Sunday, 16 August 2015

By on August 16th, 2015 in Barbara, medical, prepping

09:23 – Barbara leaves shortly to spend a week at a crafts workshop with her friend Bonnie. Colin and I will be on our own, so it’ll be wild women and parties. We’ll get all the evidence cleaned up before Barbara returns Friday afternoon or evening.

I’ll be doing science kit stuff while she’s gone. I’m also building and filling in an inventory spreadsheet for our long-term food storage so that I can get a better idea of what we have and what gaps need to be filled.

I already had inventory records, of course, but those were just counts. It’s useful to know that we have 88 16.5-ounce cans of Bush’s Best Baked Beans in the long-term pantry, for example, but that says nothing about nutritional value–calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. My new spreadsheet includes the count of each specific container, the nutritional values per container, and the total nutrition for that item.

When I finish it, I’ll make copies of that spreadsheet available for download. Not really as a shopping list, because your own long-term storage should be personalized. For example, unlike a lot of preppers we store zero wheat, because we don’t use it other than in the form of finished baked goods, and I have no desire to sit there turning a crank to convert it into flour. Instead, we store a lot of flour, rice, and pasta, all of which can be used directly to make meals. But the spreadsheet may still be useful to a lot of people because it already contains nutritional values per container for a lot of items that you may choose to store, and you can easily add those values for items that aren’t in the spreadsheet.

11:52 – Barbara is on her way to Brasstown, NC, which is more than 250 miles from our home and more than four hours by car, assuming no traffic. She’s traveling very light, just her purse, one small duffel bag, and a tote bag. The only emergency gear she has with her is what’s in her purse.

I tried to get her to take along a Sawyer Mini water purifier, but she said she didn’t have room for it. I’m very uncomfortable having her travel without at least basic emergency gear. All she has in her purse is a Swiss Army Knife, multi-tool, and flashlight, assuming she left those in her purse. It’s not that I expect anything bad to happen. I don’t. There’s probably a 99.999% chance that everything will be routine. But I just don’t feel comfortable with her not having at least basic emergency gear when she’s far from home. Bonnie is driving. Knowing her, she may have some stuff in her vehicle.

While she’s gone, I’m going to put together a minimalist kit in a small duffel and hope that she’ll take it along next time. So I need to sit down and figure out what is essential and what she can do without.

71 Comments and discussion on "Sunday, 16 August 2015"

  1. nick says:

    Yup, I have the same problem with my wife. It’s probably not going to happen on any given day, but it’s guaranteed to happen SOME day.

    After all, people were traveling on 9/11 or away from home. I was 2000 miles from home. Watching the towers fall live on tv and only a few miles from me in real life, I turned to an ATM machine and maxed my cash withdrawal for every card in my wallet. On the way to the hotel we filled the rental truck with gas, and hit a grocery store for a weeks worth of shelf stable entree’s. Then we went to our hotel and watched tv. After a couple of days, we made arrangements and took care of our work obligations and started on our way home. To this day I rent exclusively from Hertz due to their policy that day. They said “get home safe, call us to let us know where the vehicle is.” This is in stark contrast to another rental car company who told some of my co-workers that “if you take our car out of state we’ll charge you with theft.”

    By the time we got to St. Louis, planes were flying again. It was VERY strange being the only passenger in the arrival baggage claim area at Ohare airport. And I mean the ONLY ONE.

    So it can and does happen while people are away. One of these times it might not be regional, but even a regional disruption will make it hard or long to get home.


  2. SteveF says:

    We’ll get all the evidence cleaned up before Barbara returns Friday afternoon or evening.

    Just make sure to get started early enough on the cleanup. You know the way it goes: OK, I can totally trash the house but still get it cleaned up with eight hours’ solid work. But then the night before comes and you’re still partying. But that’s OK, you’ll get some of your friends to help with the cleanup. But then they all leave, except the two or three who are barfing all over the bathroom. But that’s OK, you’ll just pull an all-nighter and it’ll be fine and no one will ever know there was a party. But, well, you aren’t getting any younger and you’re slowing down and, y’know, you’ll be able to do a better job cleaning if you just rest for a just a few minutes. And then it’s late morning, but that’s OK, she’s probably not getting home until late afternoon, maybe even early evening, and that’s totally enough time to get it all cleaned up, even the fresh barf in the bathroom. But the hangover isn’t helping anything and you aren’t getting any younger and it sure is taking longer than you thought it would. And then you hear a car pulling into the driveway.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    You’re right, and besides I no longer know any wild women. I think I’ll just watch Heartland re-runs instead.

  4. Alan says:

    Just make sure to get started early enough on the cleanup.

    In a pinch you can always call in these guys:

  5. OFD says:

    “And then you hear a car pulling into the driveway.”

    Boy oh boy, that sure sounds like the voice of experience right there, writ large…

    Of course the car could be just some tourist turning around in yer driveway, so not to worry…still plenty of time for cleanup…

    …or the local huckleberries arriving to serve you with papers for either disturbing the peace the previous night and/or D-I-V-O-R-C-E….

    Say, Mr. Alan, those cleaning guys…the site doesn’t mention whether they also take care of bodies and body parts…got any more info on that?

    Naw, never mind…I can always dial up Planned Parenthood; they’re real good about body parts…

  6. nick says:

    Try convincing your roommate, who has unexpectedly returned from a multi-month jail stay, that you have already scheduled the cleaners for tomorrow, and she really doesn’t have to clean the puke up in the hall bath….

    “Really, they’re coming tomorrow, seriously!”

    And the puke only got there the night before.


    ah, good times. NOT

  7. SteveF says:

    Boy oh boy, that sure sounds like the voice of experience right there, writ large…

    Not firsthand, but yah, I’ve seen it several times. Occasionally was roped into the cleanup operation when I was younger and had not perfected the art of turning “no” into “go to hell”.

  8. OFD says:

    “There is no hope for any of us. Dear Lord, please shoot us all in the head.”

    For more boffo laffs:

    “Try convincing your roommate, who has unexpectedly returned from a multi-month jail stay…”

    How special that must have been.

    Back in ancient times I actually hosted several fairly wild parties, and I manned up and cleaned the mess all by myself each time. Them what dances to the tune gotta pay the piper.

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I can honestly say that I’ve never had that problem.

