Chance favors the prepared!

How Prepping can lead to personal growth

265492_0a4c_3Over the past few years, I have noticed a few changes in myself since I began prepping. I would like to think that most of them are positive, and have contributed to making me a better person. At least I hope so.

I noticed that I do not buy items based solely upon price anymore. In the past I would typically try to find the cheapest item and go with that. (Toilet paper being an exception. NEVER go cheap on toilet paper!) To me, saving a buck was the most important aspect when it came to shopping.

But not now. Sure, some items I still buy the generic, like over the counter medicines. (FDA requires the store brand have same types and amounts of ingredients as name brands.) But now I have started looking at the quality of the items I buy. And more importantly, I look at the item’s durability.

Our society has become a “Dollar Store disposable” one. We buy the cheap items that only last a few uses, knowing we can get more later on. But what happens if we lose the grid tomorrow? What happens if we have a financial crash? Suddenly those items may no longer be available. Or we might find their cost prohibitive.

So with that in mind, I changed how I began buying things. Especially bigger ticket items or items I know I would need in an emergency setting. Suddenly, spending a bit more but knowing I was getting something durable and would last became more important to me. It gave me peace of mind.

I also noticed that I was trying to spend my time more wisely. I found that when I watched TV, I watched educational and DIY shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube. I did it so much I cancelled my cable. I also found that I wanted to teach my kids more. I began to get them more involved in some projects. I am teaching them the value of being more self-reliant.

In my mind, there is always the possibility of a TEOTWAWKI event (The End Of The World As We Know It). But what happens if it does not occur in my lifetime? Well, it could happen in my children’s’ lifetime. Or their children’s’ lifetime. My hope is that the skills and values I pass on to them will help them in the future. And that they in turn will teach them to the next generation.

This past spring, I took my boys out camping for a 3 day, 2 night excursion. We “roughed” it with a tent and sleeping bags. I thought it would be a great way to start teaching my boys about being outdoors, and the respect they need to have for nature.

I taught them the pyramid method of camp fire building, the importance of having a bucket of water nearby in case of an emergency. They learned what happens when you burn live “green” wood versus dead wood. They also learned things about boiling water to sanitize it, how to cook over a camp fire, and the importance of cleaning dishes with clean water.

They learned the places where you should and should not set up your tent, the importance of a ground tarp under the tent, and how and where to place it when you do not have a perfectly level area.

Now I have not been camping in a few years. The hectic day to day life gets in the way. And while many camping skills are second nature to me, I learned a few things myself.

I learned that sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag, even with a mat, is a bit more uncomfortable than I remember. (And by uncomfortable I mean neck and lower back pain that required a few naproxen pills to help.)

I learned that on the second night, sleeping in the cab of the truck does reduce the back and neck pain a little, but still is not all that comfortable.

I also learned, towards the end of the 3rd day, how much I truly enjoy a hot shower. It’s something most people take for granted, until going 3 days without one.

Have I grown soft? Maybe, although I’d like to think it has more to do with growing older. The little aches and pains my parents complained about I now find myself experiencing.

I know I don’t have to have a hot shower or a comfortable bed to survive. Izombie know I can survive without life’s luxuries. But I also know that I’d prefer not to. I’d much rather be able to watch football while drinking a Mexican beer in a frosted mug with lime and salt than to sleep in a bunker worrying about zombies.

It made me appreciate what I have, and to not take this life for granted. To me, EVERY DAY is a gift.

I do find it odd that many preppers are not just preparing for the end of the world, they are seemingly wishing for it. Why?

Why would someone WANT TEOTWAWKI? Would they rather be right in all their diligent preparations than to enjoy life? To me, being a prepper is as much a state of mind as it is a life style. Yet so many people are consumed with being prepared, it in essence becomes their life. They sit around waiting for the worst case scenario while life passes them by.

Personally, I think it has to do with peoples’ secret desire to be selfish, to do what they want when they want. Doesn’t everyone want to stop worrying about mortgage payments and utility bills? Aren’t we all sick of paying taxes and driving the speed limit?

The Apocalypse means no more social etiquette or dead lines at work! You can shoot the “bad guys” because they piss you off! Steal a car and drive through an empty city! Good times right?

In our “Dooms Day” scenario we play in their head, we get to imagine ourselves as the hero that goes on as life around us ends. And why do we want to imagine ourselves as “Book of Eli” or Rick Grimes from the Walking Dead?

Because in reality, the thought of the end of the world is not as scary as the thought of the world going on without us. Because if the world can go on as normal once we are dead, it makes us question if we really mattered in the grand scheme of things.

Feeling irrelevant is a MUCH scarier prospect than the Apocalypse…at least the Apocalypse in our minds.

No one here has ever experienced an end of the world event. Many may have survived a localized emergency… it a temporary SHTF, but never anything on a global scale. So the best we can have is intelligent and informed speculation; an “educated guess” if you will. There is NO way to know what will truly happen, or even the unintended consequences of such an event. Hence, the TEOTWAWKI event will NOT be like how you are picturing it in your mind. And inevitably most of those who planned on living through it will meet their untimely demise.

So for me, I have learned to appreciate the time I have on this Earth. I find that as my knowledge and skill sets increase, my confidence has increased and I feel more positive and upbeat. To me, being prepared isn’t about waiting for the end of the world. It’s about knowing that you can survive whatever life throws at you. And it’s knowing that I am passing on these skills to my posterity.

I prep to live. I don’t live to prep! And by being prepared, I can rest easier at night and really enjoy my life!


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2 Responses to How Prepping can lead to personal growth

  • Hi James, We raised our kids with all the camping and wilderness stuff. A lot of the time we were scout leaders. It gives kids a chance to learn skills with their friends. I’m now retired (law enforcement) with the usual bad back and other pains… I suggest you get a blow-up mattress for camping (unless you are back-packing). VERY comfy. I know if you are bugging out, it’s too big and heavy to back-pack, but it’s light and cheap to use to keep your fun outings fun. Just a cheat tip from an old lady….

    • Hi Sgt

      One step ahead of you. 🙂 I actually have a queen size air mattress. It wasn’t big enough for me and my two boys however. So I went with the thin foam pad. Ugh….growing old sucks sometimes! LOL

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