Welcome to the blog, Colorado Preppers. Prepping doesn't mean we think the apocolypse is coming or the earth will blow up. It simply means that we are preparing for any eventuality that may strike here in Colorado (USA) ... from swine/bird flu to blizzards to global financial collapse to loss of income and more. // Come learn with us about things like water purifying and collecting, inventory checks and more. However, we are NOT political and not affiliated with any specific religion or group. // FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO WWW.SURVIVAL-COOKING.BLOGSPOT.COM OR TO FIND OUT ABOUT MY BOOKS ON THESE AND OTHER TOPICS, GO TO WWW.VIKKI-LAWRENCE-WILLIAMS.BLOGSPOT.COM

Survival Preparedness - My Personal Journey

So I am wondering how many people like me are out there… I know TEOTWAWKI * is coming in some shape or form. Whether thru natural disaster, economic collapse, global war. Whatever, it’s coming. And here I sit, knowing this, and have done very little to prepare for it. It is easier to stay in my comfy little pattern of day-to-day than to really get down and dirty with what needs to happen to ensure my survival when the SHTF *. Oh yeah, I read the blogs out there, I go down to the shooting range and keep my aim from getting to rusty but really how long would I last if I really had to survive on my own? I’m laughing at myself as I write this. J

And that is how this blog post came into existence. One minute I am reading about a fantastic chicken breeding experiment and then next I am signing up to author for this site. I think this is the kick in the pants I need! So if you’re like me, irritated at yourself for knowing you need to do something but until now having done little to nothing, I would invite you to follow me on this journey of survival preparedness.

I think the best place to start is a bug out bag (BOB) or a get out of dodge bag (GOOD bag). Survival minded people are essentially broken down into three groups: those who will travel to their retreat, those who already live at their retreat and those of us who haven’t gotten around to figuring out our long term accommodations. Honestly, some of the preppers out there are a little intimidating, those in the second group. They are really (as my military friends put it) “squared away”. The sheer amount of time, effort and planning they have put into their preps is very impressive. For those of us in the first and third groups the GOOD bag is the tool that will get you from a very bad place to a very good place. It should be light enough to carry over long distances but also big enough to store enough supplies to get you to your retreat. In this post I will address the essentials for your GOOD bag, later we will discuss additional supplies that could be integrated into your bag. I would encourage any feedback as to what you feel is essential to a solid GOOD bag.

Part One – The Bag

The best advice I ever got on this was to buy the very best bag you can afford. This bag has got to get you and your supplies safely out of dodge. That means a strap can’t break, the zipper has to open and close without fail and YOU have to be able to lug this thing if push comes to shove and you have to start hoofing it. Personally, I am a compartment person. I like little pockets and sleeves that help me organize and easily access my gear. Maybe this was because my Pa and I did a lot of fishing when I was a kid and I idolized his fishing vest… Who knows.

Your pack should fit you and your needs. The ones that have a strap across the chest that helps you pull the shoulder straps out of your arm pits are personal favorites and I often thank them for this simple innovation on long hikes. The waist strap is also crucial, though I am not a big fan all the time, as it helps move the weight of the pack off your back and onto your legs. Again, long hikes, simple innovations, thank you thank you thank you.

Before you buy your bag it is important to have a clear idea of what you will be putting in it. I went down to the Army Navy Surplus store, REI and a few other outdoor retailers and took inventory of what was available. I also did a fairly extensive search online. After purchasing all my essential supplies I then went out and bought my bag. Got it home, started packing it - then I returned it and bought a different one. It is a bit of trial and error but it has got to work for you and it has to accommodate everything you will need when you bug out. Quite honestly I could rant on about the qualities of a good BOB but there are fantastic sources already available. I would recommend checking out this post for an extremely comprehensive GOOD bag breakdown.

http://www.survivalblog.com/ Posted: Saturday, July 30, 2011
The Will to Act: Your Ultimate Bug-out Kit by R.B.

Part Two – The Essentials

Basically you need four things in your bag: shelter, fire, food and water.

1) Shelter
Your shelter might consist of just a tarp, maybe a light weight tent or even a hammock. When you are bugging out and constantly on the move a tent is not super realistic but if environmental factors dictate that you need one a good lightweight tent might be a necessity. Personally I am too much of a girl not to have one. That isn’t to say that a few days or weeks into bugging out I won’t throw it out and switch to my tarp. If you can fit it AND carry it then options make your life a lot easier. Whatever you choose it needs to be compactable. Weather conditions dictate that you need a combination of sleeping bags. You don’t get to choose a nice summer day to have to bug out in. It could be the dead of winter with a few inches to a couple of feet of snow on the ground. And if you are freezing at night, you’re not sleeping and rest is crucial to survival. I can hardly function when I haven’t gotten a good night sleep in my own bed. Therefore, get a sleeping system that consists of a warm weather bag, a cold weather bag and a bivy bag. Use all three when Mother Nature decides to test you. Also under the shelter category would be your clothing and shoes, however, these items need attention on a more detailed level and will be discussed in future posts.

2) Fire
Now, this isn’t your childhood campfire. As much as I love the smell and the feel, the fact is if you are trying to get safely to your retreat without the world knowing where you are; a smoky campfire is a gigantic flare signaling your position. It is also important to note that the smoke emitted from some wood is toxic so be sure to try and familiarize yourself with the plant life that you will encounter on your way to your retreat. Never EVER rely on one method to start your fire. You should carry at least three with you: sparking steel, waterproof matches, and a refillable all-metal lighter. All are fairly light and small. Now here’s a little secret, okay it is not really a secret, but it feels like it to me… I love my my little Ranger stove. It is a multi fuel stove and just makes everything that much easier. Its principle function is to make a contained, intense and protected fire. A small stove will also make food and water preparations quick and more efficient.

3) Food
There are many different arguments for what type of food is best for your GOOD bag. Whatever you choose it must sustain you for the duration of your journey to your retreat plus enough for unexpected delays. In future posts we will look more in depth at food.

4) Water
Here is the pure and simple truth. Your body can not survive without water. Without food, someone who is well-hydrated can survive for nearly a month but without water most will perish in three to five days. I do a lot of hiking so I am a big proponent of the CamelBak bladders. I plan on having two in my bag and an extra in case of failure in one of the others. Again the girl in me comes out when it comes to having to refill my bladders. The idea of filtering water through a cloth and then boiling or using some type of purification tablet just grosses me out. However, I have a feeling that chunky water will be very appealing after an afternoon or full day without water at all. Much like fire, it is unwise to rely on one form of water purification. My goal for the next month is to actually try a few of these out while hiking. Stay tuned.

Part Three – The other essentials

First Aid Kit
Breakdown Shovel
Multi Tool
Duct Tape

Missing a few things but here is my bag so far (above).

Again, I would encourage any feedback on what you consider your essentials.

Next post: GOOD bag Accessories

Written by: Sumac
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* TEOTWAWKI = The End Of The World As We Know It

* SHTF = Sh*t Hits the Fan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice article. I think a headlamp is essential too. I really like the MSR Whisper-lite international. It burns several different kinds of fuel and weighs only 326 grams. I'm looking forward to your next entry.