Prepping for Life

preppingI Started Prepping!

Until fairly recently, I believed I was well trained in camping and outdoor “survival” skills.  During the summers my family camped all up and down the east coast as a child.  As a teenager, I spent one week every summer at a church camp. I learned how to tie knots, build fires, first aid skills, etc.  A huge accomplishment for me was catching, cleaning, cooking and eating a fish. This was an enormous feat for someone who hates “seafood”.  But I did it!

My Paradigm Shift

I admit that my idea of roughing it used to be traveling in my family’s Winnebago. This was complete with AC, a “real” shower, and camping within miles of amusement parks and drive-through restaurants. I was so spoiled and overconfident with, what I thought were actual survival skills. When I married a former Navy SEAL, he took me backpacking in the desert mountains outside of San Diego. It was there that I learned some life changing tidbits. Note to self . . . If I ever get lost in the wilderness, Greg’s the guy to get lost with.

I realized I knew absolutely nothing about survival or prepping. I spent hours on that trip with my husband learning how to navigate using a map and a compass. There can be a huge variance between magnetic north and true north! Who knew? No fires were allowed where we camped. We had to boil water (carried in our bags) and cook over a tiny, portable stove. All of these little tasks seemed overwhelming at first, but quickly became fun learning opportunities for honing survival and prepping skills.

Today’s news is infested with disasters of every kind: natural, economic, civil unrest and government collapse . . . I used to live vicariously in war zones or the aftermath of hurricanes and tornados by watching the news. I would feel empathy for those affected.  I prayed for them. I even organized food and clothing drives for Hurricane Katrina and the Joplin, MO tornado survivors.  However, I never thought to prepare my own home.  The bulk-sized box of Ramen noodles in my pantry certainly wouldn’t cut it feeding a family of six when real tragedy strikes.

Prepping Mentality

I drove home from backpacking realizing I couldn’t afford to be nonchalant about the notion of preparedness.  No matter how daunting the task, it was time to prepare.  I committed to store food, water, medical supplies and all other essentials for my family.  I got actively involved with building a bug out bag and organizing the gear in our garage. Prepping was now in the forefront of my mind.  In the bottom of my purse, right along side of my MAC makeup kit is my mini survival kit.  For a family activity, we vacuum sealed wheat, rice and beans.  I realized that securing our future isn’t just about putting money in a 401K.  We have a plan for all of the “what-ifs”.   What started out as a reluctant backpacking trip, completely changed my way of thinking. While a trip to REI will never be as fun as Nordstrom, it’s necessary. Knowing how to use flint and steel will keep me alive, a pod of eye shadow won’t! Prepping is now a part of my daily life!

About the Author

Andrea B. is the Vice President of Survival Tactics NOW! and is passionate about educating others in the art of self- reliance. She loves family, fitness, and challenging herself by learning new and interesting survival tactics!


  1. Luis Argueta says:

    Good Post, good info to ponder over and consider. Makes me realize I need to get more ready in case s.h.t.f. Good job on your blog though!!

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks, Luis! It’s not a matter of IF the SHTF, but WHEN. You are probably more ready than you think and just need to spend a little bit more time to organize around a step-by-step approach. I hope you’ll keep following us and maybe pick up some helpful hints along the way!

  2. Shelly says:

    Great post, Andrea! What I want to know is what is in your mini survival kit?

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks, Shelly. The survival kit is about the size of an Altoids tin and contains basic items for survival such as fire starting materials, water collection device, OTC meds, items for trapping, fishing, sewing, etc. In other words, a lot of stuff! Keep your eyes on the website for a Survival Tactics Tidbits post from Greg B. on how to build a basic survival kit in the coming weeks. We are also working to upload some great survival Do-It-Yourself (DIY) videos on our Survival Tactics NOW channel on YouTube in the near future.

  3. Debbie Deal says:

    Andrea, what a smart endevour you have begun! With the C.R.A.Z.Y. way our nation is going, not to mention what is happening all around the world, you are a trooper!!!! Be thankful you have Greg as a partner, who is very “tuned in” to this way of life. It’s great that the kids are helping out, becoming aware of why this mode of thinking is so important in these days, and being “hands on” and learning themselves HOW to do the things that will be required. It’s one thing to just talk about it…..another thing to actually DO IT! Were there websites that gave you the knowledge of how to prepare (ie: how to build a homemade first aid kit, how to properly store foods-what kinds of foods to store and kinds not to store?) I hope you will take us along on this journey of preparedness with you, so that you can, in the meanwhile, teach us how to prepare! I am proud of you for leading your family and teaching your family, how to survive in less than ideal circumstances!

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks, Debbie!
      Prepping websites are a dime a dozen. There are some that provide accurate information and some that do not. The trick here is being able to decipher good information from the not so good (but that’s why you have us). Many prepper websites may look like they have the goods on the surface but post inaccurate information. Then there are those that are simply trying to make a buck or promote a particular political agenda. Survival Tactics NOW! has the credentials and experience to provide full spectrum professional consulting services for survival planning and training. If you would like more detailed information please use the Contact tab to request a free initial phone consult!

  4. Jill M says:

    Andrea, you are a wonderful writer! I am so glad you taking this on and sharing this new passion in you! I am excited to read updates. It is wonderful that you are involving your children in all this. It will be a treasured memory of theirs! I am so grateful for all the ‘dry runs’ my parents did with us while living in CA and helping plan emergency and storage items – even getting some as birthday and Christmas gifts. I love learning more! – so thank you!

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks, Jill! We decided to have the kids be very hands- on with all of this prepping from the beginning. They need to know how to be self-sufficient as well! It’s a whole new level of pride watching them dry pack rice or know what’s missing in their bug out bags! 🙂

  5. Sean says:

    Loved this first post and looking forward to more! Preparedness is a mentality we all need to adopt. Guess that’s why the Boy Scout motto is “Be Prepared”. Not sure I’m going dig out a bunker in my backyard just yet, but baby steps toward being self-sufficient in case of emergency is always a great idea. Thanks!

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks,Sean! Sometimes people don’t know where to begin and get these ideas of digging out a bunker and get overwhelmed. Gotta start somewhere! Being self-sufficient is priceless!
      -Andrea B.

  6. Rebecca says:

    I am so proud of that young girl I remember and now the woman you have become. You are inspiring me…even an old dog can learn new tricks if you take the time and patience to do it. Keep the good work going. By the way….seeing your handsome husband, I wouldn’t mind being lost with him either. LOL

    • Andrea says:

      Thank you, Rebecca for your kind words! The time to prep is NOW. Better to be safe than really sorry…just take baby steps! Please continue to follow our blogs. They will be full of great information and resources.
      -Andrea B.

  7. Michael says:

    Great blog entry!! Its so important to be prepared!! Never take for granted what is, but be prepared for what could be!!