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My Campsite (11,300') Near Forester Pass in Kings Canyon National Park
If you don't know what “off the grid”, “bug out bag” and “WSHF” mean, you are not a “Prepper”. Preppers are people who are training themselves to be self reliant with survival skills if there is a natural or man-made disaster.
Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy are good examples of what happens when natural disasters can overwhelm infrastructure quickly leading to chaos and lawlessness. Other natural disasters are earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods. There is also the possibility of a massive epidemic or the loss of the electric grid because of hackers.
I am not a Mormon but the LDS have made it a church wide mandate for members to be prepared for disasters. Here is an example of preparedness literature they make available. https://www.ldsavow.com/PrepManualGeneral.html
People who live in rural areas expect power outages on a regular basis and many have portable generators than can run their well pumps, blower motors in their heaters and refrigerators. Most of their waste disposal is on site and gravity operated.
I think it is reasonable to consider being prepared for the possibility of some kind of disaster that could mean the loss of police and fire services in addition to access to food, water and shelter. Many preppers put a great deal of thought into self defense and the thought that they must be prepared for at least a 72 hour period of time where they are on their own to fend for themselves. Obviously there are those who take their concerns much further and have hardened bunkers built in secret locations and stocked with supplies for many months.
Survival skills are something everyone should have. For example, there is no excuse for an able bodied adult not knowing how to swim. Very few people have the survival skills of a Bear Grills or Les Stroud but anyone who is familiar with camping has a start in self-reliance. Most individuals, who camp, drive to campgrounds, where there are often potable water and lavatory facilities. What they usually bring with them are tents, sleeping bags, food, a portable stove and extra clothes. In a sense campers are already preppers since they can live away from city services. The whole idea in dealing with the elements is staying warm, dry, hydrated and fed. You should also include, “defended” but it is not the primary concern.
Let’s take this one step further. Those folks who are backpackers can take everything they need to survive on their back in a backpack. Multi Day backpackers are already survivalists. They have their food, shelter, sleeping gear, clothing, light, a water filter or pills and protection with them. Additionally, they are physically fit, have navigational equipment and skills and can move through the wilderness without trails. Their pack (bug out bag) is practical and manageable. A 72-hour bag could be less than 40 liters. All they need to do is keep their pack packed in their house and ready to go. They will need to make seasonal adjustments with gear like a warmer sleeping bag in the winter.
My recommendation to those folks on YouTube who discuss the contents of their bug out bags and include 15 or more pounds of ordnance is to spend a couple of weeks backpacking in the wilderness. Use the trails at first and then practice navigating off the trails. I think you may find that a good folding knife, CCW permit and a handgun are enough ordnance.
More preparation than this is up to you but this is perhaps a place to begin.