Lighters and matches
Disposable dishes and utensils
For most SHTF scenarios I anticipate bugging in rather than bugging out. However it is still essential to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go. So with that said; what gear do I keep in my bug out bag? The following; in no particular order is a list of my Alice/Malice pack, bug out bag gear.
- 3 pairs of socks
- 3 pairs of underwear
- 3 Tee shirts
- 3 long sleeve shirts
- 1 sweatshirt
- 1 Jacket
- 2 Pairs of Pants with Belt
- 5 pairs of lightweight work gloves
- 1 pair of shooting gloves
- 1 pair of winter gloves
- 1 Raincoat
- 1 Boonie Hat
- 1 Winter hat
- 1 Complete First Aid Kit including Medicine
- 2 Bottles of Hand Sanitizer
- 2 Small compressed rolls of Toilet Paper
- 9 Eyeglass Wipes
- 1 Eyeglass Case
- 1 Compass
- 1 Set of area maps
- 1 Fixed Blade Knife with Sheath
- 1 Pistol Holster
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WHAT IT IS
WHY YOU MIGHT NEED ONE
HOW TO MAKE A FARADAY CAGE
When you are caught in a disaster, either natural or economical, supplies can be in short demand. Bartering is a great skill to have to be able to trade your unique goods and services in order to help you and your family during an emergency.
Imagine that the economy collapsed. You’d be able to barter for food and other supplies instead of using currency.
Or better yet, money is really tight in a lot of homes right now! Imagine being able to barter with your neighbors to trade goods and services for items that your family needs right now!
How to Barter
If you’ve never bartered, here are some steps to get you started:
Figure out what you want.In an emergency situation, assess your needs. What things do you need and what things do you want?
Figure out what you can give. Think about what things you would sell if you had a garage sale tomorrow? Is any of it valuable? What skills or hobbies do you have that you can teach someone? What chores do you enjoy doing?
Identify a trading partner.Try to find someone that you know is in need of one of the skills or goods that you have. If you can’t readily find someone, make a list of those you know that might need a skill or good that you have.
Negotiate and ask. Come with an idea of what you want. For example, “I would like to exchange my first born child for your flock of geese.” Don’t go to the trade without an idea of what you want.
Tips to bartering like a professional
We’ve collected a few tips that you can use while bartering. Let us know your bartering techniques too. What do you find helpful in a bartering situation. Comment below!
Assess a dollar value. Try and research the price of the item that you’d like to barter. That might give you a better idea of other items that you can barter for. Remember though that many times a value depends on the person’s needs, wants and preferences.
Set a time frame. Come into an agreement with your trading partner when the services will be exchanged. If there is a deadline, you need to decide that. If the good or service is on an ongoing basis, consider meeting again to re-evaluate and make sure everyone is still OK with the deal.
Taxes with bartering. Some bartering items require that you report the transaction on your tax return. Obviously, you won’t have to report things like mowing your neighbors lawn in exchange for his homemade beef jerky. However, a barter between two businesses is considered taxable income and should be reported.
Get it in writing. If at all possible, get the deal in writing so that you and your trading partner are in agreeance. This will come in handy too if someone tries to alter the agreement later down the road.
Triangular bartering. Bartering doesn’t always have to be between two individuals. If you have three people who all want each other’s goods or services, you can still strike a deal. You can mow a person’s lawn, in exchange they will give eggs to a neighbor and the neighbor will give you milk from their cow.
Be skeptical if you need to be. If someone is trying to trade an item that you’re not as familiar with, don’t feel bad asking questions. It’s not wrong to ask questions about the item or to ask more details about the person’s skill set.
Whenever you head out in the great outdoors, always bring along a few items that, just in case you need them, will better your chances of survival. So what do you grab? Well, that depends. Where are you going? What’s the activity? What time of year is it? Narrowing it down to just one or two things to throw in your pockets can be tricky given the variables involved in outdoor adventure.
If you’re sending me off on a winter trek in Canada and you’re giving me just three choices of what to bring, for example, I’d likely choose a sharp axe, a waterproof butane lighter and, as long as I’m already dressed properly, a small pot to boil water in. Now I have a way to split wood, make a huge fire and boil up some spruce tea. In the summer, meanwhile, I’d trade in the axe for a good tarp. This is the minimalist approach, however.
Ideally, you want to carry five main things with you at all times, either in your pockets or in a fanny pack: something to start a fire with; something to boil water in; something to make a shelter with; a hunting or fishing device; and something to split wood with. Do not share a survival kit—if you get separated from the person with the kit, you have nothing.
You must also know how to use everything in your kit. But don’t let that give you a false sense of security—no single item is as important as some actual survival training. Kits can be lost, after all, so survival should depend on your ability to adapt and your will to live, not on a single item you left back on the portage trail.
