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Born to prep
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A prepper’s primmer

When prepping you have prepare for three main phases PreSHTF, SHTF and PostSHTF.

PreSHTF Is the period of time leading up to the event, this is where we are now.
SHTF Is the period of time during which the event is occurring.
PostSHTF Is the period of time after the event has occurred.

TEOTWAIKI The End Of The World As I Know It. Is a personal event that impacts your life in a negative way. A TEOTWAIKI can include but not limited to a decline in health of you or someone close to you, the death of someone close to you, lose of your job or your house burns down.

TEOTWAWKI The End Of The World As We Know It. Is an event that as a scope broad enough to include not just you and those close to you but can also include persons unknown to you.

There are two categories of a TEOTWAWKI they are social and environmental.

A social TEOTWAWKI can take the form of political or economic unrest, an upraising by citizens or invasion of a country or the world.

An environmental TEOTWAWKI can take the form of a natural disaster such as an earthquake, flood or meteorite impact. It can also take the form as an medical event such as an hazardous biological or chemical release that is accidental or intentional.

TEOCAWKI The End Of civilization As We Know It and TEOSAWEKI The End Of Society As We Know It are reserved for social events. A TEOCAWKI or TEOSAWEKI may not necessarily be the cause of the SHTF but in fact the SHingTF may be the cause of an TEOCAWKI or TEOSAWEKI occurring.

The rules of society as we now know them may not apply during the time the SHTFing or after the event. Everyone has to come to grips with the fact that the world as we know it may be a thing of the past. Everyone will have to think in a new a way with a new mind set. In the PAW the norm will be far from what we know as the norm now, your goal will be to create a new norm hopefully a better norm.

There are two kinds of preps health and economic.
Health includes, safety, medical, nutrition and mental.
Safety includes occupational Safety, motor vehicle Safety, household Safety, security, intelligence, transportation, theft control and OPSEC.
Nutrition includes the planning of all meals, cooking, food preservation, food acquisition, agriculture, animal husbandry, housekeeping and food distribution.
Medical includes all subjects involving the practice of medicine including but not limited to the distribution of firstaid kits, hygiene supplies, disease control and prevention.
Mental includes all subjects involving the human psyche including but not limited to education, morale, childcare and entertainment.

Economic includes all matters involving money or trade including but not limited to Banking, trade stock, your knowledge, precious metals and secondary metals.

When starting to prepare you will need set your own priorities as to what area of preparedness to invest in first and the amount that you think is necessary. The best way is to set a goal to work towards that is achievable. When you reach your goal you set a new one and continue doing so until you are satisfied you have enough.

When preparing it is best not to concentrate only one area of prepping at a time. In other words if you neglect protection and concentrate only on buying food you will have no way to protect your food from others that did not prepare and will try to take your food leaving you with nothing. It is best if you spread yourmoney out over all of the areas of prepping with the amount that is allocated determined by the individual or group.

I have found that a friend will burn you just as readily as any one else.

There are four main categories of prep items beans, bullets, bandaids and shiny things.
Beans are food, water and the means to store, prepare and acquirer more food.
Bullets are guns, ammo, magazines/stripper clips/chargers, web gear and defenses.
Bandaids are medical and hygiene items it also includes safety and clothing.
Shiny things are your trade stock, assets, knowledge and physical ability to perform work in return for items you need.

I will explain each area of prepping in turn.


Food is the probably the number one concern on the mind of a prepper.
How much food should I buy?
What kind of food should I buy?
How do I store my food?

Lets deal with the question of “How much food should I buy?” first.
The short answer is. It depends.

The long answer is. It depends on each individuals or group and what their needs are.

The best way to build your food supply is to set a goal that is achievable and work toward that goal. When you reach your goal set a new goal and work toward it. Keep increasing your goal each time you obtain your pervious goal. Do not set your goal so high that you become discouraged and give up. Only increase your goal a little at a time. Do not set your first goal at one years worth of food instead set your first goal for one month of food. Your next goal could be for two months of food. You already did one month worth of food so you are half way to you goal. When you get two months on hand set your next goal at three months. You have two months so you are two thirds of the way to reaching you goal. If you set your next goal at six months you will be doubling your stock and you may find that a little daunting. Instead set the goal at five months. You have three months food on hand so you are over half way toward reaching you goal. Keep increasing you goal but never doubling it until you have 2 years worth of food on hand.

