The Prepper Schema: Getting the Knowledge You Need to Prep

Sam was looking forward to the evening.  Earlier he had spent time cleaning up the backyard and setting out the new fire pit.  His friends were coming over to sit around the new fire pit, share some adult beverages and reminisce about old times.  Sam even had all the ingredients to make smores if the evening permitted.

John and Pam arrived just in time and everyone went out back, coolers in tow, to sit around the fire and enjoy the cool crisp evening. Karen, Sam’s wife, shared her excitement about having a fire pit that they could sit around on evenings like this.

The nice stack of wood sitting close to the fire pit ensured that they could keep the fire going well into the evening.  Sam arranged the big pieces of wood, placed a firelog in the middle and lit both ends.

Sam’s excitement quickly eased as he realized the firelog wasn’t going to catch the bigger logs on fire.  John, being the nice, quiet friend, just stood back to see what would happen.

“This firelog is a dud,” exclaimed Sam.  “I can’t believe this!  I don’t have any gas or charcoal starter to get these big logs started,” he said.

Noticing his friend’s frustration, John spoke up.  “You need to start your fire off with smaller pieces,” he said.  “Big logs will sustain the fire for a long time, but you need smaller pieces to get it started. Do you have a knife or a small ax,” he added.

Sam retrieved a hatchet from the garage.  “This used to be my dad’s.  I’ve never used before” he mentioned.

John took the hatchet and felt the edge.  “It will do for tonight.  But you’ll have to sharpen it,” he mentioned.

John took the hatchet and stood a small log on its end.  He placed the hatchet on the top end and then used another log to hit the hatchet. The hatchet started to split the bigger log into two pieces.  John repeated this over and over until he had various sized pieces.

John gathered the pieces together in different sized stacks.  He had a stack of pieces the thickness of toothpicks, the thickness of pencils and the thickness of his thumb.  He also had a few bigger pieces than that, but these were starting to resemble big pieces of wood, Sam thought to himself.

John asked Sam if he had a cotton ball and some Petroleum Jelly. Sam hurried into the house and came back with a package of cotton balls and a big tub of Petroleum Jelly.  “Smear some Petroleum Jelly all over a cotton ball really good John,” Sam said.  John complied.

Sam laid down two big logs in the center of the fire pit.  He placed the cotton ball on top, in the center.  He then started stacking the stacks of wood on top of the cotton ball from the smallest thickness to the biggest.  He left a small opening where a match could get in. Sam realized he was making a teepee type structure with the wood.  After laying some bigger pieces onto the teepee, John asked Sam to light the cotton ball with a match.

Sam struck a match and ignited the cotton ball.  The cotton ball caught the smaller pieces of wood on fire, which caught the bigger pieces of wood and in no time, the fire pit was roaring!

“Where did you learn to build a fire like that,” asked Sam.  “My grandfather used to take me camping when I was younger.  We used to build fires like that all the time,” John responded.

“I guess you’re never too old to learn new tricks, especially how to make fire,” Sam said.  “Yeah, no more wasting money on those firelogs for you,” John laughed.

Knowledge is Important!

Although many of you reading this article know the process described above in making a fire, you can bet that something like this scenario gets played out often.  Many people out there just don’t know how to build something as simple as a fire.

But in all fairness to the “Sam’s” out there, everyone needs to learn at some time.  Whether that is when you’re young with a parent on a camping trip or older trying to get your first fire pit fire going, the basics of fire craft need to be learned.

And that’s the way it is with everything in preparedness!  We all need to start somewhere!  We all need to have a basic understanding of the theory, concepts, and basics of preparedness. This is why learning and obtaining knowledge is so important.

Build On What You Know

For example, there is a reason you don’t start off doing Calculus in elementary school. Elementary school is the place where students learn the basics.  They start building their schema (knowledge).  They work on math skills all the way through their education, adding to their schema in elementary and middle school.  Their prep time in learning the basics of Math gets them ready to finally take Calculus sometime in high school.

If you don’t have a basis of understanding of preparedness, it’s harder to make the jumps in realizing what you really need and how you need to prepare to be there for yourself and your family.  Without some knowledge, you will make mistakes, waste time and money getting prepared.

Although many in the preparedness community will warn you about sitting in front of the computer all day vegging out on preparedness and survival information, there are some steps you can take to obtain the knowledge you need.

Three Awesome Ways to Gain Preparedness Knowledge

Save Stuff from the Internet – In the article, Your ePreparedness Binder – Saving Stuff from the Internet for SHTF, I share how to save PDF’s and videos to a flash drive or external hard drive. There is so much information out there!  As you visit websites and Youtube, what if you created a bank of preparedness materials that you could access at any time, even if the internet goes down.  How valuable would PDF’s and videos be in that case?

Include ebooks in your  Digital Library – Preparedness authors write some great stuff! Prepper Fiction is something that most are familiar with.  But there are many preparedness authors writing very helpful books on preparedness in a multitude of categories.  One way to obtain many ebooks for a great price is to take advantage of the Prepper Bundle when it goes on sale.  Currently, you can get 27 ebooks and 3 e-courses from preparedness authors from around the internet.  It is a $300 value for only $29.97.  But it only comes out twice a year for a limited time.  You have to purchase it while it is out.  The current Prepper Bundle is available until Monday, June 12, 2017.

Download Free Content – There are many “out of print” books that have been made available digitally.  There are also websites that have a TON of materials already curated for you.  One such website is Pole Shift.  It has over 14 gigs of materials.  Another website where you can download materials is Preppers Info. AND, if you’re looking for some old Boy Scout Handbooks, check these out!

The Warning

Now the warning…  Get knowledge, learn, grow…  But don’t neglect to practice the skills!  We prepare because of an uncertain future.  When that uncertain future happens, we need to be ready to act!  It definitely won’t be the time to stop and consult PDF’s, videos and ebooks!

Set a plan to learn and practice one new skill a month.  For example, one month, work on various ways to start a fire.  You might use something like the cotton ball and Petroleum Jelly, but you might try to do it with just what you find in nature.  Then, go on from there.  Learn multiple ways to purify and filter water.  Then practice canning.  Then… You can always take a few hours on the weekend to increase your skill level in preparedness!

Do you know of any great resources to share to build knowledge and skills?  Share them below in the comments.


This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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