Survivalist. The word is strong. It stirs feelings of defiance, manliness and a warrior mentality. An army of elite specialist who can take on any problem and win with only a toothbrush and a rubber band. What??? Back to reality children. Survivalist, also known as Preppers, are a special breed, but not because they can wrestle a bear. Quite the opposite actually. They think ahead in order to not confront a bear. Much smarter and safer.
There’s an estimated 3 million survivalist or Preppers in the United States, which sounds like an immense number of people, but it’s actually only @ 1% of the population. This 1% lives closer to the poverty line than the other 1% of the fabulously wealthy. What provokes people to prepare for doomsday? What’s the deal with Preppers? I’ll give you my opinion:
Preppers are not doomsday projectors, they are realist. They don’t care about doomsday, they care about the next natural or man-made catastrophe lurking around the corner.
They are self reliant people that work hard for everything they possess and aren’t particularly fond of someone trying to steal any of it. They will protect their own.
They are proud people reluctant to ask for help, but one of the first to offer help.
Perhaps the single most common factor Preppers share is they don’t count on anyone bailing them out of a crisis. They’ll survive by their own determination and preparation.
This may come as a slap in the face, but the Government, especially the federal government is not capable of handling a large scale disaster, example 6000 dead in Puerto Rico, thousands stranded in the Super-dome by Katrina, cold and hungry. No need to go on.
Worse yet, in my opinion is the man-made crises, such as the 2008 – 2009 economic collapse of the economy due strictly to the actions of greedy unscrupulous men that fleeced the system and the taxpayers. We have survived and thrived since Katrina, but the effects of the negative economy lingers to this day.
Don’t think it can happen again? Laws and regulations passed after the economic collapse to prevent a recurrence are being removed daily by congress. Think the crooks will change? They say lightening doesn’t strike twice in the same place. Number 1 that’s wrong and number two it’ll definitely strike again and again if there’s a lightening rod attracting it.
It’s foolish to argue disasters won’t occur, they’ve become so common we are growing numb to the news. The Real question is how will you deal with it. Wait for help … or take matters into your own hands and prepare your family to survive any crisis.
If your answer is you want to take care of yourself, but don’t have the first clue on how to become a survivalist, you’re in luck. I’m going to offer you a lot of information on how to become a Prepper and it’s not rocket science. It’s good old fashion common sense, learning to see and think a different way than you currently do and a few unknown tips thrown in for good measure. I’ll take you through it step by step.
Survivalist Guide 101
Remember High school Algebra or Chemistry? You may be different than me, but learning in those classes was hard. The only way to conquer a difficult task is to learn it a little at a time. Same with prepping. Don’t let the perceived magnitude of the goal overwhelm you and cause you to quit before you start.
Be realistic. You may not have the skills to go on Naked and Afraid, few people do. (Personally I wouldn’t want to) You may not have a huge bank account to immediately obtain a large cache of supplies, or weapons for protection. No problem. Really. There is no one size fits all Prepper guide. You may despise firearms, obviously you wouldn’t go out a buy an AR15. However, Bubba may try to track down an army surplus tank.
Step One: The tire kicker Prepper. You know how it is when you want a new car but aren’t quite sure if you really need one. The tire kicker stage of becoming a survivalist is knowing it’s the smart thing to do, but aren’t sure they can do it. Questions of finances, skills, being mocked are at the forefront.
Step Two: The “I’m in water … now what?” Prepper. This stage is when you decide you’re gonna do it. They spend countless hours on the internet exploring Prepper and Survivalist websites. They will embark on a crash course of survivalist skills to get up to speed. This stage will actually last forever, you never stop learning, but the being obsessed with the learning will fade as you gain experience.
Step Three: The comfortable Prepper. In this stage you will become confident of your skills, no longer doubting yourself. You have obtained an ample amount of supplies and have learned enough skills to not only assist others by sharing their knowledge in person, but will contribute to forums and possibly guess write on an internet website.
