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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:08 pm 
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This is just me putting some info out there on my personal scenario regarding bug-in/out scenarios, but first some background. I am married, 24 year old male, wife is 25, daughter is 5, son is 3. We have 3 vehicles, no pets, limited income, and live in an apartment in the desert US southwest, in a relatively quiet side of town.

The Good- I am a mechanic, and while not very well versed in the in-depth mechanical repairs, I know enough to get any old beater running after sitting for decades. My wife and I are both employed(her not for too much longer due to social security reasons). Both of us have reasonable firearms training, but she needs more. We have a small cache of firearms in various calibers and ranges (.22/.410ga for small game, 7.62x39/12ga for defense and large game, .380ACP/9mm for defense) and a small(imo) cache of ammunition. I am also in the process of building an AR15 for my wife, due to the small recoil impulse and high capacity. In our area, we have a small variety of small game(Gambel's Quail, coyote, cottontail rabbit) nearby. We also have a longtime friend and roommate who, in such a scenario as bug-in/out would be right beside us, at least at first-he is single and has his own life aspirations, so we would never hold him back. He would possibly choose to stay with us wherever we go, but he is very attached to his family. With him and his truck, we now have 4 vehicles. He also has decent firearms training. Most importantly, all of us have open minds, a willingness to survive, and are willing to learn.

The Bad-I suffer from plantar fasciitis, my wife has hyperthyroidism, and my son is rated as moderate to severe on the autism spectrum. My two personal vehicles are both 1998 Ford Rangers. One's transmission slips a bit(automatic), but has been doing so since I have owned it(approx. 12 years) with no adverse operating conditions. The others engine has a bit of a knock-not severe, but it's there. The good thing about these two is that they are identical in every mechanical aspect, so if either one dies, I have spare parts. Unfortunately both are new enough they could be crippled by EMP. My wife's car is a 2015 Kia. It is compact, reliable, and quiet, but is also susceptible to EMP. We have very little stable pantry items, what we do have are maybe a week's worth of canned goods, top ramen, emergency meal bars, and dehydrated camp food. Most "regular" food and pantry items are used in short order. We do have some 10 gallon water containers, but due to size and weight, are left empty on an everyday basis. We would most likely have to bug-in for a small amount of time following a disaster(1 week to several months), depending on what scenario we are looking at. This is a major problem for us, as we are looking at 100+ degrees for 3/4 of the year, as water would be scarce and travel would be reduced to twilight hours and night time to reduce the risk of heat exhaustion.

The Ugly-I am currently working on getting my 1966 Chevy C/10 back up and running. As a purely TEOTWAWKI vehicle, it stands the best chance. It is a slow going and expensive project, but it (hopefully) would withstand an EMP. Unfortunately it is slow, heavy, old, unrefined, and has been sitting for quite some time. If we had to make an egress in a Mad-Max type scenario, this would be the typical heavy duty battering ram to strap the family into and hit the road. My son, due to being autistic, would be a handful and a half should a bug-out situation arise. He has very limited vocabulary, difficulty expressing his feelings, and is extremely picky and good at escaping places he doesn't want to be. If we ever had to head for the hills, he would be very difficult to keep safe. We have a "buddy-leash" as my wife calls it. It gives him a sense of freedom while being close at hand. My family does have some property down south that I could use as a temporary bug-out location, however it would only be temporary. It is only about a 45 minute drive from Mexico, and not well fortified, however, it would be a good place to temporarily escape to refuel, rest, grab provisions, and then head north. My family hasn't officially declared it as a bug-out location, but it has been heavily implied. I never regard it as such, being so close to Mexico, it could easily be reached in as little as a few hours and we would be easily overrun by unfriendly people who know what they are looking for in a dog-eat-dog situation. For them, it is a bug-in location, but for me, it is nothing more than a temporary rally point. My official bug-out location is in the mountains about 7 hours north of my current location, and it would basically consist of squatting in a long-abandoned cabin I know of. 9 hours including the drive from my rally point, a solid 24 hours of hard driving if we include driving from my current location to my rally point down south, refueling, packing, resting, and driving to the area up north, assuming any vehicle I own would still be in operating condition. If worst comes to worst, and we have zero communications or transport capabilities left, I would appropriate what I have to in order to temporarily bug-in at my current location. My dad is planning on building a more permanent home off the grid nearby where my bug-out location is at. My very limited survival skills(former boy scout and camping enthusiast) would be put to the test big time, considering I would be hunting and providing for 4 people, possibly more depending on our people and transport capabilities.

