Nerds, Geeks and Wizzards. What is a typical Silicone valley preppers EDC loadout

Considering this most excellent TP website was created in part to help enlighten and assist the Tech types of Silicon valley, from Gates, Bezos, Zuckerberg down over. I was wondering to what level that part of the community has developed its own Silicon prepper EDC requirements?

I’ve read all I can by the two authors of this site, and Brad Garratts tome Bunker in an effort to better understand the needs and requirement of the modern, highly educated, technologically advanced thinkers.  But I find there is very little in the way of feedback from these new preppers.

Is it possible for someone to reach out and get some feedback and what decision making processes the technonauts are reaching, and what equipment choices they are purchasing and why.

Thanks in advance.


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  • Comments (21)

    • 5

      Kudos on trying to learn from others. Unfortunately I’m still one of the few Silicon Valley types that will talk about this stuff in the open — even though prepping is disproportionately big in SV culture — so I wouldn’t expect much more input about this 🙁 

      eg. We thought about doing a blog post about SV preppers (since the mainstream media always gets the narrative wrong) and started talking with friends from up and down the spectrum there, including the billionaire class / CEOs of companies you know of. But their PR people killed it due to optical fears.

      But in this case there probably isn’t a very insightful answer, mostly because what you see Valley types carry every day isn’t that different. Most of the differences come down to Valley types being more tech savvy and relying more on that, eg. an Apple watch set up to monitor their health, rather than a simple watch.

      So you see the normal EDC stuff:

      • Phone – but techies obviously utilize it more than average, such as having smart home automation and monitoring, all of their work files synched in real time, etc. VPN on the phone for security.
      • Portable battery bank to recharge devices.
      • Pill holder on their keychain/whatever for any medications they want to carry
      • A hygiene key to avoid touching things like public restroom doors
      • A physical watch
      • Small pocket knife – but this culture isn’t as outward about that kind of gear as cultures in more rural / outdoorsy areas, where it’s common to see a multitool on the outside of someones belt.
      • Very few people in SV carry a concealed firearm. Partly because the laws in places like the Bay Area restrict it, and partly because gun culture is still taboo in many of the tech hubs (although that’s changing rapidly, thankfully.)
      • Some techies carry a physical notebook, like a Moleskin. It’s part of the culture there to have something analog for taking notes during meetings.
      • Some might have a physical authentication device for digital security, such as the keychain fobs that generate a new token for two-factor authentication when they log into a secure system at work.
      • Some might carry a physical hardware wallet for their crypto.

      Where you start to see differences between average people and Valley types in their prepping is in the home, bug out location, and digital / gear preps. For example, Valley types generally understand the technical infrastructure in the US is ready to collapse, so they take it more seriously than normal to have generators and batteries.

      For context to others reading, I’m from a Silicon Valley background as a founder, investor, etc. I physically left SV to work on other problems around the world (eg. government, climate, prepping) but am still actively involved there, mostly as an investor and mentor. 

      • 4

        This is absolutely facinating and insightful, I’ve been into prepping and survival since 1979, We in those days could only communicate through the small ads in the back of magazines like Guns N Ammo and laterly the American Survival Guide / Backwoods Home and also Live Free Newsletters.  Its amazing how technology has not only revolutionised mainstream society, but also sub cultures like online gaming or prepping comms.

        I am noting strong regional variations in prepping and not just influenced by natural disaster threat assessments.

        I would love to try and understand much more about the Gen X and Millenial groups modern approach to prepping and self reliance, even an old dog like me can learn from the technonauts of today, they are pioneering in their own right.

        I see from your list some similarities tween SV preppers and semi urban preppers like myself.


        SMALL KNIFE, I EDC a CRKT CEO lock knife because it lookes like a pen when clipped to my shirt or suit pocket.

        An EDC Knife CRKT CEO Backup

        I use an RFI resistant wallet ( Billfold? )

        An EDC Tool RFID Wallet

        A solar powered watch or a self winder.

        But my cell phone is a stripped down basic Samsung Galaxy Core with only Phone, Text, Maps and Camera operational. GPS disabled for OPSEC.

        The sort of thing I was curious about for example is because Californias road system so often is screwed up, do ORDINARY  SV preppers plan to utilise electric powered mountain bikes, and navigate via backroads and paths to get out of town. 

        TRANSPORT Electric UBCO-2x2-utility-bike-

        do they utilise those moden back packs with integral PV panels. Do they use those Scotvest jackets with concealed pockets and concealed cable guides etc.

        Clothing Jacket expedition

      • 4

        You won’t often see backpacks with integrated solar chargers or batteries because many recognize it’s better to have those as separate devices, rather than something built-in that’s likely subpar. 

        You will see jackets and other clothing that is “tech conscious”, such as having a concealed cable guide. Which makes sense, since that community is more likely to be carrying and consuming devices all the time. 

