What Do You Really Need In a Bug Out Vehicle (BOV)

Bug Out Vehicle BOV

First, you need one that runs when you need it too. Your bug-out vehicle cannot be covered with a tarp inside of a barn somewhere waiting on the apocalypse. You need to know what it is capable of  doing under various road conditions, so it has to be driven, tested, and maintained. Even those vehicles not driven much will need their fluids changed to keep rubber seals and gaskets lubricated to prevent drying out and shrinkage. Belts and hoses will need to be inspected and replaced as needed as well.

You will need more than a working knowledge of the mechanics of your vehicle, so repairs can be made by you. For starters, you need to know how to change the oil and filter, air filters, tires, transmission fluid/filter, and you must know how to replace all belts and hoses.

You probably do not need a vehicle that looks like it was in a Mad Max movie. Bells and whistles while impressive only means more maintenance, so unless a gadget or accessory enhances your survival prospects do without it.

Four wheel drive is a given, because off road driving is very likely in a grid down scenario. You will need to move around obstacles, and other vehicles along the highways, so this means off road driving. The vehicle’s clearance has to be high enough so you can navigate over rocks, logs and other low lying obstacles, otherwise you will have to blaze a trail the entire way by moving things out of the way.

Cargo space, most SUV’s have some, but it is not likely to be enough room for supplies for an extended period for you and the family. A trailer is an ideal addition to your vehicle, but there are downfalls, because a trailer means more maintenance and expense when it comes to tires, lighting and so on.

However a closed trailer provides protection from the elements for your supplies, and of course allows you to carry much more in the way of supplies and equipment, and it can be used as an emergency shelter as well. Even an open bed trailer can be used as a shelter by stringing tarps, because the bed of the trailer gets you off the ground. Therefore, you should have a vehicle that is capable of pulling a trailer.

You may not be considering a trailer right now, but things change so make sure your vehicle has the hitch capability whether you think you need it or not. In a crisis you may come upon a trailer, so you have to be prepared to take advantage of certain situations as they arise.

A mounted winch would be the best case scenario, but if this is not possible then at least have come-alongs (cable pullers) of adequate size. Having one too small for the job is the same as not having one at all so make sure you size it correctly.

For most people, their BOV would be used to get out of a dangerous environment to a safer environment. You cannot just jump into your vehicle and drive aimlessly for days however. You need a destination and the fuel capacity to get there, and then move locations possibly, and ultimately get back home.

How far can you go on one tank of fuel. You need to know, and then factor in that you may have to backtrack, move around obstacles, and possibly even circumvent large bodies of water. You need to have multiple routes mapped out, and know how many miles it is to your final destination when using any of the routes. You need to know so you can stockpile enough fuel.

Fuel is heavy and you cannot just toss it in the backseat with the children. Without fuel you would have to abandon your BOV and probably much of the supplies you are carrying. Again a trailer is an ideal addition, because you could easily carry enough fuel in or on the trailer.

Hauling a trailer will make off road driving more difficult, but there are tradeoffs with everything you do, so you have to weigh the pros and cons of having one versus not having one.

Your cargo space can be increased with roof cargo boxes or rails that can be used to tie down supplies and equipment. Some of your cargo room will be taken up by bug-out-bags, tools for repairs and spare parts/materials such as batteries, tires, oil, antifreeze, and so forth.

Your objective is to move from one place to another with as little problem as possible. Any vehicle you have could be a BOV, but if you have a choice then choose wisely, by considering among other things,  maintenance, cargo space, off road capability and can you and your family shelter and eat inside the vehicle when needed.

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Prepper Journal: Food Safety During a Crisis

Food Safety Crisis

According to the Federal Government there are approximately 48 million cases of food borne illness annually. This equates to 1 in 6 people, and the illnesses result in 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Anyone can be sickened, but the very young, the very old, and those with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible (FDA, 2014).

Why do people become sick, they become sick because of bacteria in and on the foods that in some cases is not destroyed during the cooking process, in other words, the foods were not cooked to a high enough temperature to destroy the bacteria.

