Two Letters Re: The “Field Kit” Approach for Organization, Preparedness, and Survival, by Christian Souljer

Mr. Rawles, Reading the great post on preparedness kits I noticed a couple things that I do differently with my vehicle. I’ve got a spare tire mounted on a homemade bracket on the front of my truck. this took an hour tops with an iron pile and a welder. It’s not meant for pushing but it sits there comfortably mounted to the existing bumper and the metal near the hood latch. I would think also that with some forethought it could be incorporated into a big frame mount push bumper. its a classic ‘country’ configuration which clears up room in your truck bed or inside the vehicle. It’s never made sense to me to mount the spare tire under the rear end of a 4WD vehicle. This setup also lets you put your chains on the tire which makes them easy to get too and easy to lay out when the time comes. Once they are on, just wire up the extra and throw a big bungee on to take up the slack and rattle. I’ve even found that a license plate will fit inside the rim of most truck tires (15″ or larger). If you are worried about theft … Continue reading

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The “Field Kit” Approach for Organization, Preparedness, and Survival, by Christian Souljer

When trouble comes and you are required to re-locate, there may not be time to try to find, organize and then pack your emergency gear. Just the stress of an emergency situation alone can keep you from thinking clearly enough to gather and pack all you might need. Getting your gear ready in advance can minimize this problem. Over the years I have developed a system in which I assemble “Field Kits” for my outdoor and emergency equipment and supplies. This allows me to keep my stuff organized and ready for future use. I assemble the kits with items needed and then I inventory the contents and I keep a copy on file as well as a copy in the kit. That way I know what I have in there two years down the road and I also know if any of the contents have a shelf life – they have been dated and a periodic inspection of the list allows you to know if an item (such as Aspirin) should be replaced or not. In the following paragraphs I will share my experience with building and using these kits including the number of years that I have employed each … Continue reading

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Letter From Mr. Bravo Re: Money Belts, Large Bills, and Gold for the Grid-Up Bugout Bag

Jim, I don’t know how recognized a Euro note would be in a U.S. crisis, especially the premium of the dollar. (“Funny money” may even be assumed to be devalued, as if Canadian.) The real concern about large Euro notes is that of presumed counterfeiting. A British friend recently told me that 500 Euro notes are essentially not legal tender for most commercial transactions, due to widespread counterfeiting suspicions. You can take them to a bank, but that is about it. Unless you need to carry substantial wealth that will be put in an operating bank at your destination, I’d stick to dollars or precious metals. FYI: US currency weighs about one gram per bill. Which means that a stack of $20 bills is presently nearly “worth its weight in gold!” That means that gold over about $3000/ounce would be more portable (and far more compact) than our largest [piece of] currency. I prefer the more romantic notion of a vest with gold pieces sewn in. A man could wear a vest with nearly 400 one ounce gold coins sewn in (single layer) that would weigh nearly 30 pounds, and be worth about $250,000 at current prices. Now that is … Continue reading

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Hurricane Katrina — A First Hand Bugout Account from August 2005

The following anonymously-posted account is re-posted with permission from Mel’s Riser’s “My Solar Village” blog (http://mysolarvillage.blogspot.com.) Some of you might find this account is eerily reminiscent of my novel Patriots: The craziest thing about the whole Katrina fiasco was that my father in law (technically he’s just my girlfriend’s dad, but we’ve been together long enough that this is what we call him.) I always make fun of him because he keeps his garage stocked with something like 100 gallons of water, a bunch of big jugs full of treated gasoline, food, etc. He also owns quite a few guns. So I picked on him a lot for being borderline nuts even though he’s fairly normal. So when Katrina rolled around I ended up evacuating with them since the woman wanted to be with her parents. It took us 35 hours of nonstop driving to drive to Dallas. It’s usually a four hour drive or so. About twelve hours or so in you had to drive around a car that had run out of fuel every fifty feet or less. They were everywhere. It was hot, too, and we saw hundreds of families standing on the side of the road … Continue reading

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David in Israel on the Grid-Up Bugout Bag

Grid-up bugouts of the non-universal TEOTWAWKI type (more like Hurricane Katrina) allow you to take advantage of modern infrastructure even if you have limited means. If your escape happens during a time where resources allow a hotel may be a better choice for those who have lost their primary residence (rural or urban) and do not have a fallback location yet. In the event of a major power outage the cellular infrastructure has several days of generator power at each tower so the ease and reliability of mobile telephony may have advantages over ham radio for contacting family. In unaffected areas ragged dirty survivors and strange vehicles may be treated with suspicion a good appearance is key when interacting in normal areas. The following are some things to consider for your Bug Out Bag (BOB) — also known as a Get Out Of Dodge (G.O.O.D.) pack: Cellular Telephone: Think about getting a plan that includes Internet make sure that your phone supports Bluetooth or IR, a data cable which works with your computer will also work.  I suggest having a paid up prepaid SIMM chip taped in the battery cover purchased cash from a convenience store in case you need … Continue reading

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Letter Re: David in Israel on Fire Starting

Mr. Rawles: David from Israel wrote in with some interesting suggestions on fire starting. The method that I use in severe weather conditions is to first dig a small hole, about 6 inches in diameter and about 8 inches deep. Facing into the wind, I dig a small channel into the side of the hole, about 2 or 3 inches wide and sloping up from the bottom of the small hole, about 6 inches long. Then I put tinder in the pit and arrange short twigs around the tinder so that the twigs look like a teepee. To make tinder you can use cotton balls dipped in paraffin wax, or take a small block of resinous wood such as yellow pine and cut slivers and shavings off of it, then cut the block making slivers still attached to the block. You can also use straw or dry grass for tinder – if the grass on top is wet usually you can find dry grass below. I cover the circular hole with twigs and tinder, leaving the channel open, and then put small (1 inch diameter) sticks on top arranged ends inward, in a circle. If the wind is blowing hard, … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Link Correction –The Ultra Light Bug-Out-Bag By “Springmtnd”

