The numbers of preppers seem to be growing and the pandemic may have been a decisive factor in making people understand that we have little to no control over our future. What we do have control over is how well we prepare to withstand the next crisis.
Prepping for the next disaster or apocalypse isn’t always about having the perfect upper receiver and lower receiver combination in your AR15 and stocking up on ammunition. You need to think about several items and elements to get and maintain a ready state of preparedness that will get you through the tough times should they happen.
While having a working rifle and plenty of ammunition is undoubtedly one aspect of preparedness, food and how you store it, cash and how you spend it, and water and how you keep it and drink it are just as essential to prepping practically. If you’re new to prepping and just starting your DIY prep kit, here are a few tips you’ll want to know on your journey.
Learn From the Mistakes of Others
When disaster strikes, the last thing you’ll need is to discover how many prepping mistakes you made. Some of these mistakes may turn out to be costly, and when dealing with a dynamic situation, you’ll find you don’t have the time or the luxury to learn from them.
Remember, you’re preparing now for a future event. When it comes to money, you need to start living far below your means right now and saving up that survival nest egg.
Frequently, many who have gone before you have made a mistake by extending their credit lines to purchase their survival supplies. Having an overextended amount of credit is never a good thing when disaster hits. Instead, learn to lower your bills until you have a little something at the end of each month to purchase the prep supplies you’re going to need.
The market is flooded with survival guides to help you tailor the suitable prep kit for you and your family, and most of them contain suggestions from folks who’ve made plenty of mistakes and share the best ways not to repeat them.
A little reading and investigation will go a long way in putting together your survival preparedness kit.
Water Everywhere and Not a Drop to Drink
Statistically, the storage and consumption of water are some of the most common errors a lot of survival preppers make. Although storing water in plastic jugs such as milk cartons may seem like a great idea at the time, it’s not.
First, it doesn’t matter how many times you rinse it out; you’ll not be able to cleanse the jug from all the biological remnants. You’ll end up with contaminated fluid that may be drinkable but will most often make you sick.
Although you can stock up on water purification tablets that turn the water into something potable, there’s another reason you shouldn’t use these plastic cartons to store water. Plastic can’t stand up well to rigorous handling. Eventually, the jugs will break down completely or, at the very least, spring a leak.
If you’re storing boxed non-perishables along with these leaky water containers, you’re going to have quite a mess on your hands. Additionally, it would be best if you kept in mind that you’ll need to store a lot of water.
Most ordinary people can only go without water for about seventy-two hours, while the human body can withstand food deprivation for almost three weeks. What this means when prepping your survival kit is that you’ll need to take in water far more times than you will food.
If You Won’t Eat It, Don’t Buy It
Making a trip to Costco and discovering a few sweet deals on a bulk supply of candied yams or broccoli may fit your pocketbook, but if you hate yams or broccoli, you’ve just wasted your money.
Think staple food, the types of food that you can store easily and for extended periods that you and your family will eat when the time comes.
Also, it’s best if you don’t limit yourself to having a survival preparedness kit stocked with only canned food. Yes, the shelf life of a can of beans is longer than a loaf of whole wheat bread, but even if you’re experiencing a dynamic situation, it never hurts to diversify your diet.
Aside from eliminating the possibility of ingesting far too much sodium from canned food, which is not the kind to your diet, you can benefit from mixing it up a bit with dried or freeze-dried foods as well.
It’s All About Location
Many survival preppers often have their survival preparedness storage area in their home or garage, and they never stop to think that a single disaster could wipe out their entire stocks.
That’s one of the primary reasons you should consider several locations where you can stock your survival supplies. Just like real estate, when it comes to storing your survival supplies, it is all about location.
A good disaster survival plan should include at a minimum, three or more locations if you choose places where you’ve stored supplies, a weapons cache, and plenty of water.
Additionally, you’ll want to think about the routes you’ll need to take to get to these stocked areas and how long it will take to get there if your main supply stock gets trashed. If the travel is longer than a few hours, consider building a few bug-out bags or mini versions of your supply stock that you can easily carry.
You’ll need sustenance and protection on your trips to the other supply locations, so it makes sense to include sufficient food, water, firearms, and ammunition to tide you over until you can make it.
Keeping Things Clean
Your rifle and or pistol isn’t the only thing you’ll need to keep clean, so be sure to include sufficient items for proper personal hygiene. Of course, you won’t be eating those bars of soap or chewing on a wad of toilet paper but keeping yourself in appropriate working order is imperative during a disaster situation.
Think of it this way. When and if a dynamic situation becomes catastrophic, hospitals, at least those still operating, will get flooded with sick and hurt people.
Having the proper necessities to ensure you stay healthy is the best way to prevent you or your family from becoming statistics.
It’s A Secret
Unfortunately, most folks like to brag about their accomplishments, but you need to make sure you’re not one of them when it comes to your survival preparations.
When it comes to surviving a disaster, there will be many who didn’t have the forethought like you do to prepare for the worst. If you let your friends know what you’ve done to prepare, and even worse, tell them the locations of your survival stashes, where do you think they’re heading when the conditions turn worse?
That line of people at your front door may not be a bunch of friendly neighbors dropping by to see if you and your family are safe. If you don’t keep this between you, your family, and a few trusted individuals, those bug-out locations may be ravaged before you can get to them.
Training and Staying in Shape
While ensuring your survival stashes get routinely freshened and cycled, there are a couple of more things you can do when prepping. Rehearse the things you’ll need to bring and the actions you need to take if an actual disaster strikes.
Plan each scenario and play it out. If by vehicle or traveling on foot, you need to understand how each will affect you and how you do it. When traveling on foot, the best thing you and your family can do in advance is staying in shape. Develop a routine of walking, even if it’s walking around the block.
Remember, if disaster strikes, you may not have any other choice but to walk. If you’re not healthy enough to make it to safety or your next stash of disaster supplies, your situation may go south rather quickly.
Never Assume Your Tools Will Work
Regardless of whether it’s a flashlight, an all-in-one survival tool, a pistol, or a rifle, never assume they’ll work when you have to use them.
Set up recurring times once a month to check your survival gear and test each. For rifles and pistols, that may mean a trip to the range if you’re a city dweller. Check to ensure the batteries in your radios and flashlights are fresh and check each for proper functionality.
Many survival preppers believe in carrying multiple iterations of the same tool, thinking they’ll fall back to the second device if the initial tool fails. While this is a logical thought process, the problem of having multiple items and more bulk often creates diminishing returns.
More bulk means slower travel and more time spent gathering everything when quick movement is required. Remember, it’s the capability of performing something you need in a redundant fashion you need, not necessarily the tool used to do it.
It’s Not Rocket Science
Putting together a preparedness plan and stocking survival food and necessities is not rocket science. It requires a little practice, a lot of research, and ultimately some time spent taking small steps toward completion.
You don’t have to do everything or acquire everything you need in your survival kits at one time. Start small and continue to grow, and soon enough, you’ll be ready for something you hope never happens, but prepared if it does.
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