Thread: Being Prepared
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Old 03-19-2020, 09:30 AM   #3
Baron Samedi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight Schrute View Post
A recommended list to have would be nice.
I wish it were that simple, but it isn't. Crisis comes in many forms, and there is just no way to cover every situation.

Best bet is to think of it as what would you need for an extended camping trip in a dangerous area.

Fundamentally, there are two factors to consider;

A) Bugging in. What you may need to sustain yourself and family, isolated in your home, for an extended period, without need for assistance. Mind you, this may include more than just everyday things. What if the water supply is unreliable, or poisoned in some way? What if there is no electricity? Can you make it "camping in"? For how long?

B) Bugging out. Do you have stuff that you can grab in a hurry and go? Suppose there is a radiation threat, or a sudden lethal pandemic threat, that forces you out of your home and turns you into a refugee? What stuff would make you best prepared to be a refugee? There are limitations....how much can you fit in your vehicle? How much can you carry if you have to hoof it? Do you have proper gear to carry stuff?

Being prepared means being ready for both scenarios, bugging in, and bugging out. Bugging in is always preferred...you're at home, you have your stuff, you have your community. BUT...be ready for short notice evacuation...you may have to be out of the house in minutes for some reason...could be anything....an evacuation order, a radiation problem, or just a fire in your house. It's nice to have something prepacked and ready to go, all you have to do is grab it and get out.

Things to consider regarding preparedness;

Shelter - Exposure can kill you in 3 hours without proper shelter. This includes proper clothing, and proper shelter and sleep systems. Be warm, be dry.
QUICK TIP: Cotton kills. If wet, it takes a long time to dry out, and acts as a refrigerant rather than an insulator. Avoid cotton whenever possible for clothing and sleeping bags. Good sleep is important. Lack of sleep creates a lot of problems that can be disabling.

Water - Dehydration will kill you in 3 days without potable water. Make sure you have means to make unclean water potable. Boiling is the #1 option, so have something you can boil with. There are many options after that for purifying water. There are tablets, which are cheap and light, but they run out and take a long time to work. Bleach works, but the water tastes terrible. My advice is to get a water filter. I personally like the Sawyer mini. It filters 100,000 liters of water when maintained properly. Don't let any water filter freeze, it won't be effective after that. Also, you will need a means of carrying water....water bottles, canteen, whatever.

Food - Starvation will kill you in 3 weeks. That's a long time. However...your energy, your clarity of thought, and overall performance and ability to make good decisions will decline. Having some food is good. Having a means to acquire food is better. Fishing tackle, snares, pellet guns or firearms are good, but knowing a bit about what is edible that grows in the wild is your best bet, along with some means of getting protein. People starve surrounded by food all the time. Most things around you are actually edible, but mistakes can kill you....so knowledge is key. At least have a couple of foraging books you can refer to.

Fire - Fire is king. Have the knowledge and means to make fire. It can cook your food, it can keep you warm, it can boil your water, it can provide safety and light. Have lots of ways to make fire. I recommend a couple of BIC lighters, a ferro rod or two, and a magnifying lens. BICs work great, but they will run out, and they can fail, especially in the cold. Ferro rods will always work, wet, dry, whatever, and can start hundreds or thousands of fires, but they require really good and really dry tinder. A magnifying lens is only good because, in the right conditions, you can start a fire without using up any resources, it costs you nothing.

In addition - Some kind of small twig stove is good to have. You can cook and boil with nothing but twigs, and it will not leave any trace of fire where you were, and it will save you the trouble of trying to start a fire on wet ground or actual snow. There are lots of good, cheap ones. I use a Firebox Nano, but I would not recommend that because it is unnecessarily expensive. I recommend to go on Amazon and search "Lixada", they make a lot of great, inexpensive twig stoves. Why a twig stove? Because fuel is everywhere. Don't rely on being able to obtain and carry alcohol or propane...you can always find twigs.

Medical - Have some basic first aid stuff, and maybe some trauma stuff, like a tourniquet. Meds are obvious, but that varies greatly from one person to another. One thing I would recommend, is find out your proximity to the nearest nuclear plant. If you are within, say, 50 miles...add Potassium Iodide to your First Aid Kit. It's inexpensive. Not that if radiation is a consideration, MOST radiation is absorbed into the body by inhaling particles, and irradiated particles settling on your skin. Cover your skin, cover your nose and mouth, and you will be in pretty good shape in most circumstances. Potassium Iodide is the last touch that really covers your bases there.

Protection - Broad topic. Protection from dangerous people is a necessity, which may include a whistle, a knife, a gun...whatever works for you...but have something that prevents you from becoming prey. Desperate people are dangerous people.

Miscellaneous tools - #1 on my list is a knife. It covers everything from protection, food prep, fire making, and making other tools. Got to have a knife. Something made for outdoors, and can be carried safely, meaning a sheath, generally. Folding knives are OK, but a fixed blade is much, much better, because folding knives have more points of failure. A kitchen knife can't be safely carried, and is not the best option anyway. Get a real knife. (Budget Option: Morakniv brand. There are no bad Mora's. )

Other tools to consider;

Multitool, like a leatherman

A folding saw

Maybe a hatchet, judgement call

Light...headlamp, flashlight. Preferably rechargeable with a portable solar panel, if not, consider how many spare batteries you want to carry.

Navigation and rescue tools - Compass, signal mirror, whistle, something bright orange that you can wave to get the attention of rescuers. Some sort of map that is not electronic. At least be able to know where you are, and to be able to go in a straight line and not in circles.

There are other items which you should just have, because you will want them or need them. Bandanas....good to use as a head scarf, neck scarf, a debris filter to prevent your water filter from clogging up, emergency bandage or tourniquet...a thousand uses. A big bandana is better, because you can make an arm sling or other things.

Cordage. Cordage is a must. I recommend something with a decent weight capacity...paracord 550, bank line....something that can handle 150 pounds or more. Also, something smaller that you can use for less strenuous jobs, like nylon kite string. Personally, I keep 550 Paracord (the REAL stuff...so it is actually rated for 550 pounds...what you find in Home Depot is fake..but it is still probably good for 250 pounds or so)...and I use common twine. Disposable, cheap, lightweight, flammable..makes great tinder. Same stuff you use in your garden. It's like $1 a roll.

Currency - Money is great. Gold and silver is great. Ammunition. Anything that you will be able to trade to someone for something you may need.

Morale and documents - If there is something important to you, pictures, something priceless and sentimental...and it is small, pack it. If you are a spiritual person..get a pocket bible and pack it. Anything that will keep you in a good frame of mind, keep you from dying from shame and despair. Also, important documents, or at least copies of them...passports, ID, property deeds, bonds...things that you really, really don't want to lose.

I think that's a good starting point...things to think about. I hope this is helpful. It seems like a lot, but it's really just the things you require every day to get by, but take for granted. Just stop taking important shit for granted, and insure yourself, double down on those important things. Make sure you will have them no matter what.

I'll be doing a series of blog posts later this year on my own, personal emergency bag. I can share them here when I do it.

Last edited by Baron Samedi; 03-19-2020 at 09:45 AM..
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Who is this self-important instigating douche-bag, anyway?
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