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I liberated this idea from another thread. No one like to admit the mistakes they have made in their prepping, yet mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Rather than make all the mistakes individually, I am wondering if people wouldn't mind posting their own mistakes in hopes we can all learn from them. So, what is your biggest mistake (or two or three) you made in prepping? As for me, my biggest mistake was starting prepping too late. I should have been more active years ago. I feel it will take at least 2 more years to be marginally ready for a complete long-term collapse. Do I have that much time? Do you?
 

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I admit one mistake, buying something becouse its marked down..If something is 50% off, I usually find a way to use it in my preps, but with one acre and a storage shed, I havent ran out of room yet. I dont buy food items on markdown just becouse of my hectic schedule, some days I cook, some days I eat out(dollar menu).
 

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Sometimes buying without a lot of research, then have to re-buy.
Pre packaged potato mixes might be good but when they do reach their expiration date - they suck, now I can potatoes and make sauces.
Biggest mistake - not buying ammo when it was cheaper.
 

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Hell, I have made so many mistakes. Which ones are you looking for? Are you only interested in the big ones like buying our BoL land in the summer of 2009 after the first down-leg of the housing bubble and having it drop a bunch more since, so it is still only worth about 1/2 of what we paid for it? Or are you interested in the little ones too like the time I got "the really good deal" on some no-name charcoal briquettes so I bought 100 pounds of them? (That was the only fireproof charcoal I have ever seen. I think major cities are now using it to make fire suits for their fire departments.) Or there was the time that Mrs Inor decided we needed a vacuum sealer for our food. So like most couples our age, we bought the FoodSaver brand vacuum sealer. (It was designed to seal up leftovers from supper, not 100 pounds of sausage at a time.) It worked great for about 2 years then died. So we had to replace it with a commercial sealer, which was double the cost but will likely outlast either of us.

I like the thread a lot. But I also think prepping is as much (or more) a state of mind and a collection of skills rather than a collection of stuff.

P.S. I just noticed that you are looking for the biggest 2-3 mistakes but I am going to leave my charcoal example in because it does illustrate what I think is an important rule: buy the best quality preps (and tools) you can afford.
 

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First mistake I made was when I did a 200-mile bicycle ride when I was 17 and didn't bother to take a tent or sleeping bag and nearly froze to death, shivering all night long even though it was April and I was wearing thick pullover and padded anorak.
Lesson learnt.
Apollo 13 made the same goof later, shivering when the power failed because NASA hadn't provided them with a simple 10-cent survival blanket each.
And the Bravo Two Zero SAS patrol in the Iraq desert lost a man to hypothermia because they hadn't packed tents or sleeping bag.

We can also learn from other peoples mistakes, for example an Amazon explorer nearly starved because his rifle ammo was substandard (or the humid damp had got to it) and he couldn't shoot game because every round misfired. He also found he'd been conned by his food supplier when he opened a tin of dates and found a useless piece of slate inside.
And Scott of the Antarctics expedition found much of their cooking stove fuel had evaporated away because the cold had crumbled the sealant rings in the containers.
Also an Arctic expedition took concentrated lemon juice to ward off scurvy but it didn't work because the factory canning process had accidentally destroyed the vitamin C content.
Also in the Arctic, the Franklin Expedition went down with lead poisoning from the seams of their food cans.
And there have been a spate of deaths by carbon monoxide poisoning on camping trips in Britain because people brought their extinguished barbecues into their big family tents at night, not realising they still give off deadly fumes after they've been put out.
 

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I don't guess this is a major screw up, but two days ago, I bought (3) 5 pound bags of American grown rice for $3.00 each, yesterday, I seen at Sams, I could have bought the same rice 25 pounds for $9.99.
 

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buying a super big framed back pack... not knowing they are specific to body size can reduce rubbing, redistribute the weight with the right frame size. i also bought other back packs with out the cross chest strap that also helps hold it on comfortably and help with weight distribution. big assed packs also make it hard to just toss in the car for a weekend trip- keeping in mind during short/weekend trips, theres not enough time to make friends to mooch.lol

i need to manage my bob
 

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I can see where pack would be a problem area 'specially for women. Most of the packs I have seen folks using for BOBs are pitiful. To get an idea of what works take a look at what folks use to hike the Appalachian Trail. These folks walk 2,000 miles usually carrrying 3 -5 days of food, shelter and clothing for climate from Georgia to Maine. Kinda sounds like bugging out.
 

