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The Ultimate Guide In Becoming A Prepper



Emergency Preparation Equipment

Nobody knows how many preppers exist in the world, but it’s safe to say that there are three to four million in the United States alone. At first glance that might sound like a huge segment of the population, but in reality, that’s only slightly more than 1% of the total US population.

When a major disruption occurs, who will take care of the other 99% of the population? That’s a good question.

This is why you must start prepping for yourself and your family. This ultimate guide will turn you into the ultimate prepper.


In the manner of easily explaining what preppers are, our prepping guide in 2020 have used the following acronym of eight words as an apt description:

  • Preparedness
  • Risk-assessing
  • Environment
  • Privacy
  • Planning
  • Enterprising
  • Responsibility
  • Survival

That seems about right, doesn’t it? Well now you know what is a prepper, let’s move onto the basics.


Regardless of whether you are new to prepping or are outright ready for the end of the world, nothing is as important as having the basics mastered so that you can survive a job loss, car breakdown, financial difficulty, or worse.

Whether you are an experienced prepper or new to prepping, the most important thing you can do is to ask yourself “what am I preparing for?” From there you start the easy and sometimes fun process of thinking like a prepper.

It’s far better to be prepared than not to be prepared at all, right? That’s what scouts teach their members. When kids are sworn into scout groups, their first pledge is to ‘be prepared’. If kids were encouraged to think like that into adulthood, they would certainly be preppers, since being prepared is a fundamental aspect of any strong prepper.

Have you decided you want to become a prepper? Or maybe you just want to become more self-sufficient? There are a number of good reasons why a person would. But how do you get started?

That all depends on how much commitment you have. However, there are a few basics that we will discuss to get started becoming a prepper, survivalist, or if one just wants to stop having to rely on so much besides themselves for survival.


According to an article, the mix of readers on prepper-centric websites falls into four categories.

1. Prepper Wannabe

This person wants to embrace preparedness but doesn’t know where to begin. They may also feel they don’t have enough resources to do so.

2. Prepper Newbie

This prepper has begun preparing but needs help in sorting through an overwhelming amount of advice and preparedness strategies both online and offline. So whether it be through handholding or through education, the Prepper Newbies have begun their journey but continue to seek knowledge and affirmation to ensure they are on the right path.

3. Dedicated Prepper

Someone who embraces the preparedness lifestyle with passion. They have supplies, knowledge, and skills, but are seeking to bolster their preps with advanced survival health care, off-grid living, and coping with civil unrest strategies. By sharing their own personal experiences with others and offering tips, dedicated preppers help other preppers learn and grow.

4. Diehard Prepper

These preppers are planning for an apocalypse and devote considerable time and energy to ensure they will survive. Diehard Preppers may have a bug out retreat where they can live out their days after the world ends. Also, they may be highly secretive and unwilling to share what they have or know out of OPSEC concerns.

Diehard Preppers have been romanticized by the entertainment media. This serves to disillusion and discourages those who are unable to create this type of alternative existence for themselves.

We now know that there are at least four types of prepper, but there are undoubtedly more than that.


Working your way down the preparedness pyramid is an excellent way for new preppers to learn what they need, starting with the basics, and then moving on to what can happen in life, in their local area, weather patterns, and other common occurrences before preparing for a collapse or SHTF.

Of course I am not advocating not preparing for a collapse environment? I believe, regardless if it’s a burst tire or an economic collapse or a nuclear attack, that families should be prepared for anything. Making sure you have the basics, such as a first-aid kit in the car, a flashlight and candles in the kitchen, and an emergency supply of water and food, can go a long way toward getting prepared.

So let’s take a look at the Preparedness Pyramid, to see where you should be focusing your attention.

Man With Backpack Looking At Map

Level One: Basic Prepping Prepare for lack of food supply

The most popular category, and rightfully so, is basic prepping. Most people you know (if they have any common sense) will fall into this category. Even those people who know little or nothing about prepping, may fall under this category. Why? Because at a base level, everyone prepares for the future in some fashion or another. Whether it be having money in a savings account, that you do your food shopping for the week and that you have coverage for your home.

