Looking back on my many years as a prepper, I know I’ve made many mistakes. Prepping is just not a one size fits all thing and because of it’s complex nature, I wish I would have known these little tidbits before I jumped headfirst into preparedness.
- The Gray Man Concept – It was a long time after I had started storing cans of food and water for a SHTF scenario when I first heard of the gray man concept. The gray man concept is all about simply blending into your surroundings to strategically not draw attention to yourself. Since it’s impossible to predict what the future will hold, especially the future of survivalism, we can only speculate how to best achieve “gray man” status. Blending in, laying low, recognizing dangers, and situational awareness all play a role in this concept. Going unnoticed can keep you out of harm’s way. That said, it is a skill that can be practiced now though, before the SHTF, and it costs nothing. I wish I had been practicing a long time ago and was in much more of a habit of being a “gray man.”
- Living Below Your Means – simply put, this means live on less than you make. This is a great skill to have and one that’s essential for economic turmoil preparedness. If you can survive on a lot less money, your chances of making it through another horrible recession less scathed than others increase dramatically. Buying your supplies on credit is a bad idea. Eventually, someone will come knocking wanting their money back. Instead, look for ways to cut costs on your monthly bills so you have a little going to prepping each month.
- You Can Store More Than Just Canned Goods -There is this idea that a food pantry must be loaded with canned foods and nothing else. You need to have a variety of canned, dry, and freeze-dried foods in order to diversify your diet. Otherwise, you will get bored with canned food and you won’t get the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep the body healthy. I have found that storing seeds and nuts can be done, you will just want to periodically check your food supplies in case things are going bad.
- Prep For Your Pets – If you have not made preparations for your pets, you may have no choice but to abandon them when the SHTF. That’s not a good solution for many, so store extra water and food for your pets too. Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to store kibble for your dog or cat and I really wish I would have thought of this from the get-go. Try to find a food-safe grain storage bin to keep out the rodents and save about a one year supply. This is handy for those who may want better quality dog food too. Buy kibble when it goes on sale and as you can afford it.
- It’s OK to Take Your Time – Don’t rush yourself. Odds are, the S won’t HTF tomorrow. Save some money, make sure you gather things you could use as a barter and take the time to test your tools and equipment. Prepping is a marathon, not a sprint. As you go, you’ll find holes in your gear or plans that will need to be patched up. This comes with experience that no amount of money can buy.
Hopefully, these tips will set you up for prepping success. We can all learn from the mistakes of others, and these are only a few of those that I personally wish I’d known before undertaking the massive task of preparedness.
This is a guest post by Mac Slavo of shtfplan.com