Prepper Primer for Your Non-prepper Loved Ones, by T.S. – Part 1

Purpose: To quote my spouse, “I didn’t know when I married you that you were a bucket of crazy.” So essentially, this article is intended to help the spouse whom you love but whom is not a prepper. There are many hundred-plus page books written on this subject, but this primer can be read in less than an hour and is tailored to my personal situation. It is the hope of the author that others will create their own such document for family and friends using this as a starting point. Whether I am dead, geographically separated from her, injured, or present, this article serves to convey what I consider to be critical for survival, either to reinforce what instruction I can give in person or bring to memory what we have discussed in the past. Methods: The document is broken up into nine different sections: mindset, bug out bag (BOB), food and water, shelter, traveling, first aid, communication, staying put, and defense. Within each section, a set of tasks is given. For each task, guidelines are presented for successful completion. Only the bare essentials are included to efficiently accomplish each task. Alternate methods do exist for everything in this document but are not present to save space and to focus the reader’s attention on (1) methods I have tried and tested (the majority of this article) or (2) methods I have researched and deemed possible. Conclusions: Throughout the article, the importance of keeping a positive mental attitude is reinforced. Without such an attitude, even the most simple task may prove impossible.


This document is meant to be a quick reading guide for maximizing the probability of survival in a lawless end-time scenario. What is meant by this phrase lawless end time scenario? I will define it here as a condition in which the police no longer answer, the utility services may or may not be functioning, and all the news you hear is bad. You will know when. It will be better to err on the side of buying that extra tank of gas and bag of rice sooner than later.

The document is broken into nine sections: mindset, bug out bag (BOB), food and water, shelter, traveling, first aid, communication, staying put, and defense. In each section, a number of tasks related to the section theme are described in enough detail to hopefully execute the task. In some cases, only a single method for accomplishing a task is presented. This document is meant to be a quick read and something you can use to reassure yourself in a time of crisis.

No guide can serve in place of the numerous books in our “prepper” library. Focus on reading the books relating to agriculture, first aid, shooting, farming, and outdoor skills. The first aid kit has a first aid guide in it, but I recommend swapping it out with the text written by Weiss “Wilderness and Travel Medicine”) is the only reference book I would recommend if you have to get away on foot.



Some people with little or no survival training have managed to survive life-threatening circumstances. Some people with survival training have not used their skills and died.[A]

It means always having with you an item that can’t be carried in pack or pocket– a positive mental attitude?[B]

Survival in the wild, living off only what you can carry and/or find is very difficult for long periods of time. For short periods of time, if the proper preparations are made, it can be fun and enjoyable (i.e. backpacking)! Survival with the added element of lawlessness will be much more difficult. However, it should not be impossible. As the quotes above state, the most important asset one acquires in a survival situation is a positive mindset.

Be realistic about things. If you are reading this, things are not going to go back to normal any time soon. You need to rely on yourself. If you need to break down and gather yourself, note the time and do so for five minutes. Pray, cry, talk to yourself, read Scripture, or do what you need to do to get your wits back. You are your own best chance at survival, and you cannot help yourself if you pretend nothing is wrong.

Bug Out Bag (BOB)

Obviously, we do not live in the best of places in a lawless scenario for two reasons: (1) we live about three hours from Chicago and within our own city’s limits. We are simply too close to too many people. (2) We live in a relatively high-density neighborhood. There are too many people in a very small place. We need to move. Where to move is covered in the traveling section. What to bring when we move is covered here. Section “Staying Put” (a link to the relevant section will be here when it is published) details a plan for staying put, which may be a necessity due to injury, the age of our children, or dangerous traveling conditions (nuclear fallout, blizzard conditions, police state, etceta). There are two scenarios for moving– by car or by foot. Table 1? lists all the items I consider worth taking when traveling on foot. Items present on Tables 2? and 3? are to be taken if traveling by car. If you take everything else on your back and still have room, take whatever items from Table 2? you think may help you (but food takes priority over Table 2? items). Spouse, without me, you will not be able to carry all the food and all the essential items on this list. The list of essentials is very small so after them carry as much food as you can.

If traveling by foot or by car, it is essential to still have as much food as you can pack in your BOB. You never know if you will have time to repack food for your BOB once traveling by car. In other words, you may be forced to flee from the car and must have your BOB ready to go at that time.

