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Which Survival Prepping Option Is Best for You?



When it comes to survival prepping, the age-old question goes: Should you prep alone or prep with a group?

That question is just as widely debated among preppers as bugging in vs. bugging out and what place is best to live in when SHTF

Both survival prepping options have pros and cons that are worth exploring. So, which one should you go for? 

That’s what you’ll find out in this article. 


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Those with the lone wolf complex trust no one. Every other person is a threat so they believe it’s best to be self-reliant.  

You can’t blame lone wolves for being guarded. In the past, society saw preppers as crazy folks who wore tinfoil hats and wouldn’t stop preaching about doomsday. Who’d want to be known as a prepper if that was the case, right?

Just started out with survival prepping? Here’s what you should know about prepping solo:


One Mouth to Feed

Probably the best part about being a solo prepper is that you only need to feed yourself. There’s no need to deal with the stress of finding enough food for everyone in the group, which can be tough when you’re in the city and can’t find a single can of beans at the grocery store.  

Move Faster and More Discreetly 

Traveling with a big group won’t only slow you down. It can also raise suspicion.

It’s the opposite when you’re a lone wolf. You get to call all the shots when survival prepping alone. Going solo also boosts your chances of flying under the radar. You’ll find it easier to leave no trace behind, plus you won’t have to be afraid of someone blowing their cover. 

No Backstabbing

When you’re alone, there’s no risk of betrayal. You don’t have to live with the fear that someone you trust could steal your survival tools or spill the beans about your safe room location. No one will discover your preps if you stay discreet and give nothing away.  

Faster Decision-Making

It’s up to you to decide what the day’s agenda will be and where you’ll go next. This sounds intimidating, but it won’t be an issue if you have a solid survival prepping plan. 


Being Spread Thin

Even though you only need to care about yourself, there’s still so much you have to do. Survival prepping requires every ounce of you to be resourceful and alert at all times.

Take bugging out in the wild alone, for instance. You won’t just need to build a survival shelter. You’ll also have to find water, purify it for drinking, forage for edible plants or insects, and defend your bug out location from wild animals

Those are already a lot to handle for one group. While it might be possible for you to do those tasks yourself, there’s no way you won’t feel drained after.  

Another thing to consider? Getting sick or injured during SHTF. 

Sure, you can handle a few blisters. But it’s an entirely different situation when you get sprained or develop a high fever. Medical care won’t be easy to find at this time, so you have to learn more than just basic first aid skills.

Remember, no matter how careful you are, it’s impossible to avoid physical harm.

Less Security

Being a one-person team means you can’t take shifts for guard duty. This is a huge disadvantage during times like civil unrest. With no one watching out for you, you’ll be left exposed when you sleep or gather supplies. 

Fewer Supplies to Carry

While solo preppers don’t need the same amount of food, H2O, and gear as those in groups do, you still need to think about the long-term. Long-term survival prepping, in particular, can be challenging for solo preppers. You can’t exactly haul gallons of water while walking to your bug out location (BOL).    

But there is a solution — survival caches.

A survival cache is filled with emergency essentials like MREs, water, and hygiene supplies. Hide a few survival caches along the way to your BOL so you have backup provisions.  


Dealing with the aftermath of a catastrophic event is awful enough as it is.

Do it solo, though, and expect the nightmare to be twice as worse. It’s easier to fall into hopelessness with no one to talk to. To compensate, you might look for your own Wilson to confide in like Tom Hanks did in Cast Away.


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Have a partner and kids? Then you’re already part of a group by default.  

A prepper group isn’t limited to the family unit, though. Your group can include friends, relatives, neighbors, or even fellow preppers you meet on the Internet.  

Now, we know what you’re thinking. Isn’t it the golden rule of survival prepping to not blab about your supplies, gear, and survival skills?

Well, you’re not wrong.

But when it’s TEOTWAWKI, you’ll have to bend the rules a little and let your inner circle in on your SHTF planning. Being part of a pack, whether it’s just your household or a small community, will be a great help.

You can also join online groups or forums to get advice from other preppers. You don’t have to meet them personally if the thought makes you uncomfortable, but they can share their experiences of building a prepper pantry, testing out survival gear, and surviving SHTF situations with you. Pretty valuable survival prepping tips, if you ask us.  

Read on to get a better idea of what it’s like to prep with a group:  


Cover More Ground

Things get done faster when you’re survival prepping in a pack.

Take home defense, for example. If you’re bugging in, you need to safeguard your shelter so that unwelcome guests don’t harm your party. To achieve that, you need to do a lot of work, like setting up booby traps, building a safe room, and growing razor-sharp plants

Dividing the labor among the pack will save you time and energy.