Others reasons include cross contamination, caused by food handlers that use cutting boards and counter tops to process a raw chicken, for example, and then fail to properly sanitize the area before processing foods, which may not be cooked at all, or not cooked to a high enough temperature to destroy bacteria present.

Certain vegetables, lettuce, and breads should never be cut up on a cutting board that was used for raw meats, unless the board is thoroughly disinfected between uses. Raw meats can also contaminate other foods in the refrigerator that may not require cooking if the raw meats are stored near or above the foods were juices can drip to contaminate other foods.

1.) Before handling any foods ensure your hands are cleaned properly so you do not contaminate the product especially if that product will not be cooked or heated to a sufficient temperature. If you handle raw meats and then fail to clean your hands, any surface or food you touch could possibly be contaminated with deadly bacteria.

2.) Separate your foods beginning in the supermarket. Use dedicated cutting boards for fresh meats and poultry and never use the boards for any breads or salad preparation. It is recommended that you have cutting boards just for raw meats and one for handling foods that would not be cooked such as breads, leafy greens for salads and so on. Separate all foods in the refrigerator so raw foods cannot contaminate other foods.

3.) Certain food products must be cooked to the correct internal temperature to ensure all bacteria is destroyed. See below for a chart with the proper cooking temperatures. This means you will need a quality thermometer to test foods before consuming.

Safe Cooking Temperatures as Measured With a Food Thermometer

  • Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb160°F
  • Turkey, Chicken 165°F
  • Fresh Beef, Pork, Veal, & Lamb 145°F with a 3 minute rest time
  • Poultry Chicken & Turkey, Whole 165°F
  • Poultry Parts 165°F
  • Duck & Goose 165°F
  • Stuffing (cooked alone/in bird) 165°F
  • Ham Fresh (raw) 145°F with a 3 minute rest time
  • Pre-cooked Ham (to reheat) 140°F
  • Eggs & Egg Dishes Eggs Cook until yolk & white are firm
  • Egg Dishes 160°F
  • Seafood Fin Fish 145°F or flesh is opaque & separates easily with fork
  • Shrimp, Lobster & Crabs Flesh pearly & opaque
  • Clams, Oysters & Mussels Shells open during cooking
  • Scallops Milky white or opaque & firm
  • Leftovers & Casseroles 165°F

Once the power goes out the perishable foods in your refrigerator if it is full, will last up to six hours, if half full or less, then only four hours. Freezers if full can maintain a safe temperature up to 48 hours. Obviously opening the doors too often will have an impact on how the long the foods can last.

Freeze plastic jugs filled with water to take up space in freezers so the foods stay cold longer during an outage. Any perishable foods held at 40° F or higher for longer than two hours are not safe to eat. Once cooked, foods must be held at 135°F. This is important if you are heating or reheating food using gel fuels under serving pans.

Once the power has been out for longer than six hours the perishables in your refrigerator should be disposed of. Bacteria can grow rapidly once foods begin to warm up and spoilage will begin. Breads can be allowed to go stale by removing the packaging. Once the moisture has been evaporated mold growth will be slowed. Breads can be toasted, if you have the means to do so, to preserve the product.

Most produce and fruits with the skin still on can be left on the counter up to five days. Dry any produce thoroughly once you remove from the refrigerator, because bacteria thrives in a moisture rich environment. You will be able to tell if the fruits and vegetables are edible or not by inspecting the product.

Eggs purchased from a retail store cannot be safely eaten if stored for more than two hours above 40° F degrees. If you raise your own eggs there are procedures you can follow that allow you to keep eggs out of refrigeration for an extended period. Make sure you know the procedure and do it correctly. Certain procedures include “water glass”, or coating the eggs in oil or lard.

Eggs processed commercially are cleaned and the outside sanitized, which in some people’s minds is the very reason eggs “store bought” have to be refrigerated. Eggs do not spoil setting under a hen so it is likely it has to do with the outer shell’s pores being cleaned, and thus, bacteria can penetrate the porous shell if left out of refrigeration.

You should have bleach available during a crisis so all food handling surfaces and cooking utensils can be disinfected. Clean water for washing hands and surfaces is critical along with an ample supply of clean cloths and/or paper towels. Disinfecting wipes can be used as well but read the label carefully to ensure they are not just cleaning wipes but that they also disinfect surfaces. Sanitation wipes are not for cleaning human hands or any part of the body.

