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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2 is 1 and 1 is none.

That's a platitude i read far too often. Where did this saying come from? From what ive researched it comes from millitary/law enforcment and like most things millitary/law enforcement their professional wisdom usually makes its way into the world of survival.

I see alot of people doubling up on preps "just in case" something fails but some of the items and applications make zero sense. I have a family member that brags about having 2 of everything and has said "if its good enough to buy once then its good enough to want a spare" this seems excessive to me.

There are certainly cases where redundancy is wise and neccessary- like tactical units where there is no time to fix anything as a critical situation is time sensitive- but i dont think this tracks for the average joe.

Personally I think this redundancy is heavily promotoed by survival industry because it boosts sales, but i may be a bit jaded there...

My mentality has been this- dont depend on things that can break, and learn how to repair things rather than replace them. Dont depend on things that can fail you. I say DISCIPLINE yourself by creating protocols and learning the skills that protect your equipment from being broken or lost.

If you can lose something once, you can lose it twice- if you can break something once you can break the same item again. Having 2 of the same item lasts a bit longer sure, but doesnt solve the core problem. Im not saying mistakes are impossible but i certainly dont think the possibility of mistakes means people need 2 of everything.

If you have unlimited space and money this probably doesnt matter to you- but if you are limited (especially mobile systems) then why spend resources doubling up on everything? This seems like consumerism moreso than survivalism.

Could redundancy be holding you back from excellence? Can it be a crutch?

Redundancy ≠ sustainability

I personally dont rely on redundancy much and fwiw i say more power to those that do.

Does all of your redundancy make sense?

I'd like to hear what people think!
 

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Important things is good to Have two of. What is "important" to some may not be to others.

What I hear alot of is people stocking up On something "just to use it for barter" at a later point. Stocking something you never plan on useing seams like a total waste of space, time and money to me when you could stock something that you can actualy use.
 

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try this " if you like something buy two, they're going to stop making it."
in the words of John Bender " Screws just fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place."

if you gather al the parts to repair something you have the parts to build that thing, it's usually cheaper to buy the total thing than it is to buy the parts.
 

· Michigander
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Just because it says "2 is 1, 1 is none" does NOT mean it has to be a duplicate.

2 ways to do the same thing. Multi use items.

So... say, I have 1 hammer, and 1 hatchet that has a hammer head on it.
An RV with a Generator, and a 110v inverter if the generator won't start but the RV will.
A Generator, and a Solar Panel set up... to produce power.
A camper, and a tent.
A truck, and say a car with a pull behind trailer.
A car, and a bicycle.
A bicycle, and a skateboard... hmmm... NOT any more, lol

You have the First Choice... but if that breaks, or isn't available, then the 2nd choice comes into play.
Sure... the 2nd choice might not be as good, BUT IT'S BETTER than NO choice.
 

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2 is 1 and 1 is none.

That's a platitude i read far too often. Where did this saying come from? From what ive researched it comes from millitary/law enforcment and like most things millitary/law enforcement their professional wisdom usually makes its way into the world of survival.

I see alot of people doubling up on preps "just in case" something fails but some of the items and applications make zero sense. I have a family member that brags about having 2 of everything and has said "if its good enough to buy once then its good enough to want a spare" this seems excessive to me.

There are certainly cases where redundancy is wise and neccessary- like tactical units where there is no time to fix anything as a critical situation is time sensitive- but i dont think this tracks for the average joe.

Personally I think this redundancy is heavily promotoed by survival industry because it boosts sales, but i may be a bit jaded there...

My mentality has been this- dont depend on things that can break, and learn how to repair things rather than replace them. Dont depend on things that can fail you. I say DISCIPLINE yourself by creating protocols and learning the skills that protect your equipment from being broken or lost.

If you can lose something once, you can lose it twice- if you can break something once you can break the same item again. Having 2 of the same item lasts a bit longer sure, but doesnt solve the core problem. Im not saying mistakes are impossible but i certainly dont think the possibility of mistakes means people need 2 of everything.

If you have unlimited space and money this probably doesnt matter to you- but if you are limited (especially mobile systems) then why spend resources doubling up on everything? This seems like consumerism moreso than survivalism.

Could redundancy be holding you back from excellence? Can it be a crutch?

Redundancy ≠ sustainability

I personally dont rely on redundancy much and fwiw i say more power to those that do.

Does all of your redundancy make sense?

I'd like to hear what people think!
Canon,

I believe the the original term started out as "built in redundancy".

My type of redundancy makes sense since it's worked prior both from a functional analysis and a financial analysis.

For example, my hard hat is also a kit. It has face shields mounted on it, a whistle, a beekeepers net stuffed insode rigging next to extra batteries for the 2 helmet mounted lights. Also has color photo ID laminated inside. This kit is also an ANSI I helmet upgraded to ANSI II for evacs. This is "built in redundancy" as I use the term.

