So I became an accidental prepper. No, no, no not a doomsday, the sky is falling grab your tinfoil hat Hollywood portrayed kind of prepper! The real kind. The kind that preps for possible food shortages, war, weather-related events, etc…
For years when the show doomsday preppers was on, I’d watch it for the laughs (mostly). I have never considered myself a prepper. I even rolled my eyes at my Mom (sorry Mom) a few times over the past several decades anytime she would mention I needed to have a long-term food supply or emergency supplies (more than just my normal stock).
Then I realized I have always been a “prepper” if you really think about it. An accidental prepper, if you will. Anyone who is an avid camper or outdoors person kind of is (whether they admit it or not).
Getting Ready for a 2200 Mile Hike
At some point in 2018, as I was getting my gear ready for my attempt at a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in February 2020, I looked around and realized I had enough gear to survive out in the woods indefinitely if needed and be comfortable (gear wise anyway). For the Appalachian Trail, my plan was to carry food for 4-5 days for each leg of the hike before stopping in town to resupply. My mind went back to watching the Walking Dead. Isn’t that kind of what they did as they were trying to find a place to settle?
It’s weird the stuff that goes through your mind as you are preparing to live for 6 months in the woods while you hike over 2,000 miles….for fun.
I’ve loved the outdoors since the moment I was born. I would much rather be outside than inside. Inside is boring, outside the woods are alive and interesting. I also happen to sleep better in a tent than I do in my own bed.
Anyway, fast forward to February 2020. There was some talk about a virus but no one here in the United States really cared. We were carrying on business as usual and I was continuing on with my plan to hike 2200 miles. On February 19, 2020, I stepped onto the Appalachian Trail and began my trek.
I made it 10 days before I had to get off due to a death of a very close personal friend.
Becoming an Accidental Prepper
While I was in Texas for the next two weeks that pesky virus was becoming more in our face and there was talk that it may be hard to find food in the towns along the trail because people were already hoarding toilet paper (I didn’t care about that because I don’t use toilet paper while hiking) and some food items were becoming scarce.
So before I headed back to Georgia to continue my trek, I made the decision that I may need to have mail drops of food sent to me, so off to the store I went to stock up on a month’s worth of food (picture below is just a sample and not everything) that could be sent to me. And this is where I became an accidental prepper.
I was prepping to be without food or prepping to not have the ability to buy food where I was at.
I got to Georgia, made it to the hotel, and had my shuttle ready to take me back to the trail the next day. Everything was going well until I turned on the news. Bam! Everything was being shut down. You can read more about that here.
So back to Texas I went. I pretty much had the airplane to myself. That was probably the most awesome thing ever!
For the next six months, food was hard to find especially eggs, milk, bread, and baking items. Trying to get into the grocery store itself was sometimes an all-morning event as only so many people were allowed inside at a time. That whole 6-foot rule thing.
I think those events opened up a lot of people’s eyes. I think a lot of people became accidental preppers during that time. Those that had been prepping long before the pandemic never panicked and just hunkered down looking at the rest of us shaking their heads.
It turns out…my Mom was right all along. I should have had a long-term food supply. We were ok, but every 2 weeks we would have to drive about 200 miles round trip going from grocery store to grocery store to get milk, eggs, and flour (all of which were being rationed and had limits).
Never again would I let that happen. While we had plenty of emergency supplies that would allow us to live with no power or city water (thanks to being avid campers and backpackers), we didn’t have the food we needed.
Fast forward to January of 2021. Meteorologists started warning of a very possible record-breaking winter storm that would hit the following month. We had an entire month of warning to get ready. Very few Texans and transplants took it seriously. Not me, I realized (and while I do have a background in amateur meteorology, you should listen when they are all in agreement) that this was something to take seriously. I needed to make sure I had enough wood to heat the house for a month, enough food for a month, and enough water for a month….for 5 people (in case my girls decided to come home and wait the storm out).
So I started prepping for what would be a record-breaking winter weather event for Texas. It wasn’t just one storm that hit us, but several back-to-back storms. The first storm dropped a thin layer of ice. The second storm dropped 4 inches of snow and the third storm dropped several inches of ice on top of the snow. It led to state-wide power outages, deaths, and a lot of damage to homes and businesses.
When Texas Snowmeggedon happened in February of 2021, I wasn’t worried. We actually enjoyed it. That’s what prepping allows…peace of mind. Although at the time I had only prepped for that specific event, after the event and seeing the devastation everywhere and the loss of life, I realized I needed to get more serious, because we won’t always have a warning a month in advance.
In the Fall of 2021, I got more serious about prepping. I started researching more and more about what I should be stocking, how much, etc… The goal is to have a year’s worth of food supply per person. I’m kind of glad I did that, especially now with food prices rising, inflation, and the war between Russia and Ukraine. While I am far from having a year’s worth of food supply, we are slowly getting there.
Something I have learned through this, only stock what you will eat, and instead of stocking pre-made meals stock ingredients that will allow you to make multiple things. This is more about saving space than anything when doing it this way. Since I now stock ingredients I have also started making more things from scratch and with that also started looking deeply into the ingredients that are in processed food. WHAT AN EYE-OPENER! The crap that our government allows to be in our food is unbelievable! But, that’s for another post.
I am in the process of building my own backyard garden (spoiler alert, I have no idea what I am doing) and learning herbalism (to make my own “meds”). I am also teaching myself to do things the old-fashioned way, so to speak. Looks like I also became an accidental urban homesteader as well as an accidental prepper lol.
So, in addition to all my outdoor adventures, travel, and camping/RVing articles and videos, you will start seeing ones about homesteading, prepping, and survival as well. If you think about it, they kind of all go hand in hand. Camping (not glamping) is about being in the woods, catching (or killing) what you will eat, cooking over a fire, and getting water from a lake or stream. That’s a mild form of “survival”.
So come with me on a new adventure as I learn survival techniques and get more in tune with my urban homestead….now if only the city would let me have chickens (update, my property barely meets the requirement, but I can have up to six chickens)!
Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of posts about hiking, backpacking, and outdoor adventures. This blog just now encompasses ALL my crazy and nutty adventures including becoming an accidental prepper and urban homesteader lol. Follow my journey as I get down and dirty learning how to do shit the old way…you know before modern conveniences took hold.
How are things where you are? Have you become an accidental prepper as well? Comment below and let me know =)
Also, I created a new Facebook Group called SHTF & Prepping Chat. Feel free to join =)