Some tips that will help you reach you goals are.
Double buy when you do your regular grocery shopping, if you normally one can of Spam buy two.

Do not buy large amounts of one food. Where I live rice is $5.00 for a ten pound bag and $13.00 to $18.00 for a 25 pound bag. There is no real money save by buying a 25 pound bag all you have is a big open bag of rice that is harder to store and is subject to getting bugs and mice in it.

Look for sales and use coupons when buying food.

Buy food that are in season and dry or can them.

Plant a garden, even a small garden will produce a surprising amount if the garden is well managed.

Learn how to cook, a lot of cook book printed now days will tell you to start with a mix or a pre made food. Shop the thrift stores or used book stores for older cook books. The JOY OF COOKING would be a good cook book to start with.

What kind of food should I buy?

Only buy what you eat, there is no since in buying food that you will not eat.

Buy basic ingredients that can be use in more then one way. Instead of buying can pasta buy uncooked pasta. With uncooked pasta you can combined it with other ingredients in deferent ways and that will help prevent food burnout.

Do not forget to buy condiments, spices and comfort foods. An enjoyable meal will give you something to look forward to during stressful and or depressing times.

Before you buy a large quaintly of a food that you have not tasted buy a small amount and taste test it first.

Work out how a food can be used before you buy it. Spam can be used in many ways but it is preseasoned on the other a hand a product like Brookdale luncheon meat is just pork, water, salt and sugar will not add any additional spices to a recipe so it can be use in many moor ways.

Look for food that offer the most nutrition per serving.

Even thou it is best to base most of you food stock on basic ingredients you will also need to have some foods on hand that are simple to prepare or can be eaten without any preparation at all.

There is no point in buying long term storage {LTS} designed to last for 5 years or more until you have at lest two years worth of food on hand and that food is being rotated AKA used and replaced. Most foods that you buy at the store have at least one year shelf life and many will remain useable past their use by date {UBD}.

How do I store my food?
Your food should be stored in a cool, dark and dry environment. This type of environment will greatly extend the useful life span of your food stock over storing it in a hot, wet and brightly lighted place.
The key to storing foods is to use and replace. When you get your food home mark the date of purchase or the expiration on the box or can this way you can quickly tell what you need to use first. Some foods such as boxed scalloped potato mixes or hamburger helper you can open the box and separate the contents. I cut the instruction panel off the box and wrap it around the seasoning packet and hold it on with a rubber band or tape. Then I place the noodles or potatoes and the seasoning packet in a popcorn tin. This increases the ways each ingredients can be used and it save space.

You should never have more then a weeks worth of food in plain sight. You should store your foods in in cabinets, tins and totes. Filing cabinets work well since you can label each drawer with what is in it. If you use a filing cabinet check to see if the bottom is open or closed. If it is open, close it off with sheet metal to keep critters out. I like to use popcorn or other metal tins to store food in, they do a good job of keeping bugs and rodents out of the food. A large popcorn tin can hold two ten pound bags of rice or many bags of pasta, beans or small packets of mixes. To keep food cans from rusting they can be dipped in melted wax and boxes can have openings taped close and dipped to seal them to help keep bugs out.

Water is essential for all life on this planet, without water a human can live about three days. Even thou a person can live for up to three days without water, the ability of that person function will diminish the longer they go without water. Temperature, humidity and physical activity all play a role in the amount of water that a person needs to survive. The body looses water in four main ways respiration, perspiration, urination and defecation. In dry conditions your body will loose water at an increased rate through respiration regardless of the temperature. In hot conditions your body will loose water at an increased rate through perspiration this lose increases as the humidity increases since the body will be less able to cool itself. Drinking contaminated water can increases your bodies lose of water through the act of defecation by causing you to have diarrhea. Your urine is a good indicator of your body’s level of hydration, by observing the amount and the color of your urine. A decreased in urine output and or a darkening of the color including turning more yellow indicate that you are already becoming dehydrated.

