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Life can throw a lot of different situations at you in a hurry, situations you might never see coming. With the world in the state it’s in, it can be easy to get scared and start feeling like you need to be prepared for “the worst.” The secret to having some peace of mind is being prepared ahead of time for the unpredictable. Because the very worst that can happen is a disaster in which you are unable to care for yourself or the ones you love. That’s where having the best bug-out bag comes in handy.
Article Originally published by Kelli Warner
The best bug-out bag is ready when you need it and contains everything required for living away from civilization for at least 7-days. A bug-out bag assumes that there may come a time when, for whatever reason, you have to leave your home and not return for at least a few days. It also assumes that, should things be so bad that you have to leave your home, you won’t be able to drive down to the local Wal-Mart and stock up on everything you’ll be needing. So it’s important to spend some time ahead of the disaster, assessing your current situation and needs, as well as anticipating your needs down the road. Creating the best bug-out bag you can for your family
What Is A Bug Out Bag?
Several types of emergency preparedness kits are commonly referred to as a Bug Out Bag or BOB. Each serves a different, though sometimes similar, purpose in being prepared for whatever might come your way. An everyday carry kit contains emergency essentials that you keep on your person at all times. These are items that will help you survive emergency situations and daily challenges more easily. A get home bag is designed to do just what the name implies, to get you home. It contains more gear than you would carry on your person every day, and you would typically keep it at your office or in your car. A bug out bag is an emergency kit that provides everything you need to survive for up to a week without any outside contact or resources.
It may help to think of the three types of bags this way: In the event of a disaster, your everyday carry gear gets you from where you are to your get home bag. Your get home bag gets you to your bug out bag. And your bug out bag is designed to keep you safe for an extended period of time.
Identifying Your Needs
Different factors mean different needs. Things to consider when mapping out your bug out bag should include:
Where do you live? Living in a rural or urban environment will influence your needs during a survival situation. If you’re likely to face survival in a disaster-stricken inner city environment, you may require self-defense and demolition tools more than shelter and fire starting materials. However, most people will likely attempt to make it to a wilderness area to wait out whatever situation they’re getting away from.
Where would you go if your home were no longer safe? Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to get a feel for the land and map out various strengths and weaknesses. If you require a map for your chosen area, you’ll want to include one as you pack your bug out bag.
How will you get there? Depending on the type of disaster, there’s the possibility that you’d be on foot. You may need two destinations, one you can reach by car and another by foot. If you were able to “bug out” in your vehicle, all the better, but you want to pack your bug out bag with the thought that you’ll be carrying it a long way. Keeping that in mind will help you to make realistic weight limit decisions. You could always keep an extra bag of “nice to have” items close by to throw in the back of the truck or car if you can drive.
Who depends on you? Few people live in a vacuum. If disaster struck, who would look to you for help? Do you have children in the home? A spouse or partner you need to consider? Keep these people in mind when planning your bug out bag. Involve them in planning and have them, or help them, pack a bug out bag for themselves, as well.
Unique medical needs? Do you, or those you care for, have any unique medical needs that should be considered? Rescue medications like inhalers and Epi-pens should always have a priority place in any emergency preparedness.
Once you’ve identified your needs, along with the people who will need you, make a plan with your family or extended group. Choose an area where you’ll gather should the need arise. Each person should have prepared their own bug out bag and be able to get there independently. For parents with children, consider their age and capability when creating a family disaster plan.
What Should Go In The Best Bug Out Bag?
Water – the human body can only last up to 72 hours without water. You should plan for at least a liter of water, per day, per person. Carrying all that water may not be practical, but you should have at least some packaged water in your bag, as well as ways to sanitize water for future use. Water sanitation tablets or a simple filtration system can be the easiest and lightest to pack.
Food – You’ll want food you can eat now, and ways to get food in the future. Protein bars, MREs or other dehydrated meals, jerky are great. Canned goods may be considered, but they add weight and bulk. There are many pre-packaged emergency foods available commercially. When choosing food, remember to take into account any food allergies or severe sensitivities. One of the last things you want to deal with in the bush is a severe allergic reaction.
Food preparation – Don’t forget that you’ll have to prepare your food. Be sure to include things like:
- P-38 Can opener
- Metal pot or something else to cook in
- Portable stove
- Stove fuel
- Eating utensils and dishes
- Pot scrubber to clean up after
Clothing – This is a variable component, depending on your personality, region, time of year, etc. Layering is the name of the game. Some suggestions:
- Lightweight long sleeve shirt
- At least one pair of long pants – you might consider “zip off” convertible pants
- Hiking boots (on your feet) and an extra pair of shoes, if possible.
- Underwear – a change or two, it’s up to you
- Good socks – several pairs of moisture-wicking socks
- Fleece jacket – medium weight jacket for layering
- Hat with brim
- Gloves – winter or work gloves
- Neck protection – A scarf or gator, for sun or cold
Shelter and Bed
- Tarp – must have
- Tent – optional
- Sleeping Bag – must have
- Ground pad – optional
- Extra blanket – optional
Fire – You really can never have too many methods for starting a fire. Choose at least three to pack in your bug out bag:
Tinder – You’ll want to pack several types of tinder, just in case:
- Cotton balls coated with Vaseline (keep them in a baggie, or they’ll make a mess)
- Pine chips
- Cedar shavings
- Dryer lint
- Commercial fire starters, there are many
First Aid – There are several very good first aid kits available commercially. If you want to put together your own, you’ll need at least:
- Alcohol pads
- Band aids
- Bandages with tape
- Antibiotic ointment
- Sunscreen – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and all that
- Insect repellent
- Super glue for closing wounds
- Medical needs – Inhalers, Epi-pens, blood pressure medications, etc.
- Wet napkins
- Hand sanitizer
- All purpose camp soap (dish soap or bar soap, whichever you prefer, or both)
- Mirror (hygiene and signaling)
- Small towel and a cloth
- Toilet paper (you’ll thank us later)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Personal hygiene needs – deodorant, feminine hygiene products, a brush or comb, ponytail holders if you have long hair, etc.
Tools – It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to tools. Because it’s important to keep the overall weight and bulk down, you’ll want to choose combination tools whenever possible:
- Survival knife – you may already have one as a part of your everyday carry gear, but make sure you have a backup.
- Multi-tool – there are many on the market, get one that gives you the most bang for your buck.
- Hatchet or machete – you won’t want to do everything with your knife, so taking something heavier makes sense.
Lighting – Always have at least primary and one backup light source:
- LED lamp
- Glow sticks
- Extra batteries
Communication – Consider that your cell phone may not work in an emergency. You might want to have a short wave radio, or some other means of communication with you, as well.
Cash – Travel funds. It’s a good idea to have some cash, and perhaps some gold or silver bullion coins, as well.
Local Map – Even if you’re familiar with the area take a map. Not having one could be disastrous.
Compass – you may already have a compass combined with your analog watch. If you do not, include one in your bug out bag.
Notepad and pencil – This is a good place to keep important numbers and addresses. Without a cell phone, many of us wouldn’t remember a phone number to call if we got the chance.
Self-defense – The need for a bug out bag implies that you are trying to survive. Take with you the best means of self-defense that you have. Include non-lethal means, in addition to whatever weapon you might choose to carry: whistle, pepper spray, etc. If you carry a gun, take extra ammunition, 25 rounds minimum.
Misc. items – Make choices based on your abilities, lack of ability, carrying capacity, space, etc.:
- Paracord – Must have – 50′ is a good start
- Bandannas – several cotton bandannas will come in handy for a variety of uses.
- Duct tape
- Garbage bags – 55 gal contractor bags are best
- Resealable bags – four or five, gallon and quart size
- Sewing kit
- Fishing Kit
- Face paint (optional)
- Snare Wire
How to Choose
The fact is, unless your bug out bag is a camper hooked to a truck, you just can’t take everything. That would be camping and not bugging out at all. So at some point you’ll have to make choices based on space and weight limitations. You’ll need to consider the distance you’ll be traveling, as weight can really add up over miles. Being able to get a pack on your back and walk across the yard is no test of your ability to get from point A to point B with it. Remember, the best bug out bag is the one you have when you need it. Having more than you can safely carry, could force you to make decisions about what to leave behind, while already under stress. That won’t set you up for success.
The weight recommendation for men is up to 20% of their body weight. This is an outside max, and assumes peak physical condition. Ten to 15% is a much more realistic weight goal. The weight recommendation for women is 10% to 15% max.
Everything has weight and takes up space. Refer back to your planning phase; remember to choose those items that you are most likely to need first, and add to it as space and weight allow.
Choosing a Good Pack
Keep a couple of things in mind: a compact bag, packed full, with no extra space, is going to be the easiest to carry. A larger, loosely packed bag, even with equal weight, is more uncomfortable. So choose the smallest bag that will still accommodate the volume and weight that you’re targeting. Remember, too, that the bag itself weighs something. Choosing a light but durable bag will be vital to having the best bug out bag possible.
Assembling Your Bugout Bag
Packing things flat, or rolled very tightly, will allow you to fit more in less space. Make a list of items along with their weight. Start packing the most important, keeping track of the overall weight as it grows.
Don’t overestimate your ability to carry your pack for hours at a time. This is a costly mistake that may land you without the survival gear you need. Once you’ve carried a too heavy pack as far as you’re able, you’ll have to lighten it beyond the recommended weight in order to finish your trek. That’s lose lose. Proper packing, keeping your weight limit in mind at all times, is a vital part of preparing the best bug out bag possible.
Be Prepared, Not Scared
Once you’ve packed your bug out bag, take it out for a weekend of camping and survival training. Practicing your survival skills in a non-stress environment insures that you’re ready, physically and mentally, when the challenge arises. Skills that are only in your head, may not serve you well in the field. After a weekend of surviving with your bug out bag, unpack, re-evaluate and repack. Did you find that you needed things you didn’t have? Did you have things you didn’t need, or that would have been better traded out for a different item? Preparing for the future, and whatever eventualities it may hold, allows you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy the here and now. If you’re prepared, you don’t
How To Make An Archer’s Thumb Ring From Bone, Antler Or A Spoon I am no expert what so ever on archery or hunting with bows… That being said I did a little research and learned that you can have a steadier aim and hold the bow drawn longer than most people who do not …
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Survival belts have come a long way…
When thinking about belts, I bet the last thing that comes to mind is versatility. Because the primary function of a belt is to hold up your pants (or discipline children).
And since the latter is frowned upon, we’re left with the basic task of holding up one’s trousers. Beyond that, they are of limited use on a day to day basis, right? That’s what most people think.
But belts are surprisingly useful. A belt can be one of the most functional accessories you wear. A good solid belt is durable, designed to cinch and bind, and can secure things in place.
They can also work as a makeshift self-defense tool. When you really stop to think about it, the survival uses for a good belt are nearly endless.
And more recently belts have become available specifically for survival.
Some survival belts are not much different than regular belts but with much-improved durability.
While other survival belts are designed to with built in survival tools and functions.
That’s why finding the right survival belt for you can quickly become an overwhelming process.
So in this article, we’ll first cover a few of the better survival belts on the market covering the highlights of each belt, and then wrap up by talking about the best survival uses for belts.
So if you’re in the market for a survival belt, I recommend you pay attention. And if you’re not, maybe you should be.
Different Survival Belts and Where to Buy Them
Different belts serve different purposes. And the survival belt niche is growing fast and not all survival belts will accomplish the same things. So when selecting a survival belt, it’s important to consider your goals.
Classic style and rugged versatility, meet utility with this belt. Made by the Side Belts team, this belt’s strap has an internal webbing core and coated in a TPU alloy protective shield. This webbing and coating give it maximum resiliency and durability for emergency situations.
The buckle of The Survival Belt is made of durable nylon. It also features a built-in folding knife, a bottle opener, LED flashlight, and a fire starter rod. This belt has all the essentials for an emergency.
It’s one of the better survival belts on the market today. Watch the video below for an excellent overview of all this survival belt has to offer:
Like the survival belt above, the Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Belt has a lot of built-in features. The strap is durable nylon, and the buckle is a composite plastic that can resist a lot of wear and tear.
The buckle comes with a small compartment to carry a few fishing hooks, fishing line, lead weights, and some clips. Plus, it also includes a signaling mirror and a removable mini-screwdriver with flat and Phillips head.
There is not a lot of “extra” room inside the compartment on this survival belt. However, there’s just enough room for an additional small item or two (i.e. matches, a picture of a loved one, a small blade, etc.)
The Elite Cobra Riggers Belt is a reliable option for tactical climbing needs. It’s got a built-in D-Ring Cobra buckle that allows for repelling from sheer face cliffs.
The strap is constructed using military spec type 13 webbing and is rated for 7000 lbs of tensile strength.
This is one of the simplest, most effective tactical belts on the market.
For obvious reasons, paracord belts make for fabulous survival tools. Paracord belts are durable, and they serve many survival purposes. Just unravel the 550 paracord to offer many yards of high-tensile cordage.
This style of belt is modeled after the paracord survival bracelets. Which serve a similar purpose, but in belt form provides much more length.
Beyond being useful when unraveled, these belts are also durable as is. They can be used for a variety of purposes without ever being unwound.
The Rattlerstrap Paracord Survival Belt is an excellent option for bushcraft survival.
This is the most basic survival belts on this list. I include them not because they’re insanely useful, but due to their reliability. Their dependability is exactly why the US military has been using the same style pistol belt for decades. They work because they are simple.
The material they are made from is both durable, and cheap. It’s a material made for attaching lots of extra tools and weapons. Sometimes simple is best, and if you’re looking for a basic, easy, reliable survival belt, then the Military Style Pistol Belt is the right one for you.
Want a tactical belt and 2 mag pouches for under $15? Look no further than the Condor Tactical Belt.
This tactical belt is designed to carry a pistol and a couple of magazines (plus, whatever extra gear and pouches you can fit).
It has a plastic buckle familiar to the kind used in by the military during the 1980’s and 90’s. It’s a sturdy buckle, but as a caution, if left exposed to the cold for a prolonged period it can be prone to getting brittle and breaking.
The belt itself is extremely versatile. It can be quickly adjusted by the velcro and comes with two adjustable pistol magazine pouches as well. Both of which can be repositioned as needed.
The Many Survival Uses For A Belt
Serious Medical Uses
Tourniquet: Any solid belt can make a great makeshift tourniquet (which is why heroin users are so fond of them). If you must stop bleeding, slip off your belt, and cinch it up tight. Whether it’s to stop a massive cut or in preparation for an amputation, in a pinch a good sturdy belt will get the job done.
Injury elevation: With broken bones or joint sprains; elevate. Elevating an injured limb is key to helping it heal faster. With a belt, create a loop to hold the injured limb and fastened it to something above you.
Splint Fastener: Should you, or someone in your party, break a bone you’ll want a splint. That means attaching a rigid, straight object to the outside of the broken limb to hold it in place.
Pipes, straight branches, ski poles, all work perfectly for this. With your belt, you can secure one or more makeshift splints in place around a broken bone. Keeping it stable to avoid further damage.
A Lethal Self Defense Weapon
A whip: Yeah, using a belt as a whip is a great way to get people to take a step back. When you swing a belt, you can generate enough whip force to break the skin and cause bleeding. And if you’re swinging the buckle end, you can inflict some serious damage. Because now you have an improvised flail.
I’ve even seen some people fasten a rock in a loop at the end of the belt, which also works in a flail-like fashion.
Garrote: It doesn’t take a hyper-creative mind to figure out how you might choke someone with a belt.
Sling: With only a few modifications you can turn a belt into a projectile launching sling. Send rocks or other projectiles hurtling with greater force than your own arms alone. Slings are a very rudimentary, ancient, very reliable form of projectile weaponry.
Make a Spear: Take a knife, strap it to the end of a long stick using your belt. Viola. You’ll have to stick a few holes in your belt to do this effectively. But in desperate times, weapons are more important than pants-holders so keep your priorities straight.
Physical Restraint: You took a hostile prisoner captive and must restrain them. Or maybe someone in your group has gone crazy, and you want to keep them from hurting themselves.
Well, belts are great makeshift restraints. You can secure someone to a tree or pole, or you can use them more like handcuffs. Without a rope or actual cuffs, belts are your next best option.
Fastening Things For Easier Hauling
Carry Many Items: Wrapping your belt around a stack of books, a bundle of firewood, or a bundle of tools allows you to secure them into a single bunch. Making carrying a bunch of stuff much easier.
Cordage: When two objects need binding, but you haven’t any cordage to bind them with, slip off that belt and use it! You can use the belt as a whole, or, if the need arises, you can cut the belt into strips of leather. In this way, you get a multitude of thin cords with which you can secure whatever you need to.
Hoisting Food: At night, you will likely want to keep your food elevated up and out of harm’s way. Belts are great for exactly this purpose. Fasten your food all together into a bundle, tighten the belt around it, and hang it up in a tree.
Storing it up high will keep it away from unwanted thieves and other would-be scoundrels.
A Survival Belt To The Rescue
Pull People Out Of Harm’s Way: If someone falls in a hole, a well, a ditch, or quicksand, you can use your belt to save them. Like a rope, it will extend your reach by several feet, making it easier to pull them to safety.
Drag a Stretcher: If a group member gets injured, or you’ve killed a big game, you’ll want a stretcher to move the load. And if you are alone, that means you are going to have to drag it alone too. Which is easier with a belt or two fixed up as strap handles.
An Extra Note – On Survival Ingenuity
So now that you know how to turn a belt into a meaningful survival tool, you should feel comfortable with your odds. Right? Well, sort of.
If you do, then that’s great, because confidence is half the battle when it comes to survival. But it isn’t the belt that will save your life. It’s your survival ingenuity. Because even if you own the fanciest survival equipment and don’t know how to use it; you don’t stand a chance.
This article serves two purposes: first, to talk about survival belts. And second, to help stimulate the creative survivor in you. If you can turn a belt into a tool that can save a life, you’re honing your survival ingenuity.
Creative survival is the most useful survival and the most effective survival tool. Thinking inside the box can get you killed in an emergency. Being able to think in a non-linear, innovative way will put you a step ahead of the rest. And increase your chances to live another day.
The Final Word
No, belts are not the first tool you think of when planning for an emergency. But for many of use, it’s a tool we wear every single day.
That’s part of what makes a survival belt such incredible tools. The fact that they are almost always there, on your waist, holding up your pants.
The other quality of belts that gives them such utility is their simplicity. Simple objects can be most versatile.
Even if you never use a survival belt as a whip (or a tourniquet) it may still come in handy in other ways.
New survival gadgets are cool, but because they’re so complex they often lose utility. So think carefully when you are packing your bug out bag, or getting ready to evacuate in the face of an emergency.
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Do you have tools that offer the greatest utility with the least amount of space/weight/bulk? Do your tools serve multiple purposes? How much will you really use each item when the time comes?
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How much does your bug out bag weigh?
I’m an ultralight backpacker. Which means I make difficult choices about what to bring and what to leave behind. I take the same weight-conscious approach when constructing a bug out bag because (all things being equal) lighter is better.
However, I always have a bit of room for a deck of cards.
That might sound surprising. At first thought, games may not seem essential, but they play an important role in survival by keeping morale high. A group with no morale has no drive – no will to survive.
Games don’t have to weigh you down. A lot of camping games work well in a bug out bag because they require little or no equipment.
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A deck of playing cards is at the top of my list because it only weighs about 3 and a half ounces, yet you can do so much with it. The obvious ones are card games, like poker, solitaire, bulls, gin rummy, and a hundred others. But there is more you can do with a deck of cards outside of the typical card games:
- Build a card house
- Card throwing
- Practice blackjack card counting
- Card magic tricks
You get the idea.
But I don’t pack just any deck of cards. Like a good survivalist, I prefer each piece of gear to serve multiple purposes. Because of that, I’m a big fan of survival playing cards, which are both informational cards and playing cards.
Here are my 6 personal favorite survival playing cards.
Survival Playing Cards
I don’t have a single “favorite” deck. There are a number of survival decks I like, each for different reasons.
For Wilderness Survival
My go to deck for wilderness survival is Discover Wilderness Survival from SEA and SKY because the cards are so dense with wilderness information. It’s practically a book. I enjoy just sitting and reading the cards.
- Half the deck covers how to survive all kinds of natural disasters, climates, and attacking animals.
- A quarter of the deck deals with survival skills like finding water, gathering food, and building a shelter.
- A quarter of the deck is dedicated to first aid.
A few negative points are that the print is so small, some people will have trouble reading it. Only 3 cards in the deck have illustrations (useful knots, animal tracks, ground-to-air and Morse codes), the rest is all text. Also, the cards a little flimsy.
The deck more than makes up for it by the sheer volume of information you get.
The Freedom of the Hills Deck from The Mountaineers is focused on wilderness travel in the high mountains. It has a special place in my heart because its content comes from the excellent book that got me started in backpacking, Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills by Steven M. Cox.
- Half the deck covers mountain and climbing skills, like how to self-arrest with an ice ax, perform avalanche rescue, build an emergency snow shelter, and set up for belaying and rappeling.
