Survival prepping is not all about supplies – supplies will always eventually run out! It’s as much about skills as stockpiles. One of the very first skills needed is a questioning and alert mind. Disasters happen and when they do, and your first and second plan just backfired … who you gonna call? You!
As you make your survival plan, ‘what if’ questions should be constantly on your mind. What if my water supply goes dry? What if a key element to my plan doesn’t work? What if a family member is allergic to most of the food supplies? What if we can’t get to our bug out location and are trapped in our home in the city?
What’s a Waste?
When I first started prepping, one of the first things I bought was an electric wheat grinder. No hand crank, no pedal, no alternate means of operation. It was shiny, fancy, state-of-the-art, and a huge waste of space and money. Electricity is not guaranteed. Get quality items, but that doesn’t mean “deluxe” items. Also, if you’ve looked at what it costs to buy a year of food for four people, freeze-dried etc. the cost can be multiple thousands of dollars. You don’t want to buy it all at once like I did. My husband almost walked out the door and drove away when he caught sight of the bill. Look at what the necessities are: grains, proteins, and dairy are vital foods, but check out sales on what will last, set a budget for each month, and then smart shop for the best deals on quality items.
Rotate the food. The easiest way to do that is to use a permanent marker and write the month and year on the tops of containers. Not rotating food would mean running the risk of food going bad and that would be a waste of money. While you are rotating, try easy recipes and cook them on a camp stove.
So What’s Vital?
First, water. Store plenty of water everywhere you might get stuck when things go bad. Also, store a filtration system. Get iodine tablets or bleach to keep water safe. When I was getting my shelter stocked, I wasted hundreds of dollars getting bottled water when I should have been focusing on renewable drinking water.
Next, food. A wide variety is best, even if you are going for mainly the essentials, get as much selection as possible, and in your 72-hour grab bucket, get lots of variety, not just one item. You really don’t want to have to live on beans or rice for days on end.
Don’t forget vitamins, minerals and medications. If you need meds for a chronic problem, you should always have at least a three-month extra supply that you rotate out with new prescriptions when they are filled. Research what would be good replacements in the natural world for your medications and print out a copy to keep with them as well as seeds or whatever is needed to make your own if the disaster is really massive.
Beyond that, consider protection and safety. Not only do you need the tools, but you also need the skills. If you determine you need a gun, get the ammunition and practice your skills often. If you plan to fish, then do it at least a couple of times a year so when you need the sustenance, you won’t have to figure it all out again on an empty stomach. But you don’t need an arsenal, get some ammunition, maybe a weapon for each person in the household likely to use a weapon and maybe one extra. Get rifles mostly rather than handguns which tend to be more difficult to hit targets with, especially in stressful situations.
There’s a million or more ways to waste your assets in survival prepping, just like there is in life. First, cover the essentials and hone your skills. Survival and prepping are not about LUXURY! It’s about making it when others do not. Whatever else you do, put together a few large jars full of the family’s favorite treats. There will be times when even one bite of comfort food could make the difference in being able to face the day ahead. Consider jarring some cash too.
Remember, most people will not actually have to face an apocalypse. However, being out of work for several months, or a short-term problem such as flooding or fire could easily affect almost everyone at some point. Getting through a few weeks until help arrives is the most likely scenario. That means you absolutely need the food, water, meds, and some quick comfort to deal with shock and overload. Before you go building a 1500 square foot bomb shelter/bunker, make sure you have the necessities first.