Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Prudent Prepping: Son of Bucket

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Now we concentrate  on what to do in, and how to plan for, the long term via Prudent Prepping.

In previous posts I've talked about how I store a bit more than half of my prepping pantry in buckets, making them both portable and an easy way to share food with someone else.

I am back on the topic of buckets because I was sent an email with a link to a site selling a bucket that supposedly contained everything needed for use after a disaster.

No, I'm not linking to the site. While I have no problem with someone making a profit (gasp!) selling supplies to customers who lack either the time or the experience to build their own disaster supplies, the example shown had a retail price of $35 without shipping and, in my opinion, did not do a good job of selecting the right supplies for the price.

Picking the Bucket
This is an exercise for me to see what I can do to fill a 5 gallon pail with goods while keeping under the $35 total. No, I'm not going to detail all the items in the example (that would give away the distributor), but I am going to duplicate some things, eliminate others and expand/improve on what I think should be included in a well thought-out pail. Almost all items listed, excluding food, water and personal care items, are priced from Home Depot. Lowe's or Menards will have similar items and prices, so shop where you want.

I didn't have to go out and buy the contents of the pail; I have most of the things included in the advertised bucket.

The Home Depot 5-gal. Homer BucketBucket and lid, respectively $2.97 and $1.48 from Home Depot. What is there to say? It's a bucket.

One roll of Duct Tape. Every kit needs to have tape and there is nothing better than Duct Tape as a way to hold everything together. Check the Bargain bins and sale fliers. $1.99 for a 20 yard roll.

2 each 2 mil, 9' x 12' plastic drop cloth. This can be used as an emergency shelter, a patch for broken windows, or even fashioned into personal rain gear--  with all of the above done with the help of duct tape. Check for specials here too! 2 pack $3.98.

Dust masks from 3M. I buy these for my personal use by the box;  $21.47  for a box of 20 or $1.07 each. I'll add 4 to this pail, so that's $4.28. These are heavier duty and will filter better than cheaper masks, but still need to be tossed when they get damp from exhaling or become visibly dirty.

2 pair leather palm work gloves. The cheaper the better for these, since there is every possibility you are going to thrash them. Look in the bargain bin for these, too. $1.98 each, so $3.96 for 2 pair.

HDX Disposable Nitrile Cleaning Gloves (10-Count)
Nitrile gloves, because there will be times you want to protect yourself from contaminated water or to keep from touching food during preparation or clean-up. I buy these in boxes of 100 for $13-$15, so you might want to do this also to keep the price low. If you don't need that many, Home Depot has 10 count bags for $2.48, which I'll use here.

One disposable lighter, purchased in a 5 pack from one of the dollar-type stores. $3.98 for five, or $0.80 for one.

One roll of toilet paper, less than $1 since I buy bulk from the warehouse stores. (Editor's note: If you remove the cardboard roll from the center, you can squash this down into a smaller space. If you have the room, add another roll of toilet paper, or a roll of paper towels (or both) using the same technique. 

2 pack of glow sticks, $1.98. These are not a replacement for a flashlight (which you should already have), but to be used as a site or trail marker or emergency signal.

6 ea .5 liter water bottles, $0.27 each so $1.62 total. These were also bought by the case at a warehouse store for the best price possible.

4 ea. 7 oz Spam cans, from a discount grocery outlet. This is a bit smaller than the normal can, so I like it better as a single serving for several people. $1.49 each so $5.96 total.

I'm at $29.88 so far, and this allows us room for a bit of customization to fit your personal needs. Perhaps you have women to plan for and need to add hygiene items, or young children that need baby food or formula. With a bit of care, the target price of $35 can give you a lot more gear than kits you buy. For a budget of $65, you can greatly expand the amount of food and water, or even add a LifeStraw water bottle.

The Takeaway
  • There is nothing wrong with buying 'ready made' items... 
  • ... but a DIY kit can be adjusted to your specific needs 
  • For very little time and expense, you can start prepping! 

  • $35 is not a bad place to start your preps. Shop carefully with your personal needs in mind.

If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased be me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

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