11 Common Prepper Mistakes



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Be wary of these common prepper mistakes and avoid putting yourself in a life-threatening situation when SHTF!

Common Prepper Mistakes Every Survivalist Should Avoid


Survival Prepper Mistakes

What are the common prepper mistakes you need to know about? In the prepper community, we all have different ideas on how to get ready for “the big one.”

We've learned to focus not so much on how and when it will take place, but on being ready to do what's necessary to survive no matter what happens. The main question on our minds is, are we ready?

Every survival prepper has his or her own survival philosophy, and that's okay. When SHTF, having people with different outlooks and talents can be tremendously helpful.

There are things all preppers should know not to do. Some of these mistakes are obvious, but others might come as a surprise.

These survival pitfalls can be life-threatening, so it's important to take the time now to learn what they are and how to avoid them. Read on to learn more.


Prepper Mistake #1: Focusing on One Potential Disaster

Sign of disaster | Common Prepper Mistakes
It's wise to start prepping for an earthquake, a biological attack, or a volcanic eruption. These potential disasters can come when you least expect them to so don't focus on one.

Be prepared for every possibility!

Biological Attack Definition: In a biological attack, the perpetrators intentionally release a pathogen, an agent that causes diseases, or biotoxin, a toxic substance from a living organism. This is to target all living life on Earth with the intention to cause death, economic damage, fear, illness, and societal disarray.

Prepper Mistake #2: Focusing on Supplies Instead of Skills

Strawberry Jam in the table | Common Prepper Mistakes
What if, by any circumstance, you lose all your survival food, water storage, and gear to an explosion, earthquake, or some other disastrous event? Would you still have the skills to survive? Or are you completely dependent on your prepper food and gear?

Prepper Mistake #3: Lack of Knowledge

When a disaster occurs, most of those caught in it are totally unprepared or have very little survival skills to get them through. Knowing basic survival skills such as building a shelter, signaling for help, foraging for food, building a fire, and finding drinkable water are vital skills to have.

Prepper Mistake #4: Poor Route Selection

Choosing a poor route as you move through the wilderness is a recipe for disaster. Outdoorsmen of little experience or poor judgment will sometimes opt for a shorter route between two points, even if it poses a greater risk than would be faced if a longer route were chosen.

Prepper Mistake #5: “If You’re Lost for Any Length of Time, You’ve Got to Find Food Immediately.”

Drinking water | Common Prepper Mistakes
Always remember the rule of 3's: you can survive 3 minutes without air; 3 hours without shelter; 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food. Eating food without water will cause you to dehydrate faster, so focus on getting water before food.

Prepper Mistake #6: Building an Arsenal

It's true that we need to protect what we have stored from would-be attackers by building up an arsenal. On the other hand, putting all your eggs in one basket can cause you to forget the other essentials such as food and water supplies.

RELATED: 5 Things To Consider When Forming Your Prepper Community

Prepper Mistake #7: Look After No:1 – That Means YOU!

Make yourself a priority and the most important in your list. Your knowledge and skills in prepping will decide the outcome.

Take note of the simplest things – make sure you have a spare pair of glasses if you wear one. If you're taking meds, see to it you have enough to last in the ordeal.

Prepper Mistake #8: Preparing for a Specific Date

Wood carving | Common Prepper Mistakes
Don't make the mistake of believing there won't be any more life-changing events after the date you prepared for. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, wildfires, floods, winter storms, and tornadoes occur on a yearly basis, and the supplies you keep should be able to help you through any disaster.

Prepper Mistake #9: Staying in Your Comfort Zone

When things go smoothly, there's always a probability that we will stick to that daily routine and can be caught off guard when disaster strikes. I'm not saying we shouldn't enjoy our lives but becoming too relaxed might come back to bite us!

Prepper Mistake #10: Ignoring a Life Beyond Prepping

Boiling kettle | Common Prepper Mistakes
This may be the hardest challenge in a prepper's life. As weeks turn into years, getting you and your family prepared when the SHTF becomes a norm, dislodging you from your normal way of life.

Prepping shouldn't take you away from the life you had before you started prepping.

Prepper Mistake #11: Most Importantly, Don’t Panic

Easier said than done, especially when you find yourself in a life or death situation, but heightened stress drains vital energy and only hurts rather than helps. Calm yourself down, stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath and assess the scenario.

