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Help a newbie out!?

4901 Views 26 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  nadja
Hey everyone! New to the forum here, and really lost when it comes to prepping... the amount of information all over the interwebs is INTIMIDATING. I can't figure out where to start and where to allocate my limited funds etc etc. I am a student at the moment, 21 years old, living in the northwest, looking for a little direction when it comes to preppage (yes I made that word up, nice right?). What I have so far:

-Ruger 10/22 somewhat tacticool (red dot sight, banana clips, Tapco stock, etc)
-About 1,000rds of .22
-S&W M&P Shield 9mm (used as a carry gun, but worth something when the SHTF right?)
-About 100rds of 9mm personal defense ammo.
-Back home we get our water from a well, electrically powered pump
-Lots of water nearby, the neighboring city actually has a huge ground level water storage and purification sort of set up right next to our property.
-About 3 acres of property

Thats all the plus points I can think of right now, or what I would assume I have going for me. Thanks in advance for replies! I appreciate the help
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I'd start off oddly enough with a food sealer like at costco or such that pulls the air and seals the bag. i use it for all sorts of things and helps stretch the cash. for the short run look for deals at stores that offer beef (for example) but have to buy it by the cryo-pac to get the best deal. slice it your self and repackage it your self. i get rice in large 50lb bags and divvy it up in small packs for day to day use, but in the mean time its sealed and water tight. and if you have spare roman noodle season packets (you are a student, you should) toss them in too when you seal em up so if you had to run on rice for a wile it will have options for flavor. another idea is workout protein powders, most just need water and they are packed with good stuff and don't taste that bad. that there will help day to day in cost cutting and storage. get some de-silicate packets and seal up 500 round bricks of .22 ammo at a time with it to. i pack my .308 ammo by 100 round bricks with 3 clean dry white rages 1 roll of medical wrapping 1 bic lighter 1 de-silicate packet 5 razor blades post-it note pad and a click button pen(with the spring in it), and oddly enough the vacum sealer draws it up to ware its not that much bigger than 1 more ammo box. some times its not if you can start big its if you start at all. be it a big jump all at once or a lot of little things over time, doing something, anything, puts you ahead of the guy that dose nothing.

try to pick up just 1 box of ammo from wal-mart a month. it will add up. look at seasonal deals like right now. how many places are offering free turkeys (thanks giving) with XX amount of food bought? or buy a ham and get a free turkey? cook both and repack for space saving and quicker whole food source. what sort of equipment you have on hand? small truck or car? maybe just the bike in your avatar? if you want to keep a low profile, for christmas ask for a hiking pack insted of a gadget. even thinking small can be big.

look at bulk staple things that you us often right now. yes it costs more up front but stretch it out it save cash (not only per unit cost but travel costs) than can be rolled into more or bigger equipment. run simulations in your mind of what you think could happen and what is really likely to happen, and what you would need, then add about 50%.
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North west Im Guessing Washington or Oregon. Bi Mart has great ammo prices, I would get a bunch more 22 its cheap. Up to 500 rounds for the 9. Then balance food and medical supplies, with simple stuff like good boots, a good coat, back pack, and blanket from goodwill. Non scented bleach for water purification. A gallon goes a long ways.
Reply u can go to Home Depot a get a roll of nylon rope and u can use for hanging things in air,tie off to trees for laundry line even make shelter with branches .
Hey everyone! New to the forum here, and really lost when it comes to prepping... the amount of information all over the interwebs is INTIMIDATING. I can't figure out where to start and where to allocate my limited funds etc etc.
There are many possible scenarios (listed below) but simply prepping with the 'Basic Six' things- Food/Water/Light/Radio/Shelter/Transport should take the initial shock out of most of them and give us a breathing space to figger out what to do next depending what type of disaster zaps us.
No need to have a massive stockpile of food and water if you don't want, just overstock your fridge and a kitchen cupboard more than normal, that's all I do.
For light, a torch/flashlight and plenty of spare batteries is essential if the power's gone off. Likewise the battery radio is to listen to emergency news broadcasts to get a big picture of what's going on in the world outside.
Transport and Shelter is in case you need to get out of town, I don't drive so i'll hop on my bike with my tent, sleeping bag, food and drink in my rucksack and pedal out somewhere to set up camp.
There are a zillion other prepping bits and pieces you can have fun getting such as compass, maps, knife, bandaids, pocket telescope, solar still, etc, it all depends how deep into prepping you want to go, there are no hard and fast rules except not to become over-obsessed by it, so regard prepping as a fun 'hobby' and you'll keep a healthy mindset..:)

