The news media, in some circles, is saying that we’re in a sort of, kinda, possible, gradual economic recovery. Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t. Even if we were in an economic recovery, so what? Does it mean you can let out a deep breath because the bad times are over? Does it mean that somehow your job is safer than it was before? Absolutely not. Businesses aren’t going to stay the ax because we’re in a recovery. They keep people around as long as those folks earn more money than they cost. That’s Econ 101. I’m no expert but I would imagine that if we are really in a recovery businesses are just as likely to ax people on the premise that, having made it through the recession, the company needs to stay ‘lean and mean’ to weather the next one and be competitive. So…even if we are in a recovery (which Im not sure I believe) that’s no reason to think your safe. Heck, Im not even sure that there is a ‘safe’ time. So just because someone is saying we’re in a recovery is no reason to buy the new bass boat or remodel the bathroom. Hold on to that money for a while ‘just in case’ and let’s see if things actually get better.
I’m fairly content with the food storage situation. I’m always up for adding more to it, of course, but if things fell apart tomorrow I know we wouldn’t starve for quite a while. I do need to stock up on some of the more mundane things, things like toiletries, tissues, cleaning agents, bleach, etc, etc. We do keep a somewhat larger-than-average quantity of these things on hand but it would be nice to have a more generous stockpile. For example, while we may buy toilet paper in the 36-roll pack up at CostCo we usually only have one pack on hand at the house. The smarter way to do it would be to have one in storage at all times and one that’s open for use. That way theres always that reserve of one package. Of course, in reality perhaps it would be more like two or three in reserve.
For storage, by the way, I really like the steel wire shelves that you see used for food service type situations. Although the other kind of steel shelving is quite good, I find the wire shelves to be far more versatile. Unfortunately the heavy-duty ones are not cheap. There are some cheap ones out there but they are just that – cheap. They sag like an aging porn star. I lucked out and found a ‘liquidator’ business not far from me. This is a business that buys out other businesses and liquidates their inventory. They tend to have a huge amount of office-type furniture but I recently found that they have the steel wire shelving I like as well….and at a good bit cheaper than new.
Speaking of gear, I’ve been interested in the ‘poly bottles’ that have come out lately. These are, essentially, soft-sided water bottles. Pouches, I suppose, would be a better term. The idea is that they are lighter and more packable than the usual Nalgene bottle. Several companies offer them including Nalgene and Platypus. The Nalgene one seems to get lesser reviews than the Platypus. I have the Platypus one and have been pretty pleased with it thus far, my only complaint is that I haven’t found a wide-mouth version yet. One very nice feature of these things is that as you consume the liquid you can squeeze the remaining air out of the container so the liquid doesn’t slosh around. A very nice feature. My concern, of course, is durability. The reviews I’ve read say that obviously these things don’t take the same abuse as the hard bottle, and that they need to packed so they don’t encounter sharp or hard corners in your gear, but other than that they seem like a good idea. The Nalgene one, according to the reviews, seems more prone to failure at the seams than the Platypus, so for now I’m sticking with the Platypus ones.