Pet Bug Out Bags

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Pet BOB (Bug Out Bag)

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First Aid

Information

The following has been gleamed from several different sources and put together into one article. It started as a favour to a friend, when she inquired as to what to carry in a BOB for animals and I just kept finding more and more information that I thought may be of use. I must have gone through atleast 20 to 30 web pages, trying to find any detailed information. The links to the sites werent kept as I never intended it for public use, but a few friends that recieved a copy thought it may be worth posting. I have no vetinary experience, so with any information obtained from the net, its advisable to double check it by printing off a copy and taking to your local vet (one that you trust). As with human doctors, youll get 10 different opinions from 10 different doctors. The one you trust is the one you deal with.

I just finished reading “Where there is no Pet Doctor” and sent a copy of the article to the author to see if he could double check the information before posting, as I never recieved a reply from the local vet clinics. I heard back within a day and he was kind enough to go over it and at the bottom of the page in the amendments section is his reply and recomendations. I highly recomend his book, youll see from his reply why I do. There is just no way you can begin to grasp what is needed for taking care of pets in an emergency from a short forum based article. It was meant more for an introduction, to get people interested enough to put together the relevant books and supplies to suit their own needs and not have to search all over the net to find what is needed.

BOB Contents

Polar Fleece Blankets(1 per animal)

Water

Tinned Food

Dry Food

Leashes

Collars with ID

Harnesses

Travel Bowls(Food and Water)

Can Opener

Spoon

Kitty Litter

Litter Tray

Cat Carriers

Meds-Flea/Tick and Worming Paste. Make sure to include Heart Worm

Rope or chain with swivel attachment

Signs of canine illness

How to tell if your dog is sick

Owners who observe and handle their healthy dogs have a head start on recognizing early signs of illness in their pets. Those who know what a healthy pet acts, feels, and smells like can spot differences in behavior and bodies and determine whether a trip to the veterinarian is necessary.

Healthy dogs have a temperature of 101-102� F, a respiratory rate of 15-20 breaths per minute, and a heart rate of 80-120 beats per minute. They have pink mucous membranes (gums, inside of lips, tongue, inside of eyelids) and rapid capillary refill action in these areas. They have clean-smelling ears and skin and a full haircoat. Their skin is pliant, an indication of proper hydration, and their eyes are clear and bright.

If your puppy or dog shows any of the following signs, be prepared to call your veterinarian.

  • Eyes: swelling, discharge, redness, etc.
  • Nose: running, crusting, discharge, etc.
  • Ears: discharge, debris, odor, twitching, scratching, shaking, etc.
  • Coughing, gagging, sneezing, retching, or vomiting.
  • Irregular breathing, shortness of breath, prolonged or heavy panting, etc.
  • Intestinal activity
    • Color and consistency of bowel movement
    • Frequency of defecation
    • Bloody stool
    • Evidence of parasites, etc

.

  • Change in amout of food intake
  • Change in body weight
  • Change in water intake
  • Urine
    • Color
    • Frequency
    • Amount
    • Straining
    • Dribbling, etc.
  • Odor
    • Mouth?
    • Skin?
    • Ears?
    • Other?
  • Coat & skin
    • Wounds
    • Tumors
    • Hair loss
    • Dander
    • Color change
    • Biting
    • Scratching
    • Bite marks
    • Evidence of parasites
    • Licking, etc.
  • Behavior
    • Depression
    • Anxiety,
    • Fatigue
    • Lethargy
    • Sleepiness
    • Trembling
    • Stumbling
    • Falling, etc.

Noticing signs is half the battle; keeping a record helps the veterinarian make a diagnosis. Be sure to note when the symptom first appeared, and whether it has been intermittent, continuous, increasing in frequency, getting better, or getting worse bfore calling the veterinarian.

Dog Tip: First Aid Kits and Emergency Treatments

Dog Tip: First Aid Kits and Emergency Treatments

Those who have faced emergencies can tell you it is essential to get your first aid kit together and get familiar with first aid measures BEFORE you are confronted with an accident, emergency or sudden illness. Many situations require fast and correct action to prevent further injury, infection or death. So assemble a first aid kit now, so that you’ll be ready when your pet (or a human) needs immediate help.

Be sure to read through the First Aid Kit list that follows. It will give you an idea of the situations that can and do come up. Being prepared can keep a manageable incident from becoming health-threatening. It will reduce the chance of infection and further complications…reduce stress for everyone…cut recovery time…and empower you to effectively help. Being prepared can even make the difference between life and death.

FIRST AID KIT

Keep a first aid safety kit on hand at home and in your car. Take the one from your car with you when you travel with your pet.

Each kit should include the items listed. It might sound like a lot of stuff, but when an accident occurs, these items can help you save the health or life of an animal…or a human.

Waterproof Kit Container:�
Write on the container, in indelible ink, the phone numbers for your vet, the closest emergency animal hospital, and poison control hotlines. Also list your own name, address and phone numbers.

Recomended First Aid Kit Contents

http://www.redcross-cmd.org/Chapter/petguiderev.html

First Aid Guides:
Animal first aid book, such as “The First Aid Companion For Dogs and Cats”, Dog Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook (http://www.doctordog.com/dogbook/dogch01.html),

Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook (http://www.doctordog.com/catbook/catch01.html)

Where there is No pet Doctor a manual for Cruisers,Rvers and Backcountry Travellers by David W LaVigne

Home Prepared Dog and Cat Diets by Donald R Strombeck

CPR instructions – download the online brochures listed later in this tipsheet.

Essential Vet and Contact Info:�
Prepare and make copies of a list including:�
Phone number for your vet, the closest emergency animal hospital, and poison control hotlines (such as the 2 listed in this tipsheet). �
Your own name, address and phone numbers. �
Your emergency contact person’s numbers, in case you are incapacitated.�
The name, age, breed, sex, identification (such as microchipping information), and any health problems (especially useful information if your petsitter or emergency contact needs to call an emergency medical service about your pet).

A copy of your pet vaccination records.�
Photo of each pet in case it is needed for ID or other purposes.

Kit Supplies:

Scissors�
Tweezers (flat slant tip instead of the rounded variety)�
Sterile needle (to remove splinters and tick heads)�
Turkey baster or bulb syringe (for flushing wounds, force feeding)�
10cc syringe with no needle (for administering medications)�
Eyedropper�
Tongue depressor to examine mouth

Rubber gloves�
Nail clippers�
Comb�
Rectal thermometer (normal body temperature of dogs and cats is 100.5 to 102.5 F; take your pet’s temperature under normal conditions to get a baseline for comparison in case he gets sick or injured)�
Disposable safety razor (for shaving fur from around a wound)

Towel (at least 2)�
Paper towels�
Blanket (the compact thermal blanket works well; uses include keeping an injured animal from going into shock)�
Bandanna and/or nylon stocking (many uses, including muzzling or securing a torn earflap)�
Strips of cloth�
Dog booties or little socks (to cover wounded paws or to protect so you won’t need to treat)�
Flashlight�
Matches

3×3 sterile gauze pads�
Rolled gauze (for bandaging, stabilizing joints, making a muzzle)�
Adhesive first aid tape (in narrow and wide widths)�
Cotton rolled�
Cotton balls �
Bandages (including self-clinging or vet wrap and waterproof types)�
Vet wrap, which sticks to itself but not fur.

Anti-bacterial wipes or pads�
Q-tips�
Hot/cold pack�
Ice pack

Hydrogen peroxide 3% USP (to induce vomiting and to use on infected wounds; check the expiration date from time to time and keep only fresh solution in your kit)�
Activated charcoal tablets (effective in absorbing many toxics)

Betadine solution (a type of antiseptic iodine medicine for wounds to deter infection)�
Antibiotic ointment (such a Neosporin)�
Rubbing alcohol (apply on skin as body cooling agent to aid heat stroke or fever; helps break down oils; acts as a drying agent between toes and skin folds; but do not use on wounds as it can damage skin and is not an appropriate antiseptic)

Bag Balm (especially useful for treating paw pads)�
Petroleum jelly (helpful aid for taking temperature)�
Sterile saline eye solution (to flush out eye contaminants and wounds)�
Artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes after flushing�
Eye ointment with no cortisone�
Epsom salt (mix 1 teaspoon in 2 cups of warm water for drawing out infection and bathing itchy paws and skin)�
Baking soda (good for soothing skin conditions)�
Styptic powder (to stop bleeding of torn toenails, etc.)

Milk of magnesia (for stomach upset and certain types of poison ingestion)�
Pepto Bismol (for stomach upset and some types of poison ingestion; do not give to cats)�
Benadryl (for bug bites and stings and other allergic reactions. Use plain Benadryl, not the other formulas.�
Gentle pet sedative such as Rescue Remedy (available at health food and some pet supply stores). Rescue Remedy is a Bach flower essence available in most health food stores. This gentle, natural stress reducing liquid can often help both people and animals recover from injury, fright, illness, travel fatigue and irritation. Put a drop in your water bottle and in their water. To help prevent travel sickness, a common dosage is four drops in the mouth about ten hours before the trip, repeating every four hours as needed. For stressed or injured animals, rub a drop on their ear or put a drop on the towel in their crate or carrier. Flower essences can be used along with conventional medicine.

Aspirin (for dogs only, 1 tablet per 60 pounds; do not use acetaminophen or ibuprofen; do not give aspirin to cats; since aspirin and other pain relievers can be toxic to any pet, consult your vet and first aid books)

Can of soft pet food (can help reduce the effect of a poisoning)�
Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid such as Dawn (to clean contaminated skin or sticky substances)�
Plastic baggies

Muzzle (an injured or scared animal may try to bite) �
Nylon leash�
Pet crate or carrier (a safe, calming place for your pet and a safe way to transport)

Also have in your car:�
Bottled water�
Bowl or other container to use for water�
Spare leash

Other suggested items:�
Slicker brush�
Tick scoop (handy little device for removing ticks)�
Treats containing sugar (in case the animal experiences hypoglycemic or low glucose episode)�
Betadine Swab Sticks�
Panalog (a healing cream)�
Nexaban (a type of skin glue to glue a wound closed if necessary)�
Penlight (to see how the pupils respond to light; in normal animals, pupils decrease in size when exposed to light)�
5 inch hemostat, a clamp for blood vessels to stop bleeding

Liquid Ice offers a good way to treat pet injuries such as sprains, strains, swelling and bruising using cold and compression. The non-dyed, non-adhesive stretch cotton bandage is pre-soaked in a special menthol and alcohol solution. It is lightweight, does not restrict movement, and can be applied easily even to knees. No refrigeration necessary, and cold effects last longer than other cold treatments. www.fernovetsystems.com

* If you prefer to purchase a ready-made kit, good choices include:

Medi+ Pet Deluxe First Aid Kit
http://www.naturespet.com/firstaidkit.html

The Hiker First Aid Kit for Canines�
http://www.ruffwear.com/products/firstaid

* If someone is taking care of your pet while you’re away: show them where you keep the first aid kit and vet records, your vet and emergency animal hospital info, how to contact you, and the name and phone number of a friend or relative in case you are unavailable. In addition, let your vet know in advance who you have authorized to take your pet to the vet in your absence, and that you will pay for any emergency visit.

FIRST AID TREATMENT

* Hit by a car, hard falls or other high-impact injuries: Rush the animal to the closest animal hospital. First, place the dog on a firm surface, such as a plywood board. If a board is not available, place the animal in a blanket. Keep the animal as steady as possible to prevent further injury.

* Poisoning:
If there is any possibility that your pet came into contact with a poison, go to the vet immediately, since the onset of symptoms could be delayed a day or even two…and by then, it may be too late.

Call immediately, and have this info ready:�
** Your name, address and telephone number.�
** The type of the poisonous substance the pet was exposed to. Be as specific as possible about the substance, the amount ingested or contacted, the time since exposure, etc. Have the container/packaging available, because the label will identify the product’s active ingredients.�
** The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved.�
** The symptoms the animal is experiencing.

* Antifreeze poisoning:
If you suspect your pet may have ingested antifreeze, take him to the vet or emergency animal hospital immediately! Immediate treatment is essential to prevent a painful death. Initial signs include excessive thirst and urination, lack of coordination, weakness, nausea, tremors, vomiting, rapid breathing and heart rate, convulsions, diarrhea and paralysis. Not all signs may be evident. The final stages of poisoning are characterized by oral and gastric ulcers and renal failure, followed by death.

Ethylene glycol is the toxic component in antifreeze. Vets have a test kit to confirm the presence of the poison in the body. If positive, ethanol (vodka or wood grain alcohol) or a newer antidote will be administered intravenously. The goal is to prevent the ethylene glycol from metabolizing to its toxic components. Dialysis can be used to remove the ethylene glycol from the blood stream.

If you are delayed in getting to the animal hospital, it is often recommended to induce vomiting immediately. And some people have had success giving their dogs vodka or other alcohol orally, followed by water. The alcohol reportedly interferes with the body’s processing of the ethylene glycol before it fully metabolizes. However, it is imperative to first call a vet for guidance, and if your vet is not available, call your nearest emergency animal hospital and/or one of the phone hotlines listed in this tipsheet.

* When to induce vomiting:
For many types of poisoning, it is advised to induce vomiting, soon after ingestion before the chemical can do damage. These include ingestion of arsenic (in rat and mouse poisons), chocolate, insecticides, lead, matches, medications (except tranquilizers), plants, shampoo, shoe polish, slug and snail bait, strychnine and weed killers. However, unless you are stranded somewhere, induce vomiting only under the direction of a vet, physician or poison emergency hotline staff member. It is critical to properly identify the ingested substance.

To induce vomiting in pets, give the animal household hydrogen peroxide 3% USP by mouth, using a syringe (bulb or 10cc with no needle). Do not try to pour it down his throat. Instead, pull his lips away from the side of the mouth to make a pocket, in which you will deposit the liquid. It is suggested to use 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of the animal’s weight, to a maximum of 3 to 4 tablespoons. Before dosing, first give the animal a little bread or other soft food so there is something to bring up along with the stomach contents. If he has not vomited after 15 minutes, repeat the dose of hydrogen peroxide one more time. After vomiting, some folks recommend giving the animal a teaspoon of Epson salts mixed in some water to help empty the intestine.

Activated charcoal is also used to induce vomiting in pets. It has the ability to absorb and deactivate many toxins, preventing the poisons from reaching the blood stream. Activated charcoal tablets also help when you don’t have access to a clean water supply. Mix a tablet of activated charcoal in 2 teaspoons of water. Give 1 teaspoon per 2 pounds body weight and follow with a pint of water.

While syrup of Ipecac been used to induce vomiting, a growing number of veterinarians, physicians and FDA/public health officials discourage its use for people and animals.

Do not feed salt water or mustard, or stick a finger down the throat; these methods are ineffective and potentially dangerous.

* When NOT to induce vomiting. Do not induce vomiting if the animal is lethargic, unconscious, convulsing, having a seizure or is in shock. Do not induce vomiting if the animal ingested an acidic or alkaline product such as drain cleaner, household cleansers and paint thinner. Caustic and corrosive substances can burn the throat and stomach on the way back up, compounding the injury. Also, do not induce vomiting for ingestion of tranquilizers, bones, sharp objects or petroleum products such as gasoline or lighter fluid.

* If the ingested substance was gasoline, kerosene, an acid or alkali, or a corrosive: Try to give the animal milk to dilute the toxin in the stomach.

* If you know the substance was an acid: First, rinse the mouth. Then feed the dog Milk of magnesia or Pepto Bismol using bulb syringe or eyedropper aimed the back of the mouth. Dose 2 teaspoons per 5 pounds of body weight. (For cats, 1 teaspoon Milk of magnesia per 5 pounds; do not give Pepto Bismol to cats.) This helps neutralize the chemicals and reduce the burn.

* If you know the substance was an akali: First, rinse the mouth. Then mix a tablespoon vinegar with a tablespoon of water and feed the mixture to your pet using a bulb syringe or eyedropper aimed at the back of the mouth. An alternate solution is 1 tablespoon lemon juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of sugar. This helps neutralize the chemicals and reduce the burn.

Note: Since cats groom themselves, they can ingest poisons such as sprays that get on their fur. So be sure to wash the pet’s fur.

Remember, for any poisoning, get to the vet as soon as possible. Temporary first aid measures alone are not enough.

* Wounds: �
Be careful, since any animal in pain may try to bite. Muzzle your pet by using a strip of soft cloth, gauze, rope, necktie or nylon stocking. Gently wrap around the nose, under the chin and tie behind the ears. Do not obstruct breathing. A towel placed around the head will help control small pets.

Wash your hands if possible to avoid further contamination. Wear gloves if you have them. Carefully check the wound. Clip the fur back as needed to clear the area around the wound. Clean out debris using ample amounts of saline, balanced electrolyte solution or Betadine antibacterial scrub (or Betadine solution diluted with water to the color of tea). If these are not available, use regular water.

After irrigating the wound, apply antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin to the wound.

Note: Do not pour hydrogen peroxide into an open wound; it is better for wounds that have become infected. Do not use alcohol on wounds, as it damages tissue and retards healing.

Wrap open wounds to keep them clean. Make sure bandages are not cutting off circulation; in most cases, it’s best to wrap lightly. Change bandages frequently to aid in healing, gently re-applying antibiotic ointment as needed.

As soon as you finish treating the wound, loosen or remove the muzzle. Bite wounds often become infected, so call your veterinarian, who may dispense prescription antibiotics.

Another home remedy for treating wounds: mix 1 teaspoon Epsom salt in 2 cups of warm water and soak to draw out infection.

If the Wound is Bleeding:�
Place clean gauze or fabric over the wound and apply firm, direct pressure over the bleeding area until the bleeding stops. For serious bleeding, hold the pressure for at least 10 straight minutes, since continually releasing the pressure to check the wound will hamper clotting. When bleeding stops, continue with the steps in the previous section.

Avoid tourniquets unless absolutely necessary. If you must apply one, consider this information from http://www.dog.com/vet/firstaid/01.html:�
Apply a tourniquet between the heart and the wound if the bleeding is coming from an artery and on the side away from the heart if it is coming from a vein. Arterial blood is bright red, tends to spurt out with significant force, and pulses with each heart beat as it bleeds. Venous blood (blood from a vein) is dark red and may flow rapidly but does not actually spurt or pulse. Because venous blood is on its way back to the heart from the rest of the body, the tourniquet is applied below or “distal to” the wound, i.e., if the wound is on a leg, the tourniquet is applied on the side closer to the foot. Make the tourniquet just tight enough to stop most of the bleeding. Loosen it every 10 to 15 minutes for 5 to 10 seconds to allow the blood to circulate again into the extremity. You can use almost any cloth, rope, sock, or stocking as a tourniquet, as long as it is long enough to go around the extremity and be tied securely.

* Puncture Wounds:�
Clean the wound and the surrounding skin with an antibacterial solution such as Betadine, applying by dabbing with a gauze pad. Use warm damp compresses for puncture wounds, since you want to delay formation of a scab that could seal the infection in under the skin. This will also increase blood flow to the wound area, which aids healing. It is recommended not to bandage over puncture wounds.

* Paw Treatment:�
A home remedy for treating paw pad and other wounds: mix iodine and water to the point at which it looks like tea. Add some Epsom salt to clean out the wound and bandage it with gauze. You can also apply Bag Balm to help chaffed and injured paws heal. Put on a dog bootie or small sock to protect injured paw pads.

* Burns (chemical, electrical, or heat): �
Symptoms include singed fur, blistering, swelling, redness of skin. Flush burns immediately with lots of cool, running water. Apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not place an ice pack directly on the skin. Instead, wrap the pack in a light towel or cloth.

Neutralize acid on skin by rinsing with a solution of baking soda and water. Neutralize alkali substances with a weak vinegar-water solution. Blot dry, apply antibiotic ointment and tape gauze dressing loosely around the affected area. Olive oil can also be applied.

Brush off any dry chemicals that are on the skin. Beware, water may activate some dry chemicals. Call your veterinarian immediately.

Treating burns: trim fur and dab antibiotic ointment. For wounds larger than quarter, wrap in wet towels and go to vet to avert risk of infection.

* Choking: �
Signs include pawing at the mouth, gagging, gasping, breathing difficulty, odd neck posture, abnormal gum color (blue, gray, white), unconsciousness. Open the mouth and try to pull out the tongue to check for an obstruction. Sweep inside with a finger if you cannot see anything. If you see or feel the object, remove it if you can do this without causing throat trauma.

If you can’t clear the airway or the animal is struggling, hold the pet upside down by his back legs if you can. Or use a Heimlich-type maneuver and push up with your fist held under the animal’s belly, just behind the ribcage. Do not apply too much force or you can injure the animal. Go to the vet ASAP.

* Drowning:�
To resuscitate, place your pet on a flat surface, open his mouth, pull the tongue forward, and clear away any debris in his mouth. If he is still in distress, hold him by his hind legs and gently swing him back and forth in an attempt to clear the water from his lungs and stomach. If the pet is too large to lift, place him on his side and press upward on his midsection or abdomen. If necessary, perform the Heimlich-like maneuver described in the “Choking” section, and take him to the nearest vet.

* Electrocution: �
Signs include panting, breathing difficulty, a burn across the lips and tongue, and/or unconscious. It can happen if the pet chews on a power cord. Before touching the animal, turn off power to the outlet and then unplug the cord. Next, if the animal is conscious, rinse his mouth with cold water. Then perform rescue breathing using mouth-to-snout resuscitation if the pet is not breathing but does have a pulse…or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if he is not breathing and has no pulse. See instructions for these life-saving techniques in the online brochures listed in the next section.

Wrap the pet in a blanket to help prevent shock, and take him to the vet immediately (you could perform resuscitation in the car if someone else drives). Go to the vet even if your pet seems OK, since electrocution can lead to serious internal problems that may not be evident for awhile. Also, check the mouth for lesions for 3 weeks.

* The ABC’s — Airway, Breathing, Circulation: �
If your pet is not breathing but does have a pulse, you need to perform rescue breathing using mouth-to-snout resuscitation immediately. If your pet is not breathing and has no pulse, you must perform CPR immediately. Here are web links to essential life-saving brochures about rescue breathing and pet CPR. Print out 2 copies for your home and car travel kit so you will be ready in an emergency situation:�
http://members.aol.com/henryhbk/acpr.html http://www.rescuecritters.com/cpr.html

* Insect Bites and Stings: �
Remove stinger with tweezers or by gently scraping away with a plastic card. Bathe the area with a solution of baking soda and water, then apply ice packs (lined with a towel or cloth) for 5 minutes at a time. Some people treat stings with Benadryl. Typical dosages: for cats and dogs under 30 pounds, give 10 mg…dogs 30 to 50 pounds, give 25 mg…dogs over 50 pounds, give 50 mg. For more Insect/Skin Remedies, see the link listed at the end.

Stings and bites can cause severe reactions. If there is major swelling, or the animal seems disoriented, sick or has trouble moving or breathing, go to the vet immediately.

Benadryl is good for bee stings, insect bites and other allergic reactions. Use plain Benadryl, not the other formulas.

* Itching, Poison Ivy, Rashes:�
A good tip for soothing human as well as pet skin is to apply a mixture of baking soda and water to the affected areas. Also, mix 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt in 2 cups of warm water to bathe itchy paws and skin.

* Foxtails:�
These barbed seeds from dried grasses and weeds can be easily inhaled by dogs. They can lodge between toes and in ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth and throat, and can even travel through orifices deeper into body, causing infections and abscesses. Check your dog thoroughly after hiking for foxtails, ticks, etc. If your dog is frantically pawing his nose, ears or eyes, shaking or rubbing his head, sneezing for long periods, biting at his anus or has blood coming from his nose, take him to a vet.

* Shock: �
Symptoms include irregular breathing and dilated pupils. Shock can occur due to a serious injury or fright. Keep the animal gently restrained, quiet and warm, with the lower body elevated. Call your veterinarian immediately.

* Heat Stroke Prevention and Treatment:�
To protect your pet from heat stroke, review the Summer Health and Safety tipsheet on the PAW website. Heat stroke can be brought on by activity as well as confinement outside in the heat, and the effects can be devastating. Be aware of the signs of heat stroke:

** Excessive panting �
** Labored breathing that may signal upper airway obstruction �
** Bright red mucous membranes in the gums or eyes and/or bright red tongue�
** Lethargy and weakness �
** High body temperature �
** Collapsing and seizures, even coma

If you notice any of these signs, get your pet inside and place a cool, wet towel over him or submerge him in cool or lukewarm water. Do not use ice, which can damage skin.

Take your pet’s temperature using a rectal thermometer. If the animal’s temperature exceeds 105 F, get medical attention at once.

Provide drinking water, but do not force an animal to drink. You can apply rubbing alcohol on the skin as a cooling agent.

FYI, dogs cool themselves by panting; this draws air over the moist membranes of the nose and tongue and cools by evaporation. But panting works only for short periods. Prolonged panting endangers the metabolic system. In addition, high humidity interferes with the ability of panting to cool the body.

* This information is not a substitute for veterinary care. Contact your veterinarian or emergency animal hospital immediately for any potentially serious injury, condition or illness.

* A great gift idea for any pet owner: A first aid book and kit would make a thoughtful, creative and invaluable gift. Pick up the kit contents the same time you buy them for your own kits for your home and car.

Ammendments:

Hi�� #%&*

Glad you read my book. Hope you found it

useful. Looked over your recommended info. Don’t agree with

everything but do disagree strongly with a few things. You omitted heartwrom preventative (for both dogs and

cats); should top the list for anybody in avoiding that problem. Don’t advise razor trimming of wounds by amateurs –

difficult enough for professionals to do and not further contaminate the wound;

will make a mess of the wound. No Bag Balm – people smear it on everything and it’s

useless; use Neosporin or Panolog. Hydrogen peroxide is no longer recommended for

inducing vomiting although many vets still do recommned it. You should at least

warn of the significant possibility of causing gastric ulcers and stomach injury

by giving oral H2O2. That is the reason it is no longer recommended in human or

veterinary emergency medicine. That and the fact that if often does not work.

Time wasted that could be spent getting to the vet.Epsom salts never belong in or on an open wound –

thus the phrase ‘rubbing salt into a wound’?; good for soft tissue swelling ONLY

if no exposure of tissue.Your tourniquet info is wrong! Tourniquet (though not

recommended) should go between the wound and the heart; thus it is PROXIMAL to

the wound, not distal; wound on leg, the tourniquet goes ABOVE (proximal to) the

wound. Take out all the crap about the ciruculation – just confuses your

issue.One item I didn’t see in your list was ‘Quik-Clot’ –

a little package containing a topical sponge-type product very useful in

stopping major bleeding in emergency situation. Check it out. They can use the

human product.Don’t mean to be too critical. Hope you find this

info useful.

Dr Dave

First Aid Guidance:
http://www.doctordog.com/dogbook/dogch01.html
http://www.doctordog.com/catbook/catch01.html
http://www.healthypet.com/Library/petcare-36.html
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=SRC&S=1&SourceID=20
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=293&S=1&SourceID=20
http://www.kolias.com/homegarden/dogfirstaid.htm
http://www.dog.com/vet/firstaid/04.html
http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/firstaid.html (Feline First Aid)

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), Mouth-to-Snout Resuscitation, and Checking Airway, Breathing and Circulation (ABC)�
Print these life-saving brochures to have on hand!�
http://members.aol.com/henryhbk/acpr.html
http://www.rescuecritters.com/cpr.html

Another tipsheet on CPR for Pets:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_CPR.html

Drowning
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_Hiking.php#s1

Life-Threatening Traumatic Injuries:
http://www.dog.com/vet/firstaid/04.html

Bloat:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_Bloat.html

Lacerations, Bandaging and Splinting:
http://www.dog.com/vet/firstaid/01.html

Insect Bites and Stings, Skin Conditions and Treatment:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_InsectBites.php

Fleas, Ticks, Mosquitoes – Prevention and Treatment:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_InsectPrevention.php

Plants Poisonous to Pets:
http://www.aspca.org/site/FrameSet?style=User&url=http://www.aspca.org/toxicplants/M01947.htm
http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/index.html
http://www.uexplore.com/health/poisonplants.htm

Tips for Pet Safety and Pet-Safe Homes:
http://www.aspca.org/site/PageServer?pagename=apcc_poisonsafe
http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/plants/dogs/ten_tips.html
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_FoodAndKitchenSafety.php
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_HouseholdSafety.php
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_Decks.php
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_HolidaySafety.php
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_HalloweenSafetyTipsforPetOwners.php
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_HolidayFireworks.html

Safer, Less Toxic Alternatives to Everyday Household Products:
http://www.rainyday.net/cbc/products.shtml
http://www.care2.com/channels/lifestyle/outdoors

Summer Health and Safety Guide:
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_SummerHealth.php

Pets in Hot Cars:
Flyers available from the Humane Society of the United States at 202-452-1100.�
http://www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/PETTIPS/DogTip_HotCars.html

http://www.outdoorsafety.net/sportingdogkits.htm

http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.cws_home/704933/description#description

http://www.petstylist.com/ForPetOwners/PetFirstAid.htm

http://www.petalert.com.au/faid/fa1.php

My Bug Out Bag Update PT-1 Intro

Over the years I have ended up with so much gear that I decided to cut back and sell off much of it to fund other projects and to finish off my existing preps. For instance my knife collection has been cut by ��s, along with many of my other interests, such as archery. Anything that wasn�t being used on a regular basis or couldn�t fit into existing equipment requirements was to go. Continue reading “My Bug Out Bag Update PT-1 Intro”

Bug Out Bag Update PT – 2 (The Bags)

My Bug out bags mainly consisted of using multiple cheap roller style bags from the local Army Disposal shop and separating clothing, tactical, food and equipment into various separate sized packs, making them easier for storage, locating gear and loading into a 4WD vehicle. I�ve now rehashed those bags to carrying clothing etc and upgraded to a 511 Cams Outbound bag to carry all my gear in the one large pack and keeping it permanently stored inside my vehicle, now that my bus is close to being finished. The main reason for this is that the bottom compartment of the Cams bag can be used for discreetly packing my tactical equipment in the case of being searched while on the move when evacuating an area. My larger Sierra One Sniper 50 liter pack I�m in the process of trading or selling. Not that it isn�t a well-designed or constructed bag, it�s just that fully loaded I can no longer carry it any distance. It�s now part of the upgrade on dispersing equipment I can no longer use. If deciding to carry a pack any distance on foot, this is the largest size I�d recommend for a BOB. The Snug Pack Sleeka Force at 35 liters makes a great day bag for hiking but not quite large enough for a 72 hour BOB. This will either be used in my second vehicle or on my third means of transportation but most likely be stored within a 44 gallon drum that has been made into a cache container with a second 60 liter plastic barrel and a screw top lid inserted within, insulated material placed between the 2 inches of remaining wall space for added protection. I haven�t been able to make up my mind as yet, too many projects on hand at one time. But it�s too nice, not to use in some sort of manner. Lots of ideas on this front but they may require some form of modification to carrier systems to properly incorporate its use. The Spur Tropical 45 liter pack would be my first choice in a grab and go bag if I had to part with my primary equipment and leave in minimal time with minimal gear. Light enough to be incorporated with a 511 molle vest and with decent back support that is comfortable for long distance trekking. This small pack contains the minimal contents that everything 72 hour bag should have. I�ll go into exact contents in later posts. But this bag does contain food in the way of MRE�s and additional food bars etc. Since my primary plan is vehicle based my main food stores are contained within insulated containers to prolong shelf life. Therefore the larger Cams bag only holds equipment. The smaller 45 liter pack is part of my plan B. I always have a plan A and plan B and try for a plan C. Tactically I usually have a plan D,E and F as well. Always try for primary, secondary and tertiary plans to cover every function, location and dispersal of assets and plan for as many contingencies as possible that budget, time, health and ability can provide. � � 511 Cams Outbound Roller Bag http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYyckDK2ydE Snug Pack Sleeka Force 35 liter http://www.snugpak.com/index.php?MenuID=93-103&ItemID=128 Platatac Spur Tropical 45 liters http://www.platatac.com/short-range/plat-a-tac-spur-tropical-pack-multicam/w1/i1205386_1023950/ Sierra One Sniper Pack 50 liters http://www.platatac.com/short-range/plat-a-tac-sierra-one-sniper-pack-dpm-only/w1/i1155563_1023950/

Urban Escape and Evasion Kit Contents

By Budda

The below items Ive gradually purchased and have attempted to test most, or still in the process of doing so. Still aquiring several of the blades which can add up in price. However, so far Ive come to several conclusions/observations. The first is its not worth having all your eggs in one basket. Its better to have items doubled up or spread out over several ways to avoid detection. Everything hidden, in say a belt can be found and lost at one time. Having items spread over several pieces of clothing or in layers of equipment have more chance of the possibilty if one or two items are discovered then the others may skip through a search. Depending on how professional the search has been completed. For example, having several sets of keys not just one pair. Hide them in several pieces of clothing. Belt, vest, shoes etc. This also helps if your bound into a position where you cant reach your main stash of gear.

This goes the same when dealing with handcuffs. The training standard of the detainer and not the victim will determine the technique used to escape. Everyone I spoke to with a decent amount of extended use of or advanced training will double lock handcuffs when an offender has been subdued, without exception. Leaving out the use of shims that only work if the cuffs are not double locked. Someone grabbing a person off the street without any training will not tend to spend the extra time double locking especially if a victim is struggling erratically or using quality model cuffs. A shim comes in handy in that circumstance to escape quicker by slipping between the teeth of the cuffs than to try and pick a lock for example and better kept near a surface point in the seam of clothing rather than stashed in a more hidden way designed for prolonged concealment for easy reach.

If dealing with better trained personnel such as either Federal agencies or Corrections services. They will not only use more extensive search procedures but will also use two sets of two different brands of cuffs, requiring two completely different sets of keys for prisoner transfers.

The Tatonka brand belt is the only model I found with a large 300mm/12inch pouch. The others only had rather small storage areas. This belt is also designed for every day use and not as a duty belt. Coming from a security background and not a military one. Ive always used belt keepers to hold my heavier duty belt to my lighter weight under belt. This way my pants stay up. From this perspective if captured a duty belt would be the first piece of clothing/equipment removed from my person. An under belt holding up my pants has less chance of being removed.

Ceramic blades have advantages and disadvantages. They will pass through metal detectors, however most styles out there are brittle. The smaller ones offered are 1/4 the size of a standard razor blade. I have small hands and found them difficult to use. They seem designed for professionals only, that require a last chance blade that can be concealed within a seam of clothing to avade an electronic scan. Very difficult to use as a weapon. The larger stanley blades are thin and will avoid a pat down but too brittle to keep concealed for long periods of time without expecting them to shatter if any pressure is applied to where they are stored. Such as a belt which will always be bending with movement and weight applied.

The smaller wire saws are once again designed for profesional use, where they are sown into seams of clothing. Id rather buy a larger version of the commando saws and cut one down to a 12 inch length to conceal within a belt or keep a full length version and sow into the lower seam of a vest. Much easier to cut with from a civillians standpoint. Just use layers of shrink wrap as a gripping surface once the handles are removed.

Mini pry bars are more likely to be found in a search but invaluable prying open anything unless wanting to loose fingernails.The smaller model the better for concealment purposes. Three different sizes are now made. The 2″ pico for belt concealment. The 3″ micro for key ring use and the 4″ pocket for inclusion within a vest. Once again using a layering system of tools.

The ability to start a fire is invaluable, wether to provide shelter or as a diversion tactic. A compass for direction, if being dumped in an unkown location and a small light if confined within dark spaces are self explainatory.

If not using handcuffs, then the next most likely choice for a restraint are flexi cuffs. The standard sort sold in hardware stores can easily be opened with a stiff piece of wire such as a paperclip inserted between the teeth. The better made brands designed for security personel by such companies as Manadnock have a covering over the locking mechanism and require cutting off. Ive found two tools that are capable of cutting either flexi cuffs or thin rope. The first was a rescue seat belt cutter made by the Colonial knife Company. This was the smallest model I could find. However without modifing, will not fit into a belt but can be concealed within a vest or hung from around the neck. The second was an accessory tool for a SOG multi tool which can fit into a smaller area. These need to have a piece of paracord large enough to wrap around a foot tied to the eyelet to be effective. Theres no way you can cut through a flexicuff using hands only, when restrained. Removing the inner core will flatten the cordage further.

