If you’ve ever thought about becoming a prepper you have probably had questions like, what does prepping mean? and what is a prepper?
Put simply, prepping means taking specific preventative actions to prepare for an emergency or event, like a dangerous storm or economic collapse. This means storing away food, supplies, and other necessities needed to make it through a certain period of time where you won’t have access to things at the store.
Aside from having a stockpile of essentials, prepping also means educating yourself and gaining skills that will help you survive both short and long-term situations.
If you want to become a prepper, you need to know more than just what prepping means, though.
What is a Prepper?
A prepper is someone who prepares for the future by using survivalist skills and storing food and supplies to use when needed.
Despite the stereotypes, not all preppers are extremists who are building underground bunkers or waiting for the world to end. Most are everyday people who just want to make sure their bases are covered in the case of an emergency or economic downfall.
The smartest preppers are those that consider risks (like a loss of income or natural disaster and take proactive measures to reduce their own personal fallout or vulnerabilities from those risks (saving enough money and stockpiling supplies).
Preppers typically take a survivalist mindset and are well-rounded in their knowledge and skills. They know they need to stockpile shelf-stable foods, but they also know they need to know how to cook over an open fire and grow their own food.
Lastly, they have the right goals in mind and plans set in place. They don’t just prepare for the fun of it, but rather they are strategic and are aware of their risks and vulnerabilities, as well as their strengths and areas where they need to improve.
What Do Preppers Prepare For?
Preppers prep for all sorts of events and for different reasons, but the most common reasons are some sort of the following:
- Natural disasters
- Supply chain problems
- Economic downfalls
- Acts of terrosim
- Loss of income
- Property loss due to things like a house fire
- Epidemics or pandemics
Some people are more at risk of certain events or natural disasters depending on where they live, while others are more at risk of financial or personal fallouts depending on their occupation and factors like age and health.
All of these things are important to consider when becoming a prepper, deciding what prepping means to you, and why it’s important.
How Do You Start Prepping?
Anyone can become a prepper with the right knowledge and assets.
Here are some tips to get started prepping:
The best preppers are the ones who educate themselves and never stop learning. You don’t have to read all the survivalist books or blogs, but you need to start somewhere.
The internet is more than enough to get you started in learning the importance of prepping, how to get started no matter where you live or your budget, and so much more.
You should also be learning about what you’re most vulnerable for, especially on a personal level and your area’s weather. If you are more at risk of losing your job than other occupations or your area is known for hurricanes, you want to educate yourself on how to prepare for those situations first.
Aside from that, you need to know your local laws since some places restrict or prohibit certain prepping and homesteading activities.
Create a plan
Once you know your risks and how to best prepare for them, you need to create a plan. This doesn’t need to be super in depth but it should be a well-thought out guide that you can refer to time and time again on your prepping journey.
Come up with some basic plans like which foods and supplies you’ll stock up on first, how much of each, where you’ll keep everything stored, and your budget for buying everything.
If you have a family, you can also include them for any input and to let them know what your plan is and why you’re prepping.
Start small and smart
Even if you can’t buy hundreds of cans of food or invest thousands of dollars in a storeroom, you can start prepping right away. Just be sure you’re following your plan and are investing in things you know you will use and that you don’t buy into every marketing gimmick on the internet or in the stores.
You can get started in even small ways, like buying an extra can of baked beans next time you’re shopping and storing it where you know it won’t be opened unless needed. Likewise, you can stock away a couple dollars in a fire-proof safe whenever you have extra cash in your wallet.
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and you can get started where you are right now.
Learn important skills
Stockpiling is only a part of effective prepping and if you want to become a true prepper you’ll need to know at least some basic skills. Again, start small and learn the basics first, even if it’s not trendy or something that you would think is an important survival skill.
Some basic skills to get started on are:
- Cooking (particularly from scratch and in the wild/off-grid)
- Navigating and orienteering
- Creating shelters from what’s readily available
- Starting a fire without modern tools
- Self defense and defending your property
- Maintaining your house and property off the grid
- Car maintenance
- Being familiar with tools and equipment
- How to safely acquire and filter water
- Properly storing foods and supplies
- First aid, CPR, and other life-saving and health-preserving skills
- Communicating (like via radio)
- Food preservation
- Basic gunsmith skills
It’s also important to keep your mental and physical health in shape, as both play vital roles in cases of emergencies. This means eating right, keeping your mindset strong, exercising, and so on.
Stay healthy on all fronts so that you’re mentally and physically agile enough to adapt and survive any situation.
Continue to scale
Once you have your starting knowledge, skills, and supplies in place it’s a matter of scaling. Continue to acquire assets (food, tools, storage space), skills (go beyond the basics), and knowledge (continue to read books, watch YouTube videos, and listen to podcasts).
While it’s okay (and even smart) to start small, there’s not much use in staying small or becoming stagnant.
Continue to scale your prepping efforts and check in with your inventory and plan, adjusting as needed.
Prepping is a means to minimize your vulnerabilities and personal risk in the face of challenging times or life-changing events. It gives you peace of mind and security no matter what’s going on in your personal life or in the world around you.
You don’t have to go off-grid or build underground bunkers to be an effective, smart prepper. Anyone can prepare for emergencies and long-term survival with the right knowledge and assets.
There are many reasons and ways to become a prepper and lots of ways to start prepping right away. Start small, stay smart, and continue to scale to make sure your efforts are worthwhile.