The winter months can be, at times, either monotonous or bustling,much like any other season. However, due to the piercing of cold and the lonesome feel of naked earth, one can be easily persuaded into motionless, lazy days of rest and tranquil. It is those monotonous moments we will discuss in this article. More precisely, we will discuss about the need to create a survival notebook.
It is so easy to fall into the wish of getting wrapped up in a cozy quilt and that brand new season of your favorite show on Netflix and doze off on those cold, snowy, seemingly worthless days. (Though I am sure a good many of you have full, regular schedules, rain or shine, snow or high water).
However, for a multitude of reasons, this time can actually be a preppers most prominent and valuable time to get things done that may typically sit on the back burner for more important work that exists outside the home.
Next time you are curled up on your couch letting time slip you by, think about this: all the simple, and sometimes mindless, preparations you could be getting done in that time. You know, the prep stuff that no one ever thinks about due to their clouded vision of “bigger pictures”.
Let’s talk about one of those quiet time preparations that is not only easy to do, but generally speaking, can be dire to your prepping needs:Creating a survival notebook. A survival notebook is important for many reasons; the most important being that it helps you to stay shipshape and to keep all your preparations in order.
Why Bother With a Survival Notebook?
If you have been around the prepper scene for any amount of time, you have probably realized that the essentials for survival can be separated into three common categories:
Knowledge is most important on this list. What you can do and how you can go about doing it.With a small dose of knowledge, ability can and will kick into overdrive.
This is where the reasoning behind compiling a survival notebook will come to light, just be patient. You may be questioning the point in writing down survival tidbits when the World Wide Web is right at your fingertips.
Why waste time with note taking when all the information one could ever process is directly at one’s fingertips? Google, duh… I mean, how did you get here? In today’s world,knowledge is the internet. It has become rare for people to actually own a reference book of any sort.
Here is the kicker. Yes, the internet is a hell of a tool. It really surpasses any tool in (well-recited) history. Information overload. However, it has the potential to fail just like anything else. And when it does, well, we all know what that means. The collective housewife will erupt with anguish at not knowing what the Kardashians are up to.
No, seriously, there would be know more, “let’s just look it up”. You would have to rely on what is already known to you. No more googling how to build a fire (this is simply an allusion to a much deeper problem). There would be no cheat sheets to follow.
We have become far too dependent upon our smartphones for knowledge to survive. A power outage can happen at the drop of a dime. It occurred before due to any number of disasters (many that are not so far fetched at all). Once that power is disconnected for any good amount of time, that dependency on the lifeline better known as a cellphone will be done.
Getting down to business, the point of this “googled” article: we all need some sort of printed survival information. Rather than bookmarking or favoring those handy, informational survival pages, articles and websites, simply categorize and jot down the bare specifics that are actually needed.
Survival reference books are much like the internet, only they take up real space. They contain a ton of gibberish (or filler words) and only a small portion of actual meat and potatoes (granted, there are some very good, info-packed survival books out there).
Creating a survival notebook of your own will allow you to narrow down exactly what you and your family will need should trouble arise near you. And the info will be in your hand, all sorted by yours truly, and precise to what you need.
The survival notebook concept will save you on a ton of space. It will also help you keep the information (or knowledge) you need in a single, organized space. It may take multiple notebooks to satisfy yourself,but those several notebooks will still take up less space than a bulky pile of books.
Recipes, formulas, important information in general, all at your fingertips (even without the holy internet). That is the reason you should create a personalized survival notebook.
Creating a Survival Notebook
The topics you can sub-categorize in your survival notebook are nearly endless. However, without some structure, you will find the task overwhelming and probably very hard to keep in any good order.
Using just a few generic categories, you can keep your survival information in an organized manner.
Personal info is the first thing that you should jot down in your survival notebook. This segment is where you should have copies of important documents to your family.
Things such as:
- birth certificates
- social security card copies
- marriage license
- documents proving ownership of certain things
- children’s school records
- car titles and property deeds
- medical and dental records
- bank account info as well as other financial record information.
One major aspect of prepping is collecting all the prep gear and supplies you will need if or when SHTF. For obvious reasons, your stockpile is more than likely scattered out (unless you are working with a bunk-situation). This certainly makes it a bit challenging to know what you’ve got, and where it is.
