Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Prudent Prepping: Choosing Wisely

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

It's a little early for a March Round-Up of topics too short to make into full posts, but I have two things that I really need to mention now: Sometimes a choice needs to be bypassed, and things 'too good to be true' are really too good to be true.

The Not-March Collection

First, the Good News
I work in a different Big Box store every day. Most of them are too hot in the summer and very cold in the winter. Standing on the cold floor is hard on my feet and staying warm is a priority, so doing this takes a combination of good shoes and good socks. Where I am and what I have to do affects my shoe choice: if I'm stocking shelves or building displays, light weight hiking shoes are my normal pick; if there are demos scheduled, I wear Rockport brand shoes like these, since they look great, polish up quickly, and weigh as much as my tennis shoes. I shop at their Outlet stores and buy last years' models and seconds for much less the their listed retail prices.

But no matter which shoes I wear, the socks are possibly more important to me, since they are what will keep my feet warm and comfortable. I've worn many different styles and types of socks, but I keep coming back to an old favorite: part-wool, light weight crew socks from REI.

What I like about this design are the very smooth toe seams, the reinforced heel, and a wide and thin top hem that doesn't dig into my leg half way through my day. This sock is a wool blend, so it is not as scratchy as some of the other, higher wool content socks from REI and similar stores. Another feature of these socks is a compression band (the stripe running across the arch in the picture) which seems to help my feet feel supported.

At $14.95 for a single pair these may not seem like a Blue Collar Prepping item, but if I can stay warm, dry and comfortable all day, the price is worth it! I have several pair that are 3-4 years old, and there is very little difference in fit or feel when compared to socks purchased last week. Besides, well-fitting socks and shoes prevent things like this from happening:

My actual foot after a hike with old socks and bad shoes.

The Not-So-Good
If you are a member of the BCP Facebook page (It's fun and lively!) there was a mention of a TIHK lock tool set this past week and how it has been nearly one year for the orders to be processed. After reading a review, Erin and I placed orders for the tool set.

In August.

Of last year.

Mine arrived Monday, 6 March 2017 and I have to say the wait does not seem to be worth it. No, I'm not going to link to the item, since giving the site more page views is not on my agenda. There's a link in the Facebook post, if you choose to look.

The tools are in a very thin plastic case with a molded hinge that looks to be wearing after being opened by me less than a dozen times. A friend who is familiar with lock tools says that for amateurs the tools are 'adequate at best' but not worth the current (or even the pre-order) price if the plan is to use them. And you will need to practice to get better! That is where the problems will more than likely occur, with things bending and breaking very soon. 

Also mentioned in the post is a state where you cannot have this type of lock tool kit, so even if you think it looks interesting, check your local laws before even thinking about it. In my opinion, this particular set is not worth it.

The Takeaway
  • Comfy shoes and dry socks make any task easier, even work! 
  • Sometimes that leap of faith doesn't put you on the hidden path; it drops you face down in the mud.
The Recap
  • Really nice Crew Socks from REI: $14.95 each, but if you buy three pair at once, you get a 10% discount. 
  • Lock tool set from a place I won't mention: $25 and not worth any of it.

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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 by 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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