What’s an overrated prep item

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  1. I’d worry more about the fuel that beans take to cook than the water (but I live in a water-abundant area). There are low-fuel ways to cook them like heat boxes but you still have to boil water for some not-insignificant amount of time and if you’re rationing firewood or cooking gas, you’ll want quick cooking things

  2. For me, dry beans are part of the deep pantry. We eat about 100 pounds of dried beans a year, so I have about 50 pounds on hand at any given moment. I would never consider mylar bagging them or anything like that, though.

  3. I don't know why people go for beans when lentils and split peas have similar protein amounts, but don't have the disadvantage of giving you food poisoning if not sufficiently cooked.

  4. Lentils (red especially) are a good alternative, as they don't need to be soaked and cook much faster than beans. You don't even need to cook them separately b/c you can just mix them with rice and save some water.

  5. If you live somewhere with enough rain it could be doable, that’s not everywhere tho. A river could work, but you won’t be the only one looking for water so maybe not.

  6. The whole beans thing came from the myth that beans combined with rice provide a complete protein. That and bulk beans are really cheap and have a long shelf life.

  7. This is one of the best answers I’ve seen, most injuries are minor, but without simple antibiotic ointment, or anti fungal creams and sprays a traditionally “minor” infection can kill. In almost every war before modern medicine, infections like trench foot and sepsis killed more than bullets, bombs, spears, and swords combined

  8. Definitely! I bought a couple of packs of Monistat (girl here) when the shelves were being cleaned out during Covid lockdowns. Toilet paper was no where to be found, but Monistat was still on the shelves for another week or two because no one had thought about it. Yeast infections are horrible and can get worse if not treated. Plus, they just make you miserable. That stuff has a couple of years shelf life so I figured I'd ultimately use it before it expired, or help out a friend in need!

  9. I purchased a tactical backpack because I wanted something with webbing on it but it was so much heavier than my hiking pack that I returned it

  10. I like Molle on a backpack, not even for attaching pouches but also anything with a belt clip, pens/pencils etc is easier to attach, but especially in an urban area a military/tactical style pack will probably just make u a target for people who wanna steal your stuff. I half agree on surplus stuff, most of it isn’t the best but the good thing is that it’s an option for people on a budget, I’m particularly partial to Bundeswehr sleeping mats (the foldable foam ones) to throw in the back of a backpack since it helps it keep shape and is useful for lots of situations while adding virtually no weight, same with a good military poncho and poncho liner, the big things I think are overrated are canteens, just get a Nalgene bottle and nesting cup, they clean much easier, have measuring on the sides, are slightly lighter, and just nicer in general

  11. You 100% get what you pay for. An issued ruck/alice pack can't even compete with a mystery ranch 6500, blackjack, etc.

  12. Perhaps underrated: Hunting and ultralight hiking gear. I got a hunting pack frame of the sort designed for hauling most of a deer out of the woods, and I love that thing so much. I carry water to recently planted trees each summer, partly for good luck in getting them established and partly for the fitness aspect of practicing hauling heavy things around in the woods, and upgrading from an old army surplus pack frame to a new hunting one made an indescribable difference. It's so light and adjustable and comfortable!

  13. Underrated prep: Going to the dentist and getting your teeth squared away. Some of you are medics. NONE of you are dentists. 10 out of 10 dentists agree you have no business being an amateur dentist.

  14. Ya, it’s a long term prep item. You use it during hyper inflation to keep living your life as shtf and to set yourself up afterwards. People generally forget shit hits the fan pretty slowly

  15. history confirms this view point, e.g. siege of sarajevo or Ukraine. In both it's great for buying your way OUT of the country but of little use within.

  16. I spoke to a guy who lived through the collapse in Argentina in the 90's. His family had a well that they guarded with armed family members. People would often bring gold or silver to pay for it. They turned them away. Food, fuel and medical supplies were the top three on the list. Anything else would be met with anything from a "maybe" to a "not a chance" reply.

  17. Nobody is going to give a single shit about gold except for electrical purposes in an actual shtf situation. Or anything useless acting as a currency.

  18. Yeah I’ve always seen gold and silver as kinda silly prep items, I guess it makes sense for inflation prep, but even then gold might be worth less than commodities like tools, or materials for mending broken goods (which is looking pretty relevant rn) but In a true shtf I doubt gold would be a good currency, it’s heavy, and mostly useless, I think commodities would be a better plan for bartering.

