How to become a Level 2 Prepper...
Being a prepper is more than just having a few cans of baked beans and some spare batteries lying around in your house. It’s about being prepared for the unpredictable and knowing how to handle any situation when they arise.
Level 1 Preparedness is something that we should all strive for, however only some of us are willing to invest the time, money, and effort into fine-tuning our prepping skills so we’re prepared for larger, more complex emergencies.
Those of us who are ready to take these steps toward being a better prepper will be able to handle longer-term disaster situations than those of us who rely on running to the grocery store for supplies before a big storm hits.
When the time comes, do you want to be the person with a couple of cans of corn and a broken flashlight, or do want to be the person that’s ready to hunker down comfortably until the storm passes?
If you’d rather be the person who’s prepared, then, congrats! You’re ready to become a Level 2 Intermediate Prepper. In our last article, we set forth the levels of Preparedness as follows:
- Level 1 Beginner Prepper
- Level 2 Intermediate Prepper
- Level 3 Advanced Prepper
Assuming you have Level 1 Prepper down, we’ve compiled a treasure trove of information about what defines a Level 2 Intermediate Prepper, what emergencies they can handle, and the supplies and skills they need to survive.
What is a Level 2 Intermediate Prepper?
Before you become an intermediate prepper, you need to understand what that means. A Level 2 Intermediate Prepper is someone who has taken the time to prepare themselves to a basic level (Level 1) but is now ready to take the next step.
If you recall, a Level 1 Prepper is prepared to manage a 3-7 day window where they may find themselves cut off from supplies. Maybe a power outage or natural disaster strikes, but a Level 1 Prepper is ready to weather the storm.
A Level 2 Prepper has covered the basics of Level 1, but has also explored things like:
- Everyday carry kit (EDC)
- Bug out bags (BOB)
- Long term food storage
- Emergency binders
- Emergency cash and more
What emergencies can a Level 2 Prepper handle?
Much of what differentiates a Level 1 and Level 2 Prepper is the kinds of emergencies that each group of people can handle. While a Level 1 Prepper is really only able to deal with an emergency that’s up to a week long, a Level 2 Prepper has taken the steps necessary to be ready for longer disasters or more unusual circumstances.
Level 2 Preppers should be able to handle emergencies up to a month long. These month-long survival events could be caused by a major storm, such as Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Harvey, a serious wildfire, or some sort of large-scale terrorist attack, to name a few possibilities.
During an event like this, power lines, telephone lines, internet access, water, and food supplies will likely be disrupted, and you’ll be on your own to survive – for who knows how long...
What supplies do I need to be a Level 2 Prepper?
Now let’s consider the gear and supplies that every Level 2 Prepper should have. Of course, this is a dream list that can cost a substantial amount of money but remember being a Prepper is a journey - it takes time!
Each of the items listed here have been specifically chosen to help you survive a month-long emergency. Here’s what you should have on hand in addition to your beginner prepper supplies:
1) Every day carry kits
An every day carry kit (or EDC kit) is a set of gear that you have on you whenever you leave home. This includes when you’re at work, at a friend’s house, or just driving your kids to soccer practice. Effectively, the point of an EDC kit is to make sure you’re always prepared to handle a situation, no matter how small.
EDC kits for an intermediate prepper should contain the bare minimum necessary to handle the random things that come up throughout a day. This includes your phone, an RFID wallet, a multi-tool, a knife, and a tactical pen. There’s also plenty of other EDC kit you can carry along in a backpack, too. For our full list of recommendations on EDC kits, check out our article here.
2) Bug out bags
A bug out bag is a large backpack or duffle bag that contains everything you need to quickly evacuate your home in an emergency. Since some disasters will require us to leave our homes and find shelter elsewhere, having a bug out bag can be the difference between being stranded without supplies and survival.
Bug out bags should have everything you’d need to survive for at least 72 hours after evacuating your home, so this includes things like food, spare clothing, shelter, and something to start a fire with. You can check out this article to learn more about what should be in your bug out bag as a Level 2 Prepper.
3) Long term food storage
We all know that food is critical for survival, but during a month-long emergency, it’s very likely that all of the grocery stores will be closed and the food supply lines will be disrupted. Therefore a Level 2 Prepper should always have enough food stored away to survive until things return to normal.
While a beginner prepper should have enough food stored away to last a week, an intermediate prepper should be prepared with at least a month’s worth of food stores. Unfortunately, most of us just don’t have the space to be able to fit a month’s worth of canned food in our homes, especially if we have a large family.
Luckily, there are companies that make prepackaged 30-day rations for preppers, just like us. Essentially, these prepackaged rations are a set of individually packaged dehydrated meals that come watertight, airtight, and pest-proof container, so they’ll be ready at a moment’s notice. The best part about these rations? They last up to 25 years, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them anytime soon!
4) Cooking supplies
Although it’s important to have emergency food stores, they won’t do you any good unless you can cook your food. Since many of us rely on dehydrated food for our long-term food stores, we’ll need a way to cook our food, or at least just boil some water.
Unfortunately, if your house has electric stoves and ovens, you’ll be out of luck when the power goes out during an emergency. Even if you have gas stoves, there’s still a chance that you’ll need to evacuate your home or camp out somewhere, in which case you’ll want a different way to cook your food.
Our recommendation? Get yourself a reliable camping stove or two. A Camp Chef Everest dual burner stove or an MSR Whisperlite Universal backpacking stove are both good options. Just make sure you have some emergency fuel stores, too!
5) Water stores and purification
Since we can only live three days without water, it’s fair to say that water is essential for survival. Thus, if the water supply lines get disrupted or your municipal water supply gets contaminated, you’re going to want some other method to get water.
There are two main options when it comes to a prepper’s water: either have an emergency supply of water or be prepared to source and purify your own. If you live in a dry climate or far from a natural water source, then you’ll likely want to store a sizeable amount in your home, just in case, and have some method of water purification on hand, too.
For those of us who can source our own water near our home from a river or lake, we’ll want to be able to purify our water before drinking it. There are many ways to do this, including boiling, chemical treatments, water filters, and UV light, so you’ll need to decide which one is best for your needs.
6) Emergency binder
An emergency binder is basically a collection of copies of your most important documents. This includes copies of your passport, ID, health insurance information, social security card, and anything else you might think is important, like your marriage certificate, bank account info, military documents.
Having an emergency binder is important because having copies of your most important documents in one place will make it easier to make insurance claims, provide health information at a hospital, or prove your identity and restart your life when the emergency is all over. This might seem like a far-fetched possibility, but countless people evacuated their homes during Hurricane Katrina without grabbing this information, which made it difficult, if not impossible, for them to prove their identity or file an insurance claim on their home after the disaster.
7) Emergency cash
If you’re like most people, you rely on credit cards, debit cards, and electronic forms of payment to do most of your shopping. Cash is quickly being phased out of our lives, but what if an emergency were to strike?
If the power lines and internet went down, no one would have any way to pay for anything if we relied on Apple Pay to purchase our groceries. Plus, in an emergency like this, the ATMs won’t work, either, so you’d be stuck with no way to purchase essential supplies for your family unless you had a small stash of emergency cash to help you along the way.
What skills do I need to be a Level 2 prepper?
As you continue your Prepper journey it’s not just about the gear you have. Another defining characteristic of a Level 2 Prepper is that they’re skilled enough to improvise in a survival situation, so to become an intermediate prepper, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with some basic skills. Here are some of the skills you should know:
1) Fire building skills
An intermediate prepper should be very comfortable building a fire in a fireplace or in a nice fire pit. They should feel comfortable building a fire out chopped wood, charcoal, or anything else they can find. Plus, an intermediate prepper should be skilled at starting a fire with either matches or a lighter, but without the help of fire starters.
If you really want to step your game up, you can also learn to make a fire with flint or with a bow drill, but these are difficult skills that take most people a long time to learn. A course with a bushcraft specialist is often a great investment, especially for anyone who hopes to one day become an advanced prepper.
2) Shelter building skills
Shelter is critical for survival, especially if you live in a wet or cold climate. If you need to evacuate your home, you, as an intermediate prepper, should be able to build a shelter to house you and your family.
Your bug out bag and other emergency supplies should contain some sort of shelter, whether that’s a tent or a tarp, and you should be skilled at setting it up in a variety of conditions, including high winds and heavy rain. It’s also worth knowing how to build a shelter using the natural materials around your home, just in case something happens to your tent or tarp during an emergency (see link for more).
3) Basic first aid skills
Basic first aid skills can, quite simply, be a lifesaver. While having a quality first aid kit is a great first step, it’s not going to do you much good if you don’t know how to use it. During a true emergency, first responders may not be able to get to you or the hospitals might be shut down, so it’ll be up to you to deal with any medical issues that might arise as you hunker down and wait out the disaster.
All intermediate preppers should be knowledgeable in first aid. While this doesn’t mean you have to go out and get your medical degree, we highly recommend taking the time to get basic training in first aid and CPR. If you have children or pets, you might also want to consider taking classes specifically designed for child and pet first aid.
Becoming a Level 2 Prepper Is Within Reach!
Being an intermediate prepper comes down to investing in gear and supplies that will help you survive for up to a month at a time. It’s not only about having gear but about knowing how to use it. A Level 2 Prepper should take the time to learn some basic outdoor survival skills, including fire starting and shelter building, as well as basic first aid, so they can be better prepared for any situation!