American Survival Guide - - NEW PRODUCTS -

Us­ing pro­grams such as Ex­cel and Google docs makes cre­at­ing an in­ven­tory easy, and with the cal­cu­la­tion func­tions of those pro­grams, adding up fig­ures will be ac­cu­rate ev­ery time.

There are sev­eral ways to cre­ate an in­ven­tory list, de­pend­ing on how you have de­cided to store your equip­ment. How­ever, we’ve nar­rowed it down to two: box and list meth­ods (con­sider us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of the two or both si­mul­ta­ne­ously). Be­cause the sole pur­pose of an in­ven­tory is to know what you have and where it is lo­cated, it makes sense to use a list based on the gear’s lo­ca­tion.

Of course, al­ways print out a hard copy or two of your in­ven­to­ries to make sure you have them (keep a copy in your cache), even when the power goes out or your com­puter has been com­pro­mised.

Box Method: This in­ven­tory list is as sim­ple as cre­at­ing a spread­sheet for each box and cus­tomiz­ing the spread­sheet to fit the con­tents of the box. Each box of gear will de­mand its own page of the spread­sheet, and ev­ery­thing on that spread­sheet will be in that one box. Col­umns to the right of each item can be used for any num­ber of things, from date of pur­chase, con­di­tion, a cross-ref­er­ence with other items, ex­pi­ra­tion date, quan­tity and even some ad­di­tional notes.

The up­side to the box method of in­ven­to­ry­ing is that each box can hold the list for that box. The down­side is that you’ll have as many lists as you do boxes, and per­haps some items won’t be stored in a box. What then?

List Method: Un­like the box method, the list method of in­ven­tory is more cen­tral­ized, be­cause it is a sin­gle list of all your gear in one place (re­gard­less of lo­ca­tion). One col­umn, of course, should be its lo­ca­tion or box num­ber. How­ever, it can be grouped into cat­e­gories to make it eas­ier to see your en­tire col­lec­tion of emer­gency sup­plies at a glance.

A pro of the list method is that you will only have a sin­gle list in one place that con­tains all your gear in your en­tire stock­pile. The con is that the list could be cum­ber­some and long, de­pend­ing on how much gear you have.

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