Ready to take charge of your safety and well-being? Prepping isn’t just for the extreme survivalist; it’s smart planning for anyone looking to bolster their resilience against unexpected events. This beginner’s guide will arm you with knowledge, from stocking up on emergency food that keeps you energized, to mastering water storage techniques ensuring a clean sip is always within reach.

Dive into assembling a top-notch bug-out bag packed with medical supplies and hygiene must-haves. Even learn essential skills and unconventional methods like using air rifles— these skills provide know-how that could prove invaluable when normalcy takes a backseat. And don’t let power outages leave you in the dark; we’ve got strategies ready for keeping the lights on.

Beyond gear and skills, discover how organizing supplies effectively can make all the difference during crunch time. So let’s get down to business—you’re about to become more skilled at prepping.

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Prepping Basics and Getting Started

When disaster strikes, being prepared can make all the difference. Starting your prepping journey might seem daunting, but it’s about taking methodical steps toward emergency preparedness. Whether you’re facing a natural disaster, a full blown SHTF collapse scenario, or an unexpected car accident in daily life, having your basics dialed in is crucial.

Understanding the Why and How of Prepping

what does the bible say about prepping? how to start prepping

To start prepping effectively, consider why you’re doing it: to protect yourself and family members when emergencies hit home. This isn’t just for those living in hurricane-prone areas; everyone benefits from being ready at a moment’s notice. The how begins with knowledge—learning survival essentials so that if power outages occur or running water stops flowing, you’re not caught off guard.

You’ll want to know about storing water safely since each person needs roughly 14 gallons for two weeks—the bare minimum for staying hydrated during short-term emergencies without access to drinking water. Water purification tablets are lifesavers here too because they let us turn almost any source into safe drinking water.

Creating Your First Emergency Plan

An effective plan addresses potential weak points before trouble arrives—it’s like insurance for tough times ahead. 

Like in our free planning exercise, ask yourself what would happen if there were no more grocery stores or ATMs working. 

Make sure you have enough food storage and food reserves packed away by selecting nutrient-dense options, canned goods, and particularly dried foods designed specifically as survival food.

Your kit checklist should include items such as rechargeable batteries—a reliable power source—and medical supplies ranging from band-aids to prescription medications based on individual health needs outlined by resources like the American Red Cross, MyMedic, and Refuge Medical.

In essence, getting started with prepping means building resilience into everyday life so that when an emergency scenario does arise, we stand strong against whatever challenges come our way.

Key Takeaway: 

Start your prepping journey by learning the essentials and building an emergency preparedness kit. Think about why you’re doing it—keeping loved ones safe in emergencies. Store water, choose nutrient-dense survival foods, and include power sources and medical supplies in your emergency plan to stand strong against any disaster.

Food and Water Storage Essentials


Because the shelves will be cleared in a disaster, it is essential to have a healthy food and water supply to remain self reliant.

Selecting Nutrient-Dense Emergency Foods

When disaster strikes, a well-stocked food supply can be your lifeline. The goal is to choose foods that pack the most nutrition into every bite like our favorite resource does. Look for high-calorie options that don’t skimp on vitamins and minerals. 

Many think about items like ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables, protein bars, dry cereal, or granola. Although many of these have a large amount of preservatives that aren’t ideal and many of these don’t last long.

Canned goods can be good because they have a long shelf life; however, rotating them out before they expire can be tedious and they are bulky. Dried beans and lentils are great as they’re not only nutrient-dense but also easy to store and prepare.

nutrient survival cans on shelf. shtf plan and shtf loadout and prepper list how to start prepping

I suggest looking into emergency survival food buckets instead. After years of doing this, I’ve found this route to be the most cost-effective and convenient.

If you’ve ever wondered how much emergency food to keep on hand, I suggest starting with storing 3 months worth of food for everyone in your household.

In addition, having a water source like collecting rainwater, coupled with proper storage of emergency foods can significantly extend your family’s self-sufficiency during an extended power outage or natural disaster.

Innovative Solutions for Storing Drinking Water

To maintain health in any emergency situation it’s crucial to have access to clean drinking water. On average each household uses hundreds of gallons per day in our regular living conditions so having at least two weeks’ worth of emergency water stored is key.

prepper list water storage buckets how to start prepping shtf gear

While we won’t be using that much in a true grid-down scenario, it is key to have water available for drinking and hygienic purposes.