This will give you a clear mind and help you know what to do.


SNO Multimedia shows us a video of the 7 worst rookie prepper mistakes and how to avoid them:

You just can't spend your whole life prepping for the unknown. Overthinking won't do you any good, so take it easy.

Make the best of what you have and don't let it disrupt your day-to-day life. Remember, you have a life beyond prepping and so do your loved ones. Happy prepping!

What do you think about these common prepper mistakes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Up Next: 20 Survival Gardening Plants For Spring

Placard | Survival | Common Prepper Mistakes

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2018 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. Peter Sowatskey

    February 2, 2018 at 10:43 AM

    Good focus list…

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  3. Ralston Heath

    February 5, 2018 at 9:42 AM

    Good basic advice. About the lifestyle comment, being a “prepper” is not a lifestyle, it is a mindset. When the SHTF do you want to live like a refugee, or as a settler? Make your choice now, because when a disaster hits and you are not ready, then the choice is made for you, and you may not like it.

    • Brian H

      February 9, 2018 at 8:03 AM

      Wise words

  4. Marty

    August 1, 2018 at 8:54 AM

    Because of insurance, usually a person is not allowed no more than a 30 day supply of medicine. So your six month suggestion is way off.

    • pattianne

      August 1, 2018 at 10:45 PM

      Marty, i had the issue. We go through a military hospital/pharmacy. Our maximum allowance is 90 days. Kind of makes you go “Hmmmmm” in the event of SHTF. 🙁

      But all the suggestions are a good I thank you for the encouragement and refocusing for those of us who are newly come to the world of prepping.! 🙂

    • JJM

      August 1, 2018 at 11:32 PM

      Maybe it has changed a bit since I last had health insurance but most times I could refill BEFORE 30 days had elapsed. A slow but steady way to stock up. You can find a way, otherwise if SHTF 3 days before you run out you may find urself ‘up the creek’.

      • Thomas Baker

        April 18, 2019 at 7:09 PM

        Your right. This is how I have been preparing because I’m a bit and am on a lot of meds. I hope your will get people thinking hmmmm!

    • Bob in Florida

      August 4, 2018 at 3:38 PM

      My insurance will not allow a refill before thirty days from the date of the last refill. However, almost no one takes pills more often than they are supposed to – but, every once in a while life circumstances result in missing your pills for a day, or part of a day. If one keeps careful watch when refills are due and able to be ordered (or put your refills on automatic fill – if your pharmacy supports that service), you can gradually build up a supply of extra pills to serve as an emergency supply.

      For long-term prescriptions, that both I and my wife take, I have built up a supply of 500 days of a couple medications we both take. That’s 250 days, or about 8 months worth of medication for us. To keep from building up a supply that exceeds my interpretation of viable shelf life, I do not order refills during the annual “doughnut hole ” period of my insurance coverage. Saves us money and keeps the emergency supply from growing to more than we can expect to use.

    • Tom Guiod

      August 4, 2018 at 6:43 PM

      Actually you can get a prescription for a 90 day supply from your doctor.

  5. Clergylady

    August 4, 2018 at 5:35 PM

    Yup meds are my issue. Hard to build up a supply when insurance times it so close.

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  8. Robert Crawford jr

    January 23, 2019 at 8:05 AM

    For antibiotics, you dont need a prescription to purchase if you use meds for animals. By law they have to be human consumable. Thomas labs carries:
    Thomas Labs Fish & Bird Antibiotics

    Bird Sulfa by Thomas Labs. 7 reviews. …Bird Zithro (Azithromycin 250mg) Tablets. 16 reviews. …Fish Bendazole (Fenbendazole) Powder. …Fish Cillin (Ampicillin) – 250mg. …Fish Cin (Clindamycin) …Fish Doxy (Doxycycline) Powder. …Fish Doxy (Doxycycline) Tablets – 100mg. …Fish Flex (Cephalexin) – 250mg.

    These come from the very same location and the pills are marked the same as that for human use.

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  10. Victor Wolfe

    January 28, 2019 at 2:24 PM

    #12 Never practice your skills/plans
    #13 Not staying physically fit

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