If you’re new to the prepping scene you may be asking yourself What Is Prepping ? Well…
Being prepared is not cranky or weird, and you do not have to be expecting the Zombie Apocalypse either. Recent extreme weather events have shown that it is possible for any of us to find ourselves suddenly without electricity or cut off from access to stores for food supplies. It makes sense for everyone to have some emergency supplies in reserve.
What if your power supply was interrupted? How about if your water was cut off or contaminated? Or if your whole family were sick and could not get out to the stores for groceries? Could you survive for a few hours or even a week or two with the supplies you have at home right now? Do you have alternative methods for cooking, heating and lighting?
Do you have a survival plan?
The key to surviving any disaster, is preparedness. Some people may want to prepare for specific disasters that occur in their area, such as hurricanes, earth quakes, tornadoes, brush fires, or floods.
Many times disasters occur suddenly, so how you do in a disaster will depend on how well you prepared.
There are disasters that force you out of your home, such as floods and hurricanes, and there are some disasters that allow you to survive in place, such as power outages, or severe snow storm. Each requires different planning.
In my opinion, there are 3 types of disasters…Short term, requiring survival of 1 to 3 days…Medium term, requiring survival of 3 days to a month…and long term, requiring survival of 1 month to a year, or longer.
In my opinion everyone should have a survival kit to last at least 3 days, regardless of where you live. Whether or not you decide to prepare to survive any kind of disaster for a longer period than 3 days, will require you to ask a lot of…”what if”, questions.
Three things you must have to survive.
- You can only survive about 3 or 4 days without it, so water is a must. It won’t matter how much food you have if you don’t have water.
- You might be able to survive close to 3 weeks without food, but who wants to try that. At some point you have to have food to survive.
- You can have plenty of food and water, but if you are caught out in a freezing rain, or a blizzard, without the right type of clothes, you might die of hypothermia, and the food and water won’t help much then.
These are the bare minimum items. You will also need other items to make survival easier.
Shelter in place, or evacuate.
If you are serious about being prepared, you should have two separate plans. One plan for staying in your home during a disaster. And one for if you have to evacuate.
Evacuation requires that you carry your survival kit, or supplies with you. You may not have time to pack things during and emergency, so everything you need should be packed well ahead of time, and placed where everyone in the family knows the location.
Top Prepping Tips
- Drinking Water – you need a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person per day, so if you’re prepping for a week for 4 people that makes 28 gallons.
- Don’t Forget Kids and Pets – if there is a baby in the house make sure you have extra supplies of formula and diapers and don’t forget to stock up for your pets too.
- If you lose electricity for more than 24 hours then food in the refrigerator or freezer is going to start deteriorating, sooner in warm weather. If you don’t have a backup power supply stock up on canned and non-perishable food.
- Medications – if anyone in the family takes medication regularly then always make sure you have at least a few days supply on hand. Don’t allow medicines to run out before you get more.
- Above all don’t panic – if the only prepping you ever do is buying an extra couple of cans of beans and a gallon of drinking water each time you shop you will still be more prepared than the majority of the population.
Things to have in a 3 day survival kit.
Nobody ever expects the worst to happen. You plan your hiking or camping trip with anticipation about what adventures will unfold. You’re looking forward to the fresh air, the beauty of the surroundings, and the fun of being in the great outdoors by yourself or with friends and loved ones.
But what if the unthinkable were to happen? You get lost, you get trapped somewhere, you get injured and can’t make it back out of the wilderness. Suddenly, the peaceful surroundings you had so looked forward to visiting have become threatening and potentially deadly. That’s why it is of utmost importance that you pack the tools that will surely help you survive any unforeseen misadventure.
The following items should be in every adventurer’s backpack and may save your life if you are stranded in the wilderness:
On FEMA’s Ready.gov website, they suggest the following items for 3 day survival.
Clean drinking water is probably going to be your biggest concern in a wilderness survival situation. The Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter is our first choice for portable water filters. It works well for up to 4 people, has a 13,000 gallon capacity, and outputs 1 quart per minute. It filters via a 0.2 micron ceramic depth filter that is cleanable and weighs just 20 ounces.
