Essential Preps To Survive After TSHTF


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.


Food Procurement

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.


Food Preservation

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.



Sources, Storage

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.


    1. Hopefully survival after TSHTF will be as tranquil as the picture ;)

      Certainly if you live in an area of similar apparent surroundings (the farm, agricultural land, low population density) – you will be far better off!

    2. It may well not matter if you own your home outright, especially to government thugs. In their minds, anything the government wants to do is justified.

  1. “I would only add a ‘Health and Fitness’ heading.”

    I agree entirely! In fact I was contemplating adding it while writing. It will be a much more physically difficult world for sure, and being in good health and good physical shape will be important, if not a requirement to survive (depending how bad the SHTF).

  2. Dont forget money….cash…silver coins….gold.

    Also communication equipment.

  3. I’ve collected lots of books on things I knew little about because I assume there will be little in the way of information exchange.
    We are pretty well set in the security dept. as we also have 6 “deterrents” that are rotated out in various areas. 4 are always on guard and 2 are resting until it is their turn.
    Sadly even not having a mortgage now days does not mean you own your home. Eminent domain is rampant. Or try not paying your property taxes, one finds out real quick you don’t own anything, you just paid to reside there until someone decides different. In SHTF hopefully you will be able to protect what you paid for.

    1. This has always bothered me. The idea that your home is not truly your own is irritating. Then again, if there is a massive break down, then I would think it would be hard to enforce such a thing.

  4. Decided some time ago that having chickens is like putting a target on your house. Instead decided to identify the nut bearing trees on our property about 20 years ago and let them grow while culling other trees for firewood. Now we have at least 6 different kinds of nut producing trees. We don’t harvest them, we leave them for the wildlife which in turn will feed us later on down the road. The wildlife takes care of themselves, with no worry about having to protect them. Just yesterday I saw 11 squirrels chasing each other behind our house. The nuts also attract wild turkey and deer. Although I expect the turkey and deer to be hunted to extinction when TSHTF. I feel that squirrels will be farther down on most peoples list. Hopefully we will get past the big die-off, then we can look to garden at that point.

    1. If SHTF in winter, those trees will come down unless you’re willing and able to defend them. I keep seeds on hand so that I’ll be able to replant once the chaos is (mostly) over. Yes, production would be a few years out, but better than nothing.

  5. Squirrel is delicious!! They make really nice GPS or compass pouches too :)

  6. The wife and I live out in the country , we have a good relationship with our neighbors , we have plans for our area when TSHTF , we are able and do raise crops , we have the ability for security in our area , we even have some doctors and my wife is a nurse , along with my step-daughter . We have food and water preps , ponds and an underground spring that comes out on our property and starts a small creek . I am a jack of all trades and can barter my services for what we might need . Pretty much been planning for bad times since the 1980’s , times are getting more bad every day .Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

  7. I don’t think I am going to worry with cash, silver or gold. Who will really cares about that? I am thinking barter items. Coffee, alcohol, tobacco….especially food. I mean if there are no stores, why do you want cash or silver? I would rather spend all my available money on food and items to help my family survive.

    1. Silver and Gold are for carrying over one’s extra wealth – to whatever the next monetary system is, or even if there isn’t, because traditionally (thousands and thousands of years) humans have valued Gold as money. Having said that, it is wise to spend one’s resources on preparedness while reserving expenditures on gold and silver for what is excess or leftover (if one is so lucky). Diversification.

  8. We don’t have alot of excess. So ours goes all into living now and some into prepping. I wish we could. Just not possible, with kids, mortgage, etc. We are looking into getting a smaller home and possibly not having a mortgage, may do that then. House market isn’t very good right now though.

    1. I hear you… and I’m not judging ;)

      Excess currency is a rare thing among most these days… A smaller home (lesser or no mortgage) is a very good sacrifice in my opinion, in order to get ahead in other areas. Years ago most families lived in much smaller homes – it’s just the way it was…

  9. I actually think I would love it more anyway. Less to clean. Also have y’all seen the Tiny houses…..very awesome. Thinking about that as well.

  10. Not having a mortgage frees up a lot of money for other things.
    The extra money can be used to pay off debt, buy whatever preps you need and simply save some cash (don’t forget silver /gold) for the bad times.
    Do not forget about taxes and insurance.

