Wednesday, August 17, 2016

How Much Is Too Much?

One of the most common questions I am asked is "how much is too much?"  This question must be answered based on the goals of each individual prepper.  In order to answer this question properly, I ask the individual a series of questions which must be considered in each case.  The first question I ask everyone is simply "are you planning to bug out or shelter in place?"  This question will determine everything else that must be determined for each case.
  • What type of disaster are you preparing for?
    • This question must be asked in order to know what supplies will be needed for each case.
  • If bugging out; "are you traveling alone or in a group?"
    • The amount of supplies that will be able to be carried will drastically change depending on the number of people in a particular group.  Because of this if there is to be a group traveling together, I will also ask "how many people will be in your group?"
  • How will you or your group get from your current residence to your bug out location?
    • By asking this I will know if the group is planning on driving to their bug out location or getting there by foot.  If they plan to drive, the type of vehicle they will be using is also important to know as it will help to better determine what quantities of supplies can be transported.
      • I always recommend planning ahead and making sure that there are already adequate supplies at the bug out location.  This will make a very stressful situation much easier to deal with as there will be a lot less to worry about if everything you need is already in place at the bug out location.
  • Do you have a permanent shelter at your bug out location?
    • If there is no permanent shelter at the bug out location, the amount of supplies that one can have on hand will be limited to the size and number of caches that can be stored at and around the bug out location.
  • How long do you or your group intend to remain at your bug out shelter?
    • This question is asked for obvious reasons.  The longer one plans to bug out, the more supplies will be required to sustain their livelihood.
  • How do you intend to provide water for yourself or your group?
    • A well is the best case scenario and a rain catchment system is not a bad plan as long as it will hold adequate amounts of water for the group.  The worst case scenario is planning on relying on stores of bottled water for a long term situation; however, having some bottled water on hand is always a good idea.
  • How do you intend to provide food for yourself or your group?
    • The best solution to this problem is raising animals at the place you intend to wait out the storm.  The worst case scenario is planning to hunt and fish for everything.  Having stores of freeze dried food, canned goods as well as rice and beans on hand can take  some of the pressure off whether an individual is planning to raise their own food or hunt and fish for everything.
As you can see there are a lot of determining factors that come into play when answering this question.  If a person plans to bug out I recommend that they begin putting together a storage area at a minimum.  This can be as simple as a shed or an international shipping container that is prepared for storing their supplies or as elaborate as building a massive fortified bunker that will hold everything they need and more.  Some of this will depend on a persons finances and creativity.

I also highly recommend raising at least a portion of the food that will be eaten in the way of animals and gardening.  By gardening (and raising animals where possible) the need for long term food storage will be drastically reduced which will in turn open up more space for other items of necessity.  As discussed in The Top 5 Books That Should Be On Every Preppers Book Shelf, one of the absolute best books on raising your own food is .  This book will have any prepper on their way to living a self sustained lifestyle that requires a very minimal amount of land for as long as the need exists.

If a person is planning to shelter in place they will be able to store many more items than those who plan to bug out; however, I will generally tell them that if their preps are beginning to make their home feel overcrowded, it is time to slow down and take note of what they have before going any further.  A persons preps are there to ensure that life can be lived as stress free as possible.  At the point in which the preps begin causing stress in ones everyday life, it is a pretty sure bet that they have too much.

If someone is new to prepping I strongly encourage them to first determine what type of disaster they would like to be prepared.  Upon answering this question they can sit down and make a list based on the questions above to determine what they need to obtain in order to be ready when a disaster strikes.  By completing this step, a person can easily make sure that they have the necessities on hand without going overboard on their preps.

Keeping track of ones stockpile is also a crucial part of the preparedness process.  Good record keeping will help a person to know where their inventory levels are at any given time and prevent them from over purchasing or running out of any particular items in their prep stockpile.

