By Wyzyrd – Editor-at-Large.
Now, I do like my Gerber multi-tools. I have a few, and they’re always close at hand. Multi-taskers are generally a good thing. Sometimes, we must all harken back to the late Robert Heinlein’s words. “If I’m building a rocketship, I won’t bolt a cast iron bathtub to it, just because I have one.” This goes double if I’m getting charged double for the bathtub.
I have recently been besieged by ads for a “prepper-product”, that, while perfectly-useful, just offends my “cheap hillbilly hacker” aesthetic. Not a “left-handed smoke shifter” from my Boy Scout days, but enough to make me say “WTH??” out loud. This is not so much intended as a critique of 1 product as a reminder that you can probably do better if you just look around you. You know best what you need, whether fire, food, first aid, vehicles,etc.
The “Bear Grylls Tinderbox”. Not at all a bad idea. Our ancestors always carries horn or waxed leather tinderboxes. The inability to make a fire can be the difference between life and death. Waterproof container – good. Shredding blade – good. Magnifying lens – OK. Signal mirror – can be useful. $30+ cost… WTH????
As a Seasoned Citizen Prepper, part of your job is to say “WTH??” and call BS for less-experienced folks. Think outside the box. The box is NEVER your friend.
Take a trip to your local megamart. Pick up a box of zip-top sandwich bags. $2 for 50 – waterproof storage, check. Go to the kitchen aisle, find the cheapest “zester/shredder” – about $8. When you get home, cut it in 1/3s with a hacksaw and file the edges – now you have 3 – check . Go to the art supply aisle, and get 3 metal-body pencil sharpeners for $1.49 each. (plastic ones on the school aisle are $.50 each, but they go ‘crunch’ if you step on them, just sayin’. Stick in a dry twig, twist a few times, instant tinder… maybe a cooking skewer, too.) – an extra.
“But, Wyz..”, you may say, “that one has a signal mirror and a magnifying glass..”.
Go to your local Dollar Store. Pick up 3 cheap makeup mirrors, and 3 eyeglass repair kits for a buck each (you also get a small screwdriver and eyeglass screws, in addition to the magnifier – I go through a lot of these). Don’t need these? Don’t get ’em.
You’re now in at about 15-21 bucks for 3 kits. Don’t ever be afraid to say “WTH??” and do it yourself. YOU know best what you need. Your kits won’t be orange and ‘tacticool’. OOOOPPPPSS, it happens :)
[From Rourke: Totally agree. I have seen tons of examples that you refer to that look all fancy and demand a ridiculous price. There are a few items out there made for the “prepper” that are actually useful and inexpensive. Hard to see the gold amoungst all the……stuff.]
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