There are many ways to ensure you’ve got enough H2O tucked away—think beyond just bottled water: large-capacity water storage containers, specifically designed for long-term use can make all the difference when taps run dry.

Beyond storing water, think outside the box by collecting water purification tablets and water filters. These come in handy if resources become limited and simply because storing large quantities isn’t feasible especially if living space is tight.


Another option includes setting up rain barrels hooked up to the downspouts from your rain gutters. This could help you gather extra water without taking up valuable real estate inside your home while providing additional benefits like watering plants and helping cut down utility bills over time. 

Just be sure to check your local regulations because collecting rainwater might be frowned upon in some areas as odd as that sounds…

Key Takeaway: 

Stock up on high-calorie, nutrient-rich foods. Canned goods can work for your emergency supply but keep tabs on expiration dates to keep your stash fresh. Go for the best emergency survival food storage to take your food preparation to the max.

To stay hydrated in a crisis, store at least two weeks worth of water and consider rain barrels and water purification methods if space is tight.

Assembling Your Survival Kit and Supplies

Your survival kits are your lifeline when disaster strikes. Crafting a comprehensive set of survival gear that includes medical supplies, hygiene products, and other essentials can make all the difference in a long-term or short-term emergency.

Crafting a Customized Bug-Out Bag

A bug-out bag is more than just a backpack; it’s packed with specific gear and peace of mind. Start by choosing one that’s sturdy yet comfortable to carry for extended periods. 

Elite Survival Systems Tenacity 72 Hour Pack for a discount with our code “menofstrength15”

Inside, you’ll want an emergency kit filled with vital aid supplies among other survival supplies. These include bandages, antiseptics, and tools necessary for immediate care. Review this guide for a comprehensive first aid kit breakdown (plus use code “Strength15” for a discount on all medical kits!).

Next up are items ensuring your basic needs are met: food, shelter, and water. Pack nutrient-dense snacks—think energy bars or trail mix—and add long-lasting staples like jerky or dried fruits. 

As I suggested, storing at least 14 gallons of drinking water per person for two weeks can be lifesaving.

But 14 gallons in a bug-out bag? Water weighs roughly 8 lbs per gallon so that’s not gonna happen, nor should it.

prepping shtf loadout

Pack a manageable amount of clean water in your bag and then be sure to carry survival water filters, fire-starting supplies, and water purification tablets to be able to purify water from external sources like rain collection, rivers, or other natural sources.

Maintaining personal hygiene during crises boosts morale significantly—so be sure to include wet wipes, travel soaps, and feminine hygiene products if necessary. And don’t forget about weather radios powered by rechargeable batteries so you’re never out of touch with crucial updates even during power outages.

To round off your bug-out bag list you need to add a decent survival knife and at least a sturdy multitool. You should also consider including a means to defend yourself and your family by planning to include a quality handgun. This opens a whole other can of worms but is a necessary part of your survival gear.


Mastering Essential Survival Skills

In a survival situation, knowing how to procure and cook food, stay warm, purify water, and navigate the terrain is as vital as having a lifeline. 

Knowing how to make a fire for warmth, protection, purifying water, and cooking food is an essential skill to have because you never know if you will be stranded away from home in a disaster.


Also, hunting skills, for example, are not just about tracking game but also understanding animal behavior and ecosystem balance. This might be a warranted skill to have in long-term emergency scenarios.

The tool for the job is going to be a firearm or even a crossbow or bow.  When firearms aren’t an option or ammunition is gone, air rifles can even become practical alternatives due to their quiet operation and versatility.

Lastly, knowing your way around the area or how to navigate unfamiliar landscapes is essential to finding somewhere safe to bring your family. While not everyone will plan to venture into the wilderness, these skills are still invaluable no matter where you are.

plate carrier vs chest rig prepping

Survival Situation Adaptability

Land navigation goes beyond reading a compass; it’s about making intelligent decisions when landmarks are scarce. It teaches you to read the land—its contours, and vegetation patterns—and use them to your advantage whether in dense forests or urban sprawls. This skill often turns the unknown into familiar territory quickly.

But remember that survival isn’t only about getting through today—it’s planning for tomorrow too. Solar panels or solar generators offer a sustainable power source when the grid fails and provide a way of charging essential tools like rechargeable batteries without which modern navigation gear might be rendered useless.

