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How we need to prepare

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Are we there yet?

One thing that comes up time and time again is the questions about how much to store? I have a X how many should I have and how many spare parts and consumables should I have for it?

Sadly, like most things there is no hard and fast rule that you can apply. You can’t just check a user manual as say you need X items, Y spares and Z consumable. For example there is varying ideas on how much water to store. Even something as simple as that has no fixed amount. It depends on several factors all of which are down to your unique situation.

For instance;
How much does the item cost?
How much space does it take?
What are its storage requirements?
How much are the spares?
How much are the consumable?
How many times do you use it?
How many consumables are consumed each use?
How often does it need servicing?
What is involved in servicing?

For many items we only now the price and can make a guess about the rest. Let us take an air rifle for example.

A good quality single lever action air rifle can cost £200. Cheap enough for some to have several of them but expensive for others.
Each use costs a pellet and some wear and tear.
So we need pellets, but how many? Lucky they are cheap enough for us to buy in the thousands. Even then they will run out. Faster if we are not too good a shot. So we guess we will use it 25 times a day to hunt on average after an event. That is 25 pellets x 365 days, 9125 pellets, every year for as many years as you want. Better stock up.
We don’t have a clear definition of how much wear and tear before the spring goes or the mechanism wears out so we guess from our experience that it lasts for 25K+ shots so that is a new spring and fix up every three years. I would guess that as it is in heavy use it will need to be well maintained. A worn mechanism though will mean the rifle is useless. Most people don’t have spare parts like that. That is why we have several rifles. So it is fixed up while we can and discarded when it cannot be fixed by the tools we have. So I get four springs and two spare part kits.

It looks from this that such a rifle is going to be out of service after a decade of such use, either a broken part or wear and tear. However, that depends on so much that it is not possible to guess. I have an air rifle from the eighties that is still going strong although it hasn’t had 10K shots a year through it although probably about 15K in total.

So, in this example, I have several air rifles. Spares for each and several thousand pellets. I think I have everything I need however, every time I have some spare money I think I will put away a few more pellets to replace the ones I have used and so my stock increases a little every year beyond what I deemed acceptable.

Remember that the extras I put in are all non perishable. I don’t add any items that will degrade as that would be a waste of money. For those items I guessed how many I would use well beyond their life and stock up to that, simply rotating stock but not increasing the stores as I go on. You should already have a list of your food, water and other supplies. Take that to the max you calculated and then stop increasing it. However, increase your non perishables as much as you can spare and store. Ammo, clothes, raw materials can be stored for well beyond your life, most food, medical supplies and consumables can not. Don’t waste your money.

So, back to the answer to the common question. Buy as many of the item as you can afford to keep you going for decades. The number three is continually recommended as if one breaks, then you only have two and then one and then a hammer. Same with spares, work out how many you need, look in books, take expert opinion, then take an educated guess, and guess high, how many spares you need plus tools to fix them. Do the same with the tools, it would not be good to find that the only tool you need was last seen long before you Bugged Out. When you have enough food, water and basics and then have some spare cash, revisit the non perishables and buy another item or a set of spares. At the very worse it can be used as a barter item.

Remember, that the figures you see quoted for quantities are made up by people like me. I give you my reasoning and how I came to the figures so you can decide if they are wrong for you. Currently, spares for most things presume that you can eventually get to the shops and replace any. We cannot make that presumption. So be very careful what you are putting away and for non perishables it is easy to err on the side of caution with only an impact on your spare cash and storage space. Worst comes to the worst and you can sell them later, with perishables you are looking at giving or throwing it away and that is wasting your money so be careful.

So next time you are wondering how many items to store, don’t as for how many, ask how they worked out how many they have. Everyone can learn from that and it may actually show a defect in your preps now in time for you to fix.

3 comments to Are we there yet?

  • fred

    If you have x amount of money – do you put it into pellets or food?

  • Skean Dhude


    Again, so many variables? How much food do you have? If you have all the food you need pellets, if you have no food, then food. Somewhere along that line you start putting some pellets away with the food. A tin of pellets could equate to around 500 pigeon or rabbit lunches.

  • As far as ‘Non food items’ are concerned, swallow your pride and go to car boot sales, I am not against using some items if they be second hand but in good nick. You can find very good bargains at these fairs, I acquired two boxes of army hexamin cookers (98) and three boxes of refils (216) for the princely sum of £15.00. My stores are growing.

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