Preparing less

Posted by: Tjin

Preparing less - 10/05/18 09:16 PM

Since it is a bit quiet here; let's have some discussion here.

I have been changing my lifestyle to a far more lean, minimalist and sustainable approach.

Having worked for the emergency services and currently doing training with them I found that more is not always better. More gears also mean more training, more maintenance, more money spend, confusion and dependency. At a certain point it's just a headache; impossible training/work schedules and/or overcrowded incident sites; where everything is blocking everything else.

I'm also an alpinist and do many other outdoor activities, so keeping weight and bulk down is pretty ingrained in that too. More weight and bulks mean slower, more energy spend, more danger, less comfort.

Less stuff, less maintenance, less training, less weight, fewer things to think about, fewer things to care about, more time left to do fun stuff, more freedom to just ditch things and start over. If you are resourceful and able to sustain some discomfort, then you can really do with very few things.

I'm quite surprised by some discussion about certain gear. Let say generators; it adds maintenance (skill, time and parts) and requires a fuel supply (which requires storage containers, stabilizer or frequent rotation). I fully understand if your life depends on power for medical devices, but some people are talking about tv's. Even if it's for the fridge, for people in urban places where power is pretty reliable, I generally don't even see the point in investing in hundreds, if not thousands just to keep the content of the fridge well. It's not an instant full lose. Generally, you have some time to start eating the fridge content and then the freezer part. How much money is actually lost from the fridge compared to the cost and time invested in a generator?

I have been reducing my gear by selling them/giving them away and then slowly getting smaller, lighter and higher quality things. Just the basics, but done right.

I'm reducing my 'regular' food stock, as I had too many things past there use by date by a wide margin. Such a waste, but it doesn't really work well for me as I generally only cook fresh things. Just have freeze-dried food which lasts long and is part of the stock I use for my outdoor trips.

What are you guys thinking of a lean approach to preparedness?
Posted by: CJK

Re: Preparing less - 10/05/18 10:07 PM

To 'answer' the question, restocking a fridge AFTER you've eaten most of the stuff inside....cost us about 350 dollars. It was that low because we had anticipated the storm. There was the second fridge and the chest freezer in the garage. That added to it. We've been through 2 hurricanes that knocked out power for 7 and 4 (or 5-can't remember) days. It was a relatively big deal. No, not life threatening, but it did have a big impact. We have figured out that even just those 2 hurricanes would have off set the cost of the generator. We have weighed the pros and cons and decided to upgrade. Unfortunately not an automatic standby but a power transfer and a large enough generator to handle a few big things.
Posted by: LesSnyder

Re: Preparing less - 10/06/18 12:29 AM

just a comment... during the 2004 9 day power outage I was still working, so a 6am wake up was needed for about 1/2 that time...indoor temps were in the mid 80's until almost midnight, and at the time I had only a very small battery powered fan to circulate air...while my old frame house had some "cracker house" construction, it was still very difficult to get restful sleep

for the 5 day outage from the next storm, I had better battery fans, but still used a cooler to hold my perishable foods without a problem

for Irma last year, I had a generator, but had retired so sleep duration was more tolerable, so used it primarily to make ice and charge batteries... still using frozen gallon jugs in my 5/7 day cooler....

I live on the central Gulf Coast of Florida, and a generator makes life easier... a small inverter generator was added to the larger one.... there are multi fuel generators in the $300 range... both of my generators are converted to run off large fuel tanks...I store about 12 gal of gasoline, 5gal kerosene, and 3 25# propane tanks...it just makes life easier... regards
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Preparing less - 10/06/18 02:38 AM

I also come from a mountaineering/rock climbing background and during the years when I was active in mountain rescue the guiding principle was not too much, not too little, but just right - food, meds, equipment- it was all in a back pack that never left my immediate vicinity. I was constantly tweaking that pack and its contents,changing for the seasons and the varying conditions. It was essentially a bug out bag.

I try to follow the same practice in preparing for foreseeable situations now. Having an overabundance is just as bad as having too little. Even when you have the right amount, it must be organized and accessible when needed. I often come up short in that endeavor.

