99 Relatable Things That Only Preppers Will Understand

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

Prepping isn’t all about whiling away your hours in a bunker, reloading ammo. It’s about the everyday things we do and the differences in our mindsets from non-preppers, and these are things that only real preppers will understand.

Preppers know these are actually signs of sanity, but we get used to being misunderstood by the unprepared and the mainstream media, who all seem to think that we’re crazy. Sometimes it’s fun to have a good laugh about their misconceptions of what we actually do.

PS: This is meant to be funny. Don’t get mad about it.

You might be a prepper if these signs relate to you.

Many of the following signs will be so relatable that they’ll probably give you a warm glow. Feel the prepper solidarity!

  1. Pantries are so mainstream…you have food stashed in strange places in every room of the house.
  2. You have enough toilet paper to get through a year of uncomfortable digestive upsets…occurring with 6 people simultaneously
  3. Speaking of which, you possess at least 3 different ways to use the bathroom, only one of which is an actual bathroom.
  4. Your kids know what OPSEC means…at the age of 4.
  5. You have topographical maps of your area…plural.
  6. When you’re forced to interact with “the others” you feel like you are awkwardly censoring your true opinions
  7. You think nothing of treating an injury or illness yourself because “what if there was no doctor?
  8. Paintball and laser tag are no longer just a fun way to spend an afternoon  …they are tactical training.
  9. You’ve purchased duct tape in bulk.
  10. With every major purchase, you contemplate going for the off-grid version.
  11. You have more manual tools than power tools.
  12. You’ve washed entire loads of laundry by hand for either necessity or practice. (And not just your dainties…we’re talking about jeans and stuff!)
  13. Your kids are not afraid of guns…or fingers pointed like guns…or pastries in the shape of guns…or drawings of guns.
  14. When house-hunting you look for multiple heat and water sources.
  15. You store food in buckets…lots of buckets…like, maybe even a whole room full of buckets.
  16. You garden with a determination and time commitment normally reserved for endurance athletes training for an Ironman triathlon.
  17. If you don’t have a water source on your property, you have put in miles of footwork searching for one nearby, and have mapped multiple discreet routes to and from the source, and figured out how to haul the water back to your house on each route.
  18. Your first instinct when hearing about some event on the mainstream news is skepticism. (False flag event, anyone?)
  19. You read articles about multiple ways to use white vinegar and nod your head throughout.
  20. You believe that FEMA camps are real and that you are most likely on “The List”.
  21. Instead of CNN, you have alternative news sites bookmarked in your favorites on your computer.
  22. You have enough coffee/tea/favorite-caffeinated-item-of-choice to last you through 3 apocalypses.
  23. You could outfit a small-town pharmacy with all of the over-the-counter medications you have stashed away.
  24. You have an instinctive mistrust of anyone working for the government.
  25. You could sink a ship with the weight of your stored ammo. In fact, you put it in the basement when you became concerned about your floorboards.
  26. Looking for a fun weekend outing with the kids? Forget amusement parks –  the shooting range is where it’s at.
  27. When the power goes out, you calmly light the candles and proceed with whatever you had been dong previously.
  28. A longer-term power outage is called “practice”.
  29. If a like-minded person comes over to your house, they’ll realize you are “one of them” by seeing your reading material. Other folks won’t even notice. The FBI might call your copy of The Prepper’s Blueprint and your A. American fiction  “subversive literature”.
  30. Your children carry a modified bug-out kit in their school backpacks.
  31. You can and dehydrate food with the single-minded fervor of an Amish grandmother facing a 7-year drought.
  32. Calling 911 is not part of your home security plan.
  33. You spend your days off digging an underground bunker in your backyard.
  34. You have more than a thousand cheapo lighters that you purchased in bulk, stashed away in the back of your linen closet…and you don’t even smoke.
  35. You eat a lot of survival food now, so there is no ‘system shock’ when you are forced to eat only the items you have stocked (or that you GROW – hint hint).
  36. You stock alcohol in mass quantities so you can comfortably numb after the SHTF.
  37. You stock alcohol in mass quantities – and you don’t even drink. (Barter, baby!)
  38. You know what? Forget stocking alcohol.  You have your own still.  You’ll make alcohol.
  39. You have enough salt to create another Dead Sea.
  40. You don’t move – you strategically relocate.
  41. You purchased 50 of these little EDC multitaskers already for stocking stuffers for your friends/family/workmates/neighbor/random stranger.
  42. Speaking of Christmas, you gave Conflicted to everyone last year.
  43. When your friends ask about your favorite authors, instead of Hemmingway, Tolkien, or Kerouac, you get a blank stare when you tell them it’s John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman.
  44. You know exactly how many Mountain House buckets it takes to make a base for a single bed.
  45. You don’t stock up on milk. You get an actual cow.
  46. Your family doesn’t dare take something from the food stockpile without marking it off the list.
  47. Your kids know how to don a gas mask in 30 seconds.
  48. Everyone in your survival group carries the same firearm so that ammo is standardized.
  49. You have non-electric versions of appliances like wheat grinders, washing machines, and coffee makers.
  50. You yell at the TV every time a commercial for Doomsday Preppers comes on.  Oh. Wait. You don’t have a TV. But if you did, you’d yell, because you know how positively ridiculous and unrealistic that show is.
  51. Your family is no longer surprised when you announce, “Hey, we’re going to learn how to make (insert anything here)!”
  52. You have more how-to books stored on hard-drives than most public libraries have on the bookshelves.
  53. Your children have a plan in case they need to bug out from school.
  54. Alternatively, you homeschool and bugging out is part of the curriculum.
  55. You have more than three ways to cook dinner if the power goes out: a woodstove, a barbecue, a sun oven, a fire-pit, and/or a volcano stove.
  56. First Blood and Red Dawn are basic training films for your family.
  57. You have long since accepted the idea that if you’re not on someone’s list, you’re probably not doing it right.
  58. Your 7-year-old knows Morse code.
  59. You’re secretly disappointed when the electricity comes back on after only a few minutes.
  60. You know more ways to make a homemade knife than the entire population of your local prison combined.
  61. You don’t just rotate food, you rotate ammo.
  62. You know the distance from your door to your front gate is precisely 207 yards.
  63. Moving to a new house is no longer “moving”, but “strategic relocation“.
  64. You have mapped out at least 3 different routes by car and 2 different routes on foot to get to your bug-out location.
  65. You know the difference between “Tyvek” and “Tychem” suits, and in which instance they should be used.
  66. Ditto the finer points of N-95 vs. N-100 masks.
  67. You watch The Walking Dead in order to critique their survival tactics. (And you were secretly delighted to see Beth building a fire in a Dakota pit.)
  68. Speaking of fire, you can start one in at least 3 different ways, and you always carry a lighter, a fresnel lens, and a magnesium firestarter.
  69. You have two (or more) of everything important, well, because “one is none.”
  70. You have a decoy food supply.
  71. Your kids think it’s a fun game to see who can find the most potential weapons in a room.
  72. Even your dog has a bug out bag – which she carries herself.
  73. You have elected NOT to purchase greater armament because you plan on upgrading with your future assailant’s weaponry.
  74. Your EDC includes a knife, firearm w/extra mag, flashlight, mylar blanket, Chapstick, and an ounce of silver — and that’s just for when you’re walking the dog.
  75. The trunk of your car has enough supplies to carry the family through an entire week during a major blizzard.
  76. One criterion for your new winter coat is that it fits over your body armor.
  77. Your neighbors separate their compost for you into a) chicken food b) garden food and c) other
  78. You scour travel size aisles because they fit better in bug-out bags and they make great barter items.
  79. You check out the garden center and pest control section for potential weapons.
  80. Your subscribed channels for YouTube and bookmarks now contain more prepper and alternative media sites than cute animal sites.
  81. Christmas and birthday gifts have a prepper theme.
  82. You actually know what the letters “EMP” stand for.
  83. Every time there is a small household “disaster” like a power outage or local water “boil order” you just grab your emergency supplies and remind dubious family members. “See, told you it pays to be prepared.”
  84. Your freeze-dried food has a longer expiration date than you do
  85. You know how to make bows out of skis and arrows out of garden bamboo.
  86. You have (or are seriously considering, buying) an old armored personnel carrier to turn into your RV.
  87. You know that Falling Skies has better idea for post-apocalyptic survival than The Walking Dead or Z Nation but you still watch them all just in case
  88. Your friend asks “Do you have enough bullets?” then you both laugh and laugh because you know you can never have enough.
  89. You changed your home page from MSN (or any other propaganda media) to Drudge Report or SHTFplan.
  90. You have no problem knocking on strangers’ doors to ask for fruit tree cuttings
  91. You have vacuum packed underwear in a plastic tub stashed somewhere in your house
  92. You just might have more medical supplies than the local ER.
  93. The Co-op and Costco recognize you but pretend not to. They know better than to ask questions about your purchases.
  94. If you’re a man you are no longer embarrassed to buy tampons and sanitary napkins because they make great bandages.
  95. If you’re a woman you know you don’t need to buy tampons or sanitary napkins because so many other options exist.
  96.  You actually own a toilet seat that fits on a bucket.
  97. You have enough wood cut and stacked to form a barricade around your whole property.
  98. Admit it. Every time the power goes out, you go see if your car starts so you can get the jump on hunkering down or buying out the store with case in the event that this one is actually an EMP.
  99. You have considered filtering water with a coffee filter or a t-shirt.

