Thursday, 18 August 2016 — Oh goody, a list!

Preppers love lists. And here is a TOP 50 list, hurray! Get this stuff and you’re set! Problem is, it’s a fantasy. It’s supposed to be Survival Items, but quickly devolves into comfort items and lifestyle items. It fails to acknowledge hard truths about a survival situation. In fact, there is so much wrong with it, I had to chime in. My comments in [ xxxx] snips with ….

Our Top 50 TEOTWAWKI Survival Items List

[SURVIVAL- not comfort, not rebuild society. That should be the final determination of whether something makes a SURVIVAL list.]

Rubbing alcohol: Not only is rubbing alcohol good for disinfect­ing, it can also be used as a great ice pack when combined 1:2 with water. Rubbing alcohol also works as a fire starter, cleaning and disinfecting tools and more. Just don’t use it for mixed drinks!

[so, primary use is icepack? Icepack is a survival item? Where will you cool it down? Rubbing alcohol is a USEFUL and cheap thing to store. Store the highest strength you can, and save it for disinfecting. NOT useful as a firestarter.]

Yarn: Having wool-yielding animals, processing wool, and spinning yarn is laborious, and unless you’re already an expert your future learn­ing curve will thank you for having a supply of yarns on hand for knitting warm clothing and making repairs.

[not survival- noted as NS! from here on out, lifestyle and requires a skill- noted as LS! Better to store warm clothing, extra items. You do not have the time or energy in a survival situation to knit!]

First aid ointment: A simple cut can result in serious infection if not treated properly. And because tubes of first aid ointment usually only contain an ounce, make sure you have plenty on your survival items list.

[oh for Pete’s sake, you need a bunch of medical supplies. You need references and training. A couple of bandaids and some ointment are NS! Better- make sure your survival med kit includes AB ointment, burn cream, suture alternatives like Steristrips, skin glue, or tape. You will need WAY MORE supplies for wound treatment than you think, stock up!]

Anti-diarrhea medications: Diar­rhea … regularly kills folks… [FIFY]

[meds, yes AD meds. Yes all of the OTC meds. AD meds can be survival, and you need salt replacement tabs or ORS electrolyte solutions too. Better get some anti-biotics too, not having them could kill you.]

Arnica: This homeopathic remedy [!!]… used as a home remedy for bruises and sprains. …

[OFP’sS! Lights are on people, stock the real stuff. Add some tiger balm to your medical preps if you are worried about bruises. NS! ]

Toiletries, deodorant, beauty products: …

[NS!!!!!]

Bleach: The importance of clean­liness and disinfection of cooking utensils, the home, garden tools, animal holdings, and more will in­crease as diseases increase in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. You should have lots of this on hand.

[can’t argue this, get bleach, get the powder to make more. Stored liquid bleach degrades in strength over time.  When you run out, salt has been used as a cleaner throughout history.]

Books of all sorts, in print: … entertainment. …

[a good reference library is vital for long term survival. First Aid could be vital for short term. Entertainment is NS! Yes, you should include the great works. NS! ]

Brewing/alcohol making sup­plies: …

[nice idea, NS! LS! needs knowledge and skills. Can be improvised with the knowledge and skills, WAY more useful as sterilizer and anesthetic than as recreation or trade item.]

Ammunition reloading equip­ment: A lot of people have a stored supply of ammunition, but once that runs out, will more be available at stores?

[stores?? wtf? survival!]

… could save a lot of money by investing in a reloading press.

[save money?? LS! needs knowledge and skills. STOCK UP NOW! Unless you are running and gunning, (in which case you aren’t saving your brass) you will use your ammo for hunting, which might be 50 rounds a year of the big stuff and more of 22. Better would be learn about traps, snares, and alternative QUIETER methods of taking game. If your focus is long term grid down, get some black power arms and learn to use them.]

Citric acid: It comes in canisters large or small, and is important for food preservation, cleaning, and as an additive for nutritious seed sprout­ing. It also acts as a meat tenderizer for the inevitable tough meats you’ll be eating, and can be used to flavor beverages. You can buy it in bulk online for your survival items list.

[right thing, wrong reasons, NS!]