Step Four: The Mountain Man. In this final stage, which actually very few reach, the Prepper has graduated to a Survivalist expert. He is planning for a real apocalypse, such as a nuclear war. They have a well supplied bug out location and a well designed bug out plan. They normally aren’t very forth coming with their knowledge because of the need of secrecy. Modern television has made these types of Preppers sort of heroes. They are featured in survival shows and promotions of Prepper materials.
You could easily break these 4 stages down to maybe a 100, but why? These are the four most common stages of becoming a Prepper.
Keeping Skills Available
Let’s look at 20 or so steps to take in becoming a self sufficient Prepper or a full fledged survivalist mountain man.
Itty Bitty Steps
It’s imperative to not become overwhelmed by the deluge of information and things to do. Perform your due diligence by researching Prepper info on line or the library. Don’t be discouraged if someone calls you crazy. That’s OK. Should they come to you for help remind them you’re crazy, how could you help.
2. Actually sort of a repeat of 1.
Start little and slow. Don’t contemplate the long term. Accumulate enough supplies for 3 days. Then build on that cache to 7 days, 30 days, 365 days.
3. No electricity.
Seems like no matter what the crisis, hurricane, snow storm, etc the electricity is the first thing to go. Plan for it. Store flashlights, (at least 2 of good quality) batteries, (all sizes) candles (slow burning) and water proof matches. (For starting a fire for warmth and cooking. Generators and other power producing sources can be added later due to the cost.
4. What to expect.
You can develop an educated guess at to what crisis is most likely to occur where you are. Live in Florida … expect hurricanes Live in Oklahoma … expect tornadoes. Live by a river … prepare for flooding Live in a city … riots and civil unrest. As you can see its mainly common sense preparation, although mother nature can often throw curve balls.
Don’t lose contact
Create an emergency contact list and maintain it on your phone, computer, laptop, whatever also making a hard copy on a piece of paper. Sometimes the old ways work the best. Emergency contacts are first … police, fire department, hospitals, doctors, then family and close friends. Have phone numbers, cell phone numbers and email addresses.
5.Never too much of a good thing
The most important natural resource for your survival is water. You won’t live longer than 3 days without it. Stockpile as much as possible. Buy pre-packaged water bottles or refill empty milk cartons with water. Learning how to purify water is very important. A lake full of water in front of you won’t do you any good if you can’t safely drink it. Make a mental note of lakes, creeks and rivers near you where you can obtain water.
6. Survivalist Cafe
It’s not only how much of something you store, what is also important. Stockpiling dry beans and rice for example is very beneficial. They provide a lot of calories and are very nutritious. Learn how to properly cook them off grid, campfire or rocket stove. These stores will keep a lot of stomachs full.
7. Prove who you are
You need gather important documents, drivers license, passport, emergency contacts, marriage license, medical history. This may seem trivial in a crisis situation but it is not. These documents can help first responders to evaluate your medical treatment, you’ll need photos of your family in the event you are separated. You may need to prove who you are and where you live in order to gain access to your neighborhood. Keeping these on a flash drive is a smart and safe way to store them away from thieves.
8.Mom I gotta pee
Sanitation will most likely be a secondary concern until you need it. It’s quite possible the infrastructure could fail leaving you without water for drinking, bathing or flushing the toilet. You have to dispose of human and pet waste quickly and efficiently. But how. Research. For example hand sanitize will maintain hand hygiene, kitty litter and a bucket can serve as an emergency toilet.
9.Don’t be lost
You need a communication and transportation plan in place. It’s no guarantee you’ll be at home when the SHTF. Have an agreed upon place to go in order to gather your family. It’s a wise idea to make a practice run so everyone knows what to do.
10. I’m too tired
When the SHTF you may have to run, climb, swim or crawl your way to safety. By exercising regularly you can maintain some semblance of being in shape. This doesn’t mean you need a 6 pack ab. Work on stamina and strength in order to handle the potential physical pressures that may be required.
11. You gotta know something
It’s important to learn basic skills for survival. A traditional skill set for a survivalist is fishing or learning to hunt. Learn how to start a primitive campfire and how to build a shelter. Putting in a garden will familiarize you with the growing and harvesting of wild vegetables
12. Got Your Six
Get to know your neighbors especially if you live in a remote area. People are prone to watch out and help people they know. You don’t have to have weekly tea with them. Just remembering your face from church or school is enough. If things get territorial you’ll need one another s help to survive.
