As a teenage prepper, who has scoured the immense depths of the internet to view many of the available prepping forums and how-to’s, read every survival book that I could get my hands on, and also has spoken to quite a few outdoor enthusiasts…I would like to discuss a couple of topics that have caught my attention about that the prepper community as a whole, which I have observed within the community that these topics have either been overlooked or in some cases have not had an agreed consensus amongst the prepper community on what the appropriate actions should be taken in these circumstances.
First of all, I would like to shed some light on the issue of Supplies with regards to both quantity and quality. I have noticed that many preppers have a false sense of security when it comes to their supplies. We all can agree that buying supplies is necessary for a prepper, it is one of the fundamental things that makes a prepper who he or she is which basically boils down to someone who prepares for an accident or a disaster before it happens. But preppers have gotten real caught up in the notion that if they buy expensive high-quality gear, that it will save them from dying in TEOTWAWKI because it gives them a 100% advantage over the next guy who only bought his all stuff from the local retail and supermarket stores. This is belief that your safer with higher quality gear is pretty bogus. Now, granted high-quality gear and supplies does have its place and possibly can give someone a comparative advantage when it comes to durability and longevity of the gear and supplies, but that is only if they know how to use it. From what I have gathered, many people in the prepper community do not use their high-quality gear and supplies because all they do is store these items as “safe-queens” or “perfect condition preps” and collect dust until the day they will be put to use. If you buy any type of gear or supplies you should learn how to use it effectively and familiarize yourself completely with that item so that using it is like a second nature. There is no time for practice once the STHF. When it happens the people who are going to survive are going to be the people who have thoroughly practiced and trained with everything at their disposal. They have essentially beaten the odds of the average unprepared individual by being fully prepped and ready to go. The best gear isn’t going to save anyone if it hasn’t been tested and mastered, the person who practiced with a dollar flint tool and a Chinese army-navy surplus knife is a whole lot better prepared than the person who purchased a Microtech knife and filled his alice pack to the brim with high quality tools and medical supplies that he doesn’t know how to fully implement because he never uses them or practices with them but instead keeps them in secure storage waiting for the “Big One”.
Another thing that I’ve noticed preppers fixate with is quantity. Quantity is definitely an important word to a preppers lexicon because it means he or she has enough for a certain period of time to get by with without the need to fight or forage for more (even though it is always a good idea to keep trying to find food sources in a STHF situation). But this notion has been blown out of proportion with regards to everything in the prepper community and in my opinion also needs a reform in perspective which I will get to a little later. Many preppers have turned to a perceived concrete fact in their minds that if they keep hoarding everything they can get their hands on right now in non-STHF life that they will be totally better prepared than their neighbors when hell finally does break loose. Well, this is kind of plausible because people who do prepare now when everything is in decent condition will be better off than those who don’t, but from what I understand a good many of us are keeping these supplies mainly in one particular bug-out or bug-in location. Well what-if you cannot get to these locations when something does happen? What-if your supposedly secure and remote location gets ransacked or destroyed before your get there?
The prepper community needs to always remember to have backup plans to their backups. Having multiple locations where you divide your supplies up and store them is a good idea because it keeps options open. Having these locations in different parts of town or optimally different parts of the state or part of the country you frequent would be better. Keeping at least a couple of caches around in the town/city that you mostly reside in would be an excellent choice as well and gives even more secure options for preppers. Quantity is good, but quantity of more specific items like food, water, and medical supplies should be more of a priority than hoarding a seemingly infinite amount of ammo, knives, backpacks, or other miscellaneous which definitely are good things to store but can wind up becoming more of a hindrance especially if a severe situation caused you to have to pack up and leave your supplied location behind. A lot food would definitely be more substantial in value at that point to take with you on a long journey than a bunch of heavy weaponry and gadgets that may been stored up too.
Lastly, the thing I wanted to bring up was a mentality that a few preppers I personally know have about non-preppers which is a “Screw them, if they weren’t smart enough to prepare then they deserve to starve and fight the other unprepared masses for their next meal” attitude. I personally believe that a prepper is only as good as the knowledge and values he keeps with him once STHF happens. The way he carries himself and keeps everyone including himself nourished, safe, and calm. A prepper should lead the way and carry the guiding torch for surviving humanity on how to keep their humanity in way that is intelligent and friendly. If a starving family should come to the bug-out camp and ask for some food then there should be little hesitation to give some help and maybe even ask this family if they are willing to join yours. If a small community is built early on after a STHF scenario then I think that is the best way to survive because the numbers can help provide efficiency of food and supply gathering, adds diversity in strengths, and is probably better off in keeping a group of marauders at bay. Now, I’m not saying to give away your food and supplies to every needy person or families nor am I saying that you should have them stay with you and yours. But if the situation arises, I think there is a positive approach that can be taken before using hostility. The key to humanity is keeping people alive and that’s what we preppers are all about. Let us teach and help others now and also continue this habit when things turn for the worse. We will set the example for the surviving masses and future civilizations, let us not forget that and let us also not let the bad take away from the good in us all.