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2,585 Posts
I wanted to start a thread on information that new preppers should start out with. Something to get them on the right tract. If enough seasoned preppers participate, this thread will be an excellent resource for newbie's to go to.

I will start the thread.

Buy lots of food. Food should be one of your highest priorities besides water and defense. Get a mixture of food items that stores long term like rice and beans. The stuff your going to eat with the rice and beans. A variety of canned goods. Keep in mind that expiration dates are just the manufactures way to guarantee that their product will stay fresh and palatable. Use your judgment on how long after the expiration dates that you will keep them. Most items should be good years past their dates.

I keep MRE's in stock also. When they start to age then we use them for camping/hiking. Otherwise it is nice to have a stock of food you don't have to cook and can immediately eat cold if you want. Especially during a bug out.

Set your goals. Like one weeks worth of groceries, then just keep working your way up until you have six months of food or what ever you set as your ultimate goal of food storage.

Check out Step 3: Three Month Food Supply there is a really great excel spreadsheet that you can download that will help out with your food storage plan.

Consider getting a dehydrator. You can dehydrate a lot of foods and they will last a really long time especially if you store your stuff in Mylar bags inside of 5 gallon buckets with oxygen absorbers in them. You can learn how to store this way by watching some You Tube videos.

If you live in a rural area plant fruit trees. Once they mature you will have all the fruit you can eat and it will give you something to barter with.

You will want to store water. How much? Well that's going to depend on your situation. Do you live in an apartment in the city or a homestead in a rural area?

If you drink those individual water bottle bottles then stock up heavy on them just keep in mind that the bottles are designed to break down over time. They will eventually leak. If you can not store a lot of water then prepare your self to be able to procure water from a source like a pond or stream. There are several ways to make water potable, water purification filters, chemical means like bleach and iodine tablets and boiling the water.

Consider getting a generator for power outages. Especially if you live near the coast where a hurricane could mess you up. There are multi fuel generators available. Propane and gas, just gas, just propane and just diesel. If your going to invest in a generator then invest in a generator transfer switch.

The switch hooks up to your circuit breaker box and lets you have power with your generator but prevents back feeding the electrical line. It also does away with all of the extension cords. Reliance and Generac are good brand names.

Depending on the emergency you may not want to use it in a prolonged manner, just use it intermittently to keep your fridge and freezer cold. And you may not want to use lights in the evening. It will be like beacon to desperate people.

Your going to want a firearm to defend your family and property.

Which firearms should you use? Ask several different people and you will get several different answers. It is recommended that you standardize so ammunition and repair parts will be easier to stock. Stick to NATO type calibers with the addition of a few others. NATO calibers usually consist of 9mm, 45cal, 7.62X52mm/.308cal, 5.56mm/.223, 12gauge, .50cal, .300 win mag.

I would add the 7.62X39 to your possible lists to choose from, why? Because the AK 47 has a long time reputation of never breaking down/misfires and jams. AK's are relatively cheap. They can be used in a multi -purpose role. They are an excellent swamp gun for hunting, you can use high capacity magazines for defense/offense and at close to mid range they are pretty accurate. If you have bolt action scoped rifles that are very accurate. Use them for sniper rifles. The important thing is to have something. Something is better than nothing.

Bug Out Bags
If you plan on bugging out to a different location whether it is a stocked cabin or family and friends residence you will want a BOB. The size will depend on what you can carry comfortably. These bags will contain the minimum what is needed to sustain you until you can get to your location.

Now its time to pick this apart in a positive manner. How would you tell a new prepper to start? What can you add to what I have already written?

21,168 Posts
Great thread MtlGen!

I would suggest that a person set their sights on Sustainable Living. Research Homesteading or Self Sufficient Living. Shelter, Water, Food, Security...

4,373 Posts
This so much so. Learning sustainable living reduces the amount of preparations one must buy and store, it reduces demand, and it can help change lifestyles to where on saves.

Great thread MtlGen!

I would suggest that a person set their sights on Sustainable Living. Research Homesteading or Self Sufficient Living. Shelter, Water, Food, Security...