While this is not real prepping, it is the most common level of preparation for those ‘just in case’ occasions. Many of these nonpreppers will have a first aid kit in the car or at home, as well as flashlights and candles when the power goes out. There’s no stockpile of food for when supplies are shut off, and no power generator. But for most, this level of preparedness is enough to get by.

In the concept of everyday preparedness, we are also able to look at the specific area we live in and cater to that type of preparedness to each individual.

For this category, I would put basic prepping down to just simple everyday common sense.

Level Two: Temporary Setbacks

In my experience, when things go wrong, they usually happen in sets of 3. This is when the car breaks down and the repairs are costly, or you break your leg while playing sports, so you take time off work. Unplanned setbacks are temporary setbacks in life that set you back in time, money, and health. This type of preparation means there is a difference between having health insurance that does not cover your sport or failing to get the right service to ensure your car does not overheat and destroy the engine.

Most of the time the best way to prepare for temporary setbacks is simply to have an emergency fund. This way, you can have that sick day off work if your employer doesn’t offer sick leave, or to use to fix your car when it breaks down. There are temporary setbacks, and for most people they occur on a yearly basis, so it makes sense to have a little extra support when you need it.

Level Three: Weather, Recession, and Injuries

The third level of the prepper pyramid entails more widespread impacts, such as tornadoes, thunderstorms where homes may get damaged from lightning or strong winds. A slight downturn or recession (not yet an economic collapse) can also affect families. This could involve job loss or industry-specific downturns such as the construction industry declining over the next five years or the automation of industries. In this one I mention injury as well, as that would include serious injuries such as a serious illness or disability that requires family care or care for more than six months.

Although there are methods to prepare for each of these circumstances, similar to the second level’s preparation of financial safety nets, these types of situations also require greater funds to help families recover. However, in the circumstances we have mentioned, you will find that specific insurance levels would help greatly here, such as home and contents insurance, employment insurance or dividends, and specific health plans that don’t just cover you for the basics but go greater in-depth in cases where you may need to be off work for more than a few months due to severe sickness or disability.

On the prepper pyramid, you can see that this level is still quite wide since these are things that all of us experience in life. Nonetheless, many people do not have comprehensive and complete insurance plans for health, or if a storm occurs. In order to be more prepared for this, it is a good idea to take a look at what can occur in your geographical area, your workplace industry, and your health to be sure that if there are any slight chances of that happening, that you are prepared for it.

Level Four: Disaster & Collapse

Within this category, we begin to look at survival and the necessities we might need to survive a 72-hour (or even a week) natural disaster (flood, catastrophic storm, earthquake) or how we can live and remain healthy during a global financial crisis. It is clear that something is greatly more widespread than any of the others, and I mentioned that survival is an important component in these because in these scenarios (which can be considered worst-case scenarios) supply routes stop and basic provisions such as food, water, power and first aid cease either temporarily or permanently.

Natural disasters are important either to ensure you can survive in a different area (where you might bug out and depart to) or whether you can survive at home with your means of food, clean drinking water, and power.

Recently, we have seen bad weather systems pick up, causing more natural disasters (particularly flooding and destructive hurricanes), and have experienced them either directly or indirectly through friends or through prices of certain goods (such as food and fuel).

Since the end of 2017, prepping has seen an increase in interest from non-preppers because of these reasons alone. And I expect that as more natural disasters happen, we will see more innovative ways for communities, families, and individuals to prepare themselves for unpredictable catastrophic weather events.

Preparing for such an event takes a lot more work than just buying a medical kit and some flashlights and disasters, and economic collapses need to be dealt with very differently. It is important to have an evacuation plan ready for natural disasters, pre-packed supplies in a bug out bag, a predetermined place to bug out, and procedures established with your family and friends should you not be able to contact them or should anything happen on the way.

In preparing for an economic collapse, one doesn’t prepare for an event, but rather preparing for a lifestyle with fewer outgoings, stronger budgeting, and frugal practices, and a more self-sufficient way of living. Although both have their nuances and difficulties, it is more challenging to prepare for an economic collapse than a natural disaster. To prepare for an economic collapse, you need to be strict with your finances, which will ensure you have liquid assets, are debt-free, and safeguard your emergency fund. It goes beyond that, as you may also experience less food on the shelves, less reliable power, and less reliable clean drinking water. Each one of those factors have their own methods to prepare for them; however, top of the list to prepare for an economic collapse is not merely having your food supply, but some way to replenish that by growing your food, either by a garden, or a greenhouse in cooler climates.

