes to do it is also interchangeable with other scenarios, but, we have to understand this scenario and what it takes to be self-sufficient in it.
Consider climbing Mount Everest. There’s a base camp, and then there are expeditionary camps that are set up closer to the summit. Well prepping is similar. And Home is more than likely base camp for most of us and we should probably have our base camp well accoutremented first, because it is the most likely and best case scenario place to hunker down, most of the time.
And then we have to consider bugging out, and all that goes with that, and we may even have to consider getting home, which means that we have a minimum prep in the vehicle, with which to help us get home so that we can get to base, and that we can get to the stuff we need to survive, and then make a decision whether we stay at base or if we have to bug out.
If we don’t understand this concept, or should I save these concepts, I would be ill-advised to ask you to purchase a Ferro rod. But I digress.
This was a list of stuff to get. And I think a list of stuff pertains to bugging in, or pertains to bugging out, or pertains to getting home. And so I wanted to help clarify that this list has some flaws that are important to make note of and understand why.
I’m not trying to big deal the matter, but a titanium cup has it’s place in a kit, but that depends. First off, it’s a cup, and it’s a metal cup. The reason why it’s a metal cup is because you could use it in the fire to purify water. But the metal doesn’t necessarily have to be titanium, and for less than one fourth of the price, a steel cup will do the job. Which is not to say that you should not have a titanium cup. You should first to know who you are in prepping, and why you think titanium would be more beneficial to the way you’re going to go forward than steel, then you will know why you want the titanium cup instead of the steel one. But to come out and recommend a titanium cup to someone who does not know yet why they even need it, well that’s not quite as helpful.
Are you buggin in or out? And that’s important to know, because for most people money is finite. It Is a specific brand of Energy bar important? I don’t think it is. I think it’s personal preference and if the list is properly edited and then it’s a suggestion and people should experiment with what they like. Do we need both a solar generator and a gas powered generator? Probably not in the first month. In fact in the first month, we might only be able to afford Coleman lanterns and candles. And being able to see in the dark is pretty important.
The biggest to give a heck is that prepping for each one of us is individual, it’s based on where we live, who we are, what we already have, and what we perceive to be our threats, or our challenges, and what we will need to do to mitigate those for us. Yes there’s tons of common things that we all should have. But in the first month?
Maybe we should not have said that this was what you should do in the first month.
Maybe we should not have said this is what you should do in 34 different ways, and then not clarified what it was for.
I know I sound like I’m complaining but I’m really not. All I really was concerned for is that if somebody is new to this prepping thing, that there is a great deal of things to consider. Gathering information and then considering it pragmatically is step one. You have to think about who you are in prepping. And then you can begin to purchase the things that you think you’ll need for the different scenarios that you perceive are doable for you.
At the end of the day my want was to just point out that in your first month you could spend a lot of money the right way or you can spend a lot of money the wrong way, and you would be the only one who knows if you do either one. But I would hate to make someone feel as though they had it wrong, by following some well-meaning but not well thought out advice.
So that is why spoke up.
I haven’t been here since day one, but I have read an enormous amount of articles on this site. I haven’t had any need to question or speak out before now. I’m chalking it up to the fact that this Post may have been written in haste, and perhaps the editor overlooked the idea is that the title of this post didn’t fit the narrative of the post, and that even the narrative of the post contained errors that should have been caught.
In any case, it has sparked a good discussion and shared some interesting thought. That’s probably the highest and best use of a comment section that you could hope to ask for.
Please forgive me if I am misreading your post but you seem to want to apologize for something you said. As far as I am concerned, I think your commentary is intelligent, well thought out and kindly presented. I do not read you as argumentative or disagreeable individual. Like many who post here you seem to be deeply passionate about prepping.
A prominent author once wrote: “There is no such thing as constructive criticism.” That may be true but I would disagree. Everyone here on this web site is entitled to an opinion in my book. Whether or not I choose to agree or disagree is of little consequence.
I am almost in complete agreement with CT: “Take what you choose to accept and move on.” I for one continue to enjoy everyone’s observations, some more than others. If there is an error or oversight, I am pleased that someone would take the time to point it out to us. I’m still a “kid” at all this prepping stuff.
It seems to me to be a good thing when someone’s postings generate a lot of discussion, don’t you think?
Anyway, have a blessed day.
After having been party to many rodeos, mistakes are made, lessons were learned. 😀
And so offering advice when it’s not asked for can be a sticky wicket. I’m just trying to be mindful and respectful of that as I try to help people who may just be getting started to better understand that the first couple things on the list of being a proper if we should take things in order might be education, pragmatism, forethought and hindsight. Once we have taken that mental inventory, as well as perhaps a physical inventory of what we may already have, then maybe we’re ready to start prepping. 🙂
Just my thoughts. I appreciate your insights as well.
