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Sooner or later everyone in the prepping/survivalist community deals with prepping fatigue. Whether you have been prepping for a year, two years, ten years or twenty plus years, sooner or later you are going to get fatigued.

Due to the way I was raised by my parents, the way my grandparents lived on a small farm, and the atmosphere of the cold war in the 1970s, I would say my parents and grandparents conditioned me to be a prepper.

To me, survivalism is a way of life rather then a hobby.

Some people get into prepping like they do a lot of other things. Whether its getting in shape, going back to school, jogging, working out, stop smoking, stop drinking,,, most people are sincere in their actions.

Then they realize how much time and effort prepping can take. For some people its a matter of buying some canned goods and bottled water. Then there are the people who allow their lives to be consumed.

Like everything else in life, balance comes with moderation.

A few ways I deal with prepping fatigue

Yearly Projects – My wife and I talk about and decide what we would like to do for the year.

2008 – Hurricane Ike, had no choice on that one
2009 – random stuff, such as backpacking
2010 – gardening and camping
2011 – juglines and trotlines, storing food in mylar bags
2012 – chickens and chicken coop
2013 – we are thinking rabbits

I do the research through the last months of the year and into the first months of the next year. When the time comes the project is set into motion.

Garden in 2012


Running trotlines and juglines in 2011


Chickens and chicken coop project in 2012


Instead of trying to cover a lot of topics in the course of a year, I focus on a couple of main topics, then several smaller ones.

While my wife and I were building the chicken coop and caring for the chickens, we were also refining our food rotation system.

While we were making trotlines and juglines, we were also storing food in mylar bags.

The yearly project gives me time to do my research into a subject, then implement the project.

If my time was divided between several projects, my knowledge and research would not be very in-depth.

The purpose of the projects is to obtain knowledge on a given topic. A topic that will hopefully help my family and I survive a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation.

Moderation

One of the keys to prepping is to take everything in moderation.

People new to the community may feel that they have to buy thousands of dollars of freeze dried food, buy all kinds of firearms, buy a food rotation shelving system, get a bug out bag, buy a water filter,,,, and so on. There are great number of people who are driven out of the prepping/survivalist community because they think they “have” to buy all kids of stuff.

Your life should not wrap around survivalism, survivalism should wrap around your existing lifestyle.

One key is to keep your existing lifestyle as normal as possible, then incorporate parts of prepping and survivalism.

Have an empty spot in the backyard? Consider planting a garden.

Can you keep chickens on your property? If so, maybe build a chicken tractor and get some hens.

Can you collect rainwater? If so, build a rainwater system.

With those three things you have food, water and shelter at your home. Which are the basics of survivalism.

Nobody says you have to build a bomb shelter, nobody says you have to buy property in a rural area for a Bug Out Location. We do what we can, and that is all that can be expected.

Have Fun

Another key to maintaining a prepper lifestyle is to have fun with it. Nobody likes doing something they do not enjoy. The more enjoyment people get from something, the more likely they are to preform the activity.

Get the kids involved in growing food for the family, taking care of the chickens, building the rainwater barrels, hunting, fishing, camping,,, all the skills urban survivalist should have.

Rabbits and chickens teach children the basics of tending for livestock. What child does not like rabbits? A lot of people buy chicks for Easter only to be abandoned months later as the chicks turn into chickens. Instead of giving the chicks away, why not build a chicken coop and raise chickens.

The family gets to spend quality time together while everyone learns essential long term SHTF survival skills.

For example, some of the state parks in Texas do not require a fishing license if you are fishing from the bank. This provides an excellent opportunity for parents to introduce their children to camping and fishing at little cost, and in a safe environment.

Public hunting lands provide parents the opportunity to introduce their children to hunting, and at little cost.

Do you have primitive camping areas that border public hunting lands in your area?

Primitive camping areas near rivers, streams or lands provide an ideal area to practice survival skills.

If the campsite borders public hunting land, this gives the family a chance to hunt wild game.

