Calling all preppers

Beebo Brink

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My wife and I have always had a fascination with apocalyptic events, but we're also just the children of WWII parents who believed in being prepared. As I noted in another thread, we're not hard-core preppers, more like mini-preppers. Our goal is not to survive in a Mad Max world, just to get through short-term disruptions that make daily life difficult if you don't have reliable food, water or electricity supplies.

We have an unfinished basement cut into solid bedrock, with an old-style cold pantry (came with the house) and plenty of extra room for storage. My wife keeps the pantry stocked with enough food for the two of us for about 3 months. We eat from the front row and then buy to replace the back row, keeping everything relatively fresh. What doesn't get used by expire date is re-evaluated (no more flour, we just don't use it). We focus on staples: canned soups, canned meats, dried fruit and nuts, oils, cereals, pasta, sugar, salt, pepper.

We also love gadgets, so over the years I've bought solar powered flashlights, lanterns, and radio. Just recently I picked up a solar-powered charger for our mobile phones. We've also got a convention camping stove, plus small medical kit, water purification tabs, and other such sundries. The only major item I'm still missing is a solar-powered oven -- it was on my DIY list for years, and I've finally conceded I'm never going to build one, but haven't gotten around to buying one.

So what's your strategy for dealing with the next snow storm, flood or zombie apocalypse?
 

GoblinCampFollower

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I also would consider myself to be a casual prepper. I have a crate of bottled water in my basement and a disaster kit I bought a while back. It comes with a basic med kit, a hand cranked radio, a water collection bag, and a big non perishable food bar.

I also make a point of always having an extra, unopened bag of cat food in addition to the one currently being given out to them. I also eat a lot of foods like nuts that don't have to be cooked and expire slowly. ...you just made me think of more foods to buy that come in cans and don't have to be cooked, haha.
 

Kara Spengler

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My wife and I have always had a fascination with apocalyptic events, but we're also just the children of WWII parents who believed in being prepared. As I noted in another thread, we're not hard-core preppers, more like mini-preppers. Our goal is not to survive in a Mad Max world, just to get through short-term disruptions that make daily life difficult if you don't have reliable food, water or electricity supplies.

We have an unfinished basement cut into solid bedrock, with an old-style cold pantry (came with the house) and plenty of extra room for storage. My wife keeps the pantry stocked with enough food for the two of us for about 3 months. We eat from the front row and then buy to replace the back row, keeping everything relatively fresh. What doesn't get used by expire date is re-evaluated (no more flour, we just don't use it). We focus on staples: canned soups, canned meats, dried fruit and nuts, oils, cereals, pasta, sugar, salt, pepper.

We also love gadgets, so over the years I've bought solar powered flashlights, lanterns, and radio. Just recently I picked up a solar-powered charger for our mobile phones. We've also got a convention camping stove, plus small medical kit, water purification tabs, and other such sundries. The only major item I'm still missing is a solar-powered oven -- it was on my DIY list for years, and I've finally conceded I'm never going to build one, but haven't gotten around to buying one.

So what's your strategy for dealing with the next snow storm, flood or zombie apocalypse?
Yeah, pretty much the same here. Not a real prepper but when you grow up in an area with regular blizzards and power outages you just get used to not counting on stuff. I make sure I always have extra food, medicine, and other supplies. Hand crank and/or solar flashlights are good. Keeping a good sized battery charged up is good for phones. Some sort of a shelter is good [no windows, so a cellar, a big closet, a hallway, places like that]. A reliable way to monitor the news, like a radio or a laptop you intend will have power/networking. Stores will be a zoo as whatever approaches so lay in as much as possible well ahead of time then maybe place a larger than usual delivery order the previous week so you can comfortably laugh at the news coverage of people panic buying. Oh, always remember water. Check your supply now and then and you can store it in the tub too if you will be able to boil it.
 

Kara Spengler

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Your equipment lists are in dire need of hammocks.
As to me that goes down a few notches on what is counted as needed for survivability. Just toss a few random pillows and blankets where I will be sleeping. If there is a storm or something I probably will not be getting a great night's sleep anyway so as long as I am able to get a few winks to recharge somewhere in there I am good.
 
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Eunoli

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We just started going from a couple weeks to a couple of months. Recent events have me thinking to add more stuff that I hadn't included before, like jars of honey, powdered milk... etc.

I've been eyeing a portable solar power generator that can at least keep kindle and phones and stuff running. They seem to be almost affordable now.
 

