Nancy Levant

Why I Am a Happy Prepper

Why I Am a Happy Prepper


I am not new to prepping.  My mother and grandmother stored what they called “goods” in case of a “rainy day”.  Both lived through the Great Depression, and both experienced need.  As such, they become what we, today, call “preppers”.

I grew up in a house with an old, unused staircase, which my mother turned into her “goods pantry”.  Each step was filled with canned and boxed goods stacked three to four cans/boxes high.  She also stored paper goods in the staircase.  My parents stored wood and lumber, coal, paper, and every tool imaginable in the basement.  My father also stored tires of multiple sizes; also a remnant of Depression-era need.  My grandmother stored garden seeds, toilet paper, newspaper, canned foods, flour, yeast, lard, Crisco, salt, materials, thread and blankets.

I always kept a month’s-worth of food until I met a Mormon family in my neighborhood that had two years of food and supplies stored.  Their stores were the most amazing thing I had ever seen, and they were instrumental in teaching me about actual food storage.  Since that time I have maintained a six-month to one-year supply on hand.  I have always wanted a two-year supply such as theirs and keep working toward that goal.

Storing “goods” can and should be about “preparedness,” but it is also about security from unemployment, sickness, mechanical problems with automobiles, and any manner of “rainy days”.  Clearly, having all needs on hand is also about pandemics, banking and market failures, wars, martial law, sheltering in place, potential mass unrest, and every manner of “storm” in today’s society.  In essence, if you are not prepping in this world, you are beyond foolish if not suicidal.

For years I have maintained primary lists for food, medical supplies, tools, paper and personal products, pet needs, heat and lighting needs, clothing needs, and material/sewing needs.  I keep these lists in my purse so that when I shop, I can watch for sale items.  I also watch many prepping sites to learn from others, and I have learned a great deal.  For instance, when I learned about candle heat using clay pots, I bought the supplies and, unbelievably, they produce a lot of heat. 

During power outages during the winter months, I learned to drape large tables with blankets and to place couch cushions under the tables and clay pot and candle heaters.  Seventy-two degrees is achieved in less than 20 minutes using three tea candles to keep you warm for four+ hours.  This system also works in small rooms.

I have purchased a 4’ X  2’ cooking grate with legs, which covers my fire pit, and I replaced all cookware with cast iron cookware; the best investment I’ve ever made.  I also purchased two quality shovels, a hand ax and wood saw; ropes, matches, clothes pins, tarps, and eight five-gallon water containers.  I also store non-potable water for washing/cleaning and toilet flushing by keeping all bleach, vinegar, and other larger-sized containers; today I have over 100 gallons stored.  I change out all water every four months.  I also purchased two Water Bobs, and on my list is a 275 gallon water tank for potable water.

Now is the time to start watching for canned good sales, which appear before and after Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Buy green beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and bulk stuffing.  Also, now is the time to buy non-GMO heirloom seeds, which are all on sale in many online locations.  I buy seeds all winter long and pay next to nothing for them, and I store them in their mailing packages in drawers (darkness) in an unheated room.

Remember to buy sugars, salt, pepper, oil and shortening, rice, peanut butter, jellies, crackers, ready-to-eat soups and raviolis, pasta noodles and sauces, and dried beans.  Canned hams work well for all bean dishes.  Just keep adding to your supplies, and don’t forget water and secondary heat sources.  Minimally, we all need six-months-worth of food and supplies; a year is better.

Buy candles and oil lamps, blankets, socks, sweat shirts and sweaters in second-hand stores, and watch for hand and sharpening tools.

Stock up.  Winter is coming, assuredly in many more ways than one.  Being prepared makes you safe and happy.

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