Why I Started Prepping…And Why Eating Squirrel is NOT a Solid Prepping Plan

by Erich

Every prepper has a story.

I’ve had this blog since 2009 and what’s amazing is up until now, I’ve never shared mine. It goes like this:

My Story

During my early twenties I was big into wilderness survival. I’d received some fantastic training from some of the top instructors in our nation and really had a passion for practicing and perfecting the skills I was taught. I don’t claim to be an expert by any means but I certainly felt (and still feel) that on my own I would make it out in the bush with nothing but the clothes on my back and (ideally) a knife in my hand.

Although I was well aware of the concept of prepping, I never worried about it or thought I needed to do anything like food storage since I figured, if there ever was a time that things went south I could always just run to the woods and survive on my own.

Fast forward a few years…

I get married and have a kid (yes, that’s her to the left there. She’s beautiful isn’t she? :)).

In that moment my priorities changed.

It suddenly dawned on me that it just wasn’t practical to “run off in the woods” anymore. And it wasn’t realistic for my wife and I to be living out of a leaf hut feeding my new daughter a freshly-caught squirrel with a side of cattail and acorn bread (despite one of our first dates spent gutting, skinning and quartering a deer. Look at those lovebirds there…aren’t we a sweet couple? lol).

And with the way the world was going it was then that I realized just how unprepared I was.

So that sent me off on my journey to becoming a “prepper”.

And man, was I overwhelmed!!

There was SO MUCH INFORMATION out there in the form of blogs, books, YouTube videos and forums that I didn’t know how to begin or where to start.

On top of that, as a young father barely starting my career I just didn’t have the resources to buy those freeze-dried, made-for-you, multiple-thousand-dollar food storage supply kits (let alone a remote, fully-stocked retreat up in the mountains somewhere).

I needed to learn how to prepare with the limited funds and resources I had at that time.

It wasn’t until after a long time of digging and reading and consuming articles, forum entries, and book after book that I finally got to the point where I figured out what I needed and where I should to begin.

So slowly but surely I built on my food storage and preps with only $25 extra a month to the point where we are now with enough supplies to last us for a year (and I’m still prepping ;)).

As I was learning and prepping, to show others what I was doing and to help others on their journey I also started this blog. Since then it has become one of the go-to blogs on preparedness with close to 10,000 subscribers as of this writing (I’m SO grateful by the way for all your support).

But even after creating this blog, I would still get the same questions from people time and time again…

  • Where do I begin?
  • What should I be focusing on for preps?
  • What types of disasters and events should I be focusing on preparing for?
  • What do I do if I don’t have much money?
  • Or much space?
  • What if I live in the city and don’t have a bug-out location, how do I prepare?

Questions like these kept coming and I’d try to answer them as best I could with emails and blog posts but blogging didn’t seem to be the answer.

I started the blog with the intention of sharing my journey as well as helping others get better prepared but despite that I still felt many people were not making much progress or worse, were still just as confused as I was when I began.

The biggest drawback to what’s out there now is that since forums, YouTube videos, and blogs are made up of random topics, there is no real DIRECTION in how to begin, what to do, and what steps to take.

There’s nothing wrong with those media — they are fantastic resources. But for someone who doesn’t have a ton of time to decipher what is most important, or wants to know where to begin, or even someone more experienced that wants to know what else they need to take it to the next level, it’s not ideal.

It was then that I realized that blogging, YouTube, forums, or even a book was not what was needed.

What is lacking is a format that takes you through an easy-to-follow, step-by-step process of becoming prepared — no matter where you live or what resources you have.

Given this need, I decided to come up with something I call Prepper Academy.

And if you aren’t already, this WILL get you prepared.

It uses a process of guided modules and courses in combination with a rich, multi-media experience – to give exact direction and to drive learning.

I’ll be talking in detail about this in the next article in a couple of days (I think I’ve taken enough of your time today) so look out for my email and if you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe below to get these updates.

Now it’s your turn, so WHAT’s YOUR STORY?

I’d love to hear how and why you began prepping so please let us all know in the comments below!!

Until then, stay safe guys!

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Comment by Michael Downs
2012-10-11 13:19:38

I too have a lifetime of primitive survival skills under my belt, but learned at an early age that hunting is called hunting for a reason. Otherwise it would be called killing. Not saying it isn’t doable, just saying that its a much more reliable supplement than primary food source. Especially in regards to feeding your family. Thanks for all you do brother. Your information is solid, and I’ve learned a great deal from you. God bless.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-10-11 17:15:46

Thank you Michael. Appreciate the comments.

Comment by Mike
2012-10-11 13:19:52

I started prepping as a natural extension of my love for camping. I try to get most items that can be of dual use in both camping and emergency preparedness. Then, add to that, a lot of water and freeze-dried food. I also use camping as a way to cycle the goods and keep everything fresh and not expired.