Kara Spengler

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Also look at what hospitals do. When I worked at one we were on 3 separate power grids ... plus had a generator. As to networking we had the normal network [I am guessing redundant networking lines], then would go to 2 acoustic modems (dial in and dial out) and finally to someone that would make regular trips to a nearby hospital for offsite processing. Then several months of computer supplies. That is just IT. Inhouse pharmacy of course and who knows how much medical supplies and food they kept on hand. I dare say they put any prepper to shame.
 
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We live up on a hill with a fairly dodgy road for driving in winter, so we've just gotten into the habit of always having at least a month's supply of frozen, tinned and dry food stashed just in case. I've never been keen on going out to get shopping every week, so I try and fill the car or get a delivery in and just fill the cupboards out. We can easily last 4 months if we fill them properly. It's not a huge kitchen, but the cupboards are tall and seem to hold a lot. Or maybe we're especially good at food tetris :D We've been cutting down on plastic packaging and the UHT milk is in recyclable cartons, so we can have a good supply of milk in the cupboard too.

The garden has a really good mix of fruit bushes, we didn't need to buy fruit till winter. I'm going to add veggies this year and repair the greenhouse. I stashed empty jars for making jam and preserves, if I can get things picked before Mr Muliaina and the birds eat them.

I always planned on getting some land near the house so I could get a few milk sheep in the flock and have a few chickins bobbing about. But that used to be more because I want high welfare dairy and to know what it's been fed on and treated with. Now between the Brexit shennigans and potential disease threats I'm kinda glad my parents have spare chickins, sheep and land if we need them. I'm not sure my old ponies would be motivated to pull a plough, but one is greedy enough we could hang a bucket on a stick and lure her fat arse round the field. I have a shed full of fleece so clothing and bedding isn't an issue. If all hell breaks loose I plan on diving in there to hibernate!
 

Innula Zenovka

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My wife and I have always had a fascination with apocalyptic events, but we're also just the children of WWII parents who believed in being prepared. As I noted in another thread, we're not hard-core preppers, more like mini-preppers. Our goal is not to survive in a Mad Max world, just to get through short-term disruptions that make daily life difficult if you don't have reliable food, water or electricity supplies.

We have an unfinished basement cut into solid bedrock, with an old-style cold pantry (came with the house) and plenty of extra room for storage. My wife keeps the pantry stocked with enough food for the two of us for about 3 months. We eat from the front row and then buy to replace the back row, keeping everything relatively fresh. What doesn't get used by expire date is re-evaluated (no more flour, we just don't use it). We focus on staples: canned soups, canned meats, dried fruit and nuts, oils, cereals, pasta, sugar, salt, pepper.

We also love gadgets, so over the years I've bought solar powered flashlights, lanterns, and radio. Just recently I picked up a solar-powered charger for our mobile phones. We've also got a convention camping stove, plus small medical kit, water purification tabs, and other such sundries. The only major item I'm still missing is a solar-powered oven -- it was on my DIY list for years, and I've finally conceded I'm never going to build one, but haven't gotten around to buying one.

So what's your strategy for dealing with the next snow storm, flood or zombie apocalypse?
Living on my own and suddenly finding myself dealing with cancer put me in something of a prepper frame of mind when I started to recover, since it left me determined not to place myself at the mercy of health or financial catastrophe without some form of buffer, so since then I've been in the habit of bulk-buying all sorts, particularly household basics, so lightbulbs, lavatory paper, bleach, soap, etc, as well as making sure I have a freezer full of food and enough dried/canned goods to keep me going for several weeks if necessary.

That's also, of course, because I hate running out of stuff -- it just makes life so much easier not having to remember to buy staple goods. I'm also a sucker for good coffees and teas, so I normally have a pretty large collection. Also spices and dried herbs.

When I was seriously worried we'd crash out of the EU with a hard Brexit, I did stock up on several weeks' supply of tinned stuff. That I donated to a food bank after the crisis passed.

I also have to confess I have retained my various pain-killers back from my radiotherapy, "just in case."

I'm not sure in case of what, of course, but if it hurts too badly, I'm covered, and in the event of a zombie apocalypse I've got valuable trading goods or, if the worst comes to the worst, I'll go out very happy indeed before the zombies find me.
 
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Ishina

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A good quality general purpose survival knife.

Also a fire axe, a bow saw, a machete, a camping shovel, a crowbar, a multitool, but definitely a knife.

Rope, duct tape, tarpaulin, survival blankets, fishing line, whetstone, lantern, headlamp, flares, glowsticks, fire extingisher, insect killer, mosquito nets, superglue, dentist kit, gasmask/filters, mountain bike, coat, waterproofs, gloves, warm hat, scarf, thermals, tights, and a good pair of walking boots.
 

Innula Zenovka

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If we're taking to the woods, sanitary towels. Apart from the obvious purpose, they'll be good for dressing wounds and, I would imagine, as trading items. Also coffee and chocolate (again, good for trade as well as consumption).
 

