How to Start Prepping Without Breaking the Bank: “All About Self-Reliance”

by | Apr 21, 2016 | Conspiracy Fact and Theory, Emergency Preparedness | 41 comments

Do you LOVE America?



    You don’t necessarily have to pull out your wallet, and pay big bucks for storable food, emergency camping equipment, ammo and fatigues… though you can if you want.

    Instead, if you are just starting to prep, check out these essential items and focus most of all on the mindset of being ready for anything.

    This video by the Dynamic Prepper gives some good insight into doing what counts – instead of what costs.

    The Dynamic Prepper writes:

    Top Ten things to get to start your prepping. Have you wanted to prep but don’t know where to start because of too much info and too many big prepping companies telling you to buy expensive “starting packages”. Tell those prepping corps. to take a hike!!! Start this list today. With a little money and weekends worth of shopping you will be well on your way to keeping yourself and your family fed and safe in extreme times.

    In many cases you can make your own kits – for first aid, bug out bags and more – and perhaps you should.

    Not only could it save money, but it will ensure that you are thinking about the use and purpose of every item you intend to carry or use.

    Read more:

    The Prepper’s Blueprint: Where Every Prepper Should Start

    5 Mistakes Every New Prepper Makes

    How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper?

    29 Essential Tips for the New Prepper: “Start Small. Develop Your Skills. Create a Plan”


    It Took 22 Years to Get to This Point

    Gold has been the right asset with which to save your funds in this millennium that began 23 years ago.

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      1. Decades ago one would have done that natrually.

        Prepping was not even a icon…

        I know, I did…
        Be well.

        • Interesting isnt it how stuff that was just second nature to many of us is now a thing. Even more interesting is the fact thet good common sense stuff has been labled as a fringe and crazy.
          If being prepared is crazy ill take that any day over the alternative.

          • For me it was primitive camping stuff.

            You brought everything one needed, then make use of nature…
            Always buy quality camping gear, I still have a hammock from ’74.

            • Its important to prep. Its important to hold some cash, gold and silver; but do not be manipulated by the fear mongers who play upon your fears to profit from you.

              I have warned this community about the “PUMP N DUMP” process which some use to unfairly profit from you. Its despicable. Recently I warned this community about the behavior of Daniel and Future Money Trends with respect to silver, providing data from Zero Hedge to evidence the fault I find in him.

              Last week we had another episode of the “SILVER SHILLS”. From Zero Hedge:


              Cursor down to the silver chart and you will graphically see, again, what I have warned you about. It happens every time. They have NO FUCKING SHAME !!! 🙁

              • DK,
                I’ve been listening to the US dollar update crap i.e. dump Jackson on the twenty for Harriet Tubman! Aside the obvious rhetoric I see this as a move by the government to control currency. It’s a good move to identify people holding cash, including drug dealers, but as with any government scheme to control people it always turns out the want to watch Americans and ignore the criminals.

                I try to keep enough cash on hand to handle 30 days or so, all bills, utilities, taxes, plus food.

                If Treasury changes the 10, 20, and 50 dollar bills and anyone holding cash must exchange it for the new bill, it’ll give the government a great opportunity to monitor exchanges and ID people with significant cash holdings. Something they will want to do if they intend to confiscate money from Americans. If your money is in a bank the government can just poof take it. If you have cash in the mattress the government can’t take what they can’t see?

                Assuming new currency is issued and old currency is to become obsolete, banks will likely rat on anyone exchanging more than X number of dollars for the new design bills.

                I see preppers as a major target on this one. Get reported by the banks for exchanging a $500 stack of twenties, and you’ll be on the list, for a hungry swat team to come a knocking at our doors with bogus warrants for money laundering.

                Obama’s currency redesign initiative is a wolf in a politically correct sheepskin.

                • PTPO: LMAO !!! Look, if new bills are issued, like a new $20 bill with Harriet Tubman on it instead of Jackson, the “old twenties” will be phased out as they wear out: as all bills are retired now. And don’t worry about some “conspiracy theory” with the government controlling the money.

                  The government already controls the money !!! 🙂

                  • After some of the most recent security upgrades, change outs of currency were accelerated. Overseas people had just 6 months to turn it in and exchange it for the new design bills. Over seas old design bills are not valid currency.

                    In the US, banks didn’t wait until bills wore out, but you are correct, in the US old design bills are still honored, but heavily scrutinized.

                    An accelerated changeout like happened overseas is very possible and legal in the states, and don’t think if the are planning a big change they won’t use all the tools at their disposal.

