5 Secret Places to Hide Your Prepping Stockpile

clothes-basket-349709_960_720As we head towards what will likely be a game changer in the history of the United States, people all around the world are on edge. Preparing for things to take a major shift seems like a smart move. Building up a stockpile of food, water, weapons and basic emergency supplies is becoming a priority for many as they wait and watch the state of the economy. We like to protect what we have. Sometimes, out of sight and out of mind is the best way to do that. If it doesn’t look like you have any supplies to take, you don’t have to worry too much about somebody stealing the food you saved for a rainy day.

The following tips will help you hide your food and supplies to keep it out of the hands of would-be robbers.

Plain Sight

Stash your goods in those big rubber totes and label them with things like, “winter clothes” or “Christmas decorations,” and put them in the closet, garage or shed. Thieve who are looting your home are going to be in a hurry. They will pass right over the stuff they don’t want.

Under the Bed

You can hide a lot of food and supplies under your bed. Place the goods in the center and pile some shoes or scattered clothing around the edges. When the thieves pop their heads under the bed, they will see the typical mess pushed out of sight. You could also use those totes designed to slide under the bed. Put your goods in and then add a jacket or blanket to cover the items.

Bottom Drawer

Thieves will always go for the top drawer in a dresser. Stash your goods in the bottom drawer and put a few pairs of jeans or a few shirts over the top of the supplies to hide them from a thief rummaging through the drawers.

Linen Closetslinen-542866_960_720

Linen closets filled with towels and sheets are excellent camouflage for your goods. Hide the good stuff behind stacks of towels or in between the layers. Don’t forget the very top shelf that can typically only be reached with a step stool.

Laundry Hamper

Thieves are not going to dig through your dirty laundry. Create a false bottom in the bottom half of your dirty clothes hamper and stash your goods. You will want to keep something in the hamper at all time to hide the fact it isn’t truly empty. This isn’t going to be a problem for most households.

What’s Your Poison? SHTF Scenarios and Prepping

Children need reassurance after a disasterThere are a lot of people who are preparing for the end of the world as we know it. TEOTWAWKI is on the minds of people all around the world. When you talk with other people who are into storing food, water and other supplies, you will discover you have a lot in common. Then you will get to talking and realize you have very different ideas about things. The reason you prep or the guy down the road preps is likely to be very different. You may think he is completely out of his mind and should be wearing a tin foil hat. Guess what? He probably thinks the same thing about you.

It doesn’t really matter why you are storing up a bunch of food and other emergency supplies, what matters is that you are prepared. Now, depending on your reason for prepping, you may have some unique items on your shelves that other preppers don’t have.

The following is a brief list of SHTF scenarios and the unique supplies you would want to have to survive those scenarios. If you want to cover all of your bases, it wouldn’t hurt to add a little bit of everything. Can you ever be too prepared?

EMP–This could be caused by a massive solar flare from the sun or a nuclear weapon being detonated in the air. An EMP would essentially fry all electronics. You would want a Faraday cage to store some of your electronics, like a set of 2-way radios, cell phone and other devices that have any kind of electrical components.

Chemical Weapon Attack—Being able to seal up your home to make it basically air tight is high on the list for folks preparing for this. Thick plastic, duct tape and gas masks are all essentials. You would also want some kind of air purifier to help keep the air in the house clean.root cellar

Nuclear Attack—In the event a nuclear weapon is dropped, your only real safety would be a fallout shelter deep underground. Many preppers have these and have built them themselves for under 20k. Having a supply of Geiger counters, radiation patches and full protection suits would also be a necessity.

Economic Collapse—This is always a looming threat and many people predict the dollar will become worthless. In an effort to prepare for that day, those folks are buying up gold and silver pieces, which would become the new currency. Precious metals would be the only way to “buy” things when the dollar falls, which would likely lead to the collapse of several other currencies.

These are a small sampling of potential scenarios. Things like a collision with an asteroid, the ozone completely failing and a super volcano erupting are also on the list of things to prep for. If you talk with enough preppers, you are sure to hear just about every possibility. The key is to diversify your preps so you are ready for anything.

What’s In Your Prepper Garden?

food-960070_960_720If you haven’t started your prepper garden, you still have time in most areas of the country. That means you still have time to think about what you want to grow. Unless you have acres and acres of fertile land to use for your garden, you need to use the space you do have wisely. While it may seem fun to plant this or that just because it seems like the thing to do, think about whether or not it is the best use of garden space along with your time and energy.

A prepper garden will ideally feed your family during harvest season and for months following the harvest. Not all foods are suitable for preservation that doesn’t require a freezer. While it is certainly okay to grow enough broccoli to have plenty of fresh, it isn’t a vegetable you can really can. You could dehydrate it, but the quality is going to be pretty funky. There are plenty of other veggies that are great fresh, but not so great for canning or drying. You have to assume you won’t have electricity, which means you won’t have a freezer.

