Survival Prepping for Normal People – 12 Tip Guide
Contrary to what Google may show in its data-driven search results, you don’t have to be a bushcraft expert or former Special Forces guy to be a survivalist and prepper. Survival prepping for normal people is not only entirely possible – it makes up most people involved in the preparedness world.
1) Prepping Begins With the Individual
And, because the most basic level of preparedness happens at the individual level, everyone should have some knowledge and capability at survival needs and surviving. It’s only by playing an active role in your survival that you can hope to have any guarantee of a positive outcome. In the end, others may not make the safety and security of you and your loved ones a priority, so you have to.
2) It’s Normal to Feel Overwhelmed
If you’re reading this article because you’re new to prepping, there’s a good chance that you feel overwhelmed. And, if that’s you right now, that’s okay! It’s 100% normal to feel overwhelmed when you first start.
Maybe you feel like there’s so much to know and do, and you’re figuring out where to get started. That’s normal too.
The fact is, dealing with manmade and natural disasters is sometimes tough to get our minds around when we first start. That, too, is normal to worry about.
If you’re new to prepping or are a lifelong prepper, we all at times feel overwhelmed when it comes to preparedness.
3) It’s Normal to Feel Intimidated
We talked about overwhelm, not let’s talk about feeling intimidated.
It’s easy to feel intimidated when you tune into YouTube channel videos, and the host is a guy, covered in survival gear, who lives in an off-grid cabin he built with his bare hands.
Or what about when you have a badass special operations guy showing you how to fight off a bad guy with a broken toothpick and some chewing gum? Sure, you think, “It sounds easy when you’ve been educate by the military, but what about survival prepping for normal people?”
4) Most Normal People Survival Prepping Are Just That, Normal People
Well, I’m here to tell you, most of us are just everyday folks who are just doing the best they can with the resources they have. Some folks have lots of money, while others are prepping on a budget. Some live in the country and grow their own food, while others live in the city and shop at stores.
No matter how you do it, getting prepared is for everyone. It’s our responsibility to be prepared. And, the vast majority of successful preppers are ordinary people. And, if they can do it, you can do it!
5) Mindset is Your Number One Prep!
Mindset is the most critical prep and sets the tone and quality of everything that follows. In the case of preparedness, the fundamentals are:
- Situational Awareness
It’s through a good mindset that we increase our chances of successfully meeting our goals of preparedness. The goals of preparedness are:
- To survive
- To minimize unwanted struggle
Fortunately for all involved, we can improve our mindset for free. That’s because knowledge in the Internet age is abundant for anyone who wants it. Likewise, motivation and a positive mental attitude are free as well.
The only cost on your end is the commitment to do your best to be better prepared today than you were yesterday. After all, you’re just one prep away from being better prepared.
6) Avoiding Bad Situations is the Best Prep
Not getting yourself into a sticky situation is the best preparedness advice possible. With that, not all struggle is avoidable. However, what is avoidable is making a bad situation worse.
So, try to think one step ahead. Is there a remote chance someone may call on you to drive somewhere in an emergency? If so, do your best to ALWAYS keep your vehicle fuel level over half a tank.
Before walking into an unfamiliar location, do a quick mental risk assessment. Does anything seem out of place? Does your subconscious have the hairs standing up on the back of your neck?
In short, keep yourself out of the wrong place at a bad time.
7) Protect Yourself From the Environment
Getting stuck out in the weather without the proper protection can turn a good time bad really quick. Becoming stuck in bad weather during a bad situation makes that bad situation even worse.
So, think ahead. Take the heat, cold, rain, snow, etc., into account and plan accordingly. Don’t unnecessarily become debilitated because you forgot a coat.
8) Account for Your Water Needs
Without water, you will not survive an emergency for very long. The survival pyramid tells us we have three days before risking death due to dehydration.
Start by prepping for one week. Get seven 1-gallon water jugs for each family member and stash them under the beds. Or, if you have your containers, fill them with tap water. Here are the CDC’s instructions for storing water, and here’s a more in-depth article about it.
Learn to Purify Water
Make sure you know how to purify the water that you acquire. This is important if you happen to be caught away from home and your supplies.
Portable filters like the Sawyer Mini and the Lifestraw are straightforward to use and are reasonably priced. When you are able, consider getting a bigger, gravity-fed water filter for your home, like the Big Berkey. Using a gravity-fed water filter is as simple as pouring the water you’ve acquired into the top and waiting for it to make its way down through the filter.
9) It Takes No Special Skill to Stock Up on Food
Unless their cupboards are empty, most people don’t know how much food they have. Therefore, take a good look into your food storage. Take a good note of what is shelf-stable over the long term and what is fresh and perishable.
You may find throughout your inventory that you have a good deal more food than you thought. And that is a good thing!
Stocking Up on Food is Easy!
Anyone – absolutely anyone – can purchase shelf-stable items from the grocery store and put them in the cabinet for a later date. Here are some simple things to remember:
- See what you already have on hand – you may have a lot more than you thought.
- If your budget is tight, add a couple of cans and a pack of rice each week.
- Try to balance things between protein, fruits and vegetables, and grains.
- Don’t forget some fats. They won’t last as long on your shelf so rotate them into your regular pantry: cooking oil, nuts, peanut butter, coconut oil, shortening.
- Always put new purchases at the back of your shelf and use the older stuff first.
- Put back supplies to make five meals your family will eat. That might be spaghetti and tomato sauce; bean burritos with hot sauce; canned ham with pineapples and boxed scalloped potatoes; and vegetable soup made with canned veggies, V-8 juice, and canned beans. Then, keep on adding to those ingredients.
10) You Probably Already Have Prepping and Survival Skills.
You know one of the best things about survival prepping for normal people? You probably have way more prepping and survival skills than you realize. Can you do any of the following?
Survival Skills to Master:
- Start a fire
- Boil water
- Mend clothing
- Build simple structures
- Repair equipment
- Shop for bargains
- Make and preserve homemade jam
- Shoot a gun
- Raise a plant
- Cook from scratch
If you can do any of those things, you’ve already mastered some skills that will help you to become better prepared.
11) Survival Prepping for Normal People Means You Are Constantly Learning.
There are all sorts of skills you can add to your repertoire with reasonable expense and ease. Some of them cost absolutely nothing to learn. Some you can learn from YouTube. Others you can learn from your local Red Cross or county extension office.
Here are just a few skills you may wish to learn – and you don’t have to be a survivalist expert to learn them.
Areas of Survival Knowledge to Gain:
- Home food preservation: Here’s a great resource to get you started
- First Aid
- Firearms safety
- Wilderness survival skills
- Wilderness first aid
- Raising livestock
- Herbal medicines
You can learn a lot from the internet and books, but an excellent way to connect with like-minded people is to join local groups that teach or practice these skills.
12) Bug-Out Bags and Emergency Kits
Now it’s time to do what many preppers love to work on and talk about, bug-out bags and emergency kits. These kits are made to use at the first sign of trouble.
Here are some ideas that may help when putting your bug-out bag together. Once you get your bag set, you’ll be able to hit the road for a few days or hunker down wherever you are.
A bug-out bag is something to consider if you live in an evacuation-prone area. Likewise, bringing a bug-out bag along is an excellent idea for long road trips. After all, we are all just one breakdown away from being stranded somewhere.
What Are Your Thoughts on Survival Prepping for Normal People?
So, what do you think? Can the average Joe or Jane learn to become a survival prepper? Or is it strictly the realm of bad-to-the-bone former military members and wilderness survival experts?
Let’s talk about it in the comments.
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