Now, this post may turn a few people off but that’s ok. It needs to be said. Before delving into the subject, let me point out that I feel it’s good more and more people are asking questions like “how do I start prepping,” where do I start,” “what are some good resources for prepping” and so on. Such questions indicate people are waking up. And, while there are many posts, pages, and blogs dedicated to starting prepping, I’ve got a few kit lists here, there’s the flip side of the coin that needs to be talked about.
As the title states, I want to discuss when to stop prepping.”STOP Prepping! Are YOU Crazy!?” Yup, I can literally hear you and everyone else screaming at me right now. And, no, I’m not crazy… at least, not clinically speaking. ;) For starters, I should clarify what I mean. I’m not talking about quitting cold turkey, giving up and reverting to being a sheeple, or moving to the city. Not at all. I firmly believe that prepping should be a lifestyle choice and is obviously superior to the Standard American Lifestyle.
Specifically, I’m talking about the inability of many folks in the prepping community to STOP accumulating needless extra supplies. For example, I know people, see them on television, in forums, and other blogs that literally have dozens upon dozens upon dozens of firearms. It’s like they own a small gun shop but aren’t selling. Let me emphatically state that I am not against firearms whatsoever, it’s just the easiest and most prevalent prepping item to point out. I understand why people do it, I just don’t understand why people take it so far. After all, you only have two hands!
Let me elaborate a bit more. I understand the need to have different types of firearms (rifles, shotguns, handguns) and I also realize it’s useful to have more than one (two is one, one is none). These reasons alone could easily result in a dozen or more firearms for a family. That’s understandable. It’s when the firearms collection becomes a mini arsenal that I tend to worry and think “it’s time to stop.” So what if I have enough weapons to arm half of the state militia, if I don’t have food to eat, what was the point? To defend… what, exactly? Or is it to take from others? I hope not.
Instead, refocus that money on other areas of your preps, such as food and water, communications, other security measures, medical supplies, other power equipment. After all, you can only eat a bullet once. Who knows, perhaps you’re well off enough (or disciplined enough) to be able to do all of the above, but I’m willing to bet that most people who take any single aspect of their preparedness to a seemingly extreme level is seriously neglecting another aspect of their overall preparedness strategy.
I shouldn’t pick on firearms alone. I remember an episode on Doomday Preppers that featured a couple that had (so they say) twenty years or more of food stockpiled. No doubt, I’m jealous. But from what I recall they didn’t have the rest of their preps in order to anywhere near their level of food preparations. The same can be said for your reaction plans as well. For example, is your first reaction to most any scenario to bug out and most of your plans and preps are geared toward doing so? What if you HAD to shelter in place? The same question can be asked in reverse too.
To put what I’m saying in a single sentence: your preparations should be stockpiled so that no single area is dominant and, similarly, no single area is deficient. It’s a simple “weakest link in the chain” analogy. Obviously, this is easier said that done. I know I have areas that are deficient and others that are a bit more dominant. The thing is that I work toward fixing my deficiencies and keep my “obsessions” in check. How?
With lists, budgets, and plans… all of which are critical to your success. Do you have a master list of preps you need, not only categorized, but sorted by order of importance as well as the expected cost to acquire? Do you have a preps budget in place? Exactly how much can you spend this month, this week? And, how does your overall plan work? Do you focus on small bits and pieces each month or do you tackle large portions of a category? It’s ok to focus on a single category or piece of equipment if need be; it’s just not ok to let any single area dwarf everything else a majority of the time.
If you don’t have your lists and budgets in place, work on them now. Actually, the first thing you should do is to inventory your equipment and supplies. Understanding where you are on paper (and not in your head) will help shed new light on areas that you thought were taken care of but were not.
One last note to all the firearm-loving readers that are fuming right now: perhaps your collection of firearms is really a hobby accumulated under the guise of being prepared? It’s ok to have a hobby and to spend a lot of time, effort, and money on it. Just acknowledge what it is. If it’s not a hobby and truly for preparedness, then I urge you to take stock of the rest of your supplies to ensure they match with the expectations your firearms collection has set. And, if they do, I have a family of four that is ready to move in!