If there’s one thing to learn from the previous years, it’s that no amount of preparation can guarantee a smooth ride. Even veteran preppers couldn’t have expected a global disaster in the form of a pandemic. While they were more prepared than the rest of the population, there were still lessons to be learned. And the new year offers everyone a chance to learn from those mistakes and be better prepared for the uncertainty of 2023 and beyond.
In the spirit of a new year, here are 23 prepper New Year’s resolutions that will help you be ready for whatever comes your way.
1. Read more on survival, prepping, and homesteading
Knowledge is power, and the more you know about survival, disaster preparedness, and self-sufficiency, the better off you will be. There are plenty of great books, magazines, E-books, blogs, and other learning resources to help you stay informed and ahead of the curve. So, make it your prepper New year’s resolution to increase your knowledge by reading as much as you can this year.
It’s also a good idea to have physical copies that you can refer to in case of an emergency since you won’t be able to access online resources if the power goes out. For example, if someone in the family is dealing with a medical condition and you don’t have immediate access to a doctor, you can refer to a first-aid guide or a medical encyclopedia to get information.
Of course, treating medical ailments and injuries is best left to the professionals but you should at least know how to apply basic first-aid until help arrives. Having physical resources to go back to every now and then combined with actual first-aid training should help you know the right course of action during emergencies.
2. Expand your skillset and practice them regularly
In a disaster situation, having useful skills could mean the difference between life and death. There’s always something new to learn, and as a prepper, it’s important to stay on top of new skills that could come in handy during a disaster. So this year, make it your goal to learn more about emergency preparedness, wilderness survival, self-defense, first aid, and other essential skills.
You can learn a lot just by reading books, visiting blogs, and watching podcasts but your best bet is to find an expert in the field and learn from them directly. If you’ve seen the 2020 film The Decline, you know that it’s about a group of people who are invited to a survivalist training camp held in the snowy mountains of Quebec. In real life, there are similar camps that you can participate in. Such camps offer a great way to learn survival and prepping skills in an immersive environment.
Another thing you should keep in mind is that, regardless of how much you know, all skills need to be practiced regularly for them to be effective. Whether it’s shooting with a gun, learning how to start a fire without matches, or building shelters in the wilderness – get out there and put your knowledge into practice!
3. Take self-defense classes and learn martial arts
One of the most important prepper New Year’s resolutions you can make this year is to learn how to defend yourself. You can’t just sit back cowering in fear while someone is threatening your or your loved ones’ lives. Take a course in self-defense or martial arts so that you’ll be able to protect yourself and your family from threats. Ideally, you should have everyone in the family take the same classes. You can’t always be around them so they should know how to defend themselves.
There are many different self-defense and martial arts systems that are effective for different purposes. Some of the most well-known and widely studied martial arts styles include judo, karate, taekwondo, boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, and Krav Maga. You can also train under a professional on the proper use of knives, batons, firearms, and other weapons.
4. Learn medical skills and get first-aid certified
No prepper should be without basic medical training and certifications. It’s necessary to learn how to treat basic medical emergencies and conditions, especially when you don’t have immediate access to a doctor or hospital. Preppers should have at least basic medical knowledge to be able to provide first aid to treat minor illnesses or injuries until help arrives.
Enroll in a first-aid training class so that you’ll be able to respond appropriately in the event of a medical emergency. Make sure you fully understand how to perform CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, and other life-saving steps on both adults and children, including infants. Another life-saving skill you should learn is how to stop bleeding, as well as how to properly clean and dress a wound. It’s also important to learn to recognize symptoms of stroke, heart attack, and other medical conditions, so you’ll know what to do and when to call for help.
Having these skills could mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation. Make sure to practice everything you learn so that you’ll always be ready for any medical emergency that may arise.
5. Do more home DIY projects
When SHTF, you can’t easily call on professionals to fix something in your home. Everyone will probably be too busy to attend to your needs so you need to do the fixing yourself. And if your aim this year is to be more self-sufficient, you really should avoid spending money on services you can do yourself.
That’s why it’s important to learn as much as you can about basic home DIY projects such as plumbing, carpentry, electrical work, appliance repair, and more. You can also build furniture with scrap or repurposed materials instead of buying new ones. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to handle most small repairs and maintenance tasks around your home.
