To answer this first I will talk about how things worked in this particular situation. As to how I ended up with a PVS-14. I spent a year in Afghanistan. During that time my personal money and preparedness money accumulated in the bank leaving me with a wad of cash. I wanted to make a preparedness purchase of some type. It came down to a NOD, a long list of $100-$400 items or a whole bunch of long term storage food.
I liked the idea of a NOD for the obvious advantages it offers. The long list of stuff would be nice but I can make those sort of purchases over time while large amounts of cash are hard to come by. A major food purchase all at once didn't make a ton of sense to me as it would (albeit a long time from now) go bad all at once. On the other hand if I made the same purchases over 3-4 years I would have a better chance at orderly rotation and replacement with fresh stock. Also like the list of various stuff I can buy food in smaller increments that better fit into our normal budget. Right or wrong that is how I ended up with the NOD.
As to the laser I sold a rifle and my ACOG (which was replaced by a much more affordable yet still very nice Burris MTAC) to pay for it. So it was more of a shifting of resources within the greater defense/ gun arena than an influx of new money.
As to the philosophy and prioritization. In no particular order I will give some circumstances and thoughts that guided my decision:
-I intentionally prioritized items that could potentially be targeted by some sort of legislation or administrative fiat. Buckets of rice/ wheat/ beans, solar panels and 1978 F250 4x4's are not getting restricted any time soon but stuff like body armor and night vision very well could. Really it is more vulnerable than firearms as there is not any Constitutional protection for these items.
-We move a lot and not across town. This makes compact items that are easy to move imminently more practical for us. A whole lot easier to stick a NOD in a bag then make an additional cross country trip driving 55 in our old F250 13 mpg 'BOV'.
-It is easy to go down the dozen $100-$300 items vs one big one (in this case NOD+laser) rabbit hole. I thought about it a lot. Two things came to mind. First it is easier for me to work those various smaller items into our normal budget. (I've been knocking them off the list) Second when I really thought about it honestly the vast majority of them did not actually offer a new capability. Maybe something a bit lighter, more comfortable, newer, shinier, more tacticool, etc which is all great but those are IMO lower priorities than new capabilities.
- I think it is important to consider if you are building a system to fight, giving yourself the maximum advantage possible, or collecting guns. A person who is building a fighting setup will get a good set of personal weapons as well as a chest rig/ battle belt/ whatever, body armor and night vision if they can afford it and maybe pick up some more guns later. A person collecting guns will probably have a whole bunch of guns and various gear but quite possibly no body armor and certainly no night vision. I am not saying either approach is right or wrong; what I am saying is to think honestly about your goals and if your actions makes sense to support said goals.
-As John Mosby said "NVGs, or to use the older term with which I am far more comfortable, NODs, are a force multiplier of equal or greater value than two or three extra riflemen, when used properly. If you have six rifles of your own, but no NODs, you’re &@cking yourself and your team. Remedy the situation.
- A lot of the cost issue is about perspective. I personally know a guy who has between 75 and 100k in guns (at pre panic prices) and that's not including mags, ammo or parts all of which he has a lot of too. This guy described body armor which runs $500 a pop as ruinously expensive. He also did not have any night vision. By selling a few guns guns he could get body armor for all 4 members of the family and 2 NODs with IR lasers to match. He probably would not even notice the few guns that would need to be sold to pay for this stuff if they were missing. However they would be in a much better place if something actually happened.
-If one can't afford the rough price tag of modern (Gen3) type night vision and a laser that is one thing but continuing gun collecting instead of buying the other fighting gear that one should have is IMO a high degree of foolishness if the goal is defending them self and their loved ones. At best one should consider whether they want to collect guns or prepare to fight people.
I think this gives some insight to why I have made the decision to get into the NOD game. If we were in a fixed normal guy who lives in one place type situation I might have chosen differently but probably not. Anyway I cannot think of anything else to say so it's time to wrap this up.
As always your thoughts are appreciated.