Don of the Sensible Prepper puts together a starter bug out bag for under $85. The goal was to assemble a survival kit for as little money as possible.
Not the best gear but the cheapest. Why? Because it’s better than nothing.
If you don’t have any kind of get home, or bug out bag or survival kit, start with this list. As your budget allows, upgrade each item.
The item choices for this exercise is based on the Rule of 3’s priorities: survive 3 seconds without hope, 3 hours of harsh conditions, 3 days without water, and 3 weeks without food.
In addition, you must add first aid and personal protection/security. It’s also assumed that in an emergency, when you grab this prepacked bag, you’re already wearing appropriate clothing (think footwear), and your EDC.
Again, these are not the recommended products for your kit. They are the categories of equipment for your bag … at the cheapest price.
David of Ultimate Survival Tips gives a behind the scenes look of Day One of his Fall Ultimate Essentials Level 1 Training class.
The video outlines class topics centered on both the survival mindset (how you deal with situations) and critical thinking skills (how you determine survival priorities).
Set in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania, the essentials survival training extends the “Core 4” (shelter, water, fire, food) adding
And, as expected with any survival essentials course, the initial discussion hinges on the well-known Law of 3’s. With a couple of twists:
Just what are the must-have prepper skills? It’s easy enough to list eight. You must know How To:
Since so much is written on the first four, this post focuses on the final 4 prepper skills.
1) Provide For Your Security
So far we have covered keeping yourself protected from the elements, obtaining and either filtering or disinfecting a source of water, planning for finding different sources of food and creating fire to help you stay warm or cook that big caribou you just shot with your favorite survival rifle.
There are other risks to your health and safety though and in my mind one of the biggest threats to your life in a grid down scenario where the basics of society have been lost, are other people.
People are going to be one of the biggest considerations you have to plan for eventually. If you are able to keep yourself alive, someone could come along who wants what you have.
Defending your life or the lives of your family could be a real possibility in a collapse. There are many options depending on your principles, values, physical limitations, legal realities or preferences.
For me, I try to have redundancy as much as possible. For security, my default position is that I have firearms in several different configurations for different needs.
Hopefully I won’t have to use them but if the world has gone to hell and somebody is trying to separate me and my family from food, I won’t be wrestling with him. He will get the business end of one of my different weapons.
That sounds well and good but what if your gun jams Pat? Fair enough question and you have to be ready and willing to get physical too. The world of combat has many disciplines and I am no expert on which is the best.
Krav Maga has been put forth as an effective fighting style that can save your life. Is it better than boxing or judo or Brazilian grappling or any one of hundreds of other styles?
I don’t know and I can’t say what will work best for you, but investigate self-defense from as many angles as you feel comfortable with. Your life might depend on it.
2) Heal Yourself – First Aid
People get hurt every day and in a survival situation you should have basic skills to stop bleeding, care for wounds, fight infection and prevent further injury.
Would it be great if you were a brain surgeon? Absolutely, but not many of us have the time or money for school and I don’t know if brain surgery would be the best investment of your time if you are only doing this to prepare for some emergency situation.
Basic first aid on the other hand is very valuable. I don’t expect many of us will be conducting surgery but for many injuries our body has an amazing ability to heal itself.
All we can do is help it and having some basic medical supplies and a little know how never hurts. Good medical reference materials are great to acquire now so that you have them on hand if something were to happen before you could get back to Amazon.com.
3) Pull Your Own Weight – Physical Fitness
When I was in the Army we had PT every morning. I would be lying if I said I jumped up at the sound of my alarm and bounded outside to wait in formation for PT to start with a big cheery grin on my ugly mug. PT for was luckily forced on me and I was in pretty decent shape back then.
Motivating yourself to be physically healthy is hard for some people, but the better shape you are in now, the more able you will be to take the stress and physical requirements of a much harder life.
We sit around a major part of the day largely because of the conveniences we have. We don’t have to go very far for water or to use the bathroom.
We purchase food by the trunk load and rely on cars to get us where we want to go, engines till our soil and we purchase anything we need instead of making it. Take away electricity, vehicles and engines and life just got much harder.
Many people who are so sedentary now that they rarely get out of the house, will likely die shortly in a world gone dark when they are suddenly required to move more than they are used to.
Sure, there will be a good portion of people who soldier through it, lose weight and regain muscle like they did in Wall-E, but many more will not.
Nobody expects you to be a weight lifter or a marathon runner, but how much weight can you lift? Can you do 20 push ups without slowing down? How about 5? How far can you walk with that 50 pound Bug Out Bag? How far do you walk each day now? Can you run?
Act now to get in better shape. You don’t have to have zero body fat, but you need to be physically able to perform tasks to simply stay alive.
Can you garden all day and defend your home too? Are you able to haul water from that stream 1 mile downhill?
4) Read A Map – Land Navigation
I use my GPS on my phone more times than I want to admit. Remember the good old days when you had to know street names and before you would go somewhere new you had to ask for directions?
OK, it doesn’t sound like it was better, but we were conditioned to get around in a different way that wasn’t reliant upon technology.
Everyone had maps in their glove compartment. You watched for street names before blindly turning and ending up going the wrong way.
Even if the grid doesn’t go down and satellites aren’t falling from the sky you may have to rely on something besides your phone to get around. Want to get off the grid? Leave that phone behind and walk into the woods.
You may need to map alternate routes to your bug out location or navigate around cities that have descended into chaos. Knowing how to read a map to get where you are going could be a much-needed prepper skill.
Source: Pat Henry brilliantly details an additional six must-have prepper skills. I strongly urge you to read the original material. There are great additional resources.
Image: Csaba Nagy