A Preparer Looks Back: Lessons Learned in 10 Years of Preparation

Someone said that”you should just look back to see how much you’ve walked”. This phrase is very useful within the world of preparation, where we only learn through comparison and contrast with past decisions. We read some text on the Internet and then the first thing we do is compare what’s written with our reality, and that’s great.

I know that in many moments I’ve been looking at the supplies and the other’s presets when I had just begun, and this seems to be a sort of normal characteristic for us, humans. Coveting something is normal, apparently.

Imagine a cave man walking, suddenly he sees his friend with a necklace with a huge tiger tooth… Automatically he thinks”hey, I could use one of these too”. So someone thought of putting modular pockets in the backpacks to load more survival items and BOOM, the tactical market came up.

There is no harm in comparing yourself to others, as long as you don’t feel inferior or want to take what is theirs. I personally see equipment I’d like to have all the time, but I don’t get to suffer for it. I don’t think I need to discuss or prove that I’m right when we talk about more efficient prep types…Because that kind of game doesn’t allow winners.

Lessons from a Presets

I thought of writing this text because there may be some value in sharing a little of my learning in these ten years of preparation. I hope some stitches give you comfort or even make you laugh. If none of this happens, you can see how foolish I am and feel better about yourself.

The World Won’t End Tomorrow

Pretenders and Sobrevivencialistas usually visit area sites for many reasons, but I believe most of the presets have fear as root of their interest in this niche. Don’t misunderstand me, I don’t think fear is a bad thing. We have the gift of fear so that we can be cautious when necessary, we have a sense of danger that warns us of risks and that has certainly saved us a few times in life.

I prepare because I don’t want bad things to happen to my family. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m scared and always tense. You have to get the motivation that brought you to this practice and focus on it, but to relax as much as possible. I’ve lived in a constant waiting for the final day, the economic collapse and the tyranny of the government for years… And guess what? We’re still here. Don’t get so caught thinking about it to alienate your family and make bad decisions. The odds are still that you have plenty of time to be prepared.

Unless the World Really Ends

But now that I’ve said it–it’s easy to fall into the paralysis of the analysis. For those who don’t know what it means, it’s basically taking too long to make a decision or an action. You need to do your “work” or get out of the bush!

I know some of the trainers who made huge spreadsheets with several columns describing their supplies–with hundreds of rows. They calculated the difference from one item to another in terms of price on 4 different sellers. It’s even worse that they keep these spreadsheets up-to-date but they never buy anything they really need.

They know what they need to begin with, but they can’t pull the trigger. The trainee who has nothing but a great plan will not be much ahead of the person who is caught in full surprise during a disaster.

I recommend getting small, just get the basics to supply you during bad weather events (Storm and suchlike) and then go increasing as you can. You don’t need to buy three years of freeze-dried food on the first day, but don’t just stand there waiting for that fantastic survival knife to have more 55 cents off. You need to cover the basics.

“Who Has One Doesn’t Have Any” Is a Clever Way to Make You Spend Money

And as we’re talking about purchasing supplies you’ve certainly heard this before: who has one doesn’t have any. This means that if you have only one unit of an item, for example a outdoor flashlight, and you lose it, you don’t have any other backup to save you. Logically, that makes sense, doesn’t it? Redundancy is another word that we love and that essentially means the same thing.

But see, I’m not saying you don’t need backup’s, what I’m saying is that you don’t need to apply this rule to your getaway backpack (BoB). I know a YouTuber who has great content, but his backpack weighs 65 pounds! Why? Well, because he has a lot of redundant items. Knives, saws, clothing, methods of fire and etc…Anyway, here you have to have good sense to avoid spending needlessly.

Your Escape Backpack Has No Magical Properties

Speaking of escape backpacks, I must emphasize that they are not a “disaster-free exit”letter. A well-prepared backpack can give you just more choices. Having a bunch of equipment doesn’t mean you’re going to live and the rest will die. I really think that sadly many backpacks will be taken from the bodies of presets who have died for arrogance, bad luck or ignorance.

Remember, escape backpacks are the kind that leads you to an end, not the ultimate goal. Get ready with them, but be careful not to delude yourself. They will only endure the amount of hardship you can endure.

You’ll Never Have Enough Things

I wrote a text a certain time called “Are you ready for the end of preparation?”. Basically the goal is to say that no matter how much water, food, seeds and ammunition you have under the bed… One day it’s all over. If we really go through an intense crisis incident, your supplies will last up to a certain point. So the secret is to plan to know how to live without all these items! Yes, the beginning of the preparation is to buy several items in the shops, but after having the basics, start thinking about how to live without any of it. Start planning on cultivating a vegetable garden or buying a piece of land farther from the city.

Being Militarily or Ex-Military Doesn’t Make You More Qualified to Survive

Yes, that’s being written by someone who’s ex-military. And yes, if you enter the military service you will have several types of workouts that fall within the art of preparation. Depending on which branch you learn all about weapons, tactics, first aid, navigation and also how to explode things…But that doesn’t make you an expert and much less a natural leader. I know some of the braces are supporting the military service they possess from the past, and that might be a problem.

I know that a person who has never seen combat before would not have the same performance as you, especially in ambush tactics and similar, but, seeing the other side of the coin, a trained soldier may not know how to survive as well in crisis scenarios as a single mother. I’d love to have four seals in my friendship circle, but I don’t even believe a second that only survives who have “official” training. Behaviour is a huge factor in survival, so you need to focus on it.

Plan to Be Self Sufficient, But Don’t Deny Help

he lone gunman in this picture is a lot of people’s fantasy when they think of a disaster scenario. You walking in the midst of steaming ruins that used to be your city, eliminating threats and returning to your hideout in an epic way. This is a good plot for a movie, but human beings only exist until today because of the ability to group. Yes, you can survive alone for a while, but to prosper it is important to have more members in your group besides yourself. You will be stronger, more capable and will have more people to talk to (this is super important).

You’ll Never Know as Much as You Should, But It’s All Right.

If I were rich and had no wife or kids, I could devote myself to learning something new every day. There are so many subjects I would like to have time to learn… Maybe that’s an excuse, but with work and responsibilities, free time is a luxury I don’t have to spare. But just because I can’t take 5 Krav Maga lessons a week, compete in a marathon Cross fit or learn Morse code doesn’t mean I’m sad. I have a good life ahead of me and I have time to learn what I need if I plan well. I’m not going to be revolting just because I don’t know a lot of things that survival experts know.

I said it before and I say it again…Preparation is a lifestyle, not a final destination. You can never be prepared completely, this is an unattainable position. Still, you can get better prepared for the problems that life can play in front of you.

This is a journey and we are all walking on it, calmly. I’m happy to have you on my side! Let’s move on.