Some prepper favorites for the garden are things like beans, corn, peas and carrots. Corn can be an issue if you have limited space. Each stalk will only give you a couple of ears. It takes several ears to get a single pint jar filled with corn.corn-fields-928380_960_720

Potatoes are an excellent option and can be a meal in themselves, but it is not wise to can potatoes. Drying potatoes is an option. If you have a root cellar, the potatoes you harvest at the end of summer will easily stay fresh until early spring. This applies to a number of other root crops as well and apples. As far as space goes, yes they can take up some serious space in the garden, but you don’t have to grow them in the garden. In fact, growing potatoes in a large garbage can is an excellent way to maximize space and save yourself the problem of weeds and pests.

Your prepper garden is what will keep your family alive after a disaster upsets the food supply chain. While you are thinking about the foods you like to eat fresh, also consider adding plants to the garden that you can preserve. Home food preservation is an ideal way to stock your pantry without costing a lot of money.

Canned Food 101 for the Beginning Prepper

If you are interested in stocking up food to use in the event of an emergency, you may canned foodhave some questions. When you talk to other experienced preppers or do some research online, it is easy to panic and think you can’t possibly build up a supply of food that will last you for months. It can seem like an impossible feat, especially when you think of the cost involved.

It isn’t nearly as difficult as it seems. These are some tips that preppers have been using to get their supplies built up. Yes, it does take time. Yes, it does take money. However, slow and steady wins the prepping game.

Set a Monthly Budget

Before you head to the store and start shopping, set a budget. You don’t want to buy too much, too soon. You will burn out. You will also end up spending more money than you need to. Part of prepping is doing what you can to get yourself in a good financial spot. Spending a lot of money on food that you are storing away could result in financial hardship.

Pick the Right Foods

Don’t buy foods your family will not eat. It is a waste of space and money. Do what you can to diversify your food storage, but keep it to the foods you eat. If your family isn’t a fan of tuna or peas, skip them and spend your money on foods they do eat.

Use Coupons and Shop the Ads

Don’t be afraid to be a bargain shopper. Have some money set aside so you can buy big when a canned food sale does hit. Learn some of the tricks mega-couponers use. Buy one get one free sales are an excellent way to beef up your pantry at half the price.cans

Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

Buying in bulk is generally the best way to save money. You will still need to do the math and make sure the bulk price is a good bargain. It isn’t a wise idea to buy bulk cans or family size cans of foods. You have to assume you won’t have refrigeration. Can your family eat a huge can of tomato sauce in one sitting or a big can of chili? You don’t want it to go to waste. An option is freeze-dried foods. This allows you to use a portion of the can, seal it up and it will be good for several weeks or longer. The freeze-dried foods have longer shelf lives and will taste just as good in 20 years as they do today. Canned food will lose flavor and does run the risk of spoiling.

Prepping is a great way to give yourself peace of mind. You will sleep better knowing you have a supply of food to sustain your family should there be a disaster or a financial collapse that leaves the budget stretched thin with no room for groceries. A supply of food is smart. Start with these simple tips and get started building up your food supply today.

Is Your Dog a Prepper?

german-shepherd-525804_640Many preppers have dogs. They have dogs for many different reasons. It may simply be because the kids wanted one or maybe you were looking for a companion. Homesteaders like to have dogs to help keep an eye on things and serve as an early warning system. Others like to have dogs trained as guardians of their people, willing to attack anybody who tries to harm their owners. No matter what the reason for owning a dog is, you have to ask yourself; is your dog a prepper?

No, your dog isn’t going to have a stockpile of food hidden under the porch or buried somewhere. But, is your dog ready to survive an apocalypse of some sort? If you don’t know, then you need to bring old Fido up to speed on things. Your dog needs to be prepared to help you out after a major event. A dog that isn’t prepared is going to be a hindrance and may even get you killed.

Can Your Dog Deal with Loud Noises?

If your dog is the kind that runs or hides when there is a thunderstorm or a door slams, you need to work with him. In a disaster and immediately after, it will probably be pretty loud. You don’t want your friend running off at the first loud bang. Help the dog be okay with loud booms, like gun shots, by either hiring a trainer or exposing the animal to noises and providing the reassurance that is is okay.labrador-805838_960_720

Does Your Dog Come when Called?

This is a frustrating scenario for every dog owner. They often have a mind of their own and will completely ignore commands to heel or return to where you are. Again, hire a trainer or train your dog from a young age that returning when called is important. This is to protect your dog from being injured as well as keep you from having to go out on a search and rescue mission and potentially putting yourself in harm’s way.

