A Simpleton’s Guide To Preps: The Best And The Overrated, by B.H.

The Best:

  1. Become a faithful, obedient Christian.

    Why? Because we’re thinking long-term. Prepping doesn’t exempt death; it just postpones it (maybe). If you believe in prepping for the few decades you have on this earth, doesn’t it make sense to prep for the eternity that follows?

  2. Develop a long-term attitude in all your preparations.

    Why? At various gun-shows and events I attend, I occasionally see a small patch for sale that reads, “Embrace the Suck.” How true this could be. Simply giving-up during bad times will most likely kill more folks than anything, including smoking unfiltered cigarettes or running with scissors. Everyone runs fast the first mile of a marathon, but how many actually finish strong, or finish at all? I would imagine the first item you’d want to acquire in your prepping life is the right attitude, so think long-term with everything on this list.

  3. Prepare shelter from the cold, including the most important skill of making fire.

    Why? With the exception of lava flows, earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, sharks, lions, mudslides, avalanche, coral snakes, lightening strike, asteroid impact, stampeding cattle, hurricanes, or lack of air, absolutely no element of nature kills quicker than cold. Being prepared to survive the cold includes clothing, coats, and blankets. It also includes ways to make fire; a place to make fire; the means to cut, split, and chop wood; a roof to keep you dry; and walls to shield the wind. (Walls also have the duel benefit of keeping sharks and stampeding cattle at bay.)

  4. Know where and how to obtain clean water.

    Why? You can’t go more than a few days without it. However, just having access to water is only half the battle, because dirty water may be almost as bad as no water at all, so you need to know how to make dirty water clean. There are many easy ways to keep “the runs” away. (Grandmother used to say that.) You can boil it, bleach it, filter it, or chemically treat it. Just don’t get confused and boil your filter in chemically-altered bleach; that would be overkill.

  5. Build sources for live food, such as chickens, rabbits, and a vegetable garden.

    Why? After a collapse, Taco Bell will probably cut back its hours of operation and not even Bill Gates can afford to buy enough pre-packaged #10 cans of dehydrated gourmet entrées to last a lifetime. Keeping chickens and brussel sprouts alive takes practice; practice takes time; and time will not be available post-collapse. Getting these items in place now will force you to get the tools you need (both physical and mental) ahead of time. This type of food is healthy, and you’ll get a lot of exercise in the process, but the really good news is you’ll have no trouble reaching that weight-loss goal you set during the New Year’s holiday. You’ll look great come swimsuit season.

  6. Buy that rifle or shotgun (and ammo for the same).

    Why? There are many obvious reasons why a firearm or two would be a pretty good idea following the collapse of society. First, we will be back to the Wild West style of justice. Even though government organized law enforcement will no longer be worried about things like littering, seat-belts, or car window-tint that is just a tad too dark, they will still be a little busy. (Assuming they haven’t ditched the job entirely to stay home and look after their own families.) Secondly, hunting will become America’s most popular pastime, and while slingshots and bow and arrow certainly make the hunt more challenging, using a good old American-made firearm will be your best bet at putting meat on the table. I mean no offense to you vegetarians reading this. Finally, the number of homeless cats and dogs will explode; homeless cats and dogs just love chickens and rabbits. (Read #5 again, if I went over your head with this comment.)

  7. Store salt, soap, and candles.

    Why? All of these will last forever. All are dirt cheap now, and all will be invaluable at meal time, bath time, nighttime, and “romance” time. (Well, the salt won’t help here, unless someone knows something I don’t.) Don’t skimp; stock up. I mean fill your closets and drawers with them. Also fill every empty box you can find. There is no such thing as too much here. Plus, these are great barter items.

  8. Buy and store silver.

    Why? Eventually you may want to buy something when paper money may not be accepted. Credit cards, checks, PayPal, and those cute, trendy little “bit-coins” might not work out for you either; I’m just sayin’. Have no fear. Whether it’s as simple as buying a drink of water or as difficult as finding someone to betray Jesus Christ, silver can always be counted on to get you what you need.

