Prepping: Knowledge vs. Stuff [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Bolster
01-27-2012, 21:00
So I'm relatively new to prepping, and when I first started, I thought it was about laying up stuff: food, fuel, gear. During the first year it was all about buying.

The longer I hang out on this forum, the more I think prepping is about acquiring skills, about learning. How to grow food, how to shoot straight, how to organize your group or neighbors.

What is prepping to you? obviously it's both, but what do you put more emphasis on, buying more stuff, or learning more skills?

If your answer is learning, what's your short list of "must learn now" skills?

gimmejr
01-27-2012, 22:05
I have to learn how to use this dam Ham radio. lol

G29Reload
01-27-2012, 23:42
Both knowledge and gear are important.

Yes, knowledge trumps gear mostly, but lets face it:

I might figger out how to light a fire with bowsaw, but its just so much simpler to have matches. I don't need a fire tomorrow, I need it now!

Will I survive if I can hold out to to getting the bow saw thing rolling? Maybe. But damn, a cup of coffee on this here gas stove just seems right! Right NOW!

Speed is where equipment rules. Gotta have stuff. Not havin stuff sucks.

JK-linux
01-27-2012, 23:49
.....

Lone Kimono
01-28-2012, 00:08
Reminds me I really need to start a simple offline ie: paper books library of some basics like dressing game, curing meat, plants to eat, first aid, etc... Good post!

I've started to do that with books in general. Most of the world is going to be out of luck when their Kindles and Google stop working.

Bolster
01-28-2012, 00:12
I've started to do that with books in general. Most of the world is going to be out of luck when their Kindles and Google stop working.

LOL, I had not even thought of that. Much of my library is in electrons. That will be all gone. Yep, I need to start a preparedness library on dead trees.

M1A Shooter
01-28-2012, 00:40
i believe in skills over stuff although stuff is important as well. last year was my food processing year, canning, drying, curing, etc...

this year is all about serious gardening. i havent had much success over the last 3 years but ive been trying cheap and easy container gardens. its not as easy as it looks :)

i too need to start laying up reference books.

G23c
01-28-2012, 08:19
not my quote, "mindset, skill set, toolset."

wildcat455
01-28-2012, 10:04
So I'm relatively new to prepping, and when I first started, I thought it was about laying up stuff: food, fuel, gear. During the first year it was all about buying.

The longer I hang out on this forum, the more I think prepping is about acquiring skills, about learning. How to grow food, how to shoot straight, how to organize your group or neighbors.

What is prepping to you? obviously it's both, but what do you put more emphasis on, buying more stuff, or learning more skills?

If your answer is learning, what's your short list of "must learn now" skills?

It IS about laying up stuff initially. But as you have discovered, it doesn't END there, it BEGINS.

All the stuff you initially lay up serves the purpose of giving you time to adjust to a "New Reality".

Eventually, MOST PEOPLE hit a point when they decide to shift focus from "Immediate Need" to "Long Term Sustainability". It varies from person to person, but it would seem to me like you may be there now.

It is important to note, those people who never hit that point are either ill prepared, or hoarders.

You ask a couple questions:

1). What is prepping to you?
2). What do you put more emphasis on, buying more stuff, or learning more skills?
3). What's your short list of "must learn now" skills?

At this point, I really don't know if you are curious about what everyone else is doing, or kind of looking for direction for yourself.

I will answer them for me, but if you would like an answer for you, then that journey begins with questions to yourself, not everyone else. I'd be happy to help there too, if asked.

1). A way of life, a way to live.

2). My emphasis goes to my priority, which often changes, and sometimes is NEITHER of the 2 you mention!

3). 1). Krav Maga 2). more Leadership 3). more Self Control

Hope this helps!

smokeross
01-28-2012, 10:14
I am part Indian. I will sneak in, raid your compound, and sneak out. It's the only skill I need. LOL.

Bolster
01-28-2012, 10:48
2). My emphasis goes to my priority, which often changes, and sometimes is NEITHER of the 2 you mention!

