Ask any competent prepper and they’ll tell you that the first rule of prepping is to keep your mouth shut about your prepping. In other words, you need to be practicing stealth prepping. The reason is simple – when SHTF, you don’t want everyone and their brother showing up at your house looking for stuff. You don’t want random strangers (potential looters) knowing about your preps and where you live. It’s a HUGE safety and security list to let random people know about your prepping activities.
Stealth Prepping in the Public Domain
It’s really easy to practice stealth prepping – just know when to STFU. Don’t show off all your “cool stuff.” Don’t brag about all your “prepping expertise.” In fact, if you’re bragging about it, you don’t really have anything to brag about. Resist the urge to post pics of all your stuff on Facebook or Instagram. Don’t post vids of you and all your stuff on YouTube. Really simple, right?
OTOH, I don’t think you need to be paranoid about paying for stuff with a credit card. I seriously doubt that some government employee somewhere is scouring my purchase receipts every month looking for “suspicious” purchases.
Stealth Prepping in the Family
What I want to talk about mostly though is stealth prepping in the context of a family budget when your wife isn’t a prepper. I still remember the time I was shopping with my wife and tried to buy five cases of purified drinking water. No matter how urgent you personally feel the need for prepping is, if you’re spending from a family budget you need to keep your spouse’s budget concerns in mind. In other words, practice stealth prepping in the family.
But Honey, It’s Not Prepping…
So how do you get your wife to spend money prepping when she’s not a prepper? Maybe she’s even hostile to the idea of prepping? Easy. Just don’t call it prepping. My wife didn’t want me to buy a small emergency water store, so we bought a Berkey water purification system instead. Five cases of water would have cost less than $25 and the Berkey system cost almost $350. Why did she agree to spend so much on the Berkey system? Because in her mind, storing water is prepping but having a water purification system isn’t.
Stealth Prepping in Practice
I decided to apply this “not prepping” concept to all my preps. For example, the Berkey is a nice system, but it just filters water – it doesn’t create water. In other words, I still need to store water, but that’s prepping. So instead of “storing water,” I’m going to put in a backyard pond that will hold over 1000 gallons – far more than the paltry 30 gallons my wife didn’t want me to get at Walmart. And guess what? She’s ecstatic about the idea of having a pond in our backyard. She’s also excited about the rainwater catchment system we’re planning. That’s not prepping either – it’s free water for our garden. Are you starting to see how this works?
Food is even easier – my wife is frugal, so all I have to do is watch the ads for things I like to eat that have good shelf life. It’s OK with her to stock up then because we’re not storing extra food, we’re saving money. Our garden produced more food this year than we can use, so soon that will be a reason for canning jars and a dehydrator. I’m still working on an excuse to get a smoker though…
Gear is more difficult. It doesn’t save money and she can’t picture any circumstance that might force us from our home. Besides if something happened we could just stay in a motel, right? What I’ve found out helps with gear is hobbies – you just have to pick the right hobbies. For example, some of my hobbies are hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, and target shooting. You shouldn’t be surprised that the gear I use for those things just happens to be useful for prepping as well.
Finally, when buying your preps, either go big or go small. When we bought our Berkey system, we went all out. Besides the basic system, I threw in chlorine/arsenic filters, a stand, and a few stainless steel water bottles. Since it was already a big purchase, she didn’t balk at the extra items. At the same time, I’ve found out I can build up by adding one or two small items whenever we go shopping and she doesn’t say anything. The thing that usually trips her up are the medium size purchases.
I hope I’ve given you some useful hints about prepping (and especially spending money on it) when your spouse isn’t also a prepper. I’ve been using these to prep without causing any family conflict and they work well. I hope I never have to put my preps to use in a real life SHTF situation, but I’m confident that if I do, my wife will be happy that we’re prepared for the worst – even if in the mean time she doesn’t realize that we are. If you’re in the same situation, I hope these methods can also work for you…