Another example: medical / surgical tape can replace duct / goose tape when factoring in weight and volumn concerns along with assigning costs to wt and vol. This is redundancy at it's best for my purposes.

Since I wear H suspenders for emergencies, my pants' belt loopsused for paracord and some 107 lb test braided fabric fish line for shelter setup (not elaborate but for to/from a boat to/from shore especially during adverse weather).

......

Althoug we have different arrangements, some Forum members tell of foods also serving as medicinal products eg honey. This qualifies as something with the perimeters of built in redundancy - and especially with my focus on land evacuations when weight and vol factored in.

All zipper-pulls are coiled 107 lb fish line - various lengths.
 

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There's this thing called "comon sense". It's a useful attribute, often developed to a high degree by those that live and work in the real world, such as military members.

Two is one, and one is none, as used in practice, is based on the idea that one both possesses and exercises that attribute.

Two is one, and one is none, is based on the reality that military stuff breaks, or gets lost. Either due to being crap, or due to being used under extreme conditions by your typical soldier.

It doesn't mean you should have a spare M240 in your pocket. It means that, if you have ONE M240 in your platoon....you can't count on it being available and functioning at a 100% confidence level at the moment when you most need it.

But at no point did "two is one and one is none" ever mean you need to go so deep into debt on preps that you can't breathe, nor does it mean carrying a double load of everything in your pack.

This idea of never fully trusting anything to work out as you planned is helpful in dealing with real life.

IF YOU CAN...you carry spares.
IF YOU CAN....you have backups, and even backups to your backups.

And if you CAN'T do that....you recognize that things may break and/or go missing, and you plan accordingly, and go easy on that engine that has no more spare parts, and you go easy on your mag dumps because you don't have another complete full load out of mags in your ruck, and you ration your food a bit because you only have "enough" and not twice as much as you need.
 

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If you are prepping for the end of society, having one of something isn't going to get you far. An example - I know the boots I like. When I buy a new pair, I buy two extra pairs. Once I get to a determined number of extras, I' m done buying. I know I kill a pair about every two years. If I make it 30 more years, I'll be doing good. If I had 15 pair of boots now, I'd consider myself "done" for them.
 

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The list of things you cannot "make yourself" is a lot longer than the list of things you can.
Whether they are things you depend upon, or just things you like, we've already seen how easy it is for them to suddenly become not available. Even when available, they will almost certainly cost more in the future than now. So why not have 2 (or more)?
Worst case, you die without needing the spare. So will it to a friend or neighbor.

Just one example: I can't build a deep well pump. But the extra one I bought a few years ago cost around $100, the same thing now is $500.
 

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2 is 1 and 1 is none.

That's a platitude i read far too often. Where did this saying come from? From what ive researched it comes from millitary/law enforcment and like most things millitary/law enforcement their professional wisdom usually makes its way into the world of survival.

I see alot of people doubling up on preps "just in case" something fails but some of the items and applications make zero sense. I have a family member that brags about having 2 of everything and has said "if its good enough to buy once then its good enough to want a spare" this seems excessive to me.

There are certainly cases where redundancy is wise and neccessary- like tactical units where there is no time to fix anything as a critical situation is time sensitive- but i dont think this tracks for the average joe.

Personally I think this redundancy is heavily promotoed by survival industry because it boosts sales, but i may be a bit jaded there...

My mentality has been this- dont depend on things that can break, and learn how to repair things rather than replace them. Dont depend on things that can fail you. I say DISCIPLINE yourself by creating protocols and learning the skills that protect your equipment from being broken or lost.

If you can lose something once, you can lose it twice- if you can break something once you can break the same item again. Having 2 of the same item lasts a bit longer sure, but doesnt solve the core problem. Im not saying mistakes are impossible but i certainly dont think the possibility of mistakes means people need 2 of everything.

If you have unlimited space and money this probably doesnt matter to you- but if you are limited (especially mobile systems) then why spend resources doubling up on everything? This seems like consumerism moreso than survivalism.

Could redundancy be holding you back from excellence? Can it be a crutch?

Redundancy ≠ sustainability

I personally dont rely on redundancy much and fwiw i say more power to those that do.

Does all of your redundancy make sense?

I'd like to hear what people think!
I have 'extra' for what I deem is needed. My money, my choice.

You can do as you wish. Just don't come begging to me when you are freezing your ass off because you can't get a fire started.....
 

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You cannot guarantee an outcome. All you can do is improve your odds.

There's a concept called "single point of failure," where if that point in a system fails, the entire system fails. The Space Shuttle had some single points of failure, the most famous of which were the external tiles which prevented the shuttle from burning up. Lose those, or enough of them, and it doesn't matter what other backups or redundancies there are--you're going down, and not in a glide.

