I always make the joke that if you have hoarding tendencies, become a prepper. That way you actually hoard useful things and are organized about it.
Stockpiling supplies tends to be the core practice of preppers and survivalists. Although it is true that “the more you know, the less you carry”, many find themselves making stashes of supplies. Whether it be large or small, there are many things to consider when stockpiling.
Variable #1: Why?
This is an important question to ask yourself once you start stocking up. Why are you doing it? Is it realistic for you to do so? Can you keep track of what you stock? These are all important questions, and none should stress you out. FEMA recommends stocking at least 3 days worth of non perishables and other necessities in your household. However, when you talk to other preppers and survivalists, they say you should stock at least 1 years’ worth of supplies, which leads me to my next variable.
Variable #2: Space
Depending on your living situation, how much space you have will play a very important role in what you can stockpile. Most people do not have the space to stock 1 year of food, water, medicine, hygiene products, ammo, gear, entertainment, and so on. It truly is a challenge to find space to have your dream stockpile of supplies, and many people are limited to the size equivalent of a closet. When I was in my freshman year of college, I had a walk-in closet in my college apartment that I used to stock food and water. Living in Florida where hurricanes are an annual event, stocking supplies makes sense. However, I could really only stock 3 days’ worth of supplies for myself. Stocking the needs for a family is a bigger challenge. If I had a vacuum sealer with a bunch of rice and beans, I could’ve stocked more. However, that was not a permanent residence for me, and moving stockpiles is a pain. Always consider your space, and how to utilize it.
Variable #3: Budget
This is the variable that many people shy away from. Making a years’ worth stockpile is an expensive endeavor, which limits many people to stocking enough only for 3 days to 1 month. If you have a family, expect to pay even more money for building your supplies. There are ways to do it on a budget, like every time you make a trip to the grocery, dedicate a small portion of what you bought to the stockpile. You’ll have to look at not only the supplies themselves, but also storage solutions such as bins, shelves, vacuum sealers, and replacing expired or spoiled supplies. what you stock can also affect how much you spend. Medicine can be expensive, ammo is expensive depending on the kind you stock, and other special needs supplies like insulin can also be very expensive. This brings us to our next variable: your stockpile is an investment and should be treated as one.
Variable #4: It Is an Investment
Your stockpile is an investment. Much like buying a house or stocks, there is risk in that investment. One of those risks is that you can lose that investment. No matter how many supplies you stock, what you stock, and how well you upkeep it, it cannot change the possibility that you can lose it all once the happening happens. You can never predict what disaster can take place around where you live, or when societal collapse may happen, and how big those events will be. There are simply too many possibilities and factors to give a definite prediction on what will occur. Therefore, you need to look at your stash and ask yourself, “Can I leave all of this behind?” There is a chance that you’ll need to leave your home and take only what you can carry, or that your stash will either be destroyed or stolen. Your stockpile will have massive rewards and give you a sense of ease the next time you see that massive storm on the radar, while everyone else is at Walmart frantically buying supplies.
Variable #5: Can You Be Discreet About Your Stash?
One of the most common mistakes a prepper makes is bragging about their stash. When you tell people that you stock emergency supplies, and they say, “oh well then if anything happens I’m coming to your house!” as a joke, they aren’t joking. If a disaster were to happen, those people who know that you have a stash will inevitably bang on your front door. If you have the space and enough supplies for them, then it’s not that big of a deal. However, you would most likely only prep for either yourself and/or your family. Adding your neighbor’s family of 4 to the mix may complicate things. Remember: nice people get hungry too. Hunger eventually brings out desperation, and desperation turns friendly folk into unfriendly folk. If you stockpile emergency supplies, don’t tell people unless you trust them.
Although stockpiling can be a fun endeavor, remember that there is a lot to consider. Your stockpiling experience is dependent on your needs, wants, and expectations. If any of you fellow readers have other considerations or tips and tricks up your sleeve, then please comment below!