Cocoa nibs: The health benefits of quality, unsweetened cocoa are well documented, and it will be worth its weight in gold as a cherished ingredient for sweets and treats. It can be used as a valuable barter item, but because of its storage abilities and ability to bring joy to a dreary existence, we recommend keeping it for yourself. And store more. Nibs can be used in themselves or ground into powder, so having nibs on hand is more versatile.

[OMFG. NS! LS! Survival does NOT mean sitting on the porch with a cup of cocoa!]

Paracord: You’ll need to tie things up and genuine milspec Paracord is stronger, lighter and more versa­tile than rope. Plus, the seven inner strands of Paracord can also be sepa­rated and utilized for another variety of uses only adds to its handiness and the importance of always keeping it with you. (We’ve used Paracord to lace up our hiking boots. Heck, you can even floss with one of the inner threads of Paracord! Can you tell we love this stuff?)

[paracord is a legitimate survival item, IF YOU KNOW WHAT you can use it for. Wearing the bracelet won’t save you. Long term survival– better is storing cordage of all kinds. Block and tackle, tow ropes, string, cord, thread, rope is a vital tool in a muscle powered world.]

Dates: Dried dates are a very nourishing, and very storable, food. They are very sweet, which will be welcome when sweeteners become scarce.

[WTF?- NS!]

MRE (Meals Ready to Eat): Grow­ing vegetables and hunting game are essential skills, but on the slow days, it’s good to have some back up. High-quality MRE has an extremely long shelf life and come in a variety of tasty flavors, so you’ll have variety on your survival items list.

[having some food, readily available, is a great survival tool. You can go a long time without food if you aren’t doing anything, and are sheltered. Not so true if you are doing heavy work or exposed to the elements. You will increase your short term chances the more you have readily available. I’ll leave discussion of whether MREs are tasty to those with extensive experience, but I’ve never heard them described that way. Better for the average person to store freeze dried backpacking meals, retort meals, or even protein powder shakes than MREs, and you better have much more than just enough for the occasional day when the garden isn’t producing or the game is scarce (ie MOST days.)]

Epsom salt: Epsom salts contain important magnesium, which is use­ful for soaking sore muscles, soothing sprains, and more. Epsom salt is also useful in the garden to help increase vegetable yields.

[again, like most of this list, NOT survival NS!]

Fabric: Chances are you’re forgetting some key, long-term items in your holdings, like fabric and the skills to make new clothing as your current stock wears out. In a bad sce­nario, your clothing will take much more of a beating than it currently does now, and you’ll wish you had denim, cotton, and more available for repairs or making new clothes.

[NS!! LS! assumes you’ve also got the knowledge and skill and other infrastructure to make clothes, as well as the time and energy. Better to store more clothes. SOME fabric is useful, mostly canvas, denim, etc, and was a staple of frontier life, but they bought clothes when they could afford it, because they were better than homemade. For long term survival– better to be sure you have replacement clothes for all the members of your group in appropriate sizes and for the various seasons.]

Feminine supplies: If you’re a woman or have women in the household, feminine supplies will be essential to have on hand, how­ever, we don’t recommend tampons. Why? One average female in the U.S. will use between 10,000 and 15,000 disposable tampons or pads in a lifetime, meaning there is no way to stock enough. Instead, stock reus­able sea sponges and reusable pads, which can be cleaned, disinfected, and reused.

[I’ll leave this for someone with experience, but there are other products that are better than “sea sponge” and many were used throughout history. For immediate survival, a good supply of feminine hygiene will help morale and health. Long term, NS!]

Nail files and nail clippers: Poor foot and nail maintenance and health can cause serious problems and in­fections later. Don’t underestimate the importance of caring for your feet and hands, arguably the most important tools you’ll have. [emp added]

[better to say for long term survival– store the grooming tools you need, razors, scissors, clippers, etc. Short term NS!!! Recommended– putting away sturdy boots, and all different kinds of gloves, and USE THEM to protect yourself.]

Water filtration and water puri­fication: Water is essential for life so you’ll need several gallons a day per person. So even if you store enough for a year, what about year two? It’s a good idea to have a good filtration system, as well as water purification tablets as backup.

[FINALLY we get to water. And, “it’s a good idea”??? It’s CRITICAL that you have water to drink and for sanitation. Tabs, filters, bleach, boiled, or irradiated, you need to get it, treat it, store it, use it. FIRST NEED is water.]