    1. A mortgage consumes a high percentage of many (most?) people’s income. My gut instinct tells me that this is because (to an extent) many people want the ‘big house’. If more people were satisfied enough with a smaller house – one that used to be considered ‘normal’ (and lesser mortgage and debt obligation) that many people would be better off financially and better prepared financially.

  11. what a bunch of horse sh–.
    a mob of 1000 will hit every private homestead in the USA. The USA will be emp’d, nuked, chemical weaponed, and be a wasteland within the next 15 years.
    The USA is the great harlot from in the bible and it will be destroyed, ” get out of her”— leave! this, survival blog that– what a joke anymore!– It WONT WORK ANYMORE. NEW DAWN NEW AGE . Times have changed– leave the titanic for your own good.

    In good conscience I cant understand these surv. bloggers still preachin the old story.

    USA will be toast.

    1. A mob of 1000? 1000 exactly? That’s gonna be one tired mob once they hit the midwest.

      1. Karen will you be a part of that mob? lol…. good luck! good people will band together and good people will also have guns and know how to use them. these mobs you speak of will die off as they will not be able to provide for themselves. they will not last long. people working together will survive.

  12. *Dang TOR… Delete if this is a dup Ken…

    Oddly enough, while I don’t agree with much of karen’s analysis of the situation she does make a good argument for owning gold and silver. Any number of scenarios might force you out of your home, or even out of an entire geographic region, and you might not be able to take much more than what you can carry if you’re forced to leave. Money might be one of best survival items in that event, and nothing has been money longer than gold. It also has use for bribes, just getting to the front of the line might mean the difference between life and death in some situations.

    1. I agree that having gold (or silver) in a forced bug-out may indeed provide a means of acquiring what you might need down the road… Good advice.

      1. If your not careful, having gold or silver may get you killed by Karen, or this gang she speaks of… make your self look poor and hungry if you have gold and silver!

        1. Quote “Make your self look poor and hungry if you have gold and silver!”

          There is much truth to that on many levels…

  13. Yeah and our house isn’t even really a “big” house to begin with. Average.

    That is a tiny home Ken. Maybe just a tad bigger…lol.

    I still believe food, luxuries and water will be the best currency. Maybe a little silver. But when it’s bad and I mean bad, people can’t eat or drink silver.

  14. I may be wrong but I believe tools will play a very important part in a survival situation. Along with these tools I would suggest “how to” books that give you at the least basic information about construction. Knowledge of any subject in construction and hand tools not requiring power will be VITAL in survival. Granted tools and books are heavy and bulky and need a strong back to carry but will be worth their weight in gold when TSHTF. I also strongly urge people to get maps “hopefully coated with plastic” of their region along with waterway maps as with them you stand a better chance of surviving. Knowledge is key to any survival situation and having tools and books to use as references to things that need to be done will be VITAL to your survival!

  15. Almost every “SHTF” scenario has one crucial feature: Unemployment. From being “downsized” or fired, suffering illness or injury, economic recession/depression, all the way to the one-in-a-million events that seem to occupy an inappropriately high amount of discussion among “preppers,” your income will shrink or disappear. The single best prep to obtain is LACK OF DEBT.

    Your mortgage payment, food bills, or property taxes will not go away even in very serious situations. During the Civil War and Great Depression, taxes were still due, and foreclosures and tax seizures were still in effect. Barring a complete disaster, which is unlikely, you will still need money. The best prep is to get into a situation where the amount needed is as low as possible. That means to eliminate all debt and to be able to provide for as many of your daily needs as possible.

    A closet full of AR’s and a million rounds of ammo will be less useful to you than a home with some land that you own outright, some cash under the mattress to pay the taxes, and the skill/knowledge/equipment/network to grow food and produce other necessities. And the best thing is, this will help you whether TSHTF is just you losing your job, or a solar flare that sets back civilization a thousand years.

  16. I will have to disagree with Karen! This ship isn’t going down/sinking, it is just changing. Some people doesn’t know the difference. I don’t like change either, but the change could be better, depends who control the reins. You can always leave the chaos to others to make them changes. What if the founders of this country abandoned the ship? Where would we be today. I say leave Karen, if your not going to help, then don’t hinder the rest of us!

Comments are closed.