    As far as loud partying, as Bob Seger said, “You’ll never even get me out on the floor. In five minutes I’ll be late for the door…” Except in my case it’s more like 5 milliseconds. I simply can’t stand that crap. Probably my Asperger Syndrome, AKA normal.

  10. MrAtoz says:

    ABC News is reporting that Hildebeest’s email provider says “most likely there is a backup of the server”. What are the chances of it actually making it to the FBI? Fire, murder, bribes whatever it takes.

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    What are the chances of it actually making it to the FBI? Fire, murder, bribes whatever it takes.

    I don’t think the FBI is quite that bad, yet.

  12. OFD says:

    “I simply can’t stand that crap.”

    Ditto. Like I said, it was in ancient times. I hate parties, noise, crowds, traffic, etc. now and some of it is related to aging and some to lingering PTSD stuff. I avoid all that crap as much as I humanly can, to the extent that I don’t even like going to family events. And probably just as well that the kids are now grown and gone, and Mrs. OFD is likewise, on average, two weeks out of every month. I’m one loner son-of-a-bitch, and if the Authorities ever thought they would punish me by throwing me in Solitary or if I hadda ‘light out for the territory’ and live by myself in a very remote mountain cabin, thus mote it be. Ain’t no thang.

    “What are the chances of it actually making it to the FBI?”

    There were backups of the backups, no doubt, inadvertently, most likely, and emails are probably all over the solar system by now on various devices. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting on the Feebies anyway, or for much else to ever come of this. The gig is in the bag, as they say, no matter if she’s out of her mind and crawling on her hands and knees eating grass, like that O.T. king, or Lear out on the moor. It’s HILLARY! Only thing that might stop her now is death, and even then I wouldn’t count her out; she is fiercely determined to get that job and has minions at her beck and call.

    Sure, they float Bipolar Biden, or report breathlessly on Bernie’s latest crowd stats in states and locations where of course he’d get those crowds (try him out in TX or AZ or or WY.) And Trump has been a godsend to the networks, natch. But in the end it’s gonna be Cankles and eight years of hell.

  13. nick says:

    Her hosting company says there definitely IS a backup machine from some point. They also claim it is no longer in their control, and they don’t know where it is.

    I think they are looking for a deal since they appear to have some other problems.


  14. Lynn says:

    “Melania Trump would be a first lady for the ages”

    “If Donald Trump manages to win the presidency, his wife Melania, will be the first foreign-born first lady since John Quincy Adams’ spouse, Louisa.”

    “She’ll also be the only one — as far as we know — who has posed nude.”

    I ain’t saying nothing. No sir, I ain’t saying nothing.

  15. nick says:

    thoughts on a ‘car kit’. Or what’s in mine.

    I use a fanny pack, with a net pocket on each side for a water bottle. It is about 3 x 9 x 7 inches. They are very common. I have several in this size by different manf, and I see them at yard sales all the time.

    2x Cyalume light sticks
    bottle of Portable Aqua iodine tablets
    2 x small wooden match boxes (heads up, the chemical on the striker surface will melt certain plastics on long term contact.)
    1 sm package of ‘fire sticks’ – like fat wood but bundled commercially about 1″ sq x 6 inches.
    4x cliff bars,
    2x power bars
    2x 1 pint folding foil package (from 1# coffee, for water carrying or melting)
    1x gerber 3″ folding knife w/clip
    1x maglite solitaire clipped to
    1x leatherman micra clipped to
    1x climbing carabiner
    1x vinyl rain poncho
    1x cheap plastic rain poncho
    2x space blankets
    1x sm bottle bug repellant
    1x orienteering compass on lanyard
    1x tube chapstick
    1x spare battery for solitaire
    1x deck of cards
    1x packet of toilet paper

    I have variations on this for each vehicle, some have full size multi-tools, or different knives. When I made them up, I went thru my various junk drawers and gathered up knives, multitools and flashlights, then spread them around.

    Since it’s time to refresh them, I’m gonna add my ‘mini-everyday survival tin’ and a life straw.

    I have other flashlights, some small tools, water bottles, first aid, etc in other parts of the vehicles.

    I like the cliff bars and classic power bars because they don’t melt.

    I like the coffee packages ’cause they were free, but one or more of the roll up sports bottles would work.

    This isn’t a ‘survival kit’ or BOB, it’s what I’d want at a minimum if I was broke down in the country or stuck somewhere.

    Any thoughts?


    (of course, it would be a start if I had to walk home, but I’d be grabbing as much of the other stuff as I could carry too.)

  16. SteveF says:

    Back when Bubba was still polluting the White House, I tried to get the rumor started that Hillary Bitch Rodham had posed nude for Playboy in one of their Girls of College or Girls of Spring Break collections back when she was young and hot (or as hot as she was ever gonna get). This was before the Internet was a thing — it existed but virtually no one off campus had an account, and search engines were hardly any use at all and there wasn’t much content — so refuting my claim would have required contacting Playboy or digging through all of their bazillion special editions. Nonetheless, no one believed my claim. sigh It kinda makes you feel discouraged.

  17. OFD says:

    “…back when she was young and hot (or as hot as she was ever gonna get).”

    I’ve seen countless pics of the pig over the decades and she was NEVER hot, not by any wild-ass stretch of the most drug-addled nut-job’s imagination. Which is why it still puzzles me how Larry was attracted to her back at Yale Law Skool. And Mr. DadCooks is here to confirm that if she was ever gonna BE hot, it woulda been back at his high skool and she sure wasn’t then, either.

    “This was before the Internet was a thing — it existed but virtually no one off campus had an account, and search engines were hardly any use at all and there wasn’t much content…”

    Wow, you must be really old, dude…

    I bet I still have a VAX user account at Rutgers, from my time as a grad student/TA there nearly a quarter-century ago.

  18. SteveF says:

    I’m thinking it was 1994, because I remember the contract I was on. And, yes, I was being sarcastic about Hildabitch’s looks. However, this was when the press and a good chunk of the American public was fawning over the “smartest woman in America” and she hadn’t decayed to the point that not even makeup, lighting, and favorable camera angles could disguise what a hag she is. I thought someone would be stupid enough to be taken in but, alas, it was not to be.

  19. Miles_Teg says:

    Come on guys! Hillary isn’t as gorgeous NOW as she was when she was a Goldwater Girl, but she has looked good up until about 10 years ago… 🙂

  20. Roy Harvey says:

    Just thought someone might be amused.

