What About the Guy Who Asked?
Tuesday I posted my suggestions for how a complete novice prepper could spend $900 efficiently and effectively. Naturally, for that there are no right or wrong answers, everyone needs to look at their specific situations. The question was originally raised by a friend who is an experienced prepper, and wanted to know how I would suggest he spend $900 solely on preps. At first I wasn't going to answer on the blog, primarily because it would be so narrowly focused, but several people were interested. So here it goes.
Married couple, he's mid 40's, works about 15 miles from home, was a cop for a while, has prepped off and on for years, but become serious about it in the past couple years. She's late 30's, works about 5 miles from home. They have a 6 year old son who goes to school between the wife's work and home. They live on three acres, mostly wooded, on a dead end road in a rural suburb. They are on a deep well, have a shallow well also, several outbuildings, well supplied in weaponry and gear, a good sized generator, and have a good start on long term storage food.
Knowing them very well, along with what they have and where they want to go, I think I can give him some good suggestions for his $900.
First, I'd say a woodstove. Their fireplace is unusable, but the chimney is lined for a woodstove. I just found a used Fisher in the area for $300. It's the same unit my folks have, and it is great for keeping the house warm, and you can cook on top in a pinch (we had Christmas potroast on it a few years ago when the power went out, and my folks have used it as their sole heating source for 25 years).
Next, a Big Berkey Water Filter from Jeff, The Berkey Guy. It's a good size for his family and thier needs, and will clean up the water from the shallow well if the pump on the deep well fails. They also have a pond and creek on adjoining properties they have access to. The Royal Berkey comes with 2 filters, and three Sport Berkey bottles with free shipping for $250. I'd add a second set of two filters either for extended use or increased flow for another $99. He needs to jump on this ASAP because Jeff has announced that Berkey is raising prices in April and he will have to pass on the increases.
Next up is an Excalibur 3526T 5 tray dehydrator with timer. I love mine and he'll be able to use it with the garden, jerkey, or even making fruit rollups for the son to take in his lunch. He already has a vacuum sealer, so he can store what he dehydrates. Currently on sale for $209.
Finally, this hand cranked grain mill from Emergency Essentials. At $70, it puts us over budget by $28, but that can be absorbed, or he might be able to get the woodstove for $28 less by paying cash. He's got a fair amount of long term storage wheat berries put away. He's planning to eat them soaked and swollen. I think he really needs a grinder. His wife is a freat cook and uses a lot of fresh items. I think she'd enjoy using fresh ground wheat for many of her recipies, whether it's a disaster or not.
So, that's how I'd suggest my friend spend his $900 to add to his preps. It's not a very "cool" list, but it will really supplement his current preps.