        Don’t yet see many people with electric bikes and the like for the purposes of prepping. The electric-scooter-on-demand companies that took over cities the last few years (eg. Lime) aren’t really appropriate as a prepping plan, either. I think as the market for personal electric bikes / scooters / etc matures in the next few years, you’ll see more people buying them as a dual-use daily life + emergency prep thing. The desire is there, but the tech hasn’t quite gotten to the level of mass adoption yet. For example, I almost invested in an e-bike company a few years ago, but did not specifically because the tech and price points weren’t “there yet” to be consumer-friendly.

        Editing my original comment to add that people do carry portable battery packs, such as an Anker USB battery that can recharge a phone/device a few times.

      • 3

        Cool I must be modern I’ve got one of those Anker power packs in my GHB to power my cell and my Uv5RC.  🙂

        Its going to be interesting in watching the Silicon preppers develop in the coming years to see how their community matures and develops. I did give advice and interviews to a few techy type people from south of London who worked in the computer sector, they appeared to enjoy picking my brains though they were clearly much better educated than me. But if i can help people rally to our community and spread the word I’m never going to say no where possible.

        I have noticed more of these urban prepper types buying stuff like Scott vests but also starting to invest in slash and stab resistant suits, jackets and bags.

    • 5

      Hi Bill!

      I’m not a Silicon Valley prepper, I’m a STEM college student from Seattle. It sounds like you were wondering about younger, urban preppers though, so I hope I’m close enough to help! This got a little long, but the main points are that 1. Digital prepping is very important and 2. There are some different environmental considerations in urban environments like homelessness that can make BOBs look a little different.

      For my generation (gen z), so much of life is digital that digital prepping is just as important as physical prepping. I back up my files to the cloud in case my laptop is stolen or broken, I use a password manager to keep financial data secure, that sort of thing. It’s a lot less fun than BOB building, but when your job, bank, and classes are online, you do need to pay a lot of attention to that.

      Also, we’re very careful about our online presence. People lose jobs and get suspended from school all the time from posts they make or from posts people make about them. Whether that’s good or not is another conversation, but you can’t assume things won’t be traced back to you just because you use a different username or don’t post your address. My generation lives like we have no privacy because we don’t. I still share your opinion or take stands, I just make sure it’s a hill I’m willing to die on first. 

      My physical preps are still very basic because I’m a broke college student. In terms of physical prepping, though, tech can definitely help. My grandmother (very techy, also a prepper) has digital cameras all around the inside and outside of her home that send alerts to her phone. She also has close relationships with her neighbors, and they all watch out for each other. Not a given in Seattle! You have to be really proactive about making those kinds of connections, but they can save your life. We only knew our house was burning because our neighbor ran across the street and woke us all up- we would have died if he hadn’t.

      Infrastructure changes to prep for climate change, rolling blackouts, etc. are becoming more mainstream. We had hundreds of deaths from the heat here because we’re not built for it. Tons of people are installing AC, and we’re looking at building roads and bridges differently. Solar is also getting more popular to protect against rolling blackouts, but it’s still relatively uncommon here (lots of clouds).

      My prepper aunt lives in the heart of downtown and does plan to evacuate by bicycle since roads are narrow, crowded, and potholed at the best of times. I keep gas in my tank since I’m not as deep in the city, but I absolutely keep my bike in shape too.

      A lot of urban preparedness, especially for women, is situational awareness. There’s large parts of the city I never go to alone. Drug addiction and homelessness have only gotten worse with the pandemic. I’d never be comfortable carrying around a super tricked-out BOB downtown- grey man all the way. Anti-theft bags are common in daily life, but I’m honestly not sure how helpful they are. 

      For self defense, guns are uncommon here. My generation grew up doing active shooter drills in school which I think turned a lot of us off of guns in general. Even women who don’t think of themselves as preppers are very prepper-like about self-defense in cities, so my self-defense prepping hasn’t gone far beyond what I grew up with as common sense. (True-crime communities are actually a great place to find other urban preppers. They don’t use the same language, but there’s a very similar mentality.)

      For BOB contents, things look very similar. I have left some things like a tent off my list because there’s not going to be a situation where I’m pitching a tent in the street for lots of reasons. Being urban has some benefits like being one of the first areas to get aid and not being at risk for wildfire, so most of us don’t have hiking backpacks. (Blending in is more important than being super mobile, basically).

      I hope some of this was helpful!! I’m very grateful to have a place like this forum where I can learn from seasoned preppers like yourself 🙂

      • 3

        Morning Kira thanks for the sitrep its appreciated, I note you use the cloud as data back up, thats very interesting a few of my tech friendly preppers dont trust the cloud and download / back to those portable hard drive things, and store them Faraday cage metalised bags.

        Situational awareness crosses all the prepper community boundaries, its one of the core foundations of prepping.

        There is never enough money for physical preps unless you are Bill Gates 🙂

        I see the main generational difference as the tech issue, my gen (boomers) try to avoid any reliance on technology, we use it but its always backed up with alternatives. EG We use GPS but only WITH map and Compass. We use Cell Phones but always have Rendezvous backup plans, We use PCs but we (nearly) always print hard copies, many of us dont like digital publications and always buy the dead tree versions.

        Many boomers also choose not to arm themselves, many dont have a choice because its illegal or very difficult to own a gun. EG I use a 50 Cal paintball revolver that fires hard rubber balls instead of bullets.

        614UCUODzgL._SL500_ (Large)

        Is grey man prepping popular among the Gen Z / millenial groups??

      • 1

        I definitely understand why people are wary of the cloud, especially if you remember a time before it. It’s not something I would keep the one copy of important documents or photos on, but in terms of constant backup, I haven’t been able to find a good substitute. Documents that aren’t constantly changing could be backed up every few months to a thumb drive, but I don’t want to risk losing research data if I don’t manually back it up every day. 

        Also, like I said, I assume people can get to sensitive data if they really want to no matter how paranoid about it I am. A lot of tech is required by school/work, and a lot of personal information is posted by others, so not engaging with the tech isn’t an option for most of my generation even if we would prefer it. I regularly check for identity theft or security breaches, though, and I do my best to minimize data mining. 

        I totally agree that having manual backups is important! The interactive, constantly updating online maps are my first choice, but I’ve had enough technology die on me or just not work well that I’m not comfortable having only digital access to important information like maps. That said, I’ve also lost books and physical preps to fire and water, so I don’t want to assume those will survive disaster either. I do my best to keep both physical and virtual information in shape and hope one of them survives. 

        I’ve started using rite in the rain notebooks for physical prepping- I used them for field work, and they are way more rugged than the paper I had before. You might want to look at their printer paper for any print-out preps you have if water or mud is a concern for you. (I think they would still burn, though). 

        As for being a grey man, I don’t hear the exact phrase a lot but often hear that advice from younger people especially when there’s lots of protests or when you’re going to less nice parts of town. I’m not sure how much people would care in societal collapse-style prepping, but being a grey man is definitely an important part of everyday prepping (don’t look like you have money/are lost) and civil unrest (don’t be identifiable in backgrounds of news clips) for us. 

        The paintball is a clever idea!! I’ll definitely keep that in mind for down the line.

      • 4

        I have many of the same viewpoints as Kira that digital prepping is very important as that is how we interact with the world today. Using a password manager and cloud storage is handy to be able to access what you need when you want it. 

        I rely on technology to help amplify and improve my prepping, but don’t let it jeopardise my OPSEC or be too reliant on it where I am left helpless if I don’t have a USB cable to charge the device. Technology is great and the world has come very far because of it, but relying on it too heavily also opens up new problems that we need to be prepared for.

        Good topic by the way!

      • 1

        Gracias  🙂

      • 3

        It’s definitely a generational pattern that millennials and Z’s are fine with having personal stuff in the cloud, such as Google Drive, while the older folks don’t trust it. Same for smart home / physical security devices.

      • 3

        Yes I think there is still plenty of skeptism over Cloud storage especially after the two data losses  Amazons cloud in 2011 IIRC and another in 2017.

        I like my info on dead trees so I can go back to it time after time simply by walking to the boo shelf 🙂  Yes I’m a dinosaur

    • 3

      Good morning Bill,

      This is the classical blend from the geographic to the functional. For example, Stanford University is considered the winter hangout for the Fort Mead, Maryland (electronic intell next to D.C.) career crowd.

      I’ve advised some “Muffet Field” – just joking on name of old air field – that’s a foundation stone of Silicon Valley – on overseas evacuations for small companies.

      Some attributes I’ve noticed among the techies out there:

      Their IFAKs are loaded with preminum products eg self-injecting stringes, RX pain-killers,…

      My material to the techies for overseas evac included much risk management. It’s a knowledgeable crew out there and the material filters down to the younger folks. No longer visible are Britling transponder wristwatches nor Iridium sat phones.

      The Silicon techie crowd now has arrangements with JANET Airlines and the funding comes from near my place here up in the swamp. If you see a civilian aircraft with a Bermuda registeration number, you’re looking at some Silicone techies.

      The younger area techies think Silicon Valley Shopping Center, Sunnyvale is somewhat expensive. Wait ’till the senior techies get them to Road Town, Elath, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

      • 2

        Much appreciated Bob, some very interesting Humint, some very useful observations and much enlightenment. I’ve not heard of Janet airlines before so I just looked it up on Wiki, quite fascinating.