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Honing Your Marksmanship

Honing your marksmanship skills requires precision and patience—traits crucial for any prepper looking to sustain themselves by hunting small game. Whether it’s a rifle, bow, or air rifle, these tools have a role to play in your prepping journey.

More than hunting, they are a means of self-defense to protect yourself and your family from wildlife and those with ill intentions.

Leveraging this tool effectively, and safely, means practicing regularly; muscle memory ensures accuracy and proper handling under stress where every shot counts more than ever before because resources cannot go wasted and your lives may depend on it.

Key Takeaway: 

Knowing how to hunt and navigate can save your life in the wild. As well as being proficient with firearms.

Land navigation helps you make smart moves when you’re lost by reading the land itself—turning unknown areas into navigable ground.

Proper practice makes perfect with firearms; regular use builds muscle memory for safety and precise shots that don’t waste precious resources.

Strategies for Dealing with Power Outages

A sudden power outage will plunge your home into darkness and disrupt daily life. It’s vital to have a plan in place before the lights go out. 

Whether you want to admit it or not, we are all highly dependent on electricity to live our lives. Taking that away so abruptly and for an extended period will cause you to have to adapt quickly.

With that being said, securing alternative power sources can be as crucial as storing clean drinking water depending on your location.

Transmission Tower Under Gray Sky prepping

Investing in Alternative Power Sources

Generators are a popular choice when it comes to backup power. But they have their downfalls and you don’t want to wait until disaster strikes; test your generator periodically and stock up on fuel to ensure you’re ready at a moment’s notice. 

Solar panels and solar generators offer another reliable option, harnessing the sun’s energy even during long-term blackouts.

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes or other natural disasters, consider portable solar generators and solar chargers for small devices like phones and radios. 

Remember that staying informed via an NOAA weather radio is essential during emergencies as well.

Maintaining Your Food Supply Through Efficient Storage

To prevent spoilage during extended outages, keep non-perishable food items well-stocked—foods that require no cooking or refrigeration can be lifesavers when there’s no electricity available. Moreover, using storage containers specifically designed for longevity helps maintain orderliness while safeguarding your provisions against pests and contamination.

Organizing Your Supplies with Proper Storage Containers

When you’re prepping, the right storage containers can mean the difference between chaos and calm in an emergency. They protect your supplies from damage and make everything easy to find when time is tight.

storage containers lowres 8558
Photo: Rozette Rago

Selecting Sturdy and Stackable Options

Picking out strong, stackable storage containers gives you a solid foundation for organization. Look for heavy-duty options that will stand up to wear and tear but are also light enough to carry if needed. This balance ensures that whether it’s a power outage or natural disaster striking without warning, your essentials remain secure yet accessible at a moment’s notice.

Containers should be waterproof and rodent-proof too; they safeguard food supply from pests while keeping extra water stored safely away from potential contaminants. Plus, using clear bins helps you quickly spot what you need without having to dig through each container during high-stress situations or you can clearly label them.

Here’s what I use for a lot of gear and they are affordable.

Incorporating Versatility into Your Setup

Versatile storage solutions adapt to various needs—a great idea considering emergencies come in many forms. Opt for modular systems where additional units seamlessly integrate as your stash grows over time or changes based on family members’ requirements. From hygiene products like wet wipes being readily available alongside medical supplies—to tools such as water purification tablets—every item has its place.

Photo: Amazon

For example, if collecting rainwater is part of your strategy understanding how this integrates into your setup becomes crucial; larger barrels may serve well here while smaller jugs fit neatly within more compact spaces ensuring no space goes unused efficiently utilizing every square inch of storage area available.

Essential Items Every Prepper Should Have

When it comes to prepping, having the right gear can make all the difference. A well-thought-out collection of essentials is not just a survival luxury; it’s non-negotiable for effective emergency management. You never know when weak points will be tested—be that during a natural disaster or an unexpected power outage.

Survival Essential: The Core Gear

A comprehensive kit checklist should include extra water and emergency food supply as its cornerstone. With an average daily water consumption of 14 gallons per person, storing enough clean drinking water for at least two weeks is crucial. 

Be sure to store water and emergency food!

Collecting rainwater could be a game-changer in your hydration strategy. As for nutrition, prioritize high-calorie foods with long shelf lives to maintain energy levels through any crisis.

Bag Essentials: Pack Smartly

Your bug-out bag needs to be ready at a moment’s notice but also practical and portable. It must contain first aid supplies such as those from MyMedic which you can get for 15% off with code “Strength15

Don’t overlook hygiene products—they’re critical for preventing infections when running water isn’t available. Also don’t forget miscellaneous gear for starting fires and completing other necessary tasks like a complete multitool.

