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Sunday, July 25, 2010

How to Get Prepared as a Teenager, by Jonathan E.

When I discovered SurvivalBlog I was 17 years old. My friend had given me a copy of the novel "Patriots" that he had picked up on our twenty-three day trip around the United States. After I had read the novel, I realized that I was so far behind on my prepping for TEOTWAWKI. Before had I had only focused on wilderness survival and when I went hiking in the woods. I never perceived how fragile our economy was and how easily it would fall apart with the slightest push. I had to do something about my preparations. This article is for those who are trying to get prepared and do it with the least amount of money possible.


My family is middle class. My mom is a school teacher and my brother is the manager of a music store. I did not have a full-time job, but I was trained as a lifeguard and had all of my certifications. The first step in getting prepared is knowledge. Knowledge is almost free. The Internet and library is full of information on many topics to pertaining to TEOTWAWKI. You can find information on things such as gardening to canning to building up your stock of supplies. You can never stop learning and the knowledge that you have will only benefit you more when the time comes for it. As a lifeguard I learned lifesaving techniques and gained a job in the process. All of my training was paid for by the company as long as I worked for them for a summer. This situation does not only pertain to life guarding. Since I am a student in a high school I have the benefit to receive a free education. My school has a career campus where you can take classes to gain experience for when we apply for a skilled job. My school offers classes such as construction, automotive, welding, sheet metal, HVAC, medical, and electronics. These are free opportunities to gain knowledge that can benefit someone WTSHTF. If your school offers them, then take the courses while they are still free.


This can be one of the costly items when it comes to getting prepared as a teenager. Luckily this is still the time in your life when family members will still give you money for the chores you do and sometimes just because they love you. My mom would gives me twenty dollars a week for lunch at school and twenty or more dollars for the weekend to have fun, since I do not currently have a job. During the week I would pack my lunch to save a few bucks. When the weekend came around, I would go to the local camping store and buy a couple of pouches of Mountain House dehydrated food. Whenever I went to visit my grandparents, my grandmother would give me a twenty dollar bill. Down the street from their house was a military surplus store. Here I would buy some MREs. For those of you who do not get extra money like I do, you could go to the grocery store with your parents and grab a couple extra large cans of soup or dried grains and slowly build up your reserves. Over time you can have a substantial amount of food in your supply cabinet.


Defending your family is a big subject when you are a teenager. As a young boy I always wanted to gun and couldn’t wait to buy one. On my eighteenth birthday, I went to a gun show and bought a Remington 870 TALO edition [with a digital tiger stripe camouflage stock and forend]. Its the best gun that a teenager could buy to start out with. Its affordable and it has many uses. Unfortunately, some are too young to buy a firearm. So, what do they do? I started out with knives. This is particularly easy to do, because it is easier for parent to accept. Every young boy has a knife. It is a right of passage. There are so many different variations and prices so it can fit any budget. I started with a small locking folder, then bought a multi-tool, and then various sized fixed blades. I read books on tactical knife combat that I borrowed from one of my friends. Starting with a knife is wise, because then you can learn how to treat and respect your gear and when a firearm is absent, you will have the knowledge on how to defend yourself with an old companion. Another item that I bought was a


An early option that most teens and even adults can do is play paint ball and gain some tactical training. This is a fun and relatively inexpensive way to learn how to work as a team when having to be on offensive and defensive roles in TEOTWAWKI. Like a knife, it is more socially acceptable. So know one will ask questions. When my friends and I would play paint ball we would mostly play woods ball, since it is more realistic. You can learn many things during these games. We would practice tactical moves, concealment, flanking, escape and evasion, proper gear safety and cleaning, and we would even use practice knives. If your school offers sports programs then look into what there is. An important factor to consider during TEOTWAWKI is that you will be working a lot more than you are know and you will need to be physically fit. Take up playing football. This will help your conditioning. I ran track for two years and it put me in my peak condition. I learned about the proper running forms and better breathing techniques that will help you when you need to travel long distances after your vehicle runs out of gas. Wrestlers at my school are in peak performance and learn many moves that would help in hand to hand combat if you ever need it. The point of the matter is to stay in shape and get off of those videos games. Some fresh air does not hurt and you will need to learn how to stop depending on electronics for entertainment.


A quick and easy way to get emergency gear is to ask for it. Christmas, Birthdays, and other holidays that your family celebrates. Just make a list of camping gear that you would want and ask for a number of things that you would like. If you have a dad that enjoys camping then just keep adding to his supplies and make sure you get quality gear. I would say this was the easiest way that I accumulated my gear over the years. Now I have a vast collection of items that will assist me in any situation. Garage sailing around the town on the Saturday mornings is also a quick and inexpensive way. I’ll get up a few mornings during the summer to get my hands on some sweet deals. There are plenty of older people in all communities that are cleaning out the attic and you can find camping equipment, old oil lamps, military items, knives, and plenty of strange items. Getting up early is the hardest thing though, since teenagers love to sleep in.


Every teenagers dream is to get their license and to be on the open road. The feeling of being free and going where ever you want. Once, that license is in your hand then what. You will have to start thinking about the vehicle you will want to drive. Many teens want the fastest and coolest vehicle. If you are survival minded then why not get a classic? I got a 1965 Jeep CJ-5. My grandfather only paid $4,500 for it. It was in good condition with no rust and the best part about it was that it had no computers in it. This made repairing the engine an easy task whenever it would act up on me. It also gives you the know how on how to fix your car in TEOTWAWKI. Any old model car, usually before 1980, does not have all of the microprocessors found in more recent models. This makes them EMP proof and when you are driving around while everyone else is walking, then you have a big advantage over everyone else. If your parents do not think they are safe enough, then tell them that there are all sorts of aftermarket safety products that can be installed in them, such as a roll cages and five point safety harnesses. These vehicle are inexpensive and are relaibel once restored.

In the end time is the biggest factor. It will take time to save money for more expensive items, but if you are witty enough then you can most items for a lower price or even free. Building a collection of supplies might seem time consuming, but I have fun buying something new that I didn’t have before that will help me in the end. However you do it, have fun with it and do not think that because you are young that you should not be prepared.

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