One question that I am usually asked is how much should I be looking at storing? How many of those should I buy? If I had a single answer I could give I would make a lot of people happy. As it is the answer I usually give, and the only right answer, is as much as you need. Everyone has different requirements, different needs, different storage space, different amounts to spend and live in different situations. Note I don’t say invest but spend although I am tempted too say invest as only if anything happens will you see a return on your investment and it won’t be monetary.
Let’s start with finances. How much should I spend?
Well, as expected, that is up to you. How much can you spare? My view is that you have to enjoy your life and live now. I know some people that spend all of what they make on basic living. They put aside the odd item when they can and are slowly building up stocks. Those that have ‘spare’ money every month can afford to put aside a percentage of it and use that to fund the prepping. Take an amount that you are happy with and spend it wisely. Everyone thinks they don’t have any ‘spare’ money but spend some time unemployed and you will quickly work out what is essential and what is not. Most of us though have ‘spare’ money even when it doesn’t look like it. By watching what you spend and cutting back on non essentials you can create ‘spare’ money.
Now what should I buy?
Again, as I keep saying, that is up to you. It is recommended you buy what you eat so your preps are simply and extension of your current food stores. You go shopping weekly and buy a weeks worth of tins and perishables, simply continue to go shopping but buy two weeks worth. Now you have a weeks worth of prepping put aside. Repeat until you have enough for three months or six months. Of course nothing is ever easy and this is no exception. You can’t keep perishables for any length of time so you need substitutes and you need items that are not part of your everyday shopping, items like fire starters, water filters and tools such as weapons. Read around the site for a comprehensive list. But basically it breaks down into the following ordered categories;
- Extras – Items like water filters, sanitation, medical gear, weapons, etc.
Make sure you have the basics of Water, Food and Shelter before you start spending on extras.
Sometimes I am also asked how many should I buy?
People sometime think that have a single item is enough and in some cases it may be. Having a single knife that costs £250 and will never break is great but what happens if it is broken, lost or stolen or you need to let someone else take it for some reason. You are now knifeless. I’m all for paying for good quality but there is a case to be made to have cheaper items as you can afford more of them. Personally, I’ll all for a mixture. Buy good quality and quantity where you can and buy a quality item and several cheaper items when you can’t. Don’t skimp on the key items such as water filters and clothes. But make sure you have several knives with a few cheap ones.
There is a saying in the prepping world that one is none, two is one and three is two. Clearly the maths doesn’t work out but what it means is that you need spares as after an event you can’t just pop to the corner shop and replace the item. It also gives flexibility with a team. I’m loath to let someone else use my £250 knife but a £5 one won’t make me bat an eye especially if it is broken, lost or stolen.
So look at each item, how many do you need to last the rest of your life. One, two or even more. Then buy that and make sure you have some for spares and sharing as well.
Again, unsurprisingly, you need to make your own mind up on how many.
So as you can see everyone will answer these questions differently. You need to work out your own requirements for your situation depending on;
- Environment – City, urban, woods around, etc.
- Group Size
- Group Composition – Ages, skill set, etc.
- Your finances
- Storage situation
Look around the site and the forum. There is plenty of advice to help you out there on specific items to put aside with advantages and disadvantages to each. Just make sure you have plenty of food and water, everything else is based on you having that to live.