7,108 Posts
Food and Water

Shelter and Security


those 5 things are the basics for any conversation about prepping...any prepper discussion will be about one of those things in some shape or form

now you have to wonder why I listed them like that

3,365 Posts
Look up rule of 3s

Start a 3 day "storm kit" (FEMA/ses/all disaster agencies in the west have good suggestions)

Expand to 5 days

Expand to 1 week

Expand to 1 month

Expand to 3 months

Expand to where you feel prepared

Then start again :p

(Note bobs etc are normally your 3 day kit)
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21,643 Posts
Start with the question. What if a storm hit and power was off here for a week, emergence services where very limited? What would our house hold need to get by with no help? When you have a list fill it. Once that is done test it see if you covered it well then look at two weeks. It is a bigger job than you think at first.
Heat (location time of year)
Source of information ,news ect
Power and or batteries
No sense prepping of SHTF if you can't survive a couple weeks.

492 Posts
I encourage people to prep first for what's most likely, even if it's not the 'sexiest' or most dramatic. Whatever nasty storms your region gets. Water main breaks. Power outages. Car won't get you home. Always have a reliable flashlight close to hand, decent walking shoes, clothes to keep you warm enough/dry enough. A back-up plan to reunite with your family if there's big drama in your area and cell phones aren't getting through. Enough cash to get you home. First aid kit, with a day or three of prescription meds if you need them. A spare pair of glasses/contacts if you need those. For that matter, a few extra days of meds (minimum) on hand all the time. This kind of problem *will* happen; it's only *when* that's unknown.

1,895 Posts
1. Water filter
2. Flour, salt
3. Cammo bivvy bag
4. Rice
5. Full set of clothing recommended ECWCS

Hold on just sign up to the army for basic training and use that as a starting point.

Premium Member
9,850 Posts
Great thread MtlGen!

I would suggest that a person set their sights on Sustainable Living. Research Homesteading or Self Sufficient Living. Shelter, Water, Food, Security...
HERESY!!!! I'm tellin' the gov on you!

Whoops, don't want to scare the newbies, my bad.

Water, water water........and more water. Buy it, store it, find ways to collect it! Also learn to use what you already have (water heater, toilet tank, pool) and find ways to purify/preserve it.

Also jump into those medical supplies. Been thinking about it lately and a toothache isn't a big deal but during emergency/SHTF its gonna be a pain in the tooth (you thought I was going to say ass). Infection is bad, m'kay!
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2,192 Posts
This is an awesome idea. I would go the opposite way I did. I would start with and go about it in this order.

Water 2 weeks.
Food 2 weeks
72 hour emergency bag (affectionately known as BOB)
Medical everything from a sliver or head ache to gun shot and burns. Know first aid
Defence and hunting
Water long term for 6 months
Food long term with grains oats raw beans rice and Mylar packing with oxygen absorbers
Self sustainability - this includes anything farming growing homesteading solar whatever - renewable and self sufficient is the key.
Buy more guns. Buy a large amount of ammo. Then do it again.

Mix in tools that you use and back ups and back ups to those. Learn how to cook on a fire sew knit plant a garden manage a small orchard grow grapes make emergency shelters filter water skin and clean game preserve meat I mean the list goes on.

Prepping is a life long journey and a very rewarding but at times hard one to take. You may never need your preps full out but you will never ever be unhappy that you've got them.

You don't need a nuclear bunker or an armour plated bus with spikes on it. Let's face it there are extremes in everything. If you can and want to I won't knock Ya for it.

One prep almost always over looked is one of the least expensive. Be a man/woman of your word. Be honest. Live as an example. One that does what they say and lives by a standard. Help your neighbour. Be a good person. If the SHTF were to happen I wouldn't want anyone else around except upstanding people. So be one yourself. And don't accept anyone less.

Cheers and good luck!

