My name is Michael. I am a graduate student at a University in the SW United States.
In this article I discuss what preppers are doing wrong. My hope is that the people who read this will identify with some examples I provide, and change their behavior into something that is more beneficial for them.
My uncle is an ill-prepared prepper, and so, I use him in this article to illustrate my points. The man spends thousands of dollars every year foolishly because he thinks that by having a surplus of stuff he will be safe.
Many people in our community lose sight of their original goals. The reason why we started this was to protect our selves and our loved ones. But unfortunately the majority of us turn into idiots. We become obsessed with gear (I’m not blameless) and we forget what its all about.
What good is a first aid kit with four hemostats included going to do you if you don’t know how to use them? My uncle bought a $500 first aid kit. It is a huge backpack looking thing that weighs a ton. He has no first aid training. He is making a fatal mistake – he thinks that his gear will take care of him. My argument is, make logical decisions that best fit your own scenario. I would rather have seen my uncle buy a $100 first aid kit and spend $400 of his time in the library learning about first aid.
Ben Franklin said invest in your education, because it is the only thing that cannot be repossessed.
The same foolish decisions are made all the time about just about every piece of gear marketed to preppers. “Buy this 5lb bag of seeds and you’ll be able to feed your family!” No you won’t. Chances are you have no idea how to farm, and you probably don’t even have a place to raise your crops. You think that if you drop a few hundred bucks on seeds you can keep your family fed. Instead, spend time learning about agriculture. Read about it, and then spend time practicing it. This way you won’t die of starvation during a SHTF scenario.
My uncle has a $2000 sniper rifle contraption thing. He’s never shot it. The darn thing is so complex that if one grain of sand made its way inside it would break. He doesn’t know how to care for a professional soldiers weapon yet he has one. And since his high tech gear has made him feel safe, he has become complacent.
I can’t predict the future, but I can tell you that you aren’t going to need to be shooting 2” groups at 1000yds in a SHTF situation. Think about it, even if you saw people you were 100% sure were hostile to you, out hundreds of yards away you should probably just avoid them. This isn’t a zombie movie we’re getting ready for. We’re not murderers, marauders, or trained snipers. Prepare smart! Buy something like a $100 Mosin Nagant and train with it. Find comfort in the fact you don’t need to carry around synthetic oil and spare parts for your weapon. Know that when you want to use it, it will work. Take the $1900 that you saved and go spend it on something that actually is going to be beneficial for you and your family.
My uncle also has two kerosene/battery powered deluxe space heaters. I don’t even want to know what these cost. He’s lost touch with is original goal. He forgot that we’re not trying to maintain a lifestyle here – were trying to preserve life. Where are you going to get kerosene and batteries from when the SHTF? Oh you have some saved up? Good. How long will you reserves last? One year? The money you spent on space heaters and reserves could have been better served when invested in something that is more forward thinking/renewable, such as water purification, shelter, food production, education, blankets…
You don’t need 15 different types of knifes. You just don’t.
Lastly (but of paramount importance), I want to talk about a bug out shelter. Don’t tell anyone you don’t want living in your shelter with you that you have one. They’ll show up. Then what? First they’ll ask for help, and when you say no, their natural response will be to preserve their own lives. They’ll get violent. Maybe they’ll kill you for it. Save yourself the trouble. You’re doing this for you (and your loved ones), not for the benefit of your ego, keep your mouth shut. Underground houses make for good water cooler BS topics but avoid the temptation!
I hope that by reading this someone out there will see that they aren’t preppers, they’re gear heads, and that they are wasting time because they aren’t doing things right. Focus on reality. If the SHTF, do I want a $2000 gun, or $1900 more in canned food? Would my time and money be more beneficial to me if I did things differently?
Thank you for your time and patience in reading this article