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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Roof Racks for Your Bug Out Vehicle

Original Article

In the first chapter of Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters, I included some modifications and optional equipment to consider in preparing ordinary motor vehicles for bug-out duty.  One of these modifications that is universally useful on every type of vehicle from the smallest compact cars to the most gargantuan trucks and SUVs is the addition of cargo or utility racks, particularly of the roof-top variety.

Such racks can be the general purpose type such as those that are standard equipment on many SUVs and some crossovers, or the more specialized removable systems with purpose-designed components to hold and lock-down sports equipment such as skies, bicycles or kayaks.  The removable systems such as those offered by manufacturers like Thule and Yakima can be purchased for practically any model or style of vehicle, but they can get pricy if you add all the specialized equipment carriers available for them.  Factory-standard or optional racks can also work, but some of these are not rated to carry the loads you may want to carry, while the best of the removable systems are much stronger.

When fitted on smaller vehicles, roof racks free up passenger space inside by allowing you to securely strap your gear and supplies overhead, where it's out of the way.  As a means of carrying back-up vehicles, like bikes, canoes or kayaks, or shelter building materials like poles or lumber, roof racks are invaluable, because even with a large pickup some of these items are awkward to carry securely. A good rack system can often eliminate the need to pull a trailer, which adds its own set of complications when bugging out of a SHTF scenario.

So what kind of rack is best for your vehicle?  One of the most versatile systems I've ever used is this basic set of Thule cross bars that I've owned since 1988.  I have been able to make these work on several vehicles I've owned over the years, from sedans to sports cars and pickup.  These make carrying canoes or 17-foot sea kayaks such as this one easy - even with the smallest compact cars:


I've never bothered with the specialized cradles for kayaks and attachments for other gear, preferring to simply tie down my load directly to the bars, using padding if necessary to protect delicate items - which my kayaks are not - as I build them to use, not look at.

These simple crossbar racks are rated to carry 165lbs.  That's more than most people will need to strap on top of a vehicle, but I've certainly pushed them over the limit hauling lumber, causing them to flex but with no failures so far.  They are available in lengths from 50 to 96 inches, making them adaptable to a wide range of vehicles.  The mounting systems are sold according to your vehicle, and range from old-style vehicles with rain gutters to the sleekest, aerodynamic roof profiles of today. The bars can also be fitted with adapters to make them work with the fore and aft roof rails that many vehicles come with, but without crossbars  except as an expensive manufacturer's option.  More information about the fitment of these racks can be found on the Thule website.  Amazon stocks the load bars as well and most of the fitment options you might need. 

Simple Survival Tips - The Extra BOB

Original Article






                 

Even though you may have a well designed plan in place to handle a crisis or disaster, there will be times when you will need  excess capacity to cover your needs and those of your family. Having excess capacity can help you avoid serious shortages during a crisis. This will also allow you to cover all your needs without creating additional problems during the early stages of a crisis.

It is unfortunate that we can’t always predict when an emergency situation will happen. In fact, a crisis will usually occur with very little notice or chance for you to prepare. It may also come at a time when you have additional family members present or you suddenly find yourself with a need for additional items. This is where having a little extra capacity factored into your survival planning will help the most. One of the simplest ways to achieve this goal is with an extra BOB (bug-out-bag).

An extra BOB will give you excess capacity that can be accessed quickly and will be available if needed in a crisis. If you suddenly find yourself with extra family members present or needing additional items for you or your family, this excess capacity will come in handy to help prevent shortages. This extra BOB could contain additional backups for items of gear that may get lost or broken, extra clothing and additional food or items that may be relevant to your particular needs or situation.

Got extra BOB?                                                    

Staying above the water line!

Riverwalker

Definition of Survival Preparedness

Original Article

definition-of-survival-preparedness
Survival Preparedness is a process or a condition of being prepared to survive.
To Survive. The phrase could be taken literally – that is, to stay alive. The words, ‘to survive’, could also be interpreted less literally – more like staying healthy or healthier than otherwise.
In the context of survival preparedness, some will describe this notion to its very basic core – like the ability to survive in the wilderness without any modern help whatsoever, you are on your own, life and death circumstances, black and white. Others will describe survival preparedness more-or-less in the context of living within today’s modern society parameters, and utilizing the modern tools available today in order to prepare or be prepared for various problems that may occur tomorrow.
What I’m trying to convey is that there are some ‘survival preparedness’ folks that are more hard-core than others and I’ve noticed that the movement has been coined with two labels in an apparent attempt to delineate their core values. I’m not so sure that I agree with labels and definitions, knowing that there are all sorts of ‘shades of gray’, but having said that, the two labels are Survivalists and Preppers.
Survivalists are the hard core while the Preppers are the soft core. Again, I do not agree with the labeling here, but the fact is that it exists.

The Prepper is thought of as someone who is fully functioning within the system of modern society, preparing for minor disruptions that may come their way, while the Survivalist is considered to be on the edge, perhaps already hunkered down in their bunker or survival retreat – ready for Armageddon.
As in all walks of life, there are truly the extremes, and lots of in-between. When it comes to survival preparedness, I believe that the spectrum is all pretty much OK, so long as it’s within the law of the land.
Since there are so very many different types of people, personalities, skills, and interests, there will likewise be a multitude of variety when it comes to how one prepares, and what they are preparing for. People will interpret risks differently from one another and people will be in varying vicinities of the risk themselves. Some face much higher risk than others based on their geographical location, their occupation, their own current financial and preparedness situation, etc.
Personally, I think that it’s great how more and more ordinary folks are waking up and realizing that things are not all Rosy out there and that there are very real risks facing us all as the world’s economic systems are teetering on the brink of failure while the rumor of wars fill the air.
There will always be ‘newbies’ to survival preparedness and there will always be veterans of the same. There’s room for everyone.
Just remember this… by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
Interpret it as you will. Be prepared…

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