Be a Better Prepper with 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life

Prepping is about more than having the right gear and supplies. Mindset is critical. But how do you develop that?

As preppers we find ourselves doing a lot of rethinking and reprioritizing. We want to be whole individuals, ready for whatever comes our way. And that means living strategically. But how can you do that?


A Different Kind of Prepper Book

Gaye Levy and George Ure offer guidance in 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life. Gaye was my guest on DestinySurvival Radio yesterday, and we discussed a few things you might not expect to hear on a show about prepping, such as having good health, clearing your mind from stress and managing your time well..

11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life isn’t typical prepper material. It’s a self help book for preppers. But, trust me, you won’t be assaulted by motivational hype or psychobabble.

Oh, yes, the book touches on having the basics and doing your own gardening, but it comes at it from a different angle. It’s not a “how-to” book. If you want to know how many drops of bleach to put in a gallon of water to make it clean, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

George and Gaye recommend several other books and Web sites for further reading. They’re not out to give you the ultimate preparedness book. Consider it as an important resource or gateway for further exploration.


The Survival Woman

So who is Gaye Levy? Perhaps you’ve seen her Web site at I first came across articles from her on other sites devoted to current events and preparedness.

She’s from the Seattle area, but now lives on an island in Northwest Washington state. Bio info she sent me says, “After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries.” She’s obviously no newcomer to the business world. And she knows what it means to make significant lifestyle changes.

Like many, a few years ago Gaye saw the vulnerability of her own living situation and began preparing to be more self reliant. Storms or other events could bring normal life to a standstill.

Also like many, she lost retirement savings in 2009. But she knows what it means to keep moving foward.

It’s that outlook which brought about the book with strategic steps for living a preparedness lifestyle.


The Steps

I’ll share the 11 steps with you so you’ll have an idea of what the book and our discussion are about. Some are self explanatory. But you’ll have to read the book to find out what others mean.


  • Step 1: Be Healthy and Pursue Wellness
  • Step 2: Achieve Economic Independence
  • Step 3: Embrace Food Production
  • Step 4: Reduce Energy Consumption
  • Step 5: Learn to Barter
  • Step 6: Use it up, Wear it Out, Make it Do!
  • Step 7: Take Advantage of Nature’s Bounty
  • Step 8: Prepare for the Unexpected
  • Step 9: Choose Simplicity
  • Step 10: Enjoy the Good Life
  • Step 11: The LOSTD


The Heart of the Matter

While these steps give guidance for preppers, Gaye has had favorable responses from younger people in their twenties and thirties who want to get away from society’s consumer oriented mentality. She stressed the point that 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life isn’t meant to capture consumer dollars, but is instead intended to help people move forward in life.

Regardless of where you are in your own life, you can take control over more areas of everyday living than you might realize. And taking greater responsibility for yourself and your loved ones embodies the essence of prepping.

A philosopher once stressed the importance of living the examined life. Self examination is what you’ll have to do when it comes to matters like your health, where your money’s being spent, and the food you can grow or store.

You have to understand your own situation and work within it if you’re going to step forward. What are the risks you face? What can you do within your means to get prepared?

We didn’t have time to cover all the questions I had for Gaye, but I wanted to be sure we talked about the last couple of steps in the book. They deal with setting aside time for yourself to clear your mind, gather your thoughts and make lists of how you’ll get necessary things done. Personal rejuvination is a must. So is having a plan or being strategic. And they can go hand in hand.

It’s vital for you and me to become comfortable with who we are and what we have. We need to find joy in the simple things. Embrace life for what it is. It’s not about what we have.

If you and I can apply such a mindset, we’ll be better people and better preppers, ready to adapt to whatever comes our way.

I encourage you to hear my interview with Gaye and read 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life for more specifics. I can only give highlights here.

Hear my interview with Gaye Levy when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for November 29, 2012. Find out how her site got its name and how she came to be known as the Survival Woman. Visit her site at You may also want to check out

11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life is a Kindle e-book available on Amazon. It’s a DestinySurvival Pick. You can order it by clicking on its title wherever you see it linked in this post.

By the way, if you don’t have a Kindle and want to read this or other Kindle books for preppers, consider getting the free Kindle for PC.

What do you think? Do you have any strategies for living a better life as a prepper? Leave a comment below and share with others.



Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

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