> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Thoughts on things.



Thoughts on things.

Survivalists and preppers usually end up with a lot of things. Partly due to our "ant" mentality of gathering in and storing items for the coming winter, partly due to our gear-head nature. Thousands of rounds of ammo, months or years of food, big gunsafes loaded to the gills, closets full of camping and bug out gear. Our pockets are usually stuffed with a variety of gear- lights, knives, guns, whatever.

I don't even have a ton of stuff - pretty reasonable by most standards. My wife has more stuff than I do - wives are often good at that. Piles of old shoes, ancients clothes and books that will never be read again. I have a small closet, a few drawers full of stuff, and a few bins and boxes in the garage.

Still, with that limited "stuff," I often have the desire to reduce or at least figure out my 'essentials' - the things that I can't part with. The things that I would take with me if I could only have a carload of stuff, a few suitcases of stuff, etc.

I guess it's a desire to get things down to their bare minimums, to minimalize. Modern man has a lot of useless crap - our ancestors usually had only a few essentials, and they made it just fine (usually). Today, we place a lot of value on things that aren't really of much use. Eli, from the Book of Eli put it well; talking about our time:

People had more than they needed. We had no idea what was precious and what wasn't. We threw away things people kill each other for now. 
What do you need? What's your minimums? Take inventory of your gear, your possessions and do some thinking.

This guy has decided to actually get rid of most of his stuff; probably a little extreme, but I think this is a worthy mental exercise for anyone - and especially so for us survivalists.

 Which preps do you really need? Which are dead weight, clogging up your living space and your life? If you have stuff that you're not using, sell it, barter it - turn it into something else. Or give it to someone who needs it and will use it. If you're going to make a purchase, think hard about whether or not it will be a dust-collector. Take the same approach to your EDC gear, your bag, everything. It's got to be useful, it's got to be a must-have.

Also, at least as I mentally go through my belongings, it's the high-quality items that end up on the "must haves." The cheap crap? Not so much. Much better to have one quality item than 10 crappy ones. Buy good stuff.

Here are a few of my personal must-haves; if I had to reduce my belongings down to their bare minimums, this would be a start of the list.

- Laptop
- EDC bag (Camelbak Urban Assault) & contents
- Leatherman Charge xTi
- One pocket knife (P'kal would be my choice right now)
- Blackhawk Falcata flashlight
- Keys and wallet
- Guns: Glock, AR-15. Two ammo cans o' ammo n' mags.
- iPhone
- Headphones
- Becker BK-7
- one pair of sunglasses (Oakleys)
- one watch (Seiko)
- Scriptures
- Camping gear: Sleeping bag, one camp chair, air mattress, two tarps. Paracord. Two 5-gallon water jugs.
- One pillow, pillowcase, blanket, fitted sheet.
- A towel, small dopp kit.
- Could reduce my clothes down to fit into one large-ish suitcase. 
- One small-ish toolbox of tools, parts and cleaning kits
- One good frying pan, a medium sized pot, a large pot, one baking sheet, one spatula, one wooden spoon, one can opener, one spoon, fork, butter knife, steak knife, one good kitchen knife. One large cup, one mug, one bowl. A few ziplock containers.
- Furniture: If I had to choose between a bed and my couch, I'd choose my couch (big, overstuffed and comfy). Would need a small table/trunk combo to rest and store stuff.
- My pickup.
- A shoebox sized container of mementos, documents and personal items.
- One pen, one pencil, one Sharpie and a notebook.
- Camelbak water bottle

And that's a pretty good start--and leaves me with a lot of stuff I could get rid of.

What about you guys? What are some of your must-have things? How much excess stuff do you have?