    Dutch soldiers are shouting ‘bang, bang’…

  21. Miles_Teg says:

    I told y’all the EU would roll over and give the Greeks the dough…

  22. pcb_duffer says:

    Am I the only one whose standard automobile load out contains a fire extinguisher? Granted, it’s not a very large one, (and I probably ought to replace it, given its age) but speed is very much of the essence when you need one.

  23. nick says:

    “Many of these commitments must be put into law before cash can be handed over.”

    Not gonna happen. The Greeks will not give up so much sovereignty. The Eurocrats aren’t serious if they have demands as petty as changing the way bread is priced from /ea. to /kg. And this – “The government will also have to bring the education system into line with “best EU practices” “- should send chills down their spines.

    And of course the bankers and elites can’t wait for the fire sale- ” a new privatisation drive ” so they can buy up what’s left of Greece’s infrastructure.

    If the Greeks take this deal, they’ve sold themselves into bondage and ended Greece as a nation.


  24. nick says:


    I have 2 small Halon type spray cans in my small pickup, and a 10# ABC in the Expedition. I stopped to help with a crash and less than a minute after getting the driver out the vehicle was completely engulfed. If there had been a passenger, or a baby in the back, it would have gotten ugly. After that, I added the big extinguisher. The goal is just to slow it down long enough…


    (when I was running a stage show with pyro and live flame, I had a small actual Halon extinguisher in my back pocket during the show. That was for a little extra piece of mind even though we had a bunch of CO2 extinguishers standing by, and due to the nature of the facility, a Fire Marshall sitting in the front row with a radio.)

    Dad was a firefighter.

  25. SteveF says:

    I sympathize with the Dutch soldiers, and others where the same thing is happening. I don’t sympathize at all with the national leaders and the voters who decided that money for the military is not as important as money for regulators or payments to the non-working class (some redundancy there) or other essential priorities.

  26. nick says:

    Everyone’s post SHTF plan should include a whole bunch of real fire extinguishers. In addition to a lack of emergency response, think of all the risks. Candles, colman stoves, re-fueling generators, oil lamps. Lots of potential for disaster there…


  27. Miles_Teg says:

    OFD wrote:

    “I bet I still have a VAX user account at Rutgers, from my time as a grad student/TA there nearly a quarter-century ago.”

    A better question is: is the VAX still there… 🙂

  28. OFD says:

    “….she has looked good up until about 10 years ago…”

    They must have some really good ganja down there in Oz these days…Yikes!

    “Dutch soldiers are shouting ‘bang, bang’…”

    Poor dumb bastids. Once upon a time the Dutch ruled the world. O how the mighty hath fallen, etc.

    “It means Greece will receive close to $130 billion.”

    Why doth I have the distinct feeling that the money will end up coming out of OUR pockets? Can anyone here say me nay?

    “If the Greeks take this deal, they’ve sold themselves into bondage and ended Greece as a nation.”

    They won’t abide by any of it. But we could see a second civil war over there at some point. The last one was way nasty.

    “Am I the only one whose standard automobile load out contains a fire extinguisher? ”

    No. And my vehicle load-out also has a pretty decent med kit, too; besides the usual, a contemporary tourniquet, major trauma clot bandages, and razor-sharp scissors. Hey, I’m a certified Red Cross First Responder again, plus CPR. My load-out will also have one of the Bow-Fungs, which I can carry on my belt. Plus the bail-out bag, with six 5.56 mag compartments and a smaller bag inside it with three 9mm pouches.

    “…less than a minute after getting the driver out the vehicle was completely engulfed.”

    I was on my way to the MA State Police Academy for training in June of 1980, driving a VW Kharmen Ghia, and had just filled the tank. The engine compartment caught fire for some reason, gas leak or whatever, and I had barely time to grab my duffel bag and bail out and it was completely involved. Probably some kind of sign concerning my dumbass path to a supposed “law enforcement” career…

  29. OFD says:

    “A better question is: is the VAX still there… :-)”

    Who knows? Colleges and universities got sweethaht deals with DEC back in the day and filled their data centers with VAX/VMS and OpenVMS machines. Clark U. had/has them, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Rutgers still has them, too.

    VMS hasn’t gone away; HP is still supporting it after second thoughts.

    I started out long ago on the PDP-11 and VAX/VMS 3.5 on a MicroVAX; now they’re up to 8.4. I’d LOVE to go back working full time with it again, but I guess that ain’t in the cards.

  30. nick says:

    Here is a zerohedge article that is long, but lays it out:

    “What is revealed when you look under the hood of this economic recovery is that it is a complete and utter fraud. The recovery is nothing but smoke and mirrors, buoyed by subprime auto debt, really subprime student loan debt, corporate stock buybacks, and Fed financed bubbles in stocks, real estate, and bonds. The four retailers listed above are nothing but zombies, kept alive by the Fed’s ZIRP and QE, as they stumble towards their ultimate deaths. The coming recession will be the knife through their skulls, putting them out of their misery.”


  31. OFD says:

    We’re seeing empty storefronts in strip malls and regular bigger malls all the time now, and over the past few years; down in “upstate” NY, Kunstler has been reporting this landscape malaise for quite a while now and doing pics and paintings of it, as well as reporting on it.

    Sears has been on the ropes for many years now, and the J.C. Penney store downtown where I used to be able to find my 2XLT sizes has closed; ditto the Staples store in one of the malls up the road. The Wallmutt Superstore doesn’t seen to be drawing the SRO shoppers they predicted when they built on the wetlands across from now defunct drive-in movie theater (owner died a couple of years ago, no one’s interested in reviving it).

    Many of us have known or know full well now that the media’s and government’s stats and stories are nothing but lies and smoke and mirrors. It’s as obvious as the nose on our governor’s face here; half the country supports the other half, many of whom work for the State in one form or another.

    This. is. not. sustainable.

    No matter how much fracking gets done, how low the price of gasoline goes, or what spanking new technologies come about in the near future. We’re in the bottom of the ninth, ladies and germs.

  32. OFD says:

    Oh, and by the way, if Chuck was still here, he could fill us in some more on the continuing deterioration and degradation of his Tiny Town region likewise.

    Where the fuck is Mister Chuck?

    Wo bist du, Herr Chuck; Sie verpasst.

  33. nick says:

    Add in the fact that empires fall when the barbarians come over the border, and we’re double dog dare you f’d.

