Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Biggest Wastes of Money in Preparedness

Lots of folks seem to feel the need to waste a ton of money on watches. You do not need a super seal swimmer watch or a Suunto or anything fancy and expensive. Here is a hint, the "cool guys" wear that stuff but largely because they have substantial budgets without a whole lot of oversight. A watch that is waterproof, tells time and has an alarm is all you need. If you spend a lot of time mountaineering and prefer to have an altimiter on your watch (vs GPS or another separate gadget) then I guess that makes sense but for a typical guy or gal all of these features are a huge waste of money. If you want a nice watch then get one but don't pretend it has anything to do with preparedness. I wear a timex and it works just fine.

The newest waste of money trend is "tactical pens". First let us look at the concept. The concept is that you can use this pen as a weapon, maybe in an area where better weapons like guns are verboden. This is just about the dumbest thing I have ever heard of. Seriously if you want to waste your money then send it to me. In the extremely limited circumstances where you have to fight somebody using a pen the important factors will be skill, violence of action, strength and then luck and somewhere after that the completely sub optimal improvised weapon in your hand. I really just don't think it is going to matter if you have a bic or a super tactical titanium fighting pen. If you are seriously worried about it buy the cheapest ballpoint pen you can find with a steel body, there is no need to spend a ton of money here.

Lastly knives are an ever present place to overspend. Between Gerber, Buck, Spyderco and Cold Steel (among others) there are so many high quality knives in the $35-75 range that you don't need to spend a ton of money. You could have a very nice collection of knives never spending more than $100 a knife. Even if you feel like being pretty fancy you could definitely stay under $200 a knife.
You are adults and it is your money so do whatever you want. I'm just saying that if you are hurting to figure out how to pay for gear these are some places you can have a pretty tight budget.

6 comments:

Grumpy EMT said...

Totally agree with you on the money wasting gadgets you mentioned. Another one would also be flashlites. The most basic and reliable is relatively cheap but now you can get stun lights if you want. A co-worker is shopping currently for tacti-cool pens right now here at the ambulance. He says what if the patient attacks me enroute to hospital. I reply 10 x 12 metal clipboard for the win.

Ryan said...

Grumpy EMT, I think I have heard of those and the concept does not pass the common sense test. Good gimick though. I use good lights for defense and when I put one on a weapon it will be a surefire but a $40 one in the nightstand and a $200ish one on a gun isn't going to break the bank.

For your situation a 3d cell mag light in a convenient place might be a good way to go. It would definitely "stun" somebody.

Bob S. said...

Great post!

One area to look at upgrading in a watch would be the power source.

To me it is worth it to pay more to get one that is solar or self winding. Batteries won't last for every.

Ryan said...

Bob, In my sock drawer I've got a watch that is run by winding, options are never a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

I like watches and confess that I have a few "nice" brands, but I didn't buy them while I was living in a trailer. Having said that, my WalMart G-Shock casio keeps better time than Jacques Cousteau wannabe watch. I've found that guys who are into horology are also usually into firearms. Maybe it has something to do with fine mechanisms. Anyway, I remember when I told my wife that I thought I might be a horologist. She didn't know what it meant but said that I should have told her before we got married. :)

grasshoppa

Ryan said...

Grashoppa, If you can do it without breaking the bank or seriously shorting other areas then by all means enjoy. It is like any other enjoyment/ entertainment/ indulgence. I wear a cheap watch but like goood scotch and traveling. Some folks like driving a fast car or wearing a nice watch or attending professional sporting events or whatever.

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