Outdoor Journal: Entry-level 'prepping'

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All of us may not be able to prepare for everything that nature or man may send our way, but certain levels of preparation are within the reach of everyone.

By L. Woodrow Ross, Contributing Columnist:

When many of us hear the words "prepper" or "prepping", it brings to mind extreme levels of preparation for natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornados, severe drought, flooding, power grid failure or possibly terrorist activity. This may be the ultimate level of prepping, but the fact is we all should be prepared for the unknown.

L. Woodrow Ross, Travelers Rest, SCWe never know what the future holds. We only need look at the Biblical records to see the drastic encounters with the wrath of man and nature the Israelites encountered. Why should we be so smug to think that we may never face such trials? We are foolish to think we are insulated from the rest of the world.

That being said, the road to prepping can begin with some minimal efforts. If you desire to advance beyond those basics, it is a personal choice. Common sense says that we should at least be prepared to survive for a reasonable period of time in case of extreme circumstances.

At a minimum, a supply of food and water should be maintained in case of emergency. In the event of a grid failure and access to money from financial institutions was not possible, what would you do for food and water? After the initial shock, grocery stores, gas stations and other providers of essentials would be depleted, and lack of access to money would leave many in dire straits.

Preppers maintain that a year's supply of food and access to clean water should be a minimum. You might not be able to immediately attain this, but there is no reason not to start with a 3-month supply, 30-day supply or the best that you can do at this time. This can be increased over a period of time to reach a more desirable level.

We have heard preppers tell of losing their jobs and by having a stock of food and water, they were able to survive well on minimal amounts of money until new work allowed a higher income level again.

There are many reasons for prepping. If we look back to our ancestors, it was a way of life to can and preserve food. They ate well and were able to survive through lean times when they came. Families were close and could depend on each other for help in times of need.

We need to take a look at our circumstances and a look at the core values of our ancestors, emulating the positive attitudes of hard work and self-reliance that they exhibited. We could learn a lot from them and their actions. Being a prepper is a good thing, not an extreme reaction to society.

(Editor's note: L. Woodrow Ross will lead a one-day primitive and survival skills seminar in Travelers Rest on Saturday, Oct. 19. Read more here.)


Read more in L. Woodrow Ross' "Outdoor Journal" series on the Tribune here.

Learn more about L. Woodrow Ross on his website here and/or follow him on Twitter here.

L. Woodrow Ross is a freelance writer/photographer and writes a weekly outdoor column as well as lifestyle features for the Anderson Independent Mail. In addition, he is a frequent contributor to South Carolina Sportsman and has been published in Primitive Archer, South Carolina Wildlife and the Travelers Rest Tribune.