Monday, November 26, 2012

The 24 Hour Bug-Out-Bag Part 1

Some of you (I hope) have read the first installment of the 5 Stages of Preparedness. Alas, it took me so long to write the first stage that I haven't been able to write any more.....yet.

However, if you read part 1, the Immediate Stage,  found here:

You might recall that I eluded to a very small problem that was spawned by a very big bag. Yeah, so, what had happened was....I was making this bug out bag, and I wanted all these little gadgets that would help me survive. And the weight went up and up and up. In an effort to alleviate this, I split my ammo and sidearms into a tactical vest. But, the weight was still hovering around 85 pounds for the bag alone. Sure, that doesn't seem like much. Until you have that, and your 25 pounds vest, and an 11 pound gun, and an infant, and what have you.

Fact is, I have come to the conclusion (as you will read) that there is a very real and very functional difference between the Immediate and the Short Term. That is, the first 24 hours and the first 72 hours to a week. When you get past that first 24 hours, you have to consider things like sleep, nutrition, etc.

My bug out bag initially has everything you need to survive that first 72 hours. I mean everything. From a tent, to 72 hours of MREs, to a full field surgeons kit. But you don't need 72 hours of food to survive that first 24 hours. And if you don't need food, you don't need a full mess kit and utensils. You don't need a tent to sleep in. You don't need a lot of these items. Less is more, as the saying goes.

In fact, you need very little. And, as I pointed out in Part 1, that first 24 hours is the most important. Survive that, and life gets a little easier. You need stealth and speed. Period. If the ish hits the fan and you have to run....and I mean can't run with 150 pounds of stuff.

Yet, there is even more to it. My wife recently asked my why I was shouldering all the weight of surviving. Did I not expect her to survive? Did I not expect her to help? Then I got to know, she is right. She could carry a little weight and responsibility. So, in the event that we do have the ability, she can carry the light 24 hour pack and I can carry the heavy one. If things are real bad, we will take the 1 bag.

So, I'm beating around the bush, getting all philosophical on you, I know. I have decided to now have 2 Bug out bags. That way I will have a choice and I don't have to spend the time kicking out all the unneeded items. So let's get to it.

Well, that's saying a lot for a post about what I am going to do. Yeah, that's right. I havent' done it. Why? Well, for several reasons. Until this weekend, I didn't have a second bag. And I certainly couldn't afford another $250 bag like my other one. But sometimes things can fall right out the sky. My dad called me the other day and asked me if I needed a hunting pack. It was random. I asked why. Well, his had busted and he was going to buy another one. He wanted to know if I wanted one while he was out. Sure, I said.

But then I asked about the busted one. A strap had come apart on him. So, I asked if he would keep it and let me have it instead of throwing it away. See...I was already thinking about what to do with it.

So, he gave it to me. Sure enough, the strap that holds one of the buckles had busted at at the threads. Now, I am no seamstress, but I am handy enough. Being a pack rat like my grandfather, I had a few feet of spare 65 pounds test braided fishing line. I had a sewing kit. So, I fixed her up. Not too pretty, but it's stronger than it was.

So, now what? Well, that's where I need some help. What all do you need JUST for that first 24 hours? You don't need a lot of food, like my bug out bag has. You don't really need a lot of water, as in my Camelbak. My ammo and weapons are on my tactical vest.

You DO need a way to start a fire. You DO need a good wool blanket. You DO need a VERY select group of tools, even if that tool is just a BFH. You DO need a flashlight. Obviously we have a list coming together here. Again, the focus is....if JUST 24 hours is your concern, what is the bare minimum to survive the harshest night in Alabama?

What else? Well, I could use some help. It's a small bag so it won't take much.

Here is what I am thinking about:
  • Basic MRE meal kit (with disposable utensils)
  • Quick Tender
  • Waterproof matches
  • Compact flashlight
  • Flares
  • Wool Blanket
  • Poncho
  • Change of Clothes in waterproof packaging
What else? Come on! Chime in!