Prepping & Survival Articles

Article 8 - Prepper Training
By Tammy Creamer

Okay, so you finally gave in to the prepper mentality and decided that you should have some things on hand.  So you went out and bought all the gear you think you will need in an emergency.  (Maybe a little extra, but let's face it, that infrared heat detecting night vision scope is wicked cool.)  Anyway, you got the gear, but you are not prepared.  Wait, what???  Having the gear is essential, but it doesn't prepare you mentally for a disaster situation.

Honestly, I don’t know that we can ever be fully prepared, no matter what we do.  When soldiers enter the battle field, they are told to “remember their training.”  Even though training will never be the same as the real thing, the training gives them the abilities they need to be able to handle the real thing.  Well, preppers need training too.  Now, don’t go grabbing your gym shorts and knee socks.  You need to train your brain, people!

Where is that thing, anyway?

All your gear won’t be worth a hill of beans if you don’t know what you have and where it is.  Whether you have been amassing supplies for 20 years, or just went out and spent your whole life savings last weekend, it is easy to lose track of what you have on hand.  If you don’t have some sort of organizational system, chaos will quickly ensue.  A difficult situation can quickly become worse when you forget where you put something you need. 

Let me give you a scenario:  You are out hiking, you trip and manage to slice your head open on a rock.  (Don’t worry, nobody saw you.)  You know you threw a medical kit in your bag somewhere, but you have no idea what it has in it.  Was it just a pack of bandages?  Was there some gauze?  Did it have any antiseptic or antibacterial ointment?  It would have been nice to know the answers to these questions before you started donating blood to the forest.

Now in the event of a serious disaster, every second may count.  You need to know what you have and where it is so that you can handle the situation as quickly as possible.  Study your gear and familiarize yourself with exactly where everything is. 

Wait, how did I do that?

Okay, so you know what you have and where it is.  The next thing you need to do is make sure you know how to use it all.  This may sound obvious, but it bears emphasis.  You need to not only be capable of using all your gear, but you also need to be comfortable using it as well.   Now, you obviously do not need to practice turning on your flashlight.  (Or maybe you do – who am I to judge?)  But there may be things you bought for an emergency that you have never used before.  Even if it seems simple enough, try it once to make sure you will not have any issues in an emergency.  You don’t want to try to figure out how to use a fire striker while you are sitting in the dark chattering your teeth. The more familiar you are with your gear, the more comfortable you will be using it when the time comes. 

What if…

The last thing you should do is probably the hardest part.  You need to honestly consider different scenarios, and determine how you would react in each one.  If you have a plan of action in your mind, you can simply carry it out if the situation arises.  Now, your mental scenarios should be general enough to apply to any disaster situation.  But they should be specific enough to evoke an emotional response.  Things to consider might include: Where could I get more water if I ran out?  If my neighbor asked for food, would I share?  If my home was destroyed, where would I go?  What if I can’t get there? 

Push yourself to ask the hard questions, and really spend time thinking about the answers.  The more questions you answer, the more mentally prepared you will be when facing the real thing.  There might be some questions that you just can’t answer, and that is okay.  But anticipating the situations that may arise will eliminate the surprise factor and help you to more quickly assess the situation and choose a course of action.

Um, what did you say?

So, just to recap:  Prepper training should include organizing your gear, getting comfortable using your gear, and creating an action plan for different scenarios.  These steps will certainly not eliminate the stress of an emergency situation, but they will eliminate the additional stress of not being fully prepared.  You can’t “remember your training” if you don’t have any training! 

I hope this article has given you some ideas on ways to be more mentally prepared for an emergency situation.  If there is anything you would like to add, please let us know.  We would love to hear from you!


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