If the pandemic has taught us anything over the past year and a half, it’s that sometimes in life we need to expect the unexpected. We’re probably all a bit guilty of taking our lives for granted, and expecting that most things in our day to day lives will stay the same, which is why when something comes along which can completely upturn our lives, we’re left so shocked and unprepared. We’re all so accustomed to feeling completely in control of our lives, so it can really play havoc with our mental health when we suddenly feel quite so out of control.
Enter prepping. You may have already heard the term ‘prepping’ or ‘preppers’ floating around online or in popular culture, but if you didn’t know already, prepping refers to a growing community of people who choose to prepare for potential disasters or incidents which could completely upset their normal day to day life. Different preppers plan their survival kits around whatever emergency they’re preparing for – some people ‘prep’ to survive potential job redundancies, and others to survive major world catastrophes. So this could mean prepping a large amount of savings, or prepping a kit full of life-saving equipment and supplies. There are absolutely no rules as to what you should or could prep for, it’s all down to the individual.
If you’re someone who loves being organised and in control, no matter what life throws your way, then prepping might be for you. Have a think about your lifestyle and what kind of event you might like to prep for. It could be that you’re particularly worried about losing your house if you lost a job, or the recent pandemic could have you prepping for any similar potential pandemics in the future.
Now you’re ready to sit down and put together a list of what you’d like to collect and add to your preparation stash. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve put together a helpful list of essentials which will come in handy for most unfortunate events and scenarios. Let’s take a look!
Basic first aid
When considering a life-changing disaster, there’s an obvious case for needing first aid supplies. You never know exactly what you might encounter, so it’s always best to go overboard and make sure you have enough first aid supplies for a wide range of injuries and illnesses. Here’s what we’d recommend:
- Selection of various sized plasters
- Selection of various sized bandages
- Medical tape and/or safety pins
- Alcohol wipes
- Medical grade nitrile gloves (visit prontodirect.co.uk)
- Painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
- A thermometer
- Hand sanitiser
- Small scissors
If you’re prepping for a disaster scale emergency, then it’s a wise idea to include some general safety equipment in your stash. Items which can save your life or keep you protected from hazards and risks which you might encounter. These are just a few of the items we’d suggest:
- Heavy duty cut proof gloves
- Disposable gloves (we recommend nitrile as they provide the most protection)
- Respirator face mask
- Eye protection such as safety goggles or glasses
- A pocket knife or swiss army knife
- An axe
Possibly the most important aspect of your prepping kit is bottled water. Whilst the human body can go without food for extended periods of time, water is an absolute necessity – afterall, our bodies are made up of 60% water. According to medicalnewstoday we can actually only survive about 3 days without it! So stash as much of it away as possible. It’s also a good idea to include rehydration sachets, which will help replenish your body with vital nutrients and electrolytes which you can be deficient in if you’re not well hydrated. Not only is clean water essential for your own survival and hydration, but it’s also useful for cooking and washing too. So don’t underestimate the amount you might need to stock up on. We recommend purchasing bottles in varying sizes too, so that you have some small enough to be portable and carried around, as well as bigger gallon sized bottles to keep at your base.
When you’re prepping food, you’ll want to choose foods which have a long shelf life, such as tinned and dried foods. Where possible, we recommend buying tinned food which is packaged in water – as you’ll then benefit from the added hydration too. This water can also be drained and used for either cooking or washing. Powdered foods are useful too, as they’re small to store and contain essential vitamins that your body relies on to function healthily. It’s also worth considering including some vitamins or supplements in your stash as well, these can be useful in providing your body with nutrients that it may be missing out on when you’re unable to continue eating your normal balanced diet. Here are some ideas for foods with usually long expiry dates which are also filling and nutritious:
- Tinned fruits and vegetables
- Tinned fishes such as tuna, mackerels and sardines
- Tinned meats such as corned beef
- Tinned beans, pulses and lentils
- Dried pastas and rices
- Powdered milk and egg
Remember, when stashing food, it’s important to carry out regular inventories to double check expiry dates and use up any stock which will soon be out of date. Get into the habit of doing a regular stock check and rotation. It’s a good idea to set up an excel spreadsheet, which you can refer to and keep updated.
So there you have it – a beginners guide to prepping! We hope you now have a good starting point to start putting together your stash. Each preppers kit is very unique to them and the disaster they decide to prepare for, so yours may be slightly different from this. But we hope this provides you with a good starting point, to which you can add things and make your stash your own. Prepping can be an enjoyable hobby, there’s a great deal of satisfaction that comes with organisation and knowing that you’ve provided a safety net for yourself and/or your family. There’s also plenty of support and conversation happening in the prepping community, if you want to reach out for any advice, tips and support. We wish you good luck getting started on your prepping journey!