Maintaining Order: Storage Solutions

To keep your goods accessible yet secure, invest in quality storage containers suited for various supplies—from medical kits to rechargeable batteries vital during electricity blackouts. Organizing your stockpile now ensures you won’t scramble later amid chaos.


The Finer Details: Purification and Communication

In times without clean tap water, water purification tablets become indispensable alongside reliable water filters. Both are pivotal elements within your arsenal against dehydration-related illnesses in post-disaster scenarios where other sources are compromised. 

And let’s not forget communication tools—a NOAA weather radio keeps you informed even if cell towers go down and handheld radios can be a good addition to your group supplies.

Remember these key components; they’re essential pillars supporting every resilient prepper’s inventory.

Key Takeaway: 

Build a solid prepping foundation with essentials: stock up on water and long-lasting food, pack your bug-out bag wisely, store everything securely, and don’t forget purification tablets and a radio for clean water and updates.

Maintaining Hygiene with Effective Water Purification Methods

Person Cleaning Hands under Water how to start prepping

When traditional facilities are out of order during a crisis, it’s crucial to have methods for water purification and personal hygiene at your fingertips. Clean water is essential not only for drinking but also for maintaining cleanliness, which can prevent infections and diseases in high-stress scenarios.

Water Purification: A Cornerstone of Survival Hygiene

Purifying water becomes a top priority when taps run dry. One tried and true way is to boil the water to kill any harmful bacteria. However, this requires a heat source which may not always be feasible. That’s why having a solid fire starting kit is essential.

Boiling Water in a Kettle prepping

Another reliable method we’ve mentioned is using water purification tablets which are designed to kill pathogens quickly. These compact lifesavers are perfect when you need potable water fast. 

For those planning long-term strategies, investing in quality water filters can provide ongoing access to clean drinking water without the recurring cost of tablets. There are portable and larger filtering options out there and I recommend getting both.

Beyond drinking, clean water plays a role in sanitation—critical for preventing infection and illness post-disaster. When running water isn’t an option, wet wipes become indispensable allies; they offer a no-rinse solution that keeps skin free from irritants and harmful bacteria—a simple yet effective way to uphold hygiene standards amidst chaos.

The Role of Wet Wipes in Emergency Cleanliness

Crop person wiping smartphone with wet wipes from prepper list prepping

In times when showers aren’t possible, wet wipes can serve as an excellent stopgap measure for body cleansing—they’re gentle on the skin while removing dirt effectively. Their versatility extends beyond personal use; they’re equally adept at disinfecting surfaces or acting as makeshift bandage cleaners until proper medical care is available.

I like the Combat Wipes the best. They’re biodegradable and actually developed by soldiers for in the field use.

For those living through natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires—or even just preparing against potential emergencies—it’s clear why having these items on hand makes sense. It’s all about staying safe and healthy when normal amenities fail us.

Tailoring Your Prep to Natural Disasters

When you live in a hurricane-prone area or regions susceptible to wildfires and tornadoes, your prep game needs specific strategies. These aren’t just rainy-day scenarios; they’re real-life challenges where the right preparation can mean the difference between hardship and resilience.

I spent my upbringing in the wildfire-prone area of Southern California and had my fair share of sketchy situations. Three of which were particularly challenging.

mira safety cm-6m use cases. shtf plan prepping
Pics I took of fires I lived through.

Natural Disasters: Prepping for Specific Threats

It’s crucial to adapt your emergency plan in areas threatened by natural disasters. 

A couple of examples could be: 

  • Hurricanes demand sturdy water storage containers that won’t break under harsh conditions.
  • Wildfires necessitate ready-to-go bags with gas masks and eye protection because air quality becomes an immediate concern.
  • Tornadoes require quick access to shelters with survival essentials at hand.

A detailed understanding of local threats noted in your emergency preparedness planning process guides how you stock up on supplies like food supply kits, which should be rich in calories yet compact enough for quick transport like from our friends at Nutrient Survival

Knowing your region helps determine if extra water or purification tablets will serve better than bulky storage options when space is limited but needs are high.

Strategic Water Solutions for Disaster Prone Areas

In a disaster, public utilities often fail first, making drinking water scarce—a dire situation since we can only last maybe three days without it. 

