Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
There are all sorts of articles out there about preppers who live a rural lifestyle. I know, because I’ve written several of them myself when my daughter and I lived in our cabin in the Algonquin Forest and on our farm in California. Something that gets a lot less attention is what an urban survivalist – an apartment-dwelling prepper – does all day long. And considering that far more Americans live in suburban or urban environments, it’s pretty likely that a lot of preppers do also.
I thought I’d share a “day in the life” and let you know what I do all day long. Something I’m working on is becoming more fit and active – very important to do as things go sideways. I also work daily to increase or maintain as much self-reliance as possible in my small space. To live a prepared lifestyle, you need to have specific goals so that you spend your time productively.
So here goes…
I’m an early riser and have been for years. I love those two hours of productivity before anyone else – even the dog – is up and around. I don’t use an alarm clock (yuck!) – this is just when I naturally wake up. I make a beeline for the coffee pot, boot up the computer, and get started.
For the first two hours of the day, I get my newsletters done, any graphics that require attention, and scan the news. Sometimes I eat some breakfast while doing this – it just depends if I’m hungry. Breakfast is usually eggs and toast or tuna with saltines.
Once my morning tasks are done, I throw on some workout clothes and rouse my sleepy dog. Thor is getting older and can’t handle the heat and humidity of a North Carolina summer very well. So I walk – okay, it’s more of a leisurely stroll – about a third of a mile with him before it gets too warm and sunny, then I drop him off at the apartment.
After that, I walk 2-3 miles at a quicker pace by myself. I take photos of things of interest, like food-bearing plants, water sources, and various resources within a 2-mile radius of home. It’s not just a walk – it’s also recon. I’ve found some pretty cool things even in this urban environment.
Once I get home and showered after that sweaty walk, it’s time to get back to work. Sometimes I make a shake, and if I haven’t had breakfast, I eat now.
My writers are also up and at ’em at this point, so I go through my emails and communications and discuss anything that requires discussion. If I came across some good topics when scanning the news earlier, I might assign them. I work for a couple more hours.
I try to schedule meetings and interviews for 11:30. That way, I’m awake, I’ve taken care of everything pressing, and I get the tasks out of the way before I leave to run any errands required that day.
If I don’t have any meetings, I spend this time either continuing work or doing household tasks. Having a set time to do this keeps me better organized. At some point in here, I have lunch. I often read non-fiction while eating because I like learning something.
It’s now time for another activity break. I have one of three activities to choose from. I either swim in the apartment complex pool, do yoga in my living room, or hit the weight room at my complex. I spend 45 minutes to an hour working out in the afternoon. As I mentioned, getting in shape is a primary goal right now.
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Now I go do any errands required outside of the house. This might be appointments, shopping, picking up something from the pharmacy, or meeting with friends or family. Something people often overlook about city life is just how easy it is to get lost in a crowd. Nobody notices someone who is out walking for exercise or who is buying a little more food than usual. There are lots of places to shop so I don’t have to make purchases at the same place every week. If you pay attention to what you’re doing, OPSEC is way easier in an urban environment.
I eat dinner (or start fixing it) around 5 every night. Because I go to bed early, I also tend to have dinner early. I finish up any work or communications required during this last hour of my work day while I’m having dinner.
I water my plants (by hand – no hose at the apartment) and do any gardening that’s required as the weather begins to cool off and the sun moves to the other side of the building. When I go inside, I take care of things like laundry, cleaning, organizing, food preservation, and other tasks for the next hour.
I make a quick list of the things I need to accomplish the following day for prepping, work, and errands.
My computer and phone are now off for the night.
Once I’m done with any tasks, it’s time to spend a while relaxing. I usually read for a little while, then watch a little bit of whatever streaming service I happen to have and spend time with the people I care about. I try to spend this time on enjoyable things – no documentaries, no news, no how-tos. The last two hours of the day are for winding down, reconnecting, and preparing my mind for bedtime. I usually do something productive while relaxing, like crocheting or mending, to keep my hands busy.
I go to bed, although not always right to sleep. Sometimes I read for a while before I drift off. But the act of going to my bedroom and getting comfy helps me wind down.
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It’s not engraved in stone.
I do try to do a few things at about the same time each day. I get up early, work, work out, and go to bed at the same times daily. But if I’ve got bushels of strawberries or tomatoes to process and preserve, sometimes I put my other things aside to get that stuff done. If there’s an amazing sale I want to hit, I go do that and spend time getting things put away and inventoried. It’s important to be flexible and not miss opportunities in order to stick to a schedule.
By building time in each day for work, fitness, prepping, and maintenance, it’s never an overwhelming job. It’s just a regular part of my life. While I may not have livestock to feed or fields to attend, I still have plenty to do to stay as prepped as possible.
How do you spend your days? Do you commit a certain amount of time every day to prepping and self-reliance? Share your routine in the comments.
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, 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; 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. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.
Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.