I was first introduced to the idea of prepping in my youth and today I am over seventy years old. Prepping has been a part of my entire adult life. In recent years, my wife and I made the decision to try to do what we can to help people avoid common mistakes, hence this blog. We also are involved in teaching classes and help to put on a preparedness fair in our local area.
As a result of this, we get to work with people at all levels of prepping. Some in particular the homesteaders are ahead of us in many areas. While I am very interested in foraging for wild foods, I am not the farm type. We all have weaknesses and gardening is mine. As we work with people, we see several areas in which the most mistakes or weaknesses occur.
These common mistakes are not necessarily in order of importance, but are ones we often see
Water storage – too many people minimize this area. I often ask people what type of water filter they have and they pull out a small filter designed for backpacking that will purify maybe 50 to 100 gallons of water. In talking with them, we find out, they have no real knowledge of how to use Sodis or other alternate means of purifying water. Normally they will not have more than a few gallons of water in their storage.
First Aid and medical – we ask them about their prescription medications and get a story about how hard it is to get extra, so they do nothing. The first aid kits that we often see are short of an adequate number of dressings. They are more bandaide kits.
Food – often they are unrealistic about the amount of food they need to store. Since they are not homesteaders or food gathers, it will take them some time to raise crops and learn to gather food. They often pull out a book or two on wild plants and tell me how they intend to use it to find food. Stock more food than you think you will need, it will not go to waste. Food is like the money in your wallet it will disappear faster than you think it will.
Space and finances – The big excuse we often hear is I don’t have the money or the room to store that much. Yet you see their expensive new boat sitting in the yard and they have money and space for all the new toys. With them, they want to have preps, but are not willing to make it a priority.
Lack of knowledge and training – we see people who are willing to spend money and have all kinds of good high quality preps, but lack the knowledge of how to use them. One gentleman showed me his nice library and told me that he would wait until after something happened to read them. Lack of knowledge is a huge area, my wife finds women all the time that don’t know how to cook from scratch, never mind knowing how to use what they have stored. When you lose everything else your knowledge will be the only prep you have left.
Not teaching their children and families – you need people that you can count on, especially as you get older. A family or group of friends that can work together is an amazing strength multiplier.
These are just some of the mistakes we often see. Now I don’t want to criticize people (we make enough mistakes of our own) and we try to help them as best we can. At least they are making some effort which is better than most of the population.