Those living without reliable running water need a good supply and the innovative solutions that we have talked about. Storage techniques vary widely from barrels designed specifically for potable use to purification methods ensuring safety even amidst contamination concerns posed by natural events.

Safeguarding Food Supplies Against Nature’s Fury

Your pantry isn’t built like a fortress against nature’s whims (or maybe it is)—so store food wisely. 

Airtight containers keep moisture out during humid hurricane seasons while flame-resistant materials protect provisions from wildfire sparks or heatwaves. Although, if your food is burning up (and no not your cooking) then you should be long gone by the way.

Think long term; not just what’ll get you through until help arrives but also considering self-sufficiency if aid is delayed beyond expected time frames due to extensive damage across affected regions.

There is also the possibility of large-scale war and supply shortages to consider. Whatever the reason, having your own supply of food for the long term is never a bad idea.

Key Takeaway: 

Match your prepping to the most likely threat to you. Stock up smart and remember, adaptability is key.

Integrating Prepping into Everyday Life

Making prepping a seamless part of your daily routine can transform how you think about readiness. It’s all about finding the balance between being prepared and living your life without constant worry. 

Here, we’ll explore ways to weave basic prepping principles into your everyday activities and if you’re a follower of Christ, how to prepare from a biblical standpoint.

Mastering Daily Water Needs with Smart Storage Solutions

The reality is, each person uses an average of 14 gallons of water per day; it’s clear that having a stash for at least two weeks isn’t just wise—it’s essential. By incorporating collecting rainwater, you’re not only preparing for emergencies but also practicing sustainable living.

It goes beyond stacking bottles in the garage. Think bigger: invest in robust water storage containers designed to keep large volumes safe and potable over time. And don’t forget those handy purification tablets—they’re small enough to fit anywhere, from kitchen drawers to car glove compartments, ensuring clean drinking water is always within reach.

Fusing Food Security into Your Daily Practices

Your pantry isn’t just for day-to-day cooking—it’s a cornerstone of food storage when disaster strikes or even if you hit a financial rough patch on any given day. Introduce nutrient-dense survival foods alongside regular groceries; think foods that have long shelf lives yet blend seamlessly into your family meals.

Adding emergency food buckets to your garage shelves is as simple as a few taps on your phone with a little commitment to providing for your loved ones.

This way, storing emergency rations becomes second nature rather than an afterthought—you’re essentially starting prepping without disrupting daily life.


Incorporating Gear Readiness Into Home Organization

A dependable flashlight here, some extra batteries there—everyday items double as survival essentials before you know it. Store rechargeable batteries charged up so they’re ready at a moment’s notice during power outages or other emergencies where electricity may be scarce.

By keeping these basics well-organized within easy access points throughout your home ensures every family member knows where to find them when needed most.

From solar generators providing backup energy sources to weather radios offering crucial updates—a little foresight means staying ahead no matter what comes your way while going about everyday tasks smoothly.

Key Takeaway: 

Turn daily routines into prep habits by storing rainwater and adding purification tablets to your kit. Keep survival food in the pantry and/or garage with gear like charged batteries and flashlights handy.

Blend prepping with everyday life for peace of mind, ensuring water, food, and essential tools are always within reach without disrupting your day-to-day activities.

Prepping FAQs

Is prepping a proper word?

Yes, “prepping” is legit. It’s shorthand for preparing, especially for emergencies or survival situations.

What does prepping mean?

In slang, “prepping” means gearing up and getting ready—often used when talking about big catastrophic events or disasters.

How do I start prepping?

Kick off with the basics: stash water, food supplies, and put together an emergency kit. Plan your moves carefully.

What do you need for prepping?

You’ll want essentials like water, non-perishable foods, first aid items, tools, self defense means, and personal hygiene products at minimum.

Prepping Conclusion

shtf gear how to start prepping

Prepping means readiness. It’s the calm in a storm, the light when power fails, and sustenance for days on end. You’ve learned to keep water pure and your food supply rich in nutrients.

Prepping spells self-reliance. You now know that every can of beans, solar panel, or weather radio isn’t just an item—it’s peace of mind.

Prepping stands for adaptability. Whether it’s tailoring your kit for hurricanes or integrating survival tactics into daily life—flexibility is key.

Above all else, prepping secures confidence—for yourself and family members alike—that when disaster strikes at a moment’s notice, you’re equipped not just to survive but thrive.

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