Let’s say you’re feeling pretty good about your preps. You’ve got your preps squared away, a nice supply for medical and first aid supplies, you’re prepped for multiple types of emergencies. Now, what do you do?
It’s time to take your preparedness to the next level. Get some “real world” experience using your preps. Not only will this help you know how to use the things you’ve stored, but it’ll give you an idea of what is still needed or desired for your stockpile. Here are three things you can do to make sure that happens.
# 1 Skills Development
If you already have all the preps you could use and believe your pantry is stocked, you should work on your skills. Learn as much as you can by reading and researching and trying to do new things. Not only is having extra skills to draw fun beneficial from a financial standpoint in that you will not have to depend on outside sources to help you live and have to pay them afterward, but it also makes you more valuable and more barterable.
Miyamoto Musashi, the author of Go Rin No Sho, aka The Book of Five Rings, was the consummate warrior, swordsman, and Samurai of his day…and of all of the days besides. One of the precepts that he held near and dear was this: “Learn all professions.” What does this mean? Well, we all have areas of expertise in our lives, but to modify a popular phrase, I submit this: Be a Master of a trade or several trades and a jack of all trades, as well.
Having skills also makes sewing, cooking off-grid, and being able to make a fire are all valuable skills to learn but everyone in the family should know how to do these things. Cross-training family members will ensure all members of the family have the ability to survive and ensure the burden doesn’t fall upon one person. If it feels overwhelming or there is just too much to learn, break it down and focus on one thing. Start at the beginning with basic survival skills and then add more skillsets. Try it, learn about it, and do it until you feel confident in your ability before moving on to another skill. Ready Nutrition has a vast collection of skills training articles you can dive into.
- 10 Essential Skills Necessary for Survival
- How to Find Water In the Wild
- Essential Skills, Tasks, and Training for Preppers and Survivalists: Part 1 and Part 2
- 17 Skills Everyone In Your Family Should Learn
- 10 Skills That Urban Preppers Should Learn
- First Aid Training
- How To Make Your Own Seed Bank
- Animal and Bird Snares and Traps
- Food Preservation
- Patrol Skills
- How To Start a Car with a Paperclip
- How To Pick a Lock
At any time during these learning sessions, actually, try to use those preps to assist you so that you grow comfortable with the tools needed to thrive. As The Survival Sherpa says, “Plans Fail → Skills Endure.”
#2 Field Testing
Once you feel comfortable with those skills, it’s important to test them out alongside your preps. Know the limitations and benefits of each piece of equipment you have. Knowing how to use them safely, quickly, and efficiently will give you the best possible outcome if you actually have to use them in a real-world disaster scenario. Take the items you have stockpiled and test them in the field, in a simulated SHTF situation.
- Take a farro rod outside and learn how to use it
- Get used to using a life straw
- Cook dinner over a fire started with your farro rod
- Take a tarp outside, and put it “through the wringer”
#3 Practice Some Off-grid Drills for a Weekend
The easiest drill to start with for the family is to go off-grid for a weekend. Figure out how you will get water, how you will wash your dishes and clothing, and figure out how and what you should cook and stockpile! Have a book you can reference to ease you into the transition. The Prepper’s Cookbook helps you use your food supply, both refrigerated and dry goods, for off-grid emergencies. The book will help you carefully and efficiently stock your pantry to create delicious, nutritious meals for your whole family. As well, you should practice caring for pets, and making your animals are still cared for and you can provide for them should the grid go down.
A part of this can be an “unplugging” or “detox” from your technology too – which parents will love and kids will detest. Most of us use our smartphone devices at least once a day, many use them many more times than that. Turn it off and practice not having it. If the grid goes down, there will be no wifi or even a way to charge our phones. Now is a great time too to try a solar power bank. It’s possible that your phone will be able to be charged by one.
After all of that has been done, one last thing you can do is inventory your preps! After enhancing skills, using your preps, and figuring out their limitations by field testing them, you should do an audit of your supplies. Did you break something trying to field test it? If so, why? And should you replace it or try something else that could work better? Did you dislike something you cooked during your off-grid practice? If so, was it the food? Or did you perhaps burn it? Take into consideration things that could help make you more comfortable during a SHTF scenario too. Did you use up some of your toilet paper? Perhaps you should grab a few more rolls. Did you have trouble getting into a food storage bucket? Maybe you need a tool to help you get into the buckets more easily. For example, when it comes to food, if you don’t like it, don’t store it. You control your pantry and it’s up to you to make sure your preps work for you and your family.
Real-world usage of our skills, preps, and an understanding of their limitations and benefits will help us know what we still need, or the things we have that just aren’t working for us in our situation. We are all different, and not one of us will do things exactly the same, and that’s also completely fine! Just try, practice, and figure out what works for you!
This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on January 17th, 2022