The body needs at least one gallon of water a day and that need increases as your physical activity increases and or the environmental conditions be come more severe. You will also need water to take care of your hygiene needs. If you do not keep your body and your environment clean you will risk illness and an in increase need for water. You will also need water for cooking foods such as rice and pasta. Most food contain at lest some water that water should be conserved as much as possible. The liquid in can goods can be use as stock for soup or for cooking rice or pasta.

All naturally accruing water should be considered contaminated and should be purified before drinking. Water can be purified by boiling, filtering, treating with chemicals, distilling or exposure to ultra violet light. Boiling for at least three minutes before consuming will kill pathogens, the problem with boiling is that it does not remove chemical or mineral contaminates. Filtering will remove most pathogens, chemical and mineral contaminates. Treating with chemicals such as chlorine will kill pathogens but this will not remove chemical and mineral contaminates. Distilling water will separate water from pathogens and minerals but some chemicals will remain in the water. Exposing water to ultra violet light will kill most pathogens but will leave chemical and mineral contaminates in the water. The best way to purify water is to use at least two methods such as boiling and filtering or filtering and exposure to ultra violet to insure that the water is as clean as possible.

Every prepper should know the locations of water sources in their area. There is at least some water present in every environment on the planet. Even in the hashes deserts there is some water the problem is that it may not be readily assessable. Water exist in the form of liquid water, ice and vapor. Lakes, rivers, streams, springs and water in the ground can be use as a sources of drinking water if it is properly treated. Water can also be gotten from rain, fog and the water vapor in the air. Ground water can be obtained by digging a hole in moist ground, lining the hole with cloth or leaves, water will collect in the hole. The first water that collects in the hole should be discarded. The water should be properly treated to purify it. Water can be collected from fog or water vapor in the air by providing it a cool place for it to condense on.

Firearms, ammo and web gear

There is no such thing as a best gun, some guns are better then others and some are down right horrible but no firearm can truly claim to be the best. So firearms are better at some jobs then they are at others and some are good at many jobs. A Barrette .50BMG is a very good long range {sniper} over 500 yards precision rifle but is not very well suited for close quarter combat {CQC} less then 50 yards. For CQC a shot gun is considered to be a very good choice in a firearm. On the other hand an AK or AR is not considered a very good long range rifle and is only a fair close range rifle. What the AK or AR is best used for is intermediate range 50 to 500 yards. When choosing firearms for your preps you must consider the ranges that those firearms will most likely be used at. If you live in the open flat lands like I do 500 yards will most likely be the longest shot that will need to be made. But if you live in hill country that has cover or concealment shots of 500 yards or greater will be more likely be made. A well rounded battery of firearms for a prepper will include long, intermediate and close range firearms.

When you are shopping for a firearm it is very important that you research the firearms that you are considering for purchase. You should become learn the price range, manufactures, warranties, durability, ammo availability, ammo price, magazine price, magazine availability, the operating system, parts availability, parts price and manufacture’s support of the firearm. You should never come off sound like an expert when shopping for a firearm you should also not be afraid to ask questions about the firearms that you are interested in. you should hold the firearm to see how it feels in your hand. Ask what services the seller has available to customers. Some Federal Firearm License {FFL} will let you bring your firearm back in to the store for its’ first free cleaning, this way they can show you the proper way to take the firearm apart for cleaning and how to clean it, it also gives the seller an opportunity to inspect the firearm. Some shops have a wish book, a wish book is a list of firearms that customers are interested in buying. If the store has a wish book you tell the seller what you are interested in and give him your contact information. If someone brings a firearm into the store for sale or trade the FFL can look in the book to see if there is any one looking for a firearm of the type.

When looking for a FFL to do business with you should look for an owner operated store, that is when the man behind the counter is the owner of the store. Establishing a good working relationship with the owner of the store is very important. So of the ways that you can go about doing this is to learn his name, try to get a little evolved in his life, take him little gifts produce out of you garden is a good choice, learn his birthday, let him make money off you and always be respectful wile in his store. When handling a firearm be careful of how you handle it, do not drop it, bump it and do not touch the metal. One of the things I do when I am looking at the firearms {long guns are in racks} I turn the safeties on sense most people leave them off after looking at a firearm. Try to buy something every time you go in the store my FFL sells pop and ice crème bars so I buy a pop and ice crème bar, sometime a box of ammo or a small part for one of my guns. Always pay cash never use a credit card the dealer has to pay a percentage of every credit card sale to the company the owns the machine so that is money out of his pocket. If you have to layaway a firearm make prompt payments and try to get it out of layaway as soon as possible. Never talk about some great deal you got somewhere else let him think he is the only one you buy from. All of the guns will be marked up a little in price to cover credit card fees and for those that will pay the price so it is ok to for a little off if you are paying cash. Never talk bad about your FFL and defend him if anyone else does.