FDA. (2014, December 18). Retrieved 2015, from http://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm255180.htm

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You Think You Can Live Without Internet? Think Again!

Cut Internet Connection

People living in Flagstaff and other parts of Northern Arizona discovered just how much they depend on technology. A fiber optic cable was cut, supposedly cut by vandals leaving close to 70,000 residents without Internet, ATM services, cell service, cable television and not to mention the disruptions in 911 services, transactions at supermarkets, gas stations and the list goes on.

Stores immediately posted signs saying cash only, but people could not withdraw cash from ATM machines, and banks suffered as well because nearly every institution today relies on communication technology, which by the stroke of an ax or shovel was severed in the small town. It ended up a vicious circle of disruption that lasted for hours.

Students could not access online college courses and the so-called Internet Cafes suffered financial losses because people could not access free Wi-Fi, so why stick around and just drink coffee. It is not just about the coffee anymore.

Joseph Hobbs, an information technology consultant and contractor in the area explained why cell phone customers were experiencing problems as well.

“The information from a cell phone call is collected by cell towers and concentrated from low speed to high speed fiber optic carriers at various points” (Associated Press, 2015).

A person familiar with the situation stated that typically fiber optic cable is buried just two to four feet underground. Anyone knowing where to dig, and with a few rudimentary tools could uncover the cable and create an outage without much effort at all.

There seems to be no doubt in most people’s minds that this was an intentional act.

Next time it could be a larger city and regardless of size, disruptions in certain services such as 911 could create a life or death situation.

Questions

Was this situation a dry run, a test to gauge the response by the authorities, to see how long the services were disrupted? Did someone think that by cutting the services to the city that they could then waltz in and rob a bank or store and not have police respond, or was this a prelude to something bigger.

Did whoever cut the cable have a grudge against the provider or the city, was it an employee of the service provider, or was it an employee of the city for that matter. Was someone’s bill too high so they decided to cut the cord so to speak, or was this just a random act of vandalism.

It is hard to imagine someone or more than one person were out driving around and just decided to start digging, and then come upon a buried cable, and then deciding just hack it in two while they are at it, very hard to imagine. Someone had to know where to dig and had to know it was not a high voltage line before cutting it, it seems some planning went into this. Someone had prior knowledge and planned to cut the cable, someone set out that day to create havoc.

What is apparent is that we all are much too dependent upon technology. Store clerks are so accustomed to their machines that they may not have been able to do the simple math required to count change back when people pay with cash. People were literally in tears because of the disruption.

In today’s age of technology it defies logic that a person with a shovel and/or ax or even with a large knife could create such havoc for 70,000 plus people. It makes one wonder what could be next and will it be my town or your town, will it be my place of employment or my child’s school.

You Have To Be Prepared For Anything

Of course this will not be the last time. Until service providers whether they provide gas, water, electric or high speed Internet decides to step up their security it will happen again and possibly on a much larger scale with deadly consequences.

Next time it could be water main break, or someone could poison a water reservoir or decide to shoot up a power station and turn the lights out.

You cannot put all of your eggs in one basket. Even though debit cards are widely used as you can see they are no good however, when there is a disruption in communications. You cannot pump gasoline, cannot buy anything anywhere, and if you do not have cash then you go without until, and if the problem is fixed. Next time it could be days or even weeks.

Have enough supplies on hand so you do not have to rush to the bank or ATM machine to try and get cash only to find out they have failed as well. Make sure your vehicle is always topped off with fuel, and that you have enough food and water for short and long-term outages.

Some people if not many people simply cannot communicate without cellular service because they do not have landline service in their homes. People do their banking on smart phones, control their home security with smart phones and many alarm systems for homes and businesses today rely on cellular networks to alert the authorities when an alarm is triggered. Some people even control their entire businesses over the Internet and with cell phones and tablets. Even a short disruption creates major headaches for many people.

