Remake yourself into a survivor: Mind, body, belongings

The appeal of people like Bear Grylls lies in their supposed “unreachability.” For those of us who think exercise is getting off the couch to reach for the remote control, the concept of actually being out there and roughing it is fascinating. Yet an honest assessment of shows like that would reveal that anyone can become a modern-day survivor — as long as time, effort, and practice is taken seriously. There are three things to consider in becoming a master doomsday prepper. These are: mind, body, and belongings. We’ll take you through each one briefly. (h/t to

Prepping the prepper

Most guides will teach you what you need to bring in case of emergencies. Ours will be no different. However, before we talk about that, we need to emphasize the importance of strengthening your mind and body. That bag of emergency supplies, along with your well-secured house or bunk or shelter, mean nothing if you, yourself, can’t handle the physical and mental stresses that will come with disasters.

Doomsday events become less scary when you prepare for them. This means you should do your research. Where exactly do you live? What kind of disasters are usual for that area? Do you know where the nearest nuclear fallout is or what to do in case of a flood, fire, or other events? You should also make sure that your family (particularly children) are aware of your escape and communication plans.

There is also the little, but highly essential, skill of mental preparedness. Disasters can be overwhelming and you may suddenly find yourself out of breath or experiencing a panic attack. Train yourself today with mind-body practices such as deep breathing and stress regulation. Learn to redirect your feelings so that you do not become shell-shocked when something bad happens.

Lastly, take care of your body. Keep a healthy weight and eat right. Carrying excess fat will make it more difficult to move around when you need to. We’re not suggesting enrolling in a cross-fit training program (although this will really help) if you haven’t exercised in years. But there are little things you can do today that will dramatically improve your weight. Try parking a little further away from where you intend to go, or simply walk more. The idea is to move. Your arms and legs were given to you for a reason other than entering McDonald’s and closing the distance between the burger and your mouth.

Prepping the bag

Now that you’re mentally and physically ready for anything, it’s time to make a bug out bag. We recommend getting a durable and versatile backpack that should always be near you (in case you have to leave your place right away). The number one item your bag should have is water. Depending on how much room you have in your bag, this can be as simple as a few bottles. These can be reused later to harvest rainwater, if ever. Try bringing some water purification tablets if you can as well.

The second thing you need is food. Pack several food items that are dense and can provide lots of energy. High-protein food like nuts is also good.

The remaining space should be used to pack clothing (at least a long pair of pants, a coat, boots, socks, and extra shirts), shelter (tarps, ropes, sleeping bag), and a first-aid kit. (Related: Basic first-aid every prepper, survivalist, and camper should know.)

 Make sure that you keep your bag somewhere easily accessible and in a cool, dry place. If you have extra cash, try having one bug out bag in your home and one in your car.

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