Friday, January 23, 2015

Guest Article: Prepping Guide for Beginners

by Gale Newell

There is a widely-used idiom about a straw breaking a camel’s back. The point of this idiom is identifying that everything has a breaking point. Case in point - try bending a pencil. Eventually any pencil will break when you put enough stress and pressure on it.

What does this mean? Society and our environment will follow the same trend. Today’s world is filled with international instability, economic and political crises, bloodshed, widespread pandemic such as the new Ebola outbreak, and general struggle on a large scale. Families struggle to put food on the table for their kids and many of us wonder how we can continue to live this way for much longer. The world is at its tipping point and you need to prepare. What can you do now that will set you and your family on the right course for the future?

Paying off Debt
The first course of action is to admit that you and your family need a safety net. Many people go through life on a week-to-week basis. We receive a paycheck and are forced to spend it on bills, rent, and towards paying off debt. This last item should be the first goal of the beginning prepper: paying off debt will allow you much more freedom to prep like you’d like to, because as you know, procuring preps is not cheap. Put forth all efforts towards paying off outstanding debt(s) and reduce your financial footprint. Get off the debt collectors’ map. This is the first step to going incognito in a world of dependence. 

Budget for Preps
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “It is not often that a man can make opportunities for himself. But he can put himself in such shape that when or if the opportunities come he is ready.” 

Your family needs you. The way the world stands today, resources and supplies are ample and ready for procurement. Tomorrow is not guaranteed and those same items could be gone from store shelves in 24 hours. Allot a certain dollar amount per week/month to purchasing preparedness items and do not go over that limit for any reason. Prepping is a slow burn type of process, not a reactionary one.

Get used to the Food in your Storage
Many times preppers buy foods that they've never eaten before. They say things like, “Oh, I’ll get used to it when the time comes.” This is not the best approach for the situation. Slowly work it into your diet. Have an item every day, or every couple days, from your food storage and ensure you replace that item soon after. You do not want to have a significant time period for family members to acclimate to the new items in their diet. 

Undervaluing Skills, Overvaluing Supplies
A prepper cannot simply rely on ample food supplies and extra cases of ammo without knowing how to fire a weapon accurately, forage for food, or construct simple means of shelter. Learning skills useful to survival (check out this Men’s Fitness article for a great read on essential survival skills) should be an important part of any prepper’s agenda. We've all got some free time; instead of spending hours in front of the television watching endless episodes of reality television, spend that time learning and practicing a new skill. Match this skill up with something you’re interested in. If you’d like to learn how to reload your own ammunition, look up some online tutorials and teach yourself how.

Prepping is more complicated than you may think. For those just starting out, you may find it a bit stressful and more than you bargained for. But once you get your hands dirty and make prepping an integral part of your life and a habit, it’ll be just as easy as breathing or sleeping. Stay true to goal, take steps to be a true prepper, and ensure your family will wake up tomorrow with food on the table.

When SHTF, will you be ready?

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