Level Five: When the SHTF

Some might call this doomsday prepping, but I call it walking around ready for anything. The fifth level of the prepper pyramid requires being ready for the worst-case sh-t flies (SHTF) scenario. That could be anything from war, a nuclear attack, a chemical weapon, widespread disease, or a severe economic collapse that has caused a societal collapse.

Not only do we need to know how to survive the urban environment, but there are a lot of safety concerns as well, as SHTF events are usually accompanied by:

  • Possible roving gangs that evolve in a world Without Rule Or Law (WROL)
  • Using primitive survival methods at The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI)
  • Rebuilding society from the ground up in a post-collapse environment
  • High-security issues for preppers or anyone with a stockpile of food and water
  • To ‘bunker down’ from possible hazards from nuclear fallout, chemical weapon or disease
  • Having to find alternative methods to find food, water, fuel due to contamination or underground life.

It may sound like a movie or an apocalyptic nightmare, but for quite a lot of preppers this is the reality and it is something we need to prepare for. If you don’t think this is a necessity, check out my article on underground bunkers for sale to find out that there is no shortage of people who are expecting a real SHTF scenario.

When the SHTF, you need to be prepared for everyday life as well as the uncertainty that comes with belonging to a world where things work differently, and everything you need to survive is provided by yourself. There’s a lot to think about, which is why I advise you to take up every level of the prepper pyramid.

It is not a simple backpack and kit that can protect you during a SHTF scenario, it is knowing the right skills, survival methods, self-reliance, and a complete lifestyle change that will bolster your survival and that of your family. Search for prepping basics to further prepare for the coming inevitable change.


1. Do your own research

Every prepper is unique. You live in different parts of the world, have different financial considerations, and have different needs. In order to succeed, you need to do what is best for you. Do your own research and make decisions that are right for you.

2. Create an emergency contact list

You may be instinctively moved to react to natural disasters or other disruptive events. However, human nature often kicks you into overdrive.

Prepare an emergency contact list in advance for the police, fire, doctors, hospitals, and, of course, family and friends. You need to include telephone numbers, cell phone numbers, and email addresses. There is no guarantee that any one method will work if the emergency is severe.

3. Stockpile as much water as you can and learn to purify the rest

Make sure you store as many water bottles as you can. Your home may have hidden locations where you can store purchased water or bottles of water you have bottled yourself using plastic juice or soda bottle, Water Brick, or another container. Find other sources of water in case of an emergency and learn to filter and purify raw water safely.

4. Purchase beans and rice and learn how to cook them

Beans and rice are packed with nutrients and extremely high in calories. Learn how to cook dry beans and rice off grid, and outdoors over an open fire. With very little money and very little skill, you can keep hungry bellies full when there is no other food available.

5. Work toward optimal physical fitness

Staying in shape doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be thin. Rather, you should build up your stamina and strength so that you can perform manual labor for long periods of time.

Pick something you enjoy and stick with it, such as running, power walking, lifting weights, or biking, so you reduce body fat and build muscle endurance.

6. Develop a community of like-minded preppers

No matter where you live or your family situation, become a part of the community of preppers. Even if your community consists of only two or three individuals, these few people will serve as your support group and sounding board when the going gets tough. You need at least one other person to watch your back as well.

7. Create a survival library

It is nearly impossible to remember every single detail about every single subject. As practiced and skilled as you may be, there will always be a situation where you either forgot or do not know something. Put together a survival library. Paper binder offers some benefit but so do electronic readers and tablets that can be easily powered with inexpensive solar chargers.

8. Put together a basic bug out bag

It’s better to bug in during a disruptive event than to bug out. However, if your home is no longer safe, you may have no option but to bug out. Bugging out doesn’t have to mean fleeing to the wilderness. It can be as simple as retreating to your neighbor’s house or hiking in a storm to the nearest shelter 20 miles away. No matter where you bug out to, you’ll need some basic supplies to survive.

A basic bug out bag is something that every member of the family should have.

