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Starting from Zero

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Well like many of you at one point in your life, you had your eyes opened and discovered that its up to you, to secure your future, to protect and provide for your family, and be ready for what ever life may throw at you.


I Just had my awakening, the cold water of reality thrown on me in my comfortable sleep. It was really a culmination of events that slowly started this itch in the back of my mind. The itch that tells you, you will die if you don't begin preparing. I realized I was one of the "9 meals away from crazy people", and I also realized I didn't want to be one of those people any longer.


I live in fairly rural Ohio but work in one of its largest cities, and right in the middle of down town. Aka ground zero if SHTF, No one is leaving the city by car. Its bad enough that it takes 30 mins to escape down town in normal going home from work scenarios, let alone mass panic / less than ideal situations.


I am recently married ( Almost two months and she hasn't got rid of me yet ). However during the time I started reading information on SC and getting the courage to post on the forums as probably one of the LEAST prepared posters, I got her on board. So, I count that as Victory #1.


A little background on us. Im 28, she's 24. She's a teacher and I work for a Bank. She works where we live, and I commute ~1hr to and from work. We have some left over income at the end of the month, but we have been trying to pay off our debt first. (before either of us really saw the shining prepping light ). I would say when the dust settles when it comes to finances we have ~$100 a month to spend on prepping.


When it comes to being preppared we are quite litterally starting from zero.


We have no weapons, or weapons training. I have shot a 9mm pistol, a .40 pistol, and a .22 in my life time, but those were one time instances.


We have no dedicated Food Storage. Or dedicated water storage, nor a means to store water out side of a Hot Water heater.


We have no means of heating water with out power / gas. I have no grills / camping stove etc.


We have no real survival clothing, outside of a nice pair of goretex hiking boots I purchased for her for christmas. ( we got each other prepper presents )


I have a small amount of tools, and my prepper present was a Leatherman Surge.


We both have minimal Outdoorsy experience. Im a finance guy who dabbles in computers ( alot of good those do when the power goes off ). She likes to hike, but would be SoL if she had to stay out there for more than a day.


So like I said, we are starting from Zero. My goal, is to start from scratch and hopefully make a nice post so that I could contribute to the site as I acquire things ( and why ) over time ( with of course guidance and advice from you all here )


Our rough plan for prepping is as follows.


Immediate Priorities.


Obtain: ~10 days of Ultra Non Perishable Meals ( MRE's, Mainstay Rations, Mountain house etc)


A way to store 20 Gallons of Water

- A way to Purify / boil water with no power


3 Changes of non cotton clothing for myself / wife and 3 tier jackets for us both as well as Quality goretex footwear for me


Find and use 14 easy to make, common ingrediant, low tech recipies.

- Obtain 1 month of ingrediants for said recipies. Begin eating said recipies routinely


Purchase 2 Get home bags to place in vehicles as well as 2 Bug out Bags for our Home


Obtain one way to generate heat / cook with no power


Build Tier one First aid Kit



4 - 6 month Priorities:


Purchase 1 Pistol and find instruction for useage ( for both of us ) Stock 500 Rounds of Ammo ( ammo for stock not practice purpose )


Build 2nd tier first aid Kit


Begin Filling Get Home Bags


Begin Filling Bug Out Bags


Acquire Portable Shelter System


Acquire A means to carry and filter water for travel


Acquire 4 More changes of survival based clothing


Stock 3 Months Of Ingrediants of Long Term Food Storage


Acquire ~10 days worth of Long Term Meals


Find classes or guides on Basic Gardening

- Begin acquiring Seeds


Increase means of water storage to 50 Gallons



6 - 10 Month Priorities:


Finish Bug Out Bag / Get Home Bag


Begin Assembling more robust Vehicle Kit(s)


Acquire 12ga Shotgun - 250 Rounds of Ammo


Stock 1000 Rds Pistol Ammo ( up from 500 )


Find / Attend a survival Course ( possible vacation opporunity! )


Finish 3rd tier First aid Kit


Acquire 1 weeks worth of Survival Based clothing


Increase ways to store water to 100 gallons


Implement Rain Cachement System


Increase Food Supply to 6 Months


Acquire Generator



10 Month and Further


Acquire .45 Pistol and stock ammunition

Acquire .22 Rifle and stock ammunition

Acquire Higher Caliber Rifle and stock ammuntion ( for larger game Deer / aggressive predators 4 legged and 2 )


Finish Vehicle Kits


Acquire and Implement Means of Alternative Energy


Work on creating duplicates for all items, as they say 2 is 1 and 1 is none.



I am open to any and all criticism, tweaks, suggestions, emotional out bursts, lol's, and any and all discussion about my chicken or the egg scenario ( which comes first ).


