Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy
Display Avatars Sort By:
Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Re: Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/09/2013 19:37:05 MDT Print View

>>"If you knew the real impact of the incoming Solar Max* (any time now) you would not flippantly talk about a 72 hour survival.
I can't disclose any more information right now but it has all been verified by myself and me.

*feel free to change Solar Max with any other buz term that turns you on."

Nope. This is turning me on just fine.

Edited by mdilthey on 10/09/2013 19:38:09 MDT.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Disaster preparedness on 10/09/2013 19:40:03 MDT Print View

With the recent floods in the Boulder area (and a friend who had to be evaced by helicopter from his home), my mind actually turned to disaster preparedness.

Not the "OMG! Zombies!" or "The USA is in a new civil war!" type preparedness, but more of the :

"Crap! The roads I travel on is under many inches of water and I am cut off" (this happened!)


"The power is out for a few days and the sewer system is hosed" (happened to friends).

I actually wrote this article:

Typical for me, it is not really that "gear specific" but more "gear general".

I think the average outdoors person is (usually) prepared for the suggested 72 hours most disaster relief orgs suggest. I suspect Mrs Mags and I could be comfortable for a week (quite possibly two) with just the food we have on hand for camping/backpacking and in our normal pantry supplies.

Anyway, I am more concerned with being prepared for natural disasters (blizzards and now floods! :O ) than I am with societal collapse. But that's me! :) I know of people who hiked out from the cut-off areas with a backpack so I guess that is a bug-out bag of sorts.

Edited by PaulMags on 10/09/2013 19:57:23 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/09/2013 21:40:19 MDT Print View

First off, i love Office Space! It's one of my top 10 favorite comedies. Cue being stuck in traffic, "Damn it feels good to be a gangsta", classic! "Peter, you are a very bad man."

Jason writes, "I would be more concerned about peak oil and economic collapse. I have recently become aware of how important the petro-currency issue is."

I agree that those are major issues to look at as well. I touched on that some in my reply before yours.

Richard writes, "I'm surprised by the 'f___K you, I got mine' attitude put out by so many preppers. But that may just be my stereotype."

I've only perused such forums, and yeah i kind of got that sense too. I realized i didn't fit in at all with a lot of those groups or individuals because my mind set is much more "socialistic" or, "original Christian" type where i don't want to survive for survivals sake, but to help others and to rebuild a better system. Most people in the prepper scene or mindset seem to be most concerned with their families, friends, and themselves, which is understandable, but i've always been much more universal and impersonal in nature.

Which sort of relates to something Craig W. said in relation to me, which i just want to quickly address. I know my vision of a much improved humanity/civilization post collapse appears very Pollyanna'ish...but perhaps this may balance it some. Without a collapse of the current system, i have little to no faith in humanity improving much in any significant way. (Partly because the folks and groups with the most materialistic power and influence in this world, do not want to see such improvement or change and i believe to some extent they actively work against that, or the system as a whole has a limiting effect.)

Ok, back to gear:

Axes vs saws? I LOVE my Fiskars wood splitting axe--it works really well (when sharp at least) and yeah it's bit heavy, but not as heavy as a lot of wood splitting axes out there. Would one be better off with a good saw though? Use a good knife for battoning and everything else a good saw? Best DURABLE saws out there? Don't have to be UL.

Note on space blankets: I'm replacing all my mylar ones with the SOL emergency blankets, as the average report indicate they are significantly more durable. During extreme colds (i would probably be moving somewhat north if a collapse happened, to avoid the Nuclear reactors near here), i could see using one of these as a partial VBL, and it really boosting one's sleep system.

Clothing: All my baselayers are going to be Linen and Merino/synthetic blend to reduce stink, etc. Most other layers will be synthetic, with some down thrown in.

Course, soap will be important. Kiss my face, pure olive oil soap would be good to pack, or something like that. Maybe something a little more antiseptic with tea tree, thyme, neem, or the like. I sort of know the basics of making soap, but i would like to experiment when actually having some good stuff as a backup. Meanwhile, simple soaked ashes is a good cleanser/disinfectant provided it's not too concentrated.

Tick twister probably be a good idea.

Foods: That's a whole subject unto itself. The foods i'm packing fall into one of 3 main categories. Nutrient dense, calorie dense, and long lasting. Lot's of dried goat milk, dried "jerky" tempeh, amaranth/fruit bars (dehydrated and cooked amaranth mixed with figs, dates, and covered with coconut oil), lemon powder with coconut sugar and himalayan salt, dehydrated brown rice with a little dehydrated lentils, some good, food based vitamin/mineral complexes and some extra iron and co-enzyme form of b-12 supplements (will try to eat vegetarian as long as i can), lots of coconut oil, chia seeds, etc, etc.

