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Monday, July 4, 2011

100 Items to Keep In Your Survival Pantry

Original Article

In no particular order...

  1. Whiskey
  2. Chocolate bars
  3. Multi vitamins
  4. Honey
  5. Maple syrup
  6. Salt
  7. Pepper
  8. Garlic powder
  9. Spices (curry, cloves, allspice, ginger...whatever you use)
  10. Dried herbs (dill, oregano, basil, etc)
  11. Yeast
  12. Baking soda
  13. Baking powder
  14. Shortening
  15. Cooking oil
  16. Flour
  17. Maseca
  18. Sugar
  19. Brown sugar
  20. Oats
  21. Rice
  22. Dried meat (jerky, etc)
  23. Salami
  24. Canned fish (tuna, sardines, etc)
  25. Canned meat (Spam, ham, chicken, etc)
  26. Canned tomatoes
  27. Canned soup
  28. Canned chili
  29. Dried soup
  30. Vinegar
  31. Canned vegetables (assorted varieties)
  32. Canned fruit (assorted varieties)
  33. Dried fruit (raisins, cherries, berries, etc)
  34. Dried vegetables (carrots, peas, etc)
  35. Dried pasta
  36. Canned spaghetti sauce
  37. Dried fish
  38. Bottled juice
  39. Powdered juice mix
  40. Powdered milk
  41. Peanut butter
  42. Jelly and preserves (jam, marmalade, etc)
  43. Pickles
  44. Granola bars
  45. Trail mix
  46. Coffee
  47. Instant coffee
  48. Dried beans (assorted)
  49. Canned beans (ditto)
  50. Protein powder
  51. Molasses
  52. Nuts
  53. Tea bags
  54. Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo)
  55. Lentils
  56. Corn starch
  57. Bullion cubes
  58. Canned milk (evaporated, condensed)
  59. Tabasco
  60. Corn meal
  61. Instant foods (hot chocolate, ramen, instant cereals, instant potatoes, gravy mix, pudding, etc)
  62. Powdered/dehydrated dairy products (cheese, butter, eggs)
  63. Dried peas
  64. Couscous
  65. Dried grains (barley, quinoa, etc)
  66. Sprouting grain (alfalfa seeds, mung beans)
  67. Canned peppers (jalapenos. etc)
  68. Popcorn
  69. Canned tahini
  70. Dried/canned chickpeas
  71. Miso
  72. Canned oyster sauce
  73. Dried seaweed (wakame)
  74. Dried tofu
  75. Seeds (sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc)
  76. Canned coconut milk
  77. Chili paste
  78. Dried chilies
  79. Fish sauce
  80. Lemon juice
  81. Lime juice
  82. Canned/dried olives, mushrooms
  83. Pickled vegetables (beets, okra, etc)
  84. Extracts (vanilla, almond, etc)
  85. Canned broth
  86. Tomato products (sauce, paste, sun dried tomatoes, etc)
  87. Sauces (salsa, barbecue, etc)
  88. Instant meals (mac and cheese, Hamburger Helper, etc)
  89. Soy sauce
  90. Cheese (velveeta, pimento cheese spread, cheese whiz, other processed cheese)
  91. Dessert mixes (cake mix, muffin mix, brownie mix, etc)
  92. Candy/gum
  93. Dried pork rinds (the meaty kind)
  94. Crackers
  95. Fancy canned stuff (pate, caviar, anchovies, etc)
  96. Cocoa powder
  97. Baking items (chocolate chips, candied fruit)
  98. Specialized food (gluten free mixes, sugar free mixes, kosher food, halal food)
  99. Baby food
  100. Pet food

You can purchase MREs and dehydrated foods for your survival pantry as well, however, these foods will work just as well and have the added bonus of being able to be rotated among the food that you use every day, being used in the event that you have a large group to suddenly cook for, being used by the family in the event that you can't afford to go shopping for an extended period of time, and can be donated to the local food bank when it is time to resupply your pantry.

Tip of the Day: Watch the weight of your EDC bag

Original Article

One thing that I constantly do is re-evaluate the weight of my EDC/"Bag of Evil" Bag. In the case of my EDC gear, it's stuff that I am going to carry around on a daily basis, so I want to make sure that it is worth its weight.

What's wrong with carrying around a giant, 50lb ruck on a daily basis? Well, if your job calls for it, nothing. But Joe Average, desk jockey, salesperson, manager, and so on don't really need that much gear. Yes, I would recommend leaving your bowling ball collection at home.

Why watch the weight?

  • Comfort: Obvious one, here. Back/shoulder health, too.
  • Speed: Ultralight hikers like to talk about this a lot. You can cover ground faster with a lighter pack than if you're weighed down.
  • Flexibility: If you keep your pack light, it gives you the flexibility to add more stuff if your day/mission requires it. If it's jam packed and heavy then you loose that flexibility.
  • Maneuverability: It's a lot easier to move around, get in/out of vehicles and a do general daily stuff with a lighter pack.
  • Low Profile: People, especially in a work environment, see a giant bag and wonder "what the heck does that guy have in there?". It's unusual and draws attention.
If your bag is too heavy, it's time to audit the gear that you're carrying around. What do you use on a daily basis, and what do you use on an infrequent basis? If it's an infrequent basis, ask yourself two questions: 
  1. How critical is this that I have this on hand?
  2. How well can I predict a need for this item?
If it's critical to have--something like a first aid kit--then determine if you can cut back on that item or switch to something lighter weight. You can also look at moving heavier but still critical items to your vehicle. In the first aid kit example, reduce the size of the kit in your bag and beef up the one in your vehicle. 

If you can predict a need for the item fairly well, then I'd recommend moving it to a subload. For example, I have a "charging kit" that contains a battery backup for my iPhone (Tekkeon TekCharge), some redundant charging cables and a couple sets of extra batteries. In recently going through my gear, I realized that I only used the battery backup  when travelling--on long plane flights, camping and similar. On a daily basis, I just don't use it. And if there were to be a disaster situation, a fully charged iPhone is not a critical item. So, I've moved the backup battery and accessories into a separate kit--when I go on a trip, I can just toss that kit into my bag. Done and done.

So, in your quest for EDC nirvana, check the weight of your gear. Take it easy on your back. and don't carry anything not worth its weight. Cut, relocate and offset stuff as you can. Good luck!

Are You Ready Series: Heat Safety

Original Article

Heat related deaths are the number 1 weather related killer in the United States. Although this type of death is preventable, annually many people succumb to extreme heat. Historically, from 1979-2003, excessive heat exposure caused 8,015 deaths in the United States. During this period, more people in this country died from extreme heat than from hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined. In 2001, 300 deaths were caused by excessive heat exposure.
People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly. Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs.
Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use.
Because heat-related deaths are preventable, people need to be aware of who is at greatest risk and what actions can be taken to prevent a heat-related illness or death. The elderly, the very young, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at highest risk. However, even young and healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather. Air-conditioning is the number one protective factor against heat-related illness and death. If a home is not air-conditioned, people can reduce their risk for heat-related illness by spending time in public facilities that are air-conditioned.

What Is Extreme Heat?

Conditions of extreme heat are defined as summertime temperatures that are substantially hotter and/or more humid than average for location at that time of year. Humid or muggy conditions, which add to the discomfort of high temperatures, occur when a “dome” of high atmospheric pressure traps hazy, damp air near the ground. Extremely dry and hot conditions can provoke dust storms and low visibility. Droughts occur when a long period passes without substantial rainfall. A heat wave combined with a drought is a very dangerous situation.

During Hot Weather

To protect your health when temperatures are extremely high, remember to keep cool and use common sense. The following tips are important:
Drink Plenty of Fluids. During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour. Don’t drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.
Replace Salt and Minerals. Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body. These are necessary for your body and must be replaced. If you must exercise, drink two to four glasses of cool, non-alcoholic fluids each hour.  Drinks that have electrolytes can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat. However, if you are on a low-salt diet, talk with your doctor before drinking a sports beverage or taking salt tablets.

Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen. Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing. Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.
Schedule Outdoor Activities Carefully. If you must be outdoors, try to limit your outdoor activity to morning and evening hours. Try to rest often in shady areas so that your body’s thermostat will have a chance to recover.
Pace Yourself. If you are not accustomed to working or exercising in a hot environment, start slowly and pick up the pace gradually. If exertion in the heat makes your heart pound and leaves you gasping for breath, STOP all activity. Get into a cool area or at least into the shade, and rest, especially if you become lightheaded, confused, weak, or faint.
Stay Cool Indoors. Stay indoors and, if at all possible, stay in an air-conditioned place. If your home does not have air conditioning, go to the shopping mall or public library—even a few hours spent in air conditioning can help your body stay cooler when you go back into the heat. Call your local health department to see if there are any heat-relief shelters in your area. Electric fans may provide comfort, but when the temperature is in the high 90s, fans will not prevent heat-related illness. Taking a cool shower or bath or moving to an air-conditioned place is a much better way to cool off. Use your stove and oven less to maintain a cooler temperature in your home.
Use a Buddy System. When working in the heat, monitor the condition of your co-workers and have someone do the same for you. Heat-induced illness can cause a person to become confused or lose consciousness. If you are 65 years of age or older, have a friend or relative call to check on you twice a day during a heat wave. If you know someone in this age group, check on them at least twice a day.
Monitor Those at High Risk. Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.

  • Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
  • People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
  • People who are overweight may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
  • People who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.
  • Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.
Adjust to the Environment. Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early summer heat wave, will be stressful to your body. You will have a greater tolerance for heat if you limit your physical activity until you become accustomed to the heat. If you travel to a hotter climate, allow several days to become acclimated before attempting any vigorous exercise, and work up to it gradually.

Do Not Leave Children in Cars. Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses or even death. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:
  • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
  • To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat.  When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front of the driver.
  • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car.  Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.
Use Common Sense. Remember to keep cool and use common sense:

  • Avoid hot foods and heavy meals—they add heat to your body.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and replace salts and minerals in your body. Do not take salt tablets unless under medical supervision.
  • Dress infants and children in cool, loose clothing and shade their heads and faces with hats or an umbrella.
  • Limit sun exposure during mid-day hours and in places of potential severe exposure such as beaches.
  • Do not leave infants, children, or pets in a parked car.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water for your pets, and leave the water in a shady area.
Portions of this guide were adapted from the CDC, American Red Cross and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

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