So lately I have been discussing prepping with a good friend of mine, and whilst we both like the idea of doing it, we both feel that it is out of our financial reach to do so. Luckily I am a bit more optimistic then him though, and refuse to just give up on it for now. There are many ways that you can always keep up your efforts, even without having cash on hand. So here are a couple thoughts I have to help encourage myself, and hopefully anyone else who may be in the same situation.
1. Network, network, network. Always keep trying to network with like-minded people. You do not have to necessarily go through and tell each other exactly what supplies you have, or where you are going to bug out to, but its good to share ideas and suggestions. Not only will this help you come up with new ideas, but it may also help you find holes in your own plans.
Also, not only ideas can be exchanged. You may find out that you have extra supplies that your new found friend may be in need of, or vice-versa. One of my new coworkers was a corpsmen in Iraq and not only has plenty of knowledge, but also usable things, and he does not mind sharing. Like my most recent freebie:
Yes, its not 100% complete, but it was free, and a darn good help in building my FAK. Also, since he has actually had to perform emergency treatments, I asked him to write me up a list of other supplies for my kit. My assumption is that if he had to use it, then its definitely practical enough.
2. Research your plans. This is very important, especially if you are always tight on funds. Make sure you are spending your limited funds where they need to be spent. I do not know how many hours I will just go through page after page on the internet comparing different products and reading reviews, so that I know when I finally do get around to making that purchase, I know it is a good one. While you are not actually getting anything at that time, your time spent will be worth it when your able to get the most for your money. And I am not saying to go and buy the cheapest product out there, but rather the best for the money.
This can be applied to more then just items too. Say you have a plan with your family on where to meet, take the time to make sure that your plans are feasible and come up with alternates or ways to deal with obstacles. If you have only one plan, your not going to realize the problems with it until it is too late.
3. Practice. It could be practicing different medical procedures, how to use different tools, operating in darkness, or being without power, having all the knowledge in the world will do no good if you do not know how to apply it. I am not saying to go an practice amputating an arm, but more simpler things like using a tourniquet will still seem as complex if you’ve never done it before. A big one I would suggest is practice setting up your shelter. It will at least be a lot easier to learn a new skill while you have some cover.
4. Exercise. Get out and go for a jog, do a couple curls, just about any physical exercise is better then nothing. Do not worry about being able to bench press a few hundred pounds, or squatting the same. A thing I have always noticed is people always seem to neglect stamina training. Being able to lift a 100 pound backpack is very different from having to carry it for a good distance while on the move. I always think of a story my dad used to tell me about when he used to work in a distribution warehouse. There was basically two groups of people there, the big, bulky muscle heads and then the little skinny feather weights. Know who got more work done? The featherweights. The muscle bound hercules wanna-be guys could only load a couple heavy objects onto the pallets before they got tired. While they were taking a break, the little guys are scurrying around like ants to get the job done. It might have taken more then one guy to load a heavy object, but they didn’t have to stop after doing it. I am not saying to stop working hard at the gym, but make sure you can work hard for a long time.
5. Focus on other things. Stressing about not having everything you want right now is not going to solve anything. Get/plan/practice/exercise whatever you can at that time, but then call it quits for the night. You want to be able to keep calm and collected if something does happen. If all your thinking about is what you haven’t gotten ready yet, that is all you will think about when it comes time to act. For example if your house is on fire, if all your thinking about is not having that fire extinguisher you’ve been drooling over, then you may not be thinking about the garden hose that you could be using, or it might delay you simply calling for help.
So I hope all this will give some encouragement in times when it is needed. Sometimes your up, sometimes your down, but that doesn’t mean you are out. There are plenty of things that you can be doing even if you don’t have the extra funds right now. Prepping is a marathon, not a sprint.