    The American Empire is LITERALLY being invaded by barbarians. They have little education, live in grinding poverty, place a much lower value on human life, are more concerned about family and tribe than society in general, come from a low trust society completely incompatible with our high trust society, and on and on.

    They are not immigrants “yearning to be free.” They just want what we have without understanding how we got it, and they will wreck it trying.


    NO ‘yearning to be free’,

  34. Lynn says:

    This. is. not. sustainable.

    Sure it is. Just get the illegals out who are living off cash jobs below min wage and on the dole for their anchor babies.

    Trump! Trump! Trump!

  35. OFD says:

    Let’s not forget for a nanosecond here that these hordes of illegals, here and over in Europe, are here and over there thanks entirely to our lords temporal, who have abdicated, with malice aforethought, their responsibilities to us citizen-subjects. It is a mistake to target the hordes, per se, though not a mistake to defend ourselves and our country.

    But we need to ID the sons of bitches responsible for this, and one of its prime architects and instigators is beyond our reach now, the late Senator Edward Kennedy. But the current and recently past regimes will do nicely; they’ve opened the floodgates, and they must have known the consequences that would ensue and gone ahead and done it anyway.

    Our allegiance to such a regime, forfeiting our national sovereignty in league with the corporate fascist oligarchy, is now, as far as I’m concerned, null and void.

  36. Lynn says:

    Our allegiance to such a regime, forfeiting our national sovereignty in league with the corporate fascist oligarchy, is now, as far as I’m concerned, null and void.

    Are you going to write that on your tax return next April 15?

  37. OFD says:

    I am sorely tempted to do so, and to also advise the fuckers that they’ve gotten enough blood from me and my family long since, and the treasure they’ve stolen is the least of it. It’s not me that’s a traitor; it’s THEM.

  38. Harold says:

    I carry two reflective vests in my car kit. After almost being run down one night walking to a gas station I will not be on the roadside without this cheap protection.

  39. OFD says:

    There is hope, friends!

    Ya just cain’t keep a good Murkan down:

    Ima gon git me summa dat.

    Ammo, Snickers bars, ciggies, booze, etc. Peeps be beatin’ a path to yo doh.

  40. OFD says:

    “After almost being run down one night walking to a gas station I will not be on the roadside without this cheap protection.”

    No chit, hombre; good idea. Also a sheet of bright orange, about four by four feet, in our wittle bags, esp. if out in the woods or crashed into a ditch.

    The bastards will run you down and claim later they dint see you, and maybe they dint and maybe they did. I’ve heard stories from other roadside walkers that they’ve had drivers aim for them.

  41. nick says:


    Oh My GD!

    Nothing about that bag screams TACTICAL at all does it? And he carries a f-ing LANTERN? I think he should read Selco about looking tactical, or the emails out of the Ukraine that FerFal posted.

    If he’s so high speed low drag, why does he feel the need to carry the SAS manual?

    Damnnnn that’s a lot of knives, and all shapes guaranteed to push the wrong buttons when seen.

    He carries a world ATLAS? If he’s really going over the hills and far away, I think he’d be better served by some maps.

    Wow, I need to read this much more closely. I’m sure there is something to be learned here, but my first reaction is Internet commando. Lantern? SAS manual? World Atlas? Anyone actually look in an atlas lately, ’cause I did. I thought an atlas might be interesting for the kids. TINY text, and every map is completely obscured by all the data printed on top of it. And a mini-version at that. IMHO completely useless for survival.

    Look at his truck. Does that look ‘grey man’ or ‘stop me, take my stuff, rape my skull?’

    Lots of cool gear, gonna be someone’s mobile resupply pod.


    BTW, yeah it’s neat to keep in the truck, but to travel by air with that? He says that several times.

    Need to sleep,can’t focus eyes or brain.

  42. Klide says:


    I am happy to see that there is a Sanitation chapter which includes menstruation. . I’m hoping it includes how to wash diapers and sanitarily dispose of the residue. An infant will produce a very large number of soiled diapers.

    Call me effete, but I’ve decided that I”ll stop eating several days before I run out of Charmin.

    Is there a Medical chapter, and does it include a recipe for a Oral Rehydration Solution, or Oral Rehydration Salts?

    I’ve found a number of recipes on the web, several different recipes attributed to the WHO, what looks like a good recipe on an unfinished webpage on how to treat ebola at home which includes zinc, and recipes that insist that Himalyan Salt and Citrus Honey is the best way to go.

    My grandmother, born 1892, told horror stories about living through cholera epidemics, I figure a proper ORS could save a lot of lives.

  43. nick says:

    Do like the idea of tool box for weapon camouflage. As some of the commenters pointed out, toolboxes are prime theft targets too.

    I’ve got some more thoughts, but tired.


  44. nick says:


    Google ‘moon cup’ for menstruation.

    Think sponge on a stick, dipped in a bucket for sanitation (apparently worked for the romans) or start buying old flannel sheets at thrift stores. Or do what the hadjis do, and use your left hand and water.

    There was some discussion about ORS here in the last week or two. I don’t know if the search function is working still/again.

    My grandfather cursed in his birth tongue and my dad taught us, and the translation for his worst possible curse words was “dog’s blood, cholera” so yeah, pretty powerful. Look for all the food and water bourne illnesses to make a BIG comeback. Good filter, chlorine bleach, fuel for fire, vessels to boil in. MULTIPLES OF EACH. Water is your first need. From personal experience, after about 12-18 hours without water out in nature, you will drink from a puddle. I got lucky that time.

    now off to bed, this time for sure


  45. Klide says:


    I understand left hand and water, but I prefer Charmin.

    I saw my first ‘moon cup’ in 1973, the strippers were amazed that I guessed what it was. They are made of some sort of synthetic rubber. I have no idea how many years they will last, but I suspect women will worry that they might fail.

    A sponge on a stick may work well where sponges are available, but as far as I know sponges are not native to North Dakota. That leaves pads or improvised tampons. Probably cotton, but whatever is available. Which is not really my point.

    As your grandfather said, “dog’s blood, cholera” kills. Mostly children. Rehydration saves lives. Water by itself will not do.

    One needs sugar, table salt, baking soda, potassium iodide, and maybe soluble zinc.
    But I don’t know how much of each.

    3 tbsp sugar
    1/4 tsp table salt
    1/4 tsp potassium iodide
    1/4 tsp baking soda
    12.5 mg soluble zinc
    to make 1 litre


  46. Ray Thompson says:

    And he carries a f-ing LANTERN?

