Sooner or later everyone in the prepping/survivalist community deals with prepping fatigue. Whether you have been prepping for a year, two years, ten years or twenty plus years, sooner or later you are going to get fatigued.
Due to the way I was raised by my parents, the way my grandparents lived on a small farm, and the atmosphere of the cold war in the 1970s, I would say my parents and grandparents conditioned me to be a prepper.
To me, survivalism is a way of life rather then a hobby.
Some people get into prepping like they do a lot of other things. Whether its getting in shape, going back to school, jogging, working out, stop smoking, stop drinking,,, most people are sincere in their actions.
Then they realize how much time and effort prepping can take. For some people its a matter of buying some canned goods and bottled water. Then there are the people who allow their lives to be consumed.
Like everything else in life, balance comes with moderation.
A few ways I deal with prepping fatigue
Yearly Projects – My wife and I talk about and decide what we would like to do for the year.
2008 – Hurricane Ike, had no choice on that one
2009 – random stuff, such as backpacking
2010 – gardening and camping
2011 – juglines and trotlines, storing food in mylar bags
2012 – chickens and chicken coop
2013 – we are thinking rabbits
I do the research through the last months of the year and into the first months of the next year. When the time comes the project is set into motion.
Garden in 2012
Running trotlines and juglines in 2011
Chickens and chicken coop project in 2012
Instead of trying to cover a lot of topics in the course of a year, I focus on a couple of main topics, then several smaller ones.
While my wife and I were building the chicken coop and caring for the chickens, we were also refining our food rotation system.
While we were making trotlines and juglines, we were also storing food in mylar bags.
The yearly project gives me time to do my research into a subject, then implement the project.
If my time was divided between several projects, my knowledge and research would not be very in-depth.
The purpose of the projects is to obtain knowledge on a given topic. A topic that will hopefully help my family and I survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.
One of the keys to prepping is to take everything in moderation.
People new to the community may feel that they have to buy thousands of dollars of freeze dried food, buy all kinds of firearms, buy a food rotation shelving system, get a bug out bag, buy a water filter,,,, and so on. There are great number of people who are driven out of the prepping/survivalist community because they think they “have” to buy all kids of stuff.
Your life should not wrap around survivalism, survivalism should wrap around your existing lifestyle.
One key is to keep your existing lifestyle as normal as possible, then incorporate parts of prepping and survivalism.
Have an empty spot in the backyard? Consider planting a garden.
Can you keep chickens on your property? If so, maybe build a chicken tractor and get some hens.
Can you collect rainwater? If so, build a rainwater system.
With those three things you have food, water and shelter at your home. Which are the basics of survivalism.
Nobody says you have to build a bomb shelter, nobody says you have to buy property in a rural area for a Bug Out Location. We do what we can, and that is all that can be expected.
Another key to maintaining a prepper lifestyle is to have fun with it. Nobody likes doing something they do not enjoy. The more enjoyment people get from something, the more likely they are to preform the activity.
Get the kids involved in growing food for the family, taking care of the chickens, building the rainwater barrels, hunting, fishing, camping,,, all the skills urban survivalist should have.
Rabbits and chickens teach children the basics of tending for livestock. What child does not like rabbits? A lot of people buy chicks for Easter only to be abandoned months later as the chicks turn into chickens. Instead of giving the chicks away, why not build a chicken coop and raise chickens.
The family gets to spend quality time together while everyone learns essential long term SHTF survival skills.
For example, some of the state parks in Texas do not require a fishing license if you are fishing from the bank. This provides an excellent opportunity for parents to introduce their children to camping and fishing at little cost, and in a safe environment.
Public hunting lands provide parents the opportunity to introduce their children to hunting, and at little cost.
Do you have primitive camping areas that border public hunting lands in your area?
Primitive camping areas near rivers, streams or lands provide an ideal area to practice survival skills.
If the campsite borders public hunting land, this gives the family a chance to hunt wild game.
Even if the children are not enthused with hunting, fishing or primitive camping, at least they will be exposed to nature and taught how to find their own food.
Once a year a buddy of mine and a couple of my kids spend 3 days camping on a local river. During those three days we spend time fishing, maybe do some hunting, and just enjoy nature.
Variety Is The Spice Of Life
Sometimes preppers develop tunnel vision where they focus on select topics.
People may get hung up stockpiling rice, stockpiling beans, stockpiling oats,,,. Its like an addiction to see how many pounds of rice they can store in mylar bags. After awhile they get bored, get burnt out and stop prepping.
Lets go back to my yearly projects. This provides me with a main topic for the year while I also spend time on other smaller projects.
Since every yearly project is different, I have something to look forward to every year. This keeps things mixed up so I do not get bored or burnt out.
My yearly project method may not work for everyone. To prevent prepping fatigue find a system that works for you. Keep things mixed up, add something new from time to time, have projects that get you outside and away from the computer.
We have covered fishing, hunting, gardening and livestock.
Depending on what you do on those primitive camping sites, maybe we could include foraging, tracking and trapping?
What else should we cover?
Related forum thread – How to Prevent Prepping Fatigue