Bug out bag

A bug-out bag.

A prepper is a person who spends a considerable amount of time in preparation for emergencies. A prepper is similar to a survivalist, though preppers place a particular emphasis on emergency preperation. Preppers typically prepare for emergencies by stocking bunkers, setting aside food and water rations, making first-aid kits convenient, and keeping weapons handy, among other things.

What preppers prep forEdit

The following is a list of scenarios that preppers prep for:

  • War
  • Disease epidemic
  • Natural disasters
  • Utility outages
  • Famine

Note: This is not a complete list. There are a lot of scenarios for which a prepper will prepare.


The following are supplies that a prepper usually stores:

  • Water - A person could live about three days without water, so it's not a bad idea to have some stored in case the tapwater becomes unusable. A case of water in gallon jugs typically doesn't last as long as water stored in a large container designed for the long-term storage of water.
  • Food - If stockpiling food, look for something with a long shelf-life that you'd be willing to eat. Keep an eye on it's shelf-life, stockpiled food can expire. If you have stockpiled food that's nearing expiration, go ahead and eat it, and replace it. It's a shame to allow food to go to waste. Again, be sure to get something you'd be willing to eat. Don't get many pickles if you don't like pickles. Also, don't get too much of the same thing. Otherwise, you're going to get sick of your food quickly after disaster strikes. Finally, be sure you'd have what you'd need to prepare it, even without utilities. It may help to look into MREs.
  • Hygienic supplies - Perhaps the most under-rated of prepper supplies are the hygiene supplies. How important is it that we wash our hands? Consider this: our hands quickly become filthy through everyday life. Moving boxes can cause dust to accumulate on our hands. Spending time outside gives dirt the same opportunity. Most of us poop just about every day. The filth on our hands can come off on anything we touch. The same can happen when we come into contact with other people. Even in ordinary circumstances, we can quickly become sick if we neglect our hygiene. And we tend to appreciate the company of those who don't have an odd smell.
  • "Security" - This means weapons. There may be times when you'd need something to deter looters, or otherwise for your own personal protection. Or perhaps you'd just want something to help hunt wild game. If you want guns, be sure they're secure if you have children. And don't go flashing your gun around at the first sign of suspicion. Your survival is important. Giving certain prople what they ask for could save your life, whereas flashing a gun to a mob that also has guns would give them an excuse to use theirs on you.
  • Crank radio - This is a radio that doesn't need to be plugged into a wall to operate (sometimes, the electricity will be out), though you can spring for a radio that's battery operated if you like. The idea with having a radio is to have an idea of what's going on when traditional forms of communication (television, internet) isn't available.
  • Money - There may be some emergency situations in which money won't do you much good, but not every emergency is the same. Sometimes, you'll be able to make it to the store, and pick up something you may have forgotten or have an immediate need for. If you can use your debit/credit card, use that. The cash could help in times in which you can make it to the store, but transactions couldn't be performed with the electronic transfer of funds.
  • Flashlights - Keep these easy to find. If the power goes out, and it's dark, a source of light will help. You can have just the supplies you need, but not find or effectively use them if you have trouble seeing them.
  • Batteries - It helps to stock some extra batteries, in case the ones you are using lose their charge. Stock the same kind of batteries you keep in your radio and/or flashlights. It's also a good idea to keep some extra AA batteries around, since they are used in numerous appliances.
  • Condiments - Perhaps not an essential, but they can sure help you to keep your food palatable. Go for condiments that don't expire for a long time, such as Tabasco sauce and Honey. If you like coffee and can make it in an emergency, sugar and powdered creamer can also help. Salt can help too, just don't overdo it.
  • Entertainment - An emergency situation may sound exciting at first, but being stranded somewhere can get boring pretty fast. For this reason, have some entertainment handy. A deck of cards works well, and there are a lot of games one can play with them. It can also help to have some paper and a writing utensil handy. If you're stranded or bored, you'll have an excellent opportunity to write a novel. Or you can start a journal if you suspect that you'll be stranded a while. Don't rely too much on video games, portable video game systems tend to need recharging after just a few hours.
  • Birth control - Think I'm kidding? Couples tend to make love during blackouts. When left without television or the internet to distract themselves from one another, couples tend to turn to each other for entertainment. And sometimes, a couple could spend more time than they count on away from their morning-after pills.

Bug-out bagEdit

Preppers also prepare for emergencies by filling a backpack with supplies to have ready to take with them in the event of an emergency. This backpack, called a B.O.B. (bug-out-bag) or G.O.O.D. bag (get out of dodge) is prepared for the event in which a person would need to quickly leave their homes, and that person would save time by having a kit of items ready for them to pick up and take with them.

There is a difference between a true bug-out bag and a 72-hour preparedness kit. A 72-hour preparedness kit includes a few essentials that can last a person until they get to a nearby shelter or relative's house in the event of an emergency, and typically includes a first aid kit, flashlights, some water and non-perishable food, a little cash, and items useful for navigation, such as a map and compass. Often, a 72-hour preparedness kit is referred to as a "bug-out bag".

However, a true bug-out bag is intended to include items for long-term survival in types of scenario in which a person would have to leave home and not come back for a long time. Because of this, a true bug-out bag can get heavy.

Bug-out bags usually contain the same basic items as a 72-hour preparedness kit, plus a few items for long-term survival, such as camping equipment, food and water supplies, a water filtration system, hygiene supplies, rain protection, lighters, and numerous other items. I also suggest that a bug-out bag include the Bible. Many survivalists forget to pack their Bible with them, and would be glad to come across someone who has one.


The criticism that preppers mainly face is that many of the emergency situations for which they prepare seldom come to pass. It is also sometimes said that a prepper's emphasis on preparation borders on paranoia, though there are differing levels of involvement in preparation.