The Overrated:

  1. Gold

    Why? You can’t easily make change. Let’s say you walk into a convenience store with a gold coin. Both you and the cashier may agree that your shiny gold coin is worth $5,000. However, in the end, you will not be going home with that loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter you wanted, unless you’re willing to pay $5,000 for it.

  2. Medications/Antibiotics

    Why? They have a short shelf life. Band-aids and aspirin are fine. Okay, I’ll give you a pass on Viagra, as well, but let’s be realistic. Antibiotics have a short shelf life. Heat or moisture makes it even shorter. Some medicines must be refrigerated. A total collapse is going to be very unpleasant, and unfortunately some of its realities are going to be hard to accept. Still, look on the bright side; chopping wood will do your body more good than any blood-pressure medicine, anyhow.

  3. Gasoline and anything that runs on it

    Why? Again, it’s the shelf life. Yes, of course I have a gasoline-powered generator, but its sole purpose is so I don’t lose the 2-3 weeks of food in my refrigerator and freezer. Beyond that, it’s overrated. If you take the time to treat gas with a stabilizer, you’ll still be lucky to get 18 months out of it. Then what do you do? Here’s the bigger problem: gas engines make a lot of unwanted noise, like a cell phone in church. Don’t be the guy who loses everything because his cell phone went off in church.

  4. Batteries and anything that requires electricity

    Why? Batteries eventually die. (Yes, even the re-chargeable ones eventually die.) Have you ever seen a Clint Eastwood western where he whined about a lack of batteries, air conditioning, or cell phone service? No, you haven’t. Did a lack of electricity keep men like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin from becoming studs of American history? No, it didn’t. Don’t be a prepping “hipster”! Man-up, put your “big-boy” pants on, lace up them boots, and ditch the electronics.

  5. Bugging Out

    Why? Let’s see. Could it be that I have no shelter other than what I can quickly build with what is on hand, my supplies are limited to what I can carry or pull in a little red wagon, I’m alone (or in a relatively small group), and I’m in an unfamiliar and lawless environment with a good chance of running into a bunch of hungry, desperate strangers. Oh, by the way, hungry, desperate strangers are never ever intimidated by a person pulling a little red wagon. What could possibly go wrong?

  6. A Survival Retreat You Don’t Live In

    Why? You have to get there BEFORE the collapse. If you don’t, you have to bug-out; read “Bugging Out” again. The only way you can be there before the collapse is to see it coming, and what are the chances of that? 40%? 60%? Even at 80%, this seems like a poor return for a prep that cost tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we’re just talking about getting there! That’s not to mention what you may find waiting on you, if and when you arrive. What could possibly suck worse than someone breaking into your retreat before you get there, eating all your Tactical bacon (Google it if you don’t believe me), grabbing your $3,000 spiral-fluted-barrel assault rifle (with greasy fingers no less), and shooting at you with your coveted premium Zombie-Load ammo, all while using your shelter as, well…..shelter? Verdict: OVERRATED.

  7. That 3rd, 4th, or 5th Firearm

    Why? Because you’re kidding yourself! You aren’t prepping. You just like guns and are using prepping as an excuse to buy more of them. It’s like thinking you actually look cool wearing black leather chaps to the mall, because they are “necessary” for the Harley you have parked in your garage. (Sorry, that was the best analogy I could come up with, and remember I’m shooting for 1,500 words here!) Hey, don’t get me wrong; I love guns and have more than my share, but I do not believe for a second that convincing my wife to let me buy that 7th assault rifle is going to somehow extend my survival.

  8. NBC Equipment

    Why? Exactly! “WHY?” Chances are a nuclear or biological attack will not be small scale. They don’t call them weapons of MASS destruction for nothing. Who wants to live in a land that is poisoned for centuries while wearing a hot rubber chemical body suit and mask? How can you enjoy a romantic evening with your spouse, if you both are forced to wear a hot rubber body suit and mask? So much for all that stockpiled Viagra. While I hate closing on a dark thought, I do believe that contrary to the thinking of many, there are some survival situations that are worse than death, but hey, just don’t forget the words of the Apostle Paul, “to die is gain.” Sooner or later (hopefully later), we’ll all get there. So make the best of it. Enjoy what you can. Embrace it if you have to, and learn to laugh at yourself at least a little.