The main goal of my prepper baby steps is ending with two years of self-sufficiency in an emergency crisis, and development of a fun hobby.
Many people still consider this hobby as silly and nonsensical, or they simply say they would rather die than suffer through a post event world. To that I say, never underestimate the will to survive. Why not give yourselves the tools to survive and hopefully avoid confrontations between the haves and have-nots.
While following these steps I recommend you invest time into these other endeavors also despite not being part of my recommended checklist:
- Encourage and check up on the preparations of family and friends.
- Be vague about your preparedness level when talking to people outside of your immediate circle of friends and family. In an emergency family and self should be the number one priority; so don’t encourage future confrontation over limited resources.
- Be it friends, family, church, or locals in your neighborhood. Survival is always best accomplished in larger numbers of prepared responsible people. What resources can individual benefit the group with?
- Follow political and geo-political events of the nation and world. Don’t let a potential crisis catch you unawares.
- Learn about Dave Ramsey’s baby steps for becoming financially secure.
- Learn and try out new DIY projects like car and home repairs.
- Develop a good exercise routine that challenges you and meets your desired needs.
So here is the checklist that I loosely follow as a guideline. This may not fit with your circumstances, but it works for me and you’re welcome to use it as a starter. If you have recommendations and thoughts please share them in the comments section; I’d love to hear from you.
□ 72 hour kit. These simple kits focus on food, water, and a few basic necessities for a three day emergency. A quick online search will give you some good ideas. As a quick side note, any time dealing with food here and below I recommend freeze dried food that can be bought in cans online or even from the local Wal-Mart at little more than 10 dollars for 35 servings. I like freeze dried because I can through it on a shelf and forget about it for 10-35 years depending on what it is and it weighs very little.
□ Come up with a simple bug-in plan. For example, if the grid goes down this is what we will be doing locally to take care of ourselves as long as possible.
□ One week’s water supply. Outside of bathing, most adults use one gallon per day for drinking and cooking. For most families a blue 55 gallon water storage barrel will suffice. These also can be found at Wal-Mart and similar stores. Change it out every 6 months to a year depending on storage conditions and periodically sanitize with a little bleach or similar cleaning agent.
□ One week’s food supply. As discussed above. And all the cans come with recommended servings. While it is nice to get freeze dried fruits and vegetables, I would not count those into your meal count as they are supplements and not grains, starches, and proteins in the way canned soups, cereals, and potatoes are.
□ Three methods for fire starting.
□ Buy a book on local edible weeds and plants. Things you can turn to in an emergency, supplement and emergency diet with, or just to supplement the flavors of day to day life.
□ Basic first aid kit and some kind of book(s) for basic medical emergencies. This might also be a good time to sign up for a local CPR class; preferably one that deals with adults, children, and infants.
□ One month’s water supply. Outside of water treatment this is as far as I would take it. Water is heavy and can take up a lot of storage room. I also figure that if you haven’t identified a reliable source for water within a month, you need a new bug-out/in location.
□ One month’s food supply. As you collect food you don’t have to keep it all for bugging-in. if you are developing bug-out plans to family members in the country side or a cabin in the woods, stock the desired provisions there.
□ Buy Back to Basics; or a similar self-sufficient life style book.
□ Start a garden; if you haven’t already. Invest time in cultivating some land and learning what doesn’t and doesn’t grow where you live, and how best to tend your crops. DO NOT rely on a seed bank. I don’t personally figure this in to my two year plan, as bad weather such as droughts or frost can kill portions of a garden.
□ Basic hygiene. This is a good time to start thinking about basic hygiene like: toilette paper, feminine products, tooth paste, body and dish soap, etc. As you prepare, match the hygiene hording to the level of food storage so as not to be overwhelmed.
□ Water purification method for two years outside of simply boiling which wastes time and resources. There are quite a few filters and methods. I like, among other things, stocking up on pool shock. This is a common name for the powder that bleach is made from. Unlike bleach, pool shock will last beyond your need for it, and a small quantity will go along way.
□ Five additional month’s food. This will bring your current total up to six months.
□ A fire arm. If you don’t already have one then this is the time to make an initial purchase. For a starter fire arm choose something that will serve for personal defense but can also take down game in an emergency. Familiarize yourself and set a good zero, then make sure you have 100 rounds to start with; in an emergency we’re not looking for fire fights.
□ Bug out bag. Regardless if your intentions are to bug-in or out, you need a bag and several alternate plans of escape. There are limitless articles on bug-out bags, but make it personal to suite your needs, and repack it every six months so you can make adjustments to the contents and stay familiar with what’s inside.
□ Six more month’s food. This brings the total up to one year.
□ 400 more rounds of ammo.
□ Six more month’s food.
□ Ham radio. If you don’t already have one this is a good point to get up on communications. This is also a good time to get some classes as your stash is getting quite impressive.
□ GPS. If you don’t have it get it. If you are planning on bugging out it might not be a bad idea to do a little geo caching should you have to go out on foot.
□ Last six months of food. At this point your provision goals are met. You should now start rotating food, hygiene, and anything else with a shelf life, as those dates approach.
With basic provisions on hand you might consider some of these other goals.
- A few hundred dollars in “junk” silver.
- A generator fuel storage
- Solar panels
- Additional weapons and ammo
- A dedicated hunting/bug-out vehicle
- Tactical gear like body armor
- Learn how to dry, can, or freeze what you grow.