Preppers have a problem. Oftentimes, they can’t see the forest for the trees. I’ve found that prepping is like a vast river of opportunity, a river that ebbs and flows based on the situations around us. When world events are spiraling out of control, we feel inspired to get prepping. When the world feels stable, we slack off.
This same journey along the River Prepper is studded with exciting tributaries. Some examples of tributaries are things like blacksmithing, knitting, tactical training, gardening, and natural healing. These are things that take your prepping to another level and push you toward the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency.
The journey can often feel like a very lonely one, at least until you find yourself a good friend, a community, or a spouse that is all in. That said, I’d like to remind you that there are a few million preppers who are suffering through rough patches. They’re lonely, or tired, or uninspired. Maybe you’re one of them.
In this article, we’re going to explore seven universal problems that all preppers face.
1. Fear of the Future
One bit of neurosis that all preppers share is the fear of what is to come. It’s the very reason we do what we do. The problem is that many people allow their fear to take control. They spend too much time reading scary news stories and become so afraid of the future that they become paralyzed, like a mouse too frightened to run from a snake.
You have to learn how to manage that fear of the feature. You can use that fear as fuel to get things done, but if you feed it too much, it will overtake you. If you’re an anxious person, then you should probably avoid the news altogether, or at least cut back to weekends only. Otherwise, you’re liable to waste time worrying or make costly mistakes.
2. Feeling Unprepared
The dirty secret about preparedness is that it’s impossible. Yes, I said impossible. You can get to a point where you feel confident in your preps, but there will always be ways you could be more prepared. You might feel ready for anything, then one day you realize there’s a particular scenario you’re not prepared for.
This sense that you’re not really prepared causes some people to give up. What a waste! Would you stop jogging every week just because you’re not ready to do a marathon? Of course not.
If you ever feel this way, stop and look back at how much you’ve accomplished. When you add it all up, you’ll realize you’ve learned and stockpiled more than you realize. And odds are, it is enough to get you through the most common disaster scenarios.
3. Self Doubt
There may be no group more prone to extreme levels of self-doubt than preppers. As heads of household, we occasionally call into question our ability to protect our loved ones in times of crisis. This is only natural. If you’ve never been in a truly life-threatening situation, how do you know you’ll be able to handle one?
Well, you don’t. But I’ll tell you this, you’re bound to handle it a lot better than someone who hasn’t bothered prepping. If you have an emergency plan, plenty of supplies, and a bug out route–and if you’ve practiced evacuating quickly, spent time living without electricity, and know how to use your gear, you’re going to handle it about one hundred times better than if you hadn’t prepped at all.
Keep that in mind next time you’re feeling self-doubt.
4. Seclusion and Secrecy
Unfortunately, there is still a bit of a stigma attached to prepping. When people find out you’re a prepper, they say stupid things like, “Are you one of those doomsday preppers?” or “I’ll just come to your house if a disaster happens.”
If someone finds out you’re a prepper, chances are they will talk, and pretty soon people you know will look at you differently. In some cases, you could miss out on a promotion or even lose your job because people think you’re a “crazy survivalist.”
The more likely problem, however, is that they will come straight to your house if the SHTF. If that happens, you’ll be forced to turn lots of people away, people you know, people who are begging. This is not easy to do, which is why it’s better if they don’t know about your preps in the first place.
Seclusion and secrecy can be lonely, but it’s for the best. Here is what to do if people find out you’re a prepper.
5. Jealousy of Others
When you see the guy with the million-dollar bunker that is equipped with running water, air filters, multiple exit doors, and all sorts of other things, it’s hard not to get jealous.
There will always be someone out there who has more than you. The difference in prepping is, it can mean life and death. It’s how you protect your family, and your shortcomings could have massive implications.
When I start to feel jealous of a prepper who has more than me, I just keep this in mind: the more preppers there are, and the more prepared they are, the better our society will be at weathering the crisis. Imagine if you were the only prepper in the world and a major disaster happened. It might take decades for things to get back to normal.
But when there are lots of preppers–especially those with more supplies than you–society will bounce back a lot faster. Seeing a prepper with more than you is a good thing (unless it’s only because you’ve barely done any prepping at all).
6. Not Having Enough Money
Some people have more disposable income than others. In my experience broadcasting and working with preppers, it would seem that most preppers are paying their bills first and using whatever pennies are left for prepping. That is the harsh reality of prepping. It gets what little money is left over.
Fortunately, most survival skills don’t cost any money to learn. And if you’re frugal, you can find great deals on supplies or upcycle garbage into survival gear. Here are some ways to prep that don’t cost anything.
7. Being Misunderstood
One of the biggest struggles we face as preppers is dealing with a spouse or children that aren’t on board. Family can be harsh on preppers, and that is a tough hurdle to get over. It’s not easy being the person who is misunderstood inside your own home.
For this, I recommend finding a prepper community. Search MeetUp or a similar site for a local group, or find a forum or Facebook group, anything that focuses on prepping and self-reliance. Having other people to talk to about these things is a huge psychological benefit that will keep you focused and motivated.