Preppers, for a long time, have been thought of as survivalists, militia members, or members of fringe groups. But in reality, preppers are normal citizens who range from city dwellers with an extra box of canned food on hand to wilderness survival experts with a fully-stocked bunker. In fact, prepping has a long tradition in America that is slowly being rediscovered.
For example, throughout much of the 20th century, many Americans had a stockpile barrel. Here’s an example, per the National Geographic:
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Nine Essential Items of Prepper Gear
1. SUN PROTECTION – Sunglasses, sunscreen, and hat
Sun protection, whether sunglasses, a hat, or sunscreen, is vital for protecting your skin and eyes against UV rays that cause sunburns and skin cancer. Other helpful clothing items include pants and long sleeve shirts.
2. INSULATION – Jacket, hat, gloves, rain shell, and thermal underwear
Be prepared for unpredictable changes in the weather. Pack an extra layer of clothing for the most extreme conditions you could encounter. Must-have items also include a jacket, hat, gloves, thermal underwear, and rain shell.
Lighting is absolutely necessary where no conventional light sources can be found. Headlamps and lanterns are great, but a truly great source of illumination is the GoSun Solar Light.
This rechargeable flashlight packs 280 lumens of on-demand light. With an integrated solar cell, it has the ability to recharge using solar energy alone, but can also be recharged with the included USB cord. It has a lantern mode, spotlight ability, and a red strobe emergency setting. A magnetic back allows for hands-free use.
4. FIRST-AID SUPPLIES
Any good survivalist gear kit includes a first aid kit.
Be prepared for emergencies by packing first-aid supplies with you. Start with a pre-made kit and modify it to fit your trip and your medical needs. Make sure you have plenty of bandages, medicine, aspirin, etc. Check the expiration date on all items and replace them as required.
5. FIRE KIT
Fire is great for cooking, but it can mean the difference between life and death in low-temperature situations. Make sure you have matches and combustible materials that can start even in wet conditions.
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6. REPAIR KIT AND TOOLS
Let your inner MacGuyver out with a repair kit that includes all the essentials for overcoming whatever problem you face: duct tape, a knife, and scissors. Multi-tools that include a screwdriver, can opener, and knife are also great in a pinch.
This is obvious for any survivalist gear, but the amount of food you need isn't. Bring at least an extra day's worth of food that is high energy, salty, easily digestible, and non-perishable. Think nuts, granola bars, and trail mix.
Want to keep your perishables from perishing? Check out the GoSun Chill, a solar-powered fridge that keeps your food cool with no need for grid power.
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8. POTABLE WATER
Dehydration is one of the fastest killers in a survival situation. That's why you need plenty of water, and hopefully, you have plenty stored up before you need it.
If you really want to be water ready, we recommend checking out the GoSun Flow. It's a kitchen sink that goes with you. The GoSun Flow is everything you need to purify large amounts of water and sanitize with full sink and shower capabilities.
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9. EMERGENCY SHELTER – Tent, space blanket, tarp, and bivy
Shelter is one of the most critical elements during an emergency survival situation. A hot day turns into a shivering-inducing night in a matter of hours, meaning you need to make your shelter as fast as possible. You can fashion a shelter out of all sorts of items: a ten, tarp, emergency space blanket, or bivy sack for lightweight options.
Our Favorite Preppier Meal: Solar Black Beans and Rice
Rice and beans are a staple of the Latin kitchen, particularly Central America and the Latin Caribbean. In Cuba, this is called Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) and is a very common side dish. Order it with Ropa Vieja, literally Dirty Clothes, and you’ve got the Cuban national dish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 Minutes
1/2 cup white rice
1 can black beans-you could sub other beans too if you like, and if you like more beans, go ahead and add another can. You could even go crazy and mix the types of beans