Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent

Best Prepper Resources and Recommendations – Feb 2015

Best Prepper Resources and Recommendations. Gear, books, blogs, forums, facebook pages, and more.I get a LOT of emails and messages asking about gear or book recommendations so I thought I’d start up a new project here on Graywolf Survival so I can help a LOT of people instead of just one at a time. This will be a big post but I’ve made it as accessible as I could.

Here’s what you’ll read in this article:

  • TL;DR
  • The introduction of the Resources and Recommendation Page and upcoming posts
  • Best Prepper Gear Recommendations
  • The Best Prepper Websites and Online Resources
  • Best Prepper Book Recommendations
  • How you can recommend things to add to the list

TL;DR – I know from my analytics (yeah, I’m a geek that way), a lot of you are on cell phones so I’m going to list everything here quickly and then go into detail below that so you can see some info on each and why I chose each of them.

Introduction of the Best Prepper Resources and Recommendations page

Here’s the plan: I’m going to write a post similar to this occasionally – like whenever I gather enough great resources and get around to it – on what books, gear, and websites I’ve found that preppers and those interested in emergency preparedness or survival should consider.

What I didn’t want to do is keep repeating the same recommendations if they’re still awesome, but if I only found a few things, I still wanted to make these posts really worthwhile for you guys.

What I decided to do is create the Best Prepper Resources and Recommendations Page. This page will be a living document of the current best suggestions that I’ll be posting about in this series. As I find new things that I post about, I’ll update the page to include those things and occasionally bump out previous things if they stop being awesome.

Since I’m not the only prepper blog on the web, I figured it would be a good idea to add the best blogs and facebook pages as well, that way you’ll have one place to read or to send people if they’re asking you the same thing.

If you’re going to link to this information in your blog, you should link to the page instead of any particular post in this series since it’ll have the most thorough and up-to-date info – and it’ll have the feed snippets of the most recent blog posts from each site there. It’s your kettle of fish though.

Because this is the first post in this series, this is going to be a pretty long one.

So far, the categories will be:

    • The Best Prepper Gear Recommendations
    • The Best Prepper Websites and Online Resources
    • The Best Prepper Book Recommendations

The categories may change or expand over time as I get more ideas but that’s what I’m starting with.

The Best Prepper Gear Recommendations

As you’ll see here I’m not going to have recommendations for each category such as food, water purification/filtration, firestarters, shelter, clothing, etc.

This list will be driven by the gear itself and not individual categories. That way I don’t have to try to find an interim solution for each category just to fill the spot. Each thing will have to be something special or it won’t be listed.

So here’s the first gear I’m gonna put on the list, in no particular order:

5.11 Rush 72 backpack

When I asked everyone on my facebook page what their number one recommended bug out bag was, this bag was suggested more than all others BY FAR. So much that I actually got one for myself. If you’re looking for a very tough and useful tactical bag, I would definitely suggest it. If I ever deploy again, I’ll be taking this bag. It also comes in two smaller sizes: The Rush 48 and The Rush 24.

Osprey Atmos 65 backpack

This is what I use for my personal bug out bag. Like the 5.11 Rush series, this bag comes in several sizes, and even those sizes come in small, medium, and large to fit your body size. This is by far the best backpack I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned a bunch. It’s strong, lightweight, has a built-in rain cover at the top, and has the right balance of pockets and access points.

If you’re new to prepping and not sure what kind of bug out bag to get, get this one.

Solo Stove Wood Burning Backpacking Stove

I like to be as flexible as possible with scenarios. I do carry a Trangia Alcohol Spirit Burner Stove and some Yellow Heet for fuel because it makes cooking on-the-go really convenient, but I don’t like relying on cooking with only what I can carry.

The Solo Stove not only cooks really well with twigs and other combustible things, it actually makes an alcohol stove more efficient by focusing the heat onto your pot – and the Trangia fits inside it while it’s in your pack. This way I can cook very efficiently with the small amount of alcohol I carry but have a never-ending supply of fuel for it once that runs out.

CREE 7W Flashlight

I forget now where I first heard about these little gems but damn, I was pretty surprised when I finally got a hold of one. So surprised, I ended up writing a whole review of them.

They’re under $5 but built like you could literally run them over with a truck (I haven’t tried it yet but I’d lay money that it would be fine).

Not only are they super cheap and super strong, they’re SUPER BRIGHT for a single-cell flashlight, and run off an AA battery, which is one of my requirements (so I can use the rechargeable setup to always have batteries and could always find batteries if I lost all the ones I had).

These are so good that I’ve seen a lot of people buy like 20 of them (I’m probably getting close to that now) and put one in each vehicle, give one to each family member, and give them out as great little gifts.

