Written by Bernie Carr
One of the more controversial topics in regards to survival that I see in many discussions is the subject of gear. On one hand, we see a lot of articles about buying the best gear that you will be relying on during a disaster. At the same time, there are also a lot of articles out there about buying as much gear as you can with $100 at Walmart or other discount stores.
Then you have two sides on social media mocking each other about spending way too much and wasting money, or the opposite: of getting cheap gear that will break the minute you use it.
When I first started preparing for emergencies, I felt I had to buy things right away which led to some unwise purchases… like the time I bought Army surplus backpacks for the family, thinking they would be perfect. This was before I did research on procuring appropriately fitted backpacks. They were huge and bulky and did not work for anyone.
Determine your budget
Only you know what your budget looks like. If you have wiggle room in your budget and can afford the purchase, then go for the top of the line selection. But if you have limited finances, you need to find a moderately priced item that does the job, which brings me to the next point.
What are the most important features?
Every type of gear provides certain bells and whistles – determine what are your minimum requirements. For example, if you are looking for a sleeping bag, do you need it to be warm enough for four seasons because you have harsh winters, or does a three season tent suffice because you have mild temperatures where you live?
Wants vs needs
Cover your most basic needs first.
Do your research
Before deciding on your purchase, read survival blogs and watch videos on what to buy when prepping. Do your research. Read gear reviews online. You can check forums and Facebook groups and find out the negatives and positives about the item in question.
Don’t go into debt
Even if you feel pressured to prep and buy items all at once, don’t get into debt doing it. Stick to your budget and buy the best quality item that you can afford.
The final word
To answer the original question, should you spend a lot of money on survival prepping gear, only if you can afford it. If you have a limited budget, then no you shouldn’t. Spend your money wisely by determining what it is your “must-have” versus “would like to have.” Do your research, read the reviews. You’ll eventually find what meets your needs at the moment. And as soon as you buy the item, don’t put it in storage waiting for an emergency. Test it yourself and make sure it works. This way you can return it if you need to, and at the very least, you’ll know how to use it before an emergency happens.
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Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.