Do you have more prepper signs to add?

These signs that you might be one of those “crazy preppers” are consolidated from the hive mind of two previous articles and comments from the readers. (Find them here and here.)

How many of these signs apply to you? Do you have more signs to add?  Share them in the comments section. And be sure to read over the comments – they’re every bit as awesome as the article, thanks to all of you!

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • During an EMP event all vehicles with an ECM will be useless. We’re rebuilding a ’76 Ford highboy and even hubby’s ’94 Jeep will probably be ok. No electronics. My car though…hooped.

    • As I’ve related here before, congress did some testing of common mid 2000s and earlier cars for emp susceptibility and found few that were permanently damaged by nearfield emp. This means lots of cars, even those with loads of sensors and cpus will still be operable, but it may eventually be hard to find the gas for them after an emp as the cash registers and gas pumps may be more sensitive to emp.

      • Josh, I read an article on this same test, and I look at it with healthy skepticism. They had to cut the test short because the higher EMP’s were causing too much damage to the cars, and the cars were BORROWED from other departments on the base. They had to have them fixed and returned the next day. They never got to the levels of EMP that could be expected from actual EMP’s fired in anger.

        • I read the same report.
          Yep, they were only exposed to low-voltage.
          But I do recall one vehicle did experience issues, but resolved itself after a restart.
          Another vehicle did not restart and had to be taken to a formal garage/mechanic. No additional reporting on what caused the issue.