Ive discovered that I have to be the worse lock picker on the planet. Still learning that skill. The Bagota Picks require only two picks to be used, however there are small credit card types that make a great secondary hidaway within a wallet. Along with larger credit card blades made by Microtech. This once again layers your tools.

Cordage, the hardest item to come across in the wilderness, let alone tied up in the boot of a vehicle. Many uses for having a supply of line. From a fishing line to trip wires, booby traps, snares, early warning system to twisting into a heavier line to form a garrotte. 20 foot spools of twisted Kevlar can be purchased.The difference between kevlar and dacron in archery terms, are that dacron line is a 1/3 of the price for a spool and used for bow strings on long bows and recurves. Kevlar is used exclusily on compounds having a higher breaking strain. Both are thinner than paracord with the similar strength properties.

Jigglers, bump keys and door knives are the lazy mans way of getting into locks without learning the skill of picking. These are items well worth looking into. They add another layer of tools and require less effort of use with faster results.

Selecting blades for an E&E kit has several legalities and intents. Is a cutting edge only required or a weapon. Are a materials that pass through metal detectors needed. A pen that just happens to be made from solid aluminium is a legal carry although it can still be used as a kubaton. A titanium/timber chopstick is still a legal carry although it can be used as a spike. Intent would need to be proved. Small blades concealed within a belt along with other items used for E&E would need to have intent proved that they were intended for anything other purpose, even though they have the potential of severing a Jugular vein or carotid artery. A jugular carrying deozygenated blood away from the head. A Carotid carrying oxygenated to the head.

I decided against the main cutting tool made from a non-metalic material. They are primarily designed for stabbing. I do own many and carry several as a layering system, but wanted a primary blade as a cutter for removing bindings. I also found that many of the other items carried within the belt are also metal based. Carrying a non-metalic blade seemed of little use when carrying in approximation to other metallic items. These would be better suited to other hideaway locations.

Small edges such as a standard Safety Razor Blade, Atwood Micro Card, TOPS Alert 01, Titanium Dog-Tag knives are easy to conceal within a belt, around your neck or within pockets and fall into this catagory. Blades that are good for the next level up from there are the necker/boot style designs with skeletal grips to fall flatter against clothing. Such as an Emerson La Griffe, Benchmade Tether, or Mission knives titanium MPU/MBK. These are small and light enough for concealment purposes but very effective as fighters.

Tatonka TEC Belt – 42mm width with a 300mm/12inch inside storage pouch.

http://www.jpt-australia.com/utility_tac_belts.htm

Products being Tested

Nylon Universal Handcuff Key

for Smith and Peerless Cuffs (will not fit ADI Saf-Loks)

ADI Saf-Lok Handcuff key

Handcuff Shim

1�� Spring Steel Shim works most universal handcuffs. The shim slides between the ratchet and the teeth to quickly release the cuff. Works only when cuffs are single- locked.

Ceramic Razor blade

Zirconia ceramic razor blades are extremely hard, sharp, and wear resistant and can last up to 100 times longer than conventional steel blades. Black single edge razor 25 x 8 mm

Diamond Wire blade

70mm diamond wire cutting is the process of using wire impregnated with diamond dust of various sizes to cut through materials. Because of the hardness of diamonds, this cutting technique can cut through almost any material that is softer than the diamond abrasive. Cuts stainless steel, iron bars and chain.

http://serekit.com/sere_004.htm

http://serepick.com/?page_id=69

Wire Saw

http://www.kitbag.com.au/prod738.htm

Solkoa Grip-S

http://www.fast-fire.com/index.php?p=products&prod=4

Widgy Pocket Pry Bar

http://www.endtimesreport.com/survival_shop.html#Micro

Mini match Ferrocium Rod and Spark-lite

Fire Starting

The Spark-lite has less metal material in its construction and can be used one handed.

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/FirestarterProducts.htm

Colonial Knife Company Rescue Hook

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=CLTCBLK

SOG V Cutter

http://sogknives.com/store/500-105.html

These are used as a substitute flexi cuff cutter. A small loop of paracord can be placed under/around a boot and used for leverage, while both hands cannot be utilized.

Bogota Pick/Rake Set

http://serepick.com/?page_id=69

Bogota Rakes

Very few of the common pick shapes around today can be traced back to an original designer, but this cannot be said of the Bogota Rakes. These picks were developed by Ray Conners based in Minneapolis, MN. These rakes have been found to be so exceptionally effective that they deserve special mention when discussing rakes. Ray has published detailed instructions on their construction so the home toolmaker can make them also. These plans can be found on a popular online lock picking discussion forum at www.lockpicking101.com.

Aside from being effective, the economy of design is quite remarkable. A set of two picks includes a Bogota Rake and Bogota Pick (modeled much like a half diamond). The handle end of each tool doubles as a tension wrench, allowing the user to be prepared to open many locks with just these two tools alone.

The Bogota Rake is best used, as Ray describes, with a �jittery motion�, as though the user had consumed too much coffee. As odd as this might sound, the rakes have been found to be strikingly effective on many common pin tumbler locks by a large number of both hobbyists and professionals alike. The rakes are particularly effective against locks with a high/low bitting � something many types of rakes cannot claim.

http://lockpickernetwork.wikidot.com/understanding-raking

Cash/Phone Card

$50 Small denominations.

Garrotte

Made from several layers of Bow string Dacron. Can be used as a garotte by adding makeshift grips twisted through the loops or as a defensive tool against a blade in the same way as a sarong for locks, throws and takedowns. Approx 18-20 inch center with 4 inch end loops. The serving or wrap can be removed to leave several metres of heavy duty dacron cordage that can be used for fishing line, trip wires, early warning system, improvised restraints, etc.

Photon Micro Light LED

Button Compass

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/NavigationProducts.htm

Cordage

Kevlar spooled 20 feet

http://serepick.com/?page_id=69

Blades being tested

Micro tech Credit Card Knife

3.4″x2.1″ Titanium

To be kept in wallet.

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=MTASSCII

Atwood Micro Card Knives

�1.5″x1″x1/8th (3.5mm) S30V steel

http://www.atwoodknives.com/home/19351627.php

BK Johnson knives Medium sized Credit Card blade

�2″x1.5″x3/32″ (2mm) 01 steel

Custom Order $40 USD

http://www.bkjohnsonknives.com/

TOPS Alert#01 1095 steel

http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=1

Cold Steel FGX Nightshade Series Knives

Polymer re-enforced fibreglass, no metal present.

http://www.coldsteel.com/nightshadeseries.html

Custom Order version of a Extrema Ratio Shrapnel/CRKT Sting

Made from 10mm G10 Micarta Knife Handle Material from local knife maker

Ceramic Stanley Razor Blades

http://www.ceramicknife.org/index.html

Tops NUK

http://www.topsknives.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=nuk&search_in_description=1

Benchmade Tether

http://www.benchmade.com/products/13212

Emerson La Griffe

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_store.html?ttl=Emerson%20La%20Griffe&srch=eqCATE%20CODEdatarq%3Dem%26eqKEYWORDdatarq%3Dlagriffe

Mission Knives MBK/MPU 4″ titanium

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=MK701

Dog-Tag Knives

http://originaldogtagknife.com/

Alternate Carry Items

Titanium Chopstix

http://www.tistix.com/cart/

Mil-Tac Pens

http://store.mil-tac.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=38

Foster Brother Saps and Jacks

http://www.mercop.com/docs/bag6.htm

Kubatons

http://www.alphainnovationsselfdefense.com/

Nok Peregrine

http://noktrainingknives.webs.com/nokperegrine.htm

Downloads

How to Escape from Smith/Peerles Handcuffs

http://www.wikihow.com/Escape-from-Handcuffs

Lock Picking Youtube

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/788366/lock_picking_for_beginners/

PDF Downloads

http://www.freewebs.com/lockwhiz/tutorialsdownloads.htm

Lock Picking 101 Forum

http://www.lockpicking101.com/

Make Your Own Lock Picks

http://www.h-i-r.net/2008/07/make-your-own-lock-picks-part-1.html

Bomb Shock Downloads

http://www.bombshock.com/lock_picking/

Links

Bump keys

http://www.bumpkey.us/

Jiggler Keys

http://www.lockpicks.com/browseproducts/Generic-Jiggler-Key-Set-(Stainless).html

Credit Card Pick Set

http://www.defensedevices.com/lock-pick-credit-card-set.html

Door Knife

http://www.defensedevices.com/quik-pik-shove-knife-door.html

Padlock Shims

http://www.defensedevices.com/padlock-shims.html

Auto Jiggler

http://www.defensedevices.com/auto-jiggler-key.html

Unique Titanium

http://www.uniquetitanium.com/

Key Screw Drivers

http://www.endtimesreport.com/survival_shop.html

Solkoa� Products

http://www.fast-fire.com/index.php?p=products&prod=4

Survival Straps Belt

http://www.survivalstraps.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=SS-BELT

Wallet Size Picks

http://www.catsdomain.com/locksmith/ls06.htm

Training

Roth Tactics and Solutions (NZ)

http://roth.yolasite.com/

ISR Matrix (Australia)

http://www.isrmatrixaustralia.com/

ISR Matrix (International)

http://www.isrmatrix.org/

Urban Survival Training (US)

http://www.readyforanything.org/

On point Tactical – Urban SERE Courses and Forum (US)

http://www.onpointtactical.com/

Jim Wagner Reality Based (US)

http://www.jimwagnertraining.com/servicesoffered.html

Edged Weapons Solutions AMOK (International)

http://www.edgedweaponsolutions.com/

Axe, Buck Saw and Knife within a BOB

The relationship between an Axe, Buck Saw and knife within a BOB.

By Budda

What do you carry in a BOB? An axe, a collapsible bucksaw or a large knife and how do they relate to one another in their use. I’ll first state, that I don�t claim to be an expert in cutting trees with an axe. I have cut trees for 15 years with a chainsaw and am still not an expert. (Ex-sperts after all, are drips under pressure). I have developed a talent for using a chainsaw though and have learnt a thing or two over the years.

You may not need all three items depending on the environment that you�re in. Very little use for either three, in the middle of a sandy desert and machetes are the main item of choice, for use with in a jungle. I may also find that it�s not worth dropping large branches when camping. The more work you do, the more calories are used. When on a limited calorie intake, its possible to starve by simply using more calories than you replace.

They�re usually easier ways of breaking branches than with a tool. For example; using leverage between two trees or letting the fire burn a branch in two pieces, or simply snapping a dry branch over a rock, rather than spend time trying to cut it. These can also be safer methods as well, to avoid flying pieces of timber to the face.

To cut a tree down is usually performed in order to supply large amounts of firewood in colder climates. This wont be a detailed how to cut a tree article, just how an axe a saw work in conjunction with one another. Firstly you cut the front wedge in the direction of where you want the trunk to fall, with the axe. The tree usually decides this, not you. As many may think. The way it grows, the wind direction, how many branches place weight on one side, the lean, what�s in the way of it falling, etc, etc.

The back cut can be the tricky bit. If done with an axe, there is less control of the cut and the rate of fall. By using a saw, more control is established. You�re not cutting a large wedge, just a small line to split the trunk. A saw also cuts in smaller increments. When the split is about to appear, it�s simply a matter of a slight shove and letting the weight of the tree do the rest, while you are well out of the way.

Most books also show cutting the back cut as a level cut. I always use a slight angle. I was once cutting a large tree off a double laned road that had dropped during a storm. The only part left was a trunk, 8 feet tall and between 3.5 to 4 foot diameter. I did everything to the letter, but sensed something was wrong and stepped away to grab some wedges in order to support the back cut, just to be on the safe side. As I stepped away the stump twisted 180 degrees and landed where I was standing. Not due to the cuts but the way the tree had grown and the pressure from the twist in the trunk from 500 years of growth. Something that big can fall in any direction from a mistake in the cut but not twist an entire 180 degrees on its axis. You simply have to be a few inches off with either the front wedge or back cut for anything unexpected to happen. You can�t always fix a cut half way through a job to avoid the consequences.

By doing the back cut at a slight angle, there is less chance of the tree twisting. As it needs to push against itself due to the cut. I wont go into how to adjust that angle with a bow saw. I usually alter the grip on a chainsaw slightly to achieve the correct method. I’d have to show someone in person and wouldn�t attempt to explain how to do it in an article.

After a tree has been dropped, the axe is once again used to limb the tree. To remove any branches that may get in the way. The saw is then used to cut the trunk into sections. An axe can do this as well but your cutting 4-inch sections out of a limb to make a cut. Where as with a saw you�re making a 1/8th or less slice through the branch. Less effort, less wastage of material and a safer practice. Safety is always paramount, especially in a bug out situation or wilderness environment where help can be hours or days away, let alone in the middle of a city if an artery has been severed or a major crush injury occurs.

Once the tree has been sectioned, an axe is used to split the lengths into usable pieces of firewood. This is also easier when the end cuts of the sections are level from using a saw. The inner core is dryer and you don�t need a piece of timber to burn for 4 hours when a split limb will burn down faster to make a cooking fire etc.

Where does a large knife come into play? Once again by having control of the task in hand. By using an axe to cut smaller branches for shelter building or making tools etc the head is end heavy. You have less control of the swing. By using a knife that is designed for chopping. By this I don�t mean a Rambo knife made from 440 stainless that is brittle but a blade differentially tempered from some variety of tool steel. You can gain further control of the task and tool being used. By using the tip of the blade you have more leverage, but using the start of the blade edge near the handle, called the Ricasso, you have more control of lighter cuts. The sweet spot of a blade is where the power comes from. You find this by simply using it and seeing where the blade cuts best. Approximately 2/3rds of the way along the blade.

A large knife comes into its own when chopping down smaller diameter trees for a ridge pole and supports for a lean-to and then collecting leafy branches to clad the exterior. Making tools such as spears, bows or even furniture can be made easier by using a large knife blade over a head heavy axe. Having said all that, most BOBs are designed for 72 hours and all that is needed are smaller chopping tools, enough to bring in timber for a cooking fire. The longer you plan on being self supporting, the easier and more comfortable it becomes if the tools are on hand to help do this.

Mini Survival Belt Kit

Mini Survival Belt kit

Ive had enough gear left over from various projects to attempt to make up a mini survival kit, but no matter how I tried there was no way I could compete with price in purchasing one of Doug Ritters AMK Kits when trying to purchase bits and pieces from multiple stores and then including shipping. The only items I couldnt find much use in were the safety pins and the scapel blade, but left them in anyway, as you never know. The scapel blade is atleast sanitary incase of needing to remove splinters etc from skin. It took me a while to figure out what the black nylon cord was, almost 6 months actually. Dacron bow string line. Figured it out while making up some new strings for my bow and thought Id recognised it some where before. Having strings pre-made, they look different in multiple strands as compared to a singular strand base material.

Added to the kit which is stored in a Maxpedition 4’x6″ Pouch is a McNett Frontier Filter Straw for water purification. A small Sea to Summit Pak Tap water bladder, a Photon Micro light-attached to the zipper pull and a TOPS Bagdad Boxcutter knife. I did start off with a TOPS Ferret but found I could use the boxcutter to baton with being 1/4 inch thick and assigned the ferret to my Micro Fishing Kit. A mini TOPS harpoon could be substituted for a hunting tool, but then you loose the batoning advantage.

I do have a small chisel ground D2 Adze which Im thinking of combining with the spear head to have a chopping tool seperate from a hunting tool in case of actually catching something and having it decide to run off with an impaled spear head, loosing a cutting tool at the same time. The Mcnett Filter straw removes pathogens down to 2 microns and works on a charcoal filter system. Chemical types of purification tablets have short use by dates after opening and I find leave a foul taste after using. If happening to get a hole in the bladder, chemical sytems are no longer of any use without a container to use them in. The original plastic tube included with the straw has been replaced with a piece of surgical rubber tubing. This could double as a mechanism for a snare but makes it easier to pack into a small space, being foldable.

I prefer to have a bum bag kit with a first aid module included for most hikes but atleast having something attached to a belt, it will always be on you and not left in camp. It only takes a few moments to have an accident occur and not be able to reach equipment. Im also trying to figure out how to squeeze in a refective blanket. It may fit by removing the bladder from its protective pouch, but then I loose the carrying ability of the shoulder strap.�

Spark-Lite Firestarter – current U.S. military issue, waterproof, useable one-handed, over 1000 sparkings in tests

4 Spark-Lite Tinder-Quik – current U.S. military issue, waterproof, wax impregnated cotton tinder in zip-top plastic bag, each burns 2-3 minutes

Fox-40 Rescue Howler Survival Whistle – designed exclusively for this kit, triple frequency, exceeds U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS specifications, bright yellow with dual mode lanyard hole

Rescue Flash Signal Mirror, 2 x 3 inches (5 x 7.6 cm) Lexan polycarbonate with mil-spec style retro-reflective aiming aid for one-handed use, instructions on back, protective cover to prevent scratches while stored in the kit, lanyard hole.

20mm Survival Compass – liquid damped with groove to accept an improvised lanyard ring

Duct Tape – 26 inches x 2 inches (66 x 5 cm), rolled around plastic mandrel, repairs, first aid, the ultimate repair and improvisation component, uses limited only by your imagination

Stainless Steel Utility Wire – 6 ft. of .020 inch (1.83 m x 0.5 mm) mil-spec grade, stronger than brass, won’t get brittle in frigid cold, multiple uses

Braided Nylon Cord – 10 ft. (3 m) 150+ lb. (68+ kg) test, won’t unravel, shelter building, repairs and much more

#69 Black Nylon Thread – 50 ft. (15.2 m), 10.5 lb. (4.8 kg) test, repairs, fishing line, light duty lashing and much more

Fishing Kit – 4 x medium Fish Hooks, 2 x Split Shot and 1 x Snap Swivel, in a clear plastic vial with cap.

Heavy Duty Sewing Needle – will penetrate heavy materials, easy to grip, large eye for easy threading

4 Safety Pins – repairs, secure items to prevent loss and much more

Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil – 3 sq. ft. (0.9 sq. m), make container to boil water, reflect fire heat and much more

#2 Pencil and Waterproof Notepaper – 2 pieces 2.125 x 3.667 inches (5.4 x 9.3 cm), leave notes, memory aid, keep log

#22 Scalpel Blade – stainless steel, in sealed foil packaging, more functional than a single-edged razor blade

Kit Specific Illustrated Survival Instructions – authored by Doug Ritter, 33 illustrations, on waterproof paper, detailed, easy to understand, practical information

Contents List – viewable through pouch back so anyone can see what’s inside even if kit’s owner can no longer assist, annotated, complements Survival Instructions, can be used as tinder

Fresnel Lens Magnifier – 2 x 3 inches (5 x 7.6 cm), in protective sleeve, read small type in survival instructions if glasses lost, start fire using sun

Pocketsize Clear Vinyl Pouch – 4 x 5 inches (10.2 x 12.7 cm), 4 x 3.25 inches (10.2 x 8.3 cm) with top folded over, waterproof zip-top closure, lanyard hole, it really does fit in your pocket.

Weight: 3.9 oz (111 g) – you will barely know it is there until you need it to save your life�

Spark-Lite & Tinder-Quik: I wanted a reliable and compact firestarter. Fire is just too critical to have anything but the best that would fit our packaging limitations. Ideally, it should be able to be operated with one hand and reliability concerns precluded matches and lighters. It had to be waterproof and we needed waterproof tinder to complement the firestarter.

The Spark-Lite is the current U.S. military issue firestarter. For the military it is packed in a small plastic matchbox size box with non-waterproof instructions and 8 pieces of tinder, available in OD or bright orange. We got rid of the box, included 4 pieces of tinder in a plastic zip-top bag and added the instructions to the waterproof POCKET SURVIVAL PAK’s Survival Instructions. We selected the orange version, so it is less likely to be lost if dropped.

This is an artificial (ferrocium) flint and steel firestarter, completely waterproof. If it gets wet, just shake off the water and it’s good to go. The wax-impregnated cotton tinder is also waterproof.

One of this firestarter’s big advantages is that it can be used one-handed, unlike most other flint and steel firestarters (the Ultimate Survival Blast Match being the exception, but it is far larger and heavier, almost as heavy as the entire POCKET SURVIVAL PAK, actually). Just rotate the sparking wheel of the Spark-Lite in the direction of the arrows and get a shower of sparks. It’s not unlike using a traditional lighter; the steel wheel and a flint rod under spring pressure do the job, but it generates a lot more sparks. It is rated for hundreds of sparkings and some random samples have been tested to over 1000.

The tinder is quick and easy to use, just pull it apart some to expose the finer cotton fibers and it’s ready to accept the spark. No need to waste time and effort shaving magnesium with your knife, nor do you then have to collect the small shavings, especially difficult if it’s windy. It has an unlimited storage life and doesn’t need to be kept in sealed airtight packaging, unlike Ultimate Survival’s WetFire brand tinder. Each piece of tinder will burn for two to three minutes.

Fox 40 Rescue Howler Whistle: When we started developing this kit, it was obvious that we needed a compact whistle; there wasn’t room for a full-sized one. Too many cheap kits include insubstantial novelty whistles that don’t perform well or stand up to any abuse, not something to which you’d want to trust your life. Metal whistles can present problems in cold weather; potentially freezing to a survivor’s lips, so they were also out of the question. The whistle had to be as loud as possible for the size, it had to be robust enough to stand up to abuse and it preferably would exceed U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) specifications.

There were only two possible choices available that both fit the size requirements and met my minimum standards for performance and quality, the Acme 636 “Tornado” or the ACR “WW-3 Survival Whistle.” Both performed adequately, but neither had close to the performance of a Fox 40, the best performing conventional size whistles available. For years I’ve carried in my pocket a Mini-Fox 40 with the side plates cut down, resulting in a pocket-sized whistle. However, even so modified it was not small enough for our purposes. I spoke with Foxtron, manufacturer of the Fox 40 line and discovered that they had actually considered making a slim whistle, had even done some prototypes, but the project had languished on the back burner for some time.

Timing is everything and it was the right time to ask. My query, combined with the accompanying potential of a ready market for significant quantities of the whistle, was enough to move the project to the front burner. Now, all they had to do was develop a better performing whistle at a size that would fit in the kit and for a price we could afford.

The better part of a year later I was shipped a prototype. Its performance was very close to that of the full-sized Fox-40, they got that part right. Unfortunately, for our purposes at least, they got carried away with some design considerations for the mass market that resulted in a whistle a full 3/4-inch too long for our purposes. The basic whistle wasn’t too long, just the integrated carabiner style clip that they felt would give them a marketing edge. It sure did look sharp, I couldn’t argue that, but there was no way we could get it to fit. Would they make a special version just for us that was shorter with just a lanyard hole on the end? A sub-compact version of the compact whistle?

In a not inconsequential vote of confidence in the Pocket Survival Pak, they agreed to make us a special whistle. They even managed to add the feature of a dual-carriage lanyard hole so that the lanyard can be threaded side to side for comfortable flat carry around the neck, or it can be attached through a center slot for traditional or key chain carry. Either the heavy-duty nylon thread or the braided line in the PSP will work as a lanyard.

The Fox 40 Rescue Howler is a three-chamber, triple frequency whistle with the highest decibel level of any “slim” style whistle. The tested frequencies of the prototype are:

3934.61Hz�
4087.36 Hz�
4237.93 Hz

As for loudness, when measured in the same manner to the same weighted db scale (there is no industry standard), the Rescue Howler� achieved a db rating of 110. This compares to the Fox 40 Classic and Mini-Fox 40 at 115 db and the Acme Tornado at 107 db.

Bear in mind that decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, so that each decibel of difference is significantly more than the db numbers suggest on their face.

This is all well and good, but the true test is in the blowing and in field tests I conducted the Fox 40 Rescue Howler� was substantially louder than the Acme and ACR whistles and could be readily heard from approximately 20% further away under a variety of circumstances. That’s an increase worth blowing your horn about, if you’ll pardon a bad pun.

The Fox 40 Rescue Howler is made of tough ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) polymer in bright Rescue Yellow so it will not be easily lost if dropped.

Like all the Fox 40 designs, it is pealess, so that it is utterly and completely reliable. It instantly blows free any water if immersed and has no chamber to collect water that could freeze.

Rescue Flash� Signal Mirror: No item of gear for this kit created more challenges than the signal mirror. I was determined that the kit have a “real” signal mirror, one with a modern, mil-spec style, retro-reflective aiming aid that allows easy one-handed aiming. None of the misrepresentation, from my point of view, of calling a mirror without an integral aimer a signal mirror. Yes, any mirror can be used for signaling, using the two-handed aiming method, but so can anything reflective; they are a signal mirror in name only.

Also, no lining up a dot on your face viewed in the reflective back side of the mirror with the aiming hole either; this style aimer is awkward at best and can be difficult to use. It’s an anachronism from before there was a better technological solution. It had to be a retro-reflective aimer where all you need to do is align the “hot spot” in the aimer with the target in order to flash it.

It also had to perform well, with a signaling range appropriate to the job. Glass, the best performing material for a signal mirror, was out of the question because of its weight and fragility. It would have to be plastic, and that posed its own share of challenges.

Commercially available plastic mirrored material is, at its best, less reflective than glass, and much of it is a good deal less reflective. While the best hand-made plastic mirrors by Rescue Reflectors approach the performance of glass, even they do not equal it and each is hand tweaked for optimal performance. Each also costs more than the entire Pocket Survival Pak.

Mass-produced molded plastic mirrors, such as the Ultimate Survival Star Flash, a consumer market version of a current mil-spec mirror, are significantly less effective than glass, but their reduced performance is still adequate and it is an acceptable exchange for the benefits that come from plastic–lighter weight and virtually unbreakable. Unfortunately, the cost for this mirror was still prohibitive and, besides, they were too thick to easily fit in the kit.

Other plastic signal mirrors we examined were all deficient in one way or another. We eventually came to the conclusion that if we wanted a decent performing signal mirror that would fit in our kit at a price we could afford, we’d have to develop and produce one ourselves, offshore.

Thus began another yearlong odyssey. Numerous prototypes arrived from a number of potential suppliers in Asia, many of which were so far from what was acceptable that at times we were very nearly ready to give up in frustration. We finally received a prototype that worked, a near duplicate of an old-fashioned mil-spec glass mirror done in polycarbonate.

The only problem was that it was too thick to fit inside the kit. The next iteration was half the thickness, with the expected somewhat lower level of performance, though still quite adequate, and better than almost any other plastic mirror available. The problem was that it was so flexible that simply gripping the mirror too tightly while signaling would cause distortion that would cut down on its performance. The third time, like they say, was the charm. Slightly thicker, it was much more rigid and the performance was better, virtually equal or better than the current mil-spec mirror in signaling performance, and in a thinner package.

In field tests under less than optimum conditions (December, signaling from an urban location with less than pristine atmospheric conditions, in other words a fair amount of smog) the 2 x 3 inch (5.1 x 7.6 cm) Rescue Flash� signal mirror was visible to an observer at approximately 3500 feet above ground level (AGL) in a light aircraft from a distance of 23 miles and was readily noticeable from 2000 ft. AGL at 15 miles. From a practical perspective, this means that if you can see a search aircraft, it will be able to see your mirror flash. It also means that you can signal the horizon or a distant ridge with a decent chance that some person or aircraft you cannot see may see your signal if they are there, out of sight.

The retro-reflective fiberglass mesh in the aimer provides a bright and distinct “hot spot” for aiming. The see-though mesh makes it far easier to aim than mirrors with more obscured retro-reflective aimers, such as the ACR Hot Shot, or a solid cut-out form, such as the StarFlash.

We also tested the mirror in an environmental testing cabinet from minus 40� to 176� F (-40� to 80� C).

The double layer design ensures that the mirrored surface and aimer are protected and cannot be damaged. The instructions on the reverse of the mirror are sandwiched between the layers of polycarbonate, providing protection from being scratched or obliterated.

These instructions were tested on numerous na�ve subjects. We tried a variety of pictographs in an attempt to avoid text instructions, but found that many na�ve subjects simply didn’t get it, while the written instructions were nearly universally understood. Space limitations on the small mirror prevented us from using both.

Obviously, non-English speaking survivors would be at a disadvantage, but that also holds true for the Survival Instructions themselves, so we decided this was an acceptable compromise. We will continue to investigate alternative means of providing instructions, but for now, this is it.

Even the best aimer has only a limited range of effectiveness, so I also included instructions for aiming using the two-handed method. This allows a survivor to hit targets at higher angles off the sun or for other group members without their own signal mirror to use any reflective item as an additional improvised signal mirror.

The polycarbonate mirror face is protected to prevent scratching in storage. It can be removed and replaced so that a purchaser can practice with the mirror.

The brightly colored background on the mirror back makes it easier to find if dropped and the high contrast makes the instructions easy to read. There is also a lanyard hole for added security as the mirror is not inherently buoyant.

20mm Button Compass: As with much of the gear in the kit, we tested a number of companies’ products until we found an affordable compass that was reliable. With a 20 mm (0.79 in.) diameter, our button compass is large enough to be useful for basic wayfinding purposes. It is liquid damped for ease of use, but the magnetism is powerful enough that it reacts reasonably quickly. The groove around the midsection can accept an improvised lanyard ring made from the POCKET SURVIVAL PAK’s included wire or thread.

Test units survived numerous flights to above 10,000 ft and back down in a Cessna 182 until we were satisfied that they generally didn’t develop a bubble, one of the Achilles heels of liquid damped compasses.

The compass is stored away from the ferrous metal components of the kit (the stainless steel wire is non-magnetic). (Please note that in some early production kits the scalpel blade was incorrectly placed under the compass and the surgical stainless steel used in that blade for improved edge-holding will affect the compass to the extent that it will appear not to work when stored in the pouch

26 inches (66 cm) of 2-inch wide Duct Tape: It’s been said that if you can’t fix it with duct tape, it isn’t really broken. Duct tape is one of the most versatile items you can have on hand in many emergencies. It’s much more useful than the 3/4-inch (19 mm) electrical tape used to seal some other kits. And, unlike other pocket kits that include only 3.5 or 12 inches (9 – 30 cm) of duct tape, we include over two feet. That’s enough to be really useful, as opposed to just being able to patch a small hole or mend a small tear.

This is the same small-diameter roll included in Adventure Medical Kits’ GearAid “Go! Repair” kit and it has proven itself up to the task in the field for short-term repairs and resistant to degradation in storage from extremes of temperature (as much as any duct tape is, at any rate; we can’t work miracles). AMK assembles these rolls themselves from bulk packaged large rolls of tape. It is wound around a 1/4-inch diameter plastic tube. The grade of tape was selected as a compromise between a heavy industrial grade or mil-spec grade tape that is much thicker and would have allowed less than half as much in the same size roll and the very lightweight consumer grades that do not have as much tensile strength or as strong an adhesive.

6 ft. of .020 inch Stainless Steel Utility Wire: This is mil-spec grade safety lock wire (Type 302/304 MS20995 C 20) as commonly used on aircraft, spacecraft and race cars. It is stronger than brass wire, both in tensile strength and in resistance to fatigue, so it is less likely to break in use or in twisting. It is also less subject to embrittlement in very cold conditions. Being tougher, it can be more difficult to break if the survivor has no wire cutters (multi-purpose tool – Leatherman, etc.), so instructions for breaking it are included in the annotated Contents List.

10 ft. of Braided Nylon Cord: This braided nylon line is rated a minimum 150 lb. (68 kg) test. While some of the line we tested went as high as 205 lb. (93 kg) test, we chose to list the lower number to be on the conservative side in case suppliers change.

Poly line is cheaper, but not nearly as strong. Twisted line is cheaper, but unravels badly when cut and isn’t as strong.

50 ft. of #69 Black Nylon Thread / Fishing Line: This is heavy-duty nylon thread, not cheaper and weaker polyester. At a minimum of 10.5 lb. (4.8 kg) test, it is strong enough to double as fishing line. I’ve caught some nice sized fish using this line and the rest of the fishing gear in the kit.

Fishing Kit: The fishing kit is contained in a clear plastic vial with a press-fit cap. The fishing kit includes 4 medium Fish Hooks, 2 Removable Split Shot and 1 Snap Swivel. These are stored in a plastic zip-top bag to prevent rattles.

The decision to include the fishing gear was not easy. One could easily argue that it is relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things for a kit designed primarily to help support someone for a brief survival experience where sustenance, food, isn’t much of an issue.

In part, inclusion was a marketing decision based on the fact that most pocket kits include some fishing gear. It’s expected. And, there are plenty of hard-earned lessons in business that you ignore consumers’ expectations at your peril. When I researched what to include in my kit and how to set priorities for inclusion by surveying potential customers, a fishing kit was almost always on the list. Luckily, the cost of including fishing gear is relatively minuscule compared to almost everything else in the kit.

There is also another aspect to this. Having taken care of the basics such as medical issues, fire, shelter and signaling; a survivor is often faced with a potentially demoralizing psychological crisis–boredom. Fishing is one way to combat boredom, and again, it costs little to provide this therapeutic “escape.”

Some of this fishing gear can also be used for small game and bird snares.

Having decided to include some fishing gear, we decided to incorporate more than the one or two fish hooks commonly provided in many pocket survival kits. The assortment provides enough gear to get the job done, even if you lose a few pieces.

Fishhook size was selected to catch smaller fish within the weight range the tackle should be able to deal with. As the old saw goes, you can catch a big fish with a small hook, but you can’t catch a small fish with a big hook. But, too small is only asking to be frustrated. They are bait hooks because that’s the most likely way they will be used.

It was decided that a snap swivel should be included, despite the high cost relative to the rest of the fishing gear, as a result of advice from those more experienced than me who insist that a swivel makes for much more effective attraction of the fish when using improvised lures. It just makes sense to follow the advice of those with the expertise, so we did.

Heavy Duty Sewing Needle: Large enough to penetrate heavier materials and able to be used while wearing gloves, this needle also boasts a fairly large eye making it easier to thread. The needle is stored in the plastic vial, secured to the plastic bag of fishing gear to keep it from rattling and getting lost.

4 Safety Pins: A safety pin is often the most expedient way to repair clothing or gear. It is also useful in securing other gear so it doesn’t get lost. Instead of just a single safety pin that many kits include, and often a small one at that, we include 4 medium-large safety pins. These are also stored in the plastic vial.

(Again, I’d like to emphasize that we have taken extra precautions that the metal objects stored in the plastic vial do not rattle)

3 sq. ft. (0.91 m) Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil: Sturdier than standard lightweight foil, ours has enough substance that with care it can be used to form a container to boil water for purification purposes. It can also be used as a reflector behind a fire, to protect dry wood under a fire built on snow (if there’s no ready supply of green wood) as well as for many other purposes.

Miniature #2 Pencil and 2 pieces Waterproof Notepaper, 2.125 x 3.667 inches: Whether leaving a message for rescuers, writing yourself a note so you don’t forget something critical, or for keeping a log of your experience, it is a lot better if the paper doesn’t turn to mush if it gets wet.

#22 Scalpel Blade: First off, this is not a substitute for a real knife. The POCKET SURVIVAL PAK retail package “BONUS” Insert recommends a good knife always be carried in addition to this PSP. However, an ultra-sharp blade such as this can be very useful and it serves as a back-up for your primary blade. This stainless steel blade is packaged in sealed foil, preventing rust and corrosion. It won’t rust like the cheap single edge razor blades included in many pocket survival kits. Compared to the single edge razor blade often packed in lesser kits, this blade is more robust and has a real point and belly to the blade for more versatile functionality. The blade can be attached to a piece of branch using the wire in the POCKET SURVIVAL PAK to improvise a knife with a handle.

Fresnel Lens Magnifier – 2 x 3 inches: The primary purpose of this magnifier is to make it easier to read the relatively small print of the Survival Instructions, particularly if eye glasses or contacts are lost. It will also function as a back-up fire starter, if the sun is out.

Contents List: This list is visible through the back of the kit pouch, so anyone who picks it up will know what is included, even if the original “owner” is unable to assist. It is annotated with suggestions or instructions for use of some of the items and was written by me.

