Dealing with Prepper Burnout

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

I know a couple of people who were obsessed with prepping a couple of years ago, and now have completely dropped out.  From our previous conversations, I think they got burnt out from prepping.   Discouragement is fairly common-it happens to all of us.  The trick is to overcome it.  The doubting thoughts start small but can slowly take over.  Watch out for the warning signs.

How does happen?

  • Nothing happened.  Many people started preparing for disasters during the financial crisis.  Near panic prepping reached a fever pitch right before 2012, and dropped off soon after.
  • Discouragement can happen when you compare yourself to others – those we might view as the more “advanced” prepper who have a bugout location, a fully loaded bugout vehicle, and loads of supplies stashed away in both home and retreat.
  • The partner may not be supportive.  Having a partner who thinks you’re nuts for prepping can get to a person sometimes; of course the flip side is, if something happens they will be grateful that you prepped.
  • Lack of time
  • Lack of money

How to deal with prepper burnout

  1. Prepping is not a competition – quit comparing yourself to others.  Even if you just started this week, the extra supplies you’ve built up make you a lot better off than you were before.
  2. Realize all the benefits you get from being prepared – less stress, saving money, saving time by not having to run to the store all the time etc.
  3. If your partner is not on board, learn a few ideas to help you cope.
  4. If money is an issue, learn new skills instead:  watch YouTube videos for survival tips, learn a skill such as gardening, canning, first aid, from someone you know or free community classes.
  5. If time is an issue, do quick preparedness projects that you can finish in one weekend such as this one
  6. Rotate your supplies constantly, and you will see how having a stockpile benefits you in the long run.  Just make sure you replace items you use up.
  7. Just because nothing disastrous has happened does not mean nothing will – emergencies can happen at any time, and when they do, you will be glad you prepared.
  8. Watching disaster or even zombie flicks gets you in the mood to be prepared.  Watch The Walking Dead or movies like Day after Tomorrow or even Independence Day; think about what would you do if you were in their predicament.
  9. Don’t wait until you’re completely stressed out.  Take a break – everyone needs a breather now and then.
  10. Do something fun – go target shooting, visit a gun show, teach your kids fishing.  Prepping does not have to be all training and stockpiling.

Think about why you started preparing – you want to protect yourself and your family just in case.  Be grateful that you have been fortunate thus far, and you have the luxury of time to learn skills and continue to build your emergency supplies.


© Apartment Prepper 2015



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  1. Great article. I’d also add some good survival books, or even a good survival post can help get me motivated to do some prepping, after a lawl.

    1. Hey countrygirl, Good additions – good survival books and posts definitely help with the motivation. I appreciate the comment!

  2. Thank you! I needed this today!

    Even so, I’m still doing things to prepare, including learning (I’m reading a book that I got from the library that will help me), drying herbs and vegetables, and canning.

    I just have to stop thinking about it ALL the time. So I’m trying to take a little break from it as a subject of discussion for a while

  3. Everyday that S hasn’t HTF is another day to prep for tomorrows disaster.
    I’m sure nothing will happen tomorrow either, though.

  4. why not just stop calling it prepping and stop worrying about what might happen?

    my wife and i have just made our pantry of food we eat, and supplies we use every day (toiletries, light bulbs, etc), larger. we keep enough for a year, not in buckets because its what we eat now and its gone (and replaced) before anything can expire. not going to live in fear of what if, or when but just live with some food in the bank….just like our grandparents did. one suggestion, store some food on a different level of the house and store using more than one method of preservation.

    1. Ryan, you have a good point. If it is your lifestyle. Sometimes I get tired of the “prepping” mantra, but sustainable, self-sufficient, subsistence and saving money can usually get my interested as well.

  5. Good subject, but one reason was left out. I went through burnout. I was ripped off by one prepper blog from prizes I won from a contest, and the degrading targeting me was more than what I wanted. I took a break and went to more survival-type sites instead. It was not that I didn’t stop prepping for I have been doing it long ago and have my stores, but it was the social network at some prepper blogs and too many hate filled articles that gave me burnout. I saw a lot of people leave who were regulars this way who had a lot to contribute in their wisdom. I hope they continued elsewhere.

    1. DinMN, You brought up a good point. There is an undesirable side to prepper sites as you have brought up- as bloggers, my colleagues and I who write original content get our articles used without permission or attribution, all due to monetary gain. That is a shame you did not receive the prize that you won. We can try to do the best we can in spite of these negatives. Thanks for the comment.

  6. I really appreciated your article today and have found myself “burned out” at times. However, when my husband lost his job and was unemployed for 6 months I realized that our prepping took some of the pressure off. We were able to stretch our funds much longer. I think people perceive prepping for global disasters and don’t realize that losing a job can be just as devastating. We took it as training – HA!
    Thanks for doing a great job with your website. I always look forward to reading it.

    1. Hi Prepper Mama Rose, I am glad your supplies helped you through a rough patch. Mine have come in handy several times as well. Thanks for the kind words-they keep me going!

  7. Well…. I think we all get burn-out in anything we do. One works on something for months, and years in my case, and it’s like “When is that disaster coming?” Then when it comes you ask yourself “What was I thinking?” Never forget the saying, “It’s better to have and not need, than to need and not have.” This seems to be a more urban prep site and I’m more ‘out in the country’. I just want to throw in that all my ‘prep’ came to fruition, in a smaller way, the last 7 days. I’m in the middle south and we all went through, and are still in, a horrendous ice storm. Below freezing temps, no electricity, no use of vehicles( one inch of ice on everything, roads, power lines, everything), gas and kerosene pumps don’t work and are still out in most areas today. 98% of the people were caught off guard. Fights at the last 2 gas stations till they pumped out. Empty grocery store shelves. Dads and moms with their children with that look of real fear in their eyes, they were not preped. Sad, 2 people in our county and 3 in the next county over died, froze to death. So….. my years of prep paid off. I had LP gas heaters (with 4 extra 20lb tanks in reserve), Coleman camp stove(with extra gas), generator(with 10 gal. extra) for the refrigerator and a few lights and some easy to cook items(can soup, can veg., even made spaghetti). My point is, this is not the back to the stone age disaster, and what I have used here is more short term survival, but being some what preped for that big event kept my family warm, fed and safe in this ‘little’ disaster. This event opened my eyes to so many more things I need to be ready for. Keep your eye on the prize in saving yourself and your family. You will never know, big or small, when it will hit. If we did we would all go out the day before and get all the stuff we would need. Doesn’t work that way. Blizzards, hurricanes, drought, and in my case an ice storm, never stop being vigilant in being prepared for any disaster. No one else will be better at saving you and your family than YOU! Molon Labe

    1. DiverDown, That is an eye-opening story. I am glad your preps are helping you get through this cold snap-I can only imagine how miserable it would be without having supplies. Thank you for sharing your current experience.

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