Jim: Sorry about an error in my previous e-mail. After the article went out a friend told me that he couldn’t find the pack plans on thru-hiker.com. I was mistaken about where I had seen them. Gossamergear who the makes the GVP4 pack also posts plans for the pack on their web site. See the link. http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/myog.html Ray Jardine also sells a pack kit for $49.95 on his site. http://www.ray-way.com/php/order-form.php Ah, I found it!  See: http://www.backpacking.net/makegear.html. Check out the Lab 2300. The first two [designs] seem unnecessarily complicated. I would take a close look at the last one. My pack is 37″ in diameter by 21″ tall. This gives it a volume of about 2300 cu. in. The top pocket is not included. After looking at mine it also looks complicated but I have added a lot of details that the basic design doesn’t need to be functional. The top pocket the water bottle pockets and the main pack body were all made with a technique I call “boxing the corner”. If you take a pillow case a push the bottom corners to the inside and pin them flat so the bottom of the pillow case now looks square you … Continue reading

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The Ultra Light Bug-Out-Bag By “Springmtnd”

Can you carry your bug-out-bag (BOB)? If your vehicle breaks down or the roads are impassable can you carry on your back the BOB that was intended to be carried in your vehicle? Just having shoulder straps on your car BOB doesn’t do it. The BOB in your vehicle is not optimized for carrying on your back. This article will introduce you to some of the techniques ultra-light back packers use, techniques that you can use to create ultra-light BOBs for you and your family members if you need to travel by foot. These will be subsets of your vehicle BOBs. We are not talking about how much you can carry. We are talking about how little you can carry and still meet all of your needs. What if small children need to be carried? What if one of your party were injured? Could you help them or carry them and your BOB? Is it light enough your spouse or older children can carry it? If your BOBs are well planned they will be light enough that members of your party can carry their gear and yours too, freeing you up to do what needs to be done. The lighter … Continue reading

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Product Review: Safecastle’s New Compact “ScramKit”

A SurvivalBlog reader in Montana recommended that I take a look at the new compact “ScramKits” being offered by Safecastle. I must say that I’m impressed. They pack a lot of survival gear into a very small space. Their “Responder Personal” kit is in effect a miniature “Get Out of Dodge” (G.O.O.D.) kit or “bug out bag” (BOB) that you should keep in your car’s glove box or center console box at all times. This kit fits in its own heavy duty belt pouch (available in three different colors) with ALICE/MOLLE attachments  I think that the ScramKit makes the ideal “core” of a more comprehensive G.O.O.D. kit.  Add a tube tent and/or a couple of heavy duty space blankets and you have shelter for longer duration. Add a canteen and a day pack full of MREs, retort packaged, and/or freeze dried food to that, and you’ve got sustenance for a week. Add a whompin’ big sheath knife, and… Here is what the kit contains: * Maxpedition™ M5 waistbag in your choice of black, green, or khaki (as available) * Personal-size first aid kit (in separately-removable bag) * Pocket Survival Pack™ (in waterproof bag), from Adventure Medical Kits, which contains a … Continue reading

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Rourke on: Establishing a Survivalist E-Mail/Cellular/Wireless PDA Alert System

How can you best avoid being caught in the egress gridlock of sheeple? The best answer to that problem is having the critical information first, allowing you to bug out prior to everyone else. If you are ready to go, or ready to do what you need to do, a few hours or even minutes may be all the edge you need. The information age is becoming the instant information age, but the problem becomes filtering out what you don’t want (too much information, then again you can just watch major media and let them filter out what they don’t want you to see). New advances in web search tools in conjunction with email alert systems seem to be the way of the future, and for many types of useful information, are here now. The original concept of alert systems in nothing new. Remember those several weather alert radio cubes from Radio Shack in the 1970s? Even back in the late 1980s surfers in California could pay for a service that would page their phone pagers (this is before practical cell phones even) and alert them that in their area, surf’s up! Listed below are several things you can do … Continue reading

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Letter Re: How to Find Ethanol Compatible Vehicles

James: I enjoy your blog and its part of my daily reading. I have a 2004 GMC Yukon XL that is a flexible fuel vehicle. We recently had a station start selling E85. This last fill up was at $1.66 per gallon versus the $2.08 of unleaded. Nice savings even with the station being a little out of the way. You can go to several of the ethanol web sites and many have complete list of vehicles that can handle E85. Keep up the good work and Merry Christmas. – "SEMO"

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On Preparing Your Children

Introduction Let us review the basics of child rearing. Children are a gift from God and we are to bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord. All preparedness means nothing if we have prepared our children for the eternal fires of hell. God, in His eternal wisdom and grace, providentially provided His son Jesus to restore us to a loving relationship with the Almighty. God provides covenantal blessings for those who obey Him and curses for those who don’t. With that being said it is imperative that all our worldly preparation be first and foremost spiritual because we are to store up that which is eternal and lasts forever rather than the temporary. Furthermore, the Bible is very clear as to our responsibility to provide for our own family which thus leads us into this discussion. I have thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Rawles’s book Patriots and find it to be the most comprehensive book of its kind. I was blind to the fact I was not prepared for any small emergency that may occur. It shocked me into action. Whether it is an evening storm outage or the full blown worse case scenario I wasn’t ready. The … Continue reading

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