Just recently I’ve started adding items that I’d only use in emergencies: hand-held CB radio, rechargeable backup battery that has outlets to plug devices and lights into. Next, I’m saving up for large solar cells to charge the backup battery.

Comment by jana setty
2012-10-11 13:21:18

i have always been into preparing for the worst of times. we were all expected to help grow a garden and tend the animals. we canned everything we could get our hands on. we walked the roadside and picked blackberries and raspberries. our parents made sure we knew where to go and what to do in case of something going wrong. putting dried beans in jars is my best bet. i put all kinds of dried goods in jars and wrap them with plastic bags then put them in boxes. i know what i can eat and what i can’t. i have animal antibotics which will do in a pinch. i have a pet hog. 600 pounds of oink! that i don’t have to pen up. he is happy here and doesn’t leave. we live next to the river on a hill side. yes i’m a real hillbilly. we have walnut trees and acorn trees with tons of squirrels. i planted trees and bushes all with a purpose of cover for rabbits and birds. i have chickens and a garden. mulberry trees, cherry trees, paw paw trees. flowering bushes just for pretty. small boats and seining nets and fishing poles.i have a shot gun, a rifle and a 4 wheel drive and this country girl will survive. my neighbors are hunters and bikers with guns so i have no worry there. we are all looking out for each other. it has always been my life to look out for the future and have different plans for different problems. there are springs on the land a river in front of me and a hill behind me. i have holding ponds and most likely will make it. no roving bands of evil deed doers will get this far out here.

Comment by TK
2012-10-11 13:30:06

I started ‘prepping’ in ernest almost two years ago, but realized after getting started that I had actually grown up throughout my entire life living a self sustained sort of old school prepper lifestyle. It was how we lived as a family. Having a garden, growing our own chickens for eggs and meat and trying our best to do things as they were done in the “old” days. We made our own breads and other meals from scratch. About the only thing we ate from a box was cold cereal, oatmeal, malt-o meal, cream of wheat, and macaroni and cheese. And even at times we made that from scratch. I can remember my mother making soap and candles and many other items from scratch and she also made a lot of our clothes by sewing and crocheting them. It all hit home almost two years ago after I had embarked on my prepping when I was laid off from my job. At the time we lived on 5 acres and had a huge garden and about 70 chickens. Once I was laid off, that all became the focus of my time spent surviving and maintaining my sanity as I also looked for work. I went almost a year and a half without any employment and found that I too could survive if the need arose. My wife is not so on board with the prepping thing, but realizes after being laid off at the same time I was, that being self sufficient was very helpful in keeping us afloat within the system. We survived and it was proven with what we had to endure over that fateful year. She now understands the need to be ready for anything, but has a reluctance to refer to it as “prepping”. Something as seemingly miniscule as a loss of a job or gainful income can change things in a heartbeat. Being prepared and self reliant is not a fallacy, it is a must these days with the way things are in our daily struggles. The way society has become by being so reliant on modern technology is scary to say the least. I feel that someday it may change or be gone all together. Sending us back to a time that most of todays society would have the hardest time adjusting and adapting to. Some of us will be ok, some will even relish in it. Good luck to all, as I know not all will.

Comment by brescon
2012-10-11 13:42:36

My story starts 2 yrs ago. After listening to Glenn Beck I realized I had nothing but my small cubboard pantry to rely on in an emergency. So in a panic I started “prepping”; like you I had no idea where I was going but I was moving pretty fast !! I grabbed 6 cans of anything on sale like canned asparagus (we don’t like asparagus !!) but I thought, in an emergency, you eat what you have. Well, I finally feel like I’ve got a handle on my prepping now. I have about 6 mos to 1 yr for 7 ppl. My biggest concern for a long time was water. I stopped buying freeze dried foods because I was afraid I couldn’t store enough water. But I now have a couple ways to get / filter water so I’m feeling better about that. One thing I don’t have is a like minded group close by. I have put out feelers at different times only to find I’ve just provided someone with a lot of joke material !!
I just finished a 6 mo long class (every saturday from march to sept !!) on Medicinal herbs so I’m not paniced about obama care any more. I will continue prepping with the confidence that I will be prepared for just about anything

Comment by Rick
2012-10-11 16:31:11

Wow Brescon
Sounds just like my situation here…. I could find no one..until I started my own group at Freedom Connection. After 6 month, some one contacted me and the group started growning. We now have 6 to 8 families holding regular meeting and sharring ideas. SO, you might have to start your own. Preppers don’t like to talk too much..but once you establish a network and trust …that changes… We learn a lot from each other

Comment by Darcey Kobs
2012-10-11 13:54:20

I got interested in prepping because I got interested in our currency first. I got tired of our currency constantly losing its value and started exchanging worthless paper for real money. Turns out, investigating currency problems will turn up information on prepping as a lot of preppers use real money as part of their prepping.

Comment by Old Tech. Sergeant
2012-10-11 14:06:17

I have prepped all my life, because I was raised in an Air Force family, subject to quick re-assignment any moment! Our family always had survival stuff on hand, so we had water, food, meds, and gas to travel twice the distance to the nearest major supply point, in the big city!