Medicinal houseplants: Aloe vera’s medicinal uses are wonderful, so we recommend having renewable resource of medicinal houseplants like aloe vera and citronella. Can’t grow houseplants? Now is the time to learn. Collect medicinal houseplants and make sure you know how to grow them effectively for the home medicine arsenal.

[oh jeez, more amateur NOT survival lifestyle crap. Much more effective things are available right now, stock up! Sure, plant the garden, but medicinal use of plants is lifestyle and again depends on skills and knowledge. Add some books to your reference library.]

Games: Along with good books, games are more important than you think to keep the family sane. TVs and DVD players breakdown in time, but Uno, poker, chess, and checkers never wear down and are always available to you and your family when it’s too dark and cold outside to do anything else. Winters will be longer than you think without entertainment.

[ok, I’m gonna be kind and put this as Nice to Have, for long term survival. Distracting the kids is ok, but it’s not gonna feed them or keep them safe.]

Garlic: As a valuable flavor en­hancer and for its medicinal and healing properties, there is no way you can have enough. We also recom­mend storing and regularly rotating bulbs for growing garlic of your own when stored supplies run low.

[someone is confused about the hobby homesteader and SURVIVING THE END OF THE WORLD. NS!]

Ichthamol ointment: This sticky, dark, slightly stinky goop is also known as drawing salve and it works incredibly well for extracting splin­ters. Just a dab will do ya, so a one-ounce tube of it will last years. Every medicine cabinet should have this.

[no idea what this is, but a magnifying glass, AB cream, and tweezers work great, are quick, and should be part of medical preps. No need to stock something else. Oh, and NS!]

Hand tools: Repairs to your shel­ter and anything else will be neces­sary. There are many antique and new hand tools that will drill, dovetail, saw, and plane wood for shelter maintenance. Invest in the basics.

[This is a whole post right here. Yes, hand tools, but also POWERED TOOLS for as long as you can. Also needs a ton of skills and knowledge to be put to use. Long term only.]

Hemp seeds: Hemp is good for fiber for nets and rope, can be woven into excellent fabric, and can be used to make a good milk product. No, it won’t make you high.

[No you won’t be making fiber and rope. NS!]

Honey: It has an indefinite shelf life (honey has been found in Egyp­tian tombs and is still perfectly ed­ible) and is important as a sweetener. You’ll also need honey’s antibacterial properties to heal wounds. Make sure it’s 100 percent pure honey.

[NS! No one ever died because they didn’t have sweetener. Not a bad idea to put up honey though, for the reasons listed, just not a survival item.]

Potassium iodate (KIO3): Potas­sium iodate is a critical item to have in the event of a nuclear disaster. Ra­dioactive fallout can travel thousands of miles and if you’re in the zone where it occurs, you can be sickened and die in short order. KIO3 protects your sensitive thyroid gland from the effects of radioactive iodine, meaning you don’t want to be without this important precaution.

[I’ll leave this to RBT to comment, but I get the feeling the author has no knowledge or experience and is just parroting this.  And how will he know to take the pills unless he’s got monitoring equipment?]

Compost pile: Composting is environmentally friendly and will enrich your soil to help plants grow. You can throw any vegetable waste in your compost pile (and even coffee grounds and egg shells), but abso­lutely no meat, fat or sweet things that might attract rodents or bugs. Locate your compost pile well away from the house, keep it moist and turn it over regularly.

[OMFG NS! Not even long term. Nice to have, not critical.]

Loom: Storing fabric is impor­tant, but having a loom available for weaving blankets, clothing, and more will be important. A large loom is not necessary; even small woven squares can be stitched together into larger items.

[argg. hippy hobbyist. NO NOT A SURVIVAL ITEM.]

Lye: Lye is used in soap making and to preserve or prepare certain types of food, like hominy, curing olives, or making century eggs. It will also be impossible to make soap without lye. Historically, lye was made using wood ashes, but this process takes time to learn to do cor­rectly, and some woods work better than others.

[ok might be a long term item, but can be made onsite. If you are making soap post SHTF, you can make lye.]

Needles/thread: Don’t underesti­mate the amount of thread that will be necessary for clothing repair, and how easily needles can break when being used regularly. During the Revolutionary War, sewing needles were a trade item among women. It’s a good idea to stock different thicknesses of thread, making sure not to neglect heavy-duty thread for repairing jeans or leather items. And knitting needles will enable you to make sweaters, mittens and blankets to a host of other items. Sewing and knitting are essential skills.

[I’ve got a sturdy threaded needle in my everyday carry, so I’m gonna say it can be appropriate for a survival list. Small, light, and useful. Store a bunch.]

Oil press: Oil is not only for cook­ing, it is also for soap making, food preservation, and health and skin care. The problem is that oil doesn’t store well. An oil press will allow you to extract oils from nuts or seeds.

[Long term? IDK, but not something on everyone’s mind. I’m thinking animal fat is way more plentiful and useful. ]

Old medical books: While treat­ments can be found in old medical books, they’re most important use is to diagnose disease symptoms. Many diseases have been near eradicated and medical books no longer teach students what they look like. These diseases will likely reemerge in a TEOTWAWKI scenario.

[Falls under reference library. And if you get the right books, modern books DO have diagnostic info, as well as modern treatment. Does you no good to know Johnny has croup if you don’t know what to do about it.]

Pencils/pens/paper: We hardly use them anymore, but they will become more desirable and more valuable later. Make sure you have enough.

[I’ve got a pencil and some paper in my kit, so ok, but generally not a survival item. USEFUL as all get out, not critical.]

Reading glasses: We age and along with that comes reading diffi­culties once we hit middle age. Keep several pair, in case you lose or break them… which you will.

[long term. Spare prescription glasses if you use them should be MUCH higher up your list. You can’t IFF before shooting if you can’t see.]

Salt: No, you’re not storing enough for eating or food preserva­tion. It never goes bad. Store more.

[FINALLY, a good item, long term, not short]

Shoes for children: …

[covered before]

Slingshot: Silent, deadly, and accurate with practice, the sling shot is a way to defend yourself and hunt small game, even when ammo runs out. Rocks can be used effectively if you have practice under your belt. Make sure everyone in your group has at least one.

[Not silent, Not deadly.  The rubber bands degrade rapidly. If you think you’ll be hunting with a slingshot, you better learn to use a sling, or an arrow thrower too. gahh.]

Soap: Cleanliness will be para­mount as basic societal conditions decline. [no it won’t] While you can make your own bar soap, make sure you have enough soap of all kinds, like soap flakes for laundry [just shredded bar soap], or ammonia, to keep up with the cleaning demands. Cleanliness is one of the most impor­tant things to pay attention to. [no, not really, water, food, and security rank a lot higher.]

Socks:… [already covered under clothes and shoes]

Sundried tomatoes: …..

[OMFG. SO NOT survival.]

Stainless steel buckets, milk pails, etc.: Stainless steel will almost last forever. Buckets and milk pails are easy to disinfect and clean, too. Forget plastic in the home—it de­grades and becomes increasingly difficult to keep sterile and clean.

[WTF? NOT SURVIVAL!!! Hobby farmer!]

Tea tree oil: Due to its long shelf life (indefinite) and ability to assist with wound healing and disinfec­tion, tea tree oil is an essential item to have in your medicine cabinet. It can be used alone or added to other skin preparations.

[what is with this guy? get some AB cream!]

Heirloom seeds: Why heirloom seeds? Because you’ll be able to save the seed year-after-year for continued harvests. GMO and hybridized seeds won’t produce viable offspring, and many times the resulting seed won’t even germinate. A good heirloom-based seed bank is paramount.

[ok, long term. Define “good” though.]

Tobacco seeds: Growing tobacco for trade will give you an edge, and it has uses as a plant for making re­pellants in the garden for problems such as aphids, borers, rodents, and more.

[I’ll let RBT address this, since he’s gonna do the experiment, but NS! I’ll note that production of tobacco historically needed a lot of workers, and takes them away from food production.]

Seed-starting supplies: … [nice, not critical]

Vitamin C: …for scurvy prevention.

[Just about any dark green veg has this, as well as tomatoes, citrus, etc. in other words, unless you are in a cave eating hard tack you probably don’t need to worry about scurvy. Long term, stock a couple of jars of multivitamins. That will address any other deficiencies you have too.]

