Top Prepping Mistakes To Avoid (Part Two)

prepping mistakes

Most of us have made prepping mistakes in the past… and some of us have made quite a few.

No judgment here – we’re all learners in the prepping community, and sometimes we just don’t know what we don’t know.

However, one thing’s for sure. If we’re able to learn from the mistakes of others (rather than being doomed to repeat them), we’re bound to be much more successful when the SHTF.

It’s important to do everything we can to effectively prepare ourselves for the worst. That’s why today we’re sharing with you these…

Top Prepping Mistakes To Avoid (Part Two)

NOTE: This is Part Two of our prepping-mistake-avoidance series. If you missed Part One, you can find it here.

Forgetting About Hygiene

It can be easy to get so caught up in stockpiling survival tools, food, etc. that you forget one very important thing: hygiene.

Staying as clean and bacteria-free as possible is crucial to your survival. Not only does this boost your overall well-being, but it drastically reduces your chances of getting sick.

Stockpile things like toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, body soap, hand sanitizer, hand soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, and shaving cream. A great way to do this on-the-cheap is to head down the “travel items” section of your local grocery store. They’ll likely have a ton of these miniature items at an affordable price.

Rushing DIY Projects

DIY projects are wonderful things. But the finished product often doesn’t turn out so well if you procrastinate and then rush to complete it.

Rather than avoiding these projects, take the time to think about and write down what items you’ll need and how long it will take to accomplish each step. Then ask friends and family, and professionals to help you out (they’ll likely come if you bribe them with beer and/or pizza).

Furthermore, these projects can be intimidating if you’re expecting to start and finish them in a day. Instead, take small chunks out of the project by completing just a few steps per day. This way you’ll have the time to truly invest in the project, and you’ll likely be surprised at how quickly these small steps add up.

Not Saving The Scraps

Most projects have leftover odds and ends (nails, screws, pieces of wood, etc). Put them to good use by putting these leftover bits in a storage container. That way you’ll have them when you need them.

Failing To Practice What You Preach

Most of us think we’re ready for any type of emergency scenario. But the true test comes when you’re forced to do a dry-run of your escape plan.

Have a friend call you randomly sometime during the week. When you answer the phone, have them make up a random emergency scenario and timeline (something like “Quick! A tornado’s headed your way and you’ve got to get out in the next 10 minutes!”). Upon hearing this, you have to move quickly, gathering your supplies and heading out the door.

To make things interesting, the friend on the other end can say things like “Your house is burning and the front and back door entrances are blocked” or “the danger’s coming and traffic on all the nearby highways is at a dead-stop.” This will force you to find alternative routes to exit the home (and your city) in order to get to a safe bug-out location.

After the drill is over, call your friend and tell them how the drill went, what you did well and what you need to improve on. Then learn from your mistakes and practice again.

It’s tests like these that help determine if you’re truly ready for anything – or if you’re living in a fantasy.

Weighing Yourself Down

Many preppers make the mistake of overstocking their bug-out bag. And this may seem totally fine – until an emergency forces them to carry this heavy bag for hours on end.

Rather than needlessly exhausting your body, you can adjust the weight. One way to do this is to sort through your bag and remove any items that aren’t 1.) Necessary and 2.) Multi-Use. If it isn’t crucial for your survival, or if there’s a different tool that can do that same use (plus a whole lot more) than discard that item (and possibly go for something better).

If you’ve got kids, you can also help lighten the load by stocking survival supplies in children’s backpacks. This way, the kids can help carry the load, and it takes a weight off your shoulders (literally).

Finally, if your bag comes with a MOLLE system you can use these straps to attach survival gear onto the outside of your bag. You can also utilize survival tools like plastic grocery bags to help distribute the weight. (Want to know more survival uses for plastic grocery bags? Check out our blog on it here).

Not Utilizing Your Car For Food Storage

Here’s a fun food hack. Grab a few cans of meat, veggies, fruit and fish (like tuna), as well as some plastic forks and a manual can opener. Grab a few water bottles (or emergency water pouches too). Then put the forks and can opener in a sealable plastic bag, and store all these things under the seat of your car.

This way, if you end up in an emergency while in your vehicle, you’ll have water to drink and food to eat that doesn’t require heating.

Not Willing To Change Your Lifestyle

It’s so easy to keep spending on normal luxuries and frivolities, assuming you can live that way until you can’t. But there’s two big problems with this:

  1. It wastes money when you could be using it on preps, emergency supplies, and for future emergencies.
  2. It puts you in a constant state of comfort, therefore making it that much more of a shock when a crisis happens and those cushy comforts are gone.

Instead, it can be extremely beneficial to start letting go of certain luxuries (going out to eat, Netflix bingeing, etc) and finding cheaper/free alternatives you can replicate in an SHTF scenario. This way, you’re saving money AND you’ll be much less attached to those comforts when the SHTF.

Not Having Sturdy Shelves

It’s tempting to go cheap on shelves. However, think about it. You’ll be piling on tons of survival food, gear, and supplies over the years getting ready for an emergency. And this will take a huge toll on your shelves – potentially breaking them in half.

Rather than leaving it to fate, invest in some sturdy shelving to hold your preps. For instance, wire shelving is typically affordable and can hold a surprising amount of weight.

Storing Water In Milk Jugs

Many preppers store their emergency water in milk jugs. And this might seem like a good idea – after all, you’re recycling that old milk jug rather than tossing it in the trash.

However, this can have some very dangerous consequences. For instance, that leftover milk residue is pretty hard to clean out completely. And if there’s any left in the jug, that residue will leach into your water and can oftentimes make you sick.

Instead, store clean, filtered water in barrels and BPA-free water storage containers.