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I think the biggest mistake I made was to not take prepping too seriously in the beginning. By that I mean I did not approach it as my life may depend on it. I had some basic gear, but nothing really of decent quality.

I changed my approach to getting the best equipment I could afford and to having gear I know will hold up in a crisis. It is quite an investment to make this approach work, but your life may truly hang in the balance, so it is worth it.

So, my mistake was not approaching prepping professionally. Now I save my pennies up until I can get high quality gear.

Because my life and the lives of my loved ones may actually be on the line....
 

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I'll go along with not starting to prep soon enough. I can't believe how long I sat in my easy chair watching TV, fat dumb and happy, knowing my country would be there if I needed them. Then Katrina hit new orleans and i saw the hand writing on the wall.
 

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I bought an SKS

I just don't like them, but I was able to sell it and get my money back - phew.
 

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My biggest mistake/learning point was being myopic in my preps. I had a habit of focusing on one area and ignoring others until I reached a "goal". Now I keep in mind my biggest opportunities for improvement but also stay on the look out for opportunities to strengthen/improve any area of my effort.
 

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When I started - 40+ years ago I made many of the mistakes already mentioned but one really big one.
I got 124 acres of land thinking it was more than enough and it could have been but I didn't find out that the local folks all belonged to one of three churches and if you didn't belong to one of those churches you just didn't get along at all. We stepped up and helped the locals and it all seemed to be going well until we asked for help once. Nobody showed up - not one person. I guess it was ok to accept help from the outsiders but you don't provide help when they need it.

Before you buy land look into the locals - see how they treat each other and "new" folks.

I guess I could have joined one of the churches but it was like being in a third world country and as a minister myself I didn't like the "brotherhood" that was found in those churches.
 

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Well, Paraquack, at least you saw it at the time of Katrina. It took me longer than that. Waiting too long to buy a hand gun and more ammo. Now I can't find it anywhere. Not planning for a BOL sooner.
 

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One of my first and biggest mistakes was buying prepackaged food specifically for storage. That stuff goes bad before you know it. I lost a lot of money doing that. I finally learned to buy what you normally use, just get extra, then cycle through it. It's also nice to know that instead of running to the store when you run out of something in the pantry you just hit your storage.

Another thing here has already been mentioned but can't be said enough. Buy quality stuff. It's okay to buy like a cheap knife like Mora or something similar if the quality is decent.There is little worse than thinking you got a great deal but had to replace it not long after using it.
 

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I would have to say going to college. Now I know it is a system which works well for a few. But I could do without all the ****ing debt I got myself into. I learned the most I have ever learned by teaching myself, researching and doing independent studies on skills that really mattered! Not this stupid crap they require at universities. They don't care if you learn, or if you succeed, they just want your money.

Don't get me wrong there are some amazing professors and teachers which really want to educate and help people grow and expand their horizons and I am extremely grateful for the few I met. But our education system is so ****ed, and I should have avoided college as it didn't advance my job prospects. Where I am today professionally was through a lot of busting my ass, solving problems and spending a ton of time acquiring skills.
 

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I would have to say going to college. Now I know it is a system which works well for a few. But I could do without all the ****ing debt I got myself into. I learned the most I have ever learned by teaching myself, researching and doing independent studies on skills that really mattered! Not this stupid crap they require at universities. They don't care if you learn, or if you succeed, they just want your money.

Don't get me wrong there are some amazing professors and teachers which really want to educate and help people grow and expand their horizons and I am extremely grateful for the few I met. But our education system is so ****ed, and I should have avoided college as it didn't advance my job prospects. Where I am today professionally was through a lot of busting my ass, solving problems and spending a ton of time acquiring skills.
Damn man! You look so young in your picture but you write with the wisdom of a 187 year old!
 

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My biggest mistake (so far) is amassing over 200K ebooks. LOL

The main problem with this is in organization, because I didn't even consider this until I already had 100K or so. I have been spending a few hours a week, organizing and thinning the collection down, and if I had it to do over I would be far more selective. I mean, do I really need 600 cookbooks and 300 books on herbal remedies?
 
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