Alternate energy sources: Elec­tricity and natural gas may not be available from the utility company during a bad situation. [ MAY NOT?????] Think about how else to heat the house (such as a wood stove) and provide electrical power (e.g. windmill, solar panels).

[long term you are back to the traditional sources, heat, muscle, wind, water, chemical.  Make sure you can utilize them.]

Animals: The amount of wild game available will likely dwindle with time.

[there will be NONE in most of the likely SHTF scenarios, see any account from WWI or WWII or Selco about cities or countryside during wartime, nor will there be any dogs or cats.]

Having livestock such as sheep and goats will enable you to sustain yourself with meat, milk and fiber. Not everyone has the room for animals on their property, but if you can, do it.

[almost no one has room, or knowledge, better to raise chickens or rabbits if this is a concern for you.]

 

 

So much fail in a single list. Oh, it might have been ok if the list was titled “50 things you might have forgotten, and would be nice to have if SHTF” but it was titled SURVIVAL.

The list is more telling about the person who wrote it, than a guide for essentials. NOT ONE mention of defense against hostile people or animals. Lots of airy fairy new age-y items. Several items that evoke a hobby farm or gentleman farmer lifestyle. An emphasis on comfort and continuing a modern lifestyle. This author is not gonna make it through a TEOTWAWKI event. He clearly hasn’t considered it from an urban or even suburban perspective, nor does he sound willing to make hard choices.

Part of his problem is that you have short- and long- term survival and the problems and needs are different. Worst case is a short term event that results in a long term situation, like a plague that kills a large percentage of the population, or a surprise attack that results in a technological collapse. First you have to survive the event, then you have to find a way to live in the aftermath. Different skills, different stuff.  It also helps to define the requirements by deciding what your goals are. Do you want to just survive for a period of time until outside help arrives or rebuild a society?

Your answers are going to shape your preps.  In the mean time, use his list as a nudge about some things you may have forgotten about, but other than water, food, and salt, there’s not much here that will help you survive.

nick

Saturday, 13 August 2016 Home made first aid kits

Based on comments from a previous post, here is some discussion of basic first aid kits.

FWIW, I like to build my basic kits and my much more capable ‘car kits’ around a makeup organizer or a toiletries organizer. I find them often in thrift stores and yard sales for only a buck or two.

https://www.amazon.com/BAGSMART-Toiletry-Cosmetic-Organizer-Breathable/dp/B01BWJDLIU/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1471111289&sr=8-9&keywords=hanging+toiletry+organizer

https://www.amazon.com/Toiletry-E-BLOOMY-Organizer-Capacity-Mysterious/dp/B0157PJZV2/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1471111289&sr=8-10&keywords=hanging+toiletry+organizer

New comments, or additions are in [square brackets]

nick

Dave says:
22 August 2015 at 15:18 (Edit)

Here are the contents of my under $10 first aid kit:

30 clear adhesive bandages
0.33 oz triple antibiotic ointment
50 extra strength acetaminophen tablets
50 alcohol prep pads
5 2×2 gauze pads
5 3×3 gauze pads
5 yards of 1/2″ adhesive tape

Everything listed above fits in a one quart zip top bag.

[I think you are a bit heavy on bandaids, and could use more styles. I like the fabric ones as they stick well. Consider having a couple of sizes of traditional shapes, plus finger tip and knuckle, and at least one big one for a skinned knee.]

nick says:
22 August 2015 at 20:15 (Edit)

Hey Dave, some things to think about adding,

tube of crazy glue (to glue skin, stings like fire but works)
wet naps (get some at chick fil a)
packets of sunscreen (like a condiment pack at fast food, might be in the sample size section of your store)
sunblock chapstick
fewer tablets,
gloves- vinyl if you are worried about latex allergies.
moleskin
scissors
flashlight
knife

[trauma shears are great, but a good sharp ‘kitchen’ style scissor works well. Any scissor is better than none, as long as it is sharp. For a knife, even a ‘wallpaper’ style disposable box cutter works- the kind with snap off blades. It’s cheap, sharp, and small.]