19 Posts
If I may interject. I'm in no way a professional or even very experienced Prepper. I started prepping about 3 years ago. Let me say that what I now find the MOST important step before buying anything is Knowledge. Learn everything you can. That can not be taken from you. With some knowledge then you do what Diver said, Make a Plan. Stick to it.
I was very overwhelmed when I first started. That's easy to do as a beginner. Money always seems to be a problem for any of us these days, so once I figured out I needed a game plan I learned all I could, and still learn every day, but I had to force myself to cut out all unnecessary spending. Yeah Sacrifices. Then I set a budget. I also took any extra money after bills etc and dumped that into supplies. I find it funny when I am out I'll start thinking "hey I wouldn't mind going out to eat their" then I weigh, 20 bucks for dinner vs. how much supplies I can get. I rarely eat out anymore.
Everyone else posted great advice once you get your game plan, budget and knowledge in order. I had to focus more on water because of my location, and less on shelter. Security was low priority so I was able to put more towards other the other things first, then come back to the rest later for redundancies.

7,954 Posts
I'll opt for trimmed 7.62 x 51 over untrimmed 7.62x 52

I also bought a lot of stuff I didn't need,want or would ever use. Since I bought cheap,it was less painful to liquidate. Well I did get freee rent on a RL550B and RCII for the items.:armata_PDT_12:

2,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Where to begin, in the military there is a saying of "Beans, Bullets and Band Aids". Band Aids being your medical resources and supplies. Your first priority is to get basic medical training such as the American Red Cross course and CPR course. You have to have knowledge. For more first aid information I would recommend that you preferably get a hard copy of the Army manual, First Aid FM 4-25.11 formerly FM 21-11. You can google it and get it on PDF. This Manual is the Army's basic first aid book. It will also teach you to treat basic trauma like a gunshot wound.

I would recommend that you obtain the LDS Preparedness Handbook as a beginners guide to prepping. I guess I should have mentioned this in the beginning. It is an excellent resource. If you can not find it by googling it then private message me with an email and I will forward it to you.

You will want a basic first aid kit for your home and make it so it is mobile so that you can take it with you if you have to leave your residence in a hurry. Military medic bags are a good resource to start with. If you can afford it Doom and Bloom has some excellent medical bags Disaster Preparedness Kits | Natural Disaster Preparedness | Earthquake Preparedness Supplies

If you cannot, there product lists will give you another guide to go by.

Here are some basic items from the LDS Preparedness Book you will want to have in your first aid kit;

Basic First Aid Kit
Bandages and Dressings:
[__] Antiseptic Wipes
[__] Bandage (Crepe) - 50 mm (2")
[__] Bandage (Crepe) - 75 mm (2.5")
[__] Bandage (Crepe) - 100 mm (4")
[__] Bandage (Gauze) - 75 mm (2.5")
[__] Bandage (Gauze) - 100 mm (4")
[__] Bandage Triangular
[__] Dressing (Combine) 90 mm x 100 m m
[__] Dressing (Combine) 200 mm x 200 mm
[__] Dressing (Non Adhesive) 75 mm x 50 mm
[__] Dressing (Non Adhesive) 75 mm x 100 mm
[__] Dressing Strip - Elastoplast 75 mm x 1 m
[__] Eye Pads
[__] Gauze Swabs (Pkt 2) - 100 mm x 100 mm
[__] Sticking plasters
Personal protection
[__] Disposable Gloves
[__] CPR Face Shield
[__] Clothing Shears
[__] Tweezers - Fine Point
[__] Splinter Probes
[__] Saline Solution 30 mL Tubes
[__] Steri-Strips - 3 mm
[__] Survival Sheet
[__] Tape - 25 mm

