How to Overcome Obstacles to Prepping

A family camping in a tent. Photo by Mattias Helge on Unsplash.
A family camping in a tent. Photo by Mattias Helge on Unsplash.

I have checked off many of the boxes on my “Preparedness to do List” for 2021. So far, we have:

  • Built a chicken coop, a chicken run, and raised 17 chickens
  • Constructed a fence around the garden, constructed 80 square feet of raised beds, and raised some herbs and vegetables
  • Installed three beehives and harvested some honey; purchased and stacked four cords of firewood, with a fifth arriving this coming week
  • Added several #10 cans of long-term survival food to our survival stash and scores of cans, jars, and packages of dry food for our prepper pantry
  • Gone rifle and pistol shooting at least three times
  • Acquired a dog

How are you doing?  Have you hit any prepper milestones?  Crossed anything off your list?  If so, leave us a comment below. If not, what’s stopping you from prepping?

When I ask people that, the answers are usually money, my spouse or family, or I’m too busy. The good news is that all of these objections can be overcome.

Obstacle #1: Lack of Money

When people tell me they lack sufficient funds to prep, what they are often saying is that prepping is not a priority and they choose to spend their money on other things. Unless you are on public assistance and get food stamps, or are working several jobs to make ends meet, chances are you can afford to do some prepping. The key is to sacrifice just a little, to cut back on something, so you can prep. If you are not willing to do this, then you may need to reconsider whether you are a prepper.

Most of us can find the money necessary to pay for things we consider priorities. If you prioritize a big screen TV over a water filter or prioritize seven different streaming services over a building up your prepper pantry, then I can’t help you. When you are ready to prep, your purchasing habits will show it.

Many people also express a concern that prepping is expensive. It can be. If you buy your own freeze dryer, tricked out four-wheel-drive bug out vehicle, buy high-end rifles for everyone in the family, and invest in a one-year supply of food in #10 cans, then it will be expensive. Newsflash: most preppers don’t have all that fancy gear and you can prep on $100 a month. That’s $25 a week or just $50 per paycheck. You just need to make regular, small purchases over time instead of all at once. Cut back on your cell phone plan or cancel some of those subscriptions to products and services you use, and you can come up with that much money.

Obstacle #2: Spouse and Family Issues

The non-cooperative spouse is a frequent complaint from want-to-be preppers. While it is often a male complaining about a female, I believe it is just as often the man who does not want to prep because he sees it taking money away from his toy/beer/fun budget. There is no quick fix, but there are two things you can do to overcome this.

First, plant tiny seeds and hope they sprout. You want to position prepping as common sense rather than anything extreme or abnormal. For example, use the shortages we’re experiencing as an excuse to buy some extra toilet paper. Use inflation as an excuse to stock the pantry. In time, these seeds may sprout, especially if you lived through an emergency and some of your “unofficial preps” helped make things more comfortable.

Second, adopt hobbies that might be useful when it comes time to prep, such as tent camping or hiking. This gives you the perfect excuse to buy everyone a sleeping bag and some outdoor gear. From that point, it’s easy to do things like take a class on finding foods in the wild, or learning basic bushcrafting skills. Only you will know that these activities are increasing your preparedness; everyone else will just think you’re having fun.

You could join a gun club, take an Appleseed course, and the whole family could shoot in their rimfire match. You could go hunting, build a small arsenal, or take up archery. Your family could join organizations that do things like primitive living, cooking from scratch, and soap making. You could raise chickens in your back yard or start a small garden. All of this will contribute to your preparedness level but avoids more extreme preps like building a bomb shelter or buying a retreat.

Obstacle #3: Too Busy to Prep

This is another example of just not having your priorities straight. I raised three kids, held two jobs at once, and I still managed to prep. It can be done if you make it a priority and are well organized.

Like money, you can prep a little at a time. You don’t have to dedicate one day a week or month to prepping; there are many things you can do a little at a time or while you are doing other things. For example, we don’t go to Sam’s Club or Costco just to prep. We go to buy our everyday food, and while we are there, we pick up a few prepper items.

When I constructed all the fencing and chicken coop, there were days where I put in eight hours. There were more days I worked two or three hours, and even more days in which I did nothing.

Prepping is a lifestyle choice. How committed you are to that choice will show by how much time and money you invest in it. I am of the opinion that any prepping is better than no prepping, but a moderate level of prepping is better still.

Step Up

We are living in the interesting times of the old Chinese curse. Many things have gone wrong, and many more will. Things that once seemed solid and reliable are revealed to be weak and fragile. Will we begin to recover and reverse the slide, or will the downhill spiral get faster? No one knows, but I recommend hedging your bets by preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

How to Overcome Obstacles to Prepping