          • Update:
            Drove my neighbors Ford Edge the other week.
            Sensors galor!
            Sensors for the lights, the windshield wipers, tire pressure.
            Back up camera with self cleaner.
            Full display screen for everything from GPS, climate control, radio.
            I have no proof of it, but if a EMP hit today, I would not be surprised if all late model vehicles died on that day.

          • 1stMarineJarHead, can u give a link to that article. Would like to share it w/ our small survival group.

    • Our ‘79 Dodge camper w/318 is currently a lawn ornament, but a half day’s work should get it up and running thru thick and thin. Just add gas… and a new roof.

  • Slightly off topic…
    Anyone ever check their stash of cheapo lighters just to find out the flints have gone bad. Not just a few, ALL of them. Upgrade to pizo-electric lighters, found in the camping section or by the charcoal. What to do with all these lighters? Throw them away or add a couple of cutting torch strikers in with them? Ideas?

    FYI… We buy all of our toilet paper, paper plates, cups, plasticware, cleaning supplies etc., at our local janitorial supply. Buy in case lots and save money. Surprised at all the products they carry. Almost forgot, buy the good quality of TP unless you want road rash on your hemorrhoids.

  • When I clicked on one of your amazon.com links, it said “You purchased this item on …” Haha, guess I’m busted!

  • Has anyone actually purchased the little flashlight as stocking stuffer or added prep? Curious how they hold up, battery life, etc. Thanks.

    • I found a “head” for a little 9v battery, the sort that goes in a smoke alarm. When I change out the batteries in the smoke alarm, they get a second career as pocket flashlights–they seem to last as long as flashlights as the next round on the smoke alarm! They are bright, fit well in a pocket–occasionally one gets a little loose and will pop off the battery in a pocket, but easy enough to put back on.

      I also have gotten several wind-up/solar flashlights from Lehman’s. Never needs batteries, wind it up for a minute and it lasts at least an hour, even on bright setting. (I haven’t actually tried charging it by its solar panel.) Completely eliminates the need to check batteries. The oldest one of mine is at least 3 years old, still going strong.

    • They are excellent. Single AA battery, with a physical contact type switch so no stealth leakage. I usually keep a battery in them for a year, and cycle them the same time I do smoke detector batteries.
      I keep then all over the place. Cars, nightstands, laptop bags, etc.

    • I keep one on every set of keys. Makes unlocking or walking the rough path to home easier in the dark. Of course I do it often without light if I’m alone. Just for practice. Husband is 81 with Alzheimer’s So I always have the light handy for him.
      For that frequent use they stay bright 6 months to a year before the need to change batteries.
      I took 20, individually wrapped little flashlights to church when we did our gift exchange so no one would be left out. There were a few few left so I let anyone who asked take one. I have a drawer of different flashlights as well as a battery drawer filled to the top. I use a solar batter charger and phone solar charger every day now.
      My home is 100% solar off grid.

  • That’s a pretty good list. I was chuckling while reading it through. But you left out a biggie: communications. Being able to monitor LE/EMS/Mil comms and communicate reliably between group members over many miles without relying on conventional infrastructure is necessary.

  • Oh Daisy, thanks for the laugh. Yes, there are many, many things I related to in this list. The ones I probably thought were the funniest (partly because they were so right on!) were the 2 related to power outages, thinking of them as “practice” and being bummed when they don’t last more than a few minutes! I have not thought to go check my car yet though and I’m sure now I always will. Lol.

  • I had to laugh when I started to access the links to items I wasn’t familiar with. Great list. I’ll bet I could check off 3/4 of them.

  • How about, you know every weed and wild plant on your property, and which are edible or medicinal.

    Great article. Reminds me in what categories I’m not extreme enough.

    I especially liked #59. True.

  • you but para cord by the 1000 ft. spools and you buy 3 or 4 spools at a time. and 20 or 30 of the $1.00 LED flashlight at Wal-Mart

  • You forgot to list different types of food storage:
    Store bought canned goods, home canned goods, Pantry boxed goods, Dehydrated, Freeze Dried, Military Rations, Buckets of stuff you can’t grow yourself, Seeds to grow what you can,

    MULTIPLE ways to purify water!

    This was fun! 😀

  • I read articles that say
    7 things to buy immediately after SHTF, or the Top 10 barter items, or You can never store enough of these 3 items and test myself against them. When I was a newbie, the scores were depressing. Now I score 95% to 100% on them and feel satisfied.
    PS. No need to buy toilet paper. Buy “coin tissues” (search term) on Amazon. You get 500 for $31 and you can store a year’s supply in a tote box. Also, buy battery sleeves on Amazon. The brand is Eneloop. The AA are rechargeable with a charging case and using a small folding solar panel. You slip the charged AA batteries into a sleeve the size of C and D batteries for use in flashlights and lanterns. No need to buy 5,000 D batteries anymore.

    • I do the same thing, but also articles that read like 5 most overlooked prep items, or most impossible to find after shtf or died for lack of, etc.

      It has given me many great insights.

      I also look for survival failure stories because they can be quite informative.

      Grace and Peace to you in Jesus, the Christ.