MPOWERD Lucy Inflatable Solar Lantern

I hunted for a long time to find a good lantern for my bug out bag and for camping. Flashlights and headlamps are cool and all but when you’re sitting in your tent or RV either reading or going through your stuff, a lantern is much better.

The problem was that all the lanterns I could find were WAY too bulky and heavy to carry in a pack. Then one day, MPOWERD contacted me and asked if I’d like to do a review of their product. I almost said no (because I usually say no when people want me to review their stuff unless it’s super awesome stuff) but I started reading about how they were using these in Africa and became curious. I certainly could have used one of these when I was in Northern Uganda.

These are absolutely wonderful little lamps. They fold up to about the size and weight of a CD case, are water-proof (they float, actually), and they recharge with the built-in solar panel.

Goal Zero 41022 Guide 10 Plus Solar Recharging Kit

Currently, I have several different solar panels that people have sent me for reviews. I like to be able to charge AA batteries for my flashlights or to keep my cell phone running.

There are many options out there for solar panels, and each have their strengths and minuses, but this setup is the best I’ve found for an out-of-the-box solution to making sure you have AA batteries for your electronics and can also charge your cell phone or tablet through a USB output.

Doan Magnesium Fire Starter

I’ve tried a LOT of fire starters out there over the years. After much thinking, research, and feedback, I think the Doan fire starter is the best overall solution. They’re very cheap, very portable, won’t ever run out of fire-starty stuff, and won’t get ruined when they’re wet.

Just don’t get a cheap knockoff one because the magnesium in those doesn’t work. The real thing is so cheap that there’s really no reason to go with anything else anyway.

SOG Seal Pup Survival Knife

I carried this knife’s big brother, the SOG Seal, in Africa, Iraq, and Afghanistan but it’s just a bit too big for my personal bug out bag gear at home.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know how important it is for me to cut down on weight and space as much as possible without sacrificing quality. This knife is the right balance for me of everything a good knife should be.

Fiskars X7 14″ Hatchet

You can certainly bang out a shelter and chop up firewood with a good, strong knife like the SOG Seal or Seal Pup but batoning is much harder than just using a good old-fashioned hatchet.

The Fiskars X7 is the one I chose to go with, and I recommend it for your bug out bag or camping gear, but you should also consider the Estwing E24A above. It was really a toss-up between the two when I got mine, and I did a crap-ton of research.

Sawyer Mini Portable Water Filter

I’ve tried several different water filtration systems but this is the best overall. It’s inexpensive, extremely portable, can be attached in-line to a Camelbak or similar system, and with the backflush syringe can filter 10’s of thousands of gallons. Per gallon of filtered water, it’s the cheapest thing out there.

Suunto M-3 D/L Compass

There are a few compasses that Suunto makes that are similar to this that would work very well but this is the one I landed on. I used my Army-issue tritium lensatic compass for a long time but wanted to drop the weight and space for something that would still work well. This one does.

The Best Prepper Websites and Online Resources

For this section, I’m going to list each website here and a blurb about it but if you head to the Resources and Recommendations page, you’ll also see the most recent posts for each blog that has an RSS I can tap into. This means that page will be updated pretty much live with the best articles on the web about prepper-related topics.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t other very good websites out there on prepping and survival. I just haven’t had a chance to check them all out. It also doesn’t mean there are a lot of really good sites out there, because there aren’t. Most of them suck.

The quotes for each are from the owner of the site:

Prepper/Survival Blogs

Backdoor Survival –

Backdoor Survival is a lifestyle website that promotes the pursuit of a preparedness lifestyle. It speaks to the need to prepare without fear and without being overwhelmed by the daunting nature of storing food, water and gear. At the same time, there are plenty of articles for learning life-skills such as fire-making, cooking from scratch, and making your own soaps, salves, and first aid remedies. I think of Backdoor Survival as a kinder, gentler, prepping and survival blog.

Gaye Levy consistently puts out some great information on her site. Her articles are well-researched and thorough – and relevant.

Prepper Website –

Prepper Website exists provide links to quality articles and websites that focus on preparing for emergencies, survival, homesteading, simple life and alternative news.

There are only a couple sites I’d list that don’t write their own material because almost all of them just post random articles and the worst of them just outright steal posts from people who take the time to actually research and write them. Todd’s site is different. It’s actually very useful. It’s like the Drudge Report of prepper information. Not only does he have a LOT of articles listed on his site, he personally vets each one. If you’re looking for a good article on some topic or a great list of sites to look into, this site is where to start.

Survival Sherpa –

This Todd writes survival articles. What I also like, other than the fact he has good information, is that he does videos as well. If you’re looking for bushcraft articles or DIY projects, check this one out.

