When am I done prepping? When can I relax and say, “I’ve done all I can do. I’m fully prepared,”?
This is a question that pops up from time to time. The simple and easiest answer is, well, you’re never done! Now, before I lose a bunch of you because of that answer, give me a minute to explain.
In our society, we tend to be rather focused on finish lines. We want to set a concrete, observable goal, reach that goal, and move on. This has been the focus in the business world for ages, of course.
Measurable goals are the key to success. Same goes for sports. Who wants to watch a game that may
never have a clearly defined winner?
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How to be a prepper and when am I finished prepping?
Because of this goal-oriented, ingrained, we struggle with the thought of engaging in an activity that has no real end. This is why I try to stress to folks that prepping isn’t a hobby but a lifestyle. As you become more and more involved with disaster and emergency planning, it will overflow into many areas of your life, perhaps even without you realizing it. You’ll find you make decisions on what to buy and where to shop differently. Instead of looking for an amazing deal on Dolce and Gabbana skirt, you’re hunting down the best price on a food dehydrator. Vacations aren’t always centered on fine food and dancing but getting outside and seeing Mother Nature in all her splendor, learning some fun wilderness and camping skills, and even checking out possible evacuation routes.
All of that isn’t meant to say that you can’t set and achieve prepping goals. Far from it, actually. When
someone is just starting out, I often suggest they set a food storage goal of one week. That’s very doable for many people and not only helps to get them prepared but reaching that goal gives a sense of
accomplishment. At that point, extend the goal to two weeks, then a month. Keep moving forward in
incremental steps. That’s what prepping is all about.
At the same time, though, you’re going to be rotating through your food storage, always using the oldest
items first and then replacing them with new. While food storage involves setting concrete goals, it is a
constant process. See what I mean about never being truly done prepping?
Skills need to be learned, then practiced regularly to maintain proficiency. Some of them will be used
daily, such as scratch cooking, while others only intermittently. But, as with your food storage, supplies
and gear utilized in the practice of some of these skills will need to be replaced as they are used up.
Many types of gear set aside for emergencies will need to be maintained regularly. Bug out bags need to
be unpacked, inspected, and repacked at least a few times a year if not more often. Gardens need to be
planted, weeded, watered, and eventually harvested. Learning how to be a prepper and then continuing in that lifestyle keeps you busy and always learning.
A new lifestyle brings with it a new perspective on life. Don’t worry about meeting a concrete goal. Just
try to do one thing each and every day that moves you forward. If you can do that, you’re headed in the
right direction, even if you can’t see a finish line.
Just getting started prepping? Here are some resources for you:
- 52 Prepper Projects by Dave Nash
- Countdown to Preparedness by Jim Cobb
- Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival by Angela Paskett
- The Pantry Primer: How to build a one year food supply in three months by Daisy Luther
- The Preppers Blueprint by Tess Pennington
- The Prepper’s Pocket Guide by Bernie Carr
- Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios by Lisa Bedford
And, this video created by The Survival Mom, Lisa Bedford, “How To Be a Prepper”: