I've been thinking about investing. Not just money, but everything we have.
What is prepping to you? Is it building a bunker in the mountains? Is it making sure that you have provisions to survive an unexpected car breakdown in a snow storm? A pantry full of food?
Or a off the grid homestead in far removed from large cities and building codes?
Each of us has a level. A level that is dictated by, time, money, resources, skill and desire.
In the end I think it comes down to return on investment. Usually this term is used in investing. If I back this business idea, mutual fund, movie, etc what am I getting in return?
I think it is applicable to prepping as well. Are you willing or able to spend the money, time, work on land, upgrades, stocking, rotating supplies for a major catastrophe? Or are you more prone to put a bug out bag together and take your chances in the wilderness? Maybe you are intending on stock piling food, medicine and water to wait out the situation at home.
It all comes down to what are you preparing for. A short term emergency, possibly local in nature? A regional emergency possible state wide or over multiple states? Or are you ready for the big one, the one that takes down the grid and infrastructure for years if not decades?
Prepping is an investment or possibly even a bet. We are setting up for what we think might happen or could happen. With investment of any kind, you have to have something to invest. If you are fortunate you have the money to setup anything you want. If you don't have the money then your going to need time and resources. Like gardening, canning, construction and training.
I don't believe any of these is more or less right. If you have the money and you are able to buy what you need while saving time to continue making more money. That works. If you are short on the money but have time to do it yourself that works too.
Eventually though, we are faced with deciding if our investment is worth the return. If you spend your last cent on a remote location that you may or may not homestead or use as a bug out location, is this worth it if you never have a reason to use it? Is it worth, putting off vacations that you can no longer afford, or working over time and missing your kids growing up? So you really want to spend weeks, months or years with people that you barely know because you were working overtime or spending every weekend digging a hole where someday a shelter might go? Is it worth a pantry with 4 years of freeze dried food if you have neglected your friendships and spend the net 4 years eating alone while playing solitaire and hoping that your are not over run by hungry hoards that you have no chance of fending off because you are alone?
Financial planners will tell you to divest. Portfolio diversification is important so all of your eggs are not in one basket. In prepping this means networking. Networking is a word that many preppers hate. They sacrifice networking at the alter of OPSEC.
Do you have a network? Do you have someone you can reach out to is a medical condition becomes unmanageable? Do you have enough security to resist those who did not prep but see your preps as a honey pot for the taking? How about communications? Someone that is handy with repairs? Are you training others who will be with you? Can they can food, are the familiar with firearms for hunting and security? Do they have a working knowledge of your back up systems? Do they know where your preps are stored? To center the survival of your family and or your group on one person is to plan to fail. One person can not run security, fix the solar backup, move the stores from storage to a useable area. If the you are on security who is going to monitor communications? If you are working on the generator or solar backup who knows how to filter and decontaminate the drinking water? These are just some ideas.
We need to remember, that if a major event effects a large enough area, free time will not exist in the way it does now. Free time is a fairly new concept. Look into history. Only the rich had time to lay about, pursue the arts, or take vacations. The normal person / family was just working to stay alive.
This is what we would be looking at in a collapse. All hands on deck. Remember they stories of kids who got up to feed the animals before school? I did that when I was a kid, I had bucket calves. However I did this for money, not for survival. Its a different mind set. If one of my calves got sick or wandered off, I would go take care of it. How much more intense would have this been if my family depended on that calf for food? How much TV do you watch a day? How much Facebook time? This will go away not just because the grid it down but because survival will trump it. But if you have a network of people who can be counted on and know what they are doing you increase your chances of being able to sit down, have a glass of tea, maybe shoot the breeze or take a nap.
Food cooking? Check! Wood collected and cut? Check! More food for tomorrow? Check! Food for next week? Next month? Are we ready for winter? For the rains? The kids are growing how are we on clothes? Shoes are wearing out, who can fix these? Its getting dark, do we turn out the lights, dampen the fire or do we burn fuel to keep going?
If you truly believe that bad things are coming, what are your doing to prepare your family? Do you camp? Do you teach? Do you share information? If you were out of town, and the even hit. Would they you plan? Would they know where to start? Would they know the basics? Do they know who to turn to if you are not available?
We can not be solitary survivalists. We must invest in others. Be they family, friends or people with similar interests.
John Donne's poem "No Man is an Island" says:
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.
More and more we are becoming islands unto ourselves. This is easy with Facebook, texting, emails
and all the technology we use everyday. But when the big one (whatever that is) occurs, we will need
each other. Have you invested in people? Good people that have similar interests or merely people
that need you to feed and water them? What is your return on investment?