I haven't always been this way. 'This Way' meaning a 'prepper'. When I was young, single, and in the Navy, I didn't need to worry about preparing for anything. It was just me, and Uncle Sam was going to take care of me.
Besides...if anything bad(TEOTAWKI) ever did happen, I was going to end up as a member of the ruling military elite...so, hooray for me.
I can't exactly put my finger in when it happened, that I started thinking that we ARE living in 'The Good Old Days' and the chance of something going terribly wrong is getting higher each year, and being somewhat prepared for social/economic upheaval might be nice. But, it did happen. A lot of it was caused by a good friend I made that was a bit off the edge of the map itself. Nate was not just a little bit of a prepper...he was all out survival type. His dream was to be able to quit working for the shipyard and move to Idaho, where he could start a pig farm.
He has since quit the Shipyard and taken a job working at the Idaho National Laboratory. Not sure he has his pig farm yet, but he's closer to it.
One of the things Nate got me collecting, other than just canned food, were the precious metals...gold and silver, and lead and copper. Lead and copper were east...I understood them at least...I just went from someone who bought just what I needed for a trip to the range, to the type of guy who picked up an extra box or two every trip to the store. Now, I'm one of those guys who buys it in 50 pound orders over the internet machine.
Silver and gold took me a little more to get into. Silver, because of the price difference, was easier to get into. I did some research, and decided that it would be easier to convince my wife that silver was a good investment if we started with pretty stuff. For me, that meant bullion coins...in particular, I started with Australian Lunar's and Kookabura's. Then I bought some Britannia's, some Pandas, some Libertads, Maple Leaf's, and even a Silver Eagle or two. Very pretty coins. The wife was very impressed with them. After a while, was buying 5 and 10 ounce bars...
Gold...well, gold is expensive. After laying in a fair amount of silver, I decided to start getting some gold. I mean...if we found ourselves in a 'leave the house situation, did I really want 5 pounds of silver to clink around in my bag? My first order of gold was some fractional Maples Leaf's. I picked them over Gold Eagles because they we slightly cheaper. I love being patriotic and all, but...frugal is nice sometimes too. While these coins were pretty also...they were tiny. Quarter ounce gold coins and smaller than a nickle...tenth of an ounce were smaller than a dime. Handling small gold coins is no time to be unorganized...blink and you could have misplaced a few hundred bucks. And yes..this happened once of twice. Such things were always found again, but not after several minutes of increased heart beats.
In his book 'Patriots' Rawles goes to great lengths to express his opinion that in TEOTWAWKI situations, gold is not going to be very useful...it is too dense a form of wealth. He even feels that your standard one-ounce silver coins are too much. What Rawles always talks about, but I have yet to get around buying, are the big sacks of junk 90% silver quarters and dimes.
I was just never able to bring myself to pay fifty or sixty bucks for a 10 dollars face value worth of dimes...no matter the silver value of the coins...it just felt...silly. And gosh-forbid I do anything silly.
Let's fast forward now...Over the last two years, silver has gone from under $13 an ounce to peaking over $38 an ounce for a while. There reaches a point where a guy shifts his thoughts from long-term TEOTWAWKI to a little bit of profit taking. Besides, if I convert some silver into cash, and then convert the cash into a new gun, and then some lead and copper...I am still stocking up on precious metals. Even Rawles would approve...in his world .22lr bullets are almost as useful as silver dimes and quarters.
So...I compromised with myself. I went through my collection and got rid of some stuff that was redundant...a few Lunar's and Kookabura's that I had doubled up on, and a few 5-ounce bars, for enough cash to officially put myself on the PMR-30 waiting list, and get a lot more ammo.
When silver tops $50, I might look back on this a little sad...then I could have sold the same amount of stuff to get a PTR-91 and some ammo.