Friday, August 9, 2013

Prepping for Disaster

While I love putting my hair up and being a little more particular about how I look nowadays, I want to admit to something that I've been doing on the side for a while now.  Prepping.  I'm a prepper.  What that means is that I collect things and make plans in case there is a disaster/apocalypse/etc in the not-to-distant future.  Let me put it this way, I have a bug out box (yes, I need a bag for my shit) that I could take with me into the woods and be fine out in the middle of nowhere for a few weeks.

I thought this would be an interesting break from my usual posts, BUT it also kind of fits in just nicely since being prepared was part of the 50s mentality.  Just look at fallout shelters built in backyards.

I thought that my primary focus should be "how to take your first steps into being a prepper"
The first two things you absolutely need to get started prepping are: a bug out bag and a prepper notebook.  Above is my personal prepper notebook.  It comes color coded, but that's not necessarily something you need.  Anyway, let me talk about the notebook, then I'll get into the bug out bag.

Prepper Notebook
I have my sections divided up into the following sections:
  1. Shelter, Community, General
  2. Fire, Cooking, Water
  3. Hunting, Farming (animals)
  4. Plants, Farming/Gardening (plants)
  5. Medical
  6. Warfare, Defense, Explosives
  7. Starter Dossiers
The idea behind the notebook is that if something happens, you or anyone else can pick up this notebook and survive.  Section 1 is all about various simple shelters, quick ways to de-stress, community rules (if you start to pick up people when something happens, you need basic rules), simple knots, how to make soap, a list of personal skills (extend this to a community list), etc.  Section 2 has a bunch of ways to create fires and outdoor ovens, water collection, water filter, water purification, etc.  Section 3 is about hunting, fishing, cleaning an animal, raising chickens and goats, animals to hunt in the local area, etc.  Section 4 starts off with an ongoing list of seeds that I have, creating better soil for planting, wild plants to eat, etc.  Section 5 is my most worked on section and has DIY plans for asprin, antibacterials, antihistamines, antifungals, herbal birth control, poison ivy and poison oak, etc.  Section 6 has some info on creating a defensive structure, gunpowder, toxic plants, etc.  Section 7 is where I've created my own dossier including education, interests, hobbies, skills, and basic medical information.

Bug Out Bag
A bug out bag is a pack full of absolute essential items that you will need for self survival.  This is a starter list that you might want to add on to.

  • Pocket knife, 6" knife (or larger)
  • Creating fire: matches, lighter, magnesium stick
  • Emergency blanket (the ones folded up into tiny silver squares)
  • 100' Rope (paracord works well)
  • Ziploc baggies (variety of sizes)
  • Writing: notebook, pencil, pen, sharpie
  • Pot, wooden spoon, bowl, spoon, fork, can opener
  • First aid kit, sun screen, toilet paper
  • Small blanket, tarp
  • Soap, washcloth, toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, lip balm)
  • Flashlight, batteries
  • Compass, map
  • Duct tape
  • Light food
  • Entertainment (novel, cards, etc)
Light food is important.  Light food is food that is easy to open, light in weight, and can store easily.  Many people throw MREs into their bug out bag, but I tend to eat paleo so not everything in an MRE works for me.  Other people use raman, but its not very healthy for you.  I would suggest the following: instant soup packets, beef jerky, tea, hot cocoa packets, instant coffee packets, nuts, dried fruit and veggies, raisins (yes, they are dried fruit, but people forget), instant oatmeal, and bouillon cubes.  Try to avoid candy as the sugar rush will drain you later on.

Secondary items that you might want to seriously consider having are:
  • Trade items: Coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, potatoes, sugar, tampons, etc
  • Electronics (phone, tablet, etc)
  • Additional entertainment: a second novel, cribbage board, etc
  • Seeds (depending on what the situation is AND leafy greens grow the fastest)
  • Additional maps
  • Tools (hammer, screwdrivers, etc)
  • Trash bags
  • Spices, salt, pepper
  • Additional clothing
  • Heavy food
 Heavy foods are going to be foods in cans or food that can expire relatively quick.  I only recommend these for periods lasting longer than 2 weeks due to their bulkiness and weight.  They'd work for a large group though.  These would be: canned meat, canned veggies, canned fruit, potatoes, yams, onions,  cookies, crackers, crisco, canned soup, dried milk, and hot dogs (and other "camp" food).

This is kind of a fun mental exercise at the least.  What would you take if you had 15 minutes to grab stuff and get the hell out of town?  Could you live in the woods for 2 weeks if you had to?  Would you start going in a particular direction?

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