TOTM April 2016- When is enough enough?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Motomom34, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I was chatting with a friend and she said I needed to fill my tank. I replied, "I never let my tank get below a half". (Prepper rule #32- Never let your gas tank get below a half; a half tank is an empty tank) She was talking spiritually, mentally and physically, while I interpreted her comment as realistically. And that is when it struck me.

    Many of us try to straddle the line of being the normal family but also being secretly prepared in case _________ happens. When disaster strikes, the instinct to survive activates but here on the monkey we focus daily on doom and survival. Other people spend money on Disneyland, vacations etc. I spend money preparing for a possible future disaster. I wonder if I am I balancing living presently with living while preparing for a possible future event?

    Are we enjoying life or are we so determined to get ready for what could be, that life is passing us by? Preppers live in reality. We know the depth of what could happen and those bad things have a high probability of crushing our life as we know it. What do we do to ourselves mentally? What about those around us as we prepare for something that may never happen? We have a thread titled, “What did you put away this week”? Think of what you do every week to ensure you are prepared.

    So my question for everyone to consider this month is when is enough enough? I'm not talking about rotating your stock or making sure your fire equipment still works or your toilet paper is still dry. Prepping is a rabbit hole that can go as deep as you want it to. Preparing is important, meaning the difference between life and disaster if SHTF but it can get to be a lifestyle that excludes living in the present moment. When do you know its time to spend time on something besides preparing?

    For me.... I will answer this in a couple of days but for now I want to hear from you. How do you determine when you have prepped enough? What are your parameters including time, money? Mentally, spiritually and physically. When is enough enough?

  2. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    Johnny Rocko (Edward G. Robinson in Key Largo) said it best, I think. When Bogart told everyone he knew what Rocko wanted, he wanted more and Rocko replied, "Yeah...that's right. I want more."
  3. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I think (for what that's worth) that we need to set limits. In other words, are we prepping for a 1 year, 3 years or 5 years disaster? That's a starting point.

    And what's the plan then? Are we going to raise our own food or are we going to bet that some semblance of an economy will return?

    Without answering those questions, there's a thin line between prepping and just plain hoarding.
  4. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Well I think all the preparation in the world will do you no good if you can't handle stressful situations or can't act when you need to some time all the stock you have makes you a target for those who don't have so my answer will be a well preped mind when it's on a full tank than your good to go.
  5. Gray Wolf

    Gray Wolf Monkey+++

    The LDS church teaches a year's supply of all necessary things. For me, that's enough. just balance your preps.

    A mistake I made when I was much younger was going into debt to get a supply of long-term food storage items. Too much debt takes some of the joy from life, and is a major factor in divorces. It took a long time to get debt under control.

    A friend had the goal of having firearms capable of shooting every caliber of ammunition. His reasoning is he would be able to shoot any ammo he could scrounge up. To me, that is silly because one is far more likely to find empty guns than unused ammo. Have common calibers and enough ammo. Do I need 2,000 rounds of 12 ga buckshot and slugs? I'm not likely to survive enough close encounters of the wrong kind to need anywhere close to that much! How much handgun ammo? Considering that the handgun is for personal defense, and used to fight until you can get to a rifle, you don't need nearly as much for the handguns as you do for the rifles.

    For most of us here, being prepared is our life style, and we cannot help but be prepared as best we can. Sometimes daily life will show us holes we need to fill in. My brother came over yesterday to borrow some first aid tape to hold a medication patch in place, and I was sure I had some, checked all 3 of the first aid kits and found none! Taking care of that today.

    Since prepping is part of our life, we can make it fun for our families. Many of us go camping, and teach our youngsters primitive skills like starting fires without matches, cooking on an open fire, making shelters and cordage. How to use and care for a knife.
    shooting skills, and appropriate safety. Using our food storage items, we can teach them how to make tasty meals.
    If you want to test your level of preparation, challenge your family to go one week without buying anything from a store. That may reveal some holes in your supplies.

    Above all, keep your sense of humor. No one gets out of this world alive, quit focusing on doom and gloom, take the time to enjoy life. For me the best reason to be prepared is this:
    "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"
    Dunerunner, GOG, chelloveck and 10 others like this.
  6. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I don't measure in "how Much" or "how long" I continually try to prepare to sustain indefinitely. My tools and skills with them, are continually evolving but they are life-time items. I dehydrate, can, and freeze foods when they are abundant and use them when they are less so. My garden varies from one season to the next, as does my food animals. If I raise a surplus beyond what I will use and preserve, I share this with friends and family.
  7. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I'll be happy when I don;t have crap to worry about. "When I need to this this...I'll use this".
  8. TXKajun

    TXKajun Monkey+++

    I started off all gung ho quite a few years ago, researching all the latest and greatest, got all excited and spun up, ready to order NOW!! Sweetie and I talked long hours about this, but she asked one question that stopped us in our tracks. "Uh, what exactly is it we're going to prep for?" Wow, cut right to the chase, no?

