Expecting the Unexpected: How Survivalists Prep

by J. Lee

Many people consider survivalists who are also called preppers as those who wear tin foil hats. That is not a true assessment. It is never a waste of time to be prepared or to learn basic survival skills. The opinion of skeptics is of no surprise. Many prefer to take it one day at a time. They never think of scenarios when not being prepared could become a matter of life and death. They think crisis will never happen to them.

I have had a survivalist mentality since my teens. Prior to that I learned about being prepared as a Girl Scout. I have lived through several California earthquakes.

When I leave for the day I take granola bars, snacks and bottles of water with me. I use ice packs to keep the water cold. I also take a knife with a seat belt cutting and glass breaking feature. I alway keep a flashlight, blanket and pillow in my car. In case of an emergency I have provisions until help arrives especially if it takes a few days.

Prepper Action Video: Earth quake preparedness Tips, some tips to learn to survive the Big one.

My household basics consist of a suppy of food, water, fire extinguisher, a manual can opener, paper products, tools, personal defense protection, basic first aid, hand sanitizer, a transistor radio, a solar powered radio with flashlight/emergency beacon, flashlights, two universal power banks for charging my cell phone and tablet, fully charged batteries and lighters.

Some additional suggestions for basic supplies would be sunscreen, toiletries, tea light candles, hiking boots, windproof/waterproof blankets for protection and warmth, camping cookware and a butane camp stove or something similar to cook with.

Ladies need to think about functional footwear. They will not get far if all they have to walk in high heels. They should keep a pair hiking boots or athletic shoes in their trunk. Do not forget to break them in before wearing them. The last thing you will want is blisters.

Military surplus stores are a great place to shop. They sell clothing, rain gear, boots, gas masks, MRE’s (meals ready to eat), freeze dried food such as meat, stew, scrambled eggs, cereal, soups, vegetables and fruit.

They have tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, hypothermia heat kits, multi-purpose tools, water filtration bottles, fire starters, fire tinder. lanterns, canteens, knives, compasses, first aid supplies, rope, paracord and so much more.

If possible get a dual-sport motorcycle. It is a street-legal motorcycle that is designed for both on and off-road use in case roads are congested or blocked.

There some reading this who want to start being prepared, but have limited funds. No worries; even basic survival kits can be created on a budget.

Story:  Survival at Home – How to Be a Prepper on a Budget

Story: The Prepping Guide – Prepping On A Budget: Complete $5 Item List For An Emergency Supply

It is best to have an emergency supply of food for short term needs. Stocking a pantry for long term needs is also wise. When you purchase food buy multiple quanities or in bulk. Always check expiration dates. Regularly remove food that is about to expire and replace with new supplies.

Video  –  How to start an emergency food cache.


It is always a good idea to have cash on hand. An ATM (automated teller machine) might not be accessable due to a power outage or blackouts. In a dire emergency machines could run out of money. Open a savings account for long term planning.

Do not let yourself get stranded if you need to escape. Never let your automobile’s gas tank fall below half. Try your best to keep a full tank at all times. Gas pumps could be shut down. They might not be unavailable when you need them most.

I am sure most people have seen stories about food and supply shortages after natural disasters such an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, torrential rain, flooding and volcanic eruptions.

Those unprepared might be left fending for themselves not knowing how to survive. Panic breaks out when food and other items run out leaving grocery shelves bare. Rioting, lawlessness and anarchy could be a consequence of shortages. Stores could be looted.


There is term used by survivalists called a ‘bug out bag‘. It is packed and ready if evacuation is necessary. It is a portable collection of items necessary to effectively evacuate and survive for at least 72 hours during an emergency. The name may have been derived from “bail-out bag” which is an emergency kit some military aviators carry.

Suggestions for bug out bags


A trend that has become more popular have been personal gardens. If you do not have a yard you can use planters or pots. There are also urban gardens where the community comes together to create gardens sharing from their labor.

I wrote a story about them called: Urban Community Gardens, Co-ops, Communal Farming and Farmers’ Markets: Healthy Food Production for Our Future

A worst case scenario could force you to flee major cities into rural areas until the crisis subsides. Food could be in short supply if stores are closed. It is always a good thing to learn about edible plants. They can sustain you in a pinch. You never know how long it could take before you are rescued or when it is safe to return home.

Story: Surviving in the Wild: 19 Common Edible Plants

Story: Foraging Guide – Wild Edible Plants in Southern California

In conclusion, several reasons have been shared as to why being prepared is a good idea. If you do not agree with prepping at least agree to disagree. One day you might find yourself needing the help of someone who is prepared. You will be glad someone took the time to be your lifeline. I doubt you will still see that person as wearing a tin foil hat in your time of need.

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