So Who Can Prep? Everyone!
Prepping can be done by anyone, you don’t have to be insanely wealthy which the average person is not. It can be done on a budget as well. I know the Doomsday Preppers show had a majority of people who seemed to have an endless cash flow and resources. Hell one even had their own missile silo. Even though this isnt a reality for the common man. You can still prepare food and equipment on common man budget.
Start Out Small!
Begin by picking up a extra package of toilet paper, a dozen extra canned goods on sale each trip to the store. Some stores occasionally have canned food case sales from time to time that most times are a really good deal. Buy a individual #10 can of freeze dried food like Augason Farms, Mountain House or Thrive while your at the big chain stores or your local grocery store. Buy an extra case or two of water. I’ve heard you can even get a group together and head over to one of the Mormon cannery’s if there is one in your area and package up and can your own supplies for pretty cheap.
Date Everything As It Arrives And Is Being Stocked
Put the Year that it was stocked. This Gives you an indication what to use first. I mark things with the year they were purchased and a expiration date 14/17 on the can or box. the expiration date is the recommended date that it should be discarded by the manufacturer but food will keep sometimes much longer by several years on some items past that date. So use judgement when opening past the expiration date if there is a doubt discard it. I have used coffee this year that was purchased and dated 2008 with absolutely no difference in taste or smell. If it is vacuum sealed in mylar it will last even longer. While the method by which you store the food surely has an impact on shelf life. (cool basement versus hot garage)
If you do not have a can rotation device then use the date system and stock your shelves back to front. Pulling the older stuff forward. make sure everything is dated it will simplify things for what should be used first. Keep the dates easy to view and cut down on waste.
Organizing Non Food Items
What I do is store loose items in smaller totes and label them first aid, hygiene, fire starters, dental, weapon parts etc. And use larger totes labeled for cold weather clothing, blankets, lanterns, survival gear etc. This way everything stays organized and quick to grab during a bug out scenario. I keep a large tote for each member of my family that has their individual bug out bag and corresponding gear ready to go. I do shelve some items that I plan on using and rotating out. A majority goes into totes
If You Use Something Replace It +1
As you use things keep a list of what you use and replace items and instead of buying one replace it with two slowly you’ll see things multiplying. This way there will always be a replacement waiting until you get to the store again.
Store electronic chargers, extra batteries and accessories in a tote so you have everything in one location. If you have a spotlight or flashlight get extra bulbs and batteries. If they come with 12 volt accessories for charging place them in your vehicle in a trunk or toolbox. Also look into a 12 volt DC power inverter that plugs into a cigarette lighter port of your vehicle. These can run a laptop and any chargers that have a two or three prong AC plug. If you can afford one of the more expensive underhood inverters get one it will power higher wattage items.
Get a basic tool kit to keep in your vehicle for mechanical work also spare jumper cables, fix a flat and maybe a small DC plug in air compressor. I bought a cheap $10.00 plug in compressor from Family Dollar two years ago and still use it today from pickup tires to backhoe tires. I like it so much I bought a second one now stored in my preps as a backup incase the one I use ever dies. A chainsaw and the tools to maintain it will be very important from cutting firewood to clearing roads.
Fuels / Oils
Keep extra fuel for your vehicles, gas powered tools, generators and ATV’s in fuel cans. If you use kerosene heaters or oil lamps keep extra oils and other fluids in supply just incase they one day cant be found. Use a fuel stabilizer if you plan on keeping gasoline through the winter also use and replace regularly so it doesn’t go bad. If you are usings propane items stock up on the small camp bottles and lantern mantles and regular 5 gallon or larger propane bottles for cooking and heat. Remember the bigger the bottle the harder it will be to move.
When you purchase firearms slowly pick a box or two of ammo here or there or sometimes its alot cheaper to order 1000 rounds from Cheaper Than Dirt, Sportsmans Warehouse or Centerfire Systems Inc. Keep a cleaning kit for each weapon or a universal kit, spare parts and any specific tools you may need.
A Lesson Learned Something To Avoid
A close relative had a friend tell them that mothballs would keep mice away and out of their preps. So they put out mothballs around their food storage room, actually way too many to the point that it was causing breathing problems. When we would go into their house the smell was overwhelming that our eyes would burn and I couldn’t breath while at their house. After going in and removing all the mothballs and airing their house out for several weeks. I opened a package of Folgers coffee one night from their pantry and the smell of mothballs blew out of the unopened still sealed package. We later found that any food containers made of cardboard or plastic absorbed the smell. So they lost quite a few items due to the mothball incident. So definitely something to avoid!
Hope this quickstarter helps you get started on some basic prepping supplies and equipment.