Even if the children are not enthused with hunting, fishing or primitive camping, at least they will be exposed to nature and taught how to find their own food.

Once a year a buddy of mine and a couple of my kids spend 3 days camping on a local river. During those three days we spend time fishing, maybe do some hunting, and just enjoy nature.

Variety Is The Spice Of Life

Sometimes preppers develop tunnel vision where they focus on select topics.

People may get hung up stockpiling rice, stockpiling beans, stockpiling oats,,,. Its like an addiction to see how many pounds of rice they can store in mylar bags. After awhile they get bored, get burnt out and stop prepping.

Lets go back to my yearly projects. This provides me with a main topic for the year while I also spend time on other smaller projects.

Since every yearly project is different, I have something to look forward to every year. This keeps things mixed up so I do not get bored or burnt out.

My yearly project method may not work for everyone. To prevent prepping fatigue find a system that works for you. Keep things mixed up, add something new from time to time, have projects that get you outside and away from the computer.

In review

we have covered livestock, hunting, gardening, fishing, shooting,,, what else do we need to touch on?
 

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TY for posting, I kind of slacked off this past summer since my parents were visiting, and although I didn't loose power from Sandy, I was scrambling the day before to get a few things in order when I should have been able to sit back and relax.
 

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Great post !

Been doing this disaster "Prepping" since 1999 as a full lifestyle myself..., homesteading for 37 years now.

Turned into a fulltime job of organic and permacultural farming existence, with some self defense practice on the side.

I got the idea after spending time in an Israeli border Kibbutz... a hoe in one hand and an Uzi in the other! :thumb:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kibbutz


Gardens & pastures, off-grid solar house (1975), rootcellar/bunker (2005), overwintered veggies.

"Getting away from the computer" like you said, is the key! I was a disciple of Scott Nearing 1975 up here when I moved to Maine, and he said "if you don't put in at least 6 hours of honest hard work every day, you're NOT going to make it." -It's true I've seen a lot of would-be homesteaders come and go... back to the city and the "easy" life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_and_Scott_Nearing
 

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Land of the free my....
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To me, survivalism is a way of life rather then a hobby.
Same for us. My wife has her projects outside of our prepping / survivalist activities, I on the other hand didn't until recently. I started taking Sunday as a day of rest, watching NFL football (could careless who wins), and just relaxing. No thinking "I need to do this or that", just focusing on the family and taking it easy.

Good reminder to have balance in ones life.
 

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Super Moderator and Walking Methane Refinery
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One thing I found that really helped me avoid prepper fatigue is to stop getting caught up in all the "the world is going to end tomorrow" crap. I just go on preparing for "whatever might happen" and don't bother with predictions (which never come true anyway) and scenarios. Most things that happen are either relatively predictable such as a storm coming in, or quite unpredictable such as the flooding we had here in the dry desert south back in 2006. Handling the predictable is easy, and spending time trying to predict that which can't be predicted does nothing but cause stress.

Secondly, whenever I'd feel burned out. I'd just stop for a while. Step back and look at what I had already achieved. Notice how much farther along I was since the last time I did it. This gives a solid sense of accomplishment.

Also, I learned to set smaller goals. Instead of setting a year food supply goal for example. I might set a month. Then when that was achieved, set three months, etc. Smaller goals lead to the same end, without the feeling of hopelessness that accompanies the larger ones.
 

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Admittedly, I have to take breaks from prepping. If I thought about this prepping stuff all the time, that would drive me "insane", which kind of defeats the purpose. ;) Right now, work is taking up much of my time so that is my excuse.
 

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I've dealt with this too. It gets discouraging at times when Prepping limits your dating life. Not many women on the fish site are looking for preppers. BUT I'm remionded why I do this when something like hurricanes Irene and Sandy blow through the area.
 

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This is timely for me. I've recently met a few of my shorter term prepping goals, but have been really stressing over how much I still want and need to do. I almost had a panic attack in a store yesterday when I decided to imagine what it would be like if it was the last time I could shop. Panic isn't conducive to survival, and neither is freaking out.

