Prepping is getting more mainstream today and there is a lot of information out there now about getting ready for an emergency or in case SHTF, but if you’re new to being a prepper, what should you do first? You need to know how to start prepping. If you’re one of my regular readers, you may be a bit more advanced when it comes to prepping because my typical articles have been for more thorough research. It’s time I start balancing things and have  some articles that have a bit more reach and are more useful to the 99% of people out there looking to prepare their families for emergencies or in case SHTF or even prepping for doomsday.
How to Make a Bug Out Bag? – If you decide to make your own bug out bag you’ll want to start with a good-sized, water-resistant backpack and then fill it with a combination of food and practical implements that will allow you to transcend any difficulties you’re likely to encounter. You’ll want to include purified water as well as a water filter (in case the emergency has fouled the local water supply), plenty of freeze dried food along with power bars (but no perishables) and things you can use to protect yourself from the wind, cold and any precipitation that may be falling. Which means you’ll want emergency blankets, dry clothes and rain ponchos. You’ll also want to include other practical implements like a compass, tactical flashlight, walkie talkies, multi tool and more.
Sheila,  I am in exactly the same position as you.  I am 62, a retired RN, living in a FEMA trailer in a RV park.  All the residents here are full time. I don’t even have a vehicle. Circumstances can be rough, especially with no real income beyond survival expenses.  Can you have a garden?  What about foraging, dehydrating, canning anything that you don’t immediately use. I am including my email. Contact me if you wish.  It seems we may have similar problems but many of the same solutions!  culversonrn@gmail.com
Don’t Starve focuses heavily on crafting to make your way through life, and so much of your time is spent harvesting raw materials – just like a crafting game. But rather than crafting houses like in Rust and Minecraft, this indie game is all about the tools and contraptions you can make. The Science Machine and Alchemy Engine will become your best friends, before making way for ancient wonders and the art of magic. Like Minecraft, Don’t Starve happily embraces the mad and the mystical, and is all the more enjoyable for it.
On another note, the only thing I had trouble with was #1. Yes, sleeping bags are big and fat and are a pain to carry, but they will make up for it in heat. You need that heat, at least here in the Pacific Northwest where I live. You use a space blanket or bivvy, you get either a miserable night (lucky), or hypothermia (normal). I wouldn’t mind packing a bivvy instead if I lived in a warmer climate, but seriously, don’t skimp on the sleeping bag.

Getting together a group of friends to play Don't Starve Together adds a lot of enjoyment to the game. If you're all first timers, learning how to survive as you go along is amazing, since you get to share in the learning process and the experience together. As you craft and build your own forts, farms, and more, you find more and more ways to learn how to survive, making things less daunting than if you play the game alone. See More
Once you’ve considered what you’re at risk for, we’re going to shelve that information for a bit.  The federal government provides some good starting points for considering how to protect yourself (you’ll want to do a lot of research later about how to be safe and survive that scenario).  We’re going to move on to a personal assessment of what you currently have.
Overall, the simulation aspects are handled quite well, and there is a lot to micromanage. Resources such as lumber and coal must be harvested and managed to construct buildings and keep your city warm. Rationing and finding food is important too, as your citizens need to eat to work. You will also be managing your "hope" and "discontent" metrics which is a general indicator of your population's happiness. Overwork them and they may revolt or die of exhaustion. Underwork them and they may starve or freeze to death. Finding this delicate balance between survival and keeping people content is where the game truly shines. See More
I’d love to know what all that crap weighs you really don’t need half of it… dump all the water purification crap and boil water. You don’t need a bowl because you have a canteen cup to heat over a fire. Forget the MRE’s it’s heavier than freeze dried. Bring one large solid tang knife you can hit and dump the rest you don’t need saws and hatchets. Bring a .22 some ammo. Dump all that electronic crap & batterys. Forget the carabiners you can’t carry all that crap anyway, face paint, walking sticks, you name it. Take only what you need, bring a bic and learn how to make a fire bow with some 550 cord
As the world lies in a deep freeze and your city is just barely clinging to life, many situations will arise where tough choices have to be made in the name of survival. When facing a shortage of adult workers, you may opt to send children to work, and possibly their death, out in the wasteland collecting coal and lumber. When people die, you can bury the dead or, in the most dire of times, use them as a food source. When coming across survivors, you have to weigh the benefits and downsides of taking them in. They may provide extra labor, but it's just another mouth to feed. As the temperature plummets, you can order workers to double shifts to keep the heating going, but it puts them at risk for starvation and exhaustion. There are just so many little decisions that add up to driving the point home that you are really in the middle of a crisis and its captured incredibly well in-game. See More
The second aspect of prepping (and some feel this is even more important than the first) is the acquisition of survival knowledge. Feeding your family becomes a lot easier if you know how to hunt or fish, or if you know how to grow or raise your own food. Getting your hands on drinking water is made more challenging if you don’t know how to find safe water in the wild, and if you don’t know how to turn unsafe water into drinkable water. Defending your family against wild animals or dangerous looters is safer if you know how to wield a firearm, have experience with primitive weapons, or know martial arts and self defense. Treating wounds and illnesses is more of a possibility if you can recognize medicinal plants in the wild and know what they can be used for. All of these skills were probably pretty commonplace two hundred years ago, but nowadays most people are woefully under prepared for any kind of true survival situation.

