Getting started – Part 1 by Ludvick

OK so you’re reading this because you’re new to all of the prepping, survivalism, end of the world talk and want to know what its all is about.

What I shall do in my series of articles is try to explain the basics for you.  I do not advocate preparedness for all and it is your own choice to do so and your own path to take.

I will try to explain some of a starters worries and ideas here with part one.  I shall also introduce you to Guy, Guy is a make believe bloke we shall use as an example so you can see some of the ideas and who and how to perform them. I start with a blank canvas and expect you have no skills at all to start with and no training.

I am going to skip the why we start bit as I find it insulting. Your here reading this because you have decided that it is a subject that might interest you and your given situation.

I will start with preparedness over load.

A lot of new people start to read about certain subjects, news broadcasts and start watching hundreds of hours of you tube videos and start to read, slightly opinionated blogs and have arrived here after an internet search.

So you are now panicked by the thought of spending thousands of pounds on food, guns, barbed wire and tanks.

Well here’s a breath of fresh air, YOU DON’T HAVE TO.

Heres the bit they don’t tell you on their blogs and videos, we all prepare in different ways. Put ten of us in a room and I am certain we will come back with 31 different ways to do it. You cant prepare for every eventuality nor can you afford to do so either so don’t worry do what you can.

So let’s speak to Guy on the subject.

He is a mid 40’s unfit male, accountant by job role. Commutes to work on the train. Hates his job. Have a wife and two teenage strop monsters and a small terraced house in a city with a smallish garden. Money is tight and the wife definitely won’t understand when he comes home one day after buying a tank and the new “school run vehicle” just in case.

They were very close to a flood area last year and whilst they were not flooded the lack of electrical power, gas and the blocked toilet has made him start to look at certain different websites.  They ended up staying at a friends house for a day or two until it was sorted out. Crime in the area is low, but local kids do congregate at the street corner and the politics on the telly has for once started to worry him.

So where does Guy start?

Well we are going to all have different strengths and weaknesses and we are going to find Guy’s and we are going to work on the weaknesses and improve on his strengths. We also have to get the wife and kids to at least understand and even better take part. We are going to also talk about risks.

Now everyone hates elf and safety, risk and method statements all just a waste of our time, blah, blah.

So let’s look at Guy’s risks.

First up its being flooded.

Second being homeless from the floods.

Being trapped in London is also up there, terrorist attacks floods and zombies spring to mind.

He has also got to worry about, being unemployed.

The house burning down.

Aliens, zombies, bubonic plague is also there, as is nuclear war.  Solar explosions.  Ice caps melting and worst yet… The world running out of cream cakes on Friday afternoon!

So I suggest to Guy he starts by finding the ones he can do something about, think about the others and totally ignore some.

So now we have a list of risks. You might have your own to add to Guys lists and please do. You can even totally ignore some of them as well.

So which is which?

I suggest that Guy looks at storing some extra food in case of being stuck at home, some spare water too. We will also look at some thing to cook on and heating.

We will discuss getting home when the trains stop. We will also discuss being unemployed and finally homelessness.

We will also speak about getting the family on board too.

So let’s talk food and water.  In the house there is very little spare room and the wife is not going to allow him to sell one of the offspring on eBay to gain the extra room.

So what shall we do?  There are hundreds of websites and excel spread sheets explaining how many thousands of baked beans tins we need to buy. What I suggest is simple, drop a couple of extra tins of soup in the trolley at the weekend. The odd extra baked bean tin and say the odd extra meat tinned pie or cooked ham tin. These are not going to break the bank and not going to kill the relationship with the wife either. The odd extra bottle of bottled water would be great to. But we are soon going to struggle with extra space in the cupboards.

Cooking –  a simple camping gas cooker is next on the shopping list, a single ring with disposable gas canister and a couple of small saucepans.

Getting home in an emergency situation is up there to. Work is ten miles away and Guy has never walked past two miles even when he was fit, let alone now 30 years later.

As for telling the wife that we are all going to live on baked beans and wear ex army clothes and defecate in a plastic bag…  Whilst trying to not end up under the patio slabs!!

So now a plan is starting to form lets start to thrash it all out a bit more.

Now the cupboards are full.  We are struggling to find room for the extra cans, and we want to start storing some dried goods.  Pasta and rice.  So the next part on the shopping list is either a small vacuum bagger machine and some thick plastic bags even maybe a Mylar bag or two.

Now let’s look at escaping from the city.  OK, so in this scenario he has to get home whilst London shuts down due to some unforeseen reason.  No trains and buses are running and people have taken all the hotel rooms and the office is closed.

First choice is to stay at the office.  Kip in the canteen for the night use the toilets and the food in the fridge or the local chip shops.  There are going to be a fair few others there too. You can make a game of it try to entertain each other, and generally keep the British stiff upper lip going.

Next option could be to drive home, share someone else’s drive home and get the wife to drive in to collect him.  Now since everyone else is going to be doing that and as the trains and buses slow down so will the traffic and cars so that’s really not a good idea.  Next up is other forms of transport.  Cycles and motorbikes spring to mind.

So Guy’s wife is not going to allow him to buy a motorcycle.  So let’s talk cycling.  Now Guy and I could do with losing a few pounds.  So he buys a push bike.  Rather than flogging himself to death he starts to train slowly. There are ten stops on his train journey so for three weeks he gets off the train one stop before the end and cycles the last mile after three weeks of doing this he gets off the next stop earlier.  After a while he is cycling back to the extra train stations as well.  Soon he is cycling the whole journey, saving the cost of the train tickets and spending the money elsewhere. He is also losing the odd pound here and there and is starting to enjoy it.

Once he is free of the train we need to start to look at bug out plans.  This is basically a pre arranged plan that in a given situation he will act in a set manor along with his wife and kids.  So for Guy, someone carries out a bomb scare in London and all the trains and buses stop.  This now does not bother Guy, he knows that his wife  (even though the mobile phones stop working) will know he is going to cycle home, on a set route as normal, and that it takes a certain time for him to do so…  So happy wife and happy Guy.

A bug out plan for Guy was a simple map search on paper finding the best route.  Guy decided to not use the main road as they are so busy, but he is going to use the local canal paths and a mixture of small roads away from the traffic.  Whilst it’s slightly longer than the crow flies, it’s a lot flatter for him to cycle along.

Now we have these slightly better plans let’s go a little further.  Lets get a bag.

In that bag we add some food, some clothes and some tools and all of a sudden we have a bug out bag.  For Guy we are going to add the bicycle repair tools into his bike satchel a couple of bits of food in case he gets hungry.  We can add a water proof coat or clothes and we can add some other items, say a food heater/cooker.  Fire lighting tools,  hand tools and so on, a bottle of water as well.

So you see, we have started with what we can and have not gone out and brought a nuclear bunker for the back garden.  We have used money wisely and have not managed to upset the family at the same time.  The kids have not been sold on eBay but there’s always hope.

We now know the basics of bug out plans, bug out bags, food prepping and how they work. What we need to do it start to look at each specific topic and start to work them out in much more details….

Article authored by Ludvick