As a follow up to our last article – 5 Things Preppers Focus On Too Much, let’s now consider things that may be worth a little bit more time, resources, and attention.
First off, prepping is hard. Its an extraordinary undertaking.
In between the everyday struggles of life - work, kids, significant other and so on and so forth, you are still prepping. It can be an overwhelming undertaking that is much more of a marathon than a sprint.
To be a Prepper and give it your all is no easy feat!
As the chaos of the world marches forward, more and more people investigate disaster preparedness and are taking steps to prepare for an emergency. The realization that at some point we may no longer be able to rely on our current comforts is becoming more evident for some.
Complete reliance on things like electricity and water from a local supplier, police and fire support, the internet and others - is becoming a fool’s errand.
As more people join the Prepping community, we collectively become safer! Consider Prepping like immunization. The more people that prepare in advance, the safer we all become.
All that said, there are some things that Preppers should focus on to continually improve. There are time constraints and they are very real but you might be wasting your time focusing on the wrong things (like maybe these).
Scanning the resources online and discussions with Preppers, I would advocate that we collectively consider the following areas to spend just a little bit more time, resources, and attention.
1) Gardening and Local Plants
While this is a very old school skill, unfortunately it has been lost by most these days. Having a deep knowledge of how to properly grow and produce your own food used to be essential to everyday life – and still is for most of the world’s population. However, for us technology addicted westerners – we have lost the wisdom of our forefathers.
Spend the time and effort on a small garden. Discover what plants grow well in your area. Learn the skills required to produce your own food if you ever need to.
I understand that it would be a real disaster if you had to grow and produce your own food. Only in a prolonged emergency would this skill really be required. However, I would rather be prepared to be self sufficient once my emergency food runs out. Invest a bit of your resources in a small plot and buy some survival seeds – they are cheap but could prove essential in an emergency.
Beyond a local garden, spend some time getting to know your local plants and trees. What is edible and grows in your area? Is anything appropriate for medicinal purposes? Perhaps invest in a book or two to keep handy just in case (Prepper Library List).
Another commonly overlooked area is trees. Most of our lives we drive or walk by trees and hardly pay them any attention, except maybe to avoid them. Once per season, during fall, we marvel at their colorful leaves. We are ignoring one of the most powerful resources at our disposal.
Plants die in the cold and trees last all year. The bark of that willow will be there to provide pain and fever relief while other plants have a much smaller window of availability. Being able to identify medicinal trees gives you a resource for all four seasons and that is incredibly valuable.
2) Basic Homesteading Tools and Skills
Along the same line – consider a deeper understanding of basic tools and how to fix things around the home. When a plumber or carpenter is only a phone call away, these skills seem unnecessary. However, consider what to do if a storm cuts out your power and breaks a few windows. Do you have the wood and hand tools to quickly create a patch to cover your windows and keep your house warm?
Hand saws, hammers, hand drills, basic plumbing tools – all things that everyone should consider investing their time and money.
Do you have a reliable axe, saw, shovel, hammer, edging sheers, hand tools, wrench set, duck tape, screws, nails and more? How would you fix something without your handy power drill or power saw? Do you have any spare materials around your house – 2 by 4s, extra electrical wire, plumbing supplies, jumper cables?
3) Simple Traps
Everyone wants to head into the woods if things get bad. They are prepared to bugout and “live of the land.” I guess they plan on doing that with their AR15 and all the ammo they can carry. Not sure how far that will get you.
Guns are the wrong answer for preppers procuring food. Arrows would be better but you have to be able to shoot a primitive bow and make primitive arrows. You can’t shoot cedar shafts through a compound bow.
While projectile hunting can be beneficial, preppers are not focusing enough on traps – ESPECIALLY METAL TRAPS! Its nice to know how to make a deadfall or snare trap - but that takes time and resources. Metal traps just catch food and kills it for you too.
The right metal trap stored and cleaned will outlast you! Learn to use metal killing traps for survival. You set them and leave, and no one will know any different.
4) Fishing Gear and Skills
Another great method of feeding yourself and your family is fishing. Maximize your water borne resources. You can use a pole and reel but that wouldn’t be my only method. I can sit on the banks of the River and catch 10 fish in a few hours. I can toss a gill net across the river and catch 10-20 fish in 10 seconds.
Fish traps and baskets are great ways to get fish while you are away. There are also things like fresh water mussels that cannot run from you. If its protein and it cannot run from you, well, you better take advantage of that.
5) Building a Proper Community
I would argue that some Preppers (and people), are missing out on the benefits of a solid community. Now, building and nurturing a community is not easy. It takes time and effort.
Still, you can change the landscape of a serious disaster if your neighborhood is cohesive. Great communities that plan are capable of tremendous things when disaster strikes. Guiding your neighborhood towards this path is simpler than you may think.
Try to propose a community garden. It gets people talking and it is the one project, in our hyper divisive nation, that seems to span all political and social strata. While it might seem trivial it is the spark that starts a fire. We are social creatures by nature, but we have been scared into our homes by modern conveniences.
How ironic would it be if the Preppers taught us how to be neighbors again!
Make Sure you Spend Your Resources Wisely!
There are a lot of things to pay attention to in this crazy world. Add to that the common sense measures we must all take to prepare for disaster and things can be very complicated. Prepping is as much a journey as anything else. Its not a checklist. Its an ever-evolving adventure.
I hope we sparked a few ideas on how to be better prepared and spend your valuable resources more effectively!