  • Daisy I had to laugh so hard at these-it is sooooooo good to see our personalities/culture/philosophy in print and know there are kindred spirits (because God knows most of our families and 90% of our friends think we are nuts). I have a few to offer: Kitchen matches in truck loads. Buying every “in good condition” blanket/comforter at garage sales and storing them in vacuum sealed bags. Learn how to make vinegar, colloidal silver and dehydrate herbal remedies(with instructions for use). Never buy anything but manual tools-the practice/experience is invaluable. Paper, crayons,pencils and educational books may someday be a luxury-plan accordingly. Glass jars-disposable now but ? someday. This is vital!!- the name of every Amish family and their addresses in your state :). They are our brothers and sisters in spirit and really understand the difference between surviving…and thriving.

    • Linda, that is a great idea to learn the names and addresses of Amish families. I also want to find Native American Indians who know some of their heritage in my state. It is about time we showed these people some honor and respect. Whites (and other non-Indians) have a lot to learn from them.

  • What kind of 99 Relatable Things That Only Preppers Will Understand is THIS CRAP??? These 99 things is something I would expect an uninformed mass media group like ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and the National Geographic’s channel to put up one. These 99 things, mock what prepping is all about.

    Prepping is preparing for an emergency; any and all emergencies. Most people alive today don’t remember the hard time of the great depression when millions of people were out of work, no food to eat, the government disarrayed and faltering and the environment working against all living things, (The great Dust Bowl).

    Well things are coming back around. People are no longer living in a rural area where they can grow their own food. Farmer John no longer runs his own farm. It is the conglomerates like Monsanto that alter the genetic codes of plants and the production of pesticides that put him out of business. It is the Government change in its rules and regulations that helped putting Farmer John out of business. It is the land developer that found that it is more profitable to turn rich farm land into strip malls and parking lots.

    Now is the “WAKE UP CALL” that you don’t want to miss. Take time in your small busy little lives and learn to protect yourself from the great unknown. Learn to survive by learning how to (fill in the blank here). Learn a skill to grow a garden in your back yard, in your apartment. Learn how to preserve and can your own food, learn how to survive in the woods beyond a few days, learn how to do without your creature comforts for a week, month, a year. Learn how to do your own medical evaluation and what you need to do to help heal the sick and injured.

    Far to often we rely on others for help. You call 911 for what ever help you deem necessary. What if you can make that call and it is only you between life and death? Are you going to roll over and die? Or will you stand on your own two feet and take a stand for survival?

    That is what prepping is all about! Self-reliance on yourself. Your ability to overcome adverse events and conditions and perhaps help others along the way.

    So all that BS you ignorantly printed as the 99 things that only a prepper will understand only goes to show you that you have no idea what the hell you are talking about! You need to think like a Boy Scout, “Be Prepared”.

    • Good grief. Do you have a sense of humor at ALL? I have many skills, and being able to laugh and enjoy my “small little life” is the one that has gotten me through things so difficult that many other people would have crumbled. You call ME ignorant, but I think perhaps YOU are the one who doesn’t know what he (or she) is talking about when it comes to living life.

      Here’s another read to further inflame your righteous, if misplaced, indignation. Be warned. It’s called Fun Is Not the F-Word for Preppers.


      • I didn’t realize that you were trying to funny or cute. And yes I do have a sense of humor. In fact, I have a saying, ” If you can’t laugh at yourself; then you are worth a damn!” Well I’m laughing at my self. I must admit that I missed that one paragraph right before you started to list your 99 things.

        As for calling you ignorant, that was a you in general, not you specific. If you took my so called indignation to heart, know that it isn’t misplaced. Just look around you and you will see how well people are really prepared in case of an emergency. You left California and moved back east. The folks there have experienced numerous emergency situations; and yet 96% of the people can not take care of themselves past 2 weeks.

        I know who you are and I have supported you over these many years. I have watched you learn and grow to a self confident woman, and quite frankly, I’m proud of you. But never short change someone because they misunderstood something. I will be happy to put my resume against yours any day and I can tell you how to survive in a war torn environment where everyone and everything is against you and waiting for you to make the first move for their survival. I been in places where being in Venezuela is a walk in Central Park.

        You are more than welcome to read a book that I personally helped put together with a few other personal. It is called FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual and the US Army Survival Handbook.

        So you see, while you were learning how, I was doing it, from Vietnam up until Desert Storm.

        • No hard feelings, Jumpoffa. I think you caught me on a cranky day, as I don’t usually respond like this. My apologies for that. If you ever wish to share your knowledge with the general public, I’d be happy to publish it here.

        • Jumpoffa, Hi fellow canner! Thanks for all you contribute to the prepping/canning/homesteading online communities, and thank you for your military service 🙂

        • Well done grasshopper. Now to truly find inner balance, you must learn the way of not being an ass when addressing wonderful people.

          “Testing your sense of humor ” ????

    • You obviously are a newbie to this site…Daisy has done everything you complained about and more for years! Get over yourself. We are ALL miles ahead of you, and can afford a few laughs. You however, are showing yourself to be a beginner. Good luck finding any support within the prepper community when it will really be necessary. This site is about learning and sharing. There is enough fault-finding in the real world.

      • Linda, thank-you for being a stout friend to Ms. Daisy. I too like Ms. Daisy and I am sorry to say that I missed that one paragraph before she started her 99 things list. I didn’t realize she was trying to be funny or cute. But as you now can understand, in my own way I too was supporting her as a Prepper by condemning the silly notions of that list.

        As for support in the prepper community, I think if you really took the time and looked around I am known. I usually don’t give out my name due to the vast amount of people that would contact me on a personal note, plus the Government won’t allow me to respond on certain subjects because they are still considered classified. But come August, that will all change and you may be hearing about things with evidence to back my claims up.

