I know folks that spend a lot of money on their preps, and let's face it, it costs for quality equipment and survival goods. But sometimes a new gadget comes out, looks cool and seems useful. I suggest you do two things before buying. Wait until someone offers reviews, don't be the first person disappointed by a new product. Most importantly, have purpose in your purchase, know why you are buying it and how to use it.
Let's say there's a new Fire Starter that comes out for $29.95 + shipping. It promises to deliver a flame under any conditions and so on. It's purpose is to start a fire, plain and simple. If you are like me, I have multiple ways and devices for starting a fire. From matches to magnifying glass and even the good ole dollar BIC. Push come to shove, I can use the natural material around my house to do what I need to do. I would put that money toward another tank of propane.
Don't get me wrong, if that Fire Starter can start an instant fire under water, last for 1 million uses, and is smaller than a dime, I'm buying it and giving everything else away. Just know why before you buy.
I have asked this of myself several times. I put a lot of time, effort, and money into stock piling water and other supplies. But what if S**t doesn't hit the fan? Was all that time and resource wasted?
Preparations come in advance of successfully achieving a goal, the lack of preparation comes in advance of failing to achieve a goal. My goal in preparing for a disaster is that I and my family will survive whatever disaster my occur. Failure is not an option!
I feel that if nothing catastrophic happens, great! I have still achieved my goal and if I die of natural causes before SHTF, then I have set an example and left a good start for my family should such an event happen during their lifetime. I am convinced it will. Be it an EMP or a pandemic, nuclear war or massive earthquake, a breakdown of social order or worldwide water shortage. I really could go on, but you get the point.
Some Preppers have a "perimeter" in mind, An I dare you to cross this line" mentality. I'm not going to say that's wrong either, but I want you to also consider something else as well. Your family has to come first. You can't give up the resources your family requires for their survival and well being. You built this while sacrificing time, money, and energy so in this event you and your family could get through this alive.
You told everyone around you what was coming and they didn't listen. While your friends went to the ball game, you were working on your preps and practicing your skills,. They didn't call you a fool to your face, BUT might as well have. And now, the grocery stores are closed, cell phones are down, rioting in the city where the relief trucks are, and those same friends are standing at your "perimeter" begging you for handouts.
So consider this, create a stash site outside of your perimeter. Maybe a few, with a minimal amount of food and medicine. Make a map or maps to these places. In the event where you see really desperate people beginning to become a threat, buy yourself some time by offering one of these maps to a stash site.
Come up with a way these folks can work with you without draining you. In fact, make this a part of your over all plan. Through this you can help establish a community spirit of cooperation, avoid unnecessary bloodshed, and take a leadership role in helping and not harming.