If you watch the National Geographic show “Doomsday Preppers” you might think that the only way to really be a prepper is if you have tons of supplies like bullets and guns and emergency rations. The fact is, that many people who are genuine preppers do not always go to these extremes of buying supplies, yet they are really genuine preppers.

What makes you a prepper is an attitude about constantly acquiring skills, and not just supplies, in order to be prepared for any “SHTF” contingency. There is an old saying among backpackers that goes “the more skills and knowledge you carry in your head, the less gear you have to carry on your back.”

This is especially true with preppers. The person who goes hunting and camping on vacation instead of going to Disney World is prepping. The person who works on their own car doing routine maintenance is prepping. The person who cans their own food and learns to cook from scratch with staple items like flour, oats and dry milk instead of microwave meals is prepping.

Anything that you do that enables you to be tougher and more self sufficient and less reliant on the freezer section of the grocery store and your microwave is actually very valuable prepping.

To be a good prepper, you have to be thinking about prepping all the time. Even when you are traveling or commuting or at work away from your home. Even the most radical of the “Doomsday Preppers” is not at home with their supplies every hour of every day.

The fact is that you are most vulnerable when you are away from home. The good news is that when you are away you still have your skills and knowledge with you, along with your car. If you have a good emergency car kit with supplies to get you by for up to 72 hours if you can’t get home, then you are really ahead of a lot of the Doomsday Preppers!

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Mike Kuykendall, Prepping Consultant