HomePosts Tagged "Bug Out Bag"

Bug Out Bags come with their own set of problems just as complex in some cases as the myriad of reasons why you could be forced to rely on a Bug Out Bag in the first place. There is the type of bag to purchase, the specific gear to load in there and a million voices telling you what is best and what isn’t needed. Not to be left out of the discussion, Final Prepper has had its fair share of comments about the subject both from the perspective of how much weight to pack in your bug out bag and our very own Bug Out Bag checklist for those of you just starting out.

Regardless of where you get opinions or advice, everyone who is discussing a Bug Out Bag usually recommends you storing food in there. We casually throw out the obligatory, FEMA recommended 3 days or 72 hours’ worth of food advice but have you ever wondered what food to pack in your bug out bag? Does it matter anyway?

I like to make the connection between planning for your bug out bag and planning for a hiking trip into the woods because I think almost all of the same considerations should be taken for each situation. The motivation for strapping the pack to your back is different in each scenario, but the realities of packing everything you would need to survive for three days hiking the Appalachian Trail or running from mutant zombies from mars are very similar.

When you are looking for food ideas for your bug out bag there are four things I think you should take into consideration. The first is caloric value, the second is weight and the third is spoilage and lastly, you have preparation effort. For these food ideas, you need to seriously consider if the food you have planned for your bug out bag is going to be the most beneficial to you.

Caloric Value – A normal person hiking all day burns a heck of a lot of calories. I don’t have to tell you that hiking even on flat ground with a 30-50 pound pack on your back is going to make you work harder than that desk job you have. How many calories you will burn and conversely have to consume will depend on the shape you are in and what you are doing. For a very generic example, I used a calculator on HealthStatus.com to see that if I hiked for 10 hours I would burn close to 6000 calories. You may weigh less or hike fewer hours so you will have to see what your caloric needs would be, but the food you are packing should be able to give you back those calories each day or else your body will start eating itself and you don’t want to be anything less than 100% healthy if you are bugging out.

Weight – This should be pretty simple. The more your food weighs, the heavier your bag will be. A high calorie to weight ratio is smart and with the choices below I think there is a good balance. Some people think you should just pack 3 MRE’s in your BOB, but MRE’s aren’t weight conscious at all. On our last backpacking trip, I saw about 6 cans of food laying off to the side of a trail. I can only imagine the person who was carrying that weight and what they were thinking.

Spoilage – Where are you storing your Bug Out Bag? Is your food sitting in the hot sun of your car trunk every day for 3 months? You need to take care to only pack foods that won’t spoil, or plan for storing your bag in a location that won’t cause your food to spoil more quickly.

Preparation Effort – I know that when you are backpacking, you are outside in the fresh air with nothing but nature around. It’s a nice little creature comfort to make meals that taste great and have some fresh ingredients. Your Bug Out Bag food shouldn’t be gourmet. As much as possible, the preparation of these meals should be easy and kept to a minimum.

Before I get into the food ideas for your bug out bag, let me state that these choices aren’t always going to be what the normal healthy person consumes on your average day. The Bug Out Bag is what you grab when there is a need to get out of harms way very quickly. This isn’t camping or taking a leisurely stroll in the woods. Some of the food choices could be improved, but we are going for quick and simple calories mostly in a format that doesn’t spoil too quickly, doesn’t take a lot of preparation and doesn’t weigh a ton. So, with all that said, here are some ideas we came up with for your bug out bag food supplies.

G.O.R.P – 130 Calories per ounce

G.O.R.P – If you don’t know stands for Good old raisins and Peanuts and has been a hiking staple for years. G.O.R.P is calorie-rich and is simple to make. Unless you have chocolate in there, it shouldn’t melt in the trunk of a hot car either. The thing you want to avoid is what we did and that is to buy a giant bag of G.O.R.P thinking everyone would be eating off the big bag. After two days of hiking (we had also brought other snacks) the bag wasn’t getting any lighter and I think we still brought half of it home with us. Pack individual zip-lock bags for each person. One cup of GORP (depending on the ingredients you have in there) can provide as many as 700 calories.

Mountain House Freeze Dried Meals

I have taken Mountain House meals with me and my family on every camping trip. They are the best at filling us up and for the taste, they aren’t too shabby either. For breakfast, my favorite is the Breakfast skillet and dinner is a toss-up between Chilli-Mac or Lasagna with Meat sauce. To get these down to the smallest footprint, you can poke a hole in the bag with a pin, press out any air and cover the hole with a piece of tape. For optimum freshness, I would only do this right before you were leaving. An added bonus with these meals is that you don’t need anything but a long spoon. Simply heat some water and pour it right into the bags, seal for the recommended time and then eat up! You can cut the bag down to size with a knife to make it a little easier to eat out of without getting chili-mac on your hands.

Peanut Butter – 170 calories per ounce

Peanut butter is a great food item for your pack because of its high calorie to weight ratio. 1 tablespoon of peanut butter packs a whopping 190 calories and if you bring some crackers, this food will keep you going. This is one MRE food item to consider because all MRE’s have a pack of either peanut butter or cheese. You can also buy MRE items individually so I know someone will sell you a bunch of Peanut butter packets if you are looking for them.

Mainstay Emergency Food Rations – 3600 calories in a pack

Mainstay Emergency Food Rations are standard in my Get Home Bag as well as my Winter Survival Car kit and would make perfect sense in a Bug Out Bag as well. These are exactly what they say they are and that is survival rations. They are even less gourmet than the other options on this list, but they have some advantages. They are already packaged in waterproof containers, they can withstand extreme temperatures without spoiling and they take zero preparation. Just break open the pack and break off two bars (800 calories).

Mac & Cheese – 105 calories per ounce (with oil and summer sausage)

Mac and Cheese is probably the cheapest camping food you can get and you really only need to boil water to cook this. If you have some extra olive oil or meat to add to the pot, like summer sausage you can really amp up the taste of this meal. One box of macaroni and cheese, prepared with 1 ounce of olive oil and 2 ounces of summer sausage provides a whopping 1,100 calories and weighs just 10.5 ounces. I know that olive oil and summer sausage aren’t really spoilage friendly foods so I didn’t add them to the list, but if you have any preparation time, they might make good additions.

Snickers Bar – 140 calories per ounce

Now we get to the part where I said not every choice would be the healthiest you can imagine but a snickers bar does pack a lot of calories in a small size and could be a morale booster as well.  You could easily substitute bars that were made specifically for hiking like Cliff Bars or Power Bar. A single King Size Snickers weighs less than 4 ounces and packs 510 calories.

Lipton’s Pasta/Rice Sides – 110 calories per ounce

Another great add hot water option that makes for easy preparation. Lipton’s Pasta sides make a filling meal and are cheap like Macaroni and Cheese.

Instant Mashed Potatoes – 115 calories per ounce

Instant mashed potatoes are right in the same family as Macaroni and Cheese or the Pasta Sides. Just add water to a pot and let these rehydrate.

Drink Mixes – Gatorade, Coffee, Tea

I know it sounds like a comfort item but drink mixes are great for kids who may not want to drink as much water as they need plus they can add back vital minerals and electrolytes lost from sweating. If you don’t think carrying a big pack around the hillside isn’t going to make you sweat even in relatively cool weather, you really need to try it. For those of us with a caffeine habit, Starbucks Via packets are an excellent choice for your bug out bag. Tea bags offer the same level of comfort and when you can its nice to sit down or wake up to a nice hot cup of coffee.

