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Article mentioned theprepared.com in article: Doomsday preppers stock up on luxury survival kits, emergency food supplies and million-dollar bunkers

This site was mentioned in the article ‘Doomsday preppers stock up on luxury survival kits, emergency food supplies and million-dollar bunkers’.  The link is https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/19/what-doomsday-preppers-stock-up-on.html.

I’d like to get any opinions from the forum, especially the moderators.  Some of the companies mentioned are either Johnny-come-lately with little or no track record and maybe a celebrity endorsement, offering products of questionable quality (25 year shelf life for food pouches, caloric content), or pre-made kits which we know are often filled with inferior quality products.  I find it hard to believe that the customers of these product are really part of the true prepper community.

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  • Comments (15)

    • 5

      Oooh, I want to hear what the mods have to say about this, too!

      Preppi was a sponsor of The Big One, so I heard about a gazillion of their ads while listening to the podcast and eventually checked out their product line out of curiosity. I just looked at Judy for the first time. The kits are totally beautiful, and even though they’re expensive, I’m sure I’ve spent more on my BOB over the years. The difference is that my money went to a lot of actually useful, well-made stuff. I mean, look at the straps on this Preppi pack. How far are we meant to be walking with those digging into our shoulders? And shoulders are undeniably what’s carrying that load, since there’s no hip belt. Inside, it just seems like your standard pre-assembled 72-hour kit with aesthetically harmonized packaging and some branded personal hygiene products and food items— plus a flask, because that’s what’s really important in an emergency? And bougie tea, but nothing to drink it out of? Or are we supposed to stuff the tea bag into the opening in the flask? (Help, I’m confused!)

      I’ve never liked those single-serving water packets, either. It always seems like high odds of leakage in the bag or spilling when you open them, and they don’t have a very long shelf life. The fancy chocolate is going to melt, I don’t know what the glow sticks are actually for (Can someone tell me? I just found SIX of them in my mom’s emergency bag, so it’s a genuine question.), and I doubt there is room to add more stuff, so you’d be stuck with whatever clothes you happened to be wearing when disaster struck. I looked on their social media for an actual photo of an actual human being wearing that backpack and couldn’t find a single one, which makes me wonder if it’s absurdly small. Judy seems to have all the same problems with different branding (“ORANGE THINGS SAVE YOU WHEN THERE IS DANGER!” as opposed to a deeply felt ode to summer in the Hamptons circa 1960).

      I have a fondness for Uncharted Supply Co., because they made this AWESOME BOAT that I have and love. While equally branded (I’ll call their aesthetic “young and hip in Utah”), their prepackaged kits definitely seem to be several cuts above the comparable items from Preppi and Judy. For example, they’re the only ones that include a water filter, or seem to anticipate the possibility that an emergency may occur when there is snow on the ground. The packs actually have room for personal gear, too.

      But… at the end of the day… buying a prepackaged kit means losing out on the knowledge of your gear that comes with making conscious choices about what you want in that bag and why. I’ve learned a lot from researching and planning out my own preps, and I feel like that’s been as valuable as anything in the bag. It was fun, too, but I know that’s because I’m a little weird. We can’t expect everyone to geek out on what we do, and if companies like Judy and Preppi make it easier for people who aren’t going to geek out on water filters to face the “shoulds” of preparedness, I guess that’s all to the good. But at the same time, it’s always going to be annoying to see companies charging so much for what doesn’t really seem like a very good bundle of things.

      • 4

        Well said pnwsarah! You have many of the same insights that I had too. 

        I especially like your last paragraph that something is better than nothing. We can’t expect everyone to be as into prepping as the users on this forum probably are, and I will never get into prepping as much as some of the very hardcore preppers out there. Every level of prepping is good, is a personal choice, and should be praised.

        I too do not know what glow sticks are for. haha I see people recommend them for their BOB’s all the time, but I just don’t see them giving off that much light to be useful. Guess i’ll have to try one that is meant for survival to see what all the hubbub is about. My glow stick experience is limited to a cheap 20 pack from the dollar store that you put around your wrist during the 4th of July though, so that could be saying something…

      • 4

        Glow sticks are for all the post-apocalyptic raves that will be happening after society collapses.