    Well, at least he carries some decent flashlights.

  47. Robert Bruce Thompson says:


    Yes to all.

    The instructions for making up low-osmolarity ORS are on Wikipedia.

    Using table salt and sugar is a field-expedient that isn’t as effective as the official recommendation, which is: “2.6 grams (0.092 oz) salt (NaCl), 2.9 grams (0.10 oz) trisodium citrate dihydrate, 1.5 grams (0.053 oz) KCl, 13.5 grams (0.48 oz) anhydrous glucose per litre of fluid. This equates to 84 mEq sodium, 65 mEq chlorine, and 20 mEq potassium per litre of fluid.”

    I make up small Mylar bags that each make 2 liters. Including the bag, they cost me less than a buck each. I also make up ones that produce 19 liters (5 gallons), because someone who needs OR therapy can easily run through 20 liters or more in one course of treatment. ORS available commercially in the US are typically $5 to $10 for enough to make up one liter, and you need a lot of them.

  48. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yes, I mention the Diva Cup and similar products for menstruation. They’re silicone and last forever. They usually come in two sizes, one for women who are under 30 AND have never had a child, and one for women who are over 30 OR have had a child.

  49. Dave says:

    “ORS available commercially in the US are typically $5 to $10 for enough to make up one liter, and you need a lot of them.”

    Amazon has this item listed at $11.99 and claims it will make 15 liters of solution. Given what you said on pricing, I’m wondering if it is the real deal or not.

  50. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    No, that’s the real deal, and the price is only maybe twice what ORS packets sell for in third-world countries. That product wasn’t on Amazon the last time I looked. I just added a couple to my cart, although I already store glucose, table salt, tri-sodium citrate, and potassium chloride by the kilo. I added it to my cart mainly so that I’ll have the URL for the book. (You might also want to keep some soluble zinc salts on hand, sufficient for however many liters of ORS you stock.)

    For people who don’t want to make up their own, I’d recommend keeping at least a pack of 15 of these or something like them on hand, and two or three packs would be better. Dehydration kills, and cholera tends to raise its ugly head any time there’s a disaster.

    Incidentally, dehydration is so dangerous that WHO doctors recommend administering ORS even if there’s no clean water available to make them up. Using questionable or even known-contaminated water is better than not rehydrating the patient.

  51. nick says:


    In NoDak, I believe the traditional material was corncob, along with the sears catalog 🙂


    and yes, I shudder too. But I have dependents and can’t afford to be squeamish.

  52. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Squeamish, hell. One of the items I recommend stocking is disposable enemas for each person, which can be cleaned/sanitized and re-used.

    These are also useful when used with a small amount of fluid for retention enemas, which are a good way to administer livestock antibiotics like penicillin G potassium and erythromycin phosphate, which can’t be administered orally because stomach acids break them down before they can be absorbed.

    There’s no place for squeamish if you’re prepping.

  53. nick says:


    I’ve seen references to using retention enemas for rehydration if the water is bad, or if injury prevents oral hydration.

    Got any links to absorption rates, and efficacy?


  54. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Not on me.

    For rehydration, you’d obviously want to use water without any added salts. Otherwise, the liquid in the bowel would have a higher concentration of salts and would actually draw water out of the body. The only practical way to replace lost salts is orally or by IV.

    As to dosing with antibiotics and other drugs rectally, it’s been done for years although it’s not a widely accepted method. To the extent that any studies have been done, it’s been shown to be effective, at least for the few drugs they tested.

  55. OFD says:

    “Lots of cool gear, gonna be someone’s mobile resupply pod.”

    Yup, pretty much. He’s got quite an EDC cargo there; good for trips across the Rockies or the Sahara lasting weeks, maybe. My idea of an EDC bag is closer to Bracken’s, and not looking the least bit tacticool. Gray Man all the way, baby.

    “… toolboxes are prime theft targets too.”

    A beat-up toolbox with a bit of rust on it…

  56. DadCooks says:

    Regarding pictures of Hillary: I am loath to admit that if I cared to go through my old yearbook negatives (I took pictures for the yearbook and newspaper) I would find pictures of the swim team that Hillary was on. Not worth the effort.

    Regarding cleaning up after parties: My college fraternity house was purposely designed for partying. It was all concrete walls and terrazzo floors with large drains in many places on the floors. When we partied we rolled up the carpets, pushed the good furniture aside, and had a good old time. The Pledges did the cleanup which amounted to using snow shovels to get out the big stuff then taking the fire hoses to wash everything down. That was a great house. BTW, the University decided House Mothers were no longer necessary the year before I attended. The story told though was that the House Mother always left on Friday afternoon and returned late Sunday afternoon so partying was never inhibited even when the House Mothers existed.

  57. nick says:

    @RBT, I think I’ve got a comment in moderation for too many links.


  58. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Nope. Nothing there. I approve most comments held for moderation within an hour.

  59. nick says:

    Ok, wide awake.

    So I’m re-reading the pdf of that guy’s EDC bag. And I’m getting a mix of anger and disbelief with each re-read.

    This guy and his article is the sort of thing that puts people off of prepping. For anyone new out there, I’m gonna share my thoughts.

    First, read the article. There is good gear there, and this guy has clearly been prepping and buying gear. His truck is customized, he’s got all those bags of stuff, and he may actually have some skills and experience BUT I’m gonna slag him anyway. Keep in mind I’m just some guy on the internet, and I’m not making any claims to a “a career in the U.S. Army”. I’m going to infer stuff about this guy, and judge him. And HE’S just some guy on the internet too. I haven’t taken the time to look it up on WRSA (which is a reputable site) to see the context, if they were supportive or mocking.
    [added: On the site where it first appeared they are supportive, with a caveat to know what you are building the bag FOR before you start.]

    Let me start by saying to newbie preppers, this guy represents an extreme in prepping. This is not the end state for prepping, nor is it one that most people are going to or need to achieve.

    Ok, I’m calling shenanigans on this guy as a role model. His article is not internally consistent, and there are some things that ‘catch my eye’ so to speak.
    [added: from his LinkedIn he is currently a civilian working for the Army, so maybe when he travels he just takes the bag and everything else he needs is waiting onsite.]

    He starts with “The last thing you want is the perfect tool in the wrong bag… the one you don’t have with you!” and then goes on to do just that.

