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detzlerj2

Survival on a Budget

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I am still in colledge yet I recognize the need to start prepping now rather then waiting till I have money in the distant future. So my question is how to prep when my monitary situation is very limited. Expensive gear is out of the option since my major purchases must go to school related things. About me, I wouldn't have to prep for my family because my birth family is on the other side of the mountains and while I need a plan to get them, most BOBs I could make wouldn't do them any good anyways. Also I don't have my own wife or kids yet so I will be prepping for almost solely myself, the only other people would be my roommate and a few very close friends that I can trust from around campus.

 

So from a somewhat new prepper, what are the important things to focus on? Where would my limited resources be best put to use? Classes, gear, etc.?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

 

To The End My Friend...

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Check out: The Frugal Survivalist, Disaster Preparations Under $500 By James Dakin

 

You can buy the book at Amazon or download a PDF version for $3.00 here:

http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/the-frugal-survivalist-disaster-preparations-under-$500/543143

 

You can check out James Dakin's blog here: http://bisonsurvivalblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/extreme-frugal-preps.html

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I wouldn't recommend telling anyone your prepping really, if something bad does happen its instantly "Hey remember that guy that has all the stuff? Lets loot him". What I would do is spend maybe buy an ALICE bag, you can get them for around $50-$100 and they were Vietnam issued packs I believe. Then spend $200 or so loading it with whatever you can, if your 21 get a gun, if your not, make sure you have a knife. Actually make sure you have these things:

 

A knife,

 

A gun (if you can keep it with you at all times, not even in a BOB)

 

A net

 

First aid stuff

 

And well, you know, look on the SC website it shows you what you need.

 

But some things I always have with me in my BOB (once I get one going) is a gun, some form of currency because like the SC article says, $40 in cash can come in handy for a few things when currency is gone, vending machines, people might accept it, etc..., Maybe gold or silver, a pack of cigarettes, you might not see it but cigarettes are currency in a way, I mean in prison they ARE currency, anything you want or someone else does is currency. Cigarettes (i dont smoke myself but) are good conversation starters, its a friendly way to say hello, they can be traded, can be a way to carry fire, etc...

 

Right now I'm about to go to college, the first thing I'm buying is a gun, or BOB, after that its "other stuff" and after I have a 2 year supply of stuff I need (which will be a while from now) I'm getting gold and silver.

 

Btw welcome to the forums.

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Information. Read everything you can get for free, and check out books that have good reviews from people who know (the contributing authors here are great). You could have everything in the world you would ever need but what if you cannot get to your pack, or someone steals it or whatever. It's important and really fun to get your BOB ready but don't forget to pack your brain with what you will need as well. There is a part of the site that has ideas for under $5. I already had a pack to use and the first thing that went in there (even though it would probably be on my waste) was my knife. Get a good knife, doesn't have to be crazy expensive. I got a Gerber knife that's pretty damn tough for $20, the handle was overly bulky rubber so I took off the rubber pieces and wrapped some paracord around it. I do not have much money to spend either, I try to spread out my prepping as far as spending money on things I want, things I need, and when I'm broke it's time to read until I get more cash.

Cheers

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First you need to decide what you're preparing for. What good is going all out and trying to prepare for zombies when you couldn't even survive a few days without power? If something big goes down what is your plan? Are you going to hunker down or try to get home? There are so many things that you need to consider it's really up to you to tailor what you need to your own situation. Skills trump gear. Gear doesn't have to be expensive. Start small and prepare for the minor emergencies first. Before long you'll be ready for the major emergencies and not even realize it.

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Well detzlerj2, I know how you feel. I started prepping while in college and money was the biggest problem I ran into. Here's how I started:

 

1) Bought an old rucksack as a BOB. ($20 at surplus store downtown) I have since gotten a bigger one, but for the price and what I had it was worth it.

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2) Bought a Gerber LMF II ($69 on amazon) it was the most expensive thing I bought, but I figured that it was the most versatile and useful, so it was worth it.

