The issue of money is giving headaches to many preppers with low budgets who, after watching certain reality TV shows and seeing the huge amount of survival info on the web, reach the conclusion that prepping is expensive.
In reality, there’re quite a few things you can do to prepare that are either free or dirt-cheap. In addition, most of them are completely under the radar (meaning no one will suspect why you’re doing them). If you have a spouse who’s against preparedness or if you live in an environment where prepping is frowned upon, you’ll find a few good suggestions to do it in a way which won’t draw attention.
Do the following and you’ll be much better prepared for what mankind or Mother Nature will throw your way.
#1. Get into shape.
This is by far the most important free thing you can do for your survival. If you’re bugging out and you have poor physical condition, you won’t stand a chance with a heavy backpack on your back. Plus, think about all the people you might encounter who will want to hurt you. Disasters turn men into beasts, who would do anything to protect their families.
If you’re bugging in, you’ll also need to be fit. Caloric restrictions, physical labor (from working the garden or the field), these will all take their toll. A weak body won’t last very long in these conditions.
As recent events in Germany, Sweden and other countries flooded by migrants/refugees have shown us, if you’re chased or groped by a bunch of attackers, you’re going to need every ounce of strength to fend them off and run away.
#2. Make an inventory of all your stuff.
I’m sure you have a lot of old things lying around the house… in your garage, your attic, your tool shed… things you haven’t seen or used in years. Many of them might help you post-collapse. Books, old clothes, old magazines etc. You can recondition all of these clothes, then store them away from moths and you can sell those books and magazines and use the money to buy preps.
There’s so much info out there on survival and preparedness that it doesn’t even matter what’s good and what’s bad. If you read everything, you’ll inevitably form your own opinions and figure out which advice is good and which isn’t.
Blogs, forums, podcasts, type preparedness into google and you’ll literally find millions of pages. I suggest you take notes or, even better, start your own blog to write your progress or share your thoughts with the world.
#4. Explore your town or city.
Look for places to hide, places to bug out, and alternative routes to take if the main ones are blocked for whatever reason. This will also give you quite a workout. If you’re thinking about moving out of the city into the burbs, this will be a great opportunity to explore them. Not all neighborhoods are safe and, if you’re going to pick a place to bug in in case of a major disaster, you’ll want that place to be as far away from burglars and looters as possible.
#5. Check local old newspapers and news sites.
You’ll most likely find plenty of news about personal emergencies and mini-disasters you can learn from… people that died or got seriously injured for whatever reason. These will give you an idea of the things that are most likely to happen to you. The more you research, the better you can prioritize your efforts.
Tip: these news stories will also help you prove a point when talking with people about survival. everyone thinks it’s all about the Zombie Apocalypse but if you show them real people died not far from where you’re located, they be more likely to understand you.
#6. Become a coupon king or queen.
You’d be amazed at all the free things you can get with nothing but coupons. The trick to getting as many free coupons as possible and then use them during sales periods to get items for next to nothing. You can find coupons, online (on coupon sites), offline (in papers) and even in stores.
#7. Make primitive tools.
Not that you’ll need them anytime soon but learning this skill is definitely valuable. You are going to need a good survival knife, but I’m sure you already have one. Some of the tools and weapons you can make from wood and stone include:
- grain grinders (you’ll need two stones, a larger one that needs to be carved and a smaller one to pound seeds, herbs, rice, beans and so on)
- hand axes
- rock slings (you’re also going to need some cordage for this)
- …and so on.
You can find instructions on how to make these tools on YouTube. For example, you can see how to make a primitive spear right here:
And this is what a rock sling looks like as we as some techniques to throw it right here:
#8. Digging caches.
Most preppers won’t go as far as digging caches in their backyard but that doesn’t mean you can’t. All you need is a good container to hold your things and a shovel. Consider PVC pipes and ammo boxes.
The fact of the matter is, I could have written a lot more things to prepare that are 100% free but… that’s not really my goal. Information overload often translates into inaction and my goal is to get you to actually do these things.
Remember that crisis can take any number of shapes and that my suggestions, while aren’t targeted at specific disasters, they might save your life in an SHTF situation. They can give you a head start if you don’t have that big of a budget to start with.
Careful when purchasing gear, though. You usually get what you pay so, trying to save money by getting something cheaper is definitely not a good idea. There’ plenty of products on Amazon with many reviews, I suggest you read them thoroughly before you purchase anything.
Good luck and stay safe,
Dan F. Sullivan
Dan is a guest contributor to this blog. Please visit his web site to learn more.