More Security

You’re less likely to get caught off guard by animal, environmental, or human threats when someone is assigned as the lookout. They’ll warn the group if there’s any danger. 

This gives your pack a significant advantage over the lone wolf. The lone wolf has to constantly look over their shoulder, while your group can take turns being on watch. You won’t need to worry about staying up 24/7 and turning into a zombie in the process. 


A group isn’t a motley set of men and women — it’s a community. And in a community, it’s all about sharing skills and resources and banding together when times are rough.

Survival prepping for SHTF will be much easier with a community. If you know how to make a fire from scratch but aren’t too confident with your trapping skills, then you can ask a pro from your group for tips. In exchange, you can teach them the basics of starting a fire.  

This support extends to sickness and injuries. Hurt your leg after accidentally setting off a trap? Your pack can make a stretcher out of a tarp and carry you back to your base. They have your back.


Humans are designed to be social creatures. It’s hard to live without social interaction, especially when the world is in shambles. 

Luckily, this isn’t an issue when you’re part of a group. These guys can be your support system, so you can turn to them if you need to vent or just forget about the bad stuff for a minute. You’ll find it easier to cope when others are by your side, experiencing the same things you are.


Slower Travel

Survival prepping as a group means having to compromise with your party’s limitations. Does your party have kids or members with disabilities? Weigh your decision to bug in or bug out carefully. 

If you choose to bug out, your journey will likely be longer than someone working solo. You’ll need to make more pit stops and slow down your pace to accommodate the vulnerable members of your pack, especially if you’re journeying on foot. 

Bugging out may do the group more harm than good, so think it through. You might be better off bugging in instead so that they stay comfortable.   


With different personalities, clashes are bound to happen. It’s completely normal. 

That being said, a major conflict (like several wannabe leaders arguing about who should be leading the pack) can derail your plans. Don’t allow it to escalate.

Here’s what you can do if things start getting tense: try to see both sides of the argument. Each person may have a point, so it’s good to understand where they’re coming from and devise a compromise that benefits the whole group. 

Diseases Can Be Easily Spread

After SHTF or a natural disaster, diseases will wreak havoc on the population. That’s because of issues like:

  • Overwhelmed sewage systems 
  • Uncollected trash
  • Lack of running water

These may not affect you if you’re off the grid, but you should be concerned if you’re stuck in the city and sharing a cramped space with several others. Maintaining hygiene is crucial to prevent illnesses from circulating among your party. Here’s how to do that when SHTF. 

Final Thoughts

We have to say that prepping with a group beats prepping solo.

Your chances of surviving a serious disaster are better when you don’t have to fend for yourself. 

Being a lone wolf has its appeal, but it’s physically and mentally taxing to have so much on your plate. With a group, members benefit from sharing skills and resources. Plus, when things get overwhelming, you’ll have people to keep you sane. 

Of course, you can’t team up with just any random people.

Take their skills, how they act in a crisis, and how well you mesh with them into consideration. You may not be able to pick your family, but you can choose the rest of your survival prepping group. 

We want to know what YOU think. Are you going solo or will you join forces with fellow preppers? Tell us in the comments!

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Getting More From Your Garden: Preserving Your Home Harvest




Home gardens are fun, but they can also be delicious if you’re growing things that you and your family can eat. Too many home gardeners, however, are content to have a ton of tomatoes that last a week and then give the rest away – or worse than that, throw them out when they go bad.

It doesn’t have to be this way. 

Homesteading Handbook

You can keep as much of your garden harvest as you like, give as much away as you like and throw out as much as you like. All you have to do is know how to prepare and store your harvest for long-term preservation. Once you learn how to do these, it’s going to make your harvest time much more satisfying. 

It’s Your Jam

If you’re growing fruit and not making jams, jellies and preserves out of it, you don’t know what you’re missing. Like a lot of other freshly grown foods, eating homemade jams and comparing them to what you’ve been eating from the supermarket is like you’re eating a completely different food. 

For those entrepreneurially minded, jams and jellies are great for selling at the local farmer’s market. So if you want to make a few bucks off of your home garden, this is a really easy way to start doing that.

Cure Your Vegetables

Your vegetables aren’t sick, but they might need a cure regardless. It’s not hard and doesn’t take it a lot of time, which makes it a very easy lift for someone who has a lot of veggies but not a lot of time. 

You have to wait until your vegetables are fully ripe before you cure them. Otherwise, they’re never going to get ripe. If you cure your vegetables properly they can last for weeks or months even if you don’t put them in the refrigerator. 

