prep for free

21 Things You Can Do to Prep That Are 100% Free

Do you know what happens when newbies get into prepping and survival? They buy stuff. And it’s usually gear they regret buying 6 months later when they know better. Little do they know there’s an entire list of things they can do to increase their chances of survival, things that are 100% free. This will allow them to read more about survival and still make progress.

We already have an article on all the ways to save money prepping. Today we’re gonna take things even further by focusing on those preps that won’t cost you a single penny. Trust me, you’re gonna love this list. 🙂


#1. Work Out

No, I’m not talking about paying for expensive gym memberships, equipment, and supplements. You don’t need that. In fact, gym workouts are entirely focused on strength and looking good in the mirror.

I’m talking about survival fitness. What we need as preppers is to also improve our flexibility and stamina and you can do that at home or by walking around town. As long as you have a pair of running shoes, you’re good to go.

Walking, jogging, body-weight exercises, hiking, these exercises don’t cost a thing. If you want to know more, you can get my Run, Prepper, Run! survival fitness course right here.


#2. Forage

Whether you live in a rural, suburban, or urban area, there’s one thing you can do in all of these areas: foraging. As long as you’re not trespassing and know which plants to eat, you have a wide variety of wild edibles for your next salad.

inventory list

#3. Create a Home Inventory List

Pretty much all of the things we take for granted today will be gone post-collapse. I’m willing to bet there are a lot of items hiding inside your attic, your garage, your basement, and your closets, that you see as garbage but can prove to be extremely useful post-collapse.

You don’t have to make a list per se but you do have to take every item one by one and ask yourself:

How would I use this post collapse? Would it be of any use to me 3 day, 3 months or 3 years in a post-apocalyptic world?

If you don’t know the answer, just remember what you used that item when you used it, turn back the clock 5, 10, or 20 years and imagine if you’d still be using it.

If you still can’t find any use for the items, maybe you should do a little reading online. For example, your old laptop box can make a great cache for some of your preps. It can even make nice tinder.

You’ll be amazed to see that over 80% of the things you have stored away can be re-purposed: old clothes, old boxes, old backpacks, tools, etc.


#4. Bartering

Who says bartering is something you will only use post-collapse? You can use bartering today to give away some of the stuff you don’t need for other stuff that you do. No taxes to be paid, no hassle, AND you get to practice a crucial survival skill.

Get in touch with fellow preppers and see if they have things you might need. Oftentimes, when buying in bulk, we end up having too much of one thing. Why not trade your excess for someone else’s excess so you both win?

Also, check your inventory list (the one you just made). Just because you don’t find value in some of the stuff you found, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Don’t limit yourself to talking only to preppers, some people like collecting old stuff as a hobby.


#5. Make Your Emergency Plan

Figure out the disasters most likely to hit you area. Decide what you’ll do in a variety of bug in and bug out scenarios. Get your family on board with this.

house in the woods

#6. Do Drills

Now that you have your scenarios in place and everyone knows what to do, how about a little practice? Common scenarios include bugging out, giving first aid, bugging in, and home invasions. If you can get your family on board to practice, that’s even better.


#7. Learn a Foreign Language

If you live in the North of the United States, you probably want to bug out into Canada. If you live in the South, you might end up in Mexico. You can find plenty of free sites that teach French and Spanish.

survival plan

#8. Scan Your Prepping Plans for Holes

If you’ve been doing this for a while, it’s time to step back and play devil’s advocate for a little bit. See your house, your bug out location, and your preps from the bad guy’s perspective.

What would I do if I were a burglar? What if I were a rioter? Or a nosy neighbor?

There’s no such thing as a prepping plan without holes.


#9. Get Stuff for Free Using Coupons

If you’re looking to turn yourself into a coupon king or queen, you can learn it how to get stuff for free.

collect water

#10. Harvest Rainwater

Rainwater harvesting may or may not be legal where you live, but you don’t need an an entire system just yet. If you have a few barrels, you can just place where the pipes and and use water to water your garden or plants, do the dishes, flush the toilet, wash your dog, etc.

restaurant table

#11. Get Free Stuff From Fast Food Restaurants

This may or may not be your cup of tea but, as you know, a lot of fast food restaurants offer free plastic forks, knives, spoons, chopstick, napkins, wet wipes, and small packets of salt and pepper. These all come in wrappers, of course, ready to be stockpiled.


#12. Reorganize Your Preps

If you’re looking to stockpile even more stuff, you’re probably gonna need more space. Reorganizing everything is free and keep in mind that you can store a lot of things in places like your attic. Careful about rodents, though. They’re able to chew their way through plastic, so you should use metal buckets or, maybe just hang some of your preps with Paracord.


#13. Digging a Cache In Your Back Yard

It’s free, though you’ll need a proper container (such as a PVC pipe) to store your preps. Plus, it’ll give you quite the fully body work-out. And all you need is a shovel.

secret room

#14. Designate and Prepare Your Safe Room

You should at least move some of your preps inside and try to reinforce the door by yourself. Remember, we’re only talking about things that don’t cost a penny.

label preps

#15. Label Your Preps

If you’re thinking about expanding your preps, you’re gonna want to know what’s in each container. This is something you do when you actually seal the containers, but it’s never too late (as long as you know what’s inside without opening it).

map and compass

#16. Mark Your Bug Out Routes On a Map

It’s good to know all possible routes out of your town or city because you never know which ones you’re going to take in a bug out situation.

Even if you live in a rural areas, you should still have routes planned out, because in the heat of the moment, your mind could freeze and you could forget a crucial turn. Having everything clearly marked on your maps could save you precious seconds that might be the difference between life and death.

train your dog

#17. Train Your Dog

Some preppers have bug out bags for their dogs and that’s very thoughtful, but how will you control your dog when chaos breaks loose? If it’s not listening to you now, it sure as heck won’t listen when SHTF.

lay low

#18. Become a Gray Man

Blending into the crowd or a post-apocalyptic society isn’t something you have to wait until SHTF to practice. I wrote no less than 50 ways to do it here. Being “average” when you’re anything but, is an art. I suggest you start practicing today.


#19. Sign Up For Free Classes

Online, offline, webinars, it doesn’t matter. As long as you can interact and ask questions on survival, homesteading, or firearms, you should probably join.


#20. Work On Your Skills

Buying survival items costs money but practicing and using them is free. As long as you already have them, it’s time to improve your skills. Which skills? You can find out by reading my previous articles here and here.

reading book

#21. Read!

Reading is free and there’s enough survival information to keep you busy for years. The more you read, the better you can judge for yourself which info is good and which isn’t, so you can make better prepping decisions.

Good luck!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Dan F. Sullivan

My dad was military. My grandfather was a cop. They served their country well. But I don't like taking orders. I'm taking matters into my own hands so I'm not just preparing, I'm going to a friggin' war to provide you the best of the best survival and preparedness content out there.

One comment

  1. Unless you are planning to bug-out to rural Quebec, the rest of us Canadians speak English, just saying…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *