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Worth it?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by 9mmguy, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. 9mmguy

    9mmguy Portland, OR Member

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    Okay here is a topic to give grown men an opportunity to do what they do best: talk about feelings. ;)

    Okay, kidding, but I am interested in your motivations for prepping, in your underlying philosophies if you will. I understand the idea of preparedness for limited-term, local disasters - say an earthquake. I also understand some of you are preparing for tough economic times. A big food supply would no doubt be beneficial in lean times - even if lean times just means prices for food skyrocket without any acute disasters. But some of you seem to prepare for long-term survival scenarios where bartering goods and hundreds or thousands of rounds of ammunition are necessary. These are the people I want to know more about. Here are a few questions in no particular order:

    Given the relatively low likelihood of a global disaster (e.g. a large-scale nuclear war or a pandemic that lasts a long time), wouldn't it make more sense to prepare for short term survival but keep most of your assets liquid so you can get out of the danger zone as quickly as possible? If e.g. a major earthquake hits Oregon, it may be years for most infrastructure to come back, but we would be able to travel again fairly soon, and you could start fresh somewhere else if you have some funds. Would any of you actually prefer to stay here? If so, why?

    And again, given that we will not likely live to see a disaster that destroys the whole country or human civilization, is it worth putting so much effort into preparation for the worst case scenario? Does it make you feel better or more anxious about the future to prepare for - and thus think about - all the bad things that may happen?

    I appreciate everyone's input!
     
  2. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    well in my opinion prepping for more than a month or so of independent/family survival may be a bit excessive. sure if you have the spare cash go for it if you feel the desire. the way i see it is it's incredibly unlikely you would need to hold up anywhere for more than that amount of time. considering global societal meltdown caused by anything is so unlikely that you may as well buy a ton of lottery tickets because you would have a better chance of winning that repeatedly. now say that an event where civilization fails (baring war of course), prepping for that amount of time will likely set you on firm footing for long term survival in an ad hock society in your area. anyone with the right skills, knowledge and/or determination can life a long full life without having anything on them at the beginning of just about any event.

    for me im happy with a single month of supplies (which i have at all times at home) and i put a piece of spare time into learning new skills with a wide variety of hobbies and setting my mind to the right place. i dont fear any event specifically but growing up in a region where disaster was an annual event i cant help but want to be prepared. for those who prepare for life changing events or disasters, keep in mind you couldnt possibly plan for every event that will occur over more than a month and regardless of how hard you try, you will end up changing every one of them.
     
  3. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I've experienced 1 Cold War, 1 Hot War, 2 serious tornadoes, 1 hurricane, 1 typhoon, 2 major earthquakes, flooding, blizzards, power outages that lasted 30 days, riots, 2 near drowning's, numerous fires, vehicle breakdowns, robberies, B&E's, broken bones et al.
     
  4. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    "I am interested in your motivations for prepping, in your underlying philosophies if you will"

    Survival doesn't begin after a major event; it begins NOW. Whatever you actions currently are is what your survival plan currently is. Some people "prep" by paying 7 bucks for a cup of coffee (its OK, they give their employees good benefits....). Some people would rather learn how to preserve food before they set aside time to go to relax at a concert or ball game.

    Prepping (self sufficiency) may be seem like an alternative life-style to some people; preppers have indeed been maligned by the press and other believers in government plans/assistance, but I think people who smoke recreational dope, spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on booze, or take a cab to a crowded mall or coffee shop in the middle of a large city, are the people who are "missing out" or mis-prioritizing their "lives".

    I plan to survive for the rest of my life; no matter what the situation is, the basic tenets of life NEVER change.
     
    Angie, erudne, Bones13 and 7 others like this.
  5. 9mmguy

    9mmguy Portland, OR Member

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    Thanks for your comments, the three of you! Kevinkris, I pretty much think the same way, even though I am trying to prepare for longer than a month. I've also become more ambitious since my wife and I had our first kid 9 months ago.

    You're a resilient guy for sure. :thumbup: So, you're just preparing for whatever life might throw at you?

    Point taken. I noticed myself that there is huge satisfaction in doing something that might make one's family a bit more prepared. Do you have a sense of how much time you spend on prepping?

