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The monetary cost of survival

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posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 12:45 PM
I have been thinking of posting this for some time so here goes.

I have spent exactly £0 on equipment specifically bought for a survival situation. The reason for this is that the cost soon mounts up, and for what? Something that is probably never going to be needed?

What i would like to ask people for their opinions on is...

1. Roughly how much does your BOB/Equipment that you keep for a survival situation cost

2. How much room, in your opinion, can be made for buying lower quality / lower cost items to fill out your pack.

3. If you dont know what type fo a situation your goign to be trying to survive how can you possibly pack everything into one bag?

posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 01:05 PM
YOu went to public school right???

I went to public schools...I have spent a good bit of time trying to get over it and work around the blocks imposed by public school thinking. It is a difficult thing verses the long range planning necessary to plan for tonights football game.


[edit on 3-1-2007 by orangetom1999]

posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 01:30 PM
i too have spent zero on equipment [ b] exclusivly for a survivalist situation - but i do have thousands of pounds worth of kit

because i cannot afford to duplicate , if in needed a BoB , it would require a mad 5 minuite dash around my house - grabbing kits and equipment from various sources

ie - my best first aid kit currently lives in my camera bag

my " dry chang of clothes " [ a waterproof stuff sack - with a helly hansen base layer , rohan pants , aquashooe pumps , a lwt cagooule , basic toiletries etc ] lives in my overnight bag -

and stuff in there like my electric shaver and other civilized kit - would be dumped out if i had to bug out

hope these examples help illustrate how - dependant on your life style - survivalist equipment can be in use every day

few can afford to have very much dedicated kit sitting iddle .

and lastly - when your cheak kit fails you - in the monments before you die -- just think of the money you saved

posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 01:44 PM
Understand...but you are not starting from Zero. Sounds to me like you have at least thought it through. NOt actually starting from point Zero when the you know what hits the fan.

I take this to be very different from the original posters point of origin.

Thanks for your post,

posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 02:26 PM

because i cannot afford to duplicate , if in needed a BoB , it would require a mad 5 minuite dash around my house - grabbing kits and equipment from various sources

Thats a good point, and i have thought about this too. I have assorted things that may well be useful if i had to grab it and go, but if its the type of situation where you have to get the hell out asap then their isn't much time to go looking for stuff your sure you left in the cupboard under the stairs, if you get what i mean.

Even then i just dont have access to the type of things i would need, even if i had some hours notice i simple could not get together anything that resembled a comprehensive kit.

What got me thinking about this was i went with my sister to buy some items for a trip to malawi. She bought a sleeping bag a pair of boots and some socks. Near enough£200!

I have NO need to own a pair of hiking boots or most of the equipment i would need for a survival situation. I do take on board that this is something that has to be prapaired for in advance or you pretty much a gonner but my real question is, how much quality can be sacrificed in order to have these items on hand.

posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 02:35 PM
Single mother here and a public school system victim LOL...

Money? What money?

I scrounge. My packs are second hand and cost next to nothing. I am very careful about quality though. I don;'t have the money to continually replace cheap items so I save and buy better quality. in a pinch you'd be surprised what may be useful in a situation X.

I don;t have a lot of room either. I am an apartment dweller and have the luxury of one spare closet and in my kitchen I have a lot of base cabinets that can't really be used for I store water and first aid as well as extra odds and ends I may need.

Being broke is a great lesson in improvising.

Buying used has no drawbacks provided you inspect items carefully for wear and tear and other issues.

Over the course of several years I've built up a good set of emergency packs. Things with shelf life get rotated and used. The foodstuffs are things we normally eat anyway so when they get close to expiry I bring 'em out and replace them in the next grocery run or two.

It is a bit frustrating having gear sitting around that's not being used but I'm thankful that it's there if and when it's needed.

I have smaller packs and general first aid kits that get used and restocked on a regular basis. The stored ones do not. Kind of an irritant having spent the money for the supplies...but again...I have to look at the non-situation X emergencies that my area is prone to. Flooding, wind storms, rain, snow and hail storms, earthquakes and Tsunamis as well as. Better safe than sorry, and I have a kid to think about as well (albeit a grown kid still living at home).

