Does owning a computer make you a computer programmer? Of course not. What about standing in a kitchen? Does that make you a chef? Nope; definitely not. And despite what some people may think, owning a handgun does not make you a criminal or a murderer.
The same principles hold true for preppers.
I remember having a series of “ah-ha” moments when I first began to recognize the need for prepping. I distinctly remember feeling overwhelmed at the amount of stuff that I felt we needed to buy. We didn’t have enough food to last our family for a couple of weeks, much less six months. We didn’t have any water beyond the few bottles in the fridge that we’d take to soccer games, etc. And the only ammunition we had was that which was left over after last hunting season. Wow! We needed to buy, buy, buy.
And that’s what we did. We budgeted, saved, and bought. Laura, who has always been thrifty, began aggressively saving coupons and buying a few extra items with each trip to the grocery store. If cans of green beans were on sale, she’d buy an extra one, two, even ten cans of them. If she had coupons for an item that we may need, she bought it. Shopping at bulk discount stores became the norm.
I began to slowly acquire some additional items that we may need as well. With each paycheck, I’d buy 100 rounds of ammunition or a $50 worth of bandages and other medical supplies and equipment. We slowly started to acquire prepping supplies. But that wasn’t enough.
Knowledge is Power
It didn’t take long for us to realize that there was more to prepping than acquiring stuff. As good as that is, it’s not enough.
Laura began to dive into research like she was preparing to defend a doctoral thesis. She read about food storage techniques. She learned about wild edibles with medicinal values. She investigated how we could become more self-sufficient as a family.
My approach was a bit different, though just a fervent. I began learning more primitive skills. I learned fire building techniques, how to tie useful knots, and how to harvest and dress animals. I learned navigational skills and what should go into a bug-out-bag.
The majority of the skills we were learning were complementary to one another. But we did have some overlap and cross-training. We attended a wilderness medical training class together. She shared with me how to recognize some wild edibles and I showed her how to field dress a deer.
We were growing as preppers.
Perfect Practice Makes Perfect
Supplies and knowledge are a great start. It’s more than the vast majority of people have done and if you stop there, you’re still way ahead of the curve.
But there’s more that you can do to prepare. I’ve mentioned this many times before in various posts but it’s worth mentioning again.
You’ve got to practice your skills. An analogy illustrates my point. I can buy an abdominal exercise machine. I can even read the instruction manual and watch the video that comes with the machine. But until I start using it, there will be no change to my mid-section. The equipment and knowledge will help me to prepare to get in shape, but it’s not until I start using the machine that my body will respond.
Equipment and knowledge are good first steps, but you’ve got to put your knowledge and supplies to use.
Store what you eat and eat what you store. Practice building fires without matches. Go to the firing range and hone your shooting skills. That’s when you’ll feel like you’re really make progress.