Homesteading Handbook

Dehydration Is Actually Your Friend

The main engine of vegetables going bad are fungus and bacteria. You can prevent this process by dehydrating your vegetables before they go bad. Some produce is much easier to dehydrate than others: If you want to dehydrate tomatoes, just slice them up, throw them on a sheet pan in the sun for a couple days, then store them.

For other fruits and vegetables you might need a dehydrator. Fortunately, these don’t cost much these days and can easily pay for themselves with all the produce that you save through the process. 

Can It Up

Canning is a great way to preserve just about every kind of food. You can can in either metal cans or in glass jars. The choice is yours, but the main thing you need to remember is that the main threat to canned food is botulism – and that can kill you or at least make you and your family extremely miserable. 

The good news about canning is that there are hundreds of centers across the country run by the Church of Latter-Day Saints where you can learn how to can without buying any equipment. Membership in their church is not required – all are welcome.

Ferment and Pickle Your Vegetables

One way to turn your veggies into something a little different is through fermenting and pickling. In the case of fermentation, there are also health benefits – fermented vegetables are great for your gut health. 

Unfortunately, however, fermented foods taste weird to some people. So pickles might be a better choice for you if you’re not into the taste of fermented foods. 

The Easy Way: Freezing

Of course, there’s always freezing your veggies. Your space might be limited here, however you probably already know how to freeze foods. You’ll want to prepare them specifically for the fruit or vegetables you plan on preserving. For example, some should be cooked, some should be chopped and others can just be thrown in the freezer. Look up whatever you’re looking to freeze before you freeze it.

Homesteading Handbook

There’s no reason for you to give away or waste your veggie garden when it’s time for harvest. With a combination of these methods, you can enjoy fresh-ish veggies all year long. 

What’s your favorite method for preserving your home garden for the long-term? What secrets have you picked up? Leave a comment below to help other homesteaders. 

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Lone Wolves Won’t Make It: How To Build A Survival Community



Forget an AR-15, an RPG or even a tank. The most powerful weapon you can have for a SHTF scenario is the community around you

In the event that the S does HTF, you’re not going to be able to rely on your contacts you made online. Maybe you can communicate with them with a ham radio, but they’re going to be too far away for them to offer much in the way of direct assistance at a time when you desperately need it.

This underscores the importance of making contacts in your immediate community and building a community of like-minded people who can immediately band together under dire circumstances. 

Lone Wolf? Why You Can’t Go It Alone

Too many in the survivalist and prepper communities think of themselves as “lone wolves.” This is fine if you’re building a homestead on your own during a time of relative peace, stability and plenty. 

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The issue comes in when the SHTF. This is when the rule of law will break down and it becomes every man for himself. No matter what you think about your ability to defend yourself and your family now, the simple fact is that you have a massive deterrent against crime in the form of a functioning criminal justice system and a supply chain that means there’s food down at the local grocery store.

What will happen when that all goes away? 

The short version is: absolute chaos. People will be doing absolutely anything they have to do to feed themselves and their families and obtain the other necessities of life. 

Now you might think you can take care of yourself… and maybe you can against one or two or even five attackers. The question is what your plan is for dealing with a gang of bikers 50 strong – or even eight guys with combat experience and knowledge of small squad tactics. In either of these situations, a lone wolf is about as good as dead. 

You need to connect with others, even if it’s a very small, tight-knit community that will have each others backs in the event the whole world goes sour. 

The Easy Way: Joining A Local Survivalist Community

Group of young people collects firewood together

Why build a community if there’s already one nearby?

Clearly, this isn’t the right option for everyone. However, if you live in an area with a survivalist community, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Now we called this “the easy way,” but a better way of putting it might be “the easier way.” Breaking into a survival community isn’t the easiest thing in the world, especially if you’re new in town and don’t know anyone. Such communities are, understandably, close knit, closed off to outsiders and somewhat distrustful of new members.

With that said, once you earn the trust of a survival community, they can be not just a valuable asset with regard to your own personal survival. They can be an excellent source of support, camaraderie and even friendship that will last you your entire lifetime, whether the SHTF or not. 

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So how can you break into one of those existing communities?

The main thing is to make yourself capable and useful while also showing a willingness to learn and pitch in. These communities also highly value people with skill sets that do not yet exist in the community. It doesn’t matter if your skill set if graphic design and marketing – they can use that, especially if you’re willing to learn more “hands getting dirty” kinds of skills. 

Listen more than you speak. Be open to ideas even if they don’t quite make sense to you. If you can do that while being a valued contributor to the community, you can start making inroads in an already existing survival community.

The Hard Way: Building A Survival Community

The hard part about building a new survival community is finding the right people. They need to not just be like minded, but also have useful skills and, perhaps most importantly, be people whom you can trust in the event that the world turns into a massive game of dog-eat-dog and the devil take the hindmost. 