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3) Bought two 2400 calorie emergency bars. ($20 amazon, technically enough for 4 days of food)

 

4) I bought a canteen, canteen cup and canteen stove from http://canteenshop.com/id17.html ( $35-$50 depending on how you want to build your custom kit) This gave me a source for water, a way to purify it, and something to cook with, and they all nest in the pouch.

post-126-13851497621099_thumb.jpg

5) I got a Swedish Firesteel. (various sizes and prices, but generally $20)

 

That was my extremely basic BOB for college. I figured it only needed to be able to get me home from Chicago (80 miles). Now that I have a job and more money, I have gradually added much more to my BOB and even have a second one for my car, but there's nothing wrong with starting out small and stick to the essentials.

post-126-1385149762012_thumb.jpg

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Edited by Delta7

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First you need to decide what you're preparing for. What good is going all out and trying to prepare for zombies when you couldn't even survive a few days without power? If something big goes down what is your plan? Are you going to hunker down or try to get home? There are so many things that you need to consider it's really up to you to tailor what you need to your own situation. Skills trump gear. Gear doesn't have to be expensive. Start small and prepare for the minor emergencies first. Before long you'll be ready for the major emergencies and not even realize it.

 

I agree, sir. The most important thing to decide is to know for what you are prepping; then and only then can you make rational decisions. The basic three day survival kit is like your first year in college; everybody needs the same basic courses. Then depending on where you are and what you see as the threat, things change to adapt to the requirements. My Houston BOB is very different from a New England BOB. The one thing I differ on is putting a gun in a BOB. My sidearm is always on me, not in my BOB. That way I don't have to worry about not getting to my BOB or someone else getting to my firearm. I have the advantage of living close to my home which is also my survival location.

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I would start with what you have laying around your house. It's always amazing what you can come up with. Matches, trash bags, can opener....stuff like that. When I was putting mine together, I was kind of in the same boat but was amazed at the things that I already had!

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Dont forget a couple of plastic painter's drop cloths, wire ties and paracord. You can get all of this for about $10-$12. Now you have a groundcloth, tent and gear needed to stand it in just about any place. Oh and duct tape. With all of this you have shelter and can stay dry. Very important in any climate.

 

Other items to consider:

Canteen and metal cup ($20-$50)

Polar Pure ($15)

Knife ($5-$500+)

fishing line, small hooks (size 10-14)and weights. There are many more small fish than large ones. ($5-$10)

small sewing kit ($5)

flash light and batteries ($5-$50+)

waterproof matches and tinder ($2)

first aid kit (10+)

change of clothes with extra socks

flavor mix pouches for water (Crystal Light, Coolaide, etc.)

Datrex bars, MRE's, Freeze Dried Foods, etc. you can live for weeks without food, but why suffer.

Playing Cards

Book of Edible plants in your region (study it beforehand as well)

N95 dust masks

Multitool. Not a cheap crappy one. See movie "127 Hours) to see why!!!

Many other items, that Will come to me as I think about it.

 

And yes, a can opener. Whether you have canned goods or not. A P38 is a wonderful thing. I can open a can faster with it than my wife with a regular opener or an elecric. And they are only about $0.50

 

You also need to decide what kind of kit you want. Do you plan to evacuate a regional emergency for a few days? Like Flooding in NE or Tornados here in Alabama... If this is the case, you may not be allowed to have guns. in Katrina, guns were confiscated from evacuees! And not returned!

Or are you planning to evacuate civilization forever in the case of TEOTWAWKI? Then you will need guns, ammo, tools, much more knowledge and gear...

Edited by Ready?4What?

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Zenabi makes a good point, there are tons of things you already have or could easily get for free. There is usually enough fishing line and tackle in the trees around any pond for a whole tackle box. Also check out free sample sites like Mysavings.com. You have to fill out forms and jump through hoops sometimes , and sometimes the samples do not show up (check out the reviews on the sample below and you can avoid the dead ones) , but theres a lot of little things you could throw into your pack.

