Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How Much Stuff Do We Need- A Rational Systems Based Approach 2- A Comment and the Cost Of Not Using This Approach

Yesterdays post

How Much Stuff Do We Need- A Rational Systems Based Approach 

received a comment I thought should be addressed. It also lead to a larger issue. The comment was:

What's the causative event? Duration? Any secondary or cascade failures? What geographical area? Season? Localized, regional, or nationwide? Just John, or does he have his young son for the weekend or aging parents to care for?

Whatever you guess you're most likely you're going to be wrong, so "P for plenty" here. Can't make a plan until you can define the problem(s), but once the problem(s) are known it's often too late to stock up on the gear/supplies to execute the plan.

My response is as follows:  First of all thanks for taking the time to comment. To the first paragraph I was attempting to do something fairly generic. By region we can take a pretty good swag at what the threats are. The gulf coast has hurricanes and the west coast has earthquakes. In the middle are some mountains and a lot of rivers that flood. Obviously if John lives in the inland PNW say in Spokane, WA his winter gear will be very different than if he lives in south Texas. We know what family members we have. I'm not saying every person has the exact same needs though I think if we really look at it aside from regional weather and family size needs differ very little. The question of how much we can and want to prepare is an open ended one. 

To the second paragraph I have to disagree.

 Look at it like this. You are going to the grocery store but forgot the list. You need to shop now for some reason so you can't go get the list from home. Do you 1- try to remember the list? 2-Make a new list? Or 3- Do you just throw random shit in the cart and to make up for it being totally random buy a lot of it? No sane person would do #3. If you would not grocery shop that way why would you possibly prepare that way?

To paraphrase Eisenhower 'plans are useless but planning is indispensable'. What are you buying? Why? How much? How did you decide how much? The honest answer is most people are pulling it out of their butts.

More to the point I want to talk about the downside of haphazardly buying more and more stuff.

Everyone has limited resources and space. 

 If you spend money on stuff that does not fit into cohesive and logical systems you are not using your resources as efficiently as possible. Either you are buying one thing when you should be buying another or you are unable to afford something because you bought another thing instead. Two examples here.

First is an older Southern Man I know. He is a serious survivalist with an enviable set up. The thing is he doesn't have body armor or modern night vision. He described them as ruinously expensive. This is ironic to me because the man has a massive gun collection. He has to have 50k in guns, probably more like 100K. He could sell a Colt 1911 he never shoots, an M1A he wouldn't miss and one of his HK 91's and buy a NOD for him and body armor for his whole family while still having way more guns than he could ever use. His resources are miscalculated. This is partly because he just kept buying guns instead of building cohesive systems.

 The other is anecdotal to me working on my own systems. The things I need multiples of are often unexpected ones. I DO NOT NEED a bunch more guns but I do need another couple of gun belts and weapons cleaning kits. Footwear is also a theme that keeps coming up but not usually Army boots, actual stuff I would wear in real life that I can comfortably walk all day long in. Hygiene kits as well. These are all things I would not have thought of unless I started looking at systems.

 That new FLIR Scout TK is $600 (I want to see some reviews vs the normal Scout model and stuff but in principle I am really excited as its solidly affordable) and I want one. Instead of buying some items I might not actually need I could add this really cool capability to my BOB. 

Even if you have a lot of them its still limited. To paraphrase Jim Rawles of Survival Blog "For $500 I could fill my garage with toilet paper". Obviously if your garage is full of TP you can't store 5 years of Mountain House goodness in it. 

Finally it is not that I am against having a lot of stuff. By all means keep developing systems to suit your worries as far as your finances and space allow. If you want and can afford a fully stocked doomsday bunker then get one. My concern is about using the money and resources you have as efficiently as possible. To get the most out of your dollars and space by planning instead of just going about it haphazardly.



fltactical said...

guilty as charged! Fortunately, I have the money to bulldoze my way through this. Unfortunately, it is still a waste of resources.
My collection of lower complete receivers is stupid (curse you Palmetto State Armory). We try to justify our excesses with a projected excessive situation. Taking in relatives and giving them a gun sounds great, but after thinking about this article, I realized that I would not have anything to feed them! LOL. Looks like I will be selling some of my battle rifles and using the funds to build up more precious metals and the necessary food for those grasshopper party crashers that are bound to show up. Thanks again Ryan for making me focus, and it is great to have you back on the blog.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

Like you I'm interested in the new FLIR. It says 100 yard, but at what distance do you start to see degradation of the image,50 yards or 20 yards? Love to see some do a good review of one.

Anonymous said...

This is 'good stuff' in that it makes you think and review what you are doing, what you've done and where you are headed - all good things. I agree it needs to be tailored to suit the individual and the 'local' situation what ever that may be. I by no means have bucks to burn but can scare up a hundred bucks or so every other month and have tried to fill in gaps. Your current post (and comments) are making me think of it more sharply and to plan out longer.

I don't think I'll get more 5.56 with the next couple of hundred but look at building up additional cash and getting the FLIR or a better personal vest. In a real total blow up I have some other resources I could tap into and I need to consider that along with personal preparation. Thanks!

Meister said...

Funny that this has come up. I've recently streamlined my kits and sold off ancillary black guns when the market erupted recently. Bought more food and invested in some premade dry foods for kit usage. I definitely like having a big wad of spare cash in the safe right at this juncture in our history.

riverrider said...

i'm eyeballing that flir also. turned in my eotech and thinking about buying the flir with the refund. already have a replacement optic so...

Pineslayer said...

Yea, I'm kinda guilty, but I have a plan. My plan includes other people of indeterminate numbers, plus barter. If I have cash and it's a good deal, I buy. Sometimes I will flip it, but mostly I stash it. My plan is to convert cash to assets, constantly. I have my bases mostly covered and covered again, except NV. That is next up. I have watched prices plummet and now am ready to invest. I knew ( or hoped ) that tech would quickly accelerate, and it did. Even early gen FLIR rocks and is now at half or better pricing than 2 years ago.

Never stop, never rest, enjoy a sunset, rinse, repeat.

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