  19. It’s probably frowned upon in this group to reference PostApoc media, but the Fallout series makes a good statement on this topic. Gold is pretty well worthless unless you need to fix electronics, and the new currency is actual garbage. The most valuable items are supplies, above all is Purified Water.

  20. In a complete SHTF situation, I have a feeling that small quantities of gold (or even large) will be easy to acquire. Not that you’d really want to acquire it, because it really doesn’t hold much value outside of electronics.

  21. In some specific cases, it can be quite useful. It all depends on what kind of shit is going to hit a fan, and how fast it will go.

  22. Individualism or that lone wolf mentality. You know who survives a SHTF scenario? People who know and trust their neighbors and/or community.

  23. Most short shelf life, high complexity, items seem kinda useless over the medium to long term. Plus they tend to have a higher garbage burden than simpler materials/ingredients.

  24. I’d say that high complexity low shelf life items (I’m assuming you’re talking about stuff like cheap crank radios, solar generators or things of that nature) are better for short term disasters, which are the most likely things to prep for, Tuesday’s more likely than doomsday after all.

  25. Good point. We had a massive storm here in Ontario last Saturday. Wiped out power in over half the province. Everyone going around looking for gas...the handful of places that were open had their computers down so it was cash only. At the same time, a few days later when some stores were starting to re-open, a few stores that did re-open for a couple hours did not have cashiers, so you had to use your bank card or credit card on the self-serve checkouts. So you need some emergency funds in both.

  26. And small bills! Some friends had a couple of $100 bills on hand for emergencies but when supplies run low, no one is going to have change. I like to keep some $5s around.

  27. Most overrated: most military stuff, move fast and quiet. The opposite to what most military stuff enables you to do.

  28. Those overpriced emergency #-hr food supply crates. Overpriced, full of salt, taste bad, and the portion sizes are often tiny with less than 500 calories per "meal".

  29. Same with those food buckets, it’s super overpriced and usually just vacuum sealed rice & beans or regular meals loaded with preservatives with pitiful calorie counts for the space they take up, and although I’ve never tried them I’ve heard they taste like crap, you’d be better off stocking a large supply of canned food that you already eat regularly and rotating the close to expired stuff into your normal pantry, plus normal canned food usually keeps much longer than the expiration date anyways.

  30. I was going to say guns in general are overrated. They will be handy but most of the time they are dead weight and a safety concern.

  31. Seriously - picked up a mild case of poison ivy the other week, and I would have been a sad panda without the cortisone cream in the first aid kit.

  32. Adding another underrated: JB Weld type of gasket/sealant stuff. Replacement parts could be hard to find or you may need to seal your car's cracked radiator to get by or leaking water reservoir.

  33. Corollary: anything intentionally chosen or designed to look "gray man." People think too much. You know what's gray man? Your regular clothes, lmao.

  34. Not so much an item but the mentality the second SHTF you gotta instantly turn on your neighborhood, trust no one, gotta view everyone as out to get you, gotta abandon all the old, young, sick, etc and flee into the hills and do nothing to make some kind of community that can share the load

  35. This mentality is outdated. Our local MAG actually takes the opposite approach, we run a local Food bank for the whole community. We currently have enough supplies on hand to feed the community for 6 months to a year donated by charities and businesses. Grid down planning has us running less as a “food bank” and more of a “soup kitchen” with enough stock on hand to ration the whole community 2 meals a day for 6-8 months or 1 meal a day for almost 2 years. Long enough to get local ranches and community gardens on board

  36. Wet wipes dry out. Overall TP and whatever sanitation items are vital but a lot can be done with sodium hypochloride. We stockpiled lots of wash cloths prior to CV19 shortages so we used them and washed often. Found out that’s a great idea anytime so we still use them and it cut paper use a LOT.

  37. I do a lot of backpacking, and one of my favorite sanitation items to pack are dried out baby wipes. They contain a small amount of mild soap. If you dry them out, they weigh very little and you can wet them and use just like fresh wet wipes.

  38. Having used a couple a fair bit(as well as a DIY solar system I put together myself),I would have to respectfully disagree. I think they can be very useful. It just depends on your intended purpose. If you want to run a fridge plus a space heater plus an A/C for a two day power outage, one probably needs a gas generator. On the other hand, for a short blackout where you just need to charge a phone, keep a modem/router going, and plug in an led light, they can be perfect. I have three and I've used them many times. I take them camping, I've used them at a buddy's cabin that has no electricity(there is a propane fridge and stove, plus a wood burner ) - it's just the thing for running a fan, a light and keeping a phone plus Bluetooth speaker going..you just have to plan based on what your projected needs are. I'm not firing up the gas generator to charge an iPad.

  39. I built my own. It won’t survive an EMP, but it’s capable of running all of my electric tools, including my cultivator, all day. I like quality made solar generators. There’s something magical about a nearly endless supply of quiet electricity. That said, it’s a fragile source and I have backups for backups going back to hand tools if necessary.

  40. We’ve had good luck and usage with Goal Zero solar generators. Expensive for sure, but they have worked reliably. A whole-home generator with gas supplied or solar panels/battery setup is a better investment in my view.

  41. I’ve honestly had a hard time finding a normal radio that’s durable, I have a pretty sturdy seeming crank/solar/rechargeable/AAA battery (solar panel says it takes about 3 days of sun to charge so that’s not very useful but being able to charge OR power it with batteries is the reason I got it) powered radio, I’d like to get a sturdy one to keep in the house and just keep that one in my cars emergency ba

  42. Underrated item. You literally can trade a can of Spam for anything. Mentioned in the Balkans war as the most valuable item for barter along with Bic Lighters, alcohol, and bullets.

  43. Paracord. It's bulky, it stretches, it doesn't last out in the weather that well. But preppers are convinced that it's the only thing you need to survive. Braided mason line from home depot is cheaper, almost as strong, smaller, lighter and doesn't stretch. 250ft for $7 something?

  44. I'm not a prepper but I read this sub like a hoarder might read a "get organized" sub. "Yeah, I should totally do this great & wise idea...or not."

  45. Good for bartering, too. If you want to pay in a quart of rice, you’ll have a container. Plastic bags probably best in the scenario. Good idea. Thanks.

  46. I've always been skeptical of the usefulness of firearm parts. Unless the gun has many thousands of rounds through it or was abused, parts shouldn't break, and if it takes a round, you're replacing the weapon.

  47. Keyword is shouldn’t, if you’re shooting questionable reloads like you might have to in a long enough shtf, or if your gun gets banged around a bit, or even if you just get a defective part or unlucky, then you may need spare parts, what spare parts you need may also depend on the gun, I can’t remember which but I remember a few years back certain models of semi auto handguns had problems with firing pins breaking if dry fired. But at the end of the day, know your firearm, and if you know that certain parts are more likely to break then buy a spare.

  48. Please don’t tell me people actually pack dousing rods in their BOBs or prepper stockpiles,

  49. bugout bags. i'm not saying they aren't useful, but they occupy an outsize portion of the discussion. half the items in them are junk. "maybe i'll need a magnifying glass to start a signal fire if i'm on a remote island"

  50. Bug Out Bags. For most situations you're safer sheltering in place (exceptions of course). The idea that an untrained amateur is going to head out to the woods and survive with limited bushcraft skills is nonsensical. Some folks csn do it, most can't. Be realistic.

  51. I think of it more as a Get Home Bag and keep it in my car(s). I agree, staying home is probably best bet, but if you’re out in your car somewhere when SHTF or an emergency, it’s good to have. Same idea as the Bug Out Bag, but a more likely (I believe) use for it.

  52. A bug out bag doesn't have to be packed with "going out to the woods" in mind. Mine are packed for stuff like house fires or bomb defusals. Situations where I have to leave the apartment quickly, but I going somewhere save like a hotel.

  53. I can walk about 3.5 mph around the neighborhood, no pack, under ideal conditions. I might he able to do 4mph on a good day. Backpacking, I keeping it under 20lbs, in the woods, I'm averaging 2mph if I'm hauling ass. I can do 12 miles fairly easily, probably cover 20 on a really good day if I work up to it. What am I running from for 3 days that 60 miles is going to get me away from? Never mind the people who are taking a long gun and a pistol and ammo with them. I'm not ever going to do this realistically. Hop in the car and head out of town, maybe. Have a vacation home that's stocked for emergencies, yeah I could see that if it's in the budget. But unless I'm homeless, I don't see myself living out of a backpack in the woods.

  54. Having just come off a 150 mile backpacking trip… it also feels really, really good to know that you can survive out of your pack alone if need be. Obviously not super realistic for SHTF scenarios but there are plenty of transferable skills, most especially the adaptation to different kinds of comforts in low-resource situations and water + human waste management. I super recommend people learn about backpacking skills if they’re interested in it.

  55. Bugging out doesn’t necessarily mean ‘head to the woods’ and usually shouldn’t. It’s bugging out from current location to another location. That can be as simple as fleeing a wildfire and going to a hotel an hour away.