- A quarter of the deck covers wilderness skills in the mountains, like avoiding lighting, and dealing with bears. It contains almost nothing about shelters, water, or food.
- A quarter of the deck is first-aid skills, again specific to the mountains. It covers things like hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude sickness.
The cards are especially thick. Because of that, this deck is a bit thicker and heavier than most playing cards. It weighs in at 115 grams and is 25 mm thick, compared to 98 grams and 19 mm for the Discover Wilderness Survival deck.
For Urban Survival
I spend a lot of time in the woods, so I practice wilderness survival in case I get stuck out there. For most of us, when the SHTF, we’re likely to be in an urban area. That’s why I like the Urban Survival Playing Cards from Tactical And Preparedness Solutions. They’re focused on urban survival.
This deck has a lot of unique tips like using super glue as stitches, purifying water with bleach, getting emergency water from your water heater, and preserving refrigerated food after a power outage.
For Identifying Edible Plants
Wild Cards: Edible Wild Foods by Linda Runyon is a fun deck that a lot of survivalists would be interested in. Each card covers a common wild edible in North America. The back of the card has a full-color photograph of the plant. The front has its description, including which parts to eat and how to prepare them.
This deck has a number of plants that I see on a daily basis around my home in San Francisco, like dock, thistle, mallow, stinging nettle, and chickweed.
There are two things that I don’t like about this deck. The back of each card is “marked” with a different photo, which makes them less playable once you remember, for example, that the sunflower is the 6 of diamonds. Also, I wish some of the photos were taken closer so that I could see more detail.
Still, these cards are great for learning about edible plants and are usable for casual card games.
A Conversation Game
Conflicted: The Survival Card Game is different than the rest of the cards I’ve mentioned. Instead of teaching survival skills, the purpose of these cards is to start a conversation.
Each card describes a debatable end of the world scenario and asks what you would do, for example:
You hear a noise in the back of your house, and you find 12 orphans scavenging for food from your garbage cans. They appear to be kids under 6 years of age. Taking them in would diminish your supply timeline by at least 50%, and you’re not certain you can replenish your supplies once they run out. Plus it would take extra manpower to watch over all of them, and you can spare little since everyone in your camp is constantly exhausted from hard work and rationed meals. Leaving these kids to their fates would mean their deaths, or worse. How would deal with this situation?
The official game is to read a card aloud, have everyone say what they would do, and then each person vote on the best answer. I use them as a conversation starter and I don’t bother with the voting.
This is a good way to learn about your friends, their morals, and how they match up with yours. I’m a big fan of conversation games because they help you connect with your friends on a deeper level than a typical card game does.
Would You Survive If…
The Survival Frog Survival Cards covers both unique SHTF situations, as well as valuable survival tips on how to make it out alive.
Survival examples include:
- A Plane Crash
- Dealing With A “Knockout” Punch
- Shark Attack
- Zombie Apocalypse
- Your Parachute Not Opening
- Plus, 46 Other Survival Scenarios
So this deck of cards is sort of a combination of the “conversation” based survival cards and the “info” ones. This set of survival cards is excellent to spark conversation and debate but alway gives you suggestions on how to survive.
What makes this set of survival cards even more appealing is the price. Right now you can get a set of these cards for FREE (just pay shipping and handling of $3.95).
This is a deal you should take today while it lasts.
Survival Card Weight and Sizes
If you’re a gram counter, I should tell you that some decks are beefier than others. Heavier cards are also bulkier but seem more durable.
|Discover Wilderness Survival||98 grams||19 mm|
|Freedom of the Hills||116 grams||25 mm|
|Urban Survival||111 grams||20 mm|
|Wild Edible Cards||91 grams||17 mm|
|Conflicted||92 grams||17 mm|
|Would You Survive If…||91 grams||20 mm|
All cards were the size of typical poker cards, 2.5“ x 3.5” (6.35 cm x 8.89 cm).
You need a little fun, even in a survival situation.
A deck of cards is cheap, small, lightweight, and versatile. It’s especially versatile when you have a multi-purpose survival deck. Not only can it bolster your morale and give you the will to survive, it can give you the knowledge to survive as well.
I challenge you to take action today: Add a deck of playing cards to your gear list. Get a few decks that you like. Put one in your go bag. Put one in your bug out bag. One in your camping pack, one in your glove box, etc…
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.
I guarantee they will get used one way or another – hopefully just for fun and games.
Did I leave out your favorite deck of survival playing cards? Tell me in the comment section below.
This post was written and submitted by Mike Lin the co-owner of Rallt, maker of packable adventure and travel gear.
The post 6 Best Survival Playing Cards That Are Worth The Weight appeared first on Skilled Survival.
How To Build A Semi-Permanent Family Shelter Shelter is one of the most important things you need to know how to make in an emergency situation. This awesome, family size shelter is just a large “debris shelter” for all intense and purposes but with the added protection from the rain because of the tarp or …
Survival Books Are Amazing
They are simply pages with words all bound together to transfer knowledge. Doing so silently between human beings across time and space.
When you read, you’re learning from (and being entertained by) someone who’s not in the same room as you. Who you’ll likely never meet and who may no longer be with us.
Let that sink in for a moment and you’ll realize how epic an invention they are.
Books became the most dependent method of storing and sharing information for centuries. They’re one the best survival resources because they teach vast amounts of knowledge.
First, you read, then you understand, then you apply, and finally you master.
Everyone Should Invest In A Few Great Survival Books
It’s like having a miniature survival expert in your backpack or on your shelf. One who you can ask for help when faced with difficult survival challenges.
Some survival books focus on specific survival topics. Deep diving into specific survival fields such as edible plants or ascending mountains. While other survival books are more general in nature and speak to a wider range of essential survival skills.
Survival books earn a spot in your library, and in a serious emergency, you’ll be thankful to have your own mini “Survivopedia” on hand.
But beyond being incredibly useful, survival books are also a fantastic form of entertainment.
Getting trapped in a remote cabin by a winter storm is rarely fun, but it’s bearable with something good to read.
Being stuck in a car caught in a mudslide is a major bummer, no doubt. But you can at least take your mind off of the situation with a good book.
Books are a great escape. Even dull fact-filled ones are surprisingly interesting when there’s no other form of distraction
But, there are a lot of survival books out there. Many claiming to be, “the best and most thorough guide to survival ever written by anyone in the history of anything ever”! So, to save you the time and trouble of wading through the mass of options, I’ve compiled a short list of my favorites.
NonFiction Survival Books
Of course, the non-fiction variety of survival books includes the densest information. These are your straight up guides, how-to’s, fact-based DIY types.
If you are looking for an entertaining story to go along with your research, skip down to the next section. You won’t find many stories here. But if you want a valuable resource to keep for emergencies then I recommend the following:
Bushcraft 101 is a survival book that’s been called, “the ultimate resource for experiencing the backcountry”. And that claim is hard to dispute.
Dave Canterbury covers everything from:
- What to pack in your backcountry bag
- How to manufacture tools needed for wilderness survival
- How to protect oneself from harsh natural elements
- Collecting and preparing food
- And more!
This guide has everything you need to get the most out of your wilderness experience. Helping you master the art of bushcraft and connect with nature like never before.
And for those who have mastered the 101 bushcraft series, it may be time to upgraded to Dave Canterbury’s more advanced bushcraft series:
- Advanced Bushcraft: An Expert Field Guide To The Art Of Wilderness Survival
- The Bushcraft Field Guide To Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking In The Wild
They know how to survive in any climate, on any geographical terrain, under any circumstance.
The information in the US Army Survival Manual has been field-tested and battlefield-proven to an efficient and effective level.
It ‘s the perfect guide for your wilderness survival needs.
It doesn’t cover things like “how to build a fire with wet firewood“. You won’t learn “how to skin, clean, and cook a dead snake“.
While it doesn’t have any fancy survival tricks SkilledSurvival.com is known for, Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills is JAM-PACKED with important alpine survival info.
If you are at all interested in rock climbing, ice climbing or backcountry medicine, this book is for you. Get it.
The Field Guide to North American Edible Wild Plants covers over 200 edible wild plants and contains 400 bright color photos. Making it easy to identify specific plants in their images and descriptions.
Anyone interested in determining, collecting, and eating wild plants needs a copy.
Eating wild plants can be a dangerous business. One should be 100% certain of what they are eating before they eat it.
Lest they risk ending up like Chris McCandless from Into the Wild.Who died of severe food poisoning all alone in the woods. Which would suck, right?
Eating wild edible plants can prolong your survival, or they can end it. Get this book BEFORE you consume any wild edibles.
- Need tips on foraging? How To Survive In The Woods shows you how
- Need fishing lessons? This book can help
- Never trapped animals before? You will learn the key concepts
How To Eat In The Woods is a book all about maintaining your sustenance without grocery stores, pantries, and restaurants.
Good for both survival and preparedness.
- Building fires
- Collecting food
- Building shelters
- Making tools
All with personal anecdotes from the author’s life. Outdoor Survival Skills should find space as one of the best survival options on your bookshelf.
Have you ever heard of the Green Berets? If not, they are US Special Forces, and they are badass. Insanely BADASS.
They prepare to survive any mission they are charged with. Which means their training is brutal and intense.
In Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual, retired Special Forces officer Mykel Hawke gives a crash course in Green Beret survival knowledge.
Perfect for both everyday citizens and skilled survivalists alike.
The SAS Survival Handbook goes over almost every plausible disaster/emergency/shit-hits-the-fan scenario.
No matter whether you’re a keen prepper, a savvy survivalist, a simple hiker, you should keep a copy of this book with you.
It has something useful for everyone in every situation. It even covers surviving in different geographic areas with different terrain and climates.
Survival Novels (Nonfiction and Fiction)
Fiction survival novels are not textbooks. They are not crammed with dry factual information. However, there’s still much one can learn from nonfiction and fiction survival novels.
Reading stories of these characters and how they prolong their lives can help you survive. They serve as inspiration that can save your life.
Plus, having a story to entertain yourself with can be incredibly useful as well. Entertainment is a valuable resource, especially if it’s full of useful survival information.
Hatchet was one of my favorite books growing up. Gary Paulson, the author, taught me more about the vast wild and the human will to survive than I could ever explain.
A young man traveling in a small plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness.
Where he’s forced to live out a season besides the lake, which swallowed his plane and pilot. He has to hunt, trap, fish, make fire, and seek help all with only a single tool: his hatchet.
A hatchet that saves his life and allows him to survive time and time again throughout the story. If you want a great read that you will learn a lot from, look no further!
When it comes to being stranded and forced to survive as a castaway, even a two hundred old story is still full of relevant knowledge today
But thankfully they shortened the title from its original. “The Life and Strange Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years” to simply “Robinson Crusoe“.
The Life of Pi has recently been adapted for the big screen. It chronicles the adventures of a boy, who becomes stranded on a life raft at sea with a tiger, zebra, and monkey.
The story is every bit as strange as it sounds. And it’s every bit as full of useful survival intelligence as it’s weird adventures.
- Organize themselves
- Create rules
- Delegate responsibility
- And strive for social power
The boys must learn to hunt boars, start and maintain fire and live with one another.
Lord of the Flies is a harrowing illustration of the savage that lives in all of us.
This story is a personal account from one of the only survivors.
The destructive storm took five lives and put the climbers through physical and emotional hell.
Into Thin Air is a story full of conflict, struggle, personal turmoil, and above all else, survival.
The remaining 1% is forced into a world littered with dead bodies. Where lawlessness reigns and wickedness flourishes. The survivors form into two encampments that both strive to rebuild what was lost. One is good, and the other is evil.
The Stand is one of Stephen King’s finest works. He illustrates masterfully how mankind might fall into chaos and rise from the ashes.
The movie was good, the book is better. If you’re looking for a good survival page-turner, this is it.
If you’ve ever felt the desire to leave your current life behind and go live in the remote wilderness all alone, you’ll have an immediate and deep connection with Chris McCandless. However, this is a cautionary tale as well.
Remote wilderness survival has its romantic side but it also has a brutal uncaring nature.
The Final Word
Books are not the first thing people think of when they start planning for a survival. Instinct drives you to grab weapons, food, water purification, and shelter gear first. But I urge you to invest in a few key survival books.
Honestly, any book in a survival situation is a good book, even if it is a fairy tale, that has nothing to do with reality. Because entertainment and distraction can be every bit as important in a SHTF scenario as food and water.
But survival books are good for the mind and they are good for the soul.
And maintaining a sharp and focused mind is imperative. Plus, in a post-order economy, books will become treasured items. Their trade value will skyrocket. You may find yourself with some serious power of commerce.
They are useful on other levels as well: they can work as makeshift pillows and pages as a fire starter. Although, I’d be hesitant to burn any valuable information in the book.
There’s no excuse not to have a few of the best survival books on your shelf. So select the ones best suited to you, and waste no time adding them to your survival arsenal.
What survival books or survival novels are your favorites? Which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments below.
The Importance Of A Get Home Bag And A Great Starting List I am sharing this article as I know a lot of you are new to prepping or just looking if it’s something you could do. This artcle is actually from a new prepper who shares her get home bag with us all and …
The post The Importance Of A Get Home Bag And A Great Starting List appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
During my camping trips, I often had the pleasure to chat with different park rangers. We often discuss about wilderness survival and about the rescue missions they partaken. After countless discussions I can state that wilderness survival is based on three factors: survival knowledge, equipment and will to survive. These are the main factors that … Read more…
How To Get Water, Filter and Purify 101 Water is essential for surviving more than a few days and will be your #1 priority in a survival situation. On average we can survive around 3 days without water. If SHTF and you don’t have a source for water or the means to purify it, you …
Have you ever dug a large hole or trench without a shovel? I hope not because it royally sucks.
Trust me; a stick is no substitute for a shovel.
It doesn’t matter what material you’re digging through – dirt, sand, mud, snow or ice. Plus, if you’re not wearing gloves you destroy your hands. With gashes, scrapes, cuts, blisters, and bruises.
Even worse, you end up wasting valuable hours and spending excess energy. Digging without a shovel is a difficult, tiresome, and even dangerous chore.
And that’s why Man invented shovels long (long) ago.
A Bit Of Shovel History
In fact, shovels may rank as one of mankinds oldest tools. Throughout most of the history of mankind, shovels were the only tool for serious excavation. They made it possible to build foundations, irrigation systems, sewage troughs, etc.
They allowed “ancient man” go from mud hut villages to planned cities. Right up to the second industrial revolution, shovels were the standard for excavation.
At one time, manual shoveling became so important that scientists began studying the “science of shoveling.” This field of study was to help make shoveling as efficient as possible. However, that was just before the invention of the steam engine.
But for some jobs, nothing can replace a good shovel, and they still play a significant role in:
– Military regimens
– Small projects in mining and construction
– Emergency rescue (i.e. firefighters, EMTs and SWAT teams)
– Backyard gardening and landscaping
The basic design of a shovel is simple. There’s nothing fancy about it. It’s made up of a thin, flat, sturdy spade-shaped hard material with a handle attached. It’s simple, but it’s effective.
But the shovel has come-a-long way over the course of human history. Today, shovels are not just shovels. They are specifically designed for specific jobs.
For example, there are shovels made specifically for avalanche rescue. There are military shovels for digging foxholes for war. Some shovels are ideal for digging deep narrow holes, while others are made for planting gardens.
In recent years, the survival community began developing what we call survival shovels. Tactical shovels made specifically by and for wilderness survival.
The bottom line is there’s a shovel for almost any type of circumstance. And while any shovel is better than no shovel, as you’ll soon see, not all shovels are created equal.
Today, grabbing “any old shovel” for survival is a terrible idea. The standard backyard shovel is too long, too heavy, too bulky to take with you. Especially by foot.
These run of the mill shovels won’t fit inside your bug out pack and will slow you down.
Yes, a regular shovel will fit in most cars or trucks, but it will take up valuable space. And as you’ll soon find out, they can’t hold a candle to a modern day tactical survival shovel.
10 Best Survival Shovels
Survival shovels are designed, top to bottom, for survival. They pack down tight, they’re light but sturdy and fit into a large bug out bag or survival pack.
The best ones incorporate critical survival tools. Such as hatchets, saws, fire starters, flashlights, and weapons. The handle of the modern day survival shovel has become a storage location. For all sorts of essential gear.
These new shovels are the pinnacle of shovel tech and would make our ancestors proud.
If you choose this shovel for your bug out bag, then you won’t have to pack as many separate tools. This shovel’s got you covered and includes:
• Sharp Axe Blade
• Serrated Saw Edge
• Fire Starter
• Emergency Whistle
• Bottle Opener
These extra tools help make this well-designed survival shovel extremely versatile.
Obviously, it can dig holes and trenches, but it can also saw logs, chop wood, cut, pick and pry to your heart’s content.
You have two options to choose from with the FiveJoy Compact MilitaryFolding shovel. A lighter compact version (C1) or the larger heavy duty version (RS). If you’re planning to hike, backpack or bug out with it then go with the lighter option. Otherwise, you’ll want to upgrade to the heavier duty version.
Either way, this shovel is a tough son-of-a-gun. It’s forged from heat-treated high-quality carbon steel (blade and knife) and aerospace grade aluminum (knife). These metals give the shovel maximum strength and lifetime durability. It’s also rust, water, and fracture resistant.
Unlike other survival shovels, you can adjust the shovel angle with its unique screw locking mechanism, allowing it function in alternate positions. It can be setup at 40°, 90° or 180° angles to operate as a shovel or a hoe.
Smart engineered handle design optimizes comfort and control. The slip proof foam cushion on the aluminum handle is water resistant, quick to dry.
It’s the real deal survival shovel and worthy of an investment in your survival arsenal.
Here are a few other multifunction survival shovels worth taking a look at as well:
Some survivalists prefer their survival shovel to function as a shovel, and that’s it. I totally get that. Perhaps you have more fire starters, knives and whistles you’ll ever need, so why get a survival shovel that includes more of these items.
Or perhaps you’d prefer your survival shovel be compact but not necessarily one that breaks down. Because we all know, the breakdown joints are where a shovel will fail first. So how about just eliminating the joint all together?
If these arguments sound like you, and you prefer a simple and sturdy over complex, then you should check out the Cold Steel 92SFS Special Forces Shovel.
It’s both lightweight and robust, with the shovel head made from medium carbon steel. The handle is made out of durable hardwood.
No bells, no whistles, just pure survival shovel goodness.
Let’s imagine you want to keep things simple, but for your situation, you also want it to fit inside a backpack. Then look no further than the Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade.
It’s a proven, rugged and reliable design and can be used in various military, hunting, survival, tactical, industrial and outdoor situations.
The shovel power-coated boron carbon steel head also includes a serrated edge on one side to allow you to cut through those thick roots when trenching. The shape of the blade also promotes deep penetration into the ground with each strike.
This compact but mighty trencher comes in at an easy-on-the-back 2 lbs and breaks down to only 9.37 inches when in its closed position. When fully open, just use the safety locking design, and you won’t have to worry about it collapsing on you during use.
Lastly, the open handle design allows for maximum grip and power helping blast through your trenching chores quickly.
This shovel takes the simple idea of the wooden handle shovel in its overall simplicity and then upgrades it in both build and style. The United Cutlery Kommando Shovel features an bang near indestructible, injection-molded nylon handle. With 30 percent nylon & fiberglass reinforcement.
The shovel head is made from tempered 2Cr13 stainless steel coated with hard, black oxide.
The shovel’s leading edge is sharp. Plus, the shovel blade includes a partially serrated edge on one side and a concave chopping edge on the opposite.
The shovel also includes a reinforced nylon belt pouch for safe storage and portability.
The bottom line is this survival shovel has a few extra worthwhile features without trying to do it all. It’s a badass survival shovel that looks as good as it digs. It’s ideal for all camping and outdoors adventures and helps with digging, light chopping, or even a defensive weapon in an emergency.
If you use any of the shovels we already covered, you’re doing to be digging from your knees. They are too short to stand and use your feet to dig like you would a standard backyard shovel.
But that’s where the Iunio Miltary Portable Folding Shovel makes its mark.
This shovel not only has many additional survival tools built in (saw, bottle opener, nail extractor, emergency whistle, fire starter, hammer, etc.) but when fully assembled is 35 inches in length (get the 35-inch version, skip the 31 inch). Yes, you get to stand and dig.
However, if you ever find your in a situation where a shorter survival shovel would work better, just remove the extension sections. You get to choose your shovel length but by adding or removing extensions.
It’s a favorite shovel among outdoor adventurists including Off-roaders, 4-Wheelers, Backpackers, Campers, RVers, Cadets, Scouts, Military Personnel, Hikers, Hunters, Fisherman, etc.
The shovel blade and handle are made from high-carbon steel which is both high-strength and wear-resistant. The grip on the handle is rubber. This military shovel passed all the manufacturer’s durability tests and field trials with flying colors.
The shovel also folds up and fits nicely in a provided high-quality tactical waist pack. The package comes with a belt loop to carry at your side and will work with MOLLE. So it’s easy for you to hang it on your belt or bag for transportation.
