Ted’s essays

12 Months of Prepping

from Backdoor Survival

Sometimes we all need to go back to the beginning to regroup, redefine and start over with a new perspective

Back in 2011, when I first wrote about 12 Months of Prepping, I was excited and highly motivated to share monthly checklists with the beginning prepper. At the time I was somewhat of a newbie prepper myself, and being studious and industrious by nature, I read a lot, planned a lot and spent a good deal of time stocking my supply pantry with goods and gear.

The All New 12 Months of Prepping   One Month at a Time   Backdoor Survival

It was right about this time that the term “prepper” started to enter the mainstream. Of course this was pre-2012 and the deadline for the apocalyptic prophecies of 2012 loomed ahead.

A lot has changed since then. Preppers are now a force to be contended with, so much so that they have been defined by Wikipedia as:

“A group of individuals who are actively preparing for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international. They often acquire emergency medical and self-defense training, stockpile food and water, prepare to become self-sufficient, and build structures (e.g., a survival retreat or an underground shelter) that may help them survive a catastrophe.”

Who Are the Preppers?

In reading the comments on Backdoor Survival as well as the many emails that are sent to me from new and old followers alike, I have learned that Preppers are young and old, male and female, employed and not. They are truly a cross-section of humanity, not only in North America but throughout the world.

Businesses large and small have jumped into the foray, offering products and services designed to capture the attention of this large group who seeks solutions in their quest for self-sufficiency. Sadly, many of these business are preying on fear, while hawking overpriced goods and info-products that proclaim doomsday is right around the corner – unless, of course, you whip out your Visa card and spend your hard earned money on their products.

Okay, I admit to being a bit facetious but not by much, since I too have fallen for the occasional marketing ploy.

So where are we now? It is humbling to realize that while I now have a lot of stuff, there are still some gaps in my skill set, my gear and my personal knowledge bank. It is logical for me to assume that you feel the same way.

Getting Prepared – One Month at a Time

You might say that 12 Months of Prepping – One Month At a Time has been a signature series for this website. That said, it is a bit dated and dare I say, long in the tooth. Not only that, there were ultimately 14 months with the later two somehow dropping off into oblivion.

And so, as I mentioned in my New Years Day recap of the Best of 2013, I am embarking on a re-launch of the “Getting Prepared Series”. The plan is to start over with month number one and see where it takes us.

Some things are certain. Each month will continue to break things down into manageable chunks that do not overwhelm and do not foster frustration and the “P” word, procrastination. In addition, each month will include a new section for advanced tasks and skills. These are the extra credit items that you can choose to do in month one or come back to in year number 2.

So What About Those Missing Months?

That is a dilemma. Rather than losing them, I am sharing them below and will re-introduce them again in the monthly “advanced section” along with other useful tasks. projects and skills.


Link: Getting Prepared Month 13: Taking Your Preparedness Plan to the Next Level


  • Dried Beans – 1 pound per person
  • White Rice – 1 pound per person
  • Solar battery charger
  • Rechargeable batteries for your flashlights
  • Add a minimum of 3 gallons of water per person and per pet to your existing supplies


  • Evaluate what types of disaster or crisis may occur in your area or in your life
  • Perform a walk-around inventory of your home and using the list compiled above, take steps to mitigate damage if a disaster should occur
  • Examine your financial resources and evaluate how long you could survival without an income from your job of other sources
  • Plan what to do in the event you must evacuate your home
  • Update your emergency contact list


Link: Getting Prepared Month 14: Emergency Water Shut Off and Practice for Grid Down


  • Dry pasta – 2 pounds per person
  • Toilet Paper – 3 (or more) rolls per person
  • Trauma supplies for your first aid kit
  • Add $100 to your emergency cash fund


  • Practice shutting off your water supply
  • Spend 8 hours without power, water, gas, computers and cellphones

Ready, Set, Let’s Get Prepared Together

I am not an expert. I have not gone to survival school and I do not have a PhD is bushcraft or bugging out. Instead, like you, I am an ordinary person that strives to decrease my dependence on others so that I can provide for my own basic needs.

