Writing The Second Draft

Documenting the Journey as I become who I want to be.

Archive for the tag “Jerky”

Get Home Bag

Many survivalists these days seem to idolize the Bug Out Bag.  That is, survival kit generally housed in a backpack or other easily portable pack that you have in case you ever have to ‘bug out’ that is, escape, evacuate, or otherwise flee your home. Some people have them set up to help them survive 72 hrs  or to help them get to either a bug out location or to just get them far enough from civilization to go live off the land in the woods.

I’m not here to talk about bugging out though. My current situation is that I see only a few potential emergencies that would make me want to bug out and abandon my prepped home for an unknown or unprepared location and their likelihoods are pretty small. What a more realistic situation would be say, ending up stranded on the road or at work due to car trouble or  inclement weather perhaps. Or even in case of another type of emergency, my biggest worry is about getting home. Home is where I’m prepped. Oh sure I know the general bushcraft style survival stuff. If I got stuck in the woods overnight I’d be just fine. But I don’t want to be there. I don’t want to run out of my house and head for the hills. But I’ll have to explain my thoughts on bugging out vs bugging in on another post  haha. I keep veering off topic.

What I’m trying to talk about right now is what I call a “Get Home Bag” and the reason I keep bring up b.o.b’s is because they’re generally similar. They’re both survival kits with a specific purpose: to help you travel safely.

Now, when you build a Get Home Bag, you’re going to want to consider a few things

What is your Origin point?

That is, where is it most likely that you’re going to be traveling FROM to get home?

For me, that’s work. It’s the only place I go to nearly every day, not to mention it’s probably the farthest I travel. Which it’s only about 15 minutes away by car so I guess that tells you quite a bit about how often I get out of the house P: It’s about 6 miles from my home.

What is your fitness level?

Now, I’m not a fantastic survivalist or anything. I’m overweight and out of shape (though I’ve been exercising just about every day it’s a slow process to get fit) . And While my work is only about 6 miles away, that’s not a distance I’m used to walking, and depending on the emergency I might have to take a route with rougher terrain than I’m used to if I want to avoid main roads and such.

If I am walking at a comfortable pace on flat terrain I go about 1.5 miles in 30 minutes. In an emergency situation I’m sure it’ll be a bit different but let’s use this as a base for now.  At my normal walking pace it’ll take me about 2 hours to get home in ideal conditions. But even on rough terrain and inclement weather I don’t expect it to take me more than half a day to get home.  So as you can guess, the pack I’ve chosen for my ‘get home’ bag is relatively small and it’s most important feature is that it’s a hydration pack.

Your Pack

My pack is a High Sierra pack, (Replenish model iirc) that I picked up several years ago at costco for about $20-$30. My brother ended up using it more than I did until it got packed away and lost in his storage until we cleaned it out last year. He had his own hydration pack by then and so he gave it back to me.  It’s got a 2 liter reservoir, and 550 cubic inch capacity. It’s got quite a few nifty features too. It’s obviously specifically made as a biker’s pack (what with the helmet mesh and the bicycle pump sleeve) but I think it’ll work for my purposes as well.

What will you need?

Or rather, what do you think you will need?

Even though I’ve established that it wont’ take me longer than maybe half a day, I still want to be prepared in case something drastic happens. So the top 5 things of survival are what?  Water, Food, Shelter, Fire, Safety.

Now, with my pack, I’ve got 2 liters of water. Less than the suggested 1gal/day but I do tend to have at least one other water bottle that holds roughly a liter, so at 3 liter’s that’s pretty darn close.

Water, Check.

For food I’ve packed a couple fiber/protein bars a pack of ramen and a pack of beef jerky. The ramen is in case I am stuck either overnight or in rough weather to the point where it’s safer to camp out than to keep going. But I do intend to add some more ready to eat foods that require no prep whatsoever.  None of this is meant to sustain me for an extended period of time or anything, just keep my belly full so I can keep my head clear.

Food, Check.

I’m not expecting to need shelter, but even so if somehow it’s a worst-case-scenario and the weather is inclement enough that it’s safer to stay put for a while I have some plans in place. Right now, in my bag, I only have two of those ’emergency blankets’  which will do in a pinch. I also have several yards of cordage (I have some standard woven nylon and some paracord.). These alone are adequate enough to make a primitive shelter and if nothing else I can use one of the blankets to keep from getting too wet or cold.  However I don’t feel that this is good enough so I plan to add a tarp and military poncho which I already own but are not with me at the moment, they’re packed in some boxes I need to have shipped, but those items will go into my g.h.b as soon as they are back in my possession.

