When I was thinking about how to approach this topic, it occurred to me that the best way to look at it is this—if you already have some prepping under your belt, then you probably have your food and water stores and medical supplies set up. You have decided whether you are bugging in or bugging out. You have learned a few basic skills to help with your survival. You might even have some weapons training under your belt.
But what comes next? There is never an end to prepping, and once you have the basics down, you need to move on to more advanced prepping and that means taking the basics and making them better! Here is a collection of kick-ass prepping ideas that cover a number of prepping categories. You can choose the ideas you like the best and implement them to help bolster your preps.
Hiding Your Preps
You have all your preps ready, but having a year’s worth of food and supplies sitting in your pantry or neatly organized on shelves in your basement is not the best idea. You need to split these preps up and hide them throughout your home, so that if someone breaks into your home and steals what you have, chances are, they won’t get everything. Here are some great ideas for where to hide your preps:
- Build false walls at the back of closets or storage rooms. This will conceal your preps nicely and anyone who looks for preps in the space will think the wall is, well, a wall! This also works for dressers and cabinets. Building a false back on family dressers and that buffet in your dining room will give you space for preps.
- Build a coffee table with hidden compartments. You can build in large legs or boxy parts that look decorative, but house your preps.
- Raise the beds in your home and build a false bottom where you can store some preps.
- Use the crawl spaces you have in your home to store preps and make sure any entrances are concealed.
- Dig a hole in your backyard and make a small storage space for some preps that will store well if buried. If you want to get extremely handy, you can make this into a root cellar, but you will have to make it blend in with the surroundings.
- Turn all small nooks and crannies into storage spaces, provide you can conceal them.
- … and more.
Remember that you should always have some food and water sitting in your regular cupboards or pantry. These act as a great diversion. Even if you get invaded by looters who will come in and make a mess of your home looking for things, if you have done your job of concealing hiding spots for your preps, chances are they will only leave with what you have left out for them to see.
Get Creative with Security
This is something that is often overlooked in the early days of prepping (except for those preppers that stock guns over food and water). When it comes to security, you want to:
- Keep people away
- Deal with people who do come
- Defend against people who won’t leave peacefully
You will want to focus on these in this order. Let’s take a look at a number ingenious ideas for how to accomplish a high level of security. You can deter most people from coming anywhere near your house if you are prepared to bluff. Here are some great ways to do that:
- Keeping a big dog is a great idea, but if you can’t or don’t want to, you can still make it look like you have one. Put up signs, put a doghouse in your yard, and spread dog toys around. If you get really desperate, you can always transfer some dog poop someone didn’t clean up into your yard for an even better effect (remember, defending our homes sometimes takes drastic measures).
- If a pandemic is the problem, then having biohazard waste bags on-hand is ideal. All you need to do is fill one or two of these bags with whatever you have lying around and toss the out your front door. People won’t risk coming anywhere near your house unless they are truly desperate.
- You might not be able to get away with shooting a gun around your home (unless things are really bad) and you might not even have a gun. However, if you can choose something around your house that is visible, like the side of a shed or something similar, you can make holes in the object that look like bullet holes. Include some warning signs and most people will stay away.
- Make you home look less appealing. If you look poorer than your neighbors, then your house will probably be overlooked in favor of the others, at least in the beginning.
- Blend in with the desperate. Go out every day and ask questions. Wonder out loud with everyone else if there will be a food delivery or emergency shelters set up. Look dirty and hungry. Chances are no one will know you are going home to a pantry full of food and that your kids aren’t going hungry—at least not for the first week or two.
- If people are going to come onto your property despite everything you’ve done, design your walkways such that they are directed where you want them to go. Never make it easy for them to going wandering around, snooping wherever they like.
Enhancing Your Bugout Vehicle (BOV)
If you plan to bug out, and even if you don’t, you should have a good vehicle that is ready to go on a moment’s notice. But keeping the regular maintenance up and keeping it full of gas is only the beginning. When you are bugging out, might not deal with mobs of zombies, but there is a good chance you will be dealing with debris, crowds of people, road blockages, and gas shortages.
If you can, start with a good, sturdy 4×4 vehicle. Even if you can’t, there is so much you can do with your BOV to help you get past the various obstacles you might encounter, such as:
- Add an extra gas tank to your vehicle. To do this, you will need a professional mechanic familiar with the fuel systems used in race cars, but it will be worth it when you can increase your driving distance without stopping to fill up or look for fuel.
- Protect against inevitable flat tires when driving through debris by enhancing your tires. You can get Kevlar belts that will help protect against punctures. In addition, some vehicles can be equipped with run-flat tires. These are special tires designed to allow you to drive for as much as 100 extra miles on a flat. This will help get you out of harm’s way.
- Add a winch and a chainsaw to your vehicle to help clear large debris, such as fallen trees and other vehicles from the road. If you can’t install a winch on your vehicle, then consider storing a cable puller in your BOV to help you clear large debris. At the very least, have a tow strap on hand.
- Install a thermal imager in your vehicle so you have better visibility at night. If there are potentially dangerous people ahead of you, they can see you before you can see them, unless you have an advantage. You can even get a FLIR ONE thermal imager that will work on your iPhone or Android phone.
How and Where to Bug Out
Ideally, if you have decided to bug out, you have a bugout location (BOL) set up and ready to go. However, despite the fact that many preppers say you have to get a BOL set up before the SHTF, this is just not possible for everyone. Whether or not you have a designated BOL, getting out of Dodge might not go as smoothly as you wish and knowing where to go might be an issue if you don’t have a pre-determined destination. Here are some ideas to help you get out of town and get somewhere safe:
- We all think our vehicle will get us out of town, but what if it won’t work. There could be an EMP or the roads might be too clogged up. Hopefully you have a backup plan, but if not, consider the following:
- Bikes with bike trailers to haul your food, water, and supplies.
- Scooters for each family member—you can get ones that are good for adults and these can help you move faster and get around things and people more easily, plus you can still walk when necessary and carry the scooter with you. It might not make for the dramatic bug out you had envisioned, but it will get you out of harm’s way.
- A wagon to haul your things if you are on foot.
- If you can’t take the highway, then what’s your plan? You shouldn’t only plan main and backup driving routes; you should also plan alternative routes when you simply can’t trust the roads leading out of town. Alternatives include railway lines, power lines, along a river (either on foot or in a boat).
- If you don’t have or can’t get to your BOL, you have to come up with some other options. In the short-term, provided you have cash, you can go to a motel. Campgrounds are often suggested, but these will be overrun with people doing the same thing you are. Other options the wilderness of national parks, mines and factories, and ghost towns (if you have any in your area). If the disaster lasts for the long-term, even these locations will become unsafe over time, but chances are, so will everywhere else.
These are a few ideas that take you well past the basics of prepping. So get your ducks in a row first, and then consider what you can do to take your preps to the next level. Then you will be that much more prepared when disaster strikes.