Table 1?A list of items required for survival: BOB Itemsa

Item Used for Comments
Army issue camo backpack BOB
Blue Kelty backpack BOB Second backpack is only required if more than two people will be traveling on foot. Still pack this one in the car even if you are alone.
Camel Backs water/equipment storage Be sure you also pack the water bladders. They are stored separate from the backpacks. The Camel Backs can be attached to either BOB for extra storage.
Blue water proof ruck sack water proof storage
Black fanny pack easy to reach storage For things like binoculars, maps, pistol, magazines…
Small mummy bag sleeping/hypothermia treatment Stow in smallest size stuff sack, it should be quite difficult to get it to fit.
Large mummy bag sleeping/hypothermia treatment Bring this one only if it is really really cold outside and/or there is more than one person coming along. The larger bag is much much larger to carry than the smaller mummy bag.
Tent water collection in rain, shelter Only bring the entire thing (poles, stakes… if you can carry all the food on hand, if not, only bring the piece of plastic sheeting and the rain fly that are wrapped up in the tent.
Tarp water collection in rain, shelter Blue colored.
1-liter water bottles water storage / waterproof storage If you have both Camel Backs, bring two 1-liter bottles for extra water or waterproof storage. If you do not have the Camel Backs water supplies, bring as many of the 1-liter water bottles as you think you can manage. (They do not all have to be filled all the time.)
Iodine tablets water purifying
Iodine tincture wound treatment, water purifying
Space blanket water collection in rain, shelter Shiny silver side faces you.
Hiking boots foot protection/support
Crocs/sandals foot relief from boots Where these when you are in “camp” if the weather permits to comfort your feet
Head lamp light Takes AAA batteries.
Mag light light Takes AA batteries.
Batteries energy Take as many AAA and AA as you can for the flashlights and the radio.
Road atlas direction and location finding/fire starter If by foot, only take the states you think you will or may be traveling through, rip out the rest of the atlas.
Toilet paper num. 2 clean up /fire starter/emergency blood soaker upper Store in separate water proof containers/packages!
Zip lock bags water proof storage Keep your maps and tinder in these.
large garbage bags shelter, rain cover for back/clothes/firewood, water collection in rain Put one over your pack every night, if it rains and your pack gets soaked it will be heavier! Bag up everything at least double with these you want to keep dry.
Bible spiritual growth/ fire starter Take the small NKJV from the Gideons (NT plus proverbs and psalms).
Wilderness first aid book first aid knowledge/reading material/fire starter Read this when you have down time. Burn the useless pages.
Crank radio information/flash light Store this in a dry place.
Aluminum cook pot (w/ lid) food cooking, water boiling
Aluminum pot holder hold pot over heat source, manipulate hot pot
Measuring cup/eating bowl eating, rationing, scooping water Manila colored with a few lines denoting the volume of the cup.
Spork Orange plastic.
Pocket knife Do not use the tip of blade to pry something, it will break.
Mini leatherman If you cannot find this, make sure you bring a screwdriver.
Rain gear Bring both the jacket and pants! Use this in colder weather as well as an outer layer.
Underwear Use lowest % cotton (socks, underwear, bra, undershirts). Only bring three pairs, you can clean them. Bring synthetic running shirts.
Gloves Bring work gloves to protect your hands while getting firewood, walking through brush. If it is cold, bring two pairs of winter gloves.
Hat Bring a sleeping cap and something to block the sun from your face.
Pants Bring three pairs- one for insulating (fleece/polyester type), one for outer layer, and one pair of spandex.
Jacket/shirts Bring three– one long sleeve running shirt, and two fall/spring jackets. If winter, bring an additional winter coat.
Vitamins Bring all the multi-vitamins you think you can manage.
Tooth brush teeth cleaning, wound cleaning
Toothpaste Use sparingly and brush well!
Floss teeth cleaning, rope, repairing gear
First aid kit Should include: Iodine tincture, pain killers/fever reducer, antihistamine, band aids, athletic tape, waterproof medical tape, neosporin, soap, alcohol wipes, gauze(pads and rolls), mirror, tweezers, scalpel, burn ointment, eye drops, and laxative. (Leave out the hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol, if traveling by foot; they weigh too much.)
Feminine napkins
Fire starting materials Bring matches in waterproof containers, steel and flint, dryer lint, fire starting sticks, magnesium block (with flint and steel attached), and lighters. (Throw away lighters after they run out of butane; if going by car bring the bottle of butane!)
Food Keep it dry. See section on Food and water.
Rabbit and pet supplies emotional anchor Bring an extra Tupperware for him to drink from so he does not get you sick. *****Keep Sticky Bun close since he will never die. j.k., may S.B. rest in peace********
Guns protection, robbery deterrent, hunting Bring both handguns and the 22; you will find a holster for the 45 in the BOB already. Put the little one (9 mm) in the fanny pack or hide it on your back or on your leg.
Ammo protection, robbery deterrent, hunting This stuff is heavy. Bring as much as you can. Bring a lot of 22 caliber (the lightest), followed by 45 and then 12 gauge slugs, 9mm (bring the least of this, only 50 rounds or so) and then some bird shot.
Gun cleaning supplies There is a fresh bottle of gun oil in the BOB; get the other from the gun cleaning kit in the closet.
Cash You may find someone stupid enough to sell you something for it.
Camp towel bathing, soaking up water, stopping blood Sham wow towel for cleaning the car.
Binoculars Use them often to keep from being surprised.

aItems on this list are essential for survival (shelter, water, food, protection). If you are alone, you will already find it hard to manage the weight of the pack even with the BOB bare essentials; you must load as much food as you think you can manage! Use one of the strollers to push extra items!