Hey, I am 65, so this was in the late 1940’s through almost the 1960’s, when I left to join and serve 20 years in the USAF. In some countries, we are forced to be self sufficient in energy, food, medicine, or camping! At age 7 I was on the beach, and in the cities, during the French Moroccan war.

So, now retired, I have long guns with at least 1000 rounds of ammo, camping gear at the ready, and enough food, water, meds,and “possibles” to survive 90 days. But, all my life, I was taught, and trained, to savor as dinner anything that walks, crawls, swims, or flies!

Bug out Bag? Got one, but, this concrete filled block home will do just fine, and has served during the hurricane ‘black-outs’ that were great tests for an Armageddon, just as were some experiences in my career in the Air Force, in South East Asia, Turkey, Morocco, and on pacific islands.

Living in a bird sanctuary city, there are wild game birds, chickens, ducks, all over,
and, you know, in a survival situation, “animal Rights” like other peaceful scenarios of
the tree hugging whale lovers goes right out the window!

Plus, wild hogs, bear, deer, raccoons, squirrel, rabbits, and more, abound in this place, with a 550 pound wild boar taken in the woods near ‘downtown’ just weeks ago.

Comment by Old Tech. Sergeant
2012-10-11 14:09:55

more, within about two miles of my home, only a mile out from ‘downtown’, we also have bass, catfish, carp, alligators, and, edible delicious rattlesnakes, galore!

And many are “Open Season” critters!

Comment by Gena
2012-10-11 14:37:41

I started prepping when I saw Doomsday Preppers on TV. I am in the beginning stage but feel better now that I have a little of this & that stored. I found a wonderful lady on the internet, she is the Queen of dehydrating. You can find her site…dehydrate2store.com. She can teach a beginner everything they need to know about dehydrating right there on her site. She has many videos that will take you step by step. She really loves the Excaliber dehydrator and I invested in one & have been dehydrating lots of things (only the things that I like to eat myself) I package them for long term storage. I bought an inexpensive sealer & bought the good sealing bags and oxygen absorber thingys off a site called “Keep fresh bags” I then put the sealed bags in mylar bags and then to “icing buckets” that I buy for $1 at the Walmart bakery department. I have also bought several bottles of asprin, ibuprofen, benedryl etc. I have bought several bottles of tums, tubes of anti-itch medecine, athletes foot stuff (which is good for ringworm) All of which I can use in my day to day life. I just circulate them. When I finish a bottle of aspirin in my cabinet, I get one out of my stash and then I buy a new one at the store and put the new one in my “stash” I have bought several “sale” candles and a couple of solar light bulbs. We have several hand saws & old tools on hand. If the electric goes out, so does the gas pumps. Southern Prepper says to have plenty of lotion because we will be working outside with shovels & hoes etc. Life will be hard. Another thing that makes me feel good is that I have a pretty good amount of heirloom seeds that are packaged for long term storage. Not only will they last years unopened, when the tomatos & cucumbers etc. grow, I can use the seeds from the batches of picked stuff for more seeds to have on hand. So with my supply of medecine & dehydrated stuff, I feel I can last long enough for my garden to grow me more food. I am now going to keep adding to my dehydrated long term storage food & am now working on more & more ammo to protect my food & stash. I have a girlfriend that asked me what I thought may happen to need all this stuff….I told her that I thought it could be anything…maybe just a long term power outage caused from a tornado or natural disaster or a solar flair or even an invasion from another country. I don’t know, but I don’t want to be hungry!!!! I live on the outskirt of a pretty big city on 6 acres but we have friends that own 260 acres and I have all my things pretty much together so I can grab & go. Not real exciting, but that is my story….Gena

Comment by Gena
2012-10-11 14:41:37

What state do you live in??? Most of my friends think I am silly for prepping & are not prepping themselves.
I like you would like to have a few on “my team”

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-10-11 17:12:35

My family and I currently live in MA but we are on our way out…

Comment by Jackie
2012-10-11 14:54:12

Gena, you didnt mention what state you’re in! 🙂 I’m in NY- Central NY. I would love it if I knew of more preppers here, or for for that matter Any other prepper.

Comment by Kat Clayton
2012-10-11 15:51:28

I am a single parent with three children, one lives with me now. I watched doomsday preppers, I get into that off- the-wall stuff (or some of the people who know me call it). It get me started thinking about what would happen to my son and I if IT hit the f@n! I bought the Survival Mom book and the Food Storage Made Easy binder, I bought the Preppers Trology, and that’s where I really started to wake up. I live in an apartment that it very difficult to defend, I have a fire place for cooking and warmth. But when it comes to food I had to get creative. I buy the Thrive pantry cans of freeze dried food because the smaller size enables be to stuff them in better hidden places. I stocked up gear that I didn’t already have in my camping equipment and I am slowly building up. I am now reading and studying as much as I can. I found one of the most important things to do now is to start learning usable skills! Learn as many pioneer skills as you can so if IT does hit!, you won’t be clueless.

