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#110387 - 10/28/07 11:20 PM Re: Why is preparedness so much fun? [Re: RobertRogers]
hiker1 Offline

Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 79
Loc: Missouri
I was out on a 1/2 day hike when a young lady jogger was sitting down, shoe off, sock off and complaining of a blister between her toes. It was obviously painful...and the most common item in my FAK, Mr. Bandaide, was a lifesaver to her. She was able to make it back to her car with a lot less discomfort. I ran into her later and was offered "thanks again". Sometimes it doesn't take much to help resolve a painful problem on the trail.

#110400 - 10/29/07 12:56 AM Re: Why is preparedness so much fun? [Re: xavier01]
samhain Offline

Registered: 11/30/05
Posts: 598
Loc: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Balance is everything. I have lost my balance from time to time as the folks here on the ETS boards can probably testify to. I find myself fretting over the safey of my wife and child as well. And the more anxious I get, the more "stuff" and systems I want to put in place.

That's when I ask my beloved for a reality check. (I am fortunate enough to have married the wisest person I know and for some screwy reason she loves me -- go figure).

I've given up on the concept of "crazy vs sane".

It's a question of "are you functional?"

And what is functional will vary depending on the situation.

As long as you are able to meet the daily demands of life (sleep eat, work, interact with others around you without them filing restraining orders). I wouldn't worry.

If you're stockpiling more firepower than you can ever use, undermining your house and cracking the slab by building a bunker, unable to pay the electric bill or feed the kids because of stock piling who knows what, or just miss out on playing with them because you're researching survival stuff on the internet, then you got a problem.

It's fun, you enjoy it, and you're not hurting anyone, and it has the potential to save the life of yourself or more importantly someone you love, but at some point you gotta balance it with everything else. Where is that balancing point? I don't know. It's going to vary depending on who you ask. I found it helpful to do a family risk assessment as suggested by some folks here on the forums, and it's gotta be done as a family. The more eyes on an issue the better.

Looking at our family's risk assessment, financial health of the family is the paramount issue (it's not bad but I want better).

I often forget that in lieu of stocking water, food, etc. (I've got enough to meet our needs based on previous experience)

Paying off the credit card and paying bills on time to avoid the late fees isn't as "sexy" as building a cistern in the back yard but it's an immediate "threat" as opposed to a potential one.

I've posted this before a couple of years ago; the folks we saw that faired the best after Katrina were those that had good credit, a sizable savings, little debt.

They had the immediate needs of shelter, food, water, and safety covered utilizing their own resources and also what humans have used for millenia (family and friends).

Those that lost their homes and had the resources to act fast on available housing did the best.

Those that had shakey credit and had to scramble to pull together downpayments, missed out on opportunities and didn't fair as well.

Total societal collapse/melt down I think isn't really a viable threat. 9-11, Katrina/Rita, and the San Francisco earthquake, etc demonstrated that. The local infrastructure was disrupted, some people died, and folks got anxious but on the whole the US just kept plugging along.

Something bin Laden and buddies just don't seem to understand.
It's easy to get caught up in the trap of "more stuff" and forget to learn to manage the stuff we already have. That's something my wife has to remind me of from time to time.

This group has been great about giving reality checks. Since everyone is so spread out there is a wide breadth and depth of experience to draw from.

For me, enough survival stuff for tonight. I'm going to kiss my child good night and go hold my wife (the important stuff).

samhain autumnwood

#110417 - 10/29/07 02:11 AM Re: Why is preparedness so much fun? [Re: samhain]
hiker1 Offline

Registered: 10/17/07
Posts: 79
Loc: Missouri
I balance my gear buying fanaticism with bargain price, bargain price, and bargain price....I'm patient, I keep looking and I wait. I average about 50% to 60%+ off everything I buy related to being prepared and/or for my backpacking. And I recycle stuff I no longer need (household items,DVDs, CDs, books, etc) through a local auction house and turn stuff back into cash. That helps.

#110432 - 10/29/07 03:06 AM Re: Why is preparedness so much fun? [Re: RobertRogers]
SwampDonkey Offline

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1268
Loc: Northeastern Ontario, Canada

Excellent replys from folks who have the same interest, I am pleased to be a part of this group.

My position is similar to Nighthikers, my interest in preparedness started as a child in Scouting and has been with me throughout my life. I enjoy doing the research, testing my selections and packaging my kits together, when I have completed the kit assemble it is like the fun is over and I start on another project. As I explain to my DW that some people build model trains, play video games, or spend a lot of time at the local bar, my pastime is emergency preparedness; it is a hobby that may help our our family/friends/community some day.

Survival preparedness also supports my other hobbies of hunting, fishing, camping, boating and youth outdoor education very well. Because I work in the outdoors it also part of my chosen career, I am very lucky that my employer even supplies me with neat equipment and sends me on training once in a while.

Your not crazy at all, at least not more than the rest of us!


#110441 - 10/29/07 03:57 AM Re: Why is preparedness so much fun? [Re: SwampDonkey]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
You could always rate this hobby against some of the others.

What do you get out of building a monster truck for half a million dollar, and then driving over a row of dead trucks with it?

What do you get out of watching eight hours of sitcoms and game shows every day?

What do you (GACK!) get that could be called constructive out of watching twenty football games a week?

What do you get out of watching soap operas?

What do you get out of following the hollow lives of ditzy Hollywood people?

Survival is... well... kind of like real life, isn't it?

And, just think: you could be putting all that gear money in some casino's slot machines.


#110637 - 10/30/07 01:53 AM Re: Why is preparedness so much fun? [Re: xavier01]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
Originally Posted By: xavier01
I'm going to grow old and die and mounds of equipment may never get used.

And that's the plan. Hopefully, those you will it to don't need it either. But if they do need it, well then, it was worth it.

I freely admit- this might be related to a little kid's safety blanket. But the things that go bump in the night leave me alone in the woods, for I Am Man- Maker Of Tools And Fire, No Longer An Entree. And if there is a monster under the bed or the closet... yes, I investigate and bring a light. It is attached to a shotgun.

I also never got into sports. My dad is into baseball, football and golf- he spends about a grand a year on those those hobbies. For a thousand dollars per year, you can do a lot of prep.


When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#110672 - 10/30/07 03:51 AM Re: Why is preparedness so much fun? [Re: ironraven]
Cyblade Offline

Registered: 02/16/06
Posts: 64
I love it when someone is looking frantically around for something to cut with or for a flashlight or anything and I've already got it in hand. Nothing like hearing about how boring/cold it was when last nights storm took out the lights when I was safe, warm and watching a dvd with a cup of hot tea. For me it's the satisfaction of knowing whatever may come my way I have a better chance of making it than 90% of the population.

#110692 - 10/30/07 12:57 PM Re: Why is preparedness so much fun? [Re: Cyblade]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 864
Loc: Colorado
Preparedness gives me a satisfying sense of control of my fate.

I exercise power over my circumstances by turning "big" problems (view of others) into "little" ones (for me) by thinking ahead and taking some actions to mitigate the extent of the problem.

Lots of great hobbies can result from further exploration of the possibilities. Knives lead to knife-sharpening. Shooting leads to reloading and accuracy. Hiking leads to knowlege of energy/water/heat conservation. Camping leads to reduced fear of power outages. Etc.
Wife's deep interest in sewing leads to stockpile of barter sewing machines & fabrics plus ability to repair or make needed clothing.
Desire for situational awareness can lead to radio hobbies (ham radio, scanning).

Preparedness starts with knowlege and knowlege is power. And as we all know, the more power you have, the more you want :-)


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