        There does appear to be some VERY expensive Malls in the US, nearly as bad as Oxford street over here, We visited one in Denver unebelievably over priced, but fortunately one of the security team advised to go go shopping to another Mall a few miles away, Same stuff but much cheaper 🙂

        When it comes to prepping gear it pays to shop around, on a few UK E mail groups we send each other messages when we find prepping gear we approve of on offer.

    • 3

      This article is from like 2017 (fun fact, this was probably the article that got me to take this topic seriously and led me eventually to ThePrepared), and I’d be surprised if it hasn’t been linked to before somewhere on here:


      the two items that always stuck out from this article is the opening item where the one guy opts for laser eye surgery, not because he was fashion-conscious but because glasses are a liability in survival situations and it was one less thing to worry about.  Then there was the comment about a the guy who kept having flashes of the scene from “Deep impact” with everyone stuck in traffic except for those with motorcycles/dirt bikes (I think I ret-conned this in mentally, but I always imagined – you know a motor cycle to drive through traffic to your private jet)

      • 1

        Yup I’ve got this interesting insight in my files, quite enlightening.

      • 1

        I saw glasses as a liability in a survival situation and that’s the reason I got lasik as well. If you had them knocked off your face in a fight, if it was raining or just stepping out of a building and they fog up, you now are blind and vulnerable. 

        Best four grand I’ve ever spent.

      • 2

        Sooo I agree with your personal reasoning and logic, but I took a different route. I simply have multiple pairs of eyeglasses, In my EDC, in my Vehicle, in my Shooting bag, in my Office.   Why?   because I am only moderately short sighted and I can function OK without them, but I like them for multiple reasons the first being they simply sharpen things up a bit.

        But ( there is always a but with me )

        I also find Eye glasses GOOD for MY prepping. Not necessarily everyone elses.


        Many prepper shoot,eye glasses are good aids in shooting and hostile environments, My lenses are plastic not glass so they dont steam up, they are shatter resistant, they are polarised, some are tinted to act as sun glasses .  

        I use them when I’m using machine tools and gardening equipment to protect my eyes. After TSHTF I dont think many of us will find Opthalmists or Opticians if we hurt our eyes after TSHTF.

        I use them when driving because of the anti glare coatings which are a massive aid in low or winter sun conditions.(4)I use them when patrolling or recceing for the same low sun / glare reasons.

        For me I wear them in any tactical situation from responding to home intrusions to securing / searching buildings as the polarised anti glare and shatter resistant lenses protect my eye from irritants ( pepper, CS or burnt powder smoke).

        I’m advised many technical leaning types use blue filtered lenses for viewing computer screens to protect against eye strain, and other people use them when solderiing circuit boards.

        Everyone in my family has them in their BoBs, GHB, and vehicles, as soon as anyone picks up a bow or gun they put their glasses on ( a snapped string on a bow really does hurt)

        So whilst your choice is wise and makes perfect sense, 20/20 vision is worth 4K, I still believe we ALL should have high quality, polarised, anti glare, shatter resistant eye glasses in our vehicle / kit and homes. Especially in places where its legal for anyone to buy CS or Pepper sprays to use in robberies or assaults. ( or just to help in escaping from smoke filled buildings) .

      • 2

        Good comment Bill. If I were in your situation, I could see the benefits of having glasses and the good tool that they are to you. However, I was one of those blind bat types and it would have been very bad for me to lose or break mine.

        Polarizing glasses/sunglasses are really neat as well. It helps you to see clouds in greater depth and clarity, and actually see deeper into the water than if you didn’t have them. I can see this could be a valuable prepping item.

      • 2

        Even with laser corrected surgery your eyes need protecting, smoke of wild fires , burning buildings, burning trains, burning cars.  riot / cs or pepper if you get mixed up in some west coast riots, driving, shooting, archery, grinding/ welding/ soldering, just about anything shades help.  Just look at the miltary in Iraq or A stan, or your firefighters  they always have polarised shatter proof eye protection.  And so should all preppers.

      • 2

        There’s where I believe that having lasik is superior because it will be easier for me to pop on a pair of goggles to protect my eyes from smoke than for someone with glasses who have to get a large pair of goggles that could go over top of the pair of glasses.

        I do agree with you that everyone does and should have good set of polarized shatter proof eye protection, preferably something like a set of goggles that will protect against smoke and tear gas.

        Haha, I use a pair of ski goggles when I cut onions because it’s the only thing that keeps the tearing up chemicals being released from the onions from killing me.

      • 2

        Good morning Robert,

        There is one big difference between smoke and irritant gases.

        Smoke from a fire is not the most lethal part of event: the poison gasses are – and they work much faster than the smoke or flames – even if all 3 are not visible to the prepper.

        A premium smoke evacuation hood is the ILC model 30 from the Delaware astronaut suit company. This can be put on and a ~ 30 minute supply of filtered air is available …… much depends on specifics.  This particular hood allows for talking and driving.