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Zenabi, IHOPE, and Ready4 make excellent points. With knowledge and a little practice you can survive very well with surprisingly little. Couple that with some judicious scrounging and you can be in pretty good shape. For example, most bakeries and ice cream joints have empty 5 gallon buckets (Home Depot sells them for $5 but free is cheaper) that can be cleaned up and used for storage. A 5 gal bucket is useful in and of itself but can also hold a nice survival kit. A laundry mat small bottle of unscented bleach is a water purification system in the bucket. Trash bags stuffed with leaves are insulation, proper holes cut are a poncho, opened up and laid flat a ground cloth. Cotton balls from a first aid kit covered with petroleum jelly makes an excellent tender for a fire starter kit. Fishing gear scavenged from the shore is free. Used tire weights can usually be had cheaply or free from tire companies and can make weights for fishing gear or ammo for a sling shot. About the only thing you need to buy is a decent knife or two. I'd recommend a Swiss Army Knife and a solid fixed blade knife that is not made with Chinese steel. The Swiss Army is probably enough but the combination is outstanding. Coupled with some para-cord or decent rope and you are in surprisingly good shape. Add a zip lock bags for storage and water purification and a little extra food (protein bar kind of stuff) and you've an excellent start. You can build from there as you are able to afford more but you can survive with those things and a little knowledge.

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This is a list of most of my gear. I know there are some items missing but this is a good general overview. I have accumulated this list over several years. I'm hoping this will give you another idea of what is needed and then you can prioritize these items to your needs and budget. I know it's a large list but you can find items to serve the same purpose lying around the house. Flea markets are also another place to find items for bargain prices.

 

 

 

1) Vest-

2) Pistol Belt

3) 4 triple magazine pouches

4) “SAW” drum pouch

5) Small fixed blade knife (4.5-5 inch blade)

6) Tritium Lensatic compass and pouch

7) 2 One quart canteens with covers, cups and iodine tablets

8) Net

9) Sidearm/ tactical drop leg holster. This isn’t because it makes me look “cool”, it serves to keep my sidearm in a place that other gear will not interfere as much with the draw. I do recommend finding a good quality holster that will stay in place during movement. I use the SpecOps Brand Vapor holster, but Blackhawk and others have quality products.

10) Pistol magazine pouches. I carry 3 for ammo (6 mags) and 1 for a multi-tool and lockblade

11) Drop leg platform with dump pouch

12) Butt pack

a) Poncho

B) Hand chainsaw

c) Blast match

d) 3 snares

e) 2 rat traps

f) Fishing kit- 10 and 40# test line, split shot sinkers, assorted hooks, a couple steel leaders

g) 2 extra pair socks

h) Spare boot laces

i) 3 bandanas

j) Spare batteries- enough to reload both my lights once

k) Tea candle

l) 2 packs “Lifeboat” matches

m) Disposable lighter

n) Tee shirt

o) Boonie hat

p) Stocking cap

q) Slingshot and lead round balls

r) Quart size zip lock bag with baby wipes

s) 100 rounds 22 lr ammo carried in empty snuff cans

t) Swiss Army Knife

u) Stainless steel bowl

v) Rite in Rain notebook and space pen

w) Extra large trash bags to use as solar still or even an improvised bivy sack

x) Poncho liner

y) Moccasins

z) Personal hygiene kit- toothbrush/paste, fingernail clippers, foot powder, etc

13) Poncho in rifle magazine pouch

14) First Aid kit

15) Tomahawk/hatchet- I carry a tomahawk personally but hatchets of any kind are worth their weight in gold; you can skin game with it, cut wood, use as a hammer and it’s a weapon.

16) Double edged dagger/knife- mine is for sentry removal and that’s what its primary design and purpose is for.

17) 6 volt high intensity flashlight and LED pen light

18) Maps of area in inside pocket of vest

19) Gloves- I carry leather work gloves and also the high tech tactical gloves as well. I normally wear the tactical gloves at all times while moving.

20) Trail mix and pemmican to be used for trail food. These items can be eaten while moving.

21) Vitamin bottle of chia seeds

22) Water filter- I keep the small backpacker “straw type” with me for emergency use.

23) Mini binoculars

24) 22 lr pistol

25) Entrenching tool

26) 200 feet of 550 cord- 1x 100 feet and 2x 50 feet

27) Weapons cleaning kit- I carry one of the multiple weapon kits made for the military. I have adjusted the brushes to fit the firearms I carry and not the issue weapons of the Army.

28) 2 multi-tools- one is needle nose and the other is blunt nose for more strength.

 

 

1) Spare pants- I usually keep a couple pair of my military uniform pants and/or khaki hunting cargo pants.

2) Long sleeve shirts- normally a military issue or hunting variety.

