Survival Readiness in 2014


Sep 9, 2013
Back in 2011 I started a game with some friends of mine where we all worked on improving our ability to buy things and resell them for a profit (stuff from garage sales, craigslist and so on). By the end of the year I got really good at it and it has become practically a second job. Since that time I've tried to pick a different area and spend a year improving myself in it. There are so many ways I could improve myself that it just seems overwhelming and unless I pick one main area I lose the drive/focus to keep at it.

I have picked survival readiness for 2014. I am very unprepared for just about all situations. I know nothing of hunting, fishing, camping, and so on. I dont even know how to swim. I have no real plan for what to do in an emergency situation and no stockpile of things needed to survive. I know I cannot tackle all of these issues at once so I wanted to break it up by months. Have 12 different categories of how to improve myself in this area. I need your help trying to figure out which 12 to do and which one to put where in the year.

I know I want to do
-Swimming (this one will need to be in a summerish month like May/June)
-Supplies (water, food, ammo stockpiles, and probably setting up a decent bug out bag)
-Small game hunting (I dont know the best month for this, if anyone has a suggestion please let me know)
-Camping (this one Id like to do near the end because it will test many of the other skills too)
-Scavenging (need to know what in nature can be food and what to stay away from)
-Self defense (both lethal and non lethal)
-Fishing (again I have no idea what the best time of year to do this is)

Im sure there are more areas that I need to add. Please any help you could give me in what other categories I need and how I should order them would be awesome. Thank you all and if anyone is interested in doing something similar to this with me it would be great to not have to do this alone.


Ginger Avenger
TGT Supporter
Jul 31, 2011
hill co.
Survival is an extremely wide topic with a nearly infinite number if variables.

The big one is deciding if you will put the bulk if your efforts towards bugging out or bugging in.

What I did was make the old brainstorming chart like we did in school learning to come up with ideas for papers. I made a circle in the center and write "survival" in it. Then made smaller circles around the outside with things that would be needed to survive. Food, water, shelter, defense, first aid/medicine, and communication were the main ones.

Then I went to another page and started again with one of the smaller circles. Lets say water because if the climate is good it will be one of the main priorities, that or shelter, but I will stick with water or now.

Put water in the center circlet and around the outside put the sources you can think of. All of them, even if they seem far fetched. creeks, stockpiled bottled water, water left in the house (water heater, toilet tanks, etc), creeks, lakes, etc. Around those smaller circles put what would be needed to access and use that water and risks associated.

Then you can look at your options and decided which is the best way for you to prepare based on what's available, cost to make it viable, and how long you could make the resource last, and risk involved.

Do this with each of your subjects from the first page and when you have found what you believe to be the best options for your situation concentrate on those. I would put your efforts in to things that could be immediately put in to use and later work on the long term stuff.

When I did this I realized there wasn't really a way to just think through this in my head and cover my bases. I also realized just how difficult things will be if a long term scenario plays out. But it made it much easier to figure out just where I needed to concentrate my efforts.


TGT Addict
Jan 24, 2011
Grid 0409
This topic is not new, but it does provoke thought.

The only thing that would cause me to bug out would be a conflagration that would burn my homestead to ashes. Otherwise, I would stay put and defend what I have until the very bitter end.

Off the top of my head, here is what I think everyone (no matter where they live) should do or have on hand:

1. Potable drinking water.

2. Long shelf-life food: Canned, dehydrated, dry staples.

3. Sanitation: Soap, bleach, disinfectant, toilet paper, plastic trash bags, water filter.

4. Emergency medical supplies and prescription medications.

5. Communications -- Shortwave radio, CB radio, AM radio, GMRS, etc.

6. Power Generation: Solar cells, stand alone gasoline/diesel generators, wind turbines, power inverters, fuel.

7. Perimeter defense: Dogs, trip wires, motion detectors, fences, barricades.

8. Support by Fire. Enlist your neighbors into planning for a SHTF scenario, coordinate sectors of fire, communications, signals, block area access, and plan for breaches of the perimeter.

9. Be prepared to repel marauders with lethal force.

10. Have food for your dogs.


TGT Addict
Lifetime Member
May 25, 2009
I think the important stuff has been covered. The first question is, what do you want to survive? Your survival scenario will have an impact on what and how you need to learn.

