8 Prepper Tips You Wish You’d Heard Before You Started Prepping

Prepping is a lifestyle that requires absolute commitment to ensuring that all needs, and some wants, would be covered in the event of a disaster situation.

There are countless articles out there that discuss ways to convert to the prepper lifestyle, but this won’t be one of them. This article is going to go all the way back to the beginning, to discuss tips that you wish you’d heard before you started prepping.

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Don’t click away if you’re an established prepper either! These may be ideas you’ve been overlooking. This will also be helpful for people who are new to prepping since these tips are a great way to ensure that your foundational skills are up to par before you continue on.

Prepping Isn’t All About What You Buy

A significant number of preppers go wrong with the belief that having enough stuff will save them when things go sideways. This couldn’t be further from the truth. All of the supplies in the world won’t be of use if you don’t know what to do with them. While having the proper supplies is necessary, you also need to have plans of action for when doomsday comes.

This includes having multiple plans of action that are ready to be carried out if needed. Plan for any of the major events that are likely to occur: natural disaster, government collapse, and disease outbreak. Each of these situations would require a different plan of action, modified to suit what will be lost if that event occurs.

It’s also worth noting that when you are buying supplies for prepping, don’t be discouraged if you can’t afford everything at once. A lot of prepping includes building up your plans over time.

You Can’t Be The Only Prepper in The House

It’s illogical to expect that one family member can do the prep work of the entire family all by themselves. Not only does this put a major strain on you, but it also leaves your family at a disadvantage if something were to happen to you.

The rest of the family doesn’t have to be quite as committed as you are – let them get there on their own. It is important, though, that each family member has an adequate level of survival skills. Each family member should be able to stand somewhat on their own so that the burden of survival will be roughly evenly distributed among everyone. It’s good to start by making sure everyone knows family plans in the case of an emergency such as extreme weather.

Physical Fitness is Important

Supplies and skills are practically useless without the physical capability to use them. When an emergency hits, you could be forced to do everything yourself; even the most grueling of tasks. Assessing your physical fitness will give you an idea of what improves need to be made to ensure that you’re

You’ll need to be fit enough to carry a pack full of supplies in the event that you are forced to leave your safe space. A backpack may weigh up to 50lbs or more, depending on the items that you’ve included. Exact weight aside, a pack is likely to be heavy enough that it would be difficult to carry if you’re not in good physical shape.

Cardiovascular fitness and strength training are equally important when getting or trying to stay in shape. It is also important to ensure that your diet is healthy, in preparation for a disaster event. Not only will fast food and other unhealthy options be unavailable, but they also won’t provide you the adequate nutrients for survival.

Consider incorporating a martial arts practice into your fitness routine. This will provide benefits for cardiovascular health and strength, as well as teaching a skill set that would be useful in a doomsday situation.

At the end of the day, you don’t need to be an olympic champion to prepare for a crisis. However, it does help to be fit enough to provide for yourself when that’s the only option.

Debt is the Real Enemy

When starting out, it can be tempting to get carried away and start buying supplies more quickly than you can pay for them. We live in an age where almost everyone has a credit card, many of which have a constant balance of debt. Buying supplies may seem more important than the debt you’re accumulating, but this is not the case.

You’ll want to make a serious effort to get out of debt as much as possible. This means paying off credit cards and trying not to regain a standing balance. Any loans, such as student loans or mortgages, should also be paid off to the fullest extent possible. It is a good idea to cut back on unnecessary expenses when you can. This will result in a surplus of income, which can be used to pay off debts owed.

As debts are being paid off, it is also advisable to begin saving some of that excess income. You’ll want to store this money in cash, in a location where it is protected, but easily accessible if needed. In the event of a financial collapse, it’s a good idea not to rely on banks or credit unions. Even in a less severe scenario, a substantial rainy day income will help cover unexpected expenses such as home repairs or medical bills.

Working with Others Can Go a Long Way

It’s important to understand that you can have the biggest arsenal on the block, but that doesn’t mean you or your family will be safe when disaster strikes. It takes more than guns to survive when the rest of the world is falling apart.

The fear of being attacked is going to influence how we behave with others in a doomsday situation. There is an instinctual urge to fight or flee depending on the situation. When carrying a weapon, there is a chance that you will choose to fight when diplomacy may be a smarter choice. Try not to jump to using force, as civil discussion will likely be more helpful in a crisis situation. Cooperation helps to expand your group of resources, which will be invaluable if you’re all left to your own devices.

With this in mind, part of your prep should include making friends in your neighborhood. This way, you have an immediate, established community to rely on when trouble hits.

