Children Skills

Prepping with Teenagers

prepping with teens

Prepping with Teenagers

I remember like it was yesterday.
A few days after 9/11 The Principal and I had taken the kids to the growing memorial that had started at the fountain at Seattle Center. We felt helpless and needed to do something. Anything. Being with others that were as shocked as we were seemed fitting.


I remember sitting at the top of the fountain, leaning against the ledge, our oldest son leaning on my shoulder.


He was almost 11 at the time.
He was crying. Worried. Scared.
I was sitting there, watching people file past us to place their flowers with the others, and I was thinking what in the world!


What is this world coming to? What kind of world am I raising my children in?
It was like my life, in the blink of an eye, turned to pre-9/11 and post 9/11. I wasn’t even directly impacted. I didn’t know anybody that was the Towers. I could just sense that things were never going to be for my children the way they had been for me.


We have been prepping as a family now for a little over a year and a half. We have included all of our children in the process. Our kids are currently 14,16,21 and 23. Only the 14 and 16 year olds are at home, but we prep for all of us.


I feel by including our teenagers in the process of prepping we are better preparing them for what might come down the pipeline. We don’t candy coat the news. They watch FOX and Glen Beck. They know that this world is a fallen world.
They’ve seen the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the tsunami in Japan.
They are aware of Fukashima and the issues it has.
We don’t scare them or use things as fear-mongering, but when TSHTF they aren’t going to be blindsided.



A few ways we include them:

Food Storage

They help prep food for dehydrating or canning.
These double as life skills. (Yes, we homeschool)


Self Defense
We go shooting as a family.
They both have their own rifles.
Our daughter prefers my Taurus 9mm to the ‘puny’ .22 revolver.


Chores with our animals help with work ethic.
They appreciate the bacon and eggs we have for breakfast.


Survival Skills
Again, life skills, such as fire building and water purification.
Teach them how to track animals and set snares and traps.


Op Sec
My kids also know not to go one telling what we have to their friends.
Their friends know we are preppers, but not to what extent.


Did you watch American Blackout? The daughter’s boyfriend of the prepper drove me nuts!
My kids won’t be ‘that guy.’



They aren’t toddlers. Give them responsibilities, set the expecation bar high, and they will rise to it.
I have confidence in my kids that they will have my back WTSHTF.
We are a team and they know they are part of that team.



  1. kiwi brony/captain-C.313

    March 30, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    I am a strong,willed teen willing to lead his own unit/clan and their families to safety.
    But at the same time, i feel scared, nervous and even loss of hope, I know of what is coming our way, i can prepare my unit the best i can, but in the end it depends upon their actions and willingness to aid civilians during harsh times.

    to me, family and friends are my #1 goal, civilians come 2nd and my self comes 3rd. The way i do things, they can notice paranoia, and nervousness.

    preparing as a teen, like me, is difficult, as i don’t speak much, i rarely tend to help out in the neighborhood, and im distant. The things i make, the things i store, i tend to hide.because the moment they are noticed, the moment they are taken away. School problems, i had a flashlight and 2 water bottles, the flash light dropped out, turned on. The principle seen it, done the most annoying walk and grin and warned me not to take it out again. talks with administrators of the school, teacher’s, guidance.

    being a captain of a unit however….knowing that your whole team looks up to you (its 3 captains, 1 clan, 3 families, hence c.313), and that everyone is looking to us 3, it can be daunting, but in the end that we make it. We will always try to be the image that we will be there for our own families…

    i give mercy to those in the past, no mercy for those in the future…

    i stand attention to those who lead, i focus on those in need, but fear sets in…

    am i really just a lost teen, a teen who has lost his mind?

    or am i just paranoid…leading some to their demise?

  2. Ian

    July 17, 2015 at 9:51 am

    kiwi brony/captain-C.313

    No you are not paranoid, but you seem to lack confidence in yourself and possibly in your ability to make correct decisions. You already make decisions and live with the consequences, good or bad. For example, you decide to stay up late, you are tired the next day but have to go on and do what has to be done.

    In terms of confidence, start with your body posture, walk with your head up, looking around you. PROJECT confidence, even if you don’t feel confident. Speak to people in your neighbourhood, I’m not talking about long conversations, I’m talking about saying hello, commenting on the weather, “Hi lovely day isn’t it?”, “Hey it’s starting to get cold, seems winter is on the way” Usually people will reply, if they don’t then don’t worry, that’s their bad manners not yours. When you do this you don’t even have to stop, you can keep walking. These one to one encounters help build confidence, plus because you aren’t in a group environment you don’t have the worry of people laughing at you.