Comment by Gena
2012-10-11 15:57:39

I live in Northern Kentucky. Lots of hunter friends here but not one of them is taking me serious. I try to let them know it is no big deal…just buy extra of all the things they use daily. I think us country folk will be better off than the crowded cities. If we have much warning, you can always come to Kentucky and team up with me & my husband.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-10-11 17:14:17

Awesome stories guys! Keep ’em coming

Comment by Carl
2012-10-11 17:43:43

I have always been a prepper to some extent. As a youth I was in Scouts, worked on farms and ranches where the electricity was close to unreliable, recreated outdoors so I had all that camping and survival gear including food. I also worked in Public Safety and other jobs that taught me a lot about human behavior. All these experiences had some level of planning to prepare for the worst and I kind of adopted that philosophy in my personal life. I will say that some of my reasons for being prepared have changed and that has affected some of the gear. Even to this day, I update some of my gear as technology improves it.

Comment by brenda
2012-10-11 21:46:02

Both sets of grandparents would likely have survived most emergencies. Between them, they had skills for hunting, fishing, gardening, gathering, canning, cooking from scratch, stocking up, animal care, butchering, milking, building, sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, and more. One had a small ranch with black walnut trees and other wild foods, wild game, ponds, stream, a well, outhouse, root cellar, barns, corrals, chickens, guineas, silkies, cattle, horses, sometimes goats & pigs – the works.

I picked up a few skills from my grandparents, some from my parents, and some in school (we had a good home economics program in my school). But, over the years, life happens, and we sometimes let ourselves get sucked into the “convenience life”. Then, some event happens and we get the wake up call, or maybe it’s just little thoughts or feelings that the world isn’t right that needle us to slowly begin getting ourselves in a better position for what’s coming. You can’t quite pin it down, but you just know you need to start living a little differently.

I was part of a huge lay-off, but that was just two years ago. Making changes started well before that, a little at a time. And, there has been backsliding, and restarts along the way. I think when I started reading blogs on the subject, that’s when I realized I needed to get more focused. That’s also when I started feeling totally overwhelmed and thinking I was terribly far behind the curve, thinking I’m just a beginner, with a couple of baby steps under my belt. It got so scary at times, I kind of shutdown on the subject, not even thinking about it until I could regroup and regain my calm. I had to tell myself baby steps were better than no steps, and any accomplishment forward was better than sitting still. And, you know what, every little prep and skill that’s added, adds to your confidence. Some things don’t cost much, and some save you enough money to tackle the spendier stuff, plus some of it is just fun.

So, onward with our journey. And, love to all the teachers, motivators and encouragers.

Comment by Charles,,,,
2012-10-12 10:50:25

Year 2008, at work, listening to my fellow construction workers talk about TV show’s, sport’s, clubbing/bars, latest tech gizmo and asked if anyone heard that rice was in short supply at the time, the overall answer was who cares…checked around somemore and nobody cared about anything but “SELF” and the instant gratifications they sought daily. Looked into other areas of the economy and got a shock of a lifetime, then politic’s and that is enough to put a man on valium,,,,,I got my wife involved, thank God she saw the need after we went through hurricane Katrina. As you I have five shelf’s full of prepping book’s, how to book’s, along with internet feed’s I’ve saved,,,, yet the sadess part of all, no one I know see’s any purpose in prepping, from that could never happen to a sister in law saying so what the government will take care of us, anything but accepting responsibility for themselves,,,, well we are into it now and see all that we have will be used one way or the other through rotation so it’s a good way to live in knowing how to, lessoning waste, getting out of the throw away mentality and learning to save and find uses for all, even empty cans are used to plink at,lol, knocking them down is seeing skill’s in action… thank you for all you do and share, it’s very giving in a world of takers….”C”

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-10-12 10:55:55

You’re very welcome. Thanks for your support!

Comment by John
2012-10-12 10:51:08

I too, as another poster mentioned, started taking prepping seriously after seeing the Doomsday Preppers show. I have always held onto the BSA motto of “Be Prepared” and most of my survival training was from Boy Scouts, playing in the woods, and reading. I live in a major suburb of Philadelphia, and I only have a small yard and home. When I read other posts, I feel that I need more land to really be able to become self-sufficient. Becoming unemployed a couple times in the past 4 years has been very detrimental to storing food items but, we have a lot of camping gear. I am confident that we could hunker down for a couple weeks at this point, and I’m working toward growing that amount little by little. The idea of talking to others about prepping, and creating a local network very much appeals to me. I am friends with several other families on our street but, in an EOTWAWKI situation, I believe I would be alone in my ability to survive. I am hoping to find others very close by that would be allies in case we or they are forced to run for safety but could not go far.
– I’m really glad that I found this blog. My knowledge has quantified since being able to read what others have posted. Thanks.

