Preparedness Should Allow You to Live in PEACE, Not Hide in FEAR

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Build a Better Pantry on a Budget online course

Prepping is a lifestyle, but it shouldn’t take over your life to the exclusion of all else.

Things are pretty stressful in the world today, and a lot of people in the preparedness niche, myself included, are urging others to get prepared. This has been an eventful year. And by eventful, I mean like that Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

We have trouble in our economy, trouble in the White House, and people are at each other’s throats for differing opinions, while mainstream media enthusiastically fans the flames.

You still need to live your life.

But despite all of this, I can’t express strongly enough how important it is to live your life. You need things in your life outside of prepping. The “hide in the bunker” mentality is not healthy at this point in time. Preparedness and survival skills should allow you to live in peace, not in fear.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently on an extended research trip to Europe with at least a dozen countries on the list. It has been marvelous and I couldn’t possibly be happier. (If you want to follow along, go here for photos and observations.) My inbox has been full of messages since I announced it, many wishing me well and others telling me that they were unsubscribing.

But this gives me joy, hones my skills, and feeds my soul. Whether I’m swimming in a warm Aegean-blue sea, getting windblown at the Acropolis, and breathing in the damp, fresh smell of a tropical forest, soaking in an amazing view, or gazing at the same stars on a foreign mountain, I’m living. And only I can choose the “right” way to do that.

The same goes for you, too.

My goal has always been to help others. I have had a lot of wonderful experiences, living in a cabin in the Algonquin Forest, homesteading in California, and traveling with my daughters. But there’s one thing I really want to stress to people in the prepping community because I’m watching so many people go completely overboard. This is not mentally healthy. It makes me sad to see people living fearfully and that isn’t what preparedness is all about.

If I can only make one difference in your life, let it be this:

You need to live. Not hide. Don’t let the problems of other people cause you to miss out on experiences, the memories of which could one day carry you through exceedingly difficult times. You only get a finite period of time on this planet, and I plead with you not to spend that time hiding from the world. 

I want to share a few thoughts for preppers about this topic.

Know what you love to do.

Traveling is my thing – it always has been. I’m a restless soul and love nothing more than seeing sights previously unseen. If you take away this part of me, you take away the things that give me the most joy. Getting out there and exploring keeps me feeling younger and healthier.

However, a life of non-stop travel is not for everyone and I’m not suggesting this specifically for everyone. Maybe you enjoy fine dining from time to time. Perhaps you participate in a sport. Maybe you like going to the movies and seeing things on the big screen. Do you like to visit gun shows or prepper expos or homesteading fairs? Perhaps you enjoy concerts or renaissance faires or civil war re-enactments or sports.

Whatever it is that you love to do, embrace it. Work it into your budget. Don’t let worries of restaurants being a “waste” of money, sporting events being blown up, or theaters being shot up seize your joy. Stop worrying about being “on a list” when you go to events and go make some friends who think the way you do.

Just budget for these things you love and go do them. No reasonable prepper will think less of you for it. If someone does say to you, “How can you be a prepper and still do X activity?” you tell them that being a prepper means you live in confidence, not in fear. You don’t have to conform to anyone else’s idea of what preparedness looks like.

Use common sense.

Obviously, when going to places where there could be large groups of people or where you are unfamiliar with the area, you have to use common sense. I prefer the edges of the crowds so I can leave quickly. I don’t drink too much alcohol in unfamiliar places. I am watchful and alert. You can still soak in all the details while maintaining awareness.

You should go do wonderful things but not at the expense of your common sense. No matter where you are, you are still a self-reliant person who is situationally aware. Don’t just go to a concert and stop paying attention to the world around you.

You’re far more likely to be killed by someone you know than by a random stranger. Statistically, it’s extremely unlikely that you will be a victim of a terrorist attack. There’s only a 1 in 3,269,432 chance of dying in one. To me, these numbers are not enough to keep me home.

So, don’t get into an altered state, pay attention, and be ready to make a speedy exit if necessary.

