Survivalist, prepper, whatever you happen to call yourself, maybe you think you have everything ready to go when circumstances force you to live off the grid or even take off for a safer environment. Preppers tend to go whole-hog when they first start planning for all eventualities. They stockpile supplies, keep checklists, make plans. A certain level of calmness and maybe even a bit of superiority seeps in and makes the prepper feel that they have attained a state of complete and satisfying preparedness. Then, of course, time marches on. If the prepper feels “finished” and doesn’t see the need to continue vigilance, that’s when three of the most common prepper mistakes can happen. Let’s take a look at those mistakes so you can avoid them.
Prepper mistake number one is forgetting to rotate your supplies. This applies mostly to food and medicines. If you are like most preppers, you probably have a mix of different types of food with different shelf lives. You may have long-term storable goods like dehydrated or freeze-dried food that can last for years. These are less of a concern than are foods like grains or canned goods. For these products, use the method of “First In, First Out” to keep it all as fresh as possible and not allow your supplies to expire. Occasionally, check out the expiration dates in your pantry and use those goods that are coming close to the end of their shelf lives. Make sure to replace those products next time you head to the store. Keep everything more recent towards the back of the pantry and the older food near the front. The same principle applies to any medications you may be stockpiling. First in, first out every time.
Prepper mistake number two is forgetting to resupply your stock. This can apply to food and other supplies also, such as medical supplies. Maybe you find you need to open up that first aid kit and use a bandage or antiseptic spray. That’s fine, in fact it helps to keep your supplies fresh, but just don’t forget to resupply. Immediately get that list going to remind yourself to purchase anything you need to keep your supplies stocked. Food falls into this same category. If you need to open up that can of pinto beans or that bag of rice, buy more next time you head to the grocery store.
Prepper mistake number three, and possibly the most important, is not knowing how to use your supplies. Think about it: it doesn’t do any good to have a nice new tool or piece of machinery if you have no idea how to use it. It can put you in a difficult and possibly dangerous situation to have the moment come when you need something in your stockpile and realize you must try to use it even though you have no experience. Maybe you have striker for building fires but have never used it to actually start one. Or you’ve purchased everything you need to do your own canning but have never tried to can anything. If you have firearms but haven’t ever been to the range to become proficient with them, they may end up being worthless to you when you need them. Worse, you may be a danger to yourself and others in an emergency situation.
If prepping is a part of your lifestyle, it is important to remember that just buying supplies, tossing them in plastic bins, and putting them in storage is not enough. Rotating, resupplying, and learning to use your supplies is just as important as the original purchase. Survival depends on preparation and vigilance.