Which leads me to, definitely will need some bear canisters and the like.

Have a foldable gerbers shovel for various important things. Like creating mini root cellars.

I don't know, there is a lot to list.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
no bear barrel for me! on 10/10/2013 13:55:03 MDT Print View

Heh, why bother with a bear barrel? If a blackie comes yer way a-prowling, pop it in the heed with yer .22 rimfire a couple times, and hang him up in a tree by a stout stick shoved through the tendons of his back legs.

Peel the wrapper off, zip him open with a sharp knife, pull out the clock work that makes 'em tick, and there ya go, food for the tribe!

Of course you should also probably paw through the gunk that came outta him and save the heart and liver and kidneys at the very least. The intestines can also be sorted through and cleaned for sausage or for cordage. Need a new water bladder? You can use his! Don't have a big enough pot to cook for the whole crew? Use his stomach as a pot and cook by dropping in heated stones.

Be sure to keep and render any fat you cut offa him.
Now back to the hanging body. Slice of what you need and enjoy. Slice off long thingish bits and hang it over the nearest barbed wire fence, or any other handy drying rack. It helps to build a little smoky fire under the stuff too. Take him apart like it's high school biology class, muscle by muscle.

And when yer done with the hanging body boil the bones, let the pot cool and skim the fat offa that too.

You can make pemmican of the dried meat by pounding and shredding it, and adding the rendered fat, with any dried fruit or berries you may happen to have picked.
If you kept and cleaned some intestines, stuff 'em with yer pemmican mix and smoke it.

Man, running across a bear or other large animal in some horrible TEOTWAWKI ( The End Of The World As We Know It ) scenario is a real bonanza! That one animal could spell the difference of you living through the next winter or not!

Heh, 'course we need to be on the watch for some of our fellow humans who may be serving their fellow man in similar fashion...A feller could live a long time offa big fat lard assed human...

Oh! This brings up another interesting point!
We backpackers often cook in tiny titanium cups and the like. A Walmart grease pot is considered quite large. In a "bug-out" scenario I think one would be wise to instead take a one gallon cooking pail with lid.

one gallon capacity, 12.7 ounces and about 13 bucks -


Your gonna be taking baths in that pot, washing clothes, and probably simmering up hearty stews from game and/or scrounged or locally purchased food.
You may be boiling water to purify it, and doing that in .8 liter pot is for the birds!

I reckon a single feller could get away with a two quart cooking pail, but bigger is better.

Anyway, in my "get-me-home" bag I don't see the need for heavy tools as a hatchet. I'll pack a small sheath knife or maybe a SAK O.H. Trekker, which is close to five ounces all by itself but is a heck of a fine shiv and has a dandy saw.

A "bug out bag" might be a different story though, especially if you don't have a specific destination in mind and may be making long term shelter for yourself.

Me, I'm familiar with saddle notching logs for small structures. To whack together a trappers tilt sufficient to spend the winter in, I'd need a few days time, my Estwing hatchet, and a Fiskars folding saw. The saw needs to be big enough to cut windows and doors into walls made of sorta-arm-thick poles.

A lean-to or debris hut could be made with little or no tools, but I'd prefer a trappers tilt for sorta - long term shelter.

As I wrote above, I'm real skitish when it comes to hatchets with plastic handles. I've found a few busted ones deep in the woods ( one on the Bowron Lakes circuit up in Canada ) where they were abandoned when the broke. Thay cannot be ( easily ) re-handled! Any garden verity hatchet can be re-handled ( you'll need enough of a shiv to carve a new handle ) and all metal hatchets like the Estwing can't break no matter how you abuse 'em.

I reckon I value my Estwing very highly, and would consider it an essential survival tool, right up there with a good .22 rifle.

Edited by Bawana on 10/10/2013 13:58:19 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: no bear barrel for me! on 10/10/2013 14:02:46 MDT Print View

Man, I can't do any of that cool stuff! If the world goes to hell, I'm gonna need help. Robert, can I be your bitch?

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
not even maybe on 10/10/2013 14:08:54 MDT Print View

Nope, I'm married, and my wife could probably whoop you.

But I'm sure you could do this stuff. Butchering animals is a bit messy the first time around, but like anything else you get good at it soon enough and it really is quite simple. I learned simply by doing.

Heh, when I went a-homeseading, I'd never built anything bigger than a book case. Before long, I'd built a cottage. I'd never killed big game before and didn't know what to do, but when that first deer fell to my rifle I figured it out fast enough.

