The competition for the worst prepping advice out there is pretty sharp. It’s been going on for many years and has a tendency to get even more ridiculous as time goes on.
One reason is that a lot of the advice is pushing you in the direction of buying something, and when you need to buy something things can go weird and false.
Another reason is the fact that there are numerous “experts” out there, and it does not have to be about selling. Often it can be that people just want to be known as experts because they feel more important or whatever.
So, as I mentioned many times before there is a chain of people who share advice, and if you follow the trail where that advice is coming from you are usually gonna find a self-proclaimed “expert” at the end, or even worse some fictional character from movies or books.
So here are a few pieces of bad prepping advice I have seen.
“Handle everything with violence.”
Yes, I do agree, nothing can put things in the right perspective like a few shots from an assault rifle in the correct place and time. Brute force can very efficiently solve some situations.
I see a lot of advice that goes only as far as being well-armed and having that “out of my cold dead hand” attitude.
Most of the time when the SHTF, it will be about other things, like hygiene, resources, interactions with people, managing people in groups, maintaining mental and physical health in hard circumstances, and many other things that have nothing to do with violence.
So, violence and being ready for violence are critical, yes, of course, but it is not only about that.
“Oh no, we are different here, so it will not be like that.”
You can not know exactly how it will be once the SHTF because it depends on many factors.
But, do not count that levels of violence, the extent of the collapse, or anything similar will be different just because you think you there (wherever you are) is different from someone else who lives somewhere else.
It is only about how serious the event is and how long it is going to last. In other words, it is about how quick and how bad (deep) the layers of society will go down.
In the end, all that is gonna be left are just a bunch of folks looking for resources, in different ways and means.
“Do this (have this weapon, choose that solution, be at that place or other, or whatever) and you’ll survive.”
To oversimplify it, it is about principles.
So whoever is telling you to “do exactly that” unless he shares exactly the same circumstances as you, it might be wrong.
Prepping is a very personal thing. What works for me here might be completely wrong there for you because of many reasons, from the simplest one like a different climate to more detailed things like different weapons availability.
There is no universal way. There are principles and skills that can be shared of course. For example, you can learn a lot from my experiences, but you should take my experiences and choose what makes sense for you there.
If I say, “The AK is a great weapon” that means it is a great weapon for me. But for you maybe it is something different.
What you need to understand is why the AK is a great weapon for me and then use those principles to understand what weapon should be great for you, based on those principles.
Now, you need to add to this a whole world of false folks on YouTube and everywhere showing you “perfect way of doing… (whatever)” just because of views.
So it is not only about taking advice and putting it in your perspective, it is about understanding what advice is perfectly wrong or what advice (or techniques) are actually good, but only for certain places and time.
“If you’re a good person, people will be good to you.”
“Do good and expect good” or advice in that tone is out there, and I do understand the place for those philosophies. Actually I share it too.
But, not when the SHTF.
First do not expect that in hard times doing good deeds will be taken in the correct way and that the person will do good back to you. Second, do not expect that you’ll be able to do only good things all the time.
It is a messed up world when the SHTF, so things get blurred and weird.
Random nonsense advice
All of the above are bad advice mostly from the point of the “philosophy” of survival. If you are using the wrong foundation in your prepping you can end up there.
Aside from that, there is all sorts of weird and wrong advice that come from one simple thing: failing to adopt a survival mentality. It is about people thinking in old terms in a new world and they fail to adapt to the new reality.
A good old favorite piece of terrible advice that I read about 10 years ago was that a skateboard is the perfect mean of transport in an urban SHTF.
I’ll use that here as an example:
SHTF and you are in the middle of a city with a bunch of other people. The streets are gonna be most probably not be usable for any type of transportation because of trash and debris. As well, without electricity and any other services, it will be too dark to see obstacles at night. And it is gonna be probably too dangerous to move during daylight. In these situations, you will want to move in silent ways so you don’t run into trouble.
And somebody is suggesting a skateboard as a means of transportation?
In real SHTF in urban settings, it is hard enough to move by foot and stay silent and safe with all dangers that coming from a “more people than resources” situation, let alone riding on your skateboard.
Streets in the city when SHTF are not for that.
As an example only, it is an activity taken from the normal world and times, and put in the SHTF world and times, without thinking how that world is gonna look and what dangers there are gonna be.
So that advice comes only from the point of “no fuel” so to that person, a skateboard will make sense.
Think about what the world would be like.
The SHTF is much different than the world we live in today, so whichever advice you are considering whether or not you should take it, think about how the world might look around you and ask yourself, “Is that gonna be usable at all?”
What is the worst advice you have heard?
Selco survived the Balkan war of the 90s in a city under siege, without electricity, running water, or food distribution.
In his online works, he gives an inside view of the reality of survival under the harshest conditions. He reviews what works and what doesn’t, tells you the hard lessons he learned, and shares how he prepares today. He never stopped learning about survival and preparedness since the war. Regardless of what happens, chances are you will never experience extreme situations as Selco did. But you have the chance to learn from him and how he faced death for months.
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