But the Iunio Miliary Portable Folding Shovel is not the only option with the extending length function.
Here are a few more survival shovels with extensions:
What I like most about the Schrade SCHSH1 Telescoping survival shovel is the telescoping features and the T-grip. These take your basic trenching shovel and add a couple of key features that help you get the digging job done.
It’s made out of 055 Carbon Steel and the head has is slightly sharpened. The overall blade length is 7.41 inches. The handle can telescope to different lengths as desired up to 19″ in length max.
The entire shovel only weighs 2 lbs. This is one tough shovel too, it won’t come apart under real use like some other shovels we’ve seen.
The Final Word
No matter what you’re digging, where you’re digging it, or why, there is a survival shovel out there designed for the job.
That is why it is so important to make sure that you have a survival shovel packed and ready with the rest of your bug out gear.
You will thank yourself later – because a shovel is the kind of instrument you don’t need until you need it, and then it is necessary.
I can’t stress enough how bad it sucks to dig a hole with your bare hands or with a stick. In fact, it is downright dangerous. Those scrapes and cuts are prone to infection.
Having a shovel is a means of self-preservation – don’t waste any time. Make sure you’re prepared on this front by finding the perfect survival shovel that will best meet your needs and fit your survival plan.
Nomad shelters helped man survive in the wilderness for generations. As long as you had the proper knowledge and resources, you could build a shelter in a few hours. Making a snow cave to keep you warm at night is not complicated, but there are some tricks to it. During this time of year, a … Read more…
How To Make Bug Out Caches And Resupply Trips | episode 134
Mike returns to the podcast this week and we discuss Bug Out Caches and resupply trips.
Just to define a cache real fast.
- 1.a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place.“an arms cache”verb
- 1.store away in hiding or for future use.
Now that you know what a cache is you can see why we would want a Bug Out Caches.
In our case as preppers having extra stores away from our main preps just makes sense.
Most Bug Out Bags are built to work for 72 hours. What happens if you need more supplies?
With caches, you can even carry less weight initially.
- Resupply trips
- Mail drops
- Scavenging excursions
- Buried caches along all bug out routes.
- Staches at friends house and Vice versa
- Use some geocaching techniques
- Have places marked on your bug out routes to resupply? Know which places have what.
- Know the lesser used locations
- Mark the more dangerous places as ones to avoid. I.e A certain store gets robbed often.
- Have the numbers to be able to call ahead and check on availability.
- Like hiking the Appalachian train you can use mail drops in certain bug outs.
- If it’s a localized emergency.
- use mail drops to have things waiting for you.
- With amazon prime, you can have items delivered in two days or less.
- Think last minute drops to a bol or hotel even.
- Not just for when SHTF
- Mark GPS locations of wild edibles along your bug out routes.
- Know game trails around your Bug Out Routes
- You can cache hunting/ fishing and trapping items along the way.
- don’t rule out dumpster diving especially in urban areas.
Mike has a fun rant this week about feminist.
Amazon Item Of The Day
The Amazon item today is the Olight H1R Nova.
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The post How To Make Bug Out Caches And Resupply Trips | episode 134 appeared first on Survival Punk.
Concepts abound for how to provide shelter in the wilds after a bug out escape has been executed. The sheltering ideas are as diverse as there are preppers and the personalities of people wanting get out of Dodge when things go south. The options vary from the totally austere use of a mere tarp thrown over a clothes line between a couple trees, to investing in an outbound parcel of land with a house, barn, or other conventional fixed prep shelter.
In between the ends of this spectrum are all kinds of options. Some prefer simple camping Boy Scout type tents, others opting for sturdier outfitter walled tents. Beyond tents are fixed campers on wheels of all designs. Some are lightweight pop-up types with a tent type fold out top, but a solid floor with living conveniences built in. Others are just tiny, enclosed, walled, towable trailers.
Naturally, there are full bore travel trailers of every description on the market from basic units on one axle to huge outfits on dual axles with an extra slide out room or more, and nearly all the amenities of a regular house, only it’s portable. These are self-contained living quarters than can be towed to any outlying camping area, to secured and hidden locations.
Then, there is another category of camping trailers that are just a bit more out of the normal mainstream of camping units. One such outfit named the Timberline Range Camps is located in Mount Pleasant, Utah. A fitting location to headquarter a specialty camping trailer company.
The Timberline Outfit
This team of outdoors minded people have created a line of camping trailers including 11 different models currently available with all kinds of differences in sizes, options, amenities, and equipped to provide about any kind of an outdoor escape shelter. When making an investment like this, there is certainly a lot to consider. While this report is suggesting their use as a potential SHTF Bug Out shelter, naturally they have suitable applications to any outdoors recreational activity from camping in the great outdoors, fishing, hunting, cycle or ATV riding to just relaxing in the woods or by the stream or lake. Such would make great dry runs for a real SHTF event.
Just by appearance one gets the impression of the quality of these units; they definitely have an air of ruggedness about them. They certainly are not cheaply made simple camping trailers with weak frames or construction. These units are intended for extended outdoor living if necessary.
The Timberline Escape Model
For this report, we selected one of the eleven models to concentrate on, so readers would have an idea of the features of one unit. The Escape being appropriately named for prepping and survival, is a unit that is 21-feet long, nearly 8 foot wide inside with an interior length of 16 feet. The height of the unit is 11 feet. Ground clearance on these trailers is of particular interest being 24-inches which is a very high clearance for a unit of this type.
Contained within is a long list of standard features with other options that can be custom ordered. First, at the rear of the unit is a full main bed, a pull out table, twin trundle bed with under bed storage. The Escape is set up to sleep four. Forward is a kitchen, living area with seating benches, a wood stove, a 3-burner cooktop, a 2.7 cu. ft. refrigerator, and a sink. There is a shower and a toilet. You have to realize these campers are designed to maximize minimal space if that makes sense. They are compact for sure, but laid out to be comfortable and utilitarian. Amazingly, there are plenty of cabinets and storage space, too.
These campers have a stronger frame than most and more insulation to withstand colder or hotter weather. These units include a solar panel, 2 30-pound propane tanks, a 20,000 BTU forced air furnace and a water package including a 42-gallon fresh water tank. The units have gray and black water holding capabilities as well.
The electric package includes outlets, lighting and other features to enhance the use of the units. There is a full complement of inside and outside lights, running lights and tail lights. There are two 6-vdc deep cycle batteries for the camper. Full camper hook ups are included in the event you have access to external utilities, water hookups, and gray/black water release hook ups. Options are many including built in entertainment packages, satellite ready, a toy hauler deck for an ATV or motorcycle(s) that then becomes an exterior porch for relaxing.
Read Also: Prepper Basics – Shelter in Place
You just have to review their web site to get a full appreciation of the design and function of these camper units. These would be ideal for a Bug Out escape, and or a ready set up alternative shelter in place, ready to use. Add an outside supply and equipment shed, and any prepper would be comfortable for an extended stay.
How much? Have you shopped the cost of a new car or pickup truck lately? I have. The new Toyota Tundra I would love to have tops $50,000. I will probably settle for a Chevrolet Silverado like I have had since 2008 for around $40,000. The base model Timberline Escape camper goes for around $42,000.
If you think that is expensive then price other camping trailers, a few acres of isolated farmland, or woodland property, and add the cost of building a small camp house. The Timberline’s are well within the reasonable costs for a SHTF Bug Out shelter. And you can move it around as necessary for additional recreational options.
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Ask a Prepper Series: What is Your Bug Out Shoe of Choice? What shoes or boots do you plan on wearing when you have to bug out, and why? This is the simple question we posed to the team over at TruePrepper. Everyone responded pretty quickly and didn’t have to mull it over that long. …
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Editor’s note: Please welcome “Dan Sullivan” from Survivalsullivan.com to the site. Dan is a prepper from Romania, and brings us some advice and knowledge he has gained from prepping in Europe. Please welcome him to the site! If, by some unfortunate turn of events, you determine that your home is not safe and needs to be […]
Some preppers and survivalists might scoff at such an idea. After all, beyond the initial 72 or so hours of a bug out scenario, most would think you’d be surviving out of more permanent supply sources than another bag or storage box. Well, you might be, or in some cases, you might not be. SHTF happens. The idea of a secondary supply bag then may not seem like such a bad or farfetched idea.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache
Every bug out plan however perfectly executed may not pan out exactly as planned. You may have cached out a perfect bug out hiding location, a camping spot, another shelter at a long range destination or other hold over site until calm returns, or a new lifestyle starts. But what if you don’t make that back up site right away or at all?
Related: 10 Bug Out Bag Essentials
What if there are delays or outright changes in the plan altogether? What will you do if roadblocks hinder your progress or throw you off on an entirely new route, one you have not practiced or are even familiar with. Suppose riots, armed threats or searches deter you? If any of that happens or more, you’ll need additional survival provisions to survive.
Defining Long Term
This is obviously the hard part. During any kind of a SHTF, time frames simply cannot be nailed down, or likely even predicted. Everything is in flux, and I mean everything. If you were even successful at getting away from your primary residence, or work with family in tow if that is part of the plan, then you will spend some time in travel. You may have calculated the Bug Out trip in advance knowing how many hours or days it will take to arrive at your back up location, SHTF housing or secure site. Assuming that all works out.
As a suggested back up plan then, or a sort of supplemental Plan B, one should also prepare for the potentiality of an extended short term situation turning into something more. But what? It seems reasonable all else being equal to have emergency provisions beyond the 72-hour scenario for a minimum of two weeks at least with the possibility of a month not being unrealistic.
Back Up Bag Scenario
Let’s be truthful here, too. In most real Bug Out situations, you do not want to have to plan to abandon your vehicle to hike on foot. It could happen, but it is not a best case scenario to strike out into the woods with a one bag source of supplies. Most of us are simply not equipped physically or emotionally to hike off into the sunset to try to “live off the land.” Perhaps the top tier of survivalists could, even for a while, but it is the toughest plan to achieve.
If it comes to it, should you become detoured, plan instead a hide in place by the vehicle on an abandoned road, under a bridge, or other place where your vehicle could be parked relatively safe, and out of sight. Then plan to camp there with your vehicle and supplies as long as you have to or indeed as long as you can. Doubtless this could be a highly “iffy” situation, but it could happen.
Also Read: Knee Deep in Bug Out Vehicles
The vehicle then becomes your fort, your storage container, tent, and thus offering some measure of security and comfort. But, you’ll need the extra extended supplies, goods, and gear to make this viable until you can move on or be forced to hunker down there.
Then later, if you do reach your intended secondary site, these back up provisions can be used there in addition to what you may have already cached in place or hidden along the way. To be honest, if Plan A never works out, and Plan B’s provisions are expended, then basically all bets are off.
You may have to then shelter in place, wherever or whatever that turns out to be. It is not without consideration to think about a scrounging plan as well, but hope it does not come to that. Always remember many others are out there vying for the same limited sources of supplies or even what you have already secured.
Secondary Bag Priorities
By bag, this could be a very large zippered duffle type bag with triple or more interior space than your initial 72-hour Bug Out type bag. Ideally, it would need sturdy grab handles on each end and perhaps the sides. Loaded such a bag will be heavy. Two people will likely be needed to load it in a vehicle. But, honestly, it does not have to be a bag at all. There are some very large, and of course heavy when loaded as well, storage boxes that can withstand a lot of abuse. These can be packed, locked, and stored in a ready grab spot as a throw in bag/box. This may not be an option for every prepper, but it is a backup worthy of consideration. Again, this bag or box should be provisioned with enough additional consumables and gear to manage the two weeks to a month or even longer term.
It would seem the highest priority should go to food, and water, or additional equipment to convert questionable water sources into acceptable water, as not enough could be transported via this plan. Food supplies, also need to be light, and offering long term viability. This means a large quantity of quality pre-packaged survival foods offering maximum variety and palatability. This implies commercial survival foods, dry packages, freeze-dried, and or MRE type meals. Frankly, you can forget carrying canned goods and such as the weight and volume would be too much to handle.
Though debatable as personal choices, a good cooking mess kit should be included as meal prep would be more than munching a protein bar at this point. Minimalist type gear is important, but necessary anyway.
Add to the long term bag more gear. An axe, more tarp covers, more medical supplies especially medications needed for specific disorders that require treatment. Rope, rough wood saws, a hammer, large nails/spikes, batteries, more matches and butane lighters, candles, more flashlights, zip bags, heavy duty trash bags, work gloves, a knife or two more. Water storage bags would be helpful. Include light fishing gear and/or nets. Add whatever else you can manage. Seasonal clothing as space permits or yet another soft bag?
Add more ammo, perhaps a thousand rounds each for a primary rifle and handgun with half that for a shotgun. Add one or two more weapons if convenient. Sounds extensive? Expensive? Perhaps. You have to make that judgement on what you can handle. These goods are carried by the vehicle and stored there during travel or roadside camping, perhaps for the endurance.
The long term survival bag (LTSB) then is provided to extend the usual 72-hour initial Bug Out period as or if needed. It certainly could come in handy and also in the end supplement what has already been stocked at some alternative sheltering site. It’s just an idea, but one acted upon soon and in hand rather than merely wished for later under more dire circumstances.
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An I.N.C.H Bag stands for I‘m Never Coming Home Bag
It’s a Bug Out Bag on steroids. If you build an INCH Bag, not only are you planning to get the hell out of Dodge but fully intend to never come back.
For some of us, there’s zero difference between our current bug out bags and an INCH bag. Maybe you’ve planned your bug out bag as an INCH bag from the very start. And if that’s you, great!
However, most people built their bug out bags intending to return home as soon as things are all clear. If this is you, you may now be interested in the key differences between a regular bug out bag and an INCH bag. Differences such as bag size, gear selection, weight, and supplies.
You also might want to plan an INCH Bag just in case SHTF happens and it’s NOT just a short-term emergency.
But what extra gear should you add? And what gear should you leave behind? We’ll answer both of these questions and more.
But let’s all agree on the following definitions first:
Get Home Bags vs Bug Out Bags vs INCH Bags
Here’s the way I think about Get Home Bags vs Bug Out Bags vs INCH Bags.
First off, get home bags are small everyday carry packs with limited gear and supplies. They include the essential items to help “Get You Home Safe” after a local disaster. You should take your get home bag with you everywhere you go. You can leave it in your vehicle, but it should always be close at hand. The bag is there to help you survive a treacherous trip across town back to home base.
Now bug out bags cover the ground between the get home bags and INCH bags (which is a very broad range). They are often built for a fews days, a few weeks, or even for the long haul. This makes building your bug out bag a very personal task.
You get to decided what to put in your bug out bag based upon your survival goals and needs.
For instance, if you have a bug out location figured out, maybe you built your bug out bag to get you from Point A to Point B fast. Whether that’s a 30-mile hike or a 90-mile hike, you still have a specific amount of time and distance that your bug out bag was built to support.
However, INCH Bags are built specifically to support an ongoing wilderness survival plan. With an INCH bag, you’re leaving home and never ever coming back. Most likely you won’t be staying long in any single location. Instead, you intend to live the life of a survival nomad and need a bag that can support this effort.
Now that we have a sense of the definition differences between these three bags, let’s discuss a few of the specific differences between bug out bags and INCH bags.
Main Differences Between Bug Out Bags and INCH Bags
INCH bags are heavy. There’s no way to get around this fact. In order to carry all the long term gear and supplies, you’ll need to stock it completely full with highly self-reliant gear.
- You’re going to want to carry a hatchet.
- You’re going to need a large stainless steel water bottle.
- Most likely, you’ll want to pack a survival tarp and Bivvy Sack.
- You’ll want to stuff some extra warm clothes into the pack.
All this “extra” gear adds up fast. So while you should have a target Bug Out Bag weight of 25 to 35 lbs. an INCH bag will easily weigh over 40 lbs. (and could reach north of 50 lbs.)
This is what I call freaking heavy.
Now, unless you’re in great shape and relatively young, a pack in this weight range will be brutal to carry day in and day out. This extra weight will slow your pace of travel and will reduce the number of miles you can hike each day.
But what you lose in speed and distance, you’ll make up in better self-reliant gear and supplies. If you’re never coming home (and don’t have a permanent bug out location) it’s worth trading slow travel for a more sustainable survival setup.
But the bottom line is that the INCH Bag is more of a young man’s game – as they say.
So what gear do you need to build the ultimate INCH bag?
You need to shift your focus to gear that will support an ongoing nomadic survival life. You’ll want to add survival tools that allow you to utilize all of nature’s resources to the maximum advantage.
Living off the land and turning wilderness resources into shelters, calories, and self-defense.
So I recommend you start by reading our comprehensive guide on building your bug out bag. This guide includes 104 items you may want to add to a bug out bag. Then once you’re familiar with all the best bug out bag gear, it’s time to start thinking about some upgrades for an INCH Bag.
Here’s a list of all the high self-reliant gear you should include in your INCH Bag:
INCH Bag H2O Plan
You have to think about your survival water plans differently when you’re never-coming-home. When you’re perpetually on the move, finding water will become a struggle. And even if you find abundant water, you’ll still have to be smart about how you filter and purify it.
In a typical bug out scenario, you toss a couple of LifeStraw Water Filters and some Water Purification Tablets into your bag and your all set. Any water you find, not matter how nasty, you filter, purify, and drink up.
So you need to change your mindset. You should still stash a LifeStraw Water Filter (or two) and a bunch of Water Purification Tablets, however, you should avoid using them except in dire circumstances.
Instead, you should purify the majority of your water by boiling it. Yes, it’s a slower process but boiling is still effective. That’s why I recommend you only carry a Stainless Steel Water Bottle. Plastic bottles will melt over fires. Stainless steel ones allow you to boil water repeatedly without damaging the container.
Since you’ll be boiling the majority of your water for purification, you’ll significantly extend the useful life of your LifeStraw and Tablets. Thus, saving these unique tools for the nastiest of water sources and times when you must filter and purify quickly on the move due to danger.
Otherwise, collect it, start a fire, boil it, let it cool, and then drink it up.
Tools For Catching Calories
When planning to live off the land for long periods of time you need the right tools to do so. You need every advantage you can get and you need to use them all.
You’ll need to catch fish. You’ll need to snare or trap small game (rabbit, squirrel, raccoon, snake, etc.) You’ll also need to understand the principles of foraging for edible plants, fruits, and berries and the tools to do so efficiently.
So let’s walk through the tools you need to keep your belly full in the wild.
Compact Fishing Rod
At a minimum, your fishing rod needs to be collapsible. But I prefer the pocket sized rods like this small compact Ronco Pocket Spincaster. These fishing rods are perfect for snagging a few lake trout or bluegill for dinner.
These rods are no replacement for a Shakespeare Ugly Stick Rod but they are compact, lightweight and can still provide an ongoing supply of nutritious fish protein.
These Yo-Yo Reels are a “must pack” item to take your fishing efforts to an entirely new level of efficiency. Instead of wasting time waiting for a nibble, you can set these Yo Yo Automatic Reels out and walk away. That way you can get some other survival tasks done and come back later to (hopefully) reel in your catch.
This one’s obvious. If you intend to catch fish then you need all the hooks, swivels, weights, and accessories to go with it. Pack extra because once you’re out, you’ll have to barter for more (if you can find any at all).
They take up very little pack space and are lightweight which makes them a no-brainer addition to every INCH Bag.
Slingshot hunting is an underappreciated skill by many survivalists. With the right Survival Slingshot, you can take down both small game and even some medium sized game. Plus, you can carry a ton of slingshot ammo and even use natural stones as ammo in a pinch.
The slingshot is an excellent weapon for replenishing your survival food and it should find a small compartment in your INCH Survival Bag.
The biggest advantage of choosing a takedown bow is its ability to break down into smaller component parts. This allows you to pack your bow away while traveling.
The third option is the crossbow, which also doesn’t easily break down for storage, but allows you to walk around with it cocked and ready for action at all times.
Tools For Building Badass Survival Shelters
Do you plan on building badass wilderness survival shelters? The sort you can live in safely for weeks or months at a time? Then you need the ability to chop down large trees, logs, and branches.
Yes, a survival knife can do this work too but it’s not ideal for the job long term. And if you use the batoning technique and a survival knife over the long haul it will take a major toll on your knife.
So I recommend packing a lightweight survival hatchet and learning how to use it to build strong survival shelters. This Gerber Survival Hatchet is full tang and weighs only 1.4 lbs which makes it an excellent choice.
On top of that, if you’re “never coming home”, you’ll want to avoid unwanted attention.
One of the best ways to avoid unwanted attention and wasted energy is to use a shovel to build Dakota fire holes. These are hidden fires you can safely burn at night. For this task alone, you’ll want a sturdy survival shovel.
You’ll also want a shovel to help build the best survival shelters possible. Using techniques like trenching around your shelter to shed heavy rain water away. Or anchoring logs into the ground for better foundational stability.
Just because you’re in a survival shelter doesn’t mean you won’t freeze to death. A survival shelter is just the outside layer of protection from wind and rain. But bitter cold will still creep in. And you can still freeze to death if you sleep on frozen ground.
