Bob Ross was awesome.
After twenty years in the U.S. Air Force, he started a second career as television's iconic painter on the PBS show "The Joy of Painting." A master of both artistic and communication media, Ross parlayed his 30 minute TV show into gentle but poignant rants against the IRS and animal cruelty, declarations of love of country and the military, motivational talks for those needing self confidence, only to conclude each episode by saying "God bless, my friend."
He never took a dime from PBS for his shows and donated his paintings to them for use in fundraising auctions. The shows, were in fact, free infomercials for his branded paints, painting supplies, workshops, books and DVDs. He and his business partners truly made something from nothing.
One of the things Bob told his audience regularly is "don't be afraid to experiment." This is solid advice for both artists as well as preppers. I've learned a lot in my preparedness experiments, much of which is transferable to non-preparedness applications.
The other night, I was using my vacuum sealer (which provides me with hours of entertainment), experimenting on various things I could seal effectively. I previously reported I sealed some tactical medical supplies, but the seal didn't hold. I determined I wasn't putting enough of the open end of the bag into the sealer. Once I figured that out, I got a much better result:
Many will disagree with my decision to carry tactical med gear (tourniquet, bandages, Quik Clot gauze, Russell chest seals) in a vacuum sealed bag. The reality is this kit fits neatly in many of my suit jacket pockets and is notched in multiple places to make opening under stress easier. I am more apt to carry this kit in a suit pocket or in a pair of cargo shorts than a tactical med ankle rig.
As you start vacuum sealing things, you begin to experiment....and you begin to seal some rather interesting things just to see how well they seal.
This is the kind of experimenting Bob Ross encouraged. You learn when you experiment. You learn what works and what doesn't. You also come up with new ideas, even though you may not have any idea what practical use those ideas have. For example:
When I created this product, I was just messing around to see how it would look and how effective it would be to seal some cash. I learned later this is a rather popular thing for preppers to do:
And once it's vacuum sealed, where are you going to put it? Here are some pretty clever ways to store your newly sealed cash money around the house.
Prepping is one of those activities where experimenting is rewarded. You come up with new solutions to problems as well as learn some handy information along the way. Don't be afraid to experiment.
Here's where I tell you what I think about things I think about.