Saturday, February 11, 2012

How About Your Emergency Bag?

Sometimes referred to as your "Go Bag" or "GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge) Bag" it is a small backpack filled with small items you would need to survive on foot at a moments notice. This bag is kept packed and in a closet so you can grab it and go.

There are exhaustive treatises on what should be included, but buying everything all at once is expensive. So find a good, used school backpack you have laying around the house or at a yard sale. You can always go to the Army Surplus store, too, but I find stuff there to be expensive at times. A good school backpack or used hiking backpack will suffice. It should not have holes in it and should have low visibility (not bright colors). It needs to fit you well as you may be wearing it for some time. BTW, everyone in the house needs one, even the little ones can carry something. You may need to run with it on, so keep a little bungee cord, nylon rope or zip ties to clip the front if needed.

OK, what goes in it? Food and water, for sure. Start with enough for three days. Now, depending on the time of year, you may need more water, but let's do the best we can here. Figure six bottles minimum. They are heavy, so be prepared. Throw a few Gatorade pouches in there if you like. Food is up to you. A couple of bags of trail mix, some jerky and some sweet hardy candy. Is it gourmet? No, but it will keep you alive and keep your calorie intake up. Remember, several small bags are better than one big bag and placing each item in its own Ziploc is not a bad idea. Sure, you can throw a few cans of food in there or some MRE's, but they are heavy and take up space. Canned tuna is probably your best bet there.

Toiletries are simple. Travel toothbrush and travel toothpaste. Hand sanitizer and small hand soap. Camping toilet paper or phone book paper works well. Q-tips and mouthwash. All travel size and in there own Ziplocs. Don't forget a small first aid kit.

Tools are up to you but they need to light and useful. Remember to go cheap at first using what you already have. A small LED flashlight with extra batteries will work, but eventually you want a solar or motion rechargeable one. Duct tape is essential. Camouflage colored duct tape is best. Nylon cord is also necessary. A Swiss army knife, folding shovel, mess kit, compass, sewing kit and a large hunting knife will fit nicely. Any other tools are up to you and it really depends on how much money you want to spend.

Extra socks are good for traveling by foot and providing cushion in your pack. Remember, you don't want to be noisy. A small, green tarp is helpful for some cover. Emergency foil blanket if it's colder at night. Some large rash bags to wear if it raining. Some cash is also good.

My final suggestion is a small flash drive or SD card. This will contain copies or your ID card, SS card and any other important documents. Also put on there any important family pictures you don't want to lose.

Start small and build, my friends. Get the bag. Get the water. Get the food. Then just see what items you have around the house. You may spend less than $30 depending on what you have to buy. Most of mine is already in the garage.

Don't wait, get started now!

Why are you still reading?

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