As we dig through the internet researching different topics in the preparedness community, some are covered much more than others. This is because as preppers we love to read and talk about bugging out, we probably know 20 ways to start a fire, and the new trinkets and gadgets fascinate us.
This however shouldn’t be a barometer for how important a preparedness topic is in a real-life scenario. For most of us bugging out is a last resort option, yet you can find 100 articles on the internet about how bugging out will save your life.
It’s also important to note that most of these articles cover just the basics of that prepping topic. To have a well-rounded and well thought out preparedness plan that fits our needs and our situation, we need to do more than read a couple articles and watch a few videos.
As you read this or listen to the show it’s important to note that when I say “over-hyped” I don’t mean unnecessary or unimportant. There are many factors that go into where your focus should be. These include your level of preparedness, your geographic location, your family structure, your finances, and so on.
It’s important that we formulate a well-rounded preparedness plan that works for us regardless whether a disaster strikes tomorrow or 5 years from now. Focusing on 1 area of preparedness while ignoring the rest will leave gaps in your overall survival plans.
SPP270 The Over-hyped & the Underappreciated Prepping Topics
Below are the preparedness topics Lisa and I went over in the show. While all of these are important aspects of preparedness, not all are as important as the internet would have you believe.
Over-hyped Prepping Topics
Large Scale Disasters: When we think about disaster scenarios we tend to automatically think about the worst case scenario…I know I do. But we can’t afford to lose sight of the smaller, more likely disaster scenarios.
Wilderness Skills: This is not to say that bushcraft skills are not important, because they are valuable skills to learn, but their importance can be a little exaggerated.
In most disaster scenarios the odds that you are going to need to forage for berries and mushrooms is very slim. And unless you get stranded on a deserted island (or your unprepared), making a friction fire with a bow drill probably won’t be necessary.
Solar Power (large scale): While alternative energy is one of the most important areas of preparedness, spending thousands of dollars on a solar setup may not be the best way to spend your money.
This is not to say that solar is not important, but you don’t need a roof full of solar panels. In a SHTF situation being the only one with light and heat will just make you a target. Also, an EMP could render that expensive solar setup useless.
Bugging Out: While getting out of Dodge before everything goes crazy could become a “life saving” task, the odds are we will be staying put. None of us plan on leaving everything we own behind, and bugging out is the last option for most preppers.
Trinkets, Gadgets and Hacks: There is no end to the new “must have” prepping tools or hacks like making cordage from a plastic water bottle. I love these hacks and gadgets as much as the next person, but nothing beats a fixed blade knife, paracord and a Bic lighter.
Conspiracy Theory: While it’s always a good idea to question everything and ask why, it does no good to become so consumed by any conspiracy theory that it affects our prepping.
People like Alex Jones have made careers on getting people worked up about things they have no control over, and twisting facts to fit their narrative.
Bartering Supplies: There are plenty of situations where bartering supplies might be useful, but only after we have everything else figured out first.
In the initial stages of any disaster your best course of action is to stay away from people, not try to wheel and deal with them. If you are actually prepared, you won’t need to barter in the first place.
Gold and Silver: I don’t consider investing in gold a prep because it is so expensive and will have very little influence on whether or not you survive a disaster.
Silver on the other hand I consider a secondary prep. Silver may benefit us in a long term situation, but the prepping basics are more important than having silver coins.
Underappreciated Prepping Topics
Physical Fitness: Being healthy has a number of benefits for not only prepping, but life in general. As we get older, our abilities decline, and being healthy going into a SHTF situation can reduce the chances of a bad situation getting worse.
Physical fitness doesn’t mean you need to head to the gym 3 times a week, it means you need to eat right, exercise, and as I call it be “farmer strong”.
Skills: You probably hear that preparedness skills are more important that preparedness supplies all the time, but I added it to the underappreciated prepping topics because it really is that important.
The truth is, making critical decisions and having the ability to execute in a SHTF scenario is far more important than the trinkets and gadgets that will “save your life”.
Situational Awareness: This is another one that you no doubt hear all the time, but it’s something we all get a little lazy about. As our old habits creep back in, we forget about situational awareness and operational security.
If we are not constantly making an effort to be situationally aware, we can say too much to the wrong person, or walk right into a dangerous situation.
Water Filtration: While water filtration and cleaning is one of the most popular subjects in the preparedness community, it’s also one that people don’t dig deep enough into.
You will hear about the Sawyer mini or the Life Straw on just about every website you visit, but the truth is those will be useless in some situations. Read this article about water filters for more information about this.
Planning and Practice: We can learn about all these cool prepping topics, but without practice, things may not work out in real life like they do in your head.
Digging deeper into these preparedness topics and creating a plan is important because a plan is only as good as your ability to execute it. Bugging out is more than having a good bug out bag, it’s about when, why, where, and how your doing it.
Personal Doomsday’s: This sort of goes into the only preparing for large-scale events, but the loss of a family member, a car accident, or a job loss is far more likely than a bomb dropping in your back yard.
We need to be prepared for these personal events, just as much as we are for the large-scale disasters. Hopefully nothing like this ever happens to us, but we need to be prepared just in case it does.
my personel favorite is a band of pirates is going to attack you and take all your stuff rape your wemen eat your children. didn’t happen during the dust bowl or the great depression not going to happen next time either.
Tom Jackson says
This seems to be a very thoughtful article. I agree with you about much of it especially about bushcraft skills. I think that anyone who thinks they will just go out into the wilderness with what they can carry and live is misguided. They will probably die within 2 months. What started me prepping about 10 years ago was the financial problems within our country. I did fear a complete financial implosion and think that it came very close to happening. I think that along with everything else you need to accumulate that having a “stash of cash” will possibly keep your home or property from being stolen legally after a financial meltdown. Many southern farms and properties were lost this way after the Civil War because they couldn’t pay their taxes. Everyone should also evaluate what “disasters” can really happen in their area and plan accordingly based upon the risks involved. My worst personal “disaster” happened when an ice storm hit our area while I was at work and I couldn’t get home (pre cell phone era as well). I had no supplies in my vehicle to be able to spend even one night in it nor proper clothing to hike 10 miles home. A friend in a four wheel drive picked me up and we managed to each get a room at a hotel and a meal. Many people spent the night in their vehicles, convenience stores and even Good Samaritan homes because you absolutely could not drive on the ice. My suggestion is to not over look the little disasters when planning for a SHTF scenario.