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Thrift Stores, Antique Stores, and prepping
My wife loves thrift stores...  I have some weird days off this week and we decided to go to Ventura (CA) today to shop some thrift stores.  I decided I'd give myself a $20 budget and try to pick up some preparedness/survival stuff.  More on that below. 

This didn't come out of the blue... I've managed to make some great finds at thrift and antique stores in the past, and I know how valuable a place they can be.  While small successes are the norm, I'll relate my best find.  My wife went into an antique store 7 or 8 years ago while I went into the law enforcement supply store across the street.  She called me and asked if I'd like a military first aid kit.  I wasn't very excited but tried to act interested so I asked if it had snaps or buckles.  She said it was nylon and had a zipper and some buckles.  I asked what color and she said tan.  I said I'd come take a look.  Turns out it was a Recon Mountaineer Medic Bag.  It was filled with medical supplies to include needle decompression, Kerlix, Asherman Chest Seals, etc.  It was $35 and you damn well bet I bought it. 

Turns out the guy who ran the booth in the antique shop had a relative (son, step son, nephew, or something... don't remember) who was a medic in Afghanistan.  He had some stuff he didn't want anymore and asked this guy to get rid of it.  I told him it was worth more... He didn't care.  The bag alone is high-end stuff and I kept a bunch of the medical supplies for a while until it was expired and I still use the bag as my main major trauma kit that stays in my personal vehicle (POV) and goes whenever I'm in the field.

So today we went to three thrift stores and I purchased items from two of them.  I spent a total of  about $6.50 and if I didn't already have a bunch of supplies I'd have purchased more.  Here's a rundown:

In the first store we came in and I immediately went to the area where they have all the plates, cups, and kitchen supplies.  I found an aluminum pan, around 7-8 inches in diameter and an inch and a half (~) high... I've seen these used as camping cooking pans since they're really light.  It was $0.59.  I looked at the DVDs and (this isn't normal) I found a DVD on cleaning and maintaining the AR-15 rifle.  It was $1.99.  Then I checked the book area and found a very well known book on Glock handguns (not so much survival/preps, but I had to buy it for $1.99).  

In another store I found several water bottles.  I did a quick internet search on my phone and ended up picking up a stainless steel bottle for $2.95... When checking out we discovered everything was half off so it ended up costing about $1.50!  It's not a Kleen Kanteen, but for $1.50 I'd take it and I purchased it and we'll see how it works. 

I also found a space blanket ($1), some steel wool ($1) and a bunch of various cold weather stuff I'd pick up in a flat second if I didn't already have it.  If I needed a wider variety of stuff I saw various packs, suitcases, bags, an "off-road" children's stroller, candles, food prep supplies, and even golf clubs if I needed items of defense.  One store had eight to ten sleeping bags, blankets, clothing, sweatshirts, jackets, lots of kitchen knives and a couple knock-off Swiss Army-type knifes. 

At the end of the day, my only purchases were the aluminum pan, rifle DVD, Glock book, and the stainless steel water bottle.  I spent around $6.50 for those items and I'm happy.  I might have purchased more but my almost two-year old became impatient.

Here are some pics:

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I read the Glock book. The author is kind of a typical liberal journalist so be aware of that. Overall the book is a somewhat interesting history of how Glock came to be.
Love those kind of stores.  Also love flea markets and garage sales.  Man I've picked up some good stuff over the years.  The grey cargo box I use as part of my GHB kit was like $3.  And I've found a lot of military stuff here and there as well.

Good times!
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
my wife and myself have been yard sale shopping every Saturday for 3 years and boy have we found some deals.
Love bargain prep shopping....
Yeah its a lot of fun and once inn awhile you strike it big. I found a zip lock bag filled with gold necklaces that were broke 1 time, paid 2.00 and sold to the scrap gold guy for 1500..00, best value deal i have found yet.
My son has an internet business.  He goes to the major stores and thrift stores for close-outs/end-of-season camping gear/clothes/shoes/electronics.  He hasn't asked me for money in 20 years!

Thrift - me - bought shoes/cameras/phones/knives/watches/heavy jackets/windbreakers on line from Goodwill.  Bought luggage at Salvation Army/Goodwill stores.

I routinely buy used,TSA confiscated knives off eBay, refurbish and give as gifts to friends and family.

I have a lifetime supply of factory fresh razor blades bought from a NV city on line that was confiscated goods.

I have over 1300 transactions at eBay.  Understand this.  The federal government allows a deduction of $.55 a mile for every mile driven on business.  That means - it costs you $.55 a mile to drive to the store.  Plus the time.  If you don't weigh 170 pounds, wear size 9-10 shoes medium, size 40-42 windbreakers, good luck going to a store and finding what you need.  It is considerably cheaper to buy used off the web.  I won't even waste my time going to the local thrift store anymore.  Just go on line to the thrift stores.

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