#21 is perhaps the most important and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone include it before. I know people who subsist entirely on dehydrated and canned food so they’ll be ‘used to eating that way’. This makes no sense to me. Enjoy fresh, healthy food while it’s available. This will keep you in better health and more prepared to handle something unexpected. Also, plan for what to do after the storage runs out. Keep a garden now, consider keeping backyard chickens, etc.. work towards learning to make your own cheese, jerky and bread.


Plastic is a tricky thing. Clear hard plastic jugs like from companies like…Crystal Geyser, Alhambra etc. Are better for storing water in as far as plastic goes. The foggy white “milk Jug” style will break down fast and sadly leak in your cupboards. IF that is all you can get, I suggest storing in the garage or a place with good flooring and maybe even put into garbage bag in case.
Before we get started, if you just want a list of everything you need to have on hand to be ready for a disaster or emergency situation, here’s our full list of essential emergency supplies to survive any disaster. If you’ve acquired everything on that list, it’s fair to say that you’re officially a prepper, and that you’re ready for most survival scenarios.
When calamity strikes you’ll still need to eat and if there are no shelters in the vicinity stocked with emergency supplies what are you supposed to do? The answer is the Food Insurance bug out bag that provides you with copious amounts of prepared food sealed in vacuum pouches and ready to be eaten. Every Food Insurance meal has a shelf life of more than a decade and requires only a bit of water to prepare. Everything from lasagna to omelets to rice and beans are here along with the stove to cook them. Add some of your own survival gear like a tactical flashlight, survival knife, emergency blankets and water filter and you’re ready for whatever comes down the pike.
Not every damn thing needs multiplayer, and multiplayer can often ruin an otherwise incredible experience. There's none to be found here, and that intensifies the lonely atmosphere. Also, the creators didn't waste resources on something that would fundamentally undermine the experience so they could focus on making the game the wonderful thing that it is. See More

