Whatever your reasons for getting into prepping, it is necessary to take a breath before rushing into building a stockpile. Many first-time preppers dive in headfirst and eventually find themselves in the deep end without floaties to keep their head above the proverbial water.
If you rush into prepping without a plan, you will end up making significant and costly mistakes, leading to regrets and possible family disagreements. Therefore, when starting, follow six tips to avoid future regrets.
1. Build Slow and Save Money
It is common for newcomers to feel overwhelmed and like they are miles behind other preppers on the journey to home defense and efficiency. Those anxious feelings are dangerous because they often lead to impulse buying and building a massive inventory over a short period.
Building fast means spending money quickly. You do not want to use all your cash or take on credit card debt to build a stockpile. You want to save money and build an inventory slowly. The key is to do each sustainably.
2. Store More Water and Store It Proper
The general rule regarding water is to store at least one gallon of water per person for each day of an emergency. However, you might want to keep more to be on the safe side. It would also be best if you did not store the water in old milk jugs. While these containers are convenient, it is nearly impossible to get all milk residue out, and the plastic is likely not meant for long-term storage.
3. Buy Food Your Family Will Eat
Too many beginners focus on the shelf life of food that they do not bother to think about what their family likes to eat. While MREs and other shelf-stable foods might taste good to you, they are an acquired taste. Make sure you consider other family members when you make food purchases, or you might be bunkered with some hangry individuals.
4. Buy a Variety of Food
Many preppers assume that the only shelf-stable food items are canned goods. However, there are several things you can buy, from canned to dry to freeze-dried foods. Also, you can have a more convenient stockpile of items that last a couple of months, allowing you to have even more variety. Too many canned goods are also not good for you because of the sodium and preservatives.
5. Rotate Your Inventory
When designing your emergency pantry, make sure you have an inventory system in place. You want to keep detailed records of expiration dates, allowing yourself time to use items before they expire. If you do not have a thorough inventory, you risk wasting a lot of valuable food and leaving your family ill-prepared in a legitimate emergency.
6. Pack Several Bug Out Bags
Aside from having an emergency shelter with a stocked pantry, it would be best if you packed several bug-out bags. Each family member should have their own bag, and the bags should be filled with items specific to each member’s needs. The packs should include food, water, first-aid, medication, and entertainment. Store bags in several locations so they are always accessible, regardless of the emergency.
The above list is not extensive, but it is a start. For more information, check out more prepping and survival blogs. Additionally, look to the BlackOpsTac community. Do you have any advice for your fellow preppers? Leave a comment.