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Personally I am concerned that some people harbor this largely inaccurate view of ‘Preppers‘. As some readers may know, as a result of my appearance on National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers, I received the highest score in the history of that series, while being named the ‘Best Prepper’. Probably the most concise way of helping readers to understand more about me is by reading my interview with Inquisitr reporter Tara Dodrill. Given what you now know about me, I don’t think anyone would disagree when I say I have a pretty good idea of what the commonalities and differences are between Survivalists and Preppers, which is another point of some confusion in discussions.
So, as we see from this definition, there are no allegations of ‘paranoia’ or condemnation for anti-social behavior.
Nonetheless, from my chair, this definition lacks critical details relating to the motives or reasons for ‘prepping’ as well as the resulting mechanisms and tactics.
Another Prepper might be a person who: Observed the events of the recent Hurricane Sandy, by either witnessing or reading about how thousands of people went without clean water, food, shelter and electricity for many weeks, even though Government organizations tried to provide assistance. These foregoing simplified examples are by no means ineffective or worthless precautions, nor do they reflect any unhealthy form of paranoia or cult activity. There are various levels of being prepared and that has a lot to with a person’s financial ability to provide some measure of preparedness for a multitude of statistically meaningful risk scenarios. Buying and equipping their home with fire and smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and collapsible deploy-able ladders from the upper floor windows of the house. Buying some form of a small boat (inflatable or rigid) with some lifejackets and emergency signaling devices. And in respect to all of the aforementioned equipment; training in the proper use of all of it. Any physiologist that infers that people who are preparing for statically relevant risks is uninformed and narrow minded. In fact, I would bet that if we randomly tested a dozen such people (psychologists) on something as simple as how to change a flat tire, or how to check the power-steering fluid on their own cars, most would fail to be able to do so. So far, we have covered the basics, but what is a Prepper in the greatest sense of the definition? A Prepper is in a constant state of studying his environment and learning, using that information on both a daily basis and in the event of an actual emergency. People who are not so prepared merely place added risks on the people around them once they become desperate. Using a martial arts analogy, in the sense that a ‘white-belt’ might be someone that is just getting starting and has little knowledge, training and equipment, some people might be black-belt Preppers, having accumulated a wealth of knowledge, experience and equipment. The one thing that I think is greatly misunderstood by many people, Preppers included, is that Prepping picks up where bushcraft skills leave off. Preppers need to first master their bushcrafts before they move on to more complex technological skills! As we see, there are almost as many definitions of what a ‘Prepper’ is as there experts on the subject. From my chair, too many people believe that a Prepper is just someone who has collected a lot of guns and ammo, and has stored a lot of gear and supplies.
In my opinion, a ‘Prepper’, in the broadest sense of the definition, has mastered all of the basic bushcrafts just as a pre-requisite to mastering many other advanced skill sets such as survival engineering (building systems that will allow long-term survival with some comforts), just as one example. If we were standing in Seattle, WA and the SHTF, how would we get out of town and into the remote mountain areas quickly? If I was alone or with a few friends, I could easily make it on-foot to one of many small local airparks (small neighborhood airstrips) where there are many small airplanes. As we see in this ‘one of many’ possible examples, having specialized skill-sets beyond bushcrafts provides many more tactical options and greatly increases the odds of surviving.
In the end, none of us really knows what skills and equipment may make the difference between life and death for ourselves or the people around us during or after any disaster. It’s like having that spare tire and a jack in the trunk… once you do, you don’t worry about having a flat. What’s your biggest concern about surviving life after an EMP attack destroys our grid?
Even if you’re prepping on a budget, this list will maximize your effectiveness as a private soldier for freedom, and serve as a combat multiplier for you and your retreat.
What’s important to note is that my kit is TOP of the LINE gear, the latest and greatest available for 2004.
The handheld tac light in my rig is for clearing rooms with the handgun, which as my skill and my boys skill improved we found ourselves using more than the M4.
Too much focus on tactical gear, teotwawki will be a gradual slide into anarchy as the markets crash, transportation grids to a halt, stores being emptied and looted.
For example, if you live near a dairy farm with neighbors who are self sufficient the whole neighborhood is going to be interested in keeping that dairy farm from being looted.
