As a prepper it is constantly on our minds to try and not forget any important detail, tool, or skill we may need, and we do our best to try and cover all the bases to survive. Unfortunately, we are still human and overlook some basic things that we may wish we hadn’t when times become rough. This will especially be true during critical times and events. This is when we realize we are lacking specific items or skills and that it is now too late to obtain. We here at Casual Preppers created a list of the 10 most common mistakes preppers make that may lead one being less prepared than expected.
1. Inventorying food and supplies
You may feel you have everything you need, but how do you know if you don’t have an updated clear inventory list. I admit this is an area I can do much better. An inventory is essential to keeping a list of items to rotate as to not lose food to expiration, see your needs next time you shop, and to quickly assess a future situation as all the gear you have is neatly organized onto an inventory list.
2. Stockpiling the wrong or poorly chosen items
200 crates of tuna may have been purchased for an incredible deal, but what if you find you hate tuna after 1 week. True, you can survive longer than if you didn’t have it, but a massive blow to your morale will be taken. Also, what if your family hates fish, they too will suffer and drop morale. There are essentials you need, and beans, flour, sugar etc are all important, but if you don’t know what tastes you or your group like, it will become miserable pretty fast. Be smart with your stockpile, add good tasting items, even sweets and treats. You will be glad you did. Which brings me to my next mistake.
3. Prepping too fast
When watching events occurring around us, even our current political debacle, we all get a little worried. This may lead to some quick and frantically prepping. True, this is better than not prepping at all, but it can be costly, and precious time can be wasted when no research has been invested. Just as I noted above, this may lead to bulk items of, well, crappy tasting foods, cheap equipment that becomes useless, and ultimately misery, as you hunker down in your basement full of cheap junk. Urgency is good, but take time to prep.
4. Seeing the bigger picture
Most, including myself, fail to look at the bigger picture. So the zombie apocalypse has begun, awesome right? You have 6, 12, 24 months food and supplies in your safe zone. But you have a large group, or have taken on a larger than expected group, some are children. Do you have means to teach them? Did you store books or games? What if your location is compromised and you have to move? Your supplies are running low, now what? (See episode 8 cheaters) Plan ahead, look at the bigger picture of the future in these scenarios.
5. Ill-prepared for looters
Unfortunately not everyone prepped like us. Likely more than 90% will be ill-prepared. Those that don’t die or are left without a group who was kind enough to take them in, will be left to loot, kill, and take from anyone they see or find. Storing away weapons, defense systems, alarms and traps are a must. I am sure with some preppers this is 99% of what they have prepped for, but most will forget this key item. Plan accordingly. Things could get ugly, and people are more of a threat to each other than anything.
6. Obtaining gear without knowledge to use it
We all love gear and gadgets. There is an immense amount of it out there. All of it interests me to be honest. But why take the time, money, and space getting it and storing it away when you have no clue how to effectively put it to use. I can tell you of 5 items off the top of my head I have stored that I don’t know how to use completely. Again, research your prepping items, develop the skills needed, or at least store the manuals in a safe place for easy access.
7. Relying too much on yourself, ignoring a network
We have been getting a lot of questions lately about finding or creating a group, so I will leave that for a future episode. Surviving all on your lonesome sounds exciting and even easier, but it can’t work effectively for long. Scavenging alone is dangerous. Injuring yourself could lead to an expedited death if you have no support. An ideal group would be one that includes members with various skills, such as medical, farming, hunting, combat, leadership, and just an overall handyman.
8. Forgetting hygiene and sanitation
Pretty sure this is Coby’s number one…in every list apparently. No, it is extremely important. Going back to the morale thing, this will be a huge morale breaker if you all stink, have poo, feminine products, and soiled linens piled up in the corner of your luxury prepper palace. Toilet paper will be extremely nice to have, plus it has other uses. Deodorants, soaps, toothpaste and toothbrushes (no one wants a cavity in the apocalypse), and feminine hygiene products. There is safety and health in hygiene and sanitation. Oh, and don’t forget an emergency toilet.
9. Keeping all your goods in one location
If the world ends, you may be lucky and your basement/house is unaffected. How great that would be. Realistically, most will need to evacuate or eventually lose their location due to multiple reasons. If all you own and have prepped so diligently is now lost, then WTH you going to do? Diversify your prepping locations. Multiple bug out bags, car survival packs, work storage place, alternate bug out location, or a buried location. DO NOT put all your eggs in one basket.
10. Never practice your plan
You may think you have your plan all mapped out, but have you gone through it? Does your family know your plan and if you were unable to be with them, do they know where to find you or go for safety? Practice your "bug out" or "bug in" plan every 6 months. Your knowledge will grow, you will compensate for possible unexpected obstacles and be much better prepared for any scenario.
We hope this list brought to your attention some overlooked areas in your prepping. If not, well then you are one well prepared prepper, congrats. Shoot us an email if you have questions, more details or anything. We’d love to hear from you! Good luck fellow preppers.