Hi again Timo,
I want to address the “community of preppers” side of this point.
To preface myself I’d like to say first that it is Nice to think and that prefers can be a community at least in helping each other prepare. It might not be easy to be a community if a worst-case scenario happens. I am not trying to disparage the goodhearted nature of people who prep. I just realized that Extreme situations can change people, and we are not really going to be sure of who anybody is going to be like at that point. So with all due respect toward friends and neighbors, I would advise caution in every interaction if things were to come to worse.
SHTF means that society has broken down. In the United States it may mean that martial law may be declared in many areas. Constitutionally this means that the law and order is unable to maintain functional courts, justice and the rule of law, because of civil unrest.
What this means is that a military officer may become a commander on the scene and they will become the judge and jury for what they consider lawlessness.
Good people in desperate situations may do things differently than they’re usual ethics and morality would dictate.
In terms of trusting, I think you should, and I’m using the term should loosely here, be able to trust your immediate family first. Your children, your parents, your sisters and brothers. Your blood nuclear family. Second I think you should be able to trust your aunts and your cousins. But maybe not as much as you can your nuclear family. Then I think you should be able to trust your friends, but probably not too the same degree you should be able to trust your nuclear family.. Now if you have super close friends, and not everybody does, you may be able to trust your friends like your family. I’ll leave that up to you decide. After that you’ll have acquaintances, and you probably shouldn’t be trusting them too terribly much. And then you just have the rest of the people out there and the world that you don’t know. And I would recommend that you trust them with great caution.
So in a World filled with extreme panic and discomfort, trust is going to get tested to the max. Your community of prep first rely on is a Happy thought, but what if a proper is someone who falls into the realm of people you have never met, how much can you trust them, can you trust him when it’s really bad, or do you have to wait until things get better before you can trust them more?
I think that it’s important for each and everyone of us to decide that prepping is something that we should do for ourselves to focus as heavily as possible on as much as we can to be as self-sufficient as possible. I’m not saying that each one of us has to be both a blacksmith and the doctor. I am saying that in a worst case scenario, the worst case won’t last forever. Even Hurricane Katrina stopped being a hurricane, and eventually the Mississippi River did go back within its banks, and even though there was a lot of damage, eventually it was restored as best it could be, and so now, it’s probably safe to say it’s as back to normal as it ever could be even though it’s never going to be as it originally was.
That time line right there is going to take you through what the stages are of a crisis, and in each stage of the crisis there is going to be a level with which you should or should not trust people. At the height of a panic, I think I would trust myself and the people who are absolutely the closest to me before the panic began.
If I were to go to prepper get-togethers, I think I would keep in mind that there are people from all walks of life there. Some of them may be givers, some of them maybe takers. Some of them may be there to help, some of them may be there to do reconnaissance on who they hope to compromise if they ever need to. It is up to us to be good judges of other peoples character. Even if they are preppers.
I have been through disasters, and in most cases communities come together. But those disasters don’t represent widespread societal breakdowns, the inability to move freight from city to city and town to town. A complete failure of the supply chain, no grocery, no hardware, no clothing. Perhaps the grid and calm communications are down, with no real time limit as to when that will be restored etc.
I can tell you that the people who went through the depression starting in 1929 and then rolled into World War II in 1940/41 were all a lot more prepared than we are, because they were not living in electronic age that is so easy to compromise, and has so many industries that are dependent upon it. What we have right now it’s pretty untested, and so my best case scenario guess, is that my own and my family’s best chance at success with a SHTF scenarios that it is relatively widespread in our country is going to begin with how self-reliant we are from the get-go. And the skills that I don’t have time sure I can barter for if I need, but I might not be able to during widespread panic. And during widespread panic is going to test us all.
The hoods and thugs have not prepared at all, and those wolves will be all over the place. And they won’t be in their neighborhood, cause there isn’t anything in their neighborhood. I’m not sure I’m going to be meeting Friends in that first little while. I’m not even sure the people I thought were my friends, under Extreme duress, stress and crisis, are still going to be in the same people I thought they were. These kind of events can change everybody.
This is why military strain under Battlefield conditions. Because they want to make sure that the people they’re sending to that battlefield are going to react to every unknown in a way that it is actually known and trained for. Society never does anything like it.
And so prepping is philosophical, and we have to think about the mental game, it’s going to more than likely test us pretty hard, if or when it happens, and the way things have been going, we know that the weather and the earth will always test us, and it’s more than likely just a matter of time before society does.
So think about what you may face. Store up your reserves and buy good tools to help you get through it. Be careful of who you help, because you may be feeding a stray cat who will share that information with other stray cats. Nobody wants to borrow trouble, right? Educate yourself as much as you can so as to become self sufficient and practice the skills. It’ll make you a lot more comfortable even in the worst of times. HTH.
