So, I have been a prepper for... I guess about a decade. In that time I have learned some things that are pretty important. I will probably fail to mention nine tenths of those things in this thread start, but feel free to add your own principles in regard to this rather serious matter. I will list things in no particular order of priority, they are all important. 1. First and most important: get off of social media and do not mention to all and sundry that you are a prepper. There are literally people mapping prepper groups, both from the government (for whatever sinister purpose) and civilians who as their own survival strategy will just scoop in armed and take what they need from those preppers they have stalked, were some sort of SHTF scenario to happen. Only ever tell those people whom you genuinely wish to show up when the Shit Hits The Fan. If you are to discuss this, only do so on more anonymous platforms. 2. Don't even try to hack it out alone. That is equivalent to gambling and if you have dependents like children or a wife, you cannot do that. Buy cheap land and recruit others based on trust and their direct usefulness. Do not involve lazy shirkers, people without basic economic means or generally dysfunctional types. Stay the hell away from all forms of addicts. No people with chronic diseases, psychological illnesses or handicaps. Think family men with proper skill sets, not single men. It is families with children that are important to the future. Very useful skillsets includes but are not limited to: technicians and handymen who can build and fix anything, preferably off the grid type systems like wind, solar, septic systems, water and such. Organic farming specialists. Gardners. Doctors and nurses, for obvious purposes. Soldier types, preferably with formal training, but any natural killer with a moral backbone and his priorities straight. The last category should also have other skills, it is not enough to know how to pull a trigger and fight hand to hand. Anyway, recruit others. You need twenty trigger-pulling men - and I shit you not - to guard one settlement day and night, and still get adequate work done. Every able-bodied person is needed, and only such. 3. You will need to buy sufficient quantities of food and all sorts of supplies. When it comes to food especially, only buy things that are good and that you like eating even in peace time. You do not want to buy the cheapest crap that makes you feel dirty and nauseous. Just stuff you enjoy and normally use. Don't forget the little things like medical supplies like antibiotics, sterile gloves, women's pads, diapers, soap and hand sanitizer. Imagine that you have to buy soap to last you for years. Toilet paper is another thing that would be sorely missed in short order unless you prepped it. Try wiping with your hand and see how much fun that is. Or don't. Just don't. 4. Plan to not only live off of cans. Get that land at least an hour from the nearest population center, further away if the city is any larger than 100k. Learn to grow and make sure you have a large supply of heirloom seeds. And I will stress the heirloom part, never buy hybrids. They become infertile after one or two generations of seed harvesting, which means you will starve in a year or two. Use only heirloom and learn to do without pesticides. Keep chickens or some other low maintenance form of protein. Chicken and ducks are best, in my opinion. Both lay eggs and you can feed them for nothing. Especially if you use a maggot dispenser. Essentially a bucket with holes in it, where you put intestines, road kill and other nasty stuff so it becomes full of maggots, which then fall down and become quality bird feed. Keep in mind to give thr birdies a large area where they can free range and cover their ground with wood chip mulch. Makes their shit smell less and will keep ground moisture in, attracting worms. You van also feed them your compost, everything from fruit peels to meat scraps and bread crumbs etc. 5. Learn logistics and incentives for active participation properly. How much land is required to feed a family where you live? One acre? One hectare? Buy enough land to keep those you want to band together with fed. A good incentive for another family to participate and build this thing with you is to formally set aside whatever area they need for their use. Write up some basic ground rules delineating rights and responsibilities, and let them in. If they do not show any interest and don't work on it, cut them out. Don't give away your land, and be clear that there are expectations and conditions. Most people are stuck in the cities most days due to the nature of their work, but many like-minded will jump on this opportunity to make a retreat for their family. Choose real carefully. But if they don't jump in with both feet, they won't be much help when it really matters, either. 6. Never ever buy land without its own water source or preferably several sources. Preferably a well or spring with gravity flow. Meaning, flat land is worse than steep land with a well or spring above the house. Electric pumps will be worth as much to you as ballet slippers or laser tag tickets once the grid goes down and the fuel for the generators run out. Which means you either will need a hand crank or a wind-solar solution to run a pump. Avoid if you can. If you have gravity flow, you will have running water. It is literally priceless. Hygiene is very important. 7. Make sure you learn about food preservation like smoking, salting, canning, pickling and such. Build a root cellar to keep things in. Best if it exists when you buy the property. 