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

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6712
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.
Geezer in Chief

#290847 - 10/13/18 02:01 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
pforeman Offline

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 123
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 -

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

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1916
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.


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

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1747
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.

#290851 - 10/13/18 10:11 PM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2035
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.

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

Registered: 04/23/08
Posts: 123
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 -

#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: 1037
Loc: Germany
Here are some things - beyond the already mentioned - Iīd 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.
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

#290863 - 10/15/18 01:14 AM Re: Best use of time, money [Re: hikermor]
Montanero Offline

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1451
Loc: North Carolina
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.

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

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 2394
Time is best spent learning & reading.

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

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 502
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.

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