Pocketsize Clear Vinyl Pouch: At 4 x 5 inches (10 x 13 cm), this pouch is truly pocket-sized and features a waterproof zip-top closure. The top can be folded over to reduce the width to a mere 3.5 inches (8.9 cm). When sealed with the standard contents inside it will float. You can add up to 4 ounces (11 g) additional contents, double what’s there, and it will still float, even without purposely trapping additional air inside. The hole provided for pegboard display can be used to attach a lanyard for added security or alternative carry, such as around the neck. The hole will support 25 lbs. (11 kg) in tension with #15 twine before failing.

This is the same pouch Adventure Medical Kits has long used for its Pocket Medic and Blister Medic kits, among others, and is well proven in the field. The pouch is sturdy and will stand up to a good deal of abuse, but the entire kit is somewhat flexible (bearing in mind the rigid mirror that serves to anchor the kit), adding to the comfort quotient and ease of carriage in almost any pocket. It remains flexible even in frigid temperatures, we tested it to -40� F (-40� C).

The clear pouch is a compromise between the toughness of a metal or plastic hard container and the deficits they bring in comfort, bulk and cost. While it isn’t as durable as a metal or hard plastic container, the clear pouch allows the high quality contents to be seen in a retail display so there’s nothing hidden, and to also check on their condition to ensure they are all still there and in good condition. Since it can be opened and resealed (with one hand, I might add), a purchaser can practice with the firestarter and the signal mirror and there is plenty of room to add personal medications, some matches or a small lighter, or water purification tablets to name a few possibilities.

Contents list written by Doug Ritter

How to use a Star Flash Signal Mirror

http://www.dougritter.com/psp_rescueflash.htm

Where to Purchase Kits

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/Survival%20Kits.htm

Belt Pouch Survival Kit

Mini Survival Belt kit

Ive had enough gear left over from various projects to attempt to make up a mini survival kit, but no matter how I tried there was no way I could compete with price in purchasing one of Doug Ritters AMK Kits when trying to purchase bits and pieces from multiple stores and then including shipping. The only items I couldnt find much use in were the safety pins and the scapel blade, but left them in anyway, as you never know. The scapel blade is atleast sanitary incase of needing to remove splinters etc from skin. It took me a while to figure out what the black nylon cord was, almost 6 months actually. Dacron bow string line. Figured it out while making up some new strings for my bow and thought Id recognised it some where before. Having strings pre-made, they look different in multiple strands as compared to a singular strand base material.

Added to the kit which is stored in a Maxpedition 4’x6″ Pouch is a McNett Frontier Filter Straw for water purification. A small Sea to Summit Pak Tap water bladder, a Photon Micro light-attached to the zipper pull and a TOPS Bagdad Boxcutter knife. I did start off with a TOPS Ferret but found I could use the boxcutter to baton with being 1/4 inch thick and assigned the ferret to my Micro Fishing Kit. A mini TOPS harpoon could be substituted for a hunting tool, but then you loose the batoning advantage.

I do have a small chisel ground D2 Adze which Im thinking of combining with the spear head to have a chopping tool seperate from a hunting tool in case of actually catching something and having it decide to run off with an impaled spear head, loosing a cutting tool at the same time. The Mcnett Filter straw removes pathogens down to 2 microns and works on a charcoal filter system. Chemical types of purification tablets have short use by dates after opening and I find leave a foul taste after using. If happening to get a hole in the bladder, chemical sytems are no longer of any use without a container to use them in. The original plastic tube included with the straw has been replaced with a piece of surgical rubber tubing. This could double as a mechanism for a snare but makes it easier to pack into a small space, being foldable.

I prefer to have a bum bag kit with a first aid module included for most hikes but atleast having something attached to a belt, it will always be on you and not left in camp. It only takes a few moments to have an accident occur and not be able to reach equipment. Im also trying to figure out how to squeeze in a refective blanket. It may fit by removing the bladder from its protective pouch, but then I loose the carrying ability of the shoulder strap.�

Spark-Lite Firestarter – current U.S. military issue, waterproof, useable one-handed, over 1000 sparkings in tests

4 Spark-Lite Tinder-Quik – current U.S. military issue, waterproof, wax impregnated cotton tinder in zip-top plastic bag, each burns 2-3 minutes

Fox-40 Rescue Howler Survival Whistle – designed exclusively for this kit, triple frequency, exceeds U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS specifications, bright yellow with dual mode lanyard hole

Rescue Flash Signal Mirror, 2 x 3 inches (5 x 7.6 cm) Lexan polycarbonate with mil-spec style retro-reflective aiming aid for one-handed use, instructions on back, protective cover to prevent scratches while stored in the kit, lanyard hole.

20mm Survival Compass – liquid damped with groove to accept an improvised lanyard ring

Duct Tape – 26 inches x 2 inches (66 x 5 cm), rolled around plastic mandrel, repairs, first aid, the ultimate repair and improvisation component, uses limited only by your imagination

Stainless Steel Utility Wire – 6 ft. of .020 inch (1.83 m x 0.5 mm) mil-spec grade, stronger than brass, won’t get brittle in frigid cold, multiple uses

Braided Nylon Cord – 10 ft. (3 m) 150+ lb. (68+ kg) test, won’t unravel, shelter building, repairs and much more

#69 Black Nylon Thread – 50 ft. (15.2 m), 10.5 lb. (4.8 kg) test, repairs, fishing line, light duty lashing and much more

Fishing Kit – 4 x medium Fish Hooks, 2 x Split Shot and 1 x Snap Swivel, in a clear plastic vial with cap.

Heavy Duty Sewing Needle – will penetrate heavy materials, easy to grip, large eye for easy threading

4 Safety Pins – repairs, secure items to prevent loss and much more

Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil – 3 sq. ft. (0.9 sq. m), make container to boil water, reflect fire heat and much more

#2 Pencil and Waterproof Notepaper – 2 pieces 2.125 x 3.667 inches (5.4 x 9.3 cm), leave notes, memory aid, keep log

#22 Scalpel Blade – stainless steel, in sealed foil packaging, more functional than a single-edged razor blade

Kit Specific Illustrated Survival Instructions – authored by Doug Ritter, 33 illustrations, on waterproof paper, detailed, easy to understand, practical information

Contents List – viewable through pouch back so anyone can see what’s inside even if kit’s owner can no longer assist, annotated, complements Survival Instructions, can be used as tinder

Fresnel Lens Magnifier – 2 x 3 inches (5 x 7.6 cm), in protective sleeve, read small type in survival instructions if glasses lost, start fire using sun

Pocketsize Clear Vinyl Pouch – 4 x 5 inches (10.2 x 12.7 cm), 4 x 3.25 inches (10.2 x 8.3 cm) with top folded over, waterproof zip-top closure, lanyard hole, it really does fit in your pocket.

Weight: 3.9 oz (111 g) – you will barely know it is there until you need it to save your life�

Spark-Lite & Tinder-Quik: I wanted a reliable and compact firestarter. Fire is just too critical to have anything but the best that would fit our packaging limitations. Ideally, it should be able to be operated with one hand and reliability concerns precluded matches and lighters. It had to be waterproof and we needed waterproof tinder to complement the firestarter.

The Spark-Lite is the current U.S. military issue firestarter. For the military it is packed in a small plastic matchbox size box with non-waterproof instructions and 8 pieces of tinder, available in OD or bright orange. We got rid of the box, included 4 pieces of tinder in a plastic zip-top bag and added the instructions to the waterproof POCKET SURVIVAL PAK’s Survival Instructions. We selected the orange version, so it is less likely to be lost if dropped.

This is an artificial (ferrocium) flint and steel firestarter, completely waterproof. If it gets wet, just shake off the water and it’s good to go. The wax-impregnated cotton tinder is also waterproof.

One of this firestarter’s big advantages is that it can be used one-handed, unlike most other flint and steel firestarters (the Ultimate Survival Blast Match being the exception, but it is far larger and heavier, almost as heavy as the entire POCKET SURVIVAL PAK, actually). Just rotate the sparking wheel of the Spark-Lite in the direction of the arrows and get a shower of sparks. It’s not unlike using a traditional lighter; the steel wheel and a flint rod under spring pressure do the job, but it generates a lot more sparks. It is rated for hundreds of sparkings and some random samples have been tested to over 1000.

The tinder is quick and easy to use, just pull it apart some to expose the finer cotton fibers and it’s ready to accept the spark. No need to waste time and effort shaving magnesium with your knife, nor do you then have to collect the small shavings, especially difficult if it’s windy. It has an unlimited storage life and doesn’t need to be kept in sealed airtight packaging, unlike Ultimate Survival’s WetFire brand tinder. Each piece of tinder will burn for two to three minutes.

Fox 40 Rescue Howler Whistle: When we started developing this kit, it was obvious that we needed a compact whistle; there wasn’t room for a full-sized one. Too many cheap kits include insubstantial novelty whistles that don’t perform well or stand up to any abuse, not something to which you’d want to trust your life. Metal whistles can present problems in cold weather; potentially freezing to a survivor’s lips, so they were also out of the question. The whistle had to be as loud as possible for the size, it had to be robust enough to stand up to abuse and it preferably would exceed U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) specifications.

There were only two possible choices available that both fit the size requirements and met my minimum standards for performance and quality, the Acme 636 “Tornado” or the ACR “WW-3 Survival Whistle.” Both performed adequately, but neither had close to the performance of a Fox 40, the best performing conventional size whistles available. For years I’ve carried in my pocket a Mini-Fox 40 with the side plates cut down, resulting in a pocket-sized whistle. However, even so modified it was not small enough for our purposes. I spoke with Foxtron, manufacturer of the Fox 40 line and discovered that they had actually considered making a slim whistle, had even done some prototypes, but the project had languished on the back burner for some time.

Timing is everything and it was the right time to ask. My query, combined with the accompanying potential of a ready market for significant quantities of the whistle, was enough to move the project to the front burner. Now, all they had to do was develop a better performing whistle at a size that would fit in the kit and for a price we could afford.

The better part of a year later I was shipped a prototype. Its performance was very close to that of the full-sized Fox-40, they got that part right. Unfortunately, for our purposes at least, they got carried away with some design considerations for the mass market that resulted in a whistle a full 3/4-inch too long for our purposes. The basic whistle wasn’t too long, just the integrated carabiner style clip that they felt would give them a marketing edge. It sure did look sharp, I couldn’t argue that, but there was no way we could get it to fit. Would they make a special version just for us that was shorter with just a lanyard hole on the end? A sub-compact version of the compact whistle?

In a not inconsequential vote of confidence in the Pocket Survival Pak, they agreed to make us a special whistle. They even managed to add the feature of a dual-carriage lanyard hole so that the lanyard can be threaded side to side for comfortable flat carry around the neck, or it can be attached through a center slot for traditional or key chain carry. Either the heavy-duty nylon thread or the braided line in the PSP will work as a lanyard.

The Fox 40 Rescue Howler is a three-chamber, triple frequency whistle with the highest decibel level of any “slim” style whistle. The tested frequencies of the prototype are:

3934.61Hz�
4087.36 Hz�
4237.93 Hz

As for loudness, when measured in the same manner to the same weighted db scale (there is no industry standard), the Rescue Howler� achieved a db rating of 110. This compares to the Fox 40 Classic and Mini-Fox 40 at 115 db and the Acme Tornado at 107 db.

Bear in mind that decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, so that each decibel of difference is significantly more than the db numbers suggest on their face.

This is all well and good, but the true test is in the blowing and in field tests I conducted the Fox 40 Rescue Howler� was substantially louder than the Acme and ACR whistles and could be readily heard from approximately 20% further away under a variety of circumstances. That’s an increase worth blowing your horn about, if you’ll pardon a bad pun.

The Fox 40 Rescue Howler is made of tough ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) polymer in bright Rescue Yellow so it will not be easily lost if dropped.

Like all the Fox 40 designs, it is pealess, so that it is utterly and completely reliable. It instantly blows free any water if immersed and has no chamber to collect water that could freeze.

Rescue Flash� Signal Mirror: No item of gear for this kit created more challenges than the signal mirror. I was determined that the kit have a “real” signal mirror, one with a modern, mil-spec style, retro-reflective aiming aid that allows easy one-handed aiming. None of the misrepresentation, from my point of view, of calling a mirror without an integral aimer a signal mirror. Yes, any mirror can be used for signaling, using the two-handed aiming method, but so can anything reflective; they are a signal mirror in name only.

Also, no lining up a dot on your face viewed in the reflective back side of the mirror with the aiming hole either; this style aimer is awkward at best and can be difficult to use. It’s an anachronism from before there was a better technological solution. It had to be a retro-reflective aimer where all you need to do is align the “hot spot” in the aimer with the target in order to flash it.

It also had to perform well, with a signaling range appropriate to the job. Glass, the best performing material for a signal mirror, was out of the question because of its weight and fragility. It would have to be plastic, and that posed its own share of challenges.

Commercially available plastic mirrored material is, at its best, less reflective than glass, and much of it is a good deal less reflective. While the best hand-made plastic mirrors by Rescue Reflectors approach the performance of glass, even they do not equal it and each is hand tweaked for optimal performance. Each also costs more than the entire Pocket Survival Pak.

Mass-produced molded plastic mirrors, such as the Ultimate Survival Star Flash, a consumer market version of a current mil-spec mirror, are significantly less effective than glass, but their reduced performance is still adequate and it is an acceptable exchange for the benefits that come from plastic–lighter weight and virtually unbreakable. Unfortunately, the cost for this mirror was still prohibitive and, besides, they were too thick to easily fit in the kit.

Other plastic signal mirrors we examined were all deficient in one way or another. We eventually came to the conclusion that if we wanted a decent performing signal mirror that would fit in our kit at a price we could afford, we’d have to develop and produce one ourselves, offshore.

Thus began another yearlong odyssey. Numerous prototypes arrived from a number of potential suppliers in Asia, many of which were so far from what was acceptable that at times we were very nearly ready to give up in frustration. We finally received a prototype that worked, a near duplicate of an old-fashioned mil-spec glass mirror done in polycarbonate.

The only problem was that it was too thick to fit inside the kit. The next iteration was half the thickness, with the expected somewhat lower level of performance, though still quite adequate, and better than almost any other plastic mirror available. The problem was that it was so flexible that simply gripping the mirror too tightly while signaling would cause distortion that would cut down on its performance. The third time, like they say, was the charm. Slightly thicker, it was much more rigid and the performance was better, virtually equal or better than the current mil-spec mirror in signaling performance, and in a thinner package.

In field tests under less than optimum conditions (December, signaling from an urban location with less than pristine atmospheric conditions, in other words a fair amount of smog) the 2 x 3 inch (5.1 x 7.6 cm) Rescue Flash� signal mirror was visible to an observer at approximately 3500 feet above ground level (AGL) in a light aircraft from a distance of 23 miles and was readily noticeable from 2000 ft. AGL at 15 miles. From a practical perspective, this means that if you can see a search aircraft, it will be able to see your mirror flash. It also means that you can signal the horizon or a distant ridge with a decent chance that some person or aircraft you cannot see may see your signal if they are there, out of sight.

The retro-reflective fiberglass mesh in the aimer provides a bright and distinct “hot spot” for aiming. The see-though mesh makes it far easier to aim than mirrors with more obscured retro-reflective aimers, such as the ACR Hot Shot, or a solid cut-out form, such as the StarFlash.

We also tested the mirror in an environmental testing cabinet from minus 40� to 176� F (-40� to 80� C).

The double layer design ensures that the mirrored surface and aimer are protected and cannot be damaged. The instructions on the reverse of the mirror are sandwiched between the layers of polycarbonate, providing protection from being scratched or obliterated.

These instructions were tested on numerous na�ve subjects. We tried a variety of pictographs in an attempt to avoid text instructions, but found that many na�ve subjects simply didn’t get it, while the written instructions were nearly universally understood. Space limitations on the small mirror prevented us from using both.

Obviously, non-English speaking survivors would be at a disadvantage, but that also holds true for the Survival Instructions themselves, so we decided this was an acceptable compromise. We will continue to investigate alternative means of providing instructions, but for now, this is it.

Even the best aimer has only a limited range of effectiveness, so I also included instructions for aiming using the two-handed method. This allows a survivor to hit targets at higher angles off the sun or for other group members without their own signal mirror to use any reflective item as an additional improvised signal mirror.

The polycarbonate mirror face is protected to prevent scratching in storage. It can be removed and replaced so that a purchaser can practice with the mirror.

The brightly colored background on the mirror back makes it easier to find if dropped and the high contrast makes the instructions easy to read. There is also a lanyard hole for added security as the mirror is not inherently buoyant.

20mm Button Compass: As with much of the gear in the kit, we tested a number of companies’ products until we found an affordable compass that was reliable. With a 20 mm (0.79 in.) diameter, our button compass is large enough to be useful for basic wayfinding purposes. It is liquid damped for ease of use, but the magnetism is powerful enough that it reacts reasonably quickly. The groove around the midsection can accept an improvised lanyard ring made from the POCKET SURVIVAL PAK’s included wire or thread.

Test units survived numerous flights to above 10,000 ft and back down in a Cessna 182 until we were satisfied that they generally didn’t develop a bubble, one of the Achilles heels of liquid damped compasses.

The compass is stored away from the ferrous metal components of the kit (the stainless steel wire is non-magnetic). (Please note that in some early production kits the scalpel blade was incorrectly placed under the compass and the surgical stainless steel used in that blade for improved edge-holding will affect the compass to the extent that it will appear not to work when stored in the pouch

26 inches (66 cm) of 2-inch wide Duct Tape: It’s been said that if you can’t fix it with duct tape, it isn’t really broken. Duct tape is one of the most versatile items you can have on hand in many emergencies. It’s much more useful than the 3/4-inch (19 mm) electrical tape used to seal some other kits. And, unlike other pocket kits that include only 3.5 or 12 inches (9 – 30 cm) of duct tape, we include over two feet. That’s enough to be really useful, as opposed to just being able to patch a small hole or mend a small tear.

This is the same small-diameter roll included in Adventure Medical Kits’ GearAid “Go! Repair” kit and it has proven itself up to the task in the field for short-term repairs and resistant to degradation in storage from extremes of temperature (as much as any duct tape is, at any rate; we can’t work miracles). AMK assembles these rolls themselves from bulk packaged large rolls of tape. It is wound around a 1/4-inch diameter plastic tube. The grade of tape was selected as a compromise between a heavy industrial grade or mil-spec grade tape that is much thicker and would have allowed less than half as much in the same size roll and the very lightweight consumer grades that do not have as much tensile strength or as strong an adhesive.

6 ft. of .020 inch Stainless Steel Utility Wire: This is mil-spec grade safety lock wire (Type 302/304 MS20995 C 20) as commonly used on aircraft, spacecraft and race cars. It is stronger than brass wire, both in tensile strength and in resistance to fatigue, so it is less likely to break in use or in twisting. It is also less subject to embrittlement in very cold conditions. Being tougher, it can be more difficult to break if the survivor has no wire cutters (multi-purpose tool – Leatherman, etc.), so instructions for breaking it are included in the annotated Contents List.

10 ft. of Braided Nylon Cord: This braided nylon line is rated a minimum 150 lb. (68 kg) test. While some of the line we tested went as high as 205 lb. (93 kg) test, we chose to list the lower number to be on the conservative side in case suppliers change.

Poly line is cheaper, but not nearly as strong. Twisted line is cheaper, but unravels badly when cut and isn’t as strong.

50 ft. of #69 Black Nylon Thread / Fishing Line: This is heavy-duty nylon thread, not cheaper and weaker polyester. At a minimum of 10.5 lb. (4.8 kg) test, it is strong enough to double as fishing line. I’ve caught some nice sized fish using this line and the rest of the fishing gear in the kit.

Fishing Kit: The fishing kit is contained in a clear plastic vial with a press-fit cap. The fishing kit includes 4 medium Fish Hooks, 2 Removable Split Shot and 1 Snap Swivel. These are stored in a plastic zip-top bag to prevent rattles.

The decision to include the fishing gear was not easy. One could easily argue that it is relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of things for a kit designed primarily to help support someone for a brief survival experience where sustenance, food, isn’t much of an issue.

In part, inclusion was a marketing decision based on the fact that most pocket kits include some fishing gear. It’s expected. And, there are plenty of hard-earned lessons in business that you ignore consumers’ expectations at your peril. When I researched what to include in my kit and how to set priorities for inclusion by surveying potential customers, a fishing kit was almost always on the list. Luckily, the cost of including fishing gear is relatively minuscule compared to almost everything else in the kit.

There is also another aspect to this. Having taken care of the basics such as medical issues, fire, shelter and signaling; a survivor is often faced with a potentially demoralizing psychological crisis–boredom. Fishing is one way to combat boredom, and again, it costs little to provide this therapeutic “escape.”

Some of this fishing gear can also be used for small game and bird snares.

Having decided to include some fishing gear, we decided to incorporate more than the one or two fish hooks commonly provided in many pocket survival kits. The assortment provides enough gear to get the job done, even if you lose a few pieces.

Fishhook size was selected to catch smaller fish within the weight range the tackle should be able to deal with. As the old saw goes, you can catch a big fish with a small hook, but you can’t catch a small fish with a big hook. But, too small is only asking to be frustrated. They are bait hooks because that’s the most likely way they will be used.

It was decided that a snap swivel should be included, despite the high cost relative to the rest of the fishing gear, as a result of advice from those more experienced than me who insist that a swivel makes for much more effective attraction of the fish when using improvised lures. It just makes sense to follow the advice of those with the expertise, so we did.

Heavy Duty Sewing Needle: Large enough to penetrate heavier materials and able to be used while wearing gloves, this needle also boasts a fairly large eye making it easier to thread. The needle is stored in the plastic vial, secured to the plastic bag of fishing gear to keep it from rattling and getting lost.

4 Safety Pins: A safety pin is often the most expedient way to repair clothing or gear. It is also useful in securing other gear so it doesn’t get lost. Instead of just a single safety pin that many kits include, and often a small one at that, we include 4 medium-large safety pins. These are also stored in the plastic vial.

(Again, I’d like to emphasize that we have taken extra precautions that the metal objects stored in the plastic vial do not rattle)

3 sq. ft. (0.91 m) Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil: Sturdier than standard lightweight foil, ours has enough substance that with care it can be used to form a container to boil water for purification purposes. It can also be used as a reflector behind a fire, to protect dry wood under a fire built on snow (if there’s no ready supply of green wood) as well as for many other purposes.

Miniature #2 Pencil and 2 pieces Waterproof Notepaper, 2.125 x 3.667 inches: Whether leaving a message for rescuers, writing yourself a note so you don’t forget something critical, or for keeping a log of your experience, it is a lot better if the paper doesn’t turn to mush if it gets wet.

#22 Scalpel Blade: First off, this is not a substitute for a real knife. The POCKET SURVIVAL PAK retail package “BONUS” Insert recommends a good knife always be carried in addition to this PSP. However, an ultra-sharp blade such as this can be very useful and it serves as a back-up for your primary blade. This stainless steel blade is packaged in sealed foil, preventing rust and corrosion. It won’t rust like the cheap single edge razor blades included in many pocket survival kits. Compared to the single edge razor blade often packed in lesser kits, this blade is more robust and has a real point and belly to the blade for more versatile functionality. The blade can be attached to a piece of branch using the wire in the POCKET SURVIVAL PAK to improvise a knife with a handle.

Fresnel Lens Magnifier – 2 x 3 inches: The primary purpose of this magnifier is to make it easier to read the relatively small print of the Survival Instructions, particularly if eye glasses or contacts are lost. It will also function as a back-up fire starter, if the sun is out.

Contents List: This list is visible through the back of the kit pouch, so anyone who picks it up will know what is included, even if the original “owner” is unable to assist. It is annotated with suggestions or instructions for use of some of the items and was written by me.

Pocketsize Clear Vinyl Pouch: At 4 x 5 inches (10 x 13 cm), this pouch is truly pocket-sized and features a waterproof zip-top closure. The top can be folded over to reduce the width to a mere 3.5 inches (8.9 cm). When sealed with the standard contents inside it will float. You can add up to 4 ounces (11 g) additional contents, double what’s there, and it will still float, even without purposely trapping additional air inside. The hole provided for pegboard display can be used to attach a lanyard for added security or alternative carry, such as around the neck. The hole will support 25 lbs. (11 kg) in tension with #15 twine before failing.

This is the same pouch Adventure Medical Kits has long used for its Pocket Medic and Blister Medic kits, among others, and is well proven in the field. The pouch is sturdy and will stand up to a good deal of abuse, but the entire kit is somewhat flexible (bearing in mind the rigid mirror that serves to anchor the kit), adding to the comfort quotient and ease of carriage in almost any pocket. It remains flexible even in frigid temperatures, we tested it to -40� F (-40� C).

The clear pouch is a compromise between the toughness of a metal or plastic hard container and the deficits they bring in comfort, bulk and cost. While it isn’t as durable as a metal or hard plastic container, the clear pouch allows the high quality contents to be seen in a retail display so there’s nothing hidden, and to also check on their condition to ensure they are all still there and in good condition. Since it can be opened and resealed (with one hand, I might add), a purchaser can practice with the firestarter and the signal mirror and there is plenty of room to add personal medications, some matches or a small lighter, or water purification tablets to name a few possibilities.

Contents list written by Doug Ritter

How to use a Star Flash Signal Mirror

http://www.dougritter.com/psp_rescueflash.htm

Where to Purchase Kits

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/Survival%20Kits.htm

Longer Term Bug Out Shelters

Longer Term Bug Out Shelters�

It’s been a while since I’ve owned a tent preferring to sleep under the stars in either a swag when traveling by vehicle or bivi bag when going light weight. Using these in association with an 8’x10′ tarp or hootchie worked well for me at the time of year that I’d like to go camping. �

When I started to research bug out bags I decided, I may need to have the availability of a shelter that would provide four season protection and be large enough for long term use if neccessary . I’ve always been put off tents and all the poles and usually prefer canvas to keep down condensation. Canvas now not being an option, due to weight and bulk considerations when possibly traveling by foot or with reduced space within a vehicle.�

I have stayed in traditional Indian tipi’s/teepee and found them a great way to camp for long periods of time. You can lift the sides in summer to allow a breeze through or have a fire inside for warmth in winter. I essentially wanted to combine these elements with newer light weight materials that didn’t require as many poles. So the search began.�

It didn’t take me long on the net to find several different options. Tentipi a Swedish manufacturer, Kifaru and Golite being American and Frisport a Norwegian company, all the sites are� well worth checking out, particularly Kifaru for setting up procedures and hints. All brands make light weight tipis to suit between 4 to 16 people. �

The Golite brand was the only one that made a smaller 3 person version which was more suitable for camping by myself and actually available in Australia. Two weeks later I owned my first tipi/teepee.

The Golite Hex 3 is made from rip stop nylon that has been impregnated with silicon and only weighs 2lbs and stores in a bag smaller than a foot ball. It can be set up with or without the centre pole and comes with optional accessories of floor and interior bug net.(Length 9ft 6in x Width 8ft 2in x Height 5ft 6in). Colours available are sage/green or sun/yellow.�

I didn’t bother to order any of the accessories as I use my bivi bag in conjunction with the tipi, providing me with a bug free area for sleeping. Having no floor has many advantages. �

One of the things that have always annoyed me about tents is the amount of dirt that accumulates just from walking through the door. No problem without a floor. No cleaning up over spilt food or liquid, fire wood can be stored just inside the entrance to keep dry; a bivi bag can be pegged down without putting holes through a floor liner and less condensation. �

I generally carry a small tarp or hootchie to lay down as a staging area for my equipment. It’s generally a good idea to dig a rain gutter around the shelter when not using a floor for inclement weather. The tent pegs I have started to use for everything from hootchie’s, swags, bivi’s and now tipi’s are called twizzle pegs and essentially a T shape with a threaded end made from heavy duty light weight plastic.�

Due to the thread hold firmer in the ground and for easier removal just by reversing the procedure of screwing them in, no more hammers or difficulties pulling pegs.�

Essentially hitec tipis offer the same advantages of the originals being aerodynamic in strong winds and providing comfortable living space, but with the additional advantages of modern materials- reductions in weight, in both cover material and poles also ease of assembly.�

I’ve had to live in tents for several weeks on end as opposed to camping for short periods of time, in between housing leases. Having the ability to heat and cook under shelter in inclement weather and just to be able to stand up is a major moral booster.�

For one person in a bug out situation, I choose the Golite. This is the only brand that came in a small enough model. However for more permanent accommodation I would opt for one of the other brands, in a larger size.�

Kifaru offer 4, 6, 8, 12, and 16 person sizes in either white or coyote brown made from para-glider material.�

Tentipi offer 3 versions with slightly different features which are best to research on Song of the Paddle forums. Without being able to see them in person I can’t really comment on the differences. Essentially they come in 5, 7, and 9 person sizes. The Varrie is the top of the line model and is made in a choice of heavy duty coptol T4 in beige or lighter HT-62 ripstop in green. This is followed by the Arron made only in the beige T4 and the Vagge made in lightweight Fly 87 polymide ripstop material in green.�

The Frisport Lavvu’s come in three materials standard (polyester) and extreme (rip stop polyester) which is aluminum coated in a dark olive colour and rip stop cotton that can be set up semi permanently with an additional pole structure. There are choices of five different models depending on size.

Holleia (12-15)

Bamse (10-12)

Skogshorn (8-10)

Andersnatten (6-8)

Norefjell (4)�

In looking for a larger size that would suit more permanent accommodation and be able to house between 6- 8 people if necessary and be within my price range. The Kifaru in a 6 person coyote brown measures 14’10″x13’2″ with a height of 7’6″. In the Tentipi brand I could only afford one model in the colour I wanted. A Vagge7 measuring 14’9″ diameter x 8’10” height. The Frisport Lavvu in an Andersnatten (6-8) measures 8’5″ polygonal sides, 13′ diameter and 9’8″ height. The extreme version in rip stop is only an additional $35 EURO and 100 EURO for shipping.�

I found that Tentipi didn’t return my enquiries and of the three agents I approached in the UK were either; very expensive, weren’t interested in selling overseas or didn’t return my emails. Frisport returned my email within a day and supplied an agent (Friluftsshop) who returned all enquiries promptly. Their websites were also much easier to understand at the time.�

It came down to a personal choice between� Kifaru and� Lavvu. The Lavvu’s have more tie downs around the sides and the extreme versions are made of rip stop material, which was the clincher. After reading The Real Heroes of the Telemark by Ray Mears I figured if a tent could survive Norwegian conditions then it could survive anywhere. Since that time I am now considering a mid sized Kifaru version in coyote brown to better suit the terrain I now travel through.�


Links�

Golite

http://www.golite.com.au/

Kifaru

http://www.kifaru.net/

Tentipi

http://www.tentipi.com/

Twizzle Pegs

http://www.kitbag.com.au/

Frisport Lavvu

http://www.frisport.com/sites/produkter.asp?id=19&myActive=19&sitemod=gruppe

Friluftsshop/Lavvu

http://www.friluftsshop.dk/

Bug Out Bags – How to Get Started

Bug Out Bags

How to get Started

and then what?�

BOB Modules�

The term Bug Out Bag, gets bantered around alot. You’d think it would be easy to set one up from all the information on the net. Essentually theyre made up of;�

1) Clothing – for winter and summer conditions consisting of a base layer, second or mid layer, outer layer and accessories such as boots and gloves etc. By layering your clothing you avoid sweating, which is a killer whether in summer or winter. It will leed to hyperthermia in either extreme.�

2) Hygiene – Sure you can go a couple of weeks without a shower and just the basics, but what about after that if the situation demands a longer term answer. Even basic hygeine will avoid salmanella poisoning when handling food� and contaminating water supplies.�

3) Shelter – The better organised in this area, the less exposure to the elements. Then the longer it remains easier to rely on your own support.�

4) Communications – Not just with other people, but also what is occuring on the outside world and around you.�

5) Navigation – Doesnt have to be fancy, just a good old map and compass will outlast electronic gizmo’s.�

6) Fire – Dont just have one form of starting a fire. Have a kit set up with many differnt types, from flint and steel to butane lighters. The basics will last the longest and be the most reliable but trying to provide a heat source in a hurry under adverse conditions, should take every advantage you can get.�

7) Cooking- just the ability to boil water in a pot can be taken for granted by most, until they have to try living without the basics around polluted water sources.�

8) Food – Take to guess work out of menu’s and find a good source of MRE’s. Theyre designed to last 5 years and have breakfast, lunch and dinners all in the one package. No storage woe’s�

9) Water – Not just the amount you intend to carry but also cover purification methods.�

10) Tools – Bugging out just doesnt mean a short term camping trip but will also require supporting yourself, building shelter , hunting for additional food supplies etc.�

11) First Aid – A good kit, medical supplies and the knowledge of how to use them, should have more importance than most give it. You wont be able to run down or call the local GP post SHTF.�

12) Hunting /Foraging – Prepackaged foods will be great as a support base to get you on your feet but will need to be supplimented to last any time.�

13) Self Defense – Doesnt neccessarily mean firearms, but having the ability and tools whether pyhsically, mentally or hardware available to adequatley look after yourself.�

The standard description of a BOB is a 72 hour bag. Thats 3 days. Is that really enough in reality. Dont get me wrong, everyone should have a minimum of 3 days of supplies in a bag ready to go at any time as a backup. But I see more and more people relying on that bag as their primary support without ever testing the contents or themselves. It seems to have become more like a feel good solution, rather than a practical one.�

If leaving home and intending to return in a few days, or being away from home and trying to get back to your place of residence, or travelling to a pre-arranged destination, (retreat/bug out location). Then 3 days may be all thats needed, but as seen in several countries. In the US with Katrina or Australia with the Victorian bush fires. People are still homeless after many months. Three Days will get you out of there but then what. You’ll end up becoming nothing more than a refugee in your own country, probably only a few miles from where you originally lived. Having to rely on others or even worse, the government. It hard enough getting help out of them on a normal day, let alone during a national emergency. Your level of comfort during this time will rely on your own preparedness.�

Setting up bug out bags can be costly or cheap depending on how you want to begin and are generally upgraded often. When you start to find better items, it hard to stop. The points Im trying to get across are;

1) Test your gear and yourself to see if it will all work and not just for three days. Take three days of food and then try to extend yourself to see how long you may last in a real emergency.

2) Start thinking of not just short term but also senarios involving longer term options.

