Habits for Preppers
When anyone first gets into prepping, it can be a daunting task.
It's hard not to become overwhelmed. There is always a new skill to learn, there is always more food to store and there is always a new project that can be started. You quickly learn that prepping is a lifestyle. Now, you can take that lifestyle to different levels and you can become more or less committed depending on your situation. But, one thing that can always make that lifestyle or process more effective is - habits.
Having and developing prepping habits is almost required if you want to become a good prepper, or even a good "Casual Prepper". We recently released an episode on this very subject which you can check out here. --->
Below is the list of prepper habits we talked about in the episode. Each of these can really up your prepping game if you can make them automatic. Let's take a look.
Everyday carry is the gear that you use almost every day. This gear can be carried on you at all times, or stashed in an EDC kit that you keep in your vehicle or place of work.
Constantly change it up or have alternative EDC kits depending where and what you are doing.
Know your gear, how to use it and what you find best suites your daily needs.
The key is to get in the habit of ALWAYS having these things with you. The base of a good EDC kit in our opinion is this - Keys, Phone, Wallet, Watch, Knife, Light. You can add on and experiment as needed.
Check out a recent episode we did on EDC HERE.
FUEL TANK HALF FULL
This habit can be tough to do, until you get into a groove.
Keep your fuel tank, on all vehicles, at least half full.
There are several reasons for this -
1 - In an emergency or crisis, stopping for gas could mean life or death.
2 - Getting fuel during or after any sort of SHTF event may become dangerous or even impossible.
3 - In your everyday life, you may be rushed or late or whatever. Keeping that tank over half relieves the stress of having to stop at any point and fill up.
4 - If you are thrust into a long term SHTF situation, any fuel will be extremely valuable. This just makes sure that you have more to begin with.
5 - If you get stranded or stuck in the winter months, you will be REALLY happy that you are able to idle that vehicle and stay warm.
6 - If you happen to get lost or stuck in traffic, it ensures that you have enough fuel.
CELL PHONE CHARGED
Obviously your first line of communication in ANY situation
Get in the habit of ABC - Always. Be. Charging.
Your phone can have many useful and life saving apps.
Entertainment - maybe you have to take your kids on a scavenge, no one wants a crying kid as you scavenge your neighbor's house.
Light - Most phones these days have a built-in flashlight.
Battery - that phone battery could be a makeshift Firestarter in a dire situation.
Information- That phone can store critical information you may need at a moments notice.
Having Cash on hand is EXTREMELY important as a prepper
At the beginning of a short-term or long-term SHTF scenario, cash will be king if the power is out. ATM’s and banks will be worthless.
Having extra cash on hand each day could get you out of a bind if you forget your card, lose your wallet or in a short-term power outage.
It could be a quick offering for a mugger. You may not have to give them your wallet
Keep cash in several places - wallet, vehicle, home, different kits and bags, cache?
Try to have $1,000 on hand at any time. NOT ALL IN YOUR WALLET, IDIOT. Spread it out.
Focus on smaller bills which may be nice when change is hard to come by. Don’t just have 10 $100 bills. Have some $20’s, $10’s and so on.
Make it a habit to have access to cash at all times.
BUYING EXTRA GROCERY SHOPPING
Each time you shop - add a little to your water and food storage plan.
Buying ketchup - get the combo pack - buying cooking oil - get two.
Calendars - there are calendars to follow on what to add to your shopping that week for storage - or can break it down to monthly - January is meats, February is sweets - rhyme.
Good time to look at an inventory list - food cycle plan - pay attention to expiration.
Also plan for items that have more uses and that last longer.
Remember the things you like to pickup often in a week - Milk - look at powdered milk, bread - consider flour - chips - add an extra bag to storage - hot dogs - buy a pig?
Case lot sales - happen to stumble onto one - take advantage!
Pay attention to expiration!
Don't forget non food items - pickup extras when you think about it - hygiene, laundry soap - medicines.
Also buy what you eat, if pigs feet are on a killer deal, don't buy them for that reason.
