There’s More to Prepping Than Buying

April 9, 2012

Getting Started

Practice your prepping skills

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.

Getting Started

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.

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11 Comments on “There’s More to Prepping Than Buying”

  1. Cheryl Says:

    I think you guys were in my brain last night as I worked on a new post to my blog. It can be overwhelming when I look at the list of things I need to buy for my family to be self sufficient. The skills are what we’re going to focus on through the summer. This post is a perfect affirmation to where we’re at and going.


  2. Shelton Says:

    That’s good advice. We have taken a regular paper calendar and note one thing per day we try to accomplish. Little things during the week and larger projects on the weekends. Once a month we have a big pow-wow to plan the next month out in advance. This way we do a little each day and steadily accomplish a great deal of prepping.

    My wife is in charge of the food and she has found a great time saver. Go to and get a discount account, then use the food storage calculator to estimate what foods you need for your family based on caloric intake, age, etc. Once that’s done and you deleted the stuff you already have the company sends you some of the items on your list each month up to your budgeted amount. They call it “THE Q” , it’s great! All you need is 15 min. to set it up and now our food storage is on auto pilot! Each month we get a delivery right to our home.



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