Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Short list to get you ahead of the game.

It's been said that simply coming to the realization that you need to prep will put you ahead of 90% of the population. That's probably true, or at least the sentiment behind the saying is true, even if the actual stat is not. But being ahead of 90% of the population just because you know you should prep isn't necessarily good enough. You have to put that into action.

When I started this blog a few years back, most of my posts we based on helping readers develop a beginner's "list of lists", something that the average person could find and afford to get them ready for disasters.

While the items on that list are easy to find and generally affordable, the list itself is still a bit long. So I am going to give you a shorter list, a list that is NOT meant to be comprehensive or get you through the end of the world... But you can consider it a part of that "get ahead of 90% of the population" idea. You'll need to KNOW that you should prep, but you'll also need these things.

I will go down the line according to the "SWFS-CIMT" model.

Shelter - You need a stable place to stay in an area that itself is not a disaster already. Pretty abundant in the US.

Water - A Sawyer Mini Filter will allow you to drink almost any water source. Get one for every member of the family, and maybe an extra or two. A Berkey water system is nice to have also. If you want to store water as well, use this rule: One gallon of water per person, per day. Water in jugs at Walmart is cheap.

Food - I have demonstrated already that storing rice and beans is cheap and easy. Look at this post to see my storage of pinto beans. You can use the exact same process for white rice and lentils. You can use the same process for salt and sugar, as long as you substitute moisture absorbers for oxygen absorbers. Don't put oxygen absorbers in salt or sugar. Mountain House #10 cans are great as well.

Security - This is where you get the guns. Look here and here and pick out what sounds good to you. Don't forget ammo, mags and TRAINING. This general security list will help too.

Communications - It's much more important to listen than to transmit, so I'm just going to keep it simple. The GP-5 SSB shortwave radio and the Uniden Home Patrol II police scanner will allow you to listen in on any relevant broadcasts you need to. A set of two-way radios from Cobra or Midland will allow you to talk with group members at short distances. Cell phones and chargers are obviously good to keep.

Intelligence - In the military, intelligence drives the mission. In the prepping world, information needs to drive your actions and decisions. Building your "all-source collection element", or ACE, is key to gathering intelligence. Take a look at this guide to get started on your own ACE.

Medical - You need a first aid kit and some additional medical supplies. Take a look here and get started filling out your medical supply list.

Transportation - Lastly, you need to be able to get from point A to point B, and you need to have adequate tools to maintain that vehicle. You'll need more than a Prius. Here is a pretty basic list to help you maintain your vehicle. Cars are ok. Trucks and Jeeps are usually better. It all depends on your terrain and needs, though.

I may very well end up with commenters adding their 2¢ (which is always welcome) on which things to add to this list. This list is not made to be the end all be all, nor is it nearly adequate to you through TEOTWAWKI. It's a barebones list that I am making for the people who have heard the phrase "if you realize you need to prep, you're already ahead of 90% of the population", and are wondering if that's really true. Yes it is, but only partially. You need some tools and some knowledge. So with that, I'll also leave you with this list of books to grab...


  1. Easy to overlook, one might want to add something to the transportation list...either/or a scooter/moped type or a mountain/trail bicycle for when automobile transportation may by just about impossible, or when night time silent/quiet mode may be preferable. Doesn't have to be expensive...point a to point b.

    1. Keeping it as cheap and simple as possible, I'd say that bicycle is a good idea.