In person at guns shows and at public speaking engagements, as well as in e-mail, I often have folks mention some of the odd, if not bizarre things that they have purchased for their survival preparations. They run the gamut:
Ostentatious: The reader that blew virtually his entire preparation budget on a brand new BMW 4×4 SUV
Impractical: The gent who said that he owns just one firearm: An AR-15 with five 100-round Beta C-MAGs, a rail-mounted white flashlight, a rail-mounted IR flashlight, PAQ-4 laser target designator, a Gen 3 PVS-4 starlight scope, bipod, and a pseudo-M203 (37mm) flare launcher.
Underachieving: The man who had a whopping two cases of MREs  (24 meals) en toto as his family’s food storage supply. Not to worry. He said that he was “planning to get at least one more case.”
Hypochondriacal: The lady that purchased more than $3,000 worth of vitamins and medications for herself and her husband –far more than can be used before the end of the useful shelf life of the meds. Her stockpile includes “heart medicine, in case either of us ever develop a heart condition.”
Absurd: The reader that had accumulated hundreds of rolls of toilet paper but who complained: “I lack room in my garage and my storage space for much storage food.”
Clueless: The man with more than 2,000 pounds of hard red winter wheat, but that didn’t own a wheat grinder.
I suggest a practical, well-balanced approach to preparedness. Here is my preparedness philosophy in a nutshell: You want to buy quality. You want things that will last. But why pay $5,000 for a Rolex Submariner watch, when an O&W Swiss watch that is built just as well will do the same thing, for far less than half as much money? The inverse corollary is just as important: Why buy a cheap set of low grade “Made in China” tools that will break the first time that they are used instead of buying a set of Craftsman or Snap-On tools which will last a lifetime? You need to be realistic and strike a commonsense middle ground. Being a truly prepared individual takes wisdom, discernment, and dedication. Learn to objectively judge both the things that you buy and the people that you associate with. You will have to depend on both your logistics and your survival team When the Schumer Hits The Fan (WTSHTF). Make plans and stick to them. Don’t develop a plan that is so grand that you never get started. Start small and build on that success. Prioritize your purchases. Don’t go overboard in one area (such as firearms/accessories or commo  gear) to the detriment of other important preparations. Rid yourself of non-essentials (like your Jet-Skis and your big screen plasma television.) Concentrate on things that work. Concentrate on friends that work–not those who just talk. Buy in bulk. Buy without a paper trail. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Pre-position key logistics at your retreat. Don’t scrimp on protecting what you’ve bought from rust, rot, moths, and critters. (This means getting proper airtight storage containers, a locking CONEX , a gun vault, Golden Rod Dehumidifiers, 02 absorbing packets, diatomaceous earth, et cetera.) Buy extra for barter and more importantly for charity . Be circumspect about your preparations. (The whole town doesn’t need to know that you have a three year food supply and 100K rounds of ammo.) Recognize potential threats but don’t panic. Instead, plan methodically. Most importantly: pray first, then prepare, and always live by The Golden Rule.