Prepping Partners: How to Increase Your Survival Rate Exponentially

by Todd Walker

One is the loneliest number!

2 x 2 = 4 ... 2 x 2 x 2 = 8 ... 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 16 ... 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 32 ... 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 64 ... 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 64 ... 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 128

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Who’s your partner?

Butch Cassidy had the Sundance Kid. Wyatt Earp had Doc Holiday. Tarzan had Jane. Superman had… nobody!

When Jane got into trouble, Tarzan always came to the rescue. Doc Holiday had Wyatt’s back in the O.K. Corral. Butch and Sundance went down together, guns blazing.  When a villain exposed Superman to crippling Kyrptonite, who had his back?

No one!

But he had super-human strength – and x-ray vision, you say. Right. But even the Man of Steel had a weakness. The last I checked, there are no prepper superpowers to save us. We need help. We need partners.

We all need people who will walk side by side in our journey. Step for step. Prepping without a partner can be done, but not near as productive.

I remember a conversation I had with our activity director as a sophomore in college. He had hiked the Appalachian Trail a few years before. He had one regret on his solo journey from Georgia to Maine.

Being alone.

He’d walk up on a picturesque stream or overlook and catch himself expressing words of awe verbally to a friend he wished was with him. He took pictures but that just wasn’t the same.

We are social creatures and need human interaction. A pat on the back, a hug, or an encouraging word from a partner is all that’s needed sometimes to get us over a hump.

A byproduct of a good partnership causes individual strengths to be multiplied. Working with a partner has the potential to build strengths exponentially.

Consider this example in math.

2 + 2 = 4. 2 x 2 also equals 4. Multiplication is simply adding in a faster way.

But here’s where it gets good. If we take the little number 2 and raise it to the power of 3 (2 x 2 x 2), we get 8: Now the power of partnering begins to shine. Raising 2 to the 4th power gets you to 16.

Just for fun, try some mental gymnastics.

How many were going to St. Ives?

To demonstrate, look at this scenario from my 8th grade math class. Whip out your calculator and read this 18th century riddle that the Guinness Book of World records claims to be the oldest mathematical riddle in history:

As I was going to St. Ives,
I met a man with seven wives.
Every wife had seven sacks,
And every sack had seven cats.
Every cat had seven kittens
Kittens, cats, sacks, wives,
How many were going to St. Ives?

Answer choices: A.) 28  B.) 29  C.) 2801  D.) 1

You could reasonable defend ‘C’ and ‘D’ depending on your interpretation of the poem. If you chose answer ‘C’, you’ve discovered the power of exponential growth.

Exponents in Prepping

Let’s apply this to our prepping partners – even our extended prepper community.

Not everyone is into preparing for life changing events. It’s entirely possible your spouse or significant other falls into this category.

You, on the other hand, have come to the realization that governments can’t fix what’s wrong and their constant interventionism actually makes a bad situation worse. You’ve left the national ‘everything will be okay’ slumber party. You’re living with eyes wide open now.

You want your partner to join you.

If you’re as fortunate as me, your partner in prepping is flat-out, balls to the wall. Dirt Road Girl disengaged her ‘preparedness’ governor after the real estate bubble of 2008. She has our prepping engine maxed out.

If your partner hasn’t joined you on the preparedness journey, you can still climb solo. It’s not as easy or enjoyable, but very doable. Just realize that you’ll be adding when you could be multiplying.

Iron Sharpens Iron

In the process of iron sharpening iron, lots of heat is produced. The last thing you want is to create a bunch of sparks and unnecessary heat with your partner on your climb to preparedness.

If your strategy to convert your partner isn’t working, re-evaluate yourself. You can only ever change one person.


All is not lost. You might be able to influence your reluctant spouse or partner or family member to join you in building self-reliance.

Here’s how:

A.) Avoid annoying acronyms. (TEOTWAWKI, SHTF, B.O.B., G.O.O.D., WORL, etc.)

Your audience should not need a prepper lexicon to understand the babble coming out of your mouth. Keep it simple. Discuss events that are ‘most likely’ to happen and would have a direct impact on y’all. Example:

  • Weather related events – Snow in Georgia is a big event that rapes grocery store shelves.
  • Job loss. There’s no such thing as job security today.
  • Crime. Start making the connection between the economy and uptick in crime.