Whew, excuse me for being long-winded. If anyone has tips, suggestions, or questions, please let me know, I would love more information. I am still relatively new to prepping, and I feel like my brain is a sponge. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:15 pm 
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Excellent post. Welcome. I have been reading that a lot lately: "my limited skills," or "I'm no expert."
All former Boy Scouts remember their motto!
Mark Twain once famously said, "An expert's just a man from out of town."

You are a married, husband and father, who has survived 24 years, shoots with your bride and has mechanical skills. You are thinking about it "what next", and it sounds like you actively do a little game hunting and gathering. I'd say you have a lot going for you.

I'd like to believe that in most scenarios I can think of, those that can are "bugging-in" up until that time when they must "bug-out." You might want to stay right where you are. If it is desert, you might consider some terrain appreciation since even a slight elevation change could allow you see further. Security really mean reaction time, you see.

Water, for drinking, and for sanitation, would be my prime concern. Depending on your location, a good source for it might be nearby underground. Food storage is key as well, but since you seem to have already thought about the food that is freely available in your surroundings I am not too worried for you. There are thousands of discussions you can find about it online and you can discover what freeze-dried camper packs you need to stay primed for the Summer Olympics but at the end of the day people simply need to eat. I would recommend getting a decent compass and doing some map work - know and mark where water is, for instance - and learn basic celestial navigation.

I need a good blade, water, food, fire and shelter. I need to protect the ones I love. Given those things can I maintain the hope and the will to keep waking up and putting one boot in front of the other? Can I do better with time?

I think you can. That's my basic input for now.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 6:34 pm 
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Asymetryczna wrote:
Excellent post. Welcome. I have been reading that a lot lately: "my limited skills," or "I'm no expert."
All former Boy Scouts remember their motto!
Mark Twain once famously said, "An expert's just a man from out of town."

You are a married, husband and father, who has survived 24 years, shoots with your bride and has mechanical skills. You are thinking about it "what next", and it sounds like you actively do a little game hunting and gathering. I'd say you have a lot going for you.

I'd like to believe that in most scenarios I can think of, those that can are "bugging-in" up until that time when they must "bug-out." You might want to stay right where you are. If it is desert, you might consider some terrain appreciation since even a slight elevation change could allow you see further. Security really mean reaction time, you see.

Water, for drinking, and for sanitation, would be my prime concern. Depending on your location, a good source for it might be nearby underground. Food storage is key as well, but since you seem to have already thought about the food that is freely available in your surroundings I am not too worried for you. There are thousands of discussions you can find about it online and you can discover what freeze-dried camper packs you need to stay primed for the Summer Olympics but at the end of the day people simply need to eat. I would recommend getting a decent compass and doing some map work - know and mark where water is, for instance - and learn basic celestial navigation.

I need a good blade, water, food, fire and shelter. I need to protect the ones I love. Given those things can I maintain the hope and the will to keep waking up and putting one boot in front of the other? Can I do better with time?

I think you can. That's my basic input for now.


Thanks, I appreciate the input. We are in southern Arizona, so right smack dab in the middle of the Sonoran Desert. Water is my prime element. I have never hunted, but I do know the basics and I am a proficient fisherman. I also have GHBs in all of our vehicles and two meager BOBs at the ready. I also have a compass, and local area maps. I will definitely lay out some map marks. Our closest elevation point is the mountain ranges nearby, we sit in the valley of several extensive mountain ranges, where Whitetail, Javelina, and water are common so if we do have to bug out somewhere close by, we are within a couple hours of decent "camp"grounds, however, not really where I would stay for more than a couple days before I would want to move further north. Further north=less people and more resources.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:07 pm 
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Just some quick thoughts from a fellow journyman in the prepping world:

1) You have a big picture of what "preparedness" means. Right now you envision everything from a power outage to EMPs, solar flairs, and mad max. I'd slow that down and focus on 1 week of preparations. Get that nailed down. Then 2 weeks. Then 3....

2) Water, medicine, money, communications, food. Probably in that order. Then weapons. You have weapons down pat. Your weapons are more adequate by far than the rest of your preps. But once those other preps catch up then I'd look at weapons. For now a box of ammo for each caliber will probably get you through anything realistic.

3) I'd fill those water jugs and get one of those bath things you fill up and leave in your bath tub and pump water out of it when you need to. But it sounds like you could have 30 gallons on hand right now, and that would mean 1 gallon per person for 7.5 days, so you have a good start!

3) I'd get whatever medicines you think you need stashed for 7 days. I would not focus on gun shot wounds. I'd look at scrapes, fevers, "monthly times," maybe some deeper cuts. If you have not already I'd get CPR and first aid training. The Patriot Nurse on youtube has some good intro to prepping medicine and inexpensive first aid stuff videos. I don't like all her stuff, but those are good videos to watch and know what you need to buy. Oh, and I"ll include a weeks worth of toilet paper should be included too. Any prescriptions you all might need, and maybe an extra brace for the foot. Plus probably a ton of ibuprofen?

4) I'd then focus on having cash on hand. About enough for a week. Ideally enough for a hotel for a week, but you may not be in that situation yet. I know it has not been easy for my wife and I. But putting away $10 a week adds up. While you may want to be fully prepared today it is better to do things a little at a time and keep an eye on the long game. Once you hit $500-$600 I'd start to relax on that.

5) Communications are important. Having cell phones and extra batteries and maybe an extra month card for each phone if you use prepaid phones. After a month of stuff is squared away maybe consider a CB or FRS radio.

6) I"d get some 5 gallon food grade buckets from Lowes along with the gamma lids. Put 10 lbs of rice, 10 lbs of lentils, a thing of salt, a bottle of oil (preferably coconut oil), and 1 of your favorite spices. Do this for each member of the family (so at the end you have a metric ton of salt and 4 other favorite seasonings). You will probably still have space so getting some canned meats and some treats and maybe more spices can fill out the rest of the space. Maybe get some powdered milk, sugar, and Knorr pasta side dish packets. Be sure to freeze your rice and beans for 3 days before storage to kill any eggs in there. Maybe get some more beans and put those in there too. You want 2000 calories per person per day. You will likely burn more if an emergency situation actually arises. But your son will likely eat less than the adults so that gets rounded out.

Also....learn to cook with these ingredients. You don't want to face a disaster and suddenly realize you don't know how to cook with any of this.

7) Your guns sound good enough for now. Once you have a month or two of all the other things taken care of I'd look at finishing that AR and building stockpiles and all that. The reality is disease and dehydration are likely going to kill you before people do. But if you have enough water and medicine then guns start to be a little more important.

8) Budget. Figure out what all this will cost and divide by 12, and see if you can put that much aside every month. If not, decide what you *can* put aside every month and start chipping away at the needs, remembering what to focus on first. You might be able to get this knocked out in 6 months. I don't know. But get the budget and figure out what you need and get it over time. This does not need to be immediate.

Remember, get 1 week squared away. Just 1 week. Then get the next week squared away.

Lastly, and I need to take my own advice on this....but get a flash drive and put copies of your personal documents on there. Marriage certificate, drivers licence, copies of any certificates that certify you and let you get a job, resume, important pictures, birth certificates, insurance information, car title information, maybe rental agreement, and anything else that you might need. You will probably want to get an encrypted version.

Consider stocking some toys and games your son likes which don't require batteries.

Learn to like life without air conditioning. That...that one I can't help you with and it will be an interesting ride. But if you have a tolerance and good attitude it will help others too.

Get to know your neighbors. If they are not meth heads then make friends. Don't share you are a prepper, but just get to know them. In bad times it helps to know people, to lean on others even as you let others lean on you. Good social networks are one of the very best preps.

Just my thoughts. Others will give you a lot of valuable information here.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:48 pm 
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Welcome! You will find a lot of good advice from the members and posts here. You may feel like you're still starting out, but by putting conscious effort into planning ahead, you're already further along than most, I'd say. And as others have said numerous times before me as well: start small and expand from there. EMPs etc. are high on the potential impact scale, but very low in the probability of occurrence scale. And being prepared for much smaller disasters (house/wild-fire, extended power outage, water supply interruption/contamination, etc.) will all still apply in greater disasters as well.

Water is definitely a critical prep for bugging-in in your location. I didn't see any water purification methods mentioned, but that can also come in handy if you need to rely on less potable water sources. If you are unfortunate enough to have to try surviving in the 100+ F heat, personal hydration will be of utmost importance, but extra water can also be useful in other ways, and you might consider some kind of passive evaporative cooler (e.g. Zeer pot, swamp cooler, etc.) as an adjunct. If you have access to a below-grade room, I'd consider that as a primary shelter too.

A few weeks of food is another good goal, but along with the water preps, you shouldn't feel rushed to complete your stockpile immediately. I'd only add that you should make an effort to rotate through your water and food in your normal intake, partly to keep it fresh, but also to ensure that you are only stocking away things that you can actually eat. There might be a lot of activity going on during a disaster, and you might think gourmet rations might be a sort of back-burner issue, but a decent meal can be a real morale booster, and morale can often be an underappreciated factor in disasters. Having some food that you're already familiar eating can help alleviate at least one more small shock of the situation.

If you are planning on making the drive south/north, also remember that the trip might take longer than it does today. The options of hotels and/or refuelling might be harder to come by or more expensive in the meantime. Having some cash on-hand to make those purchases helps, if card services etc. are down.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:19 pm 
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we sit in the valley of several extensive mountain ranges, where Whitetail, Javelina, and water are common so if we do have to bug out somewhere close by, we are within a couple hours of decent "camp" grounds
Map out where those water sources are. What type , spring, stream, (is it seasonal or consistent). Ponds, tanks whatever. If possible visit them so you see with your own eyes the lay of the land.

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I have never hunted, but I do know the basics

You know I shot my first deer 45 minutes into the first morning of my first hunt. Then never got within shooting range of another deer for two years. I knew the basics that first morning too. I was pretty smug and proud of myself , thinking this aint so hard. ( yea right.) . Thirty minutes later literally elbow deep in the deer I was like WTF. Two years later an even bigger WTF ( no deer) . Don't wait til your families life is at stake to learn how to hunt and process the animal.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:40 pm 
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flybynight wrote:
Thirty minutes later literally elbow deep in the deer I was like WTF. Two years later an even bigger WTF ( no deer) . Don't wait til your families life is at stake to learn how to hunt and process the animal.


Preach it brother. Amen!


Been there.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:43 pm 
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Forgive me for being the voice of dissent... I'm not trying to be a jerk. However, sometimes people, myself included, get too caught up in the fantasy future and ignore present day needs.

You said you live in an apartment, have 2 kids, one with ASD, a wife who will be on SS With thyroid issues and you have feet issues. You also have another adult living with you. Plus, your two daily driver trucks are rough around the edges.

I don't think the best options are to try and fix up a 60s Chevy for a bug out truck for an EMP. I'd worry about cranking up that savings and making sure your family gets the best treatment. You're a young guy, things will pop up in life. It just sounds like you might not be in the best place for expensive preps.

Focus on free stuff like skills and cheap stuff like water and canned food.

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Thank you all for your replies! And thank you ll for jogging my memory. As far as water purification, I have several redundant methods. I have 5 Lifestraws, a Sawyer Mini(good for 100k gallons) with an extra filter, two cases of 2-stage water purification tablets, and on top of a Camelbak Motherlode, I have two mil-spec canteens in the fleece lined covers with the nesting stainless steel mug. Water purification isn't an issue, water collection however is. Still working on finding some more storage tanks and those in-tub water sacks that one of you mentioned. As for the old Chevy, it is mostly to the bare-minimum point of driveability. Zero frills, all utility.Thankfully, I am only investing my time into it, not my own money. My dad is the one sinking money into it. We all thankfully are on no prescription medication. My wife's thyroid issues are treated with a healthy diet of iron-rich vegetables and OTC B12 vitamins, and my plantar fasciitis is treated with elevating the feet, massage, and if it really becomes an issue, I have a compression bandage I can wear. Thankfully, most of my firearms have also been inherited, so I don't have debt on them, and the few firearms I have bought are already paid off, and were purely for utility. I am planning on doing a quail hunt or javelina hunt early next year, hopefully that will help familiarize me a bit with the hunting aspect. Right now, I am trying to focus on the three B's-bullets, beans, and bandages. I pretty much have bullets covered, but I need to get more of the bandages and beans areas covered. My wife has some moderate medical training and a CPR cert, and I have CPR and 1st aid training as well. In both of our BOBs, we have mil-spec current gen IFAK with RATs and QuickClot. I also carry an Adventure Medical Whitetail kit with QuickClot in my EDC bag as well. Not as much medical as I would like, but it is there, and we both have adequate training. I think the only things I realistically need to focus on now are food and water resources. We go through water quick, living down in Tucson. Most of my prep goes into my most realistic scenario-civil unrest or extended power outage(which would shut down water, our area has electric water pumps to serve all of our Metro area). That's all I can think of for now. If I'm missing anything, or any questions or suggestions, please share your knowledge.


