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Prepping: When Have You Got Enough Stuff?

To me and mine there is no point at all in surviving whatever calamity befalls us only to find we are totally and utterly miserable due to an oversight during the prepping stage.

imagesI have been taking stock of everything I own over the last few weeks. The stored food and water, the manual tools, screws and nails. I checked over the bicycles and the spare parts for them. I made notes as I went, small gaps and holes in my preps that could trip me up when the time comes that my family and I need to use the stuff we have collected over the years.

Medical dressings, etc., were checked to make sure the packaging was still intact, they had already been covered in shrink wrap to guard against moisture…ditto seeds…all looked good.

Some items were moved to other areas, like the kitchen cupboards for some foods that were nearing their expiration date.

On the whole things looked pretty good except for one area where we are glaringly lacking.


We have the boots and spare boots, the waterproofs and the jackets, one of which needs to be replaced as it seems to have shrunk since I brought it… it no longer fits around my middle. We have ’emergency’ clothing, the pure wool socks, the gloves and hats, but what about the everyday stuff?

We have what is hanging in our wardrobes and what lies in our drawers, and a suitcase in the roof space that has two pairs of jog pants each, a couple of sweat tops each and a pair of jeans each. Nothing more. Interestingly my jeans have gone the same way as the jacket, they have shrunk, even though they are brand new.

Thinking about this, I searched around and found we had two pairs of sheets for each bed, and the right amount of pillow slips that allows for one set to be on the beds, and one set to be in the wash. What happens when this stuff wears out?

Now for normal people, in normal homes, there is only a certain amount of space you can give over to preps while still leading a (relatively) normal life. That said, replacing worn out clothes – genuinely can’t be repaired anymore clothes – would be very important in a total collapse situation.

Replacing quilts with either more quilts or blankets could also mean the difference between life and death in some situations. Like winter, when you only light the wood burner at night so people don’t see smoke coming from the chimney.

We live in a small town rural town, everyone knows everyone and everyone has alternative heat of some kind but there’s no telling how much wood they have. There’s no way I am advertizing my nice warm home by having smoke belching from the chimney during daylight hours. It’s far harder to pinpoint where smoke is coming from at night, particularly with no street or house lighting nearby. So, daytime in winter is going to be cold. Blankets and quilts will be a prerequisite for staying warm.

As a family, we need more clothing and bedding.

Even by plugging these gaps, the stuff we plug the gaps with will not last for ever. A back-up plan is needed.

It seems obvious that in the event of a total collapse of the type that puts us back to a date before electricity existed, the ability to make clothing, to knit or weave blankets and to mend and patch are skills that will very much be required. How can I have missed something that is so in your face obvious?

So focused was I on the food and water, the tools and transport, the medical kit and the security that I overlooked the clothes we will put on our backs and the covers that will keep out the chill on a cold night.

We are adding extra clothes and bedding to our preps. They will have to be put into those suction packs that reduces the space needed to store them. We are also adding wool and fabric. We have a hand sewing machine and we have sewing notions, as well as knitting pins and crochet hooks. None of these things are any use without something to knit and sew with.

Some of you will brand me as stupid for overlooking this, but before you do think long and hard about what you have stored.

Physically go through it and see what you are missing. Could you really survive, in some minor level of comfort, with what you currently own?

To me and mine there is no point at all in surviving whatever calamity befalls us only to find we are totally and utterly miserable due to an oversight during the prepping stage.

We will be repeating this procedure every few months in the hope that by continually revisiting what we have we will be able to highlight what we don’t.

The task for the next couple of weeks is to recognize to make more space because we have come to the conclusion that when prepping you never get to the point where you have enough stuff.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on November 6th, 2014