I have been prepping in one form or another since my early twenties; I am now seventy years old. When I started we were called survivalists not preppers. During this time, I have made many mistakes and went down the wrong rabbit hole a few times. When I was young I put more stock in bugging out, as I got married and raised a family, this changed. Bugging out with young children is a completely different thing than when you are single.
Even today, while we are in good health and physically active, we are limited by older parents that are in their nineties and young grandchildren. You just don’t leave family. This means that you have to plan to overcome these problems. Each of us has to solve these for ourselves. My solution will not fit most of you and besides there is always the problem of operational secrecy. If everybody knows your plans, it won’t work.
One mistake that I made when I was young was trying to keep my food storage limited to just a few items. I figured that when I got hungry I would eat anything. After trying to live on a very limited diet, I can tell you it does not work well. For all you people who have a basement full of ramen noodles, rice, beans and wheat, I hope you have some seasoning.
Appetite fatigue is real; very few people can get by well on a boring diet. There are things that you can do to solve this, learn to make different things like tomato ketchup. Somebody told me that making things like that or storing seasonings was a waste of time. My wife dries a variety of peppers, vegetables and fruits, these are used for seasoning the food. Drying takes up less room and easier to store. You may be one of the people that can spend a year eating rice and beans, but I am not. I need variety in my diet.
There are many ways to accomplish this. One is learning to can and produce your own foods. Canning meat was our main project last year; of course, you use what you have so rotate the new ones to the back. If you have them on a shelf, instead of boxes put a safety bar in front, so they don’t fall off in case of an earthquake. I now look at the things we learn to do as tools in a large toolbox. To fix something you don’t always need every tool, but it is nice to have the one you need.
Now I am not saying that you should not plan for all possibilities and that includes bugging out. But keep everything you do in balance. Start out with the important things like food, water, shelter, medical and self-defense. A word of warning when it comes to firearms, don’t go crazy and accumulate way more than you ever need and do not violate the law.
We all have a tendency to think in terms of major disasters when we store our preps. However remember that you can use them for many small emergencies, unemployment, financial emergencies like major medical bills etc.
Don’t just sit back and say “I am ready” because you’re never going to be. Being a prepper is a life style. The most important thing that you can collect is knowledge, be sure and practice what you have learnt.