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“If you can see your path laid out before you, it is not your path.” –Joseph Campbell

Quote:
Focus on free stuff like skills and cheap stuff like water and canned food. - Jeeper

Yep. I think you are in pretty good shape and far better off than thousands who think some government entity will sweep in and save them. I might suggest that you focus more on what to know than what you have. The more you learn the more "stuff" will be added to your inventory along the way. Find it. Buy used when you can. Become a full-time student on your own time by teaching yourself. Chicago Zombie offers a great service to this site, linking free books that you can download and read on the device you write from. Again, FREE and DAILY. I download nearly all of them and discard those not worth saving. The internet can lead you to hundreds of other sites you can use for outings with the family to practice.
No matter where you go, there you are. EMP, blizzard, floods, zombie or giant Michelin Man invasion, it's all the same in your brain. Fight or flight. If you think basic needs will suffice for a while where you are at, stay put, and focus on developing the basic needs. I'd recommend developing an obsession for water. Walk to it, dig for it, pull it out of the sky. Find a cheap way to test it for drinking, clean it, store it. Learn to do it at night. Become the source for H2O info in your area. Do not trust that a bunch of pipes are going to continue to shoot it your way. Make a few ragged cloth slings to carry your son with you and make it a learning adventure for the entire family. Learn every possible shelter for staying out of the sun. Learn every possible way to find, grow, collect and store things you can eat. It doesn't matter to the hungry belly if it is specialized backpacking treats or chef-boy-r-dee. Rabbit and ramen can be made into a fine meal and there are probably plenty of free foods around you that most are not aware of and people around that can teach you more.

Hunting for Food in the Desert

Farming in the Desert

(Do you know what the people of Hanoi do when their streets flood? They come out and capture every fish and living thing to add to their diet. The idea of catch and release or leisure fishing is an abstract concept to them.) Once everyone is hydrated, protected from the sun and their bellies are full, you'll need to consider hygiene. Flies enjoy both your food and your waste and have no issues with dining on both -minutes apart- and this could destroy your family faster than any militant rebel motorcycle gang that comes zooming in right between the solar spikes and the earthquakes to eat your flesh and steal your G-Locks and ammo. Civil unrest is probably not that big of a concern in your area other than it might grow larger in a populated zone and this leads to all of your resources being turned off.

Read your ass off. Practice the things you learn that applies to you. Keep posting questions/suggestions/ideas.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:01 pm 
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Asymetryczna wrote:
Quote:
“If you can see your path laid out before you, it is not your path.” –Joseph Campbell

Quote:
Focus on free stuff like skills and cheap stuff like water and canned food. - Jeeper

