Posts Tagged ‘Preparedness’

As I have stated in my past articles you face the possibility of some threat to your safety no matter where you live.  The danger will most likely confront you when you least expect it.  Earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, wind storms, fires, tsunamis, dirty bombs, mall shootings, government collapse are all potential threats to your safety.  There are so many more threats to your safety, enough that I may write an article just on potential threats.  Some threats could be as simple as your car sliding off a snow-covered road in a remote location.  My point here is would you be prepared by having the most basic of tools and equipment to keep yourself safe or even survive?  If you said no to yourself what the hell are you waiting for?

In previous articles I have promoted preparedness for you and your family in the form of 72 hour kits, BOB’s, Go Bags and the like.  This articles intent is for you to take action by building or purchasing a small every day carry (EDC) kit that you can keep in your vehicle or office or both.  A basic small EDC kit does not have to cost you a fortune or require a substantial investment like the prior mentioned larger kits.  A small EDC kit like the one pictured in the kit below is all you may need to get through 24 hours or less of hardship.

Small Survival Kit EDC

Lets break down what components I recommend that you should include within your basic small EDC at a minimum.

  • Pouch
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Flint Striker
  • Bushcraft Knife
  • Whistle
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Water Filtration Straw
  • Survival Bracelet

 

Now lets examine what you I recommend that you add to your small EDC kit to supplement it.

Altoid Survival Tin

Contents:

  • Lighter
  • Candle
  • Tinder
  • Fishing line, hooks, sinkers
  • Bandaids
  • Duct Tape
  • Signal Mirror
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Safety Pins
  • Can Opener

A small EDC/Survival kit like the one in my video and discussed above may function as a get home bag as well as an everyday emergency kit.  If you are within a day or less travel by foot of your home a kit like this one should aid you in your return home.  My kit goes with me on my short day hikes and serves its purpose very well.  Thank you for watching my video and reading my article.

PouchKnife

As I have stated in my past articles you face the possibility of some threat to your safety no matter where you live.  The danger will most likely confront you when you least expect it.  Earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, wind storms, fires, tsunamis, dirty bombs, mall shootings, government collapse are all potential threats to your safety.  There are so many more threats to your safety, enough that I may write an article just on potential threats.  Some threats could be as simple as your car sliding off a snow covered road in a remote location.  My point here is would you be prepared by having the most basic of tools and equipment to keep yourself safe or even survive?  If you said no to yourself what the hell are you waiting for?

In previous articles I have promoted preparedness for you and your family in the form of 72 hour kits, BOB’s, Go Bags and the like.  This articles intent is for you to take action by building or purchasing a small every day carry (EDC) kit that you can keep in your vehicle or office or both.  A basic small EDC kit does not have to cost you a fortune or require a substantial investment like the prior mentioned larger kits.  A small EDC kit including the knife like the one pictured above is all you may need to get through 24 hours or less of hardship.

Lets break down what components I recommend that you should include within your basic small EDC at a minimum.

  • Pouch
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Flint Striker
  • Bushcraft Knife
  • Whistle
  • Compass
  • Flashlight
  • Water Filtration Straw

Now lets examine what you I recommend that you add to your small EDC kit to supplement it.

  • Altoid TinAltoids Tin
  • Lighter
  • Candle
  • Tinder
  • Fishing line, hooks, sinkers
  • Bandaids
  • Duct Tape
  • Signal Mirror
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Safety Pins
  • Can Opener

I believe that everyone should have at a minimum a kit containing some or all of the equipment discussed in this article.  Do not delay an emergency is not going to wait until you are prepared to handle it.  Purchase a small ready made kit like the one below or put together your own.

Click the image below

Small Survival Kit EDC

In my previous posts on 72 Hour Kits and Survival Bags I discussed the gear needed to assist you during a time of need.  You may have a need for some of the items everyday while other items may only be used durning a natural disaster, roadside emergency or civil disturbance.  If you do not yet have some sort of kit/bag for preparedness for such an event I suggest you do so soon if not now.