  56. and its not just you out there (If something bad enough happens) with your backpack and mono-wheel trailer. Johnny-unprepared with his AR-15 is also trying to "hike it out" and if he really thinks he can get away with it you are nothing but a loot drop to him.

  57. Bug out bags are great for non-teotwawki situations. Family member in the hospital in another state? Already packed. Wildfire, you're ready to go. Have a night out and slept somewhere you weren't planning? Change of clothes in the trunk.

  58. This is the worst advice I have ever seen. Bugout bags are essential. This sub has a weird hate for them. Bug out bags are emergency bags in case SHTF and you have to leave the city. OBVIOUSLY we aren’t all fuckin nature Todd’s and know how to live off the earth but if you don’t have a choice, it’s good to have a bug out bag that can provide 72 hour food to set up shop and shelter.

  59. Underrated: Extra food beyond what you'd need for a year or two. I store extra rice/pinto beans in 5 gallon mylar bags (along with bulk and 5 gallon zip locks as well). I feel like they'll be solid for small trades.

  60. They’re like condoms, better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Guns are pretty similar, you don’t need a gun until ** you need a gun**. That’s why the 2A is part of the Bill of Rights, not the List of Privileges.

  61. Wipes often contain additives that some are sensitive to. Due to their moisture content, they tend to expire quickly, are far bulkier, and can be a disaster on plumbing.

  62. BoB bags are super handy, and something everyone should have in case adverse conditions force you to leave your home. This is one of the most Under rated preps out there, everyone should have a bag ready, in case something happens, which could be a simple as a gas leak an the apartment, to flooding, to house fire, to many other reasons to leave a home.

  63. I see window hammers for when your car drives off a bridge, playing cards, tourniquets (super useful, but the need is so rare and space and weight is at a premium), and not enough plain ol cash. You need to bug out, flood, tornado, wildfires, Mexican cartel hit squad, etc -probably isn’t because of the apocalypse. Cash is king and solves many problems.

  64. Do you mean that seeds are overrated? Because I think seeds are 100% useless as a prep, especially things marketed as “survival seeds” or “for your bugout bag”.

  65. Underrated: dimensional lumber. I know lots of us have a pretty big stock of cut ends and odd triangles of plywood, but I've added about 20 2x4s and 10 2x6s.

  66. Underrated: A library of medical, dental, agriculture, carpentry, plumbing etc. especially user and maintenance manuals for items you own. I imagine we won’t be able to simply Google that stuff or watch a video.

  67. Seriously, oil lanterns. My roomie wants to get rid of all that I have "because we have flashlights". LOL, no. (This is the same roomie that whined that I had too much TP the year before Covid, so I let my stock dwindle, and we ended up scrambling.)

  68. I think you’re forgetting what the initial weeks of COVID was like! I fondly recall any & every type of PPE being sold out EVERYWHERE within a couple of days. Whilst I managed to get enough 3M masks, hand sanitiser etc for my entire family because I was early; a viable longer-term prep would be gas masks. This is especially the case because N95 (or FFP3) masks have a very limited shelf life.

  69. Well without running water my go-to is bucket lined with trash bag and kitty litter. Wipes help a lot there. Considering i dont have a deep chest freezer and most of my food preps are dry or canned i dont own a generator.

  70. Bug-out bags for the most part. Most people make the mistake of thinking that a BOB is going to keep you going for a week, or that you're going to be roughing it in the boonies.

  71. Clothing and money outside your residence. I was chatting with my insurance agent about a fire in my neighborhood and he said part of his job is making the initial response after house fires. He says he will arrive to find people standing outside in their pajamas and barefoot wrapped in a blanket from the neighbors. Everything they own is gone and he has to help with clothing, shoes, shelter, transportation, money and guidance on replacing documents.

  72. Gold for bartering honestly. I promise you 90% of the population doesn’t understand or care about the value of gold. They sure as hell won’t be trading away their gas, food, or other supplies for an unknown amount of gold.

  73. Gold and Silver - they should be the last thing you purchase. They are a hedge against loss of the value of your local currency. You cannot eat it, protect yourself with it, or treat an injury or illness with it. On that note I do have so but only as insurance against the complete loss of my savings. if the crap hits the fan. I only purchased gold and silver when I had all of the other bases covered. I know the response will be "well you can buy all of these things with gold and silver". Perhaps, but if things are so bad that I'm using bullion to pay for things they person will also accept food or medication.