3) Start to consider modules as an option, meaning dont just have one kit prepared for what you think may occur to cover all bases but also several kits of varying sizes. to cover all eventualities and different lengths of time but also specialized items. I know easier said than done.�

I started out with a small pack to last a week, to cover what I thought were all bases. Then after testing found flaws. Either in the weight of not being able to carry that much gear anymore, or something as easy as underestimating my requirements in one or more of the above fields. I couldnt get it right no matter what I did. Carrying enough ammo for hunting and defense means the weight of multiple firearms, spare parts and cleaning equipment. A small first aid kit is great for hiking but not if a serious accident were to occur. Shelter is a good example. A hootchie is small, easy to set up and will provide the minimal needs for short term use, but what if you become stuck for extended periods and end up having to shelter more than yourself but family or friends also. We cant do everything by ourselves. We can only learn so many skills to cover so much information or stand on guard for so many hours, or own so much gear by ourselves. This is where networking with others comes into play.�

At this point I started upgrading my gear to try and find the perfect BOB for myself and came to the realization there was no such thing. I ended up with a lot of crap that I either sold off or traded on to others, but during that process also found what started to work for me. None of it however, was going to fit into the one bag to cover all eventualities. This is when I started to use a module system. This made it easier to load a vehicle. Ive taken hours to load my 4WD with gear for a normal camping trip. This is of no use if needing to bug out in under 15 minutes. It also made it possible that if one kit were compromised another could be used to back it up, never to rely on all my eggs in one basket. Compromised either by theft, breakages, or not spending the time rotating disposable stock before useby dates.�

A module system is making up multiple versions of bug out bags in various sizes and uses. They dont have to be top of the line gear in each bag, but be designed for easier use and carriage. A bumbag with the above contents to cover the basics is the first module. It can be carried anywhere, left in the car etc. I can last out of a bum bag for several days if required. It wouldnt be comfortable, but can be done. This is refered to as my short term or survival kit.�

From there I have a small backpack, 50 litres capacity. This is what is normally termed a 72 hour kit. I dont particuarlly like that usage. It refers that 3 days are all you could last for out of that amount of equipment. This module is my mid sized kit. This is stored in my vehicle to get me home or to leave my residence without having to pack. It has the same contents as the smaller kit, just larger items for more sustained use. The difference being, a small kit may just need a heavy duty space blanket to provide shelter. A mid term kit may have a tarp or hootchie. A long term kit will use a tent.�

I then set up a long term kit, once again with essentually the same items just capable of larger water filtraion, a tent instead of a hootchie etc. I had more comfort in mind with this set up and used a large rollar bag to hold all the equipment. From there I started to design specialist kits for supplement uses. These involved larger first aid only bags, with specialist items such as blood pressure cuffs, stethoscope, O2 Pulse Oxymeter, suture kits etc. A tactical bag. Once again a rollar bag but holding only firearms, ammo, larger cleaning kits, spare parts. A clothing bag holding enough for several weeks and a spare pair of boots. A pet bob to hold dog and cat first aid supplies, tinned food, dry food, leashes, bowls, etc. A shelter bag, holding a large teepee, extra blankets and tarps for flooring.�

Ive found by going this way I can hike out of an area using the smaller packs or be set up for longer stays with the larger set ups. Mostly stored in rollar bags, these can be moved and packed quickly. I dont intend to leave my pets behind and am in the process of building a bug out vehicle out of a small bus to provide shelter aswell as transport to permanently hold my gear without the need to pack in a hurry. Once again if I were on my own, the back of a car would hold enough equipment, but when you start to include pets, family, children, friends an alternative way of thinking comes into play. A small trailer can hold enough prepacked equipment and food to last several weeks or months and can be left permanently packed, ready to hitch up at a moments notice. Having everything packed into individual packs allows for easier access. �

Examples of First Aid in modules. I like to use AMK First Aid kits, based on price and the way their set up in different sizes. The lightweight .7 model is just the right size to fit into a Maxpedition vertical GP pouch attached to my snupak bumbag, along with a medication doset box and wilderness medical flash card booklet. The next kit up in size uses the .9 model. The pro model occupies my fast response pack for emergencies and my larger BOB. For large scale use I then went to Accidental First Aid’s 4WD survival kit. This is similar to whats issued to the SES(State Emergency Service/Cert) but with more componentry. Then specialist items from above are added with several books on wilderness first response, and military medicine.�

Water Purification modules use a McNett filter straw in my bumbag with a capacity of 20 gals/75 litres. I prefer the Katadyn brand of filters as Im not replacing the internals on a regular basis, ceramics last forever, just have to keep an eye on filtering muddy or tanic water. The mini in the ultra light series has a 2000 gal or 7000 litre capacity for my mid size bob. I keep meaning to purchase a katadyn pocket model as the larger filters are easier to pump. Having a capacity of 13000 gal/50000 litres. I currently use a camp model as these can be hung from a tree overnight and dont require pumping, gravity does all the work. Capacity of 5300 gal/20000litres for the larger kit. Ive just purchased the drip filter model after seeing a youtube vid of a young couple doing a 5 day test on their preps and the amount of fuel required either in wood or propane to make water portable. These filters use three filter candles that reach a filtering capacity of 40000gal/150000 litres. This is optimal for use in a house if bugging in or at a retreat. Im intending it for use within my bov.�

The shelter modules contain a heavy duty space blanket and poncho attached to the bumbag. The mid sized unit uses a hottchie. While the largest bob has a Go-lite tipi. The module I use for additional sheltering requirements for friends and as a backup for the bus are a Frisport Lavvu tipi, Andersnatten model for 6-8 people. Tipi’s allow the use of internal fires unlike standard tents. Kifaru is also a good brand.�

Links to the best BOB articles that influenced me.�

Bob is your Friend

http://www.donrearic.com/bob.htm

10 lessons learnt from bug out camp out

http://www.backwoodshome.com/columns/wolfe050301.html�

The big list

http://www.thesurvival-center.com/dl-list/di1-toc.htm

How to survive when disaster strikes – Dan Johnson

http://www.handgunsmag.com/tactics_training/bug_0722/

Outdoors Magizine Archives

http://outdoors.free.fr/

Neil andrews All Kitted out

http://outdoors.magazine.free.fr/spip.php?article103

TJIN A Different look at BOBs

http://outdoors.magazine.free.fr/spip.php?article205

Schwert Urban Prep Kits PT 1&2

http://outdoors.magazine.free.fr/spip.php?article171

http://outdoors.magazine.free.fr/spip.php?article172

Escape and Evasion Kit – SIGINT

�Communications and signals intelligence is a key factor for escape and evasion. Signals intelligence increases your situational awareness and �keeps you in the loop�.

SIGINT can easily be obtained with a Radio Frequency Scanner, also commonly referred to as a Police Scanner. An operative or survivalist invoking a bug out plan can utilize a scanner in every aspect of the operation.

� Key intelligence is broadcasted over the air waves every second of the day. One can receive weather reports for the area of operation; intercept news communications from a remotely stationed news van reporting back to the newsroom. Local police communications can also be intercepted with a properly equipped trunk-tracking scanner. Police communications will indicate where the disaster or incident has occurred, what units are stationed where, where the roadblocks are, what units are participating in the search and where they are located, and where refugees will be herded. Such intelligence will give key indications of what areas in the city to avoid.

�Radio Frequency Scanners are available with a wide variety of features from a long list of manufacturer�s. One of the easiest to use, trunk tracking, and multi-channel, fast scan brands is good old Radio Shack manufactured by GRE. The PRO series handheld units are very well suited for Escape and Evasion Kit use. These models include the Pro 92, 93, 95,96,99 and so on. Although they are not as fully featured as the high end Ham loved Alnico�s and AOR (which stands for Authority On Radio). They give a lot of bang for their buck. Also price wise they are more �disposable� then the high end models, i.e. confiscated, jettison for weight, lost, stolen, waterlogged.

�My Every Day Carry Escape and Evasion Kit carries a Radio Shack (GRE) Pro-97 Scanning Receiver. This is a radio shack catalog #20-527. I purchased from ebay for the total price of $89.00. With a little search one can find them on the Internet for under $100.00. Although it is larger than my Alinco DJ-X3, it fits in standard Military Issue Radio Holsters, including both ALICE and MOLLE. The PRO 97 has 1000 channels in 10 banks and is Triple Trunk Tracking. The frequency receiving range is 25-54, 108-174, 216.0025-512, 806-823.9875,849-868.9875,894-960 and 1240-1300 Mhz with a scan rate of 60cps. This allows the interception of most police radios, EMT units, Fire departments, AIR, CB, Most Ham Bands, FRS, GMRS. One of the most used features of this particular scanner is the Signal Stalker II. One push of a button allows the instant interception of a nearby signal. This allows on to gather instant intelligence when a transmitter is sighted from a hide or while on the run.

�Whether one picks a Radio Shack Pro Series is strictly up to your personal needs and area of operation. Regardless of the brand a properly equipped Urban Escape and Evasion kit must include a radio frequency receiver.

The Bug Out Bag: An Overview of a Necessity

The Bug Out Bag: An Overview of a Necessity
By Don Rearic

Just remember, �Bob is your friend.��

�Who comes up with these neat names? �Bug Out Bag� equals B.O.B., get it?��

�Some people have been putting together survival supplies for years. Y2K was a bust and made a lot of people, right or wrong, look like paranoid fruitbars. I was more concerned with everyone else�s reaction to Y2K than Y2K as an �event.���

�Before it was �Y2K,� it was the Soviet Union during the Cold War. In between those things, it was other things��

�It�s not about being a lunatic, just being prepared. You know, DISASTER PREPARATION� You know, something the GOVERNMENT is telling you to do now�

�What was once the sole domain of the mislabeled �paranoid, radical fringe,� is now Public Policy for the most part. It is not forced, of course, but they are giving you an idea how to go about getting started and you should take the information and build on that.

�But if you think about it, hell, think back to the TV show �Dennis the Menace.� What was that hat Mr. Wilson was so proud of? My memory might be failing me, it was Mr. Wilson, right? The neighbor, wore glasses�

�Well, anyway, he wore a Civil Defense hat. Remember those? Remember the �CD� emblem?

We used to be a lot smarter than we are now, it�s sad really.

There is NO ONE who works in any major city who would not benefit from a small backpack full of survival supplies now. Inevitably, some people will scoff at this or they will start making excuses that they don�t have room in the bag they tote around� Just like some people make excuses and plead �inconvenience� when it comes to carrying something as simple as O.C. Pepper Spray to defend themselves and then criticize the Police because they are unable to save them.

�(I have actually had some people tell me that on a spiritual level, they feel if they carry any sort of weapon that the �Universe� will then dictate that they will be placed in a situation that they have to use it. If they refuse to carry a weapon, however, they will be protected and the dangerous situations won�t even happen to them. Such is the nature of strange philosophies now in this country� Do not argue with these people, they don�t have a screw loose, they have multiple screws rattling around�)

You might have to exit the workplace; you might not be able to make it home. You might not be able to get anything to eat. And, you might not be able to get anything to eat that you can afford on the money you have in your pocket because the fast food restaurants might all be closed, the ATMs might not work either (power loss or Telco problems, etc.). If they do work, they might be empty from everyone else tapping their accounts for emergency funds.

Best to have a little bit of food and clean water to carry you through such a thing�

It is better to be able to have some clean water, have the ability to start a safe (contained) fire, have some rice and then boil it up and pour Tabasco on it. The alternative to paying some scalping bastard at a hotdog stand five times (Or more!) his regular prices for a piece of cylindrical mystery meat on an elongated piece of bread. And a bottle of water that costs several dollars instead of a couple bucks is unforgivable. See where I�m coming from? From what I understand, there are laws in place to stop this � but that won�t do you much good during the situation� If the situation is really bad, don�t bet on the Police being able to respond to calls for help of ANY kind, let alone dealing with people who profiteer off of tragedies to make a few bucks.

Also, if you live in a place like New York and you see people doing this sort of thing, NEVER buy anything from that bastard AGAIN. Shun them.

Just this past summer (2003), New York City and a huge chunk of The East Coast (and part of Canada) suffered a blackout. Remember the New Yorkers walking home? Give it some thought. It�s not �paranoia� and only people who suffer with The Ostrich Syndrome would call any of this paranoia. Some people hide from the reality of things and when they see someone else refreshing their psyche with regard to reality, they call the sane person the nut. It is a rather unpleasant defense mechanism that human beings have. It drives people who are usually rational and logical to the emotional throes of gun control as well.

You want to choose your survival essentials carefully, after that; it is usually personal taste, climate, season and/or geography that will drive your need for �extras.� Weight and space is another real concern. You don�t want to be humping a huge, heavy pack through a city street. You choose your basics, you know what you need, then add on as required.

It is a good idea to have some sort of water in your bag and not simply the ability to purify water. Both are important, but having the water on-hand is very important.

You can use Nalgene bottles or you can have sealed, pre-packaged water packs from various suppliers. The sealed packs are obviously very attractive because you don�t have to swap the water out. It has an expiration date and you simply replace it and dispose of the old supply when you reach the expiration date.

So, you need some food and you need some that is going to last. Let�s say a 48-hour supply. Something you can carry on your back or in a shoulder bag. Something that will not go bad for months and leave you with something resembling Penicillin instead of edible niceties�

So, you might want a couple of small cans of�Dinty Moore Beef Stew in there, perhaps Starkist Tuna is your thing and you would prefer that, fine. Dinty Moore is great camping fare! You peel the label off of the can, take a P-38 can opener and crack it open. Then, using a pair of pliers, you put that can over an open flame, prop the can up so it does not fall over. Stir with a spoon and in a few minutes, VOILA! You have hot food. You can do this with Hormel Chili and a lot of other things. You can have an ample supply of the many mysterious corporate concoctions available as �Potted Meat, Deviled Ham and SPAM� as well as other things. Much like Scrapple, these meat-like substances can be summed up by merely saying, �Everything but the OINK is in there��

You put in a half dozen to an even dozen of your preferred flavor of MetRx bars in there (Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough are the best tasting in my opinion, just for those that have never had them.).

A large container of water�some TABASCO, which always seems to make everything taste better�and you are good to go.

Put some candy bars in there! Good, fast energy, M & Ms are good for this and have been used in the past by the military. Sugar is good, cheap and fast energy for those that can take it without causing medical problems, etc.

As a matter of fact, in the U.S. Army SERE materials, there is mention of saving your sugar and then boiling it down into a hard candy and storing it for the time when you escape. Just a little background for you�

Mars M & M candies were used in the past by the military (WW2), the United States Air Force in particular seems incredibly fond of Chiclets gum for a sugar/energy source. You can find them in USAF Survival Kits going back to The Vietnam War.

I have a picture of an Arctic Ration Kit that the British use; there are Rolos chocolate/caramel candies in there too. Something else to think about, you have a wide assortment of sugary goodies to choose from.��

(The picture above depicts vintage malted milk tablets from a World War Two Survival Kit.)

�As a matter of fact, here is an interesting and rather humorous tidbit of information for you� Ovaltine powder and tablets used to come in small containers as well as other manufacturer�s malted milk tablets and these were placed in World War Two survival kits [1]. Pretty cool, huh? Tang for Astronauts and Ovaltine for the Commandos�

�And, if you can get your hands on a supply of Hershey�s Tropical Bars, that would be great. These too were used in Survival Kits.

�You could go all-out and purchase something like a Tilia food saver that can vacuum seal dried foods and whatnot. This is a really great idea for all sorts of survival foods. You can pack a lot of this stuff into a BOB using that method. Trail Mix, assorted nuts, dried fruit, beef jerky, the list of things you could place in long-term storage is basically only limited by your imagination.

You could duplicate the Arctic Ration Kit from the Brits by simply shopping at your local supermarket if you have a Tilia or Rival vacuum sealer (which is mentioned below). A good list of items patterned after that Kit but using goods available here would be:

�Domino sugar packets
Carnation Powdered Milk
Herb Ox Beef Bullion
Lipton Tea Packets
Taster�s Choice (or other) Instant Coffee
Dried Apples and Apricots
Lipton Instant Soup
Boil In Bag Rice
Kleenex Tissue Pack
Matches
Salt Packets
Nestle, Land O Lakes or other Instant Hot Chocolate Drink
Quaker (or other) Instant Oat Meal
Nuts and Raisins
Toilet Paper
Hershey Bars (or other)
Rolos
Can (small) of meat spread (whatever type)

�That is the list, leaving out the biscuits and Dextrose Tablets, but using things that you can buy here in a supermarket. You could assemble, in reality, your own MREs�in a way. Why not?

Ken Cook reminds me of the presence of GORP, which stands for, �Good Old Raisins and Peanuts.� Ken Cook further advises, �Stay away from prunes on the trail or add more Charmin and soothing ointment for swampass.�

�You could also purchase a nice food dehydrator. Then you can purchase the fruits you want and dry them and store them in the Tilia or Rival food bags. My Dad actually bought the Ronco Food Dehydrator back in the 1970s, funny stuff. It worked too, considering it was just a cheap piece of plastic with equally cheap plastic trays in there�and a light bulb!�

But if you get a good one, I do believe you can make jerky and other stuff with them too. I have to get one of them things one day�and a vacuum sealer�and�other things�

�I would like to learn how to make real Pemmican, I have some instructions but I have to get around to doing it�make the beef jerky, pound the beef jerky into powder, render fat, mix everything with berries and insert into a sausage sleeve. I think the sausage skins/sleeves are the way to go, as I don�t feel like messing around with cleaned out intestines which is the traditional carrier for Pemmican�

Lemon Bars (Survival Rations) that are fortified with vitamins and whatnot seem to be a very attractive choice for your kit. They are sealed and dated and will last quite a while too.

I have a �Blow-Out� Emergency Medical Kit (Geared towards stopping moderate to severe hemorrhage�) from W.R. Mann at Realfighting Dot Com; it is packed in a Tilia bag. Recently, I have had a couple of things packed into vacuum-sealed bags manufactured by Rival. Rival makes a very good crock-pot! Their bags and the vacuum sealer appear to be excellent as well.

So, choose the rice you prefer, my preference is a bag of Zatarain�s (Cajun) Dirty Rice. Just take the Zat�s out of the box and take their sealed bag and place it in your sealed bag and you have a fairly tough bit of packaged food. Not as likely to bust leaving you with Cajun spices all over your latest Tom Clancy novel, know what I mean?

I would caution you against utilizing anything that resembles military gear for a pack or a vest. Think carefully now, OK? If you are in an urban or even a suburban setting and there is a terrorist incident� Do you really want to be walking or trotting around with a vest on that is designed to carry HAND GRENADES and magazines for AUTOMATIC WEAPONS and can be clearly identified as such by Police and Military Personnel?

I don�t think so. Hey, if you must do this, I think you�re taking your life into your own hands and it is an unnecessary risk, but it is your life, after all�

If you are lucky, you won�t get shot on sight during such a state of emergency. If you are really lucky, you will be able to fight off the hordes of people trying to scarf up your supplies after some National Guardsman dumps all of your stuff on the sidewalk because he thinks you�re a terrorist and he has to check and see if you have some sort of � SOMETHING � you are not supposed to have�

Meanwhile, you are lying face down with the muzzle of a Squad Automatic Weapon pressed firmly into your ear – wishing you had put some more thought into the outer Bug Out Bag container instead of landing the �buy of the century� at Joe Shit the Ragman�s Military Surplus Emporium�

So, you don�t want to be sporting an ALICE Pack or some other piece of equipment as an outer container (as excellent as they are). And although I think the classic �Photographer�s Vest� would be OK, don�t use like�some sort of �Eagle Assault Vest� or you are asking for trouble�

If you are leaving your house because of the threat of a mudslide, you can pull it off, if it is some other incident; it�s not a good idea at all.

What you want is something that simply screams, �M-T-V GENERATION!� Instead of, �I�m a Terrorist, please shoot me now.� You want something that screams, �GRATEFUL DEAD!� instead of �SEAL Team Six.� Avoid peace signs, they scream, �Filthy Hippy Demonstrator.� Go in for rainbows, World Wildlife Fund and YUPPIE colors�trust me. Sure, you might have to have some anti-nausea medicine on hand to keep from projectile vomiting at the sight of your own Gucci-flage, but alive and queasy is better than hassled or finding out if SS109 really doesn�t tumble like old M16 ammunition…

Don�t be insulted, basically, you want to look like every other bonehead walking down the street – out of whatever mess you find yourself in. The exception being if you have to move out of an area where people are protesting a World Bank Meeting or something like that, then, you don�t want to look like a terrorist OR like a Hippy/Commie or you will be targeted. Strike a balance.

A lot of people have military type clothing, but military type bags and packs are best left alone by the city dweller in such an emergency.

Inner Containers
You need something to carry other items in. Like�water and rice and these sorts of things. You can carry canned goods like the aforementioned Dinty Moore Beef Stew, but they tend to be quite heavy. Rice weighs nothing, water is heavy but there is no way of getting around that problem.

I would suggest Nalgene Bottles, they are EXCELLENT! I have to thank my friend Alex for suggesting them. These bottles are very tough indeed; they seal up well too. So, the Nalgene bottle is an excellent way to carry water and a second way of carrying rice � as opposed to sealing rice up in vacuum bags, etc.

Another manufacturer also makes a metallic cup with folding handles that can be placed on the bottom of the 32-ounce Nalgene bottle.

While we are on the subject, you might want to get some sort of surplus �Mess Kit,� meaning, something small to cook in and eat on. A set of utensils would not be a bad idea either. If you buy surplus mess kits, etc., take them home and boil them for several minutes in a large pot. You want to rinse them off and then place them in a large pot and bring that to a good, steady, rolling boil for several minutes. Then place them in your sink and get the water really hot again and wash them thoroughly with something like Dawn Antibacterial Dish Soap. I frequent one pretty cool surplus store from time to time and the rat turds on the floor outnumber the tent pegs they have for sale. Boil the gear, you don�t know where this stuff has been stored for decades.

So, if you have a couple/few of�these types of bottles, you should be good to go. You should carry water purification tablets for a number of reasons anyway. If you forget to change your water for a few days, if you cannot keep up with that sort of thing during the daily hustle and bustle of life, you want to have the ability to purify it so you don�t get violently ill. You can also buy pre-packaged and dated water packs too.

In the case of a terrorist incident, it would probably be a great idea to consider the water in a building, straight from the tap, as being contaminated anyway. Put the Potable Aqua tablets in it, better safe than sorry. Even if the �authorities� inform the public that the water is OK to drink, treat it anyway because quite frankly, you should not bet your life on someone making statements from the government who might not know everything or they might be incompetent. They might not tell the People everything for fear of creating a panic�something to think about.

I am not a Biochemist, OK? But I don�t think placing Potable Aqua tablets into water is going to make that water safe if some terrorist contaminates the water supply� I just don�t know, it is really bad news when you consider all of the possibilities� It depends on what they use and in what concentration. I am approaching it more from this standpoint, �Carry your own water and you know it is safe.�

Also, things like Earthquakes, they can rupture underground lines completely or partially, allowing contaminates to enter into the water system, best to purify the water. Dirt and rust is bad enough, you don�t want to be drinking water contaminated with sewage. What you don�t see or smell can still be present and can still kill you.

�First Aid Kit
You want a relatively comprehensive First Aid Kit. I wrote an article on them months ago, check it out so I don�t have to put everything back in here. Updates and new items may be reviewed in the future as well. But for now, that is a good place to start. Obviously, if you are in New York City, you don�t have an urgent need for a Sawyer Extractor (for snakebites). Always adjust accordingly. You need a suitable sized kit that can handle everything from a splinter to arterial bleeding.

�We all have blood and when we lose it in copious amounts, it kills us. So that is a great concern. Quick Clot is quite controversial among some people. It remains possibly the only thing that will save you in some circumstances. Yes, it will get hot, yes; it could burn you because the chemical reaction that forms the blood clot causes heat. Always use direct pressure first and really � do not use Quick Clot until it becomes obvious that you will DIE if you do not use it. That�s the general rule for this stuff.

�W.R. Mann has forwarded me a new type of Tourniquet designed by an Emergency Medical Technician. I am going to try to get with a Doctor and an EMT locally and see what they think about it. It looks excellent to me.
Oh, one more thing, there is a product on the market called Purell. This is a hand sanitizer, which requires NO water. You use this stuff to wash your hands and this is very important if you have a limited supply of clean water and you are field-dressing animals. Working in all sorts of dirt, etc., can leave your hands with all sorts of germs that you don�t want to ingest in a survival situation. The last thing you want is to be herking your guts up while you are lost. You can get small bottles of this stuff at your local Pharmacy, etc.

�If you are asthmatic, you want to get with your Doctor about extra Inhalers. You don�t want to be caught without an extra Rescue Inhaler.
For very bad allergies, you want to have the medication necessary for this sort of thing as well. You know what you need, acquire it, from inhalers to Zyrtec to antibiotics. Obtain it and keep it in the bag.

Over the counter medications that can make life less miserable is a good idea. Having something like Advil, Antacids or perhaps some Orajel can mean the difference between being as comfortable as circumstances permit and being absolutely miserable. Your teeth can be in absolutely fabulous condition, you can trip and fall on your face, or something can hit you in the face and damage you. Prepare for that, the teeth are fragile and if you have a problem or suffer an injury there, the difference between being miserable � possibly to the point of being incapacitated � is a $6.00 tube of Orajel; purchase the maximum strength tube that is 20% benzocaine. Do not use if you are allergic to local anesthetics such as novacaine, etc.

Another thing to consider is a Japanese Pharmaceutical product known as �Salonpas.�

These are 2.56 X 1.65 inch pads with adhesive backing. I really wore my arm out one time and it hurt so badly I could not raise it. My Wife kept telling me to use these things and I refused. I figured anything that smelled like menthol and was cheap as dirt wouldn�t work. I was very wrong. These medicated pads work great. I let her place one on the upper arm and about three hours later, I could move it. A few hours more and it was like it never hurt at all.

So, if you twisted something or got busted up somehow and you just had to get out of the area, not being able to afford the luxury of holing up to �rest� somewhere� You could use these to make the pain bearable and with some luck, all the pain might be alleviated.

At a local pharmacy, I buy boxes that contain 40 sheets in the size mentioned above. You know how much? $4.00 at a small, privately owned pharmacy. In most parts of the country, you cannot throw a dead cat without hitting a Rite-Aid or a CVS. In my area, they charge exactly double what the independent pharmacies charge. Your experience may differ.

Active Ingredients:
Methyl Salicylate 132mg
Camphor 25mg
Menthol 120mg
Tocopherol Acetate 21mg

Everything listed so far is what I keep on hand and you can add in Sudafed and Benadryl.

You can use �Valu-Dryl� as a replacement just like you can get cheaper brand name replacements for Sudafed.

As far as replacements for Advil, I find that the new Advil Liqui-Gel green things are the best headache and general flu symptom �aches and pains� reliever yet.

Can you utilize something like a tarp � like an SAS �Basha� for shelter? If so, do some shopping around and some research and get that in your BOB. You might have to slum it in a refrigerator box like some unfortunate homeless individual if you are located in a city, keep the O.C. Pepper Spray in hand as you sleep if you have to do this. Prepare to defend yourself�

If you are in a city, you might be able to spend a night in a public or private shelter. If they insist on taking your gear and �holding it� for you, pass them on and keep walking. You won�t have any gear left when you wake up. Or, you might get into some trouble; especially if you have a fixed blade knife in there or something and they pilfer through your gear and discover it. You can take this to the bank: if some Red Cross Volunteer thinks you have a knife or they discover it, WHATEVER, airplanes could be actively falling out of the sky and they would consider YOU a threat to be dealt with by contacting whatever Law Enforcement was available. Ditto that for City, County and State � sponsored shelters.

What time of year is it? What is the climate like where you are now for that time of year and what might it be like if some inclement weather strikes days or weeks later?

These are all things to consider. Sweaters, windbreakers, light, medium and heavy jackets/coats. Boots, tennis shoes, whatever you might envision having a need for, consider it with the space and weight constraints and add according to real need. Weather and seasonal considerations rule your choices after carefully considering the size and weight of the items(s) involved.

Other �Cloth�

��Bandanas

�Balaclavas, Headovers and Wristovers

�Muslin Bandage (Military Surplus, etc.) Triangular Bandage

�French �Cheiche�

�Heavy-Duty work gloves

Do you think you will need basic tools? What if your vehicle breaks down? Perhaps your �vehicle� is your bicycle, prepare to make minor repairs. I know you can�t carry a transmission for a Hummer around in your BOB, but you get the idea. Having a kit to plug tires and knowing, beforehand, how to use it, can be a real lifesaver. Basic tools are an excellent thing to consider. Don�t wait until your life depends on it, to learn new and valuable skills.

Besides a great multitool and a pocketknife or small fixed blade knife, a hatchet can be an excellent tool to have for emergencies. I recommend Estwing Hatchets; they have no equal as far as I�m concerned.You could use one as a vicious weapon for Self-defense if need be and it won�t raise the hackles of squeamish people like a larger knife or Tomahawk would either. Yet, it is every bit as viable. People talk about �Axe Murderers� yet if someone is carrying an axe in the woods, they don�t freak out. But if you carry a small fixed blade or folding knife, all of the sudden you are a mass murderer � waiting to happen. People tend to be emotional to the point of absurdity and terrified of their own shadow for the most part.

How big is your BOB? You could get a crowbar or pinch bar in there, adds a good bit of weight and takes up some space, but if you really need one, if you think there is a good chance you will�do it if you can.

A �Halligan Tool� might be a good idea as well. That would be a rather large, heavy and oddly shaped tool to be humping around�

Be keenly aware that some tools like crowbars and Halligan Tools could be considered �Burglar�s Tools� by some people, including Law Enforcement Personnel regardless of your NEED or INTENT to use them for survival.

I�m not going to discuss lockpicks at this time. Maybe some time in the future. There are a lot of people that think they are going to buy some and stick them in their bag and then, when the disaster happens, they will be able to pull out their handy copy of �Lockpicking Simplified� and they are going to be able to do what they want. It does not work that way�

An Automatic Centerpunch can allow you to escape your vehicle should you find your vehicle in water. Remember, in shallow water with you trapped in a vehicle upside-down with no means of escape equals death. Don�t make the mistake of thinking you have to be in deep water to die. Prepare. Keep one in your BOB and one in a center console of your vehicle.Maglites are excellent, but they are just as heavy and cumbersome as they are tough. They also eat up batteries�

�Avoid them at this point because you can substitute SureFire Flashlights from Laser Products, Inc., and MANY small LED lights too. The SureFires eat batteries up badly, but you can have them (the lights) in reserve when you need a lot of intense white light.

A great combination for emergency lights in your BOB would be the Sure-Fire E2e and an Inova X5 because they both use the same types of Lithium batteries. And, they both use two of these batteries. You don�t want to have to carry around various types of batteries. You want a few lights but you want some crossover when it comes to the batteries they need. The CMG Ultra Infinity Task Light is just about the best pocket light I have come across for pure utility purposes�

Optics
Like a Sure-Fire Flashlight in your hand during a walk through a dark parking lot, spotting trouble beforehand can often save you the problems and danger of confrontations.

This holds true for optics as well.

You can survey an area with a simple set of binoculars, or a monocular, and decide if you wish to go that way or not. Or perhaps find another way out of whatever mess you find yourself thrust into�

When I was a kid, there were a few things that were off-limits for me. One was the always-loaded Walther P-38 9mm. Two other things happened to be the (real) magnifying glass on my Dad�s desk. Real glass, not plastic, stainless steel band going around it and secured in a real stainless steel handle � not the abysmal plastic things you see today that you can scratch with your fingernail (lens) or break easily (handle).

Another was the large set of Bushnell Binoculars in the mysterious camera case. You didn�t touch the binos because they were slightly over $100.00 and that was a lot of money back in the late 1970s.

Now, you could violate the NO TOUCH RULE on the Bushnell binos and the Magnifying Glass, but you never violated the RULE about the Walther and other things that were placed in the firearms category.

�Where are my binoculars! And where is my magnifying glass?�

Well, I used them quite a bit. It was his fault actually; he is the one that bought me a microscope and a telescope. I could not use the telescope in the woods so I used his binoculars and I could not examine bugs and other interesting things OUTSIDE with the microscope so I snatched his Magnifying Glass all of the time�I never heard him say, �Who touched my pistol?� I was not that stupid.

Nowadays, you can walk into a Sports Authority or a Wal-Mart, WHATEVER, and plunk down a twenty dollar bill and a ten dollar bill and purchase a half decent set of binoculars that will fit in your pocket. A set manufactured by Bushnell, Tasco or Simmons � all commonly available � will do nicely. All of them are not very expensive and they work very well. You should also consider a monocular, it takes up less space, and they are even handier as far as I�m concerned and usually a few bucks cheaper than binoculars. 8 X 25 or 10 X 25 are excellent POCKET sizes for binoculars.

�Communications?
What? Yes, being able to communicate � sometimes the �communications� are one-way and you are receiving information�Having the Grundig Emergency Radio I mentioned above is a good start. AM, FM, Shortwave One and Two � very attractive for getting news, especially during a disaster situation.Having a �Police� scanner (which is obviously much more useful than simply monitoring the Police�) is a plus too. You can get a lot of information from a scanner. Bearcat Scanners, Radio Shack Scanners, shop around, read online reviews and choose wisely.What about two-way communications? Well, there are CB (Citizen�s Band) radios that you can purchase with no hassle. (No FCC License since the 1970s either�)The airwaves of CB�s are probably still littered with prepubescent commandos as it was in the 1980s and early 1990s. Then again, perhaps the offspring of these knuckleheads have been buying personal computers along with the shift of their parents to that medium � the generally crappy environment on most Internet Forums seems to hint at the shift from CB Radio to the Internet.CB Radio is an option; perhaps you should explore it if you have the need.

There are better things out there, however�

FRS (Family Radio Service) two-way communications offer an affordable and reliable means. Motorola Talk-About radios and various Kenwood radios Free-Talk, etc. are worth looking into.

GMRS (General Radio Mobile Service) radios, I believe you need a FCC License for these, it is a nominal fee. I don�t know about the legalities of using them for personal use. Research!There is a new band of frequencies that have been made available to the public like FRS. And you should be doing some research and look into them as well, they appear to be quite attractive.There are always FCC Rules governing the use of two-way radio communications and you must abide by them or suffer the consequences should they find you in violation of it.

If you want to really go effective and �high-tech,� you could always get your HAM Radio License after testing for it and then purchase an excellent handheld transceiver. The FCC Rules apply here as well, and they are enforced strictly because when you have a radio like that, you can really have communications with�people that you should not be interrupting during their work, I�ll leave it at that. But if you were to do such a thing, you would be spending some time at Club-Fed.

Cellular phones and things like Nextel, I have NO experience with. I can�t stand them and don�t know if I will EVER own one. Well, that is not quite accurate, I have had two jobs that utilized Nextel Commo and they both sucked. When Nextel goes down, that�s it, no service. During a disaster, a cell phone or Nextel might very well be a lifesaver but it might leave you with no communications too. I prefer the idea of having some sort of FRS radio at this point.Never underestimate the amount of people in your area that might be preparing just like you are. You might get help from them during such an event.They are convenient and a pain in the ass at the same time as far as I am concerned. They are surely en vogue, but I find them to be�well, a sign of the times I don�t particularly care for.So, if you are �bugging out� with friends or family, these things could be quite the lifesaver, consider them.

A Grundig FR-200 Radio, a couple of two-way walkie-talkie types of radios and a scanner�you would be in good shape! They won�t take up much room at all in your bag. Depending on the area you are in, they might come in quite handy.

Don�t forget to have extra batteries on hand, perhaps rechargeable ones at that and a small solar panel would be a great idea if you expect power to be out for a long period of time, etc. For some news and information, I suggest you purchase Grundig�s Emergency Radio mentioned above. I will place the review for this radio on this website when this article is posted. I bought mine at Radio Shack for the miserly sum of $42.00 and it is a good piece of gear as far as I�m concerned.

�Things that get food
Slingshots and Slings. Don�t fall for just any company�s advertising when they call something a �Wristrocket.� There are two types of Slingshots that use surgical tubing bands, the Original Wristrocket and everything else.

Well, there is the Com-Bow Sling, but that is something else I missed out on in the 1980s, unfortunately. (A �compound� slingshot that could also fire a type of quarrel.)Beware of things called �Wristrockets� now. Most are poor executions in materials and angle of yoke-to-grip when compared to the older ones. If that is all you can get, get a couple of them and some spare bands�and some lead and steel balls and have at it! Learn how to shoot them well. They are incredibly powerful and effective on small game � the rest is up to you.I wrote a bit about them in another article and I think highly of them.I almost landed another one some time ago, here is a picture I lifted of a vintage one that still has �Wrist Rocket� vertically down the grip.

Next is Robert Humelbaugh�s creation, a modern Sling. You know, a simple device � A David Sling. David and Goliath. This thing will HURL large projectiles and has the capability of downing larger game. Again, that is up to you really.

I don�t think anyone residing in a city is going to have the time and space to get good with a Slingshot (although it is possible) let alone a Sling (which takes a much larger area, especially when you are first learning how to use the thing). But for those that wish to learn and can find a place to do it, it�s a good idea. For those in the suburbs that have greater access to more private areas � woods and large fields away from traffic, houses and warehouses, it�s definitely something you should get into.It�s not nearly so hard to do as some would make it out and it is hardly a �joke.� You will kill small game all day long with a Wristrocket once you get good with it. For those that don’t believe that, oh well�And for anyone that thinks a Sling is a �joke,� they really need a reality check. They are even more deadly than the Slingshot � just harder to Master to the degree that you can hunt small game with it.You can launch incredibly large steel or lead balls as well as rocks with these. I have not Mastered the Sling yet. But I�m working on it. The Slingshot I Mastered long, long ago. They are entirely different.You can get one of Robert�s awesome Slings, constructed out of heavy-duty Cordura Nylon and ParaCord by contacting him at Survival Sheaths.