        So Ms. Linda, learn to forgive; before you put someone down. You will be the better person for it.

    • I suggest researching the ever-growing field of research about “resilience “ and how to cultivate resilience and then research the field of “burnout” (which is related to ‘combat fatigue’ and ‘care-givers burnout’) and strategies regarding how to combat it.

      You will find that periods of respite, including humor, are vital.

      Preparedness is a marathon, not a sprint. Plan your journey accordingly.

  • + Have 1 or preferably 2 alternative energy sources.
    + A low wattage dehumidifier for extracting water from humid air.
    + Faraday closet
    + Metallic reflective venetian blinds to protect from atomic blast radiation.
    + Amateur radio or GRMS capability
    + Multiple water filtering capabilities.
    + Propane gas, stove, genreator.
    + Propane full-size fridge/freezer.
    + Radiation tester

  • Toilet paper cannot be washed, reused or recycled. I am surprised and disappointed – and didn’t read any further.

  • Great read Daisy!
    I found myself smiling or laughing at a number of those things.

    For those who lost their minds, either they did not see the humor in the list, I do hope they do not survive a SHTF event. They would be such bores!

    I will comment on #20, FEMA camps and . . . The List.
    Personally I think there are waaayyyy too many people on . . . The List, for accommodations in the camps. From a logistics and manpower standpoint, the camps for the people on . . . The List, just does not make sense.

    Now, for all those not on . . . The List, or have the funds, and or connections to avoid getting on . . . The List, then the camps might actually be too keep a much smaller, oh, say those who do not make up the real 1% or 0.01%, but those the elite 1% or 0.01% needs those peons/middle management/The Help, to make the 1% or 0.01% lives comfortable and maintain their standards of living in a post SHTF event. Ya know, gardening, washing cloths, serving them their afternoon drinks, etc.
    So, the camps are really for keeping The Help safe and secure, again, a much smaller number, and keeping those on . . . The List out.
    For those of you with a decent sense of humor, I hope you enjoyed my little joke. Wink!

    • Yeah, why do people think they’re so special as to be on “The List?” Sorry to break to you, y’all, but any tyrannical government has bigger fish to fry than a bunch of weekend warriors reading about prepping online. Keeping FEMA camps where people are “tortured to death and fed to guard dogs” (as per the commenter’s vivid description above) sounds really lurid and scary, but what’s the motive? It’s expensive and unnecessary. Certainly concentration camps have a long and inglorious history (including in the US during WWI/WWII, targeting German- and Japanese-Americans, respectively). As for history’s most famous manager of prison death camps: Hitler had an ideological reason to want to apply Germanic scientific management to genocide, but he was also short of labor–hence the camps. Most people who died at his hand ended up in mass graves in the woods of Eastern Europe. As for Stalin or Mao, there was, again, an ideological purpose for the Gulags and the forced confessions: residents of the USSR and PRC at first naively (or idealistically) believed in the Communist project, so denunciations and confessions and reeducation through labor was effective. Later on, as today, cynicism had spread and it was a meaningless inefficiency. Also, during the early Communist periods, forced-labor was the only capital surplus that impoverished Russia or China could rely upon to quickly industrialize. So, in both cases, the evil has a utility to it. What purpose would be gained from FEMA camps? Would anyone really be fooled by such a move from an allegedly tyrannical government? In the American context, wouldn’t we, more likely see another “Red Scare” type ideological pogrom or “War on Terror meets Manzanar” wartime police-state action? Black-listing and imprisonment on trumped-up charges a la Turkey under Erdogan or else a wider application of military justice and anti-terror legislation a la Guantanamo Bay?

  • Greetings Daisy and the Daisy-ites. Have enjoyed your articles and insights. As the proverb goes, as iron sharpens iron, so one man (humanity) sharpens another. Always seek your articles out. Think of your one article where you gave info to ALERTSUSA. Talk about a leading edge for SHTF!
    Thanks for you vigilance and the insights you have learned and share.
    And as far as chronic arrogant complainers, just put on your waxed duck jacket and let it roll off.

  • You rigged a mil-surp potable water bladder in your attic to provide normal water pressure via your 12 volt pump.

  • Daisy;

    Thank you very much for the laughter, I do need to let you know you owe me an Iced Tea, I got about to #10 or 11 was laughing so hard I shot tea out my nose HAHAHAHAHA

    Thank you again, I visit often but rarely comment.

    FYI, is 600 rolls of TP really enough? 🙂

  • Most uplifting article ever. I forget that somewhere out there I have a tribe. Comforting and inspirational list. I relate to all 99. Here are a couple more.

    All my battery operated items are standardized on one size battery. I prep rechargeable batteries and have a solar battery charger.

    I buy unfamiliar shelf stable foods in small quantities just to test-cook them before buying more.

    Love the one about decoy food. That’s what I do with food I bought too much of and don’t like. And expired food. Plus food that didn’t keep well. Such as roasted red peppers in glass jars. Tastes great but they don’t keep.

  • My #100 would be “When travelling you look at abandoned buildings and farmsteads to see how they could be made into temporary bug out locations if an EMP happened right…….NOW!”

  • When your back yard looks like Christmas because of all the solar lights waiting to come inside. Loved th list. It was a great laugh after a long day.

  • Here are a few more:

    You know how to negotiate a bargain deal with an eBay seller many states away from you who claims “local pickup only”. (Hint: see the website uship.com to learn how multiple shippers can bid for your business to pick up and ship such deals to you.)

