Avoiding the Prepper Con

We’ve all seen them, survival battery packs the size of a phone that will start a jumbo jet with power to spare, flashlights that are so powerful they will burn your retinas and start fires from a mile away. How about the family survival food package that will feed a family of five for a month, and it all fits in a 5-gallon bucket.

The old adage still applies, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. I know that there are going to be a lot of “prepper” websites that will either pooh pooh what I have to say or not run it at all, however, the sites that are genuine, won’t have an issue with it.

There is a plethora of high quality, genuine prepper equipment out there. Great battery packs, super bright flashlights, emergency rations and so on, but how can you discern what is the real deal, and what isn’t?  It isn’t easy, and one good way to start is to do your homework. Between the star rating system on Amazon and other sites, and forums, you should be able to track down serious prepper gear and flush out the junk.

Just because someone sez it’s great, don’t make it great. Beware of endorsements as opposed to genuine product reviews, and even when reading a review, if it’s too sugar-coated, dig deeper.

In my heyday as a tech editor of a very large magazine, I tested numerous products, and while the vast majority were good quality, none of them were absolutely perfect, and I would say so. Beware of terrific reviews that slobber on and on about a product and don’t point out its shortcomings.

If you spend money on a product, make sure it has a guarantee, If you order a Chinese hand crank radio and the plastic arm snaps off when you unwrap it, you might want to get a refund. If a company doesn’t offer a guaranty, find another company, and another radio.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK! The prepper market has become so ubiquitous and in many cases, hi-tech, and that’s great for preppers, but remember a few simple rules:

It has to work under adverse conditions, whether rain, sleet, snow, EMP and on and on.

It has to last. I believe WTSHTF it will be prolonged simply due to the complex nature of our society, and the sociopaths in Congress.

It has to be affordable, that said, it’s better to have a good basic product than none at all.

It has to be serviceable. If you buy a product that will wear out, make sure you have replacement parts.

It has to follow the 3 is 2, 2 is 1, 1 is none rule. One power supply is good, but if it croaks, where is your backup, and your backup’s backup?

TRY it OUT! Don’t buy all this junk and put it on the shelf thinking that WTSHTF you will seamlessly transition into an off-grid lifestyle without issues.

I strongly recommend you have an “Off Grid” weekend to see what your gear does, and I guarantee you will have changes after you have tried your lights, cooking and sanitation systems in real time.

We are in uncharted territory due to the fact that during the great depression, people were “hands-on” and very self-sufficient. Now you get 911 calls because someone didn’t get their chicken nuggets.

There are a lot of other things to take into consideration when purchasing, mine are just some of the basics.

Prepping is a lifestyle, and for many of us, it is a daily way of life, chickens, cows, goats, gardens and all the other things that make life so enjoyable.

If you haven’t started, get going, it’s never too late to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on others.

The “Godfather  Prepper” is the best selling author of the Pocket Partner, an emergency response book for law enforcement, emergency services, and the military, with over 250,000 sold worldwide. A former police chief and guest on Nat Geos Doomsday Preppers, his website http://www.proficientprepping.wordpress.com is loaded with “hands-on” projects.

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6 Responses to Avoiding the Prepper Con

  1. John says:

    Great thoughts. I appreciate your no hype perspective.

  2. Sideliner 1950 says:

    Agree with John’s comment above, and I, too, “appreciate your no hype perspective.” The writer has embraced the wisdom of Sgt. Joe Friday’s immortal line, “Just the facts, please, Ma’am.”

    At the risk of stating the obvious, in my view the author has properly listed these “simple rules” in their correct order of importance. The author places “it has to work,” first, and fully two steps above “it has to be affordable”, because it matters not a whit how “affordable” something may be if it doesn’t work, especially when lives — yours and your loved ones’ — depend on it working.

    As serious preppers, whenever we find ourselves in the market for “survival gear” — those supplies and/or equipment on which our lives may one day depend — we must resist the urge to “buy on impulse” or even to “bargain shop”, and instead we must bear in mind the immutable truth that “you won’t get what you don’t pay for.”

    So often we read or hear it argued that if/when the SHTF “something would be better than nothing”; and if caught unawares and desperate, I would not disagree. But that’s why we prep — to avoid being caught unawares and desperate.

  3. Mr. Dixie says:

    This article has been long overdue! Great advice.

  4. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    Yup but if folks would actually try stuff this junk would be short lived. Instead now they will be short lived. Its one of the reasons I hate being titled and associated with them.

  5. Survivormann99 says:

    In a CERT class I took, the instructor said that if you called a photographer and asked him to come and take photos at a family party, you would be given a price. If you told him that a bride, a groom, and a cake would be in the photos, the price would double. So it goes, he said with the price of anything sold with the label “survival.” A little hyperbole, yes, but there is some truth to it.

  6. Pingback: Top Seven Articles on Prepper Website for the Week! (1/27/19)

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