There are a legitimate number of things you can do to advance your prepping efforts from the comfort of your recliner or sofa. Here are some things you will want to work on:
Prepping is such a wide and vast topic that encompasses so many subjects that narrowing down and identifying the specific areas you would want to research can take you some time. However, taking the time to think out these areas and to write them down will help keep you focused instead of getting lost to the many distractions the internet and YouTube have to offer. Here are just a few ideas to get the juices flowing:
- First Aid
- Outdoor equipment/gear
- Bushcraft skills
- Water Treatment/Filters
- Food Storage
Everyone has preps they wish they could do. These include simple things like picking up food safe barrels for water storage or building a food dehydrator. They can be big and expensive like purchasing land for a bug out location, or small like learning to build a fire without matches. Take some time and for each of the subjects you came up with in the previous step, brainstorm the things you want to do to related to that subject, you should end up with a fairly lengthy list.
Hopefully your action list is long and full of lots of to-do items. But looking over your list you may feel a bit overwhelmed and the amount of work you need to do and can feel daunting. Don’t worry, a preppers work is never done. Take joy in the process.
Review your to-do list and rank them in order of difficulty. Personally, I like to use a 5-star system. One star means it is easy and I should be able to knock it out in an afternoon if I can only find the time to dedicate to it. Something that rates 5 stars would be very difficult and may take months or years to complete.
Next go through the list again and give each item a cost rating. For example, I would mark an item with a single $ if there is little or no cost for me to complete this task. Perhaps you have already purchased the materials or supplies necessary to complete the task but you just haven’t completed it? Even though you already spent money on the task you do not need to spend any more money on it so I would still give it a single $. Something that would be cost enough that I would need to plan for it ahead of time but not necessarily strain my cashflow too much would get a double dollar sign $$. Tasks that would require a significant investment to complete them would be marked with three dollar sign symbols $$$. Of course, you can come up with your own way to do this since each of our situations is different.
Once all your items in your action list have been marked for difficulty and cost it is time to reorder your list. You can organize it however you feel it would be the most useful for you but I suggest ordering them from the least difficult and least expensive to more difficult and more expensive. Hopefully you will have discovered more than a few items that are easy and have little or no expense. These can be the first things you accomplish once it is time to get out of that armchair!
Work out the details
Plenty of studies have shown that one of the top reasons people are prone to procrastinate on a project that they have never done before is because there is something unknown in the process that requires further clarification. Maybe you don’t know the store hours of the local cannery you want to pick up your bulk food storage from, or you don’t know if they make the thing you need to buy in your size. If you can create a detailed step by step plan to accomplish your task then you will find that getting around to being able to cross it off your list will come a lot faster for you.
Pick one of the items on your action list and work out all the steps you need to accomplish the goal. For example, if you wanted to set yourself up some gasoline storage but you don’t know the safest way to do it. The jugs or barrels sold nearby inexpensively but because you don’t know how safe it is to store lots of gasoline or if any special equipment is necessary you have put off the project. So, step one in the process is to identify who would know this information so you could ask them. Who stores gasoline in barrels? Mechanics might or maybe farmers or ranchers. Perhaps there is an implement store that sells gasoline storage containers. Maybe the local fire department could be a good source of information. Of course, you can see if that information is available on the internet but just consider the source before taking advice for something that is dangerous. Find the answer and then corroborate that answer with several sources.
It turns out that because you have a temperature controlled shop that you plan on storing the gasoline, doing so in a clean and undamaged steel drum is perfectly safe. There were some cautionary tales of using a grounding clamp when adding or removing gas from the barrel and proper treatment for storage but you feel confident about what you need. Next, identify who sells these items and check in on their address and hours of operation. You own a small pickup that will easily allow you to get everything home and you already have a corner of the garage cleaned up ready to have your steel drum placed there. You plan on rolling the empty drum into position and with the help of a couple five-gallon plastic gas cans, you will fill those up every time you need to go to put gas in your vehicle. You estimate it will take you a couple of months before the drum is full but that is what works within your budget. At this point you have identified every step and there is nothing you are unsure of to cause you to procrastinate any longer.
You will find that after doing the research and planning out all the specific steps to a project that you begin to get excited about it and you will actually go out of your way to make time to complete the project. This is what prepping is all about.
If you are like me, you might have your preps squirreled away in closets, under beds, basements, crawlspaces, etc. Do you know everything you have? Do any of your items expire like food or medication? Take stock of all the supplies, food, water and gear your currently have and make an inventory. Be sure to mark the expiration dates or if an item needs to be maintained regularly like fire extinguishers or firearms. You may technically need to get up out of your armchair to complete this but it is something that is not difficult and doesn’t cost any money to do. Also, having a list such as this will be very useful for insurance purposes in the event of a fire or a break in.
Now that you have taken inventory you may notice that your bug out bag had several packets of instant ramen and spam that as it turns out don’t last for nearly as long as you thought they did you originally packed the bag and they now need to be replaced. Create a shopping list of items that are necessary to replace things that have gone bad or are missing from your current inventory. Perhaps you need to expand your food storage from three months to six months?
What else do you need to purchase? These aren’t projects necessarily but you need more water filters, or winter clothing. Maybe you need food safe containers or shelves. Make a list!