How To Be Prepared For Any Survival Situation: A Guide For Newbies

How To Be Prepared For Any Survival Situation

How To Be Prepared For Any Survival Situation

Those that have decided it is now time to begin prepping may be overwhelmed with information. You may have watched the reality shows, and have researched extensively on the Internet and still find it hard to know where to start. In this article we will cover some of the fundamental knowledge you will need to survive any situation.

First, you must realize that most preparations are not disaster specific, which means that regardless of the survival situation you find yourself in you will need certain tangible items. Once you have gathered these essentials, then you can begin to work on the intangible.

You may have a strong belief that there may be a major volcanic eruption, or you fear a nuclear, chemical or biological attack, civil uprisings or possibly a collapse of the financial markets. There may not be any evidence of such an event occurring but that does not make it any less real in your mind. However, the reality is that there are certain disasters that you know will happen such as seasonal storms that cause power disruptions, flooding, and wind damage. These real events must be the ones you prepare for initially.   Read more

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Prepping 101 7 Comments

Here is a Method That is Helping Preppers Stay Better Informed

UAV Predator DronePrepping and the Use of Drones

I have been reading a lot of articles lately about the use of drones for public and commercial purposes.  This led me to ask if drones could serve a useful purpose for preppers.  I think they can and I’ll tell you why.

What is a drone?

A drone is defined as an unmanned aircraft that operate autonomously beyond line of sight. In other words, a vehicle controlled remotely with the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and cameras. Today when people hear the word, drones they may think of military operated Unmanned Ariel Vehicles (UAV’s). Military drones can be armed and are usually called predator drones and then there are drones used for surveillance purposes only.

Certain law enforcement agencies other than the federal government in the United States use drones for surveillance purposes. Many civil liberty organizations have protested their use saying they can infringe upon civil liberties denying people the expectation of privacy on their own property.

The advancement of technology has made it so that one person with the proper training can take the place of dozens of people on the ground gathering intelligence. One person with a surveillance drone can cover hundreds of miles a day where in the past this would take days if not longer to conduct reconnaissance of the area.

As a prepper, you must have situational awareness at all times. You cannot be surprised by any threat because then you are reacting to it on someone else’s terms. Having a defensive posture immediately puts you at a disadvantage versus an offensive posture.   Read more

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Survival Gear 4 Comments

What Every Prepper Ought To Know Part 3: Food and Food Storage

Food and Food Storage

Food is essential during a survival situation, and the right kind of food is critical. Food is comfort, and provides much needed energy and nutrition to help ward off illnesses. Your activity level may very well increase so a crisis is not the time to reduce your caloric intake.

During a crisis, supply chains will be disrupted and your only source of food will be your stockpile and you may lack refrigeration and the means to prepare food. You have to plan carefully and when calculating amounts you must consider, spoilage, waste, damage and friends and neighbors in need.

Types of Food

Families typically turn to canned foods for emergencies because they are relatively inexpensive, can be eaten from the can and are readily available everywhere. To achieve variety and the proper nutrition a family of four would need at least 12 cans daily. Each person needs one can of protein such as tuna or any meat-based soups, one can of vegetables and one of fruit daily. To supplement have peanut butter and crackers along with dried meats for protein.

For suburban preppers having enough storage space for extended periods may be a problem. You can also can your own foods but unless you can produce your own foods at home, there would not be much point in buying the foods to process at home. Expect a one-year shelf life from date of purchase. Read more

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Food 4 Comments

What Every Prepper Ought To Know Part 2

Part 2: Water Storage and Purification

According to the United States Geological Society (USGS) the average person uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day (USGS, 2013). A single toilet flush can use up to six gallons depending on the toilet. Showering uses two gallons per minute if you have a water saver showerhead, and up to five gallons per minute if using an older showerhead. A clothes washer can use up to 25 gallons per load. Each person also needs at least two quarts/liters of water daily just for hydration.

During a survival situation/disaster, you will need water for cooking, drinking, personal hygiene, laundry and possibly crop irrigation. It is impractical in some cases to try and store up to 100 gallons per person daily so water conservation will be an important part of your survival plan along with ways to store, collect, filter and purify a water source. Knowing how to properly purify and store water is critical and is something every prepper ought to know. In part two of our three part series we will show you some essential strategies for you to be prepared in case of emergency. If you missed part one read it here. Read more

Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Prepping 101, Water 8 Comments

What Every Prepper Ought To Know

Part 1: Shelter

The rules of three states that shelter is required within three hours of becoming lost or stranded or during any type of crisis. You need shelter for protection from the elements and from animal and human predators. Shelter has a tremendous psychological effect on humans as well. Aside from the crisis itself, your biggest threat during any situation is other humans. You simply cannot survive without a shelter and it must always be a priority.

Bug In

Typically, survival experts will tell you that it is safer to shelter in place. You cannot provide yourself an adequate shelter if you are on the move. Additionally, if there are rescue operations being conducted rescue personnel will search for people at all know addresses. Movement also exposes you to the elements and other risks. You should only evacuate your shelter if your life is in danger. It is recommended that you “bug-in” during any crisis other than a verified chemical, nuclear or biological attack in your area or there is a mandatory evacuation order issued.

However, the disaster may have caused damage to your shelter, so you have to evaluate your home for livability. Just because you home is damaged does not mean that you have to flee for parts unknown. Shelter in place and use the current infrastructure to your advantage. Your home while damaged can still be used to store supplies, provide materials for a temporary shelter, and give you a sense of comfort.


Your home is the ideal shelter and even if damaged can be used during a disaster. To help prepare your home gather up plywood sheets, waterproof tarps, rolls of heavy plastic, nails/staples and duct tape. Use the plywood sheets on the outside of any damaged opening and to cover holes in the roof. You can use the tarps to cover opening in the roof or walls if the weather is temperate. Use mosquito/insect netting/screens if applicable along with the tarps to cover openings to the outside. Plastic and duct tape can be used from the inside to help seal up openings but use with caution around children and do not seal the home to the point it is airtight.

Use plastic and tape to seal openings against certain chemical, nuclear or biological attacks if you are unable to leave. Basements can be used as shelter to help protect you during these types of situations.

Alternative or Backup Shelters

You can erect shelters on your property such as tents or take advantage of outbuildings for shelter. If you evacuate and do not have a destination in mind that can provide you with a shelter, you are much safer bugging-in. Prepare now to shelter on your property by gathering portable shelters or making plans to use a detached garage, barn, carport, workshop or storage building for temporary shelter. Ensure you have cots, sleeping bags and/or blankets available to place in the shelter. Use tarps and plywood to enhance and fortify any temporary shelter.



Picture courtesy of

Though the pictured shelter is prefabricated, you can easily construct ones that are similar with limited tools and supplies. Use tarps and canvas to cover the top and take advantage of fallen limbs and other damaged structures for material.


Portable Shelter

Picture courtesy of

The Ideal Shelter

The ideal shelter provides protection from the rain, snow, cold and animals. You must also be able to defend your shelter against other humans. In the case of defense, it may not be the shelter itself you are defending but the location. You want to limit access to your area by using natural barriers such as lakes, rivers, rock walls and steep terrain. You want to limit and control access to your location by funneling any animal or human through a point you can defend.

Wilderness Shelter Options


Lightweight nylon tarp and choose one with grommets so it can be secured to the ground or trees, this tarp weighs less than 1lb. Connect more than one together to make a larger shelter and use forest debris for support poles or secure between several trees.


Survival Tarp


Add insect netting or fill in the sides with vegetation to protect against the cold and if using a fire inside the shelter make sure you have a smoke hole. Ensure the top is slanted enough so it does not collect rain or snow and if not put a sapling in place to elevate the material to allow rain and snow to runoff.

Survival Tarp


Make sure when using natural cover along with a tarp shelter that there are not any dead limbs overhead or vegetation that can collect snow and then drop large volumes of snow onto your shelter.

snow cave

Snow cave using leaves and snow. Form into a cone shape and then make a sleeping area. Make sure the inside area is large enough so your body does not have to make contact with the sides or top. Use ground insulation to protect the body such as thermal blankets, pine boughs and/or any available loose vegetation.

Shelter Cave


Use the natural terrain to your advantage along with forest debris and any materials you may have with you.

Rock Shelter

Be careful using fire in confined spaces and remember rocks with high moisture content can fracture when exposed to heat from a fire.


Survival Shelter

Construct using forest debris and this particular shelter uses a live tree as the center support. Saplings and vegetation is used to fill in the sides. This shelter can be constructed with limited to no tools using what is available in a wilderness environment.

Steps Material and Tools Needed To Create Shelter Away From Home

The natural shelters depicted above may not be available and to assume otherwise may mean you do not prepare properly by carrying the essentials needed for shelter.

Always carry shelter material and tools to help with construction. You need at least 100 feet of quality nylon rope, machete, small axe or wood saw to construct a satisfactory shelter and to improve upon tarp shelters. Tarp shelters do not provide adequate protection from the cold so they must be fortified.

First, construct the shelter in a secure location. This means you do not set up camp in any dry wash because of flash floods or in an open area close to a water source. Predators begin to hunt at dark and they will hunt near a water source. Make sure you are not on or near a game trail as well.

Concealment may be a factor so if you feel you need to hide your location you have to leave a small footprint. In other words, do not begin cutting vegetation and limbs in the area of your shelter. Use live vegetation to your advantage for screening. You can secure a tarp or saplings between live bushes with heavy foliage for camouflage. If you have to cut, live trees and bushes do so as far away from your camp as practical.

Check back with us next week for Part 2



Posted on by Suburban Prepper in Shelter 12 Comments