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How to Survive the Apocalypse: Practical Tips for Apocalypse Survival

Disaster preparedness is more than just worrying. It’s about taking practical steps to prepare you and your family for the worst-case scenario, like surviving the apocalypse. A full-blown apocalyptic event is admittedly unlikely—however, we still prep, because once it happens, it’s too late to get ready! 

Even if you’re already prepping, you’re probably preparing for more likely scenarios, such as natural disasters, food shortages, and civil unrest. The good news is, what you’re doing will be helpful for apocalypse survival. Therefore, in many ways, you can keep doing what you’re doing and be better off than 90% of the population.

However, for proper apocalypse prepping, you need to be thinking long-term. You need to think about what you’ll do when your years of prepped supplies run out. Keep reading to find out our tips for how to survive an apocalypse.  

Turning Your Prepping into Apocalypse Prepping

Any self-reliant and prepared person thinks about how they and their family are most at risk. For example, if you live in a wildfire-prone area, you prep for wildfires; or, if the economy shows signs of declining, you prep for a recession (or worse: a depression).

We applaud those efforts and find them super helpful—but we don’t consider them to be the end. Instead, we consider prepping for short-term disasters and disruptions as a means to an end, with the end being a full-blown apocalyptic survival scenario.

By taking your prepping to the next level and cranking up the intensity of your prepping, you can prepare for simple disasters and long-term sustainable survival.      

Preparing for an Apocalyptic Disaster

Many of the tips we will discuss below are things you are probably already doing—but in case you’re not, it’s a good idea to read thoroughly.  Just remember, step it up a notch for each item so your prepping can be viable for a long-term apocalyptic scenario.

Create a Water Supply

surviving the apocalypse by prepping a water supply of refillable water jugs

While brainstorming for apocalypse prepping, going straight to planning about food is common. But in all reality, water is the more important survival priority between the two. The reason is that you can only survive three days without water, but you can survive for three weeks without food.

A good baseline recommendation for your water storage is a gallon of water per person daily. This may sound like too much, but remember that that gallon is used for cooking and bathing, in addition to drinking. 

If you were to look in any prepper pantry right now, you would likely see a stash of store-bought water jugs or bottled water. Store-bought water is helpful for short-term emergencies; however, it’s not the best choice for long-term survival.

The reason is that it would take up too much room and create too much waste. Plus, over time, chemicals from the plastic bottle leach into the water, especially if stored in a hot environment.

For those reasons, a more sustainable choice would be to prep a water supply of refillable water jugs, barrels, and cisterns using tap water. Water stored this way will get you much further than store-bought water.

Keep in mind, though, even the 5,000-gallon water cistern you have buried in the backyard will run out eventually. So the ultimate prep for a water supply during an apocalyptic scenario is an off-grid water supply and a plan for water purification…but more on that later. 

Prepare a Medium-Term Food Supply

Medium-term food is defined as food with a six-month to multiple-year shelf life. It is comprised of raw shelf-stable staples and processed food items that have been preserved in some way. 

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Medium-Term Food Storage

Bulk Staple Food Items

Processed Food Items


Canned meat


Pickled vegetables


Dried fruit


Instant potatoes


Boxed or canned soup

Herbs and spices

Peanut butter




Energy and protein bars




Oils, sauces, and condiments


Typically, these food items can be left in their original packaging for storage. However, it is also common to repackage bulk food items into airtight containers, such as glass jars and mylar bags. 

Stockpile a Long-Term Food Supply

Sustainable survival will depend on your long-term food supply, which includes frozen, freeze-dried, and dehydrated food options. Understanding the difference between freeze dried vs dehydrated food is helpful as they both offer extended shelf life, lasting anywhere from years to multiple decades, but there are some key differences.

Yes, you read that correctly—long-term food for numerous decades. This is made possible with professionally prepared and packaged freeze-dried and dehydrated survival food.

survival foods

Freeze-dried food has over 95% of its moisture content removed. It is then sealed into airtight, food-grade safe mylar bags and packaged into resealable and stackable food buckets. 

Because the moisture is removed and the food is sealed into airtight containers, the food can last over 25 years. All the while, it will maintain its original flavor and nutritional value. 

Some DIY preppers may look into freeze-drying and dehydrating foods at home. If you have the extra time for food prep and the budget to afford the expensive machinery, then we think DIY freeze-drying and dehydrating is a viable option for survival.

But remember, in an apocalypse, you may lose your food supply and connection to electricity. Thus, a stockpile of professionally made survival food should make up the bulk of your long-term food storage.      

Collect First Aid Supplies and Practice Skills

In an apocalypse, hospitals, urgent cares, doctor's offices, and other emergency first responder services like EMTs and firefighters will likely be wiped out—or, at the very least, understaffed and overrun with patients. Therefore, your family’s survival could depend on your ability to provide first aid and treat injuries. 

Therefore, a fully stocked cache of first aid supplies is mandatory. You’ll need everything to treat a variety of ailments, from basic bumps and bruises to life-threatening bleeding with a tourniquet. Your first aid cache should also include essential medications and prescriptions. 