Make it a habit to bulk up your freezer and pantry items. You will be much better prepared for any situation.
CHECK THE NEWS
This may be a depressing notion, but if you truly want to be prepared, you need to stay informed on what is going on in the world. Making this a habit, will make you a better prepper.
Don’t just focus on world or even local news, get a mix of all - world, national, state and local.
Having a heads up on issues or situations that are unfolding or progressing will be key to deciding when and how to ramp up or scale back your prepping.
It may be life or death when it comes to things like wildfires, crime, riots and such.
Also, if you want others to take you seriously, maybe you are trying to bring more people into the prepper-fold, you need to understand current events so you don’t sound like an uneducated idiot.
Don’t ever focus on one news source. Even if it fits your views. Look for various sources with various slants or views.
Apps on your phone with alerts can be super useful.
Flip on a news channel as you head to work.
I have Google Home read me several news briefs right after I get out of the shower each day in several categories - world, national and news related to my industries - podcasting/Film.
Stay in the know locally - paper, radio and have relationships that may be useful - government, leaders and such.
Podcasts are superb.
Set up alerts on specific stories that are of interest or are crucial for you to know about.
Making it a habit to backup important documents is a great habit as a prepper.
Saving my credit card backside info, my license, other cards etc. in encrypted digital form has saved me.
Make a paper backup and digital copies and have it saved at home.
This includes banks, emergency contacts, wills, insurance plans and numbers, family members etc.
Also, we all have old devices kicking around - use that as storage.
How often do you read an article about prepping or find a list on skills or a plan? There is a lot to remember, so print to PDF and save it.
Magazines and books are part of this as well.
Staying fit doesn’t just make SHTF easier, it makes your every day life BETTER.
This is so important but might be the hardest on this list to make a habit.
I’ve gone through this so many times and failed. It's not even funny.
I would run 5 days a week for like 2 months and then quit. Then go through that about every 6 months. Recently I went through almost a year with basically NO fitness or exercise because of being busy, lazy and old. Here are a few tips/ideas/reasons to make this a habit.
You have to find something that you LIKE TO DO or even LOVE TO DO in my opinion or it will never become a habit.
Those people who love to hit the gym and do cardio or weight lifting are super lucky, I’m just not one of them.
Your physical and mental health rely greatly on some sort of physical exercise.
There are so many rampant diseases these days due to inactivity.
Being healthy is cheaper - less doctor visits, less meds, less sickness and not to mention in any SHTF scenario, being sick or having a long term illness.
Being overweight just isn't healthy any way you look at it.
In any SHTF situation, you will want to be fit. You may need to hike, lift, carry, run, walk or fight your way out of a situation.
All of those things require a good level of fitness.
In everyday life, a situation could arise where you could help, assist or even save a life if you are fit as a fiddle.
Like I said, in my opinion and my experience, you can’t be consistent unless you like what you are doing.
If you hate running or lifting, it's gonna be tough.
I say find something you actually like to do - hiking, yoga, basketball, martial arts, soccer, swimming. This will be SO MUCH EASIER.
I have obviously settled on martial arts and have been able to be consistent with 3 days a week for about 3 or 4 months now. Best shape of my life. It's also killing 2 birds with one stone with self defense. Watch Cam learn some Jiu Jitsu and Cardio lessons here.
Doing a variety of things is probably best - running a few days a week, lifting and then some yoga or something.
Put it on your calendar. Make yourself answer to someone - a workout buddy, instructor or even pay for it.
Being aware of your surroundings is a habit that could save your life. Its relatively simple and can be done by ANYONE.
This doesn't mean buy those sweet glasses with the side mirrors in the lenses - although those are pretty cool.
Know the area you work, those you work with and who will probably lose their mind in an emergency.
This applies to neighbors as well.
When you are out of your element - do you think about where and how you would get away?
Learn gray man tactics.
The current level of danger.
The level of difficulty.
Support - What support do you have available?
Obstacles in the way.
Make it a habit to assess your situation at all times. Make mental notes. Make mental plans. Make it a habit.
