Finding ways of cutting down on the cost of prepping is challenging. It becomes even more challenging when you look at all the ads for all the cool gear out there. But back when I got my start in survival, most of that gear didn’t exist. We mostly used backpacking gear as survival gear, because that was all we had to choose from.
Our understanding of survival has grown exponentially since then. Not only are we considering more disasters than we did in those days, but the idea of bugging in has overcome bugging out as the preferred way to survive most disasters.
I mention that bit of history because survival isn’t really about having the right gear and gadgets, it’s about knowing how to use what you have to the fullest. Whether that is the latest gadget or something you picked up at a garage sale, you can still make use of it to survive. With that in mind, what sorts of useful things can you find at garage sales, which will help you survive?
- Fishing gear – Fishing is probably one of the best ways of harvesting food from nature.
- Hunting gear – Many preppers factor hunting into their survival plans.
- Canning jars – Food preservation is an important part of survival; but canning jars aren’t all that cheap. However, they are at garage sales, and as long as they aren’t broken or the rims chipped, they’ll work for canning over and over again.
- Kitchen gadgets – We’ve become so accustomed to using electric appliances in our kitchens that many of us don’t have more basic tools, like mills and meat grinders. At the same time, many people who do have those things are wanting to get rid of them.
- Children’s clothes – If you’re building a stockpile for a long-term survival situation, you should probably consider that your children are going to keep growing. Having a couple of sizes larger than what they currently wear in your stockpile will ensure they’re not running around in rags.
- Candles – Candles are expensive, when you consider that all they are is wax. But people sell them all the time in garage sales. Just melt them down, pour them into jars and add a good wick to make your own survival candles cheap.
- Bicycles – Great emergency transportation that doesn’t require fuel.
- Camping gear – Many a prepper has made their bug out bag or vehicle kit out of nothing more than camping gear bought at garage sales. While you might not get the latest and greatest ultralight gear, having something that works is better than having nothing at all.
- Five-gallon buckets - Why buy plastic buckets to store your food in at the home-improvement center, when you can get them for a quarter at a garage sale? Many professional tradesmen get these as a matter of course, containing things they need for their business. They usually collect them until they get tired of it and then sell them.
- Gardening tools – Easy to find what you’ll need for your survival garden at garage sales.
- Hand tools – It’s amazing how many tools you can find at garage sales, especially garage sales by widows, who no longer need their husband’s tools. You might have to look a bit, but when you find them, it’ll be like finding the mother lode.
- Cast-iron cookware – Many people buy or receive cast iron as gifts, but really don’t like using it. That eventually ends up in a garage sale, often without ever having been used. If it’s a bit rusty, all the better. you’ll be able to buy it at a really great price and it doesn’t take much to clean that rust off.