10 Prepping Mistakes You Need To Avoid At All Costs

By Just In Case Jack |
Last Updated: July 1, 2021

Today I’m going to share the top 10 prepping mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

My name is Jack, and I’ve been involved in the preparedness community my entire life.

For example, I grew up on a rural farm in Iowa. Times were tough in the 80s, and we had to make ends meet. So we were forced into living a resilient lifestyle just to survive.

I began sharing what I know and learned back in 2013 here at SkilledSurvival. Since then, this website has helped millions of people, and with that comes lots of questions.

People send me emails about the prepper mistakes they’ve made. Sharing stories about their mistakes, their confusion, their anxiety.

So here’s my video on the top 10 prepper mistakes you should avoid:

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

1. Getting Overwhelmed

The very first prepping mistake I see a lot of folks make is getting overwhelmed right out of the gate.

If you’re new to survival and preparedness, you may have already made this mistake. But it’s ok, getting overwhelmed is natural.

There’s so much information to process. For example, there’s the basics of stockpiling water and food. Or you can go straight into aquaponic systems and quickly feel in over your head. It’s so advanced.

That’s why you need a program or mentor to break it down for you or the 10 basic prepping steps you need to take. And the good news I’ve created that for you.

This post shows you the 10 basic preparedness steps so you don’t get overwhelmed. It starts off with two weeks of food, two weeks of water, a hand-crank radio, etc.

It will help you make meaningful progress without feeling overwhelmed. It’ll give you the confidence you’re doing the right things, in the right order.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

2. Trying To Predict The Future

The next prepping mistake a lot of people make is trying to predict the future.

Most people spend way too much time and energy trying to figure out the next big crisis.

For example, will it be:

another pandemic?
a massive financial collapse?
a supervolcano eruption?
a massive drought?

Sure, this sort of thinking can be helpful and “entertaining” to some degree. But it’s not really helping you get prepared. Instead, I like to prepare for ALL potential crises.

I try to avoid focusing on anything I can’t control. And what the next widespread disaster COULD be is not something I can control.

So what CAN I control?

I can control are how resilient my family is to anything the future may hold. Focusing my energy on improving my readiness instead of spending time-consuming news.

Sure, it’s wise to be informed. But there’s a point at which you’re no longer being “informed”. At some point, your just not spending your time wisely.

So focus on what you CAN control and AVOID trying to predict the future.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

3. Comparing Your Progress To Others

The next prepping mistake is comparing yourself to others in the prepper community.

There are a lot of people who’ve been doing this a really long time. And you should look to them for inspiration, not envy.

I was even guilty of this when I first got started. I’d watch videos and read forums and quickly become discouraged.

That can be so disheartening.

That’s why you should try to focus primarily on what you can control. And comparing will only get in the way of your progress.

I heard a quote one time that said,

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”

When you compare, it steals a little bit of your joy.

You’re excited to get started, you’re hopeful, but as soon as you start comparing, and say things like:

“I’ll never make it. I’ll never be good enough.”

Comparison can undermine your progress and make you feel depressed and anxious.

That sort of thinking is stealing your joy. Don’t let that happen.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

4. Over Sharing Progress With Neighbors

The next mistake people make is sharing way too much information with other people. This is especially true if you live near neighbors you don’t trust.

So try not to get too excited and start blabbing to everyone about your progress.

Also, avoid a food delivery at your house and next door neighbors across the street asking,

“Hey, what’d you just get? I saw it come to your garage and you pulled it in, all that food.”

So keep your preps under wraps.

And if you have young kids, you’ve got to watch them. Because they’ll go to school and if you’re into this and you’re talking about it. They may start sharing your progress with their friends and family.

You don’t want everybody to know that you have all these prepper supplies, right? When times get tough you don’t want your neighbors knowing about your preps.

I recommend only sharing your preps with those you truly trust. I’m talking about family members or really good friends.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

5. Not Calculating Your Food And Water Requirements

Next up, people buy food and water without knowing how much they ultimately need.

First, you need to decide your target amount of calories and water.

If you’re new to this, 2 weeks is a reasonable goal, but of course, feel free to go higher than that if you are able.

With food, we have a chart to help you out.

The right amount of replacement calories per day depends on your age and your activity level.

Once you have the number of replacement calories per day per person, you add up each family member. This gives you your entire family’s daily calories needs.

Now, multiply that number by how many days you want your stockpile to last.

So yes, you need to do some very basic math. But once you have that number, you know exactly how much food to buy.

