This year, 2020, will go down in history as the year the world went insane.

Things are bad right now. Maybe they’ll get better; I hope so. But it’s 50-50 and they have an equally good chance of getting worse. If you’re smart, take your life into your own hands and do some preparation.

Prepping has moved from being something the enlightened giggled at to mainstream. The problem is, there are a lot of internet “experts” who are stupid. Listening to them can result in killing you. Here are a few more mistakes that can do that too.

Mistake 1: watching YouTube instead of reading books

A library of reference works can be an asset if the power goes out. Bryce M. Towsley

Some time ago, a young man contacted me about a gun repair problem. I explained as best I could while answering his questions. I spoke to him on the phone for half an hour and at the end of our conversation I said: “All of this is explained in detail in my book Armouring Made Easy with photos.” I even offered him a discount for friends and family.

“Oh, that’s fine, I’ll just watch YouTube,” he said before hanging up.

I know it’s a generation thing. Nobody reads books anymore. They visit YouTube to see what they need to know, but that can kill you as a prepper.

Why? It’s easy. If there is a meltdown, the internet, including YouTube, will likely be gone. What will you do then Where can you find information to learn how to plant a garden, purify water, treat an infected leg, stitch a wound, give birth to a baby, milk a cow, or repair a broken gun?

The government can’t turn off the books on your shelves. An EMP won’t make them go away. Something as simple as a tree falling on a power line doesn’t make it useless. The more reference and instruction books you have, the better your chances of survival.

Yeah, I know books are a stupid, antiquated boomer idea. Aside from books going through a review process with editors and publishers, the information is likely from a real expert rather than a guy with a smartphone who lives in his mother’s basement.

These books will also be available for reference for as long as you need them. So if you panic about why your buddy pukes his guts after drinking from a river, you can look it up.

Mistake 2: get the wrong ammo

Premium ammunition is much more reliable and effective than cheap bullet ammunition. Bryce M. Towsley

As I write this, we are experiencing another national panic (does it really matter which one?). I spoke to a buddy who runs a local gun shop and he said, “I had 50,000 rounds of 9mm ammo last Friday.”

That was Tuesday.

“I have 11,000 laps left and it will be over when I close,” he said.

“What are you buying?” I asked, always the gun nerd.

“The cheapest hardball I have,” he replied. “Nothing else will sell.”

That buying attitude can kill you. I know the numbers look great when you brag to your buddy that you have xxxx-thousands of cartridges in your shed. But stop and think. What if you have to fight for your life with this ammunition? Do you really want the cheapest stuff on the shelf? Is your life worth it?

Better to buy less ammunition and buy good ammunition. Inexpensive, loose hardball is great for practicing. It’s also good for swapping after the lights go out and the money is only worth as toilet paper. What it’s not good for is to fight.

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Yes, the military uses hardball. That’s because a bunch of politicians decided it was okay to shoot someone in a war, but you have to do it with bullets that won’t harm them that much. I can also point out that if the Hague Convention Spreader balls were banned, most of our military was armed with 45-caliber rifles.

In 1899, no army in the world fought with 5.56 mm bullets.

In addition, civilians are not bound by this treaty. We can use any damn bullet we want. Also, remember that we are talking about preparation here. There will be no government, no police, no rules. Fight fair and you will die.

Use the cheap ammo for training (you train, right?) And buy good ammo with expanding bullets designed for TSHTF self defense.

Mistake 3: Don’t practice shooting with your guns

An AR rifle leaning against a pile of stones.Exercise regularly with the weapons you plan to use for self-defense. Bryce M. Towsley

I understand guns are cool. I wholeheartedly support buying everything you can. Even the cheap guns. You can never have too many.

But you should have at least a rifle and handgun dedicated to survival. They should both be semi-automatic and collated. They should be ordinary guns housed in a common centerfire cartridge so that parts and ammunition will be available after the world as we know it is gone. Make sure they are high quality. Don’t make it cheap. Also, don’t put them away because you fear they will wear out. Good guns are meant to be shot and you won’t wear them out anytime soon.

Even if you do, you can buy another one. In fact, a replacement is a very good idea for preppers. Another good idea is to always have a bag of spare parts ready for you.

Shoot them a lot to fix the bugs. Shoot them a lot to familiarize yourself with them so that you can do them without thinking. Shoot them a lot to build the skills you need to stay alive.

You can be sure that someone out there is training with their guns with the intention of taking what you have.

Shoot your guns until you are better than him.

Mistake 4: Only Train With One Type Of Gun Gun

A man with ear and eye protection shoots a rifle at a shooting range.Familiarize yourself with a wide variety of firearms. Bryce M. Towsley

During self-defense courses I repeatedly meet people who think they should opt for a “platform” (Gunspeak for a specific weapon design, such as a GLOCK or 1911 pistol or an AR-15 rifle) and stick with it. Their reasoning is that in the fog of war, if you are full of adrenaline and just working with muscle memory, you can still function with this weapon. They believe that shooting with other types of guns confuses their subconscious and makes them forget how to wield their firearm. I remember a guy I met who didn’t even touch another weapon for fear it might damage his brain. I thought it was already damaged.

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What happens when you no longer have access to your “platform”? How are you supposed to survive with a gun you have no idea how to use, in the middle of a fast-paced situation where bad guys are trying to kill you? The simple answer is; you are not. You will die.

A real weapon guy knows: the more you know, the better your chances of survival. I know some of the most elite special forces in our military. These are the guys who have been in many shootings and many dire situations and I can tell you they can wield any gun they pick up. Never miss a chance to shoot another weapon.

Error 5: Bug Out at the First Sign of Problems T

A man carries a backpack full of survival supplies.Wiretapping may seem like a good idea, but should only be viewed as a last resort. Bryce M. Towsley

So what’s your plan To go to the mountains? I met a woman at a party a while ago. She told me how worried she was that things would go bad. Then, because I was trapped at the table with her, she told me about her plans. She will leave her home in New York State with no real planning or equipment. She’s going to meet her daughter and two young grandchildren at a government campground, because for her “that’s out in the Boonies, where it’s safe”. She has no camping gear or camping experience, which probably doesn’t matter as she has no plans on what to do for shelter, food, or safety after she arrives. She is just sure that they have to “go to the mountains”.

I asked about weapons.

“Oh, I have a .22,” she said. “But I don’t know how to use it.”

Just to be clear, if it all falls apart and she goes along with her plan, this lady is going to die very quickly. Indeed, there will be a multitude of “causes of death” queuing up for a chance at fame. I doubt she’ll make it for a week.

Let’s get one thing straight, for most people, “getting out” is a foolish idea. You should only do this if absolutely forced. Everything you have is at home; Your food, your guns, the things you are familiar with. Why do you want to leave that? For a romantic idea of ​​living on the country? That will kill you.

I have been hunting, camping, fishing, catching and kicking in the forest for well over half a century. For nearly forty years I made a living writing about these things. I bet my skills in the wild are many times higher than the average person who “goes to the mountains,” and I doubt I could live off the land and thrive long. How will he get along?

Having a bug-out plan is good. But you have to have a plan. Think of a place where you have shelter, water, food, and security. A place where you can survive.

“The Hills” isn’t.

Besides, like many others who have thought this through, I already live in the mountains. When you come here, all hungry and desperate, trying to take our things?

That will kill you.