This is a guest post by Dan Sullivan.
Who among us hasn’t been looked down on or even made fun of for prepping? We’ve all been there… felt embarrassed and even ashamed for daring to think critically and do common sense things to protect ourselves.
Even worse, there are couples married for 20 or 30 years, with one spouse desperately wanting to prep and the other forbidding it. I cringe whenever I read emails like these and I knew I had to do put together a list of things for folks to prep under the radar. There’s quite a few of them but in this article I’m only going to mention the ones that are the easiest, cheapest and most important.
#1. Get into shape
Strength, mobility, endurance – these are all necessary whether you’re planning to bug in or out. Joining a gym is great but if you don’t have the budget, you can do many of the exercises at home. For example:
- ab crunches
- jumping jacks
- rope skipping
In addition, consider:
- and, of course, walking and running
Last but not least, don’t forget about mobility exercises. Things like stretching and yoga will improve it but don’t stop there. Each body part has its own set of exercises. For instance, one of the mobility exercises I like to do for my knees is to sit down on the floor with my legs stretched and move the knee caps left-and-right and then up-and-down.
#2. Fix your medical issues
Things like a bad back, bad knees, wisdom teeth and even something as banal as earwax blockage – I’ve had these issues and I continue to fix and work on them. If you have scoliosis (even in the beginning stages) you probably know that you can’t get rid of it. You can’t fix it, you can only prevent it from getting worse.
See your physician and fix whatever health issues you may have BEFORE a collapse happens. After the apocalypse, it’s going to be tough to find a good doctor, let alone benefit from technology to make the treatments less painful.
#3. Learn a new survival skill
Not all survival skills have that bad stigma attached to them. Gardening, fishing, hiking, reading a topographic map, sowing, quilting, baking, canning, first aid, smoking meat… these are just some of the hobbies many non-preppers have, so why shouldn’t you?
#4. Take self-defense classes
There’s nothing weird about self-defense, right? Lots of people do it and it can be fun. If you don’t have a gun, they’re that more important. Consider:
- Krav Maga (which is a self-defense system, not a martial art)
- American CQC
- and Muy Thai
#5. Develop your awareness
Most disasters come unannounced so your reaction time is critical. Terrorist attacks, earthquakes, nuclear meltdowns, and even smaller SHTF events such as burglaries… these all require that you act fast. In some cases (such as terror attacks), you may even be able to get an early start and the chance to live.
How? By developing your awareness specifically for survival purposes. No, you don’t have to turn into someone who’s scared by their own shadow, that would definitely raise some eye-brows… but you can pay more attention to what’s going on around you.
Most people move around with like zombies. They’re unaware of what’s happening and their survival mechanisms have become rusty to say the least. Their fight-or-flight instinct is gone because they’re always in their head or with their eyes in their smartphones. When something happens, they start running around in disbelief, scared to death and not knowing what to do.
Develop your awareness to never be caught off guard and increase your chances of survival. If your awareness will allow you to gain even a single second when something were to happens, that second may very well save your life.
#6. Carry a folding knife with you at all times
EDC (everyday carry) knives are small and easy to conceal inside your front pocket or purse and they can do a lot more than protect you from bad guys. I suggest you do some thorough research before you make a purchase. There’re lots of good ones on the market but many of the ones that are too cheap are just that: cheap.
Size, edge, weight and warranty are some of the things to look at when comparing but if you’re anxious to see what a top notch EDC knife looks like, I suggest you check out the Benchmade Griptillian, the Spyderco byrd Cara Cara2 and the Kershaw Cryo G-10.
As long as you don’t say anything about prepping and survival, you can spend years practicing these skills and no one will ever make you feel bad for doing them. It’s just a matter of getting started.
Dan Sullivan is your average prepper with a passion for teaching. This is why he and his team over at Survival Sullivan are always striving to offer nothing short of amazing survival content. You can also find them on their Survival Sullivan Fan Page.
Photography by David Blackwell.