Kits on the Cheap – When to upgrade

Eventually we’ll want to have top of the line tools in our kits. I’d start by making a list of everything that should go into the kit. I need to remember that I am going to be lugging this around with me so I need to optimize as much as possible. I’ll pick an adjustable-end wrench instead of a complete set of wrenches, a flat file with two grades of abrasiveness instead of a set. the same goes for knives and flashlights. Then as I check out forums and stores I can begin to get an idea of where I want to go with a particular tool. I have one and am saving up for another. This way I am able to take care of certain tasks and at some point the tool I began with becomes a backup after I’ve upgraded.

While you’re making the step from a lower priced item to something better made you may see something you like at Walmart. Depending on what it is you might go ahead and grab it because Walmart has a habit of discontinuing things.

Kits on the Cheap

This is going to be an ongoing topic. I want to explore options for people to get themselves to a level of preparedness while paying for as much of everything else as possible. With larger and larger chunks of our checks going to the oil companies we still need to figure out a way to stock up on things and get our kits together.

When you visit gear-related forums you’ll find cliques dedicated to certain product-lines. If you have “disposable” income then you get the $100 multitool or backpack, if not then you have to do a lot more homework.

Preppers and Tools
Our goal is to get a set of tools that will probably be distributed amongst several kits. We’ll want to find a middle between affordability and quality. Places like pawn shops and thrift stores and buying from individuals off Craig’s List can help with both of those.

Preps at work

I keep a few items in a file cabinet at my desk. There are a few cans of soup, sardines and packs of Ramen noodles. It’s maybe a week’s worth as far as shifts go. That way if I’m rushed and don’t have time to get my lunch together, which happens occasionally, I can eat some of what I already have and I don’t have to go out. I have to be careful about leaving stuff in the refrigerator. No one really goes into my file drawers but people are always in the fridge. We’ve had some items disappear from time to time. We seemed to have that under control for quite a while but thieves are like rodents and they tend to resurface.

The other food related things in the “work kit” are a set of flatware, a soup mug and some spices. I hate going down to the break area only to find that we’ve run out of sporks. There’s not really much that isn’t working for me or needs changing other than bringing a couple food items every now and then.

A first foray into cooking with preps

I have a few cans of fish…salmon, sardines and kipper. The other day I brought in some vegetables from home and heated them in the microwave then I opened a can of sardines and dumped it into the bowl. I did it this way to keep from stinking up the planet with microwaved fish. That was actually quite good. Since the fish was at room temp it didn’t cool off the veggies too much. If I were to talk about it in terms of a recipe the constant ingredient is the fish. You should be able to heat up broccoli or some other veggie and throw in any canned meat. I need to start using what I have on hand and buying more. I keep a few here at work and some at home.

Short power failure

The power was out for about a half hour this morning. I managed to get one candle lit and was using a flashlight. I went outside and checked with one of the neighbors to find out that it was the neighborhood and not just a circuit-breaker issue. There wasn’t time to test any other preps.

Another hole in my EDC preps

I sat in a waiting room yesterday for several hours. I hadn’t charged my phone and iPod fully. The iPod was first to go while I was reading a book in the Stanza library app and checking email intermittently. I had to go there in a hurry so I didn’t grab my bag with the AC/DC kit. I know…cardinal EDC rule broken. I have one Energizer xPal battery. I need another one to keep in my pack. Of course this will increase the weight but there were no outlets in sight.