What I have learned and done in my first year prepping

Posted by choctawgreen7 on APN

My one year anniversary of prepping is fast approaching and I thought I would throw out some of what I learned as a latecomer to prepper.

1. I am not a kook. My desire to be more or totally self sufficient is not necessarily the rantings of a delusional, anti-social freak. So Mom and Dad if you are out there, running away to live with John Denver in Colorado wasn’t so abnormal. Don’t worry folks, I made it to the mountain top that our borough is on and spent the night. I came home the next morning hungry.

2. A lot of people I used to think were kooks, well, they’re not so much. The biggest lesson I have picked up on is just how big the prepping community is. The spread of persons across any type of demographic you wish to label is huge. By and large it is accepting, friendly and willing to share information. I don’t have to re-create the wheel, someone else has already done it and will tell you how to do it if you only listen and learn.

3. How much I have to do to even get near the goals I want to have accomplished. My wife is not so much on board with this but she is willing to do the couponing thing and doesn’t hammer me to much over food storage. Some of the other things, well I might just have to find alternate methods of storing.

4. Just how much I do have available to me right now. Over 20 years in the military, add a lot of camping experience on the civilian side and I have accumulated a fair amount of useful stuff. I had to sit down and inventory/catalog it, but that self examination helped me to define and prioritize the direction I need to go.

5. The feeling of being overwhelmed by it all will pass if you stick to it. This has been primarily a year of learning with a little action. The coming year will be food storage year. We are currently up to around three months of edibles. I will be adding some more canned goods to the ready shelves in the next couple of weeks and then will begin accumulating freeze dried and bulk foods. I want to be around 9 months worth at the end of the next year and increase the number of people that I am prepared to feed.

6. Establish a friend network. The more I mentioned stuff, the more people I found were doing it to some degree or another. I am galled at how far behind I am some of my friends. Catch up is a must within the budget constraints I have set.

7. Establish a Library. Both digital and in print. A binder system is what I have started on my shelves as well as digital on my computer. You can know how to do something, done it a million times even, BUT, somewhere, sometime, you will need to reference

8. Ready Mom seems to be on ALOT of other websites. I go through a pretty fair number of websites or blogs and sift for information. The different perspectives really are important if you are trying to learn. While I don’t post often, I am trolling through the sites weekly at worst. I have narrowed a couple of sites down to almost daily, but it is the differences that make the information valuable. When you see the same things on several different sites, well take it to heart that they might be important.

9. Nobody else’s plans will necessarily be a perfect fit for you. In other words, be flexible. Don’t be afraid to add your personal touch to “the plan.” Only you can assess what you are prepping for.

10. Burn out can occur with everything. Especially if you are a part of short attention span theater like me sometimes. Pace yourself, you are not in a sprint. I wouldn’t even say it is a race. Everything you do, every step you take, gets you closer to your goal. You could financially burn out as well. There is a lot to do and buy, prioritize and set a budget you can afford and stick to it. There are plenty of examples out there of what twenty dollars can buy you. Taking out a second mortgage so you can spend thousands right now is only setting youself up for failure because you will never attain self sufficiency. Unless you belive in the Mayan calendar thing, the world will not end. It’s an election year so our economic data will look good. Plus a year is a lot of time even if you think that it is all going to come down. The key is to start and don’t stop. Start simple, food and water, use coupons, buy it on sale just buy one or two extra cans of veggies or fruit. You will be suprised how quick you can get to three months worth.

Well, if you read through all of this, I thank you for your time. Many of you out there have been a great help to us new to the process and for myself and my friends who have joined me in this – thank you. I hope all of you find success in your endeavors in the coming new year. If I can even glean half as much information from all of you next year as I did this year, I will consider myself fortunate.

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