Be prepared to get along without the Internet, and cell service, and learn to carry some cash so when debit card transactions cannot be processed you can still put fuel in your car, and put food on the table. You know how to do it, but everyone is so accustomed to reaching for their phones, tablets and debit cards they have forgotten how to do without them, but you can, and you may have to in the very near future.

Associated Press. (2015). Retrieved 2015, from http://azdailysun.com/news/local/cut-cable-downs-internet-service-for-northern-arizona/article_904b4c69-c3d7-59ca-bc72-f8cb64313a29.html

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5 Ways to Sharpen a Knife Without a Sharpener

Ways To Sharpen Knife
A dull knife is dangerous, but sometimes you end up with a blunt blade out in the field. If you find yourself without a sharpener you are still in luck. This video shows you 5 ways to sharpen a knife with common everyday items. It is surprising that if you understand the mechanics of sharpening a knife, you’ll know what to look for to sharpen it in an emergency.

 

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Night Time Patrols: Guarding Your Perimeter

Night Time Patrols

For the sake of this article, it is assumed that you would have a small unit of friends/family helping you guard a Prepper compound, home or complex of some sort. If you are by yourself or are limited on personnel then it is not likely that you would be out patrolling and leave the home or compound unprotected.

Survival is about making decisions based on the reality on the ground. You cannot be everywhere at once, so it would not be wise to try and protect/defend a large structure/compound with limited personnel. It may be better to abandon a larger target, as it were, for one that would be easier to defend.

Being able to identify targets is crucial, and this will be the most important part of guarding your perimeter at night, because if you cannot identify the bad guys then you lose. This means you need the ability to paint any target with light. Flares are one option along with handheld or weapon mounted lights. Lights mounted on poles that can be activated by someone in the compound or by guards using a remote control is another option. All options should be available.

Keep in mind using your handheld or weapon mounted light will give away your location, so use with caution and never remain in place after activating/deactivating any light source.

Next you have to be able to maintain a certain load out and then keep track of gear and equipment in the dark. Loaded magazines, rations, medical supplies, and communication devices must be within reach at all times. This requires organization and the proper pack. You will also have to perform all functions with the pack on your back. Setting the pack down to look for the nearest tree or bush means you may have to activate a light to find your pack again and thus give away your position. Light and noise discipline must be maintained at all times.

Practice carrying your pack around in the dark through heavy brush, across shallow waterways and so on. Practice removing and exchanging magazines in the dark, eating rations without light, and taking a bathroom break with the pack shouldered without light. Know where every piece of gear is located by feel.

Before you can patrol any perimeter effectively you need to have boundaries, in other words, how far to patrol in any one direction. Become as familiar as possible with the terrain. If “booby traps “or other personnel deterrents are activated make sure everyone knows where they are.

Carry a compass at all times. It is easy to get confused in the dark and being able to orientate yourself with a compass is important. You certainly do not want any friendly fire accidents so all roving and static guards must know where the compound is relative to their positions.

Whether in darkness or daylight everyone must be familiar with fields of fire, all cover, and concealment, key terrain features all obstacles and avenues of approach.

Guards must know their direction of fire when they engage the enemy so it is important that everyone carry range cards that depict all fields of fire for all positions. Roving guards of course could be anywhere along the perimeter once contact is made, but each guard should have a designated static position that they can take up if possible.

Roving guards and certain Listening Posts (LP’s) at night act as an early warning system. They must be positioned far enough out, so once a warning is given those in the compound have time to react.

Set up signals or codes so guards can warn the compound without breaking noise discipline. A simple code, for example, could be two keys of the microphone for all is well and three breaks for distress. Set up times when all posts are expected to check in. Do not use a single key break as a code, because of the chance of accidentally keying the microphone. Set up a code so guards do not have to speak except in extreme cases.

Roving guards will need all necessary materials and gear to sustain each guard independently of the compound. This means they need adequate ammunition, rations, water, medical supplies, and communications devices among other things.

Long Range Patrols can extend miles from the base camp and their main mission is typically intelligence gathering, and possible harassment of enemy units. Any person assigned to gather intelligence must be well trained in all manner of survival as well as demonstrating efficiency with any weapons they carry.