Instead, this small but effective TACT Bivvy Sack is the ideal piece of gear to store in your INCH Bag. You can’t afford to carry the weight and size of a sleeping bag, but with a TACT Bivvy you get something better than a sleeping bag to keep you warm without taking up valuable INCH Bag space.
Alternative Power Is You Best Friend (Solar, Biomass, HandCrank)
Solar power, biomass energy, and hand crank technologies are sources of power that don’t rely on the grid. Unlike the grid (which relies on modern society to function) these alternative power sources can be relied upon even if our society totally collapses.
So you have to take advantage of solar. That’s why you should invest in this Solar Pocket Lantern. The design is ideally sized for your INCH Bag and since it’s solar powered you can rely on it through thick and thin.
Whether it’s traveling at night or working in the dark. You want to have a good source of illumination and you want it to be hands-free. Set your solar headlamp out in the direct sunlight during the day so it’s ready to use at night. No grid power necessary.
Solar Battery Charger Setup
If you plan to carry any gear that requires batteries to function (GPS devices, small emergency radios, etc.) you’ll want a way to charge a set of rechargeable batteries. This Goal Zero Solar Recharging Kit is ideal to use the sun’s power to charge your devices and includes a set of good rechargeable batteries.
You’re going to build fires anyways so you might as well get some “free” energy from the process.
The Biomass Camping Stove is a relatively new and impressive survival invention. It allows you to charge any device with a USB port using a fire’s heat. That’s technology that’s hard to pass up for long term survival.
Solar Survival Watch
If you get the right watch, you won’t need to charge it or worry about batteries. The best survival watches are solar powered. The face of these watches includes a small solar panel. So just by wearing it a few hours during the day this watch keeps ticking for the long haul.
The top of the line survival watches include temperature, barometer, and compasses making them essential devices for INCH Bag survivalists. I’m a fan of the G-Shock Rangeman Watch Series.
Hand Crank Radio
Last but not least of the alternative power gear options is the hand crank radio. The hand cranks are small power turbines that create power via a hand crank. While this form of energy is not passive like solar, it’s nice that you can generate some energy anytime day or night.
Most of these radios have a USB port so you can charge small electronic devices plus the hand crank also charges your emergency radio. The radio itself allows you to keep tabs on what’s going on around you via any intelligence reports being broadcast.
Tools For Fire
What do BIC lighters and Zippos have in common? They both require liquid fuel to use. Guess what won’t be readily available in a long term survival situation? Fuel.
So instead of running out of fuel, pack this Telsa Electric Lighter instead. We already discussed a few ways to create power on the go (biomass stove, hand crank radio, solar generator). So you just need to invest in these alternative power sources and pair them with tools (like the Telsa Lighter) that can take advantage.
Tinder and Kindling
You need the ability to reliably create a fire and do so quickly using only natural resources. This means you need tools to create small, thin tinder and kindling with a minimal amount of effort. Turning twigs and sticks into small dry highly flammable material.
My two favorite tools for this are a small box pencil sharpener or the tinderbox grate. Either work just fine but you should carry one of these in your INCH Bag to make your fire starting efforts both easy and efficient.
Finding ways to pack gear outside of your pack is an excellent tactic when you’re bag is going to be heavy no matter what you do. Every single oz of weight matters. That’s why you should replace something with limited survival utility (shoe laces) with something the has a ton of survival utility (fire laces).
The tips of these fire laces are mini ferrod rods and they come with razor sharp strikers that you thread into your survival boots. It’s another no-brainer piece of survival gear when you’re planning to live on the go. Also, these are often sold for FREE (just pay shipping and handling)
First Aid Supplies
First aid items are low use (hopefully) but they still deserve some space in your INCH bag. Not having a tourniquet, medical gauze, or pain-killers may leave you stranded in the wilderness “left for the wolves”.
Small First Aid Kit
You can’t take a full medical kit due to size and weight limitations but you still need the essentials. You’ll need to prioritize and worry mostly about the “worst case” injuries. But you should also worry about small cuts due to the potential for infection. So add a small adventure medical kit to you INCH Bag to cover most of your wilderness medical needs.
A tube of antibiotic cream (such as Neosporin) used sparingly will prevent a simple scratch from turning into a deadly infection. You know, the sort of infection that develops into the scary red line running up your arm. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
And what’s your plan if you do develop a severe infection? Hope you don’t die? That’s a terrible plan.
Instead, invest in a few survival antibiotics. They don’t weigh much so you should be able to find a small nook or cranny in your INCH Bag for these life savers.
Misc Tools You Need In Your INCH Bag
When it comes to bushcraft survival there’s no tool more universal than a high quality, full tang, carbon steel survival knife. I highly recommend investing in a good one. This crucial survival tool must last a very long time. And it will treat you well if you treat it well.
Survival MultiTool – Pliers
While the survival knife is considered the most universal survival tool, the multi tool survival pliers comes in at a close second. Being able to pinch, grab, twist, cut small objects is essential in survival. If you plan to reuse devices or fix items, etc. you need a good set of pliers.
If the air entering your lungs is toxic, you can choke to death. And when SHTF, even the air you breathe may not be trustworthy. Better safe than sorry. Here’s how to buy a gas mask.
Choking to death is not something I’m interested in experiencing. So invest in a good Israeli Civilian Gas Mask for your breathing pleasure.
Getting your bearings without a compass can be a real challenge, especially in a dense forest. So toss a high-quality military grade compass into your pack to help you navigate your new nomadic existence.
Tools For Self Defense
The actual make and model of your survival rifle is a personal choice. I tend to prefer a good takedown 22 rifle (like the Henry – AR-7 U.S. Survival .22) so I can actually break it down and pack it into my INCH Bag.
Plus the 22 round is one of the lightest rounds to pack and carry. As soon as you move into higher caliber rifle rounds you start adding significant ammo weight.
Items You Can Leave Behind
Let’s get this straight. If you’re building an INCH Bag you’re planning to live off the land. You also have zero expectation of life being luxurious. No more indoor plumbing, no more grid electricity, no more warm showers, no more plates, no more pillows.
These items are bulky, heavy and a luxury. They must be forgotten and left behind. Let’s talk in more detail about the biggest items you need take out of your INCH pack.
- Since you’re going to add a TACT Bivvy Sack (and know how to build a survival shelter) you can ditch the tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and hammock. These are the heaviest and largest items so they are the first things I remove from my INCH Bag.
- Since you won’t be boiling freeze dried backpacking food and instead you’ll be fishing, trapping, and foraging, you won’t need a camping stove or stove fuel. You’re going to build fires using nature such as downed sticks and logs.
- Next up, you’ll need to consolidate how much “extra” clothes you pack. As soon as you add 3 shirts, 2 pants, socks, underwear, etc, etc. you’ll find these “luxuries” won’t fit in your already overloaded pack. So trim your spare clothes down to the minimum. 1 shirt, 1 pants, 1 socks, 1 underwear. Then you can occasionally swap what you’re currently wearing with these spares and then clean, dry, and rotate.
Pack these spare clothes up in a Skivvy Roll to save space.
Consolidation Is Key
It’s your bug out plan. It’s your INCH Bag.
But everyone reading this should take gear consolidation seriously.
For example, if you decide to add the Survival Shovel we discussed above, you can forgo adding any duplicate gear. Why? Because this particular survival shovel is not only a shovel but also includes two saws, a fire starter, a glass breaker, a pickaxe, a whistle, two bottle openers and a knife.
As long as these extra pieces of gear are high quality, there’s no need to carry duplicates. Smart consolidation alone will save you a ton of unnecessary weight and precious pack space.
Use this shovel example with all your INCH Bag gear to build the perfect INCH bag.
“Always consolidate your gear as long as it doesn’t come as a sacrifice to quality.”
INCH Bag Action Plan
Let’s wrap this up.
I recommend you decide today whether you’re building a Bug Out Bag or an INCH Bag. While these bag builds are similar, there is enough difference to warrant a decision.
You also don’t want to invest in both a bug out bag and an INCH bag if you can avoid it. The cost of having both bags setup and ready to go at the drop of a hat would be expensive.
So if you decide that an INCH Bag is for you, then you need to find a large rugged bag to fit everything in. I like the 5.11 tactical bug out bag. It has lots of room and compartments to fit all your gear as well as padded straps to make carrying a heavy load a little bit easier.
Once you have your bag, you need to start accumulating all the INCH gear into your bag. If you already have a bug out bag and want to convert it to an INCH bag then you’re well on your way. You’ll just need to add a few key items we discussed above and possibly remove a few items as well.
However, if you don’t already have a bug out bag, then you’ll need to start from scratch. That’s ok too, we’ve got you covered. Just make sure you review our Bug Out Bag Checklist first and then reread this post to make a master list of all the gear you want to include in your INCH Bag.
Then once you have your list in place, start investing in gear. You may need to buy a few items at a time and not all at once, but I don’t recommend you take years to get your INCH bag completed. What if SHTF happens while you’re still in the middle of your INCHbag build?
The best day to plant a tree is today and the best day to build your INCH Bag is also today.
Remember: Prepare, Adapt, and Overcome,
“Just In Case” Jack
Is This the Ultimate Bug Out Vehicle? In a SHTF situation, you might want to be as isolated as possible. A getaway vehicle that doubles as living space would be ideal in this situation. Unfortunately, an RV will stick out like a sore thumb, not to mention they are gas guzzlers that can’t stray from …
Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from GoodPrepper. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.
Most people’s primary plan is to bug out by vehicle which makes a lot of sense given how much further you can travel and how much more you can carry. Most of us have a bug out bag that we have packed and repacked (and repacked again) and we know exactly how much it will hold and what goes where. Now how many of you have done this for your vehicle?
If you haven’t, I think you will find much like you probably did with your bug out bag, space fills up FAST!
Today I’m going to teach you one way to plan for a vehicle load out, this will do two things for you, first it will save you time in an emergency by helping you know in advance of the balloon going up what all will fit in your vehicle and where it goes. Also I will help you develop a plan to secure the load so you can travel more safety.
So where to begin? First get out a piece of paper and list out the things you intend to pack. Hopefully by now in your preps you have seen the advantage of using bins or bags to group items so you are able to stay organized and load large amounts of stuff quickly.
Next prioritize these items, what if your loading gets cut short and you have to stop what you are doing and immediately get on the road? What would you want going in there first? For my wife and I it would be our Bug Out Bags and primary weapons followed by water, medical kit, food, spare gas, tools, ham radio equipment, generator, and finally personal luggage.
Once you have the list prioritized draw out the rough shape of your vehicle’s interior and start “filling” it with the items you plan to pack. So if you know you medical bag is about 1/3 of the width of the back of your SUV then draw that there with the giant vehicle repair and recovery box that you think takes up about 2/3 the width of the back of your SUV next to it. Now what can go on top of that? What can go behind it? At this point you may have to make trade-offs as to what on the priority list gets loaded first because something heavy just has to go on the bottom. That’s okay.
Now if you plan to put a cargo carrier on the trailer hitch, pull an actual trailer, or have a roof rack start “filling” this up as well. As I mentioned above spare gas is high on my priority list but obviously this is stored outside the car.
Okay so now we have a rough plan all done without having to lift anything. If you aren’t great at estimating dimensions you can speed up the accuracy of your first round draft by measuring the inside of your car and then measure some of the larger bulkier items while making your paper draft. Because I had been camping with most the items in the past I sort of knew how much room most of my things took up.
Now it’s time to physically go out and bring each item to your vehicle and see if your plan works. You will discover several things when you go to do this. First your stuff is ALL OVER THE PLACE! How many trips did you make to the basement, garage, kitchen, bedroom, storage room, storage shed, etc? Lots and in some case things weren’t where you thought they were. Imagine going through that for the first time in an emergency?! So while you are gathering the things on your list just note where they are like: “Med kit- Basement top shelf”.
I don’t expect you to store everything in one place, for one thing while it would be awesome to have everything stored two feet behind my truck but my garage isn’t heated and cooled so I wouldn’t want to store medicine in there for example. Second I don’t want all of my preps on display every time I open my garage door! So it’s okay to store things you plan to bug out with in different places but try to limit the total number as best you can and document where each item is. As an added hack I put a small piece of bright red duct tape on each item that is part of my vehicle load out to make it easier to see on shelves next to everyday items that may not be going.
The second thing you may discover is you over estimated how much space you have or you fit it all in but in the case of a car instead of a truck you may find it riding on the bump stops. I was actually pleasantly surprised to find out I went too conservative and I had more room to stack things than I planned so I was able to add to my list. Either way now is the time to fine tune and in some cases make some tough decisions as to what doesn’t make the cut. Hopefully everything you pack is just bonus because you are headed to an already well stocked Bug Out Location but I know many folks aren’t there yet. If you do have a place to store things at your Bug out Location this might be time to think about what you can live without at your primary residence and go ahead and preposition more out there.
Once you have become Tetris-master 9000 and fit everything together as efficiently as possible and in an order that makes sense (all while documenting where it came from) you need to do two final things. First ensure the things you want to be able to get to (quickly in some cases) can be. How many times have you seen the people by the side of the road unloading a trunk full of stuff to get to their spare tire? Don’t be that guy! You should be able to get to anything you may reasonably expect to need to assist your vehicle in making it to your destination. Perhaps just as importantly you will need to be able to get to anything you plan to grab should you have to abandon the vehicle and head out on foot, possibly in a hurry!
Lastly SECURE YOUR LOAD! My initial exposure to load out plans came from my very first days in the army when it was impressed upon us how devastating something like a couple of full ammo cans flying around a vehicle in the event of an accident or roll over could be to the occupants. Most of us can imagine the dangerous road conditions under which we may need to bug out and so the likelihood of an accident is much higher than during our normal daily drives. Add to this a loaded down vehicle that will not be able to respond or perform as well as normal and other stressed out drivers trying to make good their escape and you can see why all that stuff in your vehicle needs to be secured as best possible. If you have a pickup truck this is made easier by tie down points. Do you have the ratchet straps or cargo netting you need to do so? Inside of a car can get trickier but it can be made safer. For example the ammo cans I mentioned could be wedged down behind the back of the front seats on the floor board rather than stored on top of a box on the back seat parallel to the back of your head. Use your imagination and actually try tying things down to see if you have what you need. Now add those bungee cords, ropes, and ratchet straps to your list and note their location.
That’s it, you’ve done it, you have a load out plan. I recommend you practice fully loading your vehicle for a load out twice a year. It’s a pain but it will improve your time getting out the door, reveal any items that “magically” moved from where you thought they were stored, and remind you to make updates as your packing list and especially your vehicle possibly changes. Good luck and be safe out there!
The post Bug Out- Building a Load out Plan for Your Vehicle appeared first on The Prepper Journal.
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The United States has become a nation where the pursuit of happiness and the absence of discipline has turned us into a land of politically correct, overweight, sissies intent on pointing the finger at someone else as the source of the problem rather than looking in the mirror like we should. All the kids get trophies now. Used to be that a kid got the idea of what it took to be a winner either by winning something and knowing what it took to get there. If they lost, they’d appreciate what it took to get a trophy. Collectively, we used to know that if we put in the long hours and the hard work, it would pay off and we would be successful. Not enough people know this now. It would seem as though we’ve lost something in our culture that we used to rely on to win. At some point in time, we became soft.
We go through our lives now from one carefully controlled environment to the next. Not many people want to work outside in the cold winters or hot summers anymore. We wonder why immigrants are taking our jobs – it’s because not many people are willing to show up and work in the fields or do the menial jobs any more.
If you’re reading this blog there’s a good chance you don’t have this attitude. Why? If you’re here, you’re probably interested in surviving a catastrophic event. Anything from a national power outage to a nuclear war; we prepare for it all. You also know that survival will mean hard work and suffering – something many, if not most Americans don’t want to experience. I’ve talked with people in the past who have actually said, “If the power went out forever I wouldn’t want to survive.” So much for the pioneering spirit our ancestors brought with them. They would roll over in their graves if they saw what has become of our spirit.
If a little pain and suffering makes you quit, good luck when times get tough. To those with weak mental fortitude: all I can guarantee is pain, suffering, and uncertainty. If society collapses, nobody can say how others will react. Some people riot and others band together to help each other. Hopefully you live in an area where people help each other out. If society takes a nosedive, most visitors of this site will at least be somewhat prepared. Those who fail to see civilization is premised on a fragile infrastructure will be in a world of pain when conditions deteriorate.
Take the Pain!
Obese or overweight? Out of shape? Terrible diet? On a ton of medication? I’ll bet that if you lost some weight a lot of those ailments would disappear. If the idea of giving up McDonald’s food and exercising daily makes you cringe, good luck when the balloon goes up. Ask yourself this question and be honest: if you had to bug-out twenty miles right now – right this second, could you pick up your bug-out bag and walk the distance? Could you walk it without your bug-out bag? If the answer is no, then you must consider getting yourself back in shape. It could save your life several different ways. One, by making you healthy again allowing you to get rid of the medications and living a healthy life. Two, by giving you the ability to do physical, potentially life saving activities. Go to your local shopping center or mall and stop in the middle of a bunch of people and look around. In your opinion, how many could walk or run five miles in an emergency? I’ve done this exercise many times and I’m always surprised at how few would be able to do this.
People are more interested in a magic pill will allow us to eat and drink whatever we want. Most people avoid entertaining the idea of exercise and diet. We want all the stuff, whether that’s food, drink, drugs, or electronic toys, that will give us that little dopamine hit instead of working our asses off and being healthy. We now have a national epidemic of people taking opioids. It’s been around for a long time and it seems to just keep getting worse.
A lot of times improving yourself involves some kind of pain, whether it’s the pain of going without alcohol or drugs, or of denying yourself that extra piece of cake. Maybe it’s the pain associated with learning something new instead of watching three hours of T.V. every night. Sometimes you gotta sacrifice for the greater good. Take the pain!
No Easy Road
There’s no easy road to success. If you want more money find a better job or get better at the one you’re doing. A lot of young folks out there today don’t even have jobs and a good number of millennials are happy to live at home with mom and dad. If you’re one of these kids, I say get off your ass and get a job that will allow you to help pay the rent. I don’t care if you’re slinging burgers at McDonald’s or working on Wall Street, you need to be grown up and self sufficient because mom and dad aren’t always going to be there wiping your nose for you. Check out this crazy story about a 28 year old man who killed his parents because he didn’t want to move out and fend for himself. Sick eh? Granted, it’s the millennial mindset taken to the extreme, but it’s telling that this happened at all. As if all that was bad enough we’ve got rich companies skimming whatever they can off the top and people who don’t want to work skimming off the bottom. Pretty soon there won’t be enough left over for the guy in the middle.
What Can We Do?
First, our kids have to know that hard work and pain is ok. It’s part of the human condition. If you make sure that your kids never feel any pain, they’ll never have a chance to grow. You’re doing them a disservice. Now don’t go around saying, “Jarhead says to starve my kids!” Let’s not be stupid here. What I’m saying is that if your kid comes up to you fifteen minutes before a meal and says they’re hungry, it’s perfectly fine to tell them to wait instead of giving them a candy bar. If you give in, they’ll never know what it’s like to wait a few minutes. Teach them discipline.
A friend of mine came over with his son and we were all working out. My son (seven years old) gave up after ten minutes and started upstairs. He asked his friend to come with him and the friend said no, he wanted to try out for the football team. I said, “That’s because he wants it”. My boy came back downstairs and started working out again. I didn’t berate him. I didn’t yell at him, but I opened the door to hard work by pointing out that his friend was working to achieve a goal.
Later this season my buddy called me up and told me his son was killing it on the football field. When he mentioned to his son what a great job he was doing, his boy said, “That’s because I want it, dad!” My buddy had to call me up and tell me what an impact my words had on his son. He was willing to take the pain to get what he wanted.
You don’t need to be friends with your kids. You should love them, but your children need someone who’s going to show them right and wrong and enforce it. Not a mom or dad who wants to be friends and will give in because they don’t want the kids mad at them. Guess what? If your kid has never been mad at you, you either have one hell of an exceptional kid or you aren’t doing your job right.
Set a Goal
Find something you want and set a goal. If you want to change the world you’ve first got to change yourself. I don’t care what it is, but when you set the goal follow up on it. Maybe you want to lose twenty pounds, write a book, walk five miles with your bug-out bag, race in a 5K, or give up drinking beer and eating hotdogs. Whatever it is, this is how you do it: set a realistic goal and a completion date. Remember, a goal without a due date is just a dream and will never happen. Next, take instant action on whatever that goal is. If you want to quit drinking, pour all your booze down the drain. If you want to write a book, make a goal to write a thousand words a day or whatever you can produce. Whatever it is you want to do make a small advance towards that goal every day. Your kids are looking to you as an example. If you set a goal and abandon it a week later, guess what? They’ll do the same thing.
