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10 Tips for Female Preppers


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Last Updated: March 18, 2020

There are a lot of strong, competent female preppers out there.  But, let’s face it: most of the voices and advice in the prepping community comes from men.  So, I thought it was time that I address prepping from a woman’s viewpoint.  Here are my top 10 tips for female preppers!

1. Being a Woman Doesn’t Make You Inherently Weaker

As Skylar talks about in her article about the mindset of a single female prepper, there is a bias saying that women can only be competent if they become “Rambo-esque” or “one of the guys.”

There is no reason you should have to mimic the guys in order to be strong.  True, women might not have as much muscle mass or strength on average as men, but we have a lot of other strengths which can be exploited for survival.

If you want to be prepared as a female, then the first thing you need to do is get your mentality straight!  Do things your way and not the way the boys say you should.


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2. Time to Upgrade Your Menstrual Hygiene

Okay, here’s a topic that no male prepper wants to talk about! We need to talk about menstrual health or we won’t be able to prepare for it.

One option is to stockpile tons of tampons or pads.  That means a lot of expense and a lot of space.  Instead, maybe it is time to get started with a menstrual cup.

A menstrual cup (Amazon link) is a reusable silicon cup that is inserted into your vagina to collect blood.  It is proven to be safer than tampons (which come with a risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome) and works really well.  The best thing is that one menstrual cup lasts about 5 years!  The cup doesn’t take up much space either, so you just need one item for all of your menstrual hygiene preps.

Recommended Reading: Femine Hygiene In a Disaster Scenario

3. Take a Self Defense Class

Females are often seen as easy targets because they are perceived as weak.  Show attackers that they are wrong by destroying them with a strong blow to the vagus nerve or a Krav Maga groin kick!  Make sure that the self defense class is specifically tailored to women.  You’ll probably make some new friends there too!

Recommended Reading: Quick and Dirty Self Defense

4. Practice Emergency Conditioning

This is something that all preppers should be doing, not just female preppers.  Emergency conditioning is a mental training technique in which you visualize a disaster situation in great detail.  The exercise helps trick your brain into thinking that you’ve already gone through the ordeal and you’ll better respond if it does occur.  You can read more about mental training techniques here.

5.  Put Some Boots in Your Get Home Bag

A Get Home Bag is similar to the Bug Out Bag.  However, the GHB is meant to help you get home during a disaster situation.  For example, if a disaster struck while you were at work, the GHB would have everything you need to get home quickly and safely.

If you often wear heels or dress shoes when out, then you better have some boots in your Get Home Bag!  Do you really want to run through rioting mobs or piles or burning rubble in your heels?

See here for some advice on the best survival boots for women

6. Get In Shape

Don’t wait until SHTF to get in shape!  Fitness isn’t just about being able to handle Bugging Out in the wilderness and all of the trekking you might have to do.  You’ll need to be fit to handle the stress which comes with a disaster, the lack of food (you can’t always rely on your food preps), and situations that might require strength such as hauling items you’ve scavenged or climbing over walls.  So start getting in shape now instead of later! Read more on prepper fitness.

7. Cut the Weight from Your Bug Out Bag

A backpacking rule is that your pack should not weigh more than 20% of your bodyweight.   So, if you weigh 140 pounds, your pack should not weigh more than 28 pounds.

Ideally, your Bug Out Bag should be even lighter.  The 20% rule is okay for avoiding back pain when trekking long distances, but it isn’t suitable for situations when you might have to run with your pack in disaster situations!  Read this post about how to cut weight from your Bug Out Bag.

8.  Learn to Be Alone

There are lots of single female preppers who live alone.  But there are also plenty of women who have never really been alone.  We women tend to be surrounded by our spouses, children, friends and coworkers.

Having a strong support network is important, but it is also important to learn to be by yourself.  Spending time alone actually one of the best ways to build mental toughness.  So start doing things by yourself – like planning a weekend getaway all by yourself!

9. Embrace Your Feminine Side

I love reading survival stories and one of the most shocking things that I heard was about how women survived the Siege of Sarajevo during the 4-year Bosnian War.  Whenever there was a bit of extra water or the electricity would go on, the women would go to the hair salon to beautify themselves.  They even held a beauty contest with the contestants holding a banner reading “Don’t Let Them Kill Us.”

