Salty and I are not big on New Year’s resolutions; but there is a value in giving yourself a checkup now and then, considering what’s been going well and what needs to be improved upon. In this podcast, we do just that.
Are you a ‘good news first’ or a ‘bad news first’ person? I prefer to get the bad news out of the way first.
Prepper Fail: Avoiding learning the hard skills
I am So not a home repair expert. Sure, I’ve learned to do a few simple jobs over the years, but Simple is a key word there. What I need to learn to do is put guttering up on the cabin at The Place, and direct the runoff into rain barrels. (This year I figured out how to set up a drip irrigation system, so that part’s ready to go.) Frankly though, I find experimenting on my metal cabin with a power drill rather daunting, and I kept finding other places to spend my efforts.
The lesson here: Don’t back away from learning new skills. That ‘can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ thing is bunco (else I wouldn’t be blogging), and there’s no substitute for knowing how to do stuff.
Prepper Fail: Fitness not where it should be
Salty brought up this one, and I stone cold guarantee he is not the only prepper with this problem. In fact, since he does get regular exercise on the bike, he’s ahead of many on this score. Still, he’s not happy at having set himself some fitness goals and not met them. We both understand how deeply important being physically capable is when life gets demanding, and how big a deal it is to preppers to reduce their need for medical support.
Prepper Fail: Not taking care of the diet
This one’s sort of a ‘now is a good time to learn that’ entry. On one hand, it was a health fail, and one that could have been a very serious fail in an emergency situation with no good medical care available. On the other, it happened when good medical care was available, so we had a chance to learn from the mistake. We won’t make it again, and are sharing it in hopes you won’t make it ever.
In short, Salty had a day or two where he ate way too much salt, by not being aware of some very salt-rich foods. It provoked a high blood pressure spike that brought him to the emergency room. Now we not only know to watch that, but have a means to deal with such crises if one ever happens again. In case you wonder why our nutrition information highlights salt so often, its a combination of: 1) Many prep foods are very salt-rich, 2) Many people share Salty’s issues with hypertension, and 3) 1 + 2 = 3; salt spikes causing blood pressure problems are a likely trouble source for a lot of people.
Prepper Fail: Not managing storage properly
Having a lot of physical preps just requires a lot of space. It’s hard for a ‘keeper’ to get rid of anything that might later prove useful. Preppers tend to see more potential uses than most people, since we consider more scenarios. That can make it hard to get rid of marginally useful stuff… leaving insufficient space for efficient storage of necessary preps. Out with the old, in with the new; or at least out with the less useful, in with the more useful. This is compounded by the next:
Prepper Fail: Unplanned buying
I gotta tell you folks, Salty is a master of finding screaming good deals. On the other hand, we’ve acquired too much stuff just because it was a screaming good deal and could be useful, ending up with more of something than we need, or stuff that wasn’t high on our priority list. Neither one of those is best use of limited space and funds, so some times you’ve just got to let the great deals go.
Prepper Fail: Not practicing skills
Once Salty learns how to do a thing, he seldom forgets, so this one’s not on him. It’s on me. I am not naturally mechanically inclined. I can and do learn to do mechanical things, but if I don’t practice them every now and then, I’ll forget things. This past year, I didn’t do enough of revisiting some skills I’ve learned to keep them sharp. If you’re like me in this, you should perhaps join me in improving this one in 2018.
Prepper Fail and Prepper Win: Organization
This one’s an ongoing struggle for us; keeping our preps organized. We had some issues (not being able to find stuff we’d bought) but made some progress in improving our systems. May I suggest you learn from our mistakes and set up the good system before piling up the stuff?
Prepper Win: Improving the health of The Place
One skill outside of my comfort zone I did tackle and succeed at this year is improving the natural habitat of The Place. If you want your land to sustain enough wildlife and plant life to support you and yours, you have to take care of it. This year, in addition to improving the perennial plantings (orchard trees, fruit vines), we got the bulk of a prairie restoration project done, and made progress on eliminating invasive species that would reduce the ability of the land to support huntable game.
Prepper Win: Limited buying
Resources are not endless … in our case, not even close. The only way to reach your goals is to limit unnecessary buying. Kudos to Salty for being honest about recognizing the difference between needs and wants, and stopping the purchase of what we already had plenty of. Ok, so the guy likes new guns, and he only bought one all year — and that was one that was a better solution than what we had, and he sold the older solution. What are you buying that’s really More Than Enough?
What does your annual prepper checkup look like? It’s worth a look!