In reality you are always in a defensive position when you occupy any territory or structure and this typically puts you at a disadvantage unless you have overwhelming superiority as far as personnel and weaponry.

You need a bug-out plan whenever you occupy any space because if an overwhelming force attempts an offensive against your position, you need to be able to bug-out safely.

Recommended Load Outs For Roving Guards

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Preppers Vacuum Sealers

Preppers: Why You Need a Vacuum Sealer?

According to one major manufacturer of vacuum sealers the average household can save up to $2,700 a year by buying bulk food items on sale and by eliminating waste, due to spoilage when you use a vacuum sealer. Vacuum sealers can extend the life of certain perishable foods up to 5 times longer (FoodSaver, 2015). 

The claims are made, but you would have to decide if they are actually true or not. However, there are other uses for vacuum sealers besides sealing up foods for the freezer.

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Prepping Your House for the Winter Cold

Prepping Home Winter

It is winter and yes it comes every year. You should expect cold weather, but this year it seems extreme cold is reaching further south than normal and the cold is creating problems for those not prepared for its effect on their homes. In northern areas of the country homes and business are constructed with the cold in mind in particular when it comes to water supply lines.

Frost Line

Do you know what your frost line depth is in the area in which you live? Frost line or freezing depth is the common or average depth at which groundwater would freeze. Things that would affect water freezing in the ground would include buildings, snow cover, concrete, or asphalt cover, all of which provide insulation to any water pipes running underneath.

The frost depth in Minnesota for example is five feet, so water pipes running to your home from the water service company or your own well would have to be buried below five feet to prevent the pipes from freezing and disrupting your service.

As you get farther south, the depth at which water freezes in the ground decreases. Three feet is considered average in many southern states that experience cold weather but given the extreme cold, your pipes may freeze in the ground below the established averages.

If your home is built on a concert slab, which means you do not have a crawlspace or basement then your pipes are run from the supply up through the slab to user points inside the home. The ground insulates the pipes up to your home.

In cold weather you can open the cabinets under sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing to keep the pipes warm. Let the faucets drip water in extreme cold, because moving water does not freeze as easily.

Do you have any plumbing that may run along an outside wall, this would be plumbing that would be run to service faucets, toilets and showers for example on a second floor. Plumbing along an outside wall can freeze if the wall and/or pipes are not insulated properly.

Uncouple any water hoses and cover all outside spigots. If you have separate shutoff valves for your hose bibs then shut them off, and then open the spigot to drain the water. There are freeze proof spigots for outdoor faucets that drains the water back from the service point closet to the cold air, it is important however that you uncouple your water hoses. The point where the water pipes meet the spigot are susceptible to freezing and the farther under the home they are the less apt they are to freeze.

Crawlspaces

If your home has a crawlspace then it is likely that all plumbing is run under the home. It usually is attached to flooring joists and then run to all service points. Whether you have your own well or are on “city water” you will have a main line that enters under the home at some point. The main line is susceptible to freezing if it is not properly protected.

Service points usually run through a water pressure regulator then up to faucets, showers and so on. Service lines are run along the joists and are the least susceptible to freezing because they are farther from the outside walls of the crawlspace. Some crawlspaces may not have walls at all. In some southern states the crawlspace is enclosed to keep animals and insects out, but this covering would do little to keep out the cold.

Insulate your pipes using pipe sleeves or use a quality heat tape that can be wrapped around the pipe to provide constant heat, and you will of course need a common household receptacle for the heat tape. Even newspaper could be used in an emergency to insulate your pipes, if using newspaper wrap so there is at least a 1/4 inch around the pipe.

Thawing Frozen Pipes

First do not try to thaw pipes with a blowtorch or use any open flame device under a crawlspace or in a cabinet in the home. Open the faucets before attempting to thaw the pipes.

You can use propane or electric space heaters to warm the area around the pipes or you can wrap the pipe with an electric heating pad. Just be careful of water contact with any electrical device. Hair dryers could be used on PVC and other plastic pipe and heat guns could be used on copper or galvanized piping. Do not use heat guns on PVC or other plastic type material such as “PEX”.

Other options include pouring warm/hot water over the pipes or wrap the pipes with towels soaked in hot water.