Basic medical kit
Bandages and Dressings
[__] Combat Dressings
[__] Large gauze dressings
[__] Small gauze squares
[__] Roller Bandages elastic + cotton (2in/4in/6in)
[__] Triangular Bandages
[__] Bandaids -assorted sizes and shapes (i.e. fin
[__] Sleek Tape 1 in.
(waterproof, plastic/elasticised tape)
[__] Cotton buds (Q-tips, cotton tips)
Personal protection / Antisepsis:
[__] Chlorhexidine (Hibiclens) or
[__] Povidone-iodine (Disinfectant)
[__] Antibacterial Soap
[__] Gloves
[__] Saline solution - for irrigation
[__] Lignocaine 1% (Lidocaine) (local anaesthetic)
[__] Augmentin (broad spectrum antibiotic)
[__] Acetaminophen (Tylenol) (mild analgesic)
[__] Diclophenac (Voltaren)
(mod analgesic/antiinflammatory)
[__] Oral Rehydration powder
[__] Loperamide (Imodium) (antidiarrhoeal)
[__] Benadryl &/or Claritin
(antihistamines, short + long acting)
[__] Adrenaline auto injector (Epicene)
(USA = epinephrine)
[__] Morphine Sulphate
(strong pain killer) if available
[__] Gamma Benzene Hexachloride
(lice/scabies treatment)
[__] Co-timoxazole (antifungal)
[__] Contraceptive pills/Condoms
[__] Clothing shears
[__] Surgical scissors
[__] Needle holder ) Enough to do basic minor
[__] Sm curved clamps ) surgery - suturing, draining
[__] Tissue forceps ) abscesses, cleaning a wound,
[__] Scalpel blades ) etc.
[__] Thermometer (rectal or pacifier for children)
[__] Emergency Obstetric Kit
(includes bulb suction)
[__] Vicryl 2-0 suture material
(Your choice of suture material is up to you - and is covered in detail elsewhere in this book. Vicryl is a synthetic dissolvable one, but takes up to 4-6 weeks to dissolve, so I think it is the ideal survival thread)
[__] 5 mL syringes
[__] 20 gauge needles

[__] Oil of cloves (tooth ache)
[__] Emergency dental kit
(commercial preparation)

The Deluxe Medical Kit
Bandages and dressings
[__] Large gauze dressings
[__] Small gauze squares
[__] Combat dressings
[__] Petroleum gauze squares
[__] Plastic bags
[__] Bandaids - assorted sizes and shapes
[__] Elastoplast dressing
[__] Steri-Strips - assorted sizes
[__] Tincture of Benzoin
[__] Roller (elasticised + cotton)
bandages (2in/4in/6in)
[__] Triangular bandages
[__] Safety pins
[__] Cotton buds
[__] Paper tape (1/2 in/1in)
[__] Sleek tape (1/2in/1in)
[__] Plaster of Paris (or fibreglass)
roller bandages (4in/6in)
[__] Eye patches
[__] Oropharyngeal airways
[__] Nasal airways (nasal trumpet)
[__] Resuscitation facemask with one-way valve
[__] Self-inflating resuscitation bag
[__] Endotracheal tube/ Laryngoscope
[__] BP cuff
[__] Stethoscope
[__] Otoscope
[__] Small Torch (flash light)
[__] Thermometer (rectal for children)
[__] Multi-dip. urine test strips
[__] Pregnancy test kits
[__] Fluorescein eye strips
(+ some liquid tears to wet the strips)
[__] Small eye magnet (for FB's)
[__] Space blanket
[__] Air splints (arm/long-leg/short-leg)
[__] SAM splints
[__] Sterile and un-sterile latex gloves
[__] Scrub Suits
IV Kit
[__] Normal Saline or Hartmans
[__] Haemaccel or Pentaspan
(a colloid resuscitation fluid)
[__] IV giving sets - maxi-sets + standard sets
[__] Blood collection bags + filter giving sets
[__] Syringes 2/5/10/20 mL
[__] Needles 20/22/24 gauge
[__] IV cannulas 16/20/24 gauge
[__] Spinal needles 22 gauge
[__] Leur locks/Heparin locks
[__] Saline for flushes
[__] Tourniquet
[__] Alcohol Wipes

Dental Kit
[__] Oil of cloves
[__] Zinc Oxide paste
[__] Dental mirror
[__] Sharp probe
[__] Compactor
[__] Extraction forceps
[__] Elevators
Surgical Kit
[__] Mayo scissors
[__] Dissecting forceps
[__] Small + medium needle holders
[__] Small curved clamps
[__] Small straight clamps
[__] Large curved clamps
[__] Scalpel Handle + Blades (size 11, 12, 15)
or disposable scalpels
[__] Small Bone Saw
[__] Lift- Out obstetric forceps
[__] Emergency Obstetric Kit
(includes cord clamps, bulb suction etc)
[__] Suture Material Vicryl; 0, 2-0
[__] Chromic 0, 2-0
[__] Dermalon 0, 2-0
[__] Surgical stapler and remover
[__] Heimlich flutter valve
[__] Chest drains - various sizes
[__] Drainage bottles or Flutter valves
[__] Penrose drains
[__] Foley Urethral Catheters -
16 French (most useful size)
[__] Urine Bags
[__] Nasogastric (NG) tubes + spigots
[__] Heavy duty scissors

