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#290845 - 10/13/18 01:01 PM Best use of time, money
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7347
Loc: southern Cal
In equipping to survive, what is the most effective use of your money and of your time?

In general, I feel the best use of money is to spend it on good training (and there are "training courses out there that are rip offs), especially on first aid. Many outdoor retailers offer courses and experiences in hiking, backpacking, etc. which look like good deals, although I have no experience. Anyone?

Buy basics first (training will help you there)...

Time? Get out and increase your knowledge and get familiar with your stuff.
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#290847 - 10/13/18 02:01 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
pforeman Offline
Member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 189
Loc: Iowa
I am agreement with your views and think that the "best" investment in time and money is knowledge. Sure having some of the 'right' gear will help a lot but knowing how to use it and having an idea of how to cope without it beats out all the hardware.

With that - I've kept up my wilderness red cross instructor certifications and have also (due to work) kept up my American Heart instructor / trainer status. Keep learning is my idea.

Paul -

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#290849 - 10/13/18 06:03 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC
Shelter - Water - Food - First-Aid/Meds

I organize my thoughts on this subject around those four things.


Best Use of Money

Water -- is the cheapest and it is essential to life. - just need some containers and a little bleach to have a supply for a few weeks. Having water at home and in the car covers that base for me 99% of the time as I'm usually in or near one or the other.

Matches -- which are cheap or even free -- will ignite a fire to purify water or provide life-saving warmth. Must-have at home, in car, backpack, wherever. I also am a fan of fire steels (not as cheap but should ignite fires for years).

Shelter: Home, work or car are options for most of us, most of the time. Tent or tarp will suffice short-term, such as if the house is unsafe following an earthquake or storm.

Food -- add some extra canned foods -- on sale -- during every grocery trip. Wouldn't take long to stock up meals for a couple weeks or more. Not the cheapest but I recently purchased a few Mountain House buckets of freeze-dried meals (just add water). I figure that the combination of those buckets plus what I have in my pantry will keep me comfortable for at least a month.

Tools -- Knife, axe, pry bar, hammer, screwdrivers being among the must-haves. These things don't have to be expensive, even new (see "Morakniv" for knives) and bargain hunters might get lucky at garage sales or Craigslist.

Camping gear -- a category that is synonymous with survival gear and available at all price points and often found cheap at garage sales and on Craigslist. I've given old camping gear away to friends and family -- could pay to ask around and see if someone would like to clear space in their garage or basement.


Best Use of Time

I think a good use of time would be to go camping. Car camping. Actually experience what it is like to sleep in a tent, on the ground. Practice food prep, storage and cooking on a camping trip. Gain first-hand practical knowledge of the challenges of refrigeration and sanitation. Practice campfire cooking and a variety of camp stoves and grills.

Camping -- which I've enjoyed nearly all my life -- has been the best "survival prep" for me. And since for me camp trips are my favorite vacations -- it is a very good use of my time.


I don't post much these days on ETS but this conversation is the kind I enjoy. Great topic.


.


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#290850 - 10/13/18 07:18 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
Tjin Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1777
Skill is very important, but you only mention first aid and outdoor training.

Good DIY skills, knowing about mental strenghts and problem and having marketable skills are just as important.

Time wise; also invest not just in skills but also in your body. Eat well, sport enough. Statistically bad health is was going to kill most people.
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#290851 - 10/13/18 10:11 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2201
Loc: Colorado
These days, as I get older and into my mid-60's, I look at preparing to survive for a few months as reasonable. If something happens that is longer term than that, with no real hope for betterment - I'm not so sure I'd want to survive it. Stockpiling a couple years worth of MRE's or Mountain House buckets would be folly IMHO (but a few months worth is reasonable). Some people may want to live in a long term situation of desolation and despair, but I wouldn't. I'd just donate my body to the cause, and the rest of my neighborhood would be well fed for a month.

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#290855 - 10/14/18 02:23 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: Tjin]
pforeman Offline
Member

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 189
Loc: Iowa
In my initial post I mentioned the first aid training but rushed what I wrote and was not clear in that I was thinking of that as an example. I'm also working on additional amateur radio training/gear for improving communications which is another example on my 'seek knowledge' concept of best use.

In my personal situation I really think the eat right, exercise and be healthy thing is very important as I've hit the mid 60s and just cant' do what I did twenty years ago. However going to the Doctor, not being stupid about diet and such are excellent points and what I'm also working on. Knee surgery and the wear and tear of the years has me now more limited. So, thinking again about "best" - it is obviously situational and unique to an individual.