Comment by Hurricane
2012-10-12 12:27:18

I met my husband as a volunteer in NOLA after Hurricane Katrina. That experience helped me to realize that disaster can happen anywhere, anytime. Two years later, I became a Mom. I always over pack…suitcases, diaper bags, my purse because I just might need those things.

With the economy and world events turning for the worst, I realized that I really was not prepared other than our ammo supply. (we are avid shooters)

I stumbled across your blog about two months ago and realized that prepping doesn’t mean going to the extremes that are featured in the Doomsday Preppers show, it means simply being able to function when TSHTF. With your how-to articles and lists, I was able to go through my house and see what items I already had that should go in my BOB and items that should go with us in the car.

Thanks to your review of The Survival Mom book, I asked for that, a food dehydrator and a vacuum sealer (among other things) for my anniversary gift instead of the jewelry my husband wanted to buy me. They all cost less and are way more practical than jewelry.

I’ve started my prepping with “on foot” in mind. What can I carry to our Bug Out destination (1150 miles away). Once I get that step maxed out, I will prepare for Bugging Out using our vehicle(s). In the mean time, I am also putting back extra supplies that will be used at home until we Bug Out. They are things we don’t mind leaving behind.

So far, I’ve learned to dehydrate and vacuum seal dinners for five that can be reconstituted with just hot water. All of the ingredients are precooked, dehydrated and sealed in the same bag….kind of a home-made MRE for the family.

We have each taken areas of responsibility. My husband is safety & security -though that is each person’s responsibility as well, but he’s the lead- and shelter. (He is retired from the Army). My role is feeding and healing the family. We will both hunt & fish to supplement our food stores. We are also including the kids and the family dog in these plans. Each many carries their own BOB, even the dog.

We have always taught gun safety. We are now teaching the kids (ages 5-13 years) to shoot and to fish. There is an archery school a few miles from our house that has an awesome family plan (only $120/year for the family)- which includes bow and arrow rentals and targets.

One of my proudest moments was making the portable heater from your tutorial. Cost less than $10 and took all of 5 min to assemble!

Comment by Hurricane
2012-10-12 12:32:50

Tech addiction will be the zombie apocalypse! It’s already started with people texting and driving! People in general seem to be more interested in what people are posting in the virtual world than they are in what is going on in the real world.

I told my parents and sister that I am prepping and they think I’m crazy…but my mom left off with, “Don’t forget Grammy.” (She’s my son’s “Grammy”.)

Comment by Hurricane
2012-10-12 12:37:00

Gena- We will be passing through KY when it comes time for us to bug out. We may just take you up on your offer and squat with you for a day or two! 🙂

Comment by kelley
2012-10-12 18:01:16

Very Interesting comments: I only started prepping a year or so ago. I with wifey and youngest child we live in the country of ne ohio. we’re on a dirt road, have a well, on both propane and elect, have two fireplaces in the house and a coal stove for heat, cooking is done by propane. youngest just got out of the army as a combat medic and we are both good shots we dont mind killing for protection and food , main defense weapons are slk’s and shot guns. everyone is armed with a pistol . I have mre,pasta,etc for about a year, whole pig and whole cow, couple of deer in the freezer 4000 watt generator to run well etc. and a 8500 to keep fridge and/or freezer going about 100 gals of gas, have a diesl tractor (small one) that can pitch hit for transportation, 9 ducks and 2 dogs for early warning plus home made trip wires, have 2 horses.
I was always of the mind set that if and when shtf I would either hire myself out protection to the amish or pasifist neighbors or just acquire what I need and didn’t have. If and when TSHTF I will be the guy you come to for protection, When the law breaks down I’ll be the sheriff in town….

Comment by Hurricane
2012-10-12 20:30:36

Kelley, We’ll see you in Ohio. Our Bug Out destination is my husband’s parents’ place in SE Ohio. Long walk from Texas.

Comment by Gregory Kirk
2012-10-14 09:45:16

We are preparing for the worst even if it never happens. As a pastor I know that God is in control of our lives however, I also He wants us to prepared for the eventuallities that may arise.

We have purchased 10 acres invery rural MO and plan on raising the livestock and growing the food we need. We began with chickens and have moved to ducks, rabbits, geese, hogs and sheep.

Dont know what the future will bring but I want to the best I can to be prepared for what ever it is.


Comment by Gregory Kirk
2012-10-14 09:49:08

I agree…as an old soldier, who saw combat action..I know I have enough guns to protect my all my stuff and also to take what I need, Also live in dirt road that is rarely traveled with no neighbors for about 1 mile.

You probably already are but I would recommend stock piling ammo and powder and primers for reloading.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-10-14 15:18:28

Absolutely Greg. Thanks for the comments.