[__] Povidone - iodine Prep antiseptic skin prep
and/or Alcohol prep antiseptic skin
prep Chlorhexidine and cetrimide anti
[__] septic hand wash
[__] Benalkium Chloride Antirabies skin wash
[__] Antibacterial Soap
[__] Paracetamol (Tylenol) oral mild analgesic
[__] Aspirin oral wonder drug
[__] Diclophenac oral mod analgesic (NASID)
[__] Morphine IV/IMSC strong analgesic
[__] Naroxone IV antagonist to morphine
[__] Ketamine IV/IM IV anaesthetic
[__] Diazepam IV hypnotic/sedative
[__] Atropine IV pre-med/poison anti
[__] Lignocaine (Lidocaine) IV local anaesthetic
[__] Metoclopramide (Reglan) anti-emetic
[__] Augmentin oral/IV penicillin antibiotic
[__] Metronidazole oral anaerobic antibiotic
[__] Cefaclor oral cephalosporin antibiotic
[__] Ceftriaxone IV cephalosporin antibiotic
[__] Ciprofloxacin oral quinolone antibiotic
[__] Mebendazole oral antiparasitic
[__] Co-trimoxazole top antifungal
[__] Adrenaline IV/IM (USA = Epinephrine)
[__] Salbutamol inhaler asthma/anaphylaxis
[__] Rehydration formula dehydration
[__] Benadryl &/or Claritin oral antihistamine
[__] OTC Cough suppressant
[__] Betnesol oral steroid
[__] Hydrocortisone IV/cream steroid
[__] Loperamide oral antidiarrheal
[__] Ergometrine &/or Oxytocin IV/IM ecbolic for
[__] Neomycin eye drops
[__] Prilocaine eye drops local anaesthetic
[__] Starr Otic Drops antibiotic ear drops
[__] Mupirocin (Bactroban) top topical
antibacterial cream
[__] Gamma Benzene Hexachloride topical for
scabies and lice
[__] Water for injection/normal saline for injection
[__] Oral Contraceptive Pills
[__] Condoms/Cervical Caps/Diaphragms

894 Posts
Perhaps one of the more overlooked items that are a MUST HAVE are ANTIBIOTICS.

Something as simple as a small cut or puncture wound can get infected, the infection spreads, and you die. Remember, hygiene is not going to be a top priority for survival. Remember that the outside world will be a more dangerous place. A stab wound, a gunshot wound, an open bone break, etc. are all very real possibilities. Remember that hospitals and doctors are not going to be readily available.

You can buy FISH ANTIBIOTICS over-the-counter. Buy only fish antibiotics that are pharmaceutical grade antibiotics made in the USA. Don't buy antibiotics manufactured overseas, for obvious reasons.

I buy mine on e-Bay. Just about any antibiotic you can think of is available, and at a reasonable price. There are a variety of dosages and quantities available.

672 Posts
Like others have said, start small and work your way to bigger and bigger preps. Most homes have at least a weeks worth of food on hand already so just add to what you already have. If you're going to the store and are going to buy canned soup, but 4 cans instead of your normal 2 and hey presto you're on your way to building your food supply. Anything is better than nothing. Even if you're a little bit prepped you'll be better off than someone who isn't prepped at all.

However a big thing to deal with is getting in the right mindset. Most people don't handle emergencies very well. This comes from seeing it in person. It's much easier to panic than most people think. However when 911 won't operate what are you going to do? Those are the kinds of questions your should also be asking yourself. One way to get over that is to simply start practicing. Camping trips with family, Scouts, church groups, or other community groups are a great way to test your preps and your gear. Find out what you like, what you don't like, what you'll use, what you wont use. Having the very latest thingamagig is great, but unless you know how to actually use it in the field it's basically a paperweight in a box.

