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It seems that most discussions about preparedness often revolve around guns, tools and gear. Sometimes we overspend, but today let’s take a look at things you can do that won’t cost you a dime. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and stop spending so much money.
Gear is great, but knowledge and practice are more important. Here are five free things you can do to be better prepared:
Survival Prep Practices
1. Get into shape.
This is, by far, one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of survival. Being fit is necessary, regardless of whether you’re “bugging in” our “bugging out.” You cannot afford to have your body fail you. The amount of energy you’ll expend on a daily basis will increase, the amount of food you’ll be able to procure will decrease and a sick body just won’t be able to cope with that.
Now, you might be thinking you’ll need to buy weights to use at home. Yet there are many at-home workouts  that only use your body weight. They focus on exercises such as jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, squats, leg raises and so on. Of course, you should check with your doctor to see what you can and cannot do. Show him or her the list of exercises, but consider holding off on the real reason why you’re doing this. They might not understand.
2. Make a plan.
Not that I’m making you choose, but if you had a bug-out plan and no bug-out bag, you might be better off than someone who has a BOB but no clue as to how to evacuate.
Making a survival plan isn’t hard. The hardest part is figuring out the various survival scenarios you might have to face. You’ve basically got three main categories: bugging in, bugging out and getting home.
Now, the more family members you have to take care of, the more elaborate the plans. If you have pets, you have to take care of them, too. As long as you have pen and paper or a computer, you can write down your emergency plans  and improve them over time.
3. Make an inventory of everything you have.
Speaking of plans, how about you make an inventory of all the things you have in your home that could be useful during a crisis? Hint: pretty much anything can be of value. When’s the last time you went through all the bags of old clothes and items in your attic? I bet you can find a lot of things up there you thought you’d never use.
Make an inventory and crisscross it with the list of survival items you were going to purchase.
4. Learn a new skill.
The list of survival and survival prep skills you could learn is a long one, but don’t let that intimidate you. Making primitive tools and weapons (mortar and pestle, tomahawks, fishing spears, slingshots), starting a fire, finding water, crossing a river, signaling for help, escaping a burning building, fixing various things around the house – all of these can be learned for free or almost for free.
If you’re thinking about bugging in during the next disaster, you might be interested to learn:
- splitting wood
- milking a cow
- washing clothes by hand 
- planning your garden
- recognizing and foraging for wild edibles (some of them may be in your backyard)
…and on and on.
5. Hunt coupons.
Coupons can help you save a lot of money on preps in the long run. If you’re smart enough to use them during sales periods, you might even be able to get some items completely free! The coupon hunt will take a lot of time, though. You’ll have to look all over the Internet, subscribe to a bunch of newsletters, look for them in newspapers and closely monitor when the survival items you want are on sale.
This means you have to know what you want. Make a list of items to purchase. If you do it in excel, you’ll also keep track of how much you spent, so you can make a weekly average and try to keep it as low as possible.
That’s our list – what would you add to it? What “free preps” did we forget? Share your advice in the section below: