Saturday, June 22, 2013

How Much Is Enough?

Survivalism seems to be all about accumulating meaningful skills and massive amounts of stuff. Been thinking about how much stuff we really need. Came to some conclusions.

First is the obvious reply (to "how much stuff do we need?") of "For What?" The sort of scenarios a person is worried about matter greatly here. The amount of food, water, gear, weapons, money, etc that are needed for a 3 day power outage are very different than for a month long Hurricane Katrina type disaster which is still a lot less than some sort of SHTF/ TEOTWAWKI type event. The amount of food, precious metals, knives, gear, ammo, etc needed vary hugely.

Some scenarios make different stuff important. Commander Zero who is stashing Glocks and AR's like crazy might be worried about a different scenario than another person. That other person might be more worried about an economic collapse. The other person might have a a few guns to suit their basic needs plus a couple stashed away just in case then call it good and shove money into silver and gold. A third person might live way in the middle of nowhere, have a few guns and be big into gardening. They would be stashing seeds and canning stuff.

The next question that pops into my mind is about proportion. You need some balance. Obviously all guns and no food, or no guns and all food is real dumb. You get the point. Furthermore I think we need to consider the rest of life. Having a gazillion buckets of food but no savings account is foolish. Getting all this survival stuff but not the curtains and couch the Mrs wants is probably a good way to get divorced. Spending all your money on survival gear you may never need but kicking the bucket never taking that trip to wherever you always wanted to make is real dumb. Having tens of thousands of dollars in survival gear but paying on a car loan probably is not smart. As you progress in life hopefully making more money and saving more progressing towards a lot of lines of effort makes sense.

Lastly I think there is the question of how much stuff you can realistically use. A dozen rifles and handguns in the safe at home probably is not smart. Odds are way higher you will need a gun someplace else than a whole bunch of guns at home. A cache with a few of those guns and the rest stashed at a family member or friend's house where you frequently travel to makes more sense. Having a whole bunch of stuff you can't possibly use does not make sense.

Anyway I hope that gives you all something to think about.


8 comments:

CopperKnight said...

I think your 'proportion and balance' approach is spot on: don't neglect every-day current life for something that may or may not happen in your lifetime and keep your preps balanced across the security-food-supplies spectrum.

On the 'types' and prepping differently I think you are looking at it wrong. No matter what the disaster may be many aspects of surviving it will still be common: eating and drinking water daily, the ability to protect yourself from wolves, the possibility that 'it' may go longer than anticipated.

Don't forget to plan for both bugging out (flood, fire, environmental) as well as bugging in (quarantine, worse situation near bug out location).

Commander_Zero said...

I think we've wound up having more than one 'motivational imperitive' for us when it comes to our purchasing/stockpiling habits. Obviously, we stockpile food and other supplies because we worry about how economic changes may impact our ability to purchase those things later on. The other impetus that drives us is separate, and that would be the concern about a future unavailability of guns and ammo, hence our stockpiling of those. So, really, theres probably two or three reasons we prepares and each one of those causes a different area of focus in our buying habits.

Ryan said...

CopperKnight, It is true that you fundamentally need the same sort of systems (cutting, water filtration, guns, etc). That being said the amount of stuff needed in a given category will vary widely by scenario. Let's look at 1 issue, lighting. For a power outage a maglight and an LED lantern with fresh batteries is sufficient. If that scenario stretches on for a month (Katrina) we would probably want another set of both of those for convenience and redundancy as something might break. We would hypothetically also need sufficient batteries to change out all that stuff 4-5 times. If there is some sort of longer event we would need more batteries and replacements. Also it might be nice to have some LED lights which are fed by a power source which is recharged by solar power. See where I am going?

Ryan said...

Zero, You are absolutely right. The multiple drivers you mention make things a lot more complicated but it definitely makes sense.

CopperKnight said...

Ryan, I agree wholeheartedly. I guess I was looking at it as more of a progression... you start with enough for a shorter power outage, then just keep progressing towards the longer term events.

I don't see a reason to stop at the short term items and guess I just assumed that was the general consensus. I can see, though, that there are those who would listen to FEMA's advice and stop at the 3 day level.

Ryan said...

CopperKnight, In general I agree with you. I suspect most people here either stop around the 'Katrina' point or keep going.

K@CSG said...

However one chooses to go about it - if you have not established at least one cache (away from wherever you call home), you are robbing yourself of one of the greatest survival assets available to you....

Ryan said...

K, Well put!

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