If you read stories of survival a common thread you'll find is that the people who make it are the people who have a good attitude. It's really kind of amazing the amount of hardship that can be endured if one is able to stay positive. It's not easy by any stretch, but again that's where practice comes in. The first 3 in the Rule of 3's is not 3 minutes without air, it's 3 seconds without a positive attitude. Debatable to be sure, but if it helps you get into a better head space, so much the better.

11,822 Posts
I encourage people to prep first for what's most likely, even if it's not the 'sexiest' or most dramatic. Whatever nasty storms your region gets. Water main breaks. Power outages. Car won't get you home. Always have a reliable flashlight close to hand, decent walking shoes, clothes to keep you warm enough/dry enough. A back-up plan to reunite with your family if there's big drama in your area and cell phones aren't getting through. Enough cash to get you home. First aid kit, with a day or three of prescription meds if you need them. A spare pair of glasses/contacts if you need those. For that matter, a few extra days of meds (minimum) on hand all the time. This kind of problem *will* happen; it's only *when* that's unknown.
Excellent. This is how I approached it when starting. I started with the basics and preparing for what was most likey first. Then worked outwards concentrically. I stressed the basics first that would be needed in any scenario. Food, Water, Fire, protection, light, communication, and medical. Spend the extra money and buy quality equipment. When you need it most you don't want to have to deal with failures because of quality. ( A 5 dollar flashlight will fail when you need it the most. ) I would also suggest you do the reasurch on the equipment you are looking to purchase.

2,585 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Bug Out Bags

Something you will want to consider is durability verses weight. Military packs weigh more because they are built like a tank and they last. Civilian packs depending on the model may not last with use. They are built thinner to save weight for ultra light hikers.

Something else you may hear is military bags will make you a target. I totally disagree. If it is Without Rule Of Law (WROL) then any pack will make you a target. At least military bags are subdued and will hide you better.

I went with military packs for my family. My wife and I have CFP-90's and we have Large ALICE Packs for my Sons and daughter. I don't have any but I have heard good things about the Army MOLLE II and the Marine Corp Marpat Ilbe.

Try to find these packs locally at an army navy surplus store so you can try them on and then compare the prices with eBay. The prices on eBay are pretty good.

Hygiene Kit

Fire Making Kit
Ferro Rod
Cotton balls mixed with petroleum jelly

First Aid Kit

Food and Water
MRE broken down to conserve weight or Mountain House freeze dried meals
Energy bars
Mess Kit
Water purification tablets
Way to boil water such as a canteen cup
Water Filter like a Katadyn Hiker Pro
Camelbak or a canteen/water bottle

Tent and/or tarp
Military Sleep System (MSS) with the Goretex bivy

A hand gun for close quarter combat/self defense
A rifle for long range protection and hunting
Pellet gun/sling shot for silent hunting

E Tool shovel
Folding Saw
Collins Gem SAS Survival Pocket Guide by John Wiseman

AM/FM/Weather Radio so you can keep advised to what’s going on in your area.
GMRS/FMRS radios so you can keep in touch with your group members if you get separated.

Fishing Kit/Food Procurement
A break down fishing pole
Yo Yo Fishing Reels (if you buy from eBay or Amazon look for a seller named hogwilder. He is a great guy and a veteran. Provides an excellent service.
Trot Line
Assorted bobbers, sinkers, hooks and artificial bait

Spare pants, shirt, undergarments and SOCKS
Winter Clothing (Seasonal)

Cash Money

36 Posts
Tons of great things here already posted. I'll add one thing that I've always thought was important in case of an unusually prolonged scenario that may deplete your stuff. Of course it's going to be very different from one of us to the other depending on where you live but it goes along with having knowledge as previously mentioned. I'm slowly learning but it's pretty neat stuff. Local, edible plants, flowers, roots etc.. How to identify, prepare and know nutritional value. Who knows, times could get tough enough where one would have to bust out their inner Native American skills.

2,099 Posts
Prepare your mind first,the rest will come later.
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