9. Practice an evacuation plan

While this relates to #8, if your home is no longer safe, you should plan to leave. Plan your escape route in advance. Choose two or three different ways to physically leave your home, and then two or three different ways of getting out of the immediate area. At least one of the routes should bypass major streets and arterial locations.

Develop your evacuation plan and practice it at least once a year.

10. Learn the basics of first aid and survival medicine

Put together a comprehensive first aid kit, which includes trauma supplies as well as protection gear. Make sure you have extra prescriptions as well as antibiotics and essential oils. Learn about herbal medicine and keep a good survival book on hand for reference.


1. Be aware of the world around you

Prepping is also a state of mind—you must become more aware of the world around you and accept that we have no control on what happens for the majority of the time. Negative events, whether natural or man-made, can happen at any time and negatively impact your life. If you share this mindset, you are on your way to become a prepper as you must be prepared at all times.

2. Think about the future and that of your loved ones

It’s not necessarily just about you—if you have a partner, children, and any other people you care about in the world, then you’re more likely to start preparing for the unthinkable. Although you cannot force loved ones to start prepping if they don’t want to, you can support them to see why it’s important and why they should do it with you.

3. Start out slowly

Never try to become the best prepper in two days—it takes time and effort to prep everything you need. It would be wise to accomplish this slowly in your daily life rather than try to do it all at once. Start with the location, which is one of the main factors to consider, since you can then start acquiring all of your supplies.

4. Learn survival skills

Prepping is more than buying essential items and storing them in a basement. If a disaster occurs, life as you know it becomes impossible—this includes abundance in water and food. For example, may not be readily available. Because of this, you should learn certain skills that will increase your chances of survival. The experts behind The Prepping Guide suggest that reading blogs is a smart step in order to learn a range of survival skills. This will help you prepare physically as well as mentally.

5. Don’t panic

While anxiety can be a result of prepping, you should avoid it at all costs. Panic makes for chaos, which is the opposite of what you should be trying to accomplish as a prepper. You need to make sure that you are doing all the preparations as a precaution rather than from a place of anxiety.


It’s time to think about long-term and disaster planning. You can prepare for things like severe weather, natural disasters, and economic crashes. Preparing for disaster is all about ensuring you have enough to survive if everything around you is on fire. So, what can you do to be ready?

Here are the things that you should prepare:

1. Shelter

Many people build their prep areas in basements or tornado shelters, and there’s a good reason for it. When it comes to long-term survival prep, a good shelter that is away from any danger or element is essential. I would suggest considering energy sources such as generators or fuels for heat, as well as creating livable areas within your shelter.

2. Water

You won’t survive without water. One of the simplest things to do is keep bottled water in your shelter, but if you are preparing for a much longer-term issue, this could be both costly and wasteful. A system to collect and purify rainwater or underground water is a great idea. Bottled water is handy, too, especially if you need something to take away right away.

3. Food and Cooking

Food storage is a simple task in the land of the prepper. Here, tins and freeze-dried goods are your friends. Both of these types of food have a long shelf-life, so you can have them for years without having to worry about waste or maintaining supplies. It’s better to store the healthiest food with the longest shelf life. Also, think about how you are going to cook this food. Do you have a gas burner or other cooking methods? Store them, too.

4. Waste

People often forget about waste, but one thing is certain: eating and drinking will lead to human waste! It’s important to think about how you’re going to manage trash and human waste in your shelter. It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s something you have to be prepared for.

5. Security

Finally, in case of the worst-case scenario, you can always add security to your shelter. Whether that’s heavy bolted doors on your shelter, CCTV installed, or even some weapons. If the world genuinely goes crazy, anything you think you’ll need will come in handy!

Prepping is easy if you’re planning a short-term financial or home emergency, but more complicated if you’re planning a disaster shelter. Whether you decide to prep or not, we hope this handy guide has gotten you in the mood for prepping and shown you where to start. Good luck!

Survival Gear

The Best Survival Books for Surviving the Collapse

Best Wilderness Survival Books

1. Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit

Creek Stewart was one of the most famous preppers. His knowledge mostly comes from experience. He is a frequent survival expert in media platforms, as outlined in his website. In 2015, he was also awarded the NOESA (NESA Outstanding Eagle Scout Award). This is a prestigious award given to Eagle scouts who demonstrated outstanding achievement.

