prepping (/ˈprɛpɪŋ/)the practice of making active preparations for a possible catastrophic disaster or emergency, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.
Prepping is something that I have always done, but not in the new modern sense of the word. I enjoy being outdoors with my “kit”, including the multitude of tents of gathered over the years that range from large family affairs to ultra-lightweight singles for the ridiculous and often hopelessly uncomfortable trips alone. You know the ones, the sort of “I’m a hiker, and these are my rights of passage into the real hiker’s world” type trips.
For this, an element of preperation is required. I keep a full store room of all the essential kit I will need, from tents and sleeping accessories to cookware. Backed up, of course, with all the gear required to successfully charge an iPhone when you are 10 miles away from a power point.
I’m prepping. My kit is there; it’s ready. I am a man who can go out for a few days and potentially stay dry and warm in all weathers. I’m able to be rescued if necessary as I will be able to rely on the above-mentioned charging system, and if times are desperate, I have every facility available to cook myself a warm meal.
But am I ready? Not in the modern sense of the word. The new breed of preppers aren’t just ready; they are really ready. Prepping has become their life and soul.
Why would I start prepping?
Imagine if the world as we know it were coming to an end. This could be for a whole range of reasons, from civil unrest to nuclear annihilation, but we’ll assume for the sake of this article that the world, or even just your locality has gotten itself into a predicament that means the grid, as we know it has gone.
Many films have eluded to the mythical “grid”, but in reality, it’s just the network of pipes, cables and infrastructure that provide us with heat, light and probably most importantly, clean running water. Without the grid, we would all start to struggle VERY quickly. Combine a loss of our available infrastructure with being forced out of our home by a tenuous sentence that amounts to nothing more than some padding suggesting a reason for you being kicked out into the world and fending for yourself, and you will soon see that you a really, really, not ready.
How many of us could fend for ourselves in the wilderness if we had to? Wilderness doesn’t necessarily mean going to live in the woods. To a prepper, this could be an abandoned coal mine, a disused shopping complex, now deserted due to the strange apocalypse that just happened, or any other place where on grid facilities have now all but vanished.
Are you ready?
There are two types prepping, or potentially three if you take into account that the most extreme preppers account for both of these following situations happening. Within prepping, there are multiple categories and disciplines, but I’ll outline the main two types below. After all, this is an article on what prepping is all about, rather than an in-depth discussion about the fineries of the skills, prep and techniques involved in doing either.
Prepper 1 – The , also known as the “Bug In” prepper.
As the name suggests, the bug in prepper will likely want to stay put in the event of a problem or other threat that is either upon them or approaching them. The bug in prepper likes to defend their own patch, be prepared to stay in for days, weeks, months or even years, and have all the food, water and daily essentials required to do this tucked away in their safe room. The bug in prepper has it all there at home, ready to live. Or in extreme cases, just ready to survive if holed up for a period. Imagine a scenario where for some reason you are in an area downwind of a nuclear explosion and the fallout is heading your way. You are nowhere near the blast radius, so you are still in one piece, but that cloud of noxious material is heading your way, fast.
It is entirely possible to survive this, and you can adequately shield from the worst of this settling fallout by just sealing things up well. Air ducts and vents can be configured to trap, dispel a lot of the harmful effects, and the only thing that really limits the amount of time you can stay shielded inside is the amount of food and water you have to keep you going.
Prepper 1 will have this supply. As well as means of communication with other preppers/survivors of the accident. For example, HAM radios, so no reliance on the grid. There will also be a whole host of other items that are considered essential, but we will leave those for future articles.
Prepper 2 – The “Bug out” prepper.
Again, as the name suggests, prepper two is ready to run. Ready to hit the road running. Kit for this includes the famous B.O.B. (Bug Out Bag), which will always be packed with essentials for a minimum of a few days travel, and then further equipment to make sure you can survive on the move for far longer periods if it’s necessary.
Things that may end up in this preppers kit can include survival equipment, first aid supplies, animal snares and the like.
There are many other skills and equipment requirements for both.
Prepper number three is the one who is ready for anything. Prepared to stay put if required and also ready to run. Preppers have been known to keep stocks, maintained and available, in purpose vehicles, ready for the worst to happen.
So am I a prepper?
No, is the answer. But in conclusion, I think I already possess a lot of the skills that I will need to become one. What do I know already? I am already a keen hiker, survivalist, keeper of kit, a skilled 4×4 driver, a proficient marksman and a moderately proficient martial arts type. So what I really need is a plan.
This is the first article on this site, which is intended to offer a fun and broad look at the world of prepping, hiking, climbing, survival skills and outdoor adventure fun. Mostly written from my experience and learning, combined with some brilliant contributions from my wonderful friends whom I have shared experiences with over the years.
I hope you enjoy what is to come. If you would like to send us any articles or experience you can get in touch via the contact page