by Stephen H.
I never really thought about preparedness.
Yes, we had some extra batteries, candles and a few cans of food relegated to an often looked over pantry area. That was about the extent of our safety net concerning unforeseen circumstance or calamity. My waking up was slow and methodical. It was a gradual evolution , stepping from one stone to the next.
It all began with the desire to protect my family. To insure the safety of those I love. I asked myself, ‘ what is the most practical and efficient way to protect my family?’
My answer was simple enough. I will buy a gun. I am not impulsive. I am methodical. I enjoy research. I like facts and truth. Critical thinking is such a part of me that I cannot long ignore it. So once the decision was made, I began to delve into models, makes and calibers. I studied articles. Listened and asked questions. I watched many, many You Tube videos. As I researched on You Tube, I began to realize that the firearms community was widespread and varied. In addition to learning about different types of handguns, I began to learn about knives, bush craft, every day carry systems and one popped up from time to time that I chose to ignore because, in all honesty, it sounded boring. The word and title was prepping and prepper.( Beans and rice did not have the same resonance as 1911 or a 308 with an AR platform).
I really had no concept of either. What was SHTF? What was WROL? What was a bug out bag? As I began to plumb the depths of their meanings and applications, I realized that as a husband and father, I was failing on some levels.Specifically in areas of preparedness. We were woefully understocked and ill equipped. SHTF and WROL may be extreme examples but disasters, food shortage, loss of power, economic unrest. These things are not unrealistic or hypothetical. They are eventual certainties to some and reality to others. These things happen and are happening. It is not alarmist or extreme to be prepared for such eventualities. What is prepping? To me it is what it is. Preparing and being in a state of preparedness. The parameters with which one defines these things is up to the individual. If you feel the need to have a bug out plan in place, so be it. Stock up on ammunition. Fine as well. Maybe it means that you should stock up on canned goods, water, batteries, long term food storage,etc.. All of the above can infer a mindset of preparedness in uncertain times.
I do believe that there are extremes. When does it become hoarding? When is it crippling paranoia? Again. It’s up to the individual. You must decide when enough is enough. I do believe that these mindsets are somewhat consumer driven and encouraged. Of course some folks are making a chunk of change on preparedness. It is not one sided though. There is a symbiotic relationship. That is the way of things.
My father grew up during the Depression. Tell him he is a hoarder or he is paranoid. We live in a culture of goods and services. If someone creates a thing that you might need and cannot create yourself and they charge an affordable rate or price? What do you do? Rather, what would I do? I would buy what I could not make. And purchase only what I would need. Some things are just really cool and we look for reasons to get them. I do. My reasons do not put money in my pocket so I am lacking in cool stuff but I am starting to accumulate, practical , handy items that just might alleviate suffering where my family is concerned. Define prepper and prepping however you choose. Because I decided to purchase a handgun, I now have a garden. Go figure.