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How we need to prepare


The line between Hoarding and Prepping

I’ve just been offered the contents of an old friends garage now he no longer has the vitality to do his own mechanical work. The reason is two fold, one he just doesn’t have the capability to actually do the mechanical work required any longer and the other is he knows that with a modern car there is very little you can do on your own without a lot of very expensive kit. Just as the manufacturers planned. So why keep the tools.

So there I am in the garage looking at the kit that he has. I already have a lot of the basic stuff but with him refurbishing old cars as a hobby he has a lot of tools that I don’t have that I simply never used, or if I did need them I popped around to his and used them there. There is a lot of tools there for performing tasks on vehicles that I don’t know what they or for and can’t see me using.

In true prepper fashion though I took the lot home with me to my garage which is now looking a lot more like a storeroom and a storeroom like you see in the films where you open the door to face a big pile of stuff just waiting to fall out when you try to tug at anything.

As I was sorting the tools, you can never have too many spanners, screwdrivers, sockets, err… double flaring kits? WTF? I thought to myself, well I don’t know what it is but it must be of use to someone when we are working on vehicles after an event. So I kept it. Don’t know what it is or what it is used for but the item in boxed in my garage.

Keeping items I don’t know what they are for made me thing. Am I starting to hoard things under the guise of prepping? I do have hundreds of items that I hope I will never use and I do keep more things than I throw out. I do consider what they are and have given away or thrown out without a second thought items that I know I will never use.

Hoarding is a misused word that is used to put a negative spin on people like use putting things aside for the future. I ignore that and to me hoarding is keeping things for keeping things sake, like years worth of newspapers that are of no use or broken electronics that you cannot repair.

Tools though are handy for a lot of different uses and I do have a lot of those. At the very least I could barter my double flaring tool when I meet someone that knows what to do with it.

I need more space for my preps.


One of the biggest areas of concern in my prepping is my relationships with others. By relationships I mean that people I am friendly with or are related to that are not aware or interested in my prepping. People that do not know what I have or what I intend to do after an event.

It is an area of concern for me because I have several different relationships that are a fine juggling act.

  1. My Close Family
  2. The people that I am prepping for. The fruit of my loins, I hope, and the investment I have made in the future. In my case they know what I am doing but not all the details and don’t believe there will be an event at all. I hope they are right. I have put aside as much as I can for this group and have left instructions on what they should do in the event of my demise.

  3. Close Friends
  4. These are a mixed bunch. Many know about my prepping, they certainly know about the hunting gear and the survival kits. Not all know about the water, food and equipment in the loft and none really know the location of the caches at the other sites. I have spoken to all of these over time to understand their opinion on prepping and most of them are not interested. One or two are prepping on their own and these will be welcomed into my group if it comes down to it. The others may be welcomed depending on the circumstances at the time.

  5. Neighbours
  6. None of the neighbours know what I am up to. Some know me as that strange person that has chickens, bees and a veg garden. The rest know me as the strange guy with the pallets and IBCs up the drive. I’ve carefully touched on the subject of prepping with all of them and a couple have commented that it makes sense to put something aside but only food and water. Don’t know if they have or not. We have not discussed it since. There are a couple here that may be welcomed depending on the circumstances at the time. The others won’t be.

  7. Other Preppers
  8. There are several preppers that I know that live locally. I’ve been careful but they know enough about me to find my location if they don’t know it already. There are a couple of preppers who live a bit further away that definitely know my address. With their mindset and, hopefully, preps they would be welcomed. The concern here is what extended family would they bring if they decided to come here? This is a risk but would have to be dealt with at the time and the risk would depend on what preps they had and the people they brought. I see it as an acceptable risk but still a risk. There are other preppers out there I know that I would welcome if it came down to it. It is part of the reason I set up the sites so you could get to know other like minded people. It is unlikely they would make the trip but you never know.

  9. Old Friends
  10. These are people I have met on my travels through life that know I am prepping. I’ve lost touch with them and most don’t know my current address but they do know where I have lived. I’ve lived in the same area since I was ten so they all know a location within a couple of miles of my current home. Not enough to find me after an event and I can’t see any of them heading this way before an event either but I can see them considering it but the non locals deciding that it is too risky and not making the trip. The locals might visit though so I need to consider what happens then as there are many that may be welcomed depending on the circumstances at the time.