1- Chernobyl-type nuclear plant accident, but on a much bigger scale, poisoning an area as big as the USA or the whole of Europe and Asia.
2- Massive meteor or asteroid strike wiping out millions with blast and tsunami, and kicking up enough dust to black out the sun for years like what wiped out the dinosaurs.
3- World War 3 exchange of nuclear weapons poisoning virtually the entire planet.
4- A plague wiping out most humans on earth after accidental release from a bio research lab, or a deliberate release by terrorists to wipe out the population of a specific country, or perhaps a virus naturally evolves that has no cure.
5- EC Event (Economic Collapse) triggering total breakdown of law and order resulting in looting gangs etc.
6- EM pulse (from a solar flare or nuclear bomb) blows out the electricity grid and electronics, it'll be bad but hopefully the govt will have contingency plans to get relief food and medicine convoys up and running.
7- Mega-earthquake bigger than anything the earth has experienced before, demolishing a whole bunch of cities across countries or continents.
8- Mega-tsunami triggered by gigantic quake at sea, wiping out coastal areas for a hundred miles or more inland.
9- Runaway volcano that carries on spewing out dust and ash for months, throwing a grey wind-carried shroud around the planet blocking out sunlight and triggering subzero temperature drops.
10- Haywire weather (nonstop storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, floods etc) caused by global warming, pollution, ozone depletion etc
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I think if I were in your shoes right now, I would be working on a get home bag. If you had to leave school right now, and all roads were blocked etc, how long would it take you to hike it home in extreme snow or earthquake conditions ? Add a day to be safe and determine what you would need to accomplish said trip with no more then what you can carry. Water, Food, small stove, mylar type sleeping bag, mylar type tarps etc. Small para cord to make a shelter, small axe or skatchet, wind up or crank flashlight/radio, first aid kit and know how to use it, containers to carry water in, aluminum or plastic. That should give you a quick idea and from there , you should be able to figure out what you need first .
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You should sell me the Shield! ;-)
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Seems like you are set up alright for defense and to be able to procure food if needed. I would make sure you have (at a minimum) three days of food and water, and make sure and put yourself together a BOB. It doesn't have to be anything crazy to start, but just enough to be able to grab and go if need be. You can always add more of whatever you find you'll need as you go. Also, make sure you routinely check it, update it, and (most important of all) make sure you practice with it. Take it hiking, dry run BO's etc. Ya don't want to wait till you need it to find out that it's too heavy, or that you really could have used more food/water/shelter/ammo.

As I'm sure many here will tell you, you can spend all kinds of money on gear, and although gear is good to have, make sure you know how to use it too. There is literally a multitude of things that you could spend money on for prepping, but make sure you have all the four major necessities covered (food/water/shelter/security) before you get all crazy about the latest gadget/gizmo/do-hickey.

Hope that helps a little.
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..mylar type sleeping bag..
Yeah they're less than 10 dollars each and can be lifesavers, a great alternative to having to carry a big bulky sleeping bag around to work, school or the office.
The Apollo program cost trillions of dollars, but 3 astronauts nearly died of hypothernia on Apollo 13 because nobody at NASA thought of spending a few bucks on emergency mylar bags, THAT was bad prepping..;) Emergency Mylar Survival Sleeping Bags - Pack of 4 Bags. SSB-4: Sports & Outdoors
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extra socks and underwear... all things considered, and when things are going bad nothing make you feel better when you have to rough it like a fresh pair of socks (wool ones for winter) and a crisp fresh pair of undies.

oh and tampons. good for what they are made for (what man (or woman pending tastes) dosn't like that a good as it can get) and can seal up bullet, and other like wounds.
I suggest you focus on the basics first. Food, water, shelter, clothing, fire, protection. For food, I prefer to buy food I know I like to eat, and I go with canned meat (ham, chicken, tuna, Spam, Vienna sausage, etc.); then I add in boxed rice mixes, the kind that come in a foil pouch that you just add water to for cooking (Rice-a-roni, Zatarain's, etc.); canned beans (get a can opener first) that can be heated over a fire if necessary. Then you have meat, rice/pasta, and beans, which will sustain you, and fit a student budget. Dollar stores for this.