Like I said I want to provide for my family, keep us safe, secure, and fed as best I can. I refuse to fail them, but I need help and guidance.

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you can send me a pm and i'll direct you to a water supply where you can "scoop as you go" for well under a hundred. There are several out there so you can choose any. Budget was my concern and probably most.

Thanks for your list because i'm a newby and it makes me think of things I may not have considered. I'm not really trying to push a product. I just selected from one I thought best and bought a big quantity for friends and acquaintances. That way it kept the cost down for all of us. After those are gone i'll have what I need and I have a day job so i'm not in it to get

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You have a great LIST..and a Plan.. so look around your place and see what you can use in the mean time..back pack's..the one's used everyday to carry book's in.They are gray(no one notices them) and you already have kit..start small with what you have..


Ok so now is the time to TAP INTO your family!! Realy!....ok so you both are going to "get out more" and camp.Christmas gift's should be centered on "Camping" supplys...


Doe's anyone in the Family have old stuff???? camp stove, fishing gear,sleeping bags,back pack's,mess kit's,Tent's,

That will work!!


Ok so it is sneekey and asking for thing's may not be a possibility!

cant hurt to ASK.and Now it's not just about you..Your a Husband and you will do what ever you need to do..

Welcome to the HUSBAN Club....

Brother Matt

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101Matt: Thanks for the welcome to the forums, and your insight on acquiring from family. I do have a set of cousins we are going to visit for the holidays, and they are very outdoorsy. I will try to hit them up for any gear they have replaced recently but haven't disposed of the original. As for backpacks, regretably we have no spare ones, but those are cheap and I intented to purchase gray packs for the GHB's.


Wally: Thank you so much for reminding me about a knife / hatchet / machete. I completely forgot about them, and will assuredly add 2 knives to the immediate section. Also, thanks for the day at a time advice. As I was typing that list my gut just kept sinking, I have this frantic desire to have all of it now, but I'm sure many have felt that at one point or another.


t2940 I will definitely keep you in mind when it comes time for acquiring a portable water system. Thanks for the offer.

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Zero, thanks for making that list. It reminded me too.

We used to do that camping so anything missing would be added to the list.

In this case of do overs, so the list idea "rocks"



here's a link to the water systems I like


$10 off if you mention this site on anything but the bottles. They're cheap enough already

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first priority 2 {imagine the count on sesame street} 1 for you and one 1 for her {HA HA AH} 1+1 equal,,,, 2 guns


500 rounds are you kidding if it is like a mini depression it would last 5 years and as money gets tight less police


you may need to cut back on utilities security will be an issue if you have one gun that is not going to work


better to get 2 Smith & Wesson 22 A pistols and a case of copper plated 40 grain bullets.


with a 4 inch pistol I could hit a 2x3 foot plate @235 yards 7 out of 10 times from the standing position of course

hold over was about 10+ foot any o0ne who practices can hit a coke can @ 100 yards and a 22 has little to no kick

penetrates 9 to 11 inches check out 22 penetration tests on youtube.


without a rod your nothing I do not care if your kung fu keen cap foot or crotch shoot someone and they are not so tough

might take a few rounds but so what.

nothing and I mean nothing takes the place of a firearm you can use a replacement for everything else a needle and a

magnate and make a compass a piece of sheet a bandage rope is every where so are tools it is always better to have them but you can use a surrogate for most of the things in a BOB or GHB without a rod your a carcass on the side of the road


for every mile of road in Africa there is one stripped dead rotting corps on the side of the road guess what he was either

without a rod or was not watchful and got picked off...


how are you going to cover each other if you get separated one of you is unarmed now thats great especially if it is your wife.

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First let me say welcome! You sound like a pretty smart guy,who has realy thought this prepping thing out. One thing I would suggest you move up your list is a cheap grill and a couple bags of charcoal-real handy to be able to cook/heat things up even if it's just for a power outage of 2 or 3 days. I'm fairly new to SC myself,but am finding that more and more of the stuff I already know fits right in. Welcome again, this is a good site with great people who are always willing to share what they know or answer questions!

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I am not against any weapons system but there have been times where cover fire gets you through people getting shot at don't bother to ask the caliber all they know is getting hit can be fatal or hurt like hell.


and I was thinking about getting a friend of mines kid a bow looked up arrows I like to have crapped my drawers looked up some

of the reviews and they complained that the fiberglass arrows were giving splinters and all other kinds of problems

knocs to tight falling off tips coming loose rattling etc and the only decent bow was 160 bucks + tax and no arrows

screw that a S&W 22A is 229 and 500 rounds is 30 bucks and will shoot a hell of a lot further than a bow and with all the red dot scopes reflex and laser sights and all the I also looked at a cross bow 350 to 700 bucks even the black powder are expensive

may as well get a 22 more shots in way less time and very accurate.


dollar for dollar I will go with a 22 hand gun it also reminds me of the female officer that emptied her glock 17 and hit nothing

at less than the length of a car and then got a commendation for bravery LMAO for saving her partner who also did not hit sh*t

and fired a handful of shots now thats professionalism right there but they stand between us and them oh yea ducking and diving.