If you take stock of what's in your larder, your clothes closets and your tool box (if you have one) you can make a mental list of items that may prove handy in an emergency if you don;t want to build up an emergency kit and store it.

best thing to do is to keep your daily staples up to snuff (extra food for at least a few days - stuff that doesn't require water or electric to prepare.

Keep your laundry and dishes done.

LOL...nothing worse than needing that pair of pants in an emergency only to find them dirty and sitting under wet towels in the laundry basket...or the pot you need to boil water is sitting on the counter with dried mac and cheese inside it...

Invest in a multi tool...they can be bought relatively cheaply second hand or hint like mad that it's what you want for Xmas or birthday LOL. Most things you will find useful don;t actually take up a lot of room and can be used as you go along...just make sure you replace items as they are used, or as they wear out.

The stuff you use everyday should be regularly replaced and it wouldn't hurt to add a few items to each shopping list just to have on hand.

Tinfoil, Plastic wrap, bleach, baggies, matches or lighters, large garbage bags and small garbage bags, wire, string,elastic bands, safety pins...that kind of thing (if you don;t already have them...)

Just about anything you have already can be used in a pinch if you're resourceful and have some basic idea of survival needs for your area.

The uses for basic household stuffs are too many to go into a slough of examples.

There are those who will plan in advance and those who will plan as needed and those who will wait for someone else to do it for them LOL.

google " household items for survival" and you'll get quite a lot of info and tips for on the fly survival.

As one who is generally one step or less ahead of living in a cardboard box LOL...I can definitely see the frustration in spending money on items that won;t be used for immediate survival - like day to day life.

For me I had to really struggle to make the commitment to the idea and then struggle to make allowances in the budget to accommodate the plan. Still do...

Once the money is spent though it's spent and us broke folks make do.

Would be nice to have a disposable income but that's just not the case for many.

best advice I can offer if you don;t want to commit to making an emergency pack is just to make sure your basic needs will be covered for up to a week. Know what you have and what it might be good for, learn a few skills for survival (they cost nothing and require no storage space

posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 03:38 PM
I can't really argue with any of that generic. You talk alot of sense.

Buying things 2nd hand is prefectly acceptable to me, and if i ever decide the time has coem to buy the items any budding survivalist needs i would buy some 2nd hand for sure.

While writing this post i had a quick think through all the things i could think of i could use in a sirvival situation. Good news. I have a few things that could be used for SOMETHING. The problem comes when trying to bug out. these things are all over the place. i cant collect them together in one place because i need to use them often. It would take quite some time to collect them up and even then i dont have many essential items.

Where i live i have no threat from natural desaster, we might lsoe the electric for a few days but even that doesnt happen very often and it is kinda fun to live a few days without power. I Imagine it would be quite different if it were more serious.

posted on Jan, 3 2007 @ 03:49 PM
I think the immediate ie - split second bug out situation is a 1/1000000 chance honestly. I think that keeping up on current events, weather etc...can give you valuable time in preparing.

If you have a house with multi levels try to reorganize a bit and centralize as much as possible. otherwise in a central place keep a list of where major items are make sure stuff is always put back where it belongs...that way you can find them ASAP without having to think too much about it. Especially in a panic situation where you don't have much time to grab and go.

it's good that you're thinking about it though!! KUDOS for the foresight

posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 12:44 AM
Very..Very well said..and I agree.

I do have a certain amount of disposable income. I do not however buy alot of name brand stuff. I find alot of it overated and just exactly that ..Name.

I am not beyond buying second hand or used and making do or rebuilding certain things. It is just my way.

I have also learned from alot of astute women shoppers that much name brand stuff is not first class...Much of it is just overpriced junk.

You can buy useless junk in first class stores...and overpriced at that.

THese women have taught me the value of yard sales and flea markets. I never did , however, develope the knack or highly tuned radar of which some of them possessed. They can spot a good bargin from across the room or sometimes it seems across the parking lot. I never was that fine tuned. I never could keep up with them in bingo either. Talk about fast..and radar. Wow!! They can play up to ten cards at one time...while I struggle with two.

