Prepping for beginners- How to get started

beginner prepper

Prepping for beginners. Some would call it a hobby, some would say it is just their lifestyle. However you look at it for yourself, it can always seem overwhelming for a beginner. Where do you start? What should you do? Is prepping too expensive?

One of the common misconceptions for some people is that prepping is just buying a lot of crap that will somehow help you to survive and eat well while doing it. The most important part of prepping is mental and emotional stability. No matter how much stuff you have, if you run around like Chicken Little thinking the sky is falling, you are going to end up hurting yourself or others.

Prepping for beginners. Getting your head in the game!

Bad things happen. It is a part of life. Being a person who can make the best of a situation will always drastically improve your chances in life. Prepping is no different.

90-degree weather with a storm coming down is a really bad time to lose power. It becomes almost unbearable with a complainer in the group. The person who doesn’t like this or that or feels somehow that their misery becomes less if they share it with the group.

Not everyone is a born leader who can take charge no matter what happens. It’s hard to step up and lead when fear, frustration, and exhausting have a hold of you. It becomes even harder when the choices you make could actually mean the difference between someone living and dying. Part of prepping is learning your limits and the limits of the surrounding people before those limits are called into question.

Prepping should always be a family activity. You need the people in your group or home to be on board in order to make plans work. The A-team always had a plan that they loved to see come together. The only reason that it did come together was that everyone did their part and worked together. Delegation and assignment of responsibility should be figured out beforehand as much as feasible. Apathy and laziness are the two biggest plan killers. The inability to act during an Alaskan summer might mean the inability to eat during an Alaskan winter.

Prepping really does become a preemptive lifestyle. Going through life avoiding as many of the pitfalls as possible while learning to climb out of the ones you can’t fully avoid. Training and gaining knowledge is always the best way to deal with the emergencies of life.

If someone pushed you into a swimming pool and you could swim you might be able to laugh about it if you weren’t holding your phone! Not knowing how to swim makes the situation completely different. That little piece of knowledge and know-how makes all the difference in that scenario.

I encourage you to start learning about prepping. Visit several prepping websites to get different takes on all the issues you might one day be forced to face. Pick up valuable training like basic first aid, camping, swimming, CPR, fire building etc. Return often for more updates here on all things concerning prepping.

Removing environmental obstacles.

When people begin to prep and look at the surrounding environment, they start to find the hidden dangers. One of the biggest dangers might be where you work or live. During a time of civil unrest, it may not be in your best interest to live downtown. Would you feel safe living where you do right now if the economy crashed and everyone was fighting for food and survival?

Others live in great places for being safe from Urban meltdown. The problem they face is that they work in a place that is problematic if things were to go downhill. It might be that you work in a city surrounded by millions of people. How would you get home to your place in the country If something like an earthquake destroyed most of the infrastructure? An hour-long drive could end up taking days on foot.

Maybe you work on the family farm twenty miles from the nearest town. You have all the water from your own personal well and acre after acre of food in your own backyard. You are ideally in a situation that plenty of preppers would love to find themselves in. Self-sufficiency is the key. But the problem is the town has a nuclear power plant just past it that supplies electricity to the whole county. What are your plans for bugging out if a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake made the plant unstable? Being so secure and stable in your living situation might be your downfall of not planning ahead if your farm became compromised.

When things go bad people panic. The roads may quickly become jam-packed. Looting or rioting can break out. If there is a fear of food running out, there may be a run on the stores. Looting has more to do with the opportunity to get away with taking what you want, not necessarily need it.

Stores have long since gotten rid of the storerooms with rows and rows of merchandise. They all have warehouses that micromanage transactions and deliver smaller amounts to each store as items are purchased. The last figures I had heard was that stores have about enough food in them to feed a community for only 3 days. Every man, woman, and child could go through the food in the local grocery stores in as little as three days. Let that sink in. Your local community could be out of food and hungry in under a week.

The surrounding infrastructure must always be thought of. Do you live in a city that gets its water from the mountains? If that supply chain were to break how would you survive? In a lot of places, they have made it illegal to collect rainwater saying that it messes with the water table.

The opposite could be the problem. Maybe you are surrounded by too much water. Would the breaking of a dam cause your house to be washed away? I know a place like St. Louis is actually surrounded by rivers on all sides. If you wanted to leave the city and county you would have to find a way to cross the river if the bridges went down.