      • 4

        pnwsarah! We NEED to get some glow sticks in our bug out bags!!!

      • 4

        See, this is the hazard of focusing on earthquake preparedness as opposed to SHTF events: You might miss the memo about the post-apocalyptic raves. Time to go fish those glow sticks out of the trash, I guess! 😀

      • 4

        Glow sticks are actually super useful as bait.

        1) SHTF

        2) Rig a few glow sticks at intervals at face-height in the forest.

        3) Standby to engage.

        4) Very soon, some overwealthy Prada folk will stumble through the forest, notice glow sticks and think, “Hey, we saw those in the overpriced emergency bag our butler bought us but we forgot to grab during that pesky evacuation which ruined our omakase sushi dinner. There must be folks like us here.” 

        5) Rich people wait like moths around glow sticks for more of their kind. 

        6) Allow your predatory instincts to direct the next move. 

      • 2

        “6) Allow your predatory instincts to direct the next move.” 😂 😂 😂

    • 5

      I’d like to give my thoughts on each of the products listed in the article.

      #1 – Freeze dried food buckets with 25-year shelf life – These long shelf life food buckets are a great way for the average person to get into prepping. They can just buy it, stick it in the corner, and be more prepared than they were. (my brother-in-law does just this. He has a year of freeze dried food buckets stored in his garage, and that is how he preps)

      We support this idea, as not everyone is going to become a master gardener and learn how to can and preserve their own food. If you do not have any food stored away, a great way to get started is by buying one of these buckets 2 weeks of food. This article shows the benefits of having one of these buckets, things to look out for, and which ones we recommend.

      For me personally, I have a 2 week food bucket that I can just grab and go if I needed to leave my house all of the sudden in an emergency. On top of that, I have 6 months worth of food that I normally eat every day. (see this guide on how to build this up) I then want to buy some bulk long term storage items such as 50 pound bags of rice, beans, wheat, sugar,, etc… and some dehydrated canned foods.

      ReadyWise is a reputable and good food storage brand that has been around for years. My personal opinion on these freeze dried food pouches and buckets are that they can help you survive, but may not be the absolute best for you. You have to look at the ingredients, serving sizes, and calories to find if this will be a good solution for you. A company may calculate their serving sizes by a 1000 calorie/day diet, which could help sustain your life, but you will probably need much more if you are doing active things like recovering from a disaster. Some of these products can be very carb or salt heavy too. Look at these and find a brand that has ingredients you would be comfortable consuming every day and that is similar to what you are already having.

      #2 – Celeb-endorsed survival kits – You have good insight into seeing that some of the recommended products are made by newer companies and can contain inferior products. For the most part, we discourage buying of these pre-made survival kits, because they do have cheap materials which you do not want to rely on if your life depends on it in a true survival situation. If you are the kind of person not very interested in preparedness, just want to buy something, store it, and forget about it, then one of these kits can be better than nothing. 

      I would be weary on buying a product recommended by a celebrity that has probably never started a fire or even camped outside for more than a night. Good on them for trying to be more prepared, but I don’t like how many people will think it must be the best survival kit out there because I like this celebrity.

      I do like how the article links back to our website under the paragraph about making your own bug out bag. This is what we suggest and recommend if you are interested in going this route, because you can control what is in it. You can build a bag with products that are of high quality and you are familiar with. This will be so much more valuable and useful to you.

      #3- Multimillion-dollar bunkers – I’d love one! But not ideal for most people. To be a prepper, you do not need to own an underground bunker. Just having some extra food and water stored can help make a bad time bearable can make you a prepper. There are so many things that people can and should do to be more prepared, and I think that an underground bunker is probably one of the last things on your checklist to do.

      My summary:
      The traditional old school prepper that grows and cans their own food, lives in the mountains off grid and self reliant, and has guns to defend themselves for till the end of time in their underground bunker is a very small portion of preppers.
      The continually growing majority is average people stocking some extra food and water at home and thinking about a little kit in their car with some hand warmers and granola bars.
      Something is better than nothing. If you want to increase your skills, become more self reliant, and be more prepared, then there are great people and resources to learn from (like theprepared.com). All levels of preparedness should be praised and encouraged.

