I've been taking a daily walk with Steve lately but yesterday we had to go pick up our new prescription glasses (I have a new pair of prescription safety glasses - woo hoo!) so we also ran up 82nd to Costco for some regular things we usually get there, and then on to Winco for some foodstuffs for the bug out box, which I am seriously preparing. I also ordered a few things from an army-navy surplus outfit today, and once I have everything together, I will feel pretty well prepared for any eventuality. Steve doesn't think we'll ever really need to bug out, with which I tend to agree, because we're too far inland for a tsunami, we're too high for flooding, and there are no industrial producers/users of chlorine gas in the vicinity. There are only two things I can think of that could conceivably force us to have to leave, and that's wild fire, which is not terribly likely, given the local topography. It could happen, but it's more likely that it would get contained fairly quickly. Plus, we live pretty close to the fire department. The other calamity that could force us out is a mud slide.
In any case, I'm putting together a list of stuff that has to go in the bug out box, and then a separate list of stuff that has to be grabbed that wouldn't live in the bug out box- meds, passports, my purse, Steve's laptop, etc. The other list that I'll put together is a list of the foodstuffs in the box, and their various expiration dates. That way, I can stay on top of rotating the food out. Come to think of it, I should probably make the same kind of inventory for my pantry cupboard, for the same reason.
We determined yesterday that if we had to, we could sleep in the car. I'm not convinced that it's not going to kill my back, but since we'd be in somewhat of a survival mode anyway, I'll just have to suck it up. One of the things I want to do once I get everything together is pack the car as a practice run, and then make a quick diagram of where everything goes so that I don't have to think about it again. I want to be able to pack what we need in the back of the car and not have to take some things out, just so we can put the seats back to go to sleep!
One of the things I bought from the surplus store today was a folding shovel, because if we have to bug out, a latrine is going to have to do. The composting toilet I will put together for an earthquake-type emergency will just be for when we can stay home. We just received an old-fashioned telephone book yesterday; guess for what purpose that's getting saved?
The other thing I did today was research alcohol stoves. There are a lot of different designs for alcohol stoves on the internet, and I stumbled across one site that had really good coverage of a bunch of different kinds. This was the same site from which I made an alcohol stove when we were living in Florida as part of our hurricane preparedness kit, and I not only lit the thing successfully, I also tested it with a pan of water and was really pleased that it worked. But I gave it to a buddy of mine before I left. Home made alcohol stoves are a pretty wonderful thing to know about because most people have most, if not all of the materials for one lying around, so they're practically free to make. The advantage that they have is that they're very small, and make great back pack stoves. I've also read that they can be much more reliable than expensive and heavier back pack stoves, but I've also read that some designs are more finicky than other designs. That's why I've settled on this design. It had rave reviews for being completely reliable, from doing what it needed to do in minus nine degree weather on windy Mt. Whitney, to being completely reliable on a two and a half month trek through Europe. Plus, it's pretty simple to make. I am using the instructions from here, however, because they are much easier to follow (more detail). I looked for a canned Heineken at my local grocery but couldn't find one, so I'll make it out of pop cans. The advantage of the Heineken can is that it's ringed where you need to cut it, but I can measure things, so that's what I'll do. However, the Heineken can is supposed to make a more durable stove, so I'll try to find the canned Heineken before I get started.
Once I have the stove put together and my equipment in from the surplus store, I'll be able to finish my bug out box, and I know that's going to make me feel a lot more secure about everything. Well, maybe not everything.
But I will get to cross off number twenty from my list.
Note: maybe it's just me, but I get sucked into the Penny Stove site every time I bring it up Be careful. It can be addicting.