IMG_3490This post is intended for you to be able to fairly quickly build your own custom BOB (Bail Out Bag), EDC Kit or 72 hour kit in one place at one time.  Instead of spending hours of research on products online you can pick and choose from quality items already reviewed by myself or others in the BYOB Market Place.  My goal is to help as many individuals and families become prepared for events that may occur at any time.

The BYOB Market Place is stocked with the major items needed for your BOB with additional items periodically being added to the stock.  The following items are things which you can then add to your new BOB inexpensively on your own to make it complete.

Please check out the BYOB Market Place and start preparing today, even just a few items will get you more prepared.  If you have any questions, need help or have suggestions for gear to be added to the BYOB Market Place please feel free to comment.

In my last post I had mentioned that putting together your own Altoids survival tin may be a benefit to you.  This is especially true if you are new to prepping and are overwhelmed with the many EDC, BOB’s, GHB’s and various other kits you may build or buy.  Which type of kit should I prepare?  What equipment do I really need in it?  How do I afford it?  If you have asked yourself these questions and feel overwhelmed I suggest you start small by putting together your own Altoids survival tin.  I enjoyed gathering the items for my tin together and having to arrange the items in such away that they all fit.  You can put your tin together for a very low cost and you may already have a lot of the items in your home or garage.

What you put in your tin depends in part on where you expect to need it.  For instance do you live in a more rural location or explore the forest and wilderness occasionally?  Or do you live in a city or more urban environment?  You may want to consider the following items as a minimum for either location.

Common Survival Tin Contents

  • Lighter, matches or both
  • Candle
  • Fire tinder (cotton, jute twine etc.)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Small flashlight or micro light
  • Small knife, blade or razor blade
  • Cordage or twine
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread or dental floss
  • Safety pints (2 0r 3)
  • Bandaid
  • Duct tape
  • Pen or pencil
  • Paper
  • Rubber band(s)
  • Coffee filter
  • Alcohol pad
  • Pain relievers
  • Allergy medication

Wilderness Survival Tin Content Suggestions

  • Signaling whistle
  • Signaling mirror
  • Snare wire
  • Button compass
  • Fishing line
  • Fish hook(s)
  • Split shot sinkers

Urban Survival Tin Content Suggestions

  • Cash
  • USB drive (thumb drive)
  • Can opener (p38 or similar)

It is your survival tin so you can build it the way you want it with what you want in it.  My tin does not have some of the items I have listed however it is always evolving and may at some point.  You can modify and or reorganize your tin as often as you like. And if you think of any other items put em in if you think they are a benefit.   I recommend that you have your survival tin with you or on you at all times.  These kits may also be called PSK’s (personal survival kit) and without yours you will be more at risk in a time of need.  Put one in your pocket or purse and get used to having it with you.  Please view my Altoids survival tin video below and feel free to comment here or on YouTube.

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Here in part 3 of my 72 Hour Kits and Survival Bags post I discuss tips and information which may  help you to choose and build or purchase a kit/bag of your choosing.  My personal belief is that there is no wrong kit or bag nor one all encompassing mega survival ensemble.  Sure, some individuals may pack so much gear that there bag is too heavy for them to pack around; however it doesn’t mean it is wrong.  I will say if your bag is on the heavy side it would be advisable to hike/walk with it regularly to become acclimated and fit with it.  A survival kit or bag should be balanced with the suggested minimal amount of gear and tools to accomplish any survival task you may find a need to accomplish.

Again a belief of mine in regards to tools and equipment/gear is that the key items such as the following should be comprised of quality brand/researched items.

  • Knife(s) (survival/bushcraft, hunting etc.)
  • Multi-tool
  • Compass
  • Bottle
  • Paracord
  • Flashlight
  • Radio (transmitter and or receiver)
  • Fire Steel or Magnesium Bar

Other items may be comprised of lessor quality or more inexpensive items again my personal belief.  The reason behind this is that the key items are items which you may really need to depend on and use repeatedly.  You do not want any of those items to fail.