      • 4

        Yeah, I have much less quarrel with the big food buckets than I do with the prepackaged BOBs. I actually just bought one for my dad (after soliciting advice in this very forum!) precisely because he needs low maintenance preps that will just be there and not expire every five years (looking at you, single-serving water packets!).

        Re: bunkers… I’m actually kind of glad that they are out of my price range. For starters, that’s a lot of money to spend on something you might not even be able to access when SHTF. (Even if you live in, like, Denver and you buy a bunker in ND, that’s still a loooong way to go.) But I also actually appreciate being more tethered to the world and its fate, even though that inevitably brings vulnerability. S hasn’t HTF yet, which means there is still time to make a more secure, stable, fair, resilient world, or at the very least, to cultivate all those attributes at scales somewhere between “household” and “globe”. I want to be accountable to that goal on some level. I don’t want it to be so easy to think, “I can and will take care of my own and that’s the end of it.”

        That’s part of how I decide how much time/money/home space/brain space I’m willing to devote to prepping. If I’m having fun and learning things (and thanks to TP, I really am), that’s great, but I’m not aiming for total self-sufficiency in perpetuity. 

      • 6

        OK, I’m one of those nuts on the far side of the prepper spectrum that preps for long term, SHTF events.  I’ve been at this a long time & most certainly understand being prepared is a journey… a series of steps.  The first and most important step is to come to the realization that there could well be situations in life where you are on your own & help is not right around the corner or on the other end of your phone call.  This Covid crisis has done more to move people to that first step than anything in my lifetime.

        I’m sure the majority will stop their journey here once this crisis is over.  However, I expect quite a few people will want to proceed with the prepping journey by at a minimum keeping more food and household items in storage.  Sites like this are a gold mine for such people.  Keep up the good work!

      • 5

        Sometimes it does take a disaster/crisis to get people to start preparing more.

        Thank you for the kind words and for sharing the value that you see in this website. I have been a fan of the prepared long before I started working here and have loved the high quality, level headed, politics free information that is here. It truly can help so many if they are interested.

      • 4

        A loved one, who knew I was a “prepper”, recently gave me a Judy bug out bag as a birthday gift.  While her intentions were wonderful, I definitely wish she’d spent the money otherwise, or had just bought the bag for herself.

        I will say that the Judy BOBs are decent for the person who lacks the time and research-capabilities to put together a good BOB on their own, but the items are all of such mediocre quality that I hope to never truly have to rely on them.  The pluses are that it’s nicely organized and labeled, and the backpack itself is decent. And of course it came with many glow sticks.  The Judy BOB has basically become my backup BOB, which I suppose has some value.  2 is 1 and 1 is none!

      • 3

        That is nice of your friend. I like when people put some thought into gifts for me. 

         In another forum post, we talked about giving aid to others in a disaster, you could also hold onto the Judy bag to give out to someone unprepared in an emergency.

        But make sure you hold onto those glow sticks, you’ll need them for the raves

    • 5

      Bigwig, Even if a supply company is well-established … think of ship chandlers, aviation supply companies … their high-quality merchandise is not priced for the individual citizen. 

      A real prepper/survivalist develops and refines  the start from scratch D-I-Y kits.  Exceptions for medical kits as per guidance from health care providers such as EMTs.

      Sometimes “hi-vis” kits like an orange JUDY kit are not desirable for one’s immediate environment.  

       

    • 4

      Just to build on what Gideon said, kits are usually bad. They tend to be loaded with cheap or poorly thought out items. I’d love for us to sell legit BOB kits in the future, but that’s a logistical challenge.

      Foods buckets are fine for what they are. Based on our notes, Wise is on the expensive side and doesn’t taste the best. Emergency Essentials is our favorite, though Augason Farms is also quite good. Ready Hour and 4Patriots are also good, though not as good of a value as EE and AF, though Ready Hour has some good sales sometimes.

      Prepping is really pretty simple. I would start with a good fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, water storage, and some food storage. The LDS Preparedness Manual is also a great, time-tested resource. Just basic stuff that every functional adult should have. Then you can start thinking about the long-term food kits, go-bags, knife sharpeners, and all the hardcore stuff.