Mental survival is just as important as physical survival.  So go ahead and stockpile something that makes you feel good as a woman.  Depending on your style, it might mean having a hairbrush in your Bug Out Bag or some stockpiles of your favorite face cream at home.

10. Meet Other Female Preppers

The prepper community can feel a lot like a Boys’ Club at times.  Aside from the occasional post about “survival uses for tampons” or something similar, you rarely hear prepping talked about from a female perspective.

This can be very isolating.  And when you feel isolated, you won’t get the encouragement and support you need to continue prepping.

I recommend reaching out to other female preppers.  See if there is a local preppers meeting in your area where you can meet other likeminded women or join our new female only Facebook group.

Are you a female prepper? What tips can you share with other women?  Let us know in the comments or join us in our new female only Facebook group!


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  1. I am not only female but getting older (67). Physical fitness is a priority for me. I am former military so have self defense moves I practice. We trained in a coed company and saw each other’s strengths and weaknesses. More women were mentally tough to begin with than men. Yes, they usually have greater upper body strength but women have always had to think of away to accomplish things with out that strength so we do. We appeared to have a higher level of stamina at our own pace. So ladies don’t underestimate yourselves. P.S. if we are protecting our kids these abilities increase exponentially.

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  2. Thanks so much for this! A note on diva cup- it does require rinsing which requires water, and doubly so bc you need cleanish hands to handle it without introducing infection… I would love to know indigenous methods- moss? Thoughts? I pack tampons which double as first aid for any bleeding esp nose bleed. Note: unless I’m
    Misinformed, TSS is only an issue bc of bleach in cotton- there are non-bleached cotton ones available, but space and waterproofing is still an issue…

    Reply
    • Interesting topic – would love to hear more discussion on this. If anyone has anything to add drop a comment in here.

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      • I keep 2 sizes of mental cups around and I also have some reusable(washable) pads. Yes, they do require water but it will be a lot easier to deal with than trying to “throw away” something that has nowhere to go. I’m not big on plastics or disposable things anyways. This way I can know what I am putting next to my whoo ha. I’m not sure about TSS other than what I read on the papers in the talon box when I was 14 and trying to use them. They scared me so bad that I couldn’t use them for years afterwards. Maybe it’s a good thing now. Only a man would think of shoving some cotton up there to absorb it all. It acts like a plug in my body and it’s painful because it’s drying as well.

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    • My sister died from TSS, a bacterial infection. My understanding is that all-cotton tampons are less likely to produce the conditions in which TSS can grow, but not totally safe. Don’t use the super absorbent ones and try not to leave them in for 4+ hours.

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    • I’m a pad girl myself. I’m tiny and have an issue with keeping things in my body that it is clearly trying to expel. However, if you have a bob and aren’t allergic to latex, one of these can last 5 years.

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  3. I’m a 61 year old retired widow living just outside Tucson with my Doberman, and I almost never find anything written about those of us in my age group and “social status”. It’s always geared toward men and families, but I’m sure there are people like me out there who would love more information about prepping and survival. I’m not ready for the “old folks home” anytime soon, yet anything written about “seniors” is centered around those that are really weak, frail, etc.
    I don’t plan on bugging out, as all my peeps and garden are here at home, and the only “threat” here in the desert might come from fire. Surely there are more like me out there.

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    • I am right there with you. I’m 70 years old, not in the absolute best physical condition though. I’m going to try to change that this spring and summer. My emergency preps are also here at home (apartment), so I will hunker down right here as long as I can. I also have a BOB just in case I need to leave. I agree with you though, I wish there was a place for senior preppers, especially senior female peppers.

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  4. i am a 49 female i have just started prepping and getting things together.i have hunted with my dad i grew up on a farm. but i would like to get to know more ladies and what they are doing bugging in or out i have some medical knowledge and now trying to grow a herb garden i had to move back into an apartment i had been living total off grid for 12 years i miss it

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  5. Im a single 52 year old female that just got the nerve up to make my jump into prepping and being self sustaining. I have 2 chickens i have raised from 2 days old. They just started laying. Yea. Im growing my first fall garden. And my 70 yr old mother is teaching me to can. Im really glad to see more female preppers in my age range. Thank you for this article. I see i have more to work on.

