Hi! We are The Prepared and our mission is to help you survive emergencies – from everyday stuff like car accidents to natural disasters and big SHTF things like societal collapse or war.
We’re obsessed with creating well researched and practical guides and reviews of the best methods and gear so that you can get prepared without too much time or stress – or worse, learning and buying the wrong things.
You might notice The Prepared is different than other prepper communities:
- We don’t publish new stuff every day – we focus on quality instead of quantity.
- We believe in honest, well-built content that gets you what you need quickly and correctly so you don’t have to weed through junk.
- We update our articles over time. Sometimes we publish starter articles and fill them out later.
- We believe in Sane Prepping, a mental framework for how to get prepared. Prepping should be rational, practical, and cost effective.
- We believe everyone can and should be prepared, regardless of politics or creed. You won’t see politically charged rhetoric here. All are welcome.
- We believe being self sufficient and prepared is logical and responsible. We don’t believe in fear mongering and propaganda. It’s unlikely zombies will eat your face tomorrow but it is possible you’ll see a car accident or a natural disaster.
- We’re proud to be preppers and believe that sharing the responsibility and fun of prepping makes us all stronger.
If you support our mission, join us!
We spend a lot of time crafting each post, so we don’t put out new content every day and spam your newsfeed. This site is for you and we want to hear from you, so share any ideas you have!
We focus on higher quality posts instead of publishing every day
There are tons of spammy blogs, Facebook pages, and YouTube channels cranking out posts every day. It’s a trick to keep you engaged and clicking on their stuff (and it works). Their goal is to get as many page views as possible. And the high volume means that writers aren’t putting a lot of time and care into making the best content for you. They sit down, crank out a few hundred words, hit publish, get their ad dollars, and move on.
But then they run out of content – how many times can you re-hash a bug out bag? So they end up covering spammy topics like “leave your sanctuary city NOW before Obama takes your guns!” or making lazy lists like “18 ways to use Q-Tips to kill zombies!”
It’d be fine if you could just ignore it, but it creates so much noise that figuring out the sane and practical way to prepare is way too hard. Dedicated preppers weed through it. But most people don’t bother.
The Prepared focuses on higher quality, less frequent content. We do the hard work so that you don’t have to.
We update existing pages instead of publishing new ones
Tired of googling for an answer only to land on a page written many years ago? The Prepared works differently – think of it more like Wikipedia, with topical pages that are updated over time. Many pages have a “change log” where we make notes about updates.
Sometimes we put up “stub” articles that are shorter and have “quick pick” recommendations while our writers are doing the longer research and testing. We do this so you can get helpful info as soon as possible.
The Prepared Pick
We love the things we recommend and literally trust them with our lives. We select each pick with the utmost care, relying on expert opinion, research, and testing. When you see The Prepared Pick you can trust it’s the best option for most people.
Our goal is always simple: find and explain the best answer. We may update our picks over time based on new information (like feedback or recalls) and when products change.
The Prepared Promise
Are you annoyed with prepping info that was clearly biased? Like a list of “the ultimate bug out bags” that play coy about only promoting the products they sell or product reviews that avoid saying anything negative because they don’t want to lose an advertiser?
We’ve heard heads of marketing for prepper supply vendors brag about how they put out lots of clickbait content with “reviews” pretending to be impartial that are only designed to convince people to buy their products. Sad!
We promise that when we recommend something, it’s because we’ve done the work and know it’s the best. Advertisers, backroom deals, affiliate links – nothing will influence our choices. Forever. Period.
How we pick: we put lots of hours, money, and care into everything we create for you
Hundreds of hours and a lot of expense goes into our work. We buy or borrow the products we review, pay writers for their work, and rely on the help of experts and those who have experienced emergencies first hand.
In general, we begin with doing lots of research by digging through articles, studies, forums, reviews, and so on. We put the best sources at the end of each article in case you want to check anything.
If we’re picking a product, like the best water purifier, it’s usually possible to narrow down the whole field to the top ten or so before putting our hands on the physical products.
Everything is field tested so we know how it works in real life and in real situations. We beat things up, throw them off cliffs, and try as many realistic scenarios as possible.
We make an effort to test things with a wide range of people. When we make a recommendation, it’s impossible to pick one thing that is the right thing for every single person and situation. Sometimes we’ll make multiple picks, like “the best for people in cities” or “the best option for families.”
The Prepared gives back 1% to the planet
1% For The Planet is a great program where businesses donate 1% of their revenue to protect our planet and fight climate change. We care deeply about this floating rock we live on. But we also know that the effects of climate change are some of the most likely threats we face. It’s why many people prep. So while we get ready for deadly heat waves and crazy storms, let’s try to prevent them!
How we make money
Hopefully you noticed a lack of the all-too-common obnoxious advertisements or paid “advertorial” guest posts found on many other prepper websites.
When you click a link and buy a product we recommend, we might make a referral commission. This is how we can bring you such great well researched content for free and without spammy ads.
It doesn’t cost you anything and your prices are always the same. Merchants give referral (or “affiliate”) commissions all the time, you usually just don’t know about it. Most importantly, it will never affect what we recommend.
How you can support our work
Creating the best prepper content in the world and paying Americans (and some Canadians!) a fair wage to do it is expensive.
If we’ve earned it, you can show your support by:
- Share The Prepared with your friends, family, and neighbors. Getting your network prepared is strategically smart, too.
- Donate to our work on Patreon and get special rewards. For example, you can automatically tip us $1 each time we put out a major new review. Tipping more unlocks special access to things like voting on the next post and first-looks at new content.
- Buy the products we recommend by clicking on our links. By clicking on our links and buying within 24 hours, stores like Amazon know they should give us the credit.
Why you should trust The Prepared
We started The Prepared because we wanted this info, too – so if we’re going to do all the research and testing anyway, we may as well share it with you 🙂
We have the experience, knowledge, network, and skills to find, test, and pick the best stuff for your prepping. Our team of nerds, scientists, researchers, and survival veterans are obsessed with getting you ready without wasting money or time.
Our researchers will drink dirty water out of a parking lot puddle to see if that well-reviewed Amazon filter will make you sick. (Hint: Unfortunately, yes it can!)
We love prepping and, on average, each contributor to The Prepared has been prepping for over 10 years. Our team has spent literally thousands of hours (and probably too much money) getting personally prepared. We’re active in our local communities and teach people skills like firearms, indoor gardening and canning, field medicine, outdoor survival, and more.
Our team has worked on emergency technology and methods for services like local fire departments, state governments, and the US Federal Government with groups like the Department of Defense and FEMA. Some of us have spent years working in much less developed parts of the world – even North Korea! We’ve seen first hand how to survive without the comforts of modern Western life and how to deal with chaotic situations.
What’s wrong with other reviews, like on Amazon?
Peer reviews helped ecommerce go mainstream. Since they are so impactful on what people choose to buy, lots of companies started gaming the system to influence your decision. For example, millions of reviews on Amazon are fake and paid for – either to promote a specific product or to hurt a competitor’s product.
This is a well documented problem. Amazon has even been suing these fraudulent companies but it’s an uphill battle. Here’s some additional research:
- Analysis of 360,000 Amazon reviews.
- Fortune: Why you shouldn’t trust reviews.
- Example marketplace where people get paid to write reviews.
- The Wirecutter’s take on bad reviews.
- Confession of a paid reviewer.
- Another confession.
There’s an even bigger problem with reviews. They lack context and education. For example, you can go on Amazon and search for emergency medical kits. You sort to the best reviewed ones and find a $30 kit with high (fake) reviews. You read the reviews and see comments like “this kit is great!”
Except it isn’t. Even if the reviewer is a legit buyer writing an honest review, they often don’t know what they should have, what isn’t worth carrying, how to use it, etc. They may think the kit is great simply because it showed up on time and had medical looking stuff inside it. Then it snowballs, more people buy, more people think “yeah it seems fine”, give it five stars, repeat.
In the medical kit example, some of the best med kits aren’t even on Amazon and they aren’t broadly marketed to civilians. So how would a random person on Amazon know that the $30 Chinese knock off they bought is actually great?
Many prepper websites do “reviews” and “best of” lists. But they don’t provide any real value. Since their goal is to get visitors and pageviews to their site so they can make more advertising money, they get their value when you click on the headline “Best Bug Out Bags” – it doesn’t matter if the content they give you is correct.
We want to support communities and dialogue between preppers. But we also know the internet can be an unkind place and people approach prepping for many different reasons, some of which are very politically charged.
In order to foster a mature and reasonable community, The Prepared has the right to moderate, modify, or delete comments made by our readers or to turn off comments altogether. This may be without warning or recourse.
We will use our best judgment and defer to freedom of expression whenever possible. There is zero tolerance for immaturity, trolling, name calling, clearly debunked lies, etc.