What kind of survival bag should I build or buy?  This really depends on what you intend for the kit/bag.  Do you want a bag that has the tools and equipment you need on a daily basis?  Then you may want to consider an EDC bag which would have the tools and equipment you may need daily such as a multi-tool, flashlight, pens and pencils, cell phone, camera and so on.  Is preparedness for disasters, disturbances, emergencies or road side mishaps your focus?  For these types of situations you may want to consider a 72 hour survival kit/bag for longer lasting more survival oriented scenarios.  Or do you desire a bag that will get you home (get home bag) from work on foot if necessary provided you live within walking/hiking distance of your work place.  Maximum walking distance per individual is variable dependent on fitness level, shoes and other factors such as whether you are carrying a pack but may be 6-20 miles in a day.  See the following article for more information and please conduct your own research on this topic.

http://walking.about.com/b/2007/03/19/how-far-can-a-healthy-person-walk.htm

My current survival bag is a morph between a 72 hour bag and get home bag however it also has items minus the cell phone and camera that could be used daily if needed.  Some individuals may consider a bag like mine heavy at 25-30 pounds which to be honest probably is.  I personally would rather have the items I need when I need them as opposed to needing the items I should of had.  One way to reduce the weight of your pack/bag is to pack it with items that have multiple uses such as a pencil sharpener which may sharpen a stick for a spear and provide shavings for fire tinder.  A good survival knife can skin an animal, baton down a tree and split kindling for a fire eliminating the need for an axe, and hunting knife.

If all of this information seems overwhelming to you I suggest you start small literally.  Begin with putting together your own Altoids survival tin which is an affordable way to have basic items you would need for survival that can be kept in your pocket or purse.  You can fit 15-30 or more items in the tin and many of them you can find around your home.  In my next post I will share my Altoids survival tin and suggest items to fill yours with.  Thank you for reading my posts.

 

This is a short post on waterproof fire tinder you can prepare yourself.  I recently prepared my own waterproof fire tinder that works very effectively.  It is important to have good tinder and to practice with it before you need it in an emergency situation.  The reason for this it that your finger dexterity and ability to do so may be reduced or diminished  in a survival situation.   This project was not my idea and I obtained the information on how to prepare the fire tinder from Hedgehog Leatherworks which has a great article on the topic.  I found the material to make the tinder at our local super market for under $7.00 and prepared it in about 15 minutes.

How To Make Waterproof Tinder For Fire Starting, click the link to the left to view the article and video at Hedgehog Leatherworks.

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I caught hold of the prepping bug and began to put a BOB together three years ago.  At first the bag was just a black back pack I found in our closet which I slowly stocked with the gear I believed that I needed.  I started purchasing items a little at a time from places like Walmart as I did not have funds to buy the name brand high end gear I desired.  You can actually obtain some fairly good items/gear from the mega marts fairly inexpensively however.  The Maglite, Energizer WeatherReady crank LED flashlight and Buck 110 folding knife are the best name brand buys I scored from Walmart.  Another excellent way to get great deals on your gear is to make purchases through Amazon.  If you pay attention and place only the items that offer free shipping at Amazon in your cart you can have an entire order ship for free.  I had an order for gear that totaled over a hundred dollars which shipped for free.  

The BOB pictured above is my current configuration of gear and bags.  I say current because as I mentioned in part 1 of this post BOB’s tend to evolve over time or carry on as a work in progress.  Some individuals even change up there BOB’s gear with the change of seasons.  I chose a Maxpedition Sabercat VersiPack in olive drab as my BOB and later added the Condor H2O bottle pouch in order to carry all of my gear.  The H2O pouch carries my two pots, water bottle, Leatherman Wave multi-tool, emergency blanket, some paracord and a magnesium bar.  For day hikes I split off and carry my H2O pouch with gear inside and have the basic survival equipment needed in an emergency.  The picture below shows all of my gear with the exception of my tarp and sleeping gear.