Comment by Survival Suzy
2012-10-15 03:52:37

My survival journey started 46 yrs. ago at the age of 14. I was a throw away kid who grew up in the streets. (although I was in the streets the only person I ever hurt was myself) I was always hungry and searching for a warm place to stay which taught me a special word, SURVIVAL. And survive I did until I was 30 and I got pregnant. I had to think and provide for someone else and giving her up was not an option. Just prior to this I had met a man from Mexico who wanted to marry me. Why? I figured he wanted his papers fixed, why else. But true to his word he took us both in and also provided for us, no questions asked. He never asked me to fix his papers or for anything else. All he ever said was your too good to live that way. I will be 60 yrs this month and we will be celebrating our 28th wedding anniversary. Yes, I married a great guy who adopted that daughter. What does this have to do with prepping you ask. Everything. I had sworn I would never be hungry again. Then I heard about prepping 2 years ago and thought “I already do that.” I hadn’t thought about it but in the early years I stockpiled food out of necessity to make sure I ate, and I never stopped. I went and looked in my pantry and there were cases of corn, beans, ketchup etc. I was a prepper in food storage. I started going to the LDS canneries and ordering from Emergency Essentials and other web sites. Finally I could relax. No, I was not done. It was time to learn and prepare for the survival side of being a prepper. I started with a 72 hour Emergency Backpack and then made ER backpacks fine tuned for each of us (my daughter is not at home anymore but I have custody of her 5 yr. old son). I even made a small emergency backpack for each vehicle, tractor included. I started keeping information on how to clean water, start a fire, emergency contacts etc.. in a red emergency binder. All you have to do is open the book and you can find and do most anything necessary. Slowly I began to purchase items. The first thing I did was my water storage in blue barrels. Then I moved to shelter requirements, then cooking facilities and bathing. I now can my own vegetables and meats and I cook using my food storage supplies so that I know how to use the correctly. Next I will work on herbs, oils, bow & arrow and I will start concealed weapon classes soon. There is so much to do and so little time to do it in but I hope my hard work impacts my grandson and my daughter so they can be prepared in their life also. S may not HTF in my life time but it might in theirs. They can enjoy my 25 acres of heaven and protect it and themselves with everything I have taught them.

P.S. I can’t skin a deer like you but I sure would like to learn!

Comment by Gena
2012-10-15 13:56:42

Sure thing, Hurricane, I will be happy for the company. Hurricane Katrina hurt me here in Kentucky also. I used to love my country so much and was so proud of it, but that hurricane took a lot of my pride when I had to watch my people stand in line for hours just to get a gallon of water. It showed me that we are not ready for anything big. I am still very upset about it. If Japan has a flood, we send huge cargo ships there to bring them supplies, if Hati has an earthquake, we send huge cargo ships with supplies. If our own country has disasters, you must wait weeks & weeks for help. It was the same here with the tornados down south, one reporter was there right after they hit & said he had been in that little subdivision for 6 hours and no help of any sort had been there. I am ashamed!!! This is another reason why we must do anything we can for ourselves because we cannot depend on anyone else to help us. Besides it is good to take care of yourself. I am happy that there are other preppers out there. If it goes down, I do hope us preppers can help each other out.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-10-15 21:42:58

Well spoken Gena.

Comment by Cristy
2012-10-15 15:17:04

I grew up with a mom who always made us have a backpack ready to go in case TSHTF…. My siblings and I used to joke about our “paranoid” mom, lovingly of course, but we did not take her seriously….my siblings still think shes a bit “crazy”. Fast forward to age 36, I now appreciate my mother’s mindset so much more. I have, in the past, been homeless, living in a tent, in the woods, with my husband and 4 children for a year and a half after Hurricane Ivan. That time really began to wake me up to the reality of needing to be prepared for any situation. While we were not really prepared, we did alright, thanks to the training my mother gave me as a kid.
We are now a prepper family. We home school and so are able to incorporate survival and self sufficiency lessons into our daily lives quite easily. We have what some consider a small “Hobby Farm” with chickens, goats, rabbits and alpacas, cats, and dogs. We run totally on solar, having finally finished the transition from on grid, to generator, to totally solar. We cant run everything all the time, but we can run the fridge for most of the day on what we bring in. As well as computers and internet, and a car stereo for music ( hint: they use less power :). We are working on getting the kinks out of growing our own vegetables, and canning what we are able to, as well as making most food from scratch. (did you know you can grow rice?) My husband has started picking up antique hand tools, and has a fair collection now.
We live in the plains of Southeast Colorado in a very rural area, so we have fair winters and lots of sunshine, but not much as far as wooded areas. My thoughts have turned to water storage lately, we live between 2 lakes, and the water levels have reached a very alarming low point. We were counting on those for a water source. So, it is back to filling every empty jug and bottle and putting them up. Some large tanks are in our future for sure.
I have build up a fair bit of knowledge and resource material concerning homesteading and things like herbal medicines. My personal goals now are leaning toward the medical information: minor surgeries, and the like. I want to know the basics in case my group needs the care.
Sometimes, I feel kind of silly for doing what I am, but it feels like I am driven to do it. The only other preppers I know about are my cousins who live about 5 miles from us in town, (they have put a storage cabin on the back of our property) and I always include my mom in my preparation numbers, but she is halfway across the country. *sigh* It is good to know I am not as crazy as I feel sometimes, that there are plenty of others who see where we are headed and are choosing to be prepared for it.
God bless you all, and I hope your days are filled with joy and peace.