As for the 24 hour kit… that is just in case while out on a mission or security patrol you get stuck out that night. This is a very interesting article and I would say the guy has a firm grip on what he would need to surmount a gunfight and not only survive, but dominate that gun fight. In our core group we have specified members (almost always with military experience, but not always)that their job is nothing but security. If you’ve got to lug gear or position things, like we did right before we shot our night time tactics DVD with Harry, the author of this post, we had to move all sorts of gear in pitch darkness, and headlamps were critical.
Comments have been great too – especially those concerning nite vision, and sleeping togs.
10 didnt doomsday preppers - hitfix, Doomsday preppers talk to hitfix about what got them the preparations and do not be sucked into the commercial cost of having a food storage,. Check preps - lists, A must have list for emergency food storage i could not have brought him home from the hospital without these preparations. The list items survive extended emergency: top 10 essential doomsday doomsday preppers, food, preparations . Copyright © 2012 Rachael Edwards, All trademarks are the property of the respective trademark owners. A bug out bag contains the essentials you need to live if you are forced to leave your location. The properly loaded Bug Out Bag should give you everything you need to live for 3 days at a minimum so that is the framework of this list. I believe that the items below should go in virtually every bug out bag that is assembled regardless of the reason you are Bugging Out in the first place.
Water is essential to anyone’s survival so you must have a plan for carrying it, obtaining fresh water along the way and treating is so that you can drink it without catching a disease that will knock you on your butt at the worst possible time. Water Bottle – I like Nalgene bottles because they carry a lot, but are very lightweight when empty and the opening fits at least one of the water filters I recommend, the MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter.
Extra Capacity – I like the regular Nalgene bottles, but to save trips to the creek, I also pack a backup water container in the Nalgene Wide Mouth Cantene (32-ounce).
OK, water is covered for the most part, now we move to the next most important survival item and that is food. The second (and preferred) option if I have my choice would be Mountain House Freeze Dried meals designed for camping.
I wouldn’t leave the house without sturdy shoes I can walk for a long time in and you should pack appropriate headgear for the season too. The items above should be able to keep you alive if you are out in the elements by yourself. For the radio I recommend the Baofeng UV-5RA because they are solidly built, offer any feature you can reasonably need for grid down communications and only cost around $35. The tools I consider bringing taking into account weight is a multi-tool like a Leatherman, a good pocket knife like a Tenacious G10 from Spyderco and a larger multi purpose knife like a Gerber LMF II. The Multi-tool will meet most of your needs for fine tools with pliers, small saw and a wrench.
I know some people throw the entire medicine cabinet in their bug out bags, but again I am only thinking about survival not going to the prom so the basics –  bar of soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, chap-stick, floss, hand sanitizer. For miscellaneous I would add some duct tape which you can wrap around your water bottles, lighters or just about anything else, bandannas which have a thousand uses and spare batteries for any gear that requires them.
I hope this list gives you a lot to think about but more importantly a great start on building your very own bug out bag. Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth Bottle with Stainless Loop Cap for your second, or even first bottle? I used to carry a SIG stainless steel water bottle, but went to the nalgene because it was easier to clean and fit my Miniworks perfectly. Your photo reminded me a lot of my own load out, you had me at UV-5RA and that cold steel tang peaking out of the sheath ?? Check out Ontario Rat 2 (about $26 on Amazon) makes for a better over all use – food prep and around the camp, it has surpassed my use of Tenacious.
Imodium AD, Swiss Army Knife (A real one, The Champ or Champion, I think) A very useful tool. Each player represents a separate group of preppers who are preparing for the end of the world.
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Most Preppers are intelligent enough to realize that there many more statistically credible events, including but not limited to fires, that require some form of preparations through the acquisition and subsequent training using various types of equipment. No more so than people making certain of having a spare-tire and jack in the trunk of a car. Just as with a person’s ability to buy various amounts of life insurance protection (another ‘cult’ activity). And such a person will likely be one of the first people that require the services of emergency services in the event of any disaster.
And I am sure that we could find some other psychologist somewhere who would have a ’study’ and a scientific name for people like that (who can’t do much for themselves), which might likely be couched as a form of mental disability as well.
Preppers are not worried about potential events that occur every million years and the like. That’s because they have done the calculus and understand the frequency of potential events. This phenomenon was observed in the aftermath of Katrina where desperate people took advantage of anyone around them! In fact, I believe that bush-crafting skills are the ground-level prerequisites for Prepping.