I'm lucky in being able to also leverage some elements of my job into development opportunities which I take advantage of - picking up a 'defensive tactics' class, OC/Chemical agents use, etc. which is ongoing and will be there for the next couple of years (until that wonderful retirement point). So a key take-away for me is still "knowledge" - get the training, practice it, use it and keep learning. A professional trainer colleague has a sign which says I'll quit learning when I'm dead - maybe. That sign fits my philosophy.

Paul -

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#290856 - 10/14/18 05:05 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1105
Loc: Germany
Here are some things - beyond the already mentioned - I´d consider good use of my time:
  • educating, passing the knowledge on to people who might able to help; that also gives extra motivation to keep skills and knowledge honed
  • building social networks (e.g. do favors to neighbors)
  • Keep learning, even if the new stuff does not give immediate benefit, learning is a perishable skill too

I am learning to play some musical instruments (recreational and keep learning). I started to engage in CAS. That certainly did not improve my shooting skills (some people there consider it normal to occassionally miss a target even if it is a 3' square at 10 yards shot at with a rifle). However it opened a new social circle with great people. HAM acitivities offer methods of communication and contacts. HAM contests are about the only contest (at least the ones I know of) were you must help other contestants to score in order to score yourself.
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#290863 - 10/15/18 01:14 AM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
gonewiththewind Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1517
Knowledge has great value and does not weigh anything. Gaining it can cost, but is worth it. You must understand what your priorities are and should be for your likely scenarios, and prioritize your training accordingly.

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#290870 - 10/15/18 06:48 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2471
Time is best spent learning & reading.

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#290885 - 10/16/18 07:54 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
quick_joey_small Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 526
Loc: UK
Actually go and do the activities you want to be able to do, in a safe environment.
Camp in your garden. Walk for miles through town. You'll soon find that things which get hardly any attention on survival sites really matter.
Try walking in your office shoes, sleeping without a sleeping bag, having a frameless sac. It's awful!
Just reading about it isn't enough.
Then when you do get the right gear and know enough; you'll discover how wonderful it is.
I'm just back from working in arabia and now keep inventing reasons to go down town, or to the local shops just to see the trees and grass.
They are terrific morale lifters and provide a regenerating environment. I've never come back from a walk in nature, in a bad mood, no matter what state I went out in.
qjs

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#290914 - 10/21/18 10:25 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: quick_joey_small]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7347
Loc: southern Cal
There is something that is probably not a very good use of funds:

https://www.campsaver.com/karesuando-stoera-aksu-axe.html

A mere 200+ dollars for a fairly small hatchet. They also offer an even smaller version for the bargain price of $188. I am really puzzled; I have used Estwing hatchets for years. The handle and head are one solid piece of steel and it is an effective cutting and pounding tool, albeit a tad heavy for routine backpacking. Cost is around $25-30 depending on the outlet and the specific model.

The same outfit offers a downsized Pulaski for 135 dollars, while my local big box store features a very sturdy model, full size, for about 35 dollars. Pulaskis are wonderful tools (combination grubbing tool and ax) which I first encountered years ago as a hot shot responding to forest fires. We handled everything with a Pulaski and a shovel. I have one now and they are as useful as ever. But $135 is outrageous.
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#290915 - 10/21/18 10:44 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
Russ Offline
Geezer

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5338
Loc: SOCAL
I actually like small hatchets for some tasks but when I looked at the specs for the Karesuando Stoera Aksu Axe, what jumped out at me was... wait for it...
Quote:
Blade Material: Stainless Steel

Not a named stainless steel that is tough and will actually hold a decent edge. Just “stainless steel”. I will second the “not a very good use of funds” statement.

The little hatchet I like a lot is a Gransfors Bruk with 1095 steel — very handy.

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#291373 - 12/12/18 10:18 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2471
I buy some of my gear used - packs especially - to test them and see if they work for my needs.

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#291384 - 12/13/18 02:57 AM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
Taurus Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 458
Loc: Northern Canada
The best use of your time and money is different for everyone I suppose. Some like formal training, and some like figuring stuff out on their own. Combine that with buying the best tools and equipment you can afford and you will have the best bang for your buck.

I recently returned from a winter survival course (payed for by the military, not out of my pocket) where I realized I knew as much as the instructor did. After a while, it’s the same old, same old. Fire steels and cotton balls with Vaseline and wearing layers and figure 4 traps and blah, blah, blah. It’s been a good long while since I really did any training where something new was presented. As such, I’ve decided (for me personally) paying for formal training is NOT the best value for my time and money. I’ll take whatever course the Army sends me on for free though. grin

I have arrived at a place where I think my knowledge is sound. Now my extra money goes into upgrading my equipment, range memberships and hunting licenses that ensure I gets my butt in the woods putting that equipment and training to use.

