Updated: Jan 5
Preparing for emergency situations can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Not to mention needing the space to put all that stuff. It doesn't have to be that way though, you can be a Minimalist Prepper.
You are here because you are interested in preparing for emergencies such as civil unrest or natural disasters, but you don't want to go overboard. Hence MINIMALIST Survival. I am going to help you prepare for what may never come so you are ready just in case!
What is Minimalist Survival?
Minimalist Survival is the practice of advocating or preparing for a natural, civil, or economic disaster in forms of simplicity and ease. It is learning to survive in a disaster without becoming overburdened with copious amounts of gear and/or food.
The first step in anything that you do is acquire knowledge. If you don't properly educate yourself, you might be setting yourself up for failure. One of the key ways to be a minimalist prepper is to gain as much knowledge about where you live as you can. Instead of buying thousands of dollars on gear and food, you can learn to find and make your own. This way you can be confident that you will find enough food to survive instead of storing 5 years' worth, cluttering up your garage.
This article is just the tip of the iceberg to get you thinking like a minimalist prepper.
Let's get to it!
Tip1. Know where to get potable water
Our body is made up of about 60% of water, so we all desperately need it. On average and depending on your activity level and climate the typical human can survive three to four days without water. Dogs are along the same timeline if you have a furry best friend, which is up to 72 hours. Don't forget to account for them and all your family members in your preparedness adventure!
You need to make sure you have enough water regardless of your situation. If you are traveling, you need to know where freshwater is. If you are hunkering down, you need a fresh source as well. Not all water is created equal though. You can get pretty sick with even the clearest water. Those pesky little microbes can give you a bad day, so make sure you know how to sterilize it. One of the easiest ways is to filter the water through a cloth and then boil it for one minute. That's usually good enough to kill those invisible monsters. The CDC recommends that you have 1 gallon per person or pet per day for 2 weeks. Depending on your needs you can get personal or family sized water purifiers here.
Tip 2. Learn to build a shelter
I chose shelter above food because the elements can kill you pretty quickly. It was recorded in Tower, Minnesota that it got to negative 60 degrees F. It doesn't take long to freeze to death in temperatures like that. Yeah, I know it's not usually that cold, but Murphy's law tells us that if we don't plan on it getting that cold, it probably will! So you might want to prepare for it. Or at least know how to survive in it.
If you can't find a house or somewhere to cover you, you might have to make it. One of the easiest ways to make a shelter is to put a pole across two trees and put a tarp on it. It is a good idea to get a tent large enough to fit your family members and a warm sleeping bag for each of them as well. These are usually lightweight and can be air sealed to save on space until you need them. Make sure to learn how to make an adequate shelter for the climate you live in. You don't want to get caught without one in an emergency situation.
Tip 3. Have enough food for three months
Just like water, our bodies can't keep living without food. Depending on the amount of fat on your body and activity level, the average person can survive 40 to 70 days without food. You may think it gives you a large buffer zone to find some, but you have to remember that your body doesn't act the same way in starvation mode as it does on a full stomach. You become weak, tired, and don't think the same way, so it's best to find food right away.
There are many ways of finding food, but it's not always as easy as you think. Go and research all the wild edible plants and mushrooms where you live. This knowledge is invaluable and can actually be a commodity to teach others if it gets really bad. Learn how to hunt and fish. Again it's not as easy as you think, so you might want to store some food for emergencies to keep your energy levels up while you are out finding more food. The CDC recommends at least 3 days. As we have seen with the COVID-19 panic, stores get bought out quickly. It is better to store food for three or four months with the way things are going! My Patriot Supply has good food at affordable prices that last up to 10 years or more. Click here to see all they have to offer.
Tip 4. Know how to build a fire
You need it to boil water and cook your food to keep you from getting sick. You will also need it to keep you warm or use it as a tool to make things with wood or metal. I think we can all agree that it's a smart idea to learn to make a fire.
There are several ways to make a fire. You can get matches, lighters, torch, ferrocerium rod, or with a bow drill. I won't go into detail with each one, but they each have their own positive and negative attributes for why you would want them. I recommend getting a ferrocerium rod because it is small, durable, waterproof, and lasts a long time. Just like I said with hunting and fishing, make sure you practice starting a fire with the ferrocerium rod. It's not as easy as you think. Especially when everything is wet!
Tip 5. Have $1,000 in USD and Gold/Silver
Another thing you will probably need is money or a way to trade for something else of value. Right now the main way we trade for products is with the U.S dollar. Almost every country in the world will accept the U.S dollar, but with the value of the dollar declining like it is, that may not be the case for the future. If no one else values the dollar, then it is actually worthless because it is fiat money. It's not backed by the physical commodity of gold like it once was.
I recommend getting at least $1,000 in cash and $1,000 worth of gold and silver. gold and silver usually increase in value in times of trouble. People have valued gold and silver all throughout history. It is a time tested commodity. If the dollar crashes, you will at least have something of value to barter with. Even if nothing happens, you can just consider yourself a commodity investor in the precious metals group! Either way, it won't hurt you, there will always be someone willing to buy it. I use Money Metal anytime I buy silver or gold. You buy online and they ship it right to your door.