Comment by Sunny
2012-10-16 22:58:26

Hi! Having struggled most of my life just to survive abusers, I’ve always tried to store supplies and save money. Because of my history, I now have PTSD Complex and am on SSI, with my 27 y/of son, who has paranoid schizophrenia (inherited). I, too, with extremely limited resources, no family or friends, worry about how to start saving, storing and how to find/get a “safe” place! And you are SO right in saying that now, there is an overwhelming and confusing amount of information out here and no real sense of direction or where or how or what to start with. And sadly, many people like us, cannot afford to “buy” the information needed, ESPECIALLY older and disabled people. We must group together with warmth and friendship if we are to survive.

Comment by Sarah
2012-10-30 15:46:28

I guess I prep because of how I was raised. I grew up in rural Iowa, and had 3 siblings, and my parent’s grew a garden, canned, made things, and saved what they could because, really, we didn’t have much money. My mom wouldn’t call it “prepping” but being frugal and living simply. I’m 27 years old and have a 3 year old and am starting to slowly build up our supplies. My husband is an avid hunter (we have a rabbit in the freezer right now) and is also interested in prepping. We are also beginning to build our skill set. I now make our laundry detergent and household cleaners, I wash my hair with baking soda and vinegar, and my husband reloads his own bullets, knows a lot about electricity, and how to modify things into other things. I also ask for very useful things for presents, like books, a food dehydrator, and a sewing machine instead of other things that aren’t of much use. Our goal is to eventually be self-sustaining and live off the grid. We are in no rush to get there are are taking small steps along the way!
I am also involved with my local Community Organizations Active in Disaster group. (COAD, some places it’s Volunteer O.A.D.) One of our goals (along with volunteer organization, donation management, and long term planning in the even of a disaster) is to educate people about emergency preparedness. To those who have people that think they are crazy for prepping, just ask them if they were in Hurricane Sandy’s wake and lost power for 7-10 days and couldn’t get to the store (or maybe the store was out of food) could they survive with what they had in their house right now? You can tell them that even the CDC has lots of info on emergency preparedness, so you’re not THAT crazy!
I too am one of those people that think that we cannot sustain our level of consumption, and that one day, we might have to go back to the “old ways” of doing things. Some of my co-workers have laughed at me when I say this, (the housing crash taught them nothing) but let them be “in the dark” (literally) because my family will have the tools to not just survive, but thrive.

I feel bad for you guys that live in cities!

Comment by Doug Thomas
2012-11-02 22:57:04

looks like your ready God Bless!

Wish I was ready, just starting be safe I got lots of family to take care of. I am slowly getting stuff and learning, reading everything.

Have quite a list! finally got my 30/30 with 220 rounds + reloading equipment and 1 44mag 100 rounds, when my dad pasted away. Both work great. And have 3 bows and looking for a cross bow for quite protection or hunting you never know.

I have to work around the the weird looks from my family about what I up to but it is better to be ready eh no matter if I look nuts.


Comment by Evil
2012-11-19 04:54:43

My story isn’t much different than the majority here. Started “prepping” 5 years ago with gardening. Started canning this year and no I can store more food (I use to give away most my veggies every year). I am looking at building an underground root cellar buy burying a dead chest freezer and placing hay bales on top. Living in Northern CA we don’t have basements, or barns cool enough to long term store food in. I am hoping to be 75% sufficient with in the next 5 years. My next big purchase will be going full solar. I get the overwhelmed part of WHERE DO I START… do I go overboard, will I really need this. That’s why I started with the things can use in my daily life now. I’m getting a good rotation of items like heath and beauty needs. I have even started stock piling script & OTC meds. I have 50 gal gas, few large bottles of propane. 200 gal of water (I rotate every few months by using it to water the garden). I have just this year started to move over to the bug out/evacuation side of prepping. I just started BOB bag for my husband (who still is at the eye rolling stage to this) as well as bags for each car. Paper maps of local area, and routes of where I will be (my husband works 200 miles from home all week) if SHTF. I don’t have tornados, hurricanes, floods, or even earthquakes (my entire life I have never been in one) to worry about. Fire is our worse danger and all the prepping in the world will do me no good when I can’t take it with me if a forest fire is closing in. Having our BOB’s and car kits could be the only thing we get out with so those have become my number one priority this year. I look forward to reading everyone’s updates as this goes on! ~ Evil

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-11-19 11:01:16

Great post! Thanks.

Comment by Lance
2012-11-29 23:46:23

Hi Jackie.

I am upstate (NY) myself and fairly new to the prep scene (but learning fast!) – would love to exchange educational ideas, esp. in terms of the NY landscape.

