The prepper's mindset

The Prepper’s Mindset

Your mindset can make or break an experience. In this article I am going to talk about the prepper’s mindset. If you are new here, Welcome! I’m so glad that you’re here and I recommend that you read my “What is Prepping?” article. Whether you are brand new to prepping or a seasoned expert, adopting a prepper’s mindset is beneficial for everyone.

Everyone is a beginner in the beginning

“Everyone is a beginner in the beginning.” This mantra helps me to keep a level head especially when I’m practicing more advanced skills. Acquiring survival skills can be an empowering experience. Rather than waiting around for someone who has proficient survival skills, you can acquire these skills for yourself! As a prepper you will need to be mentally strong and resilient.

Avoid bad strategy

Unfortunately, the internet is rife with “survival experts”, who despite sporting a few days worth of stubble and some trail boots actually give terrible advice that could get you killed. In a relatively civil emergency situation where all is not lost their advice might be good. Sadly, most of these guys are like the Steven Segals of prepping. They love to use acronyms like (SHTF), and promise you that the end is near. They are in the business of selling fear so they can make a tiny commission when you read their website and buy a clunky bucket of bland, high carb survival rations.

My thinking is more inline with the logic of the famous comedian Bill Burr (I’m paraphrasing his words here). In one of his older specials, he says that having a supply of cash will keep you well fed until someone else steals your stash. If you have never gone three days without eating, it is likely that you don’t understand how bad it’s going to be in a real end of the supply chain scenario.

In a nuclear scenario, fallout isn’t the greatest killer.

In an all out nuclear scenario, many of us think that nuclear fallout is the great killer. This isn’t true. Modern nuclear weapons are designed to explode at a distance of .8 kilometers from the ground to maximize blast damage. For the most part the fallout is negligible. If you want to see what I’m taking about, search for a website called “nuke map.”

The real threat: food / supply chain disruption

The real threat in a nuclear war is the food / supply chain being disrupted. If a hostile foreign government were to target every fertilizer plant capable of turning atmospheric nitrogen into commercial fertilizer as a part of an overall attack strategy; we would likely run out of food rather quickly. Even if local logistics were returned to operating condition quickly, there would still be famine within four months even in the first world. This is likely to happen much sooner though. Things would devolve in 48 hours as people who already had very little to lose risk it all to feed their children.

Avoid charlatans and group think.

So with that being said, the most important think you can do when coming up with a survival strategy is to avoid charlatans and group think. Even if you have a gun and supplies it’s still going to be a challenge to stay alive. There could literally be a million starving people around you who also have guns. Imagine a real life match of the game Fortnite where there are millions of players trying to kill each other to win and avoid the terrible pain of starvation.

The Prepper’s Mindset = A Survival Mindset

A prepper’s mindset is the same thing as having a survival mindset. If your head is in the wrong place you may not stand a chance from the very beginning. How does one quantify a mindset? This can be tricky and not straightforward. For example, with food storage you can set a goal to acquire a specific amount of food, write a list of items, then map out a plan.

Practice the Prepper’s Mindset

The Prepper's Mindset
The Prepper’s Mindset

A mindset is not an item that you can store, but it is very valuable to have the right mindset everywhere you go. It is ethereal in nature and that means that it isn’t heavy to carry, but the proper mindset doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice.

Here are steps to help you actively practice the prepper’s mindset (they are all equally important):

  1. Be Present.
  2. Have realistic expectations.
  3. Have a healthy body for a healthy mind.
  4. Skills trump stuff every single time.
  5. Build your confidence.
  6. Think Positively.
  7. Be a creative thinker.
  8. Control your fear so it doesn’t control you.
  9. Redundancy is key.

Be Present

Show up, live, and think in the present moment. Prepping requires foresight and planning for the future, but the most important thing you can do is BE HERE NOW. When you plan for the future, make sure that your perspective is infused with a healthy dose of today’s realities.

In a survival situation, you want to plan ahead and prepare as much as you can, but it is even more important to face what is happening in the moment. You must understand the nature of the risks and dangers and deal with them now rather than later. Keep in mind that you may only have a small window of time to address pressing issues.

Have Realistic Expectations

The Prepper's Mindset
The prepper’s mindset takes practice

The “right way” to do something may not be the right way for you. It is important to be aware of your limitations, have realistic expectations, and create a plan that works best for you.