    IMHO, if you don't know the most likely scenarios, you could be spending $$$ on stuff you'll never use. We got our list together, then went over it several times, prioritizing by most likely scenario and then next likely, etc. We have a few items we will prolly never use, but they were inexpensive and have high ratings.

    My 2 cents worth. :)

  9. UncleMorgan

    UncleMorgan I like peeling bananas and (occasionally) people.

    Prepping should be something that puts you in a better mood.

    The way some women wash dishes to make themselves feel better because (at least!) the dishes are done.

    It's an "I've made progress" thing. Or an "I'm making progress" thing.

    When prepping doesn't put you in a better mood, that's a sign that 1) It's time to do something that's more fun at the moment, and will put you in a better mood, or b) You're actually prepped up enough for now, and doing more is just being nit-picky, and giving you nothing for your effort. You're not really making progress.

    Over-prepping is like trying to garden outdoors after the first frost. There are diminishing returns involved.

    A wise man once said that even wise men (especially wise men!) should take a little time off from being wise every now and then and do all the foolish things that make people happy--even if it's only for the moment.

    Preppers should take a little time off, every now and then, from preparing to survive and enjoy the fact that they have survived.
    Capt. Tyree, GrayGhost, GOG and 7 others like this.
  10. Seepalaces

    Seepalaces Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have to echo UncleMorgan's sentiment. When I first started thinking about being prepared for various events, I joined another site, which I shant name. I stopped visiting the site entirely when they started talking about the best way to prepare their babies for being quiet if they were sneaking around. They were just creepy, and somewhat high on the concept of being insurrectionists. I'm not a Mormon, but I like their framework of working up to a year of independent survival. I can and garden anyway. It's just a no brainer to have a bit laid aside in case of emergency.
    kellory and Motomom34 like this.
  11. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    I reached enough a long time ago. Now my preps revolve around things to make a no electricity existence easier. Between the gardens and and the storage, we buy our day to day supplies and use a little of the back up so as to have room to store the fresher stuff. How long will it last? Who knows, probably a year to 15 months if the weather is mild. I have reached a comfort level now with all tangible things that one would associate with prepping, and now live with the knowledge gained, happy that I took that tangent on life's road.
    Ganado and Seepalaces like this.
  12. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Lots of opinions here. A bit varied. All valid.
  13. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I live about 20% teotwawki and 80% in happy (doom free) life.
    This might be because I procured the stuff I needed a long time ago and now can sit back without worrying about things. A major change from ~5 years ago is that I exclude all news that doesn't affect me directly: Family, community, county, state - in that order. The rest is noise and if I can't affect or change it, it doesn't hit my radar.

    So with that 20/80 rule, I spend 80% of my disposable income on fun stuff which drives my local prepper network guys crazy...

    Too much? I think have everything I need to support my family into phase 2 or 3 of a collapse. My other purchases are all for
    Pax Mentis, GOG, mysterymet and 7 others like this.
  14. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I think that prepping, and living in the present moment are both achievable concurrently....they are not mutually exclusive activities / life stances. The issue is proportionality of effort / commitment. I prepare for credible risks by expending resources that will give me the biggest bang for my buck, so to speak. Many preps are just as useful to me in my present good times as much as they would be to surviving some nebulous dystopian existence that may, or may not happen in my own lifetime.

    My aims are

    • To be as self reliant as possible for foodstuffs (at least as much as practicable for my location and growing zone).
    • Have stored food to meet immediate emergencies, and a long term reserve of survival staples.
    • Work towards minimal reliance on grid supplied utilities.
    • Developing linkages and alliances within my community to strengthen it in the event of catastrophic events. (flood and fire are more probable than a TEOTWAWKI event)
    • Enjoy a fulfilling life beyond endlessly comparing my prepping efforts with others, and constantly worrying whether I have enough slugs for the air rifle I don't have
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
    oldawg, Witch Doctor 01 and Motomom34 like this.
  15. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I mean, I have seen the day just dicking around that we have dumped 2000 rounds through a shotgun...I miss money. Haha. Have no idea where it has gone over the years, none at all. HAHAHA.

