Are You Making Any Of These 8 Prepping Mistakes?

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Are You Making Any Of These 8 Prepping Mistakes?

Let’s face it: Prepping is an inexact science. There’s no way we can make perfect decisions on how to prep for a disaster when we don’t know what disaster we are prepping for or when it will come. All we can do is make educated guesses, and try to look for any holes in our plans, where we might have missed something important.

That’s why I’m always checking myself, looking to see what I might have forgotten. I read other people’s articles, look around for new products and test out various scenarios, just to see where I might have made a mistake. While a lot of that time I’m not doing anything more than confirming that what I’m doing is working, every once in a while I find a mistake I’ve made, either in not seeing something I need or in not seeing it as being important enough.

When Hurricane Harvey hit the Houston area, I was watching everything that happened. I had a particular interest in that hurricane, because it narrowly missed my home. As I watched people struggle to get out of their flooded homes, I realized that I didn’t have a boat. Should I ever be caught in their situation, a $100 investment in an inflatable boat would prevent me from being stuck and waiting until someone came to rescue me. But I hadn’t made that investment.

Here are a number of common errors of that type, which I’ve found through watching this and other disasters:

Expecting to Bug In and Not Having a Backup Plan

I’ve long counseled that bugging in is the best course of action for most people. There are just too many advantages to bugging in, for that not to be most of our choice, assuming we don’t have a cabin in the woods somewhere. But you’ve got to have an escape plan in place, because you never know what might happen.

Sadly, while many of us talk about having a bug-out plan, few really have one. Instead, they’ve just got some vague idea of what they’ll do. A vague idea isn’t a plan.

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The people of Southeast Houston certainly couldn’t bug in when the hurricane put six feet of water in their living rooms, no matter now well prepared they were. There are just some things that nature can do to us, which we can’t stand up under; for that matter, our homes can’t stand up under them, either.

Not Being Ready to Rescue Myself

The inflatable boat I just mentioned falls into this category. I live in a hurricane zone. How could I have missed such a thing? Yet, if it flooded here, I probably wouldn’t manage to get out before the water got too deep for my Toyota 4Runner.

I don’t care where you are or what sorts of disasters you might face, you can’t count on anyone else saving you. While the Cajun Navy might just show up at your doorstep, ready to take you off to safety, you can’t be sure they will be. They may not be able to get to where you are.

Not Enough Water

If there’s one survival supply that most people will run short of, I think it’s water. Too many people are quoting the “gallon of water per person, per day” mantra, without stopping to think about it. But the reality is, that gallon of water is just for drinking and cooking, it’s not enough to take care of all your needs. So if you’re only planning on that much, you’re going to have some serious water shortages.

Granted, it’s hard to store enough water to meet your needs. I won’t deny it. That’s why any real water plan has to include water storage, water filtering and water harvesting. You want to be sure that you err on the side of generosity here, as you’ll probably end up needing more than you think you will.

Not Having Supply Caches

This is another one that Hurricane Harvey made extremely clear. Any preppers living in Southeast Houston didn’t have it much better than their neighbors. It doesn’t matter how much food and water they had in their homes; they had to leave it all behind when they were rescued.

The only supplies that are going to help you in a situation like that are supplies that you’ve got stored someplace else. So if you find yourself forced to bug out sometime, you’d better have a good supply cache or two waiting for you.

Tunnel Vision

Real world prepping isn’t like Doomsday Preppers. You can’t afford to be prepping for just one far-fetched scenario. Rather, you’ve got to be preparing for everything. That way, when something does come, you’ll be ready.

That has to include being prepared for some off-the-wall scenarios, as well as being prepared for the much more mundane natural disasters. Nobody is giving any of us a program, with scheduled dates for the next dozen disasters to come. This is a come-as-you-are world, and it will be a come-as-you-are disaster as well.

The sad thing about tunnel vision is that while you might be perfectly prepared for one type of disaster, you are largely unprepared for another. But a few simply changes in your thinking would have included that disaster, as well. So think broadband, and get your head around all the disasters you can.

