The future of prepping

This morning I sifted through World War II lessons about preparedness and thought about how often I look to the lessons of the past for guidance as I plan and prep.

Then my mind drifted back to yesterday when I walked into the living room and happened to catch part of an episode of Battlebots. I stopped and was transfixed by the robots whirring around the arena battling each other with an assortment of weaponry.

I thought, hmm, we have restrictive gun laws here. I wonder if a couple of those could be good for exterior security and defence? I could just turn them loose in the yard like a couple of deranged Roomba’s on steroids. Those flame throwers would put more than one intruder on the run if the SHTF.

I must have thought out loud, because my husband said: “you’ve been prepping for too long.”

So, apparently my prepping mind isn’t all Grandmother stories and history. Why would it be when I love science fiction and would seriously learn Klingon as a second language?

I like thinking about the future. And why not, when much of prepping concerns the future and preparing for future crises and disasters?

I wondered what preparedness will look like in five, ten, or even a couple of years from now.

New products are being developed as technology evolves which could change how we prepare.

There are environmental changes that will affect how we prepare. For example, we might have to prioritize water conservation and storage if our area becomes drought prone. It follows that with more arid conditions, the threat of fires could increase. How we garden and the types of crops we grow would also change.

Our future needs will change as we age. Those changes will also affect how we prepare whether we are starting a family, or living in our middle or twilight years.

What will our prepping look like in the future? The basics will still be there, but how do you think it could change?

If environmental disasters worsen, do you see a more expanded concept of  preparedness for yourself? Will you store more items and of greater variety? Or will it be better to be more mobile in order to evade disasters?

Will more people prepare or will disaster overload cause people to become fatalistic and weary of prepping?

Take a walk into the future with me this morning and imagine what the future of prepping might look like for you and for the world.


  • Comments (23)

    • 7

      My preps are almost 100% designed to provide food, water and security at my homestead in a crisis.  I don’t see any changes in those.  Most modern conveniences require power and since I prep for the grid being down, old school IMO is superior to modern… with the exception of power you can generate yourself (solar, wind, water).

      • 7


        You have prepared for a no grid event and sustainability. Your thoughts on modern conveniences run the same way mine do. I don’t rely on them either.

        I also think you have considered changes in climate by selecting easier to grow crops such as Jujube trees over Apple trees.

        I use hand utensils for everything from baking and cooking to building projects around the house and yard. The tools are there if I want or need them (arthritis), but I like the feel of working with something in a more palpable way. Plugging something in and pressing a button doesn’t do it for me.

        Have you factored any ageing in place prepping considerations for you and your wife? 

      • 4

        Yes, I have factored our aging with our preps.  That is the main reason I didn’t proceed with raising bees for honey.  I have two hives but at the last minute told myself I didn’t need something else to take my time & energy.  Jujubes over apples has actually more to do with time & energy than climate issues.  As I age I need less issues to deal with, not more.

    • 5

      You come up with good topics, Ubique.

      Economically, weather events, perhaps more pandemics, sea level rise, etc will all wear at our resilience. I’m not sure about Canada but the US and most rich world countries are at or below natural replacement levels, meaning without immigration the population will age and fall, again, bad for business and economic resilience. It is not political to say that the US debt is rising and the trickle down effects are not. It feels like we are in an era of diminishing returns.

      With that background I think we might imagine that prepping turns from something you do for the future into a lifestyle that you practice for conditions right now.

      Just the last 12 months has seen two of the largest integrated electricity systems fail in the face of weather events. The freeze blackout in Texas, the heatwave blackout in southern California, the preventative wind event blackouts in northern CA all point to a failure of the market so often touted as the savior of mankind. These critical infrastructure failures are also indicative of the diminishing returns of our complex society. The problems are fixable with political will but that itself seems to be diminishing.

