I don’t know about all of you, but I’m always on the lookout for that new item to add to my bug out bag. I might want to upgrade something I already have, pack a backup, get something for a loved one, or just add something new. No matter what the reason is, there are thousands of things out there that you might want to grab.
Here are 7 go to places when you get that urge for new gear:
1. Home. This is my favorite spot to look because whatever is here is already paid for! This could be something that I just found a survival use for or replacing something that is expired or that I have used. Sign up for my newsletter to get my free eBook “10 Items from Home to Add to your Bug Out Bag” to give you a jump start on finding survival items you already own.
2. Amazon. The big thing I like about Amazon is that you have access to multiple brands/manufacturers/suppliers that all compete with each other in one place to get the best and cheapest possible products in consumers’ hands as quickly as possible. What’s even better is that you don’t even have to leave the comforts of your own home in order to buy something. One word of caution though is to make sure you know exactly what you are buying – read product specifications and customer reviews. I once bought a hatchet on a different online retailer only to see that it was completely different than what I was expecting because I didn’t properly do my research.
Also with Amazon, you can get FREE 2-Day Shipping when you sign up for an Amazon Prime account (which I recommend if you order supplies from Amazon a lot). There is a trial for 30 days that gives you 30 days free to try it out to see if you like it or if it works for you. In 2012 I did the trial and now have kept the service because I think that its worth it, especially when you have such a large variety of low cost survival supplies at your fingertips.
3. Military Surplus Stores. Usually only close to military installations, surplus stores are an amazing resource for tactical gear. I just recently picked up a frame for an Alice pack that one of my friends gave me on his way out of the Army. Before you buy anything in a surplus store, make sure you perform a thorough inspection – some items may be slightly damaged and/or missing pieces.
4. Sporting Goods Retailers. I feel like a kid in a candy store every time I step into a Bass Pro, Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Academy, etc. I like these types of stores because you can actually get your hands on the things you are considering buying. The variety of items in these stores seems almost endless, and as you’re walking around (if you’re anything like me) you’ll see 5 other items you didn’t realize you “needed” in addition to that one you came for. A few downsides are that these stores are spread out across the country and can be fairly expensive.
5. Dollar Stores. Cheap chain stores are a great place to buy generic or store brand items in bulk. Pain killers, antibacterial gel, petroleum jelly, batteries, canned food – you name it and they have it super cheap. Check any name brand item against the generic/store version and odds are that they have the exact same concentration of the exact same ingredients but are dollars cheaper! Caveat emptor (buyer beware) – you get what you pay for and may not want to buy the generic/cheap versions of some items.
6. Thrift/Pawn Shops. Want a new wool coat but don’t want to pay the department store prices? Go down to your local thrift/pawn shop and find a slightly used/older version for pennies on the dollar. Oftentimes, these places can be hiding real gems in the survivalist’s eyes. People donate or sell clothes, appliances, tools, etc. that they no longer find useful/fashionable but are still in pretty decent condition.
7. Storage Units. Last but definitely not least – storage units. I put these last because I personally have no experience in buying storage units that have been repossessed with the contents still inside; however, I know several people that do this on a regular basis and make some nice cash on the side. This is definitely something I will be looking into in the future. Again, storage units close to military installations would be a good place to start if you’re looking primarily for that type of gear – Soldiers get reassigned to a new duty station, get out of the military and move home, get deployed, etc. and either forget to pay, can’t afford to pay, or simply don’t want to pay for their stored goods. In order for the owner of those units to recoup some of that lost money, they auction off the units and the buyer gets to keep everything inside. Unless you know what you’re doing and have extra money to spare, this can be a really risky option to acquiring gear for your BOB and other prepping needs as well as trying to make some cash to buy what you really want. I would suggest getting a few buddies together and going in on a unit or two to see how it goes.
What is your “go to” place to find the gear you want?photo credit: SlipStreamJC via photopin cc