First and foremost, you've just completed step one! Can you believe it? Congratulations! Though it might sound like I'm being facetious, looking for information you may not have or opinions differing from your own is a great first step in doing anything let alone taking on the daunting task of trying to put together something that you may very well trust your life to someday. Thank you for the privilege of sharing what I know. Now on to step two, err... One... Well, you catch my drift.
PS: I intend to go into great detail with every little nuance of my kit so this is expected to be a multi part series check back, favorite, follow and feel free to comment. Cheers
Step 1: Have a Plan for When Plan B. Fails.
Before you commit to buying anything, gathering together anything, stowing anything you've got to have a plan, a purpose or at the very least some semblance of an idea what your going to do in the event of an emergency,
My advice, have a sit down with friends and family, It can be as simple as a thought experiment, "What ten things would you bring along with you to a dessert island?" As convoluted as, "What would you do during the zombie apocalypse? Or as innocuous as the weather "Hey remember the storm last winter maybe we should get some flash lights and candles and what not?"
The point is to get the ball rolling. The old adage "You catch more flies with honey..." False, you catch more flies with carrion, but I digress...
Anyway, a plan. Talk it out, write it down, comet it to memory. Whatever works best for you. Once you've got it, come up with another one as the world just loves to screw with a perfectly good plan.
Step 2: The Internet Is a Tool. Use It!
Yes while you can embark on epic adventures across the vast expanses of Azeroth or download Sailor Moon bootlegs in the original Japanese (you nerf header, you.) the Internet was originally designed as a communications tool should there ever be a global thermonuclear war, cool huh?
All that aside there are volumes of books written about every topic under the sun when it comes to survival and most assuredly they hold merit, all books hold merit in my opinion but the Internet. Oh sweet Internet, trumps book learning (for me at least) every time and here's why.
The Internet can be free. Thank you Starbucks!
The Internet can allow for an unregulated information sharing. Sorry China
The Internet allows instant "fact" checking *coughWikipediacough, cough...
The Internet allows me to be my normal manic self and jump subject matter on the fly, Did you know, I'm one degree from Kevin bacon? True story.
My advice. You tube is your friend. I'd have a channel myself if I weren't so shy. There are a lot of great gear reviews (self explanatory), bag dump videos (where people lay out the contents of their bags explaining this or that) and tutorials on how to start fires, purify water etc. It's an excellent resource and way more entertaining then cabe television. Probably explains why I don't own a TV....
This site as well. Pour through all of the different survival instructions here. There are a lot of great ideas to be found, mimicked and straight out stolen.
" You've been hit by, you've been struck by a smooth criminal..."
Now on to step three. I'd like you to notice that thus far you've not spent any money yet, pretty sweet huh?
Step 3: He's Making a List, He's Checking It Twice & You Can Too!
Lists might not be your bag. Personally I freaking love them. To do lists, shopping lists and best of all disaster preparedness list! (This instructable ends with a list, spoiler alert!)
For this step you actually need a few things. While a pen and paper will work, really it's better to have a printer.
Pro tip: I don't own a printer, my fiancée's parents do. But if they didn't, there's always my trusty ol' "I've locked my keys in the car and now need to break into my own dang house," shim Aka: my library card. You do have a library card don't you?
Anyway, you've got a plan, Great! But as stated in step one (step two for those of you playing the home game) plans change and when they do you've got to be able to let the people who need to know, know.
List no. 1 Emergency contact numbers;
This doesn't have to be extensive. In fact, maybe it's better if it isn't. If something happens to you and someone fishing through your pockets comes upon a list of thirty some odd names and numbers, how in the heck are they to know who to call? Better to keep it simple. The cool thing about friends and family is that a lot of the time they know each other. Try to keep things proximal and figure out who knows who and what their relations are. After all you don't want a massage to get lost in translation out of spite & great uncle Louie isn't going to be a whole lot of help. You know, living in Tibet and all.
Speaking of translation, America is a melting pot. Take it or leave it not everyone you might come across in an emergency, or whom might come across you will speak English, fact! If you know of someone who's bilingual make sure that their name makes the list and stipulate what languages the speak. Might save your life some day. Oh and if you speak multiple languages yourself... Well whoop-de do! I don't, so blah!
This list is probably the most important one to have typed up. Can you imagine drifting in and out of consciousness hearing, "Is that a four?" No, I think it's a nine."
Print out a few copies slip one in your wallet/purse. Post one on the fridge and slip one down the back of your cell phone case if you've got one. You'll also be putting one in this kit!
Pro tip: Use brightly colored paper if available and use the back to jot down any medically relevant important info i.e. Peanut allergy, diabetic etc. Don't forget your blood type!
Now on to step.....? Five, that's right! Your paying attention! Thanks.
Step 4: Nail File, Hair Brush, Tooth Paste & the Complete Works of William Shakespeare
Unfortunately we're still not there yet. Hey I said that this would be a multi post adventure. Thanks for sticking with me this far.
Before you go rip roaring through out the house gathering this or that lets work smarter, not harder. Still have that pen and paper handy?
List no. 2 " If you could only take ten things with you to survive alone on a dessert island what would you bring?" No, seriously!
A lot of people go through their home and see what they've got, Go out and buy gear to supplement any perceived shortcomings, pack it all into a bag and call it good. But really, you need to know what it'll take at the most basic level to survive. Then expounding off of those items, what will it take for you to thrive under adverse conditions?
