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Friday, October 8, 2010

Make your own Bug Out Bag

One of my first postings here on California Preppers Network was what I stored in my wifes Bug Out Bag.  Below are some considerations when preparing to put one together.

The world seems to be growing more dangerous with each passing day. That’s not to say we’re on the verge of descending into barbarism or a return to the Dark Ages, but there are times in your life when you need to be prepared for the unexpected … a time when you may need survival kits.

There are survival kits that cover different specific needs and this article will describe some of the most common of these kits that you can build with little or no difficulty. It’s a good idea to do so because if you leave home for days or weeks at a time – for any number of different reasons – you may find that you will need a survival kit when a sudden, unanticipated crisis affects you directly.

Here is a short list of some of the most important survival kits and what items they need to contain … for your well-being and for that of your family as well.

Start with the Every Day Carry (EDC). Consider this Every Day Carry kit (EDC) something that you need to have with you at all times. As you’ll note, many of the items are obvious and are things that you should already carry with you daily. The entire list, based on your personal needs and likes, should include all of the following: personal identification … credit cards … hard cash … a cell phone, if you use one … small, but necessary, tools such as knives and similar items … personal protection … keychain-based tools, if you have them … and more. Obviously, it can get cumbersome if you carry too many items so stick with what you know you need to have with you … items that can fit in your wallet or on a keychain.

Move on to your very own Personal Survival Kit (PSK). If you’re not a “survivalist,” you may think that this “kit” is unnecessary. If you believe that, you are wrong. Personal Survival Kits can prove to be very useful. In fact, they can become critically important if you engage in such outdoor activities as hunting, fishing, hiking, or off-road trips into wilderness areas. It’s possible that in any of those outdoor adventures, you may suddenly find yourself stranded, separated from fellow adventurers, injured and/or isolated, and you will need “the basics” in order to survive for a couple of days or, perhaps, even longer. What items belong in this kit? You need to start with many of the personal identification items listed in the EDC Kit. And then you need more. When traveling for adventure, you would be wise to fill a backpack with items (of your choosing) that help you address these needs – water … food gathering … identification … navigation … signaling ability … and more. These items need to be compact so that they can fit into your backpack or military duffel bag (another option).

Next … the 24-Hour kit (GHB/Get-Home-Bag). This somewhat large “savior” fills the gap for you between the first two survival kits. Call it the Get-Home-Bag. It should be about the size of a standard school backpack and should hold such essentials as: food and water … emergency, dry clothing … a warm blanket … an oversized tarp … and personal hygiene products. This kit will serve your needs if you find yourself stranded, perhaps hurt, and about a full day from home. It will sustain you for about 24 hours, even longer, until you are able to overcome your difficulties. The best place to keep this kit is right in the trunk of your vehicle so that it will always be available when you need it.

A Traveler’s Essential … the Car kit. If you drive (anywhere) you need this kit. It should include items that will help you overcome unexpected car troubles: jumper cables … fix-a-flat …an air compressor … a flashlight … a fire extinguisher … coolant … and anything else that you can store neatly and conveniently in a toolbox in the trunk of your car.

For big problems you need the 72-Hour kit (the Bug Out Bag). It has been said that three days is about as long as a person can anticipate waiting to be rescued. If that’s true, and statistics bear it out, this 72-Hour kit, also known as the Bug out Bag, includes everything you and your loved ones will need to survive until help comes to the rescue. An important aspect of this kit is that it should be portable so that you can carry it with you if the crisis that victimized you and your family requires evacuation. Three days can be a long time, of course, and as such, this kit should begin with a large backpack and contain such items as sleeping bags, cookware, food and water. If room permits, include sweets and toys, too, if children will be with you.

At home or away, you need a First Aid kit. This is, of course, a no-brainer. Cuts, bruises, scrapes and other small injuries happen all the time. A First Aid kit, whether purchased in a store or one you’ve put together on your own, is essential. Moreover, it belongs everywhere you go … in your car and in your home, as well.

There are many other survival kits you can put together to meet your specific needs, all based on the lifestyle you lead. The kits mentioned here, as I stated earlier, are among the most common … easy to put together … inexpensive … and, because you like the outdoors life, necessary.

For more fun and interesting stuff, come visit me at Prepare to Survive in California.

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