Take Responsibility For Your Actions
When I went to Marine Corps bootcamp, one of the first things the D.I.’s pounded into us was to take responsibility for our actions. If we did something stupid or screwed up, we were expected to own it. They didn’t want to hear excuses or lies, they just wanted to hear you say, “The Private screwed up, sir!”. We were then expected to do whatever we could to make it right.
I think if more people – adults and kids – were held accountable for their actions, we’d live in a different world. Then again, maybe not. If you lack integrity, all the rules in the world won’t make you a better person. What do you think? Am I way outta line here? Questions? Comments? Sound off below!
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I spend a great deal of time in the wilderness and I have come to realize that most people have no idea what safety in the wilderness implies. I’m not talking here about not having a well-equipped survival bag or the proper gear. I’m referring to the fact that people are unaware of how to … Read more…
What is Apocalyptic Survival?
In today’s modern world, it pays dividends to be prepared for all possible emergencies.
We can all agree that emergencies have occurred in the past, they happen in the present, and will happen in the future. So it’s irresponsible to stick your head in the sand and pretend that “it won’t happen to me“.
If an unforeseen emergency was to force you from your home, would you be prepared to leave on a few minutes’ notice?
If you can’t honestly answer that question with a “hell yes”, then you’ve some work to do. You need to get your “stuff” together and start planning your survival packing list.
What Is A Survival Packing List and Why You Need One
Are you ready for an immediate evacuation? One where the sooner you leave; the safer? How long would it take your family to go from – lounging on your couch to out the door – with all your essential gear and supplies?
Could you do it in under 5 minutes? Is that enough time? And if you did it in less than 5, would you forget something important?
When an unprepared family is forced from their home they’re left scrambling from room to room. Randomly cramming survival essentials into pillowcases and suitcases. This leads to crucial items like prescription medications, survival food, extra clothing, and survival gear being left behind.
However, those with a survival packing list and their survival pack ready, can leave in mere seconds. Knowing with confidence they have absolutely everything they need.
Shouldering their emergency pack, tossing it into their bug out vehicle and getting the hell out of dodge fast.
When time is of the essence, a survival packing list is your answer.
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Survival Packing List. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.
Different Types Of Emergency Bags
Before you start building a personalized survival packing list, you need to understand the difference between short term and long term emergency needs.
For a short term emergency, you need a small bag that includes enough supplies to last you and your family a day or two at most. Enough supplies and gear to go it alone until relief services arrive.
A long-term survival packing list includes items that would make it possible (with the proper education) to live independently for weeks or months without assistance. That requires more gear, more supplies, and more planning.
And for most people, the long-term survival bag is a supplement to the short-term bag. Meaning, you should prepare both and then pare down or discard the long term supplies if you happen to not need them. For more information on the best survival packs click here.
Where to Start On Your Survival Packing List
If you, like most people, do not have access to an unlimited budget, you will need to amass your bug out supplies over time and look for good deals on gear and supplies.
Start by putting together your short-term bag, which is better than nothing if you are forced from your home. Many of the items you’ll add to your short-term bag may be things that you already own. Then once your short-term bag is ready it’s time to start building your long term emergency bag.
Then once your short-term bag is ready it’s time to start building your long term emergency bag.
Your Short-Term Survival Packing List
In a short term evacuation scenario, you should only need to focus on your basic survival needs. Those are the items that will keep your body alive; that’s it. Sorry, luxuries are not essential.
Essentials to staying alive include the air to breathe, water to drink, warmth to avoid hypothermia, and medical supplies.
To be brutally honest, food is not essential in a short term evacuation scenario. And food is extra weight so it will slow you down. So I don’t recommend worrying too much about food for your short-term packing list. Just toss in a few high calories bars and call it good.
While every family is unique, here are the items most people need or desperately want, broken down by category.
What To Have In Your Short Term Bug Out Bag?
1 – Gas Mask
This one is controversial. Not everyone agrees that a gas mask is an essential item on a survival packing list. However, if the air is dangerous to breathe, you won’t last long.
Of course, it’s better to stay put and hunker down in the event of a nuclear attack, if possible. The last thing you want to do is run around outside breathing fallout. Your safest best is to remain indoors with as much concrete and building materials between you and the fallout.
Plus, there are other chemical attacks that can turn the air we breathe unhabitable for unfiltered consumption.
So, if you’re forced to evacuate (because staying is more dangerous leaving) then you’re going to be glad you invested in a gas mask and some mask filters.
Personally, I’d rather have one and not need it, than not have one and need it. Choking on dangerous air is not something I’m fond of experiencing.
2 – Clean Drinking Water
If you are weathering an emergency inside your home, a few cases of bottled water will suffice for several days. However, bottled water is surprisingly heavy and not a suitable option for situations where you leave your home.
Instead, each member of your family (including pets) should have their own stainless steel water bottle, their own water portable filter, and some water purification tablets. This will allow you to safely drink water you find when you’re away from home.
Many people think they can skip this step because they live in a rural environment and believe that they will have access to water taps or water fountains locally. This is a short-sighted mistake. You have no idea which water sources you can trust or not. Just because it comes out of a tap, the emergency that forced you to evacuate may have contaminated all sources of public water.
I recommend you get a portable LifeStraw water filter. Get one for each family member. You can also get good deals on water purification tablets online.
Water is both one of the easiest survival packing list items to prepare for but also the most essential. People tend to take water for granted but you don’t you be one of them. Without copious amounts of clean water, your body will quickly start reminding you how silly it was to take it for granted.
3 – Clothing Gear
In areas where heat is the enemy, desert survival skills come into play. Dehydration and sunstroke are the real dangers. Pack light clothing and plenty of ways to purify water.
If you live where winters are brutal, you’ll need wool socks, heavy boots, gloves, plenty of calorie-dense food, several methods of starting and maintaining a fire and a warm sleeping bag, at a minimum. You should also take the time to learn more about cold weather survival so you can prepare to avoid deadly hypothermia.
4 – Shelter Tools
While a skilled woodsman can create a sizable cabin from only natural resources, items that you pack should make the task of creating a survival shelter easier. Depending on your skill level and expectations, you may want to include a survival hatchet and some 550 paracord.
If you live in an urban area, you may be able to employ some urban survival skills to successfully squat in an abandoned warehouse with no interference.
Others may have to plan to escape into nearby forests and create shelters from nature.
Still, others may be able to rely on breaking into vacation homes or cabins that already exist. Or even better yet, you have a bug out location.
Think carefully about what is available in your area and what you would do if you needed shelter during a terrible emergency.
Everyone’s answer to this question will be different, and preparing yourself with several options ahead of time can save you a lot of useless floundering and needless wasting of energy.
5 – Medical Supplies
You can build your own medical supply kit or purchase a commercially available first aid kit. But either way, you’ll want to add personal supplies of any prescription medication used by your family members.
You may also find it helpful to include the following over-the-counter medicines:
- anti-diarrhea medication
- pain relievers that double as anti-inflammatories, such as Aleve or Ecotrin
- antihistamines such as Benadryl to combat allergic reactions
- a coagulating agent, such as a styptic pencil, to control minor bleeding
- triple antibiotic ointment to seal small wounds and avoid infection
Hopefully, you will never need these items. However, being caught without them will be uncomfortable at best and downright dangerous at worst.
In a widespread emergency professional medical care may be hard to come by. Your serious injury may be a low priority when compared to others. Or maybe there’s no professional medical help at all. Maybe all the medical professionals are getting the hell out of dodge too.
So make sure you know how to use the medical supplies you include on your survival packing list.
6 – Food Supplies
In an emergency, people forced from their homes are sometimes left for days before emergency services can get food into the area. For a short-term bug out bag packing list, you want to concentrate on light, nutrient-rich foods.
While military rations and freeze-dried meals can be good options, they can also be expensive.
Here are some good ideas for foods you can find at your local grocery store at reasonable prices.
- meal replacement bars designed for athletes and bodybuilders
- protein powder
- packets of crackers and cookies for quick carbohydrates
- trail mixes
- dehydrated fruits
While these items are not recommended as a long-term diet, they do provide plenty of sugar, protein, and carbohydrates to give you much-needed energy.
If you need to walk out of a disaster area, you will need all the energy you can get.
7 – Comfort Items
While this category may seem silly when thinking of life-or-death emergencies, many of the items that will keep you comfortable also have multiple uses.
Here are some ideas for keeping everyone in your family comfortable.
- Feminine supplies such as pads, tampons, and panty liners. Any females in your family who experiences a menstrual cycle may need these items. If they are not needed for their original use, they can also act as bandages for wounds. Tampons can also be used to stop nosebleeds or you can shred them and use them as kindling to start a fire.
- A jar of petroleum jelly can be used to combat everything from chapped lips to blistered heels. It can also be used as a lubricant or to keep bandages from sticking to wounds.
- Several survival bandanas can be used to fashion a sling, protect your face and hair from the sun or dust or can even be torn into strips to use as rope or bandages. Bandanas have a ton of uses and are light, so pack several.
- A small notepad and a few pencils can be used to jot down directions, leave notes for others or you can use the paper to start a fire.
- Spare socks and underwear can do wonders to make an emergency more bearable and hygienic. You can use a few drops of bleach to wash the ones you are wearing and change into your fresh supplies.
- A small grooming kit that includes toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, disposable razors, nail clippers and a package of baby wipes can help you to feel fresh and comfortable until your next chance to shower. You may be able to use extras of these items to barter with others for needed supplies, as well.
There are plenty of comfort items you may want to include in your bug out bag checklist, but you also need to keep an eye on how heavy your supplies are becoming.
Your bag will do you no good if it is too heavy to carry long distances.
For a short-term bag, your will only need a few tools. Depending on your geographic location, you may need to be able to start a fire or break into abandoned housing for shelter.
Some items you may want to consider are:
- A fixed blade survival knife or survival multi-tool. You can use it to cut fabric, shave down tree branches for kindling, or breaking it down to build a wilderness survival shelter.
- A http://amzn.to/2gM9Y4Ttin of strike-anywhere matches and a cigarette lighter. You can use them to start fires or signal help from far away.
- A small signaling mirror can be helpful for assessing wounds you can feel but not see (if you live alone or with small children), as signaling others or angling illumination into dark areas.
For your short-term supplies, keeping weight and bulk to a minimum should be your focus.
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Survival Packing List. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.
Personalize Your Survival Gear List
All of the above-mentioned items are those that the average person would find useful. However, your living situation and life experiences will make your needs unique.
Consider any ‘unusual’ habits you may have and how not having the necessary items could make your life more difficult.
- Do you need a toothpick to clean your teeth after each and every meal? Include some in your supplies.
- Do you wear a mouthguard or ear plugs to fall asleep? Tuck some extras away into your bug out bag.
- If you have long hair, do you want to include a few hair ties to keep it out of your way in an emergency?
Think carefully about your everyday habits and quirks and if it’s something that takes up very little space and is lightweight, go head and add it to the list.
After you are satisfied with your smaller, short-term bug out bag, you are ready to begin planning for a second bag designed for long term use. Some people decide to carry two bags, while others may decide to purchase a design where the smaller bag fits into or clips on to the larger bag.
Whatever you decide, make sure the system works for you and that you can easily separate the two kits.
You also want to make sure you are able to carry all of your supplies for long distances. I highly recommend you test it out on a hiking trail to be sure.
Your long term bug out bag packing list will give you the tools necessary to survive without the aid of other humans or society for an extended period of time.
It should give you the ability to gain food, create temporary survival shelter and survive the elements.
Foraging and Hunting Supplies
Depending on your survival skill level, you may be able to successfully fish using only a hook, some fishing line, and some rudimentary bait. Other who don’t live near water may decide to learn about foraging opportunities in the local area, such as edible roots, berries, and plants.
Take your geographical location into account and pack a field guide or survival playing cards that will help you find available food.
If you’re not a hunter, include instructions on how to build traps and use snares. Of course, you will also want information on how to safely gut and prepare your kill.
If the books are too bulky, scan and print these life-saving instructions and keep them in your bag, protected by a plastic baggie.
I recommend you carry a gun and some ammo. Obviously, guns and ammo are not light weight items so you’ll want to be strategic. Maybe you want to include a take down 22 survival rifle. Or maybe you want to keep things small and light with a Kel-Tec P3AT.
Caching Some of Your Long-Term Bug Out Gear
Another option to reduce pack weight is to bury a survival cache (or two) somewhere on your mostly evacuation path. This will allow you stock a few extras without having to carry them. You can then dig up your cache supplies for replenishment as necessary.
If you are seriously concerned about a long-term disaster situation and want to be as prepared as possible, you can always cache your gear. For example, you can carry your short-term bag into a local park and then unearth your long-term gear while no one is watching.
If you own rural land, you can cache with more confidence than you can in public areas.
If you do decide to cache in public, make sure you do not include any personal information in your gear. You may be charged with littering if your cache is discovered, no matter how well you hide it.
Survival Packing List Action Plan
Planning a survival packing list is a deeply personal activity. Having both short- and long-term bags in place can help you feel secure if the unthinkable ever happens.
The ideas presented above will give you a starting point for basic survival. As you improve your survival skills and supplies, you should add or delete items from your own survival packing list to suit your personal survival preferences.
As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Survival Packing List. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.
The post Survival Packing List: Planning Your Ultimate Escape appeared first on Skilled Survival.
Emergency sounds like a scary word and it actually is. Then wonder what would happen if you get stuck in any kind of an emergency situation, where there is no rescue and no one to help? It could be an adventurous road trip which you thought would be a thrilling one, or it could be … Read more…
I’ll admit it readily; I’m a gun snob of the highest accord. I like my guns classy, old, and made of walnut and blued steel, forged and carved by craftsmen from a different era. I’m not saying that I don’t have and use ARs and polymer-framed pistols – I do; they are my “oh shit” guns, and I use and abuse them properly. What I am saying is that if I don’t need to be using that high-capacity new-age gun at a given time, I’m not gonna. Though the AR platform is great for a small-to-medium-game hunting platform, I’d rather ditch the “Rambo” vibe and carry something with a “soul” when I decide to head into the woods for an afternoon of scouting, hiking, or snowshoeing. A well-used and -loved decades-old rifle on my shoulder feels to me like it’s bringing company; call it corny, but I like to think that a small part of every man, woman, and child who ever had that gun in their hands comes with me when I carry these old firearms around. It’s comforting and warming to me – and modern milled-and-molded aluminum and plastic guns just don’t give me the same warm and fuzzy feeling.
To that end, I get picky on the guns that I buy; I’m not an accumulator like many other self-proclaimed gun snobs I know. I buy quality items sparingly, and use every gun that I buy. If a firearm doesn’t perform, just isn’t quite what I had in mind, or falls by the usage wayside, it gets sold or traded off. Too many guns is wonderful, but it’s a maintenance and security liability I don’t want to deal with. So I only buy firearms that I connect with – both literally and figuratively.
The “Walking Around Rifle”
Like the infamous “Scout Rifle” concept idea put to words by the immortal Jeff Cooper, the idea that came to be dubbed my “Walking Around Rifle” probably needs some explanation. While my conceptualization wasn’t quite as specific as Mr. Cooper’s to-the-letter explanation, the idea in my head had to fulfill certain requirements. The idea was kick-started by my sighting of a rifle at a local gun shop – a rifle I didn’t know I needed until I saw it. It was a Savage 23D, a featherweight middle-sized sporter in the elusive and under-appreciated .22 Hornet caliber, manufactured somewhere between 1923 and 1942. The smooth, warm oil-dark walnut with the worn checkering called to me, as did the detachable magazine and slightly worn bluing. The rifle sported an inexpensive Simmons 3-9x scope, probably weighed all of six pounds, and wore a price tag of $350.00. It was lust at first sight. Soon, visions of popping deer-chasing nuisance winter coyotes with the quick-handling rifle were dancing in my head.
I then committed a major gun-buyer faux pas: I didn’t put money down on the rifle. Heating season was coming up, the baby needed winter clothes, and I just couldn’t justify putting bill money down to nab the rifle. (being an adult sometimes isn’t all it’s wrapped up to be). So I put it back in the rack and justified my actions by thinking “surely nobody will want an old .22 Hornet”.
I was wrong. I went back a couple weeks later to find that surely someone did indeed want an old .22 Hornet, and they had wanted it the day before I walked in the door with money. So I was back to the drawing board to come up with a snazzy, lightweight firearm to fill the new hunting/hiking void I’d created in my head.
I sat down and listed my criteria. The needed requirements were few, but relatively specific.
- Caliber – centerfire, flat-shooting, capable of downing small and medium-sized game. I hand-load, so ammunition availability wasn’t too much of an issue as long as I could find brass and it was in a common bullet caliber.
- Bolt-action or break-open, for less moving parts and lower potential for breakage/wear. Likely higher potential accuracy as well over lever actions, pumps, and semi-autos.
- Provision to mount optics, namely a high-quality fixed low-power scope.
- Provision for backup fixed sights – because optics can fail, even good ones.
- Light(er) weight – I didn’t want to pack around a 9 pound rifle – so I was looking for a scaled-down action and lightweight makeup
- Unique if possible, made up of blued steel and walnut – I had to assuage the inner gun snob, after all. I could have sourced a new Remington Model Seven Synthetic in .223 and it would have fit this bill to a T – but it just doesn’t appeal to me. I wanted something less than commonplace.
Why Did I Want a Walking Around Rifle?
I realize some may not see the need for this rifle, and I can understand that. Why carry around a rifle that really is somewhat limited in purpose and versatility, especially when the bug-out AR-15 fits the bill? Why not a bigger rifle/caliber combination, like a .308, that is more capable over a wider array of situations?
Related: The Katrina Rifle
This rifle requirement all stems from what I like to do. My woods time is usually comprised of keeping up to date with bug-out locations, exploring, hunting coyotes, or – most frequently – scouting deer patterns for an upcoming whitetail deer season. A rifle is handy to eliminate pests, use as a signalling device, or even provide security. The rifle has range and accuracy capabilities that far surpass even the most precise handgun, at the price of added bulk. However, when snowshoeing and scaling mountainous countryside with a pack, the added bulk can be a burden – so I needed to be picky about the size and contours of the rifle. Semi-auto firepower wasn’t a requirement – in all likelihood, the rifle won’t even be fired on most excursions – so precision and unobtrusive carrying qualities take precedence over lots of fast follow-up shots.
To sum things up: My rifle’s mission was to be portable,and have more punch and range than a .22 Long Rifle or similar rimfire caliber. The .22 LR works well as a small-game foraging rifle, but just doesn’t possess the additional horsepower I wanted to have available.
So Why These Requirements?
Caliber – Here in Maine, the need for a large caliber to pull anti-animal duty only runs a couple of months – usually September, October, and November, when black bear and whitetail deer season are open, to the delight of local and imported sportsmen. The remainder of the year, most traditionally edible game animals are not legal quarry. Porcupines, woodchucks, coyotes, and red squirrels are the only critters that Maine allows sportsmen to pursue year-round. For these animals, a large caliber rifle just isn’t needed for clean kills. Certainly, a .22 Long Rifle can be considered viable for vermin dispatching duties at appropriate ranges. However, once the ranges open up past 50 yards, the stalwart .22 LR’s and even the .22 Magnum’s meager ballistics start becoming a hindrance, and clean kills are not certain. So we need to start looking at the centerfire family of cartridges to carry the fight to undesirable fur bearing creatures (or even emergency anti-deer use) at longer distances. The .22 Hornet, .222 Remington, and .223 Remington/ 5.56x45mm are all cartridges that were squarely in my sights. Surely, the .22-250, .220 Swift, .204 Ruger, and .17 Remington would have all been good, even excellent, at what I wanted – but since I reload, I wanted smaller, efficient calibers that didn’t burn a ton of powder (eliminating the .22-250 and .220 Swift), and were in bullet diameters that I had on hand – namely the common .224” bullet (there goes the .17 Remington and .204 Ruger.). I briefly considered older-though-still-cool-and-sort-of-useful calibers such as the .218 Bee, .25-20 Winchester, and .32-20 WCF, but the difficulty and expense of finding brass cases to reload, plus their lackluster long-range performance, put them out of the running once my brain overrode the romanticism of using the old calibers. So .22 Hornet, .222 Remington, and .223 Remington/5.56mm were the main focus. Rifles chambered in these smaller cased-cartridges also have the benefit of sometimes of having the action scaled down to the caliber – so you’re not lugging around a full-sized rifle that’s just a modified version of a full-sized short-action rifle meant for the .308 class of calibers.
Action Type – Again, though I had an AR-15 that would fill this made-up mission quite nicely, I just didn’t want an AR over my shoulder while hoofin’ it. I’ve shot deer with a Windham Weaponry AR-10, and while it worked very well on a certain 5-point buck, it just didn’t feel right to a guy who grew up carrying leverguns and bolt actions in the woods. Also, once I shot said deer, carrying the AR became a whole bunch of not-fun: the brass deflector and charging handle kept digging into my body, the Picatinny rails caught clothing and abraded it, and the tall profile just made sure there was more surface area to get in the way. Purpose-designed traditional hunting rifles are generally lower-profile, smoother, sleeker – easier to carry once you don’t need them anymore and you’re dragging 170 pounds of dead ungulate weight behind you.
Also – a reasoning that has somewhat more validity – bolt-action and single-actions are USUALLY more accurate than their semi-auto, lever, or pump counterparts. Yes, I know that there are hideously accurate semi-autos, and I’ve shot running deer at 150 yards with a lever action – but the bolt gun will be a bit more effective on little target critters at further distances due to its higher level of intrinsic accuracy. There are always exceptions to rules, but this is a statement I decided to bank on, based on personal experience and expected usage for the rifle.
Optics/Sights– This is a no-brainer. I need to be able to scope the rifle for longer-ranged shots. However, I like redundancy in my firearm sighting methods, so I’d like to be able to have the provision for iron sights. Scopes fog up, batteries run out, slips and falls leave firearms crashing to the ground (probably onto the largest, harshest, most abrasive rock in three counties) and optics get jarred out of alignment or damaged. A backup set of iron sights – no matter how rudimentary – is just a nice piece of security to have.
Lighter Weight– Again, another no-brainer. The less your rifle weighs, the more likely you will have it with you, and the more convenient it will be. The scaled-down action size of the smaller calibers I was looking at help a lot in this department. I almost bought or sought several different firearms that neatly fit the bill; they were all quite capable and fully met my needs…I just never seemed to pull the trigger (pun intended).
I was drawn to the CZ 527. A nifty little scaled-down carbine with a detachable box magazine, it comes in .22 Hornet and .223 (and interestingly, 7.62x39mm Russian…interesting…). But they are difficult to find ‘round these parts due to their popularity and immense handiness, and I ended up finding my solution before I found one of these.
The H&R Handi-Rifle was a great option, too – and I almost ordered one up. They are rugged, dependable, no-nonsense, inexpensive break-open single-shot rifles that feature interchangeable calibers by swapping out the barrels. I’ve had a lot of fun with these rifles over the years, and they certainly hold a special place in my heart. They come in .22 Hornet and .223, (and lots of other calibers and gauges) with black synthetic stocks that lend themselves well to a beat-around rifle. I know it wasn’t walnut or terribly unique, so I kept looking despite the utility.
The Remington 799 is a scaled-down version of the fabled Mauser 98 action, and if I had seen one in .22 Hornet, .222, or .223 (all standard calibers for the rifle), I might have scoffed one up in a heartbeat if it was of decent quality – I had never actually seen one, but the specs look good. Of course, another Savage 23 or a Winchester 43 would have been lovely – but alas, not for sale in my neck of the woods.
The Solution Presents Itself
After the mildly devastating loss of the vintage Savage .22 Hornet, I was on the hunt. No gun shop in the locale was safe from my perusal. There were lots of options that would have fit the bill, but Captain Gun Snob was being fussy. I wanted something a bit different….
Read Also: Sig Suaer MPX-C Review
One day, my wife and I were skimming through the local Cabelas, and somehow she actually followed me into the gun library (it hasn’t happened again since, I’ve noticed…). She was present at my side when I sucked in a deep gasp and quickly opened one of the upper glass cases to reach for the gloriousness of a rifle that had caught my eye.
A 1950’s-manufactured Sako L-46 “Riihimäki” in .222 Remington, complete with graceful full-length “Mannlicher” style stock, detachable 3-round magazine, and vintage steel-tube El Paso Weaver K4 fixed 4x scope in Redfield Jr. rings had my complete and undivided attention. I fell in such instant and complete lust with the trim, beautiful little rifle that I didn’t even care if my wife saw the $1,199.00 price tag (which she did). I put the rifle on layaway, and a few too-slow weeks later, the rifle came home with me. My wishes had come true and the fun began.
I stocked up on factory ammo and empty brass where I could find it, and I’ve spent a very joyful past few months developing a handload that shoots well. I also replaced the charming (but prone to fogging) Weaver K4 with a vintage Leupold M8 fixed 4x scope that is a perfect match for the rifle. A canvas sling was added, and the rifle has reached “perfection” status in my eyes. It propels a 50-grain Hornady soft-point varmint bullet at 3200 feet per second out of the 23-inch barrel, and can group 5 of them into a neat 1-inch cluster at 100 yards. The rifle has a hooded front sight, and I found an ultra-rare Redfield scope mount with an integral flip-up aperture rear sight. It rides delightfully next to a pack on my shoulder or in my hand,and fulfills every one of my requirements. I’m a happy camper, mission accomplished!
Yeah, But Does This Have Anything to do With Survival?
Some of you may just view this as bombastic gun bragging, and maybe it is to a small degree. But more than that, I’m trying to portray that there are other options – quality, graceful options – out there to fulfill the needs of the forager/scout/pest control mission. I know that for many individuals, the AR-15 or other military-type platforms are distasteful, impractical, unneeded, or unwanted, and commercial hunting rifle offerings punch the ticket nicely. The AR and other platforms are truly versatile and may be a better way to go if you’re on a one-gun budget for SHTF-type needs, but if you have other plans for scouting, small-to-medium game hunting, or pest eradication post-SHTF, why not have another rifle that doesn’t use your stockpile of “oh no” ammo? Why not have a rifle that says “Hunter” or “Rancher” instead of “Prepper” or “Survivalist” or “Military”? And truth be told, the day may come when your AR-15 or similar rifle may not be able to see the light of day due to legislation; you’ll still want to be able to have a quality, accurate rifle on your shoulder that is capable of pulling off multi-mission duty and not set off alarms. A rifle that shares a common caliber as your SHTF rifle may be a great idea too (like the CZ527 carbine in .223 to compliment your AR). Just food for thought.
What do you think? Do you have a secondary/scouting type rifle in your plans? Or does your situation and prepping make a rifle such as this unnecessary? Sound off in the comments!
Photos Courtesy of:
Lauren Nicole Photography
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Everyone knows how important it is to stockpile supplies such as food, water and other necessities for an emergency. A small percentage of people are well prepared, many are somewhat prepared and most aren’t prepared at all. But nobody can say they weren’t warned that they could be without these crucial items should a crisis occur.
There is much less awareness of the need to have stockpiles of food, water and other items in at least two different locations, preferably three. Preppers who have gathered large amounts of bottled water, canned food, toiletries and a host of can openers, flashlights, batteries, radios, blankets, clothing, first-aid kits and weapons are putting all of their eggs in one basket if they keep everything in the same place.
A home is a great place to stockpile food, water and other essentials. That’s where I keep my largest supplies because that’s where my family and I are most likely to be when the stuff hits the fan. And even if I’m not home at that exact moment, I will probably be in a position to return there shortly.
My home is not only where I keep the majority of my emergency supplies, it’s also the place that I’ve spent time and money to secure. If a breakdown in society occurs following a disaster, I want to be as prepared as possible to protect my family and belongings.
But what if my home is destroyed or severely damaged by whatever crisis occurs? If that’s the only place where I have my emergency goods stockpiled – and either I can’t get to them or they’ve been destroyed by the disaster – I will have wasted a huge amount of time and money preparing for the exact scenario in which I find myself.
It is absolutely essential that you keep supplies in multiple locations. If you have a year’s supply of goods at home, keep six months’ worth in at least one other place. If you have six months’ worth of goods at home, store at least three months’ worth at a secondary location.
Now the question becomes, exactly where should my second and perhaps third locations be? There are several important factors to consider. For one, these other locations need to be close enough to get to, yet far enough away that they’re unlikely to be affected by the same disaster that just did a number on your home.
Just as important, these locations have to offer the same features that your home does – a cool, dry place where food and water won’t be negatively affected by sunlight, moisture and extreme temperatures.
Of course, it’s up to you to decide where those second and possibly third locations will be, but among the possibilities are a storage unit that you can rent, a root cellar or storage bunker on your property but away from your house, inside a separate building that you own in town, within a building that a trusted friend owns, or buried in a remote area where only you would think to look.
Finally, as all good preppers know, don’t advertise the fact that you have stockpiled food and water for an emergency in your home and at other locations. People will remember that, and you could have some unwelcome visitors following a disaster.
Introducing The Multi-Purpose, All-Terrain Electric Locomotive Finally an electric All-Terrain power horse to help you out all year long. No matter what the weather gives you, this could be one great investment for daily use or emergency’s and SHTF. The fantastic like a mix between a snowmobile, a dog sled and a miniature World War …
The post Introducing The Multi-Purpose, All-Terrain Electric Locomotive appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
The Multi-Purpose, All-Terrain Electric Locomotive Finally an electric All-Terrain power horse to help you out all year long. No matter what the weather gives you, this could be one great investment for daily use or emergency’s and SHTF. The fantastic like a mix between a snowmobile, a dog sled and a miniature World War I …
The post The Multi-Purpose, All-Terrain Electric Locomotive appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.
I have always believed that when it comes to bugging out, (click the link to learn about when it’s time to bug out) speed is your friend. I have written articles in the past stressing the need to keep your Bug out bag/Get home bag, light weight. The faster you get to your destination, the […]
Bugging Out 2.0: When You Need to Bug Out…Again
There are many of us who like to believe we’ve got it all figured out. We have a bug out location (or bug in location), a ton of equipment, supplies, arms and ammunition. We have our agricultural plan ready, permanent water supply, and we believe that we are ready for anything that may happen. We look at everyone else and laugh at their inability/unwillingness to prepare appropriately. We know that the unprepared will reap what they sow, while we will reap all the benefits of our hard work. What many of us have not considered is what would happen if our location became compromised and we had no other option but to bug out…again. In a world going to hell, nothing will be permanent and nothing will be completely secure. I’m writing this article for the very simple reason that I want you to understand that nothing that you do will guarantee safety or permanence. The only thing that you can take to the bank is that eventually, one day you and your group/settlement will have to pick up and leave.
I think that a lot of you guys right now are either writing this article off or thinking that you don’t even have a bug out location in the first place so why would you worry about it. The truth is that in any type of disaster or collapse being able to be mobile while being agile enough to be able to react quickly to changing situations will spell the difference between life and death. Often times we are so connected to our stuff that we forget that it is simply stuff and not worth dying for. This is going to be even more valid in a post-SHTF world. The fact that many of us have spent years preparing our location and gathering supplies makes the idea that we might have to leave with nothing but a backpack and a weapon makes us want to throw up, but you must be prepared to do so if you wish to live.
One of the biggest threats to any bug out location or prepper group will be remnants of the government wishing to consolidate resources and to “protect” the remainder of the population. I truly believe that after the collapse that the remnants of the US military/National Guard will infest the countryside, gathering up people in order to maintain a semblance of control. Hopefully, you’ll have found a location that is hidden and secure, but no matter what you do, if you’re located by either the government or even a large raiding force, you will have to leave quickly if you wish to live. The equation is simple. If they outnumber you and have superior firepower, staying will equal death.
We must all understand that we are prepping and getting ready for one simple reason. We do everything that we do in order to give our families a chance for survival. If we make a decision to resist a superior force when it would be suicide to do so we would be no smarter than those who did nothing to prepare. Dead is dead. Any location, no matter how amazing and how secure cannot guarantee safety and you must be ready to leave in the moments notice. You chose to prep in order to give yourself a chance to live, not preparing secondary locations or even training yourself to be able to live off the wild is tantamount to not being prepared it all.
Preparation goes beyond bug out locations, food, arms/ammunition, and training. It is about considering every possible scenario and preparing for the most likely of them. Having to find a secondary location in a hurry and being able to secure and fortify practically any position is something that everyone should know because it’s not a matter of if your location will be compromised, but when.
Here is a hard reality that everyone of you should consider when thinking about living in a post-SHTF world. You have a better than likely chance of dying with everyone else. I’ll say it again. No matter how prepared you are, no matter how many supplies you have gathered or how many guns you have, there’s a better than likely chance that you will not survive even past the first few days unless you are able to be mobile and able to think on your feet quickly. If you are married to any one place or if you have decided to defend your bug out or bug in location with your life, I wouldn’t want to bet a dollar on your chances for survival. Is it possible that your location is so well hidden and so wonderfully defended that there is no chance the you will ever be located or attacked? Yes, but would you be willing to bet your life and the life of your family on it?
Source : shtfjournal.com
About the author : Editor of SHTF Journal. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.
The post Bugging Out 2.0: When You Need to Bug Out…Again appeared first on .
How to Construct A Simple Boat I wanted to share this tutorial with you because I think this is a subject we tend to forget about or do not even realize that having a boat could be a great alternative when bugging out If you live near a river, it makes sense to not get …
PREPPER BASICS: Should I stay or should I go? Bobby Akart “Prepping For Tomorrow” Audio in player below! On this week’s episode of the Prepping for Tomorrow program, Author Bobby Akart will continue his month long discussion of prepper basics. The Prepper’s Conundrum is Bug In or Bug Out—Should I stay or should I go? … Continue reading PREPPER BASICS Should I stay or should I go?
I needed 500 rounds of 9mm ball ammo today. The reason will be clear later, that isn’t what this post is about. I went to the first place I thought I would find 9mm ball ammo in quantity and it wasn’t there. Went to the next place and it wasn’t there either. Went back to the first place and really looked.
I thought for a second and went to a third place where I found a can of 9mm ball. Winchester white box from probably 2008. Good solid ammo. Wish they had prices on them to show what I paid.
Anyway this was a big ole ball of fail. The bottom line is I currently have serious organizational issues beyond the home defense set up level. Access to ammo isn’t a realistic problem it is just a canary in the coal mine. We talked about ammo which I am not really concerned with. In my bedroom I think there are 5 loaded AR mags between my fighting load (hd) and a sort of active shooter bag. Also at least 3 spare glock mags. That more than meets any home defense needs I could possibly have.
My stuff both preparedness and otherwise needs to get better organized. I really don’t have any excuse except laziness for not doing this. Currently I don’t have anything big going on for most weekends so I could easily put in 3-4 hours 2 days a week working to fix this. Just need to get off my ass and do It.
So what are my goals:
1- MOP-After this weekend which is busy I want to spend st least 6 hours a week (probably on the weekend) on sorting and organization. The girl I’m seeing works weekends so I have the time. I plan to do this until the organization is done.
2- MOE- Within 30 days have full fighting load, bob and bug out stuff separated, organized and ready to go.
3- MOE Within 60 days have all prearedness related stuff organized.
4- MORE- Within 90 days have all of my various possessions organized. Donate a lot to good will, unneeded camping stuff to local Boy Scouts or survivalists,, sell some stuff and organize the rest.
Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from PCPrepperGuild. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.
I am so sick and tired of a large majority of these stories always talking about all these real nice things people have for Bugging out. Oh look at our All terrain 4X4 Super Duty Extended Cab 8ft bed Jacked up fully loaded Ford Diesel Pickup. With our totally decked out bug out trailer that’s going to keep me and my family safe so I can return to my $ 180,000.00 a yr. job.
I mean am I the only one that feels this way? I make $ 50,000.00 a year as a Professional Firefighter. And just to state, at the end of the day, I really don’t have a lot of money left. I also work a part-time job. Still can’t seem to come up with money to buy that kind of truck. Plus have all the extras, we all know they’re going to say this man has.
So let’s get down and dirty here and talk about what a common working man would have. Poor Man Prepping… Now I may be all wrong here, and just a complete dumb-ass. But most of the people I know are just like me. Just trying to make, a better life for their kids. We are the ones that don’t have that bug out location, and are going to have to bug in at first just to see how things go.
One day at the station we were sitting around the table, and the talk was about The Walking Dead, love the show, but I asked ‘so what would you guys all do if SHTF happened right now?’ Boom the world fell apart. We went around the table and each guy that was in the conversation said what they would do. Every single one of them gave pretty much the same answer. Get their guns, grab their stuff, load up the family and leave. So when it came around to me well, they didn’t like my answer. I was going to go to each one of their houses, and grab their stuff, I can use to help me and my family survive in our home. Something to think about.
Yea we do have some Bug out Bags and Boxes ready to go, our own small stockpile of prepping supplies. Maybe even a Chevy pickup to throw all that into. But in the end, we will be the ones banding together to make it. Yea I might be the one with the stove and cooking supplies, possibly a shotgun to try to protect my family with. But my neighbor could be the guy with all the guns and nothing else. It just cracks me up that as I read article after article on here it always seems as though there trying to brag or show off in some way.
So now that I’m way off point.
Good! I am going to start writing my own articles and see where this takes me, I can say one thing for sure we are going to talk about what a common working man can afford and can get. Should they have 3 to 6 months worth of food stocked up in his basement with his AR15 and Shotgun and all his other guns, plus Gallons and gallons of water? Well it would be nice. But then again were talking about what we can do to prep.
Let’s start small, and build from there.
1 Sharpe Permanent marker, no this may never stop a mob from stealing your stuff but it will make sense in a sec. Cases of water is really what got me going, Buy one or two cases and store them in a cool dry place. Write on the case year and date you bought them. (Sharpie Marker) This will at least let you know how old it’s getting and what gets drank first or rotated out. Same thing with some canned foods vegetables, Dinty Moore beef stew, spam canned meats – write on the can when you bought them and exp. date so it’s easy to see. Oatmeal, pancakes just add water mix, syrup. Sure, sure if you can get more go for it. But just start saving what you can.
Then try to set up every family member with a bug out bag so it is ready to go. Have them plan for a weekend away from home, 2 nights three days. This will give them something in their bags – try to add in a few other important items. Plate, Cup, Bowl, fork, knife, spoon. This can all be cheap plastic ones bought at a dollar store. Don’t forget to have each person pack an old blanket and pillow if possible.
Now I know most of us have food at home, well when it’s time to go nothing says you can’t take that with you it’s always a good idea to save those old grocery bags to load your food up. Take it. Just make sure what you take you can cook and eat. Pots and pans from the house may just be all you have. Draw up a check list and keep it close by. I am not saying don’t read the other articles or even take ideas from them, they are all good and may help in one way or another.
As far as your Bug out vehicle that’s going to take you away to the middle of nowhere, or a Budget Inn. Will the family car will most defiantly do? Yes! Should we all strive for a nice place in the middle of nowhere, and that 4X4 ATV I mention? You can if you want.
But my grandmother once said to me when I asked, why we don’t have a bomb shelter?
She said, ‘If we did have one would you really want to be the last ones left on earth, when everyone else is gone?’ If were truly going to make it to the next century and the SHTF we need to band together as the human race, cause without each other we die divided. Just my thoughts.
Look for more from me in the Future.
Emergencies or a disaster do not come knocking on your door. So, you always need to be Red Cross ready and have essential items in your kit. Staying prepared for an emergency means, you must have the proper supplies of materials that you might need in an emergency event. As a rule of thumb, you must remember that the Federal Government expects the people to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Hence, while deciding on the survival kit, first consider where you are going to use it.
Will you keep it in your car? Are you going to place it in your backpack if you are going for a hike? Will you require it for a week long camping or simply want it for your home or school?Wherever you might go, the emergency survival kit must support you for 72 hours.
As it is important to stay prepared for an emergency, keep your supplies in an easy-to-carry emergency survival kit. It should be lightweight, something that you can use at home or take away in case if you have to evacuate or run from the scene.
In order to stay prepared for an emergency or a disaster, Red Cross suggests having seven essential items in your survival kit. These are –
3. Lighting and Communication
4. First Aid
5. Survival Gear
6. Sanitation and Hygiene
7. Shelter and Warmth
You can last for several weeks without food, but without water it is almost impossible. Water is the most important of all as you only have 3 to 4 days without hydration before you die. You need to have a 3-day supply of one gallon of water per person.
Next, on the list is food, and for this, you need to have a 3-day supply of non-perishable items for each person. Foods you might have are a supply of MREs, rice, salt, honey, molasses, noodles, hard candy, energy bars, canned foods, some wine or liquor.
For proper lighting and communication, one might consider a flashlight, a battery-powered radio with some extra batteries, cell phone with your chargers, and emergency contact numbers. If you are not planning to take candles, make sure they are waterproof matches. It ensures to start a fire anywhere you need.
In your first aid kit, you will need proper medicines both prescribed and non-prescribed like aspirin. The medical items must be able to support each person for at least 7 days. Have Band-Aids, bandages, bicarbonate soda, gloves, eye drops, soaps, sterile strips, sanitizers, scissors and many other first aid items.
As for sanitation, having a makeshift toilet is a plus in an emergency. Make sure to have a good supply of hygiene items to stay clean as much as you can. Among hygiene items comes clothing and it is the most difficult item to pack. It is enough to have shirts both long and short sleeves, a jacket, socks and undergarments are some of the basic clothing you need in your kit.
As for shelter and warmth, carrying tents or sleeping bags is no doubt the best. Sleeping bags may not be a comforter but they are better being cold. Do carry a waterproof blanket or a space blanket in case of emergency. They add to warmth and keep you out of rain and cold.
So, having these 7 items is going to increase your chances of survival in case of disaster or emergency, whether you are at home, school, work or in your car. The below infographic by More Prepared, an emergency preparedness experts will depict everything in more details.
7 Essential Items in Your Emergency Survival Kit
Mina Arnao is the Founder/CEO of More Prepared, the emergency preparedness experts for over 10 years. More Prepared’s mission is to help families, schools and businesses prepare for earthquakes and other emergencies. Mina is CERT trained (community emergency response team) and Red Cross certified.
How To Build A Hovercraft I have been thinking about bugging out recently and I have come to the conclusion that if SHTF really does happen the roads will be blocked with cars. People will be driving so fast to get to where they need to go that people will crash and cause hold ups and …
Todd’s Note: I recently received the article below in an email from Michael R. He didn’t intend to send it to me as a potential article. He instead was passing along information that he had been thinking about, analyzing and trying to problem solve. I thought that his information was important to pass along, being that I haven’t seen the effort (actual numbers) put into explaining why freeways and roads will become impassible if major cities tried to bug out in an emergency situation. Michael makes a lot of sense. After thinking through his information, I believe it is even more important to be aware of what is going on and either move now or choose to bug-in. I don’t know if getting a jump start on bugging out will be possible. If you have to think about it, you might be too late!
The simple common definition of “Bug Out” is traveling… and more specifically, traveling from a densely populated area to a less densely populated area.
Have you ever thought about the minimum amount of time that the perfectly prepared family who has a Plan and has practiced evacuation would need to evacuate to a predetermined bug-out location? Yes, there are a lot of qualifiers in this sentence but work with me here.
Let’s start by setting up the parameters as a challenge.
First, the only criteria for our perfect family, who are all at home in their metropolitan suburb, is they will only need to grab the most urgent essentials like medicine, then depart their home and arrive at their bug-out location within 12 hours to beat the challenge.
Well, that’s an easy challenge to win. The fastest transportation is our fully-fueled vehicle, since we have pre-deployed our resources in advance, so we’ll simply jump in our vehicle and be there in a few hours.
But since we’re cautious people, we’ll do some risk assessments using the tried and true, “What ifs.”
What if our metropolitan city, in our case, Dallas, attempted to evacuate?
There are a lot of people in Dallas, but “a lot” is kinda’ vague. And only a few keystrokes reveals there are 451,000 houses in Dallas County.
A few more keystrokes reveals that each household has 1.8 cars, but it is reasonable to believe that an evacuation will cause families to travel as a unit in a single vehicle. So, let’s think that at most 451,000 cars will hit the streets. However, it is safe to assume that not all residents will evacuate, so I’ll reduce the amount by 20%, leaving the potential for 360,800 cars on the road.
OK, now some fairly uncomplicated criteria: a car is 16 to 17 feet long, plus you might add a foot or two to compensate for sharing the road with an unknown quantity of 73-foot long tractor-trailer rigs and the 50-foot long travel trailers that those “almost prepared” will attempt to escape in.
All of which equals about 6+ million feet of vehicles, add to that 1 million feet of trailers and another 1 million feet of bumper space (1.5-feet between vehicles) divided by the number of feet in a mile – 5,280 equals 1,500 miles of vehicles.
OK – where could those 1,500 miles of vehicles go? A safe answer is anywhere out of Dallas, but let’s stick to major, high speed, traffic arteries like Interstate Highways. Dallas has 3 Interstates, meaning 16 lanes of outbound roadways available for use in a mass evacuation of Dallas.
One additional fact: Studies of actual highway traffic have measured vehicle flow rates as high as 2,000 vehicles per lane, per hour, at a speed of 60 miles per hour.
In a perfect scenario, 360,800 vehicles at 60 MPH will take 200 hours to evacuate Dallas – the math is 2,000 vehicles per hour times 2-seconds per vehicle divided 60 will equal hours – you might want to leave early.
Here is the Total Breakdown
It ends up that you have 2,784 miles of vehicles wanting to occupy 956 miles of Interstate.
An omission that dawned on me as I was rethinking my premise – houses are not households – houses are houses – apartment are not included!!!
The Dallas Apparent Assn. says there are 201,599 apartments in Dallas county – but there is no average number of cars per apartment – the safest guess may be 1 car per apartment – add 40% to miles – so, 3,894 miles of cars wanting to occupy 239 miles.
Now if you think that everyone had a place to go – Mom & Dad’s house, a 2nd home, a farm or a camping place – and that they were evenly spread across the 6 major arteries out of Dallas, there would still not be enough road space
Figure it this way – 6 arteries times 4 lanes per artery times “X” miles – it doesn’t matter what “X” equals, the first bottleneck stops all traffic.
In an attempt to keep things simple, these thoughts were based on only Dallas County being evacuated and not any other city or town – not Plano, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Garland, Arlington or Ft Worth. The compounding factor is simply beyond my simple premise. if you apply a simple advancement algorithm to the 11 counties that are 900 square miles each around Dallas county, the result is a multiplier of about 8 – instead of 3,000 miles of cars you have 30,000 miles of cars – my mind hit tilt way long ago.
Some cautious conclusions come to mind. It seems reasonable that in only 1 hour, cars leaving Dallas will be bumper-to-bumper or stopped on all paved roadways for 250 miles? Yep, total stop! Highways will become parking lots. The majority of people will be poorly prepared for returning home and unprepared to walk to continue their journey to a place of refuge, Add to that the idea that no relief vehicle could travel past the first creek because every bridge would be impassible from the people clustering around it for water, for family caregivers who won’t abandon the infirm or young.
Personally, I have come to the conclusion that it is mathematically impossible for a family evacuation to a bug-out location located within 300 miles of home without a head start of 12-hours.
FYI: The equations had no allowances for lane stoppages, accidents or breakdowns. (Care to make a side bet on the probability of no accidents from a panicked mob? Me neither.)
To me this says hunker down or leave early…
A Short List of Recent Evacuations in the U.S.
The following is a partial list of some of the larger emergency event population movements in the past 10 years. I did not include population movements for genocide, epidemics, famine, or armed conflicts/civil wars.
August 2005 – 484,000 evacuated due to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana. September 2005 – 3 million evacuated in Texas and Louisiana, including 2.4 million from Houston, Texas, due to Hurricane Rita. October 2007 – California wildfires forced more than 900,000 people in Southern California to evacuate. August 2008 – 1.9 million people evacuate coastal Louisiana, including New Orleans, for Hurricane Gustav. August 2011 – A mass evacuation stretching from North Carolina to New York is ordered because of Hurricane Irene and its size.
Current Situations. Bugging Out on Foot. More Questions than Answers
I am also perplexed at the current migration in Europe. How are so many people feeding themselves on a 2,600 mile journey? How are they traveling? Who is underwriting the costs associated with this migration? We know there is food for the migrants because there is no outcry about starvation. But where is the food coming from? On a daily basis, a million people consume an enormous amount of food. We know that ramping up food production takes months. Where is all this food coming from? Will the consumption of these food reserves cause a rise in food costs as producer stocks are depleted?
Todd’s Note: Michael gives us a lot to think about. What do you think? Feel free to leave your comment below. Click the links for more info. on bugging out, bugout vehicles or bugout bags. Also checkout these links – BOL and BOB.
Whether you chose to bug out on your own terms or you are ordered by local authorities to leave your home, make sure you have everything covered. Survival for you and your loved ones may depend on the preparations you make and your chances increase greatly if you avoid these bugging out mistakes. Bugging out … Read more…
In the face of disaster, preppers know we need to move quickly. We should be prepared to act in a minute’s notice when we realize our family is in jeopardy. We each have our Bug Out Bags ready to go or they should be but it is a different matter altogether if the family bug out mobile is involved. How many times have you watched a Prepper show where the family simulated loading all of their gear to escape town? Often it took them much longer than they anticipated and in at least one case, they couldn’t even take their main prep with them.
We have talked about conducting a trial load of your bug out vehicle before and that makes perfect sense, but what if you had a simple way to plan and stage your bug out vehicle equipment, food and gear that would only take you 10 to 20 minutes to load, was ready to go when you needed it and would give you just about everything you would need to live on your own for at least 30 days? What if this simple bug out vehicle load plan could get your and your family on the road faster? Do you think it would be worth it to spend a little time now as opposed to wasting life-saving hours later?
What do you need to pack if you are running away from disaster?
The idea for the bug out vehicle load plan comes from a couple of places. First, like so many of you, I have tried to figure out and plan for all my supplies if the situation dictated that I needed to throw everyone in the car and leave. I have written about my plan to shelter in place because I think everything being equal, it is much easier to weather some disasters from the comfort of your own home. However, I do realize that I don’t always get a vote. Perhaps a chemical spill 5 miles away was causing illness and evacuations. I would need to go and quickly.
I have many prepping supplies that I think are vital to living and surviving away from my home, but I don’t have them all packed and ready to go. I have some items in closets, some in sheds, some under beds, in spare closets and others strewn in numerous drawers. If I have plenty of time, I think What I have collected so far can cover a lot of bases, but in this scenario, we want to get out quickly. It could be that you want to beat the rush that could quickly cause the highways to be parking lots. It may also be that if you don’t get to safer ground, you will die.
The list I have put together draws a lot of inspiration from camping trips. I do still maintain that in many aspects, living off the grid is very similar to camping. Yes, there are many ‘but what about’ to that analogy, but if you have the basics to live in the woods for a week without starving, you are in pretty good shape. Will that last years? Will that keep you safe from hordes of Mongolians on horses? No, but we are working towards a goal here. Not everyone is able to have a bug out retreat.
What do you need to survive?
The consistent part of prepping is that everyone needs the same core things to survive. You need water, food, shelter and security. Technically you don’t need security if you are on an island and no creatures or humans are trying to separate you from your head, but you get the idea. In this world, you will likely need to defend yourself from others, in some situations, at some point.
So our packing list is broken down into storage cases that represent some of these crucial elements. My plan is to have weather proof cases packed with all of these supplies ready to go at all times. If I need to go, it is a pretty simple matter to load them on my vehicle, secure them and roll out of the neighborhood.
The cases I use are from Plano. They are called the Sportsman Trunk 1919. The case dimensions are 37.75″ X 18.25″ X 14″ and I have room for three of these on the top of my vehicle plus more actually. I have more room inside the vehicle too, but I will get to that later.
Case 1 – Food
I think what goes in your food case will vary greatly. What I am comfortable eating would make some of you wince with pain. You have to consider the weight, storage space and caloric benefit of what you do pack though. For example, if you fill your food case up with nothing but bags of rice and cans of beans, that will last a while, but will quickly become boring. How sad is it when nobody wants to eat your food to survive? ‘They’ll eat when they get hungry enough!’ I know, I have said that too, but we should be able to agree a little variety is better.
Hopefully, we all know that nothing refrigerated should be going in this case and I would even argue against a cooler too. You should be packing food that you can forget about and only bring out when you need to leave. Coolers are big wastes of space.
What kind of food? I have several boxes of freeze dried food from a few different vendors. With choices like chicken noodle soup, mashed potatoes, powdered milk, chocolate pudding, rice, fruit, mac & cheese, etc. there is bound to be something we can all enjoy. Plus, the freeze dried food takes up so much less space than cans.
What’s in there?
- Strawberry Fields Cream of Wheat — 64 Servings
- Maple Grove Oatmeal — 112 Servings
- Uncle Frank’s Italian Lasagna — 16 Servings
- Granny’s Homestyle Potato Soup — 48 Servings
- Traveler’s Stew — 48 Servings
- Summer’s Best Corn Chowder — 16 Servings
- Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice — 48 Servings
- Liberty Bell Potato Cheddar Soup — 40 Servings
- Traditional Fettuccine Alfredo — 40 Servings
- Independence Hall Chicken Noodle Soup — 16 Servings
- Cheesy Broccoli & Rice Soup — 32 Servings
- Country Cottage Mac & Cheese — 32 Servings
- Heartland’s Best Mashed Potatoes — 64 Servings
- Creamy Stroganoff — 32 Servings
- Instant White Rice — 40 Servings
- Chocolate Pudding — 60 Servings
- Honey Coated Banana Chips — 32 Servings
- Orange Energy Drink Mix — 32 Servings
- Settler’s Whey Powdered Milk — 48 Servings
- Coffee & Filters – Plenty…
This food is stored in a cool dry place in the Plano trunk so it’s ready to go. This should last a family of 4 approximately, 30 days. There are lots of freeze dried vendors out there. I suggest you do some research and then watch for sales. You can save a lot of money sometimes and it is always cheaper to buy in bulk. Your personal case might need to be adjusted for special diets, but this is an example.
Case 2 – Shelter
This case should be pretty simple to explain. It’s just the big gear we will use to keep us out of the elements.
- Tent – 6-man tent
- Tent stakes
- 3 tarps – One for our ground cover. The others can meet various other needs.
- Coleman Lantern and spare fuel
- Camping Axe
- Sleeping bags/pads
Case 3 – Supplies & Extras
- Coleman Stove
- Camp Bowls
- Silverware Sets
- Cutting Board
- Bottle/Can Opener
- Aluminum Foil
- Cooking utensils
- GSI Pinnacle Camper Kit
- Platypus Gravityworks Water Filter
- Extra Knives
- Trash Bags
- Wet Ones
- Camp Shower
- Paper Towels
- Bug Spray
- First Aid Kit
- Fire Bag – Flint, tinder, wetfire, lighter
- Toilet Paper -Probably not enough to last 4 people 30 days, but enough to get us started.
Is that it?
That is the million-dollar question isn’t it? I know that some people will have items I have missed and I can easily come up with hundreds myself, but you have to ask if those items are necessary. Can this list keep you alive? Can you store this and get it loaded quickly? I think so and in an upcoming post, I will show you how I load everything.
There are other supplies that get packed in here too like weapons, bug out bags and communication items. I also have vehicle preps and clothes so stay tuned for more.
A bandana is just a piece of cloth for blowing your nose, right?. For most, yes, but if you’re a serious survivalist you know that a single piece of cloth can be an extremely valuable resource. A Survival bandana is any bandana put to good survival use.
So today I’m going to share with you, my 23 favorite survival uses for a bandana. But first a quick story…
How I Used A Survival Bandana In Real Life
It was somewhere outside of Pai, Thailand around 2:00 AM when I crashed my motorbike crossing a bridge at 85 kilometers-per-hour. That’s 53 mph. Yeah, too fast for a beat up country road on a shitty rental bike. Especially after a rainstorm and a few Chang lagers. But hell, I wasn’t alone.
In front of me my two friends, Aldus and Carino had crashed just seconds earlier. One after another that puddle-covered bridge kicked our motorbikes out from underneath us and tossed our bodies like rag dolls into the brush and darkness beyond the road.
It was an absolute miracle that none of our bikes, which careened off past us, didn’t decapitate anyone. Thankfully, we were alive.
So we brushed ourselves off and stood in shocked awe to assess the damage. It was rough, but nothing serious: widespread road-burn over all our legs and arms, several cuts, a lot of bruises. No one was going to the hospital but we were going to be extremely sore over the next few weeks.
The Moral Of The Story
I tell this story for one reason in particular: after that fiasco, I had to cover my calves and forearms to protect them from the intense Southeast Asian sunlight and the relentless bugs that wanted to lay eggs in my wounds. But I only had shorts and short sleeve t-shirts.
Besides, I wasn’t about to spend the next few weeks sweating in long-sleeve and pants waiting for my injuries to heal. The solution? Survival bandanas tied around my arms and legs.
They kept drying blood off our clothing, kept sunlight out of reach, bugs off, and while allowing some air to help promote scabs and healing. Soon we all adopted the tactic, and it helped immensely.
Those bandanas became useful several more times on that adventure, and for many different reasons. To protect our wounds, to protect our skin from sunlight, to keep moisture from evaporating from exposed skin, as pot holders and washcloths, even eventually as cordage for binding.
It was on that trip that I realized bandana’s are one of the simplest, most versatile, lightest weight, and cheapest survival tools you can take with you. Almost everyone can afford at least one, they easily tie onto a pack, can be worn everywhere, are inconspicuous, and serve a multitude of purposes.
List Of Survival Bandana Uses
So what follows is a list of potential uses for bandanas in the survival context. Maybe you’ve just crashed motorbikes in a foreign country, or climbed out of a helicopter crash in the wilderness, perhaps the end times have at last arrived, and society has decayed to an every-man-for-himself basis, and you are getting ready to hightail it into the high country…
Maybe you’ve just crashed motorbikes in a foreign country, or climbed out of a helicopter crash in the wilderness. Perhaps the end times have arrived at last, and society has decayed to an every-man-for-himself basis, and you’re ready to hightail it into the high country…
Whatever the reason, I highly encourage everyone to keep at least one survival bandana in your Bug Out Bag and more in all your supply caches (Get Home Bags, Medical Bags, Survival Vehicles, Survival Cabins, Underground Food Containers, and Survival Caches).
You never know when the need may arise to use a bandana in a survival situation. Sure, maybe you never get the chance or maybe tomorrow you’re plunged into a chaotic series of events that spits you out miles away from anywhere, lost, disoriented, and confused.
Bandana’s are one of those pieces of equipment that are easy to keep around, and can honestly save your life if you actually need them.
So here’s a list of some of my favorite uses for a survival bandanas.
23 Survival Uses For Your Bandana
1. Signaling For Rescue –
Sure, that camouflage pattern bandana looks badass and blends in perfectly from a distance but let’s be honest: a bandana isn’t going to make you invisible, but they can do exactly the opposite.
Let’s say you’re out hunting and break your legs while you’re decked out in full camo – wouldn’t it be more helpful to reach into your pack and grab a couple of bright neon bandanas and make a flag or hang them around you?
Just like with signal mirrors, search and rescue teams across the country recommend using brightly bandanas as signals to wave down search aviation because they stick out from natural colors.
More than that, if you need to signal to someone else without speaking or making noise, different brightly colored bandanas can be used to communicate to one another over distances.
2. Establishing Trail Markers –
Sick of getting lost when you go bushwhacking in the wilderness? Lot’s of hunters, hikers, and other explorers use neon plastic tape to tie to tree branches and mark their way home. Like Hansel and Gretel; only no one is going to come around eating plastic stuck in trees so that you won’t get lost.
Likewise, brightly colored survival bandanas can be torn into ribbons and tied to trees to mark progress and keep your bearings straight. Don’t be afraid to tear that bandana up into several trail marker ribbons. It’s a large part of its usefulness, and they are easy to replace. If your bandana is sentimental, leave it at home and instead invest in a cheap new one to add to your survival gear.
3. Dirty Dish Rag –
I love to cook when camping. I have a nice set up of camp cookware that I take with me everywhere. But when I’m out and away from sinks and sponges, sometimes washing dirty dishes can be a serious pain.
In a pinch, bandanas can be soaped up and used as dish rags to get in there and clean up.
4. Napkin/Handkerchief –
I don’t know that this one needs a lot of explanation. If you sneeze or have allergies, wipe that nose with your bandana and clean yourself up. If you don’t have proper paper napkins or paper towels laying around, use your bandana. Either way, make sure you rinse it out when you’re done.
5. Neck Gaiter for Cold Weather –
Winter is without a doubt, my favorite season. Why? Because it is ski season, and snowshoe season, igloo season, and the season of big warm jackets and crisp silent nights.
But everyone’s face can get cold in that kind of weather, and even a very thin layer of cloth can make a BIG difference. So if you’ve got a survival bandana handy and the cold weather is biting at your face, cover up like a bandit and use it as a neck gaiter. You’ll be surprised at how efficiently this works to keep the cold at bay.
So if you’ve got a bandana handy and the cold weather is biting at your face, cover up like a bandit and use it as a neck gaiter. You’ll be surprised at how efficiently this works to keep the cold at bay.
6. Makeshift Tourniquet –
No one expects to amputate a limb when you leave the house in the morning, but you can never be entirely sure. Should the need for a tourniquet arise, bandanas can cinch really tightly in a pinch, and will do an OK job in lew of an actual rapid application tourniquet. (But for snake bites use a Sawyer Extractor, this will work much more efficiently to prevent venom from spreading)
7. Cordage –
As I mentioned earlier: never hesitate to tear your survival bandana up to increase its usefulness. Often, bandanas are more useful in pieces than they are wholly intact.
If you need to bind a broken bone to a splint, bind tent poles together, bind something to your pack, bind a person’s hands, bind an animal, whatever! Bandanas can do the job. The fabric makes for decently strong cordage.
I’d rather have paracord with me as cordage but bandana works too if push comes to shove.
8. Washcloth or Towel –
If I forget something when I pack my backpacking backpack, it is a washcloth and a towel. I will ALWAYS remember everything else, but never that. The problem got so bad that I have just resorted to using bandanas.
They are smaller, easier to pack, and much easier to remember to bring (for me at least). So you can’t wrap it around your waist to cover yourself after bathing, but who doesn’t love a little nudity in the wilderness? You may be naked but at least you’ll be dry.
9. Waist pack/pouch –
If you tie the right knots in the right places, you can fashion a small waist pack for yourself. Like a homemade fanny-pack to keep your favorite goodies close. This works in the wilderness for recreation or for survival.It could even come in handy at the next music festival you go to sneak goodies inside (but you didn’t get that idea from me).