I’m in the same boat as you – living in an urban area with no way to bug out.
Also, no one, even my family, believes in what I’m doing, so I’m having to do it alone.
I live with my grandkids & their mom so I’m prepping for 7 ppl on a fixed income.
Allowed I can really afford to do is the basics; food, water, & a few cheaper camping items.
I can’t afford a gun, a high end water filtration system & items like that.
I know a SHTF situation is coming – sooner rather than later. I can only pray I’ve done all I can.
Oh yeah, I do pressure can & I’m starting a garden in the spring. Wish me luck!
Keep an eye out for deals and chances. I find thrift stores helpful, though I know they aren’t common everywhere. From time to time Craigslist helps. I almost got an aluminum jonboat for free once; I just had no place to store it! Also, look into food banks. And FWIW, if I win the lottery, I’ll come back here to find Squirrel58 and give you a hand. I wish you the best.
One of the things I really try to avoid is being too terribly critical. It’s generally not well-received, but this article it’s going to get somebody who is new to this game in deep trouble, if they take it and run with it. In reality, this article is something that somebody who is brand-new may read in a hurry, wow in their mind considering a race to survive. And this article would not pay them a very high service.
With all due respect to the author, this article was written way too quickly, has way too many crossover points made between prepping and bugging out, with confusion as to which scenario one is actually preparing for, and It calls people who have been living life, and most likely successfully so, neophites, and there are some things on this list that are completely unnecessary for someone who is new to prepping to accomplish in their first month.
I’m not sure if this list is for people getting started in their first month, for people who will be bugging in, for people who will be bugging out, and for people who are not sure of which scenario they’re going to face. This article could do a lot better and it should.
So if you’ll forgive me, my goodness.
So please let me sort a few things out.
At the end of the day you need water, you need fire, and you need shelter. Those are the first three number one priorities. I would take those in that order. Food and a way to cook it comes just after that.
Water. If you are preparing your home, your base, then you’re drinking water is likely to have come from a tap. In most cases, your water security will not go away, however if it does, it is good to have containers to store water in. This will prolong your water security if water will no longer come out of your tap. If you can, Store it in containers that were specifically made for storing water, and filter or boil it before it goes in there. Even if it came out of your tap
For purification, if the water isn’t visibly dirty, and you are able to do so, you can boil it Three minutes at a full boil and you’re good to go. If you want to invest in filtering, by means it’s a great idea. Filter it at the tap, or invest in a counter top filter to take care of it from there. A countertop filtering device will filter water that comes from anywhere, not just your tap. If you can afford own both, water is number one essential, so making sure you can have water security no matter what it is always a good idea
If you are bugging out, you may still be able to boil your water. Water purification tablets are cool, but if you can boil it, it’s better to boil it. Water taste. a whole lot better if you can purify it by boiling rather than through a Chemical tablet. But let’s be clear, your water situation if you’re staying home is different than your water situation if you’re bugging out in this article does not differentiate that. In fact it mixes it.
Under no circumstances ever do you need to have the titanium cup. If you would like to have one, and you can afford it, by all means. But it home, all of the things that you normally drink out of will still work. If you are bugging out, a steel cup is much cheaper. Sure it weighs a little bit more, it costs a whole bunch less, and remember the premise, you are trying to get prepared in your first month? Right? So save your money on the titanium cup for now.
First aid kit. Yes get a generally well-rounded good one with a few tools in it, and make sure you buy an Israeli bandage, and some form of tourniquet kit. Having a first aid manual is a good idea, if you have a smart phone I recommend downloading some kind of information that can be stored in your Smart phone. If you don’t have one yet, then some sort of a book manual will be fine.
Since you’re just getting started in your first month, just try to get one good first aid kit completed, and store it in your automobile. You’re always likely going to be somewhere near your automobile nomad or where you go.
Defense. The order of this list is in the incorrect order. First thing you need is a flashlight. If you can’t see in the dark, it doesn’t matter what’s in the dark. Number two should be a knife. Do you need to buy a knife if you’re home? No. You probably have a good kitchen knife, and for now you can take it with you where you sleep. Your third tool should be a firearm, and it should be a shotgun. Shot gun is far more effective inside of the home the nearly any other weapon without considerable amounts of proficiency training. From there you can round things out with the pistol and rifle. Ammunition is important, and with these types of firearms, make sure your ammo will get the job done. If a perpetrator is in your home with the intent to do you harm, you don’t want to give them a second chance. Buy good ammunition.
