Everyone likes to read about someone else’s mistakes so that they can learn from them. When you think about it, that is a great way to avoid common pitfalls and to save yourself some of the grief and set-backs that are bound to occur along the road to preparedness.
As useful as that might be, I started giving some thought not to the mistakes that Preppers make but to the things that they get right. And there are a lot of them.
Today I share with you my take on ten things that Preppers get right. I list them in no particular order although I tend to think the first and last might be the most important.
10 Traits of the Successful Prepper
1. Have the Will to Live
Prepper’s approach long term survival with gusto. As busy as they might be with job and family obligations, they are laser focused on insuring that they will be safe for the long term. They want to live and want to enjoy the bounty of life itself. To that end, they are prepared to endure hardships and are prepared to defend what is theirs. They want to live, no matter what, and want to be a productive member of society.
2. Thirst for Knowledge
There is always something new to learn and to keep the Preppers brain engaged. There is never a time when they say “enough”. As difficult as it may be at times to grasp the truth, Preppers seek knowledge and truth and relentlessly pursue just one more skill and one more fact that will help them prevail if their world goes to heck.
3. Believe in Family Values
The family as a social unit is important – whether it is a family of two or a family of twenty. Preppers know that and embrace and protect the family unit because it provides a sense of belonging is well as an environment for honesty and respect. However the family unit is defined (and each of us may define “family” in different terms), the core ideals remain the same: responsibility, accountability and love.
4. Possess the MacGyver Instinct
Every Prepper is a handyman. We fix stuff. We make things work by cobbling together odd bits and pieces into something newly purposed. We throw away nothing, lest it have some useful purpose down the road. We strive to jerry-rig our way out of just about anything sometimes with only some paracord and duct tape. The words “I can’t make it work” do not exist in the Prepper’s vocabulary.
5. Have Compassion for Others
Wikipedia defines compassion as “the emotion that we feel in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help”. The so-called survivalists of old were stereotyped as loners. These days, most Preppers understand the value of being around others and feel a strong emotional connection to helping those that are unable to help themselves.
This is not to say that we as a group are a bunch of bleeding hearts that will give away our hard-earned preps to anyone who comes asking. Quite the contrary. What it does mean is that we show compassion for those that are disabled, elderly, ill or simply lack the financial means to do more than a modicum of preparations. From these individuals we will seek knowledge and skills rather than physical possessions.
6. Stay Physically and Mentally Fit
To stay on top of the game, we must be able to move around freely and in an unencumbered manner. This means we must get regular exercise now so that we will be physically fit if we ever have to face an evacuation of bug-out situation. We must also stay nimble of mind so that rational decisions can be made quickly under the most adverse of circumstances.
Most Prepper’s know this and work toward a goal of physical and mental fitness each and every day of their lives.
7. Are Critical Thinkers
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally. For some this comes naturally, but for most, this is an acquired skill that is honed by the thoughtful examination of risks and rewards before coming to a logical and decisive solution to a problem. By considering various catastrophic scenarios in advance, Prepper’s make plans for dealing with the risks most inherent to their geographical location and personal circumstances.