Many people come to prepping after learning a hard life lesson like sudden unemployment or a sudden disaster for which they weren’t ready. Some come to prepping because they anticipate troubles in the future. For many years and perhaps for many more years in the future, the prepping lifestyle has and will continue to be synonymous with conspiracy theories. In recent years, however, prepping has become more mainstream. There is greater awareness of the need to prep, but what happens when we prep for the worst and nothing ever happens? Have we wasted our time and energy?
Here are the top 10 benefits to prepping, though you may find yourself lucky enough to skirt disaster your whole life.
1- Unemployment, Finances & Savings
One in ten Americans were unemployed or otherwise out of work in 2020. If you were 1 of those 10, you had a heap less to worry about if you had some preps in place before the day came when you got laid off. It is estimated that over 70% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. Sudden unemployment and frustration of the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle are two big reasons many start prepping. The number one reason to prep even if nothing happens is that you reap the benefits financially. Having food stores on hand, buying in bulk, preparing your food, living within your means, and practicing good fiscal management practices all mean less money going out and more money in your pocket.
The average American spends around $3,000 a year eating out, and I think that is a low estimate. Considering most restaurants mark up the price around 300%, it is a huge savings just to get a handle on your food security. Add to this fewer last-minute trips to the store and buying in bulk when possible, and you add even more to your savings. Learn how to preserve, dehydrate, or can food, and you will ensure that your food doesn’t go to waste, and you will add hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars more to your savings.
It’s not just food, though. Add the “do-it-yourself” approach of prepping, and you’ll be more inclined to look up on YouTube how to change your car’s air filters and bulbs, how to garden, how to repair and upcycle items, maybe even how to mend or make your clothes or install your own solar. Once you start learning, it is hard to stop. Once you begin planning for the uncertainty of the future at all and removing both your dependency upon a fragile system and your indebtedness, both fundamental prepper philosophies, you will start to realize more money in your pockets and accounts. You will find life more comfortable, more certain, and more steady.
2- Retire Early
On average, you only get a little over seventy-five years on this planet. The more stress you take on from living in the chaos of the rat race, always trying to get to that next hill or to get that last apple, the further you reduce that life-expectancy. When you prep, you reap a lower stress level and higher savings. That could, potentially, allow you to retire earlier. This will enable you to enjoy those golden years rather than worry about the day-to-day.
According to one recent report, almost 64% of Americans will retire broke. That means almost 2/3rd of Americans aren’t sufficiently prepared. This also assumes that social security will be there forever and that the cost of living will be steady, and there won’t be any period of hyperinflation. It assumes the dollar will be stable and robust and that no national disasters will befall us. That’s a lot of assumptions if you ask me.
The prepper, though, is planning for the future, more apt to get finances in order and saving for the future. This allows many to retire earlier than 65 years of age. When done well, prepping can set you up to enjoy potentially more than just ten years post-retirement.
3- Always Supplied
When you prep, you are always supplied. You don’t have to worry about running out of anything. Think of all the time you will save not having to run out to the store once or twice a week. The planning you put into your supplies and food stores keeps you out of peak shopping hours, so you’re less stressed and better able to focus your shopping on the things you truly need. Imagine never having to make an emergency trip to the store for toilet paper, shampoo, or medicine.
When the power goes out, or you have to stay indoors even temporarily, you don’t have to panic about not having anything to eat, electricity, or running water. You have supplies to carry you through any minor disturbance and the peace of mind that you can sustain you and yours through greater tragedies that may emerge.
You will find that sometimes prepping leaves you with more than you can even handle on your own. Being well supplied puts you in an excellent position to help or share with others. In return, you may find that they are inclined to give back to you or share with you. You can build a sense of community when you prep, and we all get through life better when we do it together.
Being self-sufficient is one of the most satisfying aspects of prepping. Knowing that you can do things for yourself and you will be okay regardless of the situation brings an incredible sense of peace. When you see other systems fall apart, you know you will be able to work around those things. Prepping allows you to be more confident in life, more assured of yourself, and calmer.
Decreasing your dependency on systems that might someday fail or people who may one day let you down and leave you hanging means you plod along in life, continually making progress. What stops others in their tracks is merely a minor impediment to you that is easily overcome. Self-sufficiency allows you to continually improve your life while others struggle and muck about in the day-to-day. Whether you move to the woods to live deliberately or you live in a sky-rise urban apartment, adding a layer of self-sufficiency onto your life, even a thin layer, will improve your life immeasurably.
