Wow what a ride! I know when I started out prepping I did a lot of stuff assbackwards. Luckily I had time to learn and get things in the proper order. Like any well programed American consumer, I was most concerned about how much I could buy as quickly as possible. But the most of big steps are about you becoming a prepper cost no money. But they do cost a lot of time and energy.
The mental, physical and spiritual aspects of prepping are really the most important things. Not the stuff you buy or store Food, water, fuel are just things that can make the survival easier. The top ten of Kellene’s preping can really help you to prioritize. With my handicap I walk about 4-5 miles 5 days a week. Yes I have to use a walker to do it but I know on fairly level terrain I can do at least 5 miles a day. How many people know they can do that?
I also know that physically moving all the water I used was exhausting. I thought my five day water test would be a walk in the park. I had to quit on day four because I just started to shut down physically and mentally. Okay I know this will happen so how can I avoid that in the future. Using some little battery powered water pumps, heat one 5 gallon batch of hot water rather than a smaller batches. Don’t be afraid to use a smaller pitcher to move water rather than trying to manhandle a five gallon jug. Plan your water use the night before and get it in place before going to bed. Your body can use that sleep time to recover. Works a lot better for me than moving and heating water as I go through the day. Practice and see what works best for you. Trust me even doing a day or two without using tap water, washer and dishwasher is a very good learning experience.
Another big item for me was learning to bake bread. Oh sure it sounds easy but it takes a few bad loves to get a feel for making a good loaf of bread. Growing a garden or a little kitchen herb garden. All of these things are simple. That does not mean they are easy! You have to practice them so they become second nature.
I think my last big skill I learned was brewing beer. Yes if you can boil water you too can brew beer. A few basic steps practiced and it becomes simple over time. It’s going to be really cool doing an all-grain because there is no waste and I can give my Mom the leftover grains for her chickens after I have done the basics of getting the sugars out of the grain.
Outside of suffering massive head trauma I will always have these 3 simple skills. I only need a few tools and basic ingredients and I can always make those little things like a loaf of bread, a bottle of beer and a salad from the garden. These things/skills become multi-taskers. I have a pasta machine if I have a few basics I have fresh noodles.
I think the best lesson I have learned is I will never stop learning since becoming a prepper! I think I found a way to knit using a loom type setup and not needles. I have to cheat a bit because my hands are not good for fine muscle control. You can whine and piss and moan about how life is unfair or things are hard. Or you can make the best of what you got to work with and spit in the eye of fate and make the very best life you are capable of living!