Keep in mind that, unlike other new endeavors, becoming a prepper is a goal the beginner may feel a lot of accomplishment right away, because there is a much higher likelihood of shorter-term disasters happening, and shorter-term disasters are easier to prepare for. So dive right in!
Start by storing some stuff for you and your family to survive a three-day power outage: a case of bottled water, some dehydrated food (from the camping sections of Target or Walmart), some flashlights with good batteries, and some clean clothes, coats and blankets are all that would be needed to get most people through a short-term disaster.
Beyond that, it would be a good idea to look into “bug-out bags” for everyone in your family, and for those family members who commute or who may be away when a longer-term disaster could hit, that family member should keep their bug-out bag in their car. The contents of the bug-out bag depend on your surroundings and what disaster you envision could happen. I have a bug-out bag in my car, and in it I have a change of clothes, a Berkey Sports water bottle, bottles of water, a few power bars, camping food and pans, a minimal first-aid kit, a flashlight, pup tent, lots of cash, toilet paper, copies of important papers, a tire-iron and a small hatchet (the last two for protection but also for foraging if need be). All of these items can be bought on Amazon or at Walmart for not much money.
Beyond that, I see no reason why preppers would not plan on anything and everything going wrong, and prepare accordingly. If you plan on the end of the world with a full-blown survival retreat, survival group members all trained and ready to go, and the end of the world never happens, so what? You have some extra stuff stored up and friends who have prepared for something that never happened. No big loss.
I recently wrote a non-fiction book on the subject of prepping, entitled Dirt Cheap Valuable Prepping, by Cal Wilson. In the book I prioritize the items new preppers should stock up on, with an emphasis on really cheap items you can buy, and where to find them. For example, a sleeping bag, which is an important item to have on hand, could be bought new at a store for hundreds of dollars, or used on Ebay or at a thrift store. Even a laundered, used sleeping bag would be a huge savings over a new one.
In the book I also included a lot of ideas that have not been covered anywhere else. For example, many prepping experts advise stocking up on toilet paper, which could run out of in a prolonged disaster. I advise buying a travel bidet, which take some getting used to but will still keep you clean after you have run out of toilet paper. $15 on Amazon, and unlike toilet paper, reusable.
I also wrote about details on the brands of good and inexpensive flashlights (Dorcy) and rechargeable batteries (Eneloop) to buy, what types of containers to use to store stuff in, the importance of electrolytes and recipes, dryer lint to start fires, medicines for skin fungi, and so on.
At the end of the book I also included a list of prepper-themed TV shows, movies, websites and prepper podcasts that I advise the reader watch or listen to. Prepping is not only something to do, or a series of things to buy. It is a lifestyle, and the prepper podcasts and other media I recommend get you into that lifestyle pretty quickly.
Become a prepper! You can do it! And you don’t have to spend a ton of money or become rabid to do it.
My book, Dirt Cheap Valuable Prepping, by Cal Wilson, is available on Amazon, Kindle and Audible.
Author, Dirt Cheap Valuable Prepping
Cal Wilson is a Christian, patriot, gun-owner, and prepper. Wilson is a professional and has been involved in law enforcement for over 20 years. He lives in an undisclosed location west of the Mississippi River with his wife and various family members. He can be followed on Facebook and on Twitter.