One of the most important things you can have in your pack in case you get stranded in the wilderness is a good multi-tool. You never know which tools are going to come in handy in your particular situation, so having a multi-tool gives you a lot of options in one small, compact piece of equipment.
Fixed Blade Knife
A fixed blade knife is useful when you’re stranded in the wilderness because it can be used for cutting down trees, cutting rope or cord, digging holes, hunting, self-defense, and much more.
Emergency Fire Starter
A way to start a fire is an essential component of any wilderness survival kit. If you have the ability to make fire, you can keep warm, cook any food that you hunt, sterilize your knives and other tools, and create signal fires. This Emergency Fire Starter is a magnesium stick that is efficient, cheap, and works when you need it to.
A compass is absolutely essential in helping you find your way to safety when you’re lost. We like the Suunto MC-2G Global Compass because it’s a global compass, which means it will work anywhere in the world. Most compasses only work in one out of five geographic zones. If you’re planning a global adventure, this is the compass for you because you will only need one compass.
First Aid Kit
A good first aid kit is essential and the Adventure Medical Kits UltraLight & Watertight .9 Kit is the perfect kit to take into the wilderness on hiking and camping trips. It is waterproof, ultralight, and perfect for any outdoor adventure.
A potentially lifesaving addition to your wilderness survival kit is a signal mirror. Signal mirrors let you send emergency signals during the daytime using sun and a mirror. The Military Glass Signal Mirror made in the U.S.A by S.I. Howard, is one of the best on the market. It is used by the military and made of glass, unlike many other signal mirrors on the market that are made of Lexan or plastic.
An emergency poncho will come to your rescue not only if there’s a rainstorm, but you can also use them to build emergency shelter and for rain collection if you have no other water source. These Emergency Ponchos come in a pack of four, are lightweight, easy to pack, and are quite inexpensive.
There are so many things that you can use nylon paracord for that it would be absurd not to pack it in any emergency kit, but especially a wilderness survival kit.
Nylon Paracord can be used in many survival situations. The benefits of using nylon cord is that it won’t rot or degrade like natural fiber rope will.
Survival Sewing Kit
More than just a sewing kit, the Survival Sewing and Repair Kit is perfect for wilderness survival. It contains basic sewing items as well as items for basic repairs.
Included in the kit: bonded Kevlar thread, Type 1A utility cord, military grade razor knife, container, brass wire, duct tape, two #7 needles, two #18 darner needles, one #16 darner needle, four heavy duty straight pins, six assorted buttons, six safety pins, a thimble, needle holder, #69 nylon thread, fresnel lens magnifier, brass repair wire, a waterproof patch, two cable ties, and a military grade derma safe knife.
On their website, they also have additional items you should consider. They have a printable list of all items.
Other Items For Your 3-Day Survival Kit
There are other important items you should have ready for your 3-day survival kit.
Prescription medication. Some people can be in serious trouble without their medication, so you can’t go off and leave it.
If you have a pet, they will also need food and water. Planning ahead for pets, is very important, because if you have to evacuate, some shelters do not accept pets.
A change of clothing for each person.
Blankets, or sleeping bags.
Matches, in plastic container.
Toys, or games for children in the family.
Cash, just in case you need it.
You may also want to have important documents and papers handy, in case of evacuation.
The basic fundamentals of the emergency 72 hours kits are to sustain your life until help arrives after and earthquake or hurricane or any natural disaster that may behold. The kits are not supposed to be for creature comfort and should always be taken seriously.
The above items are those recommended to be carried in a 72 hour kit and as you may be in a different terrain or situation, your best guess is as good as those around you. Chat to your family and friends at your next barbecue and ask what they think are essential items.
Either way, having emergency preparedness and a 72 hour kit is half the battle won. Remember to inform the whole family where they are kept and place a small tag on the shoulder strap so you know if any items in your 72 hour kits have expiry dates and need replacing every few months.
Hopefully by now you we have answered the question “What Is Prepping” but if you are still looking for more info please take a good look into our prepping 101 section.