Prepper Mistakes: Mistakes Experienced Preppers Make In 2023

A lot of people get into prepping as a way to prepare for disasters, but it is possible to take things too far. At first, it seems like more gear is always good, and that stockpiling will ensure you’ll never run out.

Admit it, though, you know that is not the case. It is important to use discretion in what you store and how much of it you store. If it is sitting in your house, useless, then it doesn’t do anyone any good.

Just because someone has more gear than you doesn’t make them a better prepper. It just means they have money or they are hoarders. You need to really work on your plan with discipline to be more successful than other people because some preppers make mistakes that end up hurting them later on.

Mistakes made at the beginning of prepping can haunt your survival efforts for years to come. Here are some of the most common mistakes that experienced preppers make in 2021.

the result of buying a cheap knife at a low price for prepping uses and it breaks

Cheap gear is never a good idea. Of course, cheap gear is more money up front, but it will not work when you need it to. You have to spend more money upfront to buy quality gear that will last longer, but overall it is cheaper than buying cheap gear that breaks quickly. The last thing you want is your equipment failing when you need it most.

On the other hand, it is also bad to buy expensive gear that you don’t know or might not ever need to use. We will cover this some more later on in this list.

2. Failing To Plan For Disasters Outside Of Your Home

Prepping is not just about staying home and waiting for disaster to strike. It is also about being prepared to take action. Being prepared for disasters at home is just part of the equation. You need to be ready to go on an adventure out of your area in order to help others.

One day, you may have to travel a hundred miles from home and be gone for a few days. This will require you to pack light but still bring everything that you will need while out on the road. Getting in shape now will make your trips easier, as you’ll have more endurance and be able to carry more gear.

3. Not Understanding Prepper Language

There is a special prepper vocabulary out there that you cannot be familiar with if you want to be a good prepper. A lot of people use certain words, but they don’t realize what they are talking about.

To avoid sounding stupid, make sure that you understand the lingo that other preppers are using. Otherwise, you’ll come off as someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing and could easily get ripped off by someone else.

Luckily, in the video above, Urban Prepper shows you 25 different prepper acronyms you should know and learn today.

4. Not Maintaining Equipment

There is no point in having a bunch of tools if they aren’t maintained properly. You need to know how to take care of your equipment if you expect it to last for years to come. Otherwise, you will have to throw it away and start over with a new set of tools.

It’s not expensive to buy quality equipment that will last longer. Prepping is all about being prepared for everything in life, so it is important in any way to buy cheap gear that lasts long so you don’t have to replace everything after a few months of use.

5. Not Planning For The Worst-Case Scenario

You can’t be ready for just about every situation, but you should at least know what you are going to do if there is a lot of violence in your area. You need to plan for the worst scenario and be confident that you can handle it.

Being prepared for these situations is the mark of a skilled prepper. Just having food, water and other supplies is not enough. You also need to be ready to fight off looters if necessary. It can turn into a big mess in a hurry when people are desperate and start taking what they can get by force.

6. Losing Your Prepping Mindset

Prepping isn’t all about gear and supplies. If you haven’t already, do some mental prep as well so you’re ready to deal with anything that comes your way. Being mentally prepared is just as important as being physically and supply prepared.

If you haven’t already, meditate on what you would do if disaster strikes. How would you handle it? Would you panic? Just imagine the situation in your mind and then execute a plan of action to see if it might work. This way, you will have a better chance at overcoming the challenge that is presented to you.

7. Using Your Gear In The Wrong Order

There are certain situations where your gear needs to be used in a certain order or else everything will fall apart quickly. For example, there may be some instances where your sump pumps won’t work unless your power goes out first and then back on again.

8. Keeping All Your Supplies In One Place

supplies put in one place which is a bad thing for being a prepper

Your supplies should be spread out in a few safe locations. It is better to have a bunch of different locations because if one gets hit, the others will still be safe. Don’t keep all your preps at one location or you will have wasted some of your money and time.

You need to use judgment when deciding where to store your supplies. One idea is to use an underground storage unit or a room in the back of the house that other people won’t see as easily.

9. Underestimating Your Water Needs

Never underestimate how much water you need with you if you are planning on leaving and heading somewhere else. You need to have enough water for yourself and your family.

It may seem strange to bring a lot of water with you, but it is a worthwhile precaution. When in doubt, take extra water along with you. Think about what would happen if your water supply ran out while you were still in the middle of nowhere without any other options available to you?

Luckily, in our How to Filter and Purify Water in the Wild and our How To Find Water in the Wild articles, we go over everything you need to know about getting fresh, clean water, from finding water to filtering and purifying it.

10. Not Using A Bug Out Bag

The bug-out bag is one item that can make or break your prepping efforts. If the bag breaks down or gets lost, then everything else would be useless as well. You need to have a good bag that works well for you and one that you can use over again in the future. You might have one bag in your car at all times so you always have access to it.

In our How to Build a Bug out Bag article, we go over how you can build the perfect bug out bag for emergency situations.

11. Being An Over-Prepper

You don’t want to carry too much gear around with you throughout the day. It might be good to bring a few extra survival items with you on a daily basis, but too much will make it harder for you to navigate certain places where they would be considered a threat. 