Interesting response. Yes, at first, prepping felt as if I'd joined some offbeat sort of shopping club: "Buy more, buy more!" And I did.

Please explain the quote above, what is the mysterious "neither stuff nor skills" option?

wrenrj1
01-28-2012, 10:52
I have to learn how to use this dam Ham radio. lol
+1

Me too! bought one a couple months ago, and haven't gotten the nerve to talk...

KD0DTH

wildcat455
01-28-2012, 11:19
Interesting response. Yes, at first, prepping felt as if I'd joined some offbeat sort of shopping club: "Buy more, buy more!" And I did.

Please explain the quote above, what is the mysterious "neither stuff nor skills" option?

Yourself. Others. Knowledge. Balance.

As I said in #1 To me, Prepping is a way of Life, a way to live. There is more to life than "Stuff and Skills", right?

Aceman
01-28-2012, 12:48
There are situations where no amount of stuff is useful if you don't know how to use it.

There are situations where no amount of knowledge can save you without the right stuff.

In the end, knowledge is always with you though, so I give it an edge. And after some basic knowledge, knowledge of what stuff you need is important too!

Having stuff always makes it easier though. Having stuff AND knowledge is as good as it can get.

G29Reload
01-28-2012, 14:37
Having stuff always makes it easier though. Having stuff AND knowledge is as good as it can get.

This. Do EVERYTHING!

wildcat455
01-28-2012, 15:01
Society to a large degree, shields us from our "primitive brain". If you do not know or realize this, what do you suppose will happen should you suddenly be faced with a life or death situation, which is quite possible if SHTF?

No amount of "Stuff, or "Skills", or combination of them will help you survive or live, if you do not know how to face the effect your "primitive brain" will have on you.

I think this is probably the most overlooked prep today. (Preparing yourself to face your fears and panic.) I feel this way because I don't hear or read anyone talking about it. At least not from the prepping world. Perhaps I shouldn't either. Maybe you all are way past this already.

For those that aren't, keep reading...

This link below covers it from the standpoint of "A Wilderness Emergency". The effects are the same for any survival situation, including SHTF.

http://www.backcountryattitude.com/survival_attitude.html

For a more in depth look and a little "Story" to go along with it about getting lost in the woods try this one.

http://ranger-pathfinder-notes.blogspot.com/p/panic-button-we-all-have-one.html

emt1581
01-28-2012, 15:27
Personally I'd say it's about 60/40 in favor of stuff only because knowledge will get you quite far but without the "stuff" to implement that knowledge.

As far as knowledge though, I research the crap out of pretty much everything I buy. In doing so I learn about the process of using/maintaining whatever I'm buying as well as which item would work best for me and my needs. So it's a natural process.

The knowledge to survive in the woods, grow/preserve my own food, etc. I learned long ago. Surviving in an urban environment both day to day AND during shtf/wrol is much tougher by comparison IMO. This is wher tactics/knowledge is needed.

-Emt1581

UneasyRider
01-28-2012, 18:33
Personally I'd say it's about 60/40 in favor of stuff only because knowledge will get you quite far but without the "stuff" to implement that knowledge.


-Emt1581

I agree with Emt's ratio of 60 stuff/40 knowledge because many times we talk about the post civilization society but that is not likely. We are most likely going to face a currency devaluation, pandemic, partial EMP, etc.

These situations do not involve raiding your neighbors but defending against home invasion. A disruption in the food supply, not living off of a survival garden or maybe a personal financial crisis with a job loss in the family.

Having the "stuff" needed to feed yourself, heal yourself, defend yourself, clean your water are huge. The knowledge and skills needed to survive a gunfight, to suture a deep wound, drive through a rough area, ration your food, these things require having the stuff. Right on the money EMT.

barbedwiresmile
01-28-2012, 19:43
My thought on this subject is the proportion between knowledge and stuff. A little bit of stuff is worth more than a little bit of knowledge. A lot of knowledge is worth more than a little bit of stuff. Lots of stuff with no knowledge isn't worth much for long. A lot of knowledge with no stuff may not be worth much either. Ideally, a prepper would strike a good balance between knowledge and stuff.

