Quick References

Dumb Things I’ve Done While Prepping


Even though I have a blog and always share my honest thoughts with you about prepping, I wanted to show that I am a real person too. Unlike many of the preparedness gurus online, I don’t have (or know) the answers to many questions and, as a result, do dumb things on my path to being better prepared. In fact, if there’s a test that relates “being human” to making mistakes while prepping, I may have aced the test!

That said, I keep trying new things and learning from what I did wrong. I’ve come to the distinct conclusion that it’s OK to make mistakes so long as I keep trying to do better and, more importantly, learn from what I did wrong.

So, off the top of my head, here’s a few of things I’ve done–or didn’t do as the case may be–that I could have done better or sooner had I the foresight or knowledge to do them:

  • I’ve failed to rotate food that I’ve kept in vehicle kits for years (I’m sure some of it went bad from heat exposure but I didn’t want to check)
  • I’ve removed the texting capabilities from my cell phone because I was tired of getting texts solicitations that I had to pay to receive (this definitely limits my communication capabilities with family)
  • I’ve stored wheat and other dry bulk goods for years without having a clue how to use them (honestly, who hasn’t done this?)
  • I’ve removed documentation from our bug out bags with the intention of updating their contents but didn’t do so for months
  • I’ve left candles uncovered in my vehicle kits that literally melted on other supplies (what a mess!)
  • I’ve purchased plenty of useless products that said “survival” or “emergency” on their labels only to find out they’re worthless
  • I’ve purchased MREs for our bug out bags without knowing how to use them
  • I’ve tried to use my Steripen with the protective cap on (yes, it was just a test and, no, I did not bother to read the directions first… I am a guy!)
  • I wish I had taken more first aid and medical courses (I guess I still can)
  • I’ve ignored security and defense of my home and family for a variety of reasons for years (and still do to some extent)
  • I’ve removed my vehicle kits in order to allow space for luggage when we go on long trips (but at least I did keep vehicle-specific gear)
  • I’ve assumed my kids are mini versions of me and didn’t bother to take their specific considerations in mind
  • I still don’t keep my mouth shut about preparedness (both online and in person… well, I don’t reveal EVERYTHING I do)
  • I’ve assumed I could “go it alone” with my family (the reality is that it takes a group or community to survive)
  • I should have spent more of my money initially on the basic human needs (water and food) rather than on more expensive gear that’s nice to have but far less necessary than food and water!
  • I’ve bought commando saws and mylar blankets… enough said ;)
  • I’ve underestimated the amount of medical supplies (e.g., gauze pads, pills) that can be needed to treat a serious medical problem, let alone for a real SHTF situation
  • I’ve failed to store extra propane for emergency use
  • I’ve let my gasoline stores run completely out (as well as our vehicle’s gas tanks – still can’t get my wife to fill up at 1/2 tank)
  • I didn’t get into gardening until recently (still too much to learn!!!)
  • I still haven’t purchased a good amount of survival seeds for later use

And that’s just off the top of my head. I could probably double that list if I really thought about it. If you’ve made similar mistakes, that’s OK. Just keep trying, learning, and doing and you’ll never regret your actions.

6 comments to Dumb Things I’ve Done While Prepping

  • Bev

    I’m a scatter brain just like my mother :) I have twenty projects going at one time and the various prepping things are just one of them.

    But let’s reframe this… Instead of making progress or completing one thing (and when is something EVER complete!), I am making progress on 20 different things :)

    A first aid backpack is always being used, updated, new things found to add to it, etc.
    My pandemic supplies are fairly complete, but something may come to mind.
    I’m doubling my garden this year as certain things that were supposed to work, just didn’t… Like the potatoe towers… For me, much of the square foot gardening just hasn’t worked, too crowded or not appropriate for certain things like vines and corn.
    I have installed more security items and bought two more guns and more ammunition, but is it enough? So, I have signed up for a concealed carry oourse.
    I guess what I’m getting at, is it is the journey, not the destination. And give yourself credit for what you have done :)

  • Bev

    Your list was WONDERFUL! Perhaps more of learning article than most!

    Gardening! Too huge a subject! So many people think they can just pop the seeds in the ground and food will pop out… NOT!!! Gardening is a lifelong learning process and depends so much on weather, predators, etc.

    My best advice to you, is to create a children’s garden. A 2×2 plot for each child to plant in. Help them plant radishes, cherry tomatoes, carrots. Plant at least one pumpkin vine someplace for their Halloween enjoyment. A green bean teepee is always great. A tiny strawberry patch, a couple of raspberries, a blueberry plant. Why not get two hens as pets and for eggs. Make it fun! You will learn as much as they do and you will all have fun family time. The children’s gardens are some of my most cherished memories as a mother. Bev :) And I still love to go “graze” in the garden :)

    • That is a good idea. It is strange how we tend to treat children these days. Instead of teaching them life-long skills such as gardening we teach them how to use the microwave and credit cards… ugh!

  • Scooter

    lol…welcome to my world. I see things to do…start doing then get side tracked on another “project”. I’ll learn to “focus” one of these days. Its all part of the process….I guess