Tuesday, August 18, 2009

10 Essentials

You need stuff in case of emergencies. A Bug Out Bag. Or BOB. Something in your car when you are at work. Maybe in your office. Something by the door at home.

But what to put in it? Water. Food? A knife and/or multitool. You best good luck charm? A lot depends on your personal preference, but how do you know if you haven’t missed something important?

Well there is a guide to it lots of people go by. The “10 Essential Things.” Some of you know about this. For the other reader. (I think I have 3 readers now…)

And it’s not just for BOBs and emergency preparedness. It also applies to outings in the woods and camping, or otherwise having fun.

  1. map and compass. A topographical map, preferrably. The compass will keep you from walking in circles if you have no map.
  2. flashlight
  3. eye protection, but a hat may serve for sun protection
  4. food and water. Couple canteens and energy bars, minimum. Water purification can be useful to stretch your 2 canteens out with other sources in most areas. And check out Lifecaps for a food replacement in pill form. Especially if you are a bit on the beefy side, like me.
  5. extra clothes including a way to keep dry, like a poncho. A rudimentary shelter would also fall under this, and a poncho can double for that. Or a space blanket.
  6. waterproof means of firestarting (and a spare type) Strike anywhere matches in a safe and a disposable lighter in a separate waterproof container.
  7. tinder/firestarter
  8. pocket knife! And a larger knife if you can swing it. 'Large' like a machete-large.
  9. first aid kit, and this should include insect repellent and sunscreen.
  10. means of communication, from a whistle to a signal mirror to a cell or satellite phone (or all 4!) Remember, a radio reciever with a hand crank is a one way form of communication that is better than nothing. It can at least get you the weather.

Additional ‘nice to haves’ include terlet paper, and for those of you in the more enlightened areas of the country, you personal firearm and accoutrement. I’d also like some line, like paracord. Also, fishing line and hooks, and one list recommends a $50 bill. In case you come out of the wilderness and are next to a convenience store, it'd be nice to get a few ho-ho and bottled water after nearly starving to death.

The Eleventh Item you carry with you always. It's between your ears. All the prep in the world won't help you if you don't use your brain.


Sigboy said...

[mutters incoherently to himself] Great post Tbolt, I had planned one like this for later today, but you did much better than I would have.

I also like to add a deck of cards or a book. You never know when you will have downtime and may need a distraction.
[mutters some more and storms out of ofice]

Top of the Chain said...

What is said?

4 seconds without thinking

4 minutes without air

4 days without water

4 weeks without food

Get your amateur radio license. 35 questions and it's from a government pool of questions. They cater to the lowest common denominator. Learn the wilderness protocol for ham radio use.

Another Gun Guy Brian said...

Great point on the deck of cards Sigboy.

I started with the Doug Ritter Pocket Survival Pak - and a half-dozen Katadyn purification tablets. This, along with a knife, light, a poncho/shelter and a couple of protein bars fit easily into a small pouch. I would suggest adding a compact camp towel to the mini-kit as well. Towels have many uses.

Hook that to the water bottle/canteen and you're portable and minimally effective.

The minimalist approach is probably enough to get through a tight spot.

I've got a old plastic milk crate in my trunk with roughly 15 lbs (without water) of B.O.B. gear that I keep adding things to and taking things out of as I think of better (read lighter) ways to do things.

Great post.