> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Prepping on $40 a Week: Protective Gear



Prepping on $40 a Week: Protective Gear

Things like gloves, hearing protection, glasses, and so on are often overlooked when packing a survival kit. Good luck surviving with an eye fragged by flying debris or if your hands get shredded falling on broken glass. Protecting your body from the omnipresent dangers post-disaster is a pretty big deal, so don't slack on it.

We're going to be adding a good pair of work gloves, eye protection, ear plugs, an N95 mask and a bandanna to our budget kit this week.

The gloves I have used for several years now are original Mechanix gloves. They are not as hardcore/armored as many tactical gloves on the market, but they provide some decent protection while retaining dexterity. They are also quite affordable. Mine are the original black/white pattern, but I would go with the new black/black or Coyote color patterns if buying new. Amazon has 'em for $15.99, and Lowe's hardware also carries a pretty decent selection of them.

For eye protection, I usually have a pair of Oakley sunglasses. I've had 'em for several years now, and they've held up well. Check your sunglasses to see if they offer impact resistance (you want ANSI Z87.1 impact resistance). If they do, you're in luck - grab 'em on the door on the way out. Decent shooting glasses should have this level of protection or higher, too. If you need to pick up an extra pair, your local gun shop should have some, or these Remington's on Amazon look pretty decent for around $8.

Ear plugs or other hearing protection are often an individual preference thing. I've yet to sink some dough into really nice ear pro and mostly make do with squishy ear plugs, which work fine for me. I spent the $15-ish for a pair of Surefire Sonic Defenders and left that range trip without hearing in my right ear, so I wouldn't really recommend them. Amazon has zero deals on little foam ones, but you probably have some spares floating around your range bag. Wal-Mart definitely has some cheap foam ear plugs for under $5 that will keep you from going deaf. A safety pin through foam ear plugs can help keep you from losing 'em. We'll budget like you can scrounge some up, though.

N95 particulate masks aren't a full blown gas mask by any means, but they are cheap and helpful in filtering crap out of the air--dust, debris, and yes, even potential airborne bacteria (zombie plague). Amazon has boxes of 20 3M Health Care masks for around $12 - overkill for a bug out bag, but we're not just building a bug out bag here, we're trying to increase overall level of preparedness. If you only want a few, Wal-Mart, pharmacies and hardware stores should all carry N95 masks of some variety. Make sure they are N95, too, and not just dust masks.

Bandannas have a bunch of uses - here are a few - and they weigh next to nothing. You can buy them all over the place for not much money; buy only 100% cotton though. When I can, I buy jumbo-size ones, bigger than the standard 22x22 size - which can be harder to find. Amazon has 'em for $4.55 a pop, in a bunch of cool patterns. I've had luck at Army Surplus stores too. If you want to spend a bit more, the bigger Mid East style shemagh is all the rage these days, and will look the part when you're surviving in the post-apocalyptic wastelands.

Cost: Gloves - $16, Spare Eye Pro - $8, N95 masks - $12 and a bandanna - $4.55. If you need to buy extra ear plugs, that's an extra few bucks. Total is $40.55 for the week.
Bank: We were at $14.03, so -.55 brings us to $13.48