You can’t just go taking out ads in the local circular, nor can you put up a flier at the local supermarket.

The best way to find people is to get involved in communities with adjacent skills, or places where people might have interest in survivalism. Gun clubs can be a good place to start, as can political organizations, though it’s best to make your group non-political. Organic farming and other skills-based groups related to survivalism can likewise be good resources, such as the local DIY solar community. 

The main thing is to not go in, guns blazing as a loud and proud prepper. You need to cultivate contacts, gain people’s trust, be known as a normal guy and then just sort of casually bring up prepping topics and see who responds favorably.

A survival community can mean all the difference between life and death if the SHTF. In the meantime, it can act as a useful resource to pull from as you build out your prepper plan. It’s not easy and can take months or even years to accomplish. But you should absolutely be throwing your time, energy and resources at cultivating this kind of community.

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How have you built your local survivalist community? What “hacks” do you have for getting a community starter where there isn’t one?

Leave a comment below to help out other survivalists looking to build a community. 

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Preserving Food for Winter: Time-Tested Methods for Flavorful and Nutrient-Rich Pantry Staples




Winter is approaching, meaning the summer and fall harvests are just about done. Still, that doesn’t mean saying goodbye to fresh, delicious, and nutritious homegrown food until spring blooms anew. 

You can harness age-old techniques of food preservation, filling your pantry with flavorful, nutrient-rich staples to keep your winter meals healthy, hearty and satisfying. With food preservation techniques from smoking and canning to fermenting, you can savor the tastes of summer even in the coldest months.

Homesteading Handbook

Preserving Food For The Winter: The Art of Smoking

Smoking is a time-honored method for winter food preservation, infusing foods with rich, smoky flavors. Many people would smoke foods likemeats, fish, and cheese even if it didn’t keep them longer, just for the taste.

A quality smoker won’t cost you too much and it doesn’t really matter if it’s n offset smoker, electric smoker, or a traditional charcoal smoker. Choose your wood chips or chunks based on the type of flavor profile you want to infuse your food with.

You should also understand the difference between cold smoking and hot smoking. Cold smoking imparts flavor without cooking the food, making it the perfect choice for cheese and cured meats. On the other hand, hot smoking cooks the food while it flavors it.

Preserving Food For The Winter: Canning Your Food

You don’t have to rely on food canned from the grocery store. You can also can your own food at home. There are a number of different ways to do this for various kinds of food you’re looking to keep fresh for the winter season.

Homesteading Handbook

For example, water bath canning is the perfect choice for highly acidic  foods such as fruits, tomatoes, and pickles. On the other hand, pressure canning is the right choice for lower acidity foods like vegetables, meats, and poultry. 

You’ve probably never thought of it this way before, but pickling is also a form of canning. In this case, we will use vinegar or brine to preserve and flavor vegetables, fruits, and sometimes meats. You should experiment with various pickling recipes to create unique flavors for you and your family to enjoy. 

Preserving Food For Winter: Fermentation Of Foods

Fermentation is a natural process which can enhance the flavors and nutritional value of foods while also preserving them for long-term storage. Sauerkraut, kimchi, and sourdough bread are some of the more common kinds of fermented foods.

Beginners should invest in fermentation kits with airlocks. As you gain more experience, consider exploring more traditional methods, as well as the use of crocks and jars. Fermentation is both an art and a science. So you have to be patient while you experiment with different ingredients and techniques.

Preserving Food For Winter: Dehydration For Long-Term Storage

A food dehydrator is an excellent investment for removing moisture from fruits, vegetables, and herbs if you find that you enjoy those kinds of foods. However, you don’t need one to get started. You can also dehydrate foods right in the oven you already own or, in some cases, by air-drying.

If you want to dehydrate fruits and vegetables, slice your produce uniformly before arranging them on your dehydrator trays. Fruit leather can be made right at home by puréeing fruits and spreading the mixture thinly before drying.

It’s important to store dehydrated food properly. Store dehydrated foods should be stored in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags, which will prevent moisture from re-entering. Keep your dehydrated foods in a cool, dark place for the best preservation.

Preserving food for winter isn’t just about extending the shelf life of your favorite ingredients – though it is about that. However, it can also be a way to expand what you keep around by introducing new flavors into your pantry using the food preservation process. 

Homesteading Handbook

Smoking, canning, fermenting and dehydrating will offer you different options to ensure your pantry is stocked with a variety of food your family will want to eat. It can also be a fun hobby for the culinary master looking to break outside of just cooking on the stove – many of these are basically just “cold” cooking techniques. So, embrace the age-old wisdom of food preservation for winter and fill your pantry with unique tastes all winter long. 

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