Keeping an inventory on the contents of your stockpile will help you out in several ways. The inventory list should contain what you have and where it is located, as well as when it expires and needs to be replenished.
Simply record each item, its location, and the quantity that’s available in said location. Using a simple spreadsheet software is the easiest way to create this list. There are a million ways to skin a cat, and there is no difference here. You can create the list in any old order, just so long as it makes sense to you. The most important thing to keep in mind with the inventory list is keeping it updated.
Bug Out Strategy
Bug out strategies are mighty important for any number of reasons. This is why it belongs in the survival notebook. It should be written out clearly for easy and effective future reference.
Without going too far overboard, write out multiple plans, their necessary variations, and all the essential information that go along with the“plan”. This includes all the alternate or backup routes.
Related article: Know Your Region Before Disaster Strikes
You’ll definitely want to include some maps in your notebook. Local maps, state maps; whatever you think will be necessary (and maps are always necessary). You will want to focus on obtaining the most detailed maps you can for the area around your home, your destination and all the space between.
It would be wise to have them waterproofed as well as any other dire information in the survival notebook.
Local Sources for Resources
Resources, resources, resources…Oh, how essential resources are to us.However, they are often forgotten, left to mold away in the recesses of our pea brains.
There are a ton of local sources for your needed resources all around you. No, I am not considering “looting” here, however, in dire times…you get the picture. It is good to know where all the local hardware-like stores are inyour specific area. Another thing to keep note of are the warehouses that surround your area.
Looting is a bit of a touchy subject for obvious reasons and must be used as a last resort sort of thing. Used incorrect situations, looting can actually be exactly what it takes to not only keep yourself alive but the community as well. When the shit really smacks the fan, rebuilding communities and helping others will be the priority. You can help this scenario simply by being aware of what resources are where.
Map of Water Sources
Needless to say, water is of some importance to your survival. Surely you will have prepped enough to have some clean drinking water on hand but rest assured, it will run out. Your survival notebook should have maps of all the potential water sources that are close to your home or bug out area.
It is best to use quality topographical maps as these will show canals and streams that you may have never before known existed so near to you.
Ideas and Information
And here is the belly of the beast! Any little tidbit that may come in handy in a SHTF scenario goes in this portion of the custom survival notebook. Obviously,you aren’t going to put things you know by heart in here. This section is more reserved for the things that may not be so easy to remember, or things that you have not yet put into practice.
Here you can also copy down any how-to guides you deem necessary. The best way to decide if something is necessary to jot down or not is by self-evaluation. If you haven’t done something enough times to feel fluent with it, you should have directions on hand. This will take away much nightmare and help you keep your head during the scenario.
Your best bet is to find a way to index the information you file in this section. Once you begin to add this info to your survival notebook, you will realize how quickly it can all get jumbled up together, and therefore be deemed useless.Organizing and categorizing and indexing it will save you a ton of time later.
Recipe & Formula Collection
In this portion, specifics are important. You will need a multitude of information. Think about soap making. Yes, it is important to have the recipe for soap making, but what about the way for obtaining lye when the grocery store has been ransacked and forgotten? Think of the countless stuff we use every day. Make a list of the most needed things, and search how to make them or alternatives to them.
As for food recipes, you will want to take into consideration that you will probably not be cooking things with the same ingredients that you do today (back to the whole ransacked grocery store deal). You will need to compile recipes that are going to match your means of cooking as well as what foods will be available to you.
Of course, your survival notebook should be a personal reference to the area that is around you. However, it would not hurt to have made multiple survival notebooks to certain areas/scenarios. For example, you may want to have a survival notebook that focuses mainly on urban-type survival and one that is wilderness based. They both have their obvious differences, and will both surely prove to be useful at some point or another.
Copy, paste, print, your best friend this winter. It is extremely easy to make these notebooks which in turn will make survival that much easier (or as easy as it can be).
Buy yourself some good printer ink, a scrapbook, several pens and some five subject notebooks, and get creative.
Once you get rolling with your survival notebook project, you will find that it is not only easy and fast going, but a lot of fun as well, that is if you are into survival and all… You will begin to pick up on things you may have never previously thought about. Your survival know-how repertoire will expand immensely. And all in the name of prepping!
Stay warm preppers!
This article has been written by Jonathan Blaylock for Prepper’s Will.