OR just buy one of these kits. I have several versions and like the quality and what’s included.

http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/medical-kits/adventure-first-aid-0-5.html

http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/medical-kits/adventure-first-aid-1-0.html

http://www.adventuremedicalkits.com/medical-kits/adventure-first-aid-2-0.html

The 1.0 kit is a good balance of price and performance.

In general, you are right that you can put together a better kit for the money, but the Adventure Medical kits do a good job of proving that wrong (or LESS right.)

nick

BTW- great job taking that step! Keep adding to your preps!

[I still like the AdvMed kit as a starting point.]

Dave says:
23 August 2015 at 14:06 (Edit)

@nick

The first aid kit is intended to go in a vehicle emergency kit, which will be a little stripped down to start with. I’m betting that I’ll be there with a knife and a flash light that I’ll remember to grab the flash light out of the car. The other suggestions look like things I will want to add when I expand the kit.

The things I think are missing:

1. Oral rehydration salts.
2. A splint and a more effective pain reliever than acetaminophen.
3. A weeks supply of my prescription meds.
4. Some loratadine tablets.

The last item is for my wife, and the other things are things I actually could have used at one point or another. On our last vacation, my wife and I both could have used the oral rehydration salts. Would have made the vacation a little less memorable.

[the anti-diarrhea meds are a staple of my kit, and in my briefcase, and my boo boo kit. I don’t think you need anything stronger than Tylenol but you might want to consider fewer Tylenol tabs, and adding a few anti-inflammatory tabs, like Motrin, and a few anti-histamines, like Benadryl. I carry electrolyte salt tablets, for dehydration and hangover relief. Splints are likely overkill, and are pretty easy to improvise. ]

[I also think, due to the changing nature of the threat, that you need to consider gunshot or other trauma, even in a basic kit.   I’d add 2 rolls of Kerlix and a couple of 4×4 gauze pads.

A penlight, a Sharpie marker, and a large safety pin would be good adds too.  An instant cold pack is nice if you have the space.

You can still fit this into a pretty compact package, and it adds a great deal of capability.]

[Medical prep in general is a big topic and deserves more in depth coverage, but I’m gonna limit this post to the basic first aid kit.]

nick

 

 

ADDED_____________ 2pm

 

Finally found a couple of the others, so I’ll make this even more of a mega post!

 

  • nicksays:

    Ok, I’ll bite, since I’m in serious work avoidance mode.

    And I’ve got my ‘blowout kit’ right here in my range bag.

    Small samsonite toiletries bag, about 2.5x4x7 inches, that unzips in a clamshell and lays flat.

    Loose in the middle,
    israeli bandage
    trauma shears
    medical tape
    maglite (if you use led, it must have good color rendering)
    3 pr gloves

    in the loops on one side
    4x sterile pad, 3×3 folded in half
    1x roll kerlix
    1x roll gauze
    4x sterile pad, 3×3 folded in half
    extra shears

    in the zippered mesh pouch on the other side
    8x assorted size and shape fabric bandaids
    4x alcohol prep pads
    2x single use Povidone-iodine ointment
    4x kleenhanz antimicrobial moist towelettes
    1x envelope of wound closure strips (steri-strips) 8 @3 inches
    2x maxi-pads, full size, generic, no fragrance
    1x package, 2 @4×4 topper dressing sponges
    1x 4×4 Exuderm OdorShield (what I had handy as a chest seal)
    1x black sharpie marker
    1x sheet of paper, folded for notes

    So there is some stuff in there that is not strictly gun shot treatment, but then I don’t have to carry another ‘boo boo’ kit (although I carry my altoids tin one whenever I’m with the kids.)

    The bags in my vehicles are scaled up versions of the blowout kit, and include gorilla tape, more of everything, ice packs, etc. I’d have to get one out to go thru and list it all.

    nick

    [OFD asked if that all fit in the Samsonite toiletries bag]

    yep all that fits in the little Samsonite bag. The bag goes into my range bag most of the time. Since I don’t travel with the range bag, the blowout kit goes into my carryon. I checked the TSA rules, and trauma shears meet the rules for allowed scissors, and they didn’t steal them on my last trip.

  • nick says:

    Ok, ‘boo boo kit’ in an altoids tin, goes in pocket whenever I go anywhere with the kids.

