Beginner Prepper Mistakes
Beginning Preppers can be a curious lot. They are usually filled with a new sense of purpose and urgency, and throw themselves into their new hobby/lifestyle with vigor! Unfortunately this can lead to a lot of fumbling and mistakes that waste time and resources. These are the 7 Beginning Prepper Mistakes To Avoid!
1 Too Tactical
This one seems to be all to common. Many beginning preppers seem to be Hell bent on arming themselves for the Apocalypse. Maybe it is one too many episodes of The Walking Dead but many grab onto the guns and hold on way too tight! They become convinced that the only way to truly be prepared is to be ready to fight World War 3. Now there is nothing wrong with owning as many guns as you want, but being a prepper is different then being a gun collector. 10 Ar-15’s and 20,000 rounds of 62gr 5.56mm but no food, other means of cooking, or a back up heating plan makes for a piss poor prepper.
Security is vital just don’t kid yourself into thinking that being armed to the gills makes you a better prepper. Outside of the most harrowing collapse scenarios 1 or 2 less guns could mean the resources to get you through the next Hurricane, Ice Storm, Tornado, or Blizzard that WILL eventually impact your life!
2 The Mount Everest Of MRE’s
It doesn’t have to be MRE’s, a pile of Mountain House or a sky high stack of rice and beans is another beginning prepper pitfall. All of these have their place in a well though out preparedness plan but running out and buying a 30 year supply right off of the bat is just plain silly! A huge supply of food will take up an amazing amount of space and resources that could have been used elsewhere. Plus when it comes to the specialized foods don’t jump right in without tasting them first. Just ask any Soldier or Marine who has had to live on MRE’s out in the field about how they would like to survive on them for 30 years or ask an experienced backpacker about their thoughts on long term eating of freeze dried!
You would be best served by taking a few deep breathes and researching food storage. Having a deep pantry and practicing copy canning will enhance your preparedness and not ding your wallet like the specialty stuff!
3 Stuff Over Skills
Stuff rules! Who doesn’t love stuff? But stuff has a Dark Side. Stuff can lead you down a slippery slope and give you a false sense of security. Stuff should be subordinate to skills and not the other way around.
- If you have a generator being able to hook it to your house via a transfer switch or knowing how to safely run extension cords is paramount. Did you know that most generators need their oil changed after a number of hours of use? Are you ready to do that?
- Shooting is awesome but can you care for your firearms? Can you keep them running when the chips are down?
- If you are counting on a wood stove for emergency heat do you know how to keep it burning efficiently? Service the chainsaws and splitter? Clean a chimney?
So stuff is good but being able to use, maintain, and even make do if your stuff breaks down is even better.
4 The “Lone Wolf” Mentality
The “Lone Wolf” mentality will get more beginning preppers killed or hurt in a real emergency than anything else. Real wolves roll in packs with mutually supporting members who care for each other.
- What are yo going to do if you get hurt or sick?
- If security is a concern are you going to be able to stay awake 24/7 to keep an eye out?
- Humans are social creatures, that is why even in prison isolation is used as a punishment!
- Are you prepared to let your friends and family suffer while you withdraw?
5 “I’ll Just Head To The Woods!”
The back to nature prepper is in for a rude shock! Spending a night in a debris hut because you are lost in the woods is a hell of a lot different than living in one long term! Even the most experienced wilderness survival instructor will tell you that living off of the land for any length of time is not just difficult but grueling. Look at the most well known “Mountain Man” of recent times, fugitive Troy Knapp. Knapp survived in Southern Utah for 9 years. He eluded police and was known as “The Ghost of theMountains”. But Knapp survived mostly by breaking into isolated cabins.
He would go from home to home, tapping a quarter-size hole in a windowpane and unfastening the latch. He would eat all the food he could find, burn all the firewood, and then move on. He hit dozens of cabins across the state, riffling through the cupboards, taking batteries, binoculars, canned goods, and camouflaged clothing – anything that would keep him alive, moving, and out of sight. He stole all the shoes he could, too, from boots to sneakers to sandals, so his tracks would be harder to follow. Locals called him the Mountain Man, and said he was like a cougar – rarely seen, but always watching.
So even a hard-core survivalist on the run needed to take advantage of the fruits of civilization. Making a plan, sticking to it, stockpiling some stuff, and learning some skills is much better idea than dying alone in the wilderness from so bug you picked up from dirty water!
6 Scenario Fixation
This happens a lot when a beginning prepper locks onto one and only one possible scenario. The scenario du jour seems to change a bit from year to year. Currently EMP (electro magnetic pulse) and complete economic melt down are leading the pack. A new prepper will seize onto this scenario like a K9 latches onto a bad guy. This leads to gaping holes in their preps and the possibility of being blind sided by an actual emergency! If you were all prepared to run and gun with jack booted FEMA thugs but ended up cold and hungry because Hurricane Sandy came to town, you were a victim of Scenario Fixation (and do us all a favor and stop putting up all those InfoWars stickers, thanks). By sticking to the foundations of Preparedness (food, water, shelter, energy, and security) you will be prepared for 99% of disasters and then you can prepare for the aliens or what not.
7 The Prepper Preacher
We get it you are just coming around to the thought that sometimes bad things happen. Hurricanes and Ice Storms come to town, flaming oil filled trains plunge into rivers, and terrorists blow stuff up on occasion. It does nobody any good to go door to door like a deranged Hari Krishna of Doom trying to spread the message. People sometimes need to learn the hard way and being there to lend a hand instead of looking down from Mount Smug will go a long way towards turning the unPrepared into tomorrows Prepared people.
So if you can manage to avoid running off and scooting down certain rabbit holes and approach prepping with a safe and sane plan, you will most likely come through the next (yes they do happen) big disaster that rolls around with style. And isn’t surviving with style what it is all about?
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