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For someone like myself just starting out thinking about so many issues here, so much info, so...how do you start putting everything together on the cheap. Some items can be found around the house, others may cost many thousands of dollars, so whats the best way to start? Did any of you have issues when deciding on getting item A before B, and just reading for a few days on different topics here just add to the "gear list" wish list.
 

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Every trip to the grocery store, I make sure to buy something that's on my list. I look for things like lentils on sale [that never make it to the flyer so you have to look] and I read the weekly food ads and also check what the local drugstore has on sale [I've found cans of sardines for 59 cents a piece, teabags, canned oysters, ham, etc. for a much better price than at the grocery store]. Plus, we shop at Costco for things we use frequently, like coffee, cheese, toilet paper and other things. I try to buy stuff we need on sale, but sometimes what I want never does go on sale so if I have to, I buy it at the normal price.
 

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Unlocked and loaded
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Mind set,

Do what you can afford to do as you can afford it. As you go to the store buy two instead of one. Rice, beans,and canned meats. You don't have to fill your pantry today. Add as you go. Defense, nothing beats a 12ga. shotgun to start with, pick one up at a pawn shop, and some ammo. Teach your whole family to shoot as ya go and add to your arsenal. You don't have to have a AR-15 to keep up with the Jone's. I would suggest a revolver to go along with the shotgun. .38+P or .357,( nothing to Jam or stove pipe). My main theme is to get what you can afford. A.22 is better than a club. :thumb:

Keep your senses sharp and your weapon loaded and ready.
 

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I think a high-priority, realistic item to add would be a water filter. You can get a very adequate backpacking water filter, a few extra filters and some iodine tablets for a total cost under $100.

Start building a kit that could get you and your family through a weekend.

Then build it slowly to a kit that's good for a year...
 

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Good thoughts

I think a high-priority, realistic item to add would be a water filter. You can get a very adequate backpacking water filter, a few extra filters and some iodine tablets for a total cost under $100.

Start building a kit that could get you and your family through a weekend.

Then build it slowly to a kit that's good for a year...

For someone like myself just starting out thinking about so many issues here, so much info, so...how do you start putting everything together on the cheap. Some items can be found around the house, others may cost many thousands of dollars, so whats the best way to start? Did any of you have issues when deciding on getting item A before B, and just reading for a few days on different topics here just add to the "gear list" wish list.


It is funny that you posted this because I was walking through WalMart today and was thinking about the very basic Bug Out Pouch. What can we skimp on when we first get started? Rather than buy a Maglite or Everyready Crank up light for $10 you buy a $1 rayovac cheapo 2 AA cell light. You get a pack of 8 View butane lighters for $1.97 and split them between your pouches. You buy emergency candles 2 for $1.90. You buy a multifunction whistle that is also a compass, thermometer, and magnifying glass for $2.94 rather than buy a really nice compass for $10 or more and a whistle. You get throw away spoons or sporks to eat with. You buy Portable Aqua with PA Plus to clean up 25 quarts of water for $5.76 and you pack in some Mr. Coffee type filters to pour bad water through to get most of the floaties out. You get a $1 poncho and a $1 space blanket (These are throw away type). Where you can’t skimp is on your Knife or multitool. Don’t ever buy the Chinese junk. The metal sucks and you will be throwing your money away. Buy fewer functions on both the Swiss army knife or the Multi Tool. Buy the best on your blades. One thing you must have is a can opener and your Swiss Army knife has to have one. Same goes for your multi tool. Leatherman, Gerber, and other quality tools are great. Ask around the folks on the forum about which they like. I am not a blade guy. I look for functions I want and the fit and finish of the tool or knife. Also look for sales. Many dealers like Academy, ****’s, Sports Authority and WalMart will have closeouts and you can pick up bargains on last years models. Who cares if it is last years. I have stuff that dates back to the 1960s. I have tools from the late 1800s that still work.

When it comes to food and water start right now and don’t let up. Buy what you eat and eat what you buy. When you eat a can or bag go out and buy two more. You will always be moving ahead. Invest in airtight storage when you can. Look on this site for information on food storage. Store water in non degradeable containers. Be sure anything you put food or water in is food safe. Don’t store water in chemical barrels as an example. Plastics will absorb what was stored in them and it will get into your food and water. Also look on this site for articles on water storage.

The main thing is to take it one step at a time. Don’t get panicked and don’t let it overwhelm you. Many people give up when the task seems to be too great. It isn’t. Hang in there and ask questions. There are people here who care and are willing to help you.


I look at the folks above who are there when people need them. these are good folks. Look for others to be here as well in the next few days.
 

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Eager To Learn aka Newb
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Hi there i am a newbie just like you . I'm not to sure when i started to collect survival supplies , i think it started with a desire to go camping and i bought a tent and some stuff. Later on i started thinking about WTSHTF . anytime i go shopping i look at whats on sale and maybe will stock a few extra boxes of rice , pasta what have you . I also went to a dollar store and bought alot of stuff for my first aid kit on the cheap. They also sell canned meats - spam and what not - i went to wally world and found 18 gal rubber maids on sale for like 4.50 each. i guess ive been at it since summer - maybe with 100 dollar budget a month -sometimes not even that much. I bet i have enough food to ration for 3 people for close to a month . i hope for a bug in senerio so i havnt concentrated on a BOB just yet. Still waiting on a FOID card before i jump into firearms . Had a few knifes already laying around. I habnt gotten any coleman lamps or the like - i'm a little worried about stocking fuel but eventually i will probley graduate from battery light. I seen alot of people use backpacks - i buoght a couple of big duffle bag type luggage - they have wheels and i am going to use these to stock up on bug out supply. In my area my main concern is rioting - then natural disaster- i'm about 5 miles from a major airforce base that serves as a major supply stop so in case of all out war with nukes i probley wont have to worry about any of this. but you never know - i would rather be safe then sorry and anything is better then nothing.
Tommy ---- good luck !
 

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Grumpy Old Curmudgeon
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Stop eating out so much.

Stop wasting money on useless junk and toys.

Stop shopping for just a couple days at a time.

Buy TWO of everything on your "list" when you do shop.

Get on these boards and READ, READ, READ, READ, READ.
Then when you have an idea..... ask questions and READ SOME MORE.

Then take the great advice of the "Old Hands" and go do it.
 

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First thing to do is make a plan. What's your number one need? For us on the Gulf Coast, it was preparation for a hurricane. First, a BOB since we face mandatory evacuations. We also live very close to multiple oil refineries and thought a BOB would be useful. Next, for us, up to date car kit--fix a flat, jumper cables, water, food, etc. Home protection-- a .22 and a 12 gauge with ammo. Then, preparations for buggin' in for a category 2 hurricane--stored water, food, fuel, etc. Extra gas, a two week supply of pantry items, first aid, then long term food storage. We camp so we had a lot of stuff already so it was a matter of pulling stuff together. Among our first purchases--2 seven gallon aquatainers, 2 5 gallon gas containers, backpack for hubby, 20 pounds of rice, 10 pounds of beans, 2 extra of all the canned good we regularly use. We already had a way to purify water (we want to add a Berkey), multiple ways to start a fire, multiple ways to cook (we want a Coleman dual fuel stove and lantern yet). Oh yes, and the guns were early purchases too. We had been looking at them for home safety anyway and this was a way to get him on board.

We set a budget for preps and add weekly. We always buy canned meat at Walgreens when it's 1.99 (ham, roast beef, and spam), and our grocery budget includes 10% for preps. We got a membership to Sam's Club and use it for some things (we do buy a lot of all natural and/or organic but for preps we aren't as picky although we try for healthy high quality items as much as possible).

I've also started to cook more using our preps. We mostly eat meat and salad, meat and vegies (stir fry), or pasta. I've started cooking beans every two weeks (gradual process, hubby isn't in love in beans, yet), and trying to incorporate canned meat instead of fresh. Eating less meat in general.

We also revamped our lifestyle, which also made more money available for preps. We have basic cable, eat out less, and yes, we are making a HUGE effort to pay down our credit cards. We've also decided that I should go back to nursing school and I'm starting the prereq's in the winter.

Make a plan. Decide what you are prepping for and buy accordingly. We've been at it a few months and we have our kits, extra water and gas, and about a 3 month supply of stored food. Above all, don't get discouraged. It really adds up quickly as long as you are committed to doing something each week. It doesn't take a lot of money, it does take commitment.

Jackie
 

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cute is not always enough
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make a list of all the scenarios you feel you need to prepare for. no sense in preparing for a blizzard if you live in Florida. decide on what you think the likeliness of each scenario.

decide how you want to be prepared for these scenarios. will you bug out or in? do you need heat? how will you cook? where can you cut costs? where can you kill two birds with one stone?

make lists of all the things you need and price them. do some comparison shopping. again, look for places to cut costs and/or double up.

make a realistic budget. prioritise your purchases based on cost and likeliness and start making the purchases.

my decision was to start with the "72 hour kit". because of where I live I have a real worry about fire. next is expanding the food/water/heat stock pile. getting snowed in by a blizzard is a very real possibility for me so I want to be able to "bug in" with reasonable comfort.

$0.02
 

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The Hammer & Anvil
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I have to point out that preparing for what could be an issue in your area. For me Tornado's, Ice storms every 5-10years that the area goverments do not prepare for. Or just a general power outage. In case of one of the Nuclear plants going or the dam system breaking I also have a plan. I am building the bob's for the wife and I while also preparing the home front for an extended bug in.

Shelter
water
fire
food
protection

I also agree with everyone else as this really is an overwhelming job to undertake do what you can as soon as you can and as often as possible!
 
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