What I Wished I’d Done Differently

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After 4 years of being The Survival Mom, I’ve been reflecting on what I would do differently if I were starting to prep right now. Maybe my mistakes will help you avoid a few pitfalls. I wish I would have:

1) Read less Survival Blog and watched more how-to videos on YouTube.

Survival Blog gave me a big kick in the pants for getting started in preparedness, but it also sucked me into near-panic attacks and bouts of despair. One day my husband came home from work to find me at my desk, in my pajamas, hypnotically reading article after article on Survival Blog. Rather than motivate me into action, I was frozen with fear.

YouTube is also filled with massive amounts of great information but in smaller doses and often accompanied by a friendly face and voice. I would have learned more about waxing cheese, filtering water, and stocking up on veterinary antibiotics, all of which would have been more practical than reading tips for buying property safe from rifle fire. James Rawles is one of my heroes, but for a beginner, YouTube videos would have been more helpful and encouraging.

2) Bought less crap and more high-quality products.

Preparedness is best done in this order: awareness, education, and then action. I steered clear of education and jumped right into the action phase. That’s my style, I guess! Early on I bought a lot of cheap “survival” products that were recently sent to a thrift store as a donation. Because I had a stack of “awesome” coupons, I bought bottles and bottles of salad dressing we’ve never used and has since turned all sorts of weird colors. I don’t think the thrift store will be interested in those, and I can’t blame them.

I’ve since learned that buying the best quality we can afford is smart, even if we have to wait until we have the money. A high-quality pair of walking shoes could make the difference between life and death someday. We want tools, supplies, and even food that is meant to last for the long haul, not bargain basement specials that are cheaply produced and quickly fall apart.

3) Spent less money early on

I imagine that most preppers start off in a panic mode and begin amassing enormous quantities of stuff, just for the sake of having stuff. However, I have learned that doing a fair amount of research first is the smartest way to go.

I didn’t know much about food storage conditions, for example, when I first began buying extra food and soon found myself with packets and boxes of potato flakes infested with tiny black bugs.

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