We have all done it – made an error with our preps that was either a stupid use of our time, a waste of our money, or both. The great news is that with a few of years of prepping experience behind you, you may begin to recognize those things that are worthy and those that are folly.
I say this from personal experience. This year I even have completely overhauled my bug out bag, started over with my pocket survival kit and EDC, and have shifted my focus on food storage from anything and everything, to a a lot of select group of merchandise that are good tasting and easy to prepare.
And here is the massive one: I recognize that while it’s vital to grow food, for a few of us, growing enough to sustain ourselves is impossible due to space, climate, or different factors. It’s way more reasonable, for example, for a few people to focus on herbs and especially medicinal plants.
Fortunately, it’s rare that anyone person will make all of the mistakes in this list, but chances are you have made one or two. Check them out; they’re in no particular order.
Creating a three day kit and ignoring the long term
The government, the media, and the Red Cross are promoting the three-day kit for so long that it’s safe to mention that the term “three day kit” is currently common vernacular. Not surprisingly, the 3-Day Kit has also become a promoting phenomena.
The good news is that the a lot of that people jump onto the three day kit bandwagon, the better for the rest of us. That’s three days we’ll not have to reach out and help them.
On the opposite hand, something as easy as a winter power outage can last far longer than three days. And a cyber-attack, pandemic, or earthquake? Two weeks, a month,or even a year of emergency supplies would be far better.
Not knowing how to use your gear
Who hasn’t been guilty of obtaining out that combination battery, wind-up, and solar emergency radioand forgetting to use it? There may be a little doo-dad inside of mine that must be switched over to change modes.
Or how regarding the Sun Oven? If it sits in the box and never gets used, how will you know the way to place it in the sun to cook your food or boil your water when the sun is the only supply of power you have.
Similarly, do you have copies of your gear manuals tucked away in case you need them? Storing them on a laptop or flash drive is a nice idea but only if you have some way to power your devices when the grid goes down.
Failing to learn how to cook using food storage items
This is differently of saying “not knowing the way to cook from scratch”. Most people store bulk foods to supplement our freeze dried food. We would be broke if we didn’t.
Do you know how to cook rice and beans? How regarding creating a soup or stew while not opening a single can? As you intend your food storage, keep your habits in mind and if you don’t already scratch cook, at least learn the basics.
Having a comprehensive first aid kit but not knowing basic first aid skills
Having a strong first aid kit (FAK) could be a given as has a supply of emergency medicines. But what regarding knowing CPR? Or cleanup and dressing an open wound that’s bleeding profusely? Many communities provide free or low cost classes on first aid. Currently might be a decent time to check them out.
Not keeping your set of emergency documents up to date
This is probably one of the most common mistakes and is one that I’m guilty of. It takes quite an little bit of work to collect the documents, scan or copy them, and store them in your designated spot. In my case it’s on a flash drive on my survival key ring.
A good time to go through this method of updating can be the annual switch to daylight savings or no matter date you set aside to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
While you’re at it, consider storing current photos of family members and pets as well. You just never know after they will be needed to assist find loved ones following a disaster or disruptive event.
Developing plans to bug-out in the wilderness when, in fact, your bug-in plans are incomplete
I have been proverbial to get on my soap box over this one but come on! Isn’t it plain old common sense to stay put in your house if you can? That’s where your food, water, and medical supplies are, along with emergency sanitation provides, flashlights, clothing and nearly everything else you might want.
Sure, do make a contingency plan for evacuation functions however don’t ignore your bug in plan. Unless your house is not safe, plan to shelter in place at home rather than take your chances within the wilderness.
Not inventorying your stuff!
You are walking around the native out of doors emporium and see a fantastic deal on tactical knives. Great, you can never have too several knives. Unless, of course, you’re spending money on your fifth knife however don’t have a portable lantern.
See what I mean? You should keep an inventory of what you have and what you wish so you do not accidentally spend cash where you do not need to do so.
Storing all of your preps in one location
This is tough for several especially if you merely have one home and don’t have close relatives or friends where you could stash some stuff. Still, see if you’ll put together a suitcase or duffel bag with some emergency things and store them at your workplace or at somebody else’s home.
Set up a barter: I will store yours if you’ll store mine. That kind of issue.
If an alternate location isn’t practical, consider storing items at various locations around your home. Not everything needs to be on shelves in the basement. Spread things out so that if the basement gets flooded, you still have dry items within the upstairs bedroom. Use your imagination and don’t forget to do the absolute best you’ll to package everything thus it’s resistant to wetness and pests.
Feeling smug in thinking your prepping journey is over
I have been prepping for near six years and believe me, there’s still so much i need and need to do. Let me re-phrase that a little. There’s a lot of that I want to refine and improve so I’m better at this business of prepping.
The risks you ready for last year may not be a similar risks you’d prepare for today. You have done a personal risk assessment, right? If not, consider doing so now. While you’re at it, be honest about your health, your finances, and your ability to get by for an extended period on your own. Let me break it to you. After doing a private risk assessment, you’ll no longer feel smug.
Throwing comfort to the wind
There is no reason you need to treat prepping as your own personal reality show. In most cases, surviving with bare bone basics won’t be necessary if you do a little of advance planning. As you set things aside, think about basic comfort items like flannel sheets, grooming supplies, and chocolate. Heck, even some M&Ms or hard candies will be incredibly comforting following a disruptive event.
Believing everything you read on the Internet
Check your sources and use logic. If something seems off, investigate before taking what you read at face value. That has what your read here on this site. I do my best to be credible but honestly? Generally even I make mistakes and have to turn back based on new research and knowledge.
Use your head and you must be fine. I tend to get reflective on that day, and came up with this list as i used to be thinking through some of my own prepping mistakes and goofs.