Camping & Survival

Is Prepping the New Normal?

Big surprise—the Mayans were wrong. I really don’t know anyone who took the threat of Mayan calendar seriously, but during my time on this earth, I’ve learned never to underestimate human stupidity. At least this time, as opposed to the Y2K scare, most people treated the threat as if it were a funny topic to post about on Facebook. For once, the hysteria seemed to be silly enough that the vast majority of the population just pointed and laughed. Good for you humanity, put a mark in the win column.

However, an unexpected result of the Mayan craze was a spotlight on preparedness. People who never thought about prepping actually took a serious look at their own situation, and some even invested in preparations for a more tangible threat. Most intelligent people no longer relegate the average prepper to a category of eccentrics. They know, as we all do, there are real threats with the potential to penetrate the thin layer of armor we use to keep society running normally. The Mayans simply did us a favor in reminding the world that sometimes things can go south. There is an adage in the preparedness community that the world is four meals away from anarchy. I don’t know about you, but after a day or two without food, I would start to come up with some fairly creative ways to fill my belly.

Since the 1980s, the frequency of weather related disasters has risen dramatically. Additionally, non-renewable resources will eventually become scarcer in the future, so it is no surprise that prepping is likely to become more common. Stockpiling food, water, ammunition and medicine will be just as customary as any other household practice. There will always be those who expect their governments to provide for them in an emergency, but your average middle-class suburbanite will have the ability to handle a prolonged disaster with some smart planning and some organizational skills. However, this shift in thinking won’t come without some trials and hard lessons along the way. Recent disasters like Hurricane Sandy reminded people another Katrina could happen anywhere. Fear and unrest from fiscal cliffs, public shootings and terrorism injects a notion of concern into the heads of ordinary Americans. Upcoming firearms legislation could hinder some levels of home defense that were previously available. If you haven’t already stockpiled your weapons and ammo—you could be too late.

While turning your home into a self-sustaining active military bio-dome defense compound might be investing a little too heavily, most emergency management experts agree that a 72-hour kit for your home is a minimum requirement for everyone. As we all know, most disasters are localized to a specific area or region, and waiting through a utilities interruption can be a trying event. Have you ever tried living without running water? It isn’t easy for a city boy like me. Beyond the 72-hour kit is up to you. A few things to consider is a safe way to store gasoline, a generator, long-term food storage, water, medicine, and of course home defense.

Personally, I’ve never been too worried about what everyone considers a normal level of preparedness. While I’ve never invested exorbitant amounts of my personal income to stockpiling for the end of days, I’ve always had a fully-stocked bug-out bag and a bug-in 72-hour kit at home. I keep a couple thousand rounds of ammunition on hand in various calibers and I learned how to do the tasks that could come in handy in an emergency. Basic medical skills, cooking without electricity, land navigation without the GPS and the combat skills I picked up in the military should serve me well should the need arise. I encourage all of our readers to meet a similar level of preparedness and not to worry when people call you crazy. You never want to be the one asking for a handout in an emergency.

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Comments (18)

  1. re: Mayan Calendar

    What the doom-n-gloom Mayan apocalypse people don’t tell you, so they can make $$$ off YOU with their new book, dvd, etc., is that OTHER Mayan calendars have since been found that DO go beyond December 21, 2012, so… OOPSIE!!! ;Op

  2. @Bill

    I understand why you put this here and not in the 2nd Amendment blog. Because you’d have been put back on your heels. Nuff said.

  3. Well as a single father, I promised myself that I would never have to tell my son ( I’m sorry but daddy dosen’t have anything for you to eat or drink. Nor can I protect you. ) I will never have to say that. For 3 years I’ve been getting ready for whatever comes over the hill. Stock pile of guns and ammo, food, and water. Even built a water cistern to run the whole house with a u/v light. Planted a huge garden, stock piled gas for my generator and propane for grill. Just need it to rain to fill the 500 gal tank other wise I have to run the watermaker. I live on the saltwater, next to a boat yard. It’s a great spot, the pizza guy can’t even find it. I have made my own bunker here, and thanks to cheaper than dirt, shipped all my bulk ammo right to my job. Lol should have seen the guys faces in the stockroom when they said I had boxes. Lol they all think I’m crazy. Think I spent 22,000 bucks in total for everything so far. I sleep well at nite, and worry about nothing. Working on a solar grid now, already have the batteries. Then I’m done RWD

  4. Ah jeez, I should have put this over in the CTD gun ban article, not here. Sorry about that.

    The Mayan calendar recently only called the end to the first Long Count (or cycle, five thousand years) in humanity’s evolution, not the end of the world. We are now beginning on the second Long Count of evolution. Stephen Hawking said the next two centuries will determine the survival of our race. If we can get through them, we will move on to immortality, unlimited intellect, technology, and most of all Wisdom. The core problem is that the human brain is running Cray caliber software (our knowledge and technology) on an Intel 8088 processor (our physical brain, still designed for really only the Fight or Flight decisions of >50,000 yrs. ago). Sounds wacko I guess, but it’s true. Read Ray Kurzweil if you are interested in this concept.

  5. I guess it’s time to weigh in and take my lumps. I’m a Leftie and proud of it. I don’t belong to the NRA because I think over the last 30 years they have moved from a rational centrist gun enthusiast organization to one that promotes an indiscriminate guns-for-all philosophy, no matter the consequences. That has been their lobbying position with Congress two or more decades now. Imo, that is not a rational stand to take. Yes, they do heavily promote responsible gun ownership, and I’m glad of it, but they need to stop fighting some commonsensical gun regs, see below.

    I love guns, have shot them since my Dad introduced me to his 1911 when I was 12 yrs. old (man, what an experience That was). I BELIEVE in the Right to Bear Arms and CCW (my state is Shall-Issue). Progressives can & do love guns too.

    There has to be some simple moves made, supported by moderate, centrist gun-lovers, to lessen the truly horrifying carnage we recently witnessed. Folks, Newtown was a game-changer–it changed the country–I truly believe that. It shocked the *&@k out of me for sure. It made anybody with some rationality sit up and start thinking about where we are right now as a gun-owning nation.

    We have to work on keeping guns out of the hands of irresponsible and crazy people as much as we can. I propose three things we can do Right Now to introduce more responsibility and rationality in gun ownership:
    1) The gunshow background check loophole has to go. ANYBODY who wants to own a gun should be looked over for a criminal record and evidence of ‘craziness’. The criminal record part is reasonably clear-cut, the crazy check is problematic as all hell, I know. E.g., we have no national crazy person data base, how does one identify the pathologically anti-social personality, and so on. But we need to start on it.
    2) Anytime a gun is sold privately, There Needs to Be a Background Check Done. I want to buy a gun you advertised on my favorite gun-selling website, I have to have a background check done before I can buy that gun from you.
    3) Required gun safes Bolted To the Floor in homes and businesses. When you’re behind the counter or at home in bed and some ball-sack walks in with a gun, you need your gun or guns right at hand. But when you are away from home or the business is closed, those guns Need To Be in a Safe that some waste of oxygen can’t get into.

    Large cap mags are hard to think about; I don’t know what position to take on them. I love them and have a bunch myself. I’m a Glock & Colt 6920 guy (also a Prepper); I don’t want to, and will go to court, lobby my Representatives, etc. not to give my mags up. But they do hugely leverage a child-killing, mouth-breathing sociopath’s ability to kill. How do we keep them out of that POS’s hands?

    As some of us have thought about, to have been there to put a double-tap center mass on Lanza would have been quite Justified (good show, btw) and Rewarding. But that runs into arming teachers, more guards in schools–I don’t want to take that on in this writing.

    I think those three relatively simple (compared to gun bans and so on) things would go a long ways to improving the gun-owners image (trust me, it took a big, big hit with Newtown) AND would actually do something about keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. BTW, I totally agree with the overused but nevertheless true saying ‘If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them’.

    Have at it if you choose.

  6. newsflash: Preppers ARE thought of as wackos, and gun owners are considered racist in-breeders by the clueless Leftists, who are actually soooo clueless they don’t even KNOW they are Leftists! If you do not fit neatly into the herd of dumb consumer sheep, baa-baa-ing their ways to the mall and whipping out the credit card, delighted in getting ‘2% cash back’ on a frivolous purchase with a 24% interest rate, then YOU are the one that’s ‘weird’. FEMA puts out flyers telling people to ‘be prepared’, but if you have more than 3 days of food in your house or, heaven forbid, talk about the Constitution, our (s)elected officials think you are a potential terrorist…

    The world is upside down – but if you ‘see’ it as such, YOU are the wacko.

    Nevermind the man behind the curtain, isn’t TMZ or American Idol on television?

  7. @DerryTradingPost

    I admire your skills. I prefer surviving with a little more comfort. Though, I suppose if we don’t test outselves we don’t know what we’re capable of.

  8. I am prepared, but it is not through “prepping”. It is through learning. The most important survival tool is your brain, and it packs really light. The more you know, the less you need. I took a trip to the high desert in Arizona with nothing but 2 water bottles, a wool blanket and a knife. I had no problem surviving for 7 days with absolutely no food. I drank out of cow troughs. I made fire by friction using a bow drill set I made with my knife and things I found in the desert. Hoarding food will only get you so far, since the food will either run out or will be stolen. Learn skills which allow you to live off the land and that is all you will need. Oh, and a couple of good firearms.

