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Tuesday, September 12, 2023

6 keys to help develop a prepper mindset

 Original Article

As we watch current events unfold, I see the calls from the prepper community to become more diligent to being prepared. Stock up on food and water, get out of debt. Get your preps in order, etc. And these suggestions are not wrong. I completely subscribe to them and promote them as well. But this is only part of what you should be doing to prepare.

In addition to physically preparing, you need to be mentally preparing yourself for what could come. The first step to preparedness is having the right mindset. Hopefully you have already begun to develop it. If not, here are some tips to help you get you and your family mentally prepared for potential disasters.

Develop Situational Awareness

Situation awareness is, according to the USCG,  the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to the team (you) with regards to the mission. More simply, it’s knowing what is going on around you.

Awareness can be broken down into 4 different stages. Some people may have already heard about these four stages, but if not they are as follows:

  • Condition Green – relaxed and unaware
  • Condition Yellow – relaxed, but aware and vigilant
  • Condition Orange – alert, possible threat identified
  • Condition Red – threat verified, call for action

Unfortunately, you can’t simply decide to become more aware. (Putting your phone away while in public is a great start!) It is something that takes a little practice and training. If you are used to being in condition green all the time, you have to train yourself to remain in condition yellow. Over time, you will become adjusted and conditioned to being in “condition Yellow”. You just have to practice.

To read more on practicing your situational awareness, please click here.

Learn to spot fake news/false knowledge

Bernard Shaw once said: false knowledge is more dangerous than ignorance.

So how do you know what is fake and what is good information?

If what you are reading or watching feels “off”, chances are it is. If there seems to be conflicting data on something….dig deeper. Much deeper. Don’t watch one video or read one article on something. Study multiple articles. Learn who is considered the experts in that field. Get a general consensus of what they say.

Read case studies. Read government reports if there are any. These aren’t exciting, but they can and do present a good source of knowledge.

And even if you know a subject well, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up with it. Things change. New studies come out dispelling old beliefs. So stay current on topics you feel you are already familiar with. We can always learn new things or better ways to do something.

Next, in trying to separate fact from opinion, I tend to avoid videos or articles that are overly dramatic, self-promoting, seem to have an ulterior motive, or play on peoples’ fear and negative emotions. If you do watch/read them, at least take them with a grain of salt.

I also realize that if people are promoting certain survival items, they may be paid or compensated to do so. This isn’t always a bad thing…just be aware that there could be some inherent bias.

Third, and the most important in my opinion, is to learn it for yourself. Experience is the greatest teacher after all.

You might watch three or four YouTube videos on starting a bow drill fire. You might study them in detail, memorizing each step until you know how to make a bow drill fire. Right?


You don’t know how to make a bow drill fire until you actually do it yourself. And once you do it by yourself, you will realize that it SUCKS ASS! You will realize that after 35 minutes, you will give up and say “to hell with this! I don’t need a campfire tonight!!”

You will know that even though it only took you 10-15 minutes on your second and then third try, you still are not an expert because you failed miserably on your 4th try. You will learn that sometimes, it won’t work. For whatever reason, despite the fact that you have made a bow drill fire at least half a dozen times before, today it simply won’t work.

I am not an expert at making bow drill fires. But I have made them enough to know that if I had to make one right now, there is a chance I might not be able to light the tender. I might make my shoulder sore and ruin a perfectly good shoe lace with nothing to show for it. But I know this from personal experience, not from some video or article.

As for “fake news”, I recommend avoiding the “Mainstream narrative!” Instead, I try to find multiple alternative news sources. And I keep an open mind, knowing that there are always at least two sides to every story.

As always, you need to stay current on news and events. Just be aware that most “Mainstream media” has an agenda to push and “clickbait type” stories to promote.

Take a break from negative social media

As I just mentioned, the mainstream media and social media thrive on clicks. They push narratives that anger and possibly even incite in the hopes of getting more clicks. More clicks means more advertising dollars for them. It is an energy drain for most people.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit multi-specialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education, there are 8 signs that you might be addicted to social media:

  1. You can’t stop comparing to others
  2. You start scrolling without realizing it
  3. You notice you’re annoyed by everything you see
  4. It’s the first thing you check in the morning and the last thing you check at night
  5. You spend A LOT of time scrolling
  6. You can’t enjoy whatever you’re doing without posting about it first
  7. You are upset when you cannot check your timeline
  8. Social media just isn’t fun anymore

If you find any of those to be personally true, it maybe time to take a step back from social media and detox! I find that from time to time, I just turn it off. I’ll spend that time instead focusing on something else, like a hobby. I find that my stress is reduced, and that I am more productive with the things in my life that really matter!