3) Tee shirts

4) Socks

5) I keep one pair of briefs underwear with the fly stitched closed very tightly. This is in case I do need to cross swamps and want to help keep parasites and other things from certain areas.

6) Pantyhose- laugh all you want, but they are great for keeping leeches and insects from being able to bite. I do not want to combat an illness from an insect bite while trying to perform other tasks. They also offer circulation support for the long hours and miles when having to E&E (Escape and Evade) on foot.

7) Fleece vest

8) 2 quart canteen

9) Water filter

10) Extra large trash bags

11) Poncho liner

12) Spare batteries for flashlight- enough for 3 change outs

13) LED flashlight with adjustable beam from white, red and blue colors

14) Maps of areas heading for or nearby if at secure location

15) Gloves- extra work gloves

16) First aid kit

17) Extra ammo for rifle and sidearm/ 200 rounds 22 lr

18) Net

19) 2- 110 body grip traps with tree clips

20) 1 #4 soft catch 4 coil foot trap

21) Sewing/fishing kit- I use 8# test mono fishing line for thread, then have a few needles, sinkers and hooks. I also have nylon 60# ice fishing line for limb lines, trip wires and snares.

22) 3 bandanas

23) Multi-tool

24) Skinning knife

25) Stainless steel bowl

26) Pemmican

27) Boot laces

28) Water shoes/aqua socks/sandals- I use water shoes in case of water crossings

29) Waterproof bag(s)- I store all clothes and perishables in dry bags, ziplocks or dry boxes

30) Disposable lighter

31) “Lifeboat” matches

32) A few tea candles

33) Poncho liner

34) 500 feet of 550 cord

35) Folding heater stand (like they use for sterno)- I use to place my canteen cups or bowls on to heat food and water as needed. I use candles instead of fuel tabs, as I can keep reusing the candle wax with some string to make more candles. I have a bunch of waxed thread for my leather projects.

36) Big vitamin bottle of chia seeds

37) Shemagh

38) Small tree pruners

39) 100 feet of 7/16 rappelling rope

40) Climbing carabineers

41) Fencing pliers- the original multi-tool

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*whistles*

That's one heck of a list. For the lettered part, are all those things kept inside the buttpack? I notice that in the two lists you have some repeats, is the first list just for things in your vest and the second one what's in your pack? If so, I need to learn how to pack like you do because I think I would find a hard time packing all that just in a backpack.

 

Is this what you'd have on you when deployed? Did you have a 9mm/45 also or did you just stick with the .22LR?

Edited by Delta7

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Deployed it was just the POS beretta 9mm. Yes the different lists are for vest and then ruck and the duplicates are on purpose for essential gear. Tea candles are very small and cheap ( I think you can fit 50+in a gallon ziplock bag; bought at dollar or super discount stores and flea markets), the tree pruners are the small hand held type (they are great for cutting vegetation for camo, cutting thru small bones like squirrel legs when cleaning game, etc). My current ruck is the large ALICE pack with frame or the Bug Out Gear bag. The lettered items are what I keep in my buttpack... http://www.opsgear.com/index/page/product/product_id/125/product_name/MOLLE+Butt++Vest+Pack (link to my buttpack). I also use a drop leg platform on my "weak side" for extra gear pouches.

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Sounds like you should perhaps consider a few weeks of supplies for SHTF and have a good BOB to get to your family. Sorry to plug another blog's article here, but I think you'll find it helpful: http://www.shtfblog.com/bob-on-a-budget-a-bug-out-kit-for-under-200/ I'm also a college student, and know how frustrating budget constraints can be. But remember, the most valuable preps are free! For example, generally speaking, hiking is free and I'd recommend getting comfortable in "the bush" to test your BOB, stay in shape, and get mentally acclimated. I hike at night, and I'm always surprised by how nervous people can get. As far as the sexy side of prepping goes, I'd recommend a used 12guage pump action (they don't wear out), a high point pistol, and either a highpoint pistol carbine http://www.youtube.com/user/nutnfancy or perhaps a Russian rifle. Another thing, for short term low budget food preps, RAMEN NOODLES! In a pinch you can eat 'em dry and the nutritional deficiencies will take a while to catch up to you. Other than that, considering your living space, OPSEC!