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welcome zero! the list is a great idea! your already further along than most. i have to agree with most of the others,i would put your weapons at the top of the list! just start with the basics for now, weapons,water,food,fire,shelter,cordage,etc. flea mkts. and yard sales are a good place to find things. also if you have any military surplus stores in your area they are also obviously good places. i have found some good stuff at the goodwill and salvation army stores also. for someone just starting out as far as medical supplies goes i would suggest getting a cheap basic kit and customize it to fit your own needs,don't forget your prescription meds! i think you'll find that this is a great site with a lot of great people that are more than willing to help! again,your list is great! it has given me some ideas also.

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hey zero, you got your wife on board and your eyes open......hell your nearly all you have to do is finish up, gather what preps you can ( your priorities seem sound) and learn as much as your head can hold(let the wife do the heavy lifting there ....i do) and remember to have a bit of fun with it as you prep like your life depended on it.

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Welcome Zero! Nice to see another Ohio member ( youngstown/warren area here ). For a supposed noob starting from Zero, you sure have a nice laid out plan of action. Looks like you already have done alot of research.


My 2 cents would be 1) I wouldnt worry about a weeks worth of "survival" clothes. My thoughts ( and Im a noob so I could be completely wrong ) are that if your buggin out space is gonna be at a premium for what you can carry/take. I would just make sure you have enough to layer for the weather/environment. And 2) Be careful when getting into firearms. Its very addicting and money consuming, lol.

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I would encourage you to look at durable wool clothing as a mid layer its available cheaply and there is a large amount of solid colored surplus very cheap it is extremely warm and maintains warmth even wet, goretex or similar product as an outer layer both jacket and bib or pants with room to add thinsulate and fleece liners to. As far as firarms you will get a thousand opinions the .45 is the king of combat cartridges which is also its weakness in the court room as stated the .22 pistol is a good trainer and versatile with small game my recommendation would be to start with both a .22 pistol and a .40 cal it offers the capacity of a 9mm with 90% of the performance of the .45 while having similar ballistics of the .357 this covers your small game and personal defence small arms off the top and you can add another .40 later when you both have more experience. 12 gauge is a go0od choice with all things considered plenty of women hunt and compete with the 12 gauge but it will be a shock if its the first scattergun she fires so make sure you get proper instruction in all your firearms remember you are in a firearms unfriendly state with one of the most anti gun cities in the country. Until you can get a more durable camp cooking system a couple of pennies stove will work well for you instructions can be found on YouTube I have found denatured alcohol works best. to initially start on your long term supplies work on your bug in after you have a month of bug in put a month of vehicle transportable bug out and continue this pattern till you accomlish your goal levels.Start with the freeze dry and MRE's for the back pack BOB's in regards to food for your BOBs keep it simple. Plan for three days to start with I suggest this formula, get three 3600 calorie Mainstay bars and three Mountain House or Wise meals one for each day. Leave the hot meal for the evenings ( the hot meal not only satisfies your hunger and wamth while sleeping it also provides a huge psychological boost) use the Mainstay bars through out the day and have the hot meal in the evenings this will cut down on the weight and space while maintaining your energy, stamina and health and minimizing your stopping time for meal prep which will also minimize your exposure to questionable people and require less security precautions then stopping. which also allows you to get home to your wife faster if your in the City when an event happens. As far as water a MSR, Pur or Katydin back packing water filters are excellent choices for your BOB's and short term (14 days or less) situations. As far as Health and hygiene a packet or two of bath towlettes for each Bob for a three day plan work satisfactorily a small light folding shovel or entrenching tool for cat holes and other light digging for your wifes bob I encourage her to look at a Go Girl for urinary needs and stay away from the tampons in the field or away from sanitary conditions and pads can also draw animals I suggest she look into reusable Menstrual cups Diva Cup and Luna Cup are the two most popular and now most retail stores are carrying a disposable version my wife and oldest daughter are not keen on the disposable though I am putting it out there as another option. Do not underestimate the usefulness of a good solid slingshot also add this to the other great info by some of the previous posters evaluate all your planned purcheses first also with you location a Machette is impractical this isn't the walking dead A good hatchet or camp axe will serve you much better. The value of a good solid knife that can skin, butcher and general camp duties can not be underestimated.

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