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Prepping For SHTF

Stuff survivalist should not stockpile

From time to time I see discussions on the forums about gear and supplies that survivalist should invest into – like a berkey water filter, mountain house foods, or long term food storage items.  For the sake of discussion, lets talk about stuff you should not invest into.

Before investing a lot of money into a project, there are some things to consider.  The first consideration is “can you “really” afford it?  It would be nice to have half a million dollars to drop into 1,000 acres in Alaska and a 2 story cabin.  But the fact is, most people can not afford such luxuries.  Next, do you really “need” the supplies?  Or, are you buying the supplies just to have them?

Gold – As of today, October 5, 2010 the price of gold is $1,333.95 per ounce.  For the average working middle class family, who is struggling to pay a house note, electric bill, insurance, buy food,,,,,, forking out $1,333 for an ounce of gold is out of the question.  In a lot of cases, that $1,333 would pay1 or 2 house notes.  Having a place to live is more important then trying to buy gold in these tough financial times.  If your one of the lucky few that money is not an issue, then maybe buying gold is right up your alley.

If gold was at $400, and a family had some extra money they could invest, then sure, maybe buy some gold.  But if you buy it right now, how much higher can the price go before it starts to go back down.  I see buying gold right now, as the same thing as getting into a pyramid scam.  The people that got in early make the most money – the people that get in late lose the most money.

Meals Ready to Eat – the good ole MRE is not a top pick for a survivalist food.  Sure the military hands them out by the case, but the military also has plenty of money.

MRE cons:
Expensive – costing about $75 per case.  With 12 meals per case, that equals out to $6.25 per meal.
Sodium content – see this post for a full description of the sodium content in MREs.  To say that MREs are high in sodium is an understatement.
Affected by heat – unless you have the room in your house, or a climate controlled storage area, your MRE lifespan is going to be seriously affected by storing them in the garage or storage building. From the studies I have seen, 1 day over 100 degrees takes 1 month off the life span.

If you want to buy some MREs, then please do so. I usually keep around 6 – 12 cases in stock at all times. Their mainly used on hiking, camping, backpacking and hunting trips. Their a quick and easy grab and go meal, but for long term food storage, there are better options.

Black Powder Rifles – a lot of people see black powder as the ultimate survivalist firearm, mainly because black powder was used for centuries before smokeless powder was developed.  The problem with black powder – even modern day black powder – its corrosive.  When you shoot a black powder firearm, it has to be cleaned within 24 hours or else the corrosive properties of the powder start to eat at the barrel.  Its the time and supplies needed to clean the black powder rifle that makes it go on the “do not buy list”.  If you want a survival rifle, get an SKS and a case of non-corrosive 7.62X39.

Land you will never see – owning 100+ acres in the Alaska wilderness is the dream that a lot of people share.  But the fact is, most people can not afford to visit, develop, or maintain such property.  For the average working class family that struggles to pay their house note, electric bill, insurance, buy food,,,, buying some cheap land might seem like a good investment.  But when it comes time to visit the land, how are you going to reach it?  Do you need to fly in, do you have a 4-wheel drive truck or SUV to reach the land, are there even roads going to the land?  Buying land in a remote location might seem like a good idea, but not when you have to plan 2 weeks vacation, fly to wherever the land is at, and then backpack 100 miles to its location.   For some people, sure, that might work out just fine.  But for others, the dream might turn into a nightmare real quick.

Stuff you will never use – and this can be anything.  Whether its buying too many backpacks, too many water filters, too many canned goods – and they expire before their eaten, too many sleeping bags, cots,  air mattresses,,,,,,,,.  Purchases need to be kept in proportion to how much you use the items.  If you do not use it a lot, do not buy a lot of them.

Back in the late 1990s the survivalist group I was in had a Bug Out Bag made up for the members and firearms for everyone.  Each bag contained various ammo, rain poncho, canteen, water purification tablets, matches,,,,,,.  The plan was for when the United Nations invaded the USA, we were going to Bug Out to the Wilderness and hold up.  There was a lot of talk in the 1990s about NAFTA and GATT, and the UN going house to house and picking up guns.  But that is what happens when you have events like Waco, Ruby Ridge, and people like Bill Clinton and Janet Reno in power.  When you have a government agency that would shoot and kill an unarmed woman holding a baby – the wife of Randy Weaver – they are capable of anything.

Needless to say, king clinton and her husband served their terms and had to step down.  The United Nations invasion never came, and we never had to use our Bug Out Bags.

Conspiracy Theories – do not invest a lot of time or effort listening to conspiracy theories. They will detour and consume your life.  In the mid – late 1990s I got into the conspiracy theories big time.  There was a lot of stuff being said on different talk radio shows – both main stream and late night, and there was a lot of stuff being printed.

I remember one book called “Vampire Slayer 2000” – which talked about how the USA would be taken down before the year 2000.  Then there was the guy saying the stickers on the backside of street signs were symbols for the UN invading forces.  Everywhere you looked, there was someone talking doom and gloom.  There was even a book that talked about how television had a hypnotic effect on people.  That the TV broadcast was at a certain frame rate to lull people into a trance. Once in a trance, they would believe whatever was broadcast on the TV.  If you listened to everything that was being said, you would be afraid to even buy food or turn on the TV and watch the news.

The problem is, if your looking for something, chances are your going to find it – one way or another.  Live your life the way you want to, and turn a semi-blind eye to the things that will consume you.

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