Some advice please; I am a single male 45 years old living on a fixed income because of brain cancer surgery and subsequent treatment left me with seizures. My 3 children are grown now and am serious about prepping for any disaster, especially since I live in tornado ally. So far the only thing I have done is to stock 6 months worth of my Rx medicine which I do rotate monthly so they don’t expire. After reviewing my budget I have around $150 of disposable income a month. How would I begin? Does anyone have any advice? Thanks.
People with guns tend to be lowest form of animal life on the earth, that have no mercy for babies or innocent adults. One person I used to know became a hero by helping kill 100,000 civilians fleeing an invasion of a city. The good thing is his house caught fire and he was heard by neighbours screaming while being roasted alive for his sins; he did not have to go to hell first.
It wasn’t that long ago – only a few decades ago – when we were in a cold war with Russia and there was a very real possibility of a nuclear war. It isn’t that difficult to envision a new cold war with China in the coming decades, or an increase in tensions or even an all-out war with North Korea. Not to mention the dicey relationships that the USA and the west in general have with Iran, Russia, Pakistan, and a number of other countries – all of whom have or are developing a nuclear arsenal. That’s just talking about nuclear war. What about a conventional war, or terrorist attacks?
That’s like me saying you are wrong to recommend a .22 because it would eventually succumb to the end of the world and become useless as pellets dry up, don’t bother wasting your time packing a finite resource, a knife will do everything for you, it will rebuild society!! But as you unwittingly acknowledged, you pack the .22 knowing it will be useful at first and will eventually become nothing more than an ornament you could discard or stash somewhere safely in case you ever come across more ammunition.
Great information. But, please don’t tell people that pepper spray will drop someone in seconds. I was a chemical agent instructor for a medium size police department. I’ve been sprayed by a lot of stuff. Not all of it works on every person. I’ve seen people just sit there and look at you when they were hit full in the face with very good, very reliable chemical agents. We only taught that it was a distraction technique. Use the chemical agent to distract the person so you can hit them next, take them down, flee, whatever your plan is. But, it is only a distraction technique.
The Wise bug out bag comes equipped with most of the things you’ll need to keep yourself and your loved ones well fed and comfortable during a crisis although you’d do well to take the claim of 32 meals with a grain of salt, since they’re counting a 12 serving whey package as 12 meals. As such you’ll want to use some of the extra space in the bag for additional food which you can pick up at any store that sells mountaineering equipment. As for the rest of the items there’s a well-appointed first aid kit, 5 function emergency whistle, an LED flashlight, dust masks and even a deck of playing cards to keep everyone occupied during those long hours in the storm shelter. The nylon bag is water resistant though not waterproof so keep that in mind, but it’s comfortable and well made. If you’re looking for an affordable, well stocked bug out bag you’d be wise to have the Wise Food bug out bag ready and waiting in the closet.
Many preppers are going to find themselves completely exhausted after just one day of disaster. Hiking from place to place, carrying supplies back and forth, repairing damaged roofs or windows, etc. All if it will wear you out fast if you’re not in shape. It’s easier to get in shape than you think. A half hour of power walking a day will make a huge difference.
Water is truly the staff of life, without it, you will die in just a few days.  Assume that for whatever reason, your taps won’t work – there is no water coming into your home.  What else do you have?  Do you have bottled water somewhere?  Did you know there is about 50 gallons of water stored in your water heater?  There’s also a few gallons in the tank of your toilet!  If you have an outside water source – such as a lake, creek or storm drain – do you have a way to filter it?  Your first goal with water should be to be able to provide your family with 2 weeks worth of water and a way to continue filtering found water after that.  Here is a great place to start learning about water.

There are of course cheaper and more complicated ways of building up your clean water stockpile, but we won’t get into those in this article. If you’re just starting to learn about prepping, the discussions of plastic versus glass containers and the size and appropriate storage and sealing methods for those containers can get overwhelming pretty quickly. We’d say keep it simple, bite the bullet and just buy the water you need pre-portioned to sidestep all the complications.


Many people, even relatively experienced preppers, often take the first three things for granted, stock up on a bunch of canned goods and assume they’ll survive whatever’s coming. Most other prepping focused websites will spend a bunch of time talking about food storage and preservation, but will neglect the importance of the first three points (and in particular, the importance of breathable air and safe shelter are dangerously overlooked).
Keep it SIMPLE – you are not trying to build a mobile home that you will carry around. Many sites list dozens and dozens of items to buy and bring, adding cost and weight.  Remember that electronics need power and are prone to breaking.  Pack simple, reliable, things to cover your basic needs.  Check out our Free Bug Out Bag Planning Tool to plan what you want to include and see how your items will affect the overall weight of your pack.