Flattop67
01-29-2012, 01:33
I like the fact that I have "some" knowledge and lots of "stuff" Common sense, street smarts etc can go a long way in any situation.

Allfal
01-29-2012, 01:40
not my quote, "mindset, skill set, toolset."

I agree with this completely. Give someone that has the mindset a complete set of tools and they MAY figure it out and make it work for them. Give the same person that also possesses the skills a less than optimum set of tools and they will make it work. Every time.

kirgi08
01-29-2012, 01:53
Knowledge will overcome the lack of "stuff" most every time.Knowledge can/will allow you ta adapt and overcome most situations.At least that's what my Msgt beat inta my brain,I've got both;due ta years at this lifestyle.'08.

Kieller
01-30-2012, 12:31
If your answer is learning, what's your short list of "must learn now" skills?

I believe that skills are more important than items. Sure there are important items to have on hand and that should be cornerstones of every prepper's plan. However, when an item fails or is not available that is when knowledge can get you out of bind.

If you think that you will have an item/piece of gear for every situation then you are delusional. If you think you can learn everything and attain every skillset you will need you are delusional. A good balance of the two is what is needed to give you the optimum chance for riding out whatever storm you encounter.

As far as what skills are "must learn now" Bolster, think of it as what is esstential for your immediate survival (the order of importance depends on the situation):

1) Water: Understanding how to properly treat water so that it is safe is an essential skill. Just having a filter does not fulfill this need. Understand how to purify water many ways under a variety of situations.

2) Defense: Not only understanding and learning to shoot profeciently but also the ability to defend yourself in hand to hand. What happens when your gun breaks, do you know how to fix it? Do you understand basic strategy when it comes to dealing with a whole host of situations?

3) Shelter: Learning and understanding how to properly build/reinforce whatever sanctuary you are in. When things break, do you fix them or call in a Handyman? Being a DIY guy comes in handy more times than I care to count.

4) Food: Obvious...Do you know how to grow food in your AO? What is the best growing season for ____? Do you know how to hunt? Do you know how to skin/clean anything you happen to bag?

5) Medical: Do you know basic first aid? CPR? Great, you have a ton of medical supplies, do you know how to use it all? Do you know what is the safe distance/direction from chem spill, nuke blast, wildfire or roving bands of MBZs?

6) Misc. skills: Communication, evasion, people skills, etc... There are a ton that fall under this category. These can be very AO specific also.

There are only so many hours in the day so its important to prioritize which skill set you would find to be most valuable to you. Obviously I have just grazed the surface of many of these subjects but these questions should lead to more questions which should point you towards the skills you need to learn specifically.

kirgi08
01-30-2012, 12:47
BTDT.'08. :goodpost: :agree:

quake
01-30-2012, 15:34
I am part Indian. I will sneak in, raid your compound, and sneak out. It's the only skill I need. LOL.

I'm part indian, but mostly white man; and the white eyes won, as far as I recall... :wavey:

quake
01-30-2012, 15:50
...what do you put more emphasis on, buying more stuff, or learning more skills?...

At this stage & this age, it's mostly about increasing "length of time without replenishment"; which tends to be 'more stuff', but can also mean 'more learning'. Most often it's about having a longer-term supply of "X", but it's sometimes learning new ways of finding/creating/substituting for "X". Simple example is batteries - first step for preppers typically comes as stocking up (buying stuff), then tends to be researching and buying rechargeables (learning stuff and buying stuff) to lessen the dependency on resupply, then maybe researching & acquiring solar versions fo the chargers (learning stuff and buying stuff) for those rechargeables to reduce the dependency on infrastructure.

Ammo, same thing. Initially, stock up; then start learning/doing reloading, etc.