As far as food is concerned…
One month of food is good to have on hand. Dry food is important. Depending on your scenario and your preparations it may not all have to be dry food. You may be able to keep a freezer up and running for a short duration. There are a number of different food Storage scenarios available and it’s worth educating yourself on this. If you’re in a hurry and need to do it on the cheap, quantities of rice, beans, and pastas will get a good start to all of this in your pantry.
Millennium high calorie bars are a brand. It’s disingenuous for an article like this to recommend any brand.
If it is December January, having a pressure canner in canning jars is kind of a moot point. These tools are for preserving food during the growing season. You do not need to buy these things during your first month of prepping. In fact, they would be a waste of money even if they were in season during a first month of prepping.
Stainless steel traps. I don’t think people who live in an an urban environment are really going to be interested in this. Additionally, people who live in many other environments are more than likely to cash skunks, rats, raccoons, and other types of vermin animals that they may not wish to trap. Just say nothing of all of the other things that people will need To learn about trapping, and preparing the animals to become food. Trapping really doesn’t have any place on a list of preps for a first month prepper. In fact, it is very likely that less than 1% of the population of the United States even knows how to trap. Even the books on this particular subject are relatively obscure.
The bug out part of this list is also flawed. First of all, emphasis should be placed on bugging in if it all possible. While a quality backpack is nice, a military surplus one is adequate. Remember we’re spending an awfully lot of money in our first month of prepping here. There is no need to own a map if you don’t have a compass. There is no compass on this list. Foot Balm? Let’s have some blister first aid. Moleskin, heck, these are all just things that should be in a first aid kit for your backpack. This entire thing should say first aid kit for a backpack.
Paracord and stakes. But if you have a knife, you can make stakes out of wood. And you might want to bring a tarp, because you’ll probably need your poncho if you step out from underneath the tarp in wet weather to do anything. Are you going to take down camp so you can go for find firewood? Don’t be one of those people who rely on a poncho to be all things, it can’t do it. You need a tarp. And remember I mentioned if you have a knife? The list does have an EDC folding knife on it, but if you’re bugging out, you really want a knife that’s a lot more substantial then a folding knife. You need one piece knife with a full tang. Preferably something with a drop point, made from a steal that is relatively easy to sharpen, and you’d better bring something with you to sharpen it to. Because if you bug out with a dull knife or if you dull your knife on the first day you’re out there, well, that would just be sad. To be honest with you, this article should’ve really avoided the bug out thing altogether, is a whole List unto itself, and to publish an incomplete one would be a disservice to somebody who is truly new at this.
Fire should’ve been its own topic. Particularly for the bug out. Yes to lighters. But remember, lighters are really lousy in wind, and they don’t work very well if they get wet. Alternative ways of starting fires are a good thing. Yes to Ferro Rods. Ferro rods are awesome, but they are not a standalone tool. You need a knife, that has been properly prepared to work with the rod, and you also need a properly prepared fire bed, with appropriate tinder, and some practice doing this, or you’re setting yourself up for failure. Too bad we really didn’t address the knife thing. A properly prepared knife will have the ability to strike Ferro Rods, make feather sticks etc. If the knife can’t be sharpened when it gets dull you’re done making fire. If the back of the knife does not have a squared off edge, it can’t strike a ferro rod, and so now you’re carrying a ferro rod for nothing. Just because you have a folding EDC knife, it is no guarantee it will work with your Ferro Rod, unless you have confirmed this in advance, or made necessary modifications to the back of that blade in order to make it usable.
I’m not sure fireproof matches are going to help. Just saying. But waterproof ones could be handy. Make sure you have something to strike the matches on.
A battery for recharging USB Devices is good. A solar array for recharging USB batteries and gear is good. These are bug out items, they may also be handy when you’re bugged in during power outages.
The solar generator is not something you need in your first month of prepping. The gasoline generator is a far better option to get started with, has the capability of being a much higher output device than a solar generator, can be converted for use with propane, which is a fueled it is easier to store long-term. Yeah, I would probably recommend holding off on that solar generator. Some prep oriented company stands to make a lot of money off of you if you buy one, but it’s really only good for one. 20 amp circuit in your house. In other words, it can barely run one hot plate, or blow dryer. It may be something nice to have way down the line, with emphasis on way down the line.
So I don’t know, I’m not sure this list is ready for primetime and I apologize editor, and to the writer, but if you were truly to send somebody out that you call a neophyte, with this list as a preparation. Some of those people are probably going to come back, find you, and be rather threatening toward you. If you are going to publish a list please be careful to make sure that it is only about bugging in and prepping at home, living outside in the outdoors during a bug out. Don’t mix the metaphor, make sure you’re really clear about tools they can go both ways.