In my case, this also includes figuring out how to return to part of the farm I grew up on, on a tight budget and plenty of regulations. Grumble! Then how will I defend it? And on and on and on.

So, yeah, I've been up late ruminating over how to do everything I want under some sort of pressured deadline. I'm doing this by myself too (single parent who also helps an aging parent of my own), which is great in many ways, but I think it does mean taking care not to burn out. I can't hand the reins over to someone else, so I see now that I may occasionally have to put them down, and take short breaks.

I also have to admit that I may never be Fully Prepared for every possible scenario. I don't want to admit this. I have control issues...LOL. :)
 

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I worked on a larger project his year with a long fence project................... and Sandy booted me in the butt to finish yard cleanup before it arrived... now to make a list of winter/spring projects (which will include making a list of summer projects)
 

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I have found three things key to avoiding prepper fatigue:

1) Set aside the "pet scenario" ideas. This include everything from your own pet theory on what will bring about TEOTWAWKI to the cultural and media pushed ideas (Y2K, the Mayan Prophesies, etc). I am not saying you should not work toward the ones you think most likely; I for example live in an area especially vulnerable to earthquakes. I prep with that in mind, but I don't focus only on it.

2) Switch it up often. I try to do some prepping work every day, but I make sure I do not focus on just one thing (such as Food Supplies or the like). I mix it up not only during the day but over the week. I put in some time on many prep projects and needs rather than one, then the other, then the other, etc.

3) Accept that EVERYONE feels prep fatigue at some point. The longer you do prep, the more likely you are to experience the sense of prep fatigue. Feel it, recognize it for the simple and temporary sense of burn out it is, and move on.
 

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A journey of 1000 miles starts with one humble foot step, then followed by yet another one and so on until you arrive at your destination finally. Preping is much the same way. Rome wasnt built in a day and your not going to be prepared in a couple of weeks unless you just got more money than Warren Buffet!

What I have done is gradually over the years built myself up to a sound footing. I did this by buying a couple of things at the grocery store and stashing it away. I bought a box or two of ammunition every pay day. I remained patience and bought a gun here and one there when the price was right and I was staring down the barrel at a great deal too good to pass up. I assembled three days worth of stuff initially. Then my goal became a week, then it became a month etc... After a few years I found that I had accumulated quiet the stash of goodies and standing on solid ground.

Like Kev for me it too is a life style. I rarely buy anything that doesnt serve a second purpose at least for surviving or being more self sufficient in some way. Nor do I attempt to keep up with the Jones's. Im a focused and steady as she goes kind of guy.
 

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hunter, survivor, patriot
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2013 –

we are thinking rabbits


Rabbits and chickens teach children the basics of tending for livestock. What child does not like rabbits? A lot of people buy chicks for Easter only to be abandoned months later as the chicks turn into chickens. Instead of giving the chicks away, why not build a chicken coop and raise chickens.
Have you done much research on the rabbit thing? I raised them in 4H, and hunted them too. Rotating hutch areas and disposing of poop, along with dealing with amonia stench is important considerations.

Also the act of killing the rabbits and processing the meat are factors too. My cousin shoots them in the head with a .22 revolver using CB caps. My grandfather just wacked them in the head with a hammer. Would love to discuss this more with you. PM me and I'll send you my e-mail.
 

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Have you done much research on the rabbit thing? I raised them in 4H, and hunted them too. Rotating hutch areas and disposing of poop, along with dealing with amonia stench is important considerations.
Rabbit poo and pee are great garden fertilizers. So I don't see it as a negative that needs disposed of, but rather yet another positive to raising rabbits.
 

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[big snip]In review

we have covered livestock, hunting, gardening, fishing, shooting,,, what else do we need to touch on?
First Aid?
 

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Rabbit poo and pee are great garden fertilizers. So I don't see it as a negative that needs disposed of, but rather yet another positive to raising rabbits.

True, but it is very time consuming and either someone has be assigned the task (like kids, wife, or older members of the group) or it cuts into the everyday dutiess of a person.

AND they have to be sheltered and fed EVEN in extreme cold and or blizzrads. I'm not trying discourage anyone, meerly pointing out what I learned from experience.

My approach (on paper) would be to assign the task to the people I above mentioned and do the killing or processing myself.

Putting the the hutches either in a shed or a wire pen (with barbwire and alert cans stung along) to deal with predators, 2 and 4 legged.
 

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I found myself succumbing to this "prepping fatigue" over the past year or so. When first I stumbled into this forum,years ago, I was all way into the scene, and stayed that way for a couple years, but then I kinda hit the plateau. But in the past few months, I'm not even sure why, I've been hit with a mild sense of urgency ( not sure that even makes sense,LOL!)
I've made a couple more ammo and LDS orders, and have again been counceling freinds and family to at least stock up on the stuff they use daily. I make the easy case that "ain't nuthin' getting cheaper", so assuming further inflation,a big purchase of toilet paper and razor blades will pay off better than the friggin' stock market !!! THAT argument seems to get a little traction.
 

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Good thread. It's easy to get overwhelmed if you're like me and focus too heavily on one thing. I found myself in this situation when focusing on food and have currently gotten myself to the point that I have enough canned food for a few months. I have found that this is about the amount I need to store on hand to cycle them in time for the expiry date. I'm not worried about that sort of thing but it's nice to know how long it would take me to use my food and still be within the "suggested date" on the cans. I know I could quickly store much more than that; double or even triple - but I spend more time now on home improvement. I'm like MilDot. The sense of urgency has really kicked in lately. I'm sure the election has absolutely nothing to do with it :/

These projects have given me more than I originally thought it would. Growing up I wasn't much inclined to work on anything I didn't know how to do, not understanding the benefit of that knowledge and not caring. Now, however, I wish I would have done it sooner. My wife and I bought a house in 2009 that is in pretty good shape for its' age (built in 1900). For whatever reason, it has gone the last 112 years without much insulation in the attic. This has been my project for the past few months. Since I can't afford much in the way of insulation - it's expensive - I typically buy 4 bundles of it at a time and make my way into the attic to lay it. It sucks, but in a strange way, it's fun.

Another project I'll probably add to the list in the near future is water pipes and sewer lines. My main floor toilet sucks and that'll get replaced with the highest gpf, most badass toilet I can find. I despise the economy toilets and think they are crap ;). I take dumps the size of a school bus and I don't want this thing to even be remotely at risk of clogging. During this project, I think a large water tank in my basement will be installed and I'm not sure how it'll be done but I want to incorporate it to my incoming water so I will not only have the hot water heater to fall back on but a moderate sized tank as well. Ideas are welcome.

Ive found that it's better to scatter the gun/ammo/food preps in between projects like these because it keeps my mind fresh and allows for variation in project. Also, I don't get burned out looking for guns and ammo (if that were possible) and wont kill myself doing project after project w/o rest in between. It's like exercise - if you run all the time, eventually you'll get burned out and quit. If you lift weights all the time, eventually you'll get bored with it and quit that too. As Tony Horton says, variety is the spice of live.
 

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Stay the Course
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I haven't hit fatigue yet, more like a little ovewhelmed. The advice to step back and seek balance works for both. Thanks.
I kept falling into the same thing, being overwhelmed.

The best thing I've found is persue another hobby for a few days. Personally I'll play video games or something. Get my mind off of it and then come back to it a day or two later.
 

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Internal Prepping

I recently wrote an article on my site about "Internal Prepping" entitled, "Look In The Mirror".

It basically talks about how preppers tend to overemphasize gear and stockpiling ammo.

It would seem to me that developing oneself physically and mentally could prove to be more important to surviving emergency situations and dealing with stress in general.

I would like to see this covered more in this site.

Les
 
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