I'll go along with everyone above and say priority one is water. Now look up how much water weighs per gallon and determine how long you want to survive. Do the math and you'll understand how all your plans need to revolve around water.


4th Best Member
TGT Supporter
Nov 11, 2008
Austin - Rockdale
Back in 2011 I started a game with some friends of mine where we all worked on improving our ability to buy things and resell them for a profit (stuff from garage sales, craigslist and so on). By the end of the year I got really good at it and it has become practically a second job.
Sorry to be off topic, but where would you typically re-sell the stuff you bought at garage sales or other places?

On topic, your priorities for survival are:
1. water
2. food
3. shelter
4. security
5. medical
6. trade (sounds like you have that one covered)

You might be able to combine some priorities so that one satisfies the other. For example, a rainwater collection system could be the roof for your shelter. If well thought out, your shelter could provide some security, too.

Touching the subjects you seem interested in:
Yes, wait till warmer weather to start swimming, lol... Not sure what advice I can give you there. As long as you don't freak out, instinct should just take over. Start off pushing a pool noodle around until you get the hang of treading water. Then start working on covering distance. Look up some videos on how to swim.

Small game hunting is good year round. Squirrels, rabbits, and raccoons are all delicious and generally pretty easy to shoot. Learning to spot them is the key because they tend to blend into their background. Sometimes squirrels will try to hide from you, but most of the time they'll just hang out on a branch looking at you. They feel safe in the trees. Sometimes they'll even help you spot them by barking at you. :laughing: Raccoons are curious and will want to get a look at you. It makes them easier to shoot, but they are stealthy little buggers. Rabbits will freeze when they see you and let their natural camouflage hide them. They are hard to see when still so a lot of people try to flush them and shoot them on the run with a shotgun. I prefer to just keep my eyes pealed and pop them with a .22 when they are nice and still for me. There's lots of videos on youtube on how to skin and clean small game.

You can fish year round too, but the fish behave a little differently when its cold as opposed to warm. A lot of fishing has to do with understanding the behavior of the fish you want to catch. There's lots of info out there on that.

Supplies... How will you store all that food you catch? I prefer to freeze fish. That's the closest to fresh that you can keep it. Other meats I prefer to can. Canned rabbit stew is shelf stable and very tasty even a year or two after canning. A lot of the supply side of things is logistics. Where are you going to store this stuff? How are you going to secure it? How will you transport it?

You can do dumbass Bear Grylls camping if you really want to, but I've found the camping experience is greatly improved with good equipment. A good knife or three, a good tent, a good sleeping bag, good environment appropriate clothing, a good side arm for defense, a good first aid kit, a good axe if you can carry it, a good backpack to carry all that crap in... these would be my bare minimum. If you want to catch your own food then .22 rifle for hunting or fishing poles for fishing or snare wire for trapping. Some MREs or other portable food for when you don't catch anything.
:laughing: I think you get the idea. Keep the survival priority list in mind when packing for camping.

Self defense... Since you're on this forum I'm going to guess you can already shoot, lol... Sign up for a martial arts class.
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Sep 9, 2013
Thanks everyone... I cant believe I forgot first aid! I think adding first aid, security, and communication are all great additions to the list.

Sorry to be off topic, but where would you typically re-sell the stuff you bought at garage sales or other places?
Depends on what it is. I use to collect retro video games and I know that market really well. Anytime I found something along those lines I would sell it on a website that has some serious collectors on it. I sold some stuff through craigs list but the main place I sold just about everything was on local facebook garage sale groups. I just paid attention to what was in high demand on there and the going rates for stuff. Ive been able to pay for my hobbies like guns and ammo from the profits I make buying and selling.


TGT Addict
TGT Supporter
Jan 3, 2009
My thoughts on preps and survival...

These are two different things:

Preps: these are the activities you take to have things available to you to allow you to sustain trouble (of whatever sort) for a while.
Survival: skills that will allow you to survive or exist with little

They kind of go hand-in-hand, but are a little different.