8. Don't for a second fool yourself that you can go out and survive in the wilderness. This is the foolish notion of most single men survivalists who live in cities. And everyone without land is going to try to do this. There isn't enough food out there for everyone and the mass death there will simply be slower and more agonizing. Many of these will turn into raiders when they get desperate, and people like me will shoot them dead when they try to take what isn't theirs. At best, these people get taken in and essentially become class B citizens on rations somewhere. The prospects aren't great. Don't opt for solo forest survival, become a prepped farmer with armed friends. 9. Life is not a Hollywood movie. Do not take unnecessary risks for any reason. When the fecal matter hits the rotary oscillator, hunker down and stay away from people as best you can. Be ruthlessly pragmatic, because everyone depends on it. Do not give away anything and literally shoot anyone who as much as tries to mouth off at you for "not sharing". They will be back with other desperate shitheads if you let them. Your family and your grouo comes first, not useless mouths to feed. The exception is people with a good attitude and real skills that you need. But any sign of trouble, shoot first and ask questions later. Modern sensibilities demand that you go over this and possible scenarios with everyone involved in your survival plan well before anything happens. Women and other sensitive people need to shut up and stay away if they cannot handle the neutralization of threats. Face reality, you will need to kill and probably kill a lot of desperate people who fully expect to take or have for free what belongs to you and yours. Your ability to prioritize will be tested to the limit, no two ways about it. 10. That said, do not become what you hate. Earth is over-populated with mostly trash people who are useless in every sense of the word. But you need to differentiate. Do not be a menace to your neighbors or a raider. Help out others who matter. It is good if you can expand your group with at least some quality. Not all the desperate people you encounter are bad people who lack the ability to work and fight. If you bring people in, focus on families with children first. But lay down the law in no unclear terms and make sure it is followed. Help as many as you can, but do not risk your group's survival. Excess land, supplies, armaments, housing, seeds and such can be very useful to include in your plan. In short: plan and prepare for taking in more people than you currently have involved. This can end up giving you a real community of substantial size, which, if properly done, means a very high degree of productivity and security. 11. If you manage to get there, don't become what you hate. People love freedom and hate slavery as well as abuse. Don't fancy yourself a warlord who can take what he wishes. That will end up badly, sooner or later. The end result of failure is always the same, you and your family suffers the consequences, which in a Grid Down scenario likely means death. Be good towards those who deserve it, ignore those who are no harm and kill those who are or will potentially be of harm to your group's collective survival. 12. When you buy land, try to opt for land with no neighbors living there. If the bordering land is owned by the state or some logging company or such, in all likelihood it can be used by your group if and when civilization collapses. This gives room for expansion and makes security much easier. Choose your neighbors or lack thereof carefully. 13. Again the need for everyday secrecy. Don't tell people you don't want to show up on D Day what you are doing. Don't tell anyone that you own firearms. Don't tell anyone you don't want showing up that you farm a little. Be ready to have a good cover story for it. Make them believe you grow something niched, like bonzai trees or just tomatoes or something you can't live off of. Don't ever mention the possibility of a societal collapse to the drones. They need to think you too are a modern drone just doing the things you are supposed to like a good little cog. Especially do not talk about your plans with any government types, if you live in a country where they are pretty much semi-evil henchmen of the largest street gang. Which is most "civilized" countries in the West. If you have the need to talk about it, have people with whom you discuss all these things, and places like this, where you can somewhat safely write about it without getting picked up by the government drag net or by those who map out survivalists in order to kill and plunder them when that rainy day comes. 14. Own at least one motor vehicle which is old and has no real electronics in it. If there is ever an EMP induced by solar storms or by nuclear detonations, or if new fancy stuff just plain can't be serviced anymore and you need to fix things yourself, you need the ability to move around quickly. 15. Remember that most modern fuels only has a shelf life of six months to a year, maximum. That is because most gasoline is not pure, but has ethanol in it, etc. If you have the ability, try to stock up on fuel that has a long shelf life, ten years or so. I wouldn't rely on it solely, however, because even if you buy fuel for a lot of money, it will not last long. Opt for sustainable options. Perhaps get yourself a horse or two. 16. You likely live in a country where you need heating. Make sure you have a few backups. Owning a wood-fired stove is pure gold, and it is also great to have a heating system which is wood-fired. In light of that, it is really smart to buy land with some forest at least and to have adjacent land that is forest, plain and simple. It is also a pretty smart idea to use solar, wind and geothermal heating in combination. But don't stand there with no backup. If the wind and solar fails, make sure to have a backup generator. You really do not want to be standing there, in the middle of winter and -30 degrees celsius outside, with no heating.