The same thing with water but water is even easier.

Instead of having to know how many calories, I recommend 1 gallon per person, per day. Then just multiply it by how many days you want.

Some “experts” recommend you go with a half-gallon per person per day, but I think that’s a big prepping mistake.

If you ever get a chance to do an emergency practice run, I bet the amount of water you’ll need will surprise you. Because you need it for cooking, cleaning, bathing, and consumption.

And if you’re in the heat of the summer, you’re going to consume a lot of water. So prepare for that.

And if you have any animals, like a dog or a cat, they use water as well. If you have farm animals, oh my goodness, now you got to provide for them.

The bottom line:

I’d rather have too much water than not enough. So I go with 1 gallon per person, per day.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

6. Afraid Of Making Small Mistakes

The next mistake I see is kind of funny because people are so afraid of making a mistake that they don’t move forward.

If your reading this article, that might be you. I wrote a post over at TheResilientLife called Failure Is The Secret Sauce To Success. And I truly believe that.

People overanalyze and plan in order to avoid ANY mistake. They’re so worried about mistakes they just plan and plan but never move forward in a meaningful way.

But forward momentum is critical to success.

Sure, you want to avoid making any major mistakes, but after that, move forward.

And if you make a mistake, it’s okay. You just need to make sure your mistakes are not fatal.

For example, don’t spend every dollar you own on one thing and then that’s it. Instead, make small mistakes, learn from those mistakes and keep going.

That’s the way we humans learn. We make small mistakes and then adjust. “Experts” tend to become experts by pushing forward through mistakes.

So don’t be afraid to make a few small prepping mistakes.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

7. Focusing On Only One Aspect Of Preparedness

People spend too much money or time on just one aspect of preparedness and resiliency.

It’s a big, broad topic so you can’t spend all your energy and time only on food. Because you have water and communications and escape/evasion plans and on and on.

There are so many preparedness topics and you should try to spend a little bit of time on each one.

And again, that’s why I put together a list of 10 basic steps to basic preparedness. I want to help you get your bases covered before you start going down the rabbit hole. If you deep dive too far into any given topic it could consume all your time and your whole life.

For example, you may decide that aquaponics is the solution to all your problems. And it could be an excellent solution for you.

But I want you to get your 10 basics steps in place before going down that rabbit hole.

Don’t get me wrong, I love aquaponics, but that’s just one aspect of things many things you can look at. For example, there are topics such as:

I just want to make sure that you got your bases covered before you deep dive. So make sure you’re spreading your time out in all the areas of preparedness.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

8. Ending Up On Too Many Email Lists

The next prepping mistake I see too many folks make is ending up on way too many email lists.

Perhaps you read an article on a survival site and then there’s a pop-up and they go, oh, okay – I’ll put my email in. And then you go to another site and there’s another pop-up or a scroll up.

The next thing you know, you’re on 10 or 15 different site’s email lists. And I’ll be honest, most of these lists are not putting your best interests first.

You see, there’s a lot of marketers in the survival space nowadays. Often, their sole purpose is to generate as much money off you as quickly as possible. And they’re very good at convincing you,

“This is the exact course/item you need to solve all your problems.”

But it’s just not true.

Now, there are some good products out there, and there are good people in the industry. And I like to think that we’re one of them.

Sure, we’ll share some courses and items that make sense. But we test and make sure the products are of high quality.

But there’s a lot of people that don’t. Instead, they just say,

“How much can I get paid to send this offer to their email list.”

And boom, they send it and make good money doing so. But that just leaves you feeling overwhelmed.

That’s why I recommend you sign up for only the lists that provide FREE value upfront. It’s ok if they provide some courses and things that… But only if they’re doing it in a way you can trust.

It’s not just blindly sending you stuff all the time.

We send offers, it’s true. It’s a one-way we generate some money here at Skilled Survival. That way we can keep producing tons of FREE content for everybody.

But we also have a few products and courses to help achieve your goals.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

9. Avoiding Intimidating Gear / Supplies

The next prepping mistake to avoid is investing in critical survival gear that seems too advanced.

A perfect example of this is a gas mask.

You see images of people with a gas mask and perhaps you feel only doomsday preppers buy those. And to some folks, they look cool, and for others, it can look really scary and intimidating.

But gas masks are not that difficult to understand. We have a great post on gas masks to educate you. And then, at the end of the post, we show you our favorite gas masks.

But it’s a very important piece of your basic preparedness starting plan.

