Here is what you need to do to succeed at prepping:
1 - Do Something.
Don't know what to do to get started? Want to prep, but feeling overwhelmed? As the saying goes, every journey begins with a single step. As long as you are doing something to get ready for the bad times ahead, you'll be better off than most of your friends and neighbors who are dong nothing. Really have no clue as to where to start? Check out my article A quick, no frills, down & dirty guide to preparing for the End. Pick something easy, like putting together a week's supply of food and water, and do it this weekend. Congratulations on your first step.
Want a detailed step-by-step guide to getting prepared? Jim Cobb's book Countdown to Preparedness: The Prepper's 52 Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness may be perfect for you.
2 - Strive for Balance. Don't
concentrate all your efforts into only one or two categories of prepping, such as guns & ammo or gold & silver,
because they are easier or more interesting/fun than other preps. Get
finances in order, pay off debt, learn first aid, take some permaculture
some home repair courses, buy hand tools and gardening tools, make your
home energy efficient, accumulate at least a year's worth of food,
water, medicine and other supplies, take a defensive shooting course, improve your home security, put aside some junk silver (or even gold if you ca afford it), and plant some fruit and nut trees
in your backyard. In other words, spread your prepping efforts over a wide-range of categories.
New to prepping and the self-reliant, do-it-yourself, lifestyle? Check out my article on how to put together a Basic Starter Tool Set.
3 - Avoid/Get Out of Debt.
In my opinion, next to not taking care of your health, the biggest mistake you can make as a prepper is to go into debt to pay for all your great new gear and supplies. Find ways other than maxing out your credit cards to prepare. And if
you are in debt, find ways to pay it off. Remember the axiom "The
debtor is slave to the lender." Too much debt causes stress and bad
decisions, yields control of your life to others, and interferes in
your ability to make needed preparations. My article Prepping 101: Finances - Get Back to Basics if full of tips and ideas on personal finance & prepping. If you are already struggling with debt, I highly recommend Dave Ramsey's books and radio show.
4 - Learn By Doing. Book learning is useful, but the best preparation for difficult times by actually doing things now - gardening,
hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, canning, sewing by hand, doing your own home & auto
repairs... Here's a great idea: volunteer to help build a house with Habitat For Humanity. You will learn lots of useful skills while actually
helping people in need. Also, check out local gardening clubs for both training and volunteer
opportunities. Put all that theoretical knowledge you've been
collecting to use now, and develop the actual skills & experience
you will need later on.
5 - Pay Particular Attention To Your Health and Fitness. If
you aren't taking serious care of your health and fitness, you are not preparing. Check out my article Steps to Good Health for a lot of great ideas and resources on health and fitness.
6 - Always have a Plan B. And a
Plan C is nice, too. My primary plan is to ride out whatever comes
where I am at now. That is where I am putting most of my efforts and
resources. But I also have a back-up plan (three actually) in case
things become too dangerous to stay where I'm at now for whatever
reasons. I've even pre-positioned some supplies at two of the three
locations. And I have figured out (and actually driven) at least two
alternative routes to each of those locations, in case one of the routes
were blocked for some reason.
Don't just have back-up plans for your
location. Have them for accomplishing various tasks, too. For example,
your plans for water may include 1) your current primary source, 2)
stored water, 3) a nearby creek or pond, plus having the ability to
filter and purify it, and 4) collecting rainwater, plus
having the ability to filter and purify it. Do the same for other
tasks, such as cooking (regular stove, propane grill, charcoal grill,
wood stove, etc.), staying warm (natural gas, electric heaters, propane
heaters, fireplace, wood stove, plenty of insulation & warm clothes,
etc.), and so forth. Have multiple back-ups for every task/system.
7 - Be Part of a Community or MAG. Sorry, but most lone wolves won't survive, especially over extended periods. No one has the endurance and strength to do everything by themselves 24/7/365. We all need other folks for mutual aid and comfort. I wrote about this in more detail in my recent article Why Survival Requires Community.
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