      As has been said, any sufficiently advanced technology appears magic. I’ve mentioned that the primary benefit of our modern world is not needing to think about or even notice just how dependent we are on what goes on behind the walls. The power, the water, the food, the fuel all appear as if by magic. I think the great failure of imagination in most corners of prepper land is that we will experience some event that tells us to break out the wheat berries or bug out to the woods.

      It could be that TS doesn’t HTF, it could be that the fan just quits and TS backs up in the bowl.

      Now that I got that off my chest, LOL, I think the advances in distributed power over the last 2 decades is a boon to preppers. Think PV and lithium batteries and even a plug in EV. Programs are out there to put a system on your roof for about the same as your electricity bill. When the power went out in TX or CA those companies didn’t come repossess those systems, they just kept churning out the watts. Focusing on some small implements, water, calorie garden and PV would make a very sustainable setup.

      • 3

        Hi Pops,

        Glad you like the topic and thank you. I spend a lot of time wandering around inside my brain. Once in awhile I run into something interesting lol.

        In your first paragraph, the concepts of resilience and living in an era of diminishing returns are spot on. 

        Once the last of the Boomer generation is gone from the Earth, many of our skills and our first hand historical knowledge will go with us. We were the generation that upset the apple cart. 

        We questioned, protested, experimented and pushed the limits. Seekers and explorers, many of us came full circle only to discover the answers were inside us the whole time.

        I wonder if every generation who are close to the end of their season upon this Earth, are concerned about the generations behind them. 

        I worry for the ones who will inherit this planet after we are gone, for everything we know that they may never discover, because of how this world has changed. 

        Your thought that prepping turns from something done for the future and becomes a lifestyle practised for current conditions dovetails with the amount of climate events now happening in close succession, and event of different types in the succession.

        The infrastructure failures are a grim reminder that we have rested on our laurels a little too long.

        People who were responsible for the management of these systems were fully aware (or should have been to hold the position) that systems age or can become overloaded as populations grow.

        The population maps and demographics for Boomers clearly demonstrated that by point X in time, we were going to have a top heavy population of a certain age range, who would require medical and other services. I don’t know how it is for you, but here, even with our health system, no one planned for any of it.

        There were no accessible and affordable housing units constructed for the wave of Boomers that were coming.

        There is only talk now in Canada of developing a National strategy on long term senior care standards. This happened because our military had to go into privately owned senior care facilities in Ontario and Quebec during the Covid-19 crisis. Because of their reporting, finally some changes are in the works. This will leave a better legacy for future generations.

        I have seen this erosion of infrastructure in rural areas here. Some small villages and towns with declining populations, who formerly had municipal sewer and water, are losing their sewer and forced to put in septic holding tanks.

        This is an additional expense and I have read accounts during winter storms where full tanks were not pumped out because they lost the sewer truck for their area. This necessitated some people having to bring in a sewage service from a city an hour away, which resulted in added costs.

        Our refusal to look behind the scenes has fostered the lack of connection to how we arrive at power, water, food and fuel. We must imagine that we are connected to all of it and how we can adapt those connections, which you so very well state in your last paragraph.

        I had just been reading in the last few days about calorie gardens and have amended some of my garden plans to try that.

        The good fairies won’t plunge the TS backing up in the bowel, nor are any waiting in the forest with bowls of wheat berries.

        “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” Archimedes

        Thank you Pops, for a well considered response.

      • 3

        You talk about valuable knowledge being lost when the last of the boomers die off. Do you feel any responsibility to pass on information to the next generation? What are you doing to preserve that knowledge and skills for the future?

        Even though I’m hopefully far from dying, this has always been a concern to me. What legacy will I pass on? Will others remember me like Einstein, Columbus, Lincoln, or some other famous person who will be quoted and remembered for the rest of forever? One day there will be one person who will think of Robert Larson for the very last time, and then no one will ever remember me again. I’ve been scheming for years about what I could do to leave a legacy and make a difference in this world. 

        I’m trying to be a good example and influence on those I interact with everyday and hopefully share a bit of joy, humor, or knowledge with those people, who then will go and share that joy, humor, or knowledge with others and create a chain reaction. Maybe that will influence their children and keep getting passed on. That won’t be something I can see or will ever be recorded in a history book, but maybe that will be passed on for forever and I’ve contributed to making this world a little bit better.

        Kind of rambling here, but it’s nice to think about our legacy and what we will be passing on. I know that I’ve been learning so much from you all and influencing me in positive ways. I then try and pass that on to others as well. 

        Ubique, you mentioned that you have been reading the last few days about calorie gardens. What is that? Can you teach me a bit about them?

      • 6

        Hi Robert, 

        Thank you for your heartfelt reply. 

        I do feel a responsibility to pass on any helpful information or knowledge relevant to my life experience and generation, as well as the knowledge handed down to me through the generations of my family.

        For example, one year I gave my brother a preparedness binder as a gift for his children. It contained some of my writing on emergency preparedness, as well as some key information and articles I had collected over the years.

        I found other ways to share knowledge and lessons.

        As preppers we are concerned about societal stability and safety as a feature of a disaster or crisis.

        When I found out a young teenage girl in my town was the victim of a violent crime, I decided to finally speak up about the crime and violence I had survived after a lifetime of silence.

        There are lessons about parenting and predators contained in my history, as well as how I survived multiple attacks over time, and why those attacks happened. Those lessons are relevant for most people.

        I was able to take that knowledge and information and write about it. During Covid-19, I wrote two books based on what I survived. They will both be self-published and one of them turned into a workshop or lecture.

        Many times, the way that I have handed down information is by my actions. 

        I taught people that compassion exists by stopping and being present for strangers who were having trouble. At times, it was being present for someone who was crying.

        A very pregnant Indigenous woman approached me one -35 Celsius morning, very timid, and asked if she could warm up in the store I was opening up. I told her of course she could and got her inside.

        While I was making her tea and getting her comfortable, she told me that she had flown into Winnipeg for her first baby and that she lived far up North. She had a medical appointment that morning and was very early because she wasn’t sure of where she had to be.

        Before I got there, she had asked other people if she could warm up in their gas bar, and at a bakery. They all turned her back out in the cold. What did those other people teach her?

        Professionally, I know what it is like to be paid less for my work and patronized when I worked in certain positions. I stood my ground and learned to manage difficult people. I taught them that I didn’t expect a raise or respect because of my gender, but because of my merit and the fact that I am a human being.

        I served my community in various organizations such as, teaching literacy, volunteering at an AIDS clinic, victim services, and teaching chronic disease management. I taught others that someone cared, wanted to help them without being paid for it and that they were worthy of every minute of my time.

        I have taught others to sew, bake, cook, budget, refurbish, and be a lifelong learner who remains curious and passionate about life. I taught them to be fearless about learning new skills and that it’s okay if you don’t get it right away. Learning is a process and mistakes are part of that process.

        Robert, I told you these things so you can see that you will hand down a legacy some day. It will be by everything you described, how you lived, the good you do, and even by the mistakes you make.

        You will be remembered. I will remember you for being a kindly spoken, wonderfully curious, and a courageous person who is unafraid to learn. You have set a very good example for all of us.

        Now who is rambling? 

        Calorie gardens are gardens where the emphasis is on growing calories dense vegetables, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, squash, legumes/beans. Some gardens are full of salad vegetables which comparatively don’t contain the same nutrients and calories. Iceberg lettuce is mostly water, for example.

        As preppers, if something were to happen, we are going to need the nutrition and calories. So calorie gardening is about choosing vegetables that contain more calories.

