As preppers, we need to challenge ourselves regularly. Some of these challenges may sound ‘easy’ while others may be a bit harder, it just depends on where you’re at with your preparedness. I encourage everyone, no matter where you’re at in your prepping journey, to do this 12 month challenge.
In this post you’ll see a detailed outline of each month. Below, you’ll find a PDF download with a blank monthly calendar that you can print 12 times, along with the challenge outline for each month.
Print the calendar 12 times. And print the monthly challenges. Stick them somewhere convenient where you’ll see it often. Write at the top of the calendar the month, year and the challenge for that month. Feel free to switch up the challenges to do them any month that suits your needs.
You don’t have to use the calendar provided, it’s just a way for you to mark when you did the task(s). And/or when you want to do the task(s).
It doesn’t have to be the start of a new year.
The easiest way to remember to do this challenge is to put a reminder in the calendar on your phone, to-do app, or in your planner or wherever that says something like “Preparedness Monthly Challenge”. And to also have the print out(s) easily in sight.
Good luck and have fun!
Have you ever sat down and really taken a hard look at your finances and time? I want you to take the whole month and really evaluate your time and money.
Map out when you realistically have free time. How do you spend that free time? Is there any time that can be allotted toward preparedness goals? Even just 30 minutes a week is better than nothing, even if it’s just reading a blog post or watching a couple YouTube videos.
How much money do you realistically have to spend on prepping? Budget out your finances onto a sheet of paper, in a word doc, excel, whatever. Write out every little bit of money that comes in and goes out. And then decide how much money you can spend on preps each month. Even if it’s just $20, that’s perfectly fine! There’s no right or wrong number.
Bonus: Make a list of your preparedness goals; items, skills, knowledge, to-do’s, etc.
Do you have an emergency disaster plan? If so, I’d highly suggest taking time this month to look over it and update it as needed. Have any locations, phone numbers, circumstances or anything else changed? I’d highly suggest putting a reminder in your calendar to update your emergency plan at least once a year.
If you don’t already have an emergency disaster plan, now is the time to get one made. Get the whole household together, if possible, to make this plan. The more informed, the better. In this plan, you’ll write-up things like:
Print this plan and make it accessible to everyone in the household.
Bonus: create checklists for all your kits, bug in procedures, bug out procedures, etc.
This month, focus on your water needs. Remember, water is used for cooking, cleaning, hygiene and drinking, along with other various needs. Humans use quite a bit of water. Your usage will also increase during hotter months.
Bonus: go to the grocery store and get a few gallons of water.
Focus on your food preps this month.
Bonus: go to the store and pick up a few cans of food.
It’s time to run a mock drill. Mock drills teach us a lot about where the holes in our plans are. These drills aren’t meant to be perfect, they’re supposed to be learning experiences. You are in a controlled environment, testing your preps, skills, knowledge and plans. Write down all your holes, questions and wonderings as you go through and/or after the drill. Be sure to have a discussion about the drill afterwards with everyone who was involved. Here are some suggestions for the types of drills you could run.
Bonus: Run more than 1 drill.
Regardless whether camping is part of your bug out plan(s) or not, it’s a pretty good test to see if your bug out supplies are what they need to be by using them while camping. Get the whole family out, everyone bring just their bug out bags and use whatever is in them. You can even do this in your own backyard so that you’re in a controlled environment and if something terribly wrong goes down, you’re close by to home. You’ll learn a lot about what you need and don’t need by camping with it.
Bonus: Go completely grid down with no electronics (no phone, no ipad, nothing)
It’s time to take a look at your overall security needs.
This month, go through your home preps.
Bonus: look into more self-sufficient preps such as solar panels, beeswax (for candle making and so much more), generator, etc.
Keeping ourselves healthy is absolutely a priority when it comes to preparedness. If our physical or mental well being are compromised in a crisis, that can break us. Evaluate your overall health and find some realistic ways that we can improve ourselves.
Bonus: go for a walk/hike once a week with your bug out bag/EDC bag/hiking bag.
Inventory all your kits. Your bug out bag(s), blackout kit, first aid kit, fire kit, hunting/fishing kit, car kit(s), food kit(s), EDC kit(s), survival kit(s), etc.
Make sure all of your kits have useable items. If, for instance, the alcohol pads in your first aid kit have gone dry, this is a good time to switch them out. Look at everything inside of your kits, write down all of the contents inside each of the kits, as well as any expirations, if applicable. You’re also going to want to make sure all of the items are still relevant to your skills. If you want to downsize or upgrade, now would be a good time to do that, or at least to write down that it should be done.
Bonus: set a reminder in your phone to inventory your kits preferably twice a year, but at least once a year. Keep copies of the inventory lists with the kit, on your computer and in your emergency disaster plan.
Being financially prepared is just as important as anything else. If you haven’t already, start saving money.
Bonus: know the sales cycles and do your due diligence when it comes to making purchases. Get the absolute best deals by shopping around.
This should really be something that you do on a regular basis, especially when you acquire new gear. Before putting it into any kits or doing anything with it, test it first. False preparedness is bred because people don’t do their due diligence and test their gear, plans, knowledge and skills.
Are there any pieces of gear that you really need to test out? Maybe you have a tarp that you need to make some shelter with? Maybe there’s a fire starter you’ve never used? Perhaps you need to test some rain gear? What about that water purification method that you’ve never tried before?
It’s best to test gear in a controlled environment at or near your home. This way, if anything were to go wrong, or if you simply don’t like that piece of gear, you’re at or near home and can figure it out with minimal worries or stress.
Again, this should be a regular thing, but this month, make it your goal to get caught up on testing some gear that may have been missed due to life getting crazy.
You could also use this month to learn a new skill by practicing it throughout the month.
Good luck, have fun and conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!
Thank you! Excellent timing, I’ve been leaning towards purging/adding to our preps.
One small aside? We don’t have a “smartphone”, we have a dumb phone. It plugs in the wall, and even has an answering machine. I fully realize people use these every day, but we are retired and just don’t have extra money for another “phone”. Our computer is probably considered “old” – 6 years old. No I pad either.
I’m going to start these labeling these calendars this evening and get them (along with the monthly lists) set on a clipboard!
Greetings. Realistic and very practical info. Just the money question can be challenging. and yes, checking and practicing is a MUST (mock drills). Add the unthinkable (one bad event does not come alone, most time, Murphy’s law).