TRAP: I’ve been doing this for 28 years!

This is one of those really strange posts of mine, but a good lesson to be learned by some. I was one of those people that learned this lesson about 15 years ago. I am grateful I did.

So…I’m in this training class and this guy keeps trying to correct the instructor. Each time the know-it-all student would start out saying, “I’ve been doing this for 28 years and…” After the first couple of times it got really annoying and a number of the students, myself included, were getting irritated with him. The instructor was being patient and then it happened…

After about the tenth time of this guy do that…the instructor said the following, “Have you ever considered that you did it wrong the first year and then repeated it 27 more times?”

Yeah, the offending student was not happy with the instructor’s comeback. But, the point was simple…maybe you’ve been doing it wrong all along. Or, another way of putting it was…maybe there is a better way of doing it.

The point of this “Trap” article is simple…Just because a person has a lot of experience doing something doesn’t mean that the way they do something is right.

Solution? Whenever you hear someone state how to do something…question it!

Maybe not question it out loud to that person, but in your mind. Run through it and see first if it makes sense based on what you already know. Then ask yourself if it goes against common knowledge. then start asking more questions…Is what they are saying verifiable through your own research? And here is a big one…Are they going to make a bunch of money off what they suggest? Yes, that means will they make a lot of money if you do what they suggest? Do they gain power over you or someone else by doing what they say? Have they actually done what they claim? Do they “walk the walk not just talk the talk” is a great question to ask yourself.

Bottom line…just because someone has a lot of experience doesn’t make they are automatically right.

 

 

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TIP: Eating during emergencies, disasters, and grid-down.

When in any kind of emergency, disaster or “grid-down” situation you need to change your eating habits. During these high-stress times you are likely to be working harder than normal by a fairly large margin. Your body will need extra calories. A man performing heavy labor outside exposed to the elements can easily  burn 4000 – 7000 calories a day. Yup!!! That is no typo…7000 calories!

And on top of needing a bunch of calories when expending a large amount of calories, how those calories are ingested is also important. First, starting eating early in the day. Eat something nutritious within 30 minutes of waking up. Then eat every 90 – 120 minutes thereafter. You don’t have to eat anything big, but granola  bars, cheese sticks, crackers, fruit, nuts, etc. will keep your energy up. A decent sized lunch and dinner is a good thing, but plenty of in-between snacking is both important and required.

Foods to avoid would be anything with a large amount of sugar in it. Any  caffeinated drinks…other than a “wake-up” jolt if needed (think Pepsi).

Mainly try to avoid a lot of anyone food item. The key is variety and moderation in portions.

Your body is a machine in many aspects. And machines take fuel to stay running. And the better the fuel, the better the performance.

Running out of fuel can cause problems in any machine or in the human body when trying to get a “restart.” Avoid putting yourself in that position of needing a restart to begin with. You avoid that situation and many other problems by eating a  variety of the right foods in moderate amounts throughout the day.

Stay healthy, stay strong, stay alive, and eat right.

And don’t short yourself on calorie intake!

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TRAP: Do you honestly know how to use all your gear?

Be honest, do you really know how to use all of that equipment and gear you have stored for emergencies, disasters or “grid-down”?

Prepper Geek with equipment and gear

That’s OK if you don’t.  At least you have the “stuff’ going into the calamity.  I just hope you don’t have a whole lot of very cool gear but very little food.  What I would suggest is:

  1. Identify the “events” for which you wish to be prepared for.
  2. Set realistic priorities for your prepper budget dollars to meet the events identified in #1 above.
  3. Make sure you have training on how to use the gear you have. Then periodically review and test those acquired skills.
  4. Maybe annually review where you are in your prepping and fill in the gaps in both gear and training.
  5. And remember that for virtually all disasters, emergencies and especially during a “grid-down” you will face the same basic survival needs –
  • Defense – Protect yourself and your family from violent threats
  • First Aid – Provide basic medical care to yourself and your family
  • Water – Acquire a water source and then provide filtered and purified water
  • Communications – Be able to communicate with the outside world and among your family
  • Shelter – Protect yourself and your family from the weather and environment
  • Fire – Provide warmth for food preparation and comfort
  • Food – Provide basic nutrition to yourself and your family
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TRAP: Socks, never ever….

#1 – Never ever wear cotton socks for any kind of serious emergency, disaster or especially “grid-down” situations. Cotton socks may be great for sports, keep it that way. They will tear your feet up under the conditions you will be subjected to during emergency, disaster or “grid-down” situations. Then wet, cotton socks will destroy the skin on your feet.

#2 – Never ever wear any polypropylene socks. First off, your feet will really, really stink. Second, your feet will get wet, your skin will break down and your feet will get cold once the sun goes down.

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TRAP : No matter how much you prepare, you will never have enough.

No matter how much you prepare, you will never have enough.

No matter how much you prepare, you will never have enough.What? Never have enough?  Correct.  No matter how much money and time you have, no matter how large a basement (or bunker) you have filled with all kinds of preparedness gear, equipment, and food, it will never be enough to get you through all disasters and No matter how much you prepare, you will never have enough.emergencies that might (or will) come your way.

You can mitigate that by having friends, developing a preparedness group and being patient.  Yes, patient.

Prepper GroupSet your priorities and then keep working steadily towards your goals.

Step-by-step…steady…you can do it!

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TRAP – Normalcy Bias can kill you quicker than Competency Bias.

IMG_4562In an earlier “TRAP” I wrote about Competency Bias (TRAP – Competency Bias can kill you), now I will warn you against Normalcy Bias.

Normalcy BIas is the refusal of your brain to accept that something has happened, will happen, or to what extent something has happened.

Example #1: You read about the hurricane coming but you don’t do anything about it because it has never happened to you and your hometown before. Then BAM! It hits and water is up to your roof line and you are wondering if you are going to make it out alive.SWATteam

Example #2: You hear that the President may outlaw guns. You say to yourself, “Naw! Congress will never let that happen.” Boom! He does it by Executive Order and Congress doesn’t challenge him on it.  Next thing you know folks in tactical outfits are showing up to confiscate your guns because you are a known prepper.  Oooooppppppssssss…..

Don’t let yourself get complacent and think things are always “normal” and nothing unusual will happen.  Abnormal does and it will happen.  There is an old saying “Expect the unexpected.”  Sounds like a good thing to remember…and plan for.

All I am asking is allow your mind to accept things as they truly are and not how you see them through all your psycho-social filters. A good example of what you can do is “Wargame it” with a buddy or two, or your wife, and say “What if this did actually happen, regardless if we think it will happen, but what would we do?”

If you fail to recognize reality for what it is, reality will give you a wake-up call…or say “good night” to you and your family.

 

 

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TRAP – Competency Bias can kill you.

What the heck is “Competency Bias” and how can it kill you?

Competency Bias is simply thinking you are better at something than you really are; or, you think you are better at something than others.

I am sure you are good at certain things, maybe ever some very cool skills. But I doubt you are the best at it, or even better than most. And I bet you aren’t as good as you think you are. So how does that get you killed?

You think you are good at punching holes in paper at the gun range. But the time comes and you have to use your AR in a gunfight…how many tactical carbine classes have you taken? How many times have you practiced swapping mags in the dark? How about clearing a jam? 100’s or 1000’s of times?

All I am saying is don’t overrate or ever estimate your skills. Plan and operate within your true range of competency. You will live longer.

I will write more on Competency Bias in the coming weeks, watch for future posts.

 

 

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