Table 2?A list of items required for survival: comfort B.O.B. Itemsa

Item Used for Comments
MRS water purifier water purifier Bring also the spare filter and spare parts kit.
“Pocket rocket stove” cooking/fire starter I have used this as a fire starter when small tinder was not available by directing the flame directly at the kindling. This is probably really dangerous but it works really well…
Red fuel cells fuel for “pocket rocket” These will make noise if stored together as they lank around, store them separately wrapped up.
Edible wild plant book survival food/fire starter/ reading material See the calendar in the book to see what plants are in season. Stick to things that require little or no preparations and are easy to forage. Remember our burdock and parsnip adventure!
Folding saw cutting wood (shelter making, firewood) Use the gloves with this saw; it will rip open your hand in a single stroke.
Seeds and a copy of “Seed to Seed” All of our seeds are heirloom, this could greatly increase your chance of being allowed to stay on a farm.
Silver Take as much as you can, especially if using the baby strollers.
Shovel Orange shovel or “army issue” one.

aItems on this list would be really really nice to have for survival. If you are alone, you will already find it hard to manage the weight of the pack even with the BOB bare essentials; you must load as much food as you think you can manage!

Table 3?A list of items required for survival: Car itemsa

Item Used for Comments
Surplus items from Tables 1? and 2?
GPS digital USA highway map/location finder The GPS comes loaded with a map of the entire country. It will also tell you the direction (NSEW) you’re heading, your elevation, and of course your position. It could take 10 minutes or so for it to fix on a satellite.
Chickens Barter, eggs, something to keep you busy Bring all of their food and fashion them a crate out of cardboard. Take some chicken wire to make them a house if need be later.
Clothes Bring all the exercise and quality clothes you can fit, especially cold weather things and things that wear out fast like socks and underwear.
Pots and pans Bring the cast iron dutch oven, a few big soup pots, and some frying pans.
Kitchen utensils You know what you use!
Tools Bring: the hammer, all the hand saws, the tape measure, the builders square, the clamps and vices, the boxes of screws and/or nails on hand, the box of liquids (oils, paints, lubricants…), all the screwdrivers, the black box of sockets, all wire and rope, do not bother with power tools, bring the shovels, the pitch fork, the steel rake, wire cutters, and the hoe
Large containers water storage, gas storage Bring the plastic carboy we use to make wine, bring the red gas cans, use the coolers to store food in from the fridge and pantry
1- and 5- gallon buckets food storage, gas storage, water storage You will have a few empty after you fill up the BOB; be sure to bring the ones full of food as well, and do not forget about the ones with the ammo!
Books and games Bring all the edible plant, survival books, country living, wine making, butchering, and gardening books for sure. After that use your judgment. Make sure to bring an entire Bible as well as the one in the BOB is not complete. See Table ? for a listing and reading priority of our book collection.
Extra shoes/boots Your boots will break down with constant wear quite fast if you are using them daily in the woods.
Ham radio equipment Bring anything you think is related to ham radio. Also grab the multi-meter from the tool box.
Fishing stuff Take the fishing pole and the fly rod. Take also the tackle box and the fly fishing vest which is full of fishing gear.
Personal hygiene items Pretty much everything from the bathroom.
Breathing mask Be sure to bring the extra filters. There are two different types of filters, the circular pink ones for small particles in the air and the larger thick ones for chemicals.
Acrylic tubing Siphon for gas Be careful where you siphon gas; do not become a looter.
Silver coins Barter
Canning jars food preservation
Seeds food Try to keep them cool and DRY!
50-lb salt blocks meat preserving/ flavoring Keep them dry
Flour mill and extra parts Keep this hidden when not in use
Pool shock purifying water Keep DRY or it can explode/catch fire!
Meat grinder
Anything you think will help!

aItems on this list are not required for survival but will make life much easier. Only take things on this list after all the items from Tables 1? and 2? have been taken (and more importantly you are carrying as much food as possible! Nothing on this list should be taken if there is still food to be packed if traveling by car is not an option).
You know best what special items would be needed for the kids. I leave that up to you! Obviously, take as many cloth diapers as possible and as many tubes of baby “butt” cream as we have. The jogging stroller can pack up to 110 pounds, so consider really piling a lot of food on it along with the kids.

[A] US army survival manual, Underwood, P.T., Skyhorse Pub Co Inc, 2011
[B] Wilderness Survival, Olsen, L.D., Boy Scouts of America, North Brunswick, NJ, 1974