Being Honest with Yourself: A Prepping Reality Check

31 May

Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from Chevyguy. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.

The more articles and prepping books I read and the YouTube Videos I watch I find a very obvious question that I don’t think people are asking themselves. The more I start to question if these people have anything valuable to say or worthwhile to show. What is this huge imposing question? Are these preppers being honest with themselves?

Now I realize in the Survival lifestyle there is a lot of ways to break it down. From bugging in or out, which kind of food storage to have, how to defend yourself, which weapons to own the lists can go on and on. But the word Survive itself is where I think people are completely missing the point. Survival! It’s not a TV show, it’s not a video game, there are no restarts and no second chances. You do or die, make the right call or fail, eat or starve. It’s not glamorous it’s not pretty and if it happens to you,  it won’t be the Hollywood version you have seen on movies. With these thoughts in mind, I have compiled a selected few topics I think people should reevaluate in their lives and make and give yourself a prepping reality check.

Why are you prepping anyway?

First and foremost what in the hell are you prepping for and why? Do you live in area prone to floods or hurricane alley? Is your home in a place that has regularly harsh winters or some other kind of recurring natural disasters? If so, then you have an easy to envision goal to strive for. When part of your normal life could be that you’re snowed in and can’t get out for two months, its nice to have food, water and heat that you can provide for yourself. If you live in flood zones its nice to have sand bags handy that are all ready filled and ready to go and other natural methods of water diversion. But then I read of people who prepare for this TEOTWAWKI and I take a step back and wonder what that means to them.

For my wife, the end of the world as we know it is a world without Facebook. To a guy at work it’s no TV and no way to charge his vape batteries. To others it’s a nuclear holocaust as is portrayed in the Fallout video games. Before you start prepping, you need to have a vision of something realistic that you are preparing for. I find it easy to think of a certain problem, for example how will I stay warm, and go forth from there. Find a simple problem and then find several different ways to fix that particular problem. Keep your problems small and you can tackle them more easily. Don’t start with how to heat your house, focus instead on how am I going to stay warm – how am I going to keep my safe room warm? Because honestly you don’t need your whole house to be warm. You don’t even need your room to be warm, all you need is your body to be warm to survive.

Once you start breaking basic problems down you’ll see that you are a lot better off and better prepared to face your challenges. This is also great for somebody who is just starting out in prepping or maybe have been doing it for a while but feels like they are missing something or there is a giant hole in their supplies. Focus on the little things because you start adding a bunch of little things up and they become a very big thing. Would it be cool to have NBC gear and gas masks for Nuclear Fallout, to have full body armor and a diverse array of weaponry at your disposal? Sure it would be but that’s all it would be, cool. For most people, it would not be practical. When you’re wearing all that cool gear starving or dying from dehydration you will wish you would have used that money to prepare for something that could have been used not something tacticool.

Your supplies won’t last forever.

Second, realize that everything you hoard will run out, it’s not a lifeline, it’s a buffer. There is no way the average person has enough room and space, let alone money to stockpile roughly 50 years of food and water nor have the ability to move it around if needed. The most common responses I get from people when asked what they’ll do in an emergency is, ‘we have rice and beans well be fine’, or ‘we’ll just garden we won’t need the grocery store’. The problem with these people is that they don’t consider the amount of water for rice and beans or the amount of time food takes to grow.

The one, single, solitary thing that will keep you alive are skills. Having a stockpile is great and I myself am working on creating one, but you must have the skills and the materials to replenish that stockpile before it’s all gone. Many people who garden, rarely stockpile plain empty canning jars and lids or know of or have the skills to persevere garden harvests from spoiling. Folks who plan to hunt either haven’t done it in a while or only know how to use a firearm. They’ve never used or considered a bow, traps, snares or other methods. They are just planning on being able to go hunt and survive. They don’t consider how skilled (and lucky) you have to be to even see game, let alone how much competition from other people trying to survive they will encounter.

Another huge problem with stockpiling is people become targets to looters. Chances are someone has seen you unloading your massive amounts of beans and rice at one point or another. Or someone you know is aware of that root cellar you have outside. When you have so much crap that you can’t easily hide it, others are going to look at you as their lifeline or their target. Last note on stockpiling is stop stockpiling crap. Will a hundred empty peanut butter jars be helpful, probably not as much as you think because there going to be so many other empty peanut butter jars out there. Will a hundred cheap flashlights from the dollar store be the cure-all for lights? Good reliable gear is not cheap. I am not saying you have to spend a million dollars to have decent gear as a lot of it is way over priced but have something that’s quality built not just crap. You will appreciate it one day.

