Mind­set.  Why do you do what you do?  Why do you prep?  What brought you to this point?  Once you got there, how did it change you?  How did it shift your thought pat­terns?  The answers to these ques­tions and more are what may be the basis for how you are think­ing today.  I was just at the gro­cery store, spent 148.00 dol­lars this week, and could swear that if this were a year ago, I would have only spent 110.00  dol­lars on every­thing I bought.  Things are get­ting more expen­sive, and many incomes are not going up to jus­ti­fy the infla­tion.  Gaso­line is at or over $3.00 a gal­lon when it is usu­al­ly much less this time of year.  Peo­ple are still los­ing jobs, despite my own job change.  I feel very for­tu­nate, but noth­ing is carved in stone for­ev­er.  I just got my gas and elec­tric bill, the price of elec­tric went up, and it was imme­di­ate­ly notice­able.  I now under­stand what my father used to com­plain about when I was grow­ing up and used to hear him say “things are get­ting expen­sive,” but I nev­er noticed the bulk food and oth­er con­sum­ables in their home until recent­ly.  Even my moth­er has tak­en to buy­ing more of what they use so that they have it in stor­age.  Her thought process and mind­set are chang­ing, and she is becom­ing a prep­per and does not even real­ize it.  Maybe some­day I will intro­duce them to this blog.

Who are you?

There has been a lot writ­ten about the mind­set of those that are sur­vival­ists.  I sup­pose that I too have some opin­ion about this as well… I’ll pref­ace some of what I am about to type for you by telling you my pro­fes­sion is sales.  It has been for the past 20 years.  In sales you have to have a cer­tain mind­set to not get dis­cour­aged, not   As far as my mind­set, this means that I must be proac­tive most of the time and reac­tive a very lit­tle bit of the time.  My mind­set mus be one that must be able to be told no often and not get down about it.  To keep on keep­ing on.  Just to illus­trate, it means that when some­one says no to me it is an indi­ca­tor to con­tin­ue find­ing out why to find the rea­sons and over­come them, or to even­tu­al­ly move onto the next oppor­tu­ni­ty…  If I get too many no’s, it’s okay, because they are just say­ing no to my prod­ucts and ser­vices, not me.  My point is that I have trained myself not to be affect­ed by the “no.” Just like years of con­di­tion­ing, your mind­set of prep­ping or being a sur­vival­ist is one of atti­tude, con­cern, self preser­va­tion, and more I am sure.  I am not going to define the cri­te­ria for the “sur­vival­ist mind­set” because it is going to be dif­fer­ent for every­one…

While how you think is impor­tant, I find that there are gen­er­al­ly three types of peo­ple in the world.  This comes from my sales train­ing, by the way.  There are those that:

  1. Make it hap­pen,
  2. Watch it hap­pen,
  3. Don’t know what hap­pened,

I used to be num­ber two on that list.  I was num­ber two for a good por­tion of my life.  Actu­al­ly, after some thought, I think I was stuck between num­ber one and num­ber two for a num­ber of years.  I know peo­ple in num­ber three, and now I strive to be num­ber one.  The rea­son for this was an awak­en­ing I had per­son­al­ly.  I will get more into that in anoth­er post.  If you want a taste of what I used to be like, you can get a glimpse in a com­ment I made on The Apart­ment Prep­per’s Blog on the post, Is Igno­rance Bliss.  I am going to go out on  a limb and say that it is not.  You can­not let it be in today’s soci­ety.  It does­n’t mat­ter who is in office, either.  Demo­c­rat, Repub­li­can, Inde­pen­dent, Tea Par­ty, who­ev­er.  Enough dam­age has been done over the years by those sup­posed to be serv­ing their con­stituents, that are sim­ply being re-elect­ed to a job to con­tin­ue to rob the aver­age per­son blind.  It can no longer be ignored.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