Kara Spengler

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Living on my own and suddenly finding myself dealing with cancer put me in something of a prepper frame of mind when I started to recover, since it left me determined not to place myself at the mercy of health or financial catastrophe without some form of buffer, so since then I've been in the habit of bulk-buying all sorts, particularly household basics, so lightbulbs, lavatory paper, bleach, soap, etc, as well as making sure I have a freezer full of food and enough dried/canned goods to keep me going for several weeks if necessary.

That's also, of course, because I hate running out of stuff -- it just makes life so much easier not having to remember to buy staple goods. I'm also a sucker for good coffees and teas, so I normally have a pretty large collection. Also spices and dried herbs.

When I was seriously worried we'd crash out of the EU with a hard Brexit, I did stock up on several weeks' supply of tinned stuff. That I donated to a food bank after the crisis passed.

I also have to confess I have retained my various pain-killers back from my radiotherapy, "just in case."

I'm not sure in case of what, of course, but it hurts too badly, I'm covered, and in the event of a zombie apocalypse I've got valuable trading goods or, if the worst comes to the worst, I'll go out very happy indeed before the zombies find me.
Remember that meds expire. Hopefully you have a dr that will write a new script now and then?
 
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danielravennest

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Back when I was active in the SCA (medieval re-enactment group), I was often the camp organizer for groups of up to 200 people doing 1-2 week camping events. Consequently I brought a well-stocked first aid kit, spare sleeping bags, camp chairs, cooking gear, etc., and of course tents. So we were pretty ready for a disaster as long as it didn't last too long. I still have a lot of that stuff.

For a single guy, I keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer just from my habit of stocking up when stuff is on sale. That way I run out less often and don't need to make as many shopping trips. Whenever I run out of fresh fruit is when I go shop, along with anything else I've noted on my shopping list and other errands that need doing.

My house is on a slope, so the back of the basement is fully underground. That's my retreat from tornado weather (Atlanta gets those now and then).

@Kara - not only do perscription meds expire, but other first aid supplies, food, and batteries even if in the original package. So set up a periodic inventory to keep things up to date. On the other hand, a lot of items are still usable beyond their "best by" dates. Those dates are conservative to avoid lawsuits and probably increase sales.
 

Kara Spengler

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Back when I was active in the SCA (medieval re-enactment group), I was often the camp organizer for groups of up to 200 people doing 1-2 week camping events. Consequently I brought a well-stocked first aid kit, spare sleeping bags, camp chairs, cooking gear, etc., and of course tents. So we were pretty ready for a disaster as long as it didn't last too long. I still have a lot of that stuff.

For a single guy, I keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer just from my habit of stocking up when stuff is on sale. That way I run out less often and don't need to make as many shopping trips. Whenever I run out of fresh fruit is when I go shop, along with anything else I've noted on my shopping list and other errands that need doing.

My house is on a slope, so the back of the basement is fully underground. That's my retreat from tornado weather (Atlanta gets those now and then).

@Kara - not only do perscription meds expire, but other first aid supplies, food, and batteries even if in the original package. So set up a periodic inventory to keep things up to date. On the other hand, a lot of items are still usable beyond their "best by" dates. Those dates are conservative to avoid lawsuits and probably increase sales.
True, the dates on things are not hard and fast, and usually are on the conservative side. The best thing is to have a rotating inventory of supplies.
 

Beebo Brink

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If we're taking to the woods...
I will wish you God speed as I wave goodbye from the window of my house. I'm not eager to die, but I know my limitations and there's only so far I'll go to survive. I can walk about one block these days, so not much point in leaving home in the first place, eh? :p
 

Brenda Archer

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All I have is a small room in a shared house, so not much space. I try to keep a few days of canned food. It’s high sodium, so I can’t live on it. I don’t have enough room to store water, though that would be a good idea. In the past when the electricity has gone out, I relied on the flashlight on my old iPhone. I’m probably only good for a day. My biggest problem after water will be having my medications bake in the heat, including the insulin. Once I can’t control my blood sugar, I’ll head for the nearest hospital.
 
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eku zhong

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If we're taking to the woods, sanitary towels. Apart from the obvious purpose, they'll be good for dressing wounds and, I would imagine, as trading items. Also coffee and chocolate (again, good for trade as well as consumption).
Tampons are great for nosebleeds and probably gunshot/crossbow/spear wounds or unicorn and narwhal stabs etc.
On Amazon there are some amazing army rations from various countries (Personal favorite is the South Korean rations.. after that the Japanese Maritime defence force curries) Some of which come with self heating bags.

Army ration packs – in pictures