ABOUT STANDARDS

I'm not sure I can say enough about standardization. Those of you who already have a "working" survivalist group may already know about lugging around extra equipment and supplies because the other members of your team have that "individualist" syndrome when it comes to communications, caliber, and camping gear. While some revamping and modifications may need to be done "up front", the long term benefits of this are obvious. When you need to contact your buddies a couple of miles down the road, you can't call them on your cell phone when all they've got on hand is a portable CB. When you need to reload and you're fresh out of .308's, those hundreds of .22's your partner has in his ammo can aren't going to help you get one more shot off. If your pack is fresh out of sharps when that critical button takes a flying leap off your clothing, and your associates didn't bother to pack the sewing repair kit listed the equipment roster, it may spell the end of a fun day in the field.

As you read through the equipment list, keep in mind that you may need to modify slightly. A 100-lb. woman just can't carry as much as a 220-lb. man in spite of great physical conditioning. Laws of physics always apply.... a pack that's up to snuff according to the list but is 10 lbs. too heavy to be carried comfortably in the field is a burden, not a tool. You may wish to include additional materials of one type and cut down on others in order to meet your specific needs. Be creative, innovative, learn to improvise - but always have the basics with you. Emergencies don't wait until you have the time to get your gear together - do it now and you'll breathe easier later.

If you need to barter/swap in order to acquire the basics, then do so - those 20 extra camo ponchos on the shelf next to the place where your emergency battery stash should be won't help when the lights go out! Be realistic, and plan your purchases/acquisitions to keep your supplies balanced as much as possible - a little of everything is better than a lot of one or two things. Buy in bulk when possible to save money, but don't overload on food and neglect to provide for an alternate heat source.

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