Prepper Tips: Avoid Too Expensive Products
Dr. John Woods 08.03.18
Part of an outdoors, prepper, and survivalist product review editor’s job is to constantly survey the marketplace for items suitable for prepper use. It is also our goal to find or recommend products with good value, reasonably priced, durable, and reliable. Likewise it is part of our business to point out ridiculously priced products and gear to avoid, because they simply are not worth their asking price in our opinion.
Sometimes in counseling preppers I have discovered that a prevailing assumption is that the more it costs, the better it is. I constantly advise my own oldest daughter about purchasing items that are too expensive, when other options work just as well. The trick is to fully research anything before buying and assess variable costs with a budget that has to be balanced, too.
Certainly, if you can afford a Hummer (even a used one now), that is your business. However a good foreign or domestic manufactured vehicle, pickup truck, SUV, jeep, or similar vehicle will prove a much better value in the long run. Some of the customized “survival” vehicles shown in some slick cover magazines costing $100,000-500,000 are simply excessive, way too expensive to operate with questionable features, and even less reliable in the long haul. A basic vehicle will serve you just as well, probably better.
In this same vein it is hard to imagine a $4-6000 or more AR-15 rifle is that much better than a good, basic, reliable AR rifle. In the market now, a really good AR-15 can be bought for $500. A super-duper AR fully decked out should only run around $1000 with decent optics. If you want to customize one further, just go slow, shop around and wait for sales.
Likewise, there are some really fantastic optics out there for ARs and other type defense rifles. However, most preppers do not need to spend $1000 for a military grade red dot or holographic optic for their prep defense or survival rifle. A conventional glass riflescope should not cost $2-3000 either. If you want to buy these, or can afford to, then that is fine. Again, shop around, compare features, and prices and get free shipping, too
Most preppers do like guns and a favorite is the classic 1911 pistol in .45 ACP or even 9mm. A really top notch 1911 can be purchased for under $1500, often much less at gun shows. There is simply little justification for those custom shop pistols fetching $3000-5000. Some of them with touted reputations are no better than a basic Colt, Remington, or Ruger 1911.
And speaking of getting bagged, every prepper following the standard course of action is going to have a bug out bag(s) of some sort. Many will opt to use a first class backpack for this purpose. But $500-1000 for a backpack with frame. Really? I recently examined one of these ultimate backpacks at a retail shop for campers and preppers. When unzipping one of the main compartments, the zipper broke. The retail cost was right at $500. This is one good reason to buy local so you can examine products firsthand and also wait for sales or coupons.
Maybe it is just me, and I have been blamed for squeaking when I walk, but I simply cannot bring myself to buy a pair of hunting or hiking boots that cost five Franklins. I bought an expensive pair once for a Colorado elk hunt from a well-known Montana boot company. When hiking down a steep hill, the upper leather portion of the boot ripped clear off of the rubber bottom rendering the boots worthless. Lucky I had brought a backup pair.
When I returned the boots for warranty repair, they were sent back with a new rubber bottom sporting the name label of a lesser known boot company where they sent it for repair. Be careful in buying anything because of the so-called name value. Preppers, hunters, hikers and such can find quality boots at a fair price from Bass Pro, Cabela’s, and other outlets.
Also in buying many other types of prepper or survival gear items, the same advice prevails. A good flashlight does not have to cost several hundred dollars. The list is long for basic gear and supply items, but shop carefully for knives, camping gear, cooking wares, clothing, tents, tarps, ice coolers, survival food, medical supplies and on and on. Shop carefully, and spend your prepper budget money wisely.