Author Topic: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did  (Read 32242 times)

Offline Mr. Bill

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Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« on: February 06, 2017, 08:07:43 PM »
Okay, I can't be the only one.  Got interested in prepping, immediately bought some of the most bizarre gear I could find, and started looking for abandoned missile silos for sale.  Right?

This is the place to confess.  I'm currently clearing out stuff from closets and cupboards, and rediscovering some of my questionable acquisitions from 20 years ago.

One of the very first prepping items I bought was...



...mortar shell carrying thingies!  Indestructible airtight storage for, um, something.  I had spare wiper blades for a small car in one of them for a while.  Big enough to hold 3 little cans of beans each.

Anyone else?

Offline Ken325

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2017, 08:55:02 PM »
I bought an AR during the panic a few years ago.  Not at the height of the panic, but I paid $1100 for a $600 gun and I got a model that I really don't like.  I'm tempted to sell it but that would just make me feel worse about the deal.  I keep it because you can always use a back up, but I am unhappy with my self. 

I didn't buy a lot at this price but I bought some silver when it was $40 an ounce.  That one also makes me mad. 

I could also mention my house.  I bought a 1000 square foot town home near Dallas just before I got into prepping.  It is not the worst possible choice because the community has a serious outer wall and a solid gate.  It is also bordered by a small lake on one side.  But I am half a mile from a whole bunch of run down apartments.  My neighbors are good about watching out for people who don't belong in the gated community but most are female and elderly.  I don't think it would be easy to talk people into standing guard duty.  I also have a small yard and HOA rules on things like garden size and HAM radio antennas.  Another good feature is I am within walking distance of a light rail station that makes my commute easy.  I could actually survive without a car if I had to and I think that is a good thing.  Still I need a bug out location in the country.

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2017, 11:59:44 PM »
I got into prepping in the late 1980s and ramped through the 1990s.  Before the 1994 AWB I bought some MAK90s and PTR91 and a boatload of mags.  Those are not stupid in themselves, I like them in fact.  But in the 2000s I got back into the AR15 platform and that makes a ton more sense for me and I rarely use those earlier rifles.  They were only $240 each and mags were like $1 so it was a cheap way to ramp fast but in the long run I would have been better off with one good AR15 set up at the time.  I'm passing them on to children and grandchildren and suspect they will rarely get used by them either.  Also bought a couple of 98 Mausers for $150 I thought I would gunsmith into 6.5x55 and .308 hunting rifles but it never happened.

After many years I began to think our water storage was over the top having never needed it.  Then one winter storm our water supply line burst and it took the plumber a few days to put in a permanent replacement. Now, I know you can never have too much water!

I was tempted to get those military surplus tubes, too, but never could figure out what I would put in them or where I would bury them.  But they sure seem cool, very well constructed.

endurance

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2017, 12:15:02 AM »
By far the dumbest thing I ever did was dig a fallout shelter after jackhammering a 3x3' hole in my basement wall in 1990.  I dug about three feet in and lost interest for a few months, then spring arrived one day.  The ground thawed and I had a not-so-minor mudslide into my basement.  I managed to shore it up temporarily at first, but in the end, it cost me a few hundred dollars to have a contractor repair the foundation and another couple hundred dollars to replace the carpet that was ruined from the mudslide.

Second to that was buying 450 pounds of wheat in the late 1980s to early 1990s.  I have eaten less than 10 pounds of it in almost 30 years and I've had to move it over a half-dozen times.

Third would be the building materials I spent about $200 on and put on National Forest to build a cabin in the mid-1990s.  The road I used to get to the site was closed by the forest service a year later and while I could hike three miles into it, it's several hundred pounds of materials that I'm sure are rotting and rusting away (yes, I feel guilty for littering at this point).


Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2017, 03:36:43 AM »
I purchased 4,200 rounds of 5.45x39 Russian surplus ammo in spam cans.  I totally blame Heavy G and 299 Days.  I was totally thinking of getting an AK-74 for alternate rifle for the family.  I started playing with AKs and realized that they were not terribly ergonomic or adjustable without extensive modification.  An AR would be easier to work with and cheaper.

