Preppers and Survivalists are not like 99% of the world’s population.
When we take measures to ensure our survival regardless of the disaster, we tend to have a higher understanding of certain concepts which most of the public does not grasp.
I have thrown together a list of some of those things that it seems that only preppers understand.
This list is by no means an exhaustive one; instead, it is a few things that I know the average prepper understands that most of the public does not.
Knowing How Many Resources Our Homes Actually Consume
When you want to prepare to be off-grid for any length of time, one of the first things we do is figure out how much our household consumes in the way of resources during that timeframe.
To this end, most preppers have a detailed and intimate understanding of how much power, water, food, and consumable supplies their family uses in a day, week, month, or year.
For example, knowing how much power we need to continue operating with some semblance of normalcy after the grid goes down means we can get the correct sized battery bank or generator to accomplish our goals.
Related: If You Have A Generator, Do This Immediately
Every Bag Has A Purpose
When we start gathering supplies and gear, inevitably, it all needs to be organized and packaged so that we can carry it. To the average person, it would seem that there are an awful lot of random bags in our homes but ask the prepper that lives there, and they’ll tell you what each bag is for.
Bugout bags, get-home bags, comms bags, range bags, tool bags, first aid bags, possibles bags, etc., the list is almost exhaustive.
Along with all the various bags and pouches, preppers like to save containers and tins for further storage and organization.
I discovered that a plastic case for a drill bit nicely fit eight AA batteries, and I’ve lost count of how many times I bought Altoids so that I could use the tin afterwards.
You Can Never Have Enough Five Gallon Buckets
If having a bunch of bags and tins lying around wasn’t enough, I find that most preppers have a healthy supply of five-gallon buckets as well.
I must resist the urge to pick a couple up each time I have to run down to the Home Depot. These buckets are fantastic for food storage and work great for storing all sorts of gear.
I like to make kits designed to be stored inside a five-gallon bucket.
They are perfect for keeping in the crawlspace and easy to lift in and out.
I also like five-gallon buckets because the lids fit tight and provide a fantastic seal.
When The Tank Gets Down To Half Its Time To Find a Gas Station
Whenever there is an evacuation order or alert, the masses of people fleeing the area suck the gas stations dry on their way out of town.
While I am guilty of driving around town running on fumes from time to time, I prefer to fill my tank when I see the gauge flirting with the halfway mark.
I usually have enough stabilized gas on hand at any given time to provide about half a tank of gas for my truck, so I know that if push came to shove, I could top off my fuel tank even if all the gas stations in the area are empty.
Lately, this practice has taken on increased urgency.
Almost weekly, I notice gas stations in my area not having any gas to sell because of supply chain issues.
Related: What’s the Best Fuel to Stockpile for Survival?
Inevitably, the second the station fills its underground tanks, the line ups of people who let their cars run too low is excessive.
Power Outages Are Practice For The Apocalypse
I love blackouts. Not only does the noise floor for my ham radios drop to almost nothing, but it gives my family and I a practice run for living in a grid-down society. I like to switch the refrigerators over to the solar battery bank and pull out the Jackery solar generator to keep our devices charged up.
⇒ This Homemade Device Can Power Up Your Entire House 7 Days In A Row
I also use it as a learning experience as well. I like to take notes on anything that failed or things that would have made life easier for next time.
Have A Manual Tool For Each Power Tool
When the grid fails, we will have to switch to whichever backup source we choose.
Once we are on off-grid power, we need to consider the value of depleting that power resource, even a little, to accomplish tasks around the home.
It is safe to say that the majority of preppers have several manual alternatives to their power tools.
Hand saws, old hand drills, hand planes, or hammers and nails, are all practical options that do not require electricity.
Related: 25 Powerless Appliances for Your Homestead Kitchen
I also think that it is important to use these off-grid methods from time to time to keep our skills sharp and our muscles used to using them.
The Importance Of Rotation
A stockpile of food and water doesn’t do much good if it expires all at once. As preppers, we make sure to rotate all our supplies with a shelf life so that the oldest items are used first. This keeps the supply fresh and allows us to use the stuff that is about to reach the end of its usable lifespan by integrating them into our daily lives.
Gasoline is especially important to rotate since even stabilized gas and diesel have a definite lifespan.