If you can attend a few gunshows as a seller by setting up a both it will help you in getting good deal later. If you do set up at a gunshow sell small items for less then a dollar but try not to have any thing over twenty dollars, I always had good luck with corkscrews. If you can find a dealer that needs help setting up and taking down his booth you maybe able to cut a deal with him that if he gets you in free and early you will help setup and take down pulse give him a bathroom break when he neds one. If you can bake cookies that taste good you can trade cookies for small items like striper clips. The air at gunshows is usually dry so make a big batch of clove candy so you can pass out little bags of it to the dealers. The food at gunshows is very expensive but there is always someone selling MREs {Meals Ready to Eat} they are tasty, filling and cheaper then a pop and a hotdog. Look people walking around selling {trying to sell} guns some time you can get a good deal from them. At one show I bought a SKS missing the upper hand guard, a very rattley Mossberg 12Ga. Pump and a bolt action 12Ga. For $150.00 sold the two 12Ga.s after fixing them up for $200.00 and ended up with a free SKS. Look for out of place items on tables, if a dealer is selling holsters and there is a magazine that you can use he may have taken it in on trade so you may be able to get a good deal this way. At one gunshow I bought 2 30 round mags for a Saiga .223 for $1.50 each from a man selling web gear. Look for deals pass up anything that is not a good deal.


There are three main calibers that a prepper should be consider .308, .223, 5.45x39.5 and 7.62 x 39. The main rifles in .308 calibers are M14 clones, Citme, G3, FNFAL and number of civilian bolt action and auto loaders. .223 is commonly seen in the AR clones, Saiga, some AK clones, G3 some civilian bolt action and auto loaders. 5.45x39.5 is almost exclusively seen in the clones of the AK74. In 7.62x39 is most common in AK clones, SKS, Ruger minie 30, Saigas autos and bolt action rifles.

For those on a budget the Saiga version of the AK rifle is a good choice they came in 12Ga. 20Ga. 4.10 5.45x39.5, .223, 7.62x39 and .308. The advantage of the Saiga AK clones is that they have a common operating system and some parts interchange this makes training, repairs and if there is a need to pickup and use a deferent firearm wile under fire require less thought. Another good choice are the various SKSs on the market even though the prices of forearms are going up it is still possible to find SKSs that are a good value. SKSs are accurate, simple to use and are rugged. AKs have gone up in price in the year or two but are still a good value and replacement parts, magazines and accessories are readily available. AKs are most common in 7.62x39, 5.45x39.5 and .223 the 7.62x39 are the most common with the 5.45x39.5 gaining in popularity.

The AR is a modular weapons system, there two main parts the upper and the lower. The upper consist of the barrel, receiver, bolt and sights and the lower has the magazine well, trigger group and butt stock. By changing the upper the AR can be configured to fire deferent calibers. The advantage of being able to change the upper is that you can have one firearm that can fire a number of deferent calibers. The disadvantage is the price of the upper is about equal the cost of a Saiga, SKS or AK so your money may be better spent buying another firearm instead of an upper. ARs are well known for there accuracy and there are a very large number of them in use around the world making the ammo widely available.

The M14 clones, Citme, G3, FNFALs are not as common as the Ars, AK or the SKSs but can be a bit pricey and some on the market have questionable quality. M14 clones, Citme, G3, FNFALs are best known for their .308s but the G3, FNFALs can be found in .223.

