Even if you’re new to the art of survival, I want to make one thing perfectly clear. The fact you’re aware, that you’re taking action to be better prepared against whatever unfortunate situation we face, puts you in the one percent. The one percent of people unwilling to rely on the government for another hand out. The one percent of people who are not capable of putting the well-being of their family in a higher power. The true patriots, who have taken action to ensure their homes and loved ones are protected, no matter what.
But getting started can feel awfully overwhelming. You’ve seen giant off-grid preps that have taken other families years to get into place, stockpiles of food that represent thousands and thousands of dollars invested, and huge lists of expensive survival gear that leaves you wondering just one thing. How the heck do you even get started? Well I’ve got some good news for you. You can start taking action today, to ensure you’re a little more prepared than you were yesterday. In fact, if you use these next 24 hours following this advice, you’re going to be far better off should a disaster ever hit. Ready to get into it?
Right, so what we’re going to do is ensure you’ve got enough supplies for 72 hours. It’s an easily achievable goal, and also what FEMA recommends all American’s have on hand.
You need to get water
First things first, is the water. It’s recommended to have at least a gallon of water a day, per person in your family. For me, that’s four people, so I’m going to need to put together at least 4 gallons of water, for three days, i.e. 12 gallons of water. Either add this to your list and stock up on your grocery run a little later today, or if you’ve got a means to store it already, fill up the tanks now.
You need to get food
Next comes food. Food powers our body, and while it doesn’t hurt to skip a meal or two (especially if you look like me), it’s not something you can do regularly and still perform at your best. As a rough rule of thumb most people will need 2,000-2,200 calories a day, so have a think about what that means for your family and set this aside. You could raid your pantry now, or write up a shopping list and pick it up the next time you go shopping. Canned food has a remarkably long shelf life, and so does jars of pasta and beans.
You need to stay clean
Without proper sanitation everyone in your family runs the risk of getting sick, which can be a death sentence in a real SHTF crisis. Pack soaps, shampoo, hand sanitizer and even Lysol wipes, as well as normal needs like a toothbrush. You’d be remarkably surprised just how nice it feels to brush your teeth when you haven’t done it in a day or two on the road, if you’ve had to bug out. A little good hygiene goes a long way.
You need shelter
While not critical when you’re at home, if you’re ever forced from your home and need to evacuate you’re going to be glad to have a small tent, or even just a tarp you can throw up overhead to offer a little protection from the elements. A sleeping bag will keep you warm as temperatures drop overnight, and I’d even consider an insulating sleep mat if you’re somewhere cold so the cold ground doesn’t leech into your body.
You need light
Flashlights are a given, and double points if you buy something like the strikelight that can also serve as a self-defensive weapon. Not only does a source of light help combat the fear of being in the dark, it can be used to blind an attacker who approaches you, as well as giving you the ability to move around at night without fear of an accident.
You need fire
One of the most basic necessities, it’s critical you’ve got a means to make fire. It’ll give you the ability to heat or cook your food, adds a source of comfort to the night while keeping animals at bay, and can even serve to keep you warm as the temperatures drop. A cigarette lighter is a good addition to your kit, while a flint and steel is much more durable, if you know how to use it.
You need a knife
Probably one of the most overlooked tools for survival is a knife. For cutting and a thousand other uses around camp, self-protection and even as a tool to aid in your hunting and cleaning of any successful kills, pick a sturdy and reliable knife for your kit. Small enough that you can use it effectively, while still being durable enough to chop larger items.
You need your info
I’d set about putting all of your important documents together in a single file, so you’ve got a copy on your person. I keep an encrypted USB in my survival gear that has all of the information I need, as well as laminated copies of a few key documents that I may need to present for identification purposes should the originals ever get lost.
You need to navigate
Finally, don’t forget a compass and a map. By three days it’s likely your phone is long dead, and you’re going to need a way to successfully navigate wherever it is you plan to go. Learn to read a map, but topographical ones (or print them out) of your local area, and ensure you can always find your way where you need to go.