Have more than one skill set.

After I took Selco’s course last year, I really saw the difference between prepping and survival as skill sets. It’s essential to have more than one skill set.

Sure, I’m good at canning and growing vegetables and raising chickens.

But I’m also good at being less noticeable in a crowd, navigating through unfamiliar city streets, and doing my research. I’m not going to go to the city square if protests are occurring. I know where I’m going if things go sideways. I always have an exit plan and more than one way to get from points A to B. And traveling internationally just makes me better at these things.

I learned in Croatia how to hide, how to move with stealth, and how to avoid charging into danger. Am I great at it? Definitely not. I’m no Jason Bourne. But just knowing these things puts me far ahead of most other people, which can be a massive advantage. The more skills and knowledge you have, the better off you’ll be if something goes terribly wrong.

Having the skills of a prepper and the skills of a survivalist is essential. You can’t be a one-trick pony. It’s just as likely you’ll be away from the homestead picking up supplies or going to a doctor’s appointment when things go wrong as it is that you’ll be at home, watching all hell break loose via the internet.

Trust your instincts.

If you think things are about to go sideways, they probably are. Our instincts are there for a reason and sometimes our subconscious mind can pick up on anomalies far sooner than our conscious one. The absolute best book I’ve ever read on this topic is The Gift of Fear. Get it for yourself and get it for the people about whom you care, because the best defense is respecting your own intuition.

The other thing is to watch “baseline.” This is a term I learned from the book Left of Bang. “Baseline” is normal behavior and activity levels for the place you are.  Have you ever been out in the forest when the birds are chirping and the squirrels are frolic, then suddenly it goes completely quiet? There are all sorts of reasons this might happen (maybe even because of you) but one major one is that they’ve sensed the presence of a predator. This is a change in baseline.

You can notice something similar in urban environments too. If suddenly every local person grabs their children and they go inside, baseline has changed. If you are walking through a park on a hot day in the summer and you see a guy in a heavy parka looking nervously around, this is definitely NOT baseline.

When you see something that is not baseline, your spidey senses should tingle and it’s time to make a decision whether or not you need to get out.

Wherever you go, whatever you’re doing, pay attention to what baseline is so that you’re more likely to notice if it changes.

Step outside your comfort zone a little.

I see so many people of late telling me they never get too far from home in case something goes horribly wrong. They don’t go to concerts or movies or restaurants. They don’t travel. They miss important occasions like the wedding of a loved one because it isn’t inside their comfort zone.

This isn’t what life is all about.

When people think preppers are “weird” this is what they’re thinking about. And I can understand why they wouldn’t want to join our ranks if they feel as though we eschew fun for safety. Wouldn’t you rather travel to see a loved one to spend time with them now, instead of traveling to their funeral later, regretting that you didn’t go sooner?

It’s perfectly normal to travel, to take the kids to an amusement park, to attend a wedding in another state. It does not mean you have given up on preparedness. It just means you’re prepped and you are enjoying your life.

It isn’t freedom to hide from the world.

This article isn’t targeted to the folks who have their little piece of rural paradise that is so perfect they legitimately do not want to leave it. I completely understand that. This is written for the people who yearn to have experiences, but feel as though it’s at odds with preparedness.

It’s not.

You don’t have to stay home because there might be a mass shooter, you might have to go through a TSA check, or there could be a terror attack.

You know how we all love that quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin? “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

We always think of this in terms of giving up our liberty and letting the government make new laws to “protect” us.  But you can use this same quote in the context I’m describing here. Isn’t it essential liberty to be able to go about our business, traveling, visiting friends, listening to music? I’m not saying that homebodies don’t “deserve” liberty or safety. I’m saying that just staying home isn’t going to protect you. I’ve seen quite a few war-torn places and homes got hit as hard as public venues.

Instead of turning down invitations and opportunities, why not go out and build some memories? As Selco has said many times, the memories you build now will help you through difficult times later. You can still be a prepper and enjoy all the world has to offer.

