Many news agencies have been reporting the increase in the amount of preppers in the last few years. Many of you have probably wondered what possessed these people to become a prepper, and whether you yourself should consider becoming one too.
Step 1: Basics
To answer this question, let's first begin with explaining what a prepper actually is. Simply put, a prepper is anyone starting to prepare for disasters (man-made or natural). 2 types of preppers can be distinguished:
* those that prepare for overcoming short-term disasters (i.e. 6 months to a year) and
* those that prepare for for overcoming long-term disasters. For the sake of convenience, we'll call the first type "short-term preppers", and the second "long-term preppers". In real life, the distinction manifests itself in that short-term preppers for instance stock up on supermarket-bought canned foods, whereas long-term preppers produce food themselves (which they may indeed also process using one of several food preservation techniques). We'll focus on the second type of prepper in this instructable, mainly because whatever the disaster is you're preparing for, whether it occurs or not, you'll always save money by this type of prepping. As such, it will always be a good past time/investment. This is because you'll actually use the items in real life, and you'll avoid needing to buy them from third parties (where they cost more). An example is a prepper buying a goat or chicken; a goat or chicken will produce so much value over the course of their lifetime (in respectively milk and eggs) that they easily pay themselves back, and even earn you money (if you were to compare it to buying the same amount of milk/eggs in supermarkets). Now we know what a prepper is, and since it is obvious that preppers hence increase the local resilience against disasters, one might wonder why governments and public media are so negative on preppers. This has to do with the way on how people prepare themselves. The way on how many have started prepping is namely by acquiring firearms. Obviously, this is not something governments like, and frankly foregoes on the core ideology. This as, allthough firearms can be useful for hunting purposes -and so help in being self-sufficient in the food requirements-, farming is actually a much more practical way to get sufficient food (and if you were to hunt, then a bow or crossbow is actually also more practical tool as it does not rely on bullets, which have a limited shelf-life). Also, for defending against thieves, it's also not a good solution; rather than this, it's better to just go live in a more isolated region (i.e. a farm off the beaten track), where no robbers will pass by.
Step 2: How to Prepare
The way of prepping will depend to some degree on what disaster it is you're preparing for. Some standard things to do however, regardless of disaster in question will be:
* become self-sufficient on your food requirements
* become self-sufficient on your water requirements
* become self-sufficient on your shelter requirements and living necessities (i.e. electricity, fuel, ...)
* become self-sufficient on your transport requirements
How exactly this is done will also depend on your particular situation (it can be accomplished in various ways). Some good articles and instructables on this can be found at:
Step 3: Cooperating
Once you've done a bit of additional research on how to become self-sufficient on food/water/shelter/transport, you'll have noticed that there's really much to learn, and achieving self-sufficiency on all this may not be straightforward (as you'll need to make it perfectly suited to your location and unique personal needs). Exchanging information with others and perhaps also dividing the practical work on the ground with others will be something you'll thus want to do. For the first, this google drive link will be of use, for the second, you'll need to engage with local people. The google drive contains a lot of information on prepping, packed into a single file -which you can download and then keep stored off-line (so as to no longer be dependant on an internet connection). This is important as the internet itself is fragile, and may not be around when a disaster occurs.
If you're intrested in becoming a true focus point for your preppers community, you may also want to share the data from the google drive via P2P networks. The P2P (short for person-to-person or peer-to-peer) networks allow us to share the data amongst each other, easily. To do so, you can use the torrents posted at this google drive location. The use of torrents/magnet links makes sure that all of us are able to share and receive the same files. In conjunction with this (or alternatively to this), you can also use another way that doesn't rely on the internet at all (namely sending each other usb sticks with info, called a "sneakernet").
A short manual on using torrents and P2P networks (for all who's new to it):
We can just use a regular P2P client to download and upload (aka "seed") the files. A selection of P2P clients (which have bittorrent and magnet functionality can be found here. Some personal favorites are Bitcomet, Deluge, Vuze, WireShare, Transmission and GNUnet (note that GNUnet doesn't have magnet functionality, but ecrs could be used instead). There is a catch with all this though: P2P networks tend to have much viruses circling around on those networks, as well as useless data, and we need to be certain we don't download viruses or useless data. So, we need to be certain that that file we want to download is exactly the file we want to get. To do so, we can avoid doing regular searches via the client, and just download the files via a magnet or bittorrent link. These links contain details of the file, making sure the file we download is exactly the file we need. The magnet links for the files (also placed at the google drive location) are:
Now that that's clear, there are some additional rules we need to adhere to: * anyone that downloads any of these files, also agrees to indefinitely share (aka "seed") the files with others. The minute no one shares the files any more, the network will effectively be dead, so this is extremely important.
* it's also a good idea to have backups of the file on other hard drives and/or on the drive itself. You can protect the files by making par2 files on it (using quickpar). This can repair the file in case it gets corrupted somehow (for example by degredation of the drive itself, over time). Note that hard disks are expected to last but 4 to 6 years (see here), so having additional backup drives with copies of the files on it is a good idea. Cold stored hard drives can last up to decades though.
* buying redundant extra drives for backup purposes can be done cheaply if PATA drives are bought. These aren't being used much anymore/are being phased out. Connecting them is often a bit trickier, all though you could also use a PATA to SATA adapter if you have a more recent motherboard (SATA-capable, any motherboard bought in the last 10 years or so should have this; see here ).
* larger prepping organisations can also make a backup on magnetic tape (these last 10 to 30 years)
I also want to conclude with a bit of info on how websites can be saved. Once saved, people can then make their own magnet/bittorrent/ecrs links and share it via the P2P network, and have their magnet/bittorrent/ecrs links also posted somewhere. Saving websites should be done by copying over any text/data from the websites to plain html pages, in case the websites do not use html at all (but rather some other format people may not be able to read, say php, xml, ...). To save the data, simply view with your browser and copy the text and paste it into http://htmleditor.inindex.html or some other html editor, edit if needed, then switch to code view; paste the code in a new text document (or paste it into a program like notepad++). Save as .html (if using notepad++), or simply rename the file extension to .html Images can be put next to the html page, in the format they're in natively (ie png, jpg, ...). Then, compress all files with 7zip and put in your P2P client share folder