I learned much by reading every book I could get my paws on, and made the rest up as I went along.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
Rope! on 10/10/2013 14:12:24 MDT Print View

I forgot, a feller would need a few feet of substantial rope to hang a sizable animal.
It could be done with para cord I reckon, if you have a helper.

Hunters use fancy pulley systems to hang game, and I've finally hung one of those pulley things up in my wood shed. But for a long time I simply used a bit of whatever rope was handy. The wife lifted the animal, and I hauled up on the rope.

If all you have in yer pack is 1mm line, throw in 20 feet of para cord.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Rope! on 10/10/2013 15:29:46 MDT Print View

LOL, all you'll ever need is 72 hours worth of whatever you normally pack in your current backpack. Have one ready to go for the three seasons and one for winter. The worse that will happen is a monstrous depression and in that case you better have a years worth of emergency supplies stored in your apartment/house.

Most people don't have 72 hours worth ready on hand.

Preppers are extreme back to to the land dooms day mentality worry warts. If that fits your style more power to you all.

72 hours worth in a cheap k-mart pack is all that's needed.

In the Colorado floods, most if not all were within sight of rescue helicopters within 72 hours.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
three days on 10/10/2013 16:32:30 MDT Print View

72 hours is certainly a good start, but a bit shy if you ask me. I lean to the "at least one year" camp, but of course I have to be well stocked going into every winter so this is just part of my life style.

I can't imagine most folk having less than three days of food at home.
It may be odds and ends, but I'm sure most folk have more than that! Don't they...?

My wife and I went shopping not long ago, and we got a bag of couscous because we've been making more and more of our own backpacking meals, many of which contain this stuff. So we got a 25 pound sack of the stuff. That's a substantial amount of food right there! We buy all the basics like unbleached flour, wheat flour, corn meal, sugar, oats, rice, and what-not in bulk, typically a hundred pounds at a time, and store it in five gallon pails below the kitchen counters. Hey, my wife likes to bake!
We may run outta one thing or another at any given time, but there will always be food of some sort there.
Doesn't everyone shop at restaurant supply stores and buy in bulk?

Yeah OK maybe not, but even when I was a bachelor in a studio apartment I had a sack of rice, flour, spaghetti, maybe a few pounds of potatoes, onions, and sufficient other staples to last some time. I woulda run outta beer, meat and eggs in a few days, but it wouldn't have been the end of the world.

Hurricane Katrina forced 800,000 people to live outside of their homes, most for quite some time. Right there's some 800,000 folk that might argue the "alls you need is 72 hours" thing (Heh, but the real lesson is probably Don't Live On A flood Plain!).

And sometimes it takes a bit longer to restore electrical power, depending upon where you live -

"The AP, with the assistance of Ventyx, a software company that helps utilities manage their grids, used U.S. Energy Department data to determine how many days it took to restore 95 percent of the peak number of customers left without power after major hurricanes since 2004, including Ivan, Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Ike and Irene.

After Sandy, New York utilities restored power to at least 95 percent of customers 13 days after the peak number of outages was reported. New Jersey reached that same level in 11 days and West Virginia in 10 days.

Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005 and Ike in 2008 all resulted in longer outages for customers in Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and Florida.

The longest stretch to 95 percent restoration since 2004 was Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, where local utilities had power restored to only three-quarters of their customers after 23 days before Hurricane Rita hit and caused additional outages.

Rita left Texas customers in the dark for 16 days; Katrina knocked out power to Mississippi customers for 15 days; Wilma and Ike knocked Florida and Texas out for 14 days each before power was restored to 95 percent of those who lost it, according to the federal data.

New York and New Jersey recovered far faster after last year's Hurricane Irene. It took seven days for New York to restore 95 percent of customers and six days for New Jersey. But the number of outages in each state was less than half than from Sandy.

The restoration target of 95 percent allowed the AP to compare responses to the largest number of recent storms using Energy Department data, and is considered by industry experts to provide a meaningful picture of the speed with which utilities restored service to the vast majority of customers.

just Justin Whitson
Re: no bear barrel for me! on 10/10/2013 17:59:15 MDT Print View

Hi Robert thank you for all the info.

Re: bear stew etc, the thought definitely occurred to me. But then another thought occurred to me--that a lot of other people would have the same thought and I reckon I don't want any part in the extinction of black bears.

So I would try to stick to the much more populous deer, and to a lesser extent geese an turkeys.

robert van putten

Locale: Planet Bob
the other white meat... on 10/10/2013 18:33:11 MDT Print View

Don't overlook squirrels and other small game, and in an emergency I reckon feral dogs and cats will be everywhere!