I bought two used kerosene heaters at a yard sale..rebuilt them too cleaned and re installed a new wick. $5.00 a piece. I keep them ready to go about this time of year..just in a case the natural gas goes out I have another source of heat. A back up.

Yard sales and flea markets were one of the greatest things these women taught me. I am grateful for this knowlege. Until then I just went to the regular stores and paid retail for what I wanted. If I need it bad enough and pressed for time I will do that ..but if not I will take time and shop.

I think you understand what I mean. do want to get quality for the moneys you doubt. This means you must know more than just name brands. This too is improvising.

Well done..I do this too ..I keep food stocked on a special shelf in my garage...bought by the case..canned goods and rotate. SAme with my frozen stores.

I even buy certain tools second hand at a flea market. I work with tools daily so I know which ones are good quality and which are not. Which ones are industrial and which just plain old run of the mill.

Natural disasters occur every so often here so it pays to be prepared. Hurricanes mostly ..only very occasionally a tornado. Ice storm once...shut the power down for many about a week. Amazing ..some were going nuts. They never prepared for anything.

Yes plan it through..and think. It is doubly bad if you have never done anything at all and wind up short when something happens.

Oh..and this is not something I would have ever learned in public school. Public schooling would have just kept me on the retail treadmill.

well said justgeneric...well said.


posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 01:59 AM
Survival shouldn't cost a lot, and the less you need to spend the more efficient survivalist you are. If you can make do with $20 worth of gear, why spend $2k or more on complex, high tech gear. In the eventual end, the last things left will be all low tech stuff.

I can say i haven't really spent anything on survival gear, but i do have a lot of gear for all kinds of situations. I think survival gear that sits in a closet till doomsday is a waste, your gear should be stuff you use anyway, regardless of whether the apocalypse arrives. I do have plenty of gear that i use on hikes, camping trips, and motorcycle "adventure touring". I regularly get stuck with flats miles from civilization or even roads and trails, at night, in rain, snow etc. The cheap stuff that survives hanging around me becomes my gear by default.

Also, if the first time you ever try your gear is when your (or someone else's) life depends on it, under stress, and possibly adverse conditions. Now isn't the time to figure out the nuances of cooking with your high tech alcohol stove, or trying to figure out how to set your tarp shelter at night in a high wind and with precip dumping on you.

Simplicity is key here, when you narrow it down, the bare survival essentials can range from absolutely nothing to a short list of essential items, depending on the environment. Even most "survival" stuff is extra weight and bulk to provide comfort, and aren't really needed.

If you can afford it, getting a good (remembr, good doesnt mean expensive) pack that's comfy to wear and lets you tote 20-40lbs of whatever will make life easy would be a good idea. Load it for your backyard, if you live in the desert, you should have desert survival gear, if you live in the arctic, get cold weather gear. The idea isn't to prepare for ANYTHING, but to be able to walk out your door with a backpack and have all the gear you'd need in the area you live.

I rotate my bag during seasons, every month or two i'll make an adjustment as th weather changes, and be ready. For winter, i keep my snowboard gear all set up to go ride at a moment's notice, during summer, my bag is set up for trekking through the desert. During Monsoon season i carry extra water protection and raingear. A month earlier, i'd carry no raingear, yet i'd be praying for rain at the slightest hint of a cloud. Pay attention to what's going outside and rotate your gear for right now. The idea is that if you've gotta run out of your house RTHN, you need to be prepared to deal effectively with what's outside, be it a blazing desert, snowy mountians, jungle, coastline, Brooklyn, whatever, just prepare to spend a few days outside your house, wherever you are.

Maybe we need a cheapskate survivalist thread going,,,,

posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 10:48 AM
Everyone seems to be on the same line of thoughts here, which i must say i didn't expect at all.

The consensus seems to be to value for money, or even better incorporate things you use on a regular basis into you kit.

