Not a whole lot of Holiday or Christmas cheer out there this year, unless you're oblivious to the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. Americans have seemingly bought-up every AR-15 and other "assault weapon" for sale at retail and those that were in-stock by wholesalers and other inventorying middle-men. Ammunition and magazines for same also now no longer available...
Politically this Run On Guns speaks volumes. Even as prices began to spike, demand never diminished. Much on the Internet about hundreds or thousands waiting to be admitted to local gunshows, not to mention the 10-deep or more waiting at gun store counters.
Too bad so many waited so long.
The theme here is N/A. NOT AVAILABLE....
Almost as good as a gun ban, isn't it? No "evil black rifle" merchandise remaining available for sale on a general basis.
Here is The Great Fact: The tools and supplies which generally work together to enable reasonably comfortable lifestyle of self-sufficiency are in limited supply. Always have been. Now more so than ever, thanks to Just In Time inventory & delivery practices.
Really need to have a comprehensive idea of what your needs are and the tools, gear, & supplies along with references and skills that you will need to make fulfilling those needs a reality. The Want Of A Horshoe Nail.... Recall the kid's story? Self-sufficiency largely entails an ability to create, fabricate, design, and utilize tools, technology, skills that make life easier, more comfortable and dependable.
Money is a reliable tool only as long as it is accepted and in some demand for use by others.
Not much need to diatribe the fiat-money-fraud again. You either understand by now that modern "money" has no intrinsic value and loses purchasing power over time, or you're gonna be a monetary loser...
Not a great deal of inventory depth or production demand for many of the things you likely need for a Survivalist Lifestyle.. Not a lot of Ham Radio production out there anymore. Not a lot of companies making fabrication tools, pitcher pumps for wellhead operation, hacksaw blades, duct tape, camping gear, quality cookware and cutlery...
Tools are a BIG MUST. Mechanical repair gear, electrical diagnosis and parts to repair, carpentry and woodworking tools. Plumbing repair gear is a big essential. Water and waste system operation is a HUGE hygiene and health matter. Ability to fix/repair breaks is a must. Tap & die to chase or thread metal pipe might be critical. Valve rebuild kit to fix a faucet similarly important.
Hacksaw and variety of blades, metal shears, files, chisels, sharpening stones, grinder, tap & die sets, and I did forget to mention hammers in various weights and configurations, are the basics you need for Metal Fabrication. Being able to salvage steel and parts to use on other projects may be critical to you for some project. Just making do with what you have on-hand is so much easier when you have tools to modify or fashion raw materials.
Food Processing Gear is really critical. Figure to harvest your own? Rendering your harvest, Processing it for storage, Tools for cooking and storing it as you decide are all part of the equation. I'm writing this off top of my head so it ain't detailed as to each step; that is for you to understand and work out for your situation. The key is, do you have the gear to enable you to do this Very Necessary Work with efficiency, safety, and ability? Can't really can without a canner or supply of jars, lids, rims. Spare gasket seal kit in your stores? Can't keep the pressure cooker pressurizing reliably w/o gaskets....
How're you set for Medical Emergencies like wounds, severe cuts, limb breakage? Then there is day-to-day stuff and keeping your family tip-top...
Sewing for fabrication of clothing, household items and repairs? Got the machines, gear and fabric & other supplies that makes these capabilities work routinely?
Got the rudimentary auto maintenance supplies like correct oils to change crankcase and driveline components when needed w/o going to a service station? Drive your vehicle through a lot of standing water, you'll want to change all fluids in reservoirs the water might have infiltrated. Got filters, both fuel and oil? Sparkplugs? Glowplugs? All the normal maintenance items? Got a Haynes or factory manual for reference and the basic tools?
How're you fixed for basic clothing, outerwear, camping gear and special clothes for working? Probably not going to wear the clothes you use for active gardening, animal tending, butchering, cutting firewood, or working on mechanical eqpt out in public or around the house. Got a good supply of warm socks, all types of underwear, pants, shirts, belts? SHOES are Big Item since most can't fabricate boots or shoes.
Resale shops and Pawnshops are your friend... Resale for kitchen gear, clothing, linens, spare shoes, and any other good serviceable gear you see. Pawnshops have the Tools and outdoor gear. May as well save money where you can. For sure you will spend it elsewhere.
How're you set for a Pantry and properly provisioned Kitchen? Got a stove that will work when the power is down? Got other ways to cook?
Whatever you need to more self-sufficient; NOW Is The Time to be adding to your skills and gear.
Can't cook from scratch? Take time to cook several simple meals and learn.
Don't know anything about construction? Maybe you build your kids a playhouse? Learn to cut wood and nail, sheath walls and make a roof that keeps our the rain...
If you own a Newish auto, my condolences. Likely there's not much you can do for maintenance. Be sure your maintenance is up to date and you have some fuel cans you can fill.
Lots of items you can find used and buy very cheap. Many of these items are better than those made now. Others like metal fabrication gear and edged tools are rarely in serviceable condition when found used. Files, hacksaw blades, chisels and other cutting tools except scissors and kitchen cutlery, typically are too long-gone to be worth much, unless you want them to make something. Tool steel is great stuff, no matter the condition; just don't pay more than scrap prices for anything needs a restoration or for a project.
The Gun-Run points out ONE BIG THING: The tools you need are in short supply. There are not enough in the system to meet demand should demand increase overnite.
Hope you have some time in these often quiet weeks to reflect on your family's needs and prioritize them so you have what you need when you need it. Unless you Take Action Now, your options will likely be curtailed on many items, in many categories in the weeks ahead.