    Some examples, IF you need a handcuff key, what good does it do you buried a couple layers deep in your bag? The first thing a bad actor will do is separate you from the bag. When I worked around handcuffs, I carried a key, on my neck lanyard with some other stuff. That was for convenience if someone got in trouble accidentally. If I was worried about going in harms way and needing to escape handcuffs, then I’d be carrying this: hidden somewhere on my person. The same with the lockpick set (which is automatically suspicious and will get you LOCKED UP for burglary tools in many jurisdictions. Lock picking takes skill and practice. If you are worried about opening locks, you are better served by a set of bump keys. They take minimal practice to use, and won’t look out of place on a keyring.

    By including lockpicks and handcuff keys, but burying them in the bag, I think this guy likes “movie scenario threats.” In other words, he’s worried about things that only happen in the movies, and he has taken amateur steps to combat them. Guys that REALLY need to get into locked rooms (or out) carry a shove knife: [added- guys like firefighters and EMTs]

    He follows that up with ‘the more you know, the less you have to carry’ but then carries a bunch of single use items, 21 POUNDS of them.

    He carries braided paracord, which is a good thing, and many people carry it as a keychain or bracelet, but fails to mention an easy way to carry more. Replace your shoelaces with paracord. Maybe because he likes sandals? (I like sandals. I wear them most of the time, but NOT when traveling.)

    Speaking of traveling. He says he’s a frequent traveler, and travels for work. I have over 750,000 air miles of business travel over the last couple of decades, pre- and post- 9/11. I don’t know what kind of work he’s traveling for, but he’s using up one whole carryon for his EDC bag. No clothes, laptop, ipad, or any other work stuff. I guess, since he’s checking a bag for his pistol, he thinks he’s fine without a change of clothes or meds, or toiletries. He’s much more likely to need those if he travels a lot by air.

    He calls his 21 pound everything but the kitchen sink bag “very basic.” That should give some insight into his mindset. He carries a LANTERN for Pete’s sake. Now it is a nice lantern. I have the D cell version. It sits by my bed. Unless you are in 3rd world countries, you don’t need a lantern. And if you are in 3rd world countries, you won’t be carrying half of what he’s included, because customs will have stolen it, or the first bad guy you encounter will take it. You can’t even wear a decent watch in most of those sh!tholes, let alone anything tactical.

    He carries one bottle of energy drink. A few caffeine pills or some caffeinated gum would be smaller and lighter, as well as having more energy available. A PowerBar would be a good choice too. Many times while traveling, I ate my powerbar when stuck in an airport after all the shops closed, or arriving at my hotel too late for food.

    He is carrying the SAS book and an atlas. I mentioned them upthread so will not here.

    No problem with carrying a med kit, but why a multicam pouch? Why “reallocate” an NBC kit container? (well, pretentiousness, and allusions to .mil hoping for added credibility aside) A normal toiletries bag works very well, as does a ‘camp kitchen’ type bag, with the added advantage of NOT looking tactical. Ziplok freezer bags will provide waterproof storage, and have other uses as well.

    But his GSW kit is $50 worth of medical supplies in a $65 bag, which is easy to order, but pricy. The emt shears will trigger a TSA search and depending on the day will get confiscated. I buy them at the state outlet store where they sell off TSA confiscated items, so I KNOW that they will take them.

    The only water filter he’s carrying is tiny and at first glance doesn’t protect against common pathogens.

    His “SERE” kit has to be disassembled for carryon (knife), and includes the gimmicky perimeter security system. As he’s fleeing thru Detroit, or Abu Dhabi, I’m sure that will come in handy, especially when the raccoon sets off the strobes and 135dB alarm. So more movie plot stuff.

    I do like the idea of using different colors of paracord for different lengths, but why not just carry one hank and cut it if necessary? What EXACTLY do you envision using the paracord for?

    I used to carry a couple of screwdriver bits in my altoid tin survival kit. Now I just have an extra leatherman micra. You have bits on the multitool. Again, what does he think he’s gonna take apart?

    Who does he think he’ll be signalling with that mirror? Again, this reveals mindset. Either he’s stuck in the .mil mindset that there are rescuers coming for him if he can just stay free long enough, or it’s just there because people recommend having a signal mirror. The small plexiglas mirror in most toiletries kits will work too. You should keep a small mirror in your first aid kit for self help with an eye injury anyway. No real need for a special (this one is magic, others are cr@p!) mirror esp. as your chances of signalling the search aircraft are slim. What, no survival whistle? No snakebite kit?

    He’s carrying special plastic bags to keep food safe from animals, but he’s not carrying food! He wants a special SHIELDSAK but you can get the same thing for less as a film shield, and it’s actually designed to keep Xrays out, and half the cost. More movie stuff. He’s got a movie in his mind of Escape and Evasion across bear country, if he can just hold out until his rescue team gets there. Heck, I don’t know what he does for a living. Maybe this is reasonable for him. Probably not for you though. [added: he does work for the Army, so maybe he does go to some sketchy places, and they might come looking for him if he gets chased. ]

    Everyone should be carrying sharpie markers in their bag, in their first aid kit, in a briefcase. Ziplok freezer bags in quart and gallon sizes are very useful too.

    The CAT is way overkill for most people, and should be in his first aid or GSW kit anyway. For that matter, why isn’t he carrying a IFAK bag instead of all the bits and pieces? And again, TSA will probably steal his EMT shears. Plus the shears and CAT will get caught on EVERYTHING on the plane.

    I’m all for the rain jacket and hat, but question the camo. Again, in most conflict environments, the reports are that it will ATTRACT attention.

    Wool long underwear makes sense in a cold weather bag, but I’d vac seal it if I was gonna carry it.

    I will recommend putting a bunch of extra cords and chargers in a clear bag, or a mesh bag like the Pack-It cube rather than his opaque bag. This makes it easy to grab and throw on the xray belt, vs. TSA running your carryon thru 5 times to try and figure out what they are seeing. I use pack-it cubes extensively to organize my luggage. MUCH better when TSA or some customs officer decides to go thru your bag.

    Regarding radios, the baofangs and radios like them make lousy scanners. So if you aren’t willing to get a ham license, you’re better off with something like the GreCom EZscan Digital. Keep in mind, many states restrict the use of scanners and a WHOLE bunch of countries will steal your gear or treat you as a spy, terrorist, or enemy combatant if they find high tech comm gear. A ham license and the reciprocal operating authority will cover you on some of that. A baofang isn’t gonna help you if the grid is down or overseas. If you are interested in that, look up QRP portable rigs.

