So You Want to Begin Prepping?

By Jess Schiller


Now then, first things first, I am no expert prepper, and I have just recently started prepping in this year. This post is to tell why I decided to become a prepper, what I did, and to help those that are also just beginning to prep. It’s not that hard at all, and this is coming from a person fresh out of high school, tight on money, and looking for a job.


I originally started to prep because of the mentality of better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it. The riots that happened in the UK really pushed me into speeding up my prepping process. Then of course the economy and the chance that my dad might get laid off, it’d be nice to have food for at least a month till another job could be secured.

It’s not all that pricey to start prepping. I just started with buying a few cans and boxes of rice here and there at the nearby grocery store. When at the local Costco, I would sometimes pick up a large box of cup noodles or ramen for about 5 bucks. All in all, that part was pretty cheap. I also bought a pitcher filter from the same store and whenever a jug of milk, juice, or even bottles of water are finished, I fill them up with the filtered water and put them away for emergency use. That has given me several gallons of clean water with about 20-30 bottles of extra water. If you do that before long, you’ll have a nice bit of supplies. You don’t have to start big at all, I’m perfect proof of that.


Now in terms of protecting yourself, your family and getting dinner on the table – that doesn’t have to be expensive either. Last June on my 18th birthday I went to the local gun store and bought myself a great rifle for $125, – the Mosin Nagant. The bullets are quite cheap as well, I bought 80 rounds for $40. You can find the Mosin for even cheaper, I think the lowest I’ve seen it for is $70, and that much for a great 7.62x54r rifle along with a box of 40 rounds for $80? That’s a great deal.


For a BOB I did kind of splurge with money from an odd job and picked myself up a Maxpedition pack. Though anyone could also just go and get a military surplus A.L.I.C.E. for much cheaper than any Maxpedition, and hold up just as well. You would probably be able to find those at a local military surplus store. The local one for me doesn’t have any to my knowledge, but you could find them online for a bit more because of shipping. Still cheaper than a Maxpedition.


Depending on what kind of area you live in, the people you know might think you’re paranoid or very smart and they’ll begin prepping themselves. It also probably depends on the age of the people. Personally, my friends say that it’d be great when the zombies pop up – “ha ha”. I also live in a rural area, so there are already a few preppers around here. What I’m planning to do in the future is to probably get a dehydrator and a vacuum seal food saver to be able to store even more kinds of food and not just relying on what I can find in canned food. Along with another gun and more ammo, what I have now will do for a short while and it should work for anyone else doing the same thing.


I hope this helps others just like me who saw that most the preppers seemed to be experts with years of experience and thought that they would never be able to prep. It’s not hard at all to do, or even expensive. Yeah, you could go out and spend a thousand bucks or so and get a years’ worth of food right then and there, but I’m sure most of you don’t have that kind of money just lying around for a ton of dehydrated food.

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  1. I’m with you. I live in a rural area, too. I’ve joined a local prepper’s group. It’s an idea. They’re all over the place. What I wanted to mention was you talked about food. I’ve got a recipe for Logan Bread. It was named after Mt. Logan in the Yukon. You can imagine what kind of food it is. Anyway, it’s really filling and really tasty. Great for B.O.B.’s. I’m broke too and I’ve been going to the local dollar store and Winco and buying bulk foods in very tiny amounts. It’s been very cheap so far. Little by little and it’ll add up. Also there are online food trackers, but they go by LDS guidelines and it’s not perfect. Good luck!

  2. Good Post, Jess. Keep up the good work. I saw Moisins at the gun show this past weekend for $109.95 (add in tax and it would be a little over $119). I am a fan of Springfield M1A’s, but any reliable rifle in the .30 caliber range is a good choice. Don’t forget to put in some range time. Since the 7.62×54 has over twice the energy of the .223, you can reach out much further and touch someone (if the need arises).

    We try to keep up with the 4 B’s – bullets, beans, boots, and band aids. Sometimes, that winds up being beer, beer, beer, and bar-be-que.

  3. Jess,
    Like you, I have just started. Just getting into the mindset of always being prepared is the first step. You are already there! Had to laugh about the age and the responses of your friends. How true! Different ages and different upbringings elicit different responses. When friends see my “pantry,” I hear: “I know where I’m coming when the SHTF!” Those are the young or the ill-prepared; “Where’s your plastic wrap and duct tape?” Those are military friends; “This reminds me of my mom’s house.” Those would be the Midwesterners or Northeasterners. “Where’s your tinfoil pyramid hats?” And those would be the smart asses.

  4. When the issue becomes cost it bothers me to see people wasting money on things that are less priority then food. At my local Cash&carry I can by 50 lbs of rice for $17.95. That is an outstanding bargain. FOOD! Is what you must have. It is priority one for 99% of the worst case SHTF scenarios. I am not arguing “against” guns, if you have enough money to buy all the food and other things you need then buy guns and ammo too. But if you can’t afford to put away a 6 month or years supply of food what are you doing shopping Walmart for ammo? Right now the most likely end of the world as we know it issue is our economy. We are either in or soon will be in another great depression. FOOD is what you must have. Even a years supply of food may not be enough. Concentrate on core food; like grains (rice, wheat, flour, pasta), beans, sugar, powdered milk (not a necessity but if you have kids it is important), freeze dried potatoes (very cheap), freeze dried vegetables like corn, peas, onions, green peppers, celery (very useful to help you turn basic foods into satisfying meals). These basics are for the most part cheap to buy and easy to store for long periods of time.
    Maybe…maybe the SHTF event will be a zombie attack and then MAYBE your gun will be more important than food, but I doubt it. I have talked to a lot of people about the great depression and no one ever even mentioned guns or the need for guns and everyone focused on food. Food was available but in very limited quantities and that is where the core stored food becomes valuable. Get whatever food you can buy or scrounge and combine it with food from your storage. This will get you through hard times in a way that a rifle will not.

    • GoneWithTheWind –

      Good advice you provided. Even with all the preps I have done – FOOD continues to be my main priority – but not my only one. Once I have gotten a decent amount of food stored, I have tried to balance my acquisitions between general preparedness supplies, medical, and items of a defensive nature.

      Good stuff –


  5. @GoneWithTheWind,

    I agree, mostly. Food (and water) are #1 priorities. Eating is a good thing. If you specialize in ONLY food, though, you may find that, in the long-term, you have no way to grow/harvest more food, cook the food you have stored, stay warm and dry, keep from losing an appendage because of an ‘oops’, or just maybe, protect your family or crops from a ‘zombie’ neighbor, or, more likely, a coyote, a groundhog, a squirrel or ‘Bambi’.

    Nobody really knows WTF will happen. A ‘balanced’ approach just raises your odds. YMMV.

  6. I applaud you for prepping but I am not sure I would drink water that had been stored in a plastic milk bottle. If your survival plan works for you then go for it. My philosophy is a little different but I hope it works for me. I have enough food and water to get me and mine through 30+ days. This is based on the foods I would normally consume in a years time. i.e. I wouldn’t know what to do with 50 pounds of rice, etc.. 30-36 cans of tuna, 12-14 cans each of fruit,beans,chile,soups, veggies. (when I eat one ,I buy a replacement) a 10 pound bag of rice. 5 gallon H2o containers rotated and refilled on a schedule. Decide where you will make a stand and prep for that place. Buy and keep a good quality wardrobe, include warm clothing, proper rain gear, gloves, good footwear. Adequate first aid supplies, think broken bones, severe burns, infections, eye and tooth injuries and bad wounds (knife & bullet), a good library but if you have to perform a trac, it’s too late to read how to do one properly. so you must educate yourself on medical procedures. Get your mankiller firearms if you feel the need but if it’s your first gun may I suggest a 22RF rifle and learn how to shoot. I prefer a Ruger 10/22. Get a decent set of tools,don’t forget garden tools. Get communications, FRS/GMRS and rechargeable batteries, maps and a compass, Have cash on hand, gold and silver if you can work it. I could go on but if you’ve read this far you’re probably bored by now and I tire. One last important point about prepping, make up check off lists of needs for evacuation and supplies you need so you are less likely to forget needed items. On a personal point I just received my geiger counter/radiation monitor. It’s call an Inspector. Not the cheapest and not the most expensive, but I believe it to be a good buy for the money.
    P.S. If and when things really look like they are going to get bad, Then stock up with a years+ supply of supplies and trade goods.

  7. I’m very sorry for taking so long to reply, family issues came up and I had forgotten about this. Thanks for all the tips guys, @GoneWithTheWind I should have mentioned what I’d mostly use my rifle for which would be to hunt deer if I have to. And I have really sped up on my stocking up on food and water, we also have plenty of rice, but I plan on getting much more. I’m also planning on getting a seed ban pretty soon, once the bills lessen up haha. @Ted, I actually received my first gun at age 8, I forget what brand it is, I just know it is chambered for .22LR and was a bolt action I was able to become a good shot with that, haven’t really gotten a good chance to shoot it at all since I was about 12 though but my older sister ran off with it and some other stuff, and my dad and I are still in the process of looking for her. But as an update, I found out that my dad’s girlfriend is against buying food to put away for supplies saying “it’s a waste of money and I don’t think you’ll ever need to use it” haha. Honestly, I hope I never have to use my supplies haha, but better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

  8. Jess:

    That’s a good attitude to have. 🙂 Even if I never “HAVE” to use my stored food and gear again, it’s STILL cheaper today than it will be a year from now. My 30-cent bag of blackeyed peas will cost me at least 35 cents next year. Another form of investment.

    If you think you can possibly “convert” your Dad’s GF, please feel free to tell her my story. In the summer of 1999, I was working for a successful internet startup, living in a DC suburb, making what would be $120k/yr in “today” dollars. It got sold to an utter idiot who ran it into the ground. In the Summer of 2000, I was working for a different startup company, with VERY competent management, and we all expected to retire within 2 yrs, with at least $5million each for a salary about $100K “today” dollars/yr. Then, the ‘dotcom crash’ hit. In the summer of 2001, I was collecting $200/week in unemployment, living in a Dodge minivan in a campground, and making craft items and cooking chili and BBQ to sell to weekend campers. Bad ‘stuff’ can happen to anyone. Me, you, Bob down the street, anybody. It’s a lot less bad if you are prepared. If nothing bad happens, you just saved a nickel making that pot of Hoppin’ John for New Year. If it does, eating beats not-eating by several miles. 🙂

    A somewhat-silly analogy is saying “You don’t need a savings account, it’s a waste of money and you may never have to use it.” Your preps are a ‘pre-purchased savings account’.

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