Does Your Dog Bark Incessantly?

A dog that barks constantly will not only drive you crazy, it will alert others to your presence. In a post-collapse world, that is probably not going to be a good thing, unless you want to be found. Train the dog to only bark when an alert needs to be sounded.

These three traits are crucial to your dog’s ability to help you after a disaster. Fortunately, these are all traits that can be trained with a little work. There are going to be a few dogs that are timid and will not do well in a chaotic situation. Do your best to help the dog overcome fears by keeping calm yourself. Your furry friends will usually take their cues from you. If you are panicking, they will feed off that energy and panic themselves. Enroll your dog in a training class or do some serious research and learn how to train your dog without a trainer.

Take the Time to Plan Your Prepper Garden

vegetables-861363_960_720It is exciting when the sun starts to really shine in early spring. The promise of warmer weather and long days outside with your family and friends is alluring. You may already be dreaming of the succulent strawberries you will be picking from your garden in a matter of months. After the berries there will be plenty of fresh vegetables to snack on or throw into a salad. This is all very exciting and it can run away from you if you are not careful.

You need to spend some time planning your garden so you can maximize space. If you plan accordingly, you can use every inch of space and get the most out of your garden this year. This is important for every gardener, whether you have acres to plant in or just a small patch. With the smaller area, you need to make the most of your space so you can grow plenty of food for your family. With a bigger space, you want to be careful you don’t randomly plant here and there and end up wasting water and dealing with more weeds and pests than you can keep up with.food-960070_960_720

There are some programs you can find online that allow you to input what vegetables you want to grow and a rough diagram of your gardening space. The programs generate a plan for you that maximizes space and ensures you are planting companion plants together. The programs also help you avoid planting enemy plants together.

If you are not interested in using a computer, sit down and sketch it all out. This will help you figure out where to start planting when it is time. Don’t plant vegetables that you will not eat. You don’t have to plant broccoli if it isn’t something you and your family will not eat. It takes up space for nothing. If you live in a climate that makes it next to impossible for something like pinto beans or peppers to grow, consider using the space for something you know will grow and be ready for harvest before the weather turns.

Prepping for an Economic Collapse and Losing Your Home

broken radiatorEvery week there seems to be a new threat to the world’s economic stability. Many of us are just waiting for the other shoe to drop. It is very obvious a major collapse is coming. Will it be this year, in 5 years or in 20? Nobody truly knows, but with the current state of the economy and the extremely unstable future, it seems like it would be a good idea to start prepping for a major collapse.

It is impossible to predict exactly what would happen, but you can expect food shortages, power outages and restrictions and martial law. You must be prepared to live without your job. For millions of people, a job loss means they will face foreclosure. If you are prepping, but yet you still have a mortgage, you need to consider the possibility that you could lose your home. Can you move all of your preps?

One of the best ways to prep for a financial collapse is to start getting out of debt now. When there is a run on the banks and businesses are forced to close their doors and people are without jobs, the inevitable chaos is just around the corner. You are not going to have the money to buy basic necessities. Load up on those now.

Now is the time to start learning how to garden and hunt. If you are fortunate to own your own land, you can live there and rebuild. You can be self-sustainable. You will want to learn how to collect water or have a well drilled on the land. Learning how to live without power is going to be another hurdle many of us will face. The government is going to be tapped and unable to provide food, medical care and financial assistance. It will be up to every person to figure out how they will survive in a new world.rioting

Spend some time thinking about what you can do to save money today so you are better prepared to handle a major collapse that leaves the majority of the country in poverty. If you have a high mortgage, the chances of you being able to stay in your home are going to be slim. You have to have a backup plan. Plan now and start thinking about what you can take with you. Hone your gardening skills and think more long term.

Holiday Travel Preps

stuckThis is a busy time of year with people driving to see relatives. With gas prices nice and low, it is very affordable to drive and it gives you the freedom to come and go as you please. And, quite frankly, with the threat of terror attacks on the rise, driving sounds even better. Before you toss your suitcases in the car and head out over the mountain and through the woods, get prepared for winter driving.

You should never leave home without some basic preps, but when you are driving in the winter, there are a few additional things you will need to pack around with you. Check out the list below and make sure your family is ready for a long road trip in the middle of winter.