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  6. MY 19 LAWS FOR LIVING WITH: PLANET-SAVING – EMISSION-FREE – POLLUTION-AVOIDING – NEAR-FREE – CLIMATE-CONSTANT – HAPPY-HEALTHY – MINIMUM-EFFORT – RE-INDUSTRIALISATION:
    1. DON’T GET ANYTHING THAT HAS ONLY 1 USE like plastic, newspapers, matches & mags for which my FREE Internet Library now has a big part; remaining mags & papers to Doctor’s etc waiting rooms – 2. ONLY ALLOW PLASTIC THAT CAN BE EASILY MELTED & FORMED INTO OTHER ITEMS – 3. DON’T MAKE OR BUY ANYTHING THAT HAS A SHORT LIFE, OR CAN’T EASILY BE RECYCLED, RESTORED, REUSED, REACTIVATED, REMODELLED, REDESIGNED, REHABILITATED, RECONDITIONED & RENEWED; avoid all PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE items – 4. BE VERY FRUGAL buy 2nd hand, garage sales; also MAKE, FIX & GROW or Find as much food as possible like our near zero-effort ¼ acre edible dwarf tree-food jungle including native-edibles + sea life; note from Brisbane to Melbourne we see about 1 food tree in only 10 total front gardens! – 5. OWN SOLAR-CHARGED VEHICLE; MY 1950S DACHSHUND-DOG HILL-ASSISTED LONG-DISTANCE CYCLING; USE PUBLIC TRANSPORT while carrying tiny 11kg folding micro scooter; HITCH-HIKE PICKUP ALL FIJI PRIVATE-VEHICLES INCLUDING TAXIS FOR ABOUT $2 = EMISSION-AVOIDING BUDGET BUS FARE; NO FLYING to AVOID disasters & gross pollution; SAIL BEST; – 6. OWN POWER LIKE SOLAR OR WIND ETC, including glassed-veranda house-heating – 7. PRESERVING in SUCH AS FRESHIELD VACUUM, OR WATER BAGS in the wind – 8. COOK SOLAR OR 1-STICK STOVE – 9. BIRTH CONTROL – 10. STOP MOST ALL TOTAL RADIATION – 11. OWN CLEAN WATER like rain tank, stream, clean well – 12. COMPOST TOILET saves water, SEPTIC TANK OR DOWN A HOLE – 13. FOOD & GARDEN SCRAPS TO COMPOST, MULCH OR BURY – 14. HOME 12-VOLT APPLIANCES WE MAKE, OR GET FROM CARAVAN, SURVIVAL, CAMPING OR BOAT SHOPS – 15. STAND ON LAUNDRY IN A BOWL WHILST SHOWERING – 16. NEVER SMOKE, DRINK, GAMBLE or DRUG – 17. SOLAR DESALINATION IS VITALLY NEEDED, AS IN PART OF S.AMERICA; VAST DESALINATION & PUMPING FOR THE WORLD’S DROUGHT AREAS IS THE JOB FOR A CHEAP NUCLEAR REACTOR, INCLUDING HEAT-EXCHANGERS, EVEN DISTRICT-HEATING – 18. PINE TREE MEALS – 19. A PARTNER GIVES PROVEN MORE HEALTH & HAPPINESS; OPTIMUM LOW COST FAMILY is when one partner works or has village business, the other helps family become highly self-sufficient. Swap jobs every 6 months or less! We are not rich because we have the most, but because we need the least… WE ENJOY ALL THE ABOVE IN TOTAL LUXURY at our healthy ages of 85 & 69, thriving on less than 5% pension!! ANY MORE SUGGESTIONS WELCOME?

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  7. Birth control will probably not be reliably available. However, a woman’s body has its own intelligence if we can learn to understand it. The Sympto-thermal method of family planning relies on the observable symptoms of fertility, and the woman’s waking (basal) temperature, taken with a nasal thermometer. However, if the thermometer breaks, or you don’t have one, the symptoms alone have effectiveness rivaling most chemical birth control without the risks involved. It is also no cost and portable. It DOES involve several days of abstaining from sexual intercourse each month, but I believe we are tough enough to survive that. Learn about the Sympto-thermal method of family planning, so you are not left high and dry if SHTF.