    Yikes, more tactical tommy kydex, and ‘scary’ looking knives. Fixed blade knives have a bunch more rules in most places. People in Abu Dhabi where shocked when they saw my Spyderco Rescue, and that is a folder with a rounded safety point. His pigsticker “blends into the bag” until it doesn’t. Then NO MATTER HOW SMALL, it looks like Rambo.

    I do like his sharpener. It is something most people forget about. I have a simple diamond coated tapered rod, that stores in a metal tube that looks like a pen. NO ONE has ever looked twice at it in hundreds of trips thru security. It’s in my briefcase, with all the other pens. I added the sharpener to my amazon wish list.

    Skipping a bunch of stuff about guns.

    I don’t think he knows what ‘ironically’ means, but that is a nit pick.

    He closes with ” with the rest of the planet’s ever-growing Free Shit Army (FSA). Keep clear of them!” But everything about him draws attention.

    His bag, choice of knives, his truck, the stickers on his window, everything draws attention.

    He likes gear, and buys a ton of it. He likes bobby pins.

    He has a movie playing in his head where he E&Es thru the wilderness, setting up a perimeter as he camps, capturing small game with snares, or !fishing! while signalling his rescue team, while scanning the airwaves for police and troop movements, heroically escaping from his movie villain captors who inexplicably leave his gear bag with him alone in a locked room, all while wearing ear protection so he doesn’t go deaf from all the shooting.

    He carries a lantern but not a real water filter. He doesn’t carry a net hammock or poncho, or even a black contractor weight trash bag to help with that camping. He’s worried about protecting his credit cards with a special bag, but has NO water purification tablets. He doesn’t have a needle or thread, or a button. No magnifying glass. His system is ‘modular’ but important bits are scattered throughout. He carries stuff in his bag, purportedly OCONUS, that will get him thrown in jail, selected for special attention, or killed outright, depending on where he is. He likes jargon.

    There is something to learn from everything, and I think the learning opportunity here is ‘what not to do’.

    Anyone else? SteveF?


  60. nick says:

    Hmm, posted it again, and it didn’t show this time either.


    Maybe it’s going to spam instead of moderation?

  61. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Okay, I found both in the spam folder rather than the awaiting moderation folder. I approved both, since I wasn’t certain they were identical.

  62. nick says:

    I did some clean up on the second one.


  63. OFD says:

    “…I think the learning opportunity here is ‘what not to do’.”

    Indeed, and nice work ‘deconstructing’ the guy’s ‘text.’

    He’s all set to be the main character in that movie he’s directing in his head, and maybe a lot of it is A-OK for whatever gig he’s doing with the Army, who knows? But most of us are not gonna dedicate half to three-quarters of our vehicle to a big pile of stuff that just screams “TAKE ME!” to anyone noticing it.

    You gotta figure where you are, where you might have to hump it for a while, and what can you efficiently carry with the least discomfort and pain. I don’t fly by air all over the world, and my last airline trip sucked, basically, not so much the flight but the Newark airport caper. Doubtful when and if I’ll ever do it again. If I have a job 30 miles away, what do I need to have with me to spend a couple of nights or a week, even, at the office? Or if things are real bad, what do I need to get home? That is pretty much the extent of my EDC worries, but of course I have to also worry about Mrs. OFD, who DOES fly all over the country and stay in various places fah from home. Or Princess, ditto; and neither one of them are very security-conscious and find it a hassle and a bore and unpleasant to think about. I get the same reports from my married brothers down in MA; the fems don’t wanna think about this stuff and simply don’t. Furthermore, they find our thinking about it unpleasant and morbid, and that we’re probably paranoid cranks.

  64. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Okay, first one is deleted.

  65. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    If you close your eyes, stick your fingers in your ears, and keep yelling LAH-LAH-LAH, most of this stuff goes away.

  66. nick says:

    Yup, unfortunately, that changes dramatically post event. Too late at that point.

    I forgot to mock the guy for his “half ounce silver money clip.” So a whole $8. Much better to have $100 in twenties tucked away. When I traveled extensively, I had $1000 in travelers checks tucked away. That is less of an option today. The pro tip is here:

    The primary purpose of the Rolex – to a professional adventurer – is not as a timepiece but rather as a life insurance policy. When the situation goes pear-shaped and you’ve somehow made it to the airport, the Rolex buys you a seat on the last flight out of Heart of Darkness International Airport.”

    And I meant to link to a great series of posts by a personal protection officer on improvised weapons and security in the 3rd world, including Detroit. Unfortunately, I’m missing my old bookmarks and I’m having trouble finding them. He posted on some ways to improvise security in your classroom, but google isn’t indexing blogs any more so I can’t find it.


  67. nick says:


    “You gotta figure where you are, where you might have to hump it for a while, and what can you efficiently carry with the least discomfort and pain.”

    That means if you are building a bag-o-tricks to take with you while traveling, it should address your most likely problems. Those are:

    Missed flight, late arrival, stuck at airport, lost or delayed luggage.

    And the best things to combat those things are:

    Food, entertainment, toiletries, meds, glasses if you wear contacts, an airline lounge membership, a change of clothes, credit cards. Add a blanket or towel for cover, or a soft hat. Not one of those is tactical.

    If you are away from home and there is a local or regional problem, you need to get out of the region and ‘back to civilization’ and for some reason you can’t just fly. In the most likely cases, it’s weather, transit strike, local civil unrest, or (lastly) terror attack. Assuming you can’t just stay put in a safe place for a couple of days, MONEY is your best prep here. Cash in hand and credit cards that aren’t maxed out. No survival knife or kydex will get you a rental SUV to drive thru the snow. Flexibility is your second best prep. Since you can’t fly, can you drive? Are cars available? Can you rent from the airport/hotel/neighborhood storefront/rent a wreck? Can you rent a truck or moving van? Can you hitch a ride with a colleague or co-worker? Is there a train? Private party willing to drive? Cab? Cheap car to purchase? Driving all the way home or just outside the affected area? If you decide to drive, will you be able to get gas and food? Or should you hit the store for some shelf stable and some boxes of granola? Again MONEY will make this all easier. When all the cheap cars are gone, the Hummer might be available (happened to a female co-worker who was trying to G.O.O.D. in Oklahoma before a storm. Only vehicle left at the rental was a Hummer at an eye watering rate.) Sometimes the only hotels with vacancy are the high end ones.

