Prepping for Beginners: Avoid This Common Mistake

Magic Prepper • July 01, 2023

When you first start prepping for emergencies, trying to find solutions for every conceivable scenario can be extremely overwhelming. The gut reaction experienced by most beginner preppers usually results in buying the most obvious answers to their problems without completely thinking it through. This often results in excessive spending without actually addressing the main concern for why these items were purchased in the first place.

For example, we all know that food is imperative to survival. One of the main priorities of a prepper should be to have an ample supply of food on hand in order to endure a long period of duress. With that knowledge, an entry-level prepper might jump right to the most obvious, albeit expensive, solution to that issue. Acquiring a freeze dryer would allow someone to store all kinds of food for upwards of 25 years without having to purchase expensive, pre-packaged freeze-dried food products. However, a basic freeze dryer can cost up to $2,400. At face value, this seems like a great idea that allows someone to start storing large amounts of food while spending less. The problem is that you can purchase A LOT of food for $2,400. In fact, so much food that you would likely find yourself very well fed throughout most long-term emergency situations that would require digging into your stash.

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This approach is also often taken when it comes to planning for a grid down scenario. The first idea that comes to mind is to get a generator. If power is the issue, then why not just make your own? However, I would suggest considering what you would be without during a power outage first and addressing those issues individually. You might quickly find that a generator may only be secondary to other necessities. If losing power means you won't have running water, then having water stored away will be more beneficial and less expensive than having a generator. Especially if you are on city water and the main pumps lose power, then having a way to generate your own power will not help your water situation anyway. Staying warm is also a concern in a power outage. Do you rely on electric heat during the winter months to keep your home comfortable? Generating enough power to keep an electric furnace running is not an easy task. However, indoor/outdoor rated propane heating units are relatively inexpensive and the propane that fuels them stores very well. The same can be applied to cooking devices if you have an electric oven or range. Having a generator is a good idea but, by prioritizing what you'll be without in a power outage then you might find that you can save a lot of money while still having access to the items you'll need without having to buy a generator or the fuel to keep it running.

Emergency preparedness is a marathon more than a sprint. When people first get started with prepping for disaster scenarios, they often treat it like a race thanks to the unknown timeline we are all operating on. "IT' could happen at any moment. But a measured approach will likely pay off better in the long run while allowing you to expand your preparedness capabilities bit by bit. Owning a freeze dryer or a generator (whether it's gas, propane or solar) is something all of us can set goals for. Just make sure that you don't skip over some of the more simplified solutions for the problems you were trying to solve with those items to begin with.

--Magic Prepper