Preparing for the inevitable collapse of society as we know it can be a daunting task, particularly when it means forking over wads of cash to purchase expensive preparedness supplies in the midst of a flailing economy. But Brandon Smith from Alt-Market.com has put together a helpful piece entitled The Poor Man’s Guide to Survival Gear that we think might be useful in helping our readers to make informed, rational, and frugal preparedness purchasing decisions.
With so many companies and stores now selling preparedness supplies — heck, even warehouse wholesaler Costco now sells an emergency food kit — it can be confusing to sort through and discern which supplies are actually useful, and which ones are just overpriced, fear-based hype. To help simplify this process, consider the following useful tips:
A “bug-out” bag, complete with warm, weatherproof, and water-resistant clothing is an absolute must for any preparedness situation. But these items can be costly if you do not know what to look for, and where to look for it. Smith recommends buying military surplus goods like an Alice Pack (http://www.google.com), for instance, which is a far cheaper bug-out bag than, say, a designer hiking backpack you might find at a place like REI.
Along the same lines, Smith recommends frequenting military surplus stores and suppliers for other necessary goods like waterproof jackets, winter coats, combat boots, and knives. These items can often be found used for a fraction of their original price, and even when new, they are typically far less expensive than similar items found at sporting goods stores and online preparedness websites.
Generating energy for heat and cooking during a crisis is tricky, especially when sources of liquid fuel are in short supply. This is why Smith recommends buying a wood-burning stove like the M-1941 Military Tent Stove. Unless you can afford to invest in solar energy production systems and battery backup generators, wood-burning stoves are a great alternative that will allow you a virtually unlimited supply of free energy for generating heat.
But even solar panels are less expensive than most people probably think they are, as advances in solar technology and more widespread use has led to a continuing decline in production costs, which means less expensive products for consumers. Smith recommends purchasing a 180-watt solar panel, a deep-cycle battery, a charge controller, and an inverter. Such systems can be purchased in a kit for as little as $600, and are capable of fully powering necessary appliances in the event of a crisis.