Preppers and the Can Opener Effect

   05.31.17

Preppers and the Can Opener Effect

There is an old saying, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” The can opener is a metaphor for the weakest link in your preps.

Sometimes we are so focused on the big things that we forget about the small stuff. I call this, “The Can Opener Effect.” We overlook or downplay the small items in our preps.

While clearing some out-of-date canned goods from the stockpile, the gears in the manual can opener stripped and it stopped working. I went to the storeroom and got another can opener, which was exactly like the other one. I asked myself, “Why did I buy this?” Isn’t my family worth more than the cheapest can opener I can find? The same relates to all other prepping gear.

When it comes to prepping, we stockpile the best freeze dried food, yet we buy the cheapest can opener. Maybe going from one extreme to the other is just human nature? We justify buying the best AR-15, then justify shooting the cheapest ammunition through the rifle.

Awhile back my oldest son and I were talking about lever action rifles. I mentioned that I was thinking about buying a lever action Henry in 30-30 Winchester. When my son brought up the price difference between a Marlin and a Henry, I said, “Sometimes you get what you pay for.”

It is not a matter of if, but when, humanity faces an extinction level event, do you honestly want to be using the cheapest gear you could find? Isn’t your welfare, and the welfare of your family worth spending a few extra dollars?

We are all guilty of price shopping. We start looking for a certain item, then notice something a little cheaper, then something a little cheaper, until we arrive at the bottom of the barrel. In this case, it was the cheapest can opener I could find.

We are not talking about buying the best of the best. Nor do we need to be scraping the bottom of the bucket. There has to be a happy medium between cost and reliability. There also needs to be a medium between becoming so focused on the big things that we forget about the small stuff. Just because something is small does not mean it is not important.

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