While I haven’t been prepping for very long in comparison to most of you, I’d like to think I’ve learned quite a lot over the years through mistakes I’ve made with prepping. Honestly, mistakes make some of the most valuable lessons resonate with you, even when you probably knew better to begin with. I feel that getting something wrong often pushes you to be better in the long-term, and that they can ultimately be more positive than never having your plans tested.
I’ve learned so many little things along the way it’s hard to imagine I’d be able to write about every mistake and every lesson learned, but I will tell you that, hands down, my biggest lessons came from the experience Thomas and I had back in 2013 when the power grid went down for 5 nights and 4 days in sub-zero Canadian weather. That was not a fun experience, but thanks to friendly neighbours, the experience wasn’t even close to as bad as it could have been. What’s ironic is that the biggest lesson I learned from that entire situation was one that has always been very obvious to me:
Doesn’t matter what you plan to do, if you don’t actually do it, when the SHTF or an emergency situation happens – intentions mean nothing.
Again – SUPER obvious lesson, no one in their right mind has not already figured this out. Still – being the kind of person who really likes to save money, likes to buy things on discount, likes to plan ahead, but doesn’t always execute those plans quickly – this can be a really problematic lesson to make sure I live up to.
Thomas and I thought a lot about winter survival and Toronto power outages in the winter before the outage happened. We had plans to do a lot of things that never got done. Then when the outage happened, well obviously, we essentially got caught with our pants down. Considering we were preppers who were so ill prepared, I was annoyed with myself, but I wrote about my experience anyway because I didn’t want to forget the experience or the poignancy of the lesson learned. I stopped pretending I had an infinite amount of time to prep for emergencies, did what I could to extract as much use out of the not-ideal experience as possible, wrote up a list of winter emergency supplies that would’ve made the experience a lot easier while the experience was fresh in my mind, bought what we needed, and moved on.
Now, I’d love to hear from you –
Have you ever had any experiences where you made a (small or big) mistake with prepping? What did that mistake teach you?
At the end of the day, I can never look at a negative experience in a purely negative way. So long as you survive and make it out, no matter how idiotic or terrible the situation, you can learn and thrive from having gone through it, in my opinion. Some mistakes are worse than others, some have little to do with you and more to do with a lack of luck or unfortunate circumstances (like maybe all your gear breaking or just terrible timing when a disaster struck), others (like mine) are completely your fault and when you own up to that mistake, you become a better person for it if you take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
So yeah, really looking forward to hearing about your experiences and what you’ve learned. Even if the lesson is technically an obvious one (again, like mine). There’s always room to grow and learn, and lessons learned through mistakes are certainly the most motivating.