By that I mean, don’t go out if you are new to being a prep­per and spend 1000.00 dol­lars at the gro­cery store.  Bad move.  Almost every­one I know is on a bud­get.   I have writ­ten a few posts about prep­ping on a tight bud­get in the past.  If you go out and spend too much mon­ey all at once you are most cer­tain­ly going to buy items you will not ever use or con­sume, so you will be wast­ing a LOT of mon­ey… I did.  Take your time, make a plan, and start small.  A few items a week.  Recent­ly, The Sur­vival­ist Blog dot Net had a post of the 10 Things You Should Do Right Now and Ten MORE things to do right now.  I think this should be spread out over sev­er­al weeks or a cou­ple of months.  And all of this is sub­jec­tive, any­way based on the amount of space and stor­age capac­i­ty that you have for food and gear.  Prep­ping can be an expen­sive ven­ture if you do it all at once.  Besides, once you get all that “stuff” home, you have to find a place for it.  I sug­gest you make room first, then plan.  Also, do not buy gear you do not have the skill-sets to use yet.  You are just wast­ing mon­ey.  Again, please fol­low my lead on this, as I have already made these mis­takes.  If there is gear you want based on the skills you need to learn, learn the skills first, and then choose the right gear based on your skill lev­els.  You will save a TON of mon­ey in the long run… This goes the same for time.  Don’t try to do every thing in a day. Take the time, and bud­get 30 — 60 min­utes a week or 15 min­utes a day to your pre­pared­ness lifestyle, and pret­ty soon you will start see­ing the fruits of your labors.  Which brings me to “Your Stuff.”

Your Stuff

Anoth­er area of the sur­vival­ist mind­set that I hear and read a bit about online and in sev­er­al of the books that I have read, is to become a min­i­mal­ist.  I am not sure I agree with this com­plete­ly.  I do agree that hav­ing a min­i­mal amount of “stuff” helps one to stay orga­nized eas­i­ly.  How­ev­er, clut­ter equals dis­or­ga­ni­za­tion to me.  The dis­or­ga­ni­za­tion that can come along with clut­ter can cre­ate a lot of wast­ed time when search­ing for some­thing.  But, if you con­tin­ue to con­sume prod­ucts and add to your col­lec­tion, I urge you to stay orga­nized.  By stay­ing orga­nized you know where every­thing is when you need it.  All of that said, I think that if you have a clos­et full of clothes you do not wear, get rid of them, donate them, sell them, what­ev­er.  Cre­ate some space for oth­er essen­tials.  Even I am donat­ing a few suits, shirts, pants, etc. to the Viet­nam Vet­er­ans Asso­ci­a­tion in the com­ing week or two.  I need to make a lit­tle more space myself since I have accu­mu­lat­ed a lit­tle more gear this year, and doing i by rid­ding myself of the “stuff” I don’t wear or use any­more is the way to do it in my opin­ion…

Situational Awareness

I have writ­ten a cou­ple of posts on sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness in the past.  To that end, in the sub­urbs, your mind­set should be such to be aware of your sur­round­ings.  It does­n’t mat­ter if you are in the car, boat, bar, or gro­cery store.  Com­ing from a pret­ty rur­al area in PA to North­ern New Jer­sey when I moved here was quite a change.  I went from walk­ing into the local water­ing hole, gro­cery store, gym, etc. where I always knew some­one to a place where no mat­ter where I went I knew no one.  Because of this, I became more aware of my sur­round­ings, more aware of what was going on around me, who was in the room, what they looked like, how they act­ed, etc.  I went from saun­ter­ing in the room to stop­ping at the door for a moment before wak­ing in to ass­es the strengths, weak­ness­es, and threats of every­one in the room, siz­ing up the sit­u­a­tion in a moment.  I did this not to label or pro­file per se, but to be sure that this was a place that I was enter­ing was palat­able for me.  Do what do you need to do to under­stand sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness?

Sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness can also be relat­ed to your “gut feel­ing.”  I am a pro­po­nent for lis­ten­ing to your gut.  Your gut will help you to devel­op the skill for know­ing what is not right in that moment.  It will help you to react more effi­cient­ly and effec­tive­ly.   I have heard of reports, bur have not yet researched, that women have a bet­ter gut instinct than men do.  If this is the case, and again, I have not researched it, I have to believe that my own testos­terone lev­els and ego would be the rea­son for that.  Just some­thing to pon­der.

Seek Out, Learn, and Teach

This is some­thing I think you should do after you have start­ed prep­ping, rather after you digest that you are get­ting rid of stuff, mak­ing room, stor­ing food, etc.  Liv­ing in north­ern NJ, I am find­ing more and more peo­ple that are prep­pers.  They too are seek­ing out those that are like mind­ed.  Some will be much more pre­pared than oth­ers, and will open­ly offer infor­ma­tion if you ask.  Don’t be a leach for infor­ma­tion, how­ev­er.  Your would be men­tor will catch on to this quick­ly.  In fact they will prob­a­bly be skep­ti­cal of you from the begin­ning.  I know I am when a would be prep­per starts ask­ing me ques­tions.  If you live in the sub­urbs or a city, start your own meet­up group on Meetup.com.  Peo­ple will find you, and you can host a week­ly or month­ly meet­ing.  The meet­up group I am in is matur­ing, and we are now mak­ing plans as a group to take wilder­ness skills, for­ag­ing class­es and more.  It puts me at ease to know there are oth­er like mind­ed indi­vid­u­als out there, and those that feel they can depend on me for infor­ma­tion and visa ver­sa.  Not to men­tion there are sev­er­al mem­bers of the group that I feel com­fort­able enough say­ing that we could prob­a­bly depend on each oth­er in an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion.

Your Health

This is prob­a­bly one of the most impor­tant parts of your mind­set.  It has become top of mind for me.  I could stand to lose anoth­er 20 — 25 lbs to put me back at the weight that I was 10 years ago when I was in much bet­ter phys­i­cal shape.  You can think faster, move bet­ter, car­ry more, recov­er faster, etc. when you are in bet­ter shape.  I have writ­ten a cou­ple of posts on this, more per­son­al than not.  My most recent for­ay into phys­i­cal fit­ness is more intel­lec­tu­al, as I want to speed the results over the next few months, so I have pre-ordered Tim­o­thy Fer­ris­s’s new book The 4‑Hour Body.  I am not going to talk too much about phys­i­cal fit­ness, because it is per­son­al to every­body, and every­one’s lev­el is dif­fer­ent.  What I will say is that if you want to get into bet­ter phys­i­cal shape and/or change your diet, like every oth­er top­ic in this post, it takes time, and you can­not change it in a week or even month.  You will need to ded­i­cate your­self to chang­ing slow­ly over time, and make it a part of your lifestyle.  In time you will see change, and in time you will feel the change for the bet­ter.  If you are plus 40 years old like I am, you may want to con­sult your doc­tor before chang­ing your diet and hit­ting the gym so you don’t hurt your­self in the process…


I’ve left secu­ri­ty for last, since it is such an expan­sive top­ic.  I recent­ly wrote a post on secu­ri­ty and have had sev­er­al posts around secu­ri­ty.  Suf­fice it to say that secu­ri­ty is impor­tant, includ­ing per­son­al secu­ri­ty, finan­cial secu­ri­ty, home secu­ri­ty, fam­i­ly secu­ri­ty, defend­ing your preps, and much more.  This is going to be an expand­ed sub­ject that I plan on writ­ing a small series on in the com­ing future. I may even enlist sev­er­al oth­ers to con­tribute on this top­ic if I can as well.  I urge you not to wor­ry imme­di­ate­ly about guns and/or weapons if you are new to prep­ping, but to focus on what you need to do to keep your fam­i­ly pro­tect­ed from job loss, an acci­dent that dis­ables you or your spouse etc.  These con­cepts too, fall under secu­ri­ty.  You can wor­ry about guns lat­er, because with them come with a whole new set of con­cerns, skills, costs, train­ing, and more.  Watch out for more posts on secu­ri­ty com­ing soon…

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