CHANGE OF SEASONS
Make it a habit at the change of each season to do several things
Update each of your bags/kits.
Check/Change batteries in smoke/CO2 alarms.
Update and review emergency plan.
Update/Tune up vehicles and kits.
Check food/water inventory for outdated or items that need to be cycled through.
To make this a habit and make it easier, put it on your calendar and set aside a day off to get this all done. Involve the kids or significant other.
GOOD FINANCIAL HABITS
Good financial habits are key for preppers and regular old people as well. Here are some good financial habits and/or key financial things to think about.
EMERGENCY FUND! First and foremost, have money now. Its my money and I WANT IT NOW!
Meet with your financial advisor. Good chance apocalypse isn't going to get you out of retiring poor or out of debt. High chance things will still be as they are now, but who knows.
Don't go into debt prepping, may seem wise but its not.
Get rid of debt - its like herpes, you think its hidden, no one can see it and may never know you have it, but it will resurface.
Don't blow all your money on tactical gear, ammo, knives, bunker and have one case of arrowhead water stored away and 1 TP roll. Be smarter, cushion your finances and your B-hole - more TP.
Also consider barter items or alternate currency when the above is set.
Listen to our finance episode - its basic but baby steps will get you there.
Develop good financial habits and you will be a better prepper for it!
This one is a little bit woo-woo or abstract, but if you get into a good habit of being positive, you WILL be a better prepper.
It's really tough not to be a pessimist or negative, especially as a prepper.
A lot of times you can get trapped in a doom and gloom cycle, especially when researching topics like Nuclear war or anything to do with politics.
In any survival or SHTF situation, a strong, positive mental attitude is key to surviving and thriving. It’s almost required.
This also comes back to you and your group’s morale. A naturally negative person will have a much harder time and will rub off on the group.
You also feel and are actually healthier when you are positive and grateful.
This isn't easy to just turn on when the crisis hits, you need to be in the habit of it.
Reframe your challenges and make them something you almost want. Have fun with them, make them adventures. This is hard, so good luck.
Get a thick skin and use it to your advantage. Cam and I know this well.
Do your best not to complain. It almost never helps. Once in a while to vent is OK. But don’t make it a daily habit. Complaining in any crisis is worthless.
Do 3 good things. We do this in my family from time to time. Each day name 3 good things that happened to you.
Avoid negative people.
Stress relief is key. Find something that relieves your stress and do it often.
Make it a daily habit to find something to be grateful about. I use the 5 minute Journal app.
All of this will make you a better leader and a better prepper in any SHTF scenario. You will be able to handle the situations so much better if this is all a habit.
TWO IS ONE, ONE IS NONE
This one is very simple. ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP. If you only have one knife, you actually don't have a knife.
MAKE THIS A HABIT.
READ/LEARN - COBY
Knowledge is key for any person on the planet and that includes preppers.
Reading is one of the best ways to accumulate knowledge.
Its also a great skill/habit to get into as you don’t need electricity to do it necessarily.
In an SHTF situation, when there is no power, and you are bored as hell, you’ll be glad you are a reader.
Science says benefits of reading -
You will be smarter - always good. Preppers and non-preppers. Make more money, more friends and that's good for preppers.
Fights diseases like Alzheimer's.
Relaxes you. A good, natural anxiety relief.
Also, depending on the books you read, you will gain a lot of prepper knowledge and skills. And it will give you ideas for different scenarios.
Check out our prepper book list on the website - https://www.casualpreppers.com/post/casual-prepper-book-list
On the learning side, make it a habit to be constantly learning new things.
For preppers this can be skills or ideas or learning about different situations.
You are all doing this right now.
Make it a habit every Thursday to download the podcast.
Use Youtube subscriptions, it's endless.
Make learning and reading a habit. You’ll be a better prepper.
There you have it - Prepper Habits. In our opinion, you'll be much further ahead as a prepper if you can look to incorporate any of these into your regular habits. Now go out there and STAY SURVIVED!