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In a pinch you can eat 'em dry and the nutritional deficiencies will take a while to catch up to you. Other than that, considering your living space, OPSEC!
Yep, even the high salt content (watch water requirements however) won't hurt you short term. You are also quite correct OPSEC for us all actually.

 

“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn't even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”

― Heraclitus

 

I've known a few (a d*mn precious few) warriors in my time. I got "adopted" by a group of them in RVN. Those can be some very, very, very scary dudes if you get cross wise with them but I can think of no one I'd rather be with when TSHTF. Of course, the first time someone offers to make a problem "go away" and they MEAN it, it scares you half to death! You have to be extremely careful what you say - words do have consequences.

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Regarding the noodles, I typically don't eat them with the salt packet or at least I just sprinkle a small portion of it. The ability to decide whether or not to use the salt packet is why I prefer the Ramen in the plastic bags as opposed to the cup noodle variants. Sir, that quote has meaning to me because I plan to take on a protective role in a group whether it be just the family or the community. Perhaps not the best survival strategy, but to be frank, survival was never my main concern; protecting my loved ones is. One day, I hope I can be worthy of the title.

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http://www.amazon.com/Star-Molle-Pals-Paintball-Airsoft/dp/B0032IU6H4

 

 

I found this MOLLE vest tonight while looking for a vest to get my son for a starter. I do not know how good it is and the black option was cheaper in price. For someone looking to get something low priced to begin getting their gear put together, this may be the ticket. Hopefully I'll be able to get my wife to order a couple while I am gone and be able to review them. I do not know when I will have time to seriously "abuse" them tho with work travels.

Reviews left on Optics Planet did give the vest high marks, altho one did say the vest ran large on sizing, but they should have adjustment straps for fitment.

Edited by Regulator5

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Just a note regarding Optics Planet. Have found them to be cheapest on many items and they have outstanding shipping speed. I highly recommend them.

 

(But only use them if Forge Supply doesn't have the item you need of course!)

Edited by Smokecheck

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Nice plug Smoke.... I just found they had alot of feedback on reviews about the vest. Amazon actually beat their price, altho Amazon could be ordering from Optics Planet. I really like the MOLLE/PALS system for webgear and the price on these vests were about 2/3 what I paid for mine. I'll get a few to outfit my wife and kids who don't use them unless it becomes a requirement. The nice thing about these is being able to change the set up easily; my gear is set for combat but I can drop the majority of mag pouches to replace with utility pouches for trapping, fishing, or hunting in a survival scenario or even use it as a photographer's vest if doing a hike.

The only drawback is the "military" style which makes some people nervous and causes some thoughts about what you're doing.

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I can relate to prepping on a budget, I am working 4 hours from home and have had to watch what I spend.

I have been buying more items from the dollar stores lately than walmart. You can pick up some good supplies at lower prices. And if you want to build a decent first aid kit, its a good place to start.

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Thank you everyone for all the help you have provided. I have gotten a lot of good information from you. Just an update, I have almost finished collecting the gear for my everyday carry, and am about half way through my BOB. The only things I am still missing are some of the more expensive, specialty items. Also I am studying up and trying to work out, so that I can make my number one tool the best it can be.

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This is how I started out prepping because I didn't want to spend a lot of money at first. For a bag, find a sturdy back pack, there are some cheap Fieldline brand ones at walmart that I like. First piece of gear that you have to have though is a good knife. This doesn't mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars for a good one. I recommend a fixed blade but the choice is up to you, I think Gerber, buck, have some realitivly inexpensive fixed blades that are very good, if you are gettting a folding pocket knife I always carry a Gerber paraframe. Next, buy yourself some lighters, matches(strike anywhere kind), and a fire striker. A water bottle, I prefer a metal kind since you can boil water in it easier. The last thing I would add is a compass and a map of the area you live in. To me this is the basic stuff that can get you buy if something where to happen now, maybe add a couple of protein bars as well. I would warn you to not get caught up in the hype of all the expensive gear out there, while yes it is very well made and would be nice to have, you do not have to have it in order to survive. KNOWLEDGE IS MORE VALUALBE THAN GEAR. You can alway find and aquire more gear later on but it is more difficult to aquire knowledge durring an event. Hope this helps.

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