Check all user points inside the home to make sure all have water. The main line could be frozen and other lines to specific points could be as well, so all have to be checked to ensure you have water coming out of all faucets, showers, tubs, washers, dishwashers and so on.

Keep all ventilation openings in the crawlspace closed in the cold months and you can add insulation to the vents from the inside. Pipes running close to the vents will freeze first if not protected.

Insulation

Proper insulation will prevent heat loss. Heat conducts from warm to cool so the warm air inside your home is always looking for an escape route. Insulation stops the heat from conducting to the cooler air outside.

Most energy companies offer free energy audits. An audit is beneficial because you can discover where heat is being lost. Doors and windows account for most of the heat loss, and these areas are usually tested during the audit. Thermal imagery may be used as well to determine heat loss through walls and ceilings.

The person conducting the audit will tell you if your insulation has the proper “R” rating for your climate zone. See the chart below and zones five to eight will be the coldest zones in the United States while zone one, for example, would be the warmest area, and would include extreme Southern Florida and Hawaii.

Insulation-Zones

Table above courtesy of energystar.gov

Energy costs of course always seem to go up but never seem to come down so it is important you get the biggest “bang for your buck”. You want to contain the heat for as long as possible inside your home, and good insulation will do just that.

If you find your furnace is cycling on and off to often then you may want to look into the causes. Your furnace should be able to get the home up to the set point and in some cases may have to get one degree above the set point to shut off.

Once off how long does your home maintain the temperature? Again depending on how the thermostat is programmed it may have to cool one degree below the set temperature to turn on the furnace.

If your home is cooling off to quickly you may need to have your insulation inspected, caulk your windows, and make sure there are no gaps around outside doors that would allow warm air to escape.

Most thermostats have a program that allows the user to set the swing temperature. You may want the heat to come on when the set temperature and room temperature are the same. This would also shut the heat off when the room temperature is the same as set temperature. You can go the other way as well to keep the unit from cycling on and off as often, but the home would cool down more before the heat came on. There are pros and cons to each setting so you have to decide what works best for your situation.

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Bugging Out the Basics

Bugging Out Basics

The following article is not a plan, it is however, designed with the hope of getting you pointed in the right direction.

It seems that many articles about survival and bugging out make declarative statements. In other words, according to some, if you do not do this or that then you will die. This may be true in some cases, but the reality is that every situation is different. Your survival will depend on skill, planning and material things and luck does play a role, but as some will tell you, you make your own luck. 

Past articles have typically advocated against bugging out unless certain conditions have been met because of the inherent dangers associated with moving about during a crisis, leaving a known situation for an unknown one. There are dangers associated with bugging out that you would not typically encounter if you sheltered in place.

That being said however, some will leave and embark on their journey away from what they consider a danger zone regardless of conventional wisdom. In a crisis, just like in certain other situations, perception becomes fact.

People will have to decide based on instinct or what their eyes and ears tell them, because traditional sources of information will not be available. However, much of the decision making will be based on emotions, and not always on facts or logic.

Things to Consider

Bugging-out is not the end of it therefore your plan will need to be a multi-staged one. The first part of the plan would be evacuation from the danger zone. It has to be done quickly, safely and efficiently.

There is simply no point in leaving one dangerous situation only to find you are in worse shape.

Get out of the area quickly. Once the decision is made you cannot linger. In some cases, it may take you all day just to clear the urban sprawl if you are on foot and this is where it gets dangerous. If you cannot leave in a vehicle then you really are in a perilous situation, probably more treacherous than sheltering in place.

Leaving before the highways become clogged is your only chance, so this means you will have to leave before the need to flee is evident to others. You need to be informed and you need to make certain decisions based on information you have gathered. You need a plan in place for information gathering.

You have to be confident that the situation will escalate to where your life would be in danger if you stayed. You of course, would have to leave well ahead of the danger, so you are taking a chance. You may leave and then realize you did not need to, and now you are miles from home, have used up supplies, and may not have access to fuel to get back home. You need to plan for this as well.

You have to be able to sustain yourself independently of others. In other words, you cannot make a dash for the nearest drive thru window or hit up the local grocery store. If you do not have it in your bag you have to do without it.