I then doubled down on stupid and purchased a 5.45x39 AR Upper.  The upper came with one mag, getting more mags is expensive and the quality of the mags was sketchy, less reliable than I considered adequate for classes.  Also, the rounds were filthy and corrosive.

I now have ARs for the whole family and no need for all this ammo or the upper.

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2017, 08:49:18 AM »
Dumbest thing was a 1000 pack of alcohol wipes. First thing I bought when I got into prepping. Then I realized "Damn. Why would I ever need this, I already have like 100 alcohol wipes at home" LOL. I still have no idea why I bought it. Could've bought more canned beans/soup with the money I spent on that ;_;

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2017, 01:19:46 PM »
Dumbest thing was a 1000 pack of alcohol wipes. First thing I bought when I got into prepping. Then I realized "Damn. Why would I ever need this, I already have like 100 alcohol wipes at home" LOL. I still have no idea why I bought it. Could've bought more canned beans/soup with the money I spent on that ;_;

They make nice fire starters!

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2017, 01:34:01 PM »
They make nice fire starters!

Oh yeah, that reminds me...



Saving cotton dryer lint for firestarting.  Theoretically useful, but I live in an area where, 11 months out of the year, if you start a fire it will immediately spread to 200,000,000,000,000 acres, which is why I just leave the bag of lint in the bedroom. :facepalm:

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 01:45:17 PM »
Dumbest thing was a 1000 pack of alcohol wipes. First thing I bought when I got into prepping. Then I realized "Damn. Why would I ever need this, I already have like 100 alcohol wipes at home" LOL. I still have no idea why I bought it. Could've bought more canned beans/soup with the money I spent on that ;_;

If you were local I'd buy them.  My son is insulin dependent, and does 5-6 injections daily. I buy a couple thousand annually from amazon subscribe and save.

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 03:58:00 PM »
Well that makes since your son is Insulin dependent but for me I still don't remember exactly how many alcohol wipes I have. I know that it's between 1,000 and 2,000 though. But hell maybe if they're flammable I can use em as a lamp or something (idk lol, might be useful!)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2017, 04:25:17 PM »
Well that makes since your son is Insulin dependent but for me I still don't remember exactly how many alcohol wipes I have. I know that it's between 1,000 and 2,000 though. But hell maybe if they're flammable I can use em as a lamp or something (idk lol, might be useful!)


From what I can tell they won't expire.  At some point they begin to dry up.  We are trying to get him on an insulin pump soon.  So we'll get down to only 2 daily finger pokes.
Poor kid is super skinny, but everyone else in the family could stand to lose weight.

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2017, 04:28:56 PM »
Well good luck on your son, I wish the best for him  :) Sad that where people don't need things they get it and it's detrimental (like obesity in the U.S. and overabundance of food) and other places they don't get it and it's detrimental (starving kids in Africa and junk like that).

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2017, 04:41:07 PM »
A backpack for bugging out.



At my age, where the heck do I think I'm going with that pack!!!

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2017, 05:35:28 PM »
...At my age, where the heck do I think I'm going with that pack!!!

Yup, we did that one too.  We were younger and could possibly have walked 5 miles with no pack. ;D  Loaded up our giant packs with all our "essential" bugout gear, stumbled around the house for 5 minutes... um, oops.

We had a fantasy about escaping from government agents on foot, across the sagebrush and the wheat fields, with no planned destination.  I don't think we could have made it as far as the edge of town.

Offline Ken325

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2017, 06:14:09 PM »
I have seen people try to go camping using rolling luggage instead of a backpack.  It really did not work well.  Having said that I have a large, heavy duty, rolling plastic toolbox that I use to keep a lot of my gear in. I figure I could pull it while wearing a backpack if I had to.   