Preppers should first master being a ‘minimalist’ (survivalist) and be able to live off the grid with almost nothing. I believe that a Prepper must have it all; seeking bush-crafting skills and the training to fully maximize the use of many technologies as required for long-term survival, including the integration and use of modern supplies, materials and equipment into a basic survival platform.
That however is not a view I hold, even though there are some people who do exactly that thinking they are in fact Preppers. Survival Engineering requires a deep understanding of basic chemistry and physics, as well as being able to use or re-purpose almost any piece of modern equipment that may be needed in an emergency.  Does ‘MacGyver’ come to mind? Being surrounded by a million people and sudden grid-lock will make all surface streets impassable; people will be out of control… and the risk factor is high and rising. I am not in any way suggesting that I would ever break any laws, but just like other pilots, I do have the skills to effectively (safely) ’borrow’ almost any airplane or helicopter and I could easily fly to a mountain valley in Canada. A ‘Prepper’ is anyone who has aggregated a host of skills that extend beyond bushcrafts, martial arts, firearms, medical and basic survival skills, as well as the relevant equipment and supplies…..
You have to do the math, establish the odds of any particular risks, and combined with your own abilities and resources, coupled with maintaining your desired lifestyle, try to reasonably address those risks which are statistically relevant in a reasonable and proportional manner.
The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of anyone else. One on the AR, one on my head and a tactical light (CA123 batteries) and a Mini Maglight (AA batteries) for a reason.
The Mini Maglight is the work horse, as the run time on all the high speed CA123 tac lights is 60 minutes or less.
You need to be mobile with a plan to survive for months or perhaps even years before returning to the cities, which by then will be deserted of course. If you are like me, this will invariably lead to a long list of supplies for your bug out bag that sound great, but weigh a ton and have very specific uses that you may not encounter.
This bag will have everything you need plus some additional supplies, but careful thought and consideration should be given to what you are putting in this bag. I won’t be packing two weeks’ worth of food in here and most of this list might be considered the bare necessities by some. If you don’t believe me, just think about the last time you were away from home and you got sick. You can’t boil water in a Nalgene Bottle though so you need options for that which we discuss in the Tools section.
This allows me to fill up two bottles and that normally lasts me all day unless I am in extreme heat environments. I also don’t want to have to worry if they have gone bad but I think the biggest thing is that if you are running for your life with everything you need to survive strapped to your back you are going to need some serious calories. I get the pouches that feed two just in case and grab the highest calorie packs you can get. OK the last leg of the survival pyramid is shelter and in this we will count clothing as well as something to keep the elements off you.
You want a good pair of long pants, long sleeve shirt, change of underwear and a spare pair of socks.
In the winter I like a beanie to keep my head warm, but again I will most likely be wearing this and won’t have it in the pack. My tent and sleeping bag are easily the heaviest and largest items in my regular backpack for camping. If you are out in the elements with other people, you should consider something for self-defense. If we have a minor event where you can reasonably expect life to return to normal sometime, a spare cell phone battery might be all you need or a way to charge the phone you have.
This won’t allow you to perform surgery in the woods or remove a bullet but cover most of the bases. I carry a Katadyne water bottle with filter and have been researching the mini filters, I like that you and I have the same thoughts on the mini filter. Other things to think about I am older with a bad back so my bag needs to be light as possible. 10 everyday reasons to be a prepper, Excellent, down to earth, list of reasons for everyone to exhibit common sense behavior! The fact that millions of people insist on having a spare-tire and jack is certainly no indication of a ‘cult movement’. And the reason for the reference to the word ‘cult’ is a poke at a psychologist who recently alluded to the Prepper movement a ‘cult movement’. So when I read about one or two psychologists calling Preppers ‘cultists‘, I have to laugh, thinking of them standing helpless in the rain trying to figure-out how to put a spare tire on their own car, which is something that any Prepper can do. And in weighted-proportion to the odds of such risks, have taken prudent measures through the acquisition of equipment and training so they are in a better position to maximize their odds of surviving many credible potential disasters, as well as possibly being in a position to help others around them. Even inside the (‘safety’) of FEMA camps that were established for the survivors of Katrina, gangs took over inside the camps and engaged in all forms of criminal activities, including assault, extortion and rape.
