The “Bug out bags” are still a work in progress. I’m not going to be spending a fortune on these, but the initial “luggage” has been replaced with individual bags for each member of the family.
There is no specific emergency these are being prepared for. They are just meant to ensure that we have the essentials for a number of days before anyone becomes hungry, thirsty or cold.
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MREs and concentrated rations are nice, but I figured as long as I was monkeying around with this stuff I would experiment with some food made for hikers and the like. This is short term BOB emergency food as cost/quantity is too high for long term prepping stuff, but might add some much wanted variety to mobile emergency rations.
The disadvantage to freeze dried over concentrated rations or MREs are that boiling water has to be added to make them edible (I suppose you could, in a pinch, eat them without adding the boiling water – but I’m not trying that any time soon).
I discovered that Mountain Equipment Co-op carries Backpackers Pantry – Freeze Dried Chicken Vindaloo (among other, more conventional offerings). I decided I would order a handful of their freeze dried offerings and try them out in the comfort of my living room to see if a few should be included in our BOBs.
Gotta say I was impressed.
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Ok, we should all by now be familiar with the “you should have a disaster readiness kit capable of supporting you for 72 hours” stuff. Granted most of us could probably muddle through by emptying our cupboards and drinking water out of the toilet reservoirs if we absolutely had to (consider for a second if you REALLY want that to be your plan however), but there are more dignified ways of surviving for a few days.
Some of us go a step further, preparing for all manner of catastrophic disruptions of the our daily routine. So before something big goes boom, and you’re standing in the dark take a moment to assess the risk and figure out what level of preparation YOU are comfortable with.
Personally, I’ve always been pretty casual in this regard. I always have a surplus of canned goods on hand that would feed us for about a few weeks (more if rationed carefully), enough fuel to refill the cars gas tank on a moments notice (or run the generator for a few days), travel documents and cash on hand and ready to go.
Scattered around the house and car we have a well stocked first aid kit, a “power outage kit” that includes flashlights, spare batteries, hand crank radio, candles and playing cards etc.
Our preparations appeared adequate to me, but seem mainly built around sitting out any disaster in the comfort of our home. In order to better balance out the arrangements to include “bugging out” (which would, under the existing arrangement involve ALL sorts of running around the house, and inevitably forgetting some items) I recently ordered a “3 day / 4 person” survival kit from Costco, and added an additional 7 days of concentrated rations and a stack of MREs (bringing the grand total to just over two weeks of mobile food for three people), which gives us a pretty robust kit if we did have to hit the road (better if we retained the presence of mind to throw some of those previously mentioned canned goods into a box on the way out).
Costcos’ 4 person 72 hour kit is pretty good, but I’ll beef it up a bit over the next little while (it IS meant to be a 3 day bag, not a “few week” bag).
(if you don’t have the cash, you can always use their content list as a template and assemble your own bit by bit).
Sandy is no zombie apocalypse (at least not yet anyway), but this sort of thing always gets me in a “disaster readiness” sort of mood, where I’m likely to be found rotating the jerrycans of gas (old gas into car, new gas into jerrycans), testing our small “hail mary” generator, and doing a quick check of that canvas bag that contains flashlights, candles and that hand crank radio from ages back.
I engage in a lot of routine maintenance of this stuff, but a coming storm always bumps the maintenance interval a bit. It takes less than an hour, and it has never made the slightest bit of difference…so far anyway, but like so many things (insurance, kevlar, seatbelts, armored riding gear) I’d feel pretty stupid if something did go sideways and I had failed to make even minimal preparations.
(Truth be told, my preparations ARE minimal compared to some – and boy do I wish I was that committed to things).
See you after the storm.
[Edited to add: Really? That's it?]