Letter Re: Skills Versus Gear for Survival

After reading the Profiles you have posted. I have come to the conclusion I cannot hold a dime to these folks. Makes me wonder why should I bother. Hmmm, that thought lasts all of five seconds. A lot of the people for whom you profiled are in a much higher income bracket than the rest of us working folks. Personally, I have two jobs and work 12-14 hours a day. I was unlucky enough to be in a third rear end collision. In my life time this year, although instead of being rear ended by an illegal uninsured illegal alien like the last two times. This time I was rear ended by a 94 year old woman who also was uninsured. Makes it hard to work with post-concussion syndrome from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I have a hard time with short term memory. But do what I can, the best that I can.

I live in a small city in Massachusetts in a 500 square foot second floor apartment in a house.
I have four 15-gallon water containers + 15 cases of Poland Spring 3 liter bottles, About 20 cases of MREs or the equivalent thereof. I bought only the items I knew I liked, 20 cases of the two person pouches from Mountain House again a chosen menu but rather extensive. Also 50 #10 [one gallon] cans of both freeze-dried food and dehydrated foods–mostly soups in the dehydrated department. I have close to 15 weeks supply of groceries. I work in a supermarket for one of my jobs and I look around during my break for “ideas ” to expand my dietary habits.

I have canned butter, cheese, bread, and meats. My other job allows me to get discounts on a product called a Vittle Vault. An 80 gallon air/water tight container which I use to bury my other food (all freeze dried pouches) but not before sealing it in plastic from a nifty device I found at Costco one day ( One day I was shopping at Costco and I stopped to look at something else and came back to my cart and there it was just sitting in my cart. Never did find who put it there. Anyway it has found a good home with me ever since.:) Everything is hidden away. Amazing what one can stuff safely under the bed. I have a couple of products that run on propane one-pound cylinders like the Mr. Heater Big Buddy and a Coleman lantern. The Christmas Tree Shoppe is world renowned for having lots of candles on sale all the time too. Although do not want to have any lights on when other do not. Not too draw any unnecessary attention to ones self.

I have a Black Berkey water filtration system, with a half dozen back up filters and several 5 gallon buckets for either the collection of snow or from the stream out back, or to use as an emergency dry toilet.

I am a faithful practitioner of homeopathic remedies,and have quite the collection of remedies and books and homeopathic today magazines. Which I read all the time, to keep it fresh in my memory. Also read a lot of medical/ wilderness first aid books. Took a class from the National Ski Patrol. Thought it would be another 1st aid class. Boy was I wrong. Three months later they awarded me with a WEMT certification, finished top 3 in my class of 20. I have an easier time learning ” if I can play with it “. So now I have a collection of 500 EMT flash cards that I go through twice a week, Also Wilderness Way magazine read through my collection of 40 magazines every week as well. My library also included books on herbs, symptoms, pathology, anatomy, first aid, NBC, wilderness survival.

I’m obtaining a [State-issued] Firearms Identification (FID) card soon, God willing for a long gun or three. Handguns are not allowed in Massachusetts for subjects err I mean citizens. Also magazines over ten rounds are not permissible unless one has a handgun permit for that as well or its off to jail for a year, no questions asked. Trying my best to avoid the jail part.
Go to a gun range three times a month and rent a instructor and a gun of my choosing over 300 to choose from ( guns)and say teach me how to use this. Stocked up on medical supplies and trauma kits mostly from Galls.com. I have wiped out many a first aid kits just from cutting my finger. What am I preparing for I think the economy is going to blow out sooner than later. Like it would not surprise me if it happened in the next 30-to-60 days. How bad it will be and how long it will last?. No clue but history shows major wars start with major economic troubles.
Oh forgot to mention already went shopping at KI4U and got the complete package. A lot of other items I am sure I left out but you get the gist of it. The longer the economy survives the longer we have time to prepare, for whatever. I do not wish the dollar to die but if it does die then I hope it enjoys a long, very long lingering death. – Scott V.

JWR Replies: I commend you for your dedication, Scott. I have long held the opinion that true preparedness is more about skills than it is about money. I have a lot of wealthy consulting clients that have heaps of supplies and tools, but I have my doubts about their ability to actually survive when things get Schumeresque. When I ask them about firearms training, they often say that they have the money, but that they don’t have the time to attend. What good is a large firearms battery if you aren’t confident and competent with these tools? (Some owners admit that they haven’t even zeroed all of their guns!) I hear similar lame excuses about first aid training. Many community classes are available free or for a nominal fee, but few take the time to attend them. And the same for physical fitness. Most exercises take little or no equipment, or can even be done with improvised “low cost/no cost”) equipment.