Shelter, Mostly Check.

Once again I’m not expecting to need fire, but just in case I do have a ‘fire kit’, it’s an altoids tin that I have several fire-starting options in. Firestraws, a mini bic lighter, char cloth, and storm matches.  I intend to also add a tube of carmex as I hear that it can extend the burn period of tinders but of course I’ll probably test that out on my own first. Now, outside the fire kit, the main purpose of fire (in my opinion) is warmth, and since I’m not expecting to have to find a place to make a fire, I am expecting to need warmth, so I’m also planning to add some of those hand/foot warming packets or maybe even one of those zippo hand warmers.

Fire, Check

Now, Safety covers kind of a broad range. It can be signaling, navigation, security, etc. Whatever you need it to be to make sure you get home safe. In this section I have my first aid kit, nothing spectacular but just a small one I picked up somewhere.  I have a combination Whistle/Compass/signal mirror contraption. I don’t have any weapon at the moment but I intend to add a handgun when I can afford it.  I don’t really have to worry about navigation as I know my area pretty well, but if I have to take roundabout paths a map would come in handy so I’m planning to add that too.

Safety, semicheck

How will you travel?

Another thing to think about is just how you plan to get home. In case you can’t tell I’m more or less prepped to hike it. But if your main transportation you’re counting on will be a car make sure you account for problems that could arise. It would also be prudent to keep a separate car-emergency kit in your trunk (which I’ll probably discuss when I put mine together) filled with things like road flares/signals, fix-a-flat, etc. Same goes for if you’re on a bike or whatever, keep a patch and repair kit, air pump, whatever you think you’ll need.

<enter a few pictures here>

So just by going through these questions and going over those 5 key areas I can see what I need to do to make my get home bag better. Also, just because we’re prepping for the worst-case scenario doesn’t mean we should neglect the more likely small things. For example I also keep cash in small bills in case I can get home with just a taxi or if I need to get some gas.   Adjust your kit to fit your needs, otherwise you’ll be carrying a bunch of junk you just won’t use. And don’t be afraid to start small. Remember: The best survival gear is the gear you have with you.  Something is better than nothing.

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Time Flies for Family Visits

These last couple weeks have been kinda busy so I haven’t really had time to take care of the things I want to haha.  My poor wallet has been lying around in pieces since I was just so tired I didn’t finish it up like I’d intended =3= .

On August 28th, pops his gf and I all drove on over to visit my grandma. Along the way we stopped by the airport to pick up my sister and niece so that gma could finally see her newest great-grandchild! It was a great time, but we were running pretty much every day, and when we weren’t running we had a 2.6 year old to entertain and contend with. We visited a lot of family, ate a lot of food (but not as much as I used to, I tried to do well!), and had a ton of fun.
It all seems like a blur looking back on it, but we did a lot haha.  One day we drove around the local Amish community one day to find the general store to pick up some stuff and yums. (I got beef jerky and soap.) It was really nice just driving around the woods and waving cornfields. Unfortunately I didn’t think  to take any pictures until we were already driving home and well past all the Amish houses and such.  Another day we took the little one to a small local Zoo which was pretty fun.  It was just running all week, and me generally catering to my sister’s whims so that we could have a peaceful visit. I don’t dislike my sister per se, but she’s a very stressful person to be around, and medically speaking, I don’t handle stress very well at all. So suffice to say by the time the week was up I was very happy to be coming home haha.

I took Wednesday off from work as well, taking an extra day to catch up on sleep and kind of recover. “No man needs a vacation so much as the man who has just had one.” You know how it goes haha.

I’d intended to, over the weekend,  get outside a bit, finish my wallet, maybe do some other cool stuff to tell you guys about. Instead I slept in, got some kind of shiatsu massage on Saturday. I’d been complaining about my back hurting (Hunched over staring at  a laptop at work every day and all that.) and my dad’s gf told me about this lady so she took me to go see her on saturday. I came out of there feeling like I could lift a truck, but as the day progressed my back got really sore as though I’d been working out hardcore or something. So I stayed in and ended up playing skyrim all day haha.

Sunday I was still pretty sore and spent most of the day generally lounging P:

This week rolled by pretty damn quick and before I really knew it it was the weekend again! Well, this weekend I had plans and went to the Michigan Renaissance Festival for the first time which I think will warrant a post all it’s own. Hopefully I can get that posted up sometime this week.

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