    Sorry if I'm sounding like a nosy journalist (I'm not). Just trying to learn something.
     
  6. Kevinkris

    Kevinkris Aloha Well-Known Member

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    oh yea, nothing wrong with going past a month with stored supplies and such, i just wouldnt suggest breaking the bank for it, which i have seen people do sadly enough. in Florida (where im from) it can make sense to spend a bit more sometimes you can afford for some items for prepping but the NW really doesnt seem to have too many needs like that.

    and yea survival begins now, which is why i read about food storage and how to cut meats for better food preparation. my girlfriend and her family are from Cambodia, her parents being former slaves to the Khmer Rogue. the strangest thing i see in her dad is he likes to eat the things we would see as low quality foods. now there isnt anything wrong with the foods he eats its the entrails, lungs, liver (which i actually like) and noses. he says you shouldnt let any part of the animal go to waste (agreeable) but i tell him it wont, they just put it in hotdogs lol; this being a conversation translated by my girlfriend. the problem that i would see people having is not eating what they have at hand because its beneath them to eat such things. in Cambodia during the Khmer Rogue, they had very little food and some camps wouldnt even let you eat the rodents or bugs. her parents happened to live in camps where they were allowed to grow vegetables outside of their huts and forage the nearby forests but could not help themselves to the food stored for the camp rations. when i read about their ordeal i know that the libs would be the first to die in a situation like that. not sure if i would have been a survivor of such that time in Cambodia, there where many people who still today have never turned up dead or alive.
     
  7. tfbit

    tfbit Eugene, OR Active Member

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    My motivation for prepping is imagining the feelings I would have if my twin daughters and wife were looking at me and telling me they were hungry.
     
  8. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Man I hate the term "prepper", but that's another rant.

    Personally, I'm all about economics, I buy things when they are cheap, and I buy enough that I can survive off that until the next time that resource is cheap again. As it turns out, this is a major exercise in stockpile management. I buy food that I eat in quantity when i find a good deal on it, I eat it at a reasonable rate so it won't expire (go to waste) and hopefully I won't run out before I get another good deal.

    I apply this philosophy to almost everything... food, vehicles, ammo, guns, tools, machinery etc. I also try to see any potential problems with the supply chain (any kind of disaster) and plan accordingly.

    This means, if I lose my job (even though I'm self employed) I have enough cash to make house/rent payments, I can stretch my cash by eating food I have stored, I can run my vehicles with gasoline I have stored, and I have enough raw materials around that I can either sell them for scrap, or turn them into usable/sale-able items.

    I've been through the LA riots, the northridge, landers, big bear, whittier earthquakes. At least a dozen huge wildfires and more than a bit of other stupidity. Even if my power was out for a week, most of that kinda thing didn't affect me too much because I planned for any kind of contingency. Moving to the PNW is an extension of this contingency planning, I think over the next 20 years potable water is going to become a big deal so I moved somewhere that gets ample rainfall, even if it has a short growing season.
     
  9. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Man I hate the term "prepper", but that's another rant.

    Personally, I'm all about economics, I buy things when they are cheap, and I buy enough that I can survive off that until the next time that resource is cheap again. As it turns out, this is a major exercise in stockpile management. I buy food that I eat in quantity when i find a good deal on it, I eat it at a reasonable rate so it won't expire (go to waste) and hopefully I won't run out before I get another good deal.

    I apply this philosophy to almost everything... food, vehicles, ammo, guns, tools, machinery etc. I also try to see any potential problems with the supply chain (any kind of disaster) and plan accordingly.

    This means, if I lose my job (even though I'm self employed) I have enough cash to make house/rent payments, I can stretch my cash by eating food I have stored, I can run my vehicles with gasoline I have stored, and I have enough raw materials around that I can either sell them for scrap, or turn them into usable/sale-able items.

    I've been through the LA riots, the northridge, landers, big bear, whittier earthquakes. At least a dozen huge wildfires and more than a bit of other stupidity. Even if my power was out for a week, most of that kinda thing didn't affect me too much because I planned for any kind of contingency. Moving to the PNW is an extension of this contingency planning, I think over the next 20 years potable water is going to become a big deal so I moved somewhere that gets ample rainfall, even if it has a short growing season.
     
