Prepping: The Point Where You Realize You Bought Too Much Crap

prepper hoarder

It’s starts so innocently, right?  You are awoken to the perils of a coming economic collapse, a heightened potential for martial law, or other encroaching preparedness situation.  You start by buying some canned food and maybe filling up some milk jugs of water.  You fashion yourself a nice bug out bag, and a firearm and associated ammunition.  Then, the inevitable happens… You keep buying more crap!

Awhile back, I wrote an article entitled “The Poor Man Prepper”.  In it, I explained a variety of reasons why someone who is poorer and preparing might actually be better off than a middle-class or rich man prepping.  And what’s the distinguishing difference you say?  Someone with monetary means gets immediate gratification when they buy prepper goods.  Its easy to hop on Amazon.com, purchase that water purifier or other item, and feel like you just took one more step towards preparedness.  Very little effort was needed on their part.  However, for the poor man prepper, money has to be spent much more wisely, acquiring knowledge and honing skills is of utmost importance, and many prepper projects are DIY.

Needless to say, I think there is a gravitation of middle-class/rich preppers to choose the easy route of “buying stuff”, and then suddenly finding themselves consumed by their purchases.

Think about it…we really have no idea how the cookie will crumble, but we know the world is crumbling.  There are threats of global cooling and associated geological disruptions, terrorism/ISIS, a very probable economic collapse, race wars, world wars, and God forbid – nuclear war.  A prepper who is aware of all these potential catastrophes suddenly finds themselves running the gauntlet of necessary preparations: Food, Water, Shelter, Security, Communications, Travel, Finances and so many other topics.  Someone with monetary means will little by little, start to accumulate a whole bunch of stuff to try to fill these voids until…

At some point, it becomes too much…

Let’s say you started off with a months’ worth of food and 1,000 rounds for your rifle.  That was good, but then you hear James Yeager say you need 10,000 rounds, and another prepper channel says you need at least 3 months to a year’s worth of food.  Well, you start buying some more.  But then, you really want to improve your bug out bag and find yourself buying water purifiers, a new knife, fire starting materials, etc.

And on the 7th day, you stand back, and you saw that your creation was good. 

But then you think…well, this is my bug out bag for when I have to get out of my home.  Do I need a separate, smaller “Get Home” bag?  Because of course, you don’t want to leave your expensive bug out bag in your car at all times.  Too many a times have you heard of other prepper’s getting their bug out bag’s stolen.  So then, you start buying all new replicates of prepper goods for this smaller bag.  And the trend continues…

Unless you are uber anal about cleanliness and organization, a byproduct of purchasing all these goods is disorganization.

  • You will start to misplace items.
  • You will start to mismanage items that have expiration dates.
  • You may not be proficient in all those items (e.g. – different firearms)
  • You will inevitably find yourself without a good plan on how to move all those items.
  • You might be consumed by your purchases.  If you ever have to bug out, you will be too worried about bringing all your items with you instead of actually getting your self out of dodge.

So, What’s the Plan Stan?

If you do have the means to buy prepper goods, and you find yourself acquiring a lot of it, here’s some simple tips to help manage your inventory.

  • Always think with “End in Mind”.  If you’re planning on bugging in and have no intentions to move, then you are fine acquiring all these goods.  Just make sure they are organized and readily available.  If you do think there is a probability of bugging out, seriously consider where you are bugging out to.  Can I store things there?  How much can I transport from my home in a particular vehicle?  How long will it take me to load my vehicle?  Should I have cache’s either in the ground or hidden in trees?
  • Always maintain an up to date inventory of your bug out bag (or other bag/tote) contents.  If you are not an avid hiker and do not use your bags, you will inevitably forget the contents within them.  By having an inventory list, you can keep track of its contents when you change through the seasons or purchase additional gear.
  • If you are working with items that have a best buy or similar expiration date (canned goods, batteries, etc.), ensure you employ some type of FIFA (First In, First Out) inventory management.
  • Have a checklist.  If you were to bug out, what all pit stops do you need to make around your house?  Gun safe, food storage area, precious metals, bug out bags, etc.  In the chaos of a bug out event, you need a check list to help keep your focused and on task.
  • Stay organized with learning skill sets.  In this video, I show you how you can use Microsoft Outlook Calendar to help prioritize your time spent on prepping.
  • Don’t hoard. Eventually, you’ll find yourself buying something better than what you originally had.  If you really don’t have a use for it, sell it and use the money for other preps.  If you want to hold on to it for a “just in case” SHTF or barter scenario, keep it segregated from your primary preps.
  • Generally, keep your area clean and designated.  Have dedicated spots or rooms for your preparedness supplies and keep the area clean.  In a bug out scenario, you do not want to rummage through scattered materials to try to find out what you need.

Organization takes effort, and it’s generally not a fun process.  However, you’ll have a great piece of mind that you will be very effective and efficient if the SHTF time ever comes.