Sunday, October 28, 2018

For Better or Worse, I Am Not The Same Prepper I Was Five Years Ago


Lately, I have been going through a lot of stuff. You might say I have been decluttering, but the truth is I have been taking stock of what I have. I have a lot of supplies. I took stock of what I owned, what I should purchase, and let go of a few things. The same goes for books, papers, notes, and anything else prepping related. I took notes on prepping things five and ten years that I find are no longer relevant to me and have let them go. I have preparedness items that I know now I will never use and have found new homes for them.

Nowadays I don't keep every darn thing that comes in my path in the event that I might use it someday. I don't want to look like a hoarder so I carefully consider what I keep and will use. I don't want to have so much stuff that I can't find what I need to use especially in a time of crisis. I am learning to say no to a lot of free things if I can not think of a good reason to have them. Once upon a time though I was not like that. When I first started prepping and even a few years ago, I would take and keep almost everything offered to me. I might be able to use it.

To say that I am not the same prepper that I was five and ten years ago would be an understatement. I am a different person nowadays with different priorities, focus, and viewpoints. We all change after a while and that is usually a good thing.

What has changed in my prepping?

I have more knowledge and skills. I have broadened my interests in prepping and branched out into homesteading and self-sufficiency. I can do so much more than I could five years ago.

My priorities have changed. My life has changed a lot in five years. I now have two adult children with their own lives. We have lived through the college years and will be doing so for another eight years with the youngest two. We have high school for another four(ish) years. I don't have little kids to worry about anymore unless you count the grandchildren. I am a little more focused on prepping for fewer people with the idea that I could be preparing for more people being here. However, now I buy Christmas presents for the adult children with an eye towards prepping minded gifts.

The more prepared I think I am, the less I worry about world events. While I still do worry about problems with our own country, what happens on the world stage worries me less. I still gear my prepping towards job loss and national financial crisis as well as weather-related events. I am still preparing for pandemics, power outages, grid down events, and having to be without services for a period of time.  I still gear my prepping towards learning skills, gaining knowledge, and stockpiling.

However, while I may be worried about what could happen, I don't panic about it. I am secure in my way of thinking, how much I have prepared, and what needs to be done. I don't let fear and panic control my prepping and drive me to make foolish purchases. If anything, I ask myself if I could live without it or have something else to substitute in its place. I find myself being a lot more creative in my prepping.

The need to prepare and constantly be doing something is so ingrained in me that it is just second nature. I will never sit back and think I am totally prepared. I doubt I will ever get to that point. However, I am still constantly preparing and I don't give it much thought. Learning new things has always been a passion of mine so I don't question learning something new in the name of preparing. I just think of it as learning something new and fun. I am always buying a few extra things and pursuing the clearance racks for extra preps. If I see a good deal at the grocery store, I stock up and put it in my food pantry. To me, that is just part of my shopping.

I like to challenge myself now. How long can I go before going to the grocery store? (Right now, two weeks if I am planning ahead. I still have two hungry teenagers!) How many ways can I stretch food? How many ways can I preserve food? What can I use in place of (something) so I don't have to go to the store? Can I grow it or make it myself? Can I fix it myself? What would I do if the trucks couldn't run or the power was out?

I just don't panic much anymore. I don't let fear drive my prepping purchases. There are things that worry me and I prepare for them. However, I don't find myself running to the store just stock up because so and so is happening. Usually, that thing that caused me to panic turns out to be nothing that is going affect me. Prepping is an insurance policy for what could happen, but worrying about the end of the world or a nuclear holocaust is not going to serve me. Most likely, those events would not be events that you could be prepared for even if you did survive. Nowadays, I just focus on what I can control and worry about things that are more likely to happen than the world ending events.

Why do I say all of this? I see a lot of new preppers who are literally worried about everything when they start prepping. I can certainly understand and relate to their panic. They weren't prepared and now it feels like they need to be prepared for everything by tomorrow. They don't really understand when experienced preppers say to take prepping one day at a time and focus on doing a little every day. Someday they will lose that panicked feeling and realize that they can prepare at their own rate unless something like a hurricane is coming their way.

(Want to prepare, but don't know how to start? Check out my book here about prepping on a budget and in a year!)

You can only do what you can when you can. You should not rack up credit card debt trying to be prepared all at once. While having stuff and a food stockpile is great, learning knowledge and skills will benefit you just as much if not more. While it seems like you need to be prepared by tomorrow because there are fear mongering preppers who will tell you that, you don't need to be. Likely, what you are preparing for will not happen tomorrow or the day after that. If you are facing a natural disaster, you need to be prepared as soon as the first warnings from the local weather service indicate some bad is coming. Even then, focus on the basics. Two weeks of food and water. Make sure your shelter, warmth, and lighting are ready to go.

One of the biggest things that have changed in my prepping is that I really want to see other people prepared. I used to not care if others were prepared, but that has changed. The more people that are prepared means the better the prepper community is. While there are a few "crazy" preppers, mostly it is people like you and me that prepare for the common every day things that could happen. The more experienced preppers want to see and help new preppers as much as we can. We did not prepare in one day or even one month. We don't expect others to prepare that way either.

So yes I am not the same prepper I was five years ago. I wouldn't want to be because I have grown a lot as a person and a prepper. I know what direction I want to go to prepping and I love the directions prepping have taken me. I love the people I have met in real life and online who help and encourage so many people in their prepping journey. I am thankful for the groups and forums that help and guide new and experienced preppers in their quest to be better prepared. Prepping is so much more accepted now than just a few years ago and that has changed prepping for the better.

So now I have a few questions for you. How have you changed as a prepper during your prepping journey? How long have you been prepping?

Thanks for reading,
Erica

Related Posts:
I Have Been Prepping For Five Years, Now What? A Review Checklist for the Long-Term Prepper
The 10 Cold, Hard, Ugly Truths About Prepping


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