12. Trying to Be a Lone-Wolf Prepper

If you are trying to figure out what you would do if there was an emergency, it might be worthwhile to have a few other people around you so you can bounce ideas off each other. They can help keep you motivated and in top shape both physically and mentally.

As a lone wolf, you will always have concerns about everything that can possibly go wrong. Ideally, it is best to have a few close friends or family members with you so that they can pick up the slack when things get tough. 

That way, if one person were to get hurt or sick, someone else could help them through the tough times until they got better again. Working together as a team is always better than being alone when things go wrong.

13. Not Finding A Backup

You need to have backup plans in the event that something goes wrong with your main plan. It is important to have a backup plan in case your original plan fails. 

Sometimes it is not just one thing that goes wrong, but multiple things all going wrong at once. You can’t cover every single scenario if you wanted to, so you should focus on covering the most common ones so that you’ll be able to handle them well enough.

14. Not Having Enough Food

Having enough food is important for the long term. You need enough to last months or even years without having to stop and buy more. If you have too little, then everything will start to run out fast and you’ll start having food shortages all over the place as well.

Only buy enough food that you can eat over a few days’ time if possible. You don’t want to be stuck with a lot of expired food that no one will eat just because you bought too much in the first place. This is one mistake that a lot of preppers make from time to time.

Another way to get food is through sustainability. In our Gardening For Preppers (The Mega Guide) article, we go over everything you need to know about sustainable gardening and how you can get started today. If you are a little more experienced in prepper gardening, be sure to check out our 55 Crops For the Best Prepper Survival Garden article to learn about the best crops you should add to your prepper garden.

15. Buying Expensive Prepping Gear

Some preppers invest all their money into fancy gear that costs a lot of money, but they don’t actually have the skills to use these items effectively. They feel like it is better to buy expensive gear than it is to spend time learning how to use more effective alternatives.

It can be easy for a prepper to fall into this trap, but they shouldn’t spend too much of their limited funds on expensive items that they don’t need. They should invest more of their time and money into learning how to do things themselves instead of relying on expensive gadgets.

16. Practice Practice Practice

prepper practicing for the worst-case scenario in a post-apocalyptic world

Preppers’ main objective is to prepare for every possible scenario that could happen to them and their loved ones. This is important, but one of the many things that they need to remember is how to handle emergencies as well.

They need to practice this on a regular basis so that they can become competent in handling all types of situations and emergencies. With this skill set, they will have a much better chance of surviving when there are problems in the world around them. 

That way, they’ll be able to protect everyone from whatever comes their way and provide help when needed. This doesn’t just help them survive after a disaster has occurred, but it also gives them an opportunity for growth as well.

17. Buying Canned Goods

Canned goods are an excellent form of food storage, but there are certain situations where they aren’t viable options as well. If you are storing cans for emergency purposes, then this might not be as big of an issue because they do have their advantages in some situations.

But if you are trying to store canned goods for long-term survival, then you might want to consider other options that are more viable. You should always make sure that they will taste good and still be suitable for daily use once you are done with the emergency. 

If they won’t be good to eat even after the crisis has passed, then it probably won’t be worth it in the long run either.

18. Not Having Enough Light

If you ever find yourself in an emergency situation, then it will be very dark. You need to make sure that you have plenty of light sources available so that you can navigate the area and even see what’s going on.

You might not always be able to use light sources when there are other people around especially if they do not know about your prepping lifestyle. 

It is important to have a few extra flashlights or lanterns with you at all times so that you can always see in the dark if needed. Headlamps are also a good idea because they don’t give off light as easily as flashlights do.

Luckily, in our How to Start a Fire in the Wild article, we go over 7 amazing techniques on how you can start a fire in the wild to create a source of light. Our 5 Best Survival Lighters article also goes over the best survival lighters that can even work in the middle of a rainstorm.

19. Not Preparing for Being Denied Access To Resources

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If there were ever a situation where accessing resources would be difficult or impossible, then those resources would be useless in the long run. This is why it is important to think about being denied access to resources in the future and plan accordingly.

It might be hard to imagine this scenario coming true, but you should never take anything for granted when it comes to prepping for the long-term. A lot of preppers forget about this scenario and they are stuck with a lot of things that they can’t use when push comes to shove.

20. Not Taking Advantage Of Great Opportunities

Finally, you need to make sure that you are taking advantage of all these great opportunities that are out there right now for preppers. There are a lot of opportunities for prepping and making it onto survival television shows and the like. You should always be on the lookout for those opportunities and think about how they can benefit your life.

Not all of these opportunities need to cost money. At Defiel, we provide everyone with a FREE collection of 250+ E-Books and 6 free prepper checklists because quality resources and education should be FREE.


Prepping might seem like a daunting task to undertake if you aren’t completely familiar with all of the different aspects involved, but if you keep following these tips, then it will become second nature to you very quickly. 

Each time you need to do something, then it will become easier for you to plan for it and prepare for it.

Now isn’t the time to be a hesitant prepper. Learn all that you can about prepping now so that your life is better off in the long run and you can focus your attention on other things. 

Prepping is a great way to help the world and also improve your own quality of life at the same time. It takes work though, so that’s why preppers are always looking for ways to make their tasks easier and more efficient.

After reading this article, how many mistakes can you spot in our thumbnail image? Tell us in our subreddit r/preppertips. You could also talk about anything prepper, survival, homestead, gardening, and Defiel related in there as well. 

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