It is as simple as topping up our gas tank with the gas at the end of the rotation and re-filling the jerry can with fresh gas that can then be stabilized.
There are too many things that only preppers understand to list here, and I think most preppers and survivalists would make many additions to this list.
This article aims to illustrate the difference between us who are prepared and those in the public who have made no efforts to ready themselves.
While most who read this already know these things, it might be a good idea to forward this piece to friends or family to spark an honest conversation about the importance of preparedness.
nicely written 101 article for anyone that is just starting out.
As a Medical Doctor of my group. I offer that you should also seek out the Veterans in your hometown this coming Nov 11 and offer them a token of appreciation by buying them a rifle or handgun.
Also if you want to have some fun get medical injury cards and play games of you now lost your arm….. now what do you do.
Most of the vets I know already have firearms. Another way of showing your appreciation is to ask their advice about prepping.
Why would vets have any idea about prepping. Unless they specifically sought it on their own. The military doesn’t teach it.
Considering how many vets are statists, discussing prepping with one JUST BECAUSE they’re a vet is a big no-no for-what’s that prepper term? OPSEC? Yeah, I don’t need a lefty trained to kill to know about my little hobby.
Trust, but verify. We failed to do that with Reagan, and look where that led us.
Regan was a pile of garbage banned machine guns made after 1986
Response to: T1000
Pres Reagan also harmed family farmers with his great leap forward into industrial farming.
Reagan knew the Berlin wall was scheduled to come down EXACTLY
26 years after it’s construction in 1963 (one generation to brainwash East Germans before releasing them into the West with their new learned Marxist ideology.) Was Lucky for Reagan…. Who politically capitalized on that Wall.down timing – (which he had ZERO influence on)
between Reagan and Gorbechav:
American classrooms were ultimately synchronized – to be compatible with Soviet “social studies” training.
(Harder to prep descendants against decades of indoctrination….
Please make sure they aren’t going to blow their brains out with the guns you might buy them, FIRST. Some veterans don’t keep guns around for that reason, and we’ve had enough vet suicides without facilitating them. The first one was one too many.
I don’t think you’ll be able to know their true mental state until you spend a lot of time with them.
I resent the implication that just because someone has PTSD or TBI they cannot responsibly keep and care for a gun. Or, that these diseases lead to increased risk of suicide. Indeed my son committed suicide because the VA would not properly manage his pain. And I am most over the edge when my pain is not adequately handled. However I wouldn’t harm someone else unless they were attempting to harm me or my service dog.
Thank you Raven
Join 22 if you can’t take life
A lot of people think Vets have not been trained for survival or prepping. Well in basic training they teach you the basics of surviving on your own. If you as a veteran really think about how you were taught you know the basics. From that you have what I would call a great understanding of what is needed to survive.
I know in basic when I went through it in 1970 they taught us how to evade capture and survive using just what we had and what was around us. This is not full prepping but it is survival training.
What is prepping? It is preparing for something unknown that could cause you not to survive.
Prepping is not just buying food, guns, ammo and toilet paper. It is a state of mind, learning, and knowing you limitations. Most veterans know their limitations, have the state of mind needed for survival due to the training they had and are always watching what is going on around them, so they are always learning.
I had rather have a veteran tell me I needed this or that than someone who just have been reading it out of some book. Why because even a veteran that has never had to put his training to real use has been formally trained.
Yeah thet isn’t taught anymore and you’re kidding if your using bct as a valid point.
They have skills not prepping but shooting fixing and eatting
I was looking forward to a free entre from TX Roadhouse. I’d much rather have another firearm!
Love altoids containers
Great article for a beginner, which I am. I appreciate everyone sharing their knowledge!
As I was reading the part about not having enough five-gallon buckets, I would say the same about gamma lids! We can’t have too many gamma lids either.
Gamma lids are a requirement if you’re going to be using 5g buckets.
This is not a given.
lesson to learn about Gamma lids – they have their uses and also their failures for mis-use >>>
totally unnecessary for goods going into long term storage – regular locking lids are over half the cost $$$ – eazily removed using a lid lifter tool – locking lids for are best for bucket stacking and heavy weight contents ….