This bit I'll leave to you. What you'll take will depend entirely on your skill set, physical fitness (or lack there of) and practical knowledge.
This list should take a spell if you take it seriously, let it. Once your done have a good think and review your choices don't worry, the ticket's not in the mail quite yet. You've got time. Speaking of which, hopefully that's all this instructable has cost you thus far. I don't make a lot of money so it's important to me that you don't go out and brake the bank unnecessarily.
Step 5: A Final Breath Before the Plunge
Quick side bar before we continue. My kit works for me. Yours, once complete should work for you. It's important that you never look at anyone's kit as the end all be all "this is what you must have to survive" kit. After all, if you needed all this to survive you and I wouldn't be here. Your ancestors most assuredly didn't have any of this excrement in the plains, desserts, jungles or wherever from whence they hailed. I'm not survivalist nor would I consider myself to be a prepper Per-say I'm a pragmatist. I love my family, friends and especially my wife to be (we're not yet "family" so she warrants special mention). I want to keep them safe comfortable and content. Hence the development of this kit. This kit didn't happen over night it's been constantly evolving over the past few years. It's finally to the point where I'm comfortable enough to share it. So with out further ado. Here's the list. I'll break everything on down in later posts with details as to why I chose that particular item what I might use it for. As always take what you want and ditch the rest. Cheers
Here's what I keep in mine. THIS IS NOT A SHOPPING LIST!!!
New emergency kit list
1 X Nalgene 1 liter Bottle w/2x GSI oil can cups
1 X Firstneed water filter
1 X Folding lock-back knife
1 X Heavy US military Wool blanket
2 X Energizer tactical LED flashlights with visibility aids
1 X Micro pack light affixed to the interior of the main pouch
1 X Silva scout compass
1 X 100' Hank of genuine military issue 550 cord.
1 X Gerber multitool
2 X Outdoor products 5'X7' backpackers tarps w/pre-cut guy lines
1 X 5 cup anodized aluminum camp pot
6 X Energizer lithium AA batteries (Waterproofed)
1 X Vinyl backpacking poncho (grommeted corners)
1 X Coleman 440 duel fuel stove w/syphon hose & fuel canister
1 X 5 Qt. Military water bladder.
Fire kit (waterproofed)
2 x Bic lighters secured with zip ties
1 x 20ft length natural jute twine
1 x Container of UCO Stormproof matches
2 x Packages of Coleman waterproof matches 40ct. boxes.
6 x cotton balls bagged
2 x wet fire tinder blocks
1 x Modded Exo-tec 6hr three wick emergency candle, also containing tinder quick tabs
Hygiene kit (waterproofed)
2 x Rolls expandable towels 10ct packages
4 x Rolls of core-less toilet paper w/dispensers
1 x Bottle of Dr. Bonner's 18-1 castile soap (double sealed)
Medical kit (waterproofed)
1 x Res-cue CPR mask
1 x Sam splint
1 x 1yd length of elastic sports wrap
1 x 3cc hypodermic needle
1 x Stainless steel tweezers
1 x Nail clippers
1 x Disposable sterile surgical scalpel
1 x Roll waterproof medical tape
Mulit x Band aids, Triple antibiotic ointment, Iodine prep pads, Alcohol prep pads
3 x Sterile roll gauze (updated 7/22/15)
1 x 1oz vial of potassium permanganate
1 x 1oz 2% iodine tincture re-enforced against crush damage
1 x .5 oz tube of Vaseline brand petroleum jelly
4 x Smelling salts
1 x Package Celox clotting agent
2 x Single use superglue tubes
1 x non electric thermometer
Mulit x sterile gauze pads of various sizes
2 x Sterile sutures absorbent
2 x Sterile sutures nonabsorbent
1 x 6ct. Steri-strip wound closures
4 x Castile soap single use packets
4 x Antiseptic towelettes
1 x Vial of medications *See medications
*Medications; Antihistamine-diphenhydramine, naproxen sodium, acetaminophen, aspirin, Antidiarrhoeal-Loperamide
2 x Sawyer's classic chili mix 1020cal.
1 x Sawyer's white bean chili 480cal.
1 x Mountain house sweet/sour pork 310cal.
1 x Mountain house rice & chicken 270cal.
2 x Starkist tuna creations approx. 300cal.
1 x UST ration brick 2400.cal
1 x 1.5oz natural honey
1 x .5oz iodized table salt
1 x .5 oz black pepper
Multi assorted drink mixes
2 x heavy duty plastic spoons
5 x pouches knox unflavored gelatine
Gear repair kit
1 x 20'+ gorilla brand duct tape
1 x Sewing kit with outdoor use black thread and upholstery needles sz. 18
1 x Replacement 1" quick-release buckle w/slider
1 x Arkansas whetstone, medium grade
1 x 1oz vial mineral oil (sealed)
1 x .5 oz E6000 adhesive
1 x 4' length 1" nylon strapping material
1 x Coleman replacement pump & leather pump cup
Please keep in mind. this is just a list of stuff. I'll go into much greater detail with later instructables detailing the how and whys of it all. Without knowledge, foresight and ingenuity things can go from bad to worse despite whatever you may possess. Be fluid in your thinking and take solace in the fact the eventuality the world's going to end... Only not today & tomorrow's not looking good either. Bless
Water procurement and purification: