As history showed us, human beings were nomads and that is how they evolved. Movement has always been and still is the best human survival strategy. Staying in the same place too long is dangerous when the world around you crumbles. Becoming a nomad prepper makes sense when you can no longer rely on civilization.
Survival is a tricky thing in “normal conditions” and it becomes even more challenging when you are constantly moving from one place to another. Mobile survival is not for everyone and it requires a certain set of survival skills.
When you cannot rely upon human civilization during a disaster situation, mobile survival remains the only option to make it out alive. To survive as a nomad prepper one needs to be resourceful and be wary when dealing with other people. Everyone is trying to survive and the strangers you encounter during your journey can be your worst enemy or your best friends. Act cautiously and don’t be stupid.
Although mobile survival is recommended for most emergency situations, it also has a big downside: constant movement is tiring. The nomad prepper needs to be fit and active to survive. If you are the sedentary type of person, becoming a nomad prepper overnight just isn’t possible. The following keys to becoming a nomad prepper will help you decide if the nomad life is right for you and your family.
Essentials to becoming a Nomad Prepper:
As with every other survival strategy, there are certain requirements and keys that are fundamental for a nomad prepper. These are the very basics that will help you establish a foundation for mobile survival.
Know your region and environment
This is mandatory for a nomad prepper, but it’s also a requirement for the stationary one. The type of environment you have to deal with can greatly change your prepping plans. This all depends on which part of the country you are in. Are you a rural or an urban prepper? Which season of the year it is and which season would be the most problematic for your mobile survival.
As a nomad prepper, you cannot survive long-term if you don’t know what is around you and how you can use it to your advantage. You should familiarize yourself with the local wildlife, plants, animals and edible and medicinal plants. Even more, you should know of any dangers or advantages specific to your local region. Know what grows and how to use it, what animals live there, where they go, what they eat and so on.
Suggested reading: Know Your Region Before Disaster Strikes
The weather patterns are especially important for a nomad prepper as building the proper shelter can be time consuming under certain conditions. Learn to look for changes in the sky, cloud formation and moon cycles. Take the time to study your region now and I guarantee it will pay off in the future.
Know the people from your local area
This is just as important as knowing the environment and a nomad prepper will often interact with other people. Knowing who shares the same living space with you becomes mandatory and you should know how people are like. There are no two people alike and their behavior will greatly vary during an emergency situation. There are certain differences between urban and rural people as it is, imagine how it will all unfold during a SHTF situation. My advice would be to make friends where you can and stay away from opportunistic people. You don’t have to like a person to benefit from the skill and experience they can bring during a crisis, but never let your guard down. Survival becomes a competition when people get desperate.
Although human beings are social creatures, it’s their behavior under stress that gets them killed. As a nomad prepper you should acknowledge that you would some point need to rely upon one another. Don’t drive people away unless you are certain they are a danger for you and your party. Learn to pick up on antisocial behaviors and don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of. Leverage the resources and skills of good people to increase your chances of survival.
Have caches, hideouts and temporary shelters
As a nomad prepper you should have multiple bases and hideouts around the region you are traveling. For easy access and resupplying, think about caching items you would need in a couple of months. A temporary shelter will help you eat and rest in peace and store your pack while you’re out hunting or scavenging. You don’t need to make one of your own and you could use one that is already in existence. A cave, an abandoned cabin or house will work just fine. Just make sure nobody’s around to claim it since you don’t need uninvited guests when you’re resting.
As a nomad prepper, it is important to understand that hiding your supplies is different than caching them. These are two different tactics. A cache is a long-term investment meant to provide you with help when all other options fail. Hiding your supplies means securing your valuables from an unwanted intrusion, but at the same time, it also means those supplies will be handily available in case you need them.
Related article: A Prepper’s Cache, an aid during harsh times
For a nomad prepper, brutal cold and scorching heat are the worst enemies. Besides posing a real threat for your physical integrity, it will also diminish the amount of food available. The purpose of having multiple bases is to stay consistent and have stable places to go to during emergency situations.
The weight, your constant traveling partner
A nomad prepper should carry less weight if he or she needs to travel over long distances. If you have to carry everything on your back, everywhere you go, at least make sure you are prepared to do so. Choose a backpack suitable for you to avoid needles injury. Even more, there are all sorts of pack mules that you can use to ease the load. Pick the one you think it’s best for you and make sure you have enough room for everything you need, not want. Some people prefer using a mountain bike or a fat bike to haul additional items and it’s a good option if you can afford one.
Before you head out into the woods, load your backpack and carrying mule with a good weight and carry them around for two hours. This will show you if they hold up to the weight and if you are able to carry them. Now that you have the backpack and carrying mule, you’ll need stuff to put in them. The following basic checklist is mandatory for everyone that plans on bugging out.
Survival items for a Nomad Prepper
You need at least two outfits, the one you are wearing and the one in your backpack. Think about outfits appropriate for the seasons in your region. The ones that enable you to travel comfortably during both summer and winter weather. This depends on where you live and you might not need heavy duty winter clothes.
Hiking boots or shoes that are waterproof and insulted are a must. In my bug out bag I have a pair of hiking shoes that I plan on using once my boots are damaged beyond salvage. Your feet are your main means of transportation and you need to take good care of them. Buy high-quality and your feet will thank you in the long run. Socks are also a must and I have 4 pairs. They will keep your feet safe when walking and protect you from critters and bugs.
A hat or a bandana are important items, both in hot and cold climates. This is one of the most overlooked clothing item and people don’t realize it can make a big difference. A nomad prepper should be able to protect his head from the heat and cold. The head and face are the body parts that need extra protection during the colder months.
Keeping a good hygiene as a nomad prepper is highly important and it will keep you healthy. You will want to bathe where you can and you will need some basic items. Soap is a must and you should bring a few bar of soaps since it will last longer than liquid soap. Alternatively you should learn how to identify soap plants and use them. A toothbrush and toothpaste is also required and you have to improvise when you run out of. You can make your own toothpaste by mixing salt water and crushed mint leaves and you can improvise a toothbrush from alfalfa roots.
Related reading: How To Find and Use Soap Plants
As toilet paper goes, you will run out of no matter how much you bring with you. The alternative here is to wipe your bottom with leaves or wash off in a nearby body of water. You can also bring an extra washcloth that you would use only for this purpose. After each use you should scrape it on rocks and boil it for a few minutes.
Injuries always occur when you less expect it. A nomad prepper will travel through rough terrain and one needs to be prepared to face the unexpected. A first-aid kit designed for multiple purposes becomes a must. You can buy a good one or compile one yourself by following this article.
No matter how you look at things, a nomad prepper needs to cook in a survival situation. If you don’t do it, you will starve. You can’t eat raw food forever and you need a hot meal to improve your digestion and boost your morale. A camping stove set, cooking pots, some collapsible dishes and a spork or two can be bought in the camping aisle of most stores. Think about getting a mortar and pestle as it will come in handy as a food processor in a world without electricity.
Foraging, fishing and hunting supplies
Besides the food you bring, you also have to think about how you will procure food once you consume all your supplies. Foraging, hunting and fishing will become your main “time wasters” as a nomad prepper and you need to have all the tools you need. What you bring with you is greatly influenced by your knowledge and past experience. Bring only what you can use well and avoid carrying dead weight.
Water purifying items
I’ve been discussing this topic for quite some while now and if you are familiar with my website you should know it by now. Purifying tablets, water filters and even the amazing Puralytics solar bag will work great in the field. It’s all up to you and the budget you have as a nomad prepper.
Shelter and sleeping
The debate here could get quite long and while some people prefer sleeping bags and survival hammocks, others will do just fine with a tarp or a tent. In my experience, I found that you should bring only what you can use for the type of environment you are dealing with. You can make various types of shelters from a sleeping bag, but nothing beats a good tent or a hammock combined with a sleeping bag.
Related article: How To Make a Tarp Shelter – 15 Designs with Photos
Additionally you would need the following:
- A rope or paracord. These are perhaps the most useful items you can carry and you might want a variety of different thicknesses.
- A good knife. I have one on me at all times and I’m also carrying a multi-tool which includes a sharp knife. It’s my backup solution.
- The type of weapons that can be used for both defensive or offensive purposes but also for hunting.
- Map and compass. It will help you figure out the direction and stay off trail if needed.
- A fire starter. Here the options are endless. I have an all-weather strike match and my knife has a ferro rod included.
- A hatchet and/or machete. Both have advantages and if you can afford them is best to have both.
- Communication device. Here it all depends if you want to keep in contact with the outside world or just listen and pick up useful information.
A final word
Becoming a nomad prepper is not an easy task and few people can handle this lifestyle. If you can’t remember the last time you carried a backpack into the woods or went camping, it might not be for you. While you may be forced to bug out during a disaster, becoming a nomad prepper takes much more experience than just traveling to a safe spot. You have to understand that your journey may never be over and you won’t be able to settle in a single spot. A nomad prepper moves from one spot to another, while using available resources without cannibalizing them. He or she may have a network of shelters and caches which can be used over long periods of time.