A Preparedness Contradiction – More or Less

After Survival Sam, Duane and I finished doing errands in town, Sam decided to take us on a drive to a nearby state conservation area just to look around.

“It’s a good idea to get a feel for the lay of the land, so to speak,” as Sam put it. “More folks ought to do it. You just never know when knowledge of such places might come in handy.”

After a couple minutes of silence, I raised a question. “Sam, you talked about rearranging priorities and living on less, but doesn’t that fly in the face of buying preparedness items? It’s asking people to get more, isn’t it?”

“Good question. As I’ve said before, attitude is critical. Survival depends on the right mindset. What I’m encouraging people to do, and what you’re hoping to get your blog readers to do, is be prepared. If your car’s gas is low, and you’re going on a long trip, you have to buy gasoline as part of preparing to take that trip.”

“I think I see,” said Duane. “It’s about getting people to buy something they may need.”

“You’re on the right track, Duane, but let’s take it a step further,” Sam said. “Why do you think you might have the need for some camping gear?”

“I suppose for going camping,” said Duane. “But we’re not much into that sort of thing.”

“You should try it,” Sam said. “At least trying it a time or two will give you a feel for making do with basic necessities only. You might be surprised at what you can do without overnight or over a weekend. Besides, if you pick a place like the park we’ll be driving through, you might be surprised how beautiful nature is. Most of us have lost touch with being outdoors.”

“Yeah, but then I’m stuck with stuff I might only use when the weather’s warm,” Duane replied.

“You may be surprised how some things come in handy at other times, too. A good propane or fluorescent lantern could light a room in the house in a prolonged power outage.”

“So you’re saying camping helps get familiar with equipment we might need in a pinch?”

“Exactly. And now’s the time to start thinking about what you’ll need so you can buy a little each month from now until next spring or summer.”

“Come to think of it,” said Duane, “some of Diane’s cousins camped out when they traveled to her last family gathering because it saved them money they’d have spent on a motel room.”

“There you go,” said Sam. “I’m sure they had a lot of fun at it, too.”

“Yeah, and several of us went to their campsite late that evening to roast marshmallows.”

I said, “I still don’t see what that has to do with living on less.”

“Look at it this way,” Sam began. “Every now and then your water district has a hiccup and issues a boil order for a day or so. What if you couldn’t depend on a clean water supply for a number of days. You might want to have a 55-gallon barrel or two on hand. You would need to have some kind of water filtration device as well. In fact, these days, that’s a good idea anyway for the health of you and your family.”

“I think I’m getting the picture a little clearer,” said Duane. “You’re saying people should shop strategically for things they don’t have now, so they can literally live on less when there’s a real need to.”

“That’s it,” said Sam. “It’s not about getting things. It’s about getting prepared. And now’s the time to start learning and doing.”

Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.