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Monday, October 4, 2010

Preps & Life

Prepping is a hobby and a way of life--a lifelong pursuit of being prepared for what's around the corner. You will never reach a "done" point--you will work at it for your whole life, and when you die, you'll hopefully have passed the mindset to your children and grandchildren. And hopefully you've have some worthwhile possessions to leave them as well.

Because preparedness is a lifelong pursuit, you need to approach it as such--with forethought, strategy and patience. Here's some thoughts.

Career. If you're young and not yet on a career path, look to get educated in a field that will provide stable employment, suitable income and will allow you to stay away from "danger" zones--crowded, expensive, crime-ridden urban areas choked with restrictive laws. If you're well into your career and not liking the path that you're on, change it. Get more education, change careers, do whatever it takes to get where you want to be. Don't be afraid to invest in yourself. You will have to make short term sacrifices, but they will pay off over the long term. Your work will have a huge impact on every aspect of your life, so you need to make sure it's squared away.

Buying Preps. Have patience. Unless you have substantial cash or assets you can sell off, you're unlikely to be able to instantly have all of the funds needed to purchase the preps you would like to have or feel that you need. With all of the many potential threats and fears out there, this kind of patience can be difficult. What if disaster strikes tomorrow? And that's the exact problem--we don't know when SHTF will hit. Panic buying is all too common, but you need to avoid it. Research out your purchases, think them through and make them count. Make investments in the areas you are most lacking. If you have a year's worth of food and no guns, buy a gun. If you have a dozen guns and a month worth of food, buy more food. And when you buy, buy quality. You want gear that you can bet your life on and also that you can pass on to your kids or grandkids. You might have to wait a bit longer to afford quality items, but it is worth it.

Stages of life. Again, unless you have sizable resources, it's going to take you years before you can afford all of the preps you want. And you've got to be ok with that. For example, buying a remote, well-stocked retreat/cabin as a second home is not cheap and not something most people in their mid-20s are going to be able to do. It might take until you're 50 or 60 to do that--or heck, you might need to wait until retirement age before you make the move out to the Bug Out Land. Put goals out there for yourself and your family to work towards, but give yourself enough time and make them realistic. If you're not at the point in your life where you can't have a certain prep--for money reasons, lifestyle reasons, whatever--don't let it drive you nuts. It's all right--you'll get there.

Balance. It's easy to go overboard--and maybe not in your eyes, but in the eyes of your loved ones. Make sure you keep perspective, stay optimistic and maintain your important relationships throughout your life. People can get burnt out on doom and gloom and worrying about the end. Don't try to force prepping on those who aren't interested; be patient and encouraging, but don't insult and alienate. If you feel yourself going overboard, take a break. Do fun things, be positive and enjoy life. Tightly knit family and community groups will see you through the hard times ahead.

Dying alone in your uber-TEOTWAWKI bunker, surrounded by a mountain of guns, ammo and MREs is not the end goal. What is the end goal then? Dying happy and free, having made the world a better place for your family, friends and others. Your preps are insurance to help make sure that happens.