June 28, 2017

Five Free Practices You Can Do To Be Better Prepared

Here are Five Free Things you can do to be Better Prepared

Have you ever seen someone post a “What have you done to prepare this week?” thread on a prepper forum? I enjoy reading them, both to see how people as my friend, the Survival Sherpa, would say are “doing the stuff” and because there is a sense of accountability. Iron Sharpens Iron.

Money has been tight since I was downsized from my last job, but just because we can’t buy new things, or even replace food storage, that doesn’t give me a pass! I’ve had to get creative in the “What have I done category”, and here are five things you can do for free!


The single most important preparation one can have is knowledge. If deserted on an island, I would take five people who had a depth of knowledge on surviving over five people who had no knowledge and a weeks’ worth of supplies.

There is a saying, “knowledge is power” and it is! We are blessed to live in a time where you can learn about anything and everything, within just a few keystrokes. Of course, we need to use discernment and be wary of our sources but finding reputable sources on any subject is not a difficult task.

Practice Skills

After knowledge, I think skills are the next important item. Having book knowledge is great, but to read about starting a friction fire is much different than doing it. There are plenty of skills one can master for free or a very small investment.

Teach Others

Teaching someone else about something you know helps you to understand it in much greater detail. This website is just over three years old. In that time I have learned new things and I have a much deeper understanding of the topics I have written about.

You don’t need a blog to teach someone else. You just need someone willing to listen and learn. I talked to my son about learning how to change a tire years ago and he was never interested. Maybe I should have made him sit through it but I doubt he would have paid attention. However, a couple weeks ago he called and said he was not far from me and had a flat tire. I drove to where he was, explained what to do and watched over his shoulder as he loosened the lug nuts. I showed him where to place the jack and how to go through the rest of the motions. He was very grateful and I was glad I could pass on the skill. I know he paid attention and will be able to do it on his own in the future.

Examine and Take Stock of Existing Preps

If you have been prepping for any length of time, you’ve got who-knows-what, stashed who knows where. I had things scattered in many different places and decided to put it all together and redo the BOB’s. I had forgotten that we owned several items and was able to build a couple small kits out of the gear I’ve collected over the years. I also found some items that I need to replace when money permits.

Research Future Purchases

When you’ve gone through your existing preps and find those items that you need to replace, or items you might need, thoroughly research them. Read both the positive and the negative reviews of the item you’re considering, and also for its biggest competitor. This will ensure that you make smart purchases when you do have a bit of extra money.

Do you have any other ideas that a person can do to prepare that are free?

If you liked this article please think about sharing it on the social media listed below, thanks!

If you would like to repost this article, feel free to do so, please just mention that it was written by Chris Ray and provide a link back to this page.



  1. Carl Rooker says:

    Good post, and good points.

    One way I have cut the cost of many items I have wanted was to figure out how to do it myself. I have saved several thousands of dollars by building my own boat, or my own pick up camper. I have a cross bow, and wanted a cocking device for it. I found a strap online made for this for $35 (less now), and made my own for $3.

    Sure, I can’t do everything for myself, but when I can, not only do I save money, but I practice a survivalist/ prepper necessity. I learn to inovate.

  2. If I were to pass on a bit of wisdom, It would be: ” Maslowes Heirarchy of Needs”:
    1.) Water 2.) Food 3.) Clothing 4.) Shelter/ 5.) Sanitation 6.) First Aid 7.) Communication 8.) Transportation.
    Water. The feds say a gallon a would sustain an adult. It’s more like 3 gallons. And that depends on your location and if your doing work.. Food: A person(Male) doing heavy manual labor will require 3,000 calories a day(minimum). So most of those survival pails being sold say at costco, do not satisfy these needs. More later…

  3. Every year on my birthday each family member brings their BOB. We go over each item and make kits for new members. It helps us make sure we each know how to use every item.

  4. Great post and advice.
    I think you’re site is quickly becoming one of the greatest free resources anywhere. The care and wisdom you put into all of the information and the many wonderful folks that contribute here has enormous value.
    Beyond gathering knowledge and skills I would say working to form a community or team that can support one another and if it comes to it defend one another would be a great free resource.
    On the practical side, lets go dumpster diving. Well, ok, sort of… If there are any small manufacturing plants around, things they throw away may be of great value. For instance, we have a particular sander that ends up wasting the ends of the sandpaper it uses. They can be a foot or more long of good course sandpaper and would normally be thrown away. Flower shops get flowers in what look like plant pots but don’t have holes in the bottoms and are often free for asking. Construction sites toss a lot great valuable lumber and hardware that can be saved and used. Often railroad workers will allow you to take a few old RR ties they’ve just replaced with new ones, these will make great protective cover for your front yard if you bug in. Always ask permission first. I recently found a wood chip processing plant that has “dirty” stock they can’t use or sell so they give it away, you haul it. This will come in handle if you start using a humanure system or outhouse.
    I ask myself often, what am I taking for granted that won’t be available if collapse happens? There are so many things.

