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Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy
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jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Mark S's Approach on 10/13/2013 08:03:00 MDT Print View

Maybe rather than prepping (or health and finances) spend all your energy looking for gold? Spend a bunch of money on dredge, wetsuit, concentrator, spend all your weekends out on the local stream?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Silky saws on 10/13/2013 10:54:45 MDT Print View

Silky saws are good tools, but on the heavy side for a backpacker. The handles are overbuilt, IMHO.

The Bahco Laplander is a good balance of cost/weight/durability. Kershaw has marketed the same saw in the US with their logo on it. They are a little over 6oz.

I like the Gerber sliding saw which is one of the lightest and very inexpensive. I took down a 6" thick cherry tree in my yard in minutes with a Gerber and cleaned up all the braches too. The latest version is a little over 4oz. The Original was more like 3.5oz. I think this option is preferable to a small ax: 25-30% of the weight, far less expensive, and less prone to injuring yourself. Rides nice in your pack too, with no need for a sheath.

Another way to fill the saw niche is the Victorinox Trekker One Hand pocket knife. It will cut stuff large enough for shelter poles and light firewood and give you a good folding knife and other tools in the bargain.

Thaddaeus Wharton
(Thadjw) - MLife
Re: on 10/13/2013 11:53:40 MDT Print View

I'm worried that this thread is finally petering out... There is the EMP electrical grid possibility. A book called One Second After was written by a military scenario specialist. EMP takes out the grid on the eastern seaboard. Great read and some real prepper implications. People at my AF unit were discussing it. We got additional funding to harden survivable comms from congress... and I kinda think this type of conversation had something to do with that.

Any thoughts on that one? I'm genuinely curious.

Best prep that most should make is to have water and food stored up. And be prepared to defend yourself and loved ones. More about the weapon you are than the weapons you have btw. That sounds too big tyme... We should all be actually hiking and getting in better shape rather than discussing on the net.

Mark S
(gixer) - F
Re: Re: Prepper philosophy on 10/13/2013 14:32:22 MDT Print View

"Savings and varied investments, on the other hand, are not something everyone can just "do"."

We all have good times and bad times in our lives, the same with finances.

My in-laws worked very low paid jobs their entire lives, still they managed to save enough money to purchase 2 houses and have enough in the way if savings to enable a reasonable retirement.

Problem these days is most folks think nothing of spending $600 on a phone every year, the same on a tablet, new or newer car every 3 to 5 years, eat out, buy latest fashion stuff, $200 on sports shoes etc etc

The guy in the next office was complaining just last week on "how bad these times are" he has the latest Iphone 1 week after it came out, has a playstation, Xbox AND Wii, he buys a brand new car on finance every 3 years and was feeling bad as he was hungover from a night out in a place that charges €300 for a bottle of whiskey.

Doesn't matter how much money anyone earns it still requires self control and sacrifice to put some money away, but everyone can do it.


"Just back from Greece, a country on the brink of financial disaster where "prepping" may become a necessity."

Eric i have been living in Greece for the past 14 years, the media have been saying it's on the brink long before i got here.
Did you get the chance to visit a bouzoukia while you were here?

If you did then i'm sue you would have noticed that the places are jam pack solid with people, people that are easily paying €300 to €500 for a night out there.
Likewise if you visited any of the malls here in Athens you will see that near on every person there is walking around with carrier bags.

Sure times are rough, unemployment is a ridiculous levels especially for anyone under 25.
People still make ends meet though, if that means working 2 or 3 jobs or even something as dramatic as moving away from the country to work, then people are doing that.

Greece has many many problems, but there is absolutely no chance of the country breaking out into a civil war or anarchy taking over the streets.

Even if there was a chance what use would 20 years worth of MRE's or 600,000 rounds of ammunition do?

Far better to have some money saved and varied investments for you to fall back on.
If civil war did break out here then i'd simply rent out my properties, transfer my saving and move to the UK.
Once things had settled i'd move back.

That's the good thing about having some savings and investments behind you, it buys you time to come up with different solutions.
If on the otherhand someone had a massive stash of MRE's, guns, ammunition and toilet paper it would mean they have more of a reason to sit out any problems that occur.

I could pack up and move out my family within 1 hour, within 2 hours we could be at the airport and probably on a flight within 3 hours.
Failing that we could drive out of the country within say 20 hours.

My house and belongings are meaningless compared to my family, if the house gets looted while we are away then i wouldn't bat and eyelid.
If it gets flattened in a earthquake then as long as my family is safe i can rebuild it.

Most important thing to me is taking care of my family NOTHING else matters to me

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Prepper philosophy on 10/13/2013 14:49:07 MDT Print View

""Savings and varied investments, on the other hand, are not something everyone can just "do"."

We all have good times and bad times in our lives, the same with finances.

My in-laws worked very low paid jobs their entire lives, still they managed to save enough money to purchase 2 houses and have enough in the way if savings to enable a reasonable retirement.

