As preppers, we tend to focus primarily on gear and storage. While there’s nothing wrong with either of those, and both are absolutely necessary, the third vital leg of the “Prepper Three Legged Stool” is skills. What you have stored internally in your mind & muscle memory, or at least available on quick recall, is equally as important as the first two legs. We’re going to go beyond just acquiring skills though – this post is going to urge actually taking some formal training, not just teaching yourself or learning through watching YouTube plus trial & error.
We just had Christmas about a month ago, and if you’re like many preppers, you likely received some preparedness related gear as a gift. It’s tempting to think “ok, I can cross that off my list now”, keep it boxed up, and squirrel it away into your garage, shed, barn, or wherever you stash your gear. It is then very likely to either never get tried out, or sit idle for a long period of time before being rediscovered. This is a bad idea for several reasons.
Something Ain’t Right
The gear may be defective or not function how you expect. Most things have a limited time return policy, so if something is defective, you risk in the best case scenario not being able to return it to the store for a credit. In the worst case, if it’s something you’re depending on for survival such as a generator, piece of medical equipment, or solar panel kit, you don’t want to find out it doesn’t work on the day the power goes out for an extended period of time and you absolutely were counting on it. That new pre-built bug out bag looks very stylish and holds a ton of stuff, but unless you go out for a hike carrying it, you won’t know if it will be too heavy, be durable enough to last, suitably protect your gear from rain/snow, or rub a raw spot on your shoulder because it just doesn’t fit quite right.