And for people who are new to prepping? I’d like to personally apologize to you for this list, I didn’t write it, and I certainly don’t in Dorset, that I feel really bad if you take this list and head out to get started, because it’s not the right way to go about it. If you use this list, you’re going to find yourself woefully unprepared for what will face you. You will have some of the things you need, but you won’t have enough, and you won’t have the right things for some of the scenarios you’ll face. It Is just way too difficult to tackle the subject in just 30 for prepping items, and it is way too difficult to prepare in just one month. Do your homework thoroughly, take stock in what you already have. And start building on it from there. Avoid buying the cheapest stuff, a good bit of it is not high enough quality to bet your life on. And remember, particularly if you’re bugging out, you are betting your life on your gear, and you don’t know for sure when you’re going to get home, or when you’re going to get to a store. So if you love yourself, don’t go cheap. You don’t have to go top dollar either, you just need to get something that is durable and up to the tasks you’ll be facing. Their are books out there that go over the tasks, and recommended good gear.
And to the editor, with all due respect I love your website I truly do. There are literally hundreds of wonderful articles here. This one falls way short, you really would do your readers a great service by pulling it, and asking the author to revise it into a more complete list for bugging in, as well as another complete list for bugging out, and if you would be so kind, let’s omit foot balm, and fireproof matches. It’s an editor’s job to make sure that their authors are on task with the article. Please don’t dumb down this wonderful website by publishing things that are not complete or well-thought-out.
your response was right on and well thought…i enjoyed it more than “the list”!
Tac, well thought out and nicely presented review. You did so with grace and character as well. Looking forward to reading more from you in the future.
Thank you, I appreciate the kind words. Prepping is a myriad of things. It’s got cheap and expensive and a range of involvement that we can choose to engage in or not. I have thought long and hard about most of it, and I have found It’s best to be pragmatic, and make quality purchases or it’s easy to waste money in haste.
I didn’t want to be critical. We all can contribute, but when this is a new concept to someone, we should be careful about mixing messages while we help someone spend their hard earned money.
Tac: No disrespect intended, rat isn’t that bad eating! I’ve traveled around the world and have partaken of MANY mystery meat dinners. Learned not to ask what it is until after the meal. Meat is meat, however, offal needs to be scrutinized… bear liver, etc.. Totally agree with you on the scrutiny about the authors knowing what they are talking about. You need to also look into Sponsored ADVERISERS!!! Some, on this site are scam artists. Please, everyone check them out before belief or purchase!!!
No worries, I completely understand what you’re saying! Still, steel traps for the uninitiated, well, it wouldn’t be my first choice of advice. Here’s the short list of why.
If you don’t know how to deal with a steel trap, you may be its first victim. Some steel traps can hurt you real bad. As in now you get to go to the doctor real bad. In a crisis that might not be doable. Second of all if you start trapping, particularly in an urban or semi urban setting, you could get pets, which might not be something the average person is ready to emotionally deal with, because pets don’t know better than to go in a trap, unless they have been trained about traps. Any Trapper will tell you that they have to teach their dog about the trap. Because the trap is dangerous to the dog, and the dog may decided wants to steal what’s in the trap.
In spite of the fact that rat may be good eating, rats are also really nasty carriers of disease and some of those diseases are blood-borne. You may not know how to deal with what is going on with that animal, and cooking it isn’t going to make it a lot safer. Vetting this is not going to be easy when living out in the field.
Who is prepared to deal with an animal stuck in a trap that has not died, yet at the same time is very dangerous. You may be able to kill it with a firearm, but it may not be wise to discharge a firearm where your trap is set. You may give away your position, you may alarm others near you that may think you are a threat. Then you get to deal with that.
On the other hand, do you want to deal with a skunk that is still alive? Could get sprayed. Do you want to deal with raccoons? That would be like trying to take on Edward scissor hands. A wild cat that is caught in a trap and not dead would also be very challenging.
You might be better off eating opossum. Many people do, and have for centuries. I would definitely try to trap animals that are somewhat higher on the food chain then vermin.
To be honest with you, a more logical style of trap would be a new wire that is set as a noose. Maybe you can cash birds on the ground, and rabbits, perhaps opossum. And more than likely these types of game will be more palatable, and the vermin “ick” Factor doesn’t come into play nearly as bad.
At the end of the day, I’m not a trapper, but I have experience with trapping. I had a good friend many years ago who was a trapper, and I spent quite a little bit of time helping him on his trap line. Enough to know that it wasn’t for me. If I were to have to return to trapping, I would definitely prefer the noose. If I had to use steel traps I would definitely be out looking for a beaver and muskrat. And I would probably put a lot of energy into finding a place I can fish. Fish and game is not going to bother me about my trotline in a crisis. It’s just a commonsense approach in my thinking.