IMG_0511

My BOB contains the following items:

  • Maxpedition Sabercat Versipack bag
  • Condor H2O water bottle pouch
  • Nalgene water bottle
  • Two cook pots/drinking cups and forks/spoons
  • Folding cook stove and  2 Sterno fuel cans
  • Food for 3 meals per day with a snack
  • Fire starting kit with fire steel, tin foil, water proof matches, Vaseline soaked cotton and a pencil sharpener
  • Fleece beanie cap, pair of work gloves, mosquito head net/fishing net and 2 bandanas
  • 1 crank LED flashlight and 3 other flashlights
  • Ham radio and FRS/GMRS radio
  • 4 AA batteries
  • Toilet paper, tooth brush, tooth paste, bar of soap, compressed towels and bug repellent 
  • Compass, emergency whistle/thermometer, knife sharpener and lip balm
  • Sunscreen, duct tape, pain relievers, tent stakes, thread and needles
  • Signal mirror, lighter and birthday candle
  • First aid kit, poncho and emergency blanket
  • Gallon size plastic bag, coffee filters, local map and navigation instructions
  • Shovel and hand saw
  • Survival knife
  • Hunting knife
  • Multi-tool
  • Paracord
  • Notepad, pens, pencil, and sharpies

My BOB is kept in the vehicle I drive and there is also another different one in the vehicle my wife drives.  Our two daughters that are still at home with us each have a 72 hour kit that I am continuing to build on as well.  If you are new to prepping or are just getting started with a BOB, or 72 hour kit hang in there and build on it a little at a time.  Before long you will have a fully functional BOB with the gear you need.

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In this post I discuss skills drawing on my 20 plus years of fire service experience in order to explain situational awareness as I believe it relates to your  preparedness and survival.  Situational awareness as defined by Wikipedia is the perception of environmental elements with respect to time and/or space, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status after some variable has changed, such as time, or some other variable, such as a predetermined event.  I am going to simple that definition down a bit as I had trouble relating it to what I know as situational awareness.  Think of situational as a combination of circumstances that changes over time or simply what is going on around of or in front of you.  Look at the photo above.  If this was happening next door to your home that would be a rapidly changing combination of circumstances that you would surely need to address.  Dictionary dot com defines awareness as the state or condition of being aware; having knowledge; consciousness.  So in short situational awareness is to have knowledge of a situation; however I believe you should have awareness of your surroundings and what is going on around you at all times.

Situational Awareness is something you can use everyday to help ensure your readiness for the circumstances that could potentially occur whether it be while driving down the road or dealing with the aftermath of an astroid impact.  Being prepared by having the tools, equipment, food and supplies needed to sustain yourself or your family during an emergency is the core of preparedness; however you should also be knowledgeable of circumstances during and after an event.  For example earthquakes can occur anywhere so it would be to your advantage to know about what to do prior to, during and after an earthquake.  The information you need to know for earthquakes may be more in-depth depending on your geographical location such as near oceans or coastal rivers due to potential for tsunamis.  By obtaining knowledge of earthquakes you would be aware of how to protect yourself and your family through the entire event.  There are many natural disasters that could potentially happen and knowledge about each one will greatly enhance your ability to endure through them.  Human caused events such as terrorism, shootings, riots, civil disturbances, economic collapse as well as potential accidents are other areas that would benefit your being prepared for.  The day to day potential accidents are probably the most likely threat to your life.  Something as innocent  and mundane sounding as a child playing on a drift log at the beach have transformed into life changing tragedies for families of accident victims.  Had those family members know that it only takes a few inches of water from the ocean surf to float a drift log weighing a ton or more the accident and horrible tragedies may not have occurred.  There is literature and some warnings posted of potential log roll accidents or deaths however it is limited and ultimately it is up to individuals visiting coastal areas to learn of the potential dangers. I suggest that anyone planning on visiting areas more potentially dangerous than those encountered day to day do some research on the environmental hazards specific to those areas.  Examples of some of those areas may include lakes, rivers, mountains, deserts, in the snow, and at the oceans and beaches.  In future posts I will be writing about potential dangers associated with geographical areas and the knowledge needed in order to avoid the specific hazards.  The truth is you can not be 100% prepared for every possible circumstance that may arise as the future is unknown and anything is possible.  By learning about the events or circumstances most likely to occur and especially by having general awareness of your surroundings at all times you will have the best chance for longevity.  Thank you for reading my post and as always feel free to comment.  Be safe, be aware and be a survivor.