Water speaks for itself...I just buy a case of bottled water every month; after awhile you are stocked, and mark the date on the case, drink it if it gets up in age, and replace it as you go.

Shelter - basic blue tarps, one as ground cover, one for rain cover, and a decent tent, a pup tent is a good start. You may end up outside and it will shelter you from weather. Combine with tarps and you have emergency shelter anywhere.

Fire - firestarter. Bic lighters are okay, but wind and water can kill them, so I use firestarter (flint and steel) and cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly. Zippo lighter and lighter fluid, with extra flints and wicks -- works great most of the time, and fits in a pocket.

Flashlight -- because half the time it is dark. Batteries.

Spare clothing.

Quality folding knife, and a pruning saw that folds for cutting firewood and building lean-to if needed.

That will get you off to a good start. Build from there.
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I've been prepping a couple of months now and I'm still overwhelmed sometimes by all the info. Don't worry, though, because once you get started it evens out. As far as the budgeting it's really not as bad as some people think. I'm on a very limited income and right now our food pantry is the most important. I stock up slowly when my budget isn't that great by grabbing an extra can or two here and there of things on sale that I know I'll need, or use massive amounts of coupons to get low cost and free items. Cutting out processed foods and impulse buying saved a HUGE amount as well. Patience for sales as well as price checking helps to save a lot.
EVERYBODY in the whole country will become a prepper when a disaster hits; but the difference is that they'll have left it too late and will have to fight through the mobs at the supermarkets, whereas we'll be able to sit safe at home already-prepped with smiles on our faces as big as waves on slop buckets..:)

More mob pics-
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Just my 2 cents instead of a flashlight get LED head lights they make lanterns just about obsolete (no use lighting up an area where you are not looking). Buy several of those solar garden lights (Walmart sells them for three dollars each) they can be used to charge up 2 AA rechargeable batteries each, and at night time you can take the top off and use them just like candles but much safer and put out more light and will give you free light for years. Buy a mr buddy heater an hose to hook it up to a 20lb propane cylinder (grill size), One cylinder will heat up a room for over a week. Have a tool ready in case of a disaster you can turn your main gas line off.
I love Jim's magazine style photo visual aids, we need to get together and do a DIY series or something, I'll pen it you bring up the graphics.
Head for the big box store and lay in all the canned food you can afford.
Small medic bag too, containing pain relievers, bandages, antiseptic wipes, neosporin, immodium ad, allergy pills, small scalpel and fine thread. Its also prudent to include at least a five day supply of meds you currently take or need (more would be better of course). When i get sick i fill the antibiotic prescription then stash it and suffer through, but now how a good supply of much needed antibiotics.
GOnna have to agree with the BOB first!! I dont enough about ur situation to help much from there. Your a student, so i could assume your financially strapped. But i dont like to assume. =)

You have 3 acres, so i could ASSUME your in the country, which is best. But again i dont like to ASSUME.

SO let me ask you these couple of questions first:

1. ROughly what can you afford each month to DEDICATE to preps?

2. How quickly do you want to meet your goals?

3. What are your goal, why are you prepping?

4. Are you in town, in the burbs or out in the country?

5. What is you level of medical, wilderness and firearms knowledge?

Now, feel free to not answer any or all of these. OPSEC is very important to a lot of folks, but i think if you kept it general you could answer here or in a PM and still keep your OPSEC in tact. More questions to come as answers are received.
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Everyone thank you for the info! Very helpful so far! Sounds like a BOB is a good way to start.

Dropy thank you for wanting to know the details, I will answer these as best I can.

1. I could afford probably around $100 a month at this point. Strapped, yes.

2. How quickly I want to meet my goals... eh, speed isn't too important since I know my financial situation leaves me with little room for that.

3. Prepping mostly to survive an economic collapse, Katrina like situation. As far as more serious scenarios (i.e. nuclear war, huge volcanic eruptions), I think that may come with time, but as of now I don't think I have the resources to adequately prepare for those.

4. Currently I am in the center of a major city, and home for me is a three and a half hour drive away. Home is located in a relatively rural area. Small town.

5. Medical knowledge: little to none. Wilderness knowledge: little to none. Firearms knowledge: relatively decent, currently would like to get my hands on an AR and more combat handgun training as I conceal and carry.
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