A Day in the Life of an Urban Prepper

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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…

5:30 AM

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.

urban survivalist

7:30 AM

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.

9:00 AM

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.

11:30 AM

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.

1 PM

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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2 PM

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.

5 PM

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.

6 PM

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.

7 PM

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.

9 PM

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.

About Daisy

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 FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Picture of 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.

Leave a Reply

  • I noted a lack of bible study, scripture reading and prayer in your daily routine……time in the Word always adds knowledge, insight and wisdom. Helps me keep a biblical vs worldly outlook on life.

    • yeah, but she’s trying to reach everyone, and focusing on any one belief or practice may turn away some.

    • I found the lack of religion refreshing. All too many prepping and/or frugality sites are more like a church service than prepping or frugality.

    • Some take comfort in religion.
      Others, not so much.
      To each their own.

      If some were being prosecuted for their particular religion, I would take up arms, even if I was not a member, to defend their 1stA right.

      Flip side, some demands I convert to their particular religion, attend their place of worship, read and recite their book, I just might take issue.
      If I take issue, then we have a problem of the likes you have never seen.

      However, the closest we have come to that was The Jehovah Witnesses used to come by once or twice a year. Then the last time they stopped in, my wife answered the door with a cigarette in one hand, and a glass of wine in the other.
      They have not been back since . . . cannot imagine why . . .

      That is what makes America so great.

      • They will be back, it will just be a little longer. I had conversations with them every couple of weeks for about a year. They began to insist that I attend their church. I explained that I was already very involved with a church already and could not break promises I had made to attend the JW church. They left me alone for a couple of years but then came back. I will talk religion with anyone and if it doesn’t turn into an argument I enjoy it. The JWs are good people but they want to help everyone so much they get too pushy at times. I wouldn’t be a prepper if anyone tried to push me into it. And, while I am replying to you 1stMarine, I always like to read your posts.

        • David Homer,
          With the prices of gas as of late, not sure they will be back anytime soon!
          Cost me $30 for 6gal yesterday (topping off on 3/4 a tank).

          And thank you for your compliment.

    • Since you seem to be a bit of a Bible scholar, you could tell us about Bible verses useful to preppers. Without that, you aren’t making your argument very convincingly.

      Personally, I like Luke 12 because it’s so thought-provoking for a prepper, and apparently contradictory (and don’t ask me how to resolve the contradictions, I have no idea). There are quite a few different ideas there about what attitude you want to take when you prepare, or other people may take, and maybe you hadn’t thought some of those things before.

      • “Bible verses useful to preppers”

        Proverbs 10:4
        Poor is one who works with a lazy hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
        Proverbs 12:24
        The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy hand will be put to forced labor.
        Proverbs 13:4
        The soul of the lazy one craves and gets nothing, But the soul of the diligent is made fat.
        Proverbs 21:5
        The plans of the diligent certainly lead to advantage, But everyone who is in a hurry certainly comes to poverty.

      • Dolly:

        The parable of the 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom (gospel of Mathew); 5 were prepared with extra lamp oil and 5 were not and were shut out of the wedding feast due to being unprepared. This is a gospel that has quietly resonated with me for a very long time (and actually has its own service and hymns at the beginning of Holy Week during our Great Lent).

        Freedom of religion is very, very important to me and I do not take that for granted. Both of my grandparents as youths experienced severe religious persecution and enslavement and fled their country with very little and I grew up hearing those stories (as my grandmother lived with us). My mom told me that, once, when she was around 8-9 years old, she caught her mom (my grandmother) standing alone in the kitchen with her right hand on her heart as the radio played the National Anthem. My grandmother loved this country.

        I digress. I have no interest in converting anyone to my faith. I feel incredibly blessed and grateful that I can move about freely and practice my faith.

      • Historically, it’s also related to Buddhism. However, it is often practiced in a completely secular fashion for the flexibility benefits. I recommend it to anyone as a great, restorative exercise.

        • I made the point about hinduism because another commenter said she was glad that you didn’t mention religion. Some (not all) of the positions are positions of worship of hindu gods. It seemed ironic to me that there was a potentially religious aspect to that part of your column, and yet it was overlooked by her.

          Sometimes people get offended at any mention of Christianity but give a free pass to every other religion.

  • I have found bicycling is a good way to recon as well.
    Not many see some spandex clad yahoo as a viable threat.
    I am not looking as to attack anyone, but, hey, that guy has hogs. I could set up a breeding program with him.
    It is also how I found someone who can build triple wall stove pipe.
    Another selling rabbits.

  • All I know, like you, I love my early morning hours but I don’t drink coffee for 1 1/2 to 2 hours since I read your “wake-up” hormone is still circulating in the body, and coffee disrupts its natural cycle. Then a pharmacist PhD and developer of health products said he does not drink coffee after 1 pm. I try to follow those guidelines.

  • I have made getting in shape a priority right now, too! It’s time. We need to be ready. I have let this soft life in the USA make me too soft, much to my regret and chagrin.
    Plus, I want to be able to walk those hills in Croatia if we get a chance to go. 😉

  • I’m the exact same in the early morning! Wake up at 5:30 and love my black coffee and quiet time before the rest of the house starts making noise 🙂 The rest of the day, well, with three kids (sometimes more if I’m babysitting) and animals, it pretty much just goes the way the universe decides the day is going to unfold. But for us, the hobby farm is the biggest part of what we do to prep, and my early morning reading helps me organize my thoughts for the rest of the day too.

  • Walks massage your organs, balance your energy. One aged and healthy man referred to “Dr. Left Foot and Dr. Right Foot.” I also use my daily walks to meet as many neighbors as I can. We need to find our like-minded community.

  • My goodness, it must be fun to swim in a complex pool and do errands around shops that seem to have all you need. you appear to live in an apartment with very few resources. hope your bug-out lane isn’t filled with all the antis.

    • Why wouldn’t I make myself more fit using the amenities included in my rent? I work 7 days a week and actually named a number of local resources. I live in the south and pools are a pretty common sight at apartment complexes. I grow and put back food on a daily basis. How do you suggest I spend my time?

  • For those of us who either aren’t well off financially, or haven’t been as successful as we would like to be for whatever reason, it’s tempting to view the article as a story of the relaxing and easy life of a “prepper website” owner raking in the profits of those affiliate links.

    Personally, I live a life of very few conveniences, by choice. I could have gas and electric, but its my choice not to. I try not to judge anyone who takes advantage of all the good things that come with modern American life.

    There will be plenty of time to suffer later.

    Besides, reading Daisy’s bio, I bet she has known her share of hardship. Knocking around Europe isn’t easy when you are paying for it all with your own hard work, skimping whenever possible, living out of a bag. Looking skanky because you haven’t washed your hair in a week.

    We should be comfortable living with or without all the nice things modern American life has to offer.

    I thought that’s what preparedness is all about.

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