�Pellets
I have only owned one pellet pistol that was accurate and powerful enough to take small game reliably. That is the key word, reliably.Because we are talking about a Bug Out Bag, we have to limit ourselves to the pistol variety of pellet guns.That pellet pistol was the Beeman P-1 Magnum in .177 Cal. (4.5mm)Back in 1988 when I bought one, they were about $200.00 and if you wanted to shoot indoors or hunt squirrel and rabbit, quietly in thick woods and brush, it did a fine job.Of course, you run the risk of grief by carrying a simple pellet pistol in some areas, that is up to you. I�m just telling you, it�s a fine pellet pistol, IF it is still available and if the Quality Control is as high as it was in the late 1980s.A Beeman Silver Jet 4.5mm pellet smoking out of a pellet pistol at slightly above 600-FPS (Feet Per Second) makes for a rather clean kill on small game if YOU have YOUR act together. I do not know of another commercially available pellet pistol that can launch a pellet at over 600 FPS.

�The Stalk
In order to use Slingshots, Slings and Pellet Pistols effectively, you must practice and become very skilled in their use. There are, however, some devious shortcuts you can take�

First of all, you have to learn how to hunt, which is beyond the scope of this article. More than that, you have to be patient, I can�t teach you that either. Nor can I teach you to be quiet and stealthy, hunting usually requires this. These come under the heading of �Personal Development.� Find a friend that knows how to do these things and get cracking.

But�hey, this is supposed to informative, right? Well, I think I wrote in another article about faking squirrels out, something my Dad taught me how to do.

Squirrels have the disgusting habit of trying to stay alive when you are actively trying to kill them. If you get an old bastard that has been through enough fights and shotgun blasts, they�re a little touchy at the sight of a human being holding something up that looks dangerous.

Take some fishing line (monofilament) or some ParaCord, fishing line is harder to see, and you tie that to a small tree or bush on one side of a tree where you have observed squirrel activity.

Oddly enough, squirrels are as stupid as they are smart; sounds like Zen to me. A slingshot takes two hands so� Take the line with you and go to the other side of the tree and tie one end of the line to a little bush or whatever then the other end of this line around the end of your shoe after you get back to the other side of the tree. If you get a crusty Old Boy lined up with your top yoke and he bolts, wiggle your foot a bit and shake that bush or small tree on the other side of the tree he is in and freak him out.

He will usually jump back around to the side you are on and you can get him.

Another thing you can learn to do is calling squirrels. Since that is something that takes a while to perfect, you can toss a squirrel call and a hawk call in your BOB � attaching them to your slingshot by a lanyard would be a good idea.

The squirrel call is an obvious choice, why the hawk call?

Well, we�re not hunting hawks. However, let�s say you want to freeze a rabbit in his tracks�so you can get him. Blast a hawk call. This tends to terrify bunnies and they will usually just F-r-e-e-z-e in place.

�Enough said.

What about a Firearm?

Well, if you can legally do it, absolutely, you would be a fool not to include one. The problem is, there are millions who cannot do it where they work. You can have that for home use, etc., in most places. In others, you can carry it in your vehicle (legally).

If you envision �bugging out� to the �burbs that border on rural areas, or to rural or wilderness areas, I would suggest you check out firearms safety instruction and get cracking on becoming not only safe, but accurate with them as well.

�Something absurdly simple like the Springfield Armory M6 Scout could procure a lot more small game (and even big game) than you are likely to snare. The M6 breaks down easily, folding in half actually. It is an excellent little item to have. You should, because of the design of it, including the odd �trigger,� take it out and shoot it A LOT before relying on it to save your life. With this particular firearm, remember, you could kill a deer with it. It�s illegal as all hell to do so with something like a .22 long rifle, but if you are starving, do what you have to do whenever you have to do it. It is MORAL for you to want to survive, so the law has to take a backseat at times to the pressing needs of survival�

�I�m not encouraging you to illegally poach game, I don�t think the poaching laws are applicable when there is a disaster and you need to eat or if you are lost and you need some food. I think it is moral, ethical and legal to then put the law aside that was not designed to deal with those emergencies but to keep conservation in mind with normal, everyday life� The laws are put in place for a reason, animal conservation, preserving wildlife. The laws no longer apply when you are faced with a lack of food because of some extraordinary circumstance. Only take what you need, don�t be a hog about it. Eat what you kill.

�More importantly, you would have to be very skilled to take down a deer with it. For years, people have poached deer with .22 caliber weapons and anyone that tells you otherwise does not know what they are talking about. Focus on accuracy.

�The Springfield Armory M6 Scout, I just priced it the other day locally, it is $199.95 and that is not too bad for a bare bones, over and under .22 Long Rifle / .410 Shotgun Combination Gun. It has a cartridge trap built into the top of the �stock� so you can store a few more rounds of .22 Long Rifle cartridges and .410 Shotgun shells in it. Great idea. You can increase this by purchasing some sort of ammo carrier for the stock and mounting it instead of relying on the various slip-on and lace-on types of carriers. For a couple hundred bucks, you can have this and you can purchase .22 Long Rifle ammunition dirt cheap, as well as the .410 Shotgun rounds. Focusing on .410 Slugs as well as birdshot, etc.

�If faced with a life-threatening situation with a human predator, you could defend yourself with the S/A M6 Scout. It is, after all, a firearm. But you have two shots, it�s not that fast on the reload and the two calibers involved are not exactly what I would call �first or second choice� defensive calibers although a .410 Shotgun Slug is about on par with a .44 Magnum according to Massad Ayoob. (If I remember correctly.)

�You could place this in another sort of soft carrying case and then place it in the BOB. You could see if Eagle or some other company had a case suitable for it�or you could order the materials from Eagle and if you are handy at sewing, do it yourself! It could hold a small cleaning kit and a lot of ammunition if you designed it right�

�More on firearms

Defensive Firearms are a bit more controversial. I (100%) believe in having that capability but it is beyond the scope of this article to get too involved with it. Just know that you should be researching that and if possible where you are, do it. For a handgun, think .38 Special or larger using excellent jacketed hollowpoint ammunition like Federal brand HydraShok.

�Revolver vs. Semiautomatic I will leave to the various gun rags like �Handguns� and �Guns & Ammo.� Either will do as far as I am concerned for simple Self-defense.

�(If you think you have to run some sort of gauntlet like the various unrealistic �combat handgun� competitions, training to kill all of these unarmed paper targets as if you are The Death Merchant, well�you might need a semiautomatic handgun quite badly. Please understand I am not �against� the semiautomatic handgun, not at all. I just think people condemn revolvers for all of the wrong reasons�)

�In bear country, you might want to consider a .12 Ga. Pump or reliable semiautomatic shotgun (think Benelli M-1 Super-90 there�) but those won�t fit in a Bug Out Bag. So�something like a Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum (Model #29 or #629 in Stainless Steel) handgun will have to do in a pinch.

�So-called, �Assault Rifles� are a plus for Defensive use. Don�t misconstrue what I am about to say. I believe American Citizens should be able to own what they want with minimal hassle. But as I said before, it�s really a much larger topic that should be addressed alone and not as a part of this. Suffice it to say if you can obtain these things for use in the home in case of some severe emergency, do it and do it legally and responsibly. Other than that, discussing them is beyond the scope of this article, like the shotguns above for bear defense; they don�t fit in a Bug Out Bag anyway.

�Long Guns, with the exception of the aforementioned M6 Scout or perhaps a Ruger 10/22 with a Choate folding stock, are not really Bug Out Bag equipment� They can, however, be BUG OUT equipment.

�Time to Prepare
If you have time to prepare a bag of various things when you have a wildfire or hurricane coming your way, this is a bit different from a �Bug Out Bag.� Yet, it is just another thing I wanted to touch upon in closing.

Some things, like family photographs and various items, cannot be replaced. If there is a hurricane or wildfire coming your way, act accordingly to save these things placing them in a suitable container that you can pick up and run with at a moment�s notice.

The Bug Out Bag with essentials in it can and should be prepped NOW; this secondary bag with various things you want to preserve can be done on a case by case basis. Put some thought into what you want to save and the container that you can carry and have that as a set-aside in case you ever need it.

You can have a personal size BOB that you can carry back and forth to work, you can have a larger and more comprehensive bag in your vehicle. To add upon all of that, an even larger one or several medium-sized ones in a closet at home, standing ready for when you need them.

Closing
OK, hope you enjoyed this article. Please don�t write me back and inform me: �Hey, in your Bug Out Bag Article, you forgot to mention ways to start fires and a bunch of other stuff��People actually do this. Some things I don�t touch on, some things I like redundancy. There are other Survival-related Articles on my site, don�t consider THIS Article to be an all-inclusive list of things for your BOB! Don�t consider the other articles to be all-inclusive lists of things you should have.

Go look at the First Aid Kit and Survival Kit Articles and include these Sub-Kits in your larger kit! If you think you have a great idea that was not mentioned, don�t hesitate to E-mail me, just please don�t lecture me because I can only write so much. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is a very real possibility as it is without pushing the envelope. (grin)

On a more personal note, I try not to write about things unless I really know what I am talking about. There is enough senseless yammering going on in the world and I don�t want to add to it. As far as this article is concerned�I have experience with CB Radio and FRS, but I am not a HAM Radio Operator, nor do I own or operate anything in the GMRS realm. I just know things about them from others that do use these things.Likewise, I have extensive firearms experience but there are so many people out there who are writing about them that know far more than I. I don�t make that a focus of what I do on this site. When I don�t know, I consult them, as is proper for any person to do.I do not own that Springfield Armory Survival Carbine, but I would like to get one in the future. It is chosen because of its� unique capabilities as well as Springfield Armory�s reputation with that particular firearm. I have experience with �combination firearms� like the older Savage Rifle/Shotguns combos, just not the specific one I mentioned in this article � The Springfield M6 Scout. If I do purchase one in the future, that would be something�that I think would fit in with this website as opposed to just writing about all sorts of firearms because there are entire (excellent) websites dedicated to that sort of thing. I would enjoy writing about the S.A. M6 Scout; I find that firearm quite interesting actually.

I have done some research on it and although I feel the �trigger� on it is rather funky� The M6 fills a niche that other firearms do not, so I think it is worth it to work around the weakness of the firearm because it is so unique and valuable in this area.

This next link is an excellent page on the M6 Scout and some associated information. Just about everything you need to know�

http://www.milesfortis.com/church/akc13.htm

This link is great! Turning your Survival Scout into a better Survival Scout!

http://www.oldjimbo.com/survival/v-shrake/m6.html

�You will notice that there are not too many pictures in this article. That�s because pictures should not really be necessary in this sort of discussion.

�Get your stuff together and be safe!

www.donrearic.com

http://survivallab.blogspot.com

Bandanas! Carry a few of them, they are excellent for so many things, consult the article on this website for further information on them and other items similar to them for survival use.

Urban Escape and Evasion Kit: Electronics

Urban Escape and Evasion Kit: Electronics

����������� In this day and age, electronics have become an intrical part of our lives. As such one must consider how they could be intergrated into an urban escape and evasion kit. There are many benefits that could be realized in using electronics in the kit. We will discuss some of the electronics available and how they can be used in an urban escape and evasion kit.

GPS

�GPS has come along way since its first inception and use by the military. Modern day units are handheld and extremely portable. Units are also offered integrated into a variety of electronic units including cell phones, PDA�S, Laptops and Netbooks.

����������� Features that could be useful for urban escape and evasion include the ability to store predefined routes. One could have a Primary, Alternative, Contingency and Emergency (PACE) escape routes stored to and from a variety of locations. Most units also have the ability to show the distance traveled, the distance to go, automatic route updating (useful when an unexpected route modification is required) and a digital compass (Should not replace your primary compass).

� Handheld units also offer high battery life and the ability to charge from 110/12v Outlets. These features could be quite beneficial in an urban escape and evasion situation.

Police Scanner
� As we have mentioned in previous articles the handheld scanning receiver could be very useful in the Urban E&E Kit. Information vital to your survival is broadcasted over the airwaves every second of the day. One can receive a variety of information including weather reports for the area of operations, raw news feeds being reported to news crews via TV station�s radio network. The location and status of Police officers, Fire Fighters and EMT�s Reacting to the situation. Such information will give key information to what areas of the city to avoid.

PDA or Netbook

�� Knowledge is power and survival. No one person can possible remember all the survival and escape and evasion training they have acquired over the years. This is especially true in a high stress situation such as implementing an urban escape and evasion plan.

� As such I highly recommend including a PDA or Netbook into your urban E&E kit. A mobile device equipped with PDF reading/viewing capabilities is an invaluable tool. Almost every Survival Manual, Escape and Evasion Manual, Survival Books and Military manuals are available on PDF. Just check UrbanEvasion.com download section which is constantly updated. Having the manuals available during an escape and evasion situation will allow for a quick refresher course in the field.

Night Vision Monocular

�� Night vision is pretty self explanatory. The small handheld Monocular allows one to see in total darkness. The advantages of seeing in the dark while others can not are too numerous to list. Read: Tactical Advantage.

�While the technology has advanced the price has thankfully gone down. I remember seeing an ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine for Gen III Military Grade goggles running $5000 USD. Now handheld monocular units can be purchase for around $250 USD.

This article is not intended to be a must have list, but rather show some of the possibilities available. In articles to come we will discuss power options.

Escape and Evasion Belt Design Prototype and Update of Contents

Escape and Evasion Belt Design Prototype and Update of Contents�

I was using a Tatonka 42mm TEC belt but found two problems with it. One the buckle was metal. This can also act as an advantage by storing metal items close to the buckle when being additionally searched with a hand wand, but I found the heavy buckle uncomfortable for all day use and difficult to remove quickly. The other problem was that the belt needed to be removed to access the internal items, as the zip was sown on the internal flat side of the belt.�

I changed to a BDU 38mm belt with fastex plastic buckle. Lighter to wear all day and the smaller buckle doesnt dig into the stomach. This is the type of belt I use on a day to day basis. What I did is have a backing of seat belt webbing sown onto the rear with a zip sown onto the top lip of the pocket, acting as a seam allowing for entry into the storage area without having the need for removal of the belt or undoing the buckle. Simply slide the belt around to which section needs to be accessed.�

I made a couple of mistakes with the initial prototype. I used seat belt webbing and should have ordered a longer belt to use the additional waste material so as to appear made of the same type of webbing. The zip was sown on upside down, so I now have the adjustable end on the right hand side. Not a big deal just, have to get used to using it left handed. I also choose a longer than neccessary zip at 27 inches. Lots of storage room but not really needed. Half the length would have worked. If going for something needing this much storage it would have been better to use two smaller zips and make two pocket systems. This would allow access from both sides, when sliding the belt around to miss the pants belt loops. �

This will be included in my next design. I’ll try and have some pics done but having trouble with the lighting to show black on black.�

I dont worry about non-metalic items. I dont pass through enough metal detectors to make it worth it and metal lasts longer. Having said this I use all the other non-metal items as backups, hidden in other pieces of clothing incase the primary stash is found. I stick to having two different sets of handcuff keys for Smith and ADI cuffs. Im not a good lock picker. I have shims located else where for a backup, only because I already own them. Everyone I know always double locks their cuffs. Shims become useless if double locked.�

The Widgy pry bar in its smallest form always comes in handy even as a digging tool or potential weapon system. The sparklite fire starter has been cut down to make smaller, making it harder to find in a pat down. The SOG V cutter vs the Colonial rescue hook. Ive stuck with the SOG only due to size of the storage pocket. If using thick heavy duty zip ties the the colonial has a larger opening.�

I havent worried about picks or jigglers in the belt. For one Im not good enough yet and two there are so much easier and faster ways to break into buildings or cars. Jigglers only work on older vehicles. The newer models all have imobilizers, needing the key belonging to the vehicle to deactivate the lock before starting.�

Buton Compass, Photon Micro Light are always handy items to have on hand and have remained along with cordage. Ive swapped to using bow string material. This is cheaper in a dacron material over kevlar and available in black. Im still testing several newer model wire saws that have happened onto the market. The solka being the best so far.�

Of knives the titanium dog tags stand out as not rusting being near sweat compared to 10 series steels. Also any cuting edge needs a sheath to prevent wear to the webbing. The dog tags have the thinnest sheath system with a rubber lip around the entire blade. This once again helps with the prevention of finding items with pat downs.�

Of other items I keep on the exterior of the belt are a small LED tactical flash light, Gerber Multi Tool and a NOK Peregrine. The main internal items being; a way of lighting a fire, cutting tool and methods of opening two types of handcuffs or cable ties. The compass, pry bar and light may be secondary equipment, but shouldnt be overlooked.�

http://www.kitbag.com.au/prod884.htm

Buddas Bug Out Bag

My Bug Out Bag Module Contents�

A few people have asked me to write something more specific, on what to actually put into an EDC and/or BOB. Each person is going to have a different idea of what the perfect Bug Out Bag or Every Day Carry bag will be. To do that sort of article justice would require me to go into the advantages and disadvantages of every different water purifier, firearms, shelters etc. I could say to only use ceramic filters, but that would be of little use to someone living in an area with either tannins or abundant mud particles suspended in water which clogs them quickly. The firearms I own would have little use for someone that has access to semi-autos and cheap ammo or living in bear country where larger bores are prefered. The same goes for people that can legally carry firearms in their countries. So I thought it best to write down what I use and the reasons why and how it comes together to give others ideas.�

I have health difficulties so the idea of carrying one large Alice type pack on foot has never occured to me. Also people will have different levels of experience in different fields. A health professional will have more items specializing in treatment of wounds where as others with a military background may prefer firearms as a primary need. Ive worked in the OZ State Emergency Service, the equivelant of the US CERT/SAR, so my first aid kit is the same size as many peoples entire BOBs. I also have smaller kits but I know how many materials are needed when responding to multiple injuries when having to pull someone out of a windshield of a vehicle, let alone after a SHTF event. The choice here is do I help others or not. I look at it that if I have the tools on hand I can atleast have options and that may include having others, use those tools on myself.�

My primary plan is to bug in. However when that becomes unreliable option, I have a small bus that im working on that will hold all my gear and be permanently packed. Just hook up my small 4WD for being towed. This provides a permanent form of shelter and also makes it easier travelling with three pets. If alone a light weight, lockable trailer with off road suspension would have surficed, once again being permanently packed. Trying to load a vehicle takes too long if wanting to be independant for longer periods. I do have a three day pack in my car which I class as a short term BOB or Get Home Bag but if I have to leave my premises then I wont be going back and prefer to have longer term options, so Im not a refugee after three days and not reliant on government hand outs. �

Government shelters have the potential in attracting too much attention of the wrong sort. That includes people that prey on others or officials wanting to disarm or use your goods for the benefit of others, that havent bothered to make an effort beforehand.�

I’ll be trying to cover the following in a series of modules; bags/containers, clothing, hygiene, shelter, communications, navigation, fire, food, water purification, cooking, tools, first aid, hunting/foraging and self defense. The modules will include; an urban belt kit, rural belt kit, EDC bag, first aid kit/first response pack and personal meds, clothing bag, tactical bag with tactical belt, GHB or short term bob(3Day) and heavy or long term bob, food requirements and Pet BOBs including food.�

No amount of gear is a replacement for good training and a decent skill level. The following may seem alot but its designed to be carried to a vehicle not to be carted by foot. Nine bags takes very little time to pack into a small 4WD, mostly fitting on a roof top cargo tray, if already prepacked. This is what Ive been working on completing for myself. I just keep finding new products to either test out or update to and keep swapping items around trying to find the right combination that works the best. Which is half the fun.�

1) Urban Belt kit

This is essentually an Escape and Evasion belt including every day carry items. I use a custom 38mm BDU belt, made with two pouches to be accessed from the front and rear of the belt depending on which direction your ands are restrained. I usually keep the escape items in the rear pouch assuming youll be tied from the rear and the evasion contents in the front stowage area.�

Items include x2 handcuff keys to suit ADI and Smith cuffs, bagotta pick and rakes, widgy pry bar, SOG V cutter, dacron bow string, titanium dog tag knife in their 4 in 1 kit that includes a firestriker and button compass, photon micro light and solka wire saw. Worn on the outside are a small LED lenser torch, gerber multi tool and foster bros blackjack in a maxpedition adjustable torch/baton holder , mercops para-flail on a maxpedition keyper, along with a JEB PPK in a pikal upswept tip similar to a clinch pick but with a skeletal grip worn in a crossdraw position and an ANSO Pikal in a right hand dominant draw. Ive started to get into training in the pikal system after watching Shivworks Inverted Edge Techniques dvds and found it suits my H2H style down to the ground. Being short I always liked getting in nice and close to avoid a larger assailants reach. Styles that teach to be away from an agressor with a blade teach more sparring based on a fencing background. Never found that sort of fighting to fit me.�

2) Rural Belt kit

Primarily a knife belt holding survival items and stored in my larger bug out bag. This includes a Busse Battle Mistress that has been cut down from a 10 incher to a 8.5 inch blade to get rid of the harmonic running through the blade when cutting near the tip and to make it a better carrier. At around 8 inches a large blade is easy to carry on the belt. Over that they usually end up on the pack unless over 6 foot in height and able to wear large blades. I like around a 5 inch blade for general purpose work and have been switching between a Busse Badger, ESEE/RAT SERE and a Kabar/Becker Companion BK2. I also have a camenga compass, aurora ferro rod, maxpedition 4×6 pouch containing a AMK survival kit along with a tops ferret knife, Mcnett frontier filter straw, photon micro light, tops hoffman harpoon mini and ESEE arrow heads, mini fishing kit. GME PLB (Personel Locator Beacon).Ezylap diamond sharpener.�

3) EDC Bag

Every Day Carry items using a Maxpedition mongo shoulder bag.�

Contents�

monocular

silnyon tarp

extrema ratio shrapnel

guyot water bottle

casco baton

streamlight sidewinder flashlight

AMK .9 first aid kit

snow peak single wall cup to fit over guyot bottle

Pre-Mac Water filter SWP model(60 litres)

AMK thermal bivi

Icom 5 Watt UHF radio

Zebra Light H30-Q5 Headlamp

Respro FB-01 Face mask�

4) First Aid kit and Personel Meds

Accidental 4WD Survival Soft Pack First Aid Kit Contents. This company supplies local Ambulance, SES and CFS(country Fire Service) crews. They make several different bags for each state but when I asked which would be best to purchase for long distance use in the scrub. They replied, just buy the large 4wd survival kit, this covers everything and holds more than most of the others and just add to it if neccesary. Everytime I see bandages etc for sale at wholesalers I stock up and add them to the pack in large ziplock bags. I also add several books on wilderness first aid, emergency first response, ranger medic handbook, where there is no doctor, where there is no vet and ships captian medical books, etc.�

Quantity Description
1 Burnaid Gel 25g
3 Chlorhexidine 30ml Antiseptic Yellow Ea
1 Healaid Cream 25g
3 SALINE 10ML PODS FAC
2 Wound Wipe Alcohol Free each
1 Ground Sheet SOS 100cm x 150cm
1 Cold Pack Instant Small
1 Conforming Bandage FAC 5cm x 1.8m
2 Conforming Bandage FAC 7.5cm x 1.8m
1 Cotton Buds 7.5cm Pk100 FAC
1 SOFTPACK BAG NO.12 LARGE RED
1 Resusi-Safe FAC Shield Disposable
1 Crepe Medium Bandage FAC 10cm x 2m
2 Combine Dressing 20x20cm
2 Combine Dressing 10x10cm
2 Combine Dressing 10x20cm
1 Crepe Medium Bandage FAC 5cm x 2m
1 Crepe Bandage Heavy 7.5cm x 2m
5 Eye Pad Single FAC
1 Gauze Pieces FAC 7.5cm Pk 100
� � 2 FAC NON-ADHERENT DRESSING 7.5X10CM
� � 2 FAC NON-ADHERENT DRESSING 5X7.5CM
� � 2 Wound Dressing No 14
� � 2 Wound Dressing No 15
1 Rapatabs Paracetamol 24
� � 3 Gloves Latex Pair Lge–Pre Packed
� � 5 Cup Plastic Disposable 180ml 6oz each
� � 1 Safety Pins Pk12 Assorted
� � 1 Scissor S/S 12.5cm Sharp/Blunt
1 Sharps Container 100ml
2 Tweezers
1 First Aid Booklet AH&S
2 Sticker First Aid AH&S Vinyl 50x130mm
2 Dressing Pack Basic
1 Magnifier Plastic
� � 1 Plastic Bag 100×150 Sml Clip Seal Plain
� � 1 Plastic Bag 125×205 Med Clip Seal Plain
� � 1 Plastic Bag 150×230 Lge Clip Seal Plain
1 Plastic Bag 230×305 X/Lge Clip SealPlain
� � 1 Adhesive Tape 2.5cm x 5m Zinc Oxide
1 Splinter Probe FAC Pk10 Disp
� � 1 FAC ADHESIVE TAPE PAPER 2.5CMX5M
� � 2 FAC TRIANGULAR BANDAGE DISP 110CMX155CM
� � 1 FAC FABRIC DRESSING STRIP 7.2CMX1M
� � 1 Strips Plastic 50 19 x 72mm Sheer FAC
� � 1 Strips Fabric 50 25 x 72mm Prem.FAC

Chinook Suture Set�

STERILE INSTRUMENT PACK�
1� Needle Holder, 5″ �
1� Scissors, 5″ Stainless �
1� Tissue Forceps, Mouse Tooth, 4.5″ Stainless �
INSTRUMENTS�
1� Nylon Suture w/Cutting Needle, 3-0�
1� Nylon Suture w/Cutting Needle, 5-0 �
1� Scalpel Handle and blade, #11 �
SYRINGES/NEEDLES�
2� 3 ml Syringe �
2� 25 ga x 1.5″ Needle �
2� 21 ga x 1.5″ �
1� 20 ml Irrigation Syringe w/18 ga Catheter Tip �
WOUND MANAGEMENT�
1� 1 oz Povidone Iodine, 1% �
4� Triple Antibiotic Ointment �
2� Sterile Surgeon’s Gloves, Size 8 �
1� Sterile Drape �
2� Benzoin Swab �
20 Wound Closure Strips, 1/4″x4″ �
1� Porous Tape, 1″x10yd �
1� Trauma Pad, 5″x9″ �
1� Non-Adherent Dressing, 3″x4″ �
4� Gauze Pad, Sterile 4″x4″ �
1� Stretch Gauze, 3″ �
1� High Compression Bandage, 3″�
1� Hazardous Waste Bag �
1� Instructions�

Specialized Additions�

Stethoscope (single head)

Blood Pressure Cuff

Oximeter

CPR Bag

Glucose blood level monitor

Pole less Litter

Surgical Stapler

Staple Remover

Epipen�

Personel Meds�

3 months of the following. I take 40 meds a day, coming to 280 per week. Some of these are light and heat sensitive, so are kept in a cooler bag, within a dry bag.�

tacromlimus

mycrophenolate

predisolone

bactrim

azthromyzin

irbesartin

attorvastin

somac

magmin

ventolin�

Additional Meds for Treatment�

imodium

sting goes

deep heat

broad spectrum antibiotics

antihistamine

panadiene

clove oil

activated charcoal

oral hydration sachets

activated charcoal tablets�

5) FRP (First Response Pack)

To be kept with my larger first aid kit for initial responses to emergencies that can be worn, the tools used for entry into vehicles, self protection and to prevent initial blood lose, etc.�

Snugpak Bumbag

I like the snugpak version on the market as it sells for $42AUD and is kept in stock within the country. The cheaper Eprey versions require the buckle moving from the side to the centre and the maxpedition gear proteus sells for twice as much.�

TOPS Pry Tool

There are several versions of pry tools on the market. This model fits best on a belt and isnt so large that its kept in a vehicle or pack. Every rescue worker should have one of these on their belt, for fast deployment until larger equipment becomes available.�

Bechmade 7 Rescue Hook (Seat belt Cutter)

I now have several seat belt cutters. Nothing is better for keeping strapped to a piece of gear for easy reach for quick cutting needs that are non-offensive in nature and have little risk of cutting a patient in tight quaters.�

Leather Riggers Gloves

Any sweade type glove for heavy duty use. Setwear are gell filled and breatheable.�

Nitrile Gloves (Green 0.38 thickness)

For hygiene. These were the thickest model I could find. The blue versions are only 0.20 thickness.�

Maxpedition Surgical Glove Pouch

Easy to reach gloves, instead of searching through the rest of the pack for initial items used.Holds four sets.�

P2/N95 Dust masks

Always handy to have some sort of particle mask to limit expose to dust, smoke, etc. these are atleast rated to virus sized particles.�

SOF Tactical Tourniquet

Handy gadget to have on hand if a pressure bandage is inadequate, or if needing to release pressure at a steady rate to avoid toxicity build up from crush injuries.�

Engineers Punch

These are spring loaded and shatter windows like nothing else, without the flying glass.�

Goggles folding

Bobster Crossfire

I wanted something that was foldable, fogless and easy to store.�

Helmet

Pro-tec Ace�

Adventure Medical kit Ultra Lite PRO

For the money these are the best for the size and have included a SAM splint and CPR mask.�

Torch LED Lenser P7

A LED head light is another option, to keep your hands free. Brunton is a good brand.�

Hereford Trauma Dressings

Fast and easy to use pressure bandage. The gauze and bandage are attached to one another for quick use.�

EMS Holster Set

Handy to have so equipment that is always used is readily avialable without having to search through kit.�

Quick Clot

Another good product that helps with major bleeds.�

Strike Force Fire Steel

Always have a means of fire starting available.�

Fox Micro 40 Whistle

Vector 1 Signal Mirror

Mirror pouch

Means of signalling for SAR.�

Compass

Silva voyager 8010

Source of navigation for unfamilar ground.�

Cold Steel pocket Shark Sharpie

For triaging patients. May also be employed as a Kubuton or Yawara stick in the use of percussion blows, joint locks and submission holds.�

Write in the Rain Note Book

Taking notes and triageing patients.�

Space Blanket

Reducing hypothermia and shock.�

Mini rolls of Duct Tape

You never know, this stuff can be used for anything.�

A Kabar/Becker Tac Tool would be another option if a chopping tool is needed for rural environments.�

Swiss Army Victorinox Rescue Tool.

I’d never been a large fan of folders. Too many scars on my hands to show why. My Spyderco delica is one of the few that Ive kept and never leaves my side. I didnt want to part with it, for a kit usually left in a vehicle. I noticed I didnt have a Swiss Army knife in my collection for some time and came across the rescue model with a liner locker and thought it would be a brilliant addition for use in the FRP.�

6) Clothing Bag with Hygiene items

Ive got to assume that if an emergency were to occur, that I wont be suitably attired for that event or the forthcoming weeks to follow. I therefore have a bag packed with summer and winter clothing and hygeine items. I have read a lot of survival books that go into quite alot of detail how to survive an emergency but very few go into how to live through and after that period. They generally assume you want to be rescued and that will occur after a very short time. If Ive got to leave my home and be gone for longer than three weeks and change of clothes and toiletries go a long way into making life more comfortable.�

��������� Base Layer�

  • socks 2 pair woolen (1 light weight/1 heavy weight)
  • under wear (Lycra shorts)
  • thermal under wear (bottoms only)
  • Swazi polar fleece singlet
  • polar fleece micro skivvy – Platypus Outdoors

Second Layer�

  • 511 cargo pants
  • Softie brown cotton T shirts
  • woolrich elite long sleeve shirt
  • Woolrich polo short sleave shirts
  • 511 Taclite vest (summer) or polar fleece vest(winter)

Outer Layer�

  • Soft Shell Whitby Hoodie – Kathmandu
  • TAD Gear Predator Hardshell

Accessories�

  • hiking boots – Hitec Magnums-black updating to OTB Ferdelance-desert
  • 511 TDU belt
  • gaiters
  • gloves – polar fleece, leather (reinforced palms)
  • hats – polar fleece beanie, shemagh, boonie
  • sandals
  • spare boot laces – paracord
  • head net
  • camp booties
  • sun glasses


Hygiene�

��������� Stored in field kit roll �

  • tooth brush and paste (bicarbonate soda, and charcoal)
  • medicated soap
  • razor
  • metal mirror
  • shaving oil
  • pack towel
  • baby wipes for TP
  • deodorant
  • Detol Hand Sanitiser
  • Spare Sun glasses

7) Tactical Bag and Belt�

In OZ semi-autos are banned and pump shotties are restricted. Also any pistol calibre from .40 and up are restricted to police and security use only. Siluette shooters do have some exemptions depending on club lattitudes. �

I once saw a youtube vid that I havent come across again showing a 45acp vs a 40smith vs a 9mm being shot into an outdated balistic vest with slabs of soft clay behind it. The 45 left an indentation that was very wide but only about 2 inches deep. The 9mm left an indentation about 2 inches wide but four times as deep as the 45. The 40 cal crapped all over them by leaving a crater the same width as a 45 and as deep as the 9mm. That sort of settled that argument for me once and for all.�

The problem with a firearm is that their only as good as two things, three really. One, available ammunition, two spare parts and three maintenaince. Otherwise all they become are really expensive book ends. Out of curiosity I rang around to several local gunshops and asked what ammo they had in stock. The first had 300 rounds of 357SIG and 40cal was a special order. The second had a small range of 40 cal in differing loads and no 357SIG at all. Only reloading components for the 45acp.�

Ballistically a 45acp has 850fps at the muzzle with a 230 grainer, a 9mm has 980fps using a 147 grain projectile. A 357SIG still has 1020fps at 100 yards using a 147 grain prodgie. This all means nothing if you cant get the ammo to feed your favorite pistol. In OZ and Im guessing other countries once leaving the US and major towns or capital cities, the 9mm and 357 magnum cartridges will be all that is available.�

Spare parts. The only two pistols that have spare parts off the shelf, with any certainty in this country are either a Glock or a 1911. These are also the only two that have their own forums. If a gun has its own forum then like a car it will have a good after market accessory and spare parts list. The only 1911 patern I can be bothered with now is an STI in something like an Edge. A tactical 4.15 would suit me down to the ground but any auto with a barrel under 5 inches is now illegal. Having a 5 inch barrel installed by the factory seems too hard for them. For the price of one sti I can buy two glocks and strip one for spare parts and hand in the frame. Its cheaper than buying parts seperately. Buying a Glock in 40cal and replacing the barrel with a lonewolf conversion brings the barrel thickness up close to a STI. An extended slide release, stainless guide rod and larger mag release and your set to go. All can be done yourself after 10 mins on youtube. I cant say that about any other pistol brand. The reason I prefer an STI, is that I can use it out of the box and dont have to screw about with it. I cant say that about the other 3 brands of 1911’s Ive owned.�

No matter what pistol choice I always go for something which has a consistant trigger pull. No DA/SA (double action to single action). Ive never been able to master going from a 12 lbs trigger pull to a 3lb pull. Even after however many years 1911’s are still the choice of competition shooters that need to group shots at 50 yards and I like being able to lower the hammer, primarily for taking spring tension off the hammer for extended periods.�

For cleaning I use an OTIS Tactical system and carry an extra roll of patch material. Ive also done several armourer courses so tend to carry a brownells brass punch and screw driver sets for repairs. I buy ammo by the slab. Oz slang for by the case/500 rounds, being the cheapest way even if it means splitting it with others for the bargain of bulk purchasing. If yourve ever brought two slabs of 12 gauge ammo then youll know that a sack truck is almost required to move the weight. This is why even though a 9mm Glock makes a better urban carry, I would prefer a 357 mag for a BOB carry. This way it can be combined with a Winchester trapper model and use one calibre. Once again smith revolvers dominate here for ease of parts and working on. 357 comes in boxes of 50 and it takes little room and weight to carry several hundred rounds.�

Removing the stock from the trapper reduces length for storage within a rollar bag with ammo and other accessories. Its legal requirement here to have all firearms stored in a safe and ammo stored seperately in another lock box. Having a rollar bag prepacked and kept witin a safe saves time when bugging out. The other firearm I like to keep on hand is a M6 scout combination in 410 gauge and 22 hornett. Both cartridges are expensive here. For example the hornett costs $450 per 500 rounds as compared to 223 at $400 for 500 rounds. I am tempted to buy a little Savage falling black 30G takedown to replace it but I like the M6 scout as my meat in the pot gun. The 410 takes small game on the run and with solids backs up the hornett on larger game with about as much grunt as a 41 magnum. The hornett gives me more options on medium game.�

The .22 Rimfire limits me in terms of the areas I can hunt. Its very hard to get within range of rabbits unless surprising them where a shottie works better on moving game, but Im still thinking of the weight of 500 rounds of rimfire ammo compared to hornett and 410 gauge and incoperating the 357 for larger game instead of using exclusively for defense. I keep away from anything requiring magizines. There just another part that can break. Another reason for going old school with a revolver.�

Ammunition does run out, so for that reason Ive also tried to incorperate a shoulder holster system holding a RMJ Forge Shrike Hawk and Kukri, both are easy to carry and concealed if neccessary. Ive also included an archery set up to cover myself. I find more properties allowing me to usee a bow over a firearm now a days and in the case of poaching after SHTF, noise would be kept to a minimum. Concealing location, type of firearms, what your hunting etc.�

All this is of little use without a carry system for amunition etc. After having to carry a firearm for several years for employment. I now stick to synthetics over leather, to keep weight down and improve on comfort when wearing for long periods. In conjunction with a Platatac Peacekeeper belt I usually Uncle Mikes products with side bet belt slide holster and amunition belt silde for an additional 6 shots for filling up the cylinder if only a few shots are fired. The only leahter I use now are Safariland speedloader holders model 370. These fit closer to the body and dont stick out like a large set of dogs balls on your waist. I also like to use Safariland Comp 2 speedloaders exclusively for revolvers. They work like a springloaded competition loader but lower to avoid abstructions with no need to turn the locking mechanism to release the cartridges. With the use of belt keepers this fits straight over the urban belt. To carry ammo for the leveraction Ive had a cartridge belt modified to carry extra rounds similar to a bandaleer.�

8) Short Term BOB (3Day)

The size of this bag I prefer to keep small at around 35 litres with a Snugpak Sleeka Force Knapsack for easy full time storage within a vehicle. Carrying only essentuals.�

Contents�

ENO double nest hammock and fast fly

sleeping bag black wolf (-5)

auscam poncho

auscam hootchie

reflective blanket

AMK Pro first aid kit

katadyn hiker water purifier

MSR Titan kettle

x3 ration packs

sea to summit water bladders

fenix head band for torch

maps and silva compass

becker companion knife

becker tac tool

Small GPS backup for grid references only

binoculars 10×25

Fenix headband FHB-BB with Quark 123-R5

Nato flat pack sleeping mattress�

9) Heavy/Long Term BOB

I use a large rollar bag for this carry system. This is set up more for comfort involving long term accomodation. �

Shelter�

Bivi Bag

reflective blanket for ground mat

Golite Hex 3 Tipi

recon 4 (-10) sleeping bag

inflatable mattress exped

swack shack multicam tarp for annex to tipi�

Tools�

Gerber sport axe

Kaito hand crank radio

Collapseable canvas buckets

Katydan Camp drip Water Purifier

Rechargeable Hand Crank Lanterns

Solar shower – sea to summit

Trail Blazer take down Buck Saw

folding shovel gerber E tool entrenching shovel

parachute cord

head lamp brunton

binoculars (Alpen Pro 8×42 wide angle)

collapsible solar panel – GSE Sunlinq 6.5 watt

12mm rope and carabiners�

Cooking�

trangia cooker and mentholated spirits for fuel

Snow Peak combo pot set

Snow Peak titanium cup- double walled 600

2 tin openers P-38

chop sticks – Snow Peak

Sea to Summit titanium folding spoon

Sea to Summit cutting up board

Little bug cooking stove

Wooden spoon

Boker vox Rhino knife

Light my fire plate set�

Fire�

Gerber strike force

magnesium block

wind proof matches

candle

flint and steel kit

windmill trekker butane lighter

tinder quick tabs

jute twine covered in wax

contained in a small maxpedition moire pouch�

10) Food

I like to stick with comercial sealed foods (MRE’s) that are rated for long life and then incease the calorie intake by using large plastic zip lock bags and adding the following;

  • scroggin / gorp – nuts, dried fruit, seeds, grains, sweets.
  • spices – curry, salt, pepper, garlic, onion flakes, stock cubes and Tabasco Sauce.
  • brew kit – tea, coffee, sugar, powdered milk
  • snacks – cheese spread & biscuits, granola bars, soup mixes.
  • Rice – Basmati
  • split peas – yellow
  • lentils – red
  • muesli
  • corn meal
  • pemican
  • bannock
  • biltong / jerky
  • 2 min noodles
  • dried beans, peas, corn and carrots
  • cous cous
  • Potato Flakes
  • instant porridge


Mainstay Energy Bars made by Survivor Industries

5 year Shelf Life Your browser may not support display of this image. Non-Thirst Provoking Your browser may not support display of this image. Withstands Temperatures of -40 F to 300F (-40C to 149C) Your browser may not support display of this image. Ready to Eat: Each package contains 3 pre-measured 400 calorie meals. Your browser may not support display of this image. Individualized portions eliminate the messy breaking-up that occurs with other bars Your browser may not support display of this image. Allows for on-land emergency consumption in a high-stress active situation. Your browser may not support display of this image. Contains no cholesterol or tropical oils. Your browser may not support display of this image. Meets the US Coast Guard standards (160.046/23/0). It’s new modern packaging even meets the stringent guidelines set by the Department of Defense (SOLAS 74/83). Your browser may not support display of this image. Enriched with vitamins and minerals exceeding the RDA requirements. Your browser may not support display of this image. Pleasant lemon flavor which appeals to everyone. Mainstay is Kosher and it meets the dictates for Halal. These come in several sizes, the most user friendly are the 1200 calorie versions which break apart into three sections providing x3/400 cal meals. These taste like a hard version of shortbread with a slight lemon twist. Having a five year shelf life can be kept for long periods in Bug Out Bags. �

Springbok Foods – Biltong �
Biltong is a South African dried meat. The difference between Biltong and Jerky is that Biltong can be made from thicker pieces and vinegar is used in the preserving process adding to the texture and flavour by partially cooking while being marinated. Jerky is usually only salted and dried in thinner slices. �

Portion Pack Foods – MRE’s from NZ �

Breakfast (common on all menus) �
– 1 x 100gm Muesli Cereal with milk powder �
Snacks (common on all menus) �
– 2 x 40gm Chocolate bars �
– 2 x 34gm Muesli bars �
– 2 x 40gm pkt Sultanas �
Lunch (common on all menus) �
– 1 x 85gm Instant Noodles �
– 1 x pkt Cream Crackers �
– 1 x 20gm Cheese Spread Sachet �
– 1 x 26 gm Fruit Spread �
Dinner – 1 of the following 300gm Meal-packs �
– Beef & Vegetable �
– Chicken Pasta & Vegetables �
– Lamb in Minted Gravy �
– Vegetable Curry – vegetarian �
Other components (common to all menus) �
– 1 x 85gm Instant Noodles �
– 1 x 7gm Salt Sachet �
– 2 x 14gm Sugar Sachet �
– 2 x 1.5gm Coffee Sachets �
– 2 x 2gm Tea bags �
– 1 x 12gm Sports Drink �
– 1 x 85gm Sweetened Condensed Milk �
Total weight of pack = approx 1200gm �
Average energy content per pack = 13,700kJ �

Settlers Home Foods �
http://settlersfoods.com.au/
Dried beef mince that comes in 125 gram packs that rehydrate into 500 gram serves providing 2 large serves or 3 small and come in the following flavours. �

Burrito �
Country Casserole �
Bolognaise �
Beef and Black bean �
Malaysian Satay �
BBQ �
Mild Thai Curry �
Plain �
Bacon and Eggs�

Bircher Muesli

http://www.rescuefoods.com/index.html

11) Pet BOB and Food

Polar Fleece Blankets(1 per animal)

Water

Tinned Food

Dry Food

Leashes

Collars with ID

Harnesses

Travel Bowls(Food and Water)

Can Opener

Spoon

Kitty Litter

Litter Tray

Cat Carriers

Meds-Flea/Tick and Worming Paste. Make sure to include Heart Worm

Rope or chain with swivel attachment

First Aid Kit

Animal medical books�

12) Foraging/Looting? Bag

This is made up from a Sotech Gobag/Countycomm Satcom style bag. I just brought one of eprey from a paintball site and found that just as good. This is essentually a break and enter kit for foraging post SHTF. Foraging as opposed to looting is taking what you need to survive as oppossed to what you thieve for the sake of profit or greed. Food, clothing and fuel is different to tv sets and electronic equipment. The first item is a Rambo 4 blade. At 12 inches long fits inside hidden away just in case of needing a defensive tool. Being hidden in one of the many pouches makes it prefered as not to appear as an agressor. it has a soft enough temper to not break if hit with a steel bar. Rope for an agressing kit, flash light, stanley wonder prybar, mid sized bolt cutters, collapsable containers for collecting both fuel and water, lock and chain to cover your exits, large maxpedition rolly polly.Hitchmaster rope winch, small amk .9 first aid kit, and fold up miniture tool sets. Jiggler fuel syphon. A repair kit for fixing cars etc, a few simple items such as cable ties, light gauge fencing wire, duct tape, 2mm electrical wire.Multi tool, sabrecut saw, adjustable wrenches which I normally dont like using but this way limits the amount of tools and weight. Spring loaded engineers punch for glass breaking. Small personal alarm and a few chemicals to make smoke bombs for diversion tactics.�

13) Paperwork/ID

Always have copies of ID sealed in a waterproof zip lock bag, including medicare/health cards, Drivers licence, passport, vehicle rego, medical records, firearms licence, etc.�

14) Optional Accessories

Frisport Lavvu Andersnatten (6-8 person) tipi.

I prefer tipi’s for shelters as they can have wood stoves used inside for heating. I brought the two I have at the time due to being made from ripstop material. Now a days Id probably just go for the Kifaru brand to have the coyote brown colour to match the areas I now frequent and for ease of dealing with the company. Also Golite have changed their models. I use the small one for a temperary all weather shelter and in my larger BOB but have the 8 person tipi for long term accomodation.�

Transitioning to Seven Day Bug-Out Bags

Transitioning to Seven Day Bug-Out Bags, by Firefighter Charles

I was standing in the living room, watching CNN. I saw the devastation of Haiti. I listened to how help is coming and arrived almost immediately. Logistical issues hampered “helps” immediate aiding of the people in Haiti. Weeks later, Chile was hit by a massive earthquake as well. With Chile’s government not wanting any support at first, watched how Chile succumb to riots and looting in just three days after the quake. Haiti broke down as well after five days of no food, water, or shelter. Many people in Chile had to sleep in the streets due the unsafe conditions in their homes, uncertain if the structures of their homes were sound. Many of the Chileans who stayed by their homes, slept outside in makeshift tents that were made out of blankets, sheets and plastic tarps. In Haiti, hundreds of people made shelters out of wood, clothes, and cardboard boxes. Needless to say both countries were unprepared. At least the people in Haiti have an excuse. Most of the people are poor and or uneducated. The people in Chile have no excuse. They live in earthquake country and [since they are more prosperous and better educated] they should have been better prepared. In the case of Louisiana, people had time to get prepared and chose not to. I guess most people in Louisiana figured it wasn’t going to get that bad or decided at the last minute to take whatever they needed. Either way, “help” did not come for them for four long days, in some cases longer. Many people died from dehydration along with other things such as drowning, infection, and medical complications.

Three Day Kits are Obsolete:
It hit me that the 72-hour Emergency Kit, 72-hour Bug Out Bag, or Bail Out Bag or whatever you call it is obsolete. I am now convinced that the 5 or 7 day Bug Out Bag is the way to go. Hurricane Katrina was a huge lesson to the American preparedness community. We watched while a lot people struggled, died, and became victims. Our financial situation here in the U.S. is crumbling. Programs are being cut, resources running low, and politicians don’t ever think a disaster can happen to us or they might not care. Either way help will be a long way off from three days. Even if your Bug Out Location is only two days away by car. Running into unforeseen problems could extend that trip (will discuss later). For those who have flee on foot, vehicles, and boats having a 5 to 7 day bag might have extended some of these individuals’ lifespan. Having more is a lot better than having less especially in a disaster situation. Like many people say: “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”


The Scenario:
Now FEMA’s response times as we all know is pitiful. FEMA’s response time also varies from situation to situation. But for our purposes, let’s give FEMA the benefit of doubt. The scenario i san unlikely yet devastating a 7.5 earthquake in New York City (Manhattan). I’ll play with the numbers in their favor. It might take them 8 to 12 hours to figure out logistics and if the area is safe. It may take them another 10 to 12 hours to mobilize and get to the disaster area. Then once there, they set up outside of the disaster area, which might take another 8 to 12 hours. Also having engineers come in to analyze the tunnels and bridges, will further delay the rescue. Depending on the bridge or tunnel they decide analyze, that only can take up to another 12 hours. That would be an estimated FEMA’s response time. You now exhausted your 72-hour bag. Keep in mind that each disaster warrants a different approach. Also understanding that getting to the disaster zone would take time because of the possibility of compromised bridges and tunnels, hence the engineers. The total estimated time would be 62 to 84 hours. Not including the process time to get into a FEMA camp. A 5 or 7-Day Bug Out Bag is starting to look real good at this point.

Now once FEMA has established itself in, near, and or around the disaster area. It could take another 12-24 hours to receive one-on-one assistance. Considering that thousands to Hundreds of thousands will also be on line waiting for “help”. Now, picture yourself being on line for your favorite band and waiting 10-24 hours to get their tickets. Now translate that to a disaster relief line. You exhausted your 72-hour bag and now have to wait in a line for hours maybe even days to be sheltered and fed. You will be beyond hungry, thirsty and tired. Knowing that you are so close yet have to wait for hours more, will really agitate you. Note: That waiting for FEMA support on a line of hundreds of thousands will bring out the good, the bad, and the worst.

Using an earthquake scenario in New York City is one of the ultimate crises for usage of a 5 or 7-Day Bug Out Bag. You will be using your tube tent, emergency blanket, emergency sleeping bag and or tarp for shelter and warmth. Collapsed or compromised building will have you setting up a temporary home in Central Park, Van Cortland Park, Prospect Park, Yankee Stadium (Being the only sports arena in the five boroughs) or a safe clearing near the home. Compromised water lines, the aqueduct, and sewer lines will have you depended on your hydro bladder and emergency water packets in your bag. Along with using your purification tablets to purify possibly tainted water. There are many other scenarios like a Nuclear Attack (which is less likely), Hurricanes, Civil Unrest, and other disasters that would make a 5 to 7-Day Bug Out Bag desirable. Keep in mind that you should be sheltering in place for the previously mentioned disasters and have food storage but if you don’t, that’s where your Bug Out Bag can also come in handy.

Now, on the early mentioning of running into problems while you are Bugging Out to your determine location. You had already picked out your escape route. Once on the road, you start running into multiple “road blocks”. Which now alters your escape a few times. Now the three-day trip has turned into a 4 to 5 day trip. Again, your 72 hour Bug Out Bag is now depleted. Having your 5 to 7 day Bug Out Bag during an evacuation will sever you well in the case of major detours. Keep in mind if you are a responsible prepper your Vehicle Bug Out Kit’s inventory should sustain you for a few days without having to tap into your Bug Out Bag. I, myself have enough in my Vehicle Bug Out Kit that I would most likely not break into my Bail Out Bags, Start Up Supplies or Bug Out Bag. Planning ahead with your supplies in your Bug Out Bag will go a long way if you go past your 72-hour mark. Having more is better. Having less is foolish.

Is It Really Too Much?
Some people might think that having a 5 or 7-Day Bug Out Bag is over the top but in the field of preparedness. When being faced with uncertainties nothing is over the top, as long as you keep level headed and use common sense. You are only adding a few more items to your already existing bag. If you don’t have a bag of any kind and don’t have a lot of money to build a 5 or 7 day bag out right. Start with a 3-day bag and build from there. Make sure you end up with a 5 or 7-day bag, at the very least a 5-day bag.

This or That?
Some people are going to say “Why not just have a 7 day Bug Out Bag instead of a 5 day Bug Out Bag?” It comes down to how much you are willing to spend on the items in the Bug Out Bag and how much you are willing to carry. Trust me adding four more 4.222 oz of water packets add up in weight (you’ll feel a slight difference). Three more (field stripped) MRE meals or canned goods add in weight. I’m a weight lifter and a firefighter and am use to carrying heavy weight for long periods of time. For some this kind of weight is not acceptable or doable.

Somewhat Of A History:
The Bug Out Bag was designed for evacuation purposes. The Bug Out Bag is portable equipment full with survival to sustain you for 72 hours. The typical items such as food, water, emergency blankets, flashlight, shelter, weapons, et cetera could be found in most bags. The Bug Out Bag goes by a few names such as G.O.O.D. bag (Get Out Of Dodge), SHTF bag, Go Bag, Bail Out Bag and the 72 Hour Emergency Kit. Nobody is sure where it started but some say that it was derived from those used by military aviators.

The New Idea (Somewhat):
My Bug Out Kit is different from most people. My Bug Out Bag is actually inside of my Bug Out Kit, which is a military duffle bag (sea bag), which also contains my Bug Out Rigging System. My Bug Out Rigging System is a tactical vest with a 6×6 tactical pouch (emergency blanket, water proof matches, paracord, emergency poncho, food bars, flexible canteen and disposable lighter), fixed blade knife (mounted on the back), folded knife (on front left chest), a copy of the personal document kit (inside the vest behind the ballistic plate), and some items I don’t discuss. Inside the sea bag is a change of clothes, boots, tactical vest (Bug Out Rigging System), 6 – 0.5 liter bottles of water (to fill the hydro-bladder in the Bug Out Bag), Personal Medical Kit (thigh rigged, part of the Bug Out Rigging system), Main Personal Document Kit (everyone in your family), and a dump pouch (Folded up on my belt). The Bug Out Bag is the 5.11Tactical brand 72 Hour Rush Backpack (trust me you can fit way more than 72 hours worth of gear in that bag). Compartmentalize bags are the best option to go with. If packed right you can get to anything you need without having to dig through it or dumping the entire bag just get one item. When bugging out, you want to keep moving and create distant between you and the disaster. So, knowing where the item is or having accessible is important.

A Double Bug Out Bag system can be another option if you’re strong enough and packed correctly. A Double Bug Out Bag can extend your bug out time. It also allows you to carry more food, water, ammo, medical supply and or clothes. The double bail out bag system does not have to be two big bags but a small and larger or two medium size bags. Recommendation: For the second Bug Out Bag I use Maxpedition’s Jumbo Versipack, which is medium size and pack a lot of extras. Or Condor Outdoor’s Modular Style Deployment Bag, which is small but can pack a lot of extras. I use the Condor Modular Deployment Bag for medical gear. Plus, the Modular Style Deployment Bag can be “married” to one of your Bug Out Bags.

A Vehicle Bug Out Bag/Bin is more like a kit that stays in the vehicle and is kept in the back. It’s a back up kit to your Bug Out Bag. While you are traveling in the vehicle, you utilize the bag or bin. The difference in this Bug Out equipment is that most of the contents in that bag or bin will have vehicle related items like jumper cables, road reflectors, tire patching kit, flashlights, flares, ponchos, [12VDC] electronics charger, et cetera. Not to mention water, food bars, and a back up weapon of some kind. I own a small one in the back of my SUV. It’s a bag not a bin. I do store water and food bars under the rear seat of the last row. I own a 2004 Ford Explorer so I use every inch of the vehicle. �
Recommendation: If you build a vehicular bin, make sure you also add crucial auto parts like a serpentine belt, water hoses, a good set of tools and things of that nature. Note: Make sure you check your spare tire every six months. Also have a realfull-size tire as a spare and not a “mini spare” donut.

A Bail Out Bag is what I have design to be for the extreme case that I have to bail out of my vehicle and can’t grab anything else but that. I keep my kit on the middle console. My girlfriend’s bug-out bag is on the back of her seat. In there I have 3 days of energy bars, 3 days of water (if used sparingly), packets of water soluble vitamins, mini flashlight, folded knife, paracord and a map.�
Recommendation: I use Condor Outdoor’s Tactical Messenger Bag. For those that carry firearms this bag is very compatible to those who carry rifle and side arms. Since I don’t carry and can’t have a firearm here in New York City (Liberals). With that in mine I have more room to store other items.

A Bug Out Rigging System is a tactical vest and a thigh rig with items that will help during your bug out phase. As I mention before my vest is more design to the standard of the state/city I live in. For those who can own firearms strapping magazines to your vest with other survival items is key and adds more ammo to your firepower. Having a thigh rigging system is also part of the Bug Out Rigging system. Keeping a personal medical kit (for yourself), sidearm, fix blade knife, collapsible baton, or a 6×6 pouch full of “stuff” will help when needed. Plus carrying extra food, water pouches, and or ammo always help.�
Recommendation: I keep my thigh rigged Personal Medical Kit opposite my baton. Using a 4×4 or 6×6 pouch would be the biggest I would go with on a thigh-rigged pouch. Anything bigger will just get in the way.

[JWR Adds: In my experience, gear that is strapped to one’s thighs tends to be fatiguing, when walking long distances. A small “fanny” pack or MOLLE pouch worn in front is far more convenient. They can be re-positioned if you ever need to low crawl.]

A High Speed Kit/Bag is a bag I built with heavy tools, weapons, and a comprehensive medical kit for the small chance of an earthquake, building collapse, or bad hurricane here in the city. The bag was built to help others. In the bag I keep a mini axe, Stanley FatMax Xtreme ?FPRIVATE “TYPE=PICT;ALT=”Your browser may not support display of this image. [Halligan Tool], 200 ft nylon climbing rope, fixed blade knife, folding knife, hydro bladder, food bars, and emergency blankets (for trapped people). The bag I use is Condor Outdoor’s Level 3 Assault Pack. I came up with the idea to start my own bag after 9/11. After experiencing not having my own equipment available, I now keep one on deck. Recommendation: If you build your own bag, make sure you know how to use the tools and that the tools have a multi purpose use. Pack enough according your area and the distance you are willing to travel to help. Note: A Good set of “irons” (Halligan bar and a full size [firefighter’s] axe) goes a long way. Carrying them around will tend to weigh after awhile but they are worth their weight in gold. Note: There are other companies that make the Level 3 Assault Backpack. Some are less expensive. Some fall apart easily. Some are just no good. You have to choose the right one.

Carrying The Load:
Carrying a Bug Out Bag can be heavy. Let alone carrying a tactical vest, thigh rigged pouch, Bug Out Bag, and a second Bug Out Bag/Kit. If you are on foot this stuff starts to weigh after a while. Keeping in shape like Robert Neville in [the movie] I Am Legend is necessary. I know working out is not a major “to do” on your list but it has to be done in the interest of family and self. Keeping in shape is key to allowing your body to deal with extra weight you might be carrying. By working out and lifting weights, that allows me to carry a Double Bug Out Bag system. You have to keep your core tight. By strengthening your abs, back, and legs, you can do more without risking injury. Recommendation: For workout tips read Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Health, or Flex magazine (keep in mind Flex magazine is more for the body builder but they do have good tips from time to time). You can also read the recent two-part SurvivalBlog article: Fit To Survive. It’s not a bad read and has good tips on going about getting strong.

Why Do It To Yourself?:
One Person Bug Out Bags are your best choice. Buying one of those Multi-person Bug Out Bag is somewhat for novice preppers. Even so novice preppers should actually know better. You can also look at it as being irresponsible. Having all your belongings, food, water, shelter, et cetera in one bag is foolish. Lets say you buy a 72- hour Bug Out Bag built for four people. You have everything in one bag. Now a disaster strikes & you have to bug out of town or the city. What happens if one of the four family members gets separated? Or the lead person carrying the 72-hour Bug Out Bag built for four gets separated? Now, the other three family members are SOL. Or the one family member who got separated is now cold, hungry, and alone. Recommendation: Every able body should have their own Bug Out Bag. With children under five years of age I would split their stuff between the adults’ Bug Out Bag.

The Personal Document Issue:
Keeping personal documents safe is another priority all on it’s own. Make sure everyone in your family has a Personal Document Kit on them & in their Bug Out Bags. You (the head of the Family) keep everyone’s Personal Document on your person and in your Bug Out Bag. Everyone in your family should have two full copies of Personal Documents, one on their persons and the other one in their Bug Out Bag. If you have an infant then try putting on one on them. Of course, they won’t have their own Bug Out Bag unless they are Spartan. In any case, the extra copy of the infant’s Personal Documents will be in the mother’s Bug Out Bag. The reason for putting one on a small child or an infant is in the small chance that you get separated from one another. Some may say that keeping so many copies of personal documents is unnecessary but in a time of crisis things as we all know never go according to plan. Having a main copy in your bag is good but with thieves lurking in every corner. If your bag gets stolen, then at least you have a copy on yourself. Recommendation: For every Bug Out Bag, Bail Out Bag, Vehicle Bug Out Bag, & Bug Out System you should have copies of key personal documents in each bag or system.

Conclusion:
The Preparedness field is forever changing. There is no “set in stone way” of doing things. Whatever works for you is what you stick to but never be afraid of new and approved ideas. The different Bug Out Bag systems might work for you. It works for me and still keeps my hands free. It might seem overboard but again in the face of disaster, you’ll need as much help as you can safely carry.

Bug Out Food

Found the following posted on a forum. It didnt have a link to the author and the poster had also lost it, so if anyone recognises the work please let me know so I can add a link.

Bug Out Food

Something that is near and dear to all our hearts(and stomachs). I’ve always put a minimum of a 5 year storage life that I have ever put by. That way your not replenishing your ruck every 2 months. I recently found the attached article that gives a good basis for your selection. It even mentions “Tang” & “Peanut butter” as things to put away, it just doesn’t limit your diet to that. �

In the past the common soldier was not fed by his unit, but was left to fend and forage for himself. When an army was in the area, the local population suffered greatly. Their homes were ransacked and anything of food value was stolen along with all edible livestock. Modern armies go to great lengths to insure their soldiers are supplied with sufficient nutritious meals to keep them fit and ready to complete their mission. �

Military Field Rations. The object of military field rations is to provide plenty of nutrients in as light a weight as possible. When hot mess hall meals are not available, soldiers are issued field rations which can be quickly and easily prepared in the field. In training situations, most United States military units try to provide at least one hot meal per day and issue MRE’s (Meals Ready to Eat) for the others. MRE’s aren’t much different in content from Vietnam War era C-Rations, but are packed in lightweight plastic and foil pouches instead of heavy tin cans and some foods like fruits and vegetables have been freeze dried to save even more weight. MRE’s are balanced nutritionally and there is a certain variety of menus (so long as you don’t get the same type for every meal), but are thought by many soldiers to be very bland. Troops often carry hot sauce and spices like seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, garlic or curry powder and some also bring cheese, dry salami, minute rice (a clean boot sock is good for carrying some extra rice) or ramen noodles to the field to improve or supplement the issued meal. MRE’s generally consist of a main-course (like beef stew, barbecued beef slices or chicken a la king), a freeze dried fruit or vegetable snack (like peaches, strawberries or hash brown potatoes, which can be reconstituted with water or eaten dry and crunchy), dense crackers and some kind of spread (like peanut butter or cheese whiz), a dessert (like chocolate or cookies), a drink mix (like kool-aid or cocoa), salt, pepper, instant coffee, creamer, sugar, chewing gum, matches and toilet paper. Other modern armies issue similar rations, but usually with canned food. The French Army even includes a small plastic bottle of red wine in their field rations. �

British Army Rations. After the fall of France to the Nazis, a booklet on guerrilla warfare was distributed to the British Home Army, their citizen’s Militia, advising how to resist the expected invasion of their island nation. Concerning rations this booklet stated that, in a pinch, a half-pound of chocolate and a half-pound of raisins should suffice to sustain a soldier in the field for a week. Try that some time if you want to lose about ten pounds. The British Army today has a much better field diet in the form of a 24-hour “ratpack” (ration pack) thought by many other armies to be the best in the world. It’s useful to examine the contents of the British ratpack when planning and assembling your own rations for Militia field duty. Each ratpack weighs about 4-1/2 pounds, comes in a cardboard box with a range card printed on the side and is issued with a folding stove and hexamine solid fuel tablets or a sterno type jellied fuel cooker. There is a menu card showing the suggested breakdown for a breakfast, snack and main meal. The meal plan for the ratpack is not very different from the meals consumed by many backpackers; a quick, easy to prepare breakfast, high carbohydrate snacks eaten throughout the day’s activities, and a more hearty main meal. Breakfast consists of a rolled oats porridge mix, a can of bacon grill or baconburger (which can be eaten cold or fried), brown biscuits (plain dense cookie/crackers not unlike hardtack with some sugar) and powdered cocoa. The snack is placed in uniform pockets or an equipment belt pouch (never in an ammo pouch; in a firefight, reaching for a magazine and coming up with a chocolate bar can get you seriously killed). The snack is consumed throughout the day as desired and as the mission allows. It consists of more brown biscuits, a small tin of meat spread (chicken, ham, beef, or chicken & bacon), a milk chocolate bar, a roll of hard flavored sugar candy, chocolate covered caramels and lemon or orange flavored dextrose (glucose) tablets. There are four different main meal menus, all in cans; chicken curry, steak & kidney pudding, steak & onion casserole and minced steak. The main meal also has fruit filled biscuits, instant soup, a side dish (mixed vegetable, pre-cooked minute rice, spaghetti in tomato sauce or beans in tomato sauce) and a fruit dessert (instant apple flakes, apple & apricot flakes, fruit salad or mixed fruit pudding). The 24-hour ratpack also contains six 25-gram sugar packets, four tea bags and several one-cup serving instant drink packets (four dried skim milk powder, two coffee, one beef stock and one orange or lemon drink powder) and sundries (chewing gum, toilet paper, salt, book matches, windproof & waterproof matches, water purification tablets and a P-38 type folding can opener). Where possible, fresh rations are issued to supplement the ratpack, but it provides a balanced diet of excellent quality and has enough calories and vitamins to keep a soldier going on all but the most arduous tasks. �

Food for Energy. To perform your mission in combat, you need to give your body all the calories and nutrients it needs. To hump your rucksack up a mountain or keep warm on a cold day, your body needs to burn up lots of digestible food. Whether you are assaulting a hill or lying perfectly still in your sleeping bag, your body is constantly expending energy. The energy intake supplied by food is measured in units of heat energy called calories. A pound of cheese contains about 1,800 calories; a pound of margarine 3,300 calories. An individual performing the heavy exercise common to outdoor activities in a tactical environment requires 3,200 to 4,500 calories per day. In cold weather, more calories are required to keep the body warm. Rations for the average person should be planned to provide about 3,700 calories a day in the summer and 4,250 calories in the winter. Calories, however, measure only the heat energy in food. It would not be adequate, or appetizing, for a soldier in winter to consume the required 4,250 calories by eating a pound of margarine and half a pound of cheese. In order to put together a ration plan for Militia field duty which will encourage the body’s efficiency, you must also consider the type of calorie you will be consuming. �

Most of the calories you need in the field can be provided by carbohydrates, the starches and sugars which should make up about half of your daily ration. Pasta, flour, rice, potatoes, dried fruit, cocoa, pudding, dried milk, powdered eggs, nuts, honey and brown sugar are excellent sources of carbohydrates, and are the backbone of a good field ration. While some carbohydrates, such as pure sugars, assimilate into the body within fifteen minutes of ingestion, which is ideal for an instant pick-me-up on a patrol, others, such as the starch in pasta, take up to four hours to assimilate. That’s fine; the extra time allows you to produce energy to warm you through the night or to fuel a long march. It should be noted that the nutritive quality of carbohydrates can be seriously affected by processing and refining. Whenever possible, include whole-grain and unprocessed foodstuffs in your rations. �

Fats are a more concentrated form of energy and a more complex form of food than carbohydrates, so it usually takes the body from two to nine hours to metabolize them. One gram of fat produces nine calories of heat energy (more than twice as much as carbohydrates or proteins). While fats do not provide the instant vigor that carbohydrates can, they are a good long-term energy source to keep you hiking all day and warm all night. Fats will be providing energy to your body after carbohydrates eaten at the same time have been used up. Twenty-five percent of your daily caloric intake in the field should be fats. During the winter a higher intake, closer to forty percent, is recommended, since fats play such an important role in making your body less sensitive to the cold (now you know why blubber is such an important part of the traditional Alaskan Native American diet). However, fats require a good blood supply in the stomach for digestion. They are likely to be unappetizing, and even nauseating under circumstances when circulation is poor, like at high altitudes or when you are very cold, dehydrated and exhausted. If you don’t have a problem digesting fats in cold weather and if you have a tendency to get cold in the middle of the night, put a spoonful of margarine in your cocoa before going to bed. Your sleeping bag doesn’t warm you up, you warm it up and its insulation keeps your body heat from escaping. You can create body heat either by metabolizing food or by shivering; your choice. Other good sources of fats are cheese, coconut, bacon, salami, nuts and peanut butter. �

Protein is the raw material which most of the body’s cells require to keep on living. If more protein is consumed than the body needs for building and maintaining tissues, it is burned for energy. The protein in our bodies is made up of twenty-two chemical substances called amino acids. These amino acids can be arranged in a great number of formations, and each structure forms a different protein that serves the body in a different manner. All amino acids used by the body come from food. If some needed amino acids are not present in the diet, the body can break down other amino acids and manufacture the required type. However, there are eight amino acids which the body cannot manufacture called essential amino acids, which must be obtained through the protein in the food we eat. Some foods, such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs and milk products furnish all eight essential amino acids and are called “complete proteins.” Other foods, such as beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, cereals, vegetables and fruits contain some, but not all, of the eight essential amino acids and are called “incomplete proteins.” Most of the complete protein foods are not very handy for use in the field because of weight or spoilage, so learning the proper combination of incomplete proteins is an important part of field nutrition. When considering how to combine incomplete proteins to create complete proteins, try to include foods from at least two of the following groups, either in a single meal or over the course of a day: whole grains (rice, flour, pasta), dairy products (milk, cheese), legumes (beans, peanuts, lentils), and seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin). The most complimentary protein relationships are between milk products and grains; grains and legumes; and legumes and seeds. Tortillas with beans, rice with nuts, or the cornbread and beans diet of the Confederate soldier are all examples of combining incomplete proteins to create complete proteins. Even foods having complete proteins can be nutritionally enhanced through combination. If the protein in one food is relatively low in an essential amino acid, it can be combined with a food that is particularly high in that amino acid. In this way, essential amino acids present in the diet will be in closer proportion to the body’s requirements for them, thus increasing the usability of the proteins you eat. Fish combined with rice, a diet which feeds much of the world’s population, is an example of this process. �

If your field rations contain a balanced variety of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, you will probably ingest an adequate supply of vitamins and minerals for a short bivouac. For an extended stay in the field you might consider supplementing your diet with vitamins, particularly vitamin C. If supplemental vitamins are a regular part of your diet at home, it is probably best to include them in your field rations. �

Drinking an adequate amount of water aids in the digestion of foods, keeps cells healthy, regulates body temperature and helps carry wastes out of the body. Strenuous activity and high altitude usually increase the amount of water lost from the body through sweating. In cold weather, you can also lose about two quarts of liquid per day through respiration. Dehydration can make you susceptible to hypothermia, frostbite, mountain sickness, heat stroke and many other problems. In the summer you should drink a minimum of two or three quarts of water per day (strenuous activity in the desert sun can cause a fluid loss of close to one gallon per hour). In the winter a minimum of three or four quarts are essential. The easiest way to insure you replace enough fluids is to drink liquids at all meals and drink water whenever you are thirsty. Even if you are not thirsty, it is important to drink water at all rest stops throughout the day. When moving through areas where potable drinking water is in short supply, plan ahead and carry an adequate amount with you. Keeping track of your urine output is a good way to make sure you are getting enough water. You should be urinating at least two or three times a day. The urine should be clear and light unless there is a specific reason for color change, such as taking vitamin B supplements, which can turn the urine a darker yellow. Many people have a tendency to drink their morning coffee and then hit the trail. Keep in mind that coffee and tea are diuretics and can cause dehydration. Before you move out, drink a full cup of water after your coffee to get off to a good start. �

Good nutrition is the first criterion for selecting rations for a stay in the field. A nutritionally balanced diet will begin with whole grains, dairy products, legumes and seeds. It should also include some meats or meat substitutes, fruits and vegetables, and sweets. The chart in the next column provides a guideline for a nutritionally balanced summer ration (increase fats to 40 percent in winter): �

Percentage (by weight; not including non-nutritive food items such as coffee, tea, salt and spices) of total rations in each major food group: �

Meat or meat substitutes 11% �
Dried meats, eggs, soy products (3%) �
Nuts, seeds, legumes (8%) �

Dairy products 18% �
Powdered milk and milk drinks (10%) �
Cheese (8%) �

Fruit and vegetables 13% �
Dried vegetable, potatoes (7%) �
Dried fruit (6%) �

Grains and grain products 33% �
Flour, biscuit mix, cake mix (11%) �
Cereals, wheat germ, granola (11%) �
Pasta, rice, barley, etc. (11%) �

Margarine and oils 8% �

Sweets 17% �
Sugar and honey (8%) �
Fruit drinks, Jell-O, puddings (9%) �

Field Ration Planning. The Militia training manual “Citizen Soldier” by Robert Bradley recommends a five-day field ration of three one-quart Nalgene plastic bottles (one each of minute rice, macaroni and instant mashed potatoes), a small bottle of salt, some spices, a medium bottle of Tang and a plastic bottle of squeeze margarine, supplemented with some vitamins, canned tuna, candy bars, instant cocoa, coffee or tea. This plan is certainly better than the half-pound each of chocolate and raisins recommended to the British Home Army during World War II, but you can do better with the food selection techniques used in modern lightweight backpacking which are described in this section. �

Field ration planning begins with the idea that in the backcountry, you should eat whenever you are hungry throughout the day. Snack foods that you can munch on while on the move or during breaks (lunch is often just a longer trail break), such as nuts, granola, hard candy and cheese, should be a part of your field rations. These foods provide a handy source of quick energy when you are hiking and are also a quick solution for cold or hunger in the middle of the night. Extra trail foods also make a good emergency food reserve. If you are planning rations for a group, you might have each individual be responsible for their own trail food to account for personal preferences and body needs; some people like and perform better with cheese and dried meat snacks, others with nuts and granola. Rather than planning rigid menus for each meal, include in a ration a wide variety of ingredients which provide good nutrition and allow for choice at each meal. If you experience a craving for a certain type of food, your body could be telling you it needs a particular nutrient (or it might just mean that you like pepperoni pizza). Basic foodstuffs combined with a little creativity are the ingredients for good backcountry eating. �

For a weekend bivouac in the field, rations can be informal; just toss a few big cans of beef stew or chili into your rucksack (Nalley even makes them in camouflaged cans sold during hunting season). You should, however, include a good supply of food that yields a high amount of energy, like cheese or macaroni, which you can probably find in your refrigerator or pantry. For longer stays in the field, particularly with groups of four or more, rationing can require considerable planning. Like most outdoor skills, it may seem painstaking and time-consuming the first time, but after you have done it once and begin to understand your needs, the process will become quite easy. �

There are six important criteria which, when combined with an understanding of good nutrition, can help you determine the right food to take to the field: �

1. Your Mission. The major activities you anticipate during your mission should influence your choice of foods. If you will need to do a lot of mountaineering and cover a lot of miles, you want foods that can be prepared quickly. Energy content will be important, so pack snack foods to give yourself extra energy for long days. Don’t count on running across edible wild vegetation, game or fish in your area of operations, but certainly supplement your rations if the opportunity arises and time and the mission allows. �

2. Weight. Food is a major part of the weight of your rucksack. Your rations should weigh about 1-1/2 to 2-1/4 pounds per person per day in the summer and 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 pounds in the winter. Eight to ten days supply of food is about as much as you can carry comfortably along with your weapon, ammo and other mission essential equipment. This assumes that much of the food will be dehydrated or dry staples like rice or pasta. If water will be in short supply and you need to carry canned food and extra water, the ration you can carry won’t last as long. Freeze dried foods, in which only 2 to 3 percent of the moisture remains are lighter than dried foods, which often contain a full 25 percent of their original moisture. However, the freeze-drying process often removes some of the nutritional value of the food and freeze dried foods are much more expensive. Freeze drying does not alter the cell structure of food like other drying processes, so it retains its original shape and bulk. For example, you can pack more shriveled up dried apples in your rucksack than the equivalent amount of freeze-dried apples which stay their original size. To keep weight down, never carry food in glass bottles (which are also unsafe) and avoid canned foods or select those in aluminum cans like some meat spreads and Vienna sausage. To save weight and eliminate unnecessary bulk, discard original packaging (save the instructions) and place dried foods in zip-lock plastic bags. Freezer bags are stronger than sandwich bags and should be used with items like spaghetti which can puncture a weak bag. Carry spices and liquids in reusable plastic bottles. Bags and liquid containers can spring leaks, so pack liquid containers or several small bags of food in large freezer bags and also carry a few extra bags. Peanut butter, syrups and honey can be carried in backpacker’s reusable squeeze tubes and many can now be found on the grocery store shelf in plastic packaging. �

3. Spoilage. Because of the risk of spoilage, most meats and fresh foods should be excluded from summer rations. If you carry all dried goods, it’s nice to throw in a couple of onions or potatoes, which will keep for three or four days (to reduce spoilage, use a brown paper bag and do not wash fresh vegetables before packing). Margarine or vegetable oil must replace butter on longer stays in the field in the summer. Fresh eggs can be broken into a plastic jar with a tight sealing lid and they will pour out one at a time. Fresh eggs broken into a backpacker’s reusable squeeze tube will come out of the spout one at a time. They will keep up to four days if kept cool; carry the container in the center of your rucksack wrapped in clothing and immerse them in a stream when in camp. Plastic camping type egg carriers aren’t sturdy enough for fresh eggs, but can be used for hard-boiled eggs; keep these cool also and use on the first few days in the field. Store-wrapped meat packages can be safely taken from your freezer, wrapped in some newspaper and packed in a brown paper bag for consumption on the first day of a mission, but freeze-dried meats, jerky or hard salami are the only practical form of carrying meat for more than one day in the field. �

4. Availability and Expense. The best way to insure good, nutritious meals and keep your expenses down is to avoid freeze dried foods, which can be 3 to 6 times more expensive than buying ingredients for cooking from scratch. The more box dinners, commercially-mixed drinks and store-bought granola you use, the higher your food bill and the lower the nutritional value will be. If you are rationing for large groups, buy directly from granaries, dairies or wholesale stores. When including freeze-dried foods foods in your rations, try to buy in bulk directly from an outlet rather than from retail distributors. Investing in a food dryer is a good way to cut down on the cost of dried vegetables and fruit (get one with both heat and circulating air). Most of the foodstuffs you should carry to the field are common staples which you can find in a large supermarket. �

5. Variety. The more you know about your group’s normal eating habits, the better you can plan their field rations. Include various types of food: trail foods, baking goods, spices for flavoring sauces and instant foods for rushed meals. Take along a few special ingredients and surprise your companions. �

6. Preparations. When planning rations, consider the circumstances under which you will cook. What cooking tools will you be taking? Will you be using a stove or an open fire? If you will be cooking entirely on a butane or multifuel backpacking stove, most of your meals will most likely be cooked in one pot and baking will be very limited. If you only have a pocket stove and solid fuel tablets, your rations will have to be limited to reheating already cooked food in cans or pouches (like MRE’s or vacuum sealed cooking bags) or freeze-dried foods. In cold weather, avoid foods that need to cook a long time or require a lot of pot handling or intricate use of knives or fingers, since you will probably be wearing heavy gloves or mittens. �

The following sample represents a summer ration plan for ten days for two people at 2 pounds per person per day, and can be used as a guide when planning your field rations: �

Tea, 10 bags; or coffee, 1/2 lb. �
Margarine, 3 lbs. �
Powdered milk, 2 lbs. �
Cocoa, 2 lbs. �
Raisins, 1 lb. �
Dried figs, 1 lb. �
Dried coconut, 1/2 lb. �
Dried peaches, 1/2 lb. �
Shelled peanuts, 1 lb. �
Toasted soybeans, 1/2 lb. �
Roasted almonds, 1 lb. �
Sesame seeds, 1/4 lb. �
Sunflower seeds, 1 lb. �
Cheddar cheese, 3 lbs. �
Monterey jack cheese, 3 lbs. �
Gingerbread mix, 1/2 lb. �
Grapenuts, 2 lbs. �
Oatmeal, 1/2 lb. �
Wheat cereal, 1/2 lb. �
Granola, 1 lb. �
Instant hash browns, 2 lbs. �
Instant fruit drink, 1 lb. �
Brown sugar, 1 lb. �
Macaroni, 1 lb. �
Spaghetti, 1 lb. �
White rice, 1 lb. �
Brown rice, 1/2 lb. �
Instant potatoes, 1/2 lb. �
Pinto beans, 1 lb. �
Barley, 1/2 lb. �
Tortillas, 1 lb. �
Flour, 2-1/2 lbs. �
Cornmeal, 1/2 lb. �
Soup mixes, 3/4 lb. �
Dried vegetables, 1/2 lb. �
Popcorn, 1/4 lb. �
Baking powder, 1/4 lb. �
Yeast, 1/4 lb. �
Seasonings: Tabasco, salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, garlic salt, dry mustard, nutmeg, cinnamon, onion salt, curry powder, chili powder, flavoring extracts. �

Total weight: 40-3/4 lbs. or 20-3/8 lbs. per person �

Buying, Packing & Preparing Foods. Generally the foodstuffs you carry in your rucksack should be packed in plastic bags or bottles. A vacuum sealing device can greatly reduce the bulk of some foods and help preserve them. �

Meats: On a long mission, meat, due to its cost and weight, will usually be a luxury used only for flavoring. For a short stay in the field, there are a variety of suitable meat products, including compressed meat bars, freeze dried meats (ground beef is useful with Hamburger Helper type pasta main-course dishes) and dry sausages that do not require refrigeration. Homemade meat jerky is inexpensive and simple to make. Small cans of Vienna sausage, tuna, sardines, cooked boned meats (chicken, turkey, ham, etc.), corned beef or various meat spreads are also good on short missions. Canned meats with a high fat content like corned beef or tuna packed in vegetable oil will lessen the amount of margarine required when added to rice or pasta dishes. Even on a longer mission a small amount of canned meats should be packed. They can be eaten cold when circumstances don’t permit cooking. �

Soybean Products: The protein in soybeans is fairly similar to that found in meat. In addition to roasted soybeans, which make good trail food and provide interesting texture for many cooked meals, you can buy soy flour (useful for it’s nutty flavor) for baking or thickening stews or making gravy (most gravy mixes are little more than meat flavoring, salt and flour). Soy-derivative products such as “ham” and “bacon” bits can add flavor to omelets and rice and bean dishes. �

Dried Eggs: Powdered eggs are available as whole eggs, or white and yolks separately. Quality varies considerably from brand to brand, so it is wise to experiment at home before relying on them in the field. �

Nuts and Seeds: Shelled nuts are more convenient for backcountry cooking. Nuts make good trail food and add taste and texture to baked goods. To save money, buy unroasted nuts and roast them yourself. �

Legumes: Dried legumes (split peas, lentils, beans, etc.) when combined with brown rice or other grains make a complete protein, and can add variety to a meal. They generally take a long time to cook unless you use a pressure cooker or you prepare quick-cooking beans (by pre-cooking and then drying them for field use). Quick cooking beans are available in at some backpacking stores, but are much more expensive than dried beans. Bean and pea flours make good soup bases or thickeners if you can find them (or grind your own); most are now sold as soup mixes. �

Dry Milk: Several types of powdered milk are available: instant whole milk, instant nonfat milk, regular whole milk and buttermilk. Whole milk has more calories and vitamins than nonfat milk and is a better additive for baked goods. Instant powders dissolve more easily in cold water. A wide variety of breakfast drinks with milk bases are also easy to find in most grocery stores. �

Cocoa: It’s easier to use the instant type cocoa, which has already been combined with powdered milk. In the field all you have to do is add hot (not boiling) water. �

Cheese: Sharp cheddar seems to be the cheese with the most versatile flavor for backcountry cooking. It also keeps better than many other cheeses. Hard cheeses like Parmesan and Romano are also good in the field, as are processed cheese snacks (leave the type with a heavy can full of air at home). �

Margarine: Butter spoils rapidly in summer in the field, so margarine should be carried. Use a plastic squeeze bottle or remove the wrappers from sticks and carry them in a wide mouth screw-top plastic jar (the lids on tubs of soft spread margarine aren’t secure enough). �

Dried Fruit: Dried fruit (such as apples, prunes, raisins, apricots and peaches) can be found in any supermarket or you can dry them yourself. They make good trail food eaten as they are or added to breads. They can be stewed and eaten in cereals or for dessert at suppertime (you can cook some extra to be eaten cold the next morning). Dried fruit retains about 25 percent of its moisture and is thus heavier to carry than the considerably more expensive freeze-dried fruit, which has less than 3 percent moisture content. Sulfur-dried fruit, which must be soaked before using, contain more vitamins and minerals than other dried fruit. When properly packaged and stored below 60 degrees, most home dried fruit will maintain good quality for at least one year. Fruit packed in vacuum sealed bags lasts three to four times longer and for every 18 degrees drop in temperature, shelf life also increases three to four times. �

Dried Vegetables: Vegetables add color, vitamins and minerals to any meal. You can purchase freeze-dried or dry your own. Home dried vegetables don’t keep as well as dried fruit because they are low in acid and sugar. If possible, they should be refrigerated or frozen. Ideally dried vegetables should be used in less than six months when stored at 60 degrees (some vegetables like squash and cucumber should be used within two weeks). Dried green peas, onions and flaked cabbage are good for stews or soups. Carrots, green beans, beets and corn are also good, but take somewhat longer to cook. Flaked green peppers and onions make good seasonings and can be added to almost anything. Tomato flakes mix with water to make paste, sauce or juice, and are one of the best flavorings for outdoor cooking. �

Potatoes: Potatoes come in flake or powdered form and can be used as a separate dish, an additive or a thickener. Though potato flakes lose much of their vitamin C when processed, they are a versatile food for field cooking. Along with plain potatoes you might also carry a variety of packaged flavored types with sauce mixes. Throw away the original packaging and re-pack (along with the right proportion of dry milk if the recipe requires milk) in plastic bags or bottles labeled with cooking instructions. �

Self-Rising Baking Dishes: For simplicity and weight, it’s important to buy mixes which do not require the addition of eggs and shortening. Biscuit mixes can also be used to make cakes and pancakes. A few special mixes, such as gingerbread, cake mixes or special flours make a good change of pace for a long stay in the field. �

Wheat Germ: Wheat germ is used primarily as a nutritional supplement for cooking. Roasted wheat germ will keep for up to a month without refrigeration. �

Cereals: Oat and wheat cereals are nutritionally superior to rice and barley cereals. Bulgur wheat (also called “ala”), a whole grain product that cooks rapidly enough for field use, can be found in the hot cereal section of some supermarkets or in health food stores (which sometimes also stock other quick-cooking grains). It is wheat which has been pre-cooked, dried and cracked; cook and use it like rice. While uncooked cereals are the most versatile and can be used for hot cereal, granola and baking, the instant cereals are much easier to cook, usually taking less than a third of the time. While it is usually the best practice to carry foodstuffs consolidated in zip-lock bags and measure out portions, you might want to carry several different flavors of instant hot breakfast cereals in single serving packs for convenience and to add variety. �

Pasta: Pasta can form a major part of your field diet (whole grain pastas are nutritionally superior). Noodles of various shapes and kinds make an excellent start for one-pot meals. They cook in about 8-minutes of boiling (frequent stirring keeps them from sticking) and are quite nourishing, since they are generally made with egg as well as flour. However, don’t make the mistake some hungry backpackers have made of counting on ramen noodles as a complete main-course (most have less than 200 calories). Ramen noodles can supplement MRE’s or form the basis of a one-pot meal to which you add meat and vegetables. Packaged macaroni and cheese can also be made into a complete main-course by using the “15-Minute Dinner Ideas” found on a Kraft box. Prepare the macaroni and cheese normally and then stir in a half pound each of cooked meat and cooked vegetables with some spices or extra ingredients. Some combinations suggested by Kraft are: ground beef, stewed tomatoes & 1-tsp. chili powder; chicken, broccoli & 2-tsp. mustard; tuna, peas, 1/4-tsp. Italian seasoning; Italian sausage, broccoli, 1/4-cup chopped red pepper. You might also consider the ease of preparation and flavor variety of Hamburger Helper or Noodle Roni type main-course pasta dishes. A variety of sauce mixes (like Stroganoff, Fettucine Alfredo or broccoli and mushroom sauce) can add a welcome change to a monotonous field diet. Discard the original packaging and consolidate the pasta from all the boxes into a single container. Empty the sauce mix packets into separate bags for each type (along with instant dry milk if the recipe requires milk). With a permanent (not water soluble) marking pen, write preparation instructions on the bag or an enclosed slip of paper. Write instructions both for single servings and for the number of portions that will fit in a large cooking pot shared between 3 or 4 people. Carry a small plastic drinking/measuring cup and a set of plastic measuring spoons (not necessarily the whole set, just what you need) to measure out the required number of portions. �

Rice, Barley, Buckwheat, Grits: These are handy staples for preparing many good dishes, from cereals to main-courses (like with potatoes and pasta, sauce mixes can conveniently add variety). The instant forms are less nutritious, but are much easier to cook. A lightweight aluminum backpacking type pressure cooker reduces the cooking time required for these staples, and is the only practical way of cooking brown rice (which takes twice as long as regular long grain rice) over a single-burner backpacking stove. �

Soup Bases and Instant Soup: In addition to making a quick cup of soup, powdered bases and bouillon are also useful as flavorings for many dishes. When using them, remember that most bases contain a considerable amount of salt; use them cautiously. Don’t carry single servings of instant soup; consolidate them into separate zip-lock bags for each type. Instant pea soup mixes are filling and a good source of protein, especially if rice, noodles or some other grain is included in the meal. �

Sweeteners: Brown sugar is more versatile to use and easier to pack than white (put a piece of apple in the container to keep it soft). Honey, molasses, syrups and jam should be placed in plastic jars or bottles with tight-fitting lids (for extra protection, pack them inside a plastic bag). �

Fruit Drinks: Instant fruit drinks and gelatin desserts are good to drink either hot or cold (nothing beats a hot cup of Jell-O with a little margarine for sleeping warm). Get mixes with vitamin C and sugar already added. More expensive artificially sweetened drinks don’t have the nutritional value of sugar, but weigh less (lemonade or lemon flavored ice tea mix with Nutrasweet is good prepared half-strength to mask the taste of iodine after using water purification tablets). �

Instant Desserts: Instant puddings and cheesecake can be packed in small zip-lock freezer bags (with dry milk if the recipe requires). To prepare just add cold water, mix it in the bag, chill in a cold stream if available, and then eat right from the bag. �

Candy: If you choose to eat candy, make it in addition to an already nutritious diet. Fruit candies are more practical and offer a greater variety than chocolates. Nut candies are nutritionally superior. �

Spices: A good spice kit can make the difference between superb cuisine and bland, monotonous meals in the field. A good basic selection includes salt (carry extra, which you will need if you are perspiring heavily), pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, dill, curry, oregano, sage, chili powder, cumin, onion powder and garlic. Tabasco sauce, salsa, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce can also add a dash of interest to a simple meal. Spices are best carried in small plastic bottles or covered shakers with a few grains of rice to absorb moisture. Flip-top lids are available to convert plastic 35mm film cans into handy salt and pepper shakers. �

Adjusting Rations for High Altitude and Cold Weather. The higher the altitude, the less oxygen is available to metabolize food. Complex molecules such as proteins and fats may be harder to digest under these conditions. Fats can still be a very important source of concentrated, long-lasting energy, and some people are not bothered at all by digestive problems at high altitude. Take it easy the first time out, and if they give you no difficulties, then keep high energy fats in your rations and even increase them to about 40 percent of your diet. High altitude increases cooking time, which will roughly double for every 6,000 feet. At 15,000 feet water boils at 184 degrees and will not get hotter without a pressure cooker. At 11,000 feet fresh carrots can sit in a boiling stew pot for hours and all you end up with are hot, raw crunchy carrots. A meal that takes thirty minutes to cook at sea level is not practical at high altitudes. Frying is not much affected by high altitude. �

Cold dry air absorbs water from the lungs and the body loses fluids with every breath (visible or not). Extra soup and drink mixes should be added to your rations for cold weather or high altitude. Taking additional liquids will increase your blood volume, which aids digestion and helps prevent frostbite and hypothermia. Coffee and other diuretics should be used in moderation because they prevent the body from absorbing water and dehydration may result. An adequate supply of water is top priority in cold weather, even though it may be more difficult to find. Snow must be melted slowly over a low flame or it will taste scorched and be undrinkable. If you have to melt solid snow, place a bit of water in the bottom of your pot and stir constantly. Snow can also be melted in a porous cloth bag suspended over a container near a fire (no closer than you can comfortably stand indefinitely). After each meal, melt an extra pot of water and fill water bottles. A warm water bottle wrapped in a mitten or wool sock helps to keep your feet warm while you sleep. Have both food and water available at night; thirst and hunger are the major reasons people sleep cold. A high-fat, high-protein recipe to munch on and keep warm is the “Iron Man Mix”; one part each of raisins, cubed nonprocessed cheese, peanuts and diced beef jerky. On snowy peaks during the summer, you can use the sun to melt drinking water. If you are spending the day in camp, put a dark colored tarp or rain parka in a hollow in the snow. Then place a small amount of snow in the tarp and continue adding snow as it melts. The sun’s energy will melt large amounts of water fairly quickly. �

Personal Field Cooking Equipment. During the Revolutionary War, meals in the field were cooked over open fires in cast iron pots (one for every six to twelve men; the officer’s pots had lids). Each soldier carried a canteen, a tin plate or wooden bowl, and a wooden or pewter spoon. Seasoned veterans carried big spoons so they could eat fast and get seconds from the pot before they ran out. As a modern day Minuteman, how you equip yourself for field cooking depends upon your personal experience and the mission. At a minimum you should have an individual mess kit (GI or a commercial nesting set), a canteen and canteen cup, a large spoon (GI mess kit type or heavy duty lexan plastic), a P-38 type folding can opener, and a pocketknife. You should also have a folding pocket stove (the British Army type is best; carry plenty of band-aids if you get a cheap Taiwan copy with loads of sharp corners) or a canteen cup stand with solid fuel. Such a compact stove will allow you to warm a pre-cooked meal, cook individual servings and prepare hot beverages. Hexamine fuel tablets are relatively inexpensive in the camping sections of discount stores. The US military issues trioxane fuel bars, which can be found in surplus stores. Both types of solid fuel can also be used as tinder to get stubborn, damp kindling started; trioxane is especially easy to ignite with a Gerber Strike Force emergency fire starting tool. If you get a commercial mess kit, spend the extra money for stainless steel; aluminum camping mess kits are quite thin, so food scorches and burns easily. A good value in mess kits is the Stansport one-person stainless steel cook set (about $17 at Bi-Mart), which has copper bottoms for quick and even heating, features fold-away stay cool handles, nests compactly into an included nylon case, and consists of an 8-ounce plastic drinking/measuring cup, a 3/4-quart pot with lid, a 1-quart pot with lid, and a 5-1/2 inch frying pan. In addition to the canteen on your belt, you may wish to carry dry staples (like rice, pasta or dried potatoes) in wide-mouth 1-quart polycarbonate plastic bottles (Nalgene and Reliance are popular brands; Reliance is considerably less expensive). When empty, they can be used as extra canteens or for soaking dried food in your rucksack while you’re on the move (put dried food and water in the bottle at noon and it should be ready for cooking by evening meal time). You might also add an insulated plastic or stainless steel drinking mug, to prevent burning your lips and to keep beverages hot. A 2-quart or 5-quart GI bladder canteen can be useful for carrying water from a water source to your cooking area in camp. �

Cooking Canned Rations. There are three basic methods for you to cook canned rations in a tactical environment. The least popular method is to open the can, empty the contents into your mess kit or canteen cup and heat it. It’s after the meal that your problems begin; trying to clean your cooking gear, which you never seem to have the time or enough water to do. If you don’t get it clean enough, you will wish that you had the next time you use it and then have to make an urgent “shovel recon” of the bushes. A cleaner cooking method is to pierce the lid twice and place the can half submerged in boiling water for 10 minutes. This is slow and uses a good deal of fuel and water, but is the method described in the British ration pack instructions and is the recommended method for heating MRE pouches in a canteen cup with a stand and solid fuel. Water used for heating cans becomes contaminated with zinc and should not be used for drinking purposes. The third method of heating canned rations is to make a shallow dent in the side of the can and place it on the stove. When the dent bulges out or resumes its normal shape, remove the can, holding it away from you pierce it to release the pressure, open it and eat the contents right from the can. Heat unopened cans slowly and remove them promptly when the dent bulges out or they might explode. An advantage of this heating method is that if you are attacked while cooking you just put the can in your pocket or rucksack (be careful, it will be hot) and continue to cook it whenever you have the time. Also, unlike the first two methods it produces no steam (visible over great distances in cold conditions) or cooking odors. When finished with canned rations, top and tail the cans (remove the lid and bottom), flatten, burn to remove food remnants, put them in plastic garbage bags and carry them with you. This process keeps down the amount of insects in camp and denies the enemy tactical intelligence from examining your unit’s refuse pile. �

Tactical Cooking Tips. Keep eating. Under training, and certainly under wartime conditions, you will reach a level of exhaustion where eating becomes a difficult chore. You must try anyway or you will very rapidly become a casualty. Be prepared to eat on the move. Break your rations down into various meals and stow them in your BDU (Battle Dress Uniform) pockets or rucksack where you or your buddy can get to them without taking off your gear. Never cook for one. Use the buddy system so only one set of cooking gear needs to be unpacked and used. Take only what you immediately need out of your rucksack and put it away promptly in case you need to leave the area in a hurry. No cooking should be allowed while on an ambush or while in an LP (listening post) or OP (observation post). Cooking in a unit should be staggered. Cook in pairs and those cooking should still watch their fields of fire with their weapons close at hand. The odor of openly cooked food can give away your position. Cooking in unopened cans gives off the least amount of odor of any cooking method. To keep your canteen cup clean (important for hygienic reasons), to avoid burning your lips and to reduce cooking odors, boil water in your canteen cup, remove it from the heat and prepare hot beverages in a plastic drinking cup (like a Rubbermaid mug or an extra M258 Decontamination Kit container). Spicy foods like curried chicken can be detected by the educated nose at 40 to 50 meters. Hexamine solid fuel stoves also have a very pungent and distinct odor. A butane stove burns hotter than solid fuel (less cooking time) and has less risk of compromising your position by smell, but make sure you use is at half-power since it can be noisy. Place sentries at the limit of smell or noise, whichever is the furthest. If you have to cook at night, conceal your stoves so no light is visible, but be aware that hexamine gives off noxious fumes and can be a hazard in an enclosed area like a bunker. Dig a shallow hole for your stove (a hexamine stove only needs a hole about 6 or 8 inches deep) and if you need to put the fire out in a hurry you can remove your mess kit or canteen cup and push the dirt back in the hole to extinguish the fuel block. �

Equipping the Field Kitchen. In a base camp or secure rear area, you can make use of a more relaxed group style of cooking that would not be possible in a tactical environment. If you are sharing a larger cooking pot with 3 or 4 other people, you can use a sturdy plastic bowl to eat from; it will be easier to clean and keep food warmer longer than your individual mess kit. A butane or multifuel backpacking stove can also be shared. You can split up the load of food, stove, fuel and cooking equipment between several people, but insure that everybody has some ready-to-eat food. A well equipped set of group cooking equipment for a few people should include: �

One large Teflon or Silverstone coated skillet with a lid and folding handle. This can also be used as a dutch oven for baking biscuits; place the pan on a bed of hot coals and place coals or build a twig fire on the lid. �

Two large 2 to 3 quart pots; good for everything from boiling water to mixing and preparing stews or one-pot meals. Pot lids conserve heat and reduce the amount of fuel required for boiling water and cooking. Some lids can also be used for frying foods or as serving plates. A lightweight aluminum pressure cooker could substitute for one of the pots and greatly decrease fuel usage. �

A folding pack grill for cooking over an open fire or hot coals. �

A folding reflector oven for use with a fire, or a compact folding aluminum reflector oven, like the Outback Oven, which allows baking of items like bread, cobblers, casseroles, brownies and even pizza over a small backpacking stove. �

Cotton gloves and pot grips or pliers, for safely handling pots over a fire. �

One wooden spoon, a plastic or metal spatula, a small wire whisk (for thoroughly mixing powdered ingredients with liquids), a sturdy plastic measuring cup and a set of plastic measuring spoons. �

A collapsible 2-1/2 gallon water jug or a pair of inflatable GI 5-quart canteens often will allow all the water for a meal or for washing cookware to be carried in one trip from the water source. If washing cookware with suspect, unpurified water, heat your pans over the fire or stove afterwards. A 2-1/2 gallon nylon water bag that only weighs 3-ounces and can fold into a shirt pocket is available through camping equipment outlets. Also available is a black plastic collapsible water carrier that heats water with solar energy and has a shower attachment; perfect for cooking water or for field hygiene purposes. �

You may find a few other items of cooking equipment necessary depending upon the type of food being carried and your personal cooking style. For example, a plastic slotted spoon can be used for mixing baked goods, stirring a pot and draining pasta. Some cooks may insist a small flat cheese grater is essential. The only limit is the weight and bulk you can carry in your rucksack. �

In a fixed camp or if you are vehicle mobile (or have pack animals) you can add more equipment to your field kitchen for group cooking: �

Additional grills for open fire cooking (folding pack type or larger). �

Additional cookware, like large stock pots (for cooking or for heating water for cleaning dishes) and cast iron skillets or dutch ovens are useful. Aluminum cookware is lightweight and relatively inexpensive, but is easy to burn food in and loses heat quickly. Although heavy, cast iron retains heat well and distributes it evenly. Enameled steel (good for stock pots and roasters) and stainless steel offer excellent compromises between aluminum and cast iron. �

A 3 to 4 quart enameled steel coffee pot can be used for boiling water for everyone to use to prepare instant hot beverages, soups or hot breakfast cereals. In some units the soldier who makes the first pot of coffee before everyone rolls out of their “fart sacks” (sleeping bags) is considered to have the most important job of all. Instant coffee nowadays is very good (freeze dried crystals will even reconstitute in cold water, although it takes longer), but as the name implies, a coffee pot can even be used to make coffee. If not using instant coffee, bring the water to a rolling boil, dump in the proper measure of coffee, remove from heat, cover, set aside for a few minutes, then add a little cold water to settle the grounds. �

Propane or multifuel two-burner camp stoves. Propane stoves are easier to use (some with electric spark ignition don’t even require matches). About the only part that can wear out is the on/off valve, but the fuel is expensive and steel propane cylinders are heavy. Also, if both burners feed from the same cylinder, then the second burner doesn’t receive as much pressure as the one closest to the fuel and will burn cooler. Multifuel stoves can burn either white gas (naphtha, Coleman fuel or lantern fuel) or unleaded gasoline; either fuel is cheaper than propane and easier to find a resupply. Multifuel stoves generally work better than propane in extremely cold temperatures, but exercise caution when refueling them; sub-zero temperature fuel on your skin can mean instant frostbite. New models don’t require preheating or priming, have self-cleaning generators and some feature electronic ignition. Multifuel stoves burn hotter than propane and aren’t as good for slow simmering of soups or stews. A Teflon coated aluminum griddle that fits over both burners is a useful accessory, as is the Outback reflector oven. �

Plastic jerry cans for water are handy. In an emergency, a jerry can can be strapped to a pack frame if it’s necessary to carry water on foot to a remote site. Reliance brand 6-gallon (23-liter) jerry cans are sold at Wal-Mart and K-mart. A 10-quart galvanized pail is useful for both carrying and heating water. �

Organizing the Field Kitchen. Organization is the first step to great outdoor cooking. Establish a distinct area for food preparation and another for cooking. In the food preparation area, keep your utensils in order. After you use something, put it back and you won’t hear “Where’s the salt?” or “Has anyone seen the spatula?” It’s easy to lose small utensils at a campsite; if you don’t set them down carefully they are likely to disappear. Once they are gone in the field, you can’t just run out to the corner store for a replacement. Allow yourself 360 degrees of uncluttered space around the fire or stove. If your way around is blocked, you will be tempted to reach across the fire for a needed ingredient or utensil. With a campfire, you will want to move around to avoid the smoke as the wind changes. A simple rule is to have a five-foot clear area around a fire. In a cooking area you are particularly in danger of accidents. You could trip around a fire or stove and spill a scalding pot. At the least a meal could be ruined and at worst you could damage equipment or seriously burn yourself. A bad burn in the field, miles from medical attention, can even be a life threatening injury. Wear your boots around the fire and use pot grips or cotton gloves for picking up hot pots. Remove a pot from the fire when you add a new ingredient. This protects your hands and makes it less likely you will spill or waste food. Sparks from a fire can seriously damage nylon tents, ponchos, sleeping bags or rucksacks. Make sure such equipment is a good distance from your fire. Be careful when drying clothing around the fire, and do not dry boots in this fashion. Natural fibers like wool or cotton will smolder before igniting, but polyester or nylon blends (like the material used in GI field jackets and some BDU’s) can burst into flame without warning. If a spot near the fire is too hot for you to hold your hand there indefinitely, it is too hot for any item of clothing. As you set up your field kitchen, remember to organize for convenience and safety. �

Putting the Pot on the Fire. If using a stove, you should cook over a low to moderate flame. If you cook over a fire, the coals should be hot, but the fire controlled. Since a fire provides a larger cooking area, it also gives you more flexibility. You can arrange the fire so that one area is used for baking and another for cooking, or you can cook a main dish and make coffee at the same time. The first rule for backcountry culinary success is “avoid disaster.” There are four likely disasters that a new outdoor cook should watch out for: �

The first is burning. Always cook on low heat. Make sure there is enough water in the pot, and check often to see if more is needed. As your sauces begin to thicken, stir often. Always cook in a clean pot which has no old food stuck to the bottom. When baking, carefully regulating your heat source is particularly important. To prevent burning when using a covered skillet dutch oven style, it is important to check the temperature of the coals before placing a pan on them. Baked foods are more likely to burn on the bottom than on the top. Hold your hand about six inches above the coals; they should be hot, but you should be able to keep your hand in place for eight seconds. The coals and burning twigs you place on the lid should feel hotter than those on the bottom and should cover the entire lid. When baking, check the food and the coal temperature from time to time. If you are baking something prone to “falling,” don’t look in during the first five to ten minutes unless you smell something burning. Otherwise, when you check, remove the hot coals from the lid and look in quickly, trying to keep the cold air out. When you are finished checking, replace the coals on the lid. Replace coals as they cool off, both under and on top of the oven. Don’t let a stove discourage you from baking. Use a low flame under the pan and build a small twig fire on the lid. Maintain constant temperatures under and over the pan, and you’ve got an oven environment for your favorite baked delicacy. Whether baking a pie or cooking a chowder, you can avoid burning by paying constant attention to your fire or stove. �

The second disaster is overspicing. Spices should be used creatively, but also experimented with cautiously, a little at a time. Add, stir, then taste. Let the flavor settle in fully before you decide to add a little more. Never add the spice directly from the bottle to the pot. Shake it into your hand first. An unexpected loose cap can turn a “hint” of spice into the main course. Be aware of the saltiness of flavor bases before adding salt. If you are cooking with a bouillon cube, remember you already have a good amount of salt in the dish. �

The third disaster is lumpy food. Powders like flour or dried milk should be mixed with liquid before adding them to a dish or sprinkled a little at a time with constant stirring. With freeze-dried foods, let them boil for ten to fifteen minutes before adding other ingredients. Thickeners, such as milk or cheese, should always be added last. �

The final disaster is overdone food. This disaster is more subtle, but can be avoided. Keep tasting as you are cooking, and remember, even after you pull a pot from the fire, it will continue to cook. It is better to err on the side of undercooking, which is easily correctable. �

As with other military activities, to be a good field cook takes the right attitude; a combination of caution and boldness. Caution in thoroughly understanding the nutritional needs of your unit, and carefully planning well-thought-out field rations. Caution also in following new recipes step by step and using spices artfully, with moderation. Your confidence as an outdoor cook will grow quickly with a few successes because appetite is always working for you. Food tastes great after a hard day in the outdoors. Once you’re properly equipped with field cooking gear and have learned how to prepare nutritious outdoor meals, you will be more ready to complete any Militia mission in the field. �

Here are a few recipes to get you started as a field cook (although the Logan bread is easier to prepare at home and then eat on the trail): �

Logan Bread �
5 cups water �
4 pounds whole wheat flour �
1 pound soy flour �
2-1/2 cups raw or dark brown sugar, firmly packed �
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder �
1-1/2 tsp. salt �
1-1/2 cups honey �
1-1/2 cups dark molasses �
2 cups melted shortening �
Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Do not use a weak spoon or try this when your arm is already feeling sore (this dough lets you know it’s substantial food right from the start). It should be tough stuff; if it isn’t, add some more flour. Flours do vary in the amount of liquid they absorb When it’s all mixed, bake it in 2-inch deep baking pans for an hour at 350 degrees. Cut it into 2-inch squares while it is still warm. Set the oven for warm, put the bread in to dry with the door left ajar, and leave it for 8 to 12 hours. Time depends upon temperature, humidity and your taste. The longer you leave it, the tougher it will get. As long as it is dried fairly well, it keeps for a long, long time. (Note: There are many recipes for this dense, hard trail bread. You can eat Logan bread for breakfast or as a snack, just like the brown biscuits in the British Army ration pack. This recipe and those that follow are from “America’s Backpacking Book” by Raymond Bridge, published in 1973) �

Corned Beef and Cabbage (for one) �
2 ounces dried flaked cabbage �
2 ounces dried potato slices �
1 ounce dried onions �
2 to 4 tbsp. margarine �
salt & pepper to taste �
1/2 can (12-ounce size) corned beef �
Put everything except the meat into 4 cups of boiling water, and cook until tender, around 15-minutes. Pour off excess water, dice the beef in and serve. �

Dumpling Mix �
1 cup flour �
2 tbsp. soy flour �
2 tbsp. dehydrated eggs �
2 tbsp. dried milk �
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder �
1/2 tsp. salt �
1 tbsp. shortening �
Mix the ingredients at home, cutting in the shortening. In camp any amount you like can be mixed with enough water to make a soft dough. Then drop spoonfuls into the top of a cooking stew or soup, cover, and allow to cook 20-minutes. The same dough can be baked in a pan or twisted on a stick over a fire to make bannock (an unleavened griddlecake, usually made with oatmeal or barley). �

Stew (for one) �
4 ounces dried vegetables �
4 ounces macaroni �
2 ounces beef-flavored vegetable protein or freeze-dried ground beef �
2 tbsp. soy flour �
2 tbsp. margarine �
1 tbsp. instant beef bouillon �
salt, pepper, oregano, sage, garlic to taste �
Drop everything into a quart of boiling water and cook until done, depending on the longest cooking vegetables. �

Bulgur and Cheese (for one) �
1 cup bulgur wheat �
1 tbsp. dried minced onion �
1 bouillon cube (2 if you like) �
2 tbsp. margarine �
1/4 pound cheddar cheese �
2 tbsp. Parmesan or Romano cheese �
salt & pepper to taste �
Mix the first three ingredients in advance. Cook 15-minutes with 2-1/2 cups water, and then add the cheese, salt and pepper.