Tac – I disagree with your statement about the pressure canner – “If it is December January, having a pressure canner in canning jars is kind of a moot point. These tools are for preserving food during the growing season.” Canning is not just for summer. The reason a pressure canner is needed is for low ph foods like meat. This also goes for any food that is made with meat products such as broth. You may find a good deal on hamburger in January but don’t have the room in your freezer to take advantage of the deal. But you can make foods with it, i.e. spaghetti sauce with meat, meatloaf, goulash, etc. That will help fill the larder and let you take advantage of the sale and have a meal for those nights where you’re too busy to cook. You can cook hamburger alone and already have it on hand for whenever you want to cook something with it. You can do this with all meats and I believe seafood as well (not sure – never tried it). The point is that a pressure canner is required to kill all the things we can’t see but will still kill us if canned in a pressure cooker.
Your point is well made, and well taken.
Please consider what I did.
The title of this Post is containing the words in your first month.
The author referred to people who are not prep oriented as neophytes.
So from that premise I still don’t recommend buying a canner. If you had to get prepped fast, dry goods and any manner of meals ready to eat are going to cover you to a preliminary level of food security the fastest way.
There is a good deal of inherent danger in canning if you do not understand what you’re doing. From not sterilizing your jars correctly all the way out to having then explode on you when you take them out of the canner. To say nothing of what it can or can do if you don’t pay attention.
Not something I would recommend a first month prepper try to tackle. And traditionally, as I was raised by old-school people who actually did can, and my grandparents were depression era people who grew a huge garden, late summer early fall is when we did this. So forgive my traditional point of view. Thank you for helping me think outside the box.
In all, the first month prepper is not someone I would steer toward canning. I think I would be doing them a disservice. I think that it would be best to that they research that deeply, perhaps contact a college extension service, maybe contact your local Grange, or if you are a person of faith, ask some of the members of your church for some advice about canning and maybe some hands-on training.
I agree with everything you said and you make a great point, but my point really was made based on the premise of a first month prepper. I would feel terrible if someone got hurt based on advice that provides low information on a pretty critical skill.
Canning is really an article unto itself. If I recall correctly, the subject has been very thoroughly covered on this site.
I would personally hope that somebody gets firearms training if they buy a firearm before they run out and start shooting it. And instructor in real-time can help a lot, and correct a lot of mistakes before they become habits. We may take that for granted. But we don’t necessarily take that for granted when we’re operating pressure canners, and preserving food.
My point is, if doing it wrong, canning can kill you or Maim you just the same. Third-degree burns down the front of your chest just you don’t sound good.
And hey, if you’re freezer is full and so are your cupboards, your food security is in pretty good shape! 🙂 You can probably handle most of the situations that are going to befall you. Maybe not SHTF, but you’re definitely good for the rest of them. So maybe learn the canning sometime after the first month or so.
Anyhow, that’s what were my thoughts. You’re not wrong and neither am I, I guess we just see the timing of it a bit differently. And obviously canning is one of your skill sets. I’m not thinking a new prepper has that one most of the time.
Tac, I see your point for 1st month preppers as canning equipment can be expensive. However, I just wanted to clarify the comment about not canning in the winter and what can be done during winter. No harm, no foul. BTW, the AF taught me how to be an excellent shot. But due to my disabilities I would definately be a bug in.
Where do I buy the “fireproof” matches? I have been looking and looking and can’t find any… Oh, I just found some at the bottom of my bathtub, but they don’t seem to work that well…. Does anybody edit this stuff before it goes out? I certainly agree with the extensive criticism above. For those of us near the coast, consider a hand operated reverse osmosis pump as used on life rafts. They are available surplus, and will filter any kind of nasty water, even salt water. Not exactly cheap, but my first line of defense for water after my storage runs out. As others have pointed out, this is the NUMBER ONE issue.
Regarding the acquisition of a First Aid Kit, I’ll tell you what I did and I think I wound up with a much better package.
1) go the Harbor Freight and get two tool boxes; mine are yellow, plastic, and light weight, but plenty durable enough to hold First Aid supplies. One for the house, one for the vehicle. If you have more than one vehicle, then get as many as you need to equip everything.
2) go to a Dollar Store, and start acquiring the items you would like to have in your own personalized kit. It would be helpful to make a list before you go, so you have a “I want” list. I was quite pleased with my results.
…And don’t forget feminine napkins. They are GREAT for stopping up a serious wound; much better than the traditional gauze strips.
Now even though you’re at a dollar store, you’re going to find that you’ll spend quite a bit just to equip one kit, but it’ll be well worth it.
Tampons, Kotex and tourniquets… stops the bleeding, the rest is basic. Tampons for puncture wounds, sterile and helps clotting.
