Author Topic: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?  (Read 5740 times)

Offline HYRYSC

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What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« on: December 30, 2008, 06:00:12 PM »
I have been a prepper ever since I was a kid and didn't really know that there was actually a name for it.  I always had a little bag of something tied around my waist filled with pocket knives, string, duct tape and just about anything else that I could need as a small kid growing up in a rural community.  Once I found out that there was actually a name for "people like me" I began to delve into the mindset and began to get a bit more serious, one thing that always puzzled me was people talking about survival items as if there was a difference between these items and the ones that I use everyday to survive?  I mean, we are all surviving right now, so whats the difference?  All people are preppers, some just prepare as if life will continue on as it is right now, and others (us) prepare for a more surreal future.  Right now, there are some people that are preparing far better that I have been able to.  They have nicer cars, larger houses, better jobs, longer vacations, less debt etc.  The thing is that these preparations are TWAWKI only and not for TEOTWAWKI.  Anyway, should provide for some interesting discussions and feedback.

Lucretius

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2008, 03:23:44 AM »
My parents (not preppers) have this electric device for firing up their grill.

That's right - their only alternative to the power grid for heat/cooking is the grill. But their method of lighting the grill is dependent on a functioning grid!  :P

And they live in a rural area that often has extended power outages!

As a prepper, I find this insane. For the same amount of money, I would've gotten two or three alternative ways of lighting the grill, and would manage a blackout with relative ease... not to mention TEOTWAWKI.
It's a question of attitude and philosophy, in my book.

Pokethis

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2008, 03:48:12 AM »
You are a prepper!  I don't know what makes some of us preppers and some of us not.  Maybe a trust issue?  Let's face it.  Most of the terrors we've been faced with we've dealt with.  Some heros, most not.  We've lived through worse but it is always good to be prepared. 

Survival stuff is extra food, plans for communication, plans for escape, plans for making it a few days before we can get back to "normal".  Sure, it sounds crazy to a lot of people.  They depend on support from .gov.  After Katrina that has to be questionable.  We have to depend on ourselves.

But you have to realize it is a mindset and a personality trait that we are preppers.  Not a bad thing but also possibly not necessary.

Offline Dan

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2008, 05:29:13 PM »
Once I found out that there was actually a name for "people like me" I began to delve into the mindset and began to get a bit more serious, one thing that always puzzled me was people talking about survival items as if there was a difference between these items and the ones that I use everyday to survive?  I mean, we are all surviving right now, so whats the difference?

Function over Form = Survival Item
Form over Function = Everyday Item

I am a function over form kind of guy by nature and I would suspect most on the forum are as well.

My two cents

Offline creuzerm

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2008, 07:22:27 PM »
Function over Form = Survival Item
Form over Function = Everyday Item

I like That definition. I know it fits me to a T.

I was thinking Intent and Purpose.

Much of our 'stuff' is just regular stuff, as was pointed out. It's how we perceive that stuff to be useful in non traditional or obvious ways. Many of our decorations are functional, and the decision of which decorative items to buy had a survival or prep functionality built in to the decision.

I have 2 glass and brass oil lamps. They look cool. Very decorative. They also shed a decent amount of light, and can help heat a small room. Glade candles, smell good, but can also provide emergency lighting and heat. The Intent and Purpose of the usage of these items are not mere decoration or 'good smelling'.

Many people have grain mills and grind their own bread flour for fresh bread. They have this soley for health & taste reasons. A prepper would have this ALSO for survival situations. The Intent and purpose of this is not just for health and high-classedness, it's also for the ability to be more self sufficient.

Many people get the big bag of dog or cat food. It's cheaper, and less of a hassle having to get more all the time when you do it this way. A prepper also takes into consideration that if the teamsters go on strike, their beloved pet is going to be fed while others will have to suffer at least a change in diet if not worse. An extra level of intent and purpose was used in making the decision between small bag, and big bag.

Even swimming pools, fun for the kids, right? As a survival item, it's also a large body of local water that a fire truck can pump to help put out a fire. It's also a captive water source for sanitation if the water quits flowing.

Many self proclaimed survivalists or preppers can take just about ANY object, and can find a use or justification as a survival item. Take a purely decorative item, like, uh, a painting by a famous painter. A Picassa. This is a non-obvious way to hold wealth.

I think most of it is in the head of the user. It's in the intent and purpose of the items and how we use it.

PS
Speaking of big bags of cat food. Does anybody else look at that nice string that sewed up the top and have to FORCE themselves not to wind it up nice and neat and tuck it away somewhere? I have managed to throw away about half of those strings now - my rule is if I can't think of an immediate use, and go apply it right away, into the garbage it goes. I have dug one out of the trash once to tie something up.

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2008, 07:37:14 PM »
All good answers.

This was my immediate thought.
Quote
I was thinking Intent and Purpose.

I'll only add that if you can, incorporate your "survival stuff" into your "everyday stuff" as much as possible.  In that way "surviving" will just be living.  There really shouldn't be any difference in the two.  To live a preparedness lifestyle is really just to live your life as normally as possible with the confidence that if something unexpected should happen, your daily routine shouldn't change that much.

