104: Ben Franklin’s Best Prepper Quotes

Five great prepping quotes from Ben Franklin
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Founding Father Ben Franklin was sharing prepper quotes well before anyone ever thought of a term like “prepper.” His wisdom has held true throughout centuries, and so much of it relates to just thinking ahead.

Some of My Favorite Ben Franklin Prepper Quotes

Had I listened to Ben Franklin’s words of wisdom, I may have found myself better prepared to get on the road when I headed for the woods and bugged out last year.

I often read these old quotes to maintain my personal, situational awareness and assess how either I’ve done things that align with those quotes or things that are not. Then I consider which of those have been beneficial and which haven’t.

“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail.” 

The most effective time to plan is before the plan is NEEDED. If you wait to figure out what to do in the middle of an emergency, you are wasting valuable, potentially life-saving seconds. Think things through well in advance and create your plan ahead of time.

And of course, since plans don’t always go smoothly, consider your plan a framework to get the job done. Don’t stop at just one plan – consider plans B, C, and so forth.

“You May Delay, But Time Will Not.”

Prioritize the most important things, and particularly time-sensitive things. Farmers become pros at this – you’ve probably also heard the saying about “making hay while the sun shines.” Farmers have to harvest crops in the fields at just the right time. Homesteaders must preserve the things you’ve harvested before they spoil. These things simply can’t wait until it’s a convenient time.

And it’s not just the everyday things you need to do in a timely fashion. You need to remain in a state of readiness because emergencies and disasters aren’t going to wait for a convenient time before they occur. The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami hit the day after Christmas, with a beach full of people enjoying the holidays. Twenty-two tourists were killed visiting what they thought was an inactive volcano that erupted without warning.

People delay important tasks because they believe there’s plenty of time to get better prepared. But one day, when an emergency or crisis occurs, you will fervently wish you had those preps you’d “planned” to get in order.

“Well Done Is Better Than Well Said.”

Don’t talk about it, actually do those preventative maintenance and service checks. Don’t talk about equipment, use it. Finally, don’t just make a plan, execute it in a practice run, and troubleshoot it.

Talking is great and helps with your mindset. But too many people are all talk and no action.

Actually doing the thing prepares you better than all the conversations about it in the world.

“Lost Time Is Never Found Again.”

I highly encourage experiencing lazy days as often as possible. I think downtime is a healthy endeavor. But as one of the most important prepper quotes reminds us, every day can’t be a lazy day.

When it comes to survival, it’s just that: SURVIVAL.

Therefore, a missed opportunity to work on your survival skills is one more opportunity to NOT survive. Survival skills take time and energy.

So, when it comes to survival, take care of what’s most important first and as far in advance as possible.

  • Go get your water and store it away properly.
  • Build your food storage supply.
  • Create a way to shelter yourself from the elements now, rather than later.
  • Practice your chosen self-defense methods regularly (shooting and using other weapons are perishable skills.)
  • Create a medical kit, stock up on essential medications your family uses, and brush up on your first aid skills.

You never know what may be coming down the road. Focus on those most important needs right away, before it’s too late. Then move on to the less essential details.

“Being Ignorant Is Not So Much a Shame as Being Unwilling to Learn.”

Constantly and honestly assess and reassess your situation. Don’t be unwilling to admit that your plan didn’t work or that your idea was great in theory and terrible in practice. When settling into my trailer, I discovered some of my plans weren’t working out nearly as well as I had thought they would. To make the trailer more liveable, I focused on items that were multi-purpose and low presence. Sometimes, plans that seemed great simply don’t work out that well. The ability to accept that and switch gears increases your adaptability.

As well, don’t be so certain that you know everything – there are always others who have more experience than you in certain areas. Be open to accepting their advice. I’d rather learn from the mistakes of others than learn from making those same mistakes myself. You can often avoid hassles and discomfort simply by applying the lessons of others to your own situation.

The Bottom Line on Prepper Quotes

The bottom line on these prepper quotes from Ben Franklin is that the wise and sensible philosophies back in Franklin’s day are still wise and sensible now. These adages are especially applicable to becoming better prepared for whatever might come in the future.

Do you have a favorite prepper quote, saying, or words of wisdom? If, so post it in the comments below and tell us why it’s your favorite. 

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Stay safe, 


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