I am new, advice?

Hey everyone! I just turned 18 and I am learning about the prepper community. I have always been interested, but never really started “prepping” until recently. Does anyone have an advice for me?

I am looking to have a good stock pile, but I am not sure where to buy from (that will be effective and relatively inexpensive). I am not really sure how to use this site either, but I am trying to learn as much as possible. Any advice, recommendations, warnings, etc. would be infinitely appreciated.


  • Comments (10)

    • 3

      Hi Corrina, and welcome! The best place to start would be to look at the “Start Prepping” tab in the top left corner, especially at the checklist for beginners. When starting is easy to feel overwhelmed but my advice is to take it slow, read the beginners’ materials, and slowly start making changes. Good luck!

    • 3

      Glad to see there’s some more young blood on the forum! Welcome Corrina!

    • 2

      Welcome Corrina! Would like to echo what Carlotta has said: it took a long time for me to absorb the beginner’s information.

      Would also highly recommend attending a prepper chat night (they run every two weeks) – it helped me get a realistic idea of what prepping is like.

    • 1

      Start with ensuring you don’t starve or die of thirst.  Large volumes of water can be hard and heavy to store, so evaluate if you have any ponds, lakes or rivers near.  If that is the case, study up on filtration… such as the Sawyer Mini and Lifestraw.   As for food, I highly suggest you don’t purchase expensive camping or “prepper” food.  First simply increase the food you currently keep in your pantry and do so slowly over time, depending on your budget.  This method can give you weeks or months of survival rations.  Then if you want to extend those stores, do so by purchasing bulk food from places like Sam’s Club or Costco.  Foods such as dried beans, rice, dried pasta, canned meats, etc. can last for many years in proper storage.

    • 2

      You’ve gotten a lot of good advice already. In terms of buying things, as Redneck shared, I’d prioritize supplies to survive 2 weeks (mostly food and water). If you want quick, cheap, and easy, getting some things like quick boil rice, dried or canned beans, canned tomato sauce, and spam (I never used to eat it but its actually pretty tasty if pan fried and with some BBQ sauce), covers some basics while also being inexpensive and relatively easy to prepare. If you don’t have the budget for 5 gallon water containers yet, Eric has recommended getting several 1 gallon jugs of bottled water (from Walmart or wherever) which are easy to carry and pretty cheap. You want at least one gallon per day per person (14 gallons if it’s just you). Take one of those, pour out a bit, freeze it, and keep it in your freezer to act as a big “ice battery” to keep things colder for longer in your freezer if you lose power.

      Then start to work your way through the website’s bug-out bag checklist. The items are listed in tiers of priority and most of the gear reviews have a recommended, budget, and premium option. In the US, Walmart and Amazon tend to have the best prices if they sell the item. If you wait until black friday/Christmas for the more expensive items, you also tend to hit good sales.

      In general, I like to prioritize things that check off multiple boxes. For example, while bugging out is going to be the last option for most situations, getting those items prepares you for that while also checking off most or all of the items you’d want to survive at home for 2 weeks during a power outage or as a vehicle bag if you break down on the road in bad weather.

      Also, if you live on your own, talk with local friends and family about plans during emergency situations (e.g. if xyz happens, let’s group up at my place if it’s safe to travel/if they’re forecasting a big blizzard, why don’t your crash at my place the day before and have a movie night). It’s always better to be with others you trust in an emergency situation both for practical, mental, and emotional benefits.

    • 4

      Thank you all for all the advice!! I will definitely participate in the prepper’s chat and discord! I appreciate you all taking time to help me! 

    • 2

      Welcome Corrina,  
      Ditto to what has been said so far.
      I would also add on to start spending time investing in learning as much as you can about self-defense and survival skills.  If you can’t do classes, you can read or watch videos/TV movies etc.  What you keep in your brain is something that increases your value and cannot be easily taken from you.  First start with a decent BOB (boogie out bag) which will help get you home or on to your next step.  Water, food, a change of comfortable durable ugly clothes and basic survival stuffs like a knife, can opener, mylar shade, water filter device, plastic bag/s, tarp, rain poncho, basic first aid and some sort of diversion like a deck of cards or groovy toy.  That will fill a small/medium pack.  Practice carrying it and figure out how to lighten your load if it’s too much weight for you.  Assess and adjust your BOB regularly, especially if your food is not freeze dried.  Check that the clothes still fit and are in usable shape, albeit still ugly. 
      Spend time watching and evaluating people and find and embrace the ones who can keep their word and keep their cool.  Know your area’s risk factors and focus on them more than risks that are unlikely in your area.   Be aware of your surroundings at all times.  Find a way to make your prepping fun and satisfying.  Like the PINK bacon fat candles we made last month ;o)..  Just do stuff but don’t stress.  Every time I put up a gallon of water, I feel gratitude that this could mean one more day survival for myself or someone I care about.  
      Best of luck!!!!
      ps your could check out Inherited emergency food lot post here….

    • 2

      Best advice I can give you is be realistic and don’t live your life in fear of what might happen to the detriment of what is going on in your life now. Live your life to the full.

      Skills are a lot more portable than a load of stuff that weighs you down, use the internet to learn from while it still exists (one day Google won’t be there to help you out) learn skills that can save your life, learn skills that you can trade and then practice them until they come naturally to you. Make yourself valuable both to those around you in the now and in the future. Make friends, good friends that you can trust and who trust you in turn, it will be dangerous to create new friendships after TSHTF.

    • 3

      Go, Corrina! Welcome. The lessons that I wish I’d better understood and acted upon at 18yo are financial preparation. It’s not sexy but underpins everything including prepping. I also personally find it very uninteresting. Basic financial knowledge for how to budget, save and invest to make those savings grow is the most advantageous at this point in your life. It will also help you not have to learn lessons the costly way (like I have). In our recent shared event of the pandemic, having savings and manageable debt as well as stores of essentials correlated to how well one weathered it (excluding one’s employment status – it was definitely a different experience with or without an income).

      Having said that, I’ve found that this site provides really reasonable guidance and advice on where to start: determine the most likely scenarios for you and start there – or what you’re most worried about. These may or may not be large scale disasters like earthquakes or hurricanes. Think when you last needed or provided help – a car’s flat tire, a minor medical need at work or school (cuts, headaches, stomach issues), needing to use the bathroom while stuck in traffic, injury while playing a sport (sprained or broken ankle, concussion), fire in the kitchen, car accident, being followed (while walking or driving). I’ve had all of these occur at some point to myself or people around me. These are also prepping opportunities that can become prepping victories (see thread here).

      As for how to afford what will be effective. There are a lot of recommendations in a lot of places on this site including reviews of common prep items like knives, backpacks, lights, etc. The bottom line is to put your funds towards quality and durability. One way I’ve lowered the cost is to seek used quality items from army surplus, ebay, Patagonia (yes, they sell repaired gear) and other second hand sources – sometimes free on Facebook marketplace groups or similar at my workplace. If you know the brand, model and/or size, you can usually find it if you’re patient enough.  Learning the brand/model/size takes time and effort.  I’ve done it on clothing items as well as hard goods like  multi-tools.