Recently someone sent me a joke about a guy that’s lived a good life, when he’s at deaths door, he asks if he can take just one thing with him. He is told that usually we take nothing with us, eventually permission is granted to take one thing. At length the man dies and meets  St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, initially he is not allowed to bring his chosen item. After checking St. Peter finds that the Lord allowed it. The man is permitted in and St. Peter asks what it is he brought, the man opens a big box filled with gold, to which St. Peter asks, that’s nice, but why would you bring a box of pavement?

Being the ponderer that I am, after chuckling at the humor of this joke, I could not help but think of the realistic serious side of it. How many of us in preparing ourselves for the times that lie ahead, both the good and the tough, are choosing to carry with us things that will be of little value.

So what can we store, keep, and learn that would be of value anytime, especially when conditions have deteriorated from what we know today?

It’s a simple question to answer when you think about it. All those things needed to survive, to maintain and prolong life would fall into that category, as would any knowledge and skills we have learned in that regard.

For food storage, we can really keep it simple, I like to store what I eat, then just rotate by eating the oldest stuff first, that way the supply is always fresh and it’s what I like and am used to. It’s great to have some alternates too, freeze dried and all that, but it seems to me that if  you are in a stressful situation, all the sudden changing your diet may present some problems in the body. So store mostly what you eat, add some other things for variety. Basic foods like grains, salt, sugar, etc are great too, and versatile, but learn to use them now.

Water storage cannot be understated, especially if you have foods that need to be reconstituted. Just like getting stranded out in the woods, water is one of the first things you need, and you can’t go long without it. Think too about what will happen to your water in a prolonged situation of cold without heat.

Shelter, no matter where you are at home or away, some kind of shelter is usually called for. I include clothing in this, since it is shelter for the body.

Medical and First Aid items are a must so you can at least deal with the minor things that happen. You should have a pretty good supply at home and  some in vehicles, we include this in our Off Road Survival Kit, add more to suit you as well.

Generally you will need some form of heat, whether for cooking, warmth, or cleanliness. Have several methods at home, I have both gas and propane stoves and keep a supply of both fuels, if I lose access to one type I can switch stove types, I do the same for lanterns and lighting.

I keep a good supply of everything with my camping stuff, organized in boxes. So I have stuff on several levels, at home, camping gear, backpacking gear, and survival gear all ready to go all the time.

So what’s the gold? Well if you have extra of the essentials in times of need, that’s as good as gold, even better, you can’t eat gold, you can’t burn it, its not a good insulator, you can’t drink it for thirst. Incidentally the picture above is a pile of gold, golden corn that is, a $20 million pile of it.

For “Simplifying Survival”  until next time this is Perry Peacock

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