  5. On 5. I research every purchase over $20-30, & less if it involves multiple items of the same thing. I recently started a list of prepping things I will need to get or make, & a list of things I’d like to get.

    I want to express my wishes for everyone here to have a great Thanksgiving with your loved ones. We’ll be enjoying a quiet thanksgiving at home watching football on TV & a traditional feast & maybe a board game or 2.

  6. grammyprepper says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, all! Chris, great post. Knowledge is the one thing that can never be taken away from us. With the holidays upon us, budget is limited for prepping, but the two things I won’t stop stocking are food and water. I use my stores, so replenishing is a must. A suggestion I would share is to try to make sure you have not only your online resources, but hard copies of any books you may need. Check your local library book sales, you can get used books for a quarter. You can pick up cookbooks for using your stores, first aid manuals, and many other resources. It’s a win/win, the local library raises some funds, and you get some useful resources for when we don’t have the internet/computers should it come to that! We don’t actually ‘dumpster dive’, but we do garbage pick and shop at local thrift stores. I live in a fairly rural area, and you’d be surprised at some of the amazing things we’ve found for free driving down the country roads. And a lot of times, if you stop to pick something up, if you stop to ask if it’s really free, you may find yourself leaving with a lot more useful items than the one you stopped for!

  7. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and happy Holidays to all and God Bless.

    I have a few comments for everyone,as to some new things I have been thinking about.

    1. Due to Fukushima seafood’s are going to vanish soon so stock up on Tuna and others you eat.

    2. On the west coast from Mexico to Alaska sea life is dying or moving closer to shore lines you can read some of the things on http://www.enenews.com on the left side of the page.

    3. Start getting MISO SOUP from the store and greens and veggies, and radiation pills. The people are trying to take racks out of fuel pool 4 and if they catch fire massive radiation is going to hit America. Miso soup cleans the thyroid and so do vegetables .

    Here is some basics of cleaning radiation from water, that I found.

    Reverse osmosis works by forcing water through material with very tiny pores – as tiny as .0001 microns – so that almost nothing except water emerges on the other side. Almost nothing.

    “Dissolved gases and materials that readily turn into gases also can easily pass through most reverse osmosis membranes,” according to the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. For this reason, “many reverse osmosis units have an activated carbon unit to remove or reduce the concentration of most organic compounds.”

    Activated Carbon

    That raises the next question: does activated carbon remove iodine-131? There is some evidence that it does. Scientists have used activated carbon to remove iodine-131 from the liquid fuel for nuclear solution reactors. And Carbon air filtration is used by employees of Perkin Elmer, a leading environmental monitoring and health safety firm, when they work with iodine-131 in closed quarters. At least one university has adopted Perkin Elmer’s procedures.

    Activated carbon works by absorbing contaminants, and fixing them, as water passes through it. It has a disadvantage, however: it eventually reaches a load capacity and ceases to absorb new contaminants. Filters would have to be changed out many manufactures that make filters can help you as to this life saving change in our lives. I am in the Houston, Texas area and bout a good Geiger Counter and have been checking and so far the south Texas area where I am at no radiation still at back ground levels. One or two things i also recommend is multiple vitamins, turkey tail mushroom capsules, 42 fruits and veggie capsules, to keep our systems up inside of us. Foods today have been so poisoned by fertilizers, the vitamin content is not what it used to be 50 years ago,so keeping your self at healthy levels are important. I wish they still made lead house paints but the Government out lawed most of it saying children could eat the paint. It would protect you from some radiation if homes were painted with it.

    Thanks for letting me post MARKWW

  8. Chris, thanks for this article that reminds of FREE ways to prep. Almost all of us are limited in what we have to spend on prepping, & FREE is wonderful.

    Am praying for u in your new business endeavors & wishing u GOd’s peace & grace.

  9. Practice! Step out into the back yard and practice everything. From sawing a limb with your survival knife to setting up camp, to starting a camp fire. Practice using your compass. Practice tying up things with your paracord. Practice everything you can. These exercises result in experience that will serve you well when the real thing happens. Good Luck!

  10. This is a great post! This sums up everything that a prepper needs to do. Everyone should have a broad knowledge in different fields, skills and the proper tools so they will know what to do in times of emergency.

  11. Not sure if this was covered elsewhere, but ask questions, ask for help and ask for advice.

    • Chris Ray says:

      Hi Mike, I’m not sure what you mean, can you clarify please?

      • I simply mean that it is free to ask others for pointers, ask why they picked item x instead of item y for their bug out bag, etc.

        If I am at the range doing 3″ groups at 10 yards, and you are doing 1″ groups at 20 yards, the answer may be as simple as you have fired 2K rounds from said firearm and I have only fired 200 from mine. On the other hand, I may be holding the weapon wrong, or you may have a better technique that you can show me.

        I have found that most people are quite happy to teach those with less experience or skill.

Speak Your Mind