American Preppers Network –

This site is a gateway to a LOT of information about prepping and survival. It’s not just a prepper website, it’s a community (several communities, actually) of preppers from all around the US. Their mission statement is, “To bring knowledge and understanding of living a Self-Reliant lifestyle into the mainstream and teach it to every household in America.”

Ready Nutrition –

My name is Tess Pennington and I am an author of two preparedness books: The Prepper’s Cookbook and The Prepper’s Blueprint, and founder of Ready Nutrition. I started my website as a testament to the preparedness path that I found myself on. As time went on, I realized how important it was to develop skills, plan accordingly and to be more mindful of the way we are living. Since then a great community has developed and I hope you will come and visit with us.

Tess Pennington has a very good thing going on with this site. She has some very thorough articles on more than just canning etc.

The Organic Prepper –

I have a background in alternative journalism. When I read the news, I automatically relate it to my two greatest passions, preparedness and nutrition-based health. This is evident in my website, where I tie all three subjects together. As well, I like to encourage those beginning their preparedness journey, so you’ll find a lot of articles geared towards those just getting started.

This is the prepper site to go to if you have an anti-GMO/vaccine or similar bent. Daisy doesn’t ONLY write about those topics but a lot of her articles have a sort of rational anarchy rant to them.

Prep for SHTF –

Preparing For SHTF is an Emergency Preparedness and Survival blog that touches on Homesteading, Bushcraft and other various skills needed to survive an impending disaster.

This site has a balance of bite-sized information or videos along with more thorough posts.

Tin Hat Ranch –

Sometimes campy, often entertaining, the Tin Hat Ranch is a unique website tied to an equally unique Youtube channel. While they solidly cover the tenants of emergency preparedness, survival gear, and a bit of homesteading, for subjects such as “How to Hide From Drones” and “How To Survive a Nuclear Bomb”, you might need to break out the Reynolds Wrap. All in all, the site is a great place to follow for new and old prepper’s alike.
 Some great information on this site but make sure you check out his youtube channel (listed in the menu at the site). He has over 20,000 subscribers to his channel and sometimes it’s just easier to watch someone than to read about it.

Mom With a Prep –

Mom with a PREP is a blog dedicated to helping families be prepared for whatever life throws at them, through learning more about emergency preparedness, survival, homesteading for the whole family.

This site is more about homesteading and gardening but is geared toward preppers (hence the name) and has prepping-specific information as well. The articles aren’t fluff so you’ll actually get something out of reading them.

Survival at Home –

Survival at Home is a site that focuses on homesteading and preparedness for the modern family.

Patrick has some really good information on his site about gardening, homesteading, food preservation, survival skills, and basic prepping. Unlike most sites out there, he writes good information and gives enough detail so you actually learn something.

The Prepper Project –

This site has several writers but they do a good job of making sure the articles are well-written and useful.

SHTF Preparedness –

SHTFpreparedness.com is an aggregator for the best prepping, homesteading and DIY articles from around the web

This is another prepper content curation site but Matty not only chooses each link carefully, he writes his own take on them instead of just pulling the intro from the post like most sites do.

Camping Survival Blog –

CampingSurvival.com. It’s not about the END OF THE WORLD – It’s not about surviving a hypothetical PLANE CRASH – It’s about the SATISFACTION YOU GET knowing you can take care of yourself and/or your family in ANY SITUATION, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE!

This site is a good mix of prepper information with some down-to-earth camping and outdoor articles. They have a separate site (in the quote) that sells camping- and survival-related gear.

Survival Mom –

The Survival Mom blog gives moms tools, tips, and strategies to help them worry less and enjoy their families more. Lisa Bedford, blog founder and editor, is also the author of Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Emergencies and Worst Case Scenarios.

One of the big ones out there in the online prepper world. Great articles on healthy living and preparedness. There’s a lot more to this site than it looks at first glance.

Offgrid Survival –

OFFGRID SURVIVAL, run by emergency preparedness expert Robert Richardson, Author of The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide, is a website devoted to giving its readers essential tactics and step-by-step instructions for surviving real-world disasters, threats, and crisis. From detailed articles on both urban and wilderness survival, to real-time preparedness news and threat alerts, OFFGRID SURVIVAL gives you real-world advice on how to survive the very real threats present in today’s society.

Very good and thorough articles about much more than just off-grid living. Good articles on camping, prepping, survival, and quite a bit more.

Survival Magazine –

This site has survival-related articles and a very strong facebook page following but one of its real strengths is its forum.

Food Storage and Survival –

Sharing the peace of preparedness from our family to yours. Simplified, no hype help with food storage, survival, preparedness, and self reliance.