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  8. I live in a small town in Montana. I have yet to run into other prepprrs here. I am female and have to say. There will come a time when after the shtf that having your monthy will be the least of your worries. My advise to anyone who has it is to get used to it. And the fact that at some point in time you will not have anything to use for it. I jave lived in the back country on my own and had no one to help me. Yes i had my monthly but had nothing for it. I got used to this and realised that when the time comes I’m not going to worry about having something for it because it won’t matter. I will be to busy trying to live and survive to care. There are far worse things then having your period and having nothing for it. Just remember though. Keep your head on a swivel though. That blood could attract bears and other animals. Best of luck to you all.

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  9. Great article! I get tired of the macho articles with few realistic tips or scenarios. My husband & I are in our upper twenties and the only preppers our age we know of. We were raised on farms without electricity and grow some of our own food, and hunt, fish, and camp out a lot. We can & freeze vegetables, fruits, meat, & even rice and beans. I’m saving up for a good dehydrator, so we can try drying food as well.
    I also have a treadle sewing machine which doesn’t need electricity and recently experimented making reusable menstrual pads. I haven’t tried using them yet, but one of these days, I’ll try them & see how well they work.

    Reply
    • Hi, don’t know if you have any but there may be a co-op or a local school that still has a community cannery. Check around to see who might have an industrial freeze drier. It’s good to have younger people like ya’ll. Good luck.

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      • Good suggestion about the community cannery! It’s impossible to be 100% self-reliant and connecting with one’s community is great for staying safe. I’ve also found that places like community gardens are great places for meeting with other preppers, even if they don’t calls themselves preppers.

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  10. How refreshing to find a site and group for female preppers. Am 58, prepped with husband for 35 yrs, have an organic farm, raise our own livestock, do aquaponics, spin yarn, freeze dry food, am a horse nut and proud grandma. Love to run, exercise and backpack. So happy I found you all. :0)

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  11. Just came across this thread! I’m in my early thirties and just got into prepping. There is a wealth of info here! It’s so nice to have this community available! I haven’t met anyone in my community who shares this lifestyle so I’m really happy to get as much knowledge as possible. Are there any regional meetups? I don’t use Facebook

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    • Hello Christine and welcome. Unfortunately our female only preppers group runs on Facebook. Its a freindly and supportive group so may be worth getting a FB account for! SIgn up here if you do decide to join.

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  12. I have been prepping for 40 years and I am still learning new tricks. I love that I found this site for women. I am married but husband very Ill, so everything that needs doing on the farm is up to me. Lol Hubby does supervise a lot though. He is a wealth if knowledge but all physical I do. Learned how to work a chain saw and have been cutting our firewood as well as cutting downed trees. I am 67 and going strong albeit a little slower. We woman can do anything we set out minds to. Yes some things need to be modified to compensate for our weaknesses but we can do it. As Rosy the Riveter said “I can do it”. And we can.

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  13. Back to the “what do do about your cycle” discussion: I no longer bleed, but I used to love menstrual sponges! Smallish chunks of NATURAL (like that grown in the sea, not synthetic or cellulose) sponge. Sometimes sold in the cosmetics section, if you can’t find anything sold for the purpose. Great for women for whom stiff objects cause cramping. Like menstrual cups, they will require rinsing and sanitizing, which is easy (see below)–but they are light enough and small enough you could probably carry one for each day if you’re worried about ability to sanitize on the run. I used to pour my rinse water on my plants–they loved it.

    Light weight, squishable, easy to carry. You can cut to size or use two on heavier days. (Note if you are a heavy bleeder you can leak a little if you cough.) Within a 24hr. period you can squeeze out, rinse (in CLEAN water!) if you can (skip if you must) and re-insert. Or carry a small container to put used ones in until you can rinse all of them at once.

    Sterilize by boiling (will shrink it, so try this before you cut them to size), soaking in vinegar (or maybe hydrogen peroxide), or rinse in clean water and let sit in the sun until VERY dry. You can run a piece of dental floss through them, to help with removal if reaching inside is difficult or potentially infectious. Always make sure they are completely dry before storing. With proper care they last for years, and you aren’t putting plastic or synthetic rubber chemicals in your body.

    Reply
    • Thanks for mentioning this. I talk about this a bit in my book. The only thing I really don’t like about the sponges is that they require a good amount of water to clean each time whereas a menstrual cup can just be dumped and wiped out. But, as you mention, they are small enough that you could carry a lot of them and sterilize once you got to a source of water.

      Reply

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