How did you get started with prepping?

I’m curious and would like to hear from some of the readers here. How did you get started with prepping and survivalism? Was it with 9/11, Y2K, or even earlier?

Was there a specific event that prompted you to start putting some stuff aside, “just in case?” Or is it just how you were raised?

Do you identify yourself as a prepper or survivalist?

C’mon folks, share your stories. Inquiring minds want to know.

Priorities for prepping

Many people seem to be under the misconception that firearms and ammo should be if not the number one priority, definitely in the top three in the list of “stuff” to acquire for disaster preps.

While important, firearms and related supplies are (or should be) further down the list. If you don’t have clean air, you won’t live past about three minutes. Three days without water and you’re wearing a toe tag. More than a couple weeks without food and you have some real problems.

Without clean air, water, and food, you aren’t going to have the ability to use that whiz bang armory you acquired.

Yes, I know some folks plan to use those firearms to get their food and water. Not the greatest plan, whether you’re talking about hunting or about pirating. These people are making the presumptions that 1) there will be plentiful game to hunt, and 2) other people will have stuff worth taking.

I’m not at all saying that firearms don’t have a place in your preps. Naturally you’ll want some method to protect what is yours. But, you need to stock up on what will keep you alive first.

Choosing a bug out location

If a disaster strikes, where will you go? Even if your primary plan is to shelter in place, you should have at least one, preferably multiple, places to go as backups.

Here are my criteria for choosing a bug out location.

1) It should be close enough to be feasible to get to if you end up on foot for part or all of the journey. As a rule of thumb, I tell people to figure how far they could likely travel on a half tank of gas in their vehicle. Granted, that’s probably further than most of us are able to reasonably go on foot but the hope is you’ll be able to get at least part of the way on wheels.

2) It should be some place you are intimately familiar with and know how to get to using a variety of routes. The worst thing you can do is just pick a spot on a map and say, “That’s where we’re going.” Remember too though, favorite vacation spots sure sound good on paper, but how many other people have vacationed there and will think of it as well?

3) It should be a location where you can store supplies in advance. If possible, you might consider setting up an agreement with a trusted friend or family member where you can store some stuff with them and they can store some stuff with you.

4) It should have access to clean water, sturdy shelter from the elements, and be far enough off the beaten path to keep wanderers away. It will be difficult enough to provide for you and yours, let alone protecting your supplies from others in need.

5) Ideally, it should be some place where you have some ownership stake. While bugging out to a vast expanse of public land is doable for some, it takes a high degree of skill to “live off the land” for an extended period of time. Granted, most of us can’t afford to go out and buy a few dozen acres or more of land, “just in case.” But, perhaps consider going in on such a purchase with a group of family members, selling it to them as the idea of having a family recreational area. Once purchased or leased, add outbuildings or structures of some kind for storage and living quarters.

In any event, please take the time now to plan out where you are going to go and how you are going to get there. While there is something to be said for the ability to improvise at the drop of a hat, a bug out situation really isn’t the best time to test your ability to think on your feet.