Pop Tarts

Pop-Tarts are a good breakfast option for kids as well as adults. They need no cooking or preparation, just open the bag and eat up.

Your Turn! What ideas or suggestions do you have for your bug out bag food items?

When you are looking for food ideas for your bug out bag there are four things I think you should take into consideration. The first is caloric value, the second

Sure, shovelling a couple of tin cans and ready-to-eat packs inside a pantry or emergency household kit may be a no-brainer, but what happens when a real emergency blows your way and you’ll need to eat those stuff to stay alive? More than that, are you really sure that everything stays fresh until the time of unboxing comes? There are a lot of things to consider when creating a long-term food stockpile: shelf life, type of food, the very environment where you choose to store the food, and, the containers themselves.

As you know, emergency food should be stored in a cool and dark environment to keep them from getting rotten. Still, that leaves you to deal with other unforeseen dangers such as rodents clawing your way into your food stash, insects, and, of course, indirect environmental factors that can make long-term storage food stored in metal cans to go bad. Last, but not least, moisture can severely affect your food, even if it’s neatly wrapped in packages.

What I like to do in this case is to take the original pack and to place it inside individual zip-lock bags before placing them inside airtight plastic containers.

You can even throw in a couple of desiccant silica gel packs to remove any moisture remaining inside. For a while, I thought long and hard about finding a more permanent solution to the excess moisture issue inside the pantry I use to store my food and I eventually ended up buying a dehumidifier. It works very well, and mine takes triple-A batteries (you can switch them with rechargeable power cells).

Now, regarding today’s topic, some foods are more endearing than others. For instance, lentils can be stored for at least 5 years. On the other hand, rice, if deposited in a proper environment, can last for 30 years if not more. This is why I’ve always pushed for smart stockpiling, aka buying only those stuff with a very long shelf life that could, theoretically, last forever.

This is not something new under the sun. In fact, if you remember your history lessons when Carter and Lord Carnarvon popped open Tut’s tomb, they found perfectly edible food stored inside wax-sealed angoras. And it’s not the only example – the Chinese did and even the Mayans. So, what are these wonder-foods that can be kept for decades at an end in the pantry before going rotten? Stick around to find out.

  1. Carrots

Packs with flavonoids and tons of other nutrients, carrots are excellent for stews, broths, and even by themselves. What most people don’t know is that those bright-orange wonders can be stored for decades. Dehydrated carrots have a shelf life of 25 years or even more. The trick is to place them in air-tight containers right after removing all the water as to minimize the contact with the air. I recently found out that it’s way easier to remove the water if you chop them into small pieces.

To whip up a quick batch of dried carrots:

  • Peel them off.
  • Wash and rinse.
  • Blanch them in a pot.
  • Put them on a tray.
  • Preheat the over to 125.
  • Place the carrots inside and allow them to dry. It takes about 4 to 5 hours depending on your oven.

Don’t forget to still every hour. Take them out of the oven and allow them to dry before tossing them inside a zip-lock bag.

2. Pasta

Mamma mia! Who doesn’t adore a plateful of pasta with meatballs? I, for one, am very much in love with pasta. It’s the type of food that can be cooked in every way imaginable. Even better, pasta, especially the deep-frozen variety, has a very long shelf life (at least 20 years).

Still, if you store them in a moist-free environment, you can take them out and whip up a quick pasta dinner even after 40 or 50 years. I read somewhere that pasta products can even last for a century and even more if placed special storage containers like aluminum-lined mylar bags.

3. Salt

No meal’s complete with a sprinkle and tinkle of salt. This awesome condiment, which has been around since the dawn of time, does not ever go rotten if stored in the proper conditions. You need not worry about bacteria getting inside, because salt has a way of dealing with them.

Still, the only thing you should concern yourself with is moisture. If the container isn’t properly sealed (been there, done that), then it’s bye-bye salt and hello mush. I usually keep my salt in a heavy-duty plastic container in which I throw a pack or two of desiccant silica gel wrapped in plastic just to be sure.

4. Baking soda

There’s nothing baking soda can’t do or fix – you can use it to bake delicious cookies, cakes, clean stuff around the house. Before I went to the doctor to get my molar fixed, I used to gargle baking soda in the morning before brushing my teeth (great for morning breath as well).

If you’re a computer buff, just like myself, you can use a light baking soda mixture to remove persistent stains from plastic computer cases (also works wonders on those yellow spots!). As you’ve guessed it, baking soda has no expiration date, provided that you store it in proper conditions – no moisture and sunlight.

5. Soy Sauce

Care for some Chinese? Well, if you’re a fan of Asian cuisine then you must know that no dish must be without soy sauce. Salty, smokey, flavory, it gives that sea-foody taste to each meal. Are you ready for the good news? Soy sauce never goes bad. Ever!

Since it’s packed with sodium, that stuff will never spoil due to bacteria. Watch out for moisture and exposure to sunlight though. To protect that black gold, pour the contents of a bottle in a sealable and air-tight glass jar. You can line up the jar’s mouth with aluminum foil and plastic wrap for extra protection.

6. Powdered milk

I know that nothing beats the taste of real cow’s milk, but the bacteria inside it makes it impossible to store it over long periods. On the other hand, powdered milk is not pretentious and very handy to have around the house for dishes and drinks. If stored in a moisture-free environment, powdered milk can last forever. I usually store powdered milk in a large plastic container with a couple of moisture-absorbent packs inside.

7. Instant drinks (coffee, cocoa powder, and tea)

No emergency stockpile should go without easy and quick to prepare drinks. I cannot and will not imagine a world without coffee or tea. Since they’re dehydrated, all instant drinks can last up to 10 years if you remember to store them in a moisture-free room.

 

8. Honey

Yes, dear? No, I was talking about bee honey, the one you use to make cookies or sweeten your drinks. The high sugar contents inhibit bacteria from developing. And, if store properly (lid screwed on tight, no sunlight and moisture), a jar of honey can last for 100 years or even more!

 

9. Stock and bouillon

These are great during those cold winter days when you want to whip up a bowl of soup or your favorite comfort food. Everything boiled and set to cool down before being placed in bottles or something can last for ten years or more. Funny thing happened to me the first time my wife and I prepare bouillon for our stockpile.

So, the pantry which I used to store my food had a slight designing issue – heat seeped through one of the holes in the wall. After the bottles cooled down, we placed them inside and forget about them for a couple of weeks. One night, I heard this long bang coming from the pantry. Half-asleep and almost naked, I ran up to see what the Hell was happening.

When I opened the door to peek inside it was like stumbling upon a crime scene – two of the bottles exploded and there was tomato sauce everywhere. After a while, I realized that the heat made the bouillon bottles blow up. So, make sure your pantry is insulated. Otherwise, someone might think you’ve killed someone and hid his body inside the room.

10. Sugar

Spice and everything nice – these are the ingredients to create the perfect prepper. Very much like baking soda and honey, sugar can be stored indefinitely. The only problem is that it tends to harden over time. No problem. Just place it inside a large container and use a spatula or a spoon to break down those big chunks.

