11 Common Bad Habits Every Prepper Needs to Break

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“Bad habits are easier to abandon today than tomorrow”

Yiddish Proverb

Everyone has a habits, both good and bad. Habits can be beneficial, creating routine and a stable foundation in your life. Habits can also be damaging to you and the people around you. Self discipline is the best way to combat bad habits, but the first step is being aware of them.

Some basic bad habits are especially dangerous in emergencies, disasters, and when SHTF. When these tough times in life come around, having a bad habit become worse is the last thing you need. Make a commitment to yourself and the ones you love to break habits that put you and them at a greater risk.

We all know habits are hard to break. That is why whole industries are built around breaking habits, like patches to quit smoking.

This are eleven habits that need to be addressed by anyone that considers themselves a prepper. From a higher risk of infection during a pandemic to increased health risk during an emergency, all of these habits increase your risk in a bad situation. If getting rid of these bad habits was not enough before, knowing how these can affect you in dire emergencies may make you try a little harder to kick them to the curb. Identifying whether or not you have these bad habits is the first step to breaking them.

1. Skipping Hand Washing

Hand washing is the most important processes in hygiene, yet we skip this step all the time. Many of us also just go through the motions when washing our hands and do not sanitize them as best as we could.

2. Nail Biting

While this habit exposes you to germs on a regular basis, it is especially dangerous during a pandemic. Ingestion is one of the easiest ways to become infected for many threats. They make a clear nail coating to help break this habit that makes your nails taste foul- available at most grocery stores.

3. Sitting Around

Living a sedentary life is more common than you would think. Americans sit an average of over six hours a day! Getting up and moving is important to stay in shape. Sitting around may not get you far during a disaster.

survival farm

4. Stress Eating

This habit can be especially dangerous to a prepper. With limited food stores during a stressful disaster, you may find yourself in a bind if you have not broken this habit yet. Compulsive eating is usually ‘mindless’ eating, so it may be difficult to identify this habit if you have it. If you can recognize the urge to eat, try distractions or breathing exercises until the temptation passes.

5. Not Enough Sleep

Sleep deprivation may be more common than you think. Experts suggest 7-8 hours per night for an adult. Almost half of American adults do not get this much sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause irrational decision making, anxiety, and long term risks. Remember, the saying “You can sleep when you’re dead” is not true at all.

6. Nose Picking

Anyone who claims they have never picked their nose is a filthy liar. However, this is a filthy habit that is similar to nail biting in that you are exposing yourself to germs. This is another mindless habit that is hard to break because it is hard to catch yourself in the act.

7. Smoking

Smoking has been blasted as a bad habit for several decades now, so we won’t go into too much detail. Mainly the extra resource you need to have for a chemical dependency just does not mesh well with the idea of prepping and self sufficiency. Vaporizers are also bad for emergencies, since they require charging and cartridges.

8. Not Brushing Teeth/Flossing

It takes two minutes to brush teeth, and not very long to floss either. Floss has many uses on its own, so it makes sense to use it for it’s original purpose as well. In disaster situations, a toothache is not what you need and dentists may be in short supply.

9. Overspending

While preppers are generally frugal, research oriented, and value savvy, we spend a good amount of money building up stores and buying gear. This provides the opportunity to overspend. If you are spending while in debt, take a step back and evaluate your financial position.

10. Skipping Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We have all heard this several times, but it is a very important meal. It jump starts your metabolism after rest and provides much needed energy. If you do not like breakfast foods, try switching up what is on the menu to get a meal in during the early hours.

11. Phone Addiction

Last and not least, this habit is new within the past couple decades. Using a phone to escape social interaction, phantom vibrations, and constant screen time are all indications of a problem. Games, tools, email, and texting can contribute to mobile phone addiction.

Knowing your limits is important, and we need to realize when we are using phones as a replacement for social interaction rather than a tool and try to balance our interaction.

Brush up on any bad habits you noticed may apply to you, and share with your prepping friends to be sure they do the same.

Life Straw


  1. Hello from Oklahoma! I think another one, maybe number12. Learn To Use Your Equipment. Don’t wait, practice now. U would not believe the number of people I take into the woods, watch what I’m doing, and say wow, thats cool! Practice, have fun doing it. You don’t need the most expensive gear, just solid gear U trust. Hell I started out with an old boyscout knife, a peach can and a piece of tarp. That was 40 years ago. God Bless!!!

  2. How about buying ‘survival’ types of food you don’t have a clue how to prepare/cook as Double D writes and stocking food that your family won’t eat? That is a great example of ‘overspending’ and definitely wasting money.

  3. Hi : I am JOHN from southern New Brunswick ,Canada . When I stated prepping food 10 yrs. ago I made the big mistake of many new preppers ie buy things that were on sale just because they were a good buy . Now I tell all new preppers about my costly expense ..”Don’t buy what U don’t eat “. Expensive lesson but a lesson I will never forget .. JOHN


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