If you’ve already decided that you need to start preparing for disaster, give yourself a pat on the back. The overwhelming majority of the population worldwide have taken absolutely no steps whatsoever to preparing themselves for a disaster or catastrophe scenario, so by at least taking a few steps yourself, you’re already better prepared than almost everybody else.
That being said, it’s still very easy for you to make certain mistakes that you would be wise to avoid. These mistakes are commonly made by amateur preppers who have not done much research into the subject of prepping and survival, so by being aware of these mistakes and avoiding them, you’ll be even better prepared than some of your fellow preppers!
Here are the top five prepping mistakes to avoid:
Mistake #1: You Put All Of Your Eggs In One Basket
This old adage refers to keeping your entire stockpile of supplies (food, water, survival gear, medicine, personal hygiene items, etc.) in the same place. While it’s totally fine to keep MOST of your supplies in one convenient location, such as your house, it’s a huge error to keep ALL of your supplies in that location.
To put this into perspective, let’s say that you have all of your supplies in your home. You figure in the event of a disaster, everything is right here where you need it. But ask yourself this question: what if, for whatever reason, you are forced to evacuate your home? Now, what are you supposed to do?
There’s no possible way that you’ll be able to take all of your gear with you when you have to bug out, so not only will you be forced to abandon your home, you’ll have to abandon all that goes with it as well.
Fortunately, you can remedy this mistake by storing gear in multiple strategic locations, such as at a bug out or rendezvous point, in your backyard, in a survival cache buried at a secret location, at a friend or family member’s home (with their permission of course) and so on.
Mistake #2: You Focus On Gear Rather Than Skills
When it comes down to gear and skills in a survival situation, skills are always more important. Gear is great, yes, but what good is gear if you don’t know how to use it or if you don’t have any gear to use in the first place?
For example, let’s take one of the most important survival skills of all: building a fire. Most people know how to build a fire with traditional fire starting materials such as a lighter, matches, or a magnesium flint striker.
But now ask yourself this question: what if you don’t have any of those items with you and you need to start a fire right now? There are many reasons why we need to build a fire in a survival situation, ranging from getting warm to having light to cooking food or boiling water and so on.
This is just one instance of why having skills is more important than having gear; knowing how to get a fire going without fire starting devices (such as with the fire bow drill method) is more important than having those fire starting devices themselves.
Mistake #3: You Don’t Take Sanitation Into Account
Here’s something that very few preppers think about in a disaster scenario: sanitation standards are going to drop significantly. There could no longer be running water. Diseases will be rampant as trash is thrown out on the street. Soap and shampoo will become precious trading commodities and no longer widely available.
This is why personal hygiene needs to be a top priority in a disaster scenario. It’s incredibly critical to stay as clean as possible to defend yourself against the possibility of catching a disease or from getting sick.
The good news is you can keep yourself in good condition a number of ways: stock up on baking soda (which can be used for making everything from soap to shampoo as well as toothpaste, deodorant, dishwashing soap, floor cleaner, laundry detergent and so on), setting up a designated toilet area at least two hundred feet away from your campsite and any water sources, making it a habit to always wash your hands after using the bathroom and before you eat, and having a quarantine area for your group should anyone be sick.
Mistake #4: You Tell Everyone That You Are A Prepper
Earlier in this article, we mentioned how the vast majority of people in the world are not prepared at all for a disaster. As a result, these people will become incredibly desperate in the midst of a disaster, and who’s door do you think they’re going to come knocking on for food and supplies?
That’s right, yours…but only as long as they know that you have supplies in the first place. This is why announcing to the world that you are a prepper could end up being one of the costliest mistakes that you can make.
Instead, strive to keep your disaster preparedness a secret. Keep your stockpile hidden in your home, so guests won’t see it, don’t like prepping pages or hint that you are a prepper on social media, and try to blend in as much as possible with the environment around you.
Mistake #5: You Don’t Rotate Your Food and Water
Finally, we should all know why stocking up on food and water needs to be a top priority as part of our disaster preparedness plans. But water and most foods are also perishable, meaning they will need to be rotated out on a regular basis.
As a general rule of thumb, plan on rotating out your water stockpile at least once every six months to safeguard against bacteria from contaminating it. Each food has a different shelf life, so read the labeling carefully and rotate it out as appropriate.
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