When people first start out prepping, they tend to rush into it and make mistakes. Sometimes it’s because they get caught up with the whole idea of prepping, and they are trying to prep as quick as possible. Other times, it’s just because they don’t have enough information on the topic and therefore don’t really know what they are doing.
You should learn everything you can from the mistakes of others, that way you won’t waste your own time and money making the same mistakes.
Read this list of prepper tips I wish I had of known before I started prepping!
Prepper Tips I Wish I Knew Before I Started Prepping
1. Start Living Below Your Means, Now!
The last thing you want is to be going out and maxing out your credit card on prepping supplies. Instead, review your spending and make cutbacks in the areas you can to save money. A good rule is sticking to the 20/30/50 rule of budgeting.
After a few months, you should have saved up enough to start prepping. Remember, the most important prep you can make is your cash savings, money can pull you out of a lot of holes, so get an emergency fund in place.
2. Don’t Blow Your Budget in One Go
Prepping is something that should be done over time. Often, there are survival items that you think you must have, then come to realise that you don’t actually need them. Be patient when making purchases, take a few days to think it over before buying.
3. Store Lots of Water
Water is more important than food, you can only last 3 days without water, but can survive up to 3 weeks without food. You are going to use water faster than you think, so make sure you have lots stored. You don’t have to buy cases of bottled water, you can start collecting rain water, filter and purity it, then store it away. If you have a nearby water source, you could also make plans for exploiting it.
4. Don’t Store Water in Old Milk Containers
Milk containers break down pretty easily, and it is also hard to wash out any residue left over from the milk. The last thing you want is bacteria growing in your water. You are better off either investing in water bricks, or storing it in old coke bottles, or similar.
5. Don’t buy Food Your Family Doesn’t Usually Eat
Finding a great deal on that canned tuna may sound great, but if everyone in your family hates eating tuna, then you have wasted time and money buying it. Instead, try and buy foods your family already eats, and rotate them through your stock pile.
6. More than Canned Goods
Preppers love canned foods, but there is this misconception that all preppers must have shelves full of canned goods for SHTF. There are lots of other foods available to buy, that have long shelf lives, such as pasta, rice, even freeze dried foods.
7. Buy Some Shelves to Help Organise
Having your preps organised is one of the best prepper tips around. Get yourself some sturdy shelves and start keeping your prepping supplies organised. It will help you find items, and it is also easier to rotate out foods and other supplies. Remember, STURDY shelves! You don’t want them to collapse.
8. Don’t Put all Your Supplies in One Place
You don’t know how or when a disaster will strike. Your entire prepping supply could be wiped out overnight. Store your prepping supplies in various locations around where you live, for example, you may keep a bug out bag in your bed room, a get home bag in your car, some preps in the garage, and some preps in your spare room. Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket, that’s just asking for trouble.
9. Knowledge is Power
It takes skills and knowledge as well as supplies. You may have fancy knives, and rifles, but if you don’t know how to hunt, or use your knife, they are pretty much useless. Learn valuable survival skills today before it’s too late.
10. Those with Special Needs
Some people require medication such as insulin, glasses, oxygen….. Make necessary precautions for them also.
11. Hygiene and Sanitation is Important
Having a supply of toilet paper and soap is just as important as having plenty of food and water. It is very important to stay clean to avoid getting sick. Getting sick whilst in a survival situation, when the hospitals may be closed could be life threatening.
12. Don’t Leave Your Pets Out
If you have pets, you will either have to choose to keep them and care for them, or abandon your beloved pets. If you plan on keeping them (right thing to do), then make sure you have supplies in place to feed and water your animals during SHTF.
13. Don’t be the Only Prepper in the Family
Your whole family needs to be on board with prepping, otherwise it is going to make it a lot harder. You should share vital knowledge, escape plans, and bug out plans with them for future reference.
14. Don’t make Prepping Public
Try and keep your prepping low key, don’t go telling everyone about it. If, and when a disaster strikes, your house will be the first one that is robbed if everyone knows you have a massive food and resource store. Try and keep your prepping plan between you and close family, and maybe a select few friends who are also preppers. Remember, share these prepper tips with them too!
15. Try to Keep Fit
You may be wondering why this is on a list of prepper tips, but keeping in shape is vital. Many preppers are going to find themselves run into the ground because they are not physically capable of the work that needs done due to their level of fitness. Go hiking, jogging, swimming, it will help you keep fit.
16. Guns and Ammo Will Not Keep You Safe
I’m not saying don’t have a gun for self defence, but your guns main purpose should be for hunting game. Learn how to use it for that. Your guns secondary use, protection – your gun cannot provide you with protection against others with guns, unless you are willing to take the first shot…
17. Have a Get Home Plan
Many people have all these ideas about how they are going to bug out to the woods when SHTF, but what happens if SHTF when you are not home, what if you are on holidays? Have a plan for all situations, including being away from the house, holidays, work and so on.
Related: Building a Holiday Get Home Bag
18. Don’t Assume What Will Happen
Some assume they will just bug out and be safe, others assume they will just bug in. You don’t know what is going to happen, or when, so have plans for every situation. Have a bug out location, but also a plan for bugging in. Every prepper needs a back up plan.
19. Test Everything
Don’t just assume everything is going to work when you need it. Test items every so often and make sure they still work. There would be nothing worse than trying to use your inverter to generate electric in a grid down, to find it has broken. This is a valuable point in the prepper tips list!
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20. Baby Steps
You may be undertaking a large DIY project that requires lots of research and planning, but you just want to get it done as fast as you can. This is not a good idea, take your time, do the job right the first time, and you will only have to do it once. Lots of baby steps will add up and go a long way.
21. The World Will Not End Tomorrow
Technically, it could, but the odds are, it will not. Take your time with prepping, do everything right, after all, this is your survival we are talking about here.Be prepared, but also enjoy life, don’t let prepping take over. Keep in mind, SHTF may never happen in your lifetime!
Hopefully the prepper tips in this article will help you become a better prepper, and prevent your from making the rookie mistakes that most other preppers have.