    You know how to find the websites from which to download fully legal “ghost gun” completion plans, whether AR class rifles or Glocks or 1911 semi-auto pistols (the type that Sgt York in 1918 used after he ran out of rifle ammo to take down six Germans charging him with fixed bayonets). You know that a $20 thrift store drill press is the key tool you need along with drill bits, a vernier caliper, etc.

    You know that adding a “bean auger” accessory to a hand-crankable Country Living grain mill will make it possible to make flour out of dried beans and make nut butter out of not only peanuts but any other kind of nut — besides being able to turn your long term storage of grains into whatever fineness of flour you want in the minimum quantity you need at the moment, while leaving the rest of your grain kernels intact and in long term storage.

    You know how to convert a 1950 cast iron Shopsmith from the 1/2 hp motor drive that was stock to a pedal-operated human powered machine via a couple of pulleys, some v-belts, a large flywheel, and a hinged foot pedal. That way you can use all five stock features (circular saw, disk sander, drill press, wood lathe, horizontal boring mill) even during a prolonged electric power outage. You felt inspired by the guy who used such an un-converted machine to build seven houses.

    You know how to make a lightweight and highly portable Copenhagen design solar panel cooker for less than $10 worth of materials, instead of paying $48 on eBay for the inventor’s retail version. (She fully blesses either approach, BTW.)

    You’ve spent zero dollars to bring home multiple throwaway rear projection TVs in order to salvage the huge Fresnel lens from each one — which gives you the ability to build and use a high temperature solar cooker or boiler — as long as you remember to protect your eyes via strong welder’s goggles that were intended for oxy-acetylene welding.

    You add to your collection of relevant books from time to time, like the now-rare and out-of-print “Hand Made Hand Tools” from Lost Data Press, probably no longer in business.

    You know that there is a US-made hybrid solar oven called the Sun-Focus that has electric backup with the automatic sensor to switch from sun to electric power when the sun is suddenly clouded over, or when you need to cook at night — a practical way to learn solar cooking with or without power. If you’re a bargain hunter, you might instead order the India-made version called a Tulsi for less money that also has both solar and electric power capabilities, although you’ll probably get the bright red civilian version instead of the identical but camo-painted version issued to the Indian army.

    You might even have set up an offshore email service to get around gmail’s notorious censorship of prepper-related newsletter content.

    Finally, you were utterly disgusted to read recently that Wise Foods turned over their customer list to the US government.

    • Lewis, after reading your comment, I realize there are now several more items I absolutely have to add to my prepping “wish list”, LOL 🙂

  • Don’t bother hording disposable butane lighters. After several years, 70% of them wont properly function. Get a reliable Zippo.

    • The flints in those disposable lighters are of superior hardness to the flints you buy for your Zippo and will last twice as long. If you have a Zippo, harvest those flints from the spent disposables every chance you get!

      Also, you’ll never get a painful naphtha burn on your thigh (that lasts for days) from a disposable lighter like you will from an improperly filled Zippo. Each has its pro’s and con’s and can compliment each other as pointed out above.

      Bottom line…it’s good to have both. There’s a tool for every job and a job for every tool…and you can never have too many tools.

  • You might be a (nitpicking) prepper if you read prepping articles and prepping lists so closely that you notice that Numbers 40 and 63 in this list are basically the same, LOL.

  • You have at least two of every electronic. Part your vehicle will need stored in Faraday cages or bags probably both you can never be to prepared.

  • I love numbers 31 and 34!

    -You trade plants, heirloom seeds, chickens, and fertilized chicken eggs with friends.

    -Your grandkids think every grandma has an egg incubator or a box of chicks under a heat lamp in the kitchen.

    -When your new coworker talks about her Berkey, you know she’s like-minded.

    -You’re more excited about the new seed catalog than Black Friday sales.

    -You can’t believe you found a used greenhouse with a hydroponics set-up for a great price, you and your husband moved it home, and set it up without breaking anything. Year round growing!

    -Your husband asks you if you have enough fruit jars, and you laugh and laugh.

    -When others panic during French Toast Events (Run to the store for bread, milk, and eggs before a snowstorm.), you stay home in your warm house.

    -Others think it’s quaint that you make goats milk soap (You got the milk from your own goats.), but you know it’s a skill that may be needed.

    -You know how to cook from scratch. You even bake your own sourdough bread.

    -You have enough supplies at your workplace that you could live there for days, if needed.

    -Your cousin gets a new Bentley for Christmas the same year that you get a corn desilker, and you’re happier than she is.

    -You don’t even own an electric can opener.

    -You’ve heard “You know you can buy that at the store, don’t you?” more times than you can count.

    -Your friends call you Ma Ingalls.

    All true stories.

  • I see two important things missing on this list. Clothes and campstoves. You are gonna need a lot of clothes, pants, shirts, rugged underwear, etc., depending on where you live (cold, hot, etc.)

    And you are gonna need something to cook with. sanitize water, pots, pans, and uh-um, coffee.

  • Loved #59, and am reading this whilst canning like an Amish Grandmother – soup for now, but my flock’s “Turkeypocolypse” begins this weekend! Hoping that by harvesting them slower, the last ones won’t be as panicked.

  • You have vast quantities of yarn, fabric,, thread and other crafting supplies for when the supply chain breaks down and you can no longer buy clothes.

    You are so ridiculously excited to find hand tools and non-electric kitchen tools at a yard sale you have to call your best friend before you even leave the driveway.

