We all get discouraged from time to time especially when events or results we expect are right around the corner, do not happen. This makes perfect sense with a diet when for example you reach a plateau and all the rice cakes and sacrificing desserts in the world won’t take off a single additional ounce. Another example could be a skill we try to master like golf. Sometimes, no matter how much effort we put into practicing, money we blow on the latest hi tech clubs, how much sweat blood and cursing we expend on that stupid ball, nothing seems to make your score any lower. At a point, you may start to worry if this just isn’t meant to be. That you were born to be a little chunkier, that golf is a lot harder than it looks and you will never be anything remotely close to the next Tiger Woods.
Losing your motivation or interest in something can be very discouraging. What used to occupy your waking hours with such intensity can vanish quietly without as much as a second thought. For some people, prepping is like that. In the beginning, there is a sense of urgency and we scoured the internet for tips on how to grow the best garden, how to store food in plastic buckets. We research the best firearms for self-defense and start making our plan on how to be better prepared for any emergencies with the end goal of living completely off the grid on 50 acres in Idaho. With our Bug Out Bag checklists we head to the camping section at Walmart or online to get the best survival gear and then over time notice that your expensive lifesaving gear that you had, has been sitting alone and quiet in the corner of the closet for a year.
What are you prepping for?
I have said this before on the Prepper Journal but I think it bears repeating and that is Prepping is not something you can ever master. This isn’t a skill that you get a certificate of completion for. There are no expert preppers out there regardless of what any blogger tells you. Prepping is a daily process of taking steps and making decisions that will improve your chances of surviving anything that life can throw at you. Prepping is a lifestyle, not a destination and if you are doing this right, you will always have something you can learn and something else to do.
Most people start out with a single point that drives them to prepare. Either it is the news reports that we hear, or dire warnings from a thousand websites, radio and internet hosts or the ads blaring from websites (mine included) about the “one weird trick” you need to have or the next “big thing” to worry about. For me, it was less specific than something like mutant zombie bikers from Mars, but I had several things that prompted my own personal journey into prepping. I quickly found out that regardless of what it is you think can happen or is likely to happen to you that would turn your world upside down; the survival requirements for everyone do not change.
In most instances. It doesn’t matter what the emergency is that you are faced with. In most survival situations, you are still going to need clean water to drink or you will die. You are going to need food or you will starve and you will need shelter and security or someone could kill you. You always run the risk of being injured or becoming ill, so a way to treat injuries or illness is also important. It doesn’t matter if this disaster you are faced with is an earthquake, an economic collapse, war, disease outbreak, revolution, depression, plague or a polar shift, global warming or alien invasion.
Preppers seem to easily become disenchanted with the whole idea of prepping if their big fear doesn’t materialize quickly. Preppers who are looking for either a government tyranny or an economic collapse are probably the worst at this; second only to people who believe whatever the latest disaster of the year is (y2K, Hale-bop comet, 2012 Mayan calendar). If you don’t see your envisioned future that you are prepping for materialize, or worse the day comes and goes and nothing happens, a lot of people feel foolish and think their prepping efforts were all a giant waste of time.
Prepping should be focused less on any event and more on situations. What if I have to leave my home and can never go back (for any reason)? What if I am unable to pay for my home anymore (maybe due to a job loss)? What if I am trapped in my home with no food (because of a winter storm)?
Does this mean you aren’t a real prepper?
It is more exciting I guess for the lack of a better word to crystallize your attention on one boogeyman or threat. It may even be easier to prepare when you have the face of what you are worried about so clearly in front of your mind, but it is a trap. If you focus your attention on one enemy, spend your energy and thought on one outcome, what will you do if something you didn’t expect happens? If you have worked yourself up for a complete and total economic collapse, but that never materializes; are you prepared to live life however you need to regardless of the economy?
Maybe that was a bad example, but I think the point should be that we have to prepare to survive. We shouldn’t be preparing for an economic collapse. We should be gaining skills to become more self-sufficient, not spending all of our time building a warehouse full of freeze dried foods. Now, I am not saying we shouldn’t take the bad realities of a possibility like an economic collapse into consideration. I am not saying that we shouldn’t store up food, but as much as possible we should be focused on what our family or we need to survive regardless of what happens. If we do have an economic collapse, you are going to need to eat and pay the bills aren’t you? If we have a global pandemic, you are still going to need to keep yourself healthy, just like you would if there was a hurricane or a flood, or an earthquake.
When you ask yourself why you are prepping or I guess when you start to question if anything you are doing is worth it. When you start to feel foolish staring at your stocked pantry and your hundreds of gallons of water, fuel, first aid supplies and survival gear stop and think. Think about how what you have done could help you and others in a thousand different ways. Think about how you will have options if the cold hand of fate comes knocking at your life one day way in the future. Don’t worry if it never does because that right there is the best outcome we could all hope for.