                • I had not even thought about that! However, if it’s like any other change of bills, the old ones will continue to be legal tender along side the new ones, just like they always have in the US. Still, it may be time to consider exchanging some of them quietly for gold, silver or even other denominations. Spread out over several years it should not raise suspicion- especially if you can buy it privately without paperwork.

                • Any of these new FRNs are not due until 2020.

                  Anyone on this forum really think the fiat system of debt in the USA will last until then?

                  • I give it even odds. I have been watching this sort of thing for many years now and have stopped trying to choose a definitive date of collapse. The issue is a complicated one, and involves more than just the level of indebtedness that this government has. It also has a way of enforcing it’s right to that debt in the form of a very powerful military with bases around the world. While you could point to the USSR as being in basically the same position in 1992 (before the collapse and subsequent hyperinflation), you have to remember that they also went through a complete political and economic system revamp at that time, something unlikely to happen here in the next 4 years.

                    It could happen, but I see it as unlikely. That is, unless the nation degenerates into civil war. This would have to come following a further erosion of civil rights that a large minority of the country finds intolerable to the point of a sizable uprising that could actually do something. Right now I do not see that as something that will materialize unless this loss of human rights is also accompanied by severe economic hardship. People need to see themselves as having nothing more to lose in large numbers before they rise up to overthrow a government. Otherwise, they will choose to live their lives as best they can because they fear that any move against the central authority will lead to a decrease in their quality of life.

            • Still have part of a Sears and Rareback summer tent w/attached screen porch. Used the hound out of it when me and the future ex-wife started camping at the Beach on a budget, in 1976.

              Had a Jeep Golden eagle with a single wheel trailer attached to the rear bumper. The attachment arms would pivot up and down off the bumper, and the single wheel/tire was mounted on a swivel axel, in the center. Watch out for those big dips and holes in the road, or you will redistribute all the camping gear at one time. I hand painted the steel frame/body the same color as the Jeep, and made some 3/4 ” X 4″ shellacked rails for the sides of it. it even had a little drop tail gate.
              It was so damned sexy, we turned a lot of heads on the highway and around the beach. My fiancee’ all tanned up, and golden blonde hair down to her waist, didn’t hurt either.

              Keeping some quality camping supplies and hardware on hand could sure come in handy in SHTF scenario.

              I’ve got a pup tent with two poles, and an old tarp that I keep just for the bitch…oops, I meant mother-n-law, for when shtf and she comes slivering around for a place to live and survive.
              She really is a mean, mean woman, and tells lies as well.

              I might cave in a little and let her pitch it near the barn so she will have a place to run in, to get away from the panthers, black bears and coyotes that live in the neighborhood.

              Life can be a bitch, or you just marry into the family of one.

          • If preping is fringe and crazy then i guess i have to blame my preping on the U.S. Military. When i was a young man my dad was a 1st Sgt. and a good friend of his was a LT Colonel. That LTC. gave me a complete OV-1 Mohawk cold weather Survival Kit. He then went to Vietnam with my dad in the early 60’s and flew Huey’s with the 1ST of the 7TH Air Cav, since he knew i really liken the OV-1 kit he then sent me a jungle survival kit that they used on the Huey’s. Based on the items in those military kits is how i got my start. It’s not so much the quantity of your items, as it is the quality, and planing your preps on the environment your going to be using them items in.

          • If preping is fringe and crazy then i guess i have to blame my preping on the U.S. Military. When i was a young man my dad was a 1st Sgt. and a good friend of his was a LT Colonel. That LTC. gave me a complete OV-1 Mohawk cold weather Survival Kit. He then went to Vietnam with my dad in 1965 and flew Huey’s with the 1ST of the 7TH Air Cav, since he knew i really liken the OV-1 kit he then sent me a jungle survival kit that they used on the Huey’s. Based on the items in those military kits is how i got my start. It’s not so much the quantity of your items, as it is the quality, and planing your preps on the environment your going to be using them items in.

        • Eppe, I can’t count the summers as a young’un that I helped work and canned what we grew from our large garden. Still at it. I’ll probably pass the American Canner down to one of my children.

        • whenever i hear some simpleton telling me that i’m kinda’ nutty for being a prepper, i tell them in all the history of the WORLD, going back thousands of years, ….there’s only TWO generations that WEREN’T preppers. i’m 61 years old, and i was BORN a prepper, like pretty much everyone back in my day….when DID america(ns) lose their brain?



        You better prep, you need to stock up, have lots of water, get more extra food, to feed some of the locals around you. I know whats coming, and it VERY, VERY, VERY, EXTREMELY PHUCKING BAD, BAD, BAD. I’ts so bad i am not even sure with all the crap i supposedly know, if i will even survive it, and now i have some woman to protect with this current situation. When she saw wtf just happened with the weather, since i told her it was coming, she is line with my way of thinking, trust me guys, our women will come around eventually. Like Brave1776 mentioned, all its coming down to is lead, lead, and more lead. This is the lickely senario. When you have managment comps emailing tenants, about you will need to follow instuctions from fema, and go to the places that they recommend, i have to phucking laugh. Just for that, i ordered more Brenneke steal penetrators. Brave if your reading this, jump on and get some brenneke steal penetrators. If you needing armor pearcing rounds at 100 yds, for civilian, soldiers, cars, truck or dred lock, or what ever the phuck is coming at you , it’s more penetrating power. I have personally tested this round, it will literally scare the crap out of you just to test fire the round. Smoke eveywhere, and lots of recoil. KABOOOOOM, its certainly got the range boys attention, as to what the hell i just fired. Right into the phucking bullseye at 100 yds and kicked up alot of dust at the distance. Lets not forget the Remington acutip, 3′, one of the most accurate and deadliest rounds at 150-200 yards, accurate deadly, reliable. Unlike the steal penetrator, it breaks into pieces, the green shatters into six pieces, chops ups the intestines, the other projectile seperates, and cuts in two differnt directly, its bad horric round to experience on the receiving end. Check out the utube video that shows the biggest hogs, passout and droping dead as phuck from one round. The bandeleer is needed because it carriers everything that is needed, and now you can have 100 rounds +. Variety is the spice of callapse.

        Anyone getting hit by a Brenneke steal penetrator round is finished, your meeting sweet Jesus, your done, you aint going nowhere.


        Soon to burried by chi-com and jihadist, at the bottom of a local mass grave in Houston.


        • HCKS, check out these Dupleks 12GA. slugs. They can be difficult to find however.

        • I got a great Browning auto shotgun I added goodies to, to customize it for personal defense.

          I picked up a “legal in all states barrel” that is as short as I could find. I’ve got adjustable iron sights that are now dead on at 100 and 200 yards. The magazine is now six rounds plus one in the chamber with an integral tactical light. My last addition was a rifled turkey choke that really tuned up the accuracy of slugs and the pattern with shot.

          If you have a smooth barrel shotgun and want to ring in groups at range, I strongly suggest checking out a rifled turkey choke.

          Been training with it loaded with slugs and I’ve become proficient at nailing center of mass, then riding the recoil up and nailing the head shot on multiple targets set out at 50, 100, and 200 yards. Pop-pop, pop-pop, pop-pop reload! Wash rinse repeat.


      4. All I can say is I’m glad I started many years ago.

        I have taken as much as 10% of my income at times to prep with. I’ll bet in the last 25 to 30 years I have spent over $30,000.00. And I’m happy I did. I will spend even more because I know I missed something.


      5. Etc.: 4 Qt. Lodge Camp Dutch oven, sitting in coals with coals on top too, easy to “clean”, cast iron frying pan also.
        Maybe use some bricks around a fire with a fire grate on top.
        Bowsaw, axe, wedge, hatchet, chopping block (stump) for that firewood, saved newspapers for kindling.
        White gas, Zippos, flints, wicks.
        Lamp petroleum and parafin smokeless oil, oil lamps, wick rolls.

        • We speak the same language. I absolutely love lodge cast iron. I also just bought a new Stihl axe. 5.5 lb head. Great tool. I named it Paul Bunyon. My 14 year old and I love goin to the woods, went again today. It’s not just what you have but what you know AND can do. Stay quiet Be smart

      6. Starting from scratch could be overwhelming considering all the different categories of prep items to have around.

        Whether you are on a strict budget, or money is no object… make a list, and start to accumulate.

        Paralysis by analysis could put you behind the eight ball, so start NOW!

        You don’t need to dwell on extended SHTF to start getting ready for the next power outage or flood.

        Stash extra of what you eat every week. Figure out how to sanitize water and store some water.
        Learn how to protect your stash. Learn to live without electricity. Get organized.

        Rinse and repeat.

        Always Be Armed.

      7. First thing I look for when I plan to invest a little money in some gear is something I can set up quickly that requires me to expend next to nothing in calories. I look at it through a three hour window: sleep system and shelter go up quickly so I can dedicate the bulk of that window to making fire, cutting firewood, and processing water.