Wool blanket, 2 if you have more than 2 people in the car
Hand warmers
Gloves, hats and warm coats for every member of the family
Cell phone charger for the car
Flares or the reflective orange triangles
Boots for at least one adult in case they need to get out of the car
Gallon of water
Snacks
Books or magazines
Toilet paper
Ice scraper
Kitty litter to use as traction
Sand bags for extra weight
Tow chain or rope

This list is in addition to the basics. If you don’t know what the basics are, they are as follows;snowyroad

Tools i.e. screwdriver, pliers, electrical tape
Flashlight
Spare tire and the equipment to change it
Extra fluids i.e. antifreeze, oil, windshield wiper fluid
Emergency road kit
First aid kit
Jumper cables
Waterproof matches, lighter or magnesium stick to start a fire
Emergency blanket

Before you leave, make sure you tell someone the route you are taking and your expected arrival time. You never know when you may blow a tire, run off the road or get lost. Cell service is never a guarantee. Always be prepared to hunker down in your car until help arrives. Before you head out, give your car a check up and make sure it is road worthy. Don’t pass up a gas station if you know you are going to have to travel 50 miles or more until the next available place for fuel. If you get stuck in traffic or have to sit on the side of the road for a while, you want to be able to run the car to keep the heater on.

Good luck and enjoy your holiday travels!

The Reluctant Prepper

bug out bagAre you interested in prepping and excited to share the information with your family only to be ignored or laughed at? Maybe your spouse scoffs at your attempts to store food and water and brush up on survival skills. They may feel it is silly because nothing bad will ever happen and if it does, the government would step in and save everybody. If you are a prepper, you know that scenario is pretty unlikely should there ever be a real catastrophe and it will come down to every man for himself. You keep prepping, because you know it is smart, but you are doing it alone.

Unfortunately, prepping for an entire family without the family’s involvement can be just as dangerous. You cannot do it all alone. You cannot be as successful in your prepping journey if your partner is going against what you are doing. It will cause strife and before you know it, you will be sneaking around to do your prepping.

Here are a few ways you can hopefully ease your spouse into prepping. Don’t expect a complete change of heart, but hopefully they will at least warm up to the idea.

*Casually mention stories you see on the news or read on the internet. Things like, “Did you hear about that family stranded in their car for a week?” or “Did you see the damage that hurricane did and all those people were left without food and water for days?”family-591579_640

*Don’t get carried away and start prepping for alien landings. You know your spouse and know just how much they will buy. Keep your disaster prep as real as possible. If you live in tornado alley, prep for tornadoes. If you live in the mountains, prep for major snowstorms.

*Try to get your spouse to go camping for the weekend. Make it a fun, family event that gives you the chance to casually teach them how to start a fire or how to put up a tent. Anytime you can get them into the outdoors where you can brush up on survival skills is a good thing.

Lastly, don’t push too hard. Take baby steps. Try to find out why your spouse is so adamant against prepping. Explain that this is something you think will help the family even if a major disaster never strikes. You will be prepared if a family member gets ill, you lose your job or you have a bunch of unexpected company. No matter what, you need to do what you can to gently sway your reluctant spouse to the prepping movement.

Prepping for Wildfire Season

fireMany preppers are getting a jumpstart on preparing for a collapse by doing what they can to homestead now. Homesteading is typically done in rural areas either on a prairie where there is lots of land to farm and raise animals or high up in the mountains away from society. While this is great for some nice quiet living and plenty of hands-on practice, there is one risk many don’t consider—wildfires.

Fire can wipe out everything you have worked for within a matter of minutes. It can also threaten your life. Fire is one of those things you cannot predict or even fight without the right tools. Calling the fire department may help, but you also need to be prepared to take care of yourself should a wildfire come knocking on your door.

As with anything, prevention is your best treatment.

*Defensible space is a term you will hear firefighters use quite a bit. Basically, you need to protect your home (with you in it) by creating a space between the trees and prairie grass and your home. While it is great to live and be surrounded by trees, when those trees are up against your house, it is like living in a box of matches.
*Keep things wet. While water is a coveted resource, you can’t be too stingy with it. You want to keep the area around your house green.
*If you don’t want to deal with a lot of plant life or you don’t have enough water to keep a big, green lawn, make it dirt. Dirt doesn’t burn. Get the tiller out and till the ground regularly. Don’t let the weeds grow out of control. firefighters

*Be vigilant and take regular trips around your property. If you see a small bit of smoke, investigate immediately. Don’t wait and see if it is anything, that will be too late. Pay attention to your nose. If you smell smoke or fire, act quickly.

*Avoid running your chainsaw, smoking or having campfires when things are really dry. A single spark or ember could destroy everything you have worked for.

If a fire does threaten your home, be smart and weigh the risks. Staying and fighting is often our first instinct, but waiting until it is too big could end up costing you your life. Always have one foot out the door during fire season. Keep a tote filled with personal paper, precious family artifacts and anything else you can’t live without at the ready.

Be prepared, be vigilant and be ready to bug out should it become apparent that is your only option.