I have read tons of books, e-books, articles, web pages, and watched video after video of any and all knowledge pertaining to survival I could find; I consumed it. Then to test the validity of the ideas I learned, I would bounce idea after idea off anyone that would listen.
The problem is, there are only so many hours in the day & all that researching left little time to actually DO ANYTHING, except obsess on acquiring more knowledge. The absolute worst obstacle I ran into was the fact that out of 15 sources of information, I would most likely to run into 15 different approaches to survival/prepping/defense/etc, and 15 different “Experts” with 15 theories all swearing it the BEST. It’s maddening.
A perfect example: A good friend of mine does Hydrogen conversions for vehicles. I have been in line to get my ’74 Blazer converted for two years; he’s going to do it as a favor at no cost to me. (This vehicle is a perfect choice for a survival vehicle for many reasons.) Thing is, he’s bound and determined to give me the newest, best, and greatest design and according to him they come out with something new every week. At this rate I will never get one & if I do he’ll want to swap it out a month from now because the old one just won’t do.
I am sure I am not the only one who has ever run into this problem. After all, you want THE BEST technique/tool/trick/whatever to use right? If you’re going to do it or have it why not do or have the best right? Here’s the rub…there is no “BEST”.
I am a huge believer in the technology of hydrogen conversion, especially if you’re financially tied to a gas engine bug out vehicle. But there’s more involved in putting a system like that on your vehicle than just slapping it in and driving on river water free for eternity. What if it breaks down? Most folks know their way around a V8 enough to repair what has broken as long as it isn’t something major like a head gasket or thrown rod. But what happens if even one small thing happens to your hydrogen system? What do you know about fixing those?
Here’s my point. The “BEST” is
#1: Whatever you can afford, and still afford the rest of your supplies.
#2, whatever you can truly learn.
(There are reasons the military has the troops strip, clean, and reassemble their equipment until they can do it blindfolded). You should know what every piece of equipment in your packs, vehicles, and homesteads does and/or can do, and everything should be field tested at least once.
The old saying “jack of all trades, master of none” kind of applies here. You might have the cash to buy a million survival items each with a million bells and whistles but if you don’t know the first thing about what to do if it fails or breaks you’ll have a million dollars worth of what are now essentially nice rocks with lots of cool bells and whistles. I guess if you lived in a castle you could incorporate them into your defenses by dropping them on the heads of invaders. You get my point.
I am going to close with a question. Most everything I have read about prepping says to start with water. Getting it, storing it, purifying it, etc. While of course water is most important to life next to oxygen, if you’re not in the financial situation to just go out and buy everything you need, (like me), an equally important starting point for you that can be done simultaneously is cutting costs, immediately. This will get you further, faster.
Q: So do you buy water and filters or invest in something like a hydrogen conversion for your vehicle, thereby saving you thousands a year and allowing you to prep more completely?
Other things like gardening can also save you loads of cash in the long run, but if you’re starting from scratch it could take a sizeable investment to begin. There’s also the question of “what do you plant first in a survival situation”? There is a lot of good information out there on this topic.
If this was 15 years ago, I would say most certainly; bite the bullet and invest in all the cost cutting items you can. Most of these cost cutting things are also prepping items, but probably aren’t in most “Experts” list of top 10 first things to buy, and it’s not 15 years ago. I don’t think there’s going to be very many more months, much less years before some Americans are living on their prepped stores and skills. That’s just my outlook though.
A: The MOST IMPORTANT thing is to just start somewhere. MAKE a list of your top 10 or find a list that speaks to your weak points and start checking it off! There are so many different scenarios…are you prepping for your family? Are you just prepping for yourself? Even if we can’t do the most expensive thing on our list today we can still cross off something. So do what you can as you can but DO IT and do it as quickly as you can. Now I’m not trying to be the 16th “Expert”, far from it, I’m afraid. This is MY attempt to separate the wheat from the chaff, and, while doing so, practically applying it to my life and my survival strategies.
I am hoping that my readers who are new to prepping can benefit from the documentation of my journey. (The actual learning I’m sure will come from the real experts who might stumble upon the article & correct my mistakes in the comments).