It makes me sad when I learn that preppers are overwhelmed, stressed, and clearly are letting prepping activities take over their life. It does not have to be that way!
Here is what I see, over and over again.
- I see preppers, both new and experienced, getting OVERWHELMED
- I see preppers stressed by the never-ending list of things they need to purchase in order to be fully prepared
- I see preppers bogged down by the sheer pressure to learn off-grid and homesteading skills that they may never need
- I see preppers spending every last penny of their budget on supplies and gear, to the exclusion of taking a vacation or even treating themselves to a night at the movies
- I see preppers feeling less than prepared because they do not have a huge garden, do not raise farm animals, and are interested in neither
I could go on, but you get the drift.
To all of this I say stop, take a breather, evaluate your risks, and move on with a slower, more focused and relaxed pace.
These preppers are treating their preparedness activities as though they are part of a stressful job, deadlines and all.
In this short article, I want to set the record straight. Prepping should be something you enjoy! That’s right. You need to enjoy the prepping process and if you are not, you are doing something wrong. I am not saying that all prepping will be a barrel of laughs but it can be both fun and rewarding.
By having a specific preparedness goal in mind, you can carve a plan that will deliver a double whammy of benefits. First, you will have the peace of mind that you can get by on your own for one week, two weeks, a month, or even longer if and when a disaster shows up on your doorstep. Second, you can do pleasurable things to learn the skills you need. Make it a hobby and not a J.O.B.
- If you love to cook, select a favorite recipe and learn to make it using ingredients found in your food storage. After doing that, take it outdoors and see if you can cook it on your grill or on a rocket stove.
- If you like to shop, plan a trip to the dollar store or Walmart and challenge yourself to find useful prepping supplies spending a maximum of $10 or $20. Hint: check out the toy, craft, and hobby sections for those all-important off-grid amusements.
- Go camping for the first time and enjoy the fresh air and solitude while at the same time learning to light a campfire.
You don’t have to stop prepping. You just need to slow down and prioritize!
The last time I checked, there is no Prepper police that is going to grade you and send you to the principal’s office if you take some time off to goof off. There is no bounty hunter that is going to come after you and shame you into doing more. As a matter of fact, I now consider this “prep just a little each day” stuff to be pure baloney.
As with almost everything I write about, I say this from personal experience. There was a time when every shopping trip included an eye out for items that were good for when the SHTF. Every weekend was spent learning a new prepper skill or trying out this product or that. It was exhausting and in hindsight, left me little of what I call “me time” to kick back and chill out. It is only after retiring that I slowed down and realized that there was life beyond prepping. I realized that while blogging about preparedness, I had set up my own version of “keeping up with the Joneses” only calling it “keeping up with other bloggers”.
Here is the kicker: some of those bloggers are fakes. They run websites from a desk in Rumania or Poland or some other far off place telling wannabe preppers what to do based upon no hands-on experience whatsoever. They are in it for the money. Period. On the other hand, there are many fine bloggers in the preparedness niche but alas, they are getting squeezed out. It’s a shame.
Summing It All Up
For those of you that have been wondering, yes I still prep. That said, I am no longer frantic about it and I no longer let prepping rule my life. I still visit Backdoor Survival frequently (and if you have not checked lately, they are putting out some fantastic stuff) as well as The Organic Prepper, and the very best prepper news site, Prepper Website.
Prepping, and being prepared, is a very important component of living a strategic and joyful life. While you should not lose sight of that, you also should be mindful that if you are a stressed prepper, you need to slow down and take a break. Do what you need to do to put some fun back in your life. Your prepping activities will still be there when you return to them.