Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Prepper Do-Over! What would I do differently?

By Timothy Gamble (Originally January 8, 2019)

I grew up as a good ol' country boy/farm boy, so a lot of my prepper and survivalist knowledge, skills and mindset were instilled in me since birth. However, I didn't start to become a "prepper" and "survivalist" until about 2002. Since then, I've done a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong. Here are some of the things I would do differently if I could go back to 2002 and start over:

1) I would place much greater emphasis on my health and fitness. Maybe its because I'm 17 years older now, or because of the health problems I've had over the last few years, but I finally realize how important - and fragile -our health and fitness really is. Developing and maintaining our health and fitness is really hard to do (you can't order it off of Amazon), takes time, and requires effort and sacrifice, but it is the most important prep we can make to survive whatever happens in our Earthly life.

2) I would make moving to a better location a much bigger priority. My current location is okay. It could be a lot worse, but it could also be a lot better. I had planned on moving, but the excuses of "family and finances" kept me where I'm at now. Then came the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath. Then came my health problems over the last four years. And now its 2019 and I'm still not where I really want to be. Looking back, I could have moved in anytime in 2003 - 2007, and things would have worked out. My family would have adjusted, and I would have found work and paid the bills. And,most importantly, I would be in a much better situation now.

3) I would make my prepping more about building a self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle, rather than about reacting out of fear. What do I mean by this? In hindsight, I think it is a mistake to urgently prepare for this possible event or that that possible crisis, because in doing so we are chasing an ever-changing target. Back in my early days of prepping, peak oil was all the rage. Now, no one talks about it. And how many different times have folks claimed "Planet X" was just months away? I think many preppers get burned-out always chasing the next calamity that fails to occur. Simply emphasizing building a self-reliant and sustainable lifestyle for yourself and your family or group is a much better strategy, in my opinion.

4) Finally, I would place much greater emphasize on building tribe. This one is difficult for me to talk about, because I know I've failed at it, even though I knew it was important. Sure, I have relatives and friends, but honestly I am the only serious prepper among them, and we certainly are not coordinating our efforts. Building tribe - a close network of family and friends sharing and coordinating common values, beliefs, worldview, and goals - is extremely important, especially in the modern fragmented world, where even close relatives, biologically speaking, are rarely on the same page when it comes to important issues and goals. 
The Prepper's Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster - Chapters 1-14: everyday disasters that have shorter-term effects: power outages, storms, injuries, and evacuations; Chapters 15-31: disasters that turn out to be much longer-lasting: economic collapse, long term power outages, and pandemics, to name a few; Chapters 32-56: the end of the world as we know it: providing food and water once supplies run out, security, retreat properties, and long-term plans.

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  1. Thank you for the good post. Your honest self-reflection and after-action review were helpful. Where do you think would have been a better place to relocate, and why?

    1. Great question, Publius. I will answer it in a full article next week. It is easier to rattle off where I wouldn't want to live - in a big city or the suburbs of a big city, in any city (big or small) in which the Dems control the big three (mayor, city council, law enforcement) in a deep blue (socialist) state, in a college town or near a major University, near a military base or other strategic asset... More in next week's article!


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