  11. Extended Family
  12. None of these know what I am doing. They won’t even think of heading my way but they could easily think of going to some of my close family. This is the biggest area of concern for me because my close family could even invite them along when they come as planned. Most of these people I won’t even know but all are family to someone in my Close Family Group. Excluding them will not be easy as they will be supported by people within my Close Family. However I know for a fact I wouldn’t be able to consider even just the locals from my extended families. I just won’t have the resources.

  13. Really Far Away Family
  14. None know what I am doing and none live close enough to even consider me or my close family worth visiting. Maybe if they are here when something happens they would be have to be considered but the risk is low. Worry about that when the time comes.

So when I say welcomed I mean that I will find them a place close to me, remember I’m bugging in primarily, where we can be a close knit group and work together. I want to be in charge though, certainly for the start, although I’m not a dictator I don’t want people making decisions on my behalf. If they have preps them that is their stuff and if not I will make them work for any that come out of my stores.

When I say they are not welcome then I mean that I’ll be asking them to leave and if necessary I will use force to do that. I wouldn’t want to but I am prepared to do so. We could always use some extra compost if things go too far.

When I will consider people I will take into consideration who they are, what can they bring to the group, have they got preps, how much? What is their intent, temporary alliance or a long term commitment. All those as well as the situation itself will make a difference. The situation includes what the weather is like, it could be winter, what is the actual event? Is it long term or short term? There is a lot to consider.

It is the extended family that come visiting that is my concern. What when they refuse to go because someone has said they can move in with them. When that someone is saying I’ll share their food, food that I am providing in my families case. Handling this will have to be done at the time because depending on who it is, what the relationship is and the situation this could lead to it will make a big difference to how it is handled. Perhaps even getting them settled in and dealing with it on the quiet over a period of time. This is my fear as we have links to some large extended families spread over the larger local area but all within an hour of here by car. Hopefully it won’t come to that but I have considered how many and there is no way I can prep for that many.

How many do I buy?

One question that I am usually asked is how much should I be looking at storing? How many of those should I buy? If I had a single answer I could give I would make a lot of people happy. As it is the answer I usually give, and the only right answer, is as much as you need. Everyone has different requirements, different needs, different storage space, different amounts to spend and live in different situations. Note I don’t say invest but spend although I am tempted too say invest as only if anything happens will you see a return on your investment and it won’t be monetary.

Let’s start with finances. How much should I spend?

Well, as expected, that is up to you. How much can you spare? My view is that you have to enjoy your life and live now. I know some people that spend all of what they make on basic living. They put aside the odd item when they can and are slowly building up stocks. Those that have ‘spare’ money every month can afford to put aside a percentage of it and use that to fund the prepping. Take an amount that you are happy with and spend it wisely. Everyone thinks they don’t have any ‘spare’ money but spend some time unemployed and you will quickly work out what is essential and what is not. Most of us though have ‘spare’ money even when it doesn’t look like it. By watching what you spend and cutting back on non essentials you can create ‘spare’ money.

Now what should I buy?

Again, as I keep saying, that is up to you. It is recommended you buy what you eat so your preps are simply and extension of your current food stores. You go shopping weekly and buy a weeks worth of tins and perishables, simply continue to go shopping but buy two weeks worth. Now you have a weeks worth of prepping put aside. Repeat until you have enough for three months or six months. Of course nothing is ever easy and this is no exception. You can’t keep perishables for any length of time so you need substitutes and you need items that are not part of your everyday shopping, items like fire starters, water filters and tools such as weapons. Read around the site for a comprehensive list. But basically it breaks down into the following ordered categories;

  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Extras – Items like water filters, sanitation, medical gear, weapons, etc.

Make sure you have the basics of Water, Food and Shelter before you start spending on extras.

Sometimes I am also asked how many should I buy?

People sometime think that have a single item is enough and in some cases it may be. Having a single knife that costs £250 and will never break is great but what happens if it is broken, lost or stolen or you need to let someone else take it for some reason. You are now knifeless. I’m all for paying for good quality but there is a case to be made to have cheaper items as you can afford more of them. Personally, I’ll all for a mixture. Buy good quality and quantity where you can and buy a quality item and several cheaper items when you can’t. Don’t skimp on the key items such as water filters and clothes. But make sure you have several knives with a few cheap ones.

There is a saying in the prepping world that one is none, two is one and three is two. Clearly the maths doesn’t work out but what it means is that you need spares as after an event you can’t just pop to the corner shop and replace the item. It also gives flexibility with a team. I’m loath to let someone else use my £250 knife but a £5 one won’t make me bat an eye especially if it is broken, lost or stolen.

So look at each item, how many do you need to last the rest of your life. One, two or even more. Then buy that and make sure you have some for spares and sharing as well.

Again, unsurprisingly, you need to make your own mind up on how many.

So as you can see everyone will answer these questions differently. You need to work out your own requirements for your situation depending on;

  • Environment – City, urban, woods around, etc.
  • Location
  • Group Size
  • Group Composition – Ages, skill set, etc.
  • Your finances
  • Storage situation
  • Knowledge

Look around the site and the forum. There is plenty of advice to help you out there on specific items to put aside with advantages and disadvantages to each. Just make sure you have plenty of food and water, everything else is based on you having that to live.

Adjusting your own future

Well we have seen the way that things are going and we can see what the stasi is doing as well. Both of these paths end in chaos and despair. We should always remember that our species is very adaptable and there is still the possibility that things can get back on the right track but considering that it is unlikely you can do anything about it what if it does go pear shaped and what can you do to shape the future very slightly in your favour at the least?

The answer to any question like this as always the same; You prepare and you practise.

Chance favours the prepared mind.
Louis Pasteur (1822 – 1895)

Simply put although there are no guarantees in life and a societal breakdown changes the situation so that many more of us will be in dire situations on a regular basis. No law means that simply going out for some food will put you at risk. Chance becomes a much more significant part of the equation than it is now.

So improve your chances by preparing. Prepare for the eventuality of something happening that will mark TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) and improve you and yours chances of survival. TEOTWAWKI can be many thing, Societal Collapse which is very high risk now down to Impact Event, SuperVolcanos like Yellowstone, Pandemics, even a limited Nuclear War, if nuclear weapons can be called limited, are just a few of the serious scenarios that could easily occur and leave us without societal support never mind the endless list of events that are minor to us as a species but significant to those caught up in them such as terrorist attack, chemical factory fire and other local like events that effect a small area but if that area includes where you are then you are in trouble.

So whatever event you are preparing for there are certain things that are universal for our species to survive; Air, Water, Food and Shelter. We must have those to survive in the climate of the UK year round. Although we do not have extreme temperatures during winter it can fall to -15 and in summer rise to 40+. So we must take that into consideration.

Let us look at the basics we would need for a societal collapse.


Air is pretty much a gimme unless you are preparing for a nuclear exchange so for our societal collapse we can work on the basis that we don’t have to do anything here.


Water falls freely from the sky on a regular basis throughout the year here and so far they have not found a way to tax or control that at this time. So it is currently free to use. However, we don’t want to be seen outside setting up tarps and sheets to collect this water too early on as this will attract predators. Plus if it is in the summer there might not be rain for several days. We could go to streams or a river but again we don’t want to be seen out. That is where the predators wait in Africa, by watering holes, for prey. You don’t want to be prey so we should ensure we have plenty of water for those initial days where you wait inside till it quietens down. Recommended is 2L per day per person just for drinking. So work out what you want to store and find somewhere for it. Water is heavy. Then once things have quietened down we can collect water from outside. The only issue must consider is that all our current water is filtered before we get it and that includes tap water. We have lost the ability to handle the harmful organisms and can easily get stomach upsets from drinking the water without treatment. There are several filter types available on the web to filter out these harmful organisms whilst you await a return to normality or build a longer lasting filter. Make sure you have at least two filters available just in case. Instructions on How to build long term water treatment filters are in the Water section of the Files Site.

We are making the decision here that we won’t bother getting washed for a while although I would recommend that you simply have a few packs of baby wipes and use them instead of your precious water.