A 72-hour disaster kit is not the best timeframe for preparing for a disaster, but to think longer than that is better. The survival book lists out eleven categories, each with its own advantages, drawbacks, and importance in a survival situation.

  • Water
  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Shelter or bedding
  • Fire
  • First Aid
  • Hygiene
  • Tools
  • Lighting
  • Communication
  • Protection

2. Bushcraft 101

Dave Canterbury wrote this survival book. He’s an expert at wilderness survival and has 40 years of experience under his belt. He’s written guidebooks, instructed in schools, and sold high- quality gear through his online store.

Throughout the book, you’ll learn about creating your own survival kit, tools and supplies, scavenging food, cooking, and how to protect yourself, among others. It was also dubbed “the ultimate resource for trying out the backcountry”. It’s based on Canterbury’s 5Cs of survival.

  • Cutting tools
  • Covering
  • Combustion devices
  • Containers
  • Cordages

3. Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival

This book was written by Tom Brown Jr. and Brandt Morgan. Tom Brown Jr. was dubbed America’s most acclaimed outdoorsman. He is a renowned wilderness tracker, teacher, and author. For ten years he wandered the wilderness without technological tools.

The book cover will tell you it is about the “basics of wilderness survival.” It features some of the most ancient (and important) skills that have been preserved through the years! An easy-to-use format allows a simple presentation. This field guide has been designed for both beginners and experienced adventurers!

Best Wild Plant Survival Books

4. Peterson’s Field Guide to Edible Plants

Lee Allen Peterson is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University in Natural Sciences. He’s familiarized with his father’s work, Roger Tory Peterson, who established the field guide approach.

A total of 400 plant descriptions are contained in this book. They are all found throughout the eastern half of the United States. It is concise and detailed, though the black and white illustrations could use some improvement. The book tells you which plants are suitable to use for:

  • Salads
  • Teas
  • Root vegetables and many more

It also tells you:

  • The plant’s habitats
  • List of plants per season
  • Preparation instructions for twenty-two different food use

5. Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods

The best survival guide about foraging in the North American wild, written by Thomas Elias and Peter Dykeman. They organized the book with the information of the edible plants for all of the seasons!

Each plant entry of the book includes:

  • Photos
  • Habitats
  • Physical properties
  • How to harvest
  • Preparation
  • Poisonous look-alikes

The list does not include any endangered and threatened plants. It also does not cover mushrooms and other fungi. This is because misidentification is very common and detrimental.

6. The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat and Store Your Most Vital Resource

Daisy Luther wrote this survival book to focus on water preparedness. Water is our most basic need as a human being. You can take away food and we would still survive, but not water.

Water may be cut short by natural disasters, political problems in the state, or even human error. With this book, you will learn how to:

  • Store fresh water
  • Collect rainwater
  • Purify the water from lakes and/or rivers
  • Dig a well

In addition, Luther included information on water conservation. It also provides you with tools on how to keep your stored water untainted for long periods of time and how to test your water for toxins (as well as how to treat common water-related illnesses).

7. The Complete Medicinal Herbal: A Practical Guide to the Healing Properties of Herbs

Penelopey Ody has been a freelance journalist for more than 30 years. She qualified as a medical herbalist in the 1980s.

Her book on herbal medicine covers details – how to make and use your own brewed herbal medicines. It’s packed with photos, so you’ll know what plant you’re dealing with. The Dorling Kindersley edition has even more.

This survival book has profiled over 120 medicinal herbs, complete with their traditional uses! Some of the many details for these herbs include:

  • Which plant parts are suitable
  • Preparations
  • In which season the plant’s parts should be harvested and many more

There are a lot of survival books available out there. Just find what works for you!


People tend to think being a prepper is crazy and unnecessary, even though we really don’t know how quickly the world can change. The information above should provide you with a good overview of what a prepper is and what can make you one.

Additionally, it is advisable to maintain communication with like-minded people. One helpful tip for becoming a prepper is realizing that survival on one’s own or with little help is less probable than with a large group. Keep in contact with other like-minded people in your sphere of family and friends and especially if they live nearby. If you know any other preppers in your area, get to know them better. It’s best to soak up as much knowledge as possible.

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