My ABC’s of prepping

I have been prepping for a number of years. I have seen a handful of different ABC’s of prepping in that time. I finally sat down and wrote mine out. Below is that list. Hoping this will help you out with your prepping plans.

A. A is for Always. Always be prepared. While you can’t carry enough gear for everything, you can prepare for the most common things. Having the necessary gear to cover most scenarios will greatly benefit in the short term.

B. B is for Basics. Know the basic needs for survival. Understand the basic skills necessary to survive. Have a solid base of knowledge. See my “Skills” or “Primitive Skills” articles.

C. C is for Challenge. Challenge yourself to improve your preps, your stockpiles, and your skills. You can’t grow without stepping outside of your comfort zone, challenging yourself to new tasks, skills, opportunities is great for that growth.

D. D is for Documentation. Having all the necessary documentation ready to go in the event of an emergency will pay huge dividends during the rebuilding process. Items like passports, birth/marriage certificates, health insurance, vehicle title paperwork or household inventory. Proving who you are and what you own without this paperwork is a very daunting task without it.

E. E is for Environmental awareness. Knowing where you do and don’t belong, either in the city or in the woods, having the environmental awareness will deter you from ending up somewhere foolish that you can’t get out of with danger.

F. F is for Foraging. Having the skills and know how to forage for food is great for long-term success. Knowing what is edible, or medicinal in a long-term survival scenario will benefit you greatly.

G. G is for Gardening. Having an edible garden before a disaster eases a level of stress in knowing where your food is coming from. For me, working in that garden provides a sense of calming and self-reliability.

H. H is for Homestead. Whether rural or urban homesteading, being self-reliant because of your homestead functions will provide a food source(s) as well as help to maintain a semblance of normalcy. Maintaining your normal chores/tasks because of the homestead will keep your mind right.

I. I is for Informed. Being informed about what is going on around you (political, societal) is huge. Being informed about not to travel to a current civil unrest country during your vacation or being informed that it is hurricane season before you take that Caribbean cruise will help keep you from getting in harm’s way.

J. J is for Justification. Your friends, co-workers and sometimes even family may call you crazy for prepping. Truly know and understand your justification for doing it. Rationally justify the money, time and effort you spend on the food stores or equipment or training to know that you will have a better chance at survival after things go sideways.

K. K is for Kaleidoscope. I know, sounds weird right? Hear me out. Having a kaleidoscope or broad spectrum of knowledge, views and skills can take you far in the aftermath of a disaster. They all serve a purpose, so build the colors of your kaleidoscope.

L. L is for Library.  Having a knowledge library at home (knowing that when the power goes out, you can’t get to the web) will keep you knowledgeable about long-term survival skills. Paper references go a long way once the power goes out.

M. M is for Minimalism. Having vast amounts of different types of gear is good, having it minimized to the one multi-purpose tool is better. Minimize your gear, you minimize weight, you minimize load space and you amplify your usage of the gear you have.

N. N is for Nothing. Nothing should be overlooked or left out of your plans or practice. Think through all scenarios, prep and plan for the worst and leave nothing out that you may need later. Doing nothing is not an option.

O. O is for Often. Often “test your plans, often test your skills, often improve your knowledge/skills. This ties directly to challenging yourself to further develop.

P. P is for Plan. Thinking through different scenarios and planning out outcomes prior to actual events is crucial for success. Developing plans for multiple scenarios will be highly useful.

Q. Q is for Question. Question the who, what, when, where, how and why of your practice. Question your purchases, your finances, your preparedness and your lifestyle. This will help firmly set in place why you do what you do to prepare.

R. R is for Rifle selection. With the different options for rifles (hunting, self-defense or bug out), selecting the appropriate rifle as well as how to use and maintain that rifle will benefit greatly from long-term success.

S. S is for Security. Security in personal or home defense, security in food/water stores, security in shelter from the elements. Those levels of security will help drive your success in the event of a catastrophe or worse.

T. T is for Training. Spending the necessary time and money on training will further increase your odds of long-term success after a disaster. Constantly pushing your training to new heights makes the little wins easier.

U. U is for Uniformity. Uniformity in loading and packing your gear the same ways between bags, uniformity in having multiple instances of the same product between bags, uniformity in that everyone in your group knows how to use all of the equipment for your group.

V. V is for Variables. In the event of a disaster, there will be many variables tossed into the mix. Those variables may change your plans or your abilities. Being able to bypass or overcome those variables will be necessary for success.

W. W is for Water. Water is the key to life. Having a large stockpile of water (to include what is in your water heater and homes pipes) is great. Having some water filtration/purification devices as well will go a long way. Knowing how to collect water will increase all of this tenfold.

X. X is for Copies. I know, I know, copies don’t start with X, but I didn’t want to use Xerox. Anyway, having offsite copies of your documentation goes a long way for restoring who you are and some normalcy to your life after a disaster. Whether you choose a safe deposit box (that you may not be able to access if the banks are closed) or some form of cloud storage (that you may not be able to access if your internet access is down or limited) or possibly a external USB storage device (that may or may not work after a disaster). Backups for your backups is not a bad thing.

Y. Y is for You. You are the most critical piece of your survival gear, preparation, and planning for yourself as well as family. Your knowledge and skill set, your willingness to act and your forethought will drive your ability to survive after a disaster.

Z. Z is for Zero waste. A portion of prepping is to obtain the things that you will use in order to survive after a disaster. With that, you should also be working to move to a zero waste mentality so that few know what you have and improving your environment after the fact.

While this was a great exercise for me to write out, I hope that it helps point some of you in the right direction for your prepping practice.

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