Problem these days is most folks think nothing of spending $600 on a phone every year, the same on a tablet, new or newer car every 3 to 5 years, eat out, buy latest fashion stuff, $200 on sports shoes etc etc "



I get your point and I am aware of people's spending habits. However I find your
"We all have good times and bad times in our lives, the same with finances" to be overly simple and possibly offensive to those that haven't had their fair share of good times, financially and otherwise.
I also work with people that eat out daily and whine that they have no savings, but I am aware that I am not spending time with those that are truly unfortunate.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Prepper philosophy on 10/13/2013 15:06:50 MDT Print View

Doesn't matter if you earn a lot or a little

If you save 20% of your income and invest it in stock market mutual fund, in 35 years you'll have 25 times your income, and then you can live off the interest

If you save more or less it'll take less or more time

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Prepper philosophy on 10/13/2013 15:12:06 MDT Print View

"Doesn't matter if you earn a lot or a little"

With all due respect Jerry.....it does matter.
I can't believe I am having this conversation, but if you barely make it to the end of the month, that 10 or 20% is just not possible.
I only took objection to the statement that everyone can and ought to save money. I will save that many could and don't. Many others work so much to do that ...that they do little else in life. Many more battle to just keep afloat.

Smacks of elitism.

Edited by Kat_P on 10/13/2013 15:12:53 MDT.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Mutual funds on 10/13/2013 15:19:53 MDT Print View

Who has seen stable growth lately ?

9/11, the bank collapse, the flirtation with default... All wiped my mutual funds.

To get better returns, Predict the collapse, short some stocks, and profit on the misery of others.Ss

Edited by redmonk on 10/13/2013 17:36:50 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Mutual funds on 10/13/2013 16:00:55 MDT Print View

I'm not being elitist Kat, just mathematical.

Yeah, if you have a low paid job it's difficult to live off 80% of it and save 20%. A lot of well paid jobs have disappeared since 2000 which is a problem that needs to be fixed.

There are super well paid people that spend more than they earn and they're stuck having to work forever.

If you earn $40 K and can live off $32K and save $8K, then in 35 years you'll have enough to earn $32K a year off interest.

This assumes the stock market grows 7% more than inflation, which it has the last more than a hundred years. The stock market in the last decade or whatever is consistent with this historical trend.

"The Truth about Mutual Funds" by John Bogel is a pretty good book that talks about this in quite a bit of detail.

If you can save 50% of your income, then it takes only 22 years.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Mutual funds on 10/13/2013 16:05:44 MDT Print View

"9/11, the bank collapse, the flirtation with default... All wiped my mutual funds.

To get 35% returns, Predict the collapse, short some stocks, and profit on the misery of others."

Easy for me to say, but in 2000, 2008, and today the S&P 500 is about 1500. Dividends cancelled out inflation. If you were in a low cost S&P 500 mutual fund, you would'nt have lost any money. No 7% growth, but before that, and in the future, it'll grow more and average out to something like 7%.

Richard May
(richardmay) - M

Locale: Swamplands.
Re: Mutual funds on 10/13/2013 16:13:21 MDT Print View

> 9/11, the bank collapse, the flirtation with default... All wiped my mutual funds.

Sure makes the mattress look like a good place to put your money eh?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Mutual funds on 10/13/2013 16:47:31 MDT Print View

"> 9/11, the bank collapse, the flirtation with default... All wiped my mutual funds.

Sure makes the mattress look like a good place to put your money eh?"


If you put your money "under a matress" inflation will kill you

If you put all your money in a bank or other company that went bankrupt then you would have lost your money

If you put your money in a diversified low cost mutual fund like a S&P 500 index fund with for example Vanguard or Fidelity, then all the recent financial nonsense is just part of the historical variation that is unimportant.

Richard May
(richardmay) - M

Locale: Swamplands.
Re: Re: Re: Mutual funds on 10/13/2013 16:58:43 MDT Print View

> If you put your money in a diversified low cost mutual fund like a S&P 500
> index fund with for example Vanguard or Fidelity, then all the recent financial
> nonsense is just part of the historical variation that is unimportant.

My grandpa always told me never to put all my eggs into one basket.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Mutual funds on 10/13/2013 17:02:39 MDT Print View

"My grandpa always told me never to put all my eggs into one basket."

That's why you want an Index fund like S&P 500 - 500 baskets.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Mutual funds on 10/13/2013 17:37:20 MDT Print View

"If you put your money "under a matress" inflation will kill you"

If you put your money under a mattress, be careful who you invite over for the night. ;0)

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Saving on 10/13/2013 18:03:10 MDT Print View

In America, if you can save 50%, they can replace you with someone at half your pay.

If someone can save 20%, they can replace you with someone that will work for 80% of your pay.

The race to the bottom hasn't been great for America.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Saving on 10/13/2013 18:22:37 MDT Print View

"In America, if you can save 50%, they can replace you with someone at half your pay.

If someone can save 20%, they can replace you with someone that will work for 80% of your pay.

The race to the bottom hasn't been great for America."


If you let "the free market" run unregulated, then yes, the cost of labor will reduce to the point of subsistence. Like Karl Marx and Rousseau talked about. I just happened to read the Communist Manifesto and Discourse on the Origin of Inequality recently.

After the great plagues killed off a lot of people there was a shortage of labor, pay increased, the whole economy in Europe improved.

Early in the U.S., there was a shortage of labor so wages increased resulting in our amazing prosperity. And after WWII.

Currently, the right wingers seem to have the upper hand somewhat so wealth has been redistributed to the few, but we can change that.

There is a shortage of well trained people, engineers or whatever, so if you get a good education you'll be able to get paid more than subsistance.

Maybe is this right wing wacko hysteria that has overtaken us passes, things will get better

Delmar O'Donnell
(Bolster)

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Seriously? on 10/14/2013 00:17:00 MDT Print View

I hesitate following the herd going off topic, but on the other hand I’m concerned someone might read the previously remarkably ideological post and think there’s truth in it. (And, this thread is already hopelessly derailed so I’m not having pangs of conscience saying this.)

The cost of the vast majority of labor has *not* reduced to the point of subsistence in the past century in developed (mostly capitalist) countries--it’s done just the opposite! Unless of course you redefine the fat, opulent lifestyle of developed countries as “subsistence.” One of the great disconfirmations of Marx’s now thoroughly discredited theories (which not even Socialists in good standing attempt to defend) is that the poor did not get poorer in capitalist countries…they got richer; the middle class was born and thrived in capitalist Europe and America, not Soviet Russia. Allowing private capital in the post-Mao mix in China has caused a similar rise of the middle class there. (China, despite being Communist, is also relentlessly capitalistic--the amazing sort of synthesis that the Chinese can pull off.)

And the line about “currently the right wingers seem to have the upper hand…”. In case you’d not noticed, the left wingers have unprecedented control of the US government, and have had it for the past 5 years! Having the left wing in charge has not made the lower or middle class richer, or our society more equivalent. Just the opposite, in fact. The difference between rich and poor has gotten more severe during this administration. (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/10/the-rich-get-richer-through-the-recovery/?_r=1) Soviet Russia was likewise sharply divided into a privileged “governmental ruling class” and the “ruled citizenry,” just as the USA is becoming. Wealth is widely redistributed in the USA, but of course, it’s never enough. I realize leftists need the “right wing boogeyman” as the necessary villain in their morality play, but the political right in the USA is at its lowest nadir in 60 or 70 years, barely clings to power in the House alone, and can do nothing to stop O's "transformation." They may be entirely gone from congress and white house by 2014, and we’ll be back to a single-party system.

Now someone will step in and rap my knuckles for talking politics, but I felt the previous post required a rebuttal. I’ll gladly shut up about politics when everyone else does.

Edited by Bolster on 10/14/2013 00:27:49 MDT.

Mark S
(gixer) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Prepper philosophy on 10/14/2013 02:16:46 MDT Print View

"I get your point and I am aware of people's spending habits. However I find your
"We all have good times and bad times in our lives, the same with finances" to be overly simple and possibly offensive to those that haven't had their fair share of good times, financially and otherwise.
I also work with people that eat out daily and whine that they have no savings, but I am aware that I am not spending time with those that are truly unfortunate."

I honestly do not believe my opinion to be overly simplistic Katharina.

Using myself as an example i've times in my life where i have had to work 3 poorly paid jobs to make ends meet.
This necessitated living in a bedsit, visiting the bakers 30mins before they close to get vastly cheaper bread, buying out of date pasta and rice at the beginning of the month for food and sitting staring out the window at night to try and save electricity.

STILL i managed to put some money aside during those times

If someone is living hand to mouth for years on end then THEY need to do something to change their situation, if work is limited in their area they need to move, if they are getting into debt then they need to stop living beyond their means.
If their medical bills are crippling them, then they should have made sacrifices beforehand to afford private medical insurance.

It's all basic housekeeping and the amount you earn doesn't matter, if your thrifty you should still be able to save a percentage of your earnings.

Personally i could not sleep at night if i didn't have a plan in case i fell ill or lost my job, this is basic fundamental prepping IMO
Keep yourself fit
Have your family eat healthy
Have a good medical plan
Have enough savings/investments aside to see you through at least 6 months
If you can't find a job after 6 months, retrain, move location or have have a attitude adjustment as they're the only 3 reasons i can see sustaining long term unemployment.
A good mate of mine had to quit his job to take care of his Mrs, he retrained and 1 year on is earning more money than he did before and is working from home.

It can be done if you have enough savings to buy you some breathing time so you can think things through

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Still on 10/14/2013 05:55:25 MDT Print View

Using yourself as an example still won't cut it as far as addressing people that live in real poverty.
I could use myself too and make an even better point for you, as I make little, work an insane number of hours ( my 40 hour job, 10 or so hours a week for my landlord and another 25 or so sewing and knitting. Plus I cook our meals, clean etc) and so rarely eat out that it seems silly. I don't owe money, don't live beyond my means, eat healthy home cooked meals etc. I could be the poster child ( ...) for what you are saying and I used to say the same here on BPL. Now I think there are just too many variables and we are privileged bunch and to go around saying that "everyone" is able to save, is borderline insulting.

Edited by Kat_P on 10/14/2013 07:33:13 MDT.