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Preparedness on a Budget

by Survival Dispatch Staff

Many believe they cannot afford to ‘be preppers,” but preparedness is often much simpler (and much cheaper) than all the doomsday advertisements would have you believe. Think for a minute about what you could do with five thousand dollars.

Here it comes: “But Bear, I don’t have five thousand dollars!”

Let’s be honest with ourselves. Most Americans have that amount laying around in storage. Five thousand dollars could be scrounged by reselling extra possessions or from grinding out a weekend side hustle during the year. Instead of saying, “I can’t,” get up and do. That amount is attainable, so if you do not already have it, get it. Now, how will you use that $5000 to prep for a family?

This is the Bear Independent step-by-step list, detailing how to allocate those funds to achieve a solid base level of preparedness:

Step 1: Build two decent rucksacks for $500 each ($1,000 total).


  • Food rations
  • Water filtration (See step 2)
  • Extra socks
  • Prescription meds, if applicable
  • First-aid kit
  • A good, fixed-blade knife (Mora is a decent budget option.)
  • DIY $25 fire kit: Stuff a plastic bag with 4 tea lights, 2 Bic lighters, 4    matchbooks, 1 ferro rod with striker, and lots of dryer lint. Seal and put inside another plastic bag for extra waterproofing.
  • 100 ft. paracord
  • Duct Tape
  • Tent or sleeping bag, or a tarp and wool blanket.
  • Stainless steel water bottle
  • Water bladder

NOTE: Do NOT buy those premade ‘budget’ bags—they, and their contents, will fall apart on you. Not worth it.

Step 2: Hydration

Spend $500 on water and water purification. (Throw some compact options into the rucksacks you already built.)

Step 3: Nutrition

Use $1500 for storable food that your family enjoys eating – mac and cheese, ramen noodles – whatever has a reliable shelf life.

Step 4: Defense.

Spend $1500 for one 12-gauge shotgun, at least one 9 mm pistol, and a budget AR-15. (If you already have firearms, DO NOT buy more. Instead, use that money for more food, water, and maybe some gardening tools).

Step 5. Remaining $500

Develop the areas of prepping you are weakest in, such as:

  • Buy a trauma kit and sign up for a training course. (Red Cross classes are free.)
  • Buy garden seeds and use them. You will fail. Fail now so you can learn to succeed when it counts.
  • Range time. Take a class to educate yourself on your firearms. They are powerful tools, not magic wands. Act accordingly.

That’s it. Congratulations. You just achieved a base level of preparedness. What should be your next goal? Getting food and water to one year’s supply, working on your gardening, marksmanship, and first-aid skills—all relatively cheap stuff. It really is that simple.

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