Offline creuzerm

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2008, 07:50:21 PM »
Yeah, that's a good point. All my survival stuff is everyday stuff. Like you said, they are one and the same.

Pokethis

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2008, 07:51:28 PM »
Quote
All good answers.

This was my immediate thought.

Quote
I was thinking Intent and Purpose.

I'll only add that if you can, incorporate your "survival stuff" into your "everyday stuff" as much as possible.  In that way "surviving" will just be living.  There really shouldn't be any difference in the two.  To live a preparedness lifestyle is really just to live your life as normally as possible with the confidence that if something unexpected should happen, your daily routine shouldn't change that much.

Amen!!!

Offline Ultio1

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2009, 09:03:37 AM »
Your Mind.

Thats where all the power in any of this stuff is. If you dont know how to use it or how use it well enough, it isnt survival stuff. Its almost survival stuff. I have family and neighbors who would lay on a 50lb bag of wheat or rye like a pillow while they die from starvation because they have no idea how to prepare it, sadly some may not even realize its edible at all.

Read it.
Learn to do it.
Practice it.

Then of course photo it and post a DIY for the rest of us here a the best forum around.

Offline flagtag

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2009, 10:12:21 AM »
Once I found out that there was actually a name for "people like me" I began to delve into the mindset and began to get a bit more serious, one thing that always puzzled me was people talking about survival items as if there was a difference between these items and the ones that I use everyday to survive?  I mean, we are all surviving right now, so whats the difference?

Function over Form = Survival Item
Form over Function = Everyday Item

I am a function over form kind of guy by nature and I would suspect most on the forum are as well.

My two cents

This is equal to my "Function over Fashion" that I try to instill in those around me.  Fashion is nice (pretty/"today") but is it functional in adverse conditions? (Eg. A friend bought a very pretty-this year's style, coat and asked me why I didn't get a new one.  Two days later, the temperature DROPPED!  She was shivering in her pretty new coat while I - in my "ugly" old flannel jacket- stayed warm and comfy)  (Of course, when I was a young girl, I did the same thing.   ::) I learned!

Yeah, it's "nice" to have all the latest gadgets, but how functional would they be if life's situations took a downturn?  Would they shelter you?  Would they feed you? Would they keep you (and others) alive?  (Also, I have extra clothes - coat, sweats, boots, socks, etc. - in my truck. Just in case.)

Offline DIM TIM

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2009, 12:31:17 PM »
Great post here HYRYSC,
                                      I understand exactly what you are talking about. I recently came to the realization ( within the past year or so ) that when I look at a lot of everyday items and situations that are relevent to my families and my continued well being and survival, that the ordinary things that I had never thought of as being survival and prep related, just seem to jump into mind as such.

A case in point... over the past summer, I had to help my father clean out a great deal of  "junk" from my grandmothers rental property, that had been abandoned by the last tenant that had lived there.
They are wanted by the local authorities, and have gone into hiding. They owe my grandmother a substatial amount of back rent, but she knows that she will never see that money.
SO.......we took all of the items that they had left, and put them into the 10x20 storage shed that she has on the property. As we were placing the items into the shed, I had been going over some things in my mind concerning my ownstorage shed and the prep items that I needed to organize, when all of a sudden I realized that I was not only puting items into her shed, but thinking to myself that this or that would be needed for survival, as well as everyday living.  :o

As soon as it hit me, I noticed a pile of things to be sent to the trash. Dad and my brother, as well as myself had been making this pile of things as we went, and suddenly I notice some things that were junk, were actually still serviceable and still a useful item. 
Things like.....

A box of extra plastic clothing hangers.

A short coil of rope.

An old dirty duffle bag.

A plastic storage box filled with old rancid dog food.

Some old cinder blocks and a few bricks.

A hand-full of cup hooks, screws, and nails.

A small pile of rags.

A dozen or so different glass jars and lids.

As soon as I saw this pile of junk, I told Dad that I was gonna take them. He looked at me kind of funny  ::) but said OK.  ;D
I loaded it all into the back of myy truck, took it home at the end of the day, cleaned what needed it when I got home, and use every one of the items as part of my prep and survival gear, or everyday gear.
If you all look real close, you will start to see all this stuff as well.  ;D


Offline HYRYSC

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2009, 01:23:43 PM »
Yep, all of these posts are just what I was looking at.  While some folks might see a kewl gadget like my leatherman, but overlook the total usefulness of it in many different situations (I am sure that I have not yet discovered every situation where it will pay for itself yet again).  From the outside I am an average joe.  I work in an office, wear regular clothes, don't discuss my preps personally with anyone that I know or knows me that is either not in my immediate family or in my group.  Those that know me a bit better know that I love military items whether they be firearms, clothing, load bearing equipment, manuals etc.  Some folks love the history off all that stuff and that is fine,  some folks (the folks that frankly scare me a bit) love the paramilitary appearance of those items, but the reason that I love that stuff is because it was designed and made to perform in harsh environments with heavy use for long periods of time with little tending or care.  The fact that most of it comes in camo does not mean anything to me, any muted color would suffice.  I think that Dan summed it up very well.


