Saturday, August 9, 2014

Earn your preps

Treasures from my home town
It's difficult to stay motivated when it comes to prepping.  I've noticed this tendency most frequently among those who buy their preparations in one big shot - they spend a bunch of money "getting ready" and once they are done, they either forget about the whole thing,* or worse, interpret every headline as The Big One to try to stay focused. Not only is the boy-who-cried-wolf approach tiresome, it can actually distract you from deepening your preparations.

So how does one remain motivated to keep preparing other than watching disaster pr0n and living off fear's adrenaline?  One way that I have found is to deny yourself the satisfaction of prepping without truly earning it.  And by that I don't mean spending your hard-earned wages on preps. I mean earning that prep by doing something prep-related to get it.

Let me give you an example.  The adjustable wrenches pictured above were made by the Diamond Calk Horseshoe Company (later Diamond Tools) of Duluth, Minnesota.  That happens to be my home town.  Having grown up around Diamond Tools** my whole life, I can testify that tools like these would likely be inherited by my children.  I am not going to wear out a Diamond adjustable wrench, much less 4 of them.  And the price on Ebay, including shipping, was a mere $30 for all of them. Wrenches for life.  How easy could this be?

Yes, I could have just put them on a plastic card.  I'd have solid wrenches to add to the workbench and I'd be that much more tooled up for whatever comes.  But a few years ago I promised myself that I would not spend just any old dollars on preps, but only dollars I earned from prep-related activities.***  So to get these masterful wrenches, I needed to restore and sell 3 reloading dies or sell 15 copies of The SHTF Stockpile, or maybe sell 5 boxes of horseradish crowns.  I was not going to use wages, but I was going to use the motivation of need - well, of desire anyway -  to advance my prepping on 2 fronts at once.

In the end I sold the dies. The money from the first went into replacement dies, while the money from the other two brought me four adjustable wrenches that are now part of my SHTF Stockpile.  I got my preps, I restored a few tools, I provided prep items to three other people. What's most valuable prep-wise is that I didn't rely on my current job to do it, I used my preps to increase my preps.

Preparation is much more than having stuff. It's having the tools and the skills to get the stuff you need.  Find a prep-related way to get that and not only will you stay motivated, you'll advance your other preps at the same time. 

* Subconsciously expecting, I guess, that those freeze-dried green beans will taste even better in 2034 than they don't today.
** as many liberated by employees as purchased on the open market. 
*** After the absolute basics, which I already had.


  1. I barely have what I need and want, and cannot create another stream of revenue. However, I do try to earn my preps in another way. Rather than figuring out how to profit in coin so as to afford, I attempt to open up what I can do, to learn, and to act, on my preps.

    For example, I have some woodworking to do. There is at least one tool that might make that more amenable, and electric belt sander. Now, that is a requirement to maintain my home. However, when I buy a tool that requires electricity, I also tend to buy a tool, or tools, which could do the same job by hand. In this case, shavers and planes. So, I will buy those as well, if I decide the belt sander is needed.

    Now, while I will use the belt sander, for the bulk of the work, due to health limits and time in the heat, simple convenience, I will also spend some time learning how to use the plain and shaver(s). Experiment, practice. And, if the difference is negligible enough... I will stick with the hand tools. In future jobs, if they are small, and the difference is small enough, or the constraints lenient enough, I will choose the hand, over electric, tools.

    There is more than one way to earn. I wish I could do it your way, but that... isn't really open to me. Good idea though, just... as I said... earning has various paths.

  2. when I buy a tool that requires electricity, I also tend to buy a tool, or tools

    That's a good idea as well, especially if you make the effort to use both. I'm a big fan of using electricity while it's available. Hey, I'm lazy, what can I say? But being able to do the same work without electricity is pretty valuable too.