 

11. Beans

Delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare, beans are the very top of the food pyramid. Although you’ll probably end up passing more gas than usual after a bean-based dish, it’s nevertheless a versatile food. More than that, if you’re careful enough to store them in proper condition, a single bag of beans can last up to 30 years. There’s one catch about beans – you will need to reseal the bag from time to time. This is why I switched aluminum-lined mylar bags instead of plastic, airtight containers.

 

12. White vinegar

What happens when the wine goes bad? You get up from the table and argue with the waiter, of course. Kidding – wine has this outstanding quality of transforming into vinegar, which is one of the most useful items found in your pantry, apart from salt and baking soda.

Vinegar can be used in salad dressings and other dishes, but it’s also a great helper around the house (my wife uses it to remove cat hair from the carpet and I use it in very small amounts to remove pigeon droppings from the car’s hood). White vinegar never goes rotten, so you can store as much as you want without a problem.

 

13. Maple Syrup

Fancy some pancakes with maple syrup for breakfast? My kids go absolutely bonkers over this dish. Can’t say that it’s really good for their teeth but, hey, try arguing with a hungry and screaming toddler. Just like honey, maple syrup has high sugar contents, which means that it can be stored for long periods of time (50 to 80 years, by some accounts).

However, you should know that there’s a huge difference between maple syrup stored in plastic and the one stored in glass bottles. The first, even unopened, has a shelf life of 5 to 18 months, while the later can last as much as half a century.

 

14. Ghee

I don’t know if most of you are familiar with this ingredient. Ghee is a type of base which is prepared from boiled butter. Basically, you get ghee by removing all the water from the butter. Great for Indian dishes and preparing low-calorie foods. If you store it in an airtight container, ghee will never go bad on you.

 

15. Corn starch

Momma always used to say that if the food looks too watery, add some corn starch to make the spoon stand up on its own. Corn starch is very useful around the house – you can cook with it, clean up stuff, and even use it in combination with water to soothe sunburns. Stock up on corn starch now because this stuff will never go bad.

Okay! To wrap this up in a neat and elegant manner, check out this small list of all the foods and their shelf-lives. Hope you’ve learned by now that smart stockpiling is all about knowing your food and not shovelling them in a pantry and throwing away the key.

Food Shelf Life (years)
Carrots (dehydrated) 25+
Pasta 20+
Salt Forever
Baking Soda Forever
Soy Sauce Forever
Powdered milk Forever
Instant drinks 10+
Honey 100+
Stock & Bouillon 10+
Sugar Forever
Beans 30+
White Vinegar Forever
Maple Syrup 50~80
Ghee Forever
Corn Starch Forever

 

There are a lot of things to consider when stockpiling. So, what are these wonder-foods that can be kept for decades at an end in the pantry before going rotten?

There’s more to zip than meets the tie. No? Let me try another one on you. Tie me a river? Zipper me timbers? I give up. Anyway, in case you haven’t figured it out by now, today’s top is zip ties – very common and handy household item, especially when things get way too intense in the bedroom.

Joke aside, I believe that everyone should have at least one bag of heavy-duty zip ties around the house since they’re very useful for all manner of odd jobs – I personally use them to prevent my PC cables from getting tangled. Sometimes I even use them to organize my paracords.  Now, as you’ve guessed it, zip ties can be a great help in a shit hits the fan situation. So, without further ado, here are 25 survival uses for them zippy ties.

Splinting and securing bandages

Not every SHTF ends with you being rescued the minute you hit the “dial” button on your phone. Sometimes, you will need to fend for yourself before the cavalry comes to pick you up. Scrapes, bruises, wounds, and fractures are possible, especially when you’re forced to cross a hostile terrain.

Normally, you would use cordage (string, rope, shoelaces or dental floss) in case you need to splint a limb, toe or finger. If you don’t have anything else on hand, use one or two zip ties to secure the splint. Don’t forget to snip off the excess. The same method can be employed to ensure that the bandages stay where they’re supposed to stay and that would be the wound.

In a major medical emergency (e.g., profuse bleeding, protruding wounds), a heavy-duty zip tie can double up like a tourniquet. Only use this as a last resort or if you don’t have anything else on hand to control the bleeding like plastic tubing, surgical glove, condom or cordage. Indeed, a zip tie can be used to “clamp off” a bleeder but, in the long run, it ends up doing more damage than the wound itself.

Repair damaged gear

Missing stuff from your bug out bag like a sewing kit for instance? No problem as long as you have a bag of zip ties. They can be successfully employed to mend any kind of gear – parka with a missing button, zipper with no tab, holes in the backpack or heavy rain poncho; snip off the ends and you’re good to go.

Keeping B.O.B items within reach

Many survival items come with lanyard holes, but not all of them. That shouldn’t be much of an issue if you remembered to pack some zip ties in your bug out bag. Just run that plastic tie through anything resembling a hole and attach the item to your belt or to a mini carabiner (that’s how I keep my survival lighter).

Restrain someone

If you get caught up in the fight, use a heavy-duty zip tie to restrain the bad guy until the authorities arrive. Well, you can also use them for other restraint purposes, but I ain’t going to touch this one.

Keeping boots where they belong

One of the worst things that could happen to you during hacking is shoelaces going sour on you. Don’t have extras in your backpack? Grab a zip tie, run it through the holes, and you’re all set.

Prevent pants from falling off you

Lost your belt or had to use it for other purposes? Yup, grab a heavy-duty zip or more, run it through your pants’ belt loops, and tie it. Won’t win you a fashion contest, but at least you won’t have to go around butt-naked.

Craft a shelter

You can use zip ties to secure the beams to each other when you’re building a shelter. They’re also useful in anchoring your makeshift shelter to a nearby tree or to the ground.

Mark trails

If you have a pack of brightly colored zip ties, you can secure them to low tree branches or rocks in order to mark off a trail. They also serve the purpose of signaling, letting your rescuers know that they’re going the right way.

Make a net

It’s possible to weave a net using small zip ties – very useful for all kinds of purposes such as berry-picking or storing game before reaching the campsite.

Make a trap

You can whip up a simple trap using a zip tie, a bent sapling, and some bait. Moreover, heavy-duty zip ties can be used to hang large or medium game from a branch – makes skinning and butchering easier. If you plan on curing meat, draw a heavy-duty through the flesh, and hang the cuts on a branch or an improvised line.

Repair a broken bag

If the zipper or purse lock refuses to work, grab a zip tie and secure the ends. Yes, I know it looks awful, but hey, at least your stuff will stay inside the purse\backpack\bag\tote.

Hang clothes

Don’t have any cloth hangers around the house? You really don’t need to hit the store to buy some more; just use a couple of zip ties to hang them in the wardrobe.

Patch holes in your fence

As the proud owner of a dog which has way too much energy, I spend at least a couple of hours every week mending the chain link fence. As replacing the entire grid would cost me a pretty penny, I usually use heavy-duty zip ties to patch the holes; thanks, Nero. You’re the best!

Keep your B.O.B organized

Use small zip ties to secure paracord and to keep your cables organized. Remember that it’s an emergency survival kit, not your sock drawer!