Thinking Small

It seems that preppers fall into two categories: those that only prepare for natural disasters, with an outside window of 30 days and those who are preparing for a TEOTWAWKI event. Historically, the ones who are preparing for short-term are right … except for one thing … dice don’t have a memory.

The reality is that just because we haven’t had a major disaster in about 100 years, doesn’t mean that we won’t. Yes, chances of a natural disaster are greater, but they aren’t the only options out there. We could have that once in a century event any day now.

Prepping for a long-term post-survival world not only ensures that you’re ready if that sort of scenario does come; it also makes sure that you’re ready for the more mundane natural disasters, as well. But you can’t say the same thing, the other way around. Personally, I’d rather err on the side of caution,than find out that I was wrong, once it’s too late.

Thinking You Have Foolproof OPSEC

If you think your neighbors have no idea that you’re a prepper, it’s time to wake up. Chances are, they have a pretty good idea. Maybe they don’t know to what extent you are prepared, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an idea what you’re doing. It’s hard to keep a secret and if you have a nosy neighbor, you probably have a lot less secrets than you think.

The question then becomes: How do you deal with that nosy neighbor, when the time comes? You can be pretty sure that they’re going to show up at your door, when the time comes and they run out of food. So you’d better be ready for it.

Just Thinking of Myself and My Family

I know that most of us prep with the attitude that we can’t save everyone, so we’re going to save our family. I’m the same way. But in recent times, I’ve had to rethink that a little. While I’m really still prepping for just myself and my family, I know enough people, who know that I write on survival, that I’m sure at least some of them will be showing up at my door.

It’s one thing to tell someone I don’t know to bug off, but another thing entirely when I know them. I’m not sure how I would react to that, especially if they brought their hungry children along with them. So I’m planning for it. I have lots of extra staples, especially rice and beans. While I can’t stockpile enough to feed them like I’m going to be feeding my own family, at least I’ll be able to give them something.

There’s actually more to this than just getting soft. I’d rather avoid a major battle, with hungry people attacking my home if I can. While I might be able to survive that battle, I’m not sure how many such battles I could survive. Eventually, they’d overrun me or I’d have to bug out. Helping those who come to me, even if it’s just a little, puts off that day when I’ll be forced to fight or bug out.

What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Many Preppers Fail to Do this One Thing

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com A lot of people are paying attention to prepping.  We’re even seeing articles in the mainstream media that more and more “regular” people are getting involved.  I’m glad about that. But after a recent visit forums and review boards, I know there is one step that’s not being done.  People get all excited about getting gear for emergencies, maybe even do a ton of research before purchasing.  Then they stash it away.  They […]

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8 Biggest Mistakes That Preppers Make

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This week I want to share a video by Homestead Launch (formerly known as The Daily Prep). Everyone–and I mean everyone–makes mistakes. This is especially when it comes to prepping, which is a lot more complicated than it looks. Your best bet is to learn from the mistakes of others, and that is the purpose […]

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Survival Gear I’m Ashamed to Own

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Here’s something different (and funny) for a change. Canadian Prepper is one of the most knowledgeable preppers on Youtube, but even he has made some questionable decisions, such as the decisions to purchase these ridiculous survival items. I myself have made some silly purchases before, so I can definitely sympathize with him. However, I never […]

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8 Survival Water Mistakes That Could Make You Sick (Or Worse)

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When it comes to survival, water is the most important part in the holy trinity (water, food, and shelter). You can survive more than 30 days without food, but only 3 or 4 days without water, even if you’re physically fit. Other than oxygen, water is the most important thing for human survival, which is […]

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7 Worst Rookie Prepper Mistakes

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We all make mistakes, especially when it comes to prepping. Fear of doomsday has caused many people to make rash decisions they later regret. Believe me, I know. Fortunately, the Internet makes it easier to learn from other people so you can avoid making the same mistakes they did. To that end, SNO Multimedia made […]

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10 MORE Prepping Mistakes To Avoid

