A huge fault I see in the survivalist planning of most people is to purchase and stock their bugout bag with the best and most carefully chosen equipment that mail order and eBay can provide years of loving care go into their Bugout Bag (BOB); I consider myself in this group. The potential “survival failure” comes if this gear is lost or taken.
Some people have have no idea how to substitute or replace their gear. You should hopefully have a good idea of the chemistry and physics of your gear and at least have the possibility of repair or replace with on site materials. For example: Sleeping Pads. The est replacement is either a stack of cardboard boxes–which makes good conductive thermal protection from cold concrete very popular with the homeless. From old non-PC Boy Scout manual, pine boughs (with branches the size of a normal pencil, nice and springy stack until you have a good thermal barrier for conductive heat loss.
JWR Comments: This illustrates several things: The first is adaptability. You should be able to think on you feet. That only comes with practice. I know of one survival group that trains specifically for adaptability. They dubbed one of their winter three day training weekends “Bucket Weekend”–in which everyone had to pack everything that they needed for the entire weekend aside from their coats into in one 5 gallon plastic bucket–including their sleeping gear and tentage. That is is the sort of exercise that really gets people thinking and encourages creativity and flexibility. BTW, one of their later summer weekend outings was called “Tennis Ball Can Weekend.” That one nearly caused an insurrection
Secondly, David’s letter illustrates the folly of putting all your eggs in one basket–namely your one and only precious G.O.O.D. Kit or “BoB”, or even your one an only retreat location. Losing that one kit could cause someone to practically go into grief and mourning. Always have a Plan B,with the corresponding logistics for Plan B stored elsewhere. (Typically in a separate offsite cache.) One group that I’ve been associated with for many years by SOP has each of their members cache a spare weapon, pack and clothing in an offsite underground cache in adjoining National Forest, in the event that their retreat is ever over-run. (Each member has one P-3 Orion octagonal plastic sonobuoy storage canister and two or three big 20mm-size ammo cans in the caches.)