Takes both; learning new, different, or more efficient ways of doing things, but it also takes stocking up on things we can't efficiently do individually. Things like making batteries, primers, boots, razor blades, toothpaste, etc; sometimes it's just a LOT simpler & cheaper to just stock up ahead of time rather than try and come up with a workaround.

emt1581
01-30-2012, 16:02
At this stage & this age, it's mostly about increasing "length of time without replenishment"; which tends to be 'more stuff', but can also mean 'more learning'. Most often it's about having a longer-term supply of "X", but it's sometimes learning new ways of finding/creating/substituting for "X". Simple example is batteries - first step for preppers typically comes as stocking up (buying stuff), then tends to be researching and buying rechargeables (learning stuff and buying stuff) to lessen the dependency on resupply, then maybe researching & acquiring solar versions fo the chargers (learning stuff and buying stuff) for those rechargeables to reduce the dependency on infrastructure.

Ammo, same thing. Initially, stock up; then start learning/doing reloading, etc.

Takes both; learning new, different, or more efficient ways of doing things, but it also takes stocking up on things we can't efficiently do individually. Things like making batteries, primers, boots, razor blades, toothpaste, etc; sometimes it's just a LOT simpler & cheaper to just stock up ahead of time rather than try and come up with a workaround.

I can relate to the ammo/reloading part. I wanted to get into reloading. But then came the big Obama-scare and everyone was raiding the shelves. I raided along with them but I did it for reloading dies/supplies/components. I had someone VERY knowledgeable and experienced help me. THEN I learned how to do it. Had I not done that I probably would have been waiting a LONG time to be able to use the knowledge.

-Emt1581

wjv
01-30-2012, 16:13
LOL, I had not even thought of that. Much of my library is in electrons. That will be all gone.

What? Kindles won't work after:

- economic failure
- earthquake
- volcanic eruption
- war
- pandemic
- fascism

?????

:dunno: :dunno: :dunno:

UneasyRider
01-30-2012, 18:21
What? Kindles won't work after:

- economic failure
- earthquake
- volcanic eruption
- war
- pandemic
- fascism

?????

:dunno: :dunno: :dunno:

I like your priorities!

Kaceyx73
01-30-2012, 18:48
Hello all. I'm back for a bit.

Bolster, seems to me you got a lot of good answers. I, personally, don't think there is an exact formula. I will say that it depends a lot on what YOU are prepping for.

1. Numero uno is the basic BOB, and I think its good that most of us started there. On the occasion that I get to talk to others about prepping, I always start there and move into basics like preparing for power outages, weather, and other natural disasters. It has always struck me like a brick upside the head that once someone realizes how EASY early preps are, just how quickly that threshold is destroyed. The mental exercise of thinking about it leads to seeing all the crazy possibilities in everyday items.

For this reason, I give the edge to MINDSET.

As for important skills to learn, I'll second an earlier idea... KRAV MAGA. Unfortunately, the nearest classes are in Atlanta, 2.5hrs away. I still plan to make it happen though. I will add another little thought of idea, but in a long term situation could be a major knowledge barrier. Anyone know how to tell time? I don't mean just hours, I mean days and months? Most of us are too dependent on electronics, and we all know it. Most preppers know a couple of ways to tell direction, but what about knowing how late in the season, and when the best times to plant without a calendar? Knowing the frost dates, last and first are important, but so is knowing the current time of year within a week or so, without use of a calendar.

To answer the original question more directly, I will say this. Beyond the basic preps and having the mindset to survive, I spend more time acquiring knowledge, and then acquiring the tools that go with that. I also spend a lot of time with the mindset that I want the tools first that are hardest to get, provide the means to survive first, and carry with them the ability to be used for many purposes.

Prepping to me is 1 day-1week-1month-and then permanent.

Big Bird
01-30-2012, 19:54
If you die with the knowledge that you didn't buy (and store) enough food do you get a prize?

Knowledge is wonderful but at some point in time it needs to translate into action. Otherwise its just academic nonsense that drives you to inaction.

