8 Common Prepping Mistakes
Avoiding Common Preparedness Mistakes
Starting out with preparedness need not be complex or expensive. It takes a little organization and planning. Unfortunately, too many people think that they need to spend a truckload of cash to buy all the latest gear and shelves filled with dehydrated and canned food. If you do all your pre-planning before you start you can use your time, money and storage space to make the best of your preparations.
- Overspending on gear. This is common. So much so that I’m guilty of it from time to time as well. The variety of available gear related to the many areas of survival and preparedness is staggering. Unfortunately there is a majority of available products which are too cheap to be reliable. Cheap in this case means poor quality junk which is not dependable. I’d recommend spending the least you can for the best quality you can afford. Don’t buy for the sake of buying, buy with purpose and buy quality.
- Improper food storage. If you are going to start storing food, learn how to do it. Food can spoil if not properly stored. Factors such as moisture, heat, cold, pests, oxygen, etc. Make sure the food you store is properly packaged for the desired duration to maintain freshness and to be edible when needed.
- Not storing food you already eat. If quinoa isn’t something you eat now, then why do you think you’re going to eat it during a crisis? Store what you eat so you can eat what you store. Radical changes in diet can cause digestive problems; not something you want when you’re without power or running water. Streamline your non-perishable pantry and stock up on that.
- Not rotating your stored food. You’re better off slowly stocking up the non-perishables you already eat than investing in a pile of canned goods with the same expiration date. If you slowly add to your stock, and rotate foods in and out, you’ll always have fresh stock. As you add, take a permanent marker and write the purchase & expiry dates on the package and put it at the back and move the older stuff to the front. That way you’re less likely to waste.
- Not planning for likely scenarios. There are people out there who plan for a massive event, like societal collapse, but haven’t prepared for something which is far more likely to occur. Seasonal weather (like floods, storms, freezes, droughts) are far more likely to happen that something global. If you can’t handle a black-out for 12 hours, how can you expect to handle the end of the world?
- Never doing a dry run. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. Why does the military train, train, train? So that when they get to doing the “real thing” it’s well rehearsed and when things go sideways, they have practiced enough of their “actions on” that they can deal with most eventualities. The same applies to preparations. Practice breeds confidence. Confidence dispels fear and panic. Make a plan and practice it until you’re comfortable with it.
- Not acquiring skills or taking training. I would bet on a well-trained person over a well-equipped person any day. Training trumps gear. Gear can break, malfunction, jam, get lost, or otherwise fail you. It also takes up space and weighs. Knowledge weighs nothings. Knowledge and training, backed by experience, enables flexibility and improvisation in a time a crisis. It also expands your perspective and gives you the ability to manage a situation in different ways. Invest in quality training. Then gear up accordingly. Being prepared means more than just having stuff. Learn and develop new skills to become more self-sufficient.
- Believing that weapons alone are the end-game. People who believe that a closet full of guns and ammo is answer to disaster preparedness are wrong. Period. The reason is two-fold. First, preparedness and survival depend on knowledge and skills. There are so many varied tasks required to make it through an even that you can’t just rob or shoot your way through it. It’s hard to steal skills from someone, right? Second, simply owning a gun does not make you a Hollywood Special Forces commando. You need training. Lots of training to be effective. Otherwise your shiny new tricked-out AR will be someone else’s new AR, because they’re better than you are. And there will always be someone better than you.
Keep the above list in mind. By avoiding mistakes in the beginning, you give yourself the opportunity to build upon a firm foundation. Make contact with people. Learn from one another. Practice skills. Invest in quality training and equipment and practice your plans. Practice builds confidence. Confidence keeps fear in check.