After a complete SHTF breakdown of modern civilization, there are essential preps which will help you survive a new world in which survival will hinge upon a more primitive and basic set of supplies, skills and preparations.
Garden, Fishing, Hunting, Trapping
Everyone needs to eat. When your stored food is gone, you will need another source. Don’t expect a handout without trading for something of equal or more value, if at all. Expect to grow your own food, or fish for it, hunt for it or trap for it — or all of the above.
A plant based diet is your best bet while game animals may become scarce. If you live on a sustainable large body of water or the ocean, you may have good success with fishing. Similarly if you live near or in the forest regions there will be a better chance for harvesting game. For nearly everyone though, growing your own food is a very viable means to provide food on the table.
The essential preps for this category of food procurement are any and all of those which will directly assist you in the process. Each means of harvesting has it’s own essentials.
Efficient and successful gardening, fishing, hunting and trapping involves knowledge, know-how, and the tools to get the job done. Reference books will always be of value. Explore each method, especially gardening, and acquire what you need now rather than later.
Canning, Dehydrating, Root Cellar
The problem with self reliance on food procurement such as gardening, hunting, etc., is that once you’ve harvested and eaten your fill, the remaining food will spoil in a relatively short period of time. In order to eat throughout the year you will need to successfully preserve some of your food for later.
The most common method of food preservation is canning. Most anything can be safely canned if done correctly and with the right equipment. Dehydrating is an additional method to prolong the shelf life of foods, and a root cellar is yet another way to extend the shelf life of some foods.
As in all of these categories, having good reference books is a great asset to the process. Get yourself the equipment necessary for water bath canning and pressure canning, along with plenty of jars and lids. Some lid types are even reusable, which may be advantageous in a world where refilling supply shelves is not a ready option.
Conventional dehydrators rely on electricity, which may not be an issue so long as you have alternative power systems (solar, etc). Investigate how-to make your own solar dehydrator. Similarly, research how-to build your own root cellar and learn about it’s uses and limitations.
The availability of water is #1 (except for the air that you breathe). It is essential that you have a way to get water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and irrigation (if necessary).
Water on your land is a real asset. A water well with an alternative power source for the pump is a bonus. Have the ability to get the water from it’s source to your home. Wagons and carts. Water storage containers – for drinking water and general purpose storage. Equipment, pipes, supplies for irrigation if needed.
Drinking water filters will be very important.
Cooking and Kitchen
Cook Stoves & Fuel Sources, Kitchen Hand Tools & Equipment
Now that we’ve grown and harvested our food and preserved it and stored some of it for later — in order to process the food for eating we need the basic essentials to do so.
For safe eating, many foods require cooking. There are various methods to accomplish this, each of which require hardware and a fuel source. There are solar cookers (only works when sunny – not practical for winter), wood stoves (wood fuel), conventional stoves and camp stoves (require petroleum fuels).
Efficient wood stoves will become a widely used method for cooking. There are small efficient rocket stoves, traditional wood stoves and all things in between. Wood will be it’s own precious commodity, so consider it’s value and cook efficiently as possible.
Have backup kitchen tools which are hand operated and do not require electricity. Hand mixers, flour mill, openers, etc. Stainless Steel cookware, and/or cast iron cookware and a dutch oven (require maintenance to prevent rust), etc. Know how to make your own foods from scratch — which requires practice.
Your Home, Roof Over Your Head
In a true SHTF collapse of modern civilization as we know it, one might assume that the home they are living in will remain in their possession, even though there is a mortgage due. This may or may not be accurate depending on the magnitude and longevity of the collapse. Will the banks be able to enforce eviction? Whatever the case may be, it is very important to understand what may happen regarding the roof over your head. Since most people have a mortgage and do not own their home outright, you might want to consider a backup plan.
Everyone’s situation is unique and different, and the solutions to ensuring you have a shelter and roof over your head will vary – but do give it some thought. You don’t want to become homeless.
Heavy Duty Practical Clothes, Cloth Materials & Sewing Supplies
Without the ability to shop at your local brick & mortar store for clothes or shop online for what you need, you will only have what you already have for clothes. Have good, rugged, heavy-duty work clothes – pants, shirts, jackets, gloves, hats, boots, rain gear. Consider the seasons which you will be working in and the environmental conditions you will need to protect from.
Consider all aspects of your daily life after TSHTF and the unique clothing that is required to go along with it for comfort and protection. Think “from head to toe”.
Keep many yards of various cloth materials and the sewing supplies to make clothing items. A sewing machine requires electricity, but having alternative energy sources will take care of that (solar, wind, etc). There is such a thing as a manually operated sewing machine. Have the manual means to sew and lots of all related equipment and supplies. Practice and know how to do it.
Protection, Firearms, Deterrents, Tactical
In a SHTF world, your security will be a high priority. Most people will not have prepared for this world and will become desperate and dangerous. Your life will literally depend not only upon the other preps mentioned, but upon your ability to remain secure in your person and your property.
Firearms and Ammo will be necessary. Period.
Consider alternative means of protection beyond just firearms. Bow and Arrow, etc..
There are many things that you can do to prevent or deter bad things from happening to you and your property. Much of it involves common-sense thinking, advanced planning and prevention, situational and risk awareness, and adaptability to changing circumstances. Some of this involves equipment and some involves tactical ability and know-how. It is a subject unto itself, as are the others.
Your Skills & Their Specific Related Preps
To enable bartering of your skill set
No one can possibly have everything they will need on their own. No man is an island. In a SHTF world, your currency will be your possessions and your skills. Have at least one practical skill set which will be of value to others after a collapse. This will enable you the chance to trade your skills for the things which you might need that others have.
To a large extent, the survivors of a SHTF world will either already have or will quickly acquire many of these skills out of necessity. As the world begins to mend, a natural trade will develop, just as it always has in the past. Having a practical trade and the preps (supplies) that go along with it, will enable you to trade for goods or services.
In summary, these categories will establish a basis for survival after the SHTF. Ideally, you will survive with a group of like minded people — with individuals taking on specific roles within each of the categories mentioned, and expanding from there. Please consider your preps, your skills, your weaknesses, and begin to improve your odds of survival for a SHTF world.