Hiding in a theoretical bunker is not freedom.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Picture of Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • One of the biggest issues I faced and still continue to struggle with and against, was setting budget limitations on my purchases. It quickly got out of control and I’m still digging my way out of the hole I dug for myself. It’s real easy to let the latest and greatest prepping tools and supplies get the better of me if I’m not careful, but especially when one is retired and living on a fixed budget. The problem is once you’re in the hole, you’re stuck until you can get out of it, and making even small purchases becomes unrealistic. So my advice to someone just starting out, is to look at your fluid income before you start and set yourself limits as to how much you’re going to spend each month on supplies, tools, accessories and so on. Try to stay within that budget limit. Consider purchasing some items second hand or surplus if you can. There are items that don’t need to be the top of the line, and there are some that should be the best on the market. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in forums or on sites like the Organic Prepper. There are no stupid questions, only idiotic answers.
    Unless you’re independently wealthy, then disregard my comments and splurge on that Gucci Bug Out Bag by all means????.

    “The Goal Is Not To Just Survive, But To Thrive.”

  • I think prepping should create an accent on everything you do. Going to Europe? Pack a Swiss Army Knife and supplies, consulate phone numbers etc. Road trip holiday? Take a resqme escape tool. It’s all about a clear head and contingency plans. Only in rare cases a prepper mindset should stop you from doing things, like not backpacking alone, in Afghanistan 😉

  • I couldn’t agree more. We shouldn’t live in fear but we should live wisely. We only live once here and making memories is what brings joy and at times “interesting” or funny stories. Overcoming different circumstances brings adaptability which is critical in survival circumstances. So I agree, get out and live life, develop friendships and do not live in fear .

  • I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment, and I’m guilty of letting my fears dictate my actions to a degree.

    But OTOH, I think that a lot of people have been traumatized by the 9/11 attacks, Columbine, and the unfortunately many attacks we have suffered as a nation. 9/11 was the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor. Our schools drum it into the heads of staff and students that they could die at any moment. Businesses across the country have staff meetings and required safety videos on what to do in an active shooter situation.

    When the fears begin to subside a bit, it seems that that is the signal for yet another mass shooting. The fact that these terror attacks are politicized and used as arguments for gun control and talking points for presidential candidates doesn’t help matters, or the feeling that many seem to have that the shootings, if not actually staged for political reasons, are in some way encouraged by some shadowy figure that delights in pulling strings in some master scheme.

    There is an increasing undercurrent of fear to daily activities for many people, and prepping is one (more or less) constructive way that people are attempting to cope. Drugs, drinking, sexual excess and suicide are all increasing, and increasingly mainstreamed as other ways people are attempting to bury the constant anxiety and stress and failing.

    As we draw closer to the 2020 election, we’re going to see an increase in shootings, demonstrations, riots and violent, hedonistic behavior in general. I feel that much of the turmoil in the US is deliberately generated for political manipulation. I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

  • One should also try to fit into the crowd. Don’t wear your business suit to the thrift store. Dress for the event whether it’s going to the grocery store or the theater. Gray man works for ladies too!

  • It helps to understand what’s underlies the “drumbeat in the distance” that concerns preppers, even if they don’t know the full details.

    Most of the last century has been a covert history of false flag attacks intended to either suck America into foreign wars or to justify more totalitarian legislation, or both. Some examples:

    The 1915 passenger ship Lusitania torpedoing by the German submarine was preceded by the German government paying for ads in many American newspapers warning Americans not to sail on that ship because the Germans knew that it would be carrying illegal munitions contrary to international law. The Wilson government managed to shut down most (but not quite all) of those ads in order to maximize the number of American passengers to be killed — in order to persuade America to join the war. FDR was secretary of the Navy and seemed to have learned his lesson … that you need far more American casualties to do that job. The study that Winston Churchill had commissioned previously on whether such an attack would be sufficient to draw America into that war was kept very secret.

