We all make mistakes, but in survival, it’s best if you make them BEFORE you’re faced with the disaster or an emergency. It’s easy to figure out why. Even something as “simple” as a handheld HAM radio can be difficult to operate under less-than-ideal circumstances, if you’ve never used one before. It may seem as easy as using an AM/FM radio but it’s not.
And that’s just one example. The mistakes people make with food, water and their actual prepping plans are even more dangerous. In today’s article, we’re going to explore some of these mistakes as well as ways to fix them. So let’s get started!
1 – Not protecting their stockpile from… your pet
Although it’s possible to feed your pet from your stockpile, that doesn’t mean they can eat anything. And if you’re not careful, your stockpile might get its own survival event not because of rats, but because of another 4-legged animal, one that you actually love.
Plus, if your pet accidentally eats the wrong thing, it will get sick, meaning it’ll cost you money (if that happens before the collapse, that is, when vets are still available).
2 – Storing water in milk jugs and water bottles
No matter how well you wash them, they might still develop bacteria. If a container is not suitable for long-term water storage, it’s best to just use it for something else, because it will get infected with bacteria.
3 – Bugging Out Instead Of Bugging In And Vice-Versa
I see a trend here. Folks are preparing to bug in and they’re convinced that’s what they’ll do. I’m not saying the odds of hunkering down aren’t higher (they are), but when you fixate on one scenario, you also become biased, meaning you might not make the right choice when the time comes.
No one can tell you right now whether you’ll need to evacuate or not, so you’ll have to make the right decision. If you’re supposed to bug out and you refuse to acknowledge that, you’re probably going to die.
So go ahead and make those evacuation plans, put some time, thought and effort into figuring out exactly what you’ll do to bug out, and see it as a viable option.
4 – Showing Off When You Shouldn’t Be Showing Anything
Looking “tacticool” will only attract unwanted attention. This is particularly dangerous in urban settings, where people dress differently. On the other hand, you still need the tools and gear to survive, so how do you do this without being labeled a prepper?
Here are a few tips:
– avoid wearing camo
– don’t put “I’m a prepper stickers” on your car
– don’t get knives and other tools that look tactical (there are plenty of normal-looking items that are just as good in an emergency)
– don’t buy MREs, regular food is healthier, taste better and last a long time too
5 – Putting All Of Your Preparedness Eggs In One Basket
This saying has a huge number of applications in survival. It may mean you should…
– never keep all your stockpile in one place
– have more than one bug out location (even if you don’t have a stockpile in each, you should at least have a place to make shelter).
– make alternative escape routes from your home and town
– don’t rely on just your guns, expect hand-to-hand combat, have alternatives to everything
– don’t rely solely on your stockpile; have renewable food and water sources
6 – Assuming Your Family Will Know What To Do During A Crisis
If your family is NOT on board with prepping, can you really count on them to do the right thing when faced with chaos?
Unless they are trained military, I doubt it. They’re more likely to panic, start crying or simply be unable to move. If tunnel hearing and tunnel vision set it, it’ll be extremely hard to get them to make last minute preparations or, even worse, to bug out.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking they’ll react the way they should, and don’t assume that about you either. Unless you’ve faced death before, it’s likely you’ll not react as expected.
7 – Thinking Your Neighbors, Friends And Family Don’t What You’re Up To
The more you prep, the more likely it is for them to find out, even though they won’t tell you. Maybe your kid brags in school. If they know, you’ll have to adjust your prepping plans accordingly, because you never know who will show up at your door in a blackout or when they announce heavy snow to ask for supplies. Up to you how much you want to help them.
8 – Carrying Too Much Stuff In Your EDC
If your every day carry becomes heavy and bulky, you may want to trim it down and only stick to the essentials. You’re probably not going to use that Fresnel lens to start a fire if you’re in an urban setting, for instance.
Some of the recommended items for EDC are funny to say the least, and not fitted for anyone. If you want to carry a Lifestraw in your pocket every day, that’s fine, but the odds of you using it are pretty slim.
9 – Getting Fixated On “The Big One”
Besides EMPs and a total economic collapse, there’re a myriad of other disasters that are more likely to affect or even kill you. Doesn’t it make sense to prepare for those first?
10 – Overestimating How Long You Can Carry Their BOBs
When was the last time you walked for more than 10 miles in one go? Even if you can give me an answer, next time try it with a 40 pound backpack on your back.
11 – Getting More Of The Same
Preppers, who are also gun enthusiasts, tend to stockpile even more guns and ammo. Folks who get fixated on food end up buying even more food, neglecting water or communications or even first aid.
We’re human beings and it’s hard to be completely unbiased when prepping, but the least we can do is try.
Got more rookie prepper mistakes to add?
I’m sure you’ve made your own mistakes, so don’t be embarrassed to add them below in a comment.