I help you build a life of Sustainable Self-Sufficiency, drawing from my experience and commitment to an independent future for my family.


How To Start Prepping: A Practical Beginner’s Guide

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I am always eager to ask people how they felt in 2020 when they were hit with the sudden news that the world was changing. For me, and for many others, this was the moment that I became a prepper. I had already started doing prepper things about 18 months prior but it was just a hobby up util the point I realized how critical it was to be prepared for the unexpected for the sake of my family. You may be in a similar boat where you know you should be prepping and you clearly see the value it has on your life and family.

But where do you even begin? Prepping can seem overwhelming, filled with images of bunkers and stockpiles.  Don’t worry, you don’t need to go full-on doomsday prepper unless you’ve been at this for a while. This guide is designed for everyday people who want to take practical steps towards sustainable self-sufficiency.  I’ll break down the essentials into manageable chunks, so you can build your preparedness gradually, one step at a time.  Ready to feel a little more secure and in control? Let’s get prepping.

The Benefits of Prepping

If you’ve ever been caught in a downpour without an umbrella or scrambled to find a flashlight during a power outage,  you know these are minor inconveniences, but they highlight the importance of being prepared. Prepping isn’t about stockpiling for the apocalypse (though there’s nothing wrong with being extra cautious). It’s about taking practical steps to be ready for everyday emergencies and disruptions, big or small.

Here’s how prepping can truly benefit you:

  • Empowerment and Control: Prepping isn’t about fearing the unknown, it’s about taking charge. By having a plan and essential supplies, you feel confident in your ability to handle disruptions. Imagine facing a power outage – with a flashlight and some extra food, you’re not left feeling helpless. Prepping puts you in control of the situation.
  • Handling the Unexpected: Life throws curveballs. A surprise snowstorm, natural disaster, a burst pipe, or even a minor medical emergency can disrupt your day. But with some basic preparedness, you can navigate these situations smoothly. You’ll have the supplies you need to stay safe and comfortable until things get back to normal.
  • Peace of Mind for You and Your Loved Ones: Prepping isn’t just about you – it’s about your family and loved ones too. Knowing you’re prepared for potential challenges brings a sense of calm and security.  They’ll appreciate the extra layer of comfort knowing you’ve taken steps to keep everyone safe and well-cared for.

How To Approach Prepping Sustainably as a Beginner

Everyone has their own approach to prepping but I am going to share how I approach it in the most structured way. More than anything, I want to avoid you spinning into anxiety and buying full tactical gear before you buy water. More on this later. The best way to approach your prepping journey is to go in the order of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. At the base of the pyramid, you have all of life’s essentials: water, food, air, shelter, clothing, sleep. The things you can live about. This is your priority one area of prepping. This is where you will spend your first efforts and what you will secure with urgency. This means that you decide what amount of time you want to cover – let’s say 30 days – and you will ask yourself, “do I have access to enough clean water for the next 30 days if I can’t go to a store or ask someone for a favor?” You will do the same for food. “Do I have enough food to last me for 30 days?” If the answer is no, then that is where you set your attention until you can very confidently say yes. 

Once you have done this for the base of the pyramid, you move up the Hierarchy of Needs to safety and security: health, employment, property, family, social ability, etc. Now some of these categories vary by which illustration you find online but the approach is the same. “Can I go 30 days without _____.” In the case of love, community and belonging, the third tier of the pyramid, it’s more that you want to ensure you do have those things. 

I always recommend that people start slow and steady rather than boiling the ocean to begin. For this reason, I recommend you start with 2-week targets. If this feels small, good. That means you will get up to 1 month, 6 months, a year in no time. But start small.

Key Areas of Prepping

Water Resources Prepping 

Water is an essential human requirement. Prepping up for water is just as important as prepping up for additional food resources. The piling up of water resources is important as it ensures the sustainability of human life in your houses. This is because when faced with a global pandemic, you can’t get out of the house and thus are only able to utilize the supplies that are currently stored in your home. You must be looking to have both clean drinking water and water for consumption in other chores such as bathing, washing stuff, etc. The common error many make is to assume a case or two of water is enough. Good guidance is that you want at least one gallon per adult per day.. at minimum. You will quickly realize that this is a lot of water. I recommend starting with gallon jugs of water or cases of water and quickly converting to long term water storage containers. They make these stackable and so while it takes a lot of room, it saves far more.

In addition to having water stored, have water purification methods on standby. This includes water purification tablets and a lifestraw. When you first start, you may not know all of the things you can do with these and that is ok. Depending on the severity of the emergency threat, you may want to build backups upon back ups of things to ensure you have enough resiliency in your emergency preparedness.

Food Prepping: A Guide on How to Start Prepping

Food may be my favorite area of prepping! You shouldn’t start with a robust first aid kit or a detailed bug out bag despite what the doomsday crowd says. You should start with just a few extra canned food items. Food prepping is as simple as grabbing extra food now in case you do not have access to or do not have funds for food later. Determining how much food you need is relatively simple but don’t be surprised if it takes time for you to build up to it. You need at least 2,000 nutrient-rich calories per adult, per day. For children, this will vary depending on their size and maturity but I like to estimate at least 1,500 per child. You will want to prioritize quality and nutritious foods over convenient foods. This would be foods like dry grains and pasta, legumes and beans, canned protein. Many of these as well are candidates for long term food storage with mylar bags and multi-gallon buckets.

Once you have a system of storage establish for food, you will be able to scale quickly and add complexity into your system with rotating pantry, short and long term food storage, and more premium products.

Medical Emergency Prepping 

It is important to have fully prepped medics and emergency kit. This is vital for an individual during times of adverse emergency contingencies, a hospital is generally over-flooded with people and this can increase the waiting time. In the matter of life and death, every second is crucial. Therefore, this is one of the most important types of prepping that you must look into. By medically prepping yourself up, you can take care of yourself or your loved ones by providing essential and rapid first aid care. 

This involves curing certain infections such as applying anti-septic liquid in terms of a road accident or providing instant relief during a football match. For starters, things like bandages, gauze pads, latex gloves, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tapes, etc are essential to include in their first aid box. Additionally, even if there is not an emergency, having all of your prescriptions (with a few extra for backup) is critical to ensuring your medical preparation. You will want to speak openly with your doctor that you are trying to buy at least a 90-day supply of your critical prescriptions and keep it on the shelf. In all of my years, I have never had a doctor tell me no. You may also want to do research and fold in natural medicine as part of your plan if there is an extended period of emergency.

Prepping For Survival 

Beyond these basic area, general survival skillset is another area I encourage you to lean into. If you’re thinking “I am never going to end up in a forest!” then that’s probably true. Survival skills are not about walking barefoot through the forest. It’s about being able to have options that can save your life or your loved ones. You can even make prepping for survival a fun learning opportunity and include your children through survival unit studies

Some basic skills you will want to learn over time (and not over a single weekend) are how to build a fire, how to purify water, how to make a basic weapon, how to fish just to name a few. Remember this is about sustainable self-sufficiency. You don’t need to burn yourself out trying to learn all of this in no time but you do need to be working toward it.

Prepping for Hygiene and Sanitation

Prepping for hygiene and sanitation may be the most overlooked area of prepping. I am often in r/preppers and see that people load up on ammo and binoculars before they consider their body’s daily need for sanitation. Sanitation cannot be avoided nor delayed. You need to have a sustainable way to clear waste and safely dispose of it, handle menstrual cycles, keep your body clean daily with fresh soap and ensure there is little room for moisture and bacteria. That just accounts for your own personal body. There are also risks of the city sewer system having critical issues that affect infrastructure of make water unsafe (see above) for a period of time. The point is you have to take action and prepare for maintaining hygiene and sanitation. Much like other areas of prepping like water, these are silent risks that commonly go overlooked. To determine what you need to prep here, go through a week and make a list of everything you use or do to clean yourself or your space. You will find that body soap, dish soap, deodorant, menstrual products, toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo and others just to name a few. These are the things that you want to keep on hand and they will vary person to person depending on lifestyle and locale. To make this affordable in the long term, you should opt to buy products that can be re-used rather than single use products which will burn a hole in your pockets over time.

How To Start Prepping Today

I know you’re probably thinking this is a lot. Well, yes, it is. But that’s the point right? You don’t want to be a little prepared. You want to be able to be prepared for a variety of events that secure you and your family well enough to curve the brunt of it. I am going to set you up to get started today. You do not have to invest in tactical gear and generators at this point if it’s not easy for you. You need to focus on one thing: build an emergency water and food supply that will last you one month. Start there. You don’t even have to go out and spend thousands of dollars at the grocery store. You can get a little each week that you shop now (though I recommend buying in bulk for the price benefit). Once you get one month behind you, you are already 90% ahead of most and you can then 4x that to cover a good chunk of one year. 

Because I want to see you successful at prepping for you and your family, I am going to give you 15% my prepper inventory sheet. This affordable sheet will allow you to write in what you buy and the sheet will calculate for you how long the calories will last you relative to the number of people you are caring for. This is the perfect sheet for couples and families. You can also inventory what you buy for your stockpile, when it expires, how long it will last you (or collection of people) and it grows with you over time. Use code: BEPREPARED at checkout. 


I hope you are feeling like you’re starting in the right direction. It is important to share your prepping experiences with people on different forums online and in person as well as you embark on this journey. This is because, in real time, it can feel like you are up against a lot and people can certainly relate to your experiences. Remember that a difficult situation can arise any time and finding ways to counter these situations to your favor is what prepping up is all about.


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