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#291386 - 12/13/18 03:02 AM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
Taurus Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 458
Loc: Northern Canada
Oh! And you are still in the market for a reasonably priced hatchet check out the wetterlings line. Hand forged, sharp enough to cut the devil out of hell, and sitting at about $ 50-100 US (depending on size).

I’ll try to put up some axe porn pictures later of the thing in action.

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#291387 - 12/13/18 03:36 AM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 3427
Loc: USA
Now you’re making me want a new hatchet.

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#291395 - 12/13/18 04:20 AM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: chaosmagnet]
Taurus Offline
Addict

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 458
Loc: Northern Canada
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet
Now you’re making me want a new hatchet.


Wetterlings is very similar to Hultafors but a lot less expensive. It holds an edge like a damned razor too. Used it to gut, quarter and skin a deer once just to see if it could. Think it did better than most knives would have.

It’s a great throwing hatchet too. smile

Not that there’s ANY practical reason to do so, but it sure can be fun.

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#291777 - 02/08/19 07:22 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2471
I almost never buy the most expensive solution,*
mostly because a mid priced item will do the same job well.

Does a $240 knife have four time the utility of a $60 one?



(* I will go full freight on some items, the Garmin InReach, for example.)

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#291829 - 02/26/19 06:55 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
drahthaar Offline
Member

Registered: 12/05/06
Posts: 110
I think the best use of time is physical fitness.

I volunteered as an observer at a search dog training exercise a couple of weeks ago and there were a number of handlers there who got winded just walking a couple of hundred yards up a hill. What are they going to do when they have a hard track over 15 miles of rough terrain?

In a survival situation you need to be fit and healthy and possibly able to construct shelters, swim, travel long distances with minimal provisions, etc. No substitute for being in shape.

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#292042 - 03/24/19 02:51 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
I have a lot of hatchets and axes. Most are vintage American and German made, and I do have a smaller Wetterlings for my pack.

Lately, I have been very impressed with the Fiskars line of hatchets, splitting mauls, and axes for utilitarian use. The hollow carbon fiber handles are lightweight and indestructible, as is the attachment for the head. They will easily withstand multiple overstrikes. The ones I have examined are very sharp and made in Finland, despite the fact that the bulk of the Fiskars line is now made in Asia.

The 14" X7 hatchet with large blade guard sells for about $30 delivered. Walmart has a no-frills, Finland made, 14" all black Fiskars hatchet which is identical to the X7, except for handle color and a cheaper blade guard, for $23.

In my opinion, these are the Mora knives of the hatchet world...


Attachments
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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#292043 - 03/24/19 03:26 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7347
Loc: southern Cal
What do you think of the Estwing hatchet o roughly the same size and price? I have been using one for decades and I like them a lot. One piece steel head and handle is certainly indestructable. roughly about $27 in the smaller size.
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#292044 - 03/24/19 04:15 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
Byrd_Huntr Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/28/10
Posts: 1174
Loc: MN, Land O' Lakes & Rivers ...
Originally Posted By: hikermor
What do you think of the Estwing hatchet o roughly the same size and price? I have been using one for decades and I like them a lot. One piece steel head and handle is certainly indestructable. roughly about $27 in the smaller size.



I have had a couple of Estwings and have nothing bad to say about them. I am intrigued with the Estwing Campers axe, but I already have a half dozen axes and twice as many hatchets, so I'm afraid my wife might take notice...

Estwing hatchets do require a little more care as the clear-coating cracks with time and use and water can get in. Not usually a problem unless you leave it in the bottom of a boat or in a stump over winter...I did acquire an Estwing in a multiple item swap once that had a decomposed handle that I suspect was found in the woods.

The 14" Fiskars is about 5 ounces lighter than the 14" Estwing, and the Fiskars weight is well forward, balancing about an inch from the head. For those so inclined, you can fit 3 Bic lighters and tinder, or a small knife etc. inside the handle of a Fiskars for backpacking or a bug out bag, and for this use a lanyard hole is a plus.

All said, I don't think you could go wrong with either hatchet.
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The man got the powr but the byrd got the wyng

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#296980 - 09/14/20 08:53 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
TeacherRO Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2471
I'm starting to think a daily walk is a better use of my time than a new knife...

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#296983 - 09/14/20 10:55 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: drahthaar]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3593
Loc: TX
Originally Posted By: drahthaar
I think the best use of time is physical fitness.
<snip>
In a survival situation you need to be fit and healthy and possibly able to construct shelters, swim, travel long distances with minimal provisions, etc. No substitute for being in shape.

Absolute agree!
-Blast
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