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It's great work too. Whenever I get to do something that feels like providing I feel useful and happy. When I'm busting my butt for a paycheck, I feel like something went wrong somewhere.
"One all the food runs out that you have prepped, do you know how to
replace it in land that has almost be striped clean of wild life? Do you
know what wild plants are REALLY safe to eat? When your life depends on
it, is that book that has plant pictures of two plants that look almost
alike, one being deadly - the other a life saver, are you going to
chance it when you don't really know for sure? This is my worry, one
that just flat out depresses me."

Practice prevents making deadly errors, especially if you are in a place of totally using up any preps you had in place.

There are many community colleges and universities that offer wilderness type of classes. Having more than basic first aid skills, being fit physically and mentally, knowing how to pace your self under normal circumstances and dire circumstances, having a calm mind, all play into your doing well after any kind of disaster.

I work in a public school. It never ceases to amaze me the number of staff who moan and groan about having to take CPR, get TB test, or undergo the annual blood borne pathogen class required by the state ed. code.

Last school year a kindergartner was playing "how fast can I run from the fence to the metal pole sticking out of the ground" game. The child ended up doing a face plant into the metal pole and suffered a moderate laceration to the forehead.

Now we all know that face cuts bleed like a sticked pig! I was watching through the classroom window as this accident happened. The kid looked like he was in a horror movie. Twenty or so kiddos were shrieking. The two teacher on yard duty were busy with their I Phones.

I grabbed a couple of pairs of gloves, a box of kleenex and was with the injured student at least four minutes before the two teachers had a clue that something was wrong.

As I ran to the child I barked, "All you kids go to the slides now!" They did.

The injured child was bent over bleeding pretty nicely. I went up to him and said, "Hey dude, you got a big owie, I am going to help you o.k.?" "Sit", "Good", all the while I was pulling out a wad of kleenex and pressing it to his head. After a couple of minutes finally a teacher came up said, "Oh my God, is that blood?"

Instead of slapping her upside the head I said "Yes, put on these gloves and take your student to the office."

She did and then I cottedted with about thirty kiddos who came over wanting to see the blood. Ucky.

I found out our school did not have those nice handy dandy kitty litter bags to cover up vomit and blood.

Luckily it was a hot day and the blood soaked into the dirt pretty quickly.

I went and got a bottle of "forbidden" bleach I had stashed in my classroom and I mixed it with water and I soaked the blood soaked grass and dirt.

Since that day I seem to be the go to girl for squeamish teachers with out a clue.

So have basic skills, have a bit of gear on hand and remember to breathe.

Great posts all. The old saying, the more you know the less you carry, applies. Initially, purchase the best quality you can afford. I'd get items that are simple in construction and operation and the most repairable if that is an option.
Also, the saying two is one and one is none aplies. If you have two and one breaks, well you still have one working and one for spare parts. A rule of thumb is that everything you carry has multiple or redunant uses.
At some point if you're still alive and the crisis is still continuing, well then your ingenuity and ability to improvise may need to carry the day, so learn it now, cause in a crisis situation is not the time to pull out a book, even if you have it.
this is why imo anarchists and those who intentionally want to crash society are incredibly short-sighted. At some point you run out of whatever and there probably won't be a way to resupply.
My $0.02
I have to add that gear is nice, but knowledge really is power. All the toys in the world may be broken some day, maybe some day soon. If you're not McGuyver and none of us are you better start learning to do without.
Thus my dad And uncle taught me the most important skill of all. Improvise and adapt. I swear they could have taught McGyver a think or two.

A roll of baler wire and duct tape helps too.

Grant you they taught me alot of skills. But the best one is the ability to think outside the box and use the most important tool that god gave you, your mind.
Offer an olive branch, be ready with an arrow.

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