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$50 Walmart challenge: Results

Last week we challenged you to a $50 Walmart challenge. The idea being you had 15 minutes and $50 what to do you purchase to get yourself through three days of getting out of Dodge.

As promised here are my results and the results of a few of our viewers. There was a lot of overlap as this really isn’t the time of year to be hitting up Walmart for any sort of camping or outdoor supplies, but it was a fun exercise nevertheless.

My Results:

I opted to do the challenge in person because I like to know where things are and it seems every time I turn around the store is being reset and things moved.

Without further ado here are my selections and my thinking behind them.

  1. Water bottle, 22 oz $1×2=$2.00
    At a dollar each it was hard to beat the price and it just made sense to grab two of them for a total of 44oz which is roughly a half days supply of water.
  2. Bic Lighter $1.48 one of two fire starting methods
  3. Emergency Food Rations, 2400 calories $4.97
    Yes, you can go weeks without food in the right conditions, but you need an energy source to hike with any speed.
  4. Flashlight & Headlamp $1 each =$2.00
    Have two light sources gives you options, and it is nice that one is hands-free.
  5. Survival Blanket $11.46
    One of my most expensive purchases, I would use this as a sort of sleeping bag. For my something to sleep in and on.
  6. Tarp 6’x8′ medidum duty $3.84
    This what I would construct my shelter with.
  7. Utility Cord, 50ft $3.97 for putting my shelter together
  8. Machette with saw back and firestarter $12.94
    My other big spend besides the survival blanket. This gives me a cutting tool that could be used for self-defense, potentially a saw, and a fire starting tool.
  9. Potable Water tablets $7.28 It may not be in your best interest to start a fire when you need to purify water, and I don’t have anything to boil water in any way.

TOTAL: $49.94

Were there things I would have liked to have had, of course! I don’t have anything to boil water in, I don’t have any hygiene supplies and nothing for first-aid. But I think I could manage three uncomfortable days with this kit.

So lets see what some of our readers came up with:

Rob S. in Washington

  1. 2 pack Bic lighter $2.78
  2. 2 flashlights $2.00
  3. Ozark Trail Multitool $4.97
  4. Ozark Trail stainless knife and firestarter $8.74
  5. Ozark Trail 18oz stainless steel cup $4.97 (boil water/cook)
  6. Gatorade Squeeze bottle, 28 oz $3.99
  7. 6×8 tarp $2.92
  8. utility cord, 50ft $3.97
  9. Adult poncho $3.97
  10. Coleman Emergency blanket $4.99
  11. 4 cans of chili, 15 oz $6.51 (approximately 2080 calories total)

TOTAL: 49.81

You can see that many things are similar to what I came up with, but I wish I could have found the cup he did, and the knife with firestarter was a lot cheaper option than my machete with firestarter. I think my calories were slightly cheaper, but his choice of chili would probably be more satisfying.

Nick L. in Missouri

Nick noted that he used the site for his store and checked that everything was available for pick-up that day.

  1. Stainless Steel Knife w/fire starter $8.74
  2. Mini 4 LED headlamp $1.00
  3. Mini handheld flashlight $1.00
  4. BIC classic lighter $1.48
  5. 6×8 light duty tarp $2.92
  6. Paracord, 50ft $3.94
  7. Sawyer Mini filter w/bag $19.97
  8. Emergency blanket $2.74
  9. Dinty Moore Beef Stew x2 @ $1.98 = $3.96 (400 calories per can)
  10. Corned beef hash x 2 @ $1.98 = $3.96 (640 calories per can)

TOTAL: $49.71

Nick’s total calories for food was 2080 at a cost of $7.92. Same calories as Rob came up with, but at a slightly greater price, but more variety. Nick opted to use the bag that came with the Sawyer mini filter as his water bottle, and he intends to heat up his food in the cans it came in.

Overall I think we all did well and could get buy for three days with what we were able to gather up. Many people complained that $50 was not nearly enough to get what they needed, and many wanted to double the budget “or at least add another $25 to it” as one person requested. Several people sent in what they would do with a higher spending limit, but there isn’t as much of a challenge in trying to figure out how to make it work with a larger margin.

Perhaps if the challenge was to supply two people for a $100 that would be a better challenge as certain things could be used by two people. For example, a slightly larger tarp, could be shared by two without increasing the budget. One cup stainless steel cup could cook a meal for both people so no need for a second one, one Sawyer mini filter could be shared between two people using the cheap $1.00 water bottles etc…

Thank you to everyone who participated in this little challenge. I hope it got you thinking about possibilities. Perhaps will do this again using a different retailer and a little different criteria. Please let us know if that would be of interest to you.

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