three hands counting 1, 2 and 3

Three sentences to live by

Every prepper I have ever seen or spoken to has lived their life by at least two of the following sentences. I personally also live by the last sentence although I will admit this one is contentious as the number one rule of prepping is to have a solid financial base and buying everything does go against that for some people.

So here are the three sentences by which I live. For the sake of increasing my word-count, I shall explain what each of them mean to me in minute detail.

Two is one, one is none

This one is practically the prepper motto. The full sentence is Three is two, two is one and one is none but most preppers I know just use the shorter version.

So what does it mean?

In short, it means always have a backup for everything as you never know what might happen. It’s why in a lot of videos of preppers showing off their Bug Out Bags, you’ll see that they have at least two ways (usually three) to start a fire, at least two knives etc…

How it can help you prep

It doesn’t mean go out there and buy at least two of everything, it just means have a backup. Let me give you a couple of examples.

If I have two tins of soup in my pantry, I actually only have one tin of soup because there is one to use and one to keep in storage in case it’s needed.

If I pack my Bug Out Bag, I’ll have my best knife, then a pretty decent backup and also a cheap ‘it will do in a pinch’ knife. Three may seem like overkill but in a survival situation, the last thing you want is to lose or break one as if you have two, then you’re down to one and if you lose/break that one too, at least you still have one left.

Besides, if you’re anything like me, you’ll find that the cheap ‘it will do’ knife is actually the one you end up using on a regular basis.

Hope for the best, plan for the worst

This one is fairly explanatory but let me clarify it anyway (word count), in every situation, we should be planning for the worst possible version of that situation.

  • If we plan for war, we plan for nuclear war
  • If we plan for a food shortage, we plan for a famine
  • If we plan for a power-cut, we plan for an EMP

Of course, we’re not expecting the worst case scenario but if the worst does happen then we’re as ready as we can be for it. If any lesser situation happens then we know we’ll be prepared for that as we were prepared for something much worse.

How it can help you prep

This one is a great one to start with when considering prepping as it’s free! It’s just planning! Get yourself an emergency plan written out, think about it carefully and include all the possible scenarios you can think of for each disaster.

Don’t forget to keep a printed copy, you never know when you might need it!

Planning for the worst should always start with getting your supplies in order (after you’ve done your financial planning of course, don’t forget the rules!). Make sure you have at least enough food and water in your house to keep you going for 72 hours but as we are planning for the worst, we should build up from there. At the moment, my food and water supply will keep me going for just over a month and that’s assuming I don’t start rationing.

Don’t forget though that even dry and tinned food won’t last forever so make sure your supplies are kept in rotation, the way we deal with that is to think of our supplies as a pantry, we just always make sure we replace whatever we take as soon as we can.

It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it

Now this is where I might lose a few preppers. Remember that the number one rule for prepping is to sort your finances out first. So this rule only applies – as far as I am concerned – once that is true.

I actually got this rule from my Dad, who is definitely not a prepper but he’s from that generation where he has so many practical skills and a garage full of tools that he might as well be.

So what does it mean?

This rule is pretty simple, if you are in a situation where you have a bit of spare cash and you’re thinking of a prepping item to buy, work out what you might need for your main scenario and go get it.

Tobias and Lindsay Funke from Arrested Development

How it can help you prep

First of all figure out what situation you are currently prepping for and figure out what you will need for that situation. Note: I don’t me what would be nice to have but what you will actually need.

When you think of the items you might need, it may occur to you that you’ll never use those items outside of that situation and if you are anything like me, you can feel a bit daft for buying it. However it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it

The first scenario I prepped for was a nuclear attack. I researched the scenario (in fact it’s something I’ve been mentally prepping for, for decades so I already knew most of the things I’d need) and made a list of things I’d need to buy.

At the top of that list was a geiger counter, this one to be precise. Now that isn’t a cheap item, it’s quite an expensive item for something that I’ll hopefully never actually use in my life. However I didn’t feel I could properly feel prepared for that scenario without it. Therefor, once I was sure I could afford it in my budget, I bought one as it was better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

If you can think of any more prepper sentences to live by, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.