«

»

Sep 20

The Prepper Pyramid

I was out for a bike ride today and pondering a good way to get across how to prioritize while prepping.  Personally I see nothing wrong with excel spreadsheets sorted and filtered for results, but those are just boring.  How could I come up with a simple graphic which quickly gives the reader a snapshot of the point I’m trying to make?  Then it hit me, the food pyramid!  Everyone remembers that while growing up, the poster your parents referred to when making their point that you should eat shredded wheat cereal instead of fruity pebbles.  All I had to do was model my pyramid after that framework and I would be good to go.

When I got home from  my ride I typed the words “prepper pyramid” into google and of course, someone had already made one.  I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised.  It seems like there really is no new information out there, it’s all about how to package and deliver it.  I was slightly discouraged but the good news was that the other pyramid did not reflect what I had in mind to create, which is what you see below.

Prepper Pyramid from Prepper-Resources dot com

As you can see there is a hierarchy, from bottom to top according to relevance.  Additionally I chose to add a ring around the pyramid which reflects three tenets that really do not have a ranking because they are always important.  What follows is a breakdown of the pyramid and the three 3 tenets.

The Prepper Pyramid

Shelter:  Some would argue food and water should be at the bottom, or the most important.  I think shelter gets the nod for the foundation because if your homestead is where you want it to be and fully functional, everything else should fall in line.  Why do you think people put so much time and effort into moving to the redoubt, places like Idaho or Wyoming.  If your shelter (homestead) is good to go food and water naturally should follow. You will hopefully have a well on site (or be able to access one) and you’ll be able to grow food and raise animals.  It all starts with shelter.

Food and Water:  Next up the pyramid are your life support items in the form of food and water.  If you are prepping you need to put special emphasis here, especially considering what is going on lately with the drought and the possibility of soaring food prices.  Having a stockpile of food is essential to survival when times get tough and I doubt anyone would argue against the importance of having fresh water to drink and cook with.

Protection: Guns and ammo!  Probably one of the most popular prepping topics even though it is not the most important.  Remember protection isn’t always about defeating a threat with firearms, it’s also about detecting and deterring that threat.  Operational Security (OPSEC) is crucial in helping you protect your loved ones.  Be careful who you share information with and who you choose to trust.

Medical & Hygiene:  Often overlooked in many prepper stashes are medical and hygiene supplies.  An untreated infection or illness caused by poor hygiene is more likely to kill you should the SHTF versus some gun toting looter.  Having lots of supplies to treat multiple types of wounds/injuries can only be seen as the smart thing to do.

Barter:  If you have made progress in all of the other categories on the pyramid it might be time to start thinking about barter items.  Of course you can trade anything on the list to others who might find them valuable, but your bartering stash should include a few other essentials.  Alcohol would make a nice item to trade for example.  Think about what people in your area might be willing to trade for and stock up on some of it.

Gold & Silver:  I am not a huge fan of stockpiling precious metals but I cannot deny the popularity of it.  If you choose to keep gold and silver on hand I would make it the lowest of your priorities, as indicated by its place at the top of the pyramid.

The 3 Tenets

Skills:  Having all of the items listed on the prepper pyramid will only ensure that you last a bit longer than those around you should things get crazy.  You truly need skills to survive.  Knowing how to grow your own food, how to hunt, how to split wood, how to fix a car, stitch a wound, and the list goes on and on.  The importance of having skills cannot be stressed enough.

People:  In keeping with skills, people or community are always an important consideration no matter where you are in your prepper journey.  I’ve said it before, you have to sleep sometime and there is no such thing as a one man army.  Getting to know your neighbors and finding like minded individuals will greatly increase your chances of survival in a post SHTF scenario.  More people with more skills can only be a good thing.

Health:  Often overlooked, this is such an important category.  Over 2/3 of the USA is considered overweight.  That’s shameful at best.  Being healthy is a daily task which permeates through all stages of preparedness.  It’s not just about being physically strong and being able to run 5 miles, it’s also about not being dependent on medication or machines (if possible).  If resources become thin once treatable illnesses or conditions might become fatal.  Putting in the work to stay healthy is another responsibility of a prepper and should not be ignored.

Be Sociable, Share!