How much is too much?

Good reliable gear brings us into our third topic, don’t be a gear whore. Is having some back up gear nice to have, yes, but don’t we all get that momentary high from getting new things? All that gear you have stocked away is great but do you know how to use it? What good does it do you to have an AR and all the ammo in the world if you don’t know how to shoot it? Can you properly tear it down, clean and lube it? What usefulness does a fully loaded medic bag do if you don’t even know basic wound care, CPR or even what’s in the bag?

I find a lot of people will buy these “ultimate anything bags” and throw em in the corner and think they are good to go without ever really knowing what’s in them. They have never used any of the supplies before, hell sometimes they haven’t even unwrapped some of the components inside. The best way for gear to assist you is if you have the skills to use it properly. You want a sure-fire way of knowing what gear you need for a 72 hour bag? Throw in some minor stuff and go survive out of it for 72 hours. Try and build a shelter by testing out that weirdo from YouTube’s latest and greatest shelter design. Try and build a solar still and see how much water you get. Live in an urban environment? Pack a bag and try to leave the city. See how fast and how far you can get each day on foot. Find safe places to hole up for the night.

There is a reason why highly skilled military operatives go through so many mock training courses, because that is the only way you’ll know how you will react in that situation. You train over and over and then reflect back on the experience. It builds muscle memory. Do you really need that 400-dollar ultra light tent or is a tarp that much better to use? Sure flint and steel are a good idea but should I have some matches to use too? Only by going out and trying out your gear will you know if it fits your plan of action and if it actually works for you. Most of you will probably be pretty disappointed.

What shape are you in?

You don’t want to have your health working against you in an emergency.

Now lets talk about physical fitness levels. I work on my feet for 8-10 hours a day -eat like a typical mid twenty year old and weigh 150 pounds. Can I throw on an extra 20-pound bag and walk for 15 miles a day, then sleep on the cold ground and eat crappy food and walk another 15 miles the next day? The answer is no, and if you asked yourself that question, your answers still probably the same. Everyone has the crazy idea of running to the mountains and living like the old school mountain men. The problem is that most mountains are a few hours if you are lucky in a vehicle and a few weeks by foot. Can you make that distance?

I’m not saying that you need to spend 8 hours a day in a gym working out getting ready for SHTF but a few hours a week is probably not a bad idea for anyone. Getting to know your body’s physical limits is a good idea but pushing them is even better. Once you think you know how much you can take, it allows you to start breaking down those mental barriers that are preventing you from achieving more.

A part of overall fitness is physical health as well. This is especially important to those of you who are dependent on medications to survive. I am not talking about medications to just make life a little easier or lower risks of certain types of things but to physically stay alive. In a survival situation there is no drug stores, no pharmacy and there will be no way to renew that medication. If your health is dependent on these medications, in the short-term you die. Everything you have stockpiled will be of no help to you. I’m sorry but the laws of nature and natural selection are what a survival situation really comes down to. The strong survive and reproduce. The weak die off and the ones who have bad traits die off. There is no way around this problem. Now for those who take a blood pressure medicine to prevent risk of heart attack. You’ll probably die of a heart attack once your meds run out and you’re in a high stress situation. But you can still go on, still fight and survive because you are not dependent upon your meds to stay breathing. For those people who are in that category you need to seriously reevaluate your plans and your expectations as you’ll have the hardest and shortest of times.

It’s time for some to have a reality check

Last I want to talk about some people’s grand plans and ideas they have to survive a SHTF scenario. I’ll break this up into two sections bugging in and out.

Bugging Out

Lighter is always smarter.

Lets start with bugging out. A 72 hour bag, bug out bag is supposed to get you to a well supplied location within a 72 hour walking distance. It’s not meant to live out of for the rest of your life. It’s not meant to stock your bug out location. Its to get you from your home to your bug out location or some other safer location. People over complicate the hell out of a bug out bag. Light and fast should be the motto when building a bug out bag.

A lot of people will argue against this idea and try to pack as much prepping supplies as they can carry. If that’s you,  then you don’t have a 72 hour bag you have a INCH bag (I’m Never Coming Home) bag were you will need extra things to survive because you do not have a survival stash location. Your plan is that you are heading out the door and you will be forced to survive with everything on your back. Another question I hear frequently is ‘what if your location isn’t 72 hours away – what if its five or six days away?’ Well then you need to have a resupply location in between your home and your location, a temporary bug out location if you will that some people call a cache. A survial cache is a place that you have another fully loaded 72-hour bag ready to go, or at least additional items to resupply what you have used already. If at all possible, this cache location is also a place where you can rest for a little while and regain some strength and stamina. People might wonder why this is necessary and the answer to that is weight. If you have a resupply location, you can carry only the items you need to get you to that point. You don’t have to add-on the extra 3 days worth of water and food. Instead of having a 60-pound pack you can now have a nice 25 pound pack that you’ll be able to travel a lot faster with. Obviously stashing a pack takes some planning and thought process but its much easier on the back if the mind does all the work. Seriously reconsider what your bug out plan is I realize that sometimes 72 hours away isn’t far enough distance away from a problem so plan ahead of time.

Bugging In

Now lets cover bugging in. I like bugging in because it doesn’t involve as much walking plus there are softer beds to be slept in. But the thing with bugging in is security from a number of aspects. First, when you are on the road in a survival situation, you’re a target. Some loser will think he can come and take what you have and you will need to be ready to take a life if it’s required unless you want to jeopardize your safety or your supplies.

The Second risk is a theft situation, you and your supplies need to be locked up tight from anyone trying to break in which means a better built door and windows to start with. Whatever it takes to keep people locked out. Third is a smoked out situation, in the old days people would die from being trapped in a house because looters or a mob burned it down and they were trapped inside. The solution isn’t to have a secret escape route out of the house its to have a fire-proof house. They make metal roofs and concrete siding all of which are fireproof and if enough money is spent on windows not even small arms fire can get through them. Bunkers are nice but unpractical as the cost of construction and they pose their own set of problems with airflow and sanitation. Consider the construction of your house to determine the safety of your house, remember the home is your castle and that’s what needs defending and they sure didn’t build em out of wood back in the day. Maybe go back through the house and analyze how you would survive your firefight or a Molotov cocktail incident.

To conclude I just want to bring reality back to people. I myself get caught up with having a huge stockpile of stuff. The best gear I can afford in my BOB, and planning for a highly unlikely scenario when there’s a more probable one to plan and prepare for. I want people to be able to take away something positive from this article that will help improve their chances of life in a terrible situation. It’s easy to get caught up in all the hype and the latest and greatest survival gear but ultimately it comes down to you and your skills, mental ability and your planning that will let you see another day. If you take the time to go back through your check lists and evaluate with an honest heart, how well you have things together and have prepared I promise, you wont regret it.

The post Being Honest with Yourself: A Prepping Reality Check appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

IOTC takes action in Indonesia

31 May
Several proposals aimed at enhancing management of tuna fisheries in the Indian Ocean have been adopted at the 21st annual Session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC).

Multilateral aquaculture research project

31 May
A new €7 million EC-funded research project will focus on developing innovative approaches to help ensure European sea bream and sea bass aquaculture businesses are sustainable and competitive.

Icelandic capelin MSC certified

31 May
The Iceland Sustainable Fisheries (ISF) capelin fishery is the first capelin fishery in the world to be MSC certified as a sustainable and well-managed fishery.

Discards protest goes to Brussels

30 May
Dutch fishermen have taken their outright opposition to the landing obligation to Brussels in a protest that was held yesterday outside the doors of the European Parliament.

The Rise of Liberal Preppers – Welcome to the Party!

30 May

Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

Ever since I first began to take an interest in prepping, it seems that someone is always trying to classify the different types of individuals who make up this lifestyle and put us into a box. Back in 2007, when I was beginning to search out websites and blogs, the concepts that caught my eye were probably more aligned with more of a militia mindset, then it became survivalists, then Doomsday Preppers started gaining ground when the NatGeo show came out and really blew up from there. Elite preppers followed the trends of multi-millionaires buying up land in foreign places and constructing fortified bunkers. The latest repackaging by means of classification is Liberal Preppers.

What are Liberal Preppers and are they any different from those who can’t stomach the thought of describing themselves as anything left of Die Hard Conservative? Is the latest attempt at branding preppers any different and if so, who are these Liberal Preppers? Do you have anything to worry about as a new crowd shows interest in what was something you thought was uniquely yours? Could some of your own friends be preppers incognito?