Take the time to answer these questions for yourself and inventory your stock.  You may determine that you have too much or not enough of some items.  If you have too much, check around with other likeminded people.  They may have some of the items you need to stock up on and be willing to trade them to you for the items that you have too many of.  Bartering is always a good way to obtain the items you need and get rid of the ones you don't.  Besides you might as well practice now.....Bartering will be an excellent skill to have when SHTF!

- A prep a day can help keep ill fate away

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Top Five Books That Should Be On Every Preppers Book Shelf

As we discussed in Why Books Are A Prepping Essential, physical books should be considered an important part of your preparations.  In this article we will introduce you to the top five books that should be on every preppers bookshelf.  These books hold an enormous amount of knowledge that will serve you throughout any SHTF scenario. These books have not been placed in any particular order of importance as they will all provide you with the valuable information.

1.   - This book has 288 pages packed with everything you need to know about producing your own power.  Whether you are interested in solar, water or wind generated power this book explains it all from setting up a battery bank for a stand alone system to tying your power sources into an existing grid based home. When it's time to set up your off grid lifestyle,   will guide you every step of the way!

2.   - This book was chosen for its wealth of information on building a sustainable food supply for your whole family while requiring a minimal amount of space to make it happen.  When you are ready to begin planning out and building your food supply chain make sure to use as your reference and guide.

3.   - This is a well written 493 page book that is jam packed with information on various subjects including food, water, energy, first aid, crisis management and so much more. The addition of to your library will ensure that you never go into a disaster situation unprepared!

4.   - By adding this book to your collection, you will gain 320 pages of invaluable information that will teach you to protect yourself, your spouse, your children, your assets and your life from the spying that takes place everywhere you turn. is another must have book for every preppers library. 

5. - This 256 page book takes you on a 52 week journey towards being prepared for whatever disaster may strike. covers everything from simple water and food storage techniques to advanced tactics for protecting yourself, your family and your property when facing a disaster scenario.

.....And there you have it.... The top five books that should be on every preppers book shelf.  Just remember, simply owning the books is not enough.  You've got to read them and apply the knowledge  to your life and circumstances. 

What do you think?  Are there any books you would recommend for everyone to read?  Let us know in the comment section.

- A prep a day can help keep ill fate away

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fire Starters You Can Make For Almost Nothing

Every individual has the need or desire to get a fire started at some point in their lives. As people who desire to be prepared for whatever comes our way, preppers often attempt to discover new ways to reuse old items rather than simply tossing them in the trash.  Whether it is a survival situation or a simple camping trip, these fire starters you can make for almost nothing will do the trick.

Cleaning out the lint trap before starting that next load of laundry can sometimes get annoying; however, you can make it a little better by filling up gallon sized storage bags with the stuff and saving it for future use.

Another item that we always have too many of, and never know what to do with are toilet paper tubes.  The cardboard tubes from paper towel rolls will work great too.

The last item you will need (and this is why I titled this post "Fire Starters You Can Make For Almost Nothing") is wax paper.  If you're like me, there is always a roll of wax paper sitting around with the other "necessities" in the know....the aluminum foil, the storage baggies, etc....

As displayed in the video above, to make these fire starters you simply:
  • Cut a toilet paper tube or paper towel roll to the desired length.
  • Stuff the newly cut piece of tube with dryer lint.
  • Wrap the lint stuffed tube with a piece of wax paper.
  • Secure the ends of the fire starter by twisting the wax paper to ensure the dryer lint doesn't escape.
Be sure that you pack the dryer lint into the tubes lightly.  If the dryer lint is packed too tightly it will cause the fire starter to not burn properly.

In a matter of minutes you can create enough fire starters to keep your supply stocked up for quite some time.

What do you think?  If you have a favorite fire starting method or if you would like for us to cover any specific topic(s) let us know about it in the comment section below.

If you like this post, check out Build A Simple DIY Compact Survival Fishing Kit.

- Thanks for visiting The Prepping Authority Blog