When does prepping turn into hoarding?

How many times have you heard the phrase: “Preppers are hoarders.”

For those of us who are trying to prepare and keep a stockpile at home, that phrase can sting a little.

It’s true that hoarding and prepping can take on a very fine line. Both groups keep large amounts of stuff. But does that really mean prepping/stockpiling is just another form of hoarding?

Most Americans are not as prepared as they should be. At the other extreme, we have people who have been wise enough to prepare for any eventuality and keep adding to their already plentiful stockpiles.

The question becomes: How do I know when I’ve reached that line?

The answer to that question will be different for everyone, depending on many factors including where you live, which disasters are most likely to strike in your area, how many people live in your home, etc.

But what is the same for everyone is setting goals and sticking to them. Decide how much food, water and supplies you want to store, grow that stockpile and then focus on “quality” over “quantity”.  As far as quality over quantity is concerned, this is where you need to be discerning. Do your research to figure out how you can get survival products that will last.

As an example, you might see a deal for three survival knives that are cheaper than one knife you’ve had your eyes on. But if the three “cheap” knives will end up breaking or becoming useless before the more expensive knife does, you’ve wasted
money rather than saved it.

Prepping for Beginners

If you’re starting out in the prepping arena, it can be overwhelming at first (and maybe feel even a little silly). Start of by setting a simple goal of stockpiling 72 hours’ worth of non-perishable food per family member. Next month, try to increase that stockpile to one week’s worth. Then one month, three months, six months, etc.

Do the same with water, but don’t overdo it here. While it’s good to have clean drinking water stored, at some point both a stationary and portable water purifier will do you more good than large amounts of water that will be difficult to store and impossible to transport.

Another ongoing activity for preppers is rotating stockpiles. Keep an eye on expiration dates, then use the supplies that are about to expire or give them to a shelter.

Continue to practice your survival skills so you don’t become rusty. Periodically practice bugging out, starting a fire, cooking food outdoors and building shelters. Update your emergency plan, inspect your stockpiles, keep your guns clean and stay up to date with preparedness information.

Remember: YOU decide how much is enough, but create a goal and do a stockpiling audit. This will help you stay focused and on track with what is important to you (which will be different for everyone).

What are your thoughts? How do you keep your stockpiling in check? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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