    Finally and least likely, there is a SHTF event, and all normal modes of travel are out.
    Is it better to look for allies and resources locally or to start off cross country? How do you know there is anywhere to go back to? Wait and see if things improve or move quickly? Any waterways going the right direction? Do you have family or friends along the way? Company offices? MONEY, FLEXIBILITY, and also INFORMATION are once again your best preps. In a collapse or major multiregional event, info is gonna be the hardest thing to get. And there isn’t anything you can do except carry some with you. I carried a garmin GPSIII for years. It had a built in basemap, with freeway exit info. It ran a long time on 4 AA batts. It showed RR tracks, waterways, and roads. Before I left home, I looked up and mapped the closest Home Depot and Lowes stores. I had that printed in a folder. I carried a compass. I always got the paper maps at the car rental agency. I had my EDC knife and a multitool. I carried minimal first aid, bandaids and super glue. I had lots of flashlights, bug juice, and water purification tabs. I had a messenger style bag, not a backpack. If I had to start traveling, and driving was not an option at all, I’d be looking for waterways or RR tracks. I’d be looking for bicycles, canoes, or jonboats. For one length project, I mapped it that I could get from my customer’s plant to within a couple of miles of my parents’ house by canoe. If anyone would sell, I’d be a buyer. If not, there are always some laying around. Even a kid’s bike can hold the weight of your gear while you walk. What about a shopping cart? Wheelbarrow? I think normalcy bias will have lots of people still willing to exchange goods for money for a while until the new reality sinks in. Boots, appropriate outerwear, backpack, food and water. All should be doable if done right away. If you are looking for packable stuff- water purification tabs, compact calories (powerbars), rain poncho, hat, what else do you need? Trash bags for rain gear and concealment are everywhere. So is clothesline or wire. You are already setting off on an impossible journey. It will only be harder with 20 pounds of stuff. Food and water should fill your pack. A partner will double your chances. Whole books have been written about the cross country journey.

    Now back to real life. The most likely SHTF is the same while traveling as while at home– personal SHTF.

    Auto accident
    Work accident

    Rather than packing a bunch of kydex, do you have a copy of your employer’s auto insurance rider? What about their Workman’s Compensation certificate? Do you know where the nearest Urgent Care or Emergency Room is? Do you have the address of your hotel or workplace so you can call 911? Does anyone expect you home at a specific time? There are services that will provide a Doctor to come to your hotel, do you have their number in your phone or card in your bag? Do your co-workers at the worksite have your hotel info (to find you if you don’t show up on time, since you are vomiting your guts out from bad dinner?)

    Add travel outside the US and now you should ask yourself:
    Do you know where the US embassy is? The UK or Canadian? Israeli? Have you checked in with the Embassy? Do you have a medical insurance phone number that will send an english speaking doctor to your hotel? Do you know which hospital treats Europeans? Does your employer have kidnap insurance? A Risk Management Department? Do they know where you are? Do they have a contract with any of the international medical and rescue (extraction) companies? Have they given you any plans/contacts/security info? Will your company or local contact be providing drivers? Security? Accommodation? Is your local contact a native or ex-pat? Do you trust him? If you are on your own, or work for a small company, have you read the CIA world fact book for the country? Are you familiar with any factions or unrest? Have you read the State Department travel advisories for the country? Have you looked at a map to know where you are? What is the nearest friendly place?

    In my opinion, if you can’t answer these questions, you are NOT prepared for travel, no matter how tricksie your gear is.


    BTW, while traveling for work, I’ve had co-workers in serious car accidents. I had one fall on the job and break her hip. I’ve had a friend of a friend die in a hotel room. I had a boss slip and fall in the hotel shower and be unable to work for the entire event. I’ve been food poisoned on average 5 times a year by hotels and restaurants. I was so sick with pneumonia I couldn’t get out of bed in Miami until I got some antibiotics. I have co-workers who were robbed at gunpoint. Two that narrowly missed getting drugged and raped in Miami (men, and they were drugged but got out of the bar in time.) One that had to race to get out of town before the hurricane hit, and one that had to drive a Hummer to Texas to avoid a tornado storm. (Same female used steristrips to close a cut on her FACE after a server fell on her.) I’ve driven when my flight was canceled. I’ve rented SUVs to get thru snowstorms. We drove from NYC to St Louis after 911. One coworker had a car bomb explode outside his hotel in Europe. Another passed bodies stacked along the road like cordwood in Indonesia. Same guy was locked in and threatened buy OUR CUSTOMER in the Middle East. And yes, my employer had kidnap insurance as we worked worldwide and throughout Africa and the middle east, as well as Columbia and some other southern sh!tholes.

    I’ll admit that I carry a few more things now, since I’m traveling with my family. I have a much more complete first aid kit for example and better weapons. But MONEY and FLEXIBILITY are still the best preps. And they weigh very little.

  68. nick says:

    whew, another Wall – o- text

    sorry about that! (sorta)


  69. OFD says:

    “Food, entertainment, toiletries, meds, glasses if you wear contacts, an airline lounge membership, a change of clothes, credit cards. Add a blanket or towel for cover, or a soft hat. Not one of those is tactical.”

    Mrs. OFD, thanks to zillions of airline miles over the years, is covered by all of that, usually. She digs the United Club lounges, esp. during two-hour layovers. I was in one with her on our Excellent Trip to NJ and PA a few weeks ago and it was OK.

    “another Wall – o- text”

    Pat. Pending. Marcus Registrada and all that.

    Yikes. So many questions my late-night head hurts.

  70. nick says:

    Sometimes I wonder how I pack it all in my tiny little brain. Once it starts coming out it just wants to flow until it’s done.

    I’m thankful for a place to pour it.


    It never looks that long when I’m typing it in that little window 🙂

    added- even with my greatly reduced travel, the United club is a bargain. I have my membership thru a credit card, and it also gives me and one companion traveler 2 free checked bags on each trip. That perk quickly repays the cost of the club, leaving the club and the premier access as bonuses. So far, it’s survived the merger with ‘the stingiest airline in the air’ as I like to call them (meaning that I’m a fan of Continental, not United. united would charge you for air if they thought they could. The only people who seem to like the old United are VERY high mileage flyers who never have to deal with any of the normal BS.)

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