Please don’t stuff tampons into a puncture wound unless you are going to be able to get to a staffed emergency room shortly. Stuffing a tampon into a puncture wound will only push debris and dirt further into the wound enhancing the possibility of infection and blood poisoning. Tampons have lots of uses but stuffing into puncture wounds is not one of them. Every gunshot wound carries debris at least from your clothing. If you have not washed in a day or two bacteria on your skin is carried into the wound channel. If your clothes are dirty, that dirt is carried into the wound channel. Stab wounds also carry whatever dirt is around the exterior of the wound plus whatever crud is on the knife blade. EMTs may use tampons on puncture wounds, but they are on their way to a staffed ER where the wound will be irrigated and flushed and where antibiotics are readily available. You don’t want to give your fish moxcillan a test to see if it really works with a serious infection.
Also, don’t use tampons as your only water filter. There is an urban legend traveling around that one can use the tampon as the sole filter for water. That is totally wrong. The tampon will filter out dirt but will filter nothing else. If you want a terminal case of the brown drizzlies, then tampon away.
Always boil the water after filtering.
Thanks for pointing out NOT to use tampons for puncture wounds. I never thought of that.
My First Aid Kits include sanitary napkins, because they can cover a larger wound.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Isopropyl Alcohol are also included in my kits for cleaning wounds.
# 27 didn’t particularly blow my mind, but it has potential, assuming you’re going somewhere you have cell coverage; you have people you need to stay in touch with beyond walkie or cb range; and your phone is working. Instead of a solar generator- a roll of foil, some plastic bags, some duct tape, maybe a magnifying glass and several large metal containers ( coffee cans) and you should be able to rig a solar water distillery, solar water heater for washing, solar oven, rocket stove, rain collecter and probably a few other things all for under $15.00. I would also suggest some inexpensive solar lights. And check you tube. There are some excellent videos on making low cost survival items.
Number 27 is a worthy item. It doesn’t necessarily involve cellular phone coverage, which in fact may not work in a crisis. Then again, even though the cellular network maybe down, it may not stay that way, and being able to communicate after it comes back up could be very important. So being able to maintain USB batteries is at least feasible.
But here’s the alternative way of looking at this. USB is a universal form of charger. There are USB rechargeable flashlights out there, which can save you space and weight when it comes to being able to recharge a flashlight and not have to carry many batteries to keep a flashlight going.
The smart phone if yours is like mine, has many Apps that are resourceful off-line. I have downloaded a number of digital books into my phone, for first aid, and craft how to, to help fill in some gaps if I get in a jam. In other words I use my cell phone like a digital library. Think iBooks. You don’t need a cellular signal to use that.
Additionally, from the research I have done, I understand that most modern cell phones can acquire GPS signals from satellites, even though they don’t do it very fast. This means you can Geo locate your actual location, and there are apps that work off the grid for mapping.
There are outboard GPS antennas that link to smart phones and tablets via Bluetooth that will give GPS signal to off-line mapping programs immediately, which can also be extremely handy if you are bugging out, or if you just like to camp way off the grid.
There are also programs the do conversions, so you can go back between metric and standard, and just about any book that you could imagine may be available in a format that will work such as PDF, or Mobi which will work with the book reader on most smart phones. If you have space on your phone, having a library like that at your fingertips is a great idea!
Finally, it may be peaceful and soothing to be able to listen to a little bit of music, so, you could enjoy the MP3 player part of your phone as well, if you do have the ability to keep the batteries up well enough. Sometimes listening to a little music is good for the positive attitude. A positive attitude under tough situations like this is part of what helps us be resilient.
Your suggestions are also very good. It just depends on how much a person can take with them and how much time they have to prepare her for a bug out. If you can car camp on a bug out, many things can be possible. If you are limited to a backpack and being on foot, it’s probably best to brush up on as many bush crafting skills as possible, so that your skills can take you further then stuff can. Being well-rounded and resilient it is part of what these preparations are about. It’s not all about having stuff, some of the preparation has to go into us in terms of knowledge and developed skill.
Thank you Tac for reminding me of the “info-tainment” factor! Another use is to keep the little ones distracted with movies and games. I met a kid at work the other day and he was telling me that with a magnifying glass you can project images (movies) from your phone onto a wall. I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds intriguing. Maybe if you take pictures of a mirror image you could use the same technique to put maps or writing up on a white board. Worth trying anyway.
I have a flashdrive that has a Micro USB, so it plugs directly into my cell. It lets me access an extra 32GB of data offline. They have a 64GB and I believe larger. Make sure it’s compatible with your cell before buying (easier said than done). 32GB is a LOT of maps, diagrams, manuals, etc. Note that your cell may use more power while one of these are connected; mine does, but mine’s a really cheap cell.
Hey Claude and any others still reading,
There are sure a lot of critical people out there. Of course he meant water proof matches, Duh! and the millennium bars are probably his favorite so take a breath. And the subject of prepping can not begin to even be scratched in a single article. So take what you need from the article and leave the rest for others.