Yep. I think you are in pretty good shape and far better off than thousands who think some government entity will sweep in and save them. I might suggest that you focus more on what to know than what you have. The more you learn the more "stuff" will be added to your inventory along the way. Find it. Buy used when you can. Become a full-time student on your own time by teaching yourself. Chicago Zombie offers a great service to this site, linking free books that you can download and read on the device you write from. Again, FREE and DAILY. I download nearly all of them and discard those not worth saving. The internet can lead you to hundreds of other sites you can use for outings with the family to practice.
No matter where you go, there you are. EMP, blizzard, floods, zombie or giant Michelin Man invasion, it's all the same in your brain. Fight or flight. If you think basic needs will suffice for a while where you are at, stay put, and focus on developing the basic needs. I'd recommend developing an obsession for water. Walk to it, dig for it, pull it out of the sky. Find a cheap way to test it for drinking, clean it, store it. Learn to do it at night. Become the source for H2O info in your area. Do not trust that a bunch of pipes are going to continue to shoot it your way. Make a few ragged cloth slings to carry your son with you and make it a learning adventure for the entire family. Learn every possible shelter for staying out of the sun. Learn every possible way to find, grow, collect and store things you can eat. It doesn't matter to the hungry belly if it is specialized backpacking treats or chef-boy-r-dee. Rabbit and ramen can be made into a fine meal and there are probably plenty of free foods around you that most are not aware of and people around that can teach you more.

Hunting for Food in the Desert

Farming in the Desert

(Do you know what the people of Hanoi do when their streets flood? They come out and capture every fish and living thing to add to their diet. The idea of catch and release or leisure fishing is an abstract concept to them.) Once everyone is hydrated, protected from the sun and their bellies are full, you'll need to consider hygiene. Flies enjoy both your food and your waste and have no issues with dining on both -minutes apart- and this could destroy your family faster than any militant rebel motorcycle gang that comes zooming in right between the solar spikes and the earthquakes to eat your flesh and steal your G-Locks and ammo. Civil unrest is probably not that big of a concern in your area other than it might grow larger in a populated zone and this leads to all of your resources being turned off.

Read your ass off. Practice the things you learn that applies to you. Keep posting questions/suggestions/ideas.


Thanks for the links and positive encouragement! I have been reading Recoil's OffGrid magazine since it's inception, as well as the SAS Survival guide and various military survival manuals. Knowledge sure is power. I am picking up two packages of water, a couple more Lifestraws, and some bulk containers today as well. Thanks again everyone!


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giant Michelin Man invasion
Is this a thing? :ohdear: Oh crap I know what I'll be having nightmares about. .( ( Is that a range backstop?....



Image

Image

NO it's YAAAAAAGH !

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Something to consider is getting and reading the book "98.6 degrees: the art of keeping your ass alive."

It is hands down the best survival book I have ever read. There are some close runner ups, but that one is at the cop. Cody Lundin is probably still teaching courses out your way.

Another one worth reading is "Deep Survival: Who lives, who dies, and why" by Laurence Gonzalez.

This is all about the brain of the survivor and what you want to develop in your self. Cody Lindin's book actually has a lot to say about the brain too, which is why it's #1, but Deep Survival goes into so much more detail. It is so good. If you only ever read 2 books those are the two to read. There are lots of other good ones, but get those two. Put them at the top of your list before any other preps. That is my opinion, anyway.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Thanks again for everyone's input. Quick update, I recently acquired two of those 10 gallon plastic buckets, and I set both up with two gallons of fresh bottled water, a 100-pack of tea candles and a 5-pack of Bic lighters. I have some of those high calorie meal bar packs to add to them as well, but I haven't had the time to put them in yet. I also picked up a set of local/regional/state maps to map out game areas and water areas, but again, I haven't had time to add in those markers. Anything else I should add to my buckets or any other suggestions?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:44 pm 
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RollinWOT wrote:
Thanks again for everyone's input. Quick update, I recently acquired two of those 10 gallon plastic buckets, and I set both up with two gallons of fresh bottled water, a 100-pack of tea candles and a 5-pack of Bic lighters. I have some of those high calorie meal bar packs to add to them as well, but I haven't had the time to put them in yet. I also picked up a set of local/regional/state maps to map out game areas and water areas, but again, I haven't had time to add in those markers. Anything else I should add to my buckets or any other suggestions?


Are these two buckets going to be your "grab-n-go" type buckets??

If so, I'd just throw in some useful camping style essentials... off the top of my head that I like:

-rubbing alcohol
-duct tape
-paracord
-black trash bags
-tooth brushes and paste
-some cotton rags (old t shirts)
-nitrile gloves
-basic first aide kit
-flashlight and batteries
-flare
-leatherman style multitool
-baby wipes/wet ones

-beer (optional)

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