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Prepping: Knowledge vs. Stuff

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by Bolster, Jan 27, 2012.

  1. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    So I'm relatively new to prepping, and when I first started, I thought it was about laying up stuff: food, fuel, gear. During the first year it was all about buying.

    The longer I hang out on this forum, the more I think prepping is about acquiring skills, about learning. How to grow food, how to shoot straight, how to organize your group or neighbors.

    What is prepping to you? obviously it's both, but what do you put more emphasis on, buying more stuff, or learning more skills?

    If your answer is learning, what's your short list of "must learn now" skills?
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  2. I have to learn how to use this dam Ham radio. lol

  3. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    Both knowledge and gear are important.

    Yes, knowledge trumps gear mostly, but lets face it:

    I might figger out how to light a fire with bowsaw, but its just so much simpler to have matches. I don't need a fire tomorrow, I need it now!

    Will I survive if I can hold out to to getting the bow saw thing rolling? Maybe. But damn, a cup of coffee on this here gas stove just seems right! Right NOW!

    Speed is where equipment rules. Gotta have stuff. Not havin stuff sucks.
  4. JK-linux


    Mar 5, 2009
    Last edited: May 22, 2012
  5. Lone Kimono

    Lone Kimono

    Jul 15, 2009
    I've started to do that with books in general. Most of the world is going to be out of luck when their Kindles and Google stop working.
  6. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    LOL, I had not even thought of that. Much of my library is in electrons. That will be all gone. Yep, I need to start a preparedness library on dead trees.
  7. i believe in skills over stuff although stuff is important as well. last year was my food processing year, canning, drying, curing, etc...

    this year is all about serious gardening. i havent had much success over the last 3 years but ive been trying cheap and easy container gardens. its not as easy as it looks :)

    i too need to start laying up reference books.
  8. G23c


    Jan 23, 2009
    houston, texas
    not my quote, "mindset, skill set, toolset."
  9. wildcat455


    Jun 14, 2006
    It IS about laying up stuff initially. But as you have discovered, it doesn't END there, it BEGINS.

    All the stuff you initially lay up serves the purpose of giving you time to adjust to a "New Reality".

    Eventually, MOST PEOPLE hit a point when they decide to shift focus from "Immediate Need" to "Long Term Sustainability". It varies from person to person, but it would seem to me like you may be there now.

    It is important to note, those people who never hit that point are either ill prepared, or hoarders.

    You ask a couple questions:

    1). What is prepping to you?
    2). What do you put more emphasis on, buying more stuff, or learning more skills?
    3). What's your short list of "must learn now" skills?

    At this point, I really don't know if you are curious about what everyone else is doing, or kind of looking for direction for yourself.

    I will answer them for me, but if you would like an answer for you, then that journey begins with questions to yourself, not everyone else. I'd be happy to help there too, if asked.

    1). A way of life, a way to live.

    2). My emphasis goes to my priority, which often changes, and sometimes is NEITHER of the 2 you mention!

    3). 1). Krav Maga 2). more Leadership 3). more Self Control

    Hope this helps!
  10. smokeross

    smokeross GTDS Member #49

    May 15, 2011
    I am part Indian. I will sneak in, raid your compound, and sneak out. It's the only skill I need. LOL.
  11. Bolster

    Bolster Not Ready Yet!

    Jul 23, 2011
    State of Stupidity
    Interesting response. Yes, at first, prepping felt as if I'd joined some offbeat sort of shopping club: "Buy more, buy more!" And I did.

    Please explain the quote above, what is the mysterious "neither stuff nor skills" option?
  12. wrenrj1


    May 22, 2002

    Me too! bought one a couple months ago, and haven't gotten the nerve to talk...

  13. wildcat455


    Jun 14, 2006
    Yourself. Others. Knowledge. Balance.

    As I said in #1 To me, Prepping is a way of Life, a way to live. There is more to life than "Stuff and Skills", right?
  14. Aceman


    Nov 30, 2008
    There are situations where no amount of stuff is useful if you don't know how to use it.

    There are situations where no amount of knowledge can save you without the right stuff.

    In the end, knowledge is always with you though, so I give it an edge. And after some basic knowledge, knowledge of what stuff you need is important too!

    Having stuff always makes it easier though. Having stuff AND knowledge is as good as it can get.
  15. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    This. Do EVERYTHING!
  16. wildcat455


    Jun 14, 2006
    Society to a large degree, shields us from our "primitive brain". If you do not know or realize this, what do you suppose will happen should you suddenly be faced with a life or death situation, which is quite possible if SHTF?

    No amount of "Stuff, or "Skills", or combination of them will help you survive or live, if you do not know how to face the effect your "primitive brain" will have on you.

    I think this is probably the most overlooked prep today. (Preparing yourself to face your fears and panic.) I feel this way because I don't hear or read anyone talking about it. At least not from the prepping world. Perhaps I shouldn't either. Maybe you all are way past this already.

    For those that aren't, keep reading...

    This link below covers it from the standpoint of "A Wilderness Emergency". The effects are the same for any survival situation, including SHTF.

    For a more in depth look and a little "Story" to go along with it about getting lost in the woods try this one.
  17. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    Personally I'd say it's about 60/40 in favor of stuff only because knowledge will get you quite far but without the "stuff" to implement that knowledge.

    As far as knowledge though, I research the crap out of pretty much everything I buy. In doing so I learn about the process of using/maintaining whatever I'm buying as well as which item would work best for me and my needs. So it's a natural process.

    The knowledge to survive in the woods, grow/preserve my own food, etc. I learned long ago. Surviving in an urban environment both day to day AND during shtf/wrol is much tougher by comparison IMO. This is wher tactics/knowledge is needed.

  18. UneasyRider

    UneasyRider C.D.B.

    Dec 1, 2005
    I agree with Emt's ratio of 60 stuff/40 knowledge because many times we talk about the post civilization society but that is not likely. We are most likely going to face a currency devaluation, pandemic, partial EMP, etc.

    These situations do not involve raiding your neighbors but defending against home invasion. A disruption in the food supply, not living off of a survival garden or maybe a personal financial crisis with a job loss in the family.

    Having the "stuff" needed to feed yourself, heal yourself, defend yourself, clean your water are huge. The knowledge and skills needed to survive a gunfight, to suture a deep wound, drive through a rough area, ration your food, these things require having the stuff. Right on the money EMT.
  19. barbedwiresmile

    barbedwiresmile Unreconstructed

    Feb 3, 2008
    My thought on this subject is the proportion between knowledge and stuff. A little bit of stuff is worth more than a little bit of knowledge. A lot of knowledge is worth more than a little bit of stuff. Lots of stuff with no knowledge isn't worth much for long. A lot of knowledge with no stuff may not be worth much either. Ideally, a prepper would strike a good balance between knowledge and stuff.
  20. Flattop67


    Aug 18, 2009
    Way to the Right
    I like the fact that I have "some" knowledge and lots of "stuff" Common sense, street smarts etc can go a long way in any situation.