Good backpacks are hard to find. I own several, and only a few of them actually get regular use. Sometimes old school gear is the best and worth checking into. So I was pleasantly surprised with a new purchase of a cheaply priced Medium Alice Pack.
I recently did some searching for a ‘good’ field backpack that I could use for weekend excursions into the woods for remote camping. I didn’t need a big backpack, just something large enough to carry some basic camping supplies. I have always been a fan of ALICE packs, so when I came upon a medium sized bag that was new on Amazon, and that had some good reviews, I figured why not buy and check it out for myself.
The bag came about a month ago and since then I have loaded it up and carried it around with me a handful of times for day hikes in the woods. It carries all of my basic camping gear for roughing it under a tarp tent. I can pack the needed gear, plus about three days of food and water. We are finally getting some warmer temps in my part of the country, so this weekend I am heading out for a relaxing get-away into the woods.
If you are looking for a medium sized ALICE pack that is new and not used military surplus, these are worth checking out. So far I am happy with the construction of the bag, and can see it being used for many years to come for my basic hiking/camping needs. It would make a good bug out bag.
It always makes me happy when a friend or relative of mine gets interesting in prepping. A few weeks ago I bumped into a friend of mine while out doing some hiking in a local State Park. We bumped into each other about thirty minutes away from the closest parking lot inside the State Park, so not that far out from civilization by any means. He saw that I was wearing a messenger bag slung over my shoulder and asked me about it. I told him I always carried with me when I go into the woods a few basic items. I then popped open my bag and showed him a small first aid kit, a bottle of water, some snacks, and a few other odds and ends.
My friend agreed it made sense to have something like that along, even when just out doing some local hiking and trail walking in the local parks. Soon the discussion turned to how I also kept a back pack at home with three days worth of basic supplies and food just in case it was needed for a prolonged emergency. He asked what kind of emergencies, and I went onto explain how blizzards can knock out power in our part of the country, and how tornadoes can demolish a neighborhood or town, and then I pointed out other large disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and how thousands and thousands of people were displaced from their homes and how they lost important documents during evacuation.
Well, before too long my friend was assuring me he wanted help putting together a a bug out bag.
So here I am, sitting in my living room with a used ALICE PACK backpack and a large assortment of various gear to help somebody survive for three days on their own with bare minimums. The picture below shows some of the bare minimum items, including potassium iodine tablets, which I think are a good idea to have on hand depending on where you live.
For more information on bug out bags and what to pack in them, check out some of the other postings on this web page.
It’s that time of year again when I sit and go through all my gear. I do this to check expiration dates on time sensitive gear and take inventory of what I have. Because if you have a need for an item in an emergency situation, then you should know if you have it and you should know if it going to perish over time and needs to be replaced. Some of the things I check are: First Aid supplies (everything), vitamins, survival rations, batteries, etc…etc…
This includes checking bug out bags, vehicle emergency kits, camp gear, long term storage items, and of course any and all food set aside.
In case you have not been following the news, Hurricane Sandy is finally coming ashore and threatens easily 60 million people on the East Coast. I hope people affected by this storm took the time to prepare themselves with specific survival items such as water, food, backup power such as generators, first aid supplies, extra clothes, means of cooking food and heating water and a wide variety other survival gear essentials.
The East Coast is bracing Monday for the impact of a powerful Category 1 hurricane as it barrels toward the mid-Atlantic with 95 mph winds and a storm surge that forecasters called “life-threatening.”
Forest-fires have been big stories in the news the past few months with Colorado in particular being hit hard. Many people had been forced from their homes as the fires advanced out of control. Of course the potential threat of forest-fires is yet another reason to prepare.
In most cases when a forest-fire threatens your home you are going to be forced to evacuate your home. Usually you will have some advanced warning before this happens, however that is not always the case. Either way, having a good bug out bag is vital. All of the items in that bug out bag are important of course, but in the instances of floods, tornadoes, forest-fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters, having copies of important documents such as proof of insurance, identification, residence and bank information are equally important.
I have received an email from a reader of this blog, who will be referred to as Michelle moving forward, and decided to post it here to share with everybody. Everybody has a unique/different situation when it comes to prepping, as you will see in Michelle’s email:
“I ran across your blog site and found it VERY helpful. I’ve recently taken up prepping and have been reading every book I can get my hands on. Because I have a family with 2 small kids and 2 big dogs, I’m having a hard time with the BOB and walking to a retreat location. I have BOB for each family member, appropriately sized for the little ones, but I just can’t see them walking very far. Is it absolutely crazy to have a vehicle as our only way out? I also can’t fathom them ‘surviving off the land’ for any extended amount of time. Also, because we live in a suburb of (deleted for security reasons), I am having a hard time trying to locate a retreat location. We have 2 separate family member locations, one 40 miles away, one 500 miles away, but they are in suburbs too. We are not in a financial position to purchase a real “retreat property” so what do you suggest we look into? Do we leave the dogs to fend for themselves in a yellow or red event? What type of bug out vehicle do you recommend?” Continue reading “Survival Awareness – Email From A Reader”
Clintonville, Wisconsin has been plaqued by strange booming noises and possible earth tremors the past few days – all unexplained. It has made the national news. Below is an excerpt from FOX News:
CLINTONVILLE, Wis. – Bemused curiosity is turning into worry and aggravation for families in a small Wisconsin town longing for peace and quiet after three nights of mysterious booming noises that have sent some residents into the streets — sometimes still in their pajamas.
The strange disturbance sounds like distant thunder, fireworks or someone slamming a heavy door. At first, many people were amused. But after a third restless night Tuesday into Wednesday, exasperation is mounting. And some folks are considering leaving town until investigators determine the source of the racket.
Had an interesting conversation with a nice couple I met while browsing the camping gear section at a Mills Fleet Farm store…for those of you that live in the mid-west you are probably familiar with Mills Fleet Farm, commonly called the “man’s mall”. Anyway, the conversation was about selecting quality foods for camping that were easy to carry and that had a good shelf life. While the couple did not come straight out and say they were preppers, I keep getting indications from their chosen words that they were more interested in foods they could store for long periods of time then foods that they would be using to camp with. They were also concerned about foods that would be easy to pack up and travel on foot with, while that is a valid concern of a hiker/camper, it is also a valid concern of any prepper putting together a bug out bag (BOB). This couple sensed I had some knowledge on the subject and kept asking questions. I decided to put together a few things on the subject points we talked about below. Continue reading “Survival Prepping Lists – Survival Food Planning”
During the month of October and November, and even into December, many people take to the woods for hunting and hiking. This happens in all states during this time of year, as autumn and early winter is when most states around the country have their annual deer hunting seasons and when trees start to turn colors. I live in the Midwest State of Wisconsin, and most areas in Wisconsin are not overly remote where you are more than a few miles from a farm or cabin. However there are regions within the state that are dozens of miles away from anything. Hunting with bow or gun takes place in every nook and cranny around the state, and it does not matter how far out in the woods you choose to go, even if you are only planning on being out for a few hours for some small game hunting of rabbit or squirrel or the like, it is a good idea to have a field survival kit as part of your hunting gear.
I bring up this subject because I was talking with some people at my local gun club who were saying they travel light when they hunt. I asked what they meant by traveling light, and the most typical answer was the clothes on their back, a gun (or bow), some rope, and a good knife for field dressing their wild game. I countered back that I travel light as well, but that I also include a small pack with some survival gear. I was asked Continue reading “Survival Planning – Field Survival Kit”
I’ve talked about three day survival kits, bug out bags, and survival retreats. I’ve also mentioned storing some extra emergency food items as well as water. With all that in mind, it is important to take some time to go back through all the survival gear you have been preparing. This is something I usually do at least twice a year in early spring and mid-autumn, and sometimes more often if I need to switch out something that may have an expiration date and needs to be removed and updated.
Luckily large scale disaster events are few and far between. Most survival situations run for a short duration and last less than ten days, and are referred to as a green event. Most green events can be tackled by hunkering down at home with an ample supply of survival food along with survival water storage and some alternative cooking means such as a camp-stove. Throw in some other basic survival gear, some common sense thinking regarding prepping and you are set to face a green event. However, larger disaster threats are out there, and such events that fall into the yellow and red category typically spell bad news for entire regions and sometimes entire countries. Worse case scenarios are world wide events, which is typically referred to as ‘the end of the world as we know it’ (TEOTWAWKI), or even the apocalypse.
My Bug Out Bag (BOB) is a basically a three day emergency kit on steroids. I keep my three day emergency kit in my vehicle at all times, but my BOB I keep in the house in a location that is easy to just grab it and go. A good BOB should carry many of the same emergency necessities as your three day emergency kit, with lots of extras for surviving life out on the open terrain.
Below are some basic terms I have come across other preppers using. Some of these words and others may appear from time to time in some of the blogs. On occasion I will go back and update this blog with additional terms.
Big One – see TEOTWAWKI. The “big one”.
BOB – Bug Out Bag. Used to store a supply of readily available supplies that you can grab at a moments notice if you need to leave your home in a hurry, as in right now!
Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) – A government agency under the Department of Health and Human Services. It works to protect the public health by providing information to enhance health decisions, and it promotes health through partnerships with state health departments and other organizations. They have now even turned to the zombie apocalypse as a ways of enticing people to be more prepared for emergencies.
Channelized Areas – In the case of an event where an entire city was to be evacuated, channelized areas are the most likely routes people would take; major roadways, railways, riverways, etc…
Dirty Bomb – A radiological weapon that utilizes conventional explosives for the purpose of exposing the immediate area to radioactive particles.