How would you get home during a time of crisis? How would you leave home if leaving was your best option? I wrote a post that would help about bug out bags that can be found here! There are a thousand different variables that should be taken into consideration when choosing where to work and live. It isn’t all about the neighborhood and schools. However, there will always be risks no matter where in the world you choose to live. One of the reasons people prep is to help alleviate the problems or at least become willing to face those problems head-on.

How training makes you a better prepper.

Before I mentioned being pushed into a pool. Swimming is a basic skill that anyone can pick up that would make a huge step forward in a person’s ability to survive several situations. I believe there are several basic things that preppers should know in order to help them out in an emergency. Here I listed a few to help get you started.

  1. How to swim
  2. Basic first aid
  3. How to make a fire
  4. How to find water
  5. How to read a map
  6. Several methods to purify water
  7. Finding or creating a shelter
  8. CPR
  9. Heimlich Maneuver
  10. Basic firearm skills

There are other things that will help your group as a whole. I believe in personal responsibility for one’s own safety but the group as a whole will need to have some things in place for them to do well also.

  1. A plan. Answer who, what, when, where, how.
    1. Who. A list of people who you do and don’t want in your group if things go bad.
    2. What. Have a plan to answer each major problem of what could go wrong. Dealing with a tornado is different from how you would handle Russia invading.
    3. When. When does the group meet up or bug out to a new location?
    4. Where. Where do you want everyone to meet? That answer might be different based on several factors including time. You might say everyone meets at my house, unless there is a crisis for more than 48 hours, then bug out to uncle Mike’s farm
    5. How is everyone communicating and getting where they are going.
  2. Duties and rolls if SHTF (stuff* hits the fan)
    1. Who is picking up mom?
    2. Who is in charge of communications.
    3. Who is picking up the kids or are they old enough to make it home alone.
    4. Who is driving if bugging out?
    5. Who is hosting the group if everyone has to get out of town?
    6. Who is in charge of security.
    7. Who is feeding the group?
  3. Practice
    1. Practice drills like what you do in case of a tornado
    2. Roleplay what you want your kids to do in a crisis so that they have the training to look back on.
    3. Drive routes to look for obvious problems that might arise during different crisis.
  4. Routes
    1. Have more than one route that you would take to bug out or to get home.
    2. Check routes for obvious issues that could arise based on each different crisis. You want to avoid routes with bridges for example during an earthquake aftermath. Avoid routed with water if flash flooding is an issue.
    3. know what the routes for each member is in case you have to go help or find them.
  5. Communications
    1. Have a way to talk to each other. Each member of a party could have a walkie-talkie set to a certain channel that everyone uses in an emergency.
    2. Have locations on a route that people can leave a message if the phones aren’t working. Something like we are heading to Mike’s farm.
    3. Have a coded way to talk if for some reason you didn’t want to be followed. Maybe you don’t want to let the creepy neighbor in his bathrobe know you are heading to your moms. Maybe something like placing a brick in your mailbox might let the people in your group know where you are heading.


Prepping isn’t about having all the answers to all the problems that life can throw at you. Prepping is more about knowledge and having a game plan ready to go to make a group of people as ready as possible to work together during a crisis. Food, shelter, water, and a plan are all needed in a crisis.

Having basic training, an organized group, and a plan will bring stability and safety to your group. It helps with productivity and the ability to survive the worst. The reason a rescue swimmer can save a stranded diver is because of his training and know how. He did the basic prepping in order to save someone else. That is all we are really talking about here. Just being ready and willing to make it through life’s challenges. Start talking with the people in your group about a plan of action if life were to take a turn for the worse. -D. W. Mann





4 thoughts on “Prepping for beginners- How to get started

  1. How to swimBasic first aidHow to make a fireHow to find waterHow to read a mapSeveral methods to purify waterFinding or creating a shelterCPRHeimlich ManeuverBasic firearm skills

    These are just some awesome ideas to look into. This article really makes people think about preparing for different things.Thanks for the article.It for sure will help people to get ahead in the game in USA.

    1. A little bit of prevention can make a huge difference when faced with one of life’s challenges. I am really glad that it helped you to think about the different areas that you might want to look into further to make sure you are ready.

  2. I think you also need to make a hard decision on who you want to include into your group too DW.

    For instance taking a morbidly obese 50 year old woman hell bent on criticizing everyone and everything when you have to move fast will bring the entire group into peril.

    There is a lot to be said for a taste of realism when planning for an emergency.

    Keep up the good work.  I will be back.

    1. I am going to put a post together about group dynamics for sure. I totally agree with what you said. There are people you will absolutely want to get involved with group activities and those you won’t. Also running to a campground with no WiFi for a weekend will show you what a lot of people are actually made of. 

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