Forgetting basic stuff on any emergency list like first-aid kits and clean water would be a colossal oversight. Firearms may or may not be useful, depends on the circumstances. Absurd would be stocking up on stuff like subway tokens.
A guy I know claims to have three months worth of pantry stable (no refrigeration) food stored. This seems kind of absurd to me.
Another person has a back-up generator to run his house if the grid goes. That’s fairly normal as he lives out in the sticks where outages are fairly common. The questionable bit is the full month supply of diesel he stores for it.
Yes: stockpiling a “reasonable” supply of nonperishable foods and non-edible necessities. I’d say “reasonable” would be three months’ worth.
No: not rotating that three-month supply.
I’d hate to be in a shelter-in-place scenario to find the food is in dented, rusted, leaking cans, bugs are breeding in the spaghetti, and the big TP packages have become condos for nesting mice!
Word of warning: if you wish to build up a stockpile and you are including water, make sure you store the water in containers designed for long-term storage. Most packaged water will not survive long-term. The plastics are very thin, and they will split and crack
Die-hard preppers use clean, empty 2-liter soda bottles.
Well, I live in a place with no chance of flood, no chance of earthquake, and little chance of fire. So to me absurd prepping is preparing for basically anything.
Of course, every prepper type person I’ve met is explicitly preparing for the complete collapse of society into anarchy. And they usually come off sounding like they’re hoping it’ll happen soon. So I’ve never met a prepper who didn’t sound insane.
If you’ve got the freezer space, and will use a side of beef while it’s still reasonably edible, there’s nothing absurd about buying beef by the side. You can generally get better quality meat at a cheaper price that way.
If, on the other hand, your usual beef consumption is around a pound a week, or if you’ll have to evict everything else from your freezer and it still won’t fit, then buying a side of beef would indeed be absurd.
(I usually get a quarter, not a side, from a neighbor. But I rarely have a houseful of people.)
I think if you prep for a level of societal collapse you’d rather not survive to see, then you’re going overboard. We can make do for a few weeks with what we have, and improvise for another week or two. During that time we’d be assessing the situation to decide whether we need to move, start raiding, voluntarily snuff it, or go feral. I anticipate it would take substantially less than two months to work out whether or not civilized living was likely to return.
Or if you’re selling the house to Catholics, a “Wine Cellar.” LOL!
I prefer to have six month’s worth of shelf-stable food on hand. Usually that has been just things like protein bars and vitamin pills. Just enough so I could keep going to do the necessary to get whatever fresh food was available. I have no wish to revise my diet to include a lot of canned food in order to cycle a pantry.
I like to have the “barf box” well filled with two week’s worth of saltines, chicken soup, and gatorade. I instituted the “barf box” because my ex kept eating up all those supplies and then leaving me helpless when I got sick. So I put them in a box he wasn’t allowed to touch.
But currently I think we have just about three week’s worth of supplies laid by. April could really suck.
There is no chance whatsoever that food supplies won’t continues to be distributed and available. They might come with a side order of virus, but the option of buying food will always be there and nobody is going to starve.
I think “how much is too much” depends in part on the cost to you to store the extra supplies. If you have space, and you keep 3 months, or a year, or whatever, on hand and routinely eat through it and replenish it, and it’s not burdensome to you, then that doesn’t seem crazy. If you’ve stockpiled a lot of stale peanut butter “just in case” that seems a lot less adaptive.
Guns. If you are hoarding guns you are crazy and stupid and dangerous, no one wants to be near you, jerk.
Otherwise, don’t save stuff that will go bad in three months even well stored.
Personally I think the best thing to do if you want to survive a collapse is to make friends and connections, and learn how to take care of the stuff that takes care of you (plumbing, small engines, clothing repair, vegetable gardening, chicken keeping etc.)
Some time ago I was reading a thread that asked, should the zombie apocalyse occur, would you survive. A Doper, who had a Mormon neighbor was chatting about that situation and the Mormon aked what he might do. The Doper said he didn’t have to prepare. “I have guns, and I know where your stuff is!” Of course that reply was a joke.
People who’re stockpiling guns and ammo, and hunkering down in cabins in the woods “Away from people” but close to animals that are vectors for all sorts of things. And they’re stockpiling assault type weapons to the extent the law allows, but claiming they’re for “hunting.” Sorry, but an a24a2 is a gun meant for shooting people. It’s not for hunting.