In our prior posts on different levels of prepping, (Level 1 – Everyday Preparedness, Level 2 – Scenario Preparedness, and Level 3 – Journeyman Prepper) we talked about the two most common ways people approach their own preparedness and then looked at their growth into becoming a Journeyman Prepper. While many millions of people fall into the first two, and even into Level 3, you might expect that far fewer people would be considered the Advanced Level of preparedness. Considering there is an estimated 3.5-4million people in the US as of Jan 2016 calling themselves “prepper” or “survivalist” even a modest subset of that group is a significant number of people heavily and actively learning, stocking, practicing, honing, and increasing their odds of success for any eventuality in their lives.
What’s the difference in how we view Journeyman (level 3) and Expert (level 4). It’s the crossover between short to medium range planning (more of a Journeyman level) vs. long term planning in all aspects of self-sustainment and preservation. We see that sort of long planning as very admirable, and a completely legitimate approach to planning but with these caveats:
- It can get very expensive to stock and maintain the levels of foodstuffs to feed a family of four (and maybe some extended family or friends who were likely caught short) or upwards of a year or more.
- There is a huge time investment in training, practice, and maintenance of just the gear, vehicles, supplies, outposts etc.
- Often these advanced scenarios include living completely off grid, or having a wilderness plot of land/buildings, etc. as an outpost to get away from any civil unrest or issues arriving as a result of a catastrophe. This can have the expense levels of a second home or vacation property including the maintenance, etc.
- Also people with this level of preparedness want to also be heavily secure and invest in monitoring systems, firearms, etc. which is another level of expense, time and training.
What kind of activities does the Advanced Prepper do?
- Food. Lots of food stockpiles.
- Sustainable resources. Gardens, or egg laying poultry, or maybe even a few livestock.
- Shelter preparations (urban, suburban, off-grid), and securing the shelter.
- Fortifications – making it harder for people get to their shelter location for example.
- Caching – Hiding gear, supplies, etc. outside the house or shelter.
- Obscuration – clever camouflaging of critical items. (storing cash in a vase with fake flowers for example)
- Bushcraft – If you were literally ‘run out of town’ to be safe and ended up in the forest, Bushcraft are the skills you need to make a primitive shelter, start fires without a match, make your own ropes/cords with natural things, set traps, and more.
- Maker Craft – building your own electronic gadgets using simple circuit boards to do things like alert you to intruders, or provide a simple light.
- Storage – creative storage solutions can be a skill and a gear item in itself.
- Survival skills – living off the land, or a “All I need is a knife, flint, steel, and a clear head.” approach to survival because you’re confident in your skills.
Now you might see that some of those things are great and useful at the Journeyman level, and we wholeheartedly agree. The distinction is that when talking about these skills and activities it’s for the serious aficionado: lots of preps, high-end gear, and/or more supplies. than most may have.
Products in this category can be broad and wide, but here are some examples:
- Top of the line survival gear: bug out bags, first aid, medicine supplies, specialized clothing (possibly camouflaged, quick drying, or thermal)
- Variety of fire starting devices beyond matches and lighters.
- Advanced first aid kits and training
- Large stores of freeze dried food, dried food, and reconstituted food.
- Grains and beans in bulk stock.
- Significant water supply, or advanced filtration systems.
- A strong hardcopy library of resource books on a variety of topics and skill areas.
- Storage boxes to be highly organized, and Rubbermaid / Tupperware style containers
- Shelving systems
- Canning supplies
- Solar panels
- Shipping Containers to use as caching at remote locations.
- Surveillance systems
- Guns, ammo.
- Primitive hunting techniques/equipment: bows, spears, blowguns, crossbows, slingshots
- Specialized tools for dismantling things, or fortifying things.
- and many, many more.
As you can see the concept of Advanced Prepping sounds daunting, and it is when you first start out, but the neat things about adopting a personal mindset of preparedness is that the skills you learn at all the levels apply and crossover in many, many ways. That knowledge is one of your most critical tools.