'When it comes to electricity, I am a solar fan. For years I have worked at a park (Channel islands) where solar powered our outlying ranger stations. no noise, no fueling, drastically less maintenance, and plenty enough juice to handle necessary functions. I can see the day when my home will sprout solar panels, but for now I have a couple of mobile panels and a variety of power packs. I can keep portable lights and cell phones up and running. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about AC (most of the time, anyway).

I have plenty of camping gear. Mrs. Hikermor thinks I have too much, especially fuel. When the earth moves for us, I will just camp on the property and begin salvage and reconstruction.
Posted by: quick_joey_small

Re: Preparing less - 10/06/18 06:19 AM

For a fridge you could freeze the contents in advance if you know power failure is on the way. And fill the empty spaces with frozen bottles of water. Then put the chill to max.
And lay the fridge on it's back so you don't lose all the cold air when you open the door. A good reason to only use chest freezers.
Also insulate the fridge more. Blankets, duvets, The white stuff electonic items come surrounded by has fantastic insulation. Why when I was complaining it was simply too hot to sit on in when we use it on building sites in the summer, did I never think to make my own sleeping mat before we had closed cell ones?
That's a rhetorical queston. Don't answer it!!
qjs
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: Preparing less - 10/06/18 04:04 PM

My "lean approach" is part of a multi-level strategy. I need to think "lean" for when we need to bug out permanently. It may come down to what luggage I can check in before boarding a passenger jet.

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Preparing less - 10/06/18 06:40 PM

I vary my approach based on activity.

My on-body carry isnít heavy or excessive. My day-hiking backpack is mostly water and a first aid kit, with other gear being lightweight and minimal bulk. In the car I ďcarryĒ heavy compared to most ó I have the room, Iím willing to incur the insignificant additional hit to fuel economy, and even if I should go a year without using anything (which has never happened) I have peace of mind.
Posted by: Herman30

Re: Preparing less - 10/06/18 06:40 PM

@Jeanette_Isabelle Are you sure there will be jets flying in a situation like that? What if there are not?
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: Preparing less - 10/06/18 07:27 PM

Originally Posted By: Herman30
@Jeanette_Isabelle Are you sure there will be jets flying in a situation like that? What if there are not?

How else are we supposed to flee outside the country?

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: Russ

Re: Preparing less - 10/06/18 08:19 PM

Which is one reason that people should always have a Plan B. Like all emergency situations which require evacuation, most people will not decide to leave until after the planes stop flying.
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: Preparing less - 10/06/18 08:47 PM

Originally Posted By: Russ
Which is one reason that people should always have a Plan B. Like all emergency situations which require evacuation, most people will not decide to leave until after the planes stop flying.

Unless you decided to leave early because you and a remnant were able to interoperate the writing on the wall.

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: Herman30

Re: Preparing less - 10/06/18 09:18 PM

Originally Posted By: Jeanette_Isabelle

How else are we supposed to flee outside the country?

Jeanette Isabelle

Perhaps you just have to face the fact that there might be situations when you canīt.
The USA (+Canada) is such a large continent that if something happens to make you want to leave (where? To Europe? To Africa?) one might suspect it is such a large thing that you canīt escape it anywhere on the planet.
Posted by: Michael2

Re: Preparing less - 10/10/18 03:09 PM

> I'm quite surprised by some discussion about certain gear.

As my mother says, "Everyone needs a hobby."

Discussing, buying, trading, collecting, playing with gear is FUN, at least for some of us.

For myself, I try to put gear into 3 categories: preparedness, entertainment, and paranoia.

All three are legitimate categories, it's just important to make sure which is which.

Yet another flashlight, knife or multitool to add to the dozens I've already got? Ok, folks, let's be honest, that's entertainment, we're way out of the preparedness category. I like flashlights. If I want to spend $20 on my birthday for another one, that's just fine.

Accumulating geiger counters and iodine pills and fallout shelters, given I'm a few miles from a major city, i.e. target? For ME, I'm going to call that paranoia. Others may disagree, and that's fine, too. Do I plan to survive a nuclear war? ("No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.") But if it helps you to sleep knowing that you have a Geiger counter, that is justification for buying one, as long as you can afford it.

