A reader recently asked me, in response to my “A Little Light” post, what book I recommend as a first book on prepping. (Hi, ansullivan!) (For those who don’t want to bounce back and read it, I was reviewing the book 52 Prepper Projects, and described it as a good “second book”.) I’ve honestly been puzzling over that since the question was posed, and the best answer I’ve got so far will probably be less than satisfying (and basically what I answered inline to the comment–I’ll just be a bit longer-winded, here).
My first reaction/response would be to say the best “first book” for getting into prepping would be whatever book (or other impetus, whatever it may be) got you into it in the first place. I mean, we all have to start somewhere, and the simple realization that you have to start is, well, a good starting place. (Had enough tautology?) For my wife and I, the spur was probably the 2010 North American Blizzards, which kept us, our kids, and a friend inside for several days. We had plenty of food, but could readily see how planning for future such emergencies would be prudent. (Also, ‘Doomsday Preppers’ had begun airing, and the thought that “some of them almost have a point, but they’re going about it so crazily” had been discussed…)
That answer seemed a bit of a cop-out, though, on further reflection..A recommendation I made in my response to the question was to visit the FEMA website (more accurately, visit www.ready.gov), and see their pamphlets/instructions for 72-hour kits. (Scroll to the bottom of the page, and you’ll see a link for “Ready Publications”; open up the brochures link, and there are multiple sets of lists for 72-hour kits, which–as I’ve discussed before–are good starts for building other kits.) Despite FEMA’s reputation, particularly following any of a number of recent natural disasters, their kit recommendations are pretty good. Again, approach them all with an eye to personalization, but they’re absolutely good baseline lists.
So, there’s my “basic,” front-line answers. I haven’t really found a good “first book of prepping” in and of itself; I suppose 52 Prepper Projects is as good as anything I’ve found. It’s worth noting that the same authors have, apparently, a short series of such, to include 52 Prepper Projects for Parents and Kids, and 52 Unique Techniques for Stocking Food for Preppers. I haven’t read either of those, but they’re interesting, good ideas (although I’m not sure how “unique” any of their techniques could be–we humans have been stocking food for millenia). If anybody has looked them over, I’d love to hear about them.
What about you, readers? Any suggestions for good starter books for prepping? Post ’em in the comments!