Letter Re: Airport BOB

HJL, What a great list. I happily read this, as I travel frequently. I appreciated the list and agree with the items and responses already listed. I would just like to add a couple comments. LED lights are great, but living in Alaska, where at times we have 20 hours of darkness, I would add buying a head lamp. This is a basic $20 head lamp that slips in a pocket and is great for hands-free light. I also would add that I carry a packet of silver coins along with the cash. I have a length of paracord and duct tape, basic supplies that live in my bag, and a couple of heavy duty contractor garbage bags. These have a number of uses, including shelter. I would like to emphasis the importance of practical clothing. I may be traveling for work and need to be wearing dress clothes, but I am not going to travel in clothing that restricts my movements or puts me at an increased danger in an emergency. I’m going to wear durable, practical clothing, including hiking boots or running shoes, a belt, natural fibers that are more fire retardant, et cetera. If you are frequently … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Airport BOB

HJL, I’ve traveled for my company for the past 20 years, and 98% of what T.H. listed is what I had in my travel bag. Note it is what I “had”, as in past tense. I finally got out of the airports and traveling all over the country in 2015. There is the possibility of an odd trip or two, so I still have my carry-on bag handy at work. I find that I occasionally rob it from time to time. One thing T.H. listed that I never had was a whistle, and I feel that is a good idea. I found that the items changed over time especially after 9/11. Once, when stranded in Minneapolis, MN, I was able to contact a friend who lived there and spent the night in her basement. My missing item in the bag was a toothbrush, so the next morning as her husband drove me back to the airport we stopped off at a drug store and added a travel brush and paste to my bag. Another couple of items I always keep in my bag is a small compact umbrella and a light compressible rain coat. I’ve left the sunny south, where … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Airport BOB

Hugh, I used to be an airline pilot, so I’ve spent plenty of time in airports and hotels. Let your readers know, one inexpensive way to pick up an extra cell phone charger is to ask the front desk at the hotel. Previous guests accidentally leave their chargers, and the hotel stores them in a box. Most guests never return for them (I have left a couple myself), and the hotel either has to give them away or dispose of them. Just ask if you can run through their “box-o-chargers”; every hotel has one. – R from Texas

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Airport BOB, by T.H.

I agree that flying is a huge loss of rights, but I can’t afford not to fly.  I’m a college student getting ready to graduate, so I’m busy trying to find a job.  For an interview, I was flown to Dallas the same day they were setting records for snowfall.  As my flight had a connecting leg, home/Denver/Dallas, there was a distinct possibility of getting stuck in Denver and not being able to get to my interview hotel.  These flights were a great and so far safe/easy dry run.  All of this led me to really think about what would I need if something were to happen.  First, I have to define something happening:  I define something happening as a delayed or canceled flight, think 9/11, DC blizzards, Snowmageddon, et cetera, not necessarily a collapse but more of a large inconvenience.  I think that things will degrade worse before a collapse;  a cautious and minimal flying approach will continue to be employed.  If you think that a collapse will happen during your trip, then I wouldn’t travel.  That must be your informed, calculated call as you would be at a serious disadvantage. Making a BOB for the airport has some very non-beneficial considerations … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Jumper Cable Gauge

Hugh, The Prep Your Ride recommends 4-Gauge jumper cables, but I say 2 Gauge is the minimum, and the lower the better. The power is Current Squared over Resistance, so your 800 Amps / 14 V at your end might end up under 6V, under 300A at the car you are trying to jump. It is going over 10-20 feet so even what seems a trivial resistance causes lots of power loss even if the cables don’t heat up. At least a half dozen times, with one car racing the engine and the other failing to turn over, I swapped their thin cables for my longer 2 Gauge (Sportsman’s Guide but also on Amazon though I can’t find the exact ones), and the car with the dead battery started immediately. – T.Z.

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Prep Your Ride- Part 3, by J.U.

Situation: “Normal,” Everyday, Routine, and Your Vehicular Operations What is “normal,” everyday, or routine? Most people in America assume that these words mean orderly peacefulness, a lack of chaos and violence, and a Merry Christmas to all. They think that way because for so long that was “normal” in this country. Anyone who watches the news at all knows that these are things that can no longer be taken for granted; those sentiments do not represent the “realities on the ground” in our current state of affairs. Post “event,” what will become the new “normal” will likely be far different than what was “normal” five minutes before. You have to adapt quickly to the new reality or face some pretty serious consequences. Whether or not you subscribe to the belief that we are in a period of “gray slide” towards bad times, you will benefit from increasing your awareness of the situation around you. Situational Awareness can be divided into three macro-levels– strategic, operational, tactical. From the standpoint of your vehicular operations, the strategic level involves awareness of the larger situation. What are present conditions like nationally and regionally? Does the current state of affairs fit into a pattern, and … Continue reading

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Prep Your Ride- Part 2, by J.U.