    FDR got his opportunity when the Morgans and Rockefellers both wanted America to join Asian and European wars of the 1930s. Robert Stinnett’s well-documented book “Day of Deceit” tells the story thoroughly of how FDR for years tried to bully Japan into a first strike. Finally in August of 1940, an officer in our Naval Intelligence devised an 8-point plan that FDR followed to the letter. That officer had witnessed as a little boy in Port Arthur, Russia the Japanese surprise destruction of the Russian fleet in that 1904-1905 war. Pearl Harbor was carefully prepared as the target. Selected shipping was moved away. Military officers in control were prevented from taking precautionary measures. The officer in control was lined up to take the blame away from Washington, DC. The Japanese communication code had secretly been broken by the US many months before the “surprise” attack.

    Fast forward to 1962 when the US Joint Chiefs of Staff wanted to invade Cuba. They signed off on Operation Northwoods to attack several American targets to be blamed on Castro. President John F Kennedy killed that plan at the last minute, and the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us against never forgave him.

    When the deep state felt the need for another Middle Eastern war and more domestic totalitarian legislation, 9/11 was set up. It helps to understand that WTC 7 was never struck by any aircraft, and collapsed perfectly onto its own footprint some seven hours after the strikes that morning. It takes about two months of highly skilled work to prep a building of that size and construction for such a controlled demolition. It also helps to know that after the Pentagon was struck, almost all video footage of that strike was hustled away into secrecy. The one piece they missed showed that only a missile strike could have explained that attack — not something that cave-dwelling Arabs had handy to use.

    The point is that America has been dragged into foreign wars and abusive legislation by false flagging operations since long before we were born, and there appears to be no letup from the institutionalized warfare state. While the Stinnett book “Day of Deceit” was precisely on target, an expanded treatise on the false flagging of America could well be titled “Century of Deceit.”

    Much of the last millennia has been a history of the rise and inevitable fall of one empire after another, finally brought down by either military or currency collapse, or both. We haven’t been a republic since long before the Pledge of Allegiance to it was created. America is a global empire (despite the controlled media denials) with military outposts around the planet in somewhere between 800 to a thousand places. And today, Asia is trying to bail out of dependence on the American dollar as fast as they can. The global central banking disease has infected most of the world and has created the largest financial bubble in world history. All such bubbles eventually come crashing down, and uber-wealthy insiders position themselves to swoop in to pick up the valuable pieces for a pittance — just as FDR did via an investment firm when the German Weimar government collapsed in 1923.


    • Well written, Lewis, and 100% accurate. If humanity survives to have a future, it may well look back on these times with jaw-dropping amazement that such evil existed.

    • Although I’m not a fan of most of the middle east those cave dwelling Arabs were inventing algebra while most of Europe was still counting on fingers and toes. I do agree with much of what you have said though.

  • Daisy, your photos are amazing! I am glad you are enjoying yourself!

    I agree with you, 100%, we should not be living in fear (when the time comes, there will be more than enough of that). We actually enjoy being homebodies. But we do attend several major sporting events each year. It is something we enjoy, budget for, and since we also camp at the events, we are pretty well prepared for many scenarios. Spending time in crowds and new places can actually sharpen your situational awareness skills. Since we return to the same venues regularly, we are well aware of the facilities, exit routes, etc. And if we go to a new venue, we make sure to familarize ourselves as much as we can ahead of time, and then do ‘recon’ when we first arrive.

    Our skills and mindsets as preppers give us unique advantages over the masses of most travelers, be it locally, nationally, or internationally. We don’t go anywhere unprepared. We are more likely to let our situational awareness ‘slip’ on our own home turf (think normalcy bias).

    Great post, and enjoy the rest of your travels Daisy! (and seriously, ppl are unsubscribing because you are traveling? Their loss, not yours or us OP regulars!)

  • Contrary view on TSA travel: If travelers would refuse to use any travel that involved TSA, then they would be disbanded. (The powers that be would not allow the extinction of all commercial travel.) TSA is an affront to the liberty and dignity of all Americans. We don’t check our rights at the door just to travel.

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