Today I wanted to start with a story.
With Christmas slowly approaching and being the gear nut I am I recently spent a rainy Sunday afternoon surfing around online and creating a wishlist of the latest items I wanted to add to my bug out bag.
You see even though I run an entire website around the topic I don’t have what I would consider a complete bag. It’s no secret that building a bug out bag can be expensive – and even though I’ve offered some tips on how to do it as inexpensively as possible the fact remains I’m still on a budget.
Despite my best wishes a BOB isn’t going to appear overnight. Instead you build, tweak and add to it over time as your budget allows.
I’m getting closer and closer to something I would consider “complete” every day but I was still missing a few of the items I’ve listed in my 10 Essential Items post including a folding saw.
I’m getting some spare time here shortly to head out for a little bug out weekend finally, the only problem is it’s getting damn cold up here in Canada and I need something that is going to process enough firewood to keep me warm during the night.
The Saw I Couldn’t Resist
Now I’ve done my research and for overall durability, quality and value there isn’t much that beats the Bahco Laplander. It’s used by bushcrafters and survivalists the world over and seems perfect for what I was looking for. Except there was one problem:
I didn’t have the money for it.
Now I know I’m not alone here when it comes to building our kits. Wanting that last piece of gear but not having the budget for it.
But can I tell you a secret? As of a couple hours ago I have a nice shiny new one on it’s way to me. And I didn’t even have to borrow from a friend, take out a loan or sell a kidney.
So how did I do it?
I sold my crap.
Ok let’s back up here for a moment.
In my younger days I went through a period where all I wanted to do was work in finance. I’ve always had a thing for money (who doesn’t!?) and devoured everything I could on the topic from Alice Schroeder’s “The Snowball: Warren Buffet and the Business of Life” to David Chilton’s “The Wealthy Barber” (both recommended reads btw).
In addition to books I also read plenty of blogs (surprise) and in my readings stumbled across a fantastic one which I still read today called manvsdebt.com. It’s tagline?
Sell your crap. Pay off your debt. Do what you love.
If that tagline doesn’t have you clicking I don’t know what will.
The essence of Man vs Debt is based on teaching people to identify the hundreds of dollars in junk we all have laying around our house that could be sold. Spare furniture, extra electronics, camping gear, etc. are all things worth money that many of us have sitting around collecting dust.
And these days we really have no excuse not to sell them. It’s easier than ever to put things up for sale thanks to websites like eBay, Facebook, Craigslist, Kijiji (Canada’s version of Craiglist for you Americans ;)) and others which allow us to take a picture of an item and have it posted for sale in a matter of minutes.
So if you’re like the majority of us having trouble finding the budget to properly prepare a bug out bag, consider taking a walk around the house and grabbing some items you or your family haven’t used in awhile. Now unless you have a LOT of valuable junk it won’t make you rich, but even $100 extra bucks can go a long way towards securing those last few items without going over your budget.
So while selling your junk might not be the flashiest way of making a few extra bucks, it’s certainly effective. After all, isn’t being resourceful and using the items you have on hand what being a survivalist is all about?