Today I want to discuss this whole new term and break down the similarities and differences between Liberal Preppers and everybody else who used to simply call ourselves Preppers to figure out what this means for the prepper movement at large.

Who are these so-called Liberal Preppers

Liberal Preppers have come to the whole concept of prepping the way I would assume many of you have. They became concerned with what they perceived in the world around them and realized that should their worst fears be realized, they would be in serious doo-doo without taking some precautions up front. Liberal Preppers worry about some of the same things we do like having enough food to feed ourselves or our families so they are learning about canning. They worry about the political landscape and how the current administration policies and regulations could impact them negatively. They are concerned about geopolitical unease and the threats of war. Essentially, like any prepper, they want to do what they can in order to set themselves up for success and not be a victim of their own laziness should the worst happen.

How is a Liberal Prepper any different than a ‘Regular’ Prepper?

So, reading the list of concerns above, you might be asking yourself how is a Liberal Prepper any different from me. How is the steps they are taking to get knowledge, to gain a level of preparedness different from what I have been doing for years? My take on this is that there is nothing different about the steps they are taking. Humans need the same basic things that I have harped on for years. We all need water. Everyone needs food. You will die without shelter and you will be safer with some form of security. This is a universal truth.

What is different is their motivation.

Liberal Preppers are motivated by the flipside of things that you who have been called preppers for years are usually motivated by. Liberal Preppers are concerned about the new Trump Administration where older preppers were likely concerned about the Obama administration or the threat of a Hillary presidency. It is because of this that I think the term Liberal Preppers is a misnomer. Liberal Preppers assumes that you also have Conservative Preppers. What about Independent Preppers?

Your political bent shouldn’t really define you as a prepper but the current political landscape is always a major factor when people start to worry about the future. Both Liberals and Conservatives as well as Independents, Progressives, Main Streamers, Traditionalists all could be more accurately called Political Preppers.

Political Prepper – Noun – A person who makes preparations out of fear of the current political climate or leadership.

We have lots of the same types of worries on the other side here, but we just call ourselves preppers.

What does all this mean anyway?

Prepping is a lifestyle that I think everyone should engage in to the extent that your time and resources allow. I believe every human should take steps to make themselves less reliant on systems around us that bring us water and food. I believe that we don’t need to see the scenes repeated after Katrina and Sandy of people standing around screaming for the government to come help them. I think each parent should be able to take care of their children if the gas stations close, the grocery stores are out of food and the hospitals are unreachable. To a point.

Prepping for most people is really just providing a support net to get them over the initial duration of the most common emergencies we can visualize finding ourselves in. We stock up food and water, but most of us aren’t planning to go completely off-grid for 2 years in a concrete reinforced bunker but that’s ok. Most disasters aren’t apocalypses and simply having a few weeks’ worth of food and water can mean the difference between life and death. Your politics might be driving your rationale for prepping but you are trying to achieve the same personal goals as all the rest of us.

The Prepper Journal has always tried to appeal to anyone trying to take practical steps to be more prepared to take care of their family in a short or long-term disaster. We have people who love guns, who wear MAGA hats, hold lifetime memberships to the NRA as well as vegans, pacifists and yes, Liberals. I have shared the stories of my own life of close personal friends and even family members who hold diametrically opposing positions on social and political issues but we still get along just fine. The comments section at the bottom of every article is open to anyone regardless of your personal philosophy and I would say that mix has created some very interesting and instructive conversations.

Prepping is not an exclusive party and my goal has always been to get as many people prepping as possible. I say to anyone who is new to these concepts and calls themselves a Liberal Prepper, welcome! I’m glad you are interested in taking steps to get more prepared. I hope you will join the conversation here at the Prepper Journal. I think you will find that you have more in common with your other fellow Preppers than you might even know and I think we all can learn a lot from each other.

Here are a few articles that can help you get started:

Good luck and remember that you can always ask any question in the comments of this or any article. The Prepper Journal has a diverse, intelligent and experienced audience who has always shown they are happy to provide their own advice and experience on any issue you are facing.

What are you prepping for?

The post The Rise of Liberal Preppers – Welcome to the Party! appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Skretting brand expands in central America

30 May
The global feed producer and supplier Skretting is launching its brand in Honduras and Nicaragua to support the growing need for sustainable shrimp feeds in both these important aquaculture markets in Central America.