There is a saying that you store what you eat and eat what you store. It makes a lot of sense. You don’t get stomach upsets, you know that you can eat it and it is something that you don’t have to put aside. Simply buy more of what you eat so you have several months worth of food in the house. It has several advantages you can buy in bulk, providing you don’t let it dip below your prepping amount, and you only have to go shopping for the perishables, milk, bread, etc. All of which you can do without if it came down to it. Of course, it isn’t as simple as just doubling up on everything till you have enough. After all we can’t make the assumption the electrickery is on and so we will not have a fridge, a freezer or even a cooker unless we make sure we have those items either running on gas, solar or something else. My advice is to have enough basics dried so you don’t need to cook or keep refrigerated and rough it for a while. Cooking gives off smells that hungry people could detect. Of course if you have the funds and the space stock up on gas and something like a camping stove for when things are better.


I don’t see Shelter being an issue unless you are really unfortunate. You should simply hole up in your own home and keep your head down using your own bedclothes, clothes etc. to keep warm. If the electrickery is out then just put more blankets, clothes, etc. on. Don’t have any then buy them now.

One major issue you may have depending on where you live is that if you live right next to a bunch of youths or in a block of flats then your chances drop dramatically because they will be more than happy to break in to your place and steal everything you have stabbing you in the process. If you don’t think that is the case read the papers, the society we had in the Blitz is long gone and now it is every man for themselves where people can get stabbed to death just for looking someone in the eye. This is a difficult one as you are tied by your job and families to certain locations. They may be high risk but you need to live. One option is to consider moving to another location at the onset of an event. Read more about Bugging Out here if you can’t move beforehand.

I’m planning on staying at home and have looked around my neighbours gardens for items I can use; Who has a raised bed, pond, rain harvesting system, ham radio aerials, solar panels on the roof. Get a local map and mark these places on it for when you can get out and about and scavenging. Don’t forget to mark when the local bikers den is.


Of course once you have the basics there are many other items you should consider adding to your preps. Here are some in my order of priority;

  • Sanitation – Composting toilet pref or at the minimum a chemical toilet for the first few months. Soaps. You could get away for a while in a remote location or storing but you must be careful of contamination. Read more about Sanitation here.
  • Medical Gear – Basic medical supplies. Bleach. Bandages. First Aid Book.
  • Seeds – To ensure that when the preps run out you have the seeds to grown next years crops. You may already have a decent garden but you can’t count on there being anything being left there. I have recommended that as soon as it is clear there is trouble you cut down everything in your garden. At least that way they have a chance to grow back.
  • Defence tools – At the least a machete. Some knives and something like a pike.
  • Cooking gear – Camping Stove and Gas. Wood burner. Kelly Kettle.
  • Hunting gear – Get yourself a shotgun for pigeon and rabbit shooting. Bow and arrow or crossbow. Some traps, etc. If by the sea or a well stocked body of open water then some fishing gear.
  • Power – Solar or Wind power may not be good enough now but it will be great after an event. You can use this to get a radio going or power a computer to access some PDFs from the library.

Once you have the minimum level of basics then you can start building up the rest which imo are nice to haves and not necessities. Add more basics then extras while you can. Rotate so you don’t end up with a lifetime supply of mints and no medical gear. Buy a little of something then next time a little of something else when you have free funds. Browse the rest of the site for some suggestions.


Having the goods is one thing, a very important thing, but it is not everything. Practise living off your preps every now and again. Use you camping gear, switch off the electrickery and try living without it. You don’t want to find out after an event that the cooker you bought needs a special gas canister, one you don’t have. Learn how to start fire from flint, how to skin a rabbit, how to use a bow and arrow. Remember that the most important thing you have to aid your survival is your mind. Use it and practise with it.

Practise makes Perfect.

Be the Grey Man

In our highly monitored and restricted society, one we call the free world ironically, you need to ensure that the funds and effort you put into prepping are not wasted. It is almost impossible for us to live off the grid. The stasi will always want a cut of everything you do so the best you can do is keep your head down and hide within the other 60M plus on this island. While they have 60M people on the radar you don’t rate high enough for an investigation.

This could simply be as simple as your neighbours knowing that you have food simply come around and take it. In our society I would not rule out Plod coming around and taking it either. Keep you head down and be the Grey Man. The man nobody sees or remembers. Don’t buy everything in one store, use cash. Remember that in this mickey mouse country you can’t defend yourself or you are the one carted away by Plod so you want to avoid having to defend yourself by making yourself invisible.

Finally, remember OPSEC (Operational Security). Always consider what you are sharing with others. Ensure you read more about OPSEC here as a high priority. It is well worth knowing about right at the start.