First aid aside, here’s what you need at the minimum for a survival kit. Keep these items in your pockets or hanging from your belt at all times.
- Sharp, high-quality belt knife
- Multi-tool with a saw blade
- Solid matches and striker in a waterproof container
- Butane lighter
- Magnesium flint striker
- One or two large orange garbage bags (for signalling)
- Metal cup (for boiling water)
- Rope or parachute cord
Also carry these items in a fanny pack or small container, such as a coffee tin with a lid that you can also use for boiling water.
- Dried foods
- Insect screen (seasonal)
- Signal mirror
- Small flash-light with spare batteries
- Snare wire
- Fishing lures, hooks, sinkers, line
- Small folding saw
I knew we were in trouble the moment I saw the Black and Decker battery-powered adjustable wrench. I’d encountered screwdrivers with dead batteries, saws without extension cords, and drills with easily over-heated motors, but an electric wrench?
By Doc Montana, a contributing author of SurvivalCache.com
Even the Craftsman electric hammer wasn’t as frightening as a AAA-powered wrench. What was the world coming to? Since that time I have considered what essential but simple tools have crawled their way out of the primordial tool box and evolved into electric-powered, motor-driven, battery-dependent versions that grind, drill and saw through anything in seconds as long as their copper circulatory system has a steady flow of electrons. If theGrid goes down, the these highly advanced tools are collectively no more useful than a bright yellow bag filled with boat anchors.
Most people have experienced the failure of an electric screwdriver and have quickly remedied that situation, so manual screwdrivers were too obvious to make this list. But how about the other essential non-power tools necessary to rebuild society, or at least repair your domicile after a hurricane or civil war? Here’s a list of 10 non-power tools to have handy when the grid hits a speed bump.
What You Need
1. Cross-cut saw: Very few people today have tried to cut through a large tree with a handsaw, and with good reason. Branches, yes, but trunks, never. Now imagine a SHTF situation where you can’t use or don’t want to use a noisy, smelly chainsaw. Not hard to imagine actually, but as you look at the tree blocking the road, laying across your roof, or soon to be turned into your bug out cabin, you’ve got a lot of sawdust-making ahead of you. This country was built with cross-cut saws, and while not as efficient as their internal combustion descendants, a pair of muscles and a sharp cross-cut will make short order of any tree outside our national parks.
Cross-cut saws come in one and two person versions that differ by length and handles. If you live in a place where you know you will need to cut trees, the two-man version is best. For some strange twist of physics, twice the manpower is more than twice as fast. But if space is an issue, the one-man version is smaller and a makeshift second handle can be bolted onto the end of the blade if needed.
2. Hacksaw: Most of us are quick to grab our reciprocating saw like a Milwaukee Sawzall (the Kleenex of such things) for just about every non-precise cutting task whether pipes, plywood, or plastic. Even fire/rescue folks have their trusty lithium-powered Sawzall on board to cut future hospital patients out of their current predicament.
Useful hand hacksaws come in two classic sizes, 10 inch blades and 12 inch. The standard looking solid-frame hacksaw uses a 12 inch blade while the mini saw uses the 10 inch. For the price, I recommend at least one of each, and you can use 12 inch blades on the mini versions, but it’s easy to break the non-supported portion of the blade if you’re not careful. And even if you do snap it in half, just keep using whatever piece fits in the saw.
3. Standard Hand Saw: This is the traditional looking saw with a wood handle attached to a slightly triangular blade tapering as it goes from grip to tip. They come in various lengths and tooth sizes, and of course, price points. The useful length of a hand saw tops out at about 30 inches, but a 26 or 20 inch blade works very well for most tasks. I have a handful of 15 inch saws floating around and they work as good or better than most camp saws when you don’t need to carry the saw in your pack.
As the teeth get smaller, it is easier to cut because less material is removed with each stroke. So the there is a tradeoff between cutting speed and necessary muscle. If you are in a region with harder woods, go for a tooth count above 10. If your world is more of softer woods like the pine forests of the west, then fewer than 10 teeth per inch will serve most needs just fine. Either way, the high-carbon steel will rust and pit if left alone outside.
4. Large Hand Drill: Hand-powered drills seem to be something that has fallen off the radar of most folks due to their proliferation in antique stores. Oddly, the same “antique” hand drill can be found in larger hardware stores for less money. Hobby shops often have a few on hand as well, but either way, there are plenty of options still in production.
Larger hand drills come in two popular designs. One looks like a bigger version of the standard small hand drill which is little more than a vertical shaft with a geared-crank wheelattached to the center, a handle above it, and a chuck below it. The other design called a brace drill looks like a bowed shaft of metal with a chuck on one end, a spin-able knob on the other and a rotating grip in the middle. Either design will allow you to place a considerable portion of your body weight on the shaft while drilling, but the cost of the more complex geared version increases exponentially as it goes up in size.