Weapons Do Matter

The previous point isn’t to say that you shouldn’t have quality weapons and ammunition as part of your prep. You absolutely should have a number of weapons, along with the appropriate ammunition and accessories.

Having a variety of weapons is an essential part in your stockpile so that you would be covered in a variety of situations. You’ll want long range weapons, like the classic AR-15, as well as close range weapons. Be sure to invest in a scope for that long-range weapon while you’re at it, shooting by sight is going to be a waste of your ammunition. This is just as important as the firearm itself and a quality optic option will typically cost half as much

Be sure to invest in weapons that aren’t firearms. Not only do firearms depend on an ammunition supply, but they are also not suited for hand-to-hand combat. Researching close range combat will give you an idea of what weapons are best suited for the task. Take some time to research each option, to find which weapon you would like to achieve proficiency with.

Try Not to Get Overwhelmed

Once you start prepping, it will seem like the lifestyle is an endless endeavor, where there is always more to be done. Try not to let prepping start to run your life. The fact of the matter is, doomsday is most likely not going to be tomorrow. You probably have time to prepare, while not letting the fear of doomsday overwhelm you.

The goal of prepping is to be prepared for anything that may come your way and that can take time. Start with the essentials and move up from there. You need to be realistically prepared which includes acting rationally with your prepping not from a place of anxiety. Think each step of your prepping through rather than making impulse purchases of supplies you aren’t sure if you’ll need.

Entertainment is Key

It goes without saying that prepping means ensuring that all needs for survival will be met. What is often forgotten, though, is that it takes more than basic needs being met for humans to thrive. When life gets more focused on survival, it is likely that mental stimulation will fall to the wayside. It doesn’t take long for cabin fever to set in when spending a lot of time in the home, and it could lead to disastrous consequences if it’s not managed.

Consider preparing for cabin fever by collecting games, books, and other materials that will serve as entertainment. Try picking up a hobby that would double as a useful skill in a survival situation. This could be sewing or knitting, which would be useful for making or mending clothing. It could also be something like woodworking, that could be helpful for home repair.

Disaster prepping is a lifestyle that requires commitment from the ground up. Whether you’re new to the lifestyle or a seasoned prepper, there will always be ways to improve your situation. Taking the time to step back and assess your supplies and skills will show you where any improvements can be made. Don’t get discouraged by any deficits you may see because a part of prepping is constant growth.

Written by

Josh Montgomery, MMR’s founder, runs Minute Man Review in his spare time and actively documents the Texas secessionists’ movements from his home in Austin, Texas. Since its inception in 2013, Minute Man Review has been covering gear reviews, citizen’s rights, and reporting on what Josh believes to be the crackdown on free speech and activity both in the US and worldwide.

Latest comments
  • I started prepping the last year Bush was in office when it looked like Obama was going to win. Didn’t know how bad things would get with him in the White House so I started collecting different things. Freeze dried meals, dry beans, ammo . In the last few years I have also tried to find antiques- tools and such in case the power grid goes down, put in an above ground pool for relaxation and as an emergency water supply. I am now starting to buy all the items necessary to reload ammo.

  • The checklist shown leaves out things to make a fire with. And instead of a relatively limited use mallet to drive tent pegs with, how about an ax or hatchet that can be used for chopping wood, with the back being able to be used for driving tent pegs? That’ll be one less tool to carry.

    • First they better know how to use an ax or hatchet. I can see the gaping wound now. Let them start out with a plastic mallet first. They will do better with a folding saw for wood.

      • I have used a large rubber mallet for years. Before that,I used a lead hammer.Both are heavy, but they do the job.
        I totally agree about the ax and hatchet.They are not designed to be used as a hammer and, not only can you mess yourself up , you can mess your tool up too.

        • Newbern, 40+ years ago when I started doing a lot of camping with a 5X7 tent I bought a plastic hammer just for tent stakes. It weights less than a pound and to me it is worth it. I still have it and use it but now the tent is bigger because my husband feels claustrophobic in the 5×7.

        • I’ve actually seen a hatchet with a hammer head on the back side.

          Regardless, I’m not talking about doing major carpentry work. I’m only talking about driving tent pegs. I’ve never had trouble doing that, and doing that safely. It’s not difficult,and it’snot rocket science.

          • Sure, hatchets can come with hammer heads but in the hands of a novice it could be dangerous. Accidents happen even to the trained and practiced. Sometimes you just do something stupid even when you know better. It’s better to KISS (keep it simple, stupid). I’m not implying you are stupid; I’ve just seen things happen to people who know better.