Not only does this site have a ton of great food preservation, survival, and homesteading articles, it has its own podcast.

Ultimate Survival Tips –

This site has not only good survival-related articles, they have some really good product reviews and even some videos. I just found this site but I already like it.

Survival Blog

SurvivalBlog.com is a comprehensive blog on family preparedness that has been posted daily since 2005.  This site has an emphasis on “how to” practical skills and has more than 85,000 archived articles and letters.

This is James Wesley Rawles’ own website. It’s been around forever and has TONS of information on it. He has lots of people send in articles and they choose the best to post on the site.

Prepper/Survival Facebook Pages

You’ll notice that some of these pages belong to the blogs above but that’s not necessarily the case. These Facebook pages were chosen on their own merits because they provide good information outside of just reminding you when they publish posts on their site. Facebook pages that only promote their own website were not chosen.

Survival Watch

Survival Magazine

Homestead & Survival

The Survival Mom

Food Storage and Survival

American Preppers Network

Camping Survival

Prepper-related Forums

PrepperForum.net – This forum has grown quite a lot since I came across it during my last deployment to Afghanistan. They now have almost a quarter million posts and over 8600 members.

The Best Prepper Book Recommendations

There are many different kinds of books that could be listed here as the best book for preppers and those interested in survival but I have to keep the list manageable to be useful to people. I have a lot of these books myself but a few are those that have a crap-ton of really good reviews and were suggested to me.

In the future, I may divide this section into different categories but for the moment, this is essentially the list of books I’d recommend for pretty much anyone interested in prepping or just being prepared for emergencies. If you’re looking for a book to read or to give as a gift, this list will help you.

SAS Survival Guide – I haven’t found any book better for teaching survival skills. I’m not alone in thinking that either. Every time I ask for feedback on the best survival or prepper books out there, this book is recommended more than the others by far.

LDS Preparedness Manual – This book has a lot of information for people who would like to be prepared to bug in instead of bug out. It was written by several members 0f the LDS church so there are a few pages of religious information in it but the majority of the book by far is information on being prepared, and they do a good job with it.

The Prepper’s Blueprint – This book is more of a pure prepper book than the others and has tons of good information in it. This is the book you have in mind when you’re looking for a prepper book.

Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family – This book is a great complement to the Prepper’s Blueprint. Some of the information is obviously the same but it’s written from a different perspective and covers a few different scenarios.

Prepper’s Long term Survival Guide – This is a great book to get started. It has a good reference list in it that you can use to get even more information. This book is definitely written with practicality in mind.

The Encyclopedia of Country Living, 40th Anniversary Edition: The Original Manual of Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself – This book has a LOT of good info in it. If I were going to head off into the woods to start a small colony, this would be the book I’d take.

The Preppers Cookbook – Surviving most scenarios doesn’t have to mean eating bugs and snakes. It also doesn’t mean you have to be bored to death if you have to spend some time eating out of your survival stores. Not only that but there are some good recipes in there that you can use today, especially if you’re into canning or other food preservation.

The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way – Great book that covers a lot of what you need to know if someone needs medical attention but there isn’t a doctor or hospital around.

One Second After – This book is good for getting you in the mindset of what could happen if SHTF. It’s set just after an EMP hits the US and explores the changes in society and how people deal with things once normal life changes.

Ancestral Plants by Arthur Haines – You can never learn enough about what to eat out in the woods. The more you know, the more food will be available and the less likely it is that you’ll accidentally eat something to make you sick.

Going Home series by Angery American – If you liked One Second After, you’ll really like this set – and you can go through the whole series. It’s written in a very approachable way by A. American. Start with Going Home and read the whole Survivalist set.

How you can recommend things to add to this list

If you have any suggestions as to what I should put on the main Resources and Recommendations Page or any feedback on what’s already on it, you’ll find a link in my newsletter that I occasionally send out. If you aren’t already subscribed, you really should.

One of the big benefits to signing up is that I send out a quick email with it when I write a new post. As I’m sure you’ve discovered by now, I don’t post very often, due to the research and details that I put in my posts and occasionally several weeks go by between posts. Getting the newsletter means you won’t have to keep checking my site to see if I’ve written something new.

Because people who sign up for the newsletter are much more of the target audience for my site and think more like I do about things, I’ve decided to start using that as a vehicle for more feedback and ideas, such as for this project. More will follow.

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About graywolfsurvival.com

I am a former federal agent and military veteran who has deployed to combat theaters in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and have almost three decades of military and military contracting experience.

My goal is to help families to understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life against real threats, without all the end-of-the-world doomsday crap.

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