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Friday, March 25, 2011

Been Working On My Bug Out Box

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.


Paula said...

You might be wondering what a bug out box has to do with homesteading? It all has to do with being able to do for ourselves. I don't want to have to depend on an unresponsive government to take care of my needs.

I really hope that this inspires other people to get their families ready for disasters or emergencies.

Anonymous said...

Dancing in a Field of Tansy has a great pdf file for a first aid kit. Scroll down to March 17th for the info. Here is the link


Paula said...

Thanks Beverly! It is a great list, and I'll work on that next. I won't be able to do the herbal stuff, because I don't have that kind of training. We do have a first aid kit in the car already though. It's a small commercial one and doesn't have things in it for serious wounds. Since cutting my thumb with the chisel, which healed, and then cutting it again a couple of days ago with the potato peeler, I seem to be really going through the bandaids in the hall closet first aid kit. I think I'll modify that one for the serious wound stuff, because now it has room in it!

Miriam said...

I've been working on our earthquake kit, and have been trying to puzzle out what gets to stay in the house (like some of the stored food) and what should be out of the house in case the house falls down! We do have a 72-hour emergency kit in the car, but I haven't given much thought to a bug out kit because we don't need to worry about a tsunami either. But forest fire is a real risk here, so I think it's time to start thinking about it!

Paula said...

Miriam- if it's any help, the canned food is largely what's staying in the house. Much of the food I'm putting in the bug out box is super lightweight stuff that needs water and cooking, like the Knorr pasta sides and instant oatmeal. The pasta sides I chose were all stuff with shorter cooking times, to conserve fuel. I may add instant rice later. You would probably be more likely to find the rice sides, but look for the ones that cook super quick. The penny stove that I linked can cook up to 56 minutes (which is a record, I understand) on like 1.5 ounces of denatured alcohol, (which is one of the safer fuels out there). I also grabbed some tuna that comes in a pouch, rather than a can. However, I'm packing a large bag of raisins, for quick energy, and peanut butter, easy protein, both heavy, because emergency or not, I still need to manage the beast that lives inside my husband. I'm glad this is making you think about what you need to do, and I hope you never need it!

Rae said...

Paula, have you ever read the magazine The Backwoodsman? I think you'd get a kick out of it. It's got the feel of a low budget zine, but it has all sorts of fun survivalist stuff. I usually find it at Freddys, though they don't always have it in stock. If I see it next time I look for a copy for LJ, I can snag one for you.

Paula said...

Yeah do, Rae. I'm not a hard core survivalist, but I think knowledge is a useful tool in any situation and I tend to remember stuff that strikes me as important.