      • Well it makes sense that a person should know how to use them first. But it also shouldn’t be that hard to do.

    • If someone cannot safely use a hatchet or axe to tap in a tent stake, they are not long for this world in a survival situation any way. A rock or log could be used in a pinch. I agree that a fire starting method should have been included.

  • Josh, I Loved your Comment . . . “All of the supplies in the world won’t be Any Good to you, if you don’t know How to Use them.

  • Well, guys, my comment involves women. We want to survive, too, and can be very useful to you. Also, many women live alone now and don’t have a strong, ex-military man to lean on. I’ve been a widow for 20 years, and long before all that I’ve been dedicated to self-reliance. DIY kind of person. I’ve acquired many useful skills over the years, sewing, tanning leather, making soap, building fires, gardening, and am a trained herbalist. I grow my own herbs and make my own medicine. I also weave on one of three looms, and spin the yarn to weave with. In my neighborhood, I’ve cultivated people who are young, strong and interested in prepping. They would look out for me if there’s a problem. I also shoot, belong to the NRA, and used to hunt with my dad. I’ve raised my daughters to be self-reliant, too. Oh, and I know how to make pemmican and render lard. Self-reliance is an attitude not a hobby. It involves calm logical thought and examination of the results of a given action. Think long and hard before you start running. When you decide to run, make it your best 100 yard dash. And don’t forget your compass.
    You men are wonderful, and we couldn’t get along with out you, but don’t forget God created men and women, so we ladies are the other half of your equation.
    I split my own kindling, put up my own tent, I’m now 85 years old, and still sharp in my thinking. I may not be as strong as I once was, but I’m an encyclopedia of practical knowledge.

    • Pam: You should write for Survivopedia. Seriously! You have a lot of skills you can share with the rest of us. Or do YouTube videos.

      • Thank you Ellen for your kind remarks. Yes, I do have a lot of skills. But, remember they are skills that every one had 100 years ago. I remember my Grandmother and mother doing things that were just another day’s work to them, that now are thought of as awesome. Yes, I want to write for Survivopedia and I want to put up my own web site. I’m having trouble right now with problems with my back. I can only sit at the coputer for 15 to 20 minutes before the back pain is unbearable. Otherwise, I’d be smothering you with blogs. I’m trying to write a book, and actually have a publisher (big accomplishment!!!) But can’t get the book written. I’m so frustrated!! Oh, and I know how to make lye for your soap making. :))) Life’s all good, and this back problem will resonve itself. I’ll just be grateful for all the good I have, and there’s so much. Ellen, start with believing you can do it, because you can! You are a child of your ancestors who survived and thrived before you. Buried deep in your subconscious is the memories of what they could do. Let that knowledge flow to your conscious mind. Trust yourself.

        Love, Pam

    • Kudo”s to you Pam!! Our family was raised “country” I am Mike (male) and unlike traditional, us boys were taught to sew,do laundry,canning food and do dishes. our sisters were taught to plow,weed and harvest. Dad also taught the girls to change oil and filters on all of our vehicles as well car repairs. This was in the 1970-1979.I am glad that my parents were open minded enough to cross train all of us.

      yes I can cook more than camp foods

  • Why would debt be a problem when it’s TEOTWAWKI or SHTF?

    • JC Made a REAL Important Observation . . . If the banks are All Closed (Including ATMs, etc.), The “Dollar” is for fire starter, and the credit score is in-accessible – You ain’t gonna use your gold and silver coins to pay off some creditor 2000 miles away.

    • I have wondered that line of thinking myself. I think someone somewhen wrote it and it become gospel. How about don’t get into unmanageable debt?

  • There are crisis where it isn’t SHTF as everything has gone south, but MANY things have gone south as in jobs, food availability,heat for home etc where there would still be banks and bills although many banks could close but not all. As in depression or inflation During the last great depression my father told me his uncle(who was from New York) stopped at a small town in Wisconsin and tried to pay for something with a 100.00 bill the man told him he could not break that and there wasn’t 100.00 in the whole town! JR

  • One of the first things I would suggest people buy is a “Bite And Sting Kit” I have two sawyers brand that I bought from Big 5 many years ago for $15.00 each. They’re very easy to use. I bought one for my grand-daughter on her 4th birthday and. let her practice on me by putting a dot from a ball point pen on my leg and pretending it was a bee sting or mosquito bite.She picked it up real quick. I would never be without one. I use it for many different things from slithers, tics,bee or wasp stings, and especially spider bites. Good luck to every-one.