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Confessions of a closet prepper

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I started this blog with the idea that maybe some of the other newbies would get some ideas on how to inventory what they already have. A key component to getting to where you want to be is to first determine where you are and then figure out what you're missing. I know I'm missing a lot but will make lists and plans to fill in those items over time.

About Me

I grew up in a farming community. We had 9 acres and most of our neighbors were dairy farmers.
We lived outside of a small villiage (about 300 people) with two churches, a gas station and two churches. My dad was an industrial electrician and worked in a larger town about 20 miles away. We subsistence farmed, canning vegetables, fruits, etc., that we grew. We raised a couple of pigs and had some chickens. At any given time, I'd say we had about a year's worth of food in the house. Not because we were 'prepping', but because we were marginally poor and that was the way we lived.

About my Wife

My wife grew up in a larger midwest town. Her father and most of her relatives were or are factory workers.
Her parents kept a few months supply of food on hand in case her father's union went on strike.

About US

We live in a suburbian sub-division in an older (40 years old) house on a postage stamp lot. We have to deal with a Home Owners Association that's more like the Nazi SS than anything else. We've been happily married for 27 years.

How I realized we were 'Closet Preppers'

Like a lot of America, I watched the first episode of 'Doomsday Preppers'.
Now, I realize the show basically sucks, but it got me thinking so I started to inventory the pantry and what other things we had on hand at any given time. Here's the list:

  • 60-75 cans of assorted vegetables
  • 10 small cans of tuna
  • 5 medium cans of chicken
  • 5 medium cans of salmon
  • 10lbs of rice
  • 10lbs of dried beans
  • 10 cans of mushrooms
  • 10 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 10 cans of tomato sause
  • 5 jars of pasta sauce
  • 5 boxes of cereal behind 5 boxes of opened cereal
  • 10lbs of flour
  • several boxes of pancake mix
  • 3 boxes of various muffin mixes
  • 10 boxes of tuna/hamberger helper
  • and the list goes on

Ok, after inventoring the pantry, I decided to go to the chest freezer and found the following:

  • 10lbs of beef
  • 12lbs of chicken
  • 8lbs of pork
  • 5 bags of frozen vegetables
  • 6 loaves of bread
  • 4 bags of bagles

Then came the camping gear:

  • 1 3-Person tent
  • 4 sleeping bags (two summer, two -5 mummy bags)
  • 1 Coleman propane stove
  • 4 small tanks of propane
  • 1 20lb tank of propane with adapter for the Coleman stove
  • 1 hatchet
  • 1 ax
  • 2 humting knives
  • other miscellaneous camping gear


  • Minimum of 6 month of house payments in our 'house' account
  • Two main vehicles paid off
  • 4 Months of all other payments in our 'monthly' account
  • House will be paid off in 4 years (we didn't trade up when co-workers did)


Before the show, I'd never heard the term prepper. Now, I wouldn't even think of comparing what I had on hand to most of the folks here but I know from talking to co-workers over the years that most of them are a week from starvation if the stores close down and 30-60 days from bankrupcy if they lost their job.
I have added a supplemental short-term water supply with filtration(8 days so far, working to get it up to 3 weeks) and am just beginning to collect long-term food supplies. I have started to build a bug-out-bag and put in for my carry permit. I have guns and some ammo but won't go into that here. I'm saving up to buy a small back-up generator to power at least the freezer.
In case I have to leave the house, I have a 5th wheel toy-hauler (camper with a garage in the back) that has a 40 gallon gas tank for the 5500 watt generator and a truck suitable to pull it. The camper has a cargo capacity of 5000 pounds although I haven't yet started the list of items to pack. I know I have other items around the house to help out but also haven't yet completed the inventory.
I have a LOOOOOOONNNNNGGGGG way to go but at least this is a start. I'm working on modifying my budget so that I can afford a few dollars each payday to chip away at the list.

Again, this is just an example of how to start :-)

Updated 04-26-2012 at 01:30 PM by jimmycthemd

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