Gammas have pros and cons. I see they add a lot of strength to the upper rim of a bucket. But as you say, they’re unnecessary for many things. I have not been able to justify the cost of gamma lids, except on the buckets I use to store bird seed. So, out of all the lids I own, 2 are gamma lids.
if you don’t have Gammas for anything else – have a set of mixed colored lids ready to set up a post-SHTF “pantry” for the long term food buckets you open up >>> you need to have daily access and still protect the food from pests & contamination ….
What a gamma lid?
Casey, a Gamma lid is one that is threaded so it will screw on and off similar to a smaller jar lid. I have dogs and after discovering rodents and insects were getting into the bagged food stored in the garage I bought a dog-food container with a Gamma lid and have not had anything get into the dog food since. There are Gamma lids designed to fit 5-gallon plastic buckets, be sure to get food-grade buckets and lids if you are going to be storing food in them.
Major things to remember stockpiling include: salt; its good for food flavor, and preservation and is a necessity of life. Cooking oil of various types, coffee, tea. I like to stockpile all types of grain in five gallon buckets, they can be used three ways; you can sprout them, grind them into flour to eat or plant them and grow more grain. I have a ton of rice as well, all in five gallon buckets with oxygen absorbers inside of mylar bags with gamma lids on them. For that reason, I also stockpiled soy sauce, and canned fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines and anchovies to mix with the rice. You better have a rocket stove as well, as an inexpensive back up if you run out of propane etc.
I can’t wait to get a rocket stove. We don’t have forests here, so cooking fuel will be scarce.
I live in a forest, but for fuel for my rocket stove, I’ve done something my son considers very weird. I take shredded papers (free from school), soak them in water until they’re mushy, then squeeze them thru a homemade press (made from a thing I bought at Home Depot for chalking tiles) then let dry over the summer. They burn very well in my rocket stove!
I got a small double cooktop electric- that is 110 volts and plugs into my Jackery. Then found 110 volt ice cube maker with special ice bucket and bags. Also got water filtration system and supplies. Plus small cups and bowls and cooking set plus cast iron set for heating water or dehydrated food. Just took one issue at a time and dealt with it. Kept lists of easy recipes especially flatbreads and biscuits. Don’t forget to stockpile and rotate prescriptions. So much to learn. But use Ask a Prepper and Survivopedia to prepare and good notebook in waterproof bag with lots of pen and paper for lists. I am bedbound so no bugging out for me. PS – don’t forget pet food and meds.
dried cranberries (or purple onion slices) to mayo & mustard for tuna salad…
sliced:pimento olives (w/ purrple onions bits) to salmon & cream cheese –
for extra zip!!
THIS was a good piece. So true. I related to-the-max …. plus I added a few in my head.
1 – we pass-down preps to our worthy children and grandchildren … and pray for the others.
2 – we all own EMP-proof vehicles and spare parts to keep them running. (And we call them “collectibles.”)
3 – we waste nothing. NUTH-THING!
Most cars are emp proof
I suspect-and hope-you are right. I can’t afford to build a carburetor-fed truck, or a “Faraday garage”.
Wrong all modern cars have electronic and all of that will FRY when an EMP STRICKS. YOU WILL BE WALKING. You need an older vehicle that does not have electronics. You need a vehicle that has points and condensers. Any thing else will burn up.
Government study proved that to be false
Lol so you need a a 1960s car that isn’t broken or falling apart. When none of you can change a air filter
For long term or often accessed items get the used frosting tubs from your bakery. They are designed for frequent access while keeping everything fresh with a great O ring. Get however much you need out, toss in a fresh O 2 absorber and seal it back up. Saves the cost of Gamma lids plus usually free or for a buck or two. Bakeries have them in multiple sizes too.
Michael Major always writes a good read from a unique perspective that makes one think about their own level of preparedness. In my book, that’s a job well done!
There is much to do to be prepared. I live in a target zone-we will survive and maybe thrive afterwards….but it is never easy. I am a master of most building trades including electrical , so I am not too worried about being caught w/o alternatives. I have also brushed up un medicine and surgical procedures over the past 21 years-maybe I’ll never have to use that knowledge?! The past couple of years have been too easily and sadly predicable. It is going to take some real gumption to put our country in the righteous road and we must-future generations of mankind demand it.
