With many of us still 'isolated' or 'locked-down' we've had a lot of people talking to us about the best preparedness things that people can do during lockdown. A lot of people are Furloughed or on reduced salaries / income and perhaps don't have the money to spend on stocking up on new gear.
Even those who have the money, with a lot of restrictions in supermarkets and shops on the range of items, prices, offers and quantities you can buy now isn't the perfect time to be stocking up big time on your preparedness items. (Although we're still very much open and selling online!)
So here is our Top Tips for working on your preps during lock-down:
Tip 1 - Do a Stock Check
Now is the perfect time to review your preps. Close the curtains, pull out your preps and check exactly what you've got. Sometimes it's easy to forget just how much you have, where you've stored it and when it expires!
Doing a proper stock-check will give you an idea of not just what you've got, but also what you're missing. Maybe you thought you bought something but you didn't. Maybe you've lost stuff. Maybe you have a rodent or an insect problem. Maybe some of your tins have popped or rusted and may need to be binned. (Some of my tinned tomatoes had popped their tops! It can happen with acidic tomato products in tins. These all had to be binned.)
Even if you check through everything and it's all good, it will give you confidence that everything you're doing is correct and that you have the right stuff put away.
Tip 2 - Take Up a New Hobby
What with so many people off work, or for those Key Workers who now have nowhere to go at the weekend or in the evenings, now is a great time to take up a new hobby. The picture above is knitting but it doesn't need to be something so house bound.
Personally I've been using the time to get out walking, I've explored a lot of local walking routes around my home and done some longer distance trips out into the surrounding countryside. It helps to build up a little bit of a mental map of your surrounding area. I've learned a lot about small local water sources, small woods where I could potentially camp in the future and even found a new fishing lake I didn't know existed before! These things can be noted mentally or physically record them on your map. Knowing where just a few of these things are could literally save your life one day.
For those not wanting to risk going out, Knitting, Mechanics, DIY, Paracord Bracelet Making, Back Garden air rifle shooting, Archery and many more hobbies are all accessible at home. Most online stores are still open and operational so there's no reason you can't pick up the bits you need to get by.
Tip 3 - Make A Plan
Now this is pretty broad, when I say Make a Plan it could be literally anything. Look at what you've got coming up in the year, think about how and when you could fit in some time for the great outdoors, maybe book a couple of days off work to get out and about camping or just look online on Google Maps and plot out a new walking route.
There is so much to be done post Lock-down you could save yourself a lot of time and hassle by planning out what you need to get done right now. I've booked some holiday off work for some mountaineering trips abroad later in the year, organised a day out at the range for after the lockdown lifts with the guys from my shooting club, even made a few pretty comprehensive shopping lists for the things I want to pick up over the next few months.
You don't need to be able to get out and do it, but you can still enjoy it just as much planning it all out and getting yourself ready for when that day comes.
Tip 4 - Read
This is one I absolutely cannot stress enough. It doesn't matter if its 10 minutes in the evening, or a day buried under blankets on the sofa. Spend a little bit of your time reading. You can pick up used books cheaply off eBay or Amazon for next to nothing. I've flown through Selco Begovic's 'The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival' which has honestly revolutionized the way I look at my preps, now I'm going through the SAS Survival Guide for something like the seventy fifth time. Reading is a great way to learn from someone else's experience.
Not ,only does it improve your vocabulary, reading and writing ability. It will help you to imagine scenarios that you could go through and give you real life experiences to draw ideas from. There are loads of good titles out there but I can certainly recommend Lofty Wiseman's 'SAS Survival Guide', all of Selco Begovic's work, Bob Carss's 'The Complete Guide to Tracking' and John Seymours 'The Self Sufficient Gardener' just to get you started.
Tip 5 - Enjoy Some Rest
If you're anything like me, you're holidays are more tiring than your workdays. Your weekends, busier than your weekdays. There's nothing wrong with taking the time to just rest and relax a little. There's something about not having anywhere to go, or anything to do which can really let you switch off.
I love to be out and about, active walking or doing sports but actually this is a great time to just sit and reflect. Think about everything you've achieved and what you have left to do. Put you're feet up a bit, watch some rubbish television or put on your favourite movie. Enjoy the little things. As far as Pandemics go this one is nowhere near as bad as it could be. Take some pleasure out of knowing you're more prepared than most and enjoy a little hard earned rest.