    When someone asks you what books you have read recently, at least two thirds of the titles begin with “How to..’, ” Old time methods of”.. or “Preparing for”.

    Your idea of a fun afternoon is inventorying and rotating your food stash.

    If your neighbor asks if you have any sugar, your reaction is “Why, what have you heard?”

    You leave the security chain on the door at all times.

    Your in-laws are coming and your reaction is “Crap! Where am I going to hide six cases of Spam?”

    You plot as many escape routes from your home, work, etc. in case tshtf , martial law is declared and the government is coming to arrest you.

    You aren’t being paranoid, just… ready.

  • Thank you for this wonderful and fun list! Things like that make me feel better that I am not alone on this perilous journey! I needed the laugh. None of my neighbors would understand my stacking deep of items, and most of my friends think I am whacky. That’s okay……..my cocker spaniels will be fat & happy! And, for those who whine about the ads….I had an ad come up that I followed and liked so much, I bookmarked them and ordered something.

  • Say, we just might make it with this list! 😉 If I could add #100 it would be, Stashing all the one and five dollar bills you can into a hiding place to have plenty of saved cash in small denominations. Saving the small stuff doesn’t hurt too much and it’s amazing how quickly it builds up.

  • OMG! I think this author knows me (and every other prepper out there)! It made me laugh til tears were running down my face. It is so nice to read something about prepping that is not all doom and gloom and not blaming the Democrats. (I’m not affiliated with either party). There’s enough blame to go around both in my opinion.
    Thank you so much for writing this!

  • Every time a small plane or helicopter flies over I give them the bird cuz I know they’re watching me. Heh. Even though we’re about 4 miles from a small landing strip.

  • You keep an eagle-eye on the amount of gas/diesel left in the tank of your everyday drive, watching for the half-tank need to go fill up occasion.

    The neighbors don’t know you have binoculars at your major windows hidden under plant leaves.

    You wear sensible boots almost all year round but wish they made tactical sandals.

    You carry two wallets in bad areas in case you must comply with the bad guy’s demand.
    You know to wait your turn if provided a chance to stop the crime because you’re trained.

  • Some more:

    You’ve collected a list of the best alt-media news aggregators and stand-alone websites to get around the lamestream media’s lying, censorship, and flat-out agitprop, such as





    You’ve learned to maintain (or apply for) your US passport for many reasons. One biggie is if you have some medical need that is financially out of reason in this country, or the best remedy is forbidden by the medical mafia cartel because it works better and is dirt cheap compared to the sky-high Big Pharma remedies that are often deadly. The term for going offshore is called “medical tourism” — a very useful search term.

    You’ve learned that the 9-0 decision by the US Supreme Court in Timbs v. Indiana in February of 2019 ruled that excessive fines and punishments are prohibited not only by the Federal authorities, but also prohibited down through the state, county, and even city levels. That means if your city hits you with a $2100 fine per day per code enforcement citation that when accumulated would let the city steal your house and auction it off to feed their bottomless coffers, you now have grounds to spank them hard in court, and save your house. See https://ij.org/case/timbs-v-indiana/

    You’ve collected a list of alternatives to the various Google services that spy on you, sell your data, and censor what politically they think you have no right to see.

    You’re disgusted to learn that Apple just sneaked in a contact tracing feature in their latest iPhone software.

    You’ve learned that the freebie website privacy.com is a great way to protect your charge cards from being hacked by generating temporary card numbers for either one-time or many times use for selected purchase transactions. It can also contribute strongly to keeping purchases private that you must keep private (like ghost gun parts, eg.)

    You’ve learned to squirrel away those cast off sliding glass doors because they can make the perfect slanting lid to your pool table sized passive solar distiller, per the experienced design in Sharon Buydens’ book on Amazon here:


    It’s titled: “DIY: How to Build a Solar Water Distiller: Do It Yourself – How to Purify Water Via a Non-Electric Solar Still at Home”

    Many families have used this for years along the Mexican border where local laws don’t cooperate with the need to clean up their local salty water.

    You’ve learned to collect used egg shells (in place of calcium acetate) to use with isopropyl alcohol to make gelled alcohol (like Sterno) to use as a fire starter in all kinds of camp stoves, whether you’re using local twigs, pine cones, fatwood or wood pellets, etc for fuel.

    You’ve learned that the federal ban (with a $500,000 possible fine + 5 years in prison) for refilling and TRANSPORTING those $3.50 green propane bottles that Walmart carries in huge displays … does NOT apply if you (over and over) refill and transport the $12 Flame King brand that Home Depot and Amazon both carry.

    You’ve learned that in a Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe or Venezuela type catastrophe where money become near worthless that barter networks can be created to solve the problem of “how can I trade my extra chicken for your repair work on my broken toilet — ASAP” kind of problem that money was supposed to facilitate.

    You’ve learned how to make your own laundry detergent that will cooperate with cold water — because for most kinds of clothes, they last longer, you save that 90% of the washing cost of heating up the water, and in a tough situation the retail laundry detergents that work with cold water may not be available.

    You’ve learned how to locate and work with naturopathic/holistic medical people, despite the Rockefeller mob’s century long battle to destroy them. You’ve collected helpful websites like GreenMedInfo.com and EarthClinic.com to help your research.

    You’ve learned about using hiking trailers or game carts (either DIY or retail) to transport heavier loads on foot than what would be reasonable for most people with only a backpack.


    • “a list of the best alt-media news aggregators and stand-alone websites to get around the lamestream media’s lying, censorship, and flat-out agitprop..”