You can always come up with a plan that doesn't require carrying a lot of gear.  I think the run into the woods like your going camping plan that a lot of people seem to have is a very bad idea.  It would be much better to have an RV or go to a prepared location with all your stuff already located there. 

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #15 on: February 08, 2017, 12:16:02 AM »
hm, not a dumb purchase maybe, but one of the first firearms I bought was a Mosin Nagant, I was going off a list of getting 4 basic guns to cover most needs/usages for under $1000 (total, the idea being a .22rifle, a handgun, a shotgun, a Mosin...) I also got 2 cans of surplus ammo. Luckily the S did not HTF right away, and after a few years (meaning this year) I was able to sell it and upgrade to a rifle that should be more suitable to my size. No money lost, and if things had gone that bad that fast, we would have been glad of it, but a bit much for my size. I need more ammo now for the replacement. that Mosin ammo was very cost effective, I no longer have so many rifle rounds.

Offline Carl

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2017, 05:38:57 AM »
   :facepalm:

Actually,I bought a water distillation and filter system from a well company for pennies on the dollar though NOW it works great at the BOL.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2017, 11:10:30 AM »


I actually have the triple-beam balance that's in the background of that picture.  It wasn't specifically a prepping purchase, but it was part of a larger prepping mistake: start a home-based business that requires expensive equipment to make crafts products that can only be sold at a low price, then plan to move to a population-20 town and live off the crafts income.

The balance is occasionally useful and looks cool, though. ;D

Offline Carl

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2017, 02:44:29 PM »
I actually have the triple-beam balance that's in the background of that picture.  It wasn't specifically a prepping purchase, but it was part of a larger prepping mistake: start a home-based business that requires expensive equipment to make crafts products that can only be sold at a low price, then plan to move to a population-20 town and live off the crafts income.

The balance is occasionally useful and looks cool, though. ;D

Make up for the low priced crafts by selling more volume.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2017, 02:59:07 PM »
Make up for the low priced crafts by selling more volume.

Or higher-quality in smaller volume.  My wife and I were young(er) and innocent.  We were sure that our nerdy technical skills were all we needed for success and riches.  We were pretty oblivious to the business/pricing/marketing side of things.

In case anyone cares: Glyptica, our business failure from 2 decades ago.

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2017, 05:58:28 PM »
Or higher-quality in smaller volume.  My wife and I were young(er) and innocent.  We were sure that our nerdy technical skills were all we needed for success and riches.  We were pretty oblivious to the business/pricing/marketing side of things.

Struggling with this now. I'm currently in the paralysis-by-analysis stage.

On the original thread topic, I bought a Walther PPK .22 a few years ago on a bit of a whim (with some encouragement from some like-minded work friends). I like how it looks and feels in my hand, and I liked that it was a smaller caliber, but in taking it out I discovered that it jams A LOT. Now, I've only taken it out once, but I have a feeling this may not be a problem solved by putting more rounds through it, or even taking it to a gunsmith. From what I understand, .22 bullets aren't made with the most precision, which works just fine for a rifle with a less complicated mechanism. However, with a semi-auto pistol, and all the machinations of making that work, it just might not be the best choice. Now I'm thinking I should've bought the thing in a 9mm instead.

Kind of nit-picky, but I fortunately haven't made too many dumb impulse tacticool purchases  ::)

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2017, 07:47:58 PM »
You remember back in the early 2000's?  When the really bright tactical lights were an eye-searing couple hundred lumens and cost $$$ from SureFire?  And they burned through non-rechargeable batteries that cost $$?

Well, I've still got $$$$'s worth of that stuff.  Lights, weapon lights, shotgun forend light, vertical foregrip lights, 300+ CR123 cells.  Stupid!!!

endurance

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2017, 08:09:55 PM »
You remember back in the early 2000's?  When the really bright tactical lights were an eye-searing couple hundred lumens and cost $$$ from SureFire?  And they burned through non-rechargeable batteries that cost $$?

