We’ve talked about the important of a Get Home Bag for Teenagers in a crisis situation and the basic necessities for this bag in the previous two parts of this article. Now, in this last part of the article, I began to tell you about the secondary elements that could still be critical in some situations. I left off on knives, in particular a larger sheathed knife.
Larger Sheathed Knife (continued)
Now, I want to stress one thing before we go on. Pulling out a weapon, such as a knife, in a fight with another person should be a last resort. If you do this during a disaster situation where law enforcement still exists, you can get in a lot of trouble if you end up seriously injuring your attacker or killing them. If it isn’t apparent you pulled it in self-defense, you could be charged with murder and sent to jail. That would be a very bad idea during a serious disaster scenario.
Baton-like Weapon and Martial Arts Training For Self-Defense
In addition to knife training, I advise getting martial arts training that teaches you good non-lethal self-defense so you are less likely to feel compelled to pull your knife in defense. One particular martial art I recommend is Tang Soon Do. I personally take it. I can tell you it’s really effective. It’s not like karate or other martial arts that teach you flashy moves. It focuses on both the art and the practicality of Tang Soon Do on the street. It also teaches you how to use certain weapons and how to defend against their use. Having a baton like weapon is a good non-lethal idea. It would be handy should you want to avoid pulling a knife but yet put down an attacker. But again, make sure you know how to use it.
Now, it’s a good idea to have several reliable flashlights. You can get good flashlights from several brands, including Duracell, Energizer, or Rayovac. I personally have a Duracell Durabeam Ultra 700 Heavy-Duty LED 700 Lumen Flashlight as well as an Ozark Trail aluminum 50 lumen flashlight and a 30 lumen headlamp. A plastic, water proof freezer bag stores these flashlights in my own bag. Altogether, they cost me only about twenty dollars and are decent quality. Again, have backups. On the note of self-defense, if you want to kill two birds with one shot, I recommend a good Maglite type police flashlight. Maglites can be used as light source and also as a defensive weapon.
Matches and Lighters
Other tools that need to be mentioned are matches and lighters. The ability to make a fire is imperative. You never know when you may need to make a fire to either warm yourself, cook something, make smoke for signals, et cetera. I recommend acquiring at least two kinds of firestarter, one that acts as a backup in case the other fails. I personally have a Mag Bar magnesium firestarter and a pack of twenty-five UCO Stormproof matches.
While the matches are quite simple, the magnesium starter works a little differently. It works by first shaving off some pieces of the bar onto some tender. You then strike the side of the bars with the small supplied blade which produces sparks, which in turn ignite the tender and start the fire. It’s a little complicated but works fine. I prefer these. However, if you rather, buy simple Bic lighters. Just have backups in case they fail or run out of fuel.
While we are on the subject of tender, make sure to include at least a 500-foot roll of paracord. Paracord has so many uses, it’s hard to sum them up. But one of its most know uses is fire tender. If you peel the outer layer of it, you will find a small inner layer designed to burn quite easily and in turn act as tender for a fire. Having an adequate supply of paracord will save you the trouble of having to find twigs or leaves to help you start your fire.
Be sure to include a change of clothes including socks and underwear. You never know if you might get wet or get dirty to the point where you need to change into some fresh clothes. Keep in mind to pack according to the season. If you have them, include a bandana, shades, a hat/baseball cap, and gloves. I suggest you include both winter gloves and work gloves. You may never know when you may need to get your hands dirty.
Money is important. You are also going to want money. I recommend at least $40 in cash and more if you can afford it. Now keep in mind that when the power is out, cash registers won’t work. In this case, if you need to purchase something, stores are going to insist on exact change to the dollar. Pack fives and ones and nothing more. Don’t forget pocket change.
A multipurpose tool will be good to have. As its name implies, it has multiple tools in one that can handle whatever situations you encounter, whether meager or potentially critical tasks. As an extra, include a flip saw. Most sporting goods or hardware stores have them for just a couple of bucks. You never know when you may need a saw. Many say a Leatherman multitool is the way to go. And I agree. However, they can be pretty expensive. A decent tool for a less expensive brand will do. I personally have one from Ozark Trail, which cost me ten bucks. Though it’s inexpensive, it’s durable, decent quality, and adequate for my needs.
Often overlooked, and second to last, are good survival manuals. If you can, obtain a copy of the US Army’s Survival Manual. It’s an excellent source of information, when it comes to wilderness survival. In the way of urban survival, I recommend getting New York Collapse. It’s a survival manual based on the premise of Tom Clancy’s The Division. While its information is centered for surviving a collapse in New York City, it contains invaluable practical information and advice for certain situations. But be sure that whatever survival guide you get has first-aid information. To my surprise, the edition of the US Army manual didn’t have any info concerning first-aid. That forced me to get a third manual that included the latter. (As a quick note, New York Collapse did have first-aid instructions, but I preferred a second source, just in case the author’s information wasn’t credible.)
The last critical item you to include in your bag are batteries. I recommend rechargeable batteries and a solar charger to go with it; however, I also recommend that you pack a regular wall charger. Depending on the scenario, power may still be on to charge them. It’s always good to be prepared for every eventuality. I recommend purchasing a pack of each kind of battery (AA, AAA, D-cell, and C-cell). But pack only what your own flashlights or other electronics will need. For my flashlights, I carry both normal alkaline and rechargeable AA, AAA, and D-cell batteries in water tight bags. Always pack your most sensitive preps in plastic bags, by the way. It protects them from being ruined should they get wet. And on that note, include spare plastic zip lock bags and even a trash bag or two. It’s always good to have them. Like I’ve said, you never know when you may need them.
Having a bug out bag can save you a lot of trouble. In fact, it could save your life one day. You have it, whether that bug out bag is meant to get you home, where you can ride out the storm, or get you away from home where you can avoid the storm or ride it out somewhere else.
But here is a warning. Don’t get carried away. It can mess with your psyche and cause you to over prepare. I recommend testing out your bag by walking a couple of miles with it to and from a familiar place. If it is too uncomfortable to carry, scale it down. Carry only what is essential to your survival.
This article is meant to address having a bag that you can grab that would get you home at least or to a nearby safe place until the immediate danger subsides. Now note that if you are looking to build a bag capable of getting you out of the city or state, you are going to need more than a decent sized bag and more than what I discussed. You are probably going to want at least two pairs of clothes. More food, in terms of meals, will be required. Also, you may need more tools, such as tents, a sleeping bag, eating utensils, et cetera.
In longer termed disasters or situations that require you to leave your home altogether, you will need more than your get home bag. But for those who are looking to start small and work your way up, what I have mentioned is a good start. You will be glad you did it. It gives you the satisfaction and peace of mind that you are prepared for whatever may come while you are away from home.
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been the last part of a three part entry for Round 70 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate that is good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper with a hammer forged, chrome-lined barrel and a hard case to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel, which can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools and a compact carry capability in a hard case or 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- An infrared sensor/imaging camouflage shelter from Snakebite Tactical in Eureka, Montana (A $350+ value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value).
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value),
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site, and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A custom made Sage Grouse model utility/field knife from custom knife-maker Jon Kelly Designs, of Eureka, Montana,
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances,
- Montie Gear is donating a Y-Shot Slingshot and a $125 Montie gear Gift certificate.,
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value), and
Round 70 ends on May 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.