It's often difficult to identify these things. I have a reloading shop that any survival group would be happy to have. In that shop I have some digital scales because they're much easier to use than balance scales. But if I lose those, either due to EMP or no longer having batteries, I still have a backup--an RCBS balance scale.

I bought a pressure canner. I looked at the cheaper ones and all required a specific gasket to work. I eventually decided on the All American canner because it doesn't have a design requiring a consumable, i.e., a gasket. So while there's no backup, it's a robust design.

I have the Country Living Grain Mill. I have a TON, literally, of grains I plan to grind using that mill. Because the parts are replaceable, I bought a backup set of various parts.

I believe it's useful to think on these things as possible single points of failure. If you lose it, are you screwed? If you are, you need either backups (2 is 1...) or spare parts or an incredibly robust design.

That doesn't mean everything needs a backup--pots and pans, for example. Lose one and you likely have other implements that will serve. A Solar Power system? Lots of potential points of failure, so if it's important to maintain that capability, backups and spare parts are the rule of the day.

* * *
Cody Lundin wrote a book titled "98.6" in which his argument was that maintaining one's core temps at or about that level is what survival is about.

That's a huge single point of failure--be too warm or too cold, and you're toast (sorry about mixing metaphors here).

I was struck by the profound simplicity of this. Everything we do is with the goal of maintaining that body temperature. Fire for warmth, shade for cooling, water for drinking, food for eating, avoiding poison, avoiding infection--they're all single points of failure if you do not approach them as vitally important.

Redundancy in fire starting? It's vitally important. Backup signal mirror? Not so much.

If it threatens your life or health, it's worth having the backups, or a robust enough system that you can trust it with your life. Because you will have to.
 

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the saying in the survivalist community 20 years ago did not mean 2 of everything. It meant that items should have multiple uses. That specialization in tools should be limited where possible. It has now been distorted into meaning buy multiples of everything you can. This in turn advances the ideology in our community of buying cheap items. The logic is that you can buy cheap because you have a backup..That of course lacks any and all logic as when the time comes that you need that tool to perform as in a survival situation you cant afford for it to break no matter how many replacements you may have...
 

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I have 67 screwdrivers and 26 hammers. I think I'm good in the tool catagory. ;)
I stopped at church sale and there were some tools for sale at a good price, one was a good claw hammer. I bought them to add to the multiple other hammers I have. I was driving in Florida one day and turned around to pick up a claw hammer I saw lying on the side of the road. Yay!! Another hammer!! And when the business I was working at a few years back went out of business, I took home some tools, one of which was a nice claw hammer. Hey, if I'm working on a project and you show up, I'm pointing at the pile of hammers and telling you to help or go away.
 

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Redundancy can mean multiple of the same item but it doesn't have to. A pocket knife and scissors both cut stuff but they're not the same.

Its really just about the odds of success in a task. If you end up stuck in the woods alone with 1 lighter maybe there's a 80% chance it works to get a fire going. If you have a second method of fires starting and it has an 80% chance to work your total odds of success increase to 96%. Add in some easy to light tinder, maybe it's now 99.5%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Great replies from all- thank you!

I suppose i could have done a bit better with the original post, or at the very least worked a little harder on the disclaimers... oh well, my bad!

In the interest of narrowing the focus of the discussion a little id like to flesh out what im driving at a little better-

Basically, im trying to point out a potential pitfall when building systems.

-------

If youre building a system with the mentality of replacing components if/when they wear out/break it will likely culminate to a system which CAN wear out/break.

Now comparitively

If you were to design a system for the same purpose, but this time do so with the mentality that it cannot fail and no replacements will be available i think it would ultimately culminate to a better and more robust system because your design criteria is much more stringent.

The latter system may reuqire you to learn some skill(s) to compensate for the lack of replaceable components thereby improving your personal capabilities in the process. Forcing you to achieve a higher level of "excellence" as it were.

Obviously MANY system components are wear items by design, the use of which makes you dependent on the supply of replacements- the question then becomes: is there a different approach to solving the problem without the need for a system which wears out?

That obviously isnt always possible, but is likely possible more often than we think if we can simply think outside the box.

The statement i wrote is 2 is 1 and 1 is none, obviously this doesnt apply to items that are designed naturally to wear out and be replaced. Those item's number of replacements is ultimately decided by the timeframe in which the system is designed to last. 2 is 1 and 1 is none usually denotes non consumable items which can suffer from failure but are not supposed to in general need constant replacing.

Thoughts?
 

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I think the one is none, two is one concept was created at the beginning of WWII by the Department of Redundancy Department.

One is none, two is one is not a canon that must be followed.

But since we are talking about it, what do you feel is necessary to have a back up for?
 
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