Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Super Secret Survivalist Honey Holes

Danner Fort Lewis Go Devils, Thrift store ($20.00 nwt)

As most of you may have guessed, Sir Knight and Master Hand Grenade are serious gear guys (here at home, we call them another name - but I don't think its proper to say in polite company!).  Sir Knight takes gearing up every member of our family very seriously.  With 7 of us, buying the latest and greatest equipment is not even remotely financially feasible.  We have had to get creative in order to acquire the gear we want and still be able to buy groceries.  Although we are not above picking up gear anywhere we can find it, we have a couple of Super Secret Survivalist Honey Holes that we return to over and over.  In reality, they are probably not all that super secret, but they can be honey holes and it is my pleasure to share them with you.

  1. AR15.com  Affectionately known as "arfcom", AR15.com has an awesome division call the EE or Equipment Exchange.  The EE is chuck full of deals waiting to be had.  Not only are there dealers advertising their best deals, but the EE is full of regular guys (and a lot of former military folks) selling their gear and equipment.  Everything you could possibly need can be found (eventually) on the EE.  Combat boots, BDU's, scopes, night vision, body armor, intrusion devises - you want it, they've got it.  The good stuff can go quickly, although sometimes things hang around a long time and you can get them for a song.  The folks who frequent arfcom are straight-up guys and we have never had a deal go bad.  Most of our packs, vests and pouches have come to us via AR15.com.  
  2. Falfiles.com  FAL Files is a firearms forum that is specific to the FN FAL and L1A1 and all variants of that rifle.  They have a marketplace section with parts and accessories for all rifles (but they are geared toward the FAL) and also have tactical gear.  If you know what you are looking for and frequent the marketplace, there are good deals to be had.  
  3. M14.com  M14 is geared toward the M1A/M14 crowd.  If you have any questions on this particular rifle, the best of the best of the M14 gunsmiths and historians hang on M14.com.  You will get an answer if you have a problem.  They have a classifieds section (you have to register to see the classifieds).  The BX (base exchange) is for all guns and accessories.  The PX (post exchange) is for M1A/M14 related items only. 
  4. Craigslist  Yes, you read that right.  Craigslist can be a gold mine for nearly any and all survivalist/preparedness items.  We bought our solar panels from a Craigslist add (yes, all 2150 watts of them) for pennies on the dollar.  We have purchased oodles of military surplus, our James Washer and washtubs, our Den Haan hanging lantern, among other things.  My father actually found a Gen III mil spec night vision monocular, in excellent condition, for considerably less than market price.  You can actually buy guns if you are fast enough, but often they are flagged and removed before you can move on them.
  5. Shopgoodwill.com  I know, I know - Goodwill?  But, we have gotten piles of tactical gear from shopgoodwill.  You have to watch them on their shipping (it can be exorbitant) and sometimes, depending on what you are bidding on, the price can skyrocket.  Shopgoodwill is an online auction that serves all the Goodwill stores nationwide.  It is amazing what people will donate!  We have purchased 2 PASGT helmets, 2 MICH helmets,  3 Woodland Gortex shells, 1 pair of Gortex pants and countless other items for significantly less than we could have bought them anywhere else.  Generally I just type "Military" in the search box and go from there.
  6. Thrift Stores  Really.  Every once in a while, we hit the survivalist honey hole in one of our local thrift stores.  We have purchased more BDU's than we can count (generally for $1 a half), combat boots to fill a closet (or a Conex container!), field jackets, ammo cans and even an occasional AR15 magazine.  Sometimes you have to dig through piles, but when you're doing preparedness on a budget, it is well worth the effort.  Not only can you find military surplus, thrift stores can be a treasure trove of basic preparedness items.  Oil lamps and chimneys are often plentiful.  Blankets, towels and sheets abound.   I've seen mosquito netting, camp stoves and water filtration systems.  Make your list and hit the thrift stores - you might be pleasantly surprised by your survivalist haul.
  7. Yard/Garage Sales  Probably some of the best deals we have gotten for our preparedness efforts have been at yard sales.  We have bought entire Y2K stores, surplus BDU's (for .25 cents a half), combat boots, food-grade 5 gallon buckets, 1 gallon glass jars, more canning jars than we can count, an All-American pressure canner, a stainless steel steam juicer, reference books - the list could go on and on.  I will stop at almost any yard sale, no matter how humble, knowing that I could find that next piece of survival equipment. 
Gortex jackets (3) & pants (2) (Shopgoodwill.com  $11.00 for everything + shipping)
Den Haan hanging lantern, Craigslist ($50.00)
James Washer, wringer, wash tubs - Craigslist ($375.00 for everything)
MICH Helmet, Shopgoodwill.com ($45.00 + shipping)
2150 watts of solar panels, Craigslist (Pennies on the dollar + shipping)
In our currently economic state of affairs, we could all stand to save a few bucks.  These few resources have helped us prepare for whatever the future holds.  We have been able to provide kits for every family member without going into debt.  

If any of you have an Super Secret Survivalist Honey Holes that you would like to share, I would love to hear about them.  I'll post whatever you send and perhaps we can help each other prepare for whatever comes.


  1. I also shop *off the beaten path*.
    A couple of favorite places...
    Dry Cleaners and Linen Supply companies.
    Sounds weird, but a dry cleaners can be a GREAT place to find winter coats, fancy dresses, leather jackets, etc. Basically anything that needs specialty cleaning. When people don't pick up an item, after so many days, it is put up for sale. I have also found down comforters, antique quilts at dry cleaners!
    Linen supply stores that do rentals for catering companies and restaurants and/or do the laundry for hotels, hospitals, etc are another great place to find bargains. The hotels, hospitals, catering companies, etc, don't want sheets, blankets, pillowcases, tablecloths, etc. that have holes or stains. So, the linen company will take the less than perfect items out of circulation and sell them off. If you sew and/or quilt, this is a bonanza! And they sell them CHEAP!
    Old sheets are perfect for making into bandages and slings and such to add to your first aid supplies, too.

  2. M4Carbine.net Forum has a great "Marketplace" as well. This site may also be the best source of real world AR-15 information on the web.

  3. ReStore-they can have all sorts of new old stock/used building supplies/appliances and so on.
    Flea markets aren't the place for deals they used to be-too many just sell new imported $*!^ like any dollar store, but there are still a few good ones around.
    College auctions-all sorts of stuff at very reasonable prices.

  4. Another vote for Habitat for Humanities "Re-Stores". Lots of practical inexpensive home build - repair remodel items.

    www.armslist.com is "craigs list" for guns and related items. I note that the Idaho branch is very thin. In my area there are hundreds of great listings. Many private party sales.

    Love the blog. God bless you and your family!

  5. Oh how I miss Ft Lewis!!!!