Brace drills are much less expensive and often have a ratchet mechanism like a socket that allows drilling in confined spaces where a complete revolution of the offset handle is not possible. Most brace drills have chucks that take up to half-inch bit shafts, but reduced-shaft wood bits give your brace drill up to a two inch diameter drilling capacity assuming you have a bit that size, let alone a need for a hole that big and the time to drill it.
5. Small Hand Drill: Most household drilling jobs will settle for a hole one-quarter inch in diameter or less which just so happens to be the capacity of smaller hand drills. It is very easy to snap off small drill bits when using a larger drill so small hand drills are essential if your drilling needs require holes pin to pencil-sized. Small hand drills do not generate as much torque as the larger versions, so both small and larger hand drills are necessary since one size won’t drill all.
Most of us, myself included, have many powered options when it comes to drilling holes and driving screws. But charging a 28v advanced lithium power cell is not the same as charging a cell phone battery with a crank-powered emergency radio. Without a gas-powered generator or a roof covered in solar panels, power tools are not really tools at all.
6. Battery-free Battery Tester: These days, batteries can sit on a shelf for a decade and still have some useful juice left in them. Even the Sanyo Eneloop rechargeables are good after a year in the drawer. But how will you know if the cache of batteries you just discovered is any good. And as you know, one dud in the device kills all the others.
A battery tester that does not itself use a battery won’t give as reliable a reading as a powered tester, but still it is a helpful reading for most situations. The powered versions can test the battery under load, but most folks use a tester to give the thumbs up or down to any given battery. Just make sure the particular tester you have can test all the batteries you use including 12v CR123 and 3v button cells.
7. Battery-free Circuit Tester: Why would you need an old-school circuit tester if there is no electricity? Simple, how do you know there is no electricity? As one of the cheapest tools on this list, it is also one that could save your life. Since the indicator light won’t kick in until the volts approach three figures, its not going to work for car batteries. But that’s what a screwdriver is for right? You know, shorting the battery to check for a spark.
If you plan on building an off-grid solar panel array, you will need a multimeter with decimal-level voltage and amperage capabilities, but for encountering the errant wire or circuit box the old design works fine. In fact, you can go years on traditional battery-powered voltage detector, so toss one of those in your 72-month bag as well.
8. Hand-powered Grinding Wheel: From plow blades to hatchetheads, nothing makes sharpening large metal easier than moving the stone instead of the blade. Even at just a few hundred RPMs, the spinning stone will spit enough sparks to set your shop on fire if you’re not careful.
The spinning inertia of a hand-powered grinding wheel is only enough to do very small tasks. For any job of substance, the cranking must accompany the grinding so for those times, which happens to be all the time, an additional hand or two is helpful. And spinning the grinding wheel might be the most post-apocalyptic fun a kid can have.
Due to the extremely high chance that a speck of stone or metal will fly into your eye, your kid’s eye, or your dog’s eye, exercise caution by putting a transparent barrier between any living cornea and any remotely conceivable missile trajectory launched from the other side. If you need to use a hand-cranked grinding wheel then I sincerely doubt a hospital is just around the corner.
9. Hand-powered Air Pump: In case you didn’t know it, you can use abicycle air pump to inflate a car tire. It will take you a long time, but nothing is preventing it except maybe the wrong valve connector-which is an easy fix. Motorized vehicles use relatively low pressure tires with cars, trucks and motorcycle tire manufacturers suggesting something in the 25-45 psi range. But vehicle tires are also incredibly high volume spaces to fill compared to bicycle tires. Most bike pumps are designed for lower volume but much higher pressures, some over 200 psi. Either way, you’re SOL if all you’ve got is one air compressor and zero electricity. No matter how many hours of pumping it takes, a bike pump will get the job done. Raft pumps, on the other hand, are designed very high volume but extremely low pressures like 2 psi, so don’t bother going there except for air mattresses, and rafts of course.
10. Scythe: In addition to being an authentic Halloween prop, the scytheis an indispensable tool when you need to mow down weeds so you can reclaim a gardening plot, or turn over a field after harvest. At it’s simplest, a scythe is little more than a wooden shaft with a pair of handles, one in the center and one at at an end. On the opposite end is a long narrow blade attached perpendicular to the shaft. From there it can get complex with numerous variations in shaft shape, handle design, and replaceable job-specific blades. No matter how modern a scythe’s design becomes, it is still quite recognizable as such since its function and use have never changed, only its comfort and efficiency.
Long after the lawn mower engine has seized and the push mower’s blades are too dull and chipped to cut anything, the scythe will keep going since using only the tools listed above, you could easily build yourself a new scythe from little more than a solid branch and a leaf spring.