10. Pot Holder –
Hot stuff burns hands. That’s science. So protect your grabbers with a survival bandana next time you reach for that hot pot in the fire. I can’t promise you that will mitigate all of the heat, but it will help – especially if you soak it in water beforehand.
11. Pouch for Collecting Wild Edibles and Ingredients –
Now, don’t go out picking berries, mushrooms, and roots without at least a basic understanding of what you are picking. It can be extremely dangerous to eat whatever you come across in the wilderness, but it can also be highly useful if you have the right knowledge base.
Get a book on foraging if you are interested, or check out this awesome Guide to Foraging. Needless to say, once you know what you are doing, bandanas can be used as containers to collect such edibles from your surrounding area, and transport them back to home base.
12. Sun block/sweat catcher for your neck –
When I was traveling in Asia I would often tuck one end of my bandanas underneath my hat. This served two purposes: first, to keep the Asian sun from burning the crap out of pasty white skin. And second, to keep sweat contained, and to prevent it from evaporating off of my pasty white skin.
When you’re in intense heat like that, the last thing you want to do is take off your clothes and let your sweat disappear into the scorching air. It is better to use cotton garments to keep as much moisture as close to the skin as possible – so that means, leave the t-shirt on and use that bandana to save your sweat!
13. Sling –
Luckily, when we crashed our bikes there were no broken bones. But if there had, a bandana would have been the perfect fabric to make a sling out of. Slings keep injured body parts close to the body and elevated to minimize swelling.
Anyone who has ever needed to use one knows that they help SO MUCH when you’ve got an injured arm/shoulder. Doctors and first responders always carry triangle bandages in their medical kits to create slings on the fly – but homemade med-kits might not have any of those.
In the absence of a real sling or triangle bandages, bandanas can be substituted to hold injured limbs aloft – although they are slightly smaller than regular triangle bandages.
14. Sling –
Yeah, you read that right, I put “slings” on here twice. That’s not a typo – I mean to say that you can make two different kinds of slings out of the same single survival bandana.
The first was discussed above; the second is the kind that David used to defeat Goliath, the kind that our ancestors from long ago used to hunt animals, and fire projectiles at their enemies with.
Look up a simple DIY on how to make a sling and you’ll be able to see how you can use a bandana to achieve a similar effect. This can come in useful for hunting small animals when you have no other source of food, or for defending yourself when you have no other means of doing so.
15. Eye patch –
Losing an eye would suck. My condolences to anyone out there who’s suffered such a serious inconvenience. But shit happens, and if you were to lose an eye in a survival situation, you probably aren’t going to be able to get to a hospital to bandage you up.
Without covering the wound, it could get infected much more easily and will be exposed to the elements and unwanted guests (like the bugs that tried to infest my road-burn wounds).
16. Pre-water Filter –
You know how coffee filters work? Well, bandanas can achieve a similar function with water. By using a piece of mildly tight-knit fabric (like the cotton of a bandana) to filter water in the wilderness, you can significantly cut down on debris and unwanted waterborne guests.
This won’t replace your pump-action water filter, or iodine tablets (by ANY means) but if it is the only method you have available for filtering water, definitely use it. While it won’t protect you from every waterborne nasty, it will protect you from some of them.
17. Hobo Pack –
This one’s a Great Depression Era classic. Find yourself a stick, tie the corners of your survival bandana together on one end of it, and voila! You have yourself a handy little shoulder pack.
Granted, it isn’t great for holding tons of stuff. But it can take the weight out of your pockets at the very least and allow any traveler a little extra packing space.
18. Cleaning Patches for Firearm –
Every gun owner knows that keeping a firearm clean is imperative if you want to rely on and trust in your firearm.
But you never know when and where you might have to use your gun – if you need some cleaning patches to polish up your weapon, bandanas make great fabric segments for exactly that purpose. Just tear it up into small pieces and gently dab some gun cleaning oil on them, then get to it!
19. Bullet Patches for Muzzleloader –
If for whatever reason, you’re stranded, and you have a muzzleloader with you, bandanas can also serve as decent bullet patches to keep the bullet and gunpowder separate.
20. Toilet Paper –
Need I say more?
21. Earmuffs –
They won’t be the warmest earmuffs on the market, but if your ears are exceptionally chilly, wrap your bandana around your head and cinch it tightly. It is no replacement for a wool cap or fleece-muffs, but it is certainly better than nothing.
A survival bandana may be just enough to save your ears from frostbite.
22. Bind A Stone and Toss A Line Over A Limb –
This is one of my more clever ideas but say you need to throw a line over a tree branch or steel beam.
Tying most cord or line to a stone can be a difficult endeavor. But if you wrap the stone up in your bandana, and tie the line to that, you have a much more efficient tool and a much lower chance of failure.
23. Dust Mask –
I always think of that scene from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas when Thompson’s out on the desert following dirt bikes around in a buggy, dust so thick in the air visibility is negligible. Breathing in heavy amounts of dust or soot or smoke can be unimaginably stressful on human lungs.
Especially if you have to inhale that crap for an extended period of time. Of course, a gas mask or respirator is almost always the best option in such a circumstance. But those are rarely available.
Tying a survival bandana around your face can help filter out a significant amount of air pollution and will save your lungs. Even that thin layer of cotton can go a long way when it comes to breathing in toxic air.
Survival Bandana Wrap Up
Obviously, these aren’t all of the potential uses for a survival bandana, but a few of the obvious ones, and some of my favorite creative uses. You can surely think of a few more, and in an emergency, under pressure, who knows what kind of crazy ends you’ll use your bandanas to achieve.
If I hadn’t been prepared with my survival bandanas when I was traveling, I could have gotten an infection, severe skin damage, or worse – baby flies popping out of my skin. But because I was prepared, and because I understood the versatility of the survival bandana, I was able to save myself from those horrors.
Finally here’s a good video that details 101 survival uses for a bandana. From bushcraft, to medical, from tactical to humor; this video covers them all.
If you have any more survival bandana ideas or stories, feel free to share them. People need to understand how easy these are to keep around, and how helpful they can be in a dangerous situation
The post Survival Bandana: 23 Survival Uses From A Simple Piece Of Cloth appeared first on Skilled Survival.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Sleep is an important aspect of a survival situation and it’s still an underrated characteristic of many survival scenarios. Having a survival hammock in your bug out bag will help you get the needed rest to recover from a stressful situation. There are a few … Read more…
The post Survival hammock tips and tricks that you should learn was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.
The City, EDC, and Preparedness! Josh “7 P’s of survival” This show in player below! This week on the 7 P’s of Survival Radio Show we discuss various aspects concerning EDC, Preparedness and Self-reliance in a major city environment. Throughout the show I discuss a variety of major metropolitan areas, their laws regarding EDC, Preparedness … Continue reading The City, EDC, and Preparedness!
Survival trailers come in all sort of shapes and sizes. Survival trailers also come in lots of price ranges. From the budget friendly DIY survival trailers to the “top of the line” budget destroyers and everything in between.
So in this article, let’s start off looking at some badass bug out trailer rigs. Yes, these trailers may be out of many of our realistic price ranges but they are:
- Awesome to look at
- Can inspire us if choose the DIY route.
Then we’ll shift gears and cover some of the more budget friendly options for putting together a survival bug out trailer.
The Best Bug Out Survival Trailers Money Can Buy
The Patriot Camper X1
If you’re looking for a top of the line rig look no further than the Patriot Campers X1. It was voted Patriot 2016 WINNER for Offroad Camper Trailers. And has won this award now for 3 years in a row!
This well-designed drag behind is made to go anywhere you’re bug out vehicle can go. Which is an important aspect with any survival trailer. You don’t want your choice in trailer to hold you back, that would be a damn shame.
A video does a much better job of sharing all the function and features of this beast, so you should spend the 13 minutes watching this video. It gives you an idea how incredible this rig would be as your survival trailer.
So as you just saw this rig is smartly designed with all the extras you could ever want. But with all those extras, comes at a price and hefty one at that. These rigs can cost upwards of 30k, ouch!
So let’s look next at a well-designed rig without as many bells and whistles but are currently selling in a more budget friendly under 10k range. This one is from Jackwagon Offroad.
What I like about this setup is that it’s relatively simple and something much easier to model a DIY build after than the previous setup.
Xventure Off-Road Trailer
What if you want a trailer and don’t need to worry about a tent option to go with it? What if instead you just wanted to focus on maximum durability and storage space? If this sounds like you then check out the XVENTURE Offroad Trailer. This setup provides maximum durability for under 12k.
While these are just three out of thousands of possible options, I believe these 3 trailers cover the basics on what you can purchase for your survival trailer needs.
But what if you don’t want to fork out 10k for a bug out trailer? Or what if you would like to build your own trailer and customize it perfectly to suit your needs? That exactly what we’ll cover next.
The Many Different Types of DIY Survival Trailers
Honestly, anything that carries survival equipment and drags behind a vehicle can be considered a survival trailer.
If you’re mechanically inclined and have the means to do so, there’s no reason you can’t build your own survival trailer. However if your not mechanically inclined then this isn’t a build you’ll want to cut your teeth on. Otherwise, you may end up with an ugly, unreliable Frankentrailer.
The most straight forward DIY survival trailer build is one the replicates the camper survival trailers covered in the previous section.
The Camper Trailer –
When it comes to DIY, it’s always best to do a bunch of research first. So I want to share with you a few sites and videos to help you begin your own DIY research.
This first video is a guy who spent 6 months building his survival trailer. Spending a couple of hours a day.
As you may have noticed in the video, this guy has an entire site dedicated to showing you, step by step how to build a badass survival trailer yourself. The site is http://www.diycamper.com.au/ definitely worth checking out. It’s got all the information you need including schematics and Q/A in the comment sections. The site is an absolute DIY gem.
Compact Horse Trailers –
These setups are more on the budget side of things, but a really good option for anyone looking to prepare a quick getaway. They are not originally built for humans. As the name implies, these trailers carry horses, so do not expect a luxury RV.
However, it’s impressive what this guy was able to do with his old horse trailer.
This setup definitely took some time and skills but it just goes to show you what’s possible.
Moving Trailers –
Similarly to a horse trailer, a moving trailer takes a little bit of work to make feel like home. Here’s a prime example of how you can turn a simple cargo trailer into a legit bug out trailer.
What makes this setup so sweet is the off-grid capabilities, gear storage, and a bed. Now the downside is this trailer won’t survive the harshest off-road environments. But if you have a bug out location in mind and it doesn’t include rock crawling, then you may be able to get away with this simple budget-friendly rig.
But if you have a bug out location in mind and it doesn’t include rock crawling, then you may be able to get away with this simple budget-friendly rig.
Customizing Your Survival Trailer/Vehicle
The greatest part about owning your own survival trailer is, you can do whatever you want to it. You can paint it whatever color you like, fill it what you feel is necessary. But before you go adding flame decals and installing external speaker systems, let’s talk about your custom survival trailer options:
This is the first thing anyone buying a trailer for survival purposes should consider. Most trailers come in cream, white, or metallic colors that don’t really blend into the natural environment very well.
I’m not suggesting that you should paint it in camouflage colors and patterns as soon as you get it. But definitely consider a coat of something dark, or earth-toned. Forest green, black, gray, brown – anything but bright colors and patterns that stick out. Another option is to get some
Another option is to get some camouflage netting. This stuff really helps your setup blend in with the surroundings in most forest settings.
Interior Design –
Do not be afraid to put shelves where you want and add bunks or cots, storage boxes or even windows in your trailer. However, don’t go so far that you compromise the structural integrity of your trailer. But otherwise, have at it.
Make your survival trailer the perfect storage/shelter facility for you. If you have equipment that requires custom storage, plan it out and build it. If things really get bad, this trailer could become your home for a while, so make it ideal for you.
Exterior Design –
Color, as mentioned above, is a top priority. But you can also add materials to the outside of your trailer to make it more durable and more adaptable.
For instance, homemade frames can be built to house tents on top of the trailer, to hold hammocks, or string up tarps for a makeshift survival shelter. Or you can attach metal diamond plating to the exterior walls to increase durability (although the added weight will undoubtedly decrease gas mileage).
Mechanical Improvements – Beefing up the axel, adding off-road tires, off-road shocks, and even a lift kit is possible with some research, skill, and creativity.
These additions are highly desirable when you’re escaping a city and take refuge in the deep wilderness.
Packing Your Survival Trailer
Obviously one of the most important things about the trailer is what is inside of it. Hopefully, you have a lot of time to plan and pack your trailer at home before a disaster ever strikes.
The longer you spend mulling over what you are going to fill your survival trailer with, the better prepared you will be. Guaranteed.
This list is not absolutely comprehensive, but it is a good start to packing any survival trailer with the supplies and equipment you’ll need during a bug out.
The Absolute Necessities
Always start with the supplies that you can’t survive without. The necessities. Make sure that you are totally prepared on this front before moving on to more superfluous items.
Human beings can go a relatively long time without eating any food. That’s why water is easily the most important item on a survival packing list, above food.
Make sure that you have an adequate supply of freshwater and a LifeSafer JerryCan Water System for collecting and purifying water you find in nature.
Everyone loves food. But unfortunately, you are not going to be able to keep a fresh stock of organic veggies and farm-fresh eggs in your trailer. The rations you are going to want to pack in your trailer are almost all going to come in a can, bag, or tube form.
Non-perishable foods are your best friend when it comes to surviving a disaster. They are usually packed with protein and vitamins and keep for very, very long periods of time.
So stock up on a large variety of freeze-dried foods that don’t easily spoil and you will thank yourself later on. Here’s a detailed review of our highly recommended survival food supplier; Vally Food Storage.
Guns, ammo, weapons –
It is safe to say that any serious survivalist is going to want guns and ammunition when shit-hits-the-fan. And it is going to be way too late for a stop by the local gun store on your way out of town. Think ahead, plan ahead, and some new ammo every week to add to your ammo stockpile.
Keep at least a survival handgun and ideally a survival rifle too inside the trailer at all times. If you have a means of locking them up, do it. Anyone who can get their hands on your firearms will definitely try.
Disaster situations do strange things to people, they make them desperate, savage. Protect your weapons at all costs or they may be used against you
And the same goes for swords, axes, maces, flails, bayonets, chainsaws, clubs, crossbows, blowguns, throwing stars. You don’t need a full armory in your trailer, but I highly recommend to add a few key self-defense weapons.
This is a vital piece of gear that everyone should own. You can build your own or buy a pre-made one. Here is a really awesome article on building/buying tactical medical kits.
Doctors are rarely present in emergency situations, and you will likely have need of medical supplies and attention at some point. Owning a thorough medical kit is like having good insurance – you do not need it until you really need it. And it will likely save your life in such a case.
It is never certain what kind of circumstances you might have to pack up and flee with you trailer under. For all intents and purposes, it is safe to assume that stopping at the gas station for a quick top off won’t always be an option.
There might be huge lines, or the stations might not be working at all.
So keep some fuel stored in fuel-safe containers in your trailer so that you can just pull off and fill up anywhere should you need to. Extra fuel is one of the best things to keep stored with any survival vehicle or cache.
Spare tires –
This is not always a necessity. But in any case, where you are driving a vehicle carrying all of your valuable survival equipment and supplies, spare tires are a must.
You don’t want to be left for dead in the middle of nowhere just because of a mundane flat tire. Keep at least one and ideally two or three spare tires with you at all times.
Nice Items to Have, Too
They may not all be necessary, and honestly, you may never even get the chance to use all of these supplies if you do in fact pack everything on this list. But it grants you peace of mind to prepare on all fronts, and should the need actually arise, you may owe your life to one or more of these items.
Obviously, you will not need these every day, but it seems likely that at some point or another, tools will be a very useful item to have stored in a survival trailer. Be it for mechanical reasons or otherwise, hand tools always come in handy.
Whether you are hunting or launching an offensive attack on an enemy, binoculars are an excellent survival asset to own.
Fishing/hunting supplies –
On top of ammo and guns for hunting, keep fishing lines, bait, lures, flies and extra poles stored in the survival trailer. Having non-perishable food is great, but when you are miles from civilization and have not eaten something fresh in a few weeks, catching and grilling a fat freshwater trout can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the world.
Cook-ware, plates/bowls, silverware –
No matter what kind of fuel it burns or what shape and size it is, the ability to cook food and boil water with the twist of a switch is a fantastic amenity when you are in the wild and away from home.
Extra clothes –
Needless to say, fresh clothes won’t be in high supply should you have to ditch town and take refuge off-grid in your survival trailer. So make sure you bring spare undies, socks, t-shirts, and pants. You’ll thank yourself, I promise.
Survival isn’t all about keeping your physical body healthy and out of harm’s way. It also involves keeping your mind healthy, and unbroken. A life without any sort of entertainment can drive one crazy (“All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy…”).
Make sure to store a few books, a deck of wilderness survival playing cards, and a board game in with your survival gear. Entertainment can be as valuable as food and water in a world gone mad with chaos.
Hear me out, in any survival supply list, vices are very useful to have. Cigarettes, coffee, cannabis, beer, liquor, porn, whatever! Not just for personal use (although that is a bonus), but because in a world that has potentially lost its economy to violence and destruction, cash and coin will be about as useful as dirt.
Trust me, vices will be rare and highly sought after.
I promise such supplies are cheaper now than they will be after shit-hits-the-fan, so go get them while supplies last. Even if you don’t partake in any of these habits, I would still recommend buying some and keeping them with your survival trailer. They will assuredly come in more useful than you can imagine.
Extra cash –
Maybe the economy crashes, maybe it doesn’t. Be prepared for either circumstance and keep both non-monetary items for trade stockpiled, as well as a little bit of extra cash. Just make sure that it is well hidden and/or locked up in the trailer.
Seeds and gardening tools –
Remember when I said you were going to get sick of non-perishable food really fast? Well, here’s your solution.
If your survival trailer becomes your main place of residence you may have the opportunity to settle done in one place long enough to put down roots. Literally. Planting a garden can yield a surprising amount of extra food, and all it costs is extra elbow grease. Here’s an excellent survival seed vault we recommend adding to your survival trailer.
Bikes and boats –
They can be mountain bikes, road bikes, dirt bikes, or even motorcycles. They can be canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, or rafts. No matter what type of boat or bike you can attach to your trailer or store inside of it, it is extremely useful to have multiple modes of transportation.
Bikes are agile and small and quick, boats allow you to access places that might otherwise be unreachable. Having the ability to leave the trailer hidden somewhere and go out on your own in a smaller, less visible, more efficient manner is highly appealing and would undoubtedly prove useful.
Locking and securing your belongings is essential.
People will try to steal your equipment, given the chance so invest in tough locks and chains to keep your trailer closed up tight, and your equipment secured is invaluable. You can never be safe enough when it comes to theft prevention.
Maps and atlases –
It is a really good idea to store a library of maps and atlases to guide you on any journey you might take in your survival trailer. Store lots of maps of your local area, and of places you travel to a lot, but also keep maps of the rest of the US, road maps and topos to help you navigate both the roads and the landscape.
Where To Buy Your Trailer
This question is highly dependent on your budget. For some the best place to buy their trailer is going to be the local dealer, for others it will be online or through a private vendor. Here are a few that we did a little bit of research on and that look like viable options for anyone that wants their own survival trailer.
Here are a few that we did a little bit of research on and that look like viable options for anyone that wants their own survival trailer.
The Final Word
There are too many benefits to having a survival trailer to list in a single article. If it is within your power to do so, I would highly encourage every survivalist out there to buy and stock up one of their very own.
It is no small project and, as mentioned, it isn’t necessarily cheap. But a survival trailer not only lends itself as a mobile shelter that you can drive and park anywhere, but it also doubles as a mobile survival cache.
Survival trailers are like a gigantic Bug Out Bag that you can live in! They streamline any survival plan significantly and offer space to bring family and friends in the event of a bug out scenario.
In a disaster, when you and everyone else is preparing to flee, you may be the very first one out of harm’s way because you owned a trailer, stocked full of gear, supplies, and equipment specialized for exactly that situation.
With no packing to do, besides last minute items, survival trailers enable you to escape with speed and clarity. If you are looking for your next survival project/investment, make it a survival trailer. It will put you miles ahead of the game…
The post Survival Trailer – The Ultimate Setups To Get You Prepared appeared first on Skilled Survival.
How To Build A Cold Smoke Generator For Smoking Meats People have been smoking meats for generations, my granddad smoked meats all the time but that was the way back then. It is a lost art that is coming back thanks to people being more into homesteading and prepping. This projects is easy and cheap …
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How To Disappear In The Wilderness: A Natural Camouflage Tutorial Knowing how to disappear in the woods is a vital bit of survival knowledge we all think we can do until it’s time to actually do it. When I was in the army many years ago, they issue you camouflage paint to cover your face, …
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The ability to make a fire in the wilderness is undoubtedly one of most important survival skills that one can master. There are many ways to create a fire and your success depends greatly on the type of fuel sources you have available. The examples listed in this article will never fail you and are … Read more…
The post Fire fuel sources that will never fail you in the wild was written by Bob Rodgers and appeared first on Prepper’s Will.