13. Birds of a feather flock together
Develop a group of like minded Preppers and survivalist. What could be better than having a whole group stockpiling supplies, learning skills, and providing safety in numbers.
14. If only I could remember
Create a survival library. No matter how smart, how experienced or how high your IQ nobody knows it all. You have dedicated X amount of time recently cramming information into your head. Think you can remember every single step or item needed. Paper books are great but electronic devises, especially if they are solar charged, will be better.
15. Gotta go now
Prepare a bug out bag for each family member. If the SHTF you won’t have time to pack a suitcase, and if you did you’d forget half of what you need due to the crisis atmosphere. Do a little research, customize what you want and have it packed and ready to go on a moments notice if need be. Bugging out doesn’t mean you have to hide in the woods and be raised by wolves. You may have to go to grandma’s until the flood waters near your home subside. You’ll still need individual bug out bags. Grandma won’t have famine hygiene products.
16. I ain’t leaving
If your home becomes too dangerous to stay, you must bug out. However, bugging in is always the preferred option. You’ll have your stockpile readily accessible, your neighbors have your back and most importantly, you’re in a familiar place. Sometimes hunkering down and letting the danger pass is the best way to handle it.
17. Where do I go?
Have an evacuation plan in place ahead of time. You may not have a choice, you have to leave. A properly planned evacuation plan already has several ways out of your house, know and practice these. Have every evacuation route drawn out on a map. It’s best if possible to avoid major traffic arteries as they will most likely be clogged with others trying to leave. Stick to side streets even if it means temporarily doubling back in order to reach clear sailing. Know how to travel and care for pets. And lastly, you may not be able to drive away. You may have to walk. Know where you might want to go instead of wandering around.
18. Back to bugging in
It’s important to have some sort of entertainment available. Games, cards, coloring books and reading books are all good options. Believe me without some sort of distraction the minutes will feel like hours.
19. Blood makes me sick
Like it or not injuries will occur. It’s important you are learned in the basics of first aid, as well as maintain a well supplied medical kit. Trauma injuries must be properly and swiftly dealt or else the person may die. It’s not a pleasant thought for many, but if not you…who? A good medical/first aid book is a great idea.
20. I can’t count
I know I said 20 tips, but there is one more that is deadly serious and must be faced.
21. I don’t want to shoot … but I will
You must be prepared to defend your home, family and supplies. This is where Preppers / Survivalist become confused with militias and other radicals. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact that’s why I held this off to last … it’s an unsavory topic. The idea of killing another human being is reprehensible to most people. But in the world of it’s you or it’s me … it better be you.
Daisy Luther explained this step far better than I can. Here is an excerpt from an article she wrote.
“The only person you can rely on to protect your family is yourself.
You can stockpile until you have a decade of supplies put back, but if you can’t defend it, you don’t actually own it. You only have it because no one has bothered taking it away from you yet. You have what you have based on the goodwill of others, who are stronger, greater in number, and better armed.
You have to look at the psychology of this. People can justify pretty much anything when they or their children are starving. And I can understand that to a large degree – who could stand to watch their babies suffering? But if someone can devolve to the above degree just to because everyone else is doing it, the chaos we saw above is only a tiny sample of what could come if people were truly hungry.
Take a long hard look at the threats you face during civil unrest, and develop one. Wherever you live, whatever your situation, you need to plan as though 911 does not exist. Whether riots are occurring in the streets or not, in the seconds during which the lives of your family hang in the balance, you are completely on your own.”
It isn’t enough just to choose a weapon and put it in a drawer. You need to learn to use it, practice with it regularly, maintain it, and keep on hand extra ammunition for it. The lives of your family could one day depend on your comfort level and skill with your defense weapon of choice.
Again, I thank Daisy Luther for allowing me to share this with you.
To become a Survivalist is nothing special. It requires hard work, dedication and a commitment to the ones you love that you will do everything in your power to take care of them.