There is a reason why bug-out-bags are also referred to as 72-hour bags. You cannot carry enough on your back for an extended period. Seventy two hours of supplies is the reality for most people. Water, food, clothing and medical supplies are heavy. You need a plan for resupplying yourself.

The Objective

Distance from the danger is important. If your city is attacked for example, you cannot linger in the area, so you need to know the fastest routes out of the area.

You need a destination in mind, a destination that is some distance from the hot zone. You need a way to get there, and assuming you can leave on foot is not thinking the plan through and it means you probably do not have a good enough plan.

Anyone can come up with a plan but not everyone can carry out that plan. It takes practice and hands on experience or otherwise your plan will not be based on reality. It is easy enough to plan on bugging-out with the spouse/partner, children, and other family members. Easy enough to imagine this is what you would do, that is until you have to do it, and this is when plans meet reality and many will fall apart at this point if you have never conducted a dry run,  and then tweaked your plan based on what you found out during your dry run.

How to Plan On Bugging Out

Know what you expect to achieve before you come up with a plan, and then come up with back up plans. Do you plan on setting up camp at the nearest Motel 6, go to a relatives or friends’ home or do you have other destinations in mind.

Much depends on the crisis, so in essence you will not know what your plans are until something happens. If the crisis is localized then you could seek safety with friends or relatives miles away, or at a motel in another city, but if the crisis affects the entire country then where do you go.

You need a plan for natural disasters as well as one for manmade disasters. Forest fires, flooding, hurricanes, and other disasters may force you from your home. This type of crisis is generally localized however, and it is simply a matter of getting out while you still can. Getting to an area not affected and having the means to sustain you and your family until the crisis abates and it is safe to return is the intent. If the power grid collapses then your plans to find a motel, go to a relative or friend’s home is not applicable.

What Do You Need

  1. You need a threat analysis so you can prepare for the most likely. Heavily populated areas are targets for attacks for obvious reasons, but again you cannot decide to leave until the area has been attacked or if an attack is expected. The problem is if you know then others will as well.
  2. A destination is critical. You cannot just grab your bag and wander aimlessly until things settle down.
  3. Supplies are critical but again you can only carry so much. This is problematic, because unless you have a destination with shelter and a cache of supplies that can sustain you for longer than 72-hours you cannot survive for long. Herein lies the problem with bugging out.

Your plan has to cover all of the above and then you need backup plans. What if the weather is cold, what if a family member is sick or has an injury that prevents them from leaving.

It is not this articles intent to tell you what you should do one way or another, only you can decide that. The intent here is to get you to think about possibilities and to make you realize that disasters come in all shapes and sizes and no one plan is a “one size fits all”. The plans have to be tailored to you and your family and to what is happening on the ground and they have to be adaptable. In other words what is applicable today may not be relevant tomorrow.

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How to Make an ARC Welder

Arc Welder
Things are, without a doubt, going to break in SHTF. Tools, farm implements, and even vehicles that are still functioning will suffer mechanical damage. When two pieces of metal brake, you are going to want to join them back together and one way of doing so is through welding.

If you don’t enter SHTF with a welder, or don’t have the money to purchase one now, rest assured, you can make one that is pretty inexpensive. This video series from the King of Random shows you how to make a welder from two old discarded microwaves, some wire, wood, and copper tubing. Be very careful if you attempt to undertake this project, this could be very dangerous..

 

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Survival Knot Tying

The Importance of Knot Tying In A Survival Situation

Skill is what will save your life in a survival situation, and often times it is the simplest of skills that you have, which will be the most useful. Most of us already know how to tie a simple knot. We learned how to tie our shoes at a very early age, and possibly even learned how to lash our books together for easy carrying.

You can tie ribbons on gifts, and may even tie off certain cuts of meats, so knowing how to tie knots is not new, but the type of knots you may need in a survival situation may be new to you.

Knot making is a simple mechanical skill, a skill that you will never forget, but it takes practice, repetition in other words so the skills become natural. In stressful situations you want skills that come to you without thinking, where your hands and muscles know what to do without thought.

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