Storing water reasonable amounts of water?: Preparedness.

And as anyone who has looked at expensive backpacking equipment knows, going lightweight and lean can sometimes be an expensive hobby of its own.

I think it's great to hear about everyone else's outlook on preparedness. Even if I would put something in a different category (entertainment, preparedness, paranoia) than someone else, I enjoy learning about different approaches.
Posted by: hikermor

Re: Preparing less - 10/10/18 04:48 PM

"And as anyone who has looked at expensive backpacking equipment knows, going lightweight and lean can sometimes be an expensive hobby of its own."

Well, yes and no on this statement.

I am fortunate in that my backpacking gear often was used in job related field work tasks, giving it a double justification.

I would also make the point that doing light weight does not necessarily entail buying expensive gear, but is more of a process of determining your basic, fundamental needs, and searching for gear that is versatile, often filling more than one function, and developing a system that works for you. It well might not be a system that works for me. We are all individuals.

In buying gear, careful thought is necessary. Quality gear is not for sale at cheap prices. But I learned long ago, that good gear, carefully chosen, gives outstanding value and service, especially if it is versatile and multi-use. It is usually more economical to buy a quality item, say a sleeping bat, once, and use it for twenty plus years than to buy a succession of cheapo items which wear out quickly and that don't work as well.

Most of the gear that I will depend upon in a survival situation is repurposed outdoor gear, just slightly redeployed when raw, screaming wilderness arrives at my doorstep.
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Preparing less - 10/10/18 10:32 PM

Originally Posted By: Michael2
Yet another flashlight, knife or multitool to add to the dozens I've already got? Ok, folks, let's be honest, that's entertainment, we're way out of the preparedness category. I like flashlights. If I want to spend $20 on my birthday for another one, that's just fine.


Are you able to write me a note excusing me from flashlight-related discussions? For Mrs. chaosmagnet?
Posted by: Michael2

Re: Preparing less - 10/11/18 02:08 AM

I'm just a Stranger in this town - I don't think I dare write a note for the Sheriff!
Posted by: chaosmagnet

Re: Preparing less - 10/11/18 12:01 PM

Originally Posted By: Michael2
I'm just a Stranger in this town - I don't think I dare write a note for the Sheriff!


She doesnít know that!

When I use this color for my text Iím speaking ex cathedra as Blastís deputy. Otherwise Iím another participant. Fortunately, the workload moderating ETS is quite light.
Posted by: quick_joey_small

Re: Preparing less - 10/11/18 12:56 PM

Jeanette Isabelle wrote:
> How else are we supposed to flee outside the country?

The US has two long land borders with other countries.
Florida where you are is only 60 miles from the Bahamas.
qjs
Posted by: Jeanette_Isabelle

Re: Preparing less - 10/11/18 07:06 PM

Originally Posted By: quick_joey_small
Florida where you are is only 60 miles from the Bahamas.

That would require a plane or a ship which goes back to my original question.

Jeanette Isabelle
Posted by: dougwalkabout

Re: Preparing less - 10/12/18 02:34 AM

Originally Posted By: Jeanette_Isabelle
Originally Posted By: quick_joey_small
Florida where you are is only 60 miles from the Bahamas.

That would require a plane or a ship which goes back to my original question.

Jeanette Isabelle


It seems the OP has been hijacked.

Perhaps this conversation should have its own thread?
Posted by: LesSnyder

Re: Preparing less - 10/12/18 02:44 AM

the leanest edc I've seen were the gold charms of a Thai "baht" bracelet where the gold mass was actually marked in grams on the charms, and the Vietnamese "di di mao" (rough translation... to leave quickly) gold bracelets where wealth was added in the form of another link in the bracelet.... easy to run out the back door as the bad guys came in the front,and you take your wealth with you... with cash, you could buy what you need when you get there

it was easy to spot the Christians In Action up around Chiang Mai due to their heavy gold ID bracelet, where they might need to buy their way out of trouble one link at a time

if you are not familiar with the term "blood chit" you might look it up...I was told they were worth about $50,000 during the air war in Viet Nam ...