Value for money is onviously a must, but that brings be back to one fo my original questions, where does that line between good value and poor value come. You oviously want to avoid the lowest priced items especially if you intend to use them for any length of time. I have bought many things from the higher end of the price scale for many different jobs and often found you are paying more for the finish than the functionality, but how do you decide?

posted on Jan, 4 2007 @ 01:08 PM
The line comes from experience.


posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 11:18 PM
Here are my answers and 2 cents


Well you definatley can get pretty pricey with this stuff but the bottom line is to experiment. I personally spend a lot of time researching the best products to use(at least in my opinion) sometimes I upgrade items due to finding something better or learning something new.

The best thing to do is to incorporate your bobs into your every day life. For instance it would be foolish not to rotate out your food supply. In the case of emergency food supplies we find that we actually save money and eat better by incorporating our survival rations into our every day life. Same thing holds true for your hobbies. If your into survival then one of your hobbies should be camping/hiking/fishing etc. in these situations your going to be able to utilize and practice with your kits. This gives you the ability to test, upgrade and tweak your equipment. It's money your going to spend anyway. Do your researach and your homework everyone on here is right it can actually be very cheap security.

As far as what gear to prepare for what emergency goes. It's all fairly very similar with exceptions being made to what part of the country you live in or plan on being in. I live in florida but my kits contain winter gear as well because I travel to those areas frequently.

I have also read a lot of comments of not being able to afford things.For those people I hear you because I was and to a degree still am but I urge you to read and learn about our financial system and learn why we are all really slaves. Once you realize this you will truely be free and begin to utilize your money properly and include your finances into your survival plans.

posted on Jan, 6 2007 @ 11:32 PM

Originally posted by manta

2. How much room, in your opinion, can be made for buying lower quality / lower cost items to fill out your pack.

I'm assuming your saying how much room can you save? In a lot of cases I find that the less expensive product always weighs more and takes up more space. For example sleeping bags. I have several but comparing two of them.... they are both rated at 40 degrees one weighs just over a pound and compresses to a size of a large grapefruit. The other weighs just under three pounds and takes up 4 times as much space in my pack.

I am also into it for the quality believing that a quality item made well will have a much longer useful life and in the long run be much less expensive. I had a tent once that lasted three seasons. I have another thats on it's 10th season and still going strong(with some repairs of course) THis also holds true for my mini survial kits. Everyone tries for those small tuna canned size kits but I prefer to assemble my own. Now I admit I do have a small container as part of my kit but my overall mini survival is designed more as a small fanny pack which in my opinion makes me much better prepared for longer duration situations. In my mini I sacrifice size and weight for quantity and quality. I want my mini to last indefinatley not just for a matter of days or weeks. Want to see how well your mini kit is, just walk into the woods for a week with only your mini and see how much easier it would be with a slightly larger kit.

posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 07:55 AM
Thanks photobug thats exactly the type of reply i was looking for!

With regards to the point about including items in your hobbys...

I have been camping ever since i can remember, and took up fishing some years ago, as such i have been able to look at some of my kit and see what you're saying.

Alot of the items contained in the kit i already have are in good working condition, but for a bug out situation woulr probably be too bulky for me to carry arround, its not the fact i can't afford to replace these items. Its the fact i cant justify spending the money to upgrade when the things i have do perfectly well for what i do.

posted on Jan, 7 2007 @ 02:27 PM

Originally posted by manta
Thanks photobug thats exactly the type of reply i was looking for!

With regards to the point about including items in your hobbys...

I have been camping ever since i can remember, and took up fishing some years ago, as such i have been able to look at some of my kit and see what you're saying.

Alot of the items contained in the kit i already have are in good working condition, but for a bug out situation woulr probably be too bulky for me to carry arround, its not the fact i can't afford to replace these items. Its the fact i cant justify spending the money to upgrade when the things i have do perfectly well for what i do.

Your welcome. I understand and agree with you 100%. I have a hard time doing the same thing. I allow myself a small budget and do things in small increments. If I want something out of my budget I just save that part of the budget till I have it all in cash. I also find that as you upgrade equipment, your older equipment doesn't get wasted but gets rotated into a usage pattern. An example might be while car camping I'm going to be inclined to bring the heavier more bulky and luxury things than I would in my backpack for a week out on the trail.

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