6. Develop an emergency plan
An emergency plan is a set of procedures that helps you and the people around you to stay safe and to cope in an emergency situation. Emergency situations can include natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes, as well as man-made emergencies such as fires, chemical spills, and power outages. Having an emergency plan can help you to respond quickly and effectively to an emergency, and to minimize the impact on you and your loved ones. It’s important to have an emergency plan in place because emergencies can happen at any time, and they can be difficult to predict. An emergency plan can give you peace of mind, knowing that you are prepared to handle whatever comes your way.
Always have a plan B. Prepping involves being prepared for the unexpected. No matter how well-prepared you are or how foolproof you think your emergency plan is, there’s always a chance that something could go wrong. That’s why it’s important to have a backup plan for everything from your food supply to your evacuation route. If your primary plan fails, you’ll still have a way to stay safe and survive.
The opening scene of The Decline features one of the participants and his family practicing their bug out plan. This is exactly what you should be doing. So for this year, make it a point to involve everyone in the family starting with the planning and the drills. With regular practices involving everyone, you’ll have a better chance of spotting loopholes in your plans so you can make the necessary adjustments.
7. Prepare your emergency shelter
If you don’t have a bug out shelter yet, make it one of your New year’s resolutions to build one. Providing a roof over your loved ones’ heads is not enough, you need to make it safe from disasters, threats, and other emergencies.
Start off by fortifying your home. This can include reinforcing windows and doors, adding locks, and doing other measures to make sure intruders couldn’t get inside your property easily. That means installing a home security system with motion sensors, surveillance cameras, and alarms. You also need to reinforce your gate and walls and install bright lights around your property.
Make sure your home is safe from fire, flood, and hurricanes. Invest in fire extinguishers, fire ladders, and smoke detectors. Prepare for floods by installing water pumps, sump pumps, and flood barriers. And if you live in an area prone to hurricanes, add shutters to your windows and doors, as well as storm shutters on the exterior walls.
Choose a room at the center of your home and turn it into your panic room. This is where you and your family will hide during emergencies. This room, particularly the door and windows, needs to be reinforced. You should also keep food, water, weapons, survival gear, and other items that’ll help you survive emergencies.
If you have ample land, you can build a bug out shelter separate from your home. This fortified structure should be able to withstand natural disasters and man-made tragedies including nuclear attacks. Preppers usually go for underground shelters or shipping containers as they are relatively easy to construct yet highly durable.
8. Collect survival gear and build emergency kits
One of the fun parts of prepping is stocking up on survival gear and building your emergency kits. So if you haven’t yet, this year is the perfect time to start building your collection of awesome life-saving gear.
First of all, you need to build emergency kits for different situations. Preppers usually have at least three kits: a bug out bag, an everyday carry kit, and a vehicle emergency kit. If you go to work, you should have a get home bag, too.
Your bug out bag should contain all the items you need to survive in a disaster situation, especially if you have to bug out or evacuate your home. An everyday carry kit should include items that can help you if something happens while you’re out and about while a vehicle emergency kit should have everything you need to survive while stranded in your car such as food, water, blankets, flashlights, and other items. A get home bag, meanwhile, contains items that’ll help you get back home to your family in case you’re at the workplace when disaster strikes.
Make it a point to build your collection of survival gear and tools every year. Gradually add to your prepper arsenal so you’ll have the items and supplies you need when disaster strikes. Aside from food and water rations, other common items you should have in your prepper stash include pocket knives, multi-tools, hatchets, foldable shovels, flashlights, portable lanterns, fire-starting tools, fire extinguishers, hand crank radios, HAM radios, powerbanks, whistles, signal mirrors, personal water filters, paracords, duct tapes, emergency blankets, tents, and masks and gloves for protection from hazardous materials or situations.
The more equipped you are, the better your chances of surviving. That said, you need to constantly check your current gear to see if they’re still in good working condition, and upgrade or replace them when needed. Having up-to-date and high-quality gear can make all the difference in certain situations.
9. Stockpile food, water, and other essentials
One of the most important aspects of prepping is having an adequate supply of food and water to last your family for days, weeks, and even years in the event of an emergency. Preppers usually have a stockpile of non-perishable items such as canned goods, dried beans, rice, pasta, and other food staples. It’s also necessary to stock up on ingredients and other items needed to make decent meals such as oil, spices, and condiments.
Clean drinking water is even more important than food that’s why should prioritize having an ample supply of potable water. Aside from buying bottled water and emergency water pouches in bulk, you should also store water in large containers. Digging a well, installing a rainwater harvesting system, and investing in a water filtration system are also viable options to make sure you have a good source of drinking water.
10. Build your weapons cache
Preppers usually have a stash of lethal and non-lethal weapons for protection and defense. Having a good assortment of firearms, ammunition, knives, melee weapons, blunt weapons, and other self-defense tools can be crucial in times of crisis. But remember, you only need them for self-defense. You’re not going to war anytime soon.
Make sure you invest in quality firearms that are reliable, easy to use and maintain. It’s also important to practice with your guns regularly so you can be adept at using them. Aside from familiarizing yourself with the weapons, you also need to practice target shooting and other marksmanship skills. Invest in proper storage containers for your weapons and make sure everything is stored safely and securely, away from the reach of children.
Finally, learn about the local gun laws in your area so you can be aware of what you can legally own. It’s also necessary to know what you’re allowed to do with your weapons collection. Most importantly, be a responsible gun owner.
Some less-lethal and non-lethal weapons you can include in your stash include knives, batons, stun guns, pepper sprays, kubotans, and tactical pens. Preppers also have survival machetes, axes, and hatchets that can be useful for self-defense as well as for cutting wood or clearing a path. You may also want to invest in bow and arrows for hunting if permitted in your area. Finally, some examples of melee weapons include swords, staffs, spears, clubs, maces, hammers, baseball bats, and crowbars.
11. Invest in renewable energy sources
One prepper New Year’s resolution you really need to prioritize and stick to is investing in an alternative power source. Preppers understand that power outages can be caused by a variety of reasons such as human error, faulty equipment, extreme weather, natural disaster, a cyber attack, or an EMP (electromagnetic pulse). Investing in solar energy, wind turbines, and other green energy systems can power your home during an emergency and help you become more self-sufficient.
12. Maintain an edible garden
This year, make it your goal to start and maintain a vegetable and herb garden. Gardening is a great way to become self-sufficient and provide your family with fresh, healthy food. Plus, it gives you and the rest of the family a fun and relaxing hobby. Spend some time this year learning how to garden so you can be prepared to grow your own food in the event of a disaster.
13. Learn hydroponics or aquaponics
Another way to become self-sufficient is to take up hydroponics or aquaponics. Hydroponics is a form of gardening that uses nutrient-rich water instead of soil to deliver the needed nutrients to the plants. You can easily create your own hydroponics system at home and grow fruits and vegetables in it.
Aquaponics combines hydroponics with aquaculture (the farming of fish). In an aquaponic system, the waste produced by the fish is used to fertilize the plants, and the plants help to purify the water for the fish. Preppers find this especially useful during times of food shortages as they are able to produce plants and raise fish for food.
14. Grow mushrooms
Mushrooms make for a great source of food and can be grown indoors or outdoors. Preppers should learn how to cultivate mushrooms as it provides them with an abundant source of food during times of scarcity. Plus, mushroom cultivation is relatively easy and doesn’t require much maintenance, making it ideal for preppers who are short on time and space. And once you get the hang of it, you can sell or barter your mushrooms.
15. Raise animals
Raising chickens or other animals is another way to develop a self-sufficient lifestyle. Not only will you have a steady supply of eggs and meat, but you’ll also be able to use animal waste as fertilizer for your garden.
Raising animals can be a good New Year’s resolution for preppers for a number of reasons. First, it can provide a source of food and other resources, such as milk, eggs, and wool. Second, animal waste can be used as fertilizer for your garden or farm. Third, it can help to develop self-sufficiency and independence, as you are able to produce your own resources rather than relying on external sources. Fourth, raising animals can provide a sense of purpose and meaning, as you are caring for living beings and contributing to their well-being. Finally, raising animals can be a rewarding and enjoyable hobby that allows you to connect with nature and the outdoors. Do you have any other questions about prepping or raising animals?
16. Learn sewing and embroidery
Learning how to sew and embroider is a great New Year’s resolution for preppers. Everyone should learn these skills so that they can repair and make their own clothing, as well as other items such as blankets and tents. Sewing and embroidery also come in handy when you need to mend or fix equipment. Preppers should take some time this year to learn how to do basic sewing and embroidery so they can be prepared for any emergency that might arise.
17. Brew your own beer and spirits
While many people will resolve to stay away from the bottle, it’d be a good idea for preppers to resolve to learn how to brew beer or make spirits like vodka and whiskey. Brewing is not only a great hobby, but it’s also a possible source of income.
In times of crisis, knowing how to brew your own beer can be a lifesaver. Enjoying some alcoholic drinks can provide some relief from stress. Making your own beer and spirits is a great hobby for preppers. Not only will you be able to enjoy a cold one in the comfort of your home, but you’ll also be able to make use of the alcohol if there’s an emergency situation. Preppers should set aside some time this year to learn how to brew their own beer and spirits so that they can remain self-sufficient in times of crisis.
18. Learn how to use essential oils
Essential oils are one of the oldest forms of natural medicine and can be used for a variety of purposes. Preppers should learn how to use essential oils for their medicinal value, as well as how to make natural cleaning supplies with them. Essential oils have many practical uses during emergencies, such as treating wounds and boosting immunity.
In addition to learning about the medicinal properties of essential oils, you should also learn how to distill your own essential oils from plants. You can find DIY kits online that include all the materials you need to make essential oil at home. This is a great way to ensure that you’ll never run out of essential oils in an emergency.
19. Get your finances in order
If you want to be prepared for anything, you need to have your finances in order. This year, make it a goal to get your financial house in order so that you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way.
If you’re burdened with debt, it will be that much harder to weather a financial crisis. Your New Year’s resolutions should include paying off all your debts. The sooner you get out of debt, the better your chances of surviving the economy if it takes a turn for the worse.
Once, you’re debt-free or have paid a significant chunk of it off, you can start saving and investing money for the future. Preppers should think of savings as their emergency fund, which they can use to buy vital supplies and equipment during an emergency. Preppers should also invest in gold and silver coins, as these are a great way to hedge against inflation or other economic problems. Prepping isn’t just about having the right supplies; it’s also about being financially prepared for any emergency.
20. Join a local prepper group or start your own
The power of the prepper community is immense, so make sure you take advantage of it! Connect with other preppers and build a community where members can share knowledge, information, and tips. Most importantly, the prepper community can help each other in times of need.
Prepper groups can also be a great way to network, sell, or barter different products and services with fellow preppers. The community can also organize bug-out drills or survival simulations for extra practice and preparation.
Prepping is so much fun and effective when you have a great group of like-minded people to share your journey with! So make sure you join a prepper group in the new year or start your own if there isn’t one near you.
21. Get in shape
If you’ve seen Zombieland, you’re well aware of Columbus and his Rules for Surviving the Apocalypse. Topping that list is cardio. You need to be in good physical shape to outrun zombies.
It doesn’t differ from every kind of disaster or emergency. You need to be physically fit to survive. So make it a priority to get in shape this year so you’ll be ready for anything.
Start by coming up with an exercise regimen that’s right for your body and lifestyle. Better yet, consult a professional trainer to ensure you’re doing the right kind of exercise. It’s also necessary to visit your doctor to get a check-up and to make sure you don’t have any underlying health issues that may be worsened by physical activities.
Being in good physical shape also means you have to eat healthily, quit vices, and get enough sleep. Not only will this make you better prepared for a disaster, but it will also make you feel better overall.
22. Take care of your mental health
We often focus on physical health when it comes to prepping, but mental health is just as important. Aside from the usual stressors of everyday life, being prepared for an emergency can also take a toll on your mental health. Make sure to take care of your mental health by making time for yourself and engaging in activities that help reduce stress and anxiety. This could be anything from reading, writing, taking deep breaths, or going on a nature walk. Take time to practice mindfulness, meditation, and other relaxation techniques this year to help you cope with whatever comes your way.
23. Be more mindful of the environment and resources
We all have a responsibility to care for the environment, but preppers should be particularly mindful of their impact on nature and resources. Make an effort to use reusable items such as bags, bottles, and containers. Also, try to buy in bulk to reduce your packaging waste. Finally, be mindful of the resources you are using, such as water and electricity. Try to conserve these resources where possible. Doing so will ensure that you minimize your impact on the environment while also saving money in the long run.
If you’re serious about prepping and you understand how important it is to be ready for any emergency, 23 prepper New year’s resolutions shouldn’t be too much to ask. In fact, you should add more to this list so you can be fully prepared for anything that comes your way this coming year. Prepping is a lifestyle, not just a hobby, so make sure you take it seriously and keep yourself stocked with the necessary supplies come rain or shine! Learn more about emergency preparedness over at Gentleman Pirate Club. Happy Prepping!