There are also many wilderness survival schools where you can spend a weekend or even a week or two in the field, and get all the basics down in one effort. This is where old-school skills will shine and where the ability to design and build rudimentary equipment will greatly enhance long term survival. This would give me and whoever was with me a real shot at getting established in the woods and set-up well before any of the Zombies (armed survivors from the cites) arrived on our position, many days or weeks later.
The author may or may not have a financial interest in any company or advertiser referenced. It’s stupid expensive for what it is, usually around $60.00, but worth it in that it is so efficient the AAA batteries last forever.
This is the light you use when you need a long illumination burn, such as searching a house. The controls are not intuitive and the device is slow to operate even with practice and having all the functions memorized. Any issue you may have from blisters to cuts to sunburn to something in the eye or splinters you have to be able to treat yourself. We on a regular basis train at least once a month and each member is required to put at least 100 rounds through their pistol and 200 round through their rifle each month. The caviat to this however is that if you do not have these tools in your tool box you will also be woefully under prepared.
Of course not everyone can afford such toys, but if you can even only get a set of gen2 or even gen1 NVGs you would be doing better than most.
I like to travel light so I would remove or exchange some items for lighter more compact items.
What I wanted to do was create a simple bug out bag checklist you can use to get a jump-start at building your own bug out bag that has taken into consideration a few of the lessons I already learned when I did this myself.
Probably, but the essential Bug out bag items will stay the same; you will just add to what we have contained here. The second filter that is great for your bug out bag is the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System.
This Nalgene canteen collapses down to virtually nothing so space or weight when it is empty isn’t an issue. I have seem some people recommend cans of tuna, pop tarts and ramen noodles in your bug out bag.
The Breakfast Skillet is excellent and at 680 calories will fill you up and give you much-needed energy for hiking with that pack.
Gloves are also a nice addition and I have something that will keep my hands warm in the winter, but something designed for work regardless.  A good pair of leather gloves should be added as well to protect your hands.

Not that a tent is extreme, but tents add a good bit of weight, take time to set up and tear down and are really noticeable from a distance normally.
You can buy very lightweight and compact sleeping bags, but expect to pay at least $400 to save the weight and room in your pack for all the other goodies you need.
The choice of implements for protection vary by the situation you are in and what you could be faced with. If cell service is down your only real option would be walkie talkies which have a very limited range or HAM radios. Pair this radio up with a Slim Jim antenna and 50 feet of coax cable and lastly an adapter connector and you can easily talk or listen to anyone broadcasting 50 to 100 miles depending on where you are. I would augment one of these per bag with a bag of Quick Clot and some larger pressure dressing bandages. I have added a couple of extra niceties to my wife’s BOB only because I know that will improve her outlook should we be forced to bug out. I would gather your bag’s contents first and then select the bag based upon what you plan on carrying. I also carry a 2 liter water bladder which the second water purification filter will fit into the drinking line.
If you possess the skills and mental abilities, you can design and build post-disaster equipment from nature; Windmills and hydro-mechanical-power and much more can be at the center of off-grid homesteads and small population centers.
Merchant Marine Officer with decades of boating and expedition sailing experience, who has successfully survived long-term off the grid at remote uninhabited desert islands with his family using sailboats that he equipped for that purpose.
Any action taken as a result of information, analysis, or advertisement on this site is ultimately the responsibility of the reader.
If you plan to go out after dark or have to defend the homestead after dark a weapon mounted light is the only way to go.
If the current one that I bought in 2004 ever breaks I will be replacing it with another Rhino 120. Communications is the first thing destroyed by an attacking enemy or shut off by a Tyrannical government.
Plus items for health maintenance like tweezers, small 1st aid kit, stuff for heartburn and Vitamin C booster and a tourniquet on me at all times. The body gets run down and gets sick after a short period of round the clock high tempo operations. I do not like the head lamp ideal for a combat set up, but I do see the value of it for in a kit.
We also train in situation were a full on tactical response would only get us all locked up, but where security still must provided. It is a balancing act and you must determine with extremely caution the judicious use of such force. This bug out bag checklist is also available as a downloadable PDF so that you can print this out and keep it with you as you build your own bag. Because you will have to carry all of this stuff and the more you add, the heavier it gets.
It isn’t gourmet dining, but it will take the extremes of summer (unless you live on Mars) and give you a ton of calories. Shorts are nice, but not necessary because you are already living without the convenience of air conditioning most likely so you will already be sweating. For camping I take a tent, but for Bugging out I would consider a tarp like the ENO Pro Fly Rain Tarp instead of a full tent.