        The basic of my sleep/shelter system: ENO hammock, heavy-duty space blankets with grommets (2), clear plastic drop cloths, and paracord. Sleep system and heat-reflective shelter that can be set up in about 30 minutes. Lightweight and takes up next to nothing in space. If I want a sleeping bag for colder weather, I can always add it later.

        • don’t forget the boy scout manual. everything you need to survive is IN there.

      8. Good job on the basics more people need to start. I think if you are just starting your first weapon should have offensive and defensive capabilities, so you need a rifle. Now since a rifle is nothing more then a very expensive club without ammo, you need lots of ammo. In my opinion if you are untrained you’re going to need a few thousand rounds for your training. I’ve seen many guys with a safe full of guns, but only have a few rounds of ammo. Here is something else to think about to if SHTF, most of your shooting is going to be for food not bad guys. Here is an order I’d recommend. 1. Ruger 10/22 with 5000 rounds to get the basics down. 2. A 12 Ga. Shotgun with a variety of different loads for hunting and OO buck for defense or opening doors. 3. Now you are ready for a battle rifle, but first look at the ammo cost and weight. My top pick is a Mil-Spec AR, but the last few years I’ve been running a Tavor SAR. 4. A pistol. I’m a Glocktard so I’d recommend a G17 or G34. My last recommendation is to start with friends and family and standardize everything but food and seed from the start.

        • I’ve got an awesome 12 gauge. I’m invested in the weapon and all kinds of ammo for it.

          If I had it to do over I’d really consider 20 gauge. It has some significant advantaged, yet packs almost the same punch.

      9. I started with 50# beans and 50# rice. I have a garden and canned, dehydrated and froze foods already. My food stash is at its lowest annual ebb… every spring as the garden ramps up. I am pleased to see I have basics down and am on the embellishment side.

      10. I love articles like this, I’ve been prepping for years, and I’m aware that people new to prepping can be overwhelmed by it when they read chat between a few people that have been prepping for ten plus years.

        For anyone that loves life and loves their family, prepping is for you. You can decide how deep in the water you are coumfortable wading, but do start, and start soon. Aim for a 30 day survival plan as a start. Then take it further when you are ready and can afford it.

        Likely more than half of the things recommended in this article are already in the average persons home, they just need to take stock and get organized. Having a good flashlight, great, no batteries for it? Oops! You get the idea.

      11. You don’t need a medical kit. Buy a thermometer and learn how to use it. Buy some Neosporin so a skinned knee doesn’t get infected. You can use iodine or hydrogen peroxide as well. Get some scissors. Buy toilet paper, sanitary napkins, tampax. Some bandages and band aides. Something to reduce pain and lower fever. Just the ordinary stuff that should be in your medicine cabinet and bathroom closet. A bathroom scale is nice to have. And if you really want to be on your game think about a blood pressure pump about $100.00. Or less. If there’s no doctor, you need to know how to bring down a fever. If fever is not too high it will help burn away infection. If it gets too high, could cause seizure and result in brain damage. My favorite method is to use a tepid bath and slowly reduce to cooler temp by adding cool water. Buy a book on basic first aide. Learn the hymlick squeeze to prevent choking. Take a CPR class for $60.00. Every parent should have and do these things anyway. Oh soap. Liquid and bars. Laundry soap and bleach. Deodorant and tooth paste and dental floss. Stock up. Try getting natural non toxic and shampoo. See it’s just what you ought to have any way. No big deal.

        • Just make certain it is chlorine bleach. The other stuff is not good for sanitizing water.

        • don’t forget the tourniquet!….one you can put on one-handed!

      12. Get a wound have a female piss in it. dried cow urine works also. charcoal and spider web can stop a gushing wound.

        • Old Guy
          Having a woman piss on you may be more entertaining, but man puss is more stwrile and more entertaining to me.

          • Sorry about autocorrect… man piss

            • Old Guy and Rebecca:

              My mother taught me, if you are in battle and somebody gets his gut blown open, best thing is to piss on his stomach. I never had the opportunity to try it.

              My grandfather threatened to piss on the grave of a doctor trying to amputate his leg. Guess it would be too late in that case. Ha ha. But it might have been appropriate for the doc to piss on my grandfather’s leg. I imagine grandpa would have told him, “don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining”. Again LOL thanks.

              • B from CA
                Glad that made you laugh, I was laughing too. I am in a rowdy mood today 🙂

                • Urine is also a cure for stinging jellyfish like Portuguese Man of War.

                  Near where I went to college a tourist swam under a wave and came up under a huge Portguese Man of War. The guy washed up half dead from shock. Three local black kids walking by took one look at him and all three stopped and to the horror of the the tourists about, pissed on him. They saved his life.

                  Too bad it was before the days of cell phones with cameras, it would have gone viral.

                  • Plan Twice
                    Too funny, I am adding these two remedies to my herbal notes!.
                    And of course you know that urine is wonderful fertilizer.

      13. I would say that anyone just starting out needs the basics first, which are food and water. Now you can choose to do this by buying the prepackaged freeze dried stuff, but it is a bit expensive for someone on a budget. Instead, I think the beginner should store up canned food and rice as well as some bottled water and a good portable water filter like a Life Straw, Sawyer Mini or the equivalent. If you have a firearm then just concentrate on being able to use it and having a fair supply of ammo on hand- a minimum of 200 rounds to start. If you have no gun at all, then consider a 12 gauge shotgun. You don’t want to go to war with it, but it will be good enough for home defense and can take a variety of game.

        Now on to a beginner’s bug out bag. My philosophy with prepping is to start out cheap and get the expensive stuff later. The inexpensive items you buy at first can then be moved to backup status or perhaps used in a kit you keep in a second vehicle. The main things you will need in the bag are fire, water and shelter. You can go two weeks without eating if needed so make that your fourth priority.

        For water, I use the Sawyer mini kit they sell at Wal Mart for $20. It comes with the filter, straw and a collapsable plastic water bottle. I also carry 2 bottles of water. This way I start out with water and have the ability to resupply later as needed.

        For shelter, you can use a painter’s tarp or a $5 blue plastic tarp from places like Harbor Freight. I would also include a mylar space blanket or two. I usually get them in bulk on E-Bay for around $1 each with free shipping.

        Now for fire. Yes, there are people who are experts in primitive fire who can make a friction fire anywhere there is a film crew. While it is a great skill to have, I suggest having a good backup plan in case your bowdrill set doesn’t work out as you think it will. I suggest having matches, a lighter and a ferrocerium rod. The matches and lighter can be found cheaply anywhere, but the ferrocerium rod is cheapest on E-Bay. Try to get a larger one if possible and expect to pay anywhere from $1 to $5.

        Now for some of the other items, a lot of them can be picked up at the local dollar store. This is especially true of some of the medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, or anti-diarrhea medication. For band aids, get the flexible kind with a strong adhesive from a major brand like Band Aid. Also consider adding some tampons to the kit for larger wounds. Other than medicines, the dollar store can also supply you with small travel sewing kits, twine, metal wire (for hanging pictures), Cliff bars and a host of other items.

        One of the things you definitely want is going to be a flashlight. While there are all sorts of tacticool torches out there, most of them have a very limited life due to their batteries. Now you could carry around a bunch of replacement cells but that is going to be fairly heavy. Instead, I suggest a solution using 18650 cells salvaged from old laptops. My current EDC light cost me around $2 to build with E-Bay parts and a salvaged battery. I got a round 18650 power bank for $1.30 and a USB flashlight attachment for $0.77. I now have a fairly efficient and bright light for nearly no money that fits in my pocket. Plus, it can be used to charge my smartphone if needed. I also carry a $6 solar charged power bank in my bag as well. This gives me a 5,000 mah battery and the ability to resupply both my flashlight and my phone in an emergency. Also, since the flashlight is USB, the power bank can also be used as a flashlight as well if I plug in the module.

        I hope this helps some beginners see things a little differently. You don’t need an expensive commercial kit to start out. All you need is the basics and some imagination.

        • A word of warning about the 18650 batteries: Lithium batteries like to explode or catch fire when not handled properly, so be careful not to mix up the polarity or short them. Also, use a lot of caution when salvaging them as it is easy to short them out when cutting the laptop battery apart. The ones I salvage have no protection circuit built in to the battery and no polarity markings. I use one of those multimeters they give out for free at Harbor Freight (with purchase) to determine the polarity. (If the voltage is negative, then you have the leads mixed up.) I then mark the positive and negative with a permanent marker on the battery so I do not mix them up. I also charge the cells and mark the maximum voltage. The power banks you buy for these things have built in charge controllers that you can use for safe charging. This is important because lithium cells require a non-linear rate of charge starting with a trickle below 20% of battery capacity, rapid charge from 20% to 80% and a trickle from 80% to 100%. Failure to do this properly can result in fire and explosion. There is much more about this, but the information is readily available online.

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