> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Controlling the Gear Overload



Controlling the Gear Overload

It's easy for preppers and survivalists to become packrats. There are a bajillion different survival needs and wants, from mass quantities of food and water, various survival kits, a collection of knives, a few dozen guns and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition. The reloading bench - don't get me started on that. A bug out vehicle and spare parts, backups of backups, camo for every conceivable region, survival seeds galore, you name it. And then there's the constant cycle of upgrades--the new, bigger and better version of whatever. On top of that, there's all the normal junk one acquires through life - old clothes, boxes of books and old movies, trinkets, toys and memorabilia.

Eventually, you get bogged down - basement, shed, storage building and every spare closet filled to the bursting with overflowing stuff. "Stuff" - too much of it, random junk, drives me nuts. I hate digging through bins to find something, I had having messy, crowded closets - and we don't even have that much stuff. And don't get me started on moving. Moving an average household is bad enough - moving a well stocked prepper is an effort on the scale of building the pyramids.

Situations vary, and people have varying degrees of storage space. If you have less storage space, you obviously need to be more careful in what you acquire and harsher with what you get rid of.

How to keep the crap at a minimum? Here's a few things to keep in mind:
  • Have a plan for every purchase, especially big/bulky ones. Why are you buying this thing? What purpose does it serve? Do you see yourself "upgrading" this purchase in the near future?
  • Plan with mobility and (relative) minimalism in mind. There is a lot to be said for simplicity and high quality basics.
  • Buy top-quality stuff, especially tools, knives and firearms. Quality stuff will last years - even several lifetimes. 
  • Be patient with purchases and save up for what you really want. Buy once, cry once and keep the excess "in between" purchases to a minimum.
  • Sell or trade stuff that you no longer use; be harsh here. I've found the best success on internet forums; eBay also is usually an option. Roll proceeds into savings or filling in gaps in your preps.
  • If you can't sell/trade junk, consider giving it away to a friend/family member. Solidify and strengthen bonds or help someone else get started prepping.
  • Finally, if it's just taking up place and you can't sell it or give it away, throw it out or donate it to charity. 
  • A rotation-focused food storage plan will help avoid too much excess food. Food is generally also fairly easy to get rid of :).
  • Stay organized. If you need to, schedule routine cleanings/organization.