Extra traction in cold weather

Although I wouldn’t advise you to drive around town with zip ties attached to your wheels, in an emergency, you can use two or three to gain extra traction on icy roads. Works best in conjunction with kitty litter and sand.

Quick-draw mod for pocket knives

A pocket knife is not only great for carving wood or cutting meat, but also a great ally in hand-to-hand combat. As a self-defense teacher once said, the first ten seconds of any armed encounter will determine the outcome of the fight. A pocket knife is an excellent close-quarter weapon, but getting the blade out takes a couple of seconds.

To gain an edge in combat, you can add a quick-draw mode to your pocket knife. Here’s what to do: take a piece of the zip tie and secure it to the finger hole. Snip away the excess. Yes, I know it looks dumb, but that little piece of plastic will get the blade out as soon as the knife leaves your pocket. Try it and see if there’s any difference.

Keep your travel bags safe

If you plan on going abroad this year, forget about using a padlock to secure your suitcase. Use a heavy-duty zip tie instead. Travel locks can be easily removed. The same thing cannot be said about a fastened zip tie which will take more than a pair of a bolt cutter to unfasten.

To be extra safe, use at least four of that stuff. You should use zip ties that match the color of your suitcase for concealment purposes. Don’t forget to tighten them before reaching the airport and to snip off the excess.

Leg protection

Mother Nature’s is very good at hiding stuff in plain sight. This includes poisonous plants like ivy or nettle. Now, if you’re about to cross an area with tall grass or plenty of puddles, use a heavy-duty zip tie to lash the pants to your ankles. That tie will make sure nothing gets inside your pants.

Make more room in your bug out bag

If your bug out bag comes with a bedroll, mylar blanker or sleeping bag, use a couple of heavy-duty zip ties to secure the bundle and to compress it. You can do the same for your rain poncho.

Makeshift bandana

Hair getting in your eyes? Use a bandana. You don’t have it anymore? Not a problem. Use a piece of zip tie to prevent those curly locks of your from getting into your eyes. If you have longer hair, it’s possible to use a pencil and then zip tie to make a bun.

Keeping your tomato vines in line

As a gardener, I can truly say that zip ties are what one might call a God-sent gift. Without those little plastic loops, my tomato vines would grow all over the place. That doesn’t sound so bad, I know, but I do have this obsession with keeping my garden organized; the same thing cannot be said for my clothes or socks.

Make a headlamp from any tac light

Although your tac light should come with a head attachment, in some cases the manufacturers forget to include that thingamajig. Anyway, if you find yourself unable to hold your electric torch, use some heavy-duty zip ties to secure the tac light to your head. Furthermore, you can use the same trick to tie a regular flashlight to your bike’s handle if the one you have can’t handle the darkness.

Hang a solar still

In one of my previous articles, I showed you how to make a simple solar still using a plastic bottle and a tin can. When it’s ready, use a piece of zip tie to secure your still to a nearby low-lying branch.

Patching your tent

Because I’ve been hiking ever since I could remember, I have at least one fully functional tent around the house. Now, the thing I realized about these mid-range tents is that the rivets closing the hatch tend to break after a couple of uses.

No problem if you’re still in town, but kinda shitty when you want to hit the hay and can’t close the hatch – bears are not a problem if you keep the fire running, but the mosquitoes won’t spare you.

Now, if you have issues with your hatch, use a couple of zip ties to close it. Yes, you may need a survival knife or a pair of scissors to get out of the tent, but at least those damned mosquitoes stay outside, where they belong.

Use around the house

Zip ties are great for keeping cables anchored to the wall or other kinds of odd jobs. For instance, I like to use them to dry the meat my wife will use to prepare beef jerky. If you have a little smokehouse, you can replace metallic hooks with zip ties to hang the meat.

They’re also double up as padlocks – if you have a gun cabinet, you can use one or two heavy-duty zip ties in conjunction with a lock to keep the guns out of children’s reach.

That’s it for my article on ways to use zip ties in a shit hits the fan situation. Anything missing from the list? Head to the comments section and let me know.

Not every SHTF ends with you being rescued the minute you hit the “dial” button on your phone. Sometimes, you will need to fend for yourself before the cavalry comes

Ever stopped to think just how useful a bar of soap can be? No, you can’t shave it and turn it into plastic explosive as Frank Burns from M*A*S*H said, but there are lots of other stuff you can do with it beyond washy-washy. No matter if you’re using the old rectangular bar, the liquid variety or dishwasher detergent, each and every one of them could save your skin one day.

Most seasoned survivalists and bushcraft experts carry at least one bar of soap with them and, as you might expect, it’s not only for washing soiled jammies or getting the dirt off your hands.

Since soap is another one of those household items that should get its own statue in the survival hall of fame, I’ve decided to do write this short and sweet piece on how soap may serve your bushcraft purposes.

So, because talk’s cheap, here are 5 ways you can use soap to get out of a potentially life-threatening situation.

  1. Shampoo

I know that most of you don’t really see the purpose of washing your hair during an SHTF situation, especially because, I don’t know, priorities tend to shift. Still, hygiene’s very important, and you really wouldn’t want to end up with lice in your hair and worse.

Don’t know for sure if the rest of you people have even considered the thought of adding one bottle of shampoo to your B.O.B or at least an all-purpose shower gel (great for hair, body, carpets, upholstery and anything in between), but I really don’t see the point of getting one if I have one or more soap bars.

Sure, you won’t get curls or fluffy hair, but at least your head’s clean and lice-free. By the way, if you find yourself without shampoo\shower gel, you can also use liquid soap or dishwashing detergent to wash your hair. Just be careful not to use that dishwasher stuff on more sensible body areas because you’ll end up with sores (true story).

  1. Removing ice from the driveway nice and fast

No rock salt or kitty litter? No problem. You can create your own ice-busting concoction using regular liquid dish soap, water, and a bit of alcohol (don’t get your hopes up because you’ll want to rub alcohol for this concoction). Here’s what you’ll need to do: take a bucket and fill it halfway with hot water. Add one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol and one tablespoon of undiluted dishwashing liquid soap. Mix and use this concoction to remove ice from your driveway.

  1. A sure-fire remedy for poison ivy poisoning

Do you know what’s worse than having a bear on your ass? Having to resist the urge to scratch after getting into contact with poison ivy. What’s even worse about this type of poisoning is that the blisters can spread if you pop those oil-filled pustules.

How to solve this? Using dishwashing liquid soap, of course. Since the stuff’s designed to deal with oil stains, it will eliminate the excess oils from the area, thus stopping the blisters from spreading. Moreover, using liquid soap on poison ivy blisters increases the healing rate of your skin.

  1. Keeping them nasty bugs away from your food

Now that spring’s finally arrived, we turn our attention to things more romantic like picnics, BBQs, and campfire sing-alongs with your intoxicated buddies. The only thing that annoys me the most, apart from having to clean that bathroom (sorry, hun) is insects crawling over my food.

Yes, I should know by know that a picnic’s not exactly, well, a picnic, but I do hate to share meals with overly insistent ants, and God knows what.

After doing a bit of snooping on the Internet, I found out that you can actually protect your food from pests using diluted dishwashing soap. It sounds crazy, but believe me, it works. And no, the food will not have a soapy taste to it. To prepare your own pest repellant from soap, get yourself one of those spray bottles and fill it with others. Add two teaspoons of dish soap, shake, and spray the table area.