Function over Form = Survival Item
Form over Function = Everyday Item

however, I still feel like that most of us here don't make as much of a distinction between an "everyday" item and a "survival" item because we all know that at almost any moment, the everyday could suddenly become survival.

Offline flagtag

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2009, 02:03:13 PM »
I know.  Some things that others might throw away can be useful today.  For example, my father's old Army footlocker, duffle bag and another smaller bag would have been thrown away, but I kept them.  They are all still in good to excellent condition and I use them every day. (The old wool blanket bit the dust long ago.)

How many things made today could last 70 + years?  I didn't know why I kept those things, really, except that they belonged to my father, but they did come in handy.

Lucretius

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2009, 08:44:15 AM »
(The old wool blanket bit the dust long ago.)

How many things made today could last 70 + years?  I didn't know why I kept those things, really, except that they belonged to my father, but they did come in handy.

What did you do to manage to kill that poor blanket. I've got a mil surplus one myself, that weighs tons, but it is warmmmm and durable!

I wouldn't want to loose it, so naturally I'm curious about ways they can be destroyed.... ;)

Offline flagtag

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2009, 01:23:34 PM »
(The old wool blanket bit the dust long ago.)

How many things made today could last 70 + years?  I didn't know why I kept those things, really, except that they belonged to my father, but they did come in handy.

What did you do to manage to kill that poor blanket. I've got a mil surplus one myself, that weighs tons, but it is warmmmm and durable!

I wouldn't want to loose it, so naturally I'm curious about ways they can be destroyed.... ;)

It got a couple holes in it so my mother threw it away. The holes were near the edges, so it was still useful.  And YES it was warm!  My sister and I used it a lot.  (Not only as a bed cover, but as a "tent", etc.

survivalmomma

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2009, 07:51:08 PM »
Sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking of all the things I'd like to add to our dismal "prep" supplies, yet not having much $$ to work with.  I am starting to look at things others might think of as "junk" and asking "hey, can I have that if you're going to throw it away?"  I've only picked up a few items that way, but it's a few more things than we had  :)

Offline Ultio1

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2009, 08:54:33 PM »
Sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking of all the things I'd like to add to our dismal "prep" supplies, yet not having much $$ to work with.  I am starting to look at things others might think of as "junk" and asking "hey, can I have that if you're going to throw it away?"  I've only picked up a few items that way, but it's a few more things than we had  :)

You can get a wealth of survival items on the cheap. Dont let all the cool things to buy get you down with the cost. I have gotten a good portion (half or more) at our swap meet, local second hand stores and on craigslist. Many people who are caught up in the game dont value things that might be super important to a person who has a sustainable lifestyle in mind. I found a back pack that is going to be my new bug out bag at the swap meet. It cost me $40 and saved me at least $200. Its basically brand new. A little here and a little there will add up fast if you are consistent. Pretty soon you will need a shed.

Offline DIM TIM

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Re: What makes survival "stuff" survival "stuff"?
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2009, 08:37:25 AM »
Sometimes I get overwhelmed thinking of all the things I'd like to add to our dismal "prep" supplies, yet not having much $$ to work with.  I am starting to look at things others might think of as "junk" and asking "hey, can I have that if you're going to throw it away?"  I've only picked up a few items that way, but it's a few more things than we had  :)
  Hey there survivalmomma, I agree with Ultio on this one. You can find all kinds of good things real cheap if you keep an eye open and geared toward the prep mind set. This past summer I was at a large yard sale, and found a mechanical apple peeler, a Coleman camp percolator coffee pot ( never used and still in the box ) a large bunch of candles, and some other small items for less than $7. :o
At another one a week later, I got 6 dozen canning jars for a dollar a dozen. They had another 5-6 dozen, but that was all the cash I had with me at the moment, and I tried to get them all for the $6, but they just wouldn't go for it. Still not a bad deal.

As a survival side note, I got the chance to use the coffee pot at the end of the summer when the remnants of hurricane IKE blew thru the region ( Ohio and Miami river valleys ). The windstorm that raced thru here, downed a massive amount of trees and power lines, and we were without power for 3 days. I used my Coleman stove to cook our meals, and the coffee pot came in real handy when the wife wanted some to go with breakfast the first day after it hit us. By the way, she used to roll her eyes at me for stockpiling a lot of the stuff we have. Did not see the need to have a bunch of this stuff.  ::) Now she asks me if I think we have enough, and shouldn't we maybe get a bit more.  :o  ;D

Look around, you never know where your next great find will come from. To give you an idea what I mean, I'll leave you with this one, which was a total freebie.

I live just about 10 minutes or so from where I work. About 2 weeks ago I went home for lunch to check on the family. As I came to this one intersection a short distance from the house, I noticed what at first glance seemed to be some sort of tool in the middle of the road. It was dark and raining, so it was hard to tell.
I hit the emergency flashers and got out to see what it was. Good thing I did.

I now have an extra Mini MagLight flashlight.  ;D