    Loose, or in top half

    6x assorted shapes and sizes fabric bandaids, incl one big enough for a scraped knee
    3x sheets of rite-n-rain notepad paper.
    3x imodium anti-diarrhea med

    tucked firmly and completely into the bottom half
    6x alcohol wipes
    1x single use triple antibiotic cream
    1x small tube crazy glue
    4x fabric knuckle bandaids
    1x One third of a paper book of matches
    1x wooden golf pencil
    1x prethreaded sewing needle, 18 inch black thread, wrapped around pencil
    1x lens cleaner wipe
    2x stick of caffinated chewing gum (BlackBlack, from asia)
    1x safety pin

    It is a little puffy, and won’t quite stay closed by itself, so I have a rubber bracelet around the outside (like the ‘live strong’ bracelets)

    I also wrote “med only” on it to remind myself not to put anything with a blade in it so I can take it on the plane.

    If I had a small tweezer, I’d include that too. and since I carry a credit card sized magnifier in my wallet, I don’t need one in my kit.

 

 

 

I like toiletries organizers or cosmetics organizers for medical bags. They fold open flat, sometimes with a pouch that folds out again for a tri fold, they have zippered mesh pouches and elastic loops. They are super cheap at yard sales and thrift stores, and some of them are better quality than the chinese import tactical bags. No external molle, but that’s not a problem. I like them about 8 x 9 x 3 inches for truck bags. Big enough to hold a lot of supplies, small enough to fit under a seat. I wouldn’t recommend the classic ‘dopp’ bag, or any other that just zips open on the top (shaving bag). You want it to fold open and lay flat so you can see everything.

 

[nick]

Sunday, 26 July 2015 — Checklists versus Wishlists

One of the hard realities about emergency preparedness is that essentially everyone is on a budget. That budget has to cover everything, not just cool stuff.

Many non-fiction preparedness books and nearly all prepping novels are written by wannabes who have no clue about this fundamental requirement. For example, imagine that you’re concerned about social unrest, so you want your preparations to include some means of self-defense in case you’re forced to fend off rioters and looters.

Most non-fiction preparedness books that cover this topic go way overboard on stuff they suggest you buy to prepare for this eventuality. If you believe them, you’ll think you’re hopelessly under-prepared unless every adult in your family or group is equipped with a high-end tactical rifle, a dozen spare magazines, a night-vision sight, and thousands of rounds of ammunition, at a cost of $4,000 or more per person. Call it $25,000 for a family/group of six people. Which is great, if you can afford that much without noticing the cost.

The reality for most people is far different. They need to budget to cover food and other essentials. For the many who have trouble keeping up with routine expenses, spending even $25 on defense means they’ll have $25 less to spend on food or other essential items.

The trick is to do what you can reasonably do without putting yourself in a financial hole, even if that means your total spending on defenses is a used baseball bat that you pick up at a yard sale. And that applies not just to spending money on weapons, but on everything else. The trick is to maintain balance.

We know people who’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars on weapons, but have only a week’s supply of food and no stored water. They worry us more than a little. If there is a sudden emergency, are they planning to use all those guns to take food and other necessities from other people at gunpoint?

Conversely, we know more than a few families who have a year’s supply of long-term food storage or more, but absolutely no way to defend themselves.  Perhaps they think they’ll make friends with the well-armed first group and feed them in exchange for providing security. Good luck with that.

As always, the key is to strike a balance. If you can’t afford everything you need or want all at once, buy some in each category. Don’t buy that year’s supply of food  and nothing else, and don’t buy the infantry squad’s worth of tactical rifles and ammunition to the exclusion of all else.

Start as small as you need to to keep within budget. If you can’t afford more, buy one rifle or shotgun and 100 rounds of ammunition for it. If you can afford more, buy two or three, and then keep adding to your arsenal and ammunition supply as you can, without shorting yourself elsewhere. If that means buying .22 rimfire rifles, fine. If you ever need to defend yourselves and your property, you’re far better off having every adult armed with a .22 rifle than having only one of your group armed with a tactical rifle. Half a dozen .22 rifles beats one tactical rifle every time.

And the same thing goes for other categories. Rather than buy one $70 Streamlight or Surefire flashlight, you’re far better off equipping your whole group with six or eight $4 flashlights and spending the rest of that $70 on other priorities.

The reality of preparedness is that you need checklists, not wishlists.