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#290773 - 10/05/18 09:16 PM Preparing less
Tjin Online   content

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1760
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?

#290774 - 10/05/18 10:07 PM Re: Preparing less [Re: Tjin]
CJK Offline

Registered: 08/14/05
Posts: 562
Loc: FL, USA
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.

#290776 - 10/06/18 12:29 AM Re: Preparing less [Re: Tjin]
LesSnyder Offline

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 1563
Loc: New Port Richey, Fla
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

#290777 - 10/06/18 02:38 AM Re: Preparing less [Re: Tjin]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6995
Loc: southern Cal
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.
Geezer in Chief

#290780 - 10/06/18 06:19 AM Re: Preparing less [Re: Tjin]
quick_joey_small Offline

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 507
Loc: UK
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!!

#290782 - 10/06/18 04:04 PM Re: Preparing less [Re: Tjin]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2180
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
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
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

#290785 - 10/06/18 06:40 PM Re: Preparing less [Re: Tjin]
chaosmagnet Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3190
Loc: USA
I vary my approach based on activity.

My on-body carry isn’t 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 “carry” heavy compared to most — I have the room, I’m 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.

#290786 - 10/06/18 06:40 PM Re: Preparing less [Re: Tjin]
Herman30 Offline

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 295
Loc: Finland
@Jeanette_Isabelle Are you sure there will be jets flying in a situation like that? What if there are not?

#290787 - 10/06/18 07:27 PM Re: Preparing less [Re: Herman30]
Jeanette_Isabelle Offline

Registered: 11/13/06
Posts: 2180
Loc: Somewhere in Florida
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
“Trust me, this is not gonna end well!” — Pleakley, Lilo & Stitch

#290788 - 10/06/18 08:19 PM Re: Preparing less [Re: Jeanette_Isabelle]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5207
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.

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