For example, what if there’s a chemical attack or a nuclear attack and the air you breathe is dangerous?

Or perhaps the next pandemic is 10 times more deadly than the one we just had. In such a case, you’re not going to the grocery store with a face mask. You’ll only go to the store if you have a gas mask.

Why? Because you’ll want to filter EVERYTHING through these masks.

And if you don’t own one, good luck getting one after the event happens. A gas mask is something you need to buy ahead of time.

For example, people were trying to buy gas masks in March and April after the pandemic was first taking root. But they were having to wait up to eight months for a gas mask.

So, if the pandemic was 10 times more deadly, you put your order in and you’re dead before it arrives. So don’t wait on gas masks. Don’t be intimidated; it’s an important piece of critical gear.

Do some research and then you can go ahead and buy a good one.

I recommend at least one per family if your budget’s tight. If you have some more resources, I prefer you get one for each family member with extra filters as well.

10. Saying “I’ll Never Bug Out”

The next big prepping mistake I see often is people say,

“I’m NEVER bugging out. No matter the crisis, I’m staying put in my house.”

And for the most part, you’re probably right.

But what happens if there’s a wildfire that gets out of control. We’re talking about immediate evacuation.

We’re seeing more of these out-of-control wildfires out west nowadays. That’s why you need a bug-out bag. A bag of YOUR supplies and YOUR gear you can grab out the door.

I’m talking about some:

You need a bag with supplies that are YOURS and only YOURS. That way you won’t be dependent on handouts or the kindness of other people.

You have a little bit of resiliency right there on your back.

Everyone should own one because you just never know when you have to evacuate.

Now, some people are disabled, and some people just don’t want to leave their prepper supplies. But recently there were folks in the last wildfire season, who decided not to leave.

And they perished because of it.

I’m sure they loved their home and didn’t want to leave, but that’s foolish. You can replace “stuff”, but not your life.

So just grab your bag and get the heck out of dodge until it clears.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

11. BONUS – Trying To Go It All Alone

The last prepping mistake I see people make is they try to go it all alone.

Now, my earlier mistake about oversharing, you’ve got to be careful about that. You don’t want to overshare, but you also don’t want to do this all alone.

For example, I’m helping you avoid mistakes I’ve seen other people make. And mistakes I’ve made myself. Why? To make your path to resiliency smoother.

Going it alone will mean you’ll make way more mistakes than necessary. It’s a really hard road to get from the point you’re at now to where you want to be alone.

My job is to help you reach your goals without wasting time, energy, or money in the wrong places.

That’s why I think the answer to the lone wolf mistake is to become a part of our community called The Resilient Life.

The Resilient Life

You should join our online community of like-minded people called, TheResilientLife.

Inside TheResilintLife we’ve broken down each aspect of preparedness into different preparedness badges. And underneath each badge are a list of prepping requirements.

These requirements are activities perform and as you meet them, you get to check them off.

And what’s cool is, as you check them off we keep track and give you a score. It’s called your readiness score. You can go from 0 up to a 200 readiness score.

So as you get started, you can check off actions you’ve already done. That way, you’ll get an accurate preparedness score you’re at today. And then you highlight some preparedness actions you want to focus on next.

And as you complete these next steps, you’ll see your score go up and up.

Perhaps you start at a score of, let’s say 50, and then three weeks later, after you’ve done a few activities, you’re at 60. And then you focus on some more actions and move up to an 80.

You’ll see your progress (and watch your resiliency) go up.

We’ve also tied The Resilient Life to an exclusive Facebook group. That way, you can share your successes or questions with the group. And these fellow preppers are there to help you.

It’s sharing of information to help you succeed. When you have a question, they’re there to help and answer it and say, hey, this is how I did it or this is how you can do it too.

And people are sharing some really cool stuff on this Facebook group.

For example, people are sharing their:

bug out evacuation plans
bug out bag supplies
the best prepper foods to store
the water storage containers they choose

These are real people sharing real information with each other. And it’s very cool to see.

So with TheResilientLife, you get to a tool that:

Tracks your preparedness progress
Helps you choose the next best preparedness actions to take
Motivates you and holds you accountable via the community

So I think you should take a few minutes and check out TheResilientLife.

I truly believe it’s the best way to help you avoid as many prepping mistakes as possible.

“Just In Case” Jack

P.s. Do you know where the closest nuclear bunker is from your home?

There are a lot of natural nuclear shelters in the US that are absolutely free. And one of them is near your home.

Click on the image above to find out where you need to take shelter.

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