Yes, you can even spray the food – in its watered-down form the stuff’s safe to eat. Only don’t use too much of it because your food will certainly end up tasting funny.

  1. Getting rid of sticky things in your hair

Well, what can I say? Shit can happen even at home. Doesn’t matter how hard you try to maintain hygiene, because there’s always that moment when you forget that you just dunked your hands in Vaseline, but that itchy spot on the top of your hand just refuses to go away. For moments like this, be thankful for the fact that dish soap exists.

This stuff’s powerful enough to remove anything from the flue, Vaseline, nail polish, gum, and, yes, even peanut butter.

However, do keep in mind that dish soap was made for washing dishes and not to be used as a shower gel. Here’s what you will need to do in order to get rid of that nasty stuff from your hair. First of all, stop scratching because you’ll only spread around the stuff, and rip some hair locks in the process.

Now, pour a tablespoon of your favorite dish soap into your palm and apply it over the sticky area. Rub the area for 5 to 10 minutes. After that, wait a while for the soap to sit and do its job. After that, get into the bathroom, rinse your hair with plenty of water.

You can also use a little bit of shower gel or shampoo to ensure that there’s no more dish soap in your hair. I know it sounds nasty, but then again you really had to scratch that itch.

That’s it for my short and sweet list of how survivalists use soap, regardless if its liquid, solid or the kind used for washing dishes. Do you believe my list lacks certain applications? Hit the comments section and let me know.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Ever stopped to think just how useful a bar of soap can be? No, you can’t shave it and turn it into plastic explosive as Frank Burns from M*A*S*H said,

In a disaster our first instinct is to move as quickly as possible to safety or to the closest approximation we have to our ideal of safe. For me, if anything happens my goal is to get back to my home as quickly as possible. I have supplies at home specifically designed to help me and my family handle the aftermath of almost any emergency and logically this is our first/main rally point in any crisis. No matter where I am if something happens I will be working immediately to make it back to reunite with the rest of my family. My get home plan is my first priority if I am away unless there is something that prevents me from reaching home. This is less of an issue if I am with my family and we are together, but I like most of you spend a good part of my day away from home.

We like to speak of the ideal of heavily stocked survival retreats located on hundreds of acres of land in the boonies only accessible via a dirt road and after crossing several water hazards. That is the ideal maybe, but almost none of us, when you start looking at the numbers live anything near that type of lifestyle. Are there people who live in remote areas? Of course, but for most of us, our survival retreat is our home in the suburbs or semi-rural areas still easily accessible by plenty of roads with a Walmart within a short drive. Even more live in the cities where our neighbors are practically on top of us. Most of us who call ourselves preppers do not live year round at a retreat taking care of livestock, building barns and furniture from trees we felled and wood shaped with hand tools. Most of us work a job for someone else in an area that is anything but remote and that is almost always away from home. I personally want the retreat, but unless my life changes drastically that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. For me right now, I am where I am so I plan to make the best of it. If something happens I will be heading to my home.

There are multiple strategies for travel needed with the unexpected emergency but the variables start adding up when you consider all the permutations of what the emergency could be and where you are at the time. Today I want to talk about how you can begin to prepare for a situation where you are at work and your goal is to get back home to your family, your supplies and your castle. In a lot of cases you have to plan for situations that are out of the norm. The first plan of course would be to simply hop in our cars and drive home, but what if the roads were blocked? What if you couldn’t even reach your car? You should make a plan now for getting back home in alternate ways and plan for travel that isn’t ideal.

My Get Home Bag of choice right now.

How will you get home?

Before we can really start discussing how to get home, you have to take into consideration how far away home is. For the purposes of this article, I will use the example of a typical work day. For most of us that means we leave home in the morning, go to work and return home the same day. I have written articles on getting home from much further distances, but for this article we’ll assume you aren’t on the other end of the country, you are at your regular day job.

One of the first things I recommend thinking about is a Get Home Bag for anyone who works more than a few miles from home. I personally use the Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack right now pictured on the right. A get home bag has been called by a lot of other names, but it is simply a bag with basic supplies that you might need in order to walk back to your home. This is not the same as a bug out bag, but the concepts are related. All of these bags are simply containers for some essentials you might need in an emergency situation. My Get Home Bag is stored in the trunk of my car and has very basic items because on an average day I am not more than 15 miles away from home. I have spare water, some food in the form of a Mainstay bar, work gloves, lighter, paracord, ammo, multi-tool, headlamp and dust mask along with some blood stopper bandages. Could I pack more in there? Of course but I try to lean toward the minimal side on these bags and focus more on what I really could need versus what would be nice to have. For example, I don’t have a compass because I know my town and where my home is. I don’t have hand sanitizer because that is the last thing I am going to worry about. I don’t have a radio because I should be home in a few hours tops but I do have a ham radio in my car that is mobile. Your get home bag should have what you would expect to need on your trek home.

But what if my car is blocked or I can’t get to my car? What if the parking deck that my car sits in all day is shaken to the ground by an earthquake or an explosion? That is when the absolutely prepared person would grab their back up bag from their desk. I don’t have a bag in my desk and really I don’t live far enough from work that I don’t think I could make it back even without a bag. Couldn’t I leave my Get Home Bag in my desk at work and eliminate that problem? Sure but what if my office is closed or blown up or for some other reason I can’t get back to my desk? For me, the trunk of my car is the safest bet that will be with more more often than my desk drawer and if that doesn’t work out I will adapt. One thing you don’t want to have to adapt to are the elements though. I carry rain gear on days when there is a chance of rain even if I don’t plan on going outside. Cold weather is the same thing. Its easy to leave home and think that you will just be in the car, but what if you are forced to walk? Dress for the weather outside, not the weather inside.

Another aspect of making it back home is to have footwear up to the challenge. I have written before about how so many people wear flip-flops everywhere they go now and I shudder to think about what it would be like in a real disaster to have virtually no protection on my feet. As well as my Get Home Bag I have a pair of sturdy work boots in my car. I never wear flip-flops but if for some bizarre reason I have a John McClain moment and am caught with my shoes off I will have a backup.

Carry your Every Day Carry – EDC

Another aspect of my preps is my EDC or Every Day Carry items that I have on my person at all times when I am away from home. For me, my EDC consists of a concealed handgun, handkerchief, multi-tool, flashlight, knife and water. My water bottle is in my backpack with my computer, but I always have that with me. These items augment what I have in my Get Home Bag and I try to religiously make sure they are on me. If I am walking out the door to work I have an almost perfect track record of taking all of my EDC gear, but it is the odd times where my outfit choices are different when this falls down. Going to the pool for example, I have been known to change things up due to necessity and some of my gear stays in the car as opposed to poolside.

With my EDC gear it is always in my pockets or my bag, but how many of you have gone to the bathroom without your cell phone? How many have run down to the corner store without your car keys? What if something prevented you from getting back to your desk or work location and the only way you had to get into your car was several floors up, or under rubble? I try to take my keys and cell phone with me anytime I leave my desk so that I will have this option if needed.

