How to Know When You’re Prepping Too Much

Organizing ToysHurricane, tornadoes, power outages, the zombie apocalypse: they’re all great reasons to start prepping for an uncertain future. Storing supplies and learning new skills is almost always a useful thing, and can be an enjoyable family activity in your spare time. No one knows exactly how many preppers there are in America, as they tend to be very secretive, but it’s becoming more common and well-known since the advent of National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers television series. When it comes to prepping, there’s being prepared and there’s crazy, over-the-top obsession. How can you tell when you’ve gone too far?

You Can Fit a Small Town in Your Bugout Home

Some preppers go so far as to buy a separate property far from civilization, to be used as a home base once society collapses, as can be learned about on MissileBases.com. The most intense of these preppers are buying entire decommissioned missile bases including underground homes and entire silos designed to become housing for hundreds of people.

Everything Looks Like a Prepper Item

When you see a Macy’s sale and all you can conjure up in your mind are ways that you can use those goods to prep your home, you know you’ve gone down the prepper rabbit hole. From kitchenware to jewelry, you could use anything in an emergency.

The MRE Sellers Call You

The government changes flavors and ingredients in their Meals Ready to Eat, or MREs, each year, according to MREInfo.com. The meals are good for years when stored correctly, and many of the favorite flavors are repeated year after year. Some folks are obsessed with getting the newest flavors every single year, just like collecting baseball cards. If your MRE dealer calls you to let you know new flavors are coming in, you might be a little too invested in the process.

You Know 9 Ways to Start a Fire

Learning new skills is half the work of being a prepper, and knowing how to start a fire without a match or lighter can be one of the most basic skills of all. All those 9 methods are going to be useless, though, unless you also know how to find items to burn and how to filter water to boil. It’s much better to learn the basics for many different skills than to become an expert at one. Stock books that instruct on more elaborate skills and save specialization for when you’ve hooked up with a larger permanent group.

You’ll Have the Ingredients for Your 90th Birthday Cake

Stocking up every time you find a sale on a storeable food item is a good idea, and a great way to begin the prepping process. However, buying enough of one food to last 25 years is another. The average commercially canned food is good for no more than 5 years, and even military MREs shouldn’t be eaten after 10 years at most, according to a study from Utah State University. It makes no sense to create a giant bunker filled with jars of peanut butter and cans of beans when you could use the space for something more sustainable, such as seeds and gardening tools. You’ll have to produce your own food eventually in a total collapse, and you’ll never need tons of food in a shorter emergency, so diversifying is a much smarter use of your time and money.