23 comments

4 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. Ranger W

    I like the prioritization. It is good to remind real preppers that gold and silver have no place for a survivalist. I have plenty of supplies but I wouldn’t even think of trading for gold bars.

  2. Lola

    I liked the pyramid and agree with how it’s prioritized. I’m a big believer in food and water. When I say food I don’t mean crap food but good nutritional food that can help keep your immune system healthy and ways to filter water to have clean water available at all times. As humans we need food and water, if there is a shortage no gold, silver, or diamonds can make me give up the essentials.

  3. HalfKin

    Hello PJ!
    Saw your link over at the SHTFanclub!
    Will be coming back to visit, good work.
    HalfKin

  4. PJ

    Thanks everyone for the comments, and I’m glad you all appreciate the work I put into the pyramid. Also – Halfkin thanks for coming over from the other site, hope to see you around here more often.

    PJ

  5. Capt Crunch

    Excellent article. Love the emphasis on knowledge and skills as one of the foundations for surviving, and perhaps even thriving, in a SHTF environment.

  6. PJ

    Thanks much CC, the kind words are appreciated. I hope you share it with your friends! Skills and knowledge truly are some of the most important assets in any SHTF situation.

  7. Doug Bergstrom

    This is a bit late getting to you-all – with a comment – but, maybe you and/or someone will read my note.
    I did a search for the other pyramid and found it (the focus there-in is different) – and you are right = to me it does not even come close to the pyramid you created.
    do have to say that what you presented put my mind in a better focus – in that shelter being the foundation is and has to be the critical and key and primary support for all of the other issues. What you indicated about the need for shelter being primary is so true – with out an effective and adequate shelter all of our preps would/could be useless.
    What you say – “I think shelter gets the nod for the foundation because if your homestead is where you want it to be and fully functional, everything else should fall in line” ,,,, may-be best altered a bit and indicate ‘everything else will fall into line” (if – as you indicated “It all starts with shelter”).
    Thanks for all you do – keep up the good work – have a wonderful Thanksgiving! /s/ doug

    1. PJ

      Doug,

      Thanks much for the comment and observation with regard to the statement I made. While there are various opinions on what weight we should put on all of the categories, I think the important thing is to simply get people started. Thanks for reading and I hope you continue to come back!

      PJ

  8. Lyn Robison

    I like this diagram. It illustrates the “hierarchy of needs” quite well. However, I think there is something missing. What are people (preppers) going to do for a living after they survive the chaos of the collapse? How will they get the resources they will need to sustain their lives and provide for their families after their one or two years of stored food runs out? The world is going to be a different place, and they will need to make living in that new world, or else they will die as soon as their food is gone.

    For example, in my current career, I am an IT industry analyst. In the new reality, I suspect that I won’t be able to provide for my family as an IT industry analyst, because the world will no longer need them. As I have thought about my post-collapse career, I have tried to think about what the world will be like post-collapse. Some people think that we will go back to life in the 1800s, but I suspect we will go back to life in the early 1900s instead. IOW, we won’t be all horses and blacksmiths — work will be mechanized and manufacturing will be possible, and vital. In addition, we will hopefully retain a some of our ability to produce high technology. So I have decided to train myself to be a machinist (machinists are the ones who put the blacksmiths out of business around 1899 or so).

    Anyway, the development of a new way to support yourself long term after the collapse seems to me to be the pinnacle of prepping.

    1. PJ

      Lyn,

      Great points you’ve made there and something I have neglected to write about. Post collapse, once it has been all said and done what will our “careers” look like? I like the idea of being a machinist or similar. Agriculture will be huge, transportation, medical professions, law enforcement (on the local level), moonshiners, like you said early 1900’s style. Great stuff and thanks for sharing.

      PJ

  9. George Henson

    This is excellent. There is so much info out there these days regarding prepping and survival it is hard to know where to begin. This simple pyramid easily illustrates the hierarchy of the whole prepping activity and how to get started. Thank you so much for the info. I have the first layer down and perhaps some of the third and working on the second and others.

  10. Old Sarge

    Good concept in that it essentially brings the “rule of 3s” into to equation. Rule of 3s: you can survive…3 minutes without air; 3 hours without shelter (clearly this situation/condition dependent; 3 days without water; 3 weeks without food. (At least this is the way I remember it!
    We are set for about 90 days of bug-in time. But, I have a van that will hold the two of us, our dogs, and supplies of (already packed and ready to go) food and water.
    What do you think?

    1. PJ

      Sarge

      90 days is outstanding, well above and beyond what most families have on hand. I also like the idea of having your van stocked and ready to rock, really helps to get out of town when time is of the essence…just look at the wildfire situation in CO right now as an example. What’s your plan once the van runs out of fuel? Do you have wilderness (camping etc) supplies on hand?

  11. MikeC

    When we first stared prepping it was all so overwhelming. There is so much to do and so much to buy…
    My wife is in charge of the food and she has found a great time and $$ saver. Go to http://www.srmarketplace.com and get a discount account, then use the food storage calculator to estimate what foods you need for your family based on caloric intake, age, etc. Once that’s done and you deleted the stuff you already have the company sends you some of the items on your list each month up to your budgeted amount. They call it “THE Q” , it’s great! All you need is 15 min. to set it up and now our food storage is on auto pilot! Each month we get a delivery right to our home. Now we have more time freed up to work on gardening and getting our chicken coop set up.

    1. PJ

      Mike

      Thanks for the tip, let us know how the chicken coop comes along.

  12. GraywolfSurvival

    Now that’s what I’m talking about. Balance is the key to everything, both prepping and nonprepping, as well as everything in between. Nice job. Concise and informative.

    1. PJ

      Thanks man, appreciate the kind words!

  13. Grayhawk

    I ran across this doing a google search. I’ve never seen a pyramid on survival before. I grew up with my grandfather (who his dad came from soviet Russia) saying that they are moving towards communism everyday. and my father who echoed those sentiments.
    I agree with shelter being the most important. Running around the woods with no stash place isn’t a great idea.
    I’ve brought around my wife to the idea of a possible SHTF scenario. and with your pyramid we can prioritize. Thank you for creating such an image. I do hope I can find this site again.
    Keep up the good work PJ.

    1. PJ

      Grayhawk

      Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your experiences. Hope you can stick around for a while, take care.

      PJ

  14. Dutch

    I do keep some gold and silver. There are always going to be some greedy people more than willing to part with their stuff for some shiny metal. I’ll be the one getting it.

  15. Jennifer

    Hi all, great sight. I’m just beginning…two questions…one, I’m a single mom. I have two boys. 16, and 7.
    Being a single mom is a concern for sure, yet I believe we could be an asset to a community. My skills are varied, I am a heavy equip op, master gardener, etc…I’m very funny and optimistic.. My boys are responsible for themselves, and are very socially mature. Am I kidding myself about women being assets to camp? I’m wondering your thoughts on a single woman with kids linking up with a community.
    Also, I’m trying to be brave and realistic. Is that an oxymoron?
    Thanks, Jennifer

    1. PJ

      Jennifer

      Here’s my take on it. If there was a camp which was staffed with only type A personality hard chargers…I would NOT want to be part of it. Sure they might fight well and physical strength would be there but there would be no diversity or opposing points of view. Remember survival and thriving isnt only about actions on contact or how far you can walk with a BOB. Communities need all types to thrive, women and children included. Your perspective, skills, optimism and maturity will be a huge asset in almost every circumstance. :)

  16. The Maj

    I concur with PJ, Jennifer. Everyone adds value in some manner or another. Your strength may be my weakness and vice versa. Any community that does not have a good mix of skills, attitudes, and personalities will eventually fail. An all Type-A personality community would probably tear itself apart quicker than any other.

  1. Prepper Quiz! Test your knowledge. | Prepper-Resources.com

    [...] The Prepper Pyramid [...]

  2. Election is over, Black Swans still remain. | Prepper-Resources.com

    [...] prepping in addition to the non-tangible aspects (skills, community, health).  I wrote about the Prepper Pyramid in this article, read about it if you get the [...]

  3. Prep Updates 11/12/12 | Prepper-Resources.com

    [...] The success triad: Tangibles, training, and mindset  PJ:  Good article, nice to see a fresh perspective on prepping.  Somewhat similar to the Prepper Pyramid. [...]

  4. New Prepper Tips and Lessons learned – PJ at Prepper Resources

    […] consider the Prepper Pyramid as a useful tool when prioritizing.  I posted about it […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>