For those of you who play golf, you understand that there is a sweet spot on your club face. When you hit the ball on that sweet spot, the ball goes straight and far. If you miss the sweet spot, the ball flies off at an unintended angle and doesn’t travel as far. Then it takes extra time and effort to get back on the fairway and get the ball in the hole.
Prepping to the sweet spot is a lot like hitting the ball on the sweet spot. It gets you to your goal quicker, less expensively, and with less effort. When you have a plan and know what you need, you can acquire those supplies, whether it is the right kind of food, water filters, sleeping bags, boots, tent, etc. If you don’t know what you need, or the right kind of item, you miss the sweet spot and end up buying too much, too little, the wrong size, the wrong kind, or something of poor quality that won’t last.
How to hit the sweet spot
Have a plan-know what you are prepping for. You can’t prepare for everything, so figure out what scenario you are prepping for and plan to that scenario. I cover this in an earlier blog post about the four lists of preparation, http://deluxecamping.com/blogs/news/19168099-expo-follow-up-and-four-lists-of-preparation
Don’t buy too much or too little. One of the challenges many preppers have is knowing for how many they are preparing. This is especially true for those that are planning on a “Gathering”. I have met many that have children and grandchildren and they don’t know if they will be gathering with them. Because of this, it is difficult to know how much gear and supplies to buy. Preparing for two is a much different scale than preparing for 20. For a family with multiple couples with children, the requirements for shelter, food, clothing, transportation, etc. can become overwhelming. Keep track of what you have and what you need. After you have what you need, you can get more as you feel prompted.
Prioritize – ABC. We can’t take everything with us and we don’t want to. The purpose of the gathering is to say farewell to Babylon, not take it with us. When making a list of potential preps, I suggest a simple ranking system that will help you get the most important things first, and if there is a choice of what to buy and bring, focus on the A items before the Bs and Cs. Here is the ranking with some examples. I realize what might be comfort for some might be survival for others (chocolate).
A – Survival (food, shelter, water, clothing, sleeping bags, sanitation)
B – Comfort (cots, sleeping pads, solar electrical system)
C – Luxury (padded tent floor)
Learn from others. There are experienced preppers that have made many mistakes. That’s how they became experienced. Learn from those who are willing to share so you can avoid those same mistakes. There are a number of blogs and YouTube channels that have very helpful information. Some that I have learned from are survivalblog.com, ldsavow.com, survialistboards.com, prepper-resources.com, LDSprepper.com on YouTube and some Facebook groups that are dedicated to prepping.
There are some vendors that are experienced preppers themselves and are selective in which products they carry, having tested several alternatives and selected that which they understand is best. I recently upgraded my solar system and had Grant Johnson of GetPreparedStuff.com help me determine and acquire the components I needed. Find a vendor that knows what they are doing and learn from them. I have spent time with many of my customers and shared with them what I have learned.
Attend trade shows: There are a number of prepper tradeshows around the country. Take advantage of these to attend the presentations and speak to the vendors. Go to the show with a plan of what you want to learn, instead of just wandering around and missing important presentations or vendors that you specifically need to speak with.
Prepare with wisdom and prudence. By prepping to the sweet spot you will be able to get ready faster, less expensively and more thoroughly than by just going out and buying stuff without a plan.