My wife and I even butchered a horse once. Man, talk about allot of meat!
Don't try to hang one of these, you do real big animals with 'em laying on its side.
We didn't even bother to dress the animal ( remove the clockwork ), just zipped down the spine with a sharp little knife, peeled the wrapper off and took the huge back strap, then peeled the hind leg. Flip, and do the other side.

There is so much good eating on a horse it ain't funny, and now all the horse slaughter houses have closed in the U.S., old or just unwanted horses are everywhere. I regularly get offered free horses, and they go for ridiculously low prices at auction.

If we slip into a terrible depression, don't overlook this source of meat! I know a few old timers that certainly et plenty of hoss the last go around!

But the best source of meat is to raise yer own. It isn't wise to count on game when failure means starvation for your family.
My wife and I used to raise rabbits-


And Alpine milk goats - (Yes, we transported 'em in our car...)


These animals were easy to feed on our 40 acre homestead and provided more than enough meat and milk for us.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: the other white meat... on 10/10/2013 18:56:01 MDT Print View

"And Alpine milk goats - (Yes, we transported 'em in our car...)"

How did you get them to buckle their seat belts?


just Justin Whitson
Re: the other white meat... on 10/10/2013 19:18:22 MDT Print View

Good points Robert. I do admit i have a hard time with the thought of killing anything but fish, but i suppose i will have to get over that. When i was 8 years old, i saw a chipmunk about 75 feet away or so on a wood pile, and not really thinking too much, threw a baseball towards it but not thinking i would ever hit it. Well i did, and i cried for awhile as i felt so bad, and then gave it a solemn burial. I suppose the right thing would have been to make chipmunk stew, but the thought didn't occur to me at the time.

We have thought about getting a couple of milking goats. So far, we only have raised chickens and made a garden and grow some fruit trees, but we know we will have to leave--we live in a somewhat populous area, not too far from a major city. You and your wife are hard core--i have a lot of respect for the homesteading lifestyle and those that can actually make it work. Are you and Dale long lost brothers or something--i've heard he's got a pretty sustainable setup going on too.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/10/2013 19:42:53 MDT Print View

vegetarians,read the above and eat your heart out !

BTW, lot of talk about food and none on water.
You can't filter water that you don't have.

Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
water on 10/10/2013 20:02:15 MDT Print View

good point on water. I only have a day or two's supply on hand. During the winter I can collect rain water, but during the summer the closest reliable water source is brackish. Anyone know how to do at-home desalination? Would I have to rig up some kind of distillery?

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Comments. on 10/10/2013 20:19:38 MDT Print View

I am really enjoying this thread because it is remaining pretty darned rational, given the topic and the extremes it usually invokes.

I've spent way too many hours on prepper forums, and prepping, so I confess to it. And I realize that UL Backpacking is a different pursuit, but there is definitely an area of overlap, where one informs the other. Mostly UL Packing informs prepping; not so much the other way around.

Regards the comment:

>Most people in the prepper scene or mindset seem to be most concerned with their families, friends, and themselves, which is understandable, but i've always been much more universal and impersonal in nature.

I'll try to ignore the self-flattery, and address the topic. This is a highly polar issue in the prepper forums. The selfish preppers are much louder and more obnoxious. But the more thoughtful preppers (of which there are many) recognize the importance of community, and prep to help their neighbors along with themselves. The prepper community is exceedingly diverse.

Regards the question about a decent saw, I own a SawVivor and think it's great. It's a synthesis of prep & UL packing, as it's fantastically light, and strong -- too heavy for UL backpacking, but not by much.


just Justin Whitson
Re: Comments. on 10/10/2013 21:02:43 MDT Print View

Lol if i don't flatter me, who else on this great blue-green Earth will??? :(

Interesting saw there, thank you for sharing it. How much does one of those cost?

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/10/2013 21:15:13 MDT Print View

BTW, as an emergency "survival" saw I would look at the Bahco Laplander.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: water on 10/10/2013 21:17:39 MDT Print View

Luckily water is not an issue with a river, streams and springs all around.
Just need treatment.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Bug Out Bag / Prepper Setup / Survival-based UL kit and philosophy on 10/10/2013 21:23:24 MDT Print View

"good point on water. I only have a day or two's supply on hand. During the winter I can collect rain water, but during the summer the closest reliable water source is brackish. Anyone know how to do at-home desalination? Would I have to rig up some kind of distillery?"

They make desalinators for life rafts. I'd google that and I'm sure you'd find something that might work for you.