B.) You can influence your partner without trying to influence them.

  • Make sure they can eavesdrop on that your listening to podcast by an authority on survival and prepping. It’s not coming from you.
  • Do the stuff. People are more apt to trust and follow you if they see your actions match your words.
  • Practice practical preps. When hiking, camping, hunting, or other outdoor activities, first aid and other essentials go along. Maybe they’ll make the connection on the importance of prepping at home. Start by building an emergency kit for the family vehicles. They don’t drive around without a spare tire, do they? Take care of ‘what if’ situations. Especially if you have kids together. Preparedness really hits home then.
  • Do the stuff. “I really respect talking heads on the TV,” said no one ever!

C.) No bootlicking. Playing hard to get uses a bit of reverse psychology.

  • Be patient – but stand on your principles.
  • Coming across desperate makes you look like a cheap used car salesman in a polyester suit. If they haven’t woken up to the need to prepare yet, they’ll just blow you off.
  • Operate with integrity and respect. They’ll see that you have their best interest in mind if you’re not kissing up to convert them.

D.) Stop hard selling.

  • Do not try to change your partner’s mind by pushing preparedness. Treat him/her with the respect they deserve.
  • Drop the ‘I told you so’ attitude. Divisive comments will only widen the gap you are trying to close.
  • Scare tactics probably won’t work. Highlight the positives of preparedness.

E.) Gain trust. 

  • Actions vs. words. When that storm knocks out your power, having emergency essentials at the ready speaks louder than words. Lead.
  • Be humble. When you’re wrong, admit it, apologize and move on. No one is perfect. Don’t sweep mistakes under the rug.
  • Be there. You’ve done your homework and practiced your preps. When the time comes, show out. Become the go-to source for your partner in preparedness.

Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results is the classic definition of insanity. Convincing your partner may only take a little tweaking in your approach. Or it may have nothing to do with your efforts at all.

However it comes about, SmartPreppers understand the importance of having your partner on board. Once that happens, get ready for exponential growth!

Keep doing the stuff,


P.S. ~ As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook pageThanks for sharing the stuff!

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Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Doing the Stuff, Preparedness | Tags: , , , | 26 Comments

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26 thoughts on “Prepping Partners: How to Increase Your Survival Rate Exponentially

  1. Reblogged this on Durable Faith and commented:
    Todd Walker shares some important thoughts about the importance of mutual assistance that reminds me of an obscure passage in ecclesiasties 4:
    9 Two are better than one,
    because they have a good return for their labor:
    10 If either of them falls down,
    one can help the other up.
    But pity anyone who falls
    and has no one to help them up.
    11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
    But how can one keep warm alone?
    12 Though one may be overpowered,
    two can defend themselves.
    A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


  2. Great article. Exponential growth is critical when building a team and their capabilities. Curious though, how do you get 2,801 in that St. Ives riddle? I get 7^4 which is 2,401.


  3. Good Article Todd!



  4. Gideon

    It’s funny you chose that rhyme to demonstrate exponential growth. Considering that it’s actually a double trick question. The correct answer is Zero. Most people ask for a calculator and get it wrong. Some are smart enough to notice that only the original character is traveling. Very few catch that the context of the question only references those who are not traveling at all. 😉


  5. Only one person was going to St. Ives. That is the whole point of this poem. It is a riddle to test a person. I have never heard any other answer was correct other than “1.”


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  8. Son of Liberty

    To be focused on the riddle is to miss the point altogether – the riddle is simply an illustration of the major point of the article. The point of this brief article is that we all need other people if we are going to make it, and thrive in the process. No one is an island unto him/herself.

    This is one of the beauties of the book, DISCOVERY TO CATASTROPHE. Wood recognizes that two are better than one (Ec 4:9ff), and that one man sharpens another (Pr 27:17). In the Old & New Testament communities, the idea of community was paramount. They knew by life’s hard experience they needed one another to survive and thrive.

    So it will be with us in the future, we will need each other. We cannot survive, and thrive, alone. No man can stand without what others can bring to the table.



  9. teabag

    another thing to keep in mind is to carry out these excellent strategies in a calm way. if the other person sees that you are calm and quietly confident while talking about prepping and doing prepper things, s/he will be less likely to be frightened about the subject, and may even be reassured enough to join in.


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