By Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
Prepping can be a very expensive and scary when you first start out, so I have put together a short list of inexpensive things you can do to get started.
1. Make a Plan: The first and most critical step in becoming more prepared is to make a plan. Consider what you are prepping for and what you need to be prepared if that event happens. Consider what you already have and what would be needed to be prepared. Lastly prioritize you purchases, plan your time and focus on what are the most pressing things first.
2. Research: Prepping is more than just buying and acquiring stuff. Prepping includes learning new skill set. You can find lots of the information you need by visiting the library, searching on-line and by having like-minded people teach you these new skill sets. As you research new skill sets and obtain new information, it is important to organize your new information so you can revisit it later. This can be done by making your own prepper book. A prepper book will be a vital part of your prepping. It will contain copies of article about all kinds of reference material. I hope to do another article later on the Art of Making a Prepper Book
3. Make a Budget: Plan out your expenses ahead of time rather than just spending money on things you think you need. If you do not have a budget you will find out that you have over spent or spent money on things that were not important to whatever prepping event you are currently working on. I wasted lots of money early on and found that my money did not always last as long as my month did.
4. Collect Books: This is different from research. Look for books on homesteading, emergency first aid, hunting, cooking, canning, gardening and animal husbandry. Lots of these books can be found cheaply at used book stores, thrift shops and garage sales.
5. Start a garden: I use the Square Foot Garden method (raised beds) http://www.squarefootgardening.org/ It is easy if you follow the direction. You can start small and add beds as needed. Seeds are inexpensive but the knowledge needed to grow a good garden takes years to master. That is why it is important to start before you really need the food.
6. Knot Tying: Knowing 5 or 10 basic knots could save your life and help you make the best of your resources. With knots you can secure a temporary shelter, make a snare to catch food or tie off a safety rope used to get you out of a dangerous situation. You can learn most of the knots you need from the Boy Scouts. http://www.outdoorlife.com/photos/gallery/hunting/2012/02/essential-knots-how-tie-20-knots-will-keep-you-alive
7. Filler Up: Make it a practice to keep your gas tanks full in all your vehicles. When you see the gas gauge get to the half way mark, filler back up. Keeping a full tank of gas will help with life’s little emergency’s as well as a SHTF situation.
8. Make an Every Day Carry Kit: Making a small EDC Kit that can easily be carried with you every day is not hard to do. I am sure you already have items in your home that you can use to make this kit and you will feel more prepared by just having it. Some items that can be used are matches, cotton balls, duct tape, Band-Aids, safety pins, small tablet, pen/pencil or any other thing you can think of.
9. Learn about Wild Edibles: Many of us walk past edible plants every day without even knowing it. Did you know that you could make a meal from dandelions, violets, chickweed and acorns? Check out this site for a place to start … http://www.trails.com/list_2390_edible-wild-plants-north-america.html
10. Get Home Bag: You need the necessities that will get you home if you get stranded for a few days. Put together a bag that will tide you over for a few days and keep it in the trunk or your car. You will need water, food (energy bars are good source of protein), blankets, change of clothing and anything else that you think would be helpful. It just needs to be something that will keep you going for a few days if you get stranded. I would include a good book to help pass the time.
11. Get in Shape: Starting a survival incident in good shape will give you a good advantage. I started by taking my dog on a simple walk every other day. What started out as a ½ mile has ended up being 3 miles several times a week. I am not in perfect shape but I am in a much better place then I was 2 years ago and my wife likes the fact that I am 20 pounds lighter.
12. Practice: I think this is the most important of all these tips. You can read about it but actually knowing how to do it is something to still be seen. Practice building a fire without matches, canning green beans or finding wild edibles. Keep practicing as you learn new skills, you might not always have your Prepper Book with you.
Knowledge is power!
To learn more please check out my facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/PalmettoPrepper?ref=hl