I would focus on building them in layers of usefulness - start with the preps/skills you would need to survive for 2 weeks without leaving your house. Once you get to this point, work toward one month. By these things I mean water, food, medical supplies, sanitation, consumables (PTs, TP, etc). This can help in a lot of situations - loss of power, injury that prevents you from getting out, loss of a job and the temporary lack of incoming funds, etc.

Then I would look at what you would need if you had to leave (I hate using the term bugout - makes me feel like a wannabe) and where you could go. This could be for any reason: rioting, looting, flooding, hurricane, fire. Whatever the reason, you have to either have a place of your own or some friends/family to go to. Can you stock some supplies there?

I think the survival skills are a little further out, after you have done these other things because these other scenarios are more likely. The ability to go out into the woods, hunt/fish, build shelter, start fire, etc all seem cool, but are much less likely to be used. Good skills to have for sure, but not something that will be useful in most cases.

Along with survival skills are things that you could do to sustain yourself in some crazy situation where things cease to exist like we know them - no government or corporations, no jobs. So, you would need some kind of skills to produce your own food or trade for food, shelter, etc. While being independent and self-sustainable is an awesome goal, it would be very difficult for most of us. It would also be hard to reach this goal any time soon. Not saying it isn't a good goal - it happens to be one of mine for eventually, but that's a ways off.

You may meet a lot of good people and learn a lot of great things in this pursuit. It is overwhelming sometimes thinking about everything you could need to learn to really survive. But....take it in layers and start with what you can do now that is most likely to help you in any situation.

Need to get back to bed cause I'm tired, so I'm done babbling for now. Good luck.
Ditto on water. I have been prepping before it was called prepping, mostly because of my remote location.
A simple way to remember priorities: BEANS, BULLETS, BANDAIDS.

Design your mission. Assume as a starting plan that in 14 days law & order, water and food will be fully restored. Katrina proved that In a large scale disaster or extended loss of electrical power, civilization will break down in 72 hours but never got to total anarchy for an extended period if the a Federal Govt can respond.

Anything beyond these parameters gets very expensive and takes commitment from a large team that will band together.

Starter kit

1. Buy a quality but basic AR15, 20 quality Magazines, a bottle of CLP, and ammo to fill the mags and for a lot of practice. Get very good with the one rifle at all ranges, Learn how to use it for defensive purposes. Assume no hunting, you want to stay quiet and not obvious. This will be $1800. Don't go gun crazy buying a bunch of guns first.

2. Buy a 55 gallon food grade drum and fill it with water, treat with chlorine such as what you get from an RV place. This will give you a one week supply for 4 people. Buy a Berkey filter, life straws, and a lot of chlorox or pool shock.

3. Put back 14 days of long term food storage. This will be about $500. You will need a way to heat it- camping stove or spare butane bottles for your gas grill.

4. Assemble a DIY trauma first aid kit. Wound treatment to stop blood loss, antibiotics, burn treatment, dehydration treatment, pain killers. This will be at least $250. Take a first aid class.

5. Commo gear. As a minimum a solar charger for your cell phone and a wind up AM/FM radio.

6. Quality working/walking shoes, working clothes, hat, and a pair of leather gloves.

7. Develop ways to keep warm and dry if you lose power. wool blankets, sleeping bags, etc.

8. A paper map of the US and State. Assume you are following radio news reports and trying to gauge distance to trouble or safety.

9. Always keep vehicle 1/2 full of gas. If possible, store one complete refill treated with gas treatment. At least keep an empty 6 gallon can.

10. A five gallon bucket and a toilet lid that fits the bucket - for sanitary use. Also a Shovel and TP. This will be about $75. During Hurticane Rita we had to leave due to having under 18 year old kids. We made it about 80 miles inland, gridlocked and the entire family detoured to an elderly aunt's in the country near Sealy. I thought I was prepared. Her septic overloaded in an hour. We agreed the aunt would use her one inside toilet. I dug a slit trench in my deceased uncle's cow shed with my shovel. I was used to going to the bathroom in the field. My wife, daughters, and sisters still talk about it.

This along with the food & first aid may be the ways to encourage a spouse into prepping.

Get in shape, start with walking, 2 miles a day will do wonders for the body.

I also strongly recommend a Bible if you don't have one . There are no atheists in foxholes.

Have fun,
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