Plan more than one route back home

Where I live, there isn’t a tremendous amount of traffic so I routinely take the same route to and from work. This is the quickest way for me to travel, but in an emergency, roads could be blocked and impassable. If needed, I can take alternate roads, but in some cases that might make my trip longer by taking me further away from home to route back to a good road. Alternately you could cut through the woods or neighborhoods but this isn’t always faster. In some situations, it might be a bad idea to cut through someone’s yard and you could find yourself in an altercation you didn’t need to get in. What if your travel takes you through a rough part of town? You would necessarily want to avoid those areas at this time so that you don’t become the victim of a predator. It helps to know the area you live in well enough and in some cases to perform what I call Neighborhood Recon to scope out alternate routes and identify obstacles ahead of time. Could you make it through the swamp that is in the woods? Maybe, but would you want to?

Have a communication plan with your family

In a disaster, cellular communications might be down and who has land lines anymore? You used to find a phone booth on every corner but now they are nonexistent where I live. My communication plan is really meant to address a lack of communication I can foresee in a disaster. My family knows what my plans are and that is to come home. I might be delayed but I will stick to the plan. In the event that some crisis hits and my family is not in immediate danger from staying put at our home, they are supposed to wait for me to arrive. Depending on the crisis this could be several hours to a day, possibly overnight. Does your family know what your plans are? More importantly, do they know what to do if you never show up?

What are your plans for making it back home in an emergency if your trusty vehicle isn’t available?

In a disaster our first instinct is to move as quickly as possible to safety or to the closest approximation we have to our ideal of safe. For me, if

Food is one of the crucial items for your bug out bag and INCH bags. It seems as if you typically find the same recommendations on every website. You want different options! You should know the difference between a bug out bag and an INCH bag.

An INCH bag stands for I’m never coming home. Essentially, it is a larger survival kit with all of the necessary items you will need to survive the SHTF scenario. The plan is for this plan to sustain you indefinitely or until you can reach a safety point, such as a predetermined location.

On the flip side, a bug out bag (BOB) holds three days of rescue items. They are ideal for civil unrest, hurricanes, fires, snowstorms, and other disasters. You do plan to return home when the coast is clear.

There are hundreds of choices when it comes to what types of food you can put in your bags. There are a few things you want to consider when making your choices.

  • Calorie Ratio to Weight of Item: That can of soup might sound like a good idea, but it weighs a lot. You want food that has a small weight with higher calorie. You want as many calories per ounce as possible.
  • Macronutrients: You want more fats and proteins than carbohydrates. However, don’t forget the carbs because they do give you bursts of energy that you need for your journey ahead. Fats and proteins fill you up faster and add more calories.
  • Shelf Life: Yes, a fresh apple would take amazing, but you can’t store them in your bag waiting for an SHTF You need food that lasts for a long time. It is important that you keep a list of expiration dates, so you know when to rotate the items.
  • Preparation: The food items you select shouldn’t be hard to prepare. It is nice to have some comfort foods, but the food you select should be easily prepared. All you might have access to is a campfire or no form of cooking at all!

The List

  1. Raisins and Peanuts: If you’ve spent any time hiking, you know that raisins and peanuts are a standard food item. They are rich in calories and require no preparation efforts. You can pick the kind that has chocolate peanuts – everyone loves chocolate! However, it can melt if you are in the heat. It is best if you get individually locked bags rather than those huge bags. One cup of peanuts and raisins equals close to 700 calories.
  2. Freeze Dried Meals: Many preppers like to keep freeze dried meals in their bags. They will fill you up quickly. All you have to do is pour some hot water into the bags. Then, you seal up the bags for the recommended time. Some meals are enough for more than one person.
  3. Peanut Butter: A tablespoon of peanut butter can have up to 190 calories. That is a lot! Instead of lugging around a jar of peanut butter, look for individually peanut butter packets or cups.
  4. Dried Fruit: There are so many choices for dried fruit, from apricots to apples. They are full of sugar, so it can help to give you a boost of energy when you’re feeling low. Your local store should have a great selection. Pineapples, bananas, mango, and berries won’t weigh too much in your bag.
  5. Protein Bars: When you are walking for a long time, you need energy and protein to keep going. Protein bars are a favorite among hikers. You can eat them on the go. Most of them are pretty delicious. The only downside to protein bars is that they can get messy, especially if they contain chocolate. You can fit a few protein bars into your bar, taking up very little space.
  6. Beef Jerky: Jerky is another food item that doesn’t take up too much space or weight of your bag. You can munch on jerky as you are walking. Beef jerky is sold in dozens of flavors and packaging. It is a great source of protein. However, beef jerky also has a higher level of sodium, which could cause dehydration if you eat too much. Make sure that you limit yourself.
  7. Emergency Meal Bars: These bars are similar to MREs and protein bars, rolled into one. Emergency meal bars can have 2,500 calories in one bar! The flavor isn’t always amazing, but your goal is survival. Taste isn’t most important. They store easily in bags and make a good choice for an INCH bag to save space.
  8. Granola Mixes and Bars: Stores have whole sections devoted to granola bars and mixes. You can find bags with different things in the granola, a great choice for breakfasts and snacks. Granola bars are great food ideas for on the go. Even kids love granola bars! They store easily and come in multiple, delicious flavors. Some have nuts, oats, chocolate or raisins!
  9. Tuna and Salmon Pouches: You want different sources of protein for your bags. Cans of tuna are out of the question; they tend to weigh your bag down. The stores sell pouches of tuna and salmon, not mixed. They are great eaten cold or warmed up. You can put some tuna on a cracker for a snack. The pouches of tuna and salmon are relatively inexpensive, costing around one dollar each. They also come flavored, such as BBQ and lemon pepper.
  10. Dried Soup, Chicken and Beef Bouillon: If you want to make soup on the go, you need some bouillon cubes. They can easily be stored in envelopes and paper bags. All you have to do is add hot water. Just like MREs, you can find packets of dried soup that just requires hot water to reconstitute.
  11. Instant Oatmeal: If you have a tin cup to heat water, you can make yourself instant oatmeal. Instant oatmeal contains mostly carbs, but it is a great kick start to your day. There are multiple flavors available, taking up very little space in your bags. I would suggest keeping them in a plastic, zippered bag. Instant oatmeal pouches are easily torn.
  12. Meal Replacement or Protein Powders: Protein powder tends to be disgusting, but it is a source of protein and nutrients for you. All you have to do is add the powder to water. Add scoops to a plastic baggie and store them in your bag. You can also keep electrolyte powders in your bag that you just add right to the BOB bag. They will keep you hydrated.
  13. Instant Noodles: Who doesn’t like Ramen noodles? Instant noodles are super lightweight, but they make a great meal. Instant noodle packets are high in carbohydrates. The flavor packet has salt. Eating actual meals can feel comforting after a long journey or a hard day.
  14. Sardine Tins: There is some weight to sardine tins, but the tins themselves are quite small. There is a lot of protein, calories, and fats in these little cans. The weight might be worth it if you want an extra source of nutrients.
  15. Salami or Pepperoni: The idea of pulling out a log of pepperoni or salami might seem comical. However, you can find bags of sliced pepperoni. It does contain more salt than other meats, but you want some variety in your BOB and INCH bags.
  16. Tortillas: Bread is too bulky to take with you, so tortillas are a better choice. Tortillas contain plenty of carbohydrates, and you can use them with other food. It is a great addition to tuna or salmon to complete your meal.
  17. Ready to Eat Rice Pouches: Rice pouches are great for quick dinners now, and they are a great addition to your BOB for a real meal. Remember, these pouches have a lot of sodium and carbs. You shouldn’t pick rice pouches for an every meal type of item. However, you can add them with your tuna pouch to make a complete
  18. Instant Mashed Potatoes: When you want to have some comfort food, mashed potatoes fit that bill. Since you can’t bring along potatoes and create homemade potatoes on the trail, it has to be instant mashed potatoes. All you need is hot water. Add some instant mashed potatoes with a can of shredded chicken for a delicious dinner.
  19. Spam Pouches: Here is another idea for a source of protein, even if it is slightly strange. You have to enjoy the taste of Spam to want to include it in your BOB or INCH bag. Spam pouches can be heated in a cup of hot water.
  20. Dehydrated Hummus: Hummus is a favorite treat for many people. It is usually kept refrigerated, so most people don’t think about it as an option for a BOB. You can find packs of dehydrated hummus that requires you to add water.
  21. Crackers: Many of the items on the list are better with crackers. Yes, they are a bit bulky, so you have to consider what type you are bringing and the amount. Crackers make life better! They give you a better way to eat your dehydrated hummus and peanut butter pouches.
  22. Bags of Beans: Pinto beans are a favorite among preppers. They do take the effort to prepare, so that should be a factor. You need a pot that you can put over a fire. A bag of beans will need to cook for at least an hour in water over a fire. However, there is plenty of protein in a single bag of beans.
  23. Cereal and Breakfast Bars: If you need a boost of energy, cereal and breakfast bars are great choices. They typically contain oats and some fruit. They can give a bit of flavor and excitement to your pack!
  24. Sunflower Seeds: When you are on your journey, you want a lightweight and delicious snack that contains healthy fats. Sunflower seeds are a comfort food that can soothe stress and satisfy your hunger until you find somewhere you can set up camp to cook. Other seeds to consider are chia and flax seeds, which are lightweight and contain extra oil.
  25. Dehydrated Vegetables: Did you know that you can dehydrate your vegetables at home? All you need is a dehydrator, Mylar bags, and oxygen packets. Dehydrated veggies are easy to reconstitute with water and make great additions to dinners and lunches.
  26. Chocolate: There isn’t much protein in chocolate, but it contains sugar which gives you a burst of energy. The energy wears off quickly, but it will satisfy your cravings. It is a welcome relief after just eating canned and prepackaged food for multiple days. If you don’t want just to take plain chocolate, Tootsie Rolls are a great choice. Tootsie Rolls are great for hot summer months. Believe it or not, World War II soldiers carried them to eat. You want to make sure that you grab the long ones to conserve space!
  1. Nuts: I mentioned peanuts and raisins, but there are other nuts you can try. Pistachio, almonds, and cashews are almost the top choices. You do have to be careful and look at the sodium content. Salted nuts do help to replace the salt lost because of extra sweating, but it can make you more thirsty. Too much sodium leads to dehydration.
  2. Cereal: Chances are you won’t have access to fresh milk while on the go. Dried cereal still adds carbs to your diet and gives a feeling of comfort. If you have kids along on the journey, Cheerios are a beloved cereal.
  3. Honey Straws: Honey is a delicious, unique source of sugar and energy. You need the energy to survive an SHTF Honey straws or hard sugar candies can give you that little burst that you need.
  4. Coffee Singles: Even if you are on the go, you still want to have some caffeine and coffee on the go. You can purchase instant coffee and Coffee Mate To Go for flavoring and sweetness. Make sure that you have a cup with you that lets you heat your coffee over the fire or however you want to cook your coffee!
  5. Pop Tarts: I know you are thinking that those aren’t healthy at all. You would be right. Pop Tarts are mostly artificial sugar. However, they give you some energy and carbs if you need a pick me up. Plus, kids are pretty quick to eat them.
  6. Peanut Butter Crackers: I mentioned peanut butter and crackers separately, but you can purchase these together to save space. Premade peanut butter cracker sandwiches are found in the store and are relatively cheap.

There are so many choices for foods you can include in your bug out bag and INCH bags. You don’t want to pick all of these items. Find the ones that you think makes the most sense and you find the most enjoyable. Remember, a BOB is enough food to last you 72 hours. Most experts recommend a week or two of food for an INCH bag. After that, you should have supplies to start gathering your food by hunting and fishing.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Food is one of the crucial items for your bug out bag and INCH bags. It seems as if you typically find the same recommendations on every website. You want

Fact: there’s no limit to what you can with a beer can. Why? Simply because it’s called a beer CAN, not a beer CAN’T. Yes, I know it’s a shitty pun, but there’s truth in what I’ve said – a metallic beer container can serve all kinds of purposes, long after the beer’s gone (sad face). Anyway, a couple of days ago, I had myself a little pow-wow with some of my buddies.

Not all preppers, but we do get along even on stuff that is not exactly related to survival. However, in talking with them, I found out that there are in fact people out there who really know how to get creative when they have to deal with what we come to an SHTF-type of situation. And because no boys’ night should be without beer, we kinda ended up talking about ale till the crack of dawn.

I’m truly sorry for not being able to share a bottle of suds with you people, but at least I can make it up to you by showing you a couple of ingenious ways to use empty beer cans in a shit hits the fan situation So, here’s my top X choices in reusing cans.

  1. Perimeter alarm

Halt! Who goes there? Maybe’s just the wind of a highwayman ready to deprive you of your valuables. Just joking. A perimeter alarm is a must-have if you’re planning on spending a night in the woods. Of course, I don’t think there are any cutthroats nearby, but there may be wild animals prowling the area.

No need to invest tons of money in one of those fancy, laser-triggered alarms when you can make one yourself using a couple of empty beer cans and some cordage. You can always replace regular cordage with dental floss if you plan on using it for other purposes.

  1. Poor man’s survival kit

If you can’t find it within you to spend a couple of bucks on a professional or military-grade survival kit, you can always make one yourself using an old beer can. Just cut a hole on the side and fill it with stuff like weatherproof matches, lighter, dental floss, shoelaces, fishing utensils or whatever.

  1. Camping Stove

As they say, survival can be a beach. If you find yourself in a tight spot with nothing to cook your dinner or warm up the inside of your tent, craft a small camping store using an empty beer can. Flatten the top, cut a hole on the side, and place a small candle on the base. Soup may take forever to cook, but at least you’ve got something to keep you warm during the night.

  1. Lantern

All out of matches? Tac light’s batteries died out on you? No problem. I got you covered. It may be possible to make a meager lantern out of an empty beer can and a small candle. Cut a hole in one side of the beer can. Fit a small candle inside. Attach a stick to the ring, fire up the candle, and, voila, you now have a small lantern. May it be a light for your in dark places, when all other lights go out (and I did not quote from The Lord of the Rings).

  1. Starting a fire

Remember that article about how to start a fire using a water bottle? Well, believe it or not, you can do the same with an empty beer can. Basically, you will need to harness the reflective power of the can’s butt in order to focus sunlight on tinder. Here’s what you will need to do. While the sun’s still high (not that kind of high), grab an empty beer can and place it on the ground. Just below its butt, place a handful of tinder. Rotate the beer can in order to focus the sun rays on the tinder.