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No matter where you live you are faced with some kind of potential natural or human caused occurrence or disaster.  Most of us have been informed through print, video or word of mouth that we should be prepared for potential disasters.  One way to be prepared is to have the water, food, tools and supplies that will sustain you and help you remain safe during potential emergency situations.  FEMA suggests having 72 hour kits and emergency preparedness plans for instance.  Do some research on 72 hour kits and you will find a plethora of videos, blogs, reviews, sales and the associated opinions on which one is the best.  The other thing you may find is that there are other bags or kits known by other names as well such as BOB’s, GOOD Bags, EDC kits or bags.  This is a 3 part blog which includes the following.  Part 1 is an introduction to the various types of emergency kits, and survival bags.  Part 2 will explore an in-depth review of my own personal survival bag.  Part 3 will include information to help you determine which survival bag or kit would be the best fit for your needs as well as cover the recommended equipment to include.

Lets begin with 72 hour kits which are typically recommended for use after a human caused or natural disaster or weather related emergency.  The purpose of which is to sustain an individual or group of individuals for 72 hours as the name suggests.  A basic 72 hour emergency kit may include the following FEMA recommended items for one individual:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least 72 hours (3 days)
  • Food, a three-day supply at minimum of non perishable food
  • A NOAA Weather Radio that is battery-powered or hand crank operated with extra batteries
  • A battery-powered or hand crank flashlight or both and extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask in order to help filter contaminated air, plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter in place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation purposes
  • Wrench or pliers in order to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger.

The 72 hour kits may be either stored at a fixed location such as where you would shelter in place or portable such as in your automobile.  With the included 3 gallons of water for one person it does take a larger bag or container in order to store all of the items.  You have the option to build your own basic 72 hour kit or buy a ready-made one.  Should you choose to purchase one there are many kits and many company’s which sell them so do your research and make sure they include the minimum recommended items.   Once you have assembled or purchased your basic kit you may choose to expand/enhance your kit with additional items such as:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers (if needed)
  • Pet food and extra water for them
  • Cash or traveler’s checks and change
  • Important family document such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container.
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person.  Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold weather climate
  • Complete change of clothing including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes.  Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant.  Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water.  Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Get Home Bag, BOB’s, GOOD bags, EDC or Survival Bags

A Get Home Bag is designed to help you get home from your work place or from somewhere within hiking distance of your home.  It is filled with the tools and equipment you would need to get you home safely.  A light weight backpack is best suited for this type of bag for comfort and duration of use.  The Get Home Bag is not meant for you to have to live off of the contents unless it is going to take you a day or more to walk/hike home.

BOB’s are either a Bail Out Bag or Bug Out Bag.  Bail Out Bag originated from the bags that military pilots kept survival gear within in the event they needed to bail out of the aircraft and survive on the ground.  Bug Out Bag is a more modern term for essentially the same thing.  GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) bags are yet another name for them.  Regardless of which one you call it they are typically designed to get you out of an emergency situation and allow you to be self-reliant and survive for at least three days.  Inside the bag are the tools and equipment that help you survive.

EDC (Every Day Carry) bags carry the items you most likely need every day.  They typically have some of the same items as the bags described above but may also include things like pencils, pens, note pads, cell phones, chargers, cameras, laptops or tablets as well as currency.  Also note that there are personal EDC’s which are items you carry on you in your pockets or purse.  My swiss army knife is a tool I carry in my pocket every day hence it is an EDC item.  If you have a personal EDC your EDC bag will supply you with and supplement all of the items that you cannot carry in your pockets.
You may have noticed that there is some similarities between all of the kits and bags.  For instance the BOB or GOOD is similar to the 72 hour kits in that they typically will contain 72 hours worth of food.  The EDC may have some of the same tools and equipment as the others however typically does not have the 72 hour supply of food.  Through my research and my own experience I have learned that these kits/bags tend to evolve and remain as a work in progress.  In part 2 we will explore my BOB as an example and I will address the changes I have made to arrive at its current state.