I’ve always tried to make my preps modular. This means that you have one item and then you can add on to it making something different without having to buy that completely different item. It is a good principle but it is not perfect for preppers. It can bring risk when it is not necessary.
A real work example is the good old HiFi system. Modules are the principle behind the cheaper models. You have three major options.
- Buy a complete CD unit, a complete record unit, a complete tape unit, etc.
- Buy a system in modules, you buy an amplified, mixer, CD, tape, etc. in modules and plug them all together.
- Buy a HiFi with the radio, record deck, tape deck and CD player all in one box.
With option 1 you can mix and match your requirements but you have to switch between what you want manually. If anything breaks then everything else continues to work normally. It takes up more space and costs a lot more too. They also tend to be free standing with each unit needing its own space.
Option 2 means you can mix and match your requirements. You need to purchase a mixer and you connect them all together via the mixer. You then select which input device you want and that is what plays. If any of the core components, the mixer, amplifier or speakers break then you lose everything until you replace that part. If just the CD breaks then you still have the remaining items and you can swap out the CD with a new one or repair the entire system. It is cheaper that buying units with build in amplifiers and you can usually stack them up to save floor space.
Option 3 is usually just one unit saving significantly over purchasing each individual item. You may have to make some connections but they are minimal and you have the flexibility of all options with minimal cost and but it has a major weakness in that if a common component goes wrong then it can bring everything else down with it. The individual items are linked and won’t function on their own. When something goes wrong you can’t replace just that component you have to get the whole unit replaced and it is not unknown for something to go wrong with one part that bring everything else down with it. As you can’t choose your components you get what is supplied by default in that unit so you end up with basic specifications which cater for most folk.
Those that appreciate music usually go for option 2 and carefully select each component. Those, like me, that don’t see the nuances in the different options available in a high end player go for option 3.
In prepping though we tend to want to do things the other way around. We want to go option 1 for as much as we can and for some items we go option 2 with very few of our choices being option 3.
The reasons are simple. We just won’t be able to replace items and to put all our eggs in one basket like option 3 does goes totally against the grain for most of us. We obviously would like to save money but the risk that something may go wrong and we lose a suite of tools is too much for us to accept.
Personally, I have most of my items, falling into the option 1 category , weapons, radios, cooking, filters, etc. with a few falling into option2, tools mainly, and I have several of those to cover breakage and only the car, something I am prepared to lose falling into option 3. I have looked at the options available and, mainly because I am bugging in, I have accepted that risks involved.
Look at your preps. How many of your items are stand alone? Do you have one cooker that does everything? What happens if it breaks? What about your water? You may not have bottled water because you have a spring right by the back door. What happens if it gets contaminated or simply just dries up? Consider what if for each item and consider the risks.
Make sure you have contingency for everything important, then if it is really important put contingency in for that and if you can afford it some more spares. Try and be smart and get modular items when it is feasible don’t get too smart and put too many eggs in one basket though.
Remember you won’t be able to pop out the shops if you single sooper dooper cooking, heating and filtration system just stops. Nobody will service the warranty and nobody will be swapping it out. It is up to you. Make sure you remember this when you are looking at kit.