4 Common Prepping Mistakes

Posted on: April 28, 2016

Prepping is like any other worthwhile endeavor – there are going to be a few stumbles along the way. Fortunately, you can avoid some of them by learning from the mistakes of others. The important thing is to not lose sight of your goal or just toss your hands in the air and give up. Stay focused and you’ll get through it.

Common Prepper Mistake #1 – Too much, too fast

Those of us who’ve been at this for a while see this all the time. Someone finally comes to their senses and decides prepping is a good idea. Suddenly, they go into overdrive and are trying to read 87 different books at once, going through an ink cartridge a day as they print out a bazillion different BOB content lists, and put together shopping lists that may close down every warehouse store in the state.

It doesn’t take long before they are burnt out on the whole idea and they go back to “normal” life.

Look, you can’t do it all, not all at once. I understand that when “prepping fever” strikes, you feel as though you are running out of time. I get that, I really do. But, reality check – you’re human and there are only so many hours in a day. On top of that, you still have a life to lead, one that probably doesn’t have a whole lot of free time to begin with, right?

Solution – Slow down and take your time. Tackle one issue and resolve it before moving to the next. Start small. If you are just starting out, build your bug out bag. No, it won’t be perfect, far from it. But, it gets you moving in the right direction. From there, look at food and water storage. Do one thing every day that moves you forward and don’t rush around trying to do it all.

Common Prepper Mistake #2 – Accumulating stuff without forethought

No matter how we look at it, prepping will involve accumulating some amount of gear and supplies. There’s just no way around it. However, all too often we see people buying stuff just for the sake of buying it, with little to no planning or forethought as to whether the item is actually needed or wanted.

I see this a lot with food storage. People will go out and buy entire pallets of freeze dried vittles and call it good. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more involved with food storage. Or, there should be more involved. See, a sudden diet change to those freeze dried foods can lead to some rather serious digestive issues. That’s just for starters. On top of that is the need for an increase in your water storage as you’ll need that H2O to rehydrate all that food. But, the person feels better about their situation because they’ve done “something” to prepare.

Solution – Start by making lists of what you think you need. Base this on research you’ve done as well as common sense. Don’t buy due to panic or a sense of obligation. Every family is different and their needs are unique. Build a plan that is best suited for you and yours and let others worry about their own situations.

Common Prepper Mistake #3 – Spending money on junk

This is often tied in with Mistake #2, of course, but I felt it still needed a separate entry. Let’s face facts, there is an awful lot of sheer and utter crap out there. Knives that look pretty but wouldn’t cut through pudding. Packs that have seams that will split the first time you load so much as a teddy bear inside. Flashlights that turn off if they are nudged or jostled.

Prepping is big business today. Many companies are taking advantage of the popularity of emergency preparedness and sending off to market cheap knock offs that are really all but worthless. And people are buying this garbage by the truckload, all in an effort to be prepared but without realizing just how unsafe a lot of that stuff is.

Solution – If you’re going to rely on a product to save your life, you owe it to yourself to make sure it is up to the task. Don’t spend money on something just because it is shiny or because some quasi-celebrity on TV endorses it. Do your homework. Read reviews and seek out video reviews as well. Learn what to look for when it comes to knives, packs, flashlights, and other gear. Over time, you should be able to recognize good from bad, at least most of the time. As a general rule, you get what you pay for. An inexpensive widget probably isn’t going to be as rugged and well-made as a more expensive one. That’s not always the case, of course. There is some pretty high priced crap out there, just as there are deals to be had. Case in point with the latter is the Condor Bushlore knife. For under $40, you can have a very good quality blade, complete with a really well made leather sheath. I’d put the Bushlore up against just about any similar sized high-end knife on the market. http://amzn.to/1TgCjMh

Common Prepper Mistake #4 – Not testing your gear

This may well be the biggest mistake I’ve seen, at least in recent years. People go out and buy the things they think they need and put it all on a shelf or in a pack, sometimes without even taking the items out of the packages.

Now, I know some of you buy at least some of your gear in pairs or sets. One of the item is used regularly and the other is kept in storage. That’s fine, no problem there. Obviously, this section isn’t for you.

For the rest of you, listen up. If you aren’t getting your gear dirty, which means taking it out of the box and actually using it, you are doing yourself a disservice. You need to have a full understanding of how the item works. Make sure all of the pieces are there and test out the product to see if it does what is supposed to do. It is vital that you know what the item can and cannot do before you need to rely upon it for survival.

Solution – Get in some dirt time. Take new items out and play with them. Let your family members test things out, too. Make sure everyone knows how the stuff is supposed to work and that each person can assemble or disassemble items as needed. Make actual meals on emergency stoves. Use water filters to drink collected rainwater. Load up packs and take them for a test hike for a few hours. This is truly the only way you’re going to know if you can rely on your gear when times get tough.

1 thought on “4 Common Prepping Mistakes

  1. All four are very good points, and I have seen countless people make theses mistakes. For instance #3,and #4 can be over come easily simply by purchasing “Military Surplus”.
    Another huge mistake that many make, is not being able to stay quiet about their prepping efforts. It amazes me the amount of preppers I run into that will give detailed information on what they have, How much of it they have, and even where they have it stored.
    This is a massive mistake! When it hits the fan, the thing I fear (and prep most for) is roving bands of young, strong, and most dangerous of all “Hungry” people. If the word is out on where they can score their next meal(maybe several), that’s where they are going, and hunger is a powerful force that will spread incredible evil. Be quiet, be secure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *