While stocking up on supplies and learning useful skills is an important part of prepping, that isn’t the be-all and end-all of survival preparation. There are plenty of intangibles that are just as important as any stash of supplies. Here are five of the most important intangibles that too many preppers overlook.
1. Getting Out of Debt
Being in debt can be stressful both financially and emotionally. While many preppers may believe that an economic collapse will result in hyperinflation, a destruction of the banking system, and the wiping away of all debts, that isn’t likely to happen. So don’t bank on being able to clear out your credit card debt, mortgage, and car payments in the case of a super-severe economic crisis.
It’s especially important not to drive yourself into debt in order to stock up on supplies, thinking that the end is near. That’s a recipe for eventually having to liquidate your supplies in order to pay off your debts. Get yourself into sound financial shape first, then start your disaster preparations.
2.Setting Up Emergency Funds
There are two types of emergency funds that you need to think about. The first is a generic rainy day fund. This is money in the bank that you have easy access to if you find yourself facing unexpected expenses. Even in a severe crisis, the banking system will likely still exist and any assets you have can be used to pay bills and buy things.
The second type of fund is to have money stashed away for a true economic collapse. That means keeping some cash at home for when ATMs lose power. Even more importantly, it means having some gold and silver coins too, because when cash runs out and supplies start getting low, you’re going to need some way to buy more. Gold and silver coins will be the ultimate form of currency and will keep you from having to barter away any more of your scarce supplies.
3.Integrating Into a Community
When disaster strikes, you won’t be able to survive on your own. Expecting to provide yourself with all the food, water, and other supplies you’ll need is too much for one person or even one family. And in terms of security, one lone family holding out will be no match for a larger, motivated, well-armed group of ne’er-do-wells.
That’s why it’s important today to get to know like-minded people in your community. Know who you can rely on for assistance if you really need it, and who in your community will have your back when times are tough. Rebuilding society in an SHTF situation will require strong communities coming together so that individuals can help each other out. Lone wolves will inevitably be eaten in a dog-eat-dog world.
4. Staying in Shape
When we’re in our 20s, we think we’ll be healthy forever. But as we grow older and advance in our careers and start families, staying in shape is one of the first things we forget to do. Those trips to the gym or walks in the park become less and less frequent. Before we know it, our elbows and knees start to ache, our backs get sore more easily, and even walking up a flight of stairs is enough to wind us.
The importance of remaining physically fit cannot be emphasized too much. When times get tough it will be your physical ability that will get you out of Dodge safely, that will sustain you during long bouts outdoors in inclement weather, and that will help you rebuild what is lost when disaster strikes. It’s easy to make excuses: I’m tired, I’m sick, my knees hurt. Stop making excuses and get serious about your health and well-being.
5. Getting Enough Sleep
Getting too little sleep has almost become a badge of honor in our society. Many people like to brag about what they’re able to accomplish after getting only 6, 5, or even 4 hours of sleep. But one night of that little sleep can have a major negative impact on your health. Chronic sleep deprivation is even worse, and can have severely harmful effects on your long-term well-being.
Sleep ties into staying in shape, as rest is what allows your body to rebuild from all the things you put it through during a normal day. Imagine sleep as recharging your body’s batteries. Insufficient sleep means that your body is only working on a half charge. When the stuff hits the fan, do you want your body to be fully rested and ready to go to work, or do you want to trust that that half charge will get you through? Start getting into a good routine and getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep every night to make sure that you are able to perform at your peak.