Layered Prepping – By Chefbear

Here’s a post from Chefbear.  He’s been under the weather lately, but he sent me this article and I told him I’d be happy to post it this week.  Thanks for the post and hope you’re feeling better soon, Chefbear!

-Jarhead Survivor


Hey folks, sorry it’s been a while since I have written anything, things have been a bit crazy lately… but Jarhead’s recent post about “your 3 essential survival items” got me thinking. I am a big fan of redundancy in my gear/supplies, as I imagine most folks using this site prefer too. I like to call it “Layered Prepping”, think of it like an onion; it has different layers going from the largest on the outside, to small at the interior. The rings represent different quantities, methods and locations of your prepped gear/supplies. The bigger the ring the more gear/supplies you have in a particular location; I think of the outer layer as my home, and the smallest one as what I carry all day, every day. I break it down further and use the middle layers to represent what I would carry when I am doing different activities such as hunting in winter, fishing in spring and what I always keep in my JEEP.

Sure this isn’t revolutionary concept that’s going to turn the prepping community “on its ear”, but I find it helps put things perspective and makes it easier for me to explain prepping to friends/family that aren’t into it. Over the years I have found myself in some interesting situations where my gear/skills/both helped to protect/provide for myself &/ others; Due to some of the experiences I have lived through I don’t like hoping that I will be near my vehicle when I need things like my first-aid kit. Granted I don’t foresee myself or anyone else lugging around a full-blown trauma kit, that’s just not practical; but having a few key items (i.e. pocket knife/multi-tool/ flashlight/firestarter/bandages) on your person can help you come out on-top of a situation that could otherwise be pretty rough. Having gear on you all the time can make a bad situation a little more tolerable. Don’t forget, Mr. Murphy REALLY likes to catch you off-guard!

Over the years I have attempted to get dozens of loved ones to try and take prepping seriously; The “layered prepping” explanation seems to help get the point across with much less confusion.

The scenario I have used to start the conversation is- You are just setting off home from a hunting spot in the mountains of Madison VA, suddenly a tire blows-out on one of the smaller access trails (most are VERY narrow, off the beaten-path deep in the hunting reserve where very few people ever go, no cell-service, several miles to civilization and even the C.B. radio doesn’t work well in the area because of the terrain). The tough economic times we are in have forced most of the families in the area to move, now there aren’t any occupied homes for miles, and miles. The terrain is pretty tough… rocky, and mountainous; the area also holds one VA’s highest populations of black bears & coyotes, both are nocturnal.

OK, enough explanation, I am going to outline my “layered prepping” concept.

Vehicle- Pioneer kit: Max-Axe ( – This thing ROCKS!), full tool-box, 2- 1″x6” boards 3’L, Camo duct-tape, super-glue, 2T floor-jack, small air-acetylene torch, jump-pack, jumper-cables; Fixed-blade –w- gut-hook, Wusthof professional kitchen knife-kit; 2 heavy ratchet-straps; food for 3 days (6 MRE’s), 5 gal. water & filtration system, tea/instant-coffee packs; 2 Princeton-Tech LED headlamps, Mag-Light, shop-light; Set of clothes, extra cold weather gear, blaze orange coat; Extensive first aid kit (includes field surgeon kit, small fishing/snare/fire-starting kit); Wiggy’s sleeping bag, Poncho, Tube-tent; M1911 pistol with 24-230g Federal hydra-shocks & 50-180g Winchester FMJ in a mounted lock-box; Shakespeare “Micro-Light” 2-pc fishing pole, small tackle-box; Phone charger; Whisper-light stove, 2 fuel bottles, Titanium cooking set; Fire-starting kit… I am sure I missed a few items, but that’s pretty much everything I keep in my vehicle.

Hunting Pack- Condensed First aid kit (smaller version of above); 3 fire-steel (1 sewn into pack) tinder; 2 MRE’s & 6 Quaker oatmeal breakfast-bars, instant coffee/tea; “Tommy-cooker” Folding-stove & trioxane fuel-tabs; 2qt arctic canteen cup; water filter & purification tablets; Army-issue arctic Camel-bak; sheath knife, multi-tool, hatchet (3” blade knife in handle), machete; Military poncho & liner; Socks, neck gaiter; ammo for the firearm I have, small gun cleaning-kit; zip-top bags, lawn/leaf bags; Princeton-Tech headlamp, blood-tracking light (sheath stitched onto headlamp strap); Hot-Hands; Super-glue/duct-tape/parachord

Pockets/Belt- Cold Steel Bushman in a custom Zytel sheath (designed to be used as a spear-head. I put a basic first-aid & fishing kit, fire-steel and screw to secure the knife to a shaft. Everything fits inside the handle, I carved cedar plugs to keep everything in place); M1911 & 3 mags (the mags different ammo in each); 4” lock-back knife, Gerber multi-tool; Mini-Maglight, Princeton-Tech headlamp; extra gloves/knit-cap/socks; hot-hands; super-glue/duct tape/parachord; Cell phone, portable CB; 2qt Arctic canteen & cup (insulated case w strap).

If you didn’t notice, I keep multiples of essential items like flashlights/first-aid/fire-starting supplies, not only across the different layers of prepping (i.e. vehicle, pack, person), but also multiples in the same storage location, the reason is pretty obvious (in my opinion)… To improve the odds of having what you need, when you REALLY need them! Also, I know it seems like there is a TON of stuff in my pack/pockets, however it’s not as bad as it sounds. My pack is a modified Army Special-Forces “patrol pack”, it’s lighter than a book-bag but it’s bigger/tougher. I have walked up-and-down mountains all day hunting squirrels/rabbits and it wasn’t uncomfortable at all. During hunting season I keep much more on my person than I do the rest of the year, things like calls/quick-clot/batteries/bandages/etc.

This is not a complete list of items I have in my preps; this is only meant to show how I achieve redundancy in my gear. This concept is important to me, and should be for all preppers; If you spend any amount of time outdoors, away from civilization it’s VITAL. When you’re in the woods around here it’s not like there’s a 7-11 around the corner!

Theoretically if you implement this concept, you are statistically more likely to have essential gear when you need it

OK, now it’s your turn…

Do you have redundancy built-into your preps? In your opinion, what do you think is important to keep multiples of? It can be incredibly difficult getting folks to talk about prepping ,there is quite a bit of social-stigma attached to preppers… do you think this explanation method will help convince family/friends to consider prepping? What would you say to a friend/family-member to get them prepping?