I love the post, and the comments… heck the entire site is ingenious. If I could make a tiny contribution it would be the ICSB kit. It’s something I took away from my earliest days in LRS. It’s true that we seem to have kits within kits (hygiene kit, med kit, fishing kit all packed into a bug out kit) but it’s a handy way of compartmentalising our kit for quick access. Being able to access things quickly quietly and sometimes in the dark can be a lifesaver. So I offer up the ICSB kit. Stands for In Case S#$& Breaks. Some of the items are already on your lists but it’s nice to have them all in the same place when something breaks at the least opportune time. It’s a little pouch with duct tape, bailing wire, super glue, safety pins. Zip ties, key rings, buttons, carpet thread, twine, and anything else that is small and fits into this category. Anyway, that’s my two bits. Thanks for all the good info.
A very detailed and extensive list! But the only problem I have is all the electrical stuff. When we had survival training after qualifying, We were very limited in the tools they gave us, but we managed (basically eating everything we could). When hiking/camping for several days we always have the best experience without bringing any electrical gear.
Don’t forget spices and nutritional supplements. Yes, you can plan a well-balanced diet with prepared foods, but not everyone has the same taste. Spices and herbs allow you to change up the flavor of the same basic ingredients for variety and interest. Vitamins and supplements are an important addition to your emergency supply stash. Choose nutrition bars, protein powder, or multivitamin capsules that support nutrition and boost natural immunity.
William, me and my husband are in our late 50’s, and we live in a rural area too, with lots of trees, with few people around. I, myself have read many survival books, (audio too), and websites, and have signed up for so many survival website newsletters, it’s ridiculous! Anyway, I’ve learned very much from them, over the many years, and if I haven’t learned anything, I’ve at least learned that you need other people, a small community to survive. I would love to talk more to you and your wife about your plans, and other things pertaining to survival, and about our religion. Would you mind chatting with me, about them? I’m joanofark06 (zero six) on a website (short registration), called wireclub dot com. Just put my name in the search for people. I’d love to hear more about your views on this subject.
I’m a single mother of a (almost 5 year old), I live with my parents on a 9.5 acre ranch about 45 minutes to an hour North-West of the heart of Houston Texas and one of my greatest concerns are hurricanes. My parents grew up close to the border of Louisiana, they have survived several hurricanes by either purchasing a 3-5 day supply of survival goods & riding out the storm OR by evacuating. Since we live out here my families first choice is ALWAYS hunkering down & riding out the storm (while its scary during the storm, I prefer this choice because we are home, we can begin repairs immediately as well as defend our home from criminals targeting victims who felt evacuating was necessary) My dad wants to purchase a Generator and thinks that this is prepping. Short-term this is fine however, I remember when Katrina hit New Orleans and then Ike hit Galveston/Houston, our roads were clogged with people evacuating, Gas stations were out of Gas and still crowded, people were scared & nervous, tensions were high… needless to say on both occasions it was scary. I want to prep Not only for hurricanes but just about anything that can and most likely will turn the unprepared hords of people into Mobs that are scared and desperate. Ive tried talking to my parents about the importance of preparing for a natural event and/or any other cataclysmic event that would cause this to happen, and what we should do to prevent our family from becoming victims not only from what could happen but from the people but my parents think that buying a generator and filling a plastic Rubbermaid storage bin with what the National Hurricane Center suggests to prepare for hurricane season is good enough. They have mentioned how it’s not likely that anything is going to happen (personally I feel that it’s arrogant to say that nothing will happen… Something is EVENTUALLY going to happen) and we shouldn’t be worried because we do have weapons to defend ourselves (but no ammo… cuz that’s so useful) and we have some land so we can just grow vegetables get a cow and become self reliant (with is good but without practice and preps we won’t last a week… plus, where are you going to get a cow when everyone is freaking out?) They have also mentioned before that my “ambitious” thoughts for prepping is expensive and time consuming… my thought on cutting cost is that we have tons of stuff around our ranch that we don’t use, that we could sell and use the money for our preps, and the space that is being occupied with this “stuff” is where I want to keep my preps. MY question is, how do I convince my parents that we need to prepare for self reliance in the event of a hurricane (or series of hurricanes in one season) or any other event? And if I can’t convince my parents to start prepping with me, what can I do to start prepping that will also help my parents start prepping? My mom grew up learning how to make preserves & other homemade canned goods, should I ask her to teach me? I have been reading articles and learning on how to prep, what we need, our food/water preps as well as replenishment, what to do, where to go (if we have to bug-out) ect. but it seems like I can’t get my plan up & off the ground without my parents (or at least their support). I believe that being self reliant is important however being on a 9.5 acre ranch with my mother, father, daughter and sister, my family is my community, they are the people that I will need in tough times and the only ones I will be able to trust, they are also the reason why I want to start prepping. So any advice, information or help that anyone has to offer would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!
Starting out you'll only be gathering twigs and grass, maybe chop a tree. You'll also gather basic food such as mushrooms and carrots. Then you'll start building your encampment, learning how the day/night cycle and the seasons work. Later on you'll start building massive farms, refridgerators, fortifications, and many other things. All of this is done for the sake of not starving. As the game progresses, you will encounter mechanics such as drought, forest fires, the rainy, season, the cold and many others. To counteract these you need to plan properly and will probably die the first time around. Once your knowledge reaches a certain level, you'll be able to survive indefinitely. See More
Preparing for an emergency is different for every family. Naturally, buying nutrient-rich foods and having ways to store and purify water is the first step for everyone. After that first step, deciding what type of supplies and gear to focus on is a personal journey depending on your preparedness goals. Think of your emergency supply as an investment in the health and safety of your family during a crisis.
For all the stress that some survival games can press on you, nothing compares to the harrowing 2D adventure. As you’ll find out in our This War of Mine review, the game offers a very different breed of survival. It’s a depiction of a group of civilians’ struggling to stay alive in their war-ravaged country. Trapped in a besieged house, pinned down by snipers, and attacked by other survivors looking to take what you’ve found, it’s a game of traumatic decisions and life-or-death consequences. It’s the side of conflict that few war games truly deal with.
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