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Several years ago I wrote an article called 10 Common Prepping Mistakes To Avoid. It became one of my most popular articles, and to this day it still gets a lot of traffic. But the article was by no means comprehensive. There are literally hundreds of mistakes one can make when preparing for a disaster, […]

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7 Urban Survival Mistakes That Could Get You Killed

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7 Urban Survival Mistakes That Could Get You Killed Most people try to learn from their mistakes. In fact, sometimes making mistakes is the only way to learn. But this is not so in an urban survival scenario. If you make the wrong mistake and die, you won’t get a chance to learn from it. …

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8 Prepper Mistakes That Could Get You Killed

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8 Prepper Mistakes That Could Get You Killed

Image source: Pixabay.com

There are about 319 million people living in the United States, and approximately 3 million of them are survivalists, preppers, or whatever the parlance is of our times (I prefer to call them realists).

What does that mean? Well, it’s simple math: Only one person in 100 is truly prepared for a failing economy, natural disaster, regional war or pandemic – not to mention a simple job loss. Yes, we’re talking here about the top 1 percent, but in terms of situational awareness, not money.

If you’re among that group, your goal should be maximizing efficiency and reducing costs. That said, let’s look at the top eight prepping mistakes, in no particular order.

1. Not learning survival skills. The most usual frame of mind when prepping is that gear means everything. So, all you have to do is stockpile (food, water, guns, etc.) like there’s no tomorrow. But you must learn at least basic survival skills, i.e., how to fish, hunt, defend yourself, etc.

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Read those survival books, watch YouTube videos, go out camping, go hunting, fishing and so on and so forth. Basically, you should practice what you preach as a “survivalist.” Information is non-perishable, while gear comes and goes.

2. Planning for unrealistic events. For example, you may plan for a nuclear strike while forgetting that you live in a flood/tornado/hurricane/wildfire area. You must prioritize the potentially dangerous situations in your area, be realistic and don’t get lured by the hype.

3. Focusing on just one catastrophic scenario. You can spell disaster in various ways, ranging from losing your job and being unemployed for two years to, let’s say, total economic collapse in North America. You should prepare for everything and if that sounds complicated, just remember the basics of survival. In any given crisis scenario, you’ll need food, water and shelter. The rest are luxuries.

4. Failing to have a properly formulated survival plan. Even in a heist, there’s the man with a plan and the rest are executioners. The same story goes with every situation in life: First plan, then go for it. When disaster strikes, you (and your family) must know what steps are to be taken, what to do next, where to go, where to meet, whom to call and so on and so forth. There is no “one plan to rule them all.” Every plan is individually made to suit your unique situation, i.e., your climate, location, personal resources, etc.

8 Prepper Mistakes That Could Get You Killed

Image source: Pixabay.com

5. Storing all of your eggs in one basket. That is, all of your stockpiles in the same place. By doing that, you will lose all of your supplies/gear in one single catastrophe. You should store your “nest eggs” in different places.

6. Being a total green-horn with your survival gear. Lots of people have stockpiled all sorts of cool survival gear/gadgets, but they are completely unable to use them properly in a disaster situation. You must spend “quality time” and learn how to use your, let’s say, emergency fire-starter kit, especially in a “hairy” situation when you don’t have much time on your hands and you can’t afford to make a mistake.

7. Not storing enough water. Yes, it may sound strange to you, but lots of survivalists fail to achieve this basic goal.

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You can survive without much food for weeks, but the lack of water will kill you much quicker than that, in just 2-3 days depending on the weather. Also, don’t forget to include water purification gear and to learn water collection/creation techniques (there are quite a few).

8. Failing to rotate your food supplies. This can be a very expensive “habit” because food has a tendency to spoil over time. Yet many survivalists tend to store food indefinitely, until they end up with lots of expired stuff that may not be edible. Basically, you must store what you eat and vice versa: Eat what you store. In this way, you’ll avoid waste or potential dangers to your health.

Stay prepared, stay focused, don’t get too comfortable and everything is gonna’ be alright!

What mistakes would you add to this list? Share your suggestions in the section below:

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