If you are carrying some extra weight and get easily winded walking from your car to the house with an arm full of groceries, then it would not be realistic for you to create a bug-out plan that would require you to walk 100-plus miles. Instead, refine and augment your shelter-in-place plans while working towards losing the extra weight. This is not to body shame anyone, but I feel like it needs to be said. Survival is less of a struggle when you are healthy and fit.

Healthy Body. Healthy Mind.

The Prepper's Mindset

Fitness is essential for survival and our minds work better when we care for our bodies. A fit person is also less prone to injuries and more agile. Agility always comes in handy.

My favorite form of exercise is hula hooping. Did you know that just 10 minutes of hula hooping a day can boost your endorphins and give you a firm, toning massage? You can do anything for 10 minutes! Also, the more you hoop the more those benefits will multiply.

Skills Trump Stuff Every Single Time!

Skills trump stuff every single time! For many people this idea does not come easily. Newbie preppers will spend mountains of money and so much energy stockpiling food, water, and other supplies that they forget to work on the invisible aspects of prepping.

The Prepper's Mindset
The Prepper’s Mindset

Your skills can travel with you everywhere and are not limited by your budget, storage space, and ability to hump heavy baggage.

Learn everything that you can about topics like:

  • Home defense
  • Homesteading
  • Wilderness Survival
  • Water purification
  • Water safety
  • Hunting and trapping
  • Food preservation
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Critical Thinking / problem solving
  • Creative thinking

“The more you have in your head, the less you have to carry.”

Cody Lundin

Build your confidence

One of the many perks of learning survival skills is that it builds your self confidence. Nothing compares to not just thinking, but knowing without a shadow of a doubt that you have what it takes to survive.

Be mindful of the fact that your posture and physical behavior can directly affect your mindset. If you walk around hunched over with your head down, you may not only project a lack of confidence, but you will also feel timid and less self-assured. Additionally, you will not see what is right in front of you. Keep your head up so you can see what’s ahead and carry yourself confidently.

Think Positively

A key quality that almost every true life survivor has in common is that they think positively. Rather than crumbling under the pressure of the disaster, their positive thoughts allowed them to remain hopeful, rise above adversity, and ultimately survive. For some, this comes from faith in a religion. For others, it was a strong will and determination to survive and win at all costs. The point is that a true survivor never gives up hope.

Be a creative thinker

I think that the most important skill that a prepper can develop is the ability to think outside the box. This skill, perhaps more than the others will get you out of trouble. Again, this is a little difficult to quantify. You need the ability to improvise and also think on your feet when dealing with interpersonal conflicts.

The good news is that creative thinking is one of the easier skills to practice, cultivate, and improve. Engage your mind on a daily basis with puzzles and word games. Your brain is a muscle that will get stronger with exercise. The ability to problem solve and think creatively can be applied to all aspects of your life especially in an emergency situation.

Control your fear so it doesn’t control you

The Prepper's Mindset
The Prepper’s Mindset

It is normal to feel afraid during a crisis. When the fight-or-flight response kicks in, your heart rate will increase, your pupils will dilate, and you may even feel a little queasy. The good news is that studies have shown that the individuals who have practiced the proper response to a crisis will work from rote memory rather than freezing up. This is why fire drills are practiced and effective. Your brain can be trained to know how to respond.

Your brain can be trained

In prepper terms, this means planning ahead and preparing for various contingencies then practicing those plans over and over again. By the time an emergency happens the adrenaline rush will work for you rather than against you.

Redundancy is key

“Two is one, one is none.”

Popular among the US Navy SEALS

A major part of prepping is seeing the truth in the military adage: “Two is one, one is none.” This means that you should turn the Murphy’s Law (whatever can go wrong, will go wrong) into something you are prepared for by having a backup plan.

Make it a habit to create a backup for your backups. Have at least 2 ways to perform every necessary survival task.

Have multiple ways to:

  • Light a campfire
  • Defend yourself
  • Purify water
  • Acquire food
  • Light your way in the dark

The best mindset is a practical mindset (use common sense)

The best mindset is a practical mindset. Use common sense. If you know a nuclear war is likely and you have time to flee to somewhere warm you should do it. Rather than trying to survive somewhere cold where everyone can see the smoke from your fire and all the hunters and wannabe’s are trying to kill the same 500 deer, go somewhere you can survive without carbon-based heating. For example, the Big Island of Hawaii has a small population, an incredible amount of edible wild life, and it’s always warm. Being faced with a disaster is stressful enough. It is best to live in a climate that allows you to comfortably live a sustainable life without the power grid.

Thank you for joining me today. Next, I am going to share tips, tricks, and survival strategies!

See you soon!