Thursday, October 6, 2011

Gear And Knowledge

I think as preppers we are always looking for newest ideas in gear and of course more knowledge. But how do you sort through it all? I don't know about you but I am at times overwhelmed buy the opinions and sometimes contradictory information out there.

I have purchased gear that looks great in the pictures and someone says "this is a must have" and when I received the gear it had plastic parts that I know in a long term survival situation it will never last. Then you have people saying "you get what you pay for so you have to buy the most expensive to get the best". Well all I can say is I have to prep on a "budget" so huge purchases are out of the question. I will honestly say I have picked up gear and supplies at garage and estate sales.

There are also individuals that are conducting survival classes throughout the country that I would really love to attend but again I'm on a budget so that is really something that has to be saved for or I have to work on my own to gain that knowledge. So I would really like you to share your experiences with myself and the readers on

What gear, gadgets, and knowledge sources

You have used and were worth the money?

What wasn't worth the money?

What isn't out there now that needs to be?

Knowledge is power.

Be prepared, not sorry


Anonymous said...

I would say that starting with the basic gear is key. You can then build on that.

What is basic gear? the list varies.

Keeping in mind the order of survival categories;

Shelter and

You could pick one category and get one piece of gear to help you in that field.

Air - a M95 air mask for breathing in and around those with communicable diseases.

Water - a simple water filter for clean potable water.

Food - make up some of your own MRE's. Canned tuna and Mac and cheese are my favorite.

Fire - matches, a bic, and a striker are basics here, expand with dryer lint and a bit of Vaseline to male fire starters.

Shelter - a poncho or emergency blanket is a good start.

Safety - your knife has many jobs as a survival tool.

Hope this helps and nice blog !!

The Saint

Cray said...

I got a job in the outdoor industry, took the free classes they have and learned from the people in the industry. Soon I was teaching those free classes myself. Basically surround yourself with the people that have the knowledge you want. I got a job at REI. If that isn't an option for you look into sierra club or some local outdoors groups. Small outings usually cost little to nothing. The job at REI also helped fund my obsession for outdoor gear. I got great discounts and was able to build up a wealth of gear that would help expand my own knowledge. And working with people in the industry they were always planning trips and outing.

As far as the gear, do your research. Visit these stores, take their classes, soak up the knowledge you can, and you will learn. Know your torso length so that you can shop for packs online. Understand what a full fly, taped seams, and how pole configuration and quantity is so that you can shop for tents/shelter online. Another option is making your own gear. There is a wealth of knowledge out there so that you can learn from others mistakes. You can download patterns people have created after countless hours of and wasted fabrics through failures of their own. Hell you can even download the pattern for the original Shires Tarp Tent, if you don't know Henry Shires Tarp Tents are now a hugely successful business; and you can download the original design that lead to his continued success. There are patterns for you own quilts, tarp shelters, packs, stuff sacks, you name it, it's out there.

As far as what isn't worth the money. My first pack. A complete waste of money. I bought it before I understood how a pack was supposed to fit, and I wound up throwing it away. As far as other gear, if it has a use and is of quality build, it's hard to waste your money. Plastic buckles will hold up better than many give them credit for and with a little bit of time spent learning about gear repair, you can buy some extra buckles, some heavy duty thread and an awl and repair in the field easily.

What isn't out there that needs to be? Well most pack manufactures think that because they market if for military use, they can drastically mark up the price. I would like to see the commercial market make practical packs in more subdued colors; or lower the prices of their military target products. A Kelty pack designed for public use, 129 dollars, a military kelty pack 300. It just doesn't make sense to me. They are using their average customer base as a test bed for new technology, but they aren't allowing the public to buy the military products at a low enough cost. They are the same technologies, the only thing that changes is the fabric and the fabric color in most cases.

Anyway, just some food for thought.


The best compendium of educational information I have found online was actually listed on Jerry D Young's website. Ill link to it below.


I was amazed when my dad built a small generator out of a car alternator and a chainsaw. Intellect is more important than gear. Because if gear fails, you only have your brain to fall back on. Being able to cobble something together from junk is a very useful skill.

Rothco Military said...

Thanks for sharing this informative blog.I have been looking the World Wide Web for this information and I want to thank you for this post. It’s not easy to find such perfectly written information on this topic. Great Work!

Terri said...

That's right SO knowledge is power!