– Lance

Comment by iris
2012-12-18 22:45:49

You don’t know anyone in a survival group. You know who your best friends are. You know your family. When the time comes you will only be able to fit enough people into your garage or your car…rite? There will be a moment in time when you mite have to travel alone or you mite have to choose not to include anyone above 20 or 40. As the world reaches a climax, food and water become scarce, most people will die. The hardest part of being a survivor is not giving up. When I was young, I wanted to be everyone’s sister and friend. Now, I am very selective & even the closest friends I keep at arm’s length because I am just too tired to party but I know who I would take and who I would leave behind.

Comment by iris
2012-12-18 22:50:43

Squirrels & rats would be the last thing I would eat but I do have a rat trap just in case. The thing about rats is that you don’t need a permit and they are open season. Wash your hands after you have skinned and cook extremely well. On the other hand, earthworms are said to taste like cooked bacon and seem to be resistent to diseases and things like rabies, hook and tape worms. Some researches have suggested that Schezoids are caused by a bacteria and this may be why electric shock therapy helps some of the insane. Here is a suggestion, when skinning a bear, make sure that you don’t let one bear hair fibre falls on the meat. If it does, it will take on the hair’s strong putrid smell. Bear is very tough meat but it is edible.

Comment by iris
2012-12-18 22:59:58

Thing about forest fires is that you have to clear the trees away from the house at least ? a thousand feet if not more. It would be better to have a metal roof. If you are close to a river, you should have a dug out to hide in along the river’s flap. If you have a root cellar away from the house down in the ground, food supplies etc, should not be destroyed. Root cellars were a must for early pioneers as it kept the food colder than above ground and fresh root vegetables would last longer especially if washed in a wax or in individually in paper. If you don’t have a river, then a man made pond would do if deep enough down or again, a dug out where the pond’s water would flow underground to a dug out cave. One cannot out run a brisk fire. To put out a forest fire usually the firemen have to go down several miles and cut away the brush and trees near a river or highway. If you have a dug out with water…you should be okay. You just have to start all over again with plenty of land for a larger farm.

Comment by iris
2012-12-18 23:05:47

One of the reasons, to my opinion, is that there will be a food climax, and correct me if I am wrong, but the farmers themselves are aged between 65 and 85…rite? No one wants to farm. I feel sorry for the farmers. Once the grocery stores run out of food…it will be like Rwanda and the Walking Dead…as people head out to the farms. We are also running out of resources. The book of Daniel spoke about the governments as being like this huge image…and several world powers represented by gold, silver, brass, copper but finally the prophecy said that the feet would be made out of clay and the whole thing would fall down. It never occurred to me that God would let it come down to clay. It was understood that clay represents the common people would take control of the governments but what if, it is also referring to NO resources…a world without trees? flowers? Is that possible?

Comment by iris
2012-12-18 23:09:37

Well, if you were laid off, then you probably have no bills now, which would make you more self-sufficient and if you don’t owe anything or even own anything, you are in a position to move fast. How many people are going to be willing to leave a beautiful house?

Comment by Spedie
2012-12-30 22:17:44

In a way, I have been a prepper for years. In 1998 I stocked food thru the LDS. I grew up on a hobby farm and learned to take care of horses, pigs, chickens, rabbits and cows. My mom taught me to can. I bought an All American canner a few yrs back and an Excaliber dehydrator a couple of years ago. I am a catholic and not mormon.

I started to consider myself a prepper about a year ago. I lost faith with our idiots in government. I met my first prepper about a month ago. Then i ran into another one two weeks ago. They are a breath of fresh air!

I have enough food to last a little while. I live in the western burbs of st. Louis. I also felt alone in prepping, but not so much lately!

My next steps are weapons. I am an army vet so should pick up on that fast. I ran into an elderly couple who teach classes on super gardening, and go to their class soon. I got out of debt except for my conservative home. I hope to learn much from my prepper network as i build it.

I am a single mom with one still in the nest.

I occasionally travel from st. Louis to louisville, Ky for my job.


Comment by Jason
2013-02-13 11:09:28

I’m too poor to prepare. So, therefore, I spend my time learning what to loot and relying on building my body for pushing everybody out of the way at Walmart to get to the loot. XD

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2013-02-13 18:04:41


Prepping can be cheap. With today’s prices, you can get a years supply of food for around $325. That’s less than $1/day.

No need for looting.

That’ll get ya shot… 😉

Comment by david cheetham
2014-09-14 01:01:00

Looking forward to your Prepper Academy!

Comment by Gary Cunningham
2014-11-17 20:39:05

As the family patriarch, I feel responsible for the survival for the long term survival and well being of my family members, so I’m trying to create a place to which they can retreat for safety, food, water and protection. That’s saying something since they all live in far flung locations. Nevertheless, a workable plan is in place, thanks to blogs like Tactical Intelligence. Knowledge will set you free, as they say. And a shotgun with various rounds won’t hurt.

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