In addition, now is the time to seek training if you haven't already. Training in first aid and CPR could allow you to save someone’s life.   

Prep Survival Equipment

The more survival equipment you can prep, the better. Each person is different and will likely want to prepare different items. Nevertheless, here’s a short list of recommendations: 



Kitchen Supplies


Fuel and Energy


Camp stove

Pepper spray

Gasoline, diesel, propane, butane, and/or white gas


Cooking utensils

Surveillance cameras

Solar panels

Ability to build a survival shelter

Pot and frying pan


Rechargeable batteries

Bug-out location

Matches and lighter


Emergency generator 


These lists could go on for multiple pages. For more details related to each specific category, visit our blog.

Read Survival Books 

We think our Practical Prepper Blog is great…but everything we’ve learned comes from a book we’ve read along the way. Therefore, we cannot recommend enough to supplement your prepping by reading survival books to gain more knowledge.


download our emergency preparedness checklist

That way, when your body is sore from working in your garden or building a root cellar, you can relax and learn about primitive survival shelters, wild plant identification, and other helpful survival skills.  

Make a Plan for Off-Grid Sewage

Just because the world stops doesn’t mean you will stop going to the bathroom. That may sound silly, but it’s true. Going to the bathroom and having a way to manage your sewage will become an essential aspect of apocalypse survival. 


Without adequate sewage management, you run the risk of unsanitary living conditions that can make you sick. Therefore, routine personal hygiene, including going to the bathroom, is critical for a healthy body and mind. 

Surviving the Aftermath

If you are one of the lucky ones to survive the initial apocalyptic event, you’ll need to pivot into survival mode. After an apocalyptic event, you must be ready to survive the rest of your life without any of the modern luxuries your previous society afforded you. 

Establish a Bug-Out Location

Most preppers will attempt apocalypse survival from the comfort of their home. That’s because you are closer to all your supplies at home and have more knowledge about your surroundings. 


However, you may need to evacuate. In this case, continued survival will depend on your ability to secure a safe and stocked bug-out location. Depending on the scenario, your bug-out location will vary. It could be a tent in the woods, or the family’s cabin out in the country.  


Besides the location, you will also need to consider how you will get there and how to communicate with your family about their whereabouts if someone separates.     

Build a Community

Surviving the apocalypse will be easier if you rely on a community of like-minded preppers. Yes, we understand that there is some risk that goes into surviving with strangers, as stressful emergency scenarios can bring out the worst in some people. 


But we like to think optimistically—and realistically, your chances of survival in a small group increase, because you can pool resources and skills that benefit everyone involved.  

Grow a Survival Garden

Access to your local grocery store will become unreliable. The food will be destroyed, and anything remaining will get looted. Supply chains will be in shambles as well, so restocking the shelves will be out of the question.


So to supplement your emergency food stockpile, you will need to grow a survival garden. A survival garden will not only give you access to fresh fruits and vegetables; it will also allow you to preserve your harvest for food storage.  

Establish an Off-Grid Water Supply

how to survive an apocalypse using an off the grid water supply

Eventually, the water you prepped will begin to run low. Therefore, you will need a way to replenish your water supply. The most sustainable way to accomplish this is with an off-grid water system.

A water system consists of three parts: a water source, water filtration and purification, and water distribution. In other words, you will need to devise a plan for where you will get water; how you will make it safe for drinking, cooking, and bathing; and how you will distribute it where you need it.  

Trap, Hunt, Forage, and Fish

After the apocalyptic event, your continued survival will depend on how well you can secure more food. Trapping and hunting fresh game, foraging for edible plants, and fishing will become vital skills.

Your ability to safely prep and cook your kill or harvest will be critical. You cannot afford to fall ill from spoiled meat or misidentified plants.

Similarly, preserving your game—for example, smoking meat—will be an essential skill, considering you will likely not have access to a refrigerator or freezer.    

Practice Self-Reliant Hobbies

Sustainable survival will depend on your ability to overcome the obstacles that come with no longer having access to the modern-day luxury and creature comforts you’ve grown accustomed to. 


The most efficient way to do this is to transform old hobbies you did (or wanted to learn) into necessary survival skills. For example, appliance maintenance and repair, sewing, carpentry, seed saving, animal husbandry, and food preservation. 

Final Thoughts on How to Survive an Apocalypse

We hope this isn’t too grim, but…surviving the initial apocalyptic event will be the easy part. The hard part is continuing to survive for years to come.

If you are one of the lucky ones to survive the easy part, you’ll be frustrated if you feel incapable of surviving the hard part. Therefore, there’s no time to waste—you can start today by prepping and learning new skills that can keep you and your family safe, and give everyone a better chance at survival.

We hope you found this article helpful. To connect with more preppers like you, join our Facebook Group. Or, to learn more about prepping and other practical survival skills, like how to start blacksmithing, check out our Practical Prepper Blog.