      One more for the list:


  • The only one a really disagree with is #89, Drudge Report has gone woke. I don’t go there for ahything anymore.

  • Re: #37

    I’m not inclined to use alcohol as a barter item. Someone who drinks to excess might get violent.

    I do consider sugar a barter item. Plenty of addicts out there, mostly peaceful. 😉

  • I’ve become addicted to the archives rotation.????

    I’d like to add a couple more to an already super (and entertaining) list.

    – you know at least 50 uses for sawdust and use more than 5 frequently.

    – you consider a “bacon shortage” a personal challenge.

    – you hide your cringing when people say “I could never eat my own goat”

    – your home pharmacy supplies are rivaled only by your home vet supplies.

    – “low tech and multipurpose” rank high on your list of purchase requirements.

  • A good blast (and funny) from the past.

    I do agree with other commenters, Drudge has gone woke.

    Bic lighters. I know everyone talks about them, has dozens stocked up. Whenever I go to use one, even if it is half full, it wont light.
    Zippos, they seem to need refueled every other day.
    I have bought a number of those electric lighters. None lasted more than a few months. Trying a Exotac titan LIGHT now.

  • You do housework/animal care/gardening wearing your bug out backpack, to make sure you are
    1 – not over loading it.
    2 – used to wearing it.
    3 – used to doing actual work in it.
    4 – don’t need to go to a gym for a work out.

  • You not only have topo maps of your area, but you also have flood maps. And multiple road maps from different sources. And…

  • You have an electrosmog reader, to tell where & when there is dangerous microwave radiation from DEWs (directed energy weapons) and SMART (secret military armaments residential technology) devices

  • 100. Your bug out location has gear and maps for yet another bug out location.
    101. You have a pirate treasure map marking where you hid your gold and silver so your kids can still find it if something happens to you.
    102. You own a Berkey and/or family set of Lifestraws.
    103. You stash cash (junk silver) at home rather than in your checking account because you know one day the bank will simply close it’s doors…forever.
    104. You know how to harvest rainwater, filter it, and 3 ways to treat it for safe consumption.
    105. When you are buying canned food you can be clearly seen carefully checking the expiry dates to make sure you buy the ones with the most shelf life.
    106. You save seeds and identify edible weeds in your garden or area.

  • re: the reported problems with Bic lighters. Run this search on YouTube:

    bic lighter hacks

    to pull up a list of videos about remedies and non-obvious uses for the Bics — including uses for the spark after the fuel is gone.

    re: Zippo fuel evaporating so quickly. Try cutting a wide rubber band from a bicycle tire’s tube of a diameter that gives you a snug fit over the crack between the Zippo lid and the body. That should keep the lighter fluid from evaporating quite so fast. During the Vietnam war, missions to burn out Viet Cong villages were called “Zippo missions” because of how such fires were set. So there is a utilitarian history there.

    The electronic sparking lighters are mostly dependent on how long the rechargeable battery lasts. Since that is probably unknowable, it’s probably a good idea to have some backup methods handy. Even a credit card sized Fresnel lens is an easy carry in your wallet while the larger book page size version from Dollar Tree can yield a quicker flame — even in less than perfect sunlight.


    • Lewis,
      Thank you for the suggestions.
      Currently testing a EXOTAC lighter. I would call it a rugged Zippo.
      And I like it is fully serviceable by the end user. I bought extra wicks, and flints. The flints are Ferrocerium.

    • I know about using them to keep the dust and sand from the barrel of your pistol / rifle. Non-lubricated for an improvised canteen. You have another use? Please share.

      • Wound covering/chest seal. Improvised small lash. When inflated and tied off, a prime wind-direction indicator. Way-point marker. When cut open and splayed out can be a much safer, yet still small, food prep surface.

  • ????????????????

    Prepping? There’s no Prepping here. These are all real Build Back Better supplies.

  • Daisy, I am new to prepping, (just started this year) but I laughed at and acknowledged most of your 99 things. Funny, for all of my life I have felt like number 6. This holds true for all aspects especially now. I am so glad I finally woke up. I truly feel like I belong.

    • Patti Slade,
      Welcome to the prepping community!
      Never to late to start.
      Glad you can laugh at the list and yourself (I know I laughed at myself). A sense of humor is a must!

  • Here’s another one for the list. Your kids have learned to identify all the possible exits to a restaurant because you have played this game with them so many times. OR the kids roll their eyes st playing Kim’s game because it’s already been played a million times.

  • You raise meat rabbits and when someone asks how you can kill a cute little bunny, you actually tell them how to kill the rabbit.

  • A lot of comments below about starting a fire. Flint and steel are really low tech and easy to learn. What about tinder? My 2 go-tos are dryer lint and cotton that has been soaked in melted vasoline. Heat the vasoline in a paper bowl in the microwave until it melts. Soak your cotton balls in it. (I use chopsticks for this chore). Now store in large water proof prescription bottles. If you ask your druggist nicely they’ll possible give you two or three for free.

  • Welp, I’m about about 70/99, only because my son is 3, I don’t have a dog, I don’t own property, I’m poor AF (spent too much on preps?) and I live in CT. Still doin’ pretty good, methinks.

  • Drudge Report? Drudge went over to the dark side around the time of the 2016 election. Try Whatfinger instead.

    Ditto with CNN, except they wet to the dark side around 1992. I don’t watch Fox either (heading for the dark side). Try Newsmax TV or even OANN.

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