Do things always turn out well? Of course not. I have more than my share of bloopers and foolish purchases. I have days (months?) when my survival gear has not be utilized and tested, leaving myself open to equipment failure just when I need it most. Sometimes I give up in frustration and say enough is enough.

So you see, like you, I sometimes take a step backward to move 3 steps forward. I learn from every stumble and expand my knowledge with each mistake. And as trite as it sounds, I hope that what I learn, what I do and what I share will make the road to self-reliance just a bit easier for the next person.

The Final Word

As individuals, we can not prevent a natural disaster nor can we single-handedly stop the wave of economic collapse that is sweeping the globe. What we can do is reduce our reliance on others and take steps to provide our own food, water, shelter, first aid and personal defense.

That is what we do here at Backdoor Survival. So let’s pull on those hiking boots and start anew as we journey toward the all new 12 Months of Prepping, One Month at a Time.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Bargain Bin: I have cleared the decks and come up the assortment of items I felt were the most important for my needs when the power is out and we are grid down. Keep in mind that this is my list; yours may be different. Also, for the most part, this is a hunker-down list and not a hit-the-road and bug out list.

Emergency Radio: My old Kaito died right when I needed it so now I have two: the compact Kaito Voyager V1 and the Ambient Weather Compact Emergency Radio. While both have lots of features, my primary interest is in using them as a solar/crank radio.

BaoFeng UV-5R Dual-Band Ham Radio: Redundancy is the name of the game. I also have two of these inexpensive Ham radios. Keep in mind that if you are just planning to listen, you do not need a license (I am still working on mine). The price is right. Also consider the NAGOYA Antenna for BAOFENG UV-5R.

Mr. Heater Portable “Big Buddy” Heater: Using propane and safe for indoor use, the Big Buddy Heater features an automatic low-oxygen shut-off system that automatically turns the unit off before carbon monoxide fumes reach dangerous levels in home.

Coleman PefectFlow 1-Burner Stove: This Coleman One-burner Propane Stove is an easy-to-use portable stove that should meet almost any camp cooking need. The PerfectFlow regulator provides consistent cooking performance by producing a steady fuel stream, even in cold weather, high altitudes, or when fuel is low. Equipped with one 10,000 BTU burner, this fully adjustable stove will last for 2.2 hours on high or up to nine hours on low.

Coleman Rugged Battery Powered Lantern: This sturdy Coleman has a runtime of up to 28 hours on the low setting and 18 hours on the high setting but does require D cell batteries. Personally, I have both a battery operated and propane lantern. Of course by now you know that I like redundancy with my preps.

Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood LiteThe All New 12 Months of Prepping   One Month at a Time   Backdoor Survival: Don’t let the $20 price lead you to think this wireless flood light is wimpy. I have two of these and feel that these lights are worth double the price. Using D-cell batteries, the Dorcy floodlight will light up a dark room or a dark stairway in an instant. I can not recommend these enough.

BIC Disposable Classic Lighters: This six pack of Bic lighters is reasonably priced but check around since these often go on sale locally. BICs just work – every time.

Eveready 3-LED 6Volt Floating Lantern (battery included)The All New 12 Months of Prepping   One Month at a Time   Backdoor Survival: If you are planning to build a 2000-hour flashlight (and you should) this is the one that you need.

Clear Mist Emergency CandlesThe All New 12 Months of Prepping   One Month at a Time   Backdoor Survival: Also available at Emergency Essentials (see below).

Amusements: My favorites are Canasta playing cards and the Ticket To Ride board game.

The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage: My e-book will provide you with everything you need to create an affordable food storage plan, including what to buy and how to store it. Nothing scary and nothing overwhelming – you really can do this! Now available at Amazon.


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The All New 12 Months of Prepping   One Month at a Time   Backdoor Survival

Although I have plenty of flashlights and batteries, I also stay stocked up with a dozen of these Clear Mist 100 Hour Plus Emergency CandlesThe All New 12 Months of Prepping   One Month at a Time   Backdoor Survival as well. For the best deal, purchase a dozen at a time to get a discounted price. Be sure to also check out the Clear Globe attachment.

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The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items
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Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


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The All New 12 Months of Prepping   One Month at a Time   Backdoor Survival