This article acurately described some of our lives. I would suggest getting lots of extra mylar bags, lots of oxygen absorbers, lots of jars and jar lids. I store almost everything in glass or in mylar bags and then put those bags into the 5 gal. buckets. I also store some water in sealed 5 gal. buckets. I relate to the part about the tools and especially the bags. They are placed for easy access and some are in the vehicles and in the barn. . . just in case.
Our kids are grown now but we’ve continued the Xmas stocking tradition over the years except we use 5 gallon buckets with gamma lids instead. They are always appreciated.
Maybe a right relationship with the REAL GOD might help with your attitude.
Don’t for get to go and VOTE for a better life.
This is a time we can change, so we can keep the best survival site, out there.
Stop the destruction of your land and freedom and life style you want to live.
Vote for better, we are and have been living in a toxic environment.
Let’s change this sickness that we are living.
Please pray for folks and help them get out to vote, especially those folks in the cities in the Blue States, so that they are able to vote with their eyes wide open and their minds free from indoctrination, so that finally they are able to make good decisions at the election poll and help put our country back on the right path! Please pray that our election polls and election results are not tampered with, so that it is accurately counted and the elections results without a doubt reflect the will of we the people.
Voting is pointless when your vote doesn’t count
Dreaded, I agree, I feel my army training is a basis for my prepping. I have built on it and expanded it but the concept of surviving if you were caught out and about with minimal resources goes back to what I learned at that time (same era as you). You have to have the self confidence that I can improvise and make do with what I have on me and what can find. More provisions and more tools make life a little better but survival may come down to state of mind.
Thank, you, Michael! Apparently, a number of us are in the mud on Preppers, and we’re not getting replies, as several others are not.
Buckets, I would check places like marketplace and so on for used buckets. Ask at bakeries, especially donut shops. I got a dozen, cheap, from a junkyard near Davis Monthan AFB, Tucson. If you live near a military base, ask if anyone sells ‘junk’ off the base. A lot of retirees make money that way–one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. They’ll have permission to do this. I also picked up sealed steel barrels that had munitions in them. Some sat for several years and were still clean inside (remember, it’s a mite dry down there, so dust storms are common).
Please remember, anything plastic must be stored out of the sun or it cracks. Barrels have to be stored up, off the ground to allow air to flow under them to prevent condensation and rust.
Bags! If you get something in the mail or store in a heavy enough bag, save it. A penny saved is one the government can’t steal. I like books, and get a lot of good stuff from places like thrift books. The small bags are great for desk-side trash. Heavy duty bags like chicken legs come in are puncture resistant–broken glass, cans, and so on, but also pack a lot of trash. Definitely like them for countertop trash bags.
Gassing up, especially in the event of a disaster. Leave work if you have to and fill the trucks, cars, extra cans. I only had to leave work once, but told the boss and he gave me a dirty look. When I got back, he handed his keys and cash to me, and I returned the favor and filled his tank. Yes, he got back the change LOL.
Manual tools, I hate shopping, but will go to junkyards and yard sales. Some things are good, very good, even great, but not if the price is too high. niio
Reuse, recycle, refinish, repurpose! Sounds like you have that one down pat and it’s amazing just how much money you can save too!
Fire house subs has 5 gallon buckets for $3.00 each. lot cheaper than home depot. Have to get the pickle smell out of them.
Good tip for the 2 and 5 gallon buckets with lids. Seek out the swimming pool professionals in your area. Small companies are best. They will gladly give you all the buckets you can take. I distribute around 150+ buckets a year on top of the 50 or so I keep on hand. Free, doesn’t cost me or my guys to bring emptys back to the shop.
To many lefties who don’t know what they are talking about are writing crap on here today. I wouldn’t trust them for any advise. Don’t you have a woke leftie blog you can be on .
Can you tell me what type of shortwave to purchase, it is the one thing I am lacking, thank you.
please be sure to use Food-Grade buckets for storing food. The buckets you get from stores and vendors may not be food grade (buckets from pool supply outlets are NOT food grade), and to be sure get buckets that originally had food in them like frosting or condiments, clean them well, and reuse. I also use 5-gallon food grade buckets I get from ice-cream shops for container gardening. I clean them, drill appropriate drainage holes, then fill with good potting soil and plant everything from pole beans and peas, tomatoes, and potatoes, to Moringa, apple, lemon, avocado, mango, fig, and guava trees.