Shotguns come in different types and sizes. The shot gun types are break open in single and double barrel, bolt action, pump and auto loading. Shotguns come in 8Ga., 10Ga., 12Ga., 16Ga., 20Ga., 28., and 4.10 caliber. 12, 20 and 4.10 are the most common gages. Gage is the number of round lead balls the same diameter as the inside as the barrel it takes to equal one pound. You should concentrate on just one gage when you are getting started to simplify buying ammo. The length stated on a shotgun barrel is the longest shell that you can use not the shortest. If you shotgun says three inch on the barrel you can also shoot two and three quarters inch ammo in it but you can not shoot three and a half inch ammo. The loads for shot gum ammo are bird shot, buck shot and slugs. A prepper should concern themselves mostly with buck shot and slugs. Having a few number six to eight birdshot and number four or five steel shot on hand for hunting birds and small rodents may also come in handy. Number four buckshot is the smallest size that should be considered for defensive use.

A 12Ga. pump shotgun should be one of your first firearm purchase. The pump shot gun is a simple, reliable, accurate and inexpensive firearm. 12Ga. is the most common of all of the shotgun gages and has the widest selection of ammo available.

There are two mane types of handguns an auto and a revolver. An auto loading handgun uses the power of the round fired to cycling the action, stripping ammunition one round at a time and loading that ammunition one round at a time into a chamber so it can be fired. A revolver has a cylinder that holds the ammunition and by mechanical means the cylinder is rotated bringing each round in turn into battery where it can be fired.

Other then that an auto can hold more rounds then a revolver both autos and revolvers have enough advantages and disadvantages that they are about equal, the main determining factor is the skill of the operator.

Handguns should never be considered your primary defensive weapon. A handgun should be thought of as a backup weapon for a rifle or shotgun. Granted there will be times that preSHTF and during the time that the SHingTF that you will only be able to carry a handgun. During these times you should have increased awareness of your environment and very careful to avoid all confrontations. A rifle or shotgun is always better then a hand gun.

When buying a handgun you should buy one that fires a round as at least as capable as 9mm {9x19mm]. The handgun should fit your hand and be comfortable to fire.

How much ammo should I buy?
What kind of ammo should I buy?
How do I store my ammo?

How much ammo should I buy?

Lets deal with the question of “How much ammo should I buy?” first.
The short answer is. It depends.

The long answer is. It depends on each individuals or group what your needs are likely to be.

The same questions that apply to food also apply to ammo. The answers are also much the same.
The best way to build your ammo supply is to set a goal that is achievable and work toward that goal. If you set your goals too high it a little daunting. When you reach your goal set a new goal and work toward it. Keep increasing your goal each time you obtain your pervious goal. Do not set your goal so high that you become discouraged and give up. Only increase your goal a little at a time. Do not set your first goal at one thousand rounds of ammo for each firearm instead set your first goal at around the two hundred and fifty rounds for each firearm. Your next goal could be for five hundred rounds. You already have two hundred and fifty rounds so you are half way to you goal. When you get five hundred rounds set your next goal at fifth teen hundreds rounds. You have five hundred rounds so you are two thirds of the way to reaching you goal. Buying ammo is a never ending story and even when you reach a level that you are comfortable with you should continue adding to your ammo supply to insure you have enough on hand for hunting and practice.

What kind of ammo should I buy?

Do not get suckered in by people saying that you should by only the best most expensive ammo available. Wile it is true that some if not most firearms will benefit from being feed high quality ammo. Buy ammo that will function correctly in your firearm, if less expensive ammo works in your firearm then buy that ammo.

You should have the proper web gear for each one of your firearms. You need a backpack, canteens, fire starting kit, firstaid kit, a good knife, compass and mess kit for each person in your group. Each person should also have a sleeping bag or bed roil suitable for the weather conditions. Each person or group should have some form of temporarily shelter. Light is sometimes necessary in the dark so flashlights, light sticks or lanterns should be included for each person or group.

One of the most important things anyone can have is a large thick towel it can be used as a blanket, clothing, sun shad, sling, head wrap, scarf, dust mask, clothing, bandage or in a pinch a towel.

Children should have their own BOB and have at least some say as to what is packed into it. One very important pice of gear for anyone that has a baby is a sling to carry their baby in wile bugging out or working.

Medical and hygiene
You can not count on being able to go to the doctor when the SHTF if you get sick or injured. Every prepper should have a well stocked first aid kit {FAK} in the home, BOB, Bug Out Vehicle {BOV} and at there Bug Out Location {BOL}. It is also necessary to have at least some medical training beyond basic fist aid. Medical book have a wealth of valuable information that could save a life postSHTF, an effort should be made to collect as many on firstaid and medicine as possible.