Well, I've still got $$$$'s worth of that stuff.  Lights, weapon lights, shotgun forend light, vertical foregrip lights, 300+ CR123 cells.  Stupid!!!
Well, it seemed like a bright idea at the time.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2017, 09:03:44 PM »
Well, it seemed like a bright idea at the time.

 :facepalm:

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2017, 09:22:18 PM »
You remember back in the early 2000's?  When the really bright tactical lights were an eye-searing couple hundred lumens and cost $$$ from SureFire?  And they burned through non-rechargeable batteries that cost $$?

Well, I've still got $$$$'s worth of that stuff.  Lights, weapon lights, shotgun forend light, vertical foregrip lights, 300+ CR123 cells.  Stupid!!!

I use the rechargeable now.  $12 a piece pays for itself quickly.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #25 on: February 08, 2017, 09:59:26 PM »
Struggling with this now. I'm currently in the paralysis-by-analysis stage.

On the original thread topic, I bought a Walther PPK .22 a few years ago on a bit of a whim (with some encouragement from some like-minded work friends). I like how it looks and feels in my hand, and I liked that it was a smaller caliber, but in taking it out I discovered that it jams A LOT. Now, I've only taken it out once, but I have a feeling this may not be a problem solved by putting more rounds through it, or even taking it to a gunsmith. From what I understand, .22 bullets aren't made with the most precision, which works just fine for a rifle with a less complicated mechanism. However, with a semi-auto pistol, and all the machinations of making that work, it just might not be the best choice. Now I'm thinking I should've bought the thing in a 9mm instead.

Kind of nit-picky, but I fortunately haven't made too many dumb impulse tacticool purchases  ::)
You need no justification for trying a PPK. Be it James Bond or Sterling Archer...PPKs are cool.  Whether they work, or work for you is another matter.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2017, 10:34:40 PM »
I use the rechargeable now.  $12 a piece pays for itself quickly.

That's the smart way. Back then a gen1 pair of Tenergy rechargeables performed so poorly and got so hot when charging that I didn't trust them. Thus the stockpile of primaries. It would be nice if SF had reasonable LED upgrade option, but you can get several brand new lights with better performance from their competitors for what they charge. Maybe they've come to their senses since I last looked, but they pretty much missed the LED/Li-ion boat and left me with some beautifully made (in the USA), but hopelessly obsolete pieces of aluminum.

Offline Carl

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2017, 11:01:14 PM »
You remember back in the early 2000's?  When the really bright tactical lights were an eye-searing couple hundred lumens and cost $$$ from SureFire?  And they burned through non-rechargeable batteries that cost $$?

Well, I've still got $$$$'s worth of that stuff.  Lights, weapon lights, shotgun forend light, vertical foregrip lights, 300+ CR123 cells.  Stupid!!!

I own and carry a Walther TPH ,(much smaller than my Walther PP in 32 acp) and both a flawless when held in a solid grip. The 22 is 100% reliable for me with the Aguila 60 grain SSS .22 caliber rounds and hits like a sledgehammer. Most problems with 22 feeding is magazine lip damage with small frame weapons.

Offline Stwood

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #28 on: February 19, 2017, 05:00:41 PM »
So far I haven't regretted buying anything except for maybe too many peanuts in cans.
Hard to eat up that many peanuts, though I haven't had any spoiled yet, as they haven't expired ...yet.

I do enjoy talking/asking people about their blunders in buying, so I can learn more.
Most don't seem to be willing to fess up. Lol

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Confessions: Dumb prepping stuff you bought or did
« Reply #29 on: February 19, 2017, 06:26:43 PM »
I have several 6 gallon buckets of wheat berries in the basement under the stairs.  I decided that I may need these in TSHTF.  Of course we all know how long 5 buckets of wheat berries without a grinder will last.

Also rushed out after Obama was elected to get my semi-auto pistol.  Yes it's useful and there's not really a reason to not have a firearm, but in my state, there's little chance of me ever getting a carry permit.  But it's pretty stupid to rush out to get a pistol just because the asshole-in-chief has changed.