    Don’t worry so much, just learn from everything that happens. It’s isn’t until you are older that you can look back and see the turmoil of your teenage years, the uncertainty, the desire to be a grown up, stand on your own 2 feet, but still want mum and dad close by to catch you if you fall. There’s absolutely NOTHING wrong with that.
    If I could go back and give my teenage self one piece of advice I would say “Don’t take everything in life so seriously, learn to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake”
    One good thing here is that if you can laugh at yourself it makes it impossible for others to act in a superior way or belittle you as they can’t embarrass you when you laugh at yourself and admit . I once had a really nasty manager who liked to belittle people. I was recounting an event to others when he came into the staff room. Whilst we laughed at what happened he commented to me “Bet you felt like a right dickhead” Without hesitation I replied “No but I did do this and felt a right tit” and at the same time placed my hand on my right pectoral (chest) muscle. Everyone laughed even harder than they had the first time. So tell me who looked to be the bigger fool?
    Later on one of the female staff members commented that she didn’t think guys had boobs, and we both laughed again.

    Good leadership isn’t about being this big strong rock devoid of emotions. Fear and nervousness is natural, showing uncertainty in front of your group is fine. A team leader makes the decisions, but they don’t have to do it alone.

    Think of the military, a young inexperienced officer may MAKE the decisions, but a SMART young officer listens to their NCOs, remember that at a minimum a lance corporal has 2-3 years experience, a corporal more than 4, a sergeant 6 or more years experience, so the officer draws on their experience and knowledge. They listen to the experts, trackers, explosives, snipers, medics, etc. Learn to do the same thing.

    Being the leader doesn’t require you to be THE most knowledgeable in every area. Take as an example a team building an office block. They have experts in steelwork, experts in concreting, experts in glass construction and fitting, earthquake experts, joiners, plumbers, electricians. So you have a variety of experienced people coming together to achieve a common goal, the construction of a building.

    Look at the people in your group, what do they bring to the group? Can they teach others their skills? Look at having more than one person able to cover an area so that, as an example, you don’t face the issue of the medic being in need of help and you have nobody else with the skills with medical skills.

    Adaptability is the key, everyone should be able to render first aid, everyone should be able to cook, meal preparation for a large group is just meal preparation for a family on a larger scale. A lot of people are used to having all the family over for thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday parties, etc. The difference here is that it’s a daily event instead of an occasional event.

    Are there any organisations in your area such as cadet units run by the army/navy/air force. If there are then look into joining them. You will learn a lot of skills which will not only be relevant to SHTF but also to daily life, plus your confidence will grow.

    Above all try to have to get satisfaction when learning. The first few times I sutured it looked terrible, and I learnt that I was pulling the stitches too tight, the next time I tried I didn’t pull them tight enough so the wound wasn’t closed properly, but I was able to laugh at this and improve.

    I don’t even want to TRY to count the number of times I spooked animals when stalking them. And again this is another area where you can enjoy yourself from the pure satisfaction of doing it, you don’t HAVE to hunt the animal, you don’t HAVE to kill it. You can just stalk it, watch it, learn how it behaves whilst unaware of you, learn how its behaviour alters when it is aware of you but doesn’t regard you as an immediate threat but something that is potentially a threat. Learn how other animals of both the same species AND different species may give you away by sounding an alarm call that your target animal reacts to.

    I will happily admit to you that I have messed up different things in different ways too many times to even TRY to count. But each time I learnt what NOT to do. I took the view that the result was merely different from what I wanted to achieve, it wasn’t a failure.

    In my group we have
    1) Medical skills, from first aid to much more
    2) Expert drivers who can drive anything plus being ex-military they are trained to escape ambushes.
    3) We can cover vehicle maintenance and repairs, both mechanical and electrical.
    4) We do our own house repairs and maintenance so we can build using wood, brick, concrete.
    5) We can do our own electrical and plumbing work.
    6) We can cover welding and metal fabrication
    7) We can meet food requirements because (a) we hunt and trap, and butcher the meat (b) we can forage in the wild (c) we know how to farm our own vegetables and fruits.
    8) We can preserve our foods using various methods including canning, smoking, air drying
    9) We aren’t expert horse riders, but most of us can ride a horse
    10) We canoe and kayak, and mess around on boats

    We constantly share our skills and practice them, we take pride at what we achieve, and we laugh at our mistakes, and when we laugh it’s NEVER in way that is belittling to anyone. Yes we rib each other constantly, but we’re always one big happy family (even though we’re not blood related)

    Look at this list, do you see skills which crossover into other areas?
    Let me give you a start with this, take point (3), it connects to point (5) how you ask?
    1) Electrical knowledge, it’s just vehicle wiring versus domestic house wiring.
    2) Mechanical knowledge, this means we can maintain a generator to provide electricity, and then we come into electrical again for power distribution and provision

    One VERY important point is that we are essentially a democracy, we take our lead from the person/people most experienced in that area. You should consider doing the same. At ANY age you can’t do everything or be everything.

    My honest impression is that you are putting too much pressure on yourself, learn to appropriately delegate tasks to others, then you will be a good leader

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