5- Connecting with the Past
Your great-grandparents, by virtue of the way they lived, were technically preppers. Only in modern times have we become overly dependent upon others and have lost much of our “can do” and “will do” approach to problems. It seems we rush to the future and disregard our past. Many of us need to look no further than a generation or two back to find ancestors who got it done, milked every ounce of sunlight out of a day, and worked both smarter and more efficiently.
Look to their notes, their recipes, their equipment, their words, and their wisdom. Don’t let all they learned and did go to waste and disappear with your generation. That doesn’t have to be your family alone, though some of us may have had grandparents that could fix or mend anything. You can study old books, old methods of doing things, seek out elderly experts, and connect with our collective past. You will find that prepping in this way will make your appreciation of today even richer.
6- Transportation Failure
Do you ever fear breaking down in your car or being lost somewhere? If you prep and carry an EDC bag in your car or with you, you won’t be afraid of those things any longer. They may happen, or they may never happen, but you’ll have what you need on you to walk with aplomb right through them.
Others will suffer from elevated stress, anxiety, or even panic attacks, but you will know your prepping has bought you some time to make it through this little setback. You will be able to think more clearly and return to your safe life since you will have the basics of what you need right with you.
7- Situational Awareness
Prepping is about looking into the future. It’s about figuring out what is a real threat to your safety and what isn’t. Most people don’t think of the world like that. The fact that you do allows you to look at the world with greater situational awareness. Haven’t we all wished we saw something coming before it happened? Do you wish you could have foreseen the actions of that person who did you wrong? Do you wish you could have read the writing on the wall to anticipate your company’s last round of layoffs? When you increase your situational awareness, you increase your chances of anticipating what is coming your way.
The prepper’s eyes are cast to the horizon. You are looking into the future by clearly looking at the present world and your current circumstances. You are more in the moment, so your sense of situational awareness is increased. You won’t see everything because that is not possible. Still, you will, hopefully, be aware enough to avoid any danger and possibly have sufficient enough forward vision to stay a step ahead of any setbacks.
8- Stress Reduction – Calm in a Crisis
There is a sense of peace that goes along with prepping. You have already run possible scenarios in your head as you have prepped, so you aren’t surprised when life throws you a curveball or a screwball or one to the head. This sense of peace reduces your overall stress in life. Reducing stress can lower the harmful levels of cortisol in your body. That can, according to lots of research, lead to a longer life.
Being calm in a crisis is another benefit of prepping. When others begin to panic, you are already well into the implementation of your survival plan. Minor troubles become mere setbacks and are less likely to shock your life. Again, imagine losing your job as a prepper versus losing your job living paycheck-to-paycheck with a high cost of living and daily expenditure. It’s still going to be stressful because uncertainty in life always is, but there is a calmness when you know some of the basics are still going to be there.
9- Make the Right Decisions When Others are Panicking
Even if a disaster is perceived, there will be runs on stores, and fragile infrastructure systems can go down. We saw that clearly in the year 2020. When you prep, you remove yourself from that chaos. You can see the real threats while others are in a fierce fight for the last rolls of toilet paper or the last bottle of disinfectant.
While others are looking for the basics, you can be grabbing up those things you know you will need that others won’t immediately think of. If you need to bug-in or bug-out, you will be more likely to know when to do that. You probably won’t have to make a panicked decision about it. Your life choices will be better when they are not life or death or fused with an element of panic. Your level headed thinking will lead to better decisions.
10- Health & Fitness
Health and overall fitness are some of the most overlooked aspects of prepping, but they are one of the most significant benefits to you, even if nothing ever goes wrong in your life. As I have said in some of my other videos, no tool will get you through a crisis better than the tool of your body and mind. Your well-being is tied to your health and fitness, and your health and fitness should be intrinsic to your prepping.
Many people have neglected their health and fitness when it naturally seemed in abundance in their youth to find themselves unable to enjoy their mid to late years. When you spend time making a point of walking every day, meditating, swimming, jogging, or any other things that build your health and fitness, you store up for yourself reserves of energy to be used later on in life. You are more apt to be able to chase those grandkids or teach them how to fish or bake or otherwise do for themselves in life as you have done. The rewards of that are immeasurable.
So, if the big one never comes, if life never throws you anything worse than a curveball, will it still have been worth your time to prep? Well, there are just ten reasons why it is in your best interest to do so. From getting in touch with your past and deepening the meaning and purpose of your life to saving money and possibly retiring earlier, there are many benefits to being thrifty, self-sufficient, and prepared for the difficulties that inevitably are a part of life.
What do you see as the most critical reason to prep though nothing may ever happen?
As always, stay safe out there.