6 Mistakes That Preppers Make

When disaster strikes, most preppers believe that they will be ready for whatever life has to throw at them. Unfortunately, even the best of us can make mistakes. From relying too heavily on gear, to becoming complacent and thinking we know it all, there are a number of mistakes that even seasoned preppers make that can get you into trouble.


Are you making some of these very common mistakes that could jeopardize your chances to survive?

An unhealthy Reliance on Gear

A lot of people who I meet in the prepping and survival community tend to focus far too much time and effort on collecting gear. While having things like Bug Out Bags, Survival Knives, Emergency Preps and Survival Gear sure make life a lot easier during a survival situation, all of these things will eventually fail.

The one thing that you will always have with you, and the only thing you can truly count on, is your knowledge. Unlike survival gear, the knowledge you possess can’t breakdown, it can’t get lost, and it’s not going to fail at the wrong moment.

The key to survival really is knowledge; you can have the best gear in the world, but without knowledge that gear is completely useless.

Thinking that you know it all

I have talked to a growing number of preppers who falsely believe they’ll be ok because in their words, “they know more than their neighbors and the rest of America…” They believe that everyone else is going to be so unprepared, that by default they will automatically be in a better place.

While I have no doubt that 99% of the world is grossly unprepared to survive even a small-scale disaster, this in no way guarantees your survival. In fact, it just adds one more threat to the equation, as you will likely have to deal with those unprepared people at some point during the crisis.

Should a massive SHTF situation go down, those that are unprepared will likely become out of control savages. You are going to need every bit of training and knowledge you can acquire to make it through.

Your survival education should be an ongoing process. The minute you think you know it all, is the minute you put yourself in danger of becoming a victim. Don’t ever become complacent; take advantage of every opportunity to learn and practice your skills.

Not Studying and Practicing the Basics

In most survival situations, basic survival skills are often what separate those that survive from those that perish. Yes, there are certain skills that go beyond the basics, but the basics are the foundation that everything else is built upon.

Preparedness is not a onetime event. It’s important to spend time reviewing and practicing your basic survival skills. In order to really be prepared to deal with disasters and threats, you need to bring preparedness training into your daily routine.

Believing that your Guns and Ammo are enough

I love guns! In fact, I think they’re one of the most important items that anyone who is serious about preparedness should learn how to use.

That being said, there are a number of people who have encountered over the years that think having a gun means they are somehow prepared to survive anything. I’ve actually heard people say, “I don’t need to stock up on supplies, I’ve got all the guns and ammo I need to survive.”

In my opinion, that type of thinking is not only juvenile, but it also shows a complete misunderstanding of what it really takes to survive. Stocking up on guns and ammo is definitely important, but it’s not the be all and end all of survival. Unfortunately, many gun owners never bother to take a single self-defense course, but still insist they’ll be able to stop an attack because they’re “armed”.

I hate to break it to you; carrying a firearm does not guarantee your safety.

Preparing for Doomsday

Another mistake that I see, especially by those who got into preparedness because they bought into some marketing gimmick like the Mayan Calendar or a specific “doomsday date”, is preparing for a single cataclysmic event. While these types of events a certainly scary, and help unscrupulous marketers sell a bunch of useless gear to gullible people, the fact is, preparedness is not about surviving doomsday.

Preparedness is about preparing for the most likely events that you will encounter based on your own personal threat assessment. The danger of preparing for these doomsday style events is once the predicted date passes, people often let their guard down and then become flabbergasted when a predictable even like a natural disaster catches them off guard.

Not Practicing what you Preach

Acquiring the skills needed to survive in a wide variety of situations can sometimes be a difficult task. While reading and studying the art of survival are a good start, one really needs to dedicate themselves to practicing these skills on a regular basis.

Don’t become an Arm Chair Survivalist; To really be able to count on your knowledge when the SHTF, you need to run through your techniques in a number of scenarios and environments. Simply reading about them is not enough to ensure your safety.

Nothing beats the knowledge that you will gain from practicing your skills in a real world situation. Reading about something is one thing, being able to perform that task in a survival situation is something that requires practice.

The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide


  1. Hate to say it but I’m pretty guilty of all of the above. Especially thinking ill be good cause everyone else is not prepared. Your point about them becoming dangerous makes me think I need to respect their threat a little more.

    Better get it together because when it hit the fan excuses count for nothing.

  2. Amen to that DoubleTap! I’m even more guilty than you are. I need to get my “act ” together soon. The point about those unprepared “becoming savages” drives home a very very important point: the threat is not to be underestimated.

  3. Gotta agree with the article… been preparing gear and connection “Brothers”… been a long time since I actually “practiced” what I used to “do” on a daily basis…Time to get back to the basics of survival…perfect practice makes perfect

  4. I totally agree! As I stated before, I am just getting started and the first thing that I am I am buying is a Florida field guide. The second will be on
    e for Georgia. If I can learn the nutrients in the plants and animals from my regions, the knowledge will always be there.

  5. Post is spot on! 2 of my sayings I will leave here that pertain to this post.

    “$2 Skills and a $200 knife, yeah don’t be that guy.”


    “I see dead people, with bug out bags.”

    Will RT from @isurvivalskills

  6. This year I will attend at least one REPUTABLE survival skills course ala Cody Lundin or Tom Elpel. I will hone those lessons on a regular basis insofar as the law allows. (In some states it’s ILLEGAL to practice survival hunting/fishing/trapping.)

  7. I haven’t been prepping for long, and I already see where my weaknesses are. Mainly, the practice. I don’t live in the city, actually a pretty rural area. But still close enough to neighbors, that practicing some things might be a problem. I read as much as I can, watch videos and try to learn. I am acquiring gear as I can afford. But the point about practice is a big one. I used to be a scout when I was younger, some 20 years ago. I couldn’t tie anything other than a couple basic knots without having to look them up now. I already know there are people around more prepared than me. I live among a decent sized Amish population here. But in all honesty, I don’t know where I could go to practice anything that doesn’t get me in trouble with neighbors or town police.

  8. You forgot one major one. Relying only on oneself. The primary factor for survival is co-operation. Something the school system has bash out of you (remember, no cheating/co-operation). Forming alliances with your community is the best strategy. Everyone needs a specialist eg. baker, iron smith, medic, etc. The best preppers are these community groups who form essentially “tribes”. Groups of 50 or so are the natural order for people to get along with. What good is having an arsenal of weapons when no one will watch your back when you are sleeping.

  9. In light of what you know already…you should be counted guilty of being an all out survivalist, or be found guilty of being a fool.

  10. On the subject of survival knives. After years of trying out many different knives I find myself going back to the good old and inexpensive Mora brand every time. The cost per quality ratio is outstanding. I’ve found them to be my go to knife every time.

  11. practice makes permanence, it doesnt have to be perfect but when you practice, it will certainly not be forgotten, skills will come out naturally in you. having my country philippines hit with shtf storms, drought, tsunamis, food shortage and civil unrest, i wish i could share some “tropical” shtf survival skills, who knows i might help. i might start a youtube channel. god bless everyone And be safe. greetings from philippines

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