Escape and Evasion Kit: Bug Out Cooking Gear

B.O.B. Cooking Equipment

Recently I’ve been searching for an alternative for the humble Billy can. Something that is lightweight, smaller and easier to control when pouring, that would suit my Bug Out kit. I believe I’ve come across two great alternatives in the MSR and Snow Peak brands.

  • ��������������������� MSR Titan Kettle
  • ��������������������� Snow Peak Trek Combo

In terms of sizes the Titan holds 0.85 litres, while the Trek Combo holds 1.0 litres (large) and 0.6 litres (small). The main difference in using the two sets, are that the Titan uses a lid, making for a faster boil. The Treks come in a set of two with fry pans instead of lids. So boil time is longer, but the frying pans can be used as plates as well as for frying. Having two pots that fit together, enables you to cook different meal combinations at the same time. While also reducing the amount of space required for storage. Or boiling water for purification needs and cuppa’s at the same time as preparing a meal.

Having the collapsible handles on the sides makes the pots of either brand very user friendly, for storage and pouring. Leather gloves would be a good accessory to remember or a trangia pot holder. The materials used are Titanium in the MSR brand or a choice of Titanium, Aluminum or Oxide treated in the Snow Peak models.

Snow Peak also make several neat (I don�t believe I used the term neat) accessories that fit snuggly into either option. These are an insulated titanium mug and chopstick set.

The Mug also has collapsible handles allowing it to fit inside of either model chosen. Being double walled provides better insulation to keep drinks hot and reducing burnt lip syndrome usually associated with steel cups.

I gave up on (knife/fork/spoon) combinations, as I was always loosing one or another of the modules needed to lock them together. The only heavy duty versions that I found available were ex Russian military models. The fork and spoon were tolerable but the knife seemed only good for spreading butter. I�m still trying to figure out how to use the tin opener.

I found it easier to use a wooden spoon as a combination eating utensil and cooking implement. Then for chunkier food items, use chopsticks. These are a great item to have as they unscrew and fold up into one another. The handles are made from stainless steel and for lack of a better description, the mouth pieces are made from Birch. They collapse from 8 3/4 inches to 4 1/2 inches. Enabling them to be stored inside the pots or to be hung from around the neck in the pouch supplied.

I generally compliment these tools with a Spyderco Featherweight FB-101 worn in a cross draw position that I always seem to end up using as my camp knife. However for the purpose of a BOB set up where it needs to be in storage for extended periods, I�ve swapped this for a small skeletal neck knife. In lower hygienic circumstances skeletal grips are much easier to keep clean reducing the risk of contamination from bacteria.

As to which I would pick of the brands available. If I were trying to include only minimal equipment in an emergency kit and eat straight from the pot, I would choose the MSR Titan kettle. As I wouldn�t mind roughing it for a few days with only one pot and having a lid to boil faster would have advantages at above sea level altitudes.

�However my camping gear and bob gear are fast becoming one and the same.� When I take off for a weekend it�s usually spur of the moment and unplanned, heading in a different direction each time to simulate a possible bug out scenario. This is generally a lot more fun and interesting. I�m finding the more I do this it isn�t so much the speed of packing but comfort that is becoming a critical area.

Most of the packing has already been pre-prepared or can be done within minutes, as all my equipment is ultra lightweight. Setting up camp takes very little time after a routine has been established. I�m finding the more often I do this and the longer I spend out. The little things of adding comfort make a lot of difference to enjoying the experience. Such as using self inflating mattresses instead of foam ground pads. The newer models on the market add very little weight when compared to high density foam.

My deciding factors came down to out of six of the larger camping stores in the city that I live, none of them stocked MSR and only one was willing to place an order for the Titan kettle taking three months to arrive, which made it an internet order. Internet orders are great when buying more than one item at a time, from the same company as the price usually is cheaper than retail and available within ten days. However when purchasing limited quantities, the price of postage can be excessive and add too much to the cost of some things depending on the method of shipping used. Of the same six stores only one stocked Snow Peak. Two of them had never even heard of either brand. (I won�t be returning to those two stores).

I choose the Trek Combo in Aluminum as several people warned me that titanium heated up quicker, burning food if not watched closely. (I have a habit of not watching pots).� Two pots are definitely a comfort item when cooking as I enjoy a hot cup of tea after breakfast.

�Not having a lid only really matters at high elevations. Cooking at sea level I prefer not to use lids as I always seem to boil over food onto the fire otherwise. This gives me a plate or bowl that will fit together with the cooking gear. Incorporating a strap or storage bag holds everything together nicely.

The only other modification is to the wooden spoon. Requiring a long handle to cook with, won�t allow it to fit into the pots. So I�m trying to find a fitter and turner that can cut the spoon in half and fit a stainless male /female thread in the same way the chopsticks work, or a stainless ferrule connecter from fishing rods allowing me to also fit this into the pot setup. I don�t want to use chrome dipped materials as I�m not sure if toxins will leach out during heating.

I gave up on modifying the wooden spoon, due to complexity and cost of the people I approached. I ended up finding a spork on a search of the internet, entirely by accident that suited my requirements of being collapsible. Made by Brunton and constructed in a titanium material with a folding stainless handle. Cost is about $15 US, I didn�t buy direct from the company due to limited freight options. Luckily I checked the postage, as I nearly paid $80 US in shipping costs on top of the product price.

�I found a company in New Zealand that is a dealer for Brunton at $39 NZ where I received exceptional service which I�m finding from several New Zealand stores I�ve been doing business with lately or Amazon is also another good choice to deal through depending on location.

Sea to Summit bring out a similar product but with or with out the fork end for $19AUD. When going ultra light weight I use the spork but when using in conjunction with the chopsticks I tend to stick with the standard spoon version as I tend to stick myself in the tongue when not concentrating.

While researching homemade coffee can cookers I had another good find with a Little Bug cook stove. The advantages of coffee can style cook stoves are they act like a chimney increasing heat to shorten the boil time and reducing the amount of fuel required. In a tactical situation this can also reduce the heat signature and amount of smoke.

�I was planning to make my own version from a large coffee tin but found the bottoms eventually burn out and I wanted something that would last a decent length of time and fold up for easy storage while traveling. The Little Bug is made from stainless steel and definitely made to last. It�s available in two different sizes 9 inches high by 8 inches diameter or the junior model which I purchased in a 6 inch high by 5.5 inch diameter. They can be used with either an alcohol fuel burner, the same as a trangia or with firewood. I like the idea behind a dual fuel feature for fire ban areas and national parks. This also allows it to be used inside tent awnings, on bench tops in buildings and vehicles.

There are several different designs for coffee style cookers on the internet each with their own advantages and disadvantages. In the way they funnel the smoke or feed the fuel into the cooker. The Little Bug allows you to feed fuel straight into the top of the fire without removing the pot as it is held above the firebox. This provides the chimney feature so holes aren�t required in the back of the main structure.

Not having a base allows the frame to be pushed into the soil slightly to provide better balance if on uneven ground and aids in clean up of the ashes which can be scattered. I choose the smaller version for inclusion in my bug out bag however if using for extended periods for camping trips, I would probably prefer to purchase the next size up to use with larger pots or for use inside a small tipi.

I have long been a fan of Trangia stoves, who make a very nice accessory called a Multi Disc. This can be used as a colander (strainer), a lid to prevent a pot cooling too fast, chopping board and serving tray. These come in two sizes; I use the larger model for my Sigg Trangia and the smaller size just suits the Snow Peak pots in diameter for use as a cutting board. Not really a necessity but I�ve seen too many people come back from camping trips doing more running than hiking if you know what I mean, from low hygienic conditions.

Which comes to the next product on my list, soap not usually mentioned in bug out cookware but essential in the washing of dishes and cutlery to remove bacteria. Sea to Summit make pocket soap leaves in a container about the size of a match box. These are non scented and come in a box of 50. The advantages are no sticky mess after using one cake and no possible leaks as with liquid detergents and can last up to 100 washes.

Something I don�t like doing in the field is washing cookware in a stream not only to prevent pollution but also possible contamination. Sea to Summit also makes the little sink which solves this problem. Its collapsible, comes in three sizes 5, 10, and 20 litres. The 5 litre model fits nicely into my set up and can also be used as a bucket, a hard to find or make piece of equipment in the scrub.

While researching light weight cook gear on back packer sites I�ve discovered that I�m becoming a gadget junkie. Light My Fire which is usually associated with good quality ferrocium rods has started to sell accessories that are interesting enough to check out although not a necessity for bob cook sets. While ordering a small fire steel to keep as a back up in my cook ware I came across a purpose designed meal kit consisting of bowl/plate, spork, cup, strainer/cutting board, multi purpose storage container.

My main interest lay in the bowl/plate combo as I usually eat straight out of the pots when traveling light. Not really a necessity but my bob and camping gear are gradually becoming the same. So as long as any gadgets stay light weight, multi purpose and easily packed I don�t mind small additions that add to comfort while testing different set up combinations.

Cook Set Contents

���� Snow Peak Trek Combo Pots

���� Little Bug Stove (junior)

���� Snow Peak 600 double walled Mug

���� Snow Peak Chopsticks

���� Sea to Summit Titanium Spoon

������������ Spyderco� Featherweight FB-101 or skeletal neck knife

���� P-38 Can Openers x 2

������������ Wooden Cooking Spoon

���� MSR or GSI folding spatula

������������ Trangia Multi Disc (cutting board and drainer)

������������ Collapsible wash bowl

������������ Biodegradable Detergent leaves

���� Fire Steel Sml

 

Links

MSR Cook Ware

http://www.msrcorp.com/cookware/

Snow Peak Cook Ware

http://www.snowpeak.com/gears/gear.htm

Gear shop NZ (Brunton Sporks)

http://www.gearshop.co.nz/cart_products149-1.html

Little Bug Stoves

http://www.littlbug.com/

Backpacker Stove link page

http://zenstoves.net/LinksCommercial.htm#CommercialStoves

GSI Cook Ware

http://www.gsioutdoors.com/

Trangia Cook Ware

http://www.trangia.se/english/2916.start.html

Sea to Summit

http://www.seatosummit.com.au/home.php

Light My Fire

http://www.light-my-fire.se/engines/page___390.aspx

Backpacker Gear Test Reviews

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/

FRP-Fast Response Pack

After reading “Emergency” by Neil Strauss I came to realize that I had become a runner. Meaning that most of my planning system was based to run and not as a backup to a sustainable longer term option and never even considered staying to help others. If people are no longer a fighter/stayer or a participant in events . If none of these, then I’m sorry to say theyve become a bystander, looking on or be a parasite to rely on others. Neither of which is a nice way of looking at yourself. To become a part of the circle of life , you need to atleast put in as much as you take out.

�I have always been a fighter and atleast attempted to be a participant, so when I realized that I had changed somewhere along the way I decided to design a FRP (Fast Response Pack). A some what civilian version of a First Responder Kit.

I had spent 9 years with in several different areas of the security industry and another 4 involved in the SES (State Emergency Service) the OZ version of CERT/ Search & Rescue. If not pulling people apart in fights or securing roof tops blown off in storms and removing bodies from car wrecks, I was atleast particpating in what was occuring around me. The realization that I had stopped doing this and actually headed in the opposite direction struck a nerve. I think the term burnout would be appropriately applied. I no longer wanted to help or be a part of what was occuring around me for a time.

The FRP idea is part of that. All my first aid equipment was stored away either in large crates or gear bags, depending on the size of the kit. Great for long term storage� awaiting TEOTWAWKI or taking off bush for extended periods, but of absolutely no practical value if an incident were to occur straight in front of me with everything stowed. When I was in the SES I always had a bumbag with me that could be easily carried at all times, containing essentials that would be required when responding to a call out, either an urban accident or a rural search situation. Since that time alot of great products have hit the market. So I decided to make up an updated civilian version of the gear I used to have, that would be easy to carry and provide the basics to respond to someone in need.

Seeing news footage of a family stuck in a rolled vehicle that had caught alight on a suburban street and not being able to get out. Then the good samaritans that tried desperately to free them with no equipment readily available put this kit into my head. They had to rely on iron pipes scrounged from neighbours yards to smash the car windows and then were unable to free the children from the seat belts until off duty firemen arrived with basic cutting tools. A pocket knife.

A bumbag with a seat belt cutter, small pry bar, basic first aid kit, signaling equipment and general self protective gear is all that is needed to readily respond to a person in need.

Snugpak Bumbag

I like the snugpak version on the market as it sells for $42AUD and is kept in stock within the country. The cheaper Eprey versions require the buckle moving from the side to the centre and the maxpedition gear proteus sells for twice as much.

http://www.snugpak.com/index.php?MenuID=93-103&ItemID=126

http://www.cuttingedgeknives.com.au/

TOPS Pry Tool

There are several versions of pry tools on the market. This model fits best on a belt and isnt so large that its kept in a vehicle or pack. Every rescue worker should have one of these on their belt, for fast deployment until larger equipment becomes available.

http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?cPath=9&products_id=259

http://www.cuttingedgeknives.com.au/

Bechmade 7 Rescue Hook (Seat belt Cutter)

I now have several seat belt cutters. Nothing is better for keeping strapped to a piece of gear for easy reach for quick cutting needs that are non-offensive in nature and have little risk of cutting a patient in tight quaters.

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=BM7BLKWADC

Leather Riggers Gloves

Any sweade type glove for heavy duty use. Setwear are gell filled and breatheable.

http://www.setwear.com.au/html/ez-fit_2_gloves.html

Nitrile Gloves (Green 0.38 thickness)

For hygiene. These were the thickest model I could find. The blue versions are only 0.20 thickness.

http://www.esidirect.com.au/Disposable-Latex-Free-Nitrile-Gloves-p/ndexfree.htm

Maxpedition Surgical Glove Pouch

Easy to reach gloves, instead of searching through the rest of the pack for initial items used.Holds four sets.

http://www.maxpedition.com/store/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=967&idcategory=7

P2/N95 Dust masks

Always handy to have some sort of particle mask to limit expose to dust, smoke, etc. these are atleast rated to virus sized particles.

SOF Tactical Tourniquet

Handy gadget to have on hand if a pressure bandage is inadequate, or if needing to release pressure at a steady rate to avoid toxicity build up from crush injuries.

http://www.tacmedsolutions.com/07/products/product_detail.php?prod_id=2

UHF Radio/Scanner 5 Watt

Uniden UHO 075

The new model is a UHO95. The advantage over a 2 watt version which is all that is necessary for short range comunication is that the 5 watters allow the removal of the ariel and a longer version screwed in place for extra range. A small fold up extension can be kept in the rear pouch of the bum bag. Really only necessary if working within a team. The 2 watt versions are a 1/3rd of the price but have a shorter range.

Engineers Punch

These are spring loaded and shatter windows like nothing else, without the flying glass.

Goggles folding

Bobster Crossfire

I wanted something that was foldable, fogless and easy to store.

http://www.bobster.com/catalog/product.aspx?ItemCode=BCR001&SectionID=96&BrandID=3715&Family=Crossfire

Helmet

http://www.austecc.com.au/online-shop/protective-equipment/pro-tec-helmet-b2-sxp/

Adventure Medical kit Ultra Lite PRO

For the money these are the best for the size and have included a SAM splint and CPR mask.

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=AD0186

Torch LED Lenser P7

A LED head light is another option, to keep your hands free. Brunton is a good brand.

http://www.kitbag.com.au/category978_1.htm

Hereford Trauma Dressings

Fast and easy to use pressure bandage. The gauze and bandage are attached to one another for quick use.

http://www.kitbag.com.au/category198_1.htm

EMS Holster Set

Handy to have so equipment that is always used is readily avialable without having to search through kit.

http://www.kitbag.com.au/category884_1.htm

Quick Clot

Another good product that helps with major bleeds.

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/FirstAidProducts.htm

http://www.outdoorzy.com/gear/review.cfm/reviewid-121/

Strike Force Fire Steel

Always have a means of fire starting available.

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/FirestarterProducts.htm

Fox Micro 40 Whistle

Vector 1 Signal Mirror

Mirror pouch

Means of signalling for SAR.

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/SignalingProducts,%20Starflash_Signal_Mirror,%20Fox_40,%20Emergency_Pocket_Strobe,%20ACR_Firefly_Plus.htm

Compass

Silva voyager 8010

Source of navigation for unfamilar ground.

http://www.wellingtonsurplus.com.au/showProduct/COMPASSES+-+GPS/SILVA+COMPASSES/SC8010/SILVA+VOYAGER+COMPASS+-+MODEL+8010

Cold Steel pocket Shark Sharpie

http://www.coldsteel.com/pocketshark.html

For triaging patients. May also be employed as a Kubuton or Yawara stick in the use of percussion blows, joint locks and submission holds.

Write in the Rain Note Book

Taking notes and triageing patients.

http://www.riteintherain.com/default.aspx

Space Blanket

Reducing hypothermia and shock.

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/ShelterProducts.htm

Mini rolls of Duct Tape

You never know, this stuff can be used for anything.

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/Repair%20Gear%20from%20Survival%20Resources.htm

Blade Options

Busse Game Warden Knife (Fatty 0.270)

I wanted a knife that appeared non-offensive in nature for rescue work. Any small knife would do, Spyderco delica etc. I originally chose a fatty model before TOPS brought out their pry tool. I wanted something with a thick enough tang that would allow me to use as a hack knife and punch it through a roof of a vehicle and then batton to lift a roof. The fatty at 0.270 thick has no chance of snapping under heavy use.

A Kabar/Becker Tac Tool would be another option if a chopping tool is needed for rural environments.

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=KABK3

Swiss Army Victorinox Rescue Tool.

I’d never been a large fan of folders. Too many scars on my hands to show why. My Spyderco delica is one of the few that Ive kept and never leaves my side. I didnt want to part with it, for a kit usually left in a vehicle. I noticed I didnt have a Swiss Army knife in my collection for some time and came across the rescue model with a liner locker and thought it would be a brilliant addition for use in the FRP.

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=VN53900

Urban Escape and Evasion Kit Contents

The below items Ive gradually purchased and have attempted to test most, or still in the process of doing so. Still aquiring several of the blades which can add up in price. However, so far Ive come to several conclusions/observations. The first is its not worth having all your eggs in one basket. Its better to have items doubled up or spread out over several ways to avoid detection. Everything hidden, in say a belt can be found and lost at one time. Having items spread over several pieces of clothing or in layers of equipment have more chance of the possibilty if one or two items are discovered then the others may skip through a search. Depending on how professional the search has been completed. For example, having several sets of keys not just one pair. Hide them in several pieces of clothing. Belt, vest, shoes etc. This also helps if your bound into a position where you cant reach your main stash of gear.

 

This goes the same when dealing with handcuffs. The training standard of the detainer and not the victim will determine the technique used to escape. Everyone I spoke to with a decent amount of extended use of or advanced training will double lock handcuffs when an offender has been subdued, without exception. Leaving out the use of shims that only work if the cuffs are not double locked. Someone grabbing a person off the street without any training will not tend to spend the extra time double locking especially if a victim is struggling erratically or using quality model cuffs. A shim comes in handy in that circumstance to escape quicker by slipping between the teeth of the cuffs than to try and pick a lock for example and better kept near a surface point in the seam of clothing rather than stashed in a more hidden way designed for prolonged concealment for easy reach.

If dealing with better trained personnel such as either Federal agencies or Corrections services. They will not only use more extensive search procedures but will also use two sets of two different brands of cuffs, requiring two completely different sets of keys for prisoner transfers.

The Tatonka brand belt is the only model I found with a large 300mm/12inch pouch. The others only had rather small storage areas. This belt is also designed for every day use and not as a duty belt. Coming from a security background and not a military one. Ive always used belt keepers to hold my heavier duty belt to my lighter weight under belt. This way my pants stay up. From this perspective if captured a duty belt would be the first piece of clothing/equipment removed from my person. An under belt holding up my pants has less chance of being removed.

Ceramic blades have advantages and disadvantages. They will pass through metal detectors, however most styles out there are brittle. The smaller ones offered are 1/4 the size of a standard razor blade. I have small hands and found them difficult to use. They seem designed for professionals only, that require a last chance blade that can be concealed within a seam of clothing to avade an electronic scan. Very difficult to use as a weapon. The larger stanley blades are thin and will avoid a pat down but too brittle to keep concealed for long periods of time without expecting them to shatter if any pressure is applied to where they are stored. Such as a belt which will always be bending with movement and weight applied.

The smaller wire saws are once again designed for profesional use, where they are sown into seams of clothing. Id rather buy a larger version of the commando saws and cut one down to a 12 inch length to conceal within a belt or keep a full length version and sow into the lower seam of a vest. Much easier to cut with from a civillians standpoint. Just use layers of shrink wrap as a gripping surface once the handles are removed.

Mini pry bars are more likely to be found in a search but invaluable prying open anything unless wanting to loose fingernails.The smaller model the better for concealment purposes. Three different sizes are now made. The 2″ pico for belt concealment. The 3″ micro for key ring use and the 4″ pocket for inclusion within a vest. Once again using a layering system of tools.

The ability to start a fire is invaluable, wether to provide shelter or as a diversion tactic. A compass for direction, if being dumped in an unkown location and a small light if confined within dark spaces are self explainatory.

If not using handcuffs, then the next most likely choice for a restraint are flexi cuffs. The standard sort sold in hardware stores can easily be opened with a stiff piece of wire such as a paperclip inserted between the teeth. The better made brands designed for security personel by such companies as Manadnock have a covering over the locking mechanism and require cutting off. Ive found two tools that are capable of cutting either flexi cuffs or thin rope. The first was a rescue seat belt cutter made by the Colonial knife Company. This was the smallest model I could find. However without modifing, will not fit into a belt but can be concealed within a vest or hung from around the neck. The second was an accessory tool for a SOG multi tool which can fit into a smaller area. These need to have a piece of paracord large enough to wrap around a foot tied to the eyelet to be effective. Theres no way you can cut through a flexicuff using hands only, when restrained. Removing the inner core will flatten the cordage further.

Ive discovered that I have to be the worse lock picker on the planet. Still learning that skill. The Bagota Picks require only two picks to be used, however there are small credit card types that make a great secondary hidaway within a wallet. Along with larger credit card blades made by Microtech. This once again layers your tools.

Cordage, the hardest item to come across in the wilderness, let alone tied up in the boot of a vehicle. Many uses for having a supply of line. From a fishing line to trip wires, booby traps, snares, early warning system to twisting into a heavier line to form a garrotte. 20 foot spools of twisted Kevlar can be purchased.The difference between kevlar and dacron in archery terms, are that dacron line is a 1/3 of the price for a spool and used for bow strings on long bows and recurves. Kevlar is used exclusily on compounds having a higher breaking strain. Both are thinner than paracord with the similar strength properties.

Jigglers, bump keys and door knives are the lazy mans way of getting into locks without learning the skill of picking. These are items well worth looking into. They add another layer of tools and require less effort of use with faster results.

Selecting blades for an E&E kit has several legalities and intents. Is a cutting edge only required or a weapon. Are a materials that pass through metal detectors needed. A pen that just happens to be made from solid aluminium is a legal carry although it can still be used as a kubaton. A titanium/timber chopstick is still a legal carry although it can be used as a spike. Intent would need to be proved. Small blades concealed within a belt along with other items used for E&E would need to have intent proved that they were intended for anything other purpose, even though they have the potential of severing a Jugular vein or carotid artery. A jugular carrying deozygenated blood away from the head. A Carotid carrying oxygenated to the head.

I decided against the main cutting tool made from a non-metalic material. They are primarily designed for stabbing. I do own many and carry several as a layering system, but wanted a primary blade as a cutter for removing bindings. I also found that many of the other items carried within the belt are also metal based. Carrying a non-metalic blade seemed of little use when carrying in approximation to other metallic items. These would be better suited to other hideaway locations.

Small edges such as a standard Safety Razor Blade, Atwood Micro Card, TOPS Alert 01, Titanium Dog-Tag knives are easy to conceal within a belt, around your neck or within pockets and fall into this catagory. Blades that are good for the next level up from there are the necker/boot style designs with skeletal grips to fall flatter against clothing. Such as an Emerson La Griffe, Benchmade Tether, or Mission knives titanium MPU/MBK. These are small and light enough for concealment purposes but very effective as fighters.

Tatonka TEC Belt – 42mm width with a 300mm/12inch inside storage pouch.

http://www.jpt-australia.com/utility_tac_belts.htm

Products being Tested

Nylon Universal Handcuff Key

for Smith and Peerless Cuffs (will not fit ADI Saf-Loks)

ADI Saf-Lok Handcuff key

Handcuff Shim

1�� Spring Steel Shim works most universal handcuffs. The shim slides between the ratchet and the teeth to quickly release the cuff. Works only when cuffs are single- locked.

Ceramic Razor blade

Zirconia ceramic razor blades are extremely hard, sharp, and wear resistant and can last up to 100 times longer than conventional steel blades. Black single edge razor 25 x 8 mm

Diamond Wire blade

70mm diamond wire cutting is the process of using wire impregnated with diamond dust of various sizes to cut through materials. Because of the hardness of diamonds, this cutting technique can cut through almost any material that is softer than the diamond abrasive. Cuts stainless steel, iron bars and chain.

http://serekit.com/sere_004.htm

http://serepick.com/?page_id=69

Wire Saw

http://www.kitbag.com.au/prod738.htm

Solkoa Grip-S

http://www.fast-fire.com/index.php?p=products&prod=4

Widgy Pocket Pry Bar

http://www.endtimesreport.com/survival_shop.html#Micro

Mini match Ferrocium Rod and Spark-lite

Fire Starting

The Spark-lite has less metal material in its construction and can be used one handed.

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/FirestarterProducts.htm

Colonial Knife Company Rescue Hook

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=CLTCBLK

SOG V Cutter

http://sogknives.com/store/500-105.html

These are used as a substitute flexi cuff cutter. A small loop of paracord can be placed under/around a boot and used for leverage, while both hands cannot be utilized.

Bogota Pick/Rake Set

http://serepick.com/?page_id=69

Bogota Rakes

Very few of the common pick shapes around today can be traced back to an original designer, but this cannot be said of the Bogota Rakes. These picks were developed by Ray Conners based in Minneapolis, MN. These rakes have been found to be so exceptionally effective that they deserve special mention when discussing rakes. Ray has published detailed instructions on their construction so the home toolmaker can make them also. These plans can be found on a popular online lock picking discussion forum at www.lockpicking101.com.

Aside from being effective, the economy of design is quite remarkable. A set of two picks includes a Bogota Rake and Bogota Pick (modeled much like a half diamond). The handle end of each tool doubles as a tension wrench, allowing the user to be prepared to open many locks with just these two tools alone.

The Bogota Rake is best used, as Ray describes, with a �jittery motion�, as though the user had consumed too much coffee. As odd as this might sound, the rakes have been found to be strikingly effective on many common pin tumbler locks by a large number of both hobbyists and professionals alike. The rakes are particularly effective against locks with a high/low bitting � something many types of rakes cannot claim.

http://lockpickernetwork.wikidot.com/understanding-raking

Cash/Phone Card

$50 Small denominations.

Garrotte

Made from several layers of Bow string Dacron. Can be used as a garotte by adding makeshift grips twisted through the loops or as a defensive tool against a blade in the same way as a sarong for locks, throws and takedowns. Approx 18-20 inch center with 4 inch end loops. The serving or wrap can be removed to leave several metres of heavy duty dacron cordage that can be used for fishing line, trip wires, early warning system, improvised restraints, etc.

Photon Micro Light LED

Button Compass

http://www.bepreparedtosurvive.com/NavigationProducts.htm

Cordage

Kevlar spooled 20 feet

http://serepick.com/?page_id=69

Blades being tested

Micro tech Credit Card Knife

3.4″x2.1″ Titanium

To be kept in wallet.

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=MTASSCII

Atwood Micro Card Knives

�1.5″x1″x1/8th (3.5mm) S30V steel

http://www.atwoodknives.com/home/19351627.php

BK Johnson knives Medium sized Credit Card blade

�2″x1.5″x3/32″ (2mm) 01 steel

Custom Order $40 USD

http://www.bkjohnsonknives.com/

TOPS Alert#01 1095 steel

http://www.topsknives.com/product_info.php?cPath=1&products_id=1

Cold Steel FGX Nightshade Series Knives

Polymer re-enforced fibreglass, no metal present.

http://www.coldsteel.com/nightshadeseries.html

Custom Order version of a Extrema Ratio Shrapnel/CRKT Sting

Made from 10mm G10 Micarta Knife Handle Material from local knife maker

Ceramic Stanley Razor Blades

http://www.ceramicknife.org/index.html

Tops NUK

http://www.topsknives.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=nuk&search_in_description=1

Benchmade Tether

http://www.benchmade.com/products/13212

Emerson La Griffe

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_store.html?ttl=Emerson%20La%20Griffe&srch=eqCATE%20CODEdatarq%3Dem%26eqKEYWORDdatarq%3Dlagriffe

Mission Knives MBK/MPU 4″ titanium

http://www.knifecenter.com/kc_new/store_detail.html?s=MK701

Dog-Tag Knives

http://originaldogtagknife.com/

Alternate Carry Items

Titanium Chopstix

http://www.tistix.com/cart/

Mil-Tac Pens

http://store.mil-tac.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWCATS&Category=38

Foster Brother Saps and Jacks

http://www.mercop.com/docs/bag6.htm

Kubatons

http://www.alphainnovationsselfdefense.com/

Nok Peregrine

http://noktrainingknives.webs.com/nokperegrine.htm

Downloads

How to Escape from Smith/Peerles Handcuffs

http://www.wikihow.com/Escape-from-Handcuffs

Lock Picking Youtube

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/788366/lock_picking_for_beginners/

PDF Downloads

http://www.freewebs.com/lockwhiz/tutorialsdownloads.htm

Lock Picking 101 Forum

http://www.lockpicking101.com/

Make Your Own Lock Picks

http://www.h-i-r.net/2008/07/make-your-own-lock-picks-part-1.html

Bomb Shock Downloads

http://www.bombshock.com/lock_picking/

Links

Bump keys

http://www.bumpkey.us/

Jiggler Keys

http://www.lockpicks.com/browseproducts/Generic-Jiggler-Key-Set-(Stainless).html

Credit Card Pick Set

http://www.defensedevices.com/lock-pick-credit-card-set.html

Door Knife

http://www.defensedevices.com/quik-pik-shove-knife-door.html

Padlock Shims

http://www.defensedevices.com/padlock-shims.html

Auto Jiggler

http://www.defensedevices.com/auto-jiggler-key.html

Unique Titanium

http://www.uniquetitanium.com/

Key Screw Drivers

http://www.endtimesreport.com/survival_shop.html

Solkoa� Products

http://www.fast-fire.com/index.php?p=products&prod=4

Survival Straps Belt

http://www.survivalstraps.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=SS-BELT

Wallet Size Picks

http://www.catsdomain.com/locksmith/ls06.htm

Training

Roth Tactics and Solutions (NZ)

http://roth.yolasite.com/

ISR Matrix (Australia)

http://www.isrmatrixaustralia.com/

ISR Matrix (International)

http://www.isrmatrix.org/

Urban Survival Training (US)

http://www.readyforanything.org/

On point Tactical – Urban SERE Courses and Forum (US)

http://www.onpointtactical.com/

Jim Wagner Reality Based (US)

http://www.jimwagnertraining.com/servicesoffered.html

Edged Weapons Solutions AMOK (International)

http://www.edgedweaponsolutions.com/

Escape and Evasion Kit- Part 1 The Bag

The bag is critical in that it keeps all the kit together. The bag must be functional, as well as heavy duty, while still looking like an Urban Kit.

�This is where color takes a large role. Under absolutely no circumstances should you choose an Urban Escape and Evasion Kit bag that is camouflaged. Regardless of the pattern, you will stick out like a sore thumb in the city. If obeying this rule, you should opt out of most military surplus stores, being that a neutral color must be chosen. The color must be able to show the operator as a �Gray Man� leading to anonymity. Neutral �Urban Operation� colors include Gray, Black, Khaki and Brown. Try to stay away from olive greens, as it once again leads to a militarized look. Now that the color of the bag has been established, we will move on to functionality.

�Functionality establishes the use of the bag. Multiple outside pockets of various sizes will hold items that require on the spot use without digging such as handguns, extra magazines, and the flashlight and pick set. The small outside pockets should have some form of flap or cover to hide from prying eyes. You don�t want your handgun and flashlight hanging out while walking down the street.

�The primary interior compartments will hold the large items and items that will not be used �On the spot�. Including food rations, spare clothes, bino�s and electronic gear. A bag suitable for such can come from any supplier; it does not have to be ordered from specialty tactical gear shops. While being less tactically orientated this will give the bag a more urban look to fit in your area of operations. The commercially purchased bag will need some minor modifications to make it operational. These include reinforcing stress points, adding wider straps and adding a hard plastic bottom liner.

�A couple good examples of such commercial bags are the laptop bags sold for college students, Roller suitcase type �Mobile Offices� and soft sided padded briefcases. As an Operator you must remember that you are trying to blend into your surroundings.