Methods to the madness

Is Preparedness Category based, Linear or All Over The Place?
Such is the question asked by Ryan over at his blog. Succinctly, it is this:

Of the three approaches to establishing a level of preparedness – category based, linear based, or scattershot – which seems to be the way to go?

For me, it’s a balanced approach. My thinking has always been to imagine that I’m dropped naked, in the middle of a winter night, into an empty field. What do I need? And then I work it out from there. I’d want, immediately, a small amount of everything….rather than a huge amount of one thing and no supply of anything else.

Lots of people ‘go long’ in some way…they drop a couple grand on guns and get the sexy part of survivalism out of the way and then go to the mundane things like toilet paper and socks. There is some merit to that, but you leave yourself open to being caught short if you’re still working on that gun/ammo thing when some big event happens and you still haven’t gotten around to buying that water purifier.

Some folks go with a more ‘balanced’ approach and buy everything they need for, say, three days. Then they simply repeat this process over and over until they have their year (or whatever timeframe) supply. I rather like this approach.

And some just keep their eyes open an when they come across something that could be useful, they snag it. In the long run that might work, but it’s a great way to wind up sitting on a pallet of 500 MagLites and absolutely no batteries.

I’ve been doing some form of preparedness (or survivalism) for over 25 years. My experience has been that the most sensible way to do things is to get everything you need for ‘x’ amount of time, and then when you have that do it again…and again…and again. Once you’ve put your ‘weeks supply’ together, do it three more times…and now its a months supply. Do that twelve more times and it’s a years supply. That sort of thing. The alternative is that you shoot your wad and buy a years supply of food up front and get caught with only two weeks worth of toilet paper or gasoline.

The one argument I’ve come across for going ‘all in’ and buying as much of one thing as possible to the exclusion of other things you need (other than a spectacular sale) is when the thing you want may not be available in normal channels later. No one is trying to ban Ivory soap….but it’s entirely possible that in three weeks we’ll never have another ‘high capacity’ magazine available to us. And while gun stuff is the easy answer to ‘what might those soon-to-be-unavailable items be’, there’s other things too. Burner phones, cryptography software, electronic devices without ‘for your safety’ GPS tracking, etc, etc….all things you can have now but very possibly might be on the verboten list next year. If something you feel you need is possibly going to be unavailable later, then it makes sense to get it, in the quantity you want, while you can.

If you haven’t already got your supplies and gear socked away, and are still in the stages of acquisition, the best method…in my humble opinion….is the balanced approach. An increase across the board, on a regular basis, with occasional ‘spurts’ of increase in some categories as finances allow. I’d rather have six months of  food, fuel, power, clothes, medicines, and the like, rather than three years of food and one month of everything else. .

What you do, is of course, is your prerogative. For me, I try to raise the level of preparedness evenly across all categories if I can.