3. A Generic Car-Emergency Kit: Most of these car emergency kits come with a basic tool set (that usually borders on worthless), but most have jumper cables, reflective triangles, a good bag to use to carry your own custom kit, and a cigarette lighter powered tire pump (which can prove useful if you’re not going to spring for the Powerpack or a unit of similar capability.) I bought my car-emergency kit for the bag and then built my own kit into that bag. The useless tools from the original kit make great presents for your brother-in-law. What To Put Into The Customized Car Emergency Bag: A Custom Tool Set: You need to replace the cheaply made “Made in China” tools with as reliable, last-a-lifetime tools as you can. Certainly inexpensive tools are better than none, but you have to understand that if you have to use tools to work on your car, it’ll probably be beside the road or in a dark parking lot. Oh, and it’ll be raining. Do you really want the added issue of pliers that are so cheap that they won’t grip properly or screwdrivers that snap under the torque of regular use? Buy Craftsman, DeWaltt, … Continue reading

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Prep Your Ride- Part 1, by J.U.

“The best gun is the one you have with you when you actually need it.” We’ve almost all heard or read that old saying at some point in our lives. It is such a common saying because we all recognize the simple truth inherent in those words. It doesn’t matter how many “tacti-cool” guns you have at home in the safe if you’re miles or just blocks from where you live when you suddenly need to defend your own or someone else’s life. The gear you have with you (or close at hand) is the stuff you’re going to war with when the next emergency, disaster, riot, civil disorder, or whatever craziness to happen kicks off. Our personal vehicles are absolutely central to our everyday lives. Nearly all of us spend a great deal of time in our vehicles. Our modern life as we know it would not be possible without them. While a reality-TV viewing audience would insist that the best way to spend money on a vehicle would be to “pimp their ride,” equipping it with flashy rims, a bounce-to-the-house hydraulic system, and a stereo that rattles the neighborhood, you can get the jump on any number of … Continue reading

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Bugging Out With Young Children- Part 1, by MPB

The concept of bugging out is an integral part of preparing for an uncertain future. I won’t list them here, but there are dozens of reasons why it may be necessary to leave your home/homestead on very short notice. Page after digital page has been published online addressing this subject… some of it quite good and some of it good for nothing more than a laugh. But there is one aspect of bugging out that I think has been largely overlooked in the survival community. It is the special considerations needed when bugging out with young children. My focus in this article is on families with one or more children in the age range of 1-10. I’m not writing as an expert on child development but as a father of two boys who has spent a lot of time thinking about this subject out of concern for my own family. If you don’t have your own children in this age range, please keep reading anyway. If you are young enough you may have children someday, and if you are old enough you may have grandchildren someday. In any case, you may find yourself in a situation where this knowledge would … Continue reading

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Trekking for Survival, by G.U.

I have to admit that I have watched one or more movies or movie shorts with an apocalyptic theme. Often the survivors (or survivor) are either walking or driving along a barren road, through a barren town, or through the country side. Sometimes, they will have some gear, maybe a backpack, a bottle of water or canteen, and maybe a gun or some kind of club. In some cases, they are well organized and have a compound of sorts, but eventually they have to take to the road for supplies or to find others. In most of the movies, there was some kind of major catastrophic event that placed the person in the most dire of straits. If you think about it, there are numbers of scenarios and possibilities for a situation where a person might become that roaming survivor. I live in the suburbs of Houston, where we have experienced more than one hurricane that has caused some kind of event where life quickly moved from normal to some level of survival mode– widespread power loss, business closures, food and water shortages, gas shortages, blocked roadways, et cetera. These, of course, are not apocalyptic by any means, but it … Continue reading

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Bugout Apple Pie, by Sarah Latimer

Back in October, during part of the time we were away from SurvivalBlog, we were practicing our bug out scenario with a group of folks we might join in a TEOTWAWKI situation. We took our vehicle with camp stove, tent, and significant equipment, but we also took the minimal equipment that might be needed if we were to need to vacate the vehicles, too. We believe in practicing what we preach, so to speak and encourage you to do so too. There is no substitute for experience! Every time we do this, we come up with new ideas for improvement, whether it is for improved comfort, convenience, ease of transport/loading/unloading, better OPSEC, or something else. I personally believe that I have infinite opportunity for improvement and am always seeking how to do this. I just can only handle a little at a time, but I’m open to it. It truly is my desire to become better at everything that is important, and my family’s survival in an emergency (whether a small, personal emergency or a massive global one) is pretty near the top of my “life’s priority” list. (What tops the list is my own and my family’s eternal spiritual … Continue reading

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Bugging-in vs. Bugging-out, by John M.

In most preparedness magazines and on most prepper websites, bug-out bags are an ever-popular topic for discussion. The idea of “bugging-out” in a SHTF scenario makes us dream of an idyllic cabin in the mountains where we grow or hunt our own food and live happily ever after, or it’s where we take on an enemy in a Red Dawn (United Artists, 1984) scenario, hopefully minus the attrition rate of the Wolverines. However, practical preparedness should be about looking at possible real-life scenarios, rather than things that rarely happen. In a real-life emergency, would it be better to “bug-out” or “bug-in”? It depends largely upon the type of emergency situation. What are the dangers of each? “Bugging-In” In most situations, “bugging-in”, “holing-up”, or sheltering-in-place would probably be the best course of action. During a winter storm, you have protection from the elements and a secure place in your own home. Likewise, in a tornado situation, a home is much more secure than being out in the open. Special precautions should be taken in tornado country to prepare for such an eventuality. Droughts, heatwaves, power outages, earthquakes, and local unrest (riots) are all best waited out inside the shelter of one’s … Continue reading

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