Over time the amount of medical supplies that you have on hand should increases to the point that you could equip a small hospital. The odds of finding an EMT, nurse, veterinarian or doctor postSHTF that has all of their medical gear intact will be less the finding one that has nothing but the clothing on their back. If you have a large amount of medical supplies that you will be able to make better use of his or her skills.

Every person in your group should also have a personal FAK on themselves at all times so that small problems can be dealt with without having to use the community supplies.

Thrift stores, clearance sales, trial sizes, gunshows, yard sales and coupons are a good way to acquire supplies for you FAK.

Do not forget to have a FAK for your animals.


Adults and older children wear clothing as protection against their environment, for purposes of vanity and modesty. Babies and young children wear clothing because others feel they need protected from their environment, to bolster the vanity of others and as the result of modesty by proxy.

Everyone should have a supply of sturdy clothing in subdued colors all types of weather. The clothing should include but not limited to three changes of underclothing, six pars of socks, three pairs long pants, three long sleeve shirts, gloves jacket or coat and a scarf. Every one in the group should have at least one pear of sturdy boots and light weight shoes.

It may be best if you stocked extra clothing for each person in your group that is progressively larger. In times that food may be in short supply it would look strange to others that you group is not loosing weight the same as they are. By wearing progressively larger clothing you can make it look like you are as short on food as everyone else.

Washing and keeping clothing in good repair may take a considerable amount of time and resources. Those resources can be better spent acquiring food and other resources need for you or your group’s survival. To save resources it will be best postSHTF if you and the persons in your group resolve themselves to wearing the least amount of clothing necessary to protected from the environment.

Disposable diapers may not be available postSHTF and cloth diapers will require time and resources to wash so it will be advisable for all parents or future parents to familiarize themselves with the concept of diaperless parenting.

Trade stock

Even if you do not wish to get heavily involved in trading postSHTF you should have a few trade items on hand to use as goodwill gifts. If you are bugging out and ask to or invited to someone else’s campfire, shelter or transportation you should have some small items in your Bug Out Bag {BOB} that you can use to offer to repay others for their kindness and hospitality. Small gifts such as individuality wrapped candy, good strong black tea, small trial size packets of first aid cream or even a pack of bootlaces could be welcome gifts.

One gift that would be very useful is a quantity of very strong homemade clove flavored hard candy, clove candy is very good at soothing a sore throat and I use it at gunshows as a trade item. Placing a few pieces of the clove candy into little ziptolock bags will not take up that much room in your BOB and having the candy to trade or for your own use could prove to be invaluable.

A prepper does not have trade stock because they have everything they have trade stock because they do not have everything.

The main reason to have trade stock is so that you can contribute to the restarting of the economy. By trading goods or services in return for goods or services you will be setting up a medium of trade.

When buying trade stock you should try to spend as little as possible for each item. When shopping for trade items good places to shop are yard sales, thrift stores, auctions and dumpsters. It is best to try to find a theme for your trade stock, I concentrate on reusable solutions for disposable products.

The most important thing to remember about trading stock is to have things on hand that you can live without and other can not.

Below is a list of possible trade items that can be found for little investment.
By shopping smart you can pick up items for very little money, I have paid as little as $3.00 for a camp stove and 50 cents for an oil lamp. Set a limit to what you are willing to pay for each kind of trade item and do you best not to pay more then that amount.

Most people do not under stand the concept of trade and will have to taught how to trade before you can trade with them. One way of doing this is to make small trades for items even if they are items that you do not necessary need this will give others experience in conducting a trade.

Books on herb uses.
Books on how to survive
Canning jars and lids
Disposable/cloth diapers and training pants.
Female hygiene products
Kaidangku - crotchless pants like is/was used in China on babies
Cloth to make diapers and Diaper covers
Plastic/vinyl/nylon pants
Diaper covers
Baby underpants
Baby/children’s clothing
Harmonicas and other small easy to carry musical things.
Cheep knives -including snap blade knives
Candles, wax and wicks
Oil lamps and lanterns
Water purification tablets
Bleach, laundry soap, shampoo and bath soap.
Out door cooking equipment.
Your knowledge
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