  10. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    I once read a book that advised that one buy everything from shoes to automobiles in bulk and store them for later consumption thus saving money and avoiding inflation. That was about 38 years ago and I can tell you I wish I had followed that advise, especially in regards to tires! Oil is down to $97 and yet the price of tires is up 250% since 1997, Fuel is up over 400%, The price of a new PU Truck has more than doubled, food is no cheaper either. Worse is the price of beer!
    Food storage plays an important role in thriving in bad times no matter what the cause of the disruption.
    The motivation is self-sufficiency and independence from a disintegrating social contract, not necessarily isolation from society and social responsibilities
     
  11. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    OP: "Do you have a sense of how much time you spend on prepping?" yes, 24/7/365.

    You must try to understand friend, the term "prepping" is a pejorative term widely (not entirely) used to malign certain people in order to give/produce the perception that what "preppers" do is somehow off-center with the basic tenets of life.....sure, a lot of people call themselves "prepper" (and I'm not offended buy it) in the early stages of their experience(s), but when most "preppers" come to realize the truth; that is when most people make it out of Plato's allegorical cave and see the light, it becomes apparent that it is the "sheeple" (not the "preppers") who are maligned for staring and the images provided for them on the wall.

    I do not want to be considered pedagogical; but the best way to explain this misinterpretation of the facts is to reference the childhood story of The Three Little Pigs. It was the third pig who labored more than the careless and lazy two pigs. It was the third pig who was being maligned, and it was the two lazy pigs who went begging for shelter in the third pig's house when the big bad wolf blew their flimsy houses down.

    We all are preparing for the remainder of our lives whether we realize or admit it or not; some people think going to a jazz concert will prepare them better than learning how to preserve food. It is their choice, it is our choice.

    My experience in the military has taught me many many lessons that strongly influence my current lifestyle, one of them was spending all my money before the end of the month. "too much month and the end of the money" was the term people used when they had no other place to eat, other than the dining facility.

    How does the so-called main-stream keep the sheeple in the cave? They constantly revere people who are generous. Do you see how the pattern plays out from our earliest years? "Be generous, give others what they want/ask of you, you don't need all those possessions, money and free time.....".

    To this, I say Horse Pucky!

    Charles Dickens even helped to twist the truth; if the Scrooge wasn't the greedy money-miser (mean old man) they maligned in the story, where in the heck would little Tommy have ever found the money for his leg operation?
     
  12. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I dunno, I give generously whenever I can. However, I try to be wise when dispensing charity, if I walked up to an ant hill and dropped an Iphone on them I might feel great about myself, however wtf are a bunch of ants going to do with an Iphone? order a pizza?!

    I constantly take stock of what I have, what resources are available to me, and what resources may be more valuable to someone else. One of the big things I always try to be aware of is the needs of people I know... if someone I know needs a job, I don't recommend them for the first open job I find, I recommend them for the right job. If someone has an interest in a certain field and needs experience I try to provide that experience so they can use it in their life.

    Give you an example... a few years ago I hired a friend of mine who was down on his luck, I gave him a piece rate to assemble parts for me, not hard. However within about 20 minutes of sitting down to work he pulled out his laptop to listen to music, and then he started chatting on his laptop, and then he was on the phone. By the end of the day he had actually done about 20 mins worth of work. I told him I would pay him for the work he did at the end of the day... end of the day came around, I looked at what he had done, it was about $5 worth of work. I gave him $6. He was rather incredulous and said "but I was here all day" to which I responded "I paid you for your accomplishments not how long you sat on your laptop".

    I never had him work for me again, however I knew someone who was looking for a computer tech and I recommended him for the job... could not be happier, he still works there 5 years later.

    When you give, you need to be wise about it. Bringing gasoline to a house fire is fine in a few instances, what is usually needed is water. All the starving people in africa don't need food... they need luggage so they can move to where the food is.
     