  9. In the early decades of this country, most everyone was a “prepper”. It WAS the nromal, since most folks had to grow their own food from their gardens and preserve the harvest so they ahd something to eat for the next year, until the next growing/harvest season. Stove wood had to be laid by, and hunted meats smoke/salt cured or jerked.

    Even today, allot of folks who live in Alaska still have to spend much of their short summers laying by food stocks to hold them through the long winters.

  10. Oh and don’t forget the earth stopped wobbling and the magnetic north pole is moving northwest now at a rate of 5 miles per year! WE ARE ALL DOOMED DOOMED I SAY!

    or

    It just could be that the earth is doing what its always done — change. Besides the Mayans mysteriously picked the larges number of days they could have imagined to predict the end. Really safe when you know everyone alive at the time will have been long dead.

  11. “Since the 1980s, the frequency of weather related disasters has risen dramatically.”

    Man, that’s weird. Wonder why?

  12. Although you suggest to be reltively prepared, at the onset of this article you basically praise the public for not prepping to the point of being called “crazy” I like you have military skills learned from days gone by, however; I do have a much larger than 3 days worth of safety measures, food, water, and munitions. I never considered myself “crazy”. At the least I have enough supplies to get me through a hurricane or a big earthquake. At best, I can go for at least a year without power and even a nuclear winter. I`m not saying that will happen, even though Yellowstones super volcano is 40,000 years over due. Of course what`s another couple of thousand years late right? I`d just like to point out to all those who`ve said Ha ha ha to all the preppers because nothing happened on the 21st, it`s ALL happened in the past and it WILL (not may) but WILL happen again, all of it! So, until then good luck, happy preppin` and God Bless.

  13. Agreed. These days, stockpiling is a good idea not just for disasters, but for work slow downs and/or layoffs. Common sense dictates, “Get what you can, while you can and when you can’t, you’ll have less to worry about.”

  14. We have been prepping since Katrina. We have 35 acres with a small lake. After we get the land done it will be locked tighter than Fort Knox.

  15. Were they wrong? Maybe they were a couple weeks late. The end of the world doesn’t have to mean total destruction. I believe the world as we know it changed on Nov. 6, 2012. The change was not for the better.

    As far as prepping goes, it isn’t about hysteria. Prepping should be part of your everyday emergency plans. I prep for a flat tire by having fix-a-flat and a 12-volt air compressor in my car. Or a first aid kit. That’s part of prepping. If you live in a rural area you’ll have some items to fit the weather in case of a break down. How much more difficult is it to throw some MREs in your vehicle storage containers. I have a generator for power outages and plenty of stored fuel. Having a pantry full of canned goods is only smart thinking. Winter weather is setting in and I won’t be the one rushing to the market for milk, eggs and bread.

    Nature is a cruel mistress. She shows no mercy and will tear under anything in her way. Storing some food, water, ammo and fuel is a small bit that we can do to have some comfort when she decides to crash down on us. Let the lemmings run to the government for their needs. Keep your items in reserve. Don’t use your stuff until you need it.

    One thing I’d like to mention is the phrase OPSEC. Operational Security. In some recent television shows the phrase has been used to make “prepper” types look paranoid and crazy. “OPSEC, shhh, OPSEC”. It’s become another term stolen by the mainstream and deformed. Well, I like OPSEC. Don’t let too many people in. Share if you can. The more people who know you are prepared the more people who might expect you to help them. There are lines for people who aren’t prepared.

  16. This is a letter to the editor in todays Asbury Park Press and this womans attitude scars the cerap out of me. These people are crazy. I insert Jew(s) for gun owners and assault weapons and you would thnk the person saying this was Hitler.

    Ban assault weapons (Jews) now before we are destroyed

    I cannot stand, for even one minute longer, to look upon the ba­by faces of those 6-year-old angels who were slaughtered like ani­mals by a gun-toting madman (Jews).

    I need to know: What is to be done about this? I want to see what legislation will be passed in order to prevent another repeat of the terrible massacre in Newtown, Conn.

    Now is the time for action. Now is the time to sit down and discuss what can and should be done. Gun­men (Jews) and their (Jew) assault weapons are a pestilence upon this country, and we must eradicate them no matter what the cost. (sounds like Hitler doesn’t it?)

    I pray that legislation is being written now that will defeat the selfishness of the gun owners (Greedy Jews)and the greed of the assault (Jew) weapons manufacturers.

    No law will ever be 100 percent perfect, but we must fight, tooth and nail, to stop this wretched (Jew) menace, or it (the Jew) will return to destroy us over and over and over again until we have lost all our humanity.

    Concetta Castro Murray

    These are the crazy people out there in the northeast and left coast that cannot be trusted with our constitutional rights and freedom. Sadly these same people have zero problem with killing babies seconds before they would otherwise be borne.

    We live in a terrible time of massive public stupidity. The author is correct prepare as you see fit because these same crazies (how started looting before hurricane sandy was over) will come for your things too.

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