Friday, July 22, 2016

Prepper 101: 100 Things to Do, Be, Have, and Experience

A reader recently asked that I update a post I wrote over a decade ago...something about things to do, be, and have.  Unfortunately I can't find that post (or even remember what I wrote) so here is the all-new list of things to do, be, have, and experience...100 prepper basics.  And a small bonus.

First the bonus:  If you want to get your shit together (or just want to confirm that it is already together) check out this list of life tasks.

And now the lists...

25 Things to Do

  1. Run (or walk) a marathon.
  2. Set a huge goal and achieve it.
  3. Volunteer as an EMT.
  4. Build something from scratch (house, computer, etc).
  5. Go on an extended backpacking trip of a week or more.
  6. Learn a new skill monthly.
  7. Earn a black belt in a martial art.
  8. Attend a preparedness training course (tactical shooting, bush craft, NOLS, etc.)
  9. Cut yourself off from normal society for an entire month (wilderness retreat, 30 day cruise, etc)
  10. Put together your own security system.
  11. Take a road trip around the US.
  12. Learn how to use specialized tools (chainsaw, winch, welding, etc)
  13. Learn how to navigate (via map and compass, GPS, by the stars, etc)
  14. Join clubs and organizations to help you improve your skills (HAM radio club, bowling league, running club, writer's club, etc)
  15. Sew or knit something you can actually wear.
  16. Participate in/attend community activities (charity event, county fair, high school football game, etc)
  17. Respond to a large disaster (as part of a CERT team, as a volunteer, etc)
  18. Get rid of at least one bad habit.
  19. Pick a lock.
  20. Learn the basics of parkour.
  21. Volunteer as a support person for a major event (Chicago Marathon, Iditerod, Ironman, etc)
  22. Eat all meals at home (or brought from home) for an entire month.
  23. Vote in each and every election.
  24. Do something unique and unusual (race a sports car, drive a dump truck, shoot an AR-15, etc)
  25. Start your own business.

25 Things to Be

  1. Healthy.
  2. Fit.
  3. Fluent in a second language.
  4. Proficient in a wide range of sports.
  5. Debt free (including your home)
  6. Of good character (honest, dependable, trustworthy, etc)
  7. Generous (with your time, knowledge, and money if possible)
  8. Responsible for those who depend on you (kids, parents, SO, etc)
  9. Continually educating yourself (read, do online courses, etc)
  10. Creative (do art, play an instrument, etc)
  11. Sociable (good interpersonal skills, get along well with others, good manners, etc)
  12. Optimistic (prepare for the worst, hope for the best)
  13. Financially literate.
  14. Skilled at various games (chess, poker, blackjack, etc)
  15. Always willing to go above and beyond (at work, in the community, etc)
  16. An expert in your field.
  17. Proficient in negotiating and haggling.
  18. Always dressed appropriately for the situation.
  19. Knowledgeable in basic skills (how to jump a car, how to tie knots, how to change a tire, etc)
  20. Proficient in the kitchen (can cook, bake, etc. with a reasonable amount of skill)
  21. Reasonably entertaining (tell good jokes, sing karaoke, amuse children, etc)
  22. A problem solver (logic--and Google--can go a long way towards this)
  23. Able to control anger, frustration, and other negative traits.
  24. Productive on a daily basis (ie: no procrastination, laziness, etc)
  25. Appreciative of all you have

25 Things to Have

  1. A passport.
  2. Insurance of all kinds (home, life, health, auto)
  3. A year's worth of expenses in savings.
  4. Good credit.
  5. Connections to other people (spouse, SO, kids, friends, etc)
  6. Concealed carry permit.
  7. An assortment of weapons (and the knowledge to use them)
  8. A HAM operator's license.
  9. A home base.
  10. Basic survival gear (BOB, EDC, etc)
  11. A good set of tools.
  12. Alternate sources for: heating, cooking, water, food, shelter, transportation, etc.
  13. A good pair of walking shoes.
  14. Multiple sources of income.
  15. Investments (stocks, bonds, 401k, Roth IRA, gold, mutual funds, etc)
  16. A Will, Living Will, and Medical Power of Attorney
  17. All of your important documents and photos backed up in triplicate.
  18. A safe room.
  19. Basic tech items (smart phone, laptop, GPS if necessary, appropriate apps, etc)
  20. A driver's license.
  21. A resource library (either regular survival skills books or books on Kindle, maps, etc)
  22. All of your vaccinations up to date.
  23. Appropriate clothing for all occasions (outdoors, work, formal, casual, etc)
  24. Plans (communications, bug out, bug in, evacuation, etc)
  25. Connections in the community (know a good plumber, a good auto mechanic, have a doctor and dentist, etc)

25 Things to Experience

  1. Travel in a third-world country.  
  2. Go skydiving.
  3. Go SCUBA diving.
  4. Speak in front of a crowd.
  5. Teach other people a useful skill.
  6. Participate in a competitive event (Spartan Race, Senior Games, etc)
  7. Drive a range of vehicles (car, boat, motorcycle, kayak, etc)
  8. Start a fire in multiple ways without matches.
  9. Procure your own food (hunting, fishing, gardening, etc).
  10. Preserve your own food (drying, canning, smoking, etc).
  11. Hang out with people who are not at all like you.
  12. Barter for things you want and need.
  13. Have someone drop you off 100 miles from home and figure out how to get back with no money.
  14. Spend an entire weekend at home with no power/electronic devices/gas for heating or cooking, etc.
  15. Be chased or hunted by people (ie: play paintball, do a Zombie Run, Laser Tag, etc)
  16. Go to unique restaurants and experience unusual food (Ethiopian, Filipino, real Chinese, Indian, etc)
  17. Go backpacking/camping in various environs (desert, jungle, winter, summer, mountains, beach, etc)
  18. Live abroad for a period of time.
  19. Own animals (dogs, cats, horses, pigs, etc)
  20. Fly in a variety of crafts (airplane, helicopter, balloon, glider, etc)
  21. Spend a weekend outdoors with only what you can make (shelter) and forage for (food)
  22. Live as a homeless person for the weekend (stay in a shelter, eat at a soup kitchen, etc)
  23. Attend a large event (Burning Man, World Series of Poker, Super Bowl, etc)
  24. Challenge yourself to not spend any money at all for an entire week.
  25. Do a Polar Plunge to celebrate the new year.

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