Unfortunately the money tree in my back yard stopped growing one hundred dollar bills and online vendors won’t accept leaves as currency. This is mind if often becomes necessary to identify low cost preps or projects which one can undertake, or actions which can be carried out to increase overall preparedness levels. This short list is one I came up with in a few minutes but I’m sure there are many more items which could be added.
1- The Internet: At least for now information online is available and (for the most part) free. There are lots of great preparedness websites out there, some with links to GB’s of data. I also recommend watching YouTube vids for some great instructional how to for projects in the garden or around the home. Cost equates to whatever your data plan is on your phone or whatever your ISP charges at home.
2- Gallon jugs of water: At around 90 cents per jug $20 will go a long way in keeping a (transportable) water supply on hand for short term disasters. There are some considerations to be had in that these have a short shelf life and need to be stored in a cool / dark place and not directly on concrete. Yet we all know just how valuable water is in any survival situation and if for whatever reason the tap runs dry at least you’ll have 5-7 days of potable water on hand.
3- Tin can alcohol stove: Got an old soda can or soup can laying around? You can make an alcohol stove out of it and it makes a fun project when the weather is bad. Check out this video on YouTube or search for other examples as there are many to choose from.
4- Fitness: That’s right, the inside of your house (living room floor) or the street a few yards outside of your front door are calling. While workout facilities are great there are plenty of exercises that can be done in the home, out on the trail or even at your local high school stadium. The only cost here is some sweat and muscle fatigue.
5- Dry Fire: Take your pistol, make sure it’s CLEAR, and practice dry firing or reloading while at home. This literally only costs time and can help to improve techniques when you head out for your next range trip. There is some debate as to whether or not you should dry fire pistols, I do it with my Glock and 1911 consistently and haven’t had any issues.
6- Planning: Plan to shelter in place during a short term disaster but have a bugout location picked out just in case T-SHTF? Do you have primary, alternate, tertiary routes selected? How about studying street and terrain maps of YOUR area as well as the previously mentioned routes. Checkpoints and danger areas identified, bridge crossings, choke points, fuel stops, rest stops, resupply points and areas with limited communication coverage (cell towers). The list goes on and on but in order to be prepared there has to be significant effort put into planning. Cost? Time.
7- Rehearsals / Recon: Having a plan is great but if it’s sitting in a dusty binder on the shelf what good will it do your family? If you have planned for 3 routes in a bugout, have you actually driven those routes and seen the terrain for yourself? How about a simple bugout rehearsal where everyone grabs their assigned equipment, piles into the minivan and heads out. It’s during these rehearsals when you start to figure out what could be done better, or not done at all to improve upon the execution phase of your plan. Cost? Gas money and probably an annoyed spouse.
8- Pocket Chainsaw: Less than $15, I made one a month or so ago. Check out the post for instructions on how to get it done.
There you have it, a small but powerful list. What are some suggestions you have? List them in the comment section below.