If nothing happens after 15 or 20 minutes, it means that the can’s butt is not polished enough to reflect the sunlight. Not a problem – grab a handful of sand or rock salt and start giving that butt a good shine. Allegedly, you can also use chocolate to do the same thing, but I haven’t tested that yet. Place the can again on the ground and rotate it in order to focus the light. When you see smoke coming out, add some more tinder, and blow on it.

  1. Makeshift kettle

Cowboys went through a lot of trouble to make sure that they start each day with a hot cup of coffee. As you know, that meant carrying a heavy cast-iron pot. Well, times have changed, but our need for a hot drink remains the same. Now, if you find yourself stranded in some neck of the woods and nothing to boil water in, you can always pour water in an empty beer can and place it close to the embers. That’s also a great water purification method.

Here’s how it works. First of all, find a way to wash the beer can. Second, pour water into it and place it directly into the fire. Please bear or beer in mind that it will take a while for the water to boil, so sit tight. Once you hear bubbly sound coming from the can, use a stick or a pair of prongs to remove the can from the flame. Wait for it to cool down, pour in your canteen, and enjoy. You know what? This kind of victory calls for another beer. Cheers!

  1. Making char cloth

If you the thought of packing some char cloth has never crossed your mind, don’t worry because you can make some using an empty beer can. Get a fire running. In the meantime, fill a can with cotton, punk wood or bark. Fold both ends and toss in the fire. In a couple of minutes, the beer can will begin to disintegrate. When you see that you’re running out of a can, remove it from the fire, wait for it to cool down, retrieve the char cloth, and celebrate.

That about covers it for my list of great ways to reuse an empty beer can. Feel that something may be missing from the list? Get scribbling and let me know.

Fact: there’s no limit to what you can with a beer can. Why? Simply because it’s called a beer CAN, not a beer CAN’T.

Today we are going to talk about vaseline, aka petroleum jelly, aka the best thing to come out of an oil refinery apart from car fuel, of course, has many uses both in shit hits the fan situations and around the house. So, because talk’s cheap, here’s are 12 ways to use petroleum jelly for survival.

Fire-starter

If you ever run out of tinder or anything useful for making a fire, put some petroleum jelly on a tin tray or something and set it ablaze. This stuff’s powerful enough to burn through anything.

Crafting emergency candles

All out of tac light batteries, matches, lamp oil or emergency candles? Then use some petroleum jelly to whip out a batch of 6-hour candles. To do that, grab a couple of bell or mason jars and place a small wick inside. To prevent the top part of the wick from getting inside the jelly, you can drive it through a small piece of cork. Let the wick soak as much as of that stuff as possible and let it rip.

Improving char cloth

Want to add more item to that fancy tinder box of yours? Try this trick – grab a couple of cotton balls and let them soak overnight in petroleum jelly. Place them in small zip-lock bags and toss them in the tinder box.

Make a zipper budge

Nothing’s more frustrating than dealing with a stubborn zipper. If you have some petroleum jelly on hand, rub some on the zipper’s teeth, and that’s it.

First-aid

Since this stuff hit the market in the late 19th century, it has been successfully employed to treat small wounds and nicks. Apart from the fact that it creates a waterproof barrier, petroleum jelly will also make the wound heal faster. You can also use it on your soles to prevent chaffing, especially during long hikes.

Petroleum jelly is also great for itches, minor burns, and dried skin. Moreover, if you ever run out of cream, you can also replace it with a tube or box of petroleum jelly. By the way, most moisturizing creams on the market pack Vaseline – definitely a win-win!

Keep away insect from wooden and metal surfaces

Getting a gazebo was probably the best decision I ever made, apart from marrying my wife, of course. The only thing that nags at me is the fact that no matter what I do or use, those small flying insects will still land on the carpentry and on the table my wife placed in the middle. Well, I have a sure-fire remedy for that – using petroleum jelly to keep insect away.

Just apply a thin layer of this stuff whenever you’re not using it and, voila, no more flying critters. In addition, petroleum jelly also extends the life of wooden furniture, prevents sun damage, and makes the surface shinier.

Leather care

Hiking boots are great for any kind of shit hits the fan situation, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t need some looking after. To waterproof and restore warped leather, rub some petroleum jelly on those fancy boots of yours. You can also use the same trick on leather jackets and pants.

Emergency shave

I don’t mind rocking the sauvage look, but in a couple of days, that thing will itch worse than a hand-combat with poison ivy. If you don’t have any shaving cream left, rub some petroleum jelly on your face, let that stuff sink into your skin, and use a razor or whatever to debeardify yourself.  

Remove a stubborn ring

A ring stuck to the finger is no laughing matter. That’s how my wife wound up in the ER a couple of years ago because she was too pigheaded to purchase a ring that your fit those hotdogs of hers. Anyway, if you’re dealing with the same issue, rub some petroleum jelly on that ring finger of yours. The ring will off much easier.

Offers relief in case of a hangnail

There’s nothing worse than having to hike or to walk with a hangnail. Considering that you don’t have the luxury to stay on you can and perform cosmetic surgery, use some petroleum jelly to relieve the pain. When you get around to it, rub a little bit over the site. The nail bit can be snipped a lot easier.

Lubricant for moving parts

Again, not those types of moving parts, so wipe that smirk off your face. If you have machinery at home whose, moving parts simply refuse to budge, apply a little bit of petroleum jelly and try again. Hell, this thing is better than WD 40. In case you need to drive a screw through solid plywood, rub a little Vaseline on the screw’s tip. It will sink in that board like it was butter or something.

Remove candle wax from holders

Being in the dark is not a great feeling. But, at times, we just have to brave out the darkness with whatever we have on hand. Candles are a great alternative to tac light, although not one that I would recommend around the house. Still, if you’re forced to rely on candles, better to use a holder – that way you can prevent scorch marks on a wooden surface.

Here’s the tricky part – trying to yank out the old candle from the holder in order to place a new one. Yes, I know it’s annoying as shit, but if you use a little bit of petroleum jelly at the base of the candle, it will pop out in an instant. You can also use the same stuff to make emergency candles last longer – just dip the wick in Vaseline before placing them inside the mason jar.

That’s about it for my article on ways to repurpose petroleum jelly. Overlooked anything? Drop a line and let me know.

The best thing to come out of an oil refinery apart from car fuel, of course, has many uses both in shit hits the fan situations and around the house.

You know that S really HTF and broke it when you have no other choice than to drink water out of muddy puddle you found on the side of the road. Perhaps a call-to-action to some but, to most of us is what makes survival gritty. Fortunately for us, there’s plenty of ways to make that unpalatable water safer to drink, and not all of them rely on water purification tablets or sterilization bottles.

In an SHTF situation, it’s possible to filter water by using charcoal and nothing else. Yes, I know that the charcoal and water really don’t mix, but truth be told, this is the second-best water purification method after boiling. What I like about this little experiment is that it really brings out that cavemanish side of us which we desperately try to suppress and hide.

So, if you’re stuck out there in the wild, with no water-filtration sippy cup, no