My question is what is the titanium cup for? Is this like the old sierra cups?
And a comment for all is this: Making your own food is hard, damn hard work, from sunup to sun down, sometimes longer, 7 days a week with out our wussified cultural needs for days off and vacations. I believe strongly that with all but a few scenarios the last step in any prep plan should be how to make and grow your own food. Planting, husbandry, processing, and storing your own food is a skill that should be learned. It takes time, and cooperation with others you can trust as someone commented already.
If society does not pick it self back up quickly after a SHTF event, it will be the only means of long term survival. Good luck, GOD BLESS, and get to work every one. 🙂
Titanium has become popular for cups, plates, etc for hikers and others due to being very lightweight, strong, won’t impart a metallic flavor to its contents and can withstand high heat from rocket stoves, open fires or whathaveyou. That is probably why it was included on the list instead of a heavy weight stainless steel or a bendable aluminum one.
Isn’t titanium anti microbial as well? I know it has a lot of medical applications.
Titanium is used in the medical field because it is inert and doesn’t react in the body. Steel, even stainless steel, will react in the body and some people are allergic to steel. Almost every other metal will react to body fluids in some way or another. Nylon is another material used for in-body devices. Your implanted heart valve will be nylon. It too is chemically inert and doesn’t react to body chemicals.
I don’t think titanium is anti-microbial. If it is, I haven’t read that yet. Brass is anti-microbial but brass has lead in it and will react to body chemicals. Also brass is softer than a lot of metals. That makes it easy to work, but easy workability has other drawbacks.
A comment provoking article. I always enjoy the comments.
I have two sizes of pressure canners and water bath canners. Love them. Use a bit now and then for special things but use a lot when the garden is being harvested or when butchering more than one chicken or rabbit.
As for snap trapping… not so much for me. Someone gave my boys some smaller steel traps to learn with. Everyone’s first catch was a skunk. They could get $3 for a good dry pelt. I guess it depends on what lives where you are, and what you want from the work. You might get lucky and catch something you can eat. Wire snares would appeal more to me but wild rabbits and squrrels are only safe to catch here in cold weather. It is plague area. My grandmother used to catch a few young adult squrrels every spring to make fricasee. Mmmm.
I raise rabbits for food and fur. I also have ducks, chickens, a dog or two and cats. Each has its’ place in the scheme of things. And no I don’t eat my dogs or cats. Could, but don’t.
I raise a garden. A good source of things for seasonal eating and canning and dehydrating for later use. Like canning, practice and knowledge make it work best. If you plan to start gardening after shtf or when you bug out, you’ll find it isn’t instant food and it takes work to be successful. The hunter, gatherer, farmer of this region worked hard year around, inorder to eat year around. Storage was just as important as growing.
Knowledge and labor was what each individual in the band contributed toward the survival of the group. As the knowledge increased so did the survival rates and quality of life.
I take advantage of wild foods and medicines. Again that takes knowledge and being willing to try new things.
I find some who are so disconnected from reality, that they think raising and butchering for food is as repulsive and unnatural as canabalism. I wonder if they will be among the first dead or will they kill for food?
As for things on lists, do what you can, get the best you can, and add to it or change it up as you learn more. Always have some saved cans from soup, pasta sauce, coffee cans and #10 cans. They can boil water, become light weight camp cook pots, make a rocket stove, with a wire handle added they become buckets. I can use a pasta sauce can with a wire handle and some rocks in the bottom to draw water from my drilled well that isn’t running with a pump in it right now. You don’t have to spend a fortune for survival gear unless you have tons of cash and want to go that way. There are some things like a good knife, a water filter, and the pressure canner that may cost a lot unless you find them used…except the water filter. Get that unused and new.
I have several loops of jewelery making wire with crimps to close the small loop to make a larger slip loop for snaring. Strong enough for a small animal and closed up better than a few wraps of wire done with pliers. Strong but not stiff. It can even make a good bird snare laid on a branch.
In the first month? Try like in the first couple years. The solar generator, a good reliable one that actually generates it self from the sun, is anywhere from 1500 to 3000. Wow, cover this list in a month you have more than many have been prepping for the last two years. I guess if you have the money then go for it. But if not then start with the food, water, medicine, and protection. A little at a time. It has taken me seven years to get where I am right now and I’m still lacking things. I’m just not a rich man.
Yes! Medicines weren’t mentioned, but can be critical for some folks. Extras will be needed by everyone at some point too, like antibiotics. Try to stockpile/ rotate now so you’re not caught empty-handed.
I tried some water-proof matches once, and getting them to ignite was very difficult. I have better luck with the regular matches (keep them dry in a waterproof container). Even better is having on hand several throw-away butane lighters.