No matter how much "stuff" you've stockpiled, there's never going to be enough in a long-term situation. Things get stolen, spoiled, left behind, or lost. Stuff is good to have but nothing can replace skills.
Can you start a fire to keep warm or to cook with? Can you do it without lighters or matches? Can you do it no matter what's not available? If not, this is a skill you need.
And there are more.
Finding and purifying water is another. As is hunting, gathering, and gardening. Tracking may even become essential.
And repairing tools and equipment. That's a big one if you want to keep things easier than they will otherwise be. Even more empowering is the ability to make new tools.
Blacksmithing is like a superpower in a permanent grid-down situation.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't stock up on stuff. Nothing will show you the value of a lighter faster than having to do without one for a long time. By all means, stock up on them and stash them in a variety of places. But know how to make a fire if you don't have one. And practice this skill.
Practice every skill.
Think of other skills you can learn which will make "stuff" less essential to survival. Feel free to share your ideas. Learning from others is another skill too many people neglect.
Every skill you learn will make "stuff" less critical.
If you focus only on guns and ammo, you are not prepared. If you focus only on stockpiling food, you are not prepared. If your focus is too narrow on anything, you are not prepared.
Prepping means you are trying to be ready for whatever comes. You don't know if it will be a xombie apocalypse or just a supply chain collapse. You have to be ready for either one-- and both at the same time. You have to be ready for a failure of anything you need for survival, without regard to "why"-- just that it is happening.
You can't foresee everything that might cause there to be no food available to buy, but you can do things to make sure you'll be OK. You can't predict what might cause hordes of predatory creatures to swarm your property, but you can be ready to defend against them, whoever and whyever they are there. You can't know for sure why there's no electricity in the grid, but you can make sure it's not a problem for you.
Prepping is the responsible thing to do. If you are prepared you ...
You don't have to outrun the bear; you only have to outrun your hiking companion.
Yeah, that's a cynical way to look at it, but there's truth in it.
With prepping (in the event of TEOTWAWKI), you may not have to survive on your preps until you are 90 years old, just outlast those who didn't prep. Once they die off, survival may get easier.
I know-- it would be great if you were able to keep everyone alive into the distant future. But that's just not going to be possible, is it?
Once the marauders and beggars have Darwinized themselves out of the population, it will be easier to grow your own food. You'll only have to worry about deer and raccoons, not Naked Apes (which is a really good book by Desmond Morris, by the way).
So, while it would be nice to have preps to last until you die of old age, and be self-sufficiently growing your own food, making your own soap and cloth (or buckskin), realistically, at least have enough to outlast those who would be the biggest threat to your ...
I've been doing something non-prepping this past week. Maybe even anti-prepping, as in it may be a step backward.
I rescued a kitten who found me along my morning walk. He was about 5 weeks old, sick and starving, and was barely able to come toward me. I couldn't ignore his cries for help.
So I've been spending money I don't have to spare-- and just about all my spare time and energy-- bringing him back.
And it's working.
He's still got a respiratory infection and eye infections, but I've got him on antibiotics and he's improving. He's eating and playing really well. No longer is he skin and bones; I can pet him without feeling every vertebra and rib.
Sometimes you've got to do the right thing even if it's not smart.
If anyone wants to chip in for kitten medicines and food, you can find ways on the side bar of my main blog: https://blog.kentforliberty.com/2021/08/kitten-update-2.html