As most folks are running around fiercely to holiday parties and
the malls in search of the perfect gift, even in these troubled
times, it dawned on me that this is a unique time of the year that
preppers can share our enthusiasm for our lifestyle. I started my
preparedness journey (Yes, "journey," as I’m now sure
there is not a final destination. Can you ever be too prepared?)
a little less than a year ago, and through sites like SurvivalBlog,
have spent many hours educating myself about the numerous issues
we may face in TEOTWAWKI.
I often find prepping hard to discuss with friends and family, for
the risk of seeming odd or simply being ignored, but I do care enough
that I want them prepared.
One simple way I have found to bring others into the loop, is to
focus my Christmas presents on items that will bring exposure to
the subject and be useful for everyday preparedness or TEOTWAWKI.
Rather than giving a fruit cake that no one wants (although I do
understand the shelf life to be quite long!), I am putting thought
into each person and finding a gift that works for them.
For my father, who is an over-the-road trucker in the Midwest,
I have assembled a Bug Out Bag (BOB).
He has the basic safety gear and tools for his rig, but he does
not carry food, fire starters, or extra clothes that may be necessary
if he is stuck in a snow storm for several days.
I have purchased a sturdy pack from a surplus store and have stocked
it with bottles of water, MREs
with heaters, candles, lighters, matches, emergency blanket, portable
radio, flashlight, batteries, and other essentials. I’ve also included
some wool socks, gloves and a toboggan vacuum sealed. I vacuum sealed
them so he doesn’t get the urge to use them in a non-emergency with
the thought of putting them back that never actually happens (i.e.,
it must be an emergency if he is going to break the vacuum seal).
I used this trick with other items in the bag as well, so they don’t
"wander off" and are protected from the elements. I will
have him add a flannel shirt and other appropriate clothes at the
time that I give it to him.
For my mother, who is an avid gardener and cook, I purchased a
grain mill, 45 pounds of hard red wheat, and a book about cooking
with wheat. She loves to bake bread, but has traditionally used
store-bought ingredients. Now she can experiment with the mill before
a TEOTWAWKI situation and I have also added a much needed prep item
to our inventory. My mother lives 200+ miles away, but that is my
(bug-out location), until I can buy my own land.
Instead of more clothes or a trip to the day spa for my girlfriend,
I have purchased her the same 9mm pistol that I carry. Some may
think this is like giving her a vacuum cleaner or exercise videos,
but it is not. Over the past year, she has learned to shoot, obtained
her gun carry permit, and started shooting with me in our local
practical pistol matches with my gun, which she likes. She enjoys
the activity, is quite proficient, and will enjoy having her own
and I will feel more at ease as well.