        Here are a couple of links for you regarding Calorie gardens and some suggestions about them. I hope this helps

        Mother Earth Calorie Gardening


        Calorie Garden

      • 4

        Thanks for the links. I’ve not grown many tubers and roots besides potatoes, carrots, beets. I want to try some more. if we can get a plot worked up in the new place. Turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, etc kind of store themselves, at least for a while. Potatoes should have gone in yesterday…

      • 9

        There are two main factors in feeding our bodies… calories and nutrition.  Generally speaking, garden vegetables are a poor source of calories but can be an incredible source of nutrition, where meat is generally a poor source of nutrition but a high source of calories.  Fat and oils are high in calories but low in nutrition.  You find oils & fats in most meats and vegetables such as corn, peanuts, nuts, etc. (think corn oil).

        Granted, one can most certainly live on a vegetarian diet but when times are tough it might be hard.  I don’t concentrate on calorie gardening but do concentrate on gardening nutritionally dense foods… and some like corn & rice can provide nice calories too.  If you think about it, when you need to lose weight, you should eat lots of veggies but little fatty meat.

        This is why you always see self sufficient farmers raise meat animals as well as their gardens.  When you get both fatty meat & nutritious veggies, you have the complete diet.  So if you are striving for self sufficiency, I suggest planning on meat as well as garden veggies.  Simplest meat animal would be raising chickens.  I’m set up for that plus have thousands of pounds of grain fed catfish in my pond.

      • 4

        No doubt meat is nice but there are only so many chickens a suburban lot can support. I tried raising some pasture poultry to sell and it was a lot of work. Cattle are easier, they mostly take care of themselves, but they don’t really fit in suburbia.

        Potatoes contain all the essential amino acids. They’re one of the few foods that you can live on solely- not forever I assume but for a long time, some of my ancestors did. Once they get going they will shade out lots of weeds.

        Add some legumes and a small plot will keep your belly full and the rest of you going. Pole beans are great because they add the third dimension to your garden. Plant rows of corn too far apart then plant pole beans between the corn, you’ll get a little corn but a whole load of beans with little effort as they pull themselves up the corn stalk.

        You should plant corn in blocks, it likes to be close to more corn to get the best crop. It either needs to be soaked in lime to make hominy or masa to free up the Lysine. But corn is full of oil and protein.

      • 9

        Well if chickens take up too much room on your suburban lot, I feel certain that lot is too small for crops too… or too few crops to feed for long.

        The three sisters (corn, pole beans & winter squash) are one of my primary crops, because they are easy to grow and provide almost complete nutrition.  That being said, one would have to eat a lot to get enough calories.  For example, a whole ear of corn only has around 100 calories.  A medium russet potato has around 150 calories.  Put another way, 1 pound of russet potatoes has around 350 calories.  I pound of ribeye steak has 1200 calories.  A pound of chicken will have around 1000 calories.

        I personally don’t consider potatoes as a survival crop, simply because you can’t store them such as garden seed.  Chances are, depending on when the crisis hits and how soon it hits, one will be unable to get seed potatoes.  I mean, they are normally available only in the spring & unless you grow lots of them yourself (and store lots of them), they will be unavailable for planting.  For example, if a crisis were to hit right this moment, I have no seed potatoes and none are at the coop.  However at this moment, I have hundreds of pounds of garden seed in storage & the coop has seed.

        My point is simple.  Meat is calorie dense… veggies can be nutrient dense.  Meat is one of our best sources of calories and in a survival situation calories are probably more important than nutrition… speaking in the short term.  You will starve to death faster than your body will fail from nutritional deficiencies.   If you can’t raise your own or hunt for it, you best store it.  In that regard, hard to beat Spam.  Note how much Spam I store.  🙂  A pound of Spam has 1440 calories.


      • 2

        That’s nice that you have written two books about your experiences. I hope those are able to help others and go on for years to come.

        I agree that stopping to lend a hand or a shoulder to cry on is just what people need when going through a hard time, knowing they aren’t alone and someone cares about them.

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts on leaving a legacy. It looks like you sure have influenced so many!

      • 8

        Good question Robert. 9/11 and the run up in oil price seemed an obvious dovetailing to me, and the disfunction in real estate at the time gave me the opportunity I’d been long seeking to bug out to 40 acres in the Ozarks. In the back of my head the thought was exactly what you stated, teach myself and my kids low tech life skills.