You need stuff AND knowledge to survive. There's nothing that says they are mutually exclusive pursuits and you can't work on both at the same time.

Don't confuse knowledge with attitude/mindset.

jdavionic
01-30-2012, 20:43
I guess the best analog is fishing or hunting. You can read books on baiting a hook, where to fish, etc. I used to go winter steelhead fishing in the NW mountains. No book that I've see showed how to set up a rig like what a good friend showed me. When we went fishing, we were very successful for a variety of reasons. Same is true on fly fishing. My Dad taught me to fly fish at a very early age. You eventually learn lots of ins & outs, what the gimmicks are, etc. You learn to appreciate the skill of sitting by a stream, observing, hand tying flies to fit the area, etc.

Point being, sure...having quality gear is important. However having the knowledge to use your equipment to the greatest extent possible is just as critical...perhaps more.

Allfal
01-30-2012, 22:24
"If your answer is learning, what's your short list of "must learn now" skills?"

Leaving defense out of it for now, I would say learning how to make things that would be useful for the family or barter. Making soap, canning food. Both easy to learn and fun to do as long as it's for recreation, not subsistence. Learn several different ways to purify or distill water. Knowing the basics of distilling alcohol would be useful.

Recreational hunting and fishing is handy but learn how to cheat for subsistence. Fish traps, gill nets, snagging lines, small animal and bird traps, how and where to bait game would all be useful should game laws no longer be the number one priority.

Basic first aid along with some small supplies is a big plus. Unless you have someone with serious medical training you won't be doing most anything major. Some basic medical texts outlining which antibiotic to use for what ailment, know how to make splints. Depending on how serious an event you are prepping for, know what alternative natural substance may be available for harvest for medication, up to knowing how to grow and harvest a powerful formerly legal painkiller, should the need arise.

Know how to dismantle and repair any equipment you are utilizing for your survival. Learn what parts you may be able to manufacture or substitute with something else to keep them working.

Some of these things can't be done right now. They can be learned so any individual would have a clue on where to begin, should they be needed.This would be a start.

jdavionic
01-31-2012, 04:25
"If your answer is learning, what's your short list of "must learn now" skills?"

Leaving defense out of it for now, I would say learning how to make things that would be useful for the family or barter. Making soap, canning food. Both easy to learn and fun to do as long as it's for recreation, not subsistence. Learn several different ways to purify or distill water. Knowing the basics of distilling alcohol would be useful.

Recreational hunting and fishing is handy but learn how to cheat for subsistence. Fish traps, gill nets, snagging lines, small animal and bird traps, how and where to bait game would all be useful should game laws no longer be the number one priority.

Basic first aid along with some small supplies is a big plus. Unless you have someone with serious medical training you won't be doing most anything major. Some basic medical texts outlining which antibiotic to use for what ailment, know how to make splints. Depending on how serious an event you are prepping for, know what alternative natural substance may be available for harvest for medication, up to knowing how to grow and harvest a powerful formerly legal painkiller, should the need arise.

Know how to dismantle and repair any equipment you are utilizing for your survival. Learn what parts you may be able to manufacture or substitute with something else to keep them working.

Some of these things can't be done right now. They can be learned so any individual would have a clue on where to begin, should they be needed.This would be a start.

Good post. I cited fishing as an analogy; however depending upon the situation, fishing and hunting may not be highly utilized when compared to first aid, mechanical know-how for fixing and making things, growing food, making soap, etc.

RWBlue
01-31-2012, 10:05
To be 100% prepared I think there are items that need to be purchased AND skills that need to be learned.

Lets come up with an example:
Garden, You have to know what you want to grow. Then you need to buy seeds. Then you need to plant and water as needed. Then you have to harvest, cook/store. Knowledge and money go hand in hand.

The thing is, when I have time, I don't have money. When I have money I usually don't have time. It is difficult to build all the skills and have all the stuff to reduce risk across the board totally. I have decided that I will not have all the stuff for an EOTWAWKI event, but I am doing good collecting the knowledge.