  74. On the other hand, I have a USB drive with every issue of Mother Earth News since 1970 on it and I think it would be pretty handy. Tons of instructions, useful tips, etc. Its like $60 from their site.

  75. I guess it would help with bordom but I’d say only download ones that would help in a disaster, local plants for a bug out situation, medical knowledge, recipes/food preservation methods, maps. Anything really essential should have a physical backup, even if it’s just a laminated peice of paper with info on it

  76. Everyone in this space should be collecting a library of “how to” literature. Simple arts and crafts to deep engineering tomes to medical knowledge. Everyone’s library will be a little different based on interests. Save it, print it what ever. Have some physical copies have some digital. Share.

  77. Having everything you can think of to be prepped is overrated. Unless your rich or very well off, I can't see having "everything" for any and all disaster scenarios. TWO sayings to think about...men plan and God laughs....And no plan survives contact with an enemy, that's why their called enemy. So prep all you want, but you could get killed walking across the street next day. I'm not saying don't prep rather shit happens and sometimes ya can't do a damn thing about it.

  78. yes they are, basically you’re setting yourself up to get robbed and beaten for the items. especially alcohol and cigs.

  79. Oh, I was downvoted to the ground for telling one guy on preperintel what I think about bartering. I am glad there are others thinking the same way.

  80. I’ll probably get downvoted for this but IMHO, months (years?) of food storage is overrated and bugging out is underrated. Everyone always says ‘the last thing you want to do is bug-out.’

  81. Underrated- a secondary water source. I have a traditional well that I use on a daily basis. This, like most wells requires electricity to power the well pump. I do have a generator big enough to power my well pump if needed. But I’d rather use it in other places on my property. So I have a 500 gallon cistern buried underground that my garage gutter flows into. I live on a hillside so there is also a discharge placed lower than the intake that keeps the water level at a constant and keeps it moving every time it rains. I have a hand pump that can be used to access the water fairly quickly/easily.

  82. I'm a bit surprised no one has said large amounts of guns are overrated. Some seem to just plan to prep guns/ammo and think they will be fine, they will be some of the first to go.

  83. I'm probably gonna get a lot of heat for this but I honestly think water is pretty useless. The amount of water you would need to last for a family for 1 year requires such a great amount of space, it just makes so much sense to prep a single rain barrel, some 100,000 gallon filters, and just memorize how to make a natural filter using charcoal, cloth, sand, and rocks. Water is not that hard to forage and clean and I'd rather have the extra space for food preps

  84. Depends on your area, but I don’t think anyone but the most insane preppers are keeping years worth of water, most people keep a week or two, the more prepped a few months maybe, I personally live in a wet climate so I stockpile sawyer filters, and purification tablets and a couple days worth of water for my family, plus rain barrels, and we have a pond and live near a crap ton of lakes streams and along a major river but for someone in say a desert, stocking water makes sense

  85. Firearms, statistically more likely to use them on yourself or a domestic partner, then an intruder, and not reliable as a way to sustain your preps by hunting wildlife.

  86. I think the likelihood of using a firearm for defensive or hunting purposes would increase a lot in many SHTF scenarios. Plus, I think they will always be in-demand enough to hold their value.

  87. Baby wipes will dry out, what will you have with no running water? A dry baby wipe is essentially Toilet paper. So no, toilet paper is no lesser than baby wipes.

  88. Once you open them maybe, but if they’re in a sealed package or even a ziplock then it takes quite some time for them to dry out, and if that happens than just get them wet again, some soap residue stays in them and when rehydrated they’re firmer than tp, allowing you to stay cleaner, not to mention they take up less space than tp (u less you take out the cardboard center of a tp roll and squish it flat) and they’re just in general more robust so they can be used as a general disposable wipe better than tp can.

  89. Seeds aren't a good solution either, one needs good soil, it also needs a fair amount of growing space, and it must be in a region with good growing conditions for the seeds one has.

  90. Silver and gold coin. In a really bad SHTF situation, no one will care. If it's simply an evacuation situation, US dollars will still be fine.

  91. Ham radio. For people helping the authorities it will be huge. For personal use, I think a GMRS license is the better move.

  92. In my opinion axes are overrated. Most people don't know how to use them correctly, they are heavy and need to be sharp to work effectively, also a good axe is quite expensive, in 95% an axe can be replaced with a good folding saw and a chonky knife.

  93. Guns....seeing America in the last years....I've never seen a country with so many school shootings and so many people thinking they are some sort of heroes if they own guns. Better to be like Europe and not allow guns or have very strict restrictions and requirements. Still can't believe kids can buy guns....

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