        At the time my kids had started to have their own kids so were not captive to my plan but I was nervous that resource limits if not resource wars would force us to huddle together. Luckily that didn’t come to pass, at that point anyway and I’m now somewhat out of the prime responsibility seat.

        Suffice to say it was hard to keep ’em down on the farm, LOL. Most of the 6 grandkids are in or headed to college, only one is pursuing an independent lifestyle in eastern Washington state. I think they all loved growing up on and visiting the farm. They all had experience in tending flocks, herds, sties and gardens, driving tractors, canning beans, and fake-skating on the pond.

        The place was dubbed “the Family Home”, but I thought of it as the Grandkids’ Farm. I think they will remember it and some bits of what they learned, hopefully the part about self-sufficiency.

        PS a calorie garden is simply one focused on calories, especially those that can be preserved or stored so fewer baby arugula and more legumes, corn, grains, nuts, etc

      • 1

        Aren’t grandparents the best? I sure miss my grandma and have very fond memories of going to her little farm and helping her out there. I’d like to do the same thing and be able to give my kids and grandkids a place to come back to, enjoy, and learn from.

    • 7

      Ubique, I think prepping will change to incorporate a possible change to family structure. There could be a national requirement for the elderly parents to live with children in some housing arrangement. There could be a national requirement for babies and young children to have household provisions for daycare. I am still cloudy on the public school arrangements but whatever they are, the prepping aspects will be required.

      I can envision those in the labor force being obliged to participate in some form of “community” service such as serving as a volunteer firefighter working in the station house, an auxillery LEO in some form, formally helping DOT road and street projects, volunteer work at health clinics, the other related…… Neighborhood watch programs will be mandatory or purchased at very high costs to induce local “neighbor” participation.

      In worsened environmental disasters; no, not a more expanded prep effort. My current preps anticipate magnified changes. It’s already announced about increased disaster insurance rates. If insurance not offered, financing is restricted.

      Will be continuing my plans to shelter in place with being fully prepared to evacuate.

      More people will prep based on my belief that what the area’s public sector currently performs will be vastly reduced in scope. An individual’s preparedness will be a requirement. Not adhering to this requirement might restrict eligibility for medical care, ability to purchase certain foods and products, travel restrictions, …..

      The public sector budgets will continue to shrink. This shrinkage will be felt and known by both preppers and non-preppers.

      • 3

        Hi Bob, 

        I can see the nuclear family being mandated also. Other cultures and indigenous communities around the world live this way, except their families aren’t mandated.

        What you have envisioned in paragraph 2 is something we have long needed in our communities. I believe that community service should be expected and happily offered by the people who enjoy the benefits of living in their society.

        The punitive “tax” for non-preppers sounds plausible. Instead of being taught in schools, it will become the carrot dangled before the cart.

        Our adaptability as preppers will be the workaround to the budget constraints of the public sector. As the public sector budgets shrink, our ability to adapt must increase.

        In the future, I think we will see the world suffer from a long and painful financial hangover as people struggle to cope with a new financial reality created by that fallout.

        They will have to deal with the effects of climate upon almost every aspect of their lives. Disasters will produce rammifications that will level the social and economic playing fields.

        It will fall upon a new generation of preppers to understand the demands of the world they have inherited and know that the survival of the next generation will depend upon their efforts.

        I hope they remember this quote: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

      • 4

        Ubique, had missed above post. My sat access does not provide real time transmissions.  Love the Churchill quote.

        The “nuclear family” concept has already started a new, but still small, population  bloc here. It evolved from the industry and governmental assignments called “single status assignment”. I can see that some US areas will only be structured to support small, young nuclear households. One example could be a submarine base next to a city.  The elderly support in this example is being slowly closed down and being moved away from the coast. Another example of this is military and their housing. I don’t follow this but was told that the family housing in and around military bases will fade away if funded by a public budget. 

      • 6

        Bob, I can see that happening also. It is unfortunate that people can’t live where they want to live, but budgets will have the final say.

        In the future, we could have “designer communities” where the population is tailored to fit the mandate of the community, including certain industries.

        Some seniors in Canada have banded together with legal agreements in place for the protection of all as housemates. They are doing it for protection, the social aspect and financial relief.

        This is understandable as the cost of living has far outstripped many seniors retirement income.

        We have large tract of land in Winnipeg that is being turned into an Urban Indigenous Reserve. The land was formerly the base for our PPCLI (Princess Pat’s Canadian Light Infantry). What was a shame is that there were some sturdy PMQ homes on that land and every last one of them was demolished by their crews when they took over.

        All of those well built homes could have been relocated to make affordable housing. It would have cost to move them, but that would have far outweighed the cost to do new builds of the same quality.

    • 7

      The future is an interesting place and holds many new inventions, conveniences, and technologies that will both help and inhibit us in our prepping journey. I say go with the flow and adopt new technologies to better assist you in being more prepared, but don’t rely on them 100%. 

      Science has created wonderful things that can help us out such as more efficient water filters, small solar panels that can fold up and put inside a bug out bag, little ham radio that can talk to people miles away, security cameras around your property and house for knowledge of what’s going around you, and the ever more efficient and reliable guns that are being produced and improved. Embrace these and use them to make your prepping more efficient.

      With that said, don’t rely on those all the way. Have a way to grind your wheat without your electric powered wheat grinder, know how to do a security sweep of your home instead of just checking the cameras on your phone, learn to purify water without relying on a plastic filter that could easily crack. Things happen, be prepared for every situation. That’s why we are here right?

      I like to study from the early pioneers and settlers of America, learn how they did things so I can survive like they did if something were to happen out of my control.

      My future predictions? Here are a few:

      • Solar panels will get more efficient, cheaper, and smaller. (already seeing this over the past few years)
      • Although some will cringe at this, I think seeds will be genetically modified and be able to produce more food on less resources, and be more resistant to pests and drought.
      • We might have Battlebots patrolling our yard and scaring away intruders and the occasional stray cat. I’m going to name mine Lemmy.
      • Drones will become cheaper and be able to fly around your property on a schedule and look for threats. This is already being done inside your home.
      • Houses and the appliances inside will be more efficient and require less energy
      • Food, water, fuel, and other resources will become more and more scarce as we use them up, climate changes, and populations increase. Store it now while you can!
      • I hope that infrastructure can harden and strengthen itself against future issues. But I feel that we are expanding and growing so much that they aren’t focusing on building up what they have and just are expanding more and more. So that one’s a toss up. Will the grid and system become more or less stable with time? 
      • Batteries will become smaller and charge faster. (I’m excited for this one)
      • Cars will become more computerized and move away from gasoline. 
      • 6

        Supersonic, Real good; “study .. early pioneers and settlers”. I do the same. Near here are some of the first English settlements.  They’re now mostly parks and all are historic sites. At the parks are demonstrations by National Park Service personnel and their volunteers on the various subjects such as churning for butter. I’ve studied the wagon train history from cities on the Mississippi River to “out West”. Those of means had wagons.  Others: a pack. One story told of someone using a wheel barrel for the excursion.

      • 4

        I remember as a kid making butter in an old film canister. Remember film? I believe we put cream or something and a bit of salt into a film canister and shook it until we could feel that it wasn’t liquid anymore. I remember it tasting super good.

        I’ll have to look up how to do it and try it again.

      • 2

        Real good example, Robert. I remember the film canisters.

        Near here I watched a Park Service volunteer, dressed in colonial attire, make butter.  Also watched a spinning wheel reenactment.

      • 5

        Supersonic – Wonderful answer and enjoyed your predictions.

        ROFL regarding your Battlebot name “Lemmy”

        I was told the first robotic assistive device was based on a modified electric wheelbarrow.

        Thank you very much for sharing them.