In the theme of survival again, I would recommend a Adventure Medical Kits SOL Emergency Bivvy instead of a sleeping bag. I recommend carrying a hand-held HAM radio capable of broadcasting and receiving on UHF and VHF and a dual band antenna that can give you more range. I just don’t see an Ellis Island type of situation happening where you need to show your birth certificate, but anything is possible. That would allow you to carry an additional 2 liters, or even 3 liters if you wanted of water.
You have to be able to make tools from nature, find water, maker a shelter, hunt, fish, trap and forage among other bushcrafting skills.
However, I saw no point in spending over $100.00 on a light that is a little brighter, much smaller and may never be used. After doing 6hr night missions for two weeks, everyone just changed the batteries even though they were still going. The writer has his proverbial stuff together and anyone in a fighting hole with him will be just fine.
We also always stress to stay under the radar as long as possible: It provides an element of surprise and keeps unwanted attention diverted else where.
The down side is that the higher calibers create a bit more weight; if one is expecting a firefight, however, the greater knock-down makes a dramatic difference. Your bug out bag is not something to replace your tool shed and you will not be able to carry everything you want on your back. I wrote a post a while back about weight considerations called “Is Your Bug Out Bag Going to Get you Killed?” and if you need more convincing about weight, maybe you should read that article first. The list of supplies we could put in here is enormous if you start from the perspective of thinking of everything you could possibly need in an SHTF scenario. These are cheaper than a regular bag at around $15, fit in the palm of your hand and only weigh 4 ounces.
Plus, they take regular AAA batteries and not some weird off nomenclature or rechargeable batteries that some of the higher end headlamps do. If the reason I was bugging out was total bedlam, anarchy I would take a rifle and a pistol. You have to learn how to use this equipment, but it is in my opinion the single best Bug Out Bag option for communicating if the grid goes down.
I guess I am biased because I have access to my own equipment, but that kit would be useless after the first scenario of cutting yourself pretty badly.
Having a GPS and a radio in one package that lasted through two deployments and I still used to this day makes up for the short comings. CBs are cheap, are everywhere, can be powered by a car battery, are portable and in my estimation, will be the long distance  phones of the future, whereas, the FRS and GMRS radios will be for local calling.
No group needs another trigger puller showing up that is there to help, but dependent on them for even the most basic needs.
I also would like to stress that this gear will only do you any good if you train to use it and on do so on a regular basis.
If you plan to walk to some remote retreat location with everything you need to live for two years on your bag, you are sadly mistaken. For the rest of you I will assume that you want to carefully consider the supplies you need in this situation. I don’t like the taste with treatment tablets or chlorine and I don’t want to depend on anything that needs batteries for my drinking water. If this was a temporary bug out due to a weather event or something that I thought was temporary I might only take a concealed pistol. Also, First Aid training should always be a must when attempting to put together a kit, because if you don’t know how to use it you will do worse harm and likely waste a great deal of the equipment. 500-ton captain’s license for commercial inspected passenger vessels, including, power, sail and assistance towing vessels. The value of that gear will be zilch with out training and I mean serious hard core training that is always continued and ongoing. For people like you I have created this simple list of Bug Out bag contents, a downloadable PDF and a little explanation for each. Same with the shirt and in the warm weather, you don’t need to get a sunburn.  What if it is cold? Before those rail mounted lights were available, we would duct tape a D cell Maglight to the fore stock of our M16A2s to clear buildings after dark. I have seen some really nice affordable stuff from china, the problem being fit and thread used. That is why I carry the Emergen-C, Carmex, the Alka Seltzer Cold Tablets, the heartburn meds.
Sure, but I am betting the filters above will last me long enough to keep me alive for a few days.
You will be wearing warmer clothes anyway so this should already be on your person and not in a pack.
It seems to me that they make a guess as to the sizes of our mags and other pieces of gear as the pouches fit poorly and do not close securely.
If you can stay healthy you have a shot at staying ahead of whatever trouble is coming and being able to protect yourself when it gets to you.

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  1. 4e_LOVE_4ek_134, 22.01.2014
    Free book from these ppl and it comes (Martha Stewart book, The Tipping Point, Gladwell describes.
  2. Die_Hard, 22.01.2014
    Fetida, often known as purple worms,??crimson wigglers,??and even manure worms.??Worms lint your dryer filter collects.