If you read about survival planning on the internet it will not take you very long to run across someone who is going to fight off a zombie hoard single handedly while climbing up a building with a 200 pound pack on their back. While sitting in their recliner typing on your laptop, everything seems possible. While that person may have a stockpile of supplies and gear, they do not have a real plan.
When planning it is important step back and take a realistic look at what you have planned and yourself. If you are a 25 year old triathlon athlete, you can plan different than a 45 year old insurance agent who gets winded after 2 flights of stairs. Take a long look at your health and physical condition. This is not to say that that insurance agent can’t survive, but he will have to plan to carry less and move slower than the 25 year old. Acknowledging this now will give you a chance to adjust your plan and/or improve your physical health beforehand.
Another component to examine is the equipment you choose. Do you regularly practice your skills in a real world situation so that you CAN make fire with 2 sticks? If not, you need to know that having only a pack of beef jerky and a knife is not a real plan. If you do not have regularly tested skills, you may need to supplement that with additional equipment. Leave the bowdrill behind and pack a disposable lighter, ferro rod, and tinder. The plan is not about being the biggest bad ass, it is about surviving. There is no “cheating” in using an easier method.
Surviving is also a lot of work. There is security, meal acquisition/preparation, clean up, and maintaining the fire overnight. Can you do it all alone? It may be easier to assemble a team. If you can get a group of trusted people to work together then these tasks can be split up. Also, more can be accomplished in the same time. People can gather firewood or water while you get the fire going. At the same time, someone can be standing guard against any uninvited 2 or 4 legged guests. There are only 24 hours in a day and you will soon find that those pass too quickly when you have important tasks to complete.
Planning and stockpiling can be costly too. Deciding to use the level you can really afford will help you out. There are some great pieces of equipment out there, but if you are still saving for it when SHTF, it will do you no good. Also, trading off stocking other items in favor of getting the best knife, water filter, pack, or tent may end up biting you in the long term. It may be best to cover all the necessities first. You can then upgrade or add equipment as budgets allow. Remember that in a lot of cases, especially for the upper levels, you are planning for something you hope never happens. Don’t go broke today trying to prepare for the maybe cases. No one can prepare for all eventualities. It is more important to have a solid base plan to build off of.
So take a look at your plan with realistic eyes every so often and keep it updated as to your situation. Honesty is really the best policy when thinking about your abilities. We all have limitations in one way or another, but admitting those is the first step in planning to overcome them.