Develop your skills

For years I have talked about the importance of developing you prepper skills set. Most of us have heard the adages about skills weighing nothing in your pack, skills (unlike gear) cannot be damaged, broken, etc. Having skills can make you an invaluable team member should everything go to hell in a hand basket. I won’t rehash all of that here, though if you missed my article on prepper skill sets you should develop, please read it by clicking here.

Unfortunately, only experience can provide you with this. Sure, you can watch videos or read books about these skills sets. That can be beneficial. And having knowledge (as opposed to experience) of a skill set is better than nothing. But when times get truly tough, having that experience of those skills is better than just having watched a few videos on it.

Experience and familiarity of skills will help you to remain calm and in control of your emotions during high-stress events. It lessens your chance of panicking. Panic and fear are contagious. So your calm, rational demeanor will impact your family and those around you.

Building your own skill set will make you less dependent on the knowledge and skills of others and you will become more resilient and self-reliant. It will also help to increase your critical thinking and problem solving. Both of these will be CRUCIAL in a SHTF scenario.

The thought processes that take place in your brain will have an enormous impact on your level of success and happiness today as well as when disaster strikes. Maintaining a positive, can-do attitude is an important skill that is sometimes overlooked.

Of all of the survival skills we consider, I think this one is the most critical to your survival in challenging times. Decision-making skills including the ability to evaluate problems, explore possible solutions, and implement appropriate actions in a timely manner. This will go along way to boosting your self-confidence, and helping you overcome fear in stressful situations.

Remain calm – control your emotions and let little things go

As the economy (and society in general) continues to deteriorate, the stress level of everyday people will continue to rise. Tempers will grow shorter, especially if our current situation continues to decline. Violence is on the rise across the country, and not just from hardened criminals. Everyday people are letting their emotions get the better of them. And unfortunately, I do not see it getting better anytime soon.

Anger, when not controlled, can lead to some extremely bad outcomes. Click on the picture below to read about a mother of 3 who put let her anger get the better of her. She injured another teen, put her and her children’s’ lives at risk, and also put the people around her at risk.

She was armed, the driver of the other car was not. But what if they were? What if they returned fire, killing the mother? What happens to the car that her children are in? What if they shot at the mother, missed, and instead hit a child?

Was it worth it? Obviously not, and I’m willing to bet that right now Brittney Griffith (the shooter) would agree. But at that moment, emotion took over and the results were not pretty

Click the pic for more on this story

I use this story to illustrate a need to us as preppers to remain calm in stressful situations. Make no mistake, the direction that western society is headed is scary. More and more people are living in fear. Fear of increasing violence. Fear of their financial situation growing worse. Fear of the unknown. And fearful people are prone to lash out, and do to stupid, dangerous things.

So before you lay on your horn at the driver who cut you off in traffic; before you yell at a disrespectful guy at the store, stop and think, “Is this worth the potential harmful outcome?” If not, then take a deep breath, count to 10, and walk away.

If you feel your life is in danger, then by all means protect yourself. But if you can avoid the situation altogether, then do so. A huge part of preparedness is being able to spot potential troubling situations, and avoiding them.

Remember, you are prepping to live. Don’t live to prep

I find that as my knowledge and skill sets increase, my confidence has increased and I feel more positive and upbeat. To me, being prepared isn’t about waiting for the end of the world. It’s about knowing that you can survive whatever life throws at you. And it’s knowing that I am passing on these skills to my posterity.

I prep to live. I don’t live to prep! Having a life outside of prepping is vital to your mental well-being. I still pursue hobbies and leisure activities in addition to physical fitness, self defense training, and preparedness training. What’s the point of life if you cannot enjoy it some times? I just make sure I have a balance in all things, including prepping.

Are you mentally ready for potential disasters? How did you develop your mindset? Tell us in the comment section below.

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