    Personally, I will be happy when I have enough off grid stuff to tend to my needs. I need some draft animals to pull some weight around here. I need better food production, for said animals and myself. I'd like to be at least closer to off grid, or have an off grid back up designed to survive my climate without power. I'd like to have enough tools and weapons to be able to outfit everyone that I know will need them...and I won't be happy till I can forge, and woodwork, and create many of those things with my own hands, god help me find the time.

    Until I reach at least half of those points, I don't have enough.
  16. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    I am not trying to 'prepare' as in having stockpiles of crap, I am trying to make our land as self-sufficient as possible, so for most situations, we're covered. And for those we're not 'prepared' for, those are the ones that IMO don't matter, because they would kill us anyway(like a plane crashing into our house while we're sleeping as an example). And I have been working on balancing work and play. Of course my health issues mean I have to pace myself doing work around here. Which bothers me, but it's better to get things done period, even if it takes longer. And I know for me, when I get going, I have to be careful when I take a break, because if I stop, it gets really hard to start again.

    And speaking of play, I think there should be a Gamer's Lounge category here :)
    GOG and Motomom34 like this.
  17. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I am going to fish out my manual and go through it again. This was one of the first references I obtained. It was actually quite boring and maybe that was why I strayed from the LDS teaching. I started reading other books and manuals that always promoted bigger, better and the latest..... got to have it all to survive they preached, it's the rabbit hole.It is exciting and motivating but in the end I am not sure it got me closer to my goal. Just gave me the sense of being overwhelmed.

    This is a super good idea. I sit here thinking I can do this. I have it all but to resist the ease of just stopping by and picking up something will be hard. I have to do this because like you did with your tape, I am sure I have used things and have a hole here and there.

    Like your 80/20 but above you said you procured what was necessary a long time ago. When did you know that you were set? At what point did you have the confidence to say, let it rip, I am ready?

    I think what is the distraction is the latest and greatest. If I can learn to block out the new trends etc... I could focus on becoming a homestead, more like
    @VHestin's view. Not a prepper but a homesteader that is more colonial. It was a way of life that was not trendy but a way that was. Make sense?
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
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  18. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    Doesn't anyone ever feel like they are being false? OpSec is huge, it is preached so when you are talking to acquaintances and friends, neighbors there are times when you are not 100% truthful. That is a hard one for me because I tend to be honest, I like to be honest and open but with Opsec I have to be vague. With people I like I want to tell them to prep, to put things away in case but I just cannot because they could question what I do and I do not know how to answer those questions. It would seem like I have to lie to them and I can't do that.

    Monkeys do not focus on the front page news. We dig and discuss the news that seems to be buried. The economic news that really seem to point to how things really are. It makes me feel anxious at times. I do try to avoid the doom and gloom that faces me everyday but there just seems to be no escaping it. My brain now seems to be programmed to look at things realistically. I can't shut it off. I have tried to spend a week here and there just approaching life as a sheep but I can't anymore. Even while on vacation, I caught myself looking at the homes my relives and calculating if SHTF, how long could they last. I looked at what I could see in supplies, took into consideration their view on fire arms etc. I do not know if that is normal.

    Because I do what I do for the sake of my children I ask them. I posed this topic to them to see how prepping has effected their lives. They responded, "We can always find something to eat and we never run out of shampoo or deodorant." They did mention the investment that has gone into guns and one remarked that it was good to have a weapon so we could fire a warning shot. Because I realize how bad it could be, I do know that a warning shot may not suffice. I chose not to explain or discuss that if things get bad enough that there could be a possibility that people would be warring against each other.
    GOG likes this.
  19. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    If your children are that divorced from reality, and I do not mean this for the sake of meanness, I think that you have done something wrong. I"d man up and fix that, but OPSEC is not my strongest suit. Taking care of my people is.

    It does a man no good to have all of the wisdom in the world, if he fails to pass it on to future generations. And I'll further that, and say that that person has no right to complain when the people around him make poor decisions due to their lack of wisdom.
  20. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    when is enough enough? Good question.

    We quit buying stuff a long time ago, now any 'prep' stuff is mostly food rotation related. We have planned for what has happened and what is likely to happen. (Sorry, I'm a certified Disaster Recovery Planner)

    So, if I'm covered for a house fire, and the odd long-term power outage, I don't have to worry about ELE events. Nor would I.

    Past that, I'm willing to move if needed.
    GOG, Ganado and Motomom34 like this.
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