  13. Fisher Bill

    Fisher Bill Tigard Member

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    contingency planning

    I like this phrase, when I was growing up in the 60's it was a normal thing to grow, butcher and preserve your veggies, fruits, fish, game and what ever else you would raise.

    Big families and single incomes called for a way of life where you needed to be prepared out of financial necessity, notice how not many young people these days know how to do the a fore mentioned tasks? Notice when Sandy hit the East coast that stores were empty in hours.

    All you need is one of the over half a dozen possible natural catastrophes and toss in another bunch of possible man made catastrophes and I think the odds are that we will see the need to be prepared in the next dozen years or so.

    When people on this forum write about the possibility of a Martial law my guess is that it will be right after some sort of major catastrophe.

    The solar flare/ EMP thing makes me think that if we got a bad one and it knocked out the grid then all of the electronic money would be gone as well as all of our modern conveniences, if that happened you'd better dang well be ready IMHO.:twocents:
     
  14. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    All excellent answers, I needn't add anything. Well stated.
     
  15. Marko850

    Marko850 Duvall New Member

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    I always see people prepping for something really specific. ie Global economic collapse. Seattle Earthquake.
    I prep for anything and everything because you never know.
     
  16. Hook686

    Hook686 Northern California Active Member

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    A wise philosopher once said, What you fear the most will befall you.' I guess that means if you prepare for civil destruction that is what you will end up with. I guess it is good that in those cases you are stocking up on goods, for then you can be pleased that you were right.
     
  17. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    AMP did a pretty good job expressing how I feel too.

    I will just address one part here about the ammo. How many guys here are looking for ANY ammo? I am not at all. What is the going rate for say .308? Close to $1/rd? Well the most expensive .308 I have cost $0.20/rd. People have not been able to find .22 ammo for a couple months now, well I have enough to shoot at least 100rds/day for well over 2 years some of it cost me under $10/brick. So while I may not be using it every day I still buy on sale and build my stocks.

    It has very little to do with "prepping" but someday I would like to retire. When I do my income will most likely be reduced and more fixed. The price of all the items we buy will have gone up meaning it will cost me more of my money to buy later. When .22 cost $50/box I can still be shooting it for $10/box and not have to spend my retirement to do it.

    I do not just do this for guns/ammo I do it for everything. It is not prepping, it is life.

    Do you have a savings account? Why do you keep money in there? This is no different.

    I know you keep talking about "how much time do you spend prepping". Well there is NO time spent or very little as it is a life style. When you go to the store you pick up a few extra things. You fuel you car when you get to half a tank. Instead of having 1 bottle of shampoo you have the one you are using and 1-2 spares. When you run out of the one you are using you grab a fresh one then next time you are at the store you replace it. Say you eat a box of cereal a week do the same thing having a couple on hand. Basically it is a savings account of life. It is keeping the things around that you use in daily life in a little extra quantity so when times are lean there is no issue.

    For the most part stocking stuff away and never touching it again is a waste of time and money. Prepping is not a one and done you have to make it part of life.
     
  18. Guilty

    Guilty Salem, Oregon Active Member

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    I had neighbors who had a stockpile of "goods" when I was growing up in the 60's and 70's. We sometimes went camping with them and fishing in the wilderness, I never thought much of their stockpile, it seemed somewhat normal to me. Often when they needed something, they just walked downstairs and resupplied their pantry or got more toilet paper for the bathroom, they didn't have to make a special trip to the grocery store.
    Today, many years later, I make an attempt to buy "goods" when they are on sale and have taken the steps to ensure that I am capable of taking care of my family in an emergency for an extended amount of time, I don't want assistance from "the government", in fact, I get downright annoyed at the multitude of people that I see EXPECTING a hand out now days - the entitlement society.
    I regularily take steps to learn new skills and to improve on skills that I have learned. I grow a garden every year, I experiment with different crops and I save seeds so I don't have to buy new seeds every year. I have a HAM license and so does my wife and daughter so we can legally communicate at a distance if we need to without cell phones. I reload ammunition so it is more affdordable to practice my marksmanship skills.
    Preparing yourself with supplies for a month is a minimum. In any true emergency, that month's worth of supplies will most likely be gone in a week so it is better to have 6 months, 1 year or 5 years worth of supplies because it will not last as long as you think it will. The government does not have the capability to save you in a true emergency.
    Since WWII, we have basically had an easy life here in the United States. We as a nation have not experienced the hardships of our ancestors, but that can not last forever. I don't feel the need to spend all of my waking moments thinking about survival, but I have adopted a lifestyle that has become second nature to buy extra when things are on sale and to rotate my supplies just like a grocery store does, it is not that difficult.
    When survival becomes an obsession, it is time to step away from the computer and relax. Don't let the news of the day upset you or cause you to go into a buying frenzy, go live your life for a while, turn off the news, spend some quality time with your family.
    I don't plan on bugging out in an emergency unless it is chemical or biological and then I will vamoose quickly. In Oregon, the main emergencies are weather, earthquake, volcanic eruption, health related or job loss. Earthquake or volcanic eruption would be the most devastating and long lasting.
    If we have a major earthquake for example, it is quite possible that the Wilamette Valley will experience liquification and all of the roadways would be affected, the overpasses and bridges could collapse and cleanup would take much longer than a week. I own a home and whether or not I am living in my home, the mortgage is still due every month so why would I move to another city to make a new beginning without selling my house first? This would be kind of hard to do during a SHTF emergency so I might as well dust off my pants and get to work right where I am rather than to "greener pastures" somewhere else. This is especially true if I took the time to be prepared, so why shouldn't I take the time to prepare for my family's survival? I certainly ain't no quitter.
     
    Jablunty, Nwcid, knuckle Head and 3 others like this.
  19. Heidland

    Heidland SW Washington Active Member

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    I also hate the term, "prepper", and the idea that being self-sufficient and prepared is somehow against the societal grain.

    My parents lived through the depression, and I myself clearly remember the fuel shortages and mini-depression of the 70s. As I was growing up it was drilled into us kids that you always have a least a years supply of food (canned from your own garden), water, and the basics of life on hand at all times.

    To be honest, like most of my generation, I really didn't start paying attention to that until after I got married and had kids myself. Now, in my 40s, I find it a bit amusing that I have become my father :)

    Are we "preppers"? No.

    Do we have a small operational farm located off the beaten path with a year round garden, chickens, live stock, and that which you need should all electricity go away? Yes.

    The downside is if I do get one of these jobs up in Okanogan County I'll have to move all this crap up there :p
     
  20. HansC

    HansC Portland Member

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    For several years I had a condo, and for a couple of those years I was president of the Homeowners Association. It was a small place, 38 units. My neighbors were the most useless people on the face of the earth. The steep, paved driveway was impassable whenever covered with snow, and I was the only one with a snow shovel. People would complain, but nobody ever asked to borrow it. Folks who had lived there 20 years didn't know where the water shutoff valves were, although their pipes froze and broke almost yearly. When I'd crawl under their homes and pull down plywood to show the plumber where the pipe was, it would expose uninsulated pipe with dozens of patches. Heat tape, insulation, or even letting a faucet dribble was too much work for these people. They would not change the porch light bulb above their own entry door if it burnt out.

    We initially had low HOA dues, but the absolute lack of participation changed that. These people had no interest in helping each other, understanding or maintaining the infrastructure that provided their quality of life, or assuming responsibility for anything around them. Years after leaving, and many years after my term as president there, I still get calls to solve problems that crop up there.

    Modern people are largely useless. I have very little fondness for most of my former neighbors. Even if the power is out for a single day, there are plenty of people with no food, no way to warm themselves, and no viable transportation. Babysitting dozens of able bodied adults has taught me the value of planning ahead to help the utterly useless. I suspect if their level of discomfort becomes extreme, they would cause trouble.

    When I moved out, I was surprised by the warmth and thanks given to me by people that I thought had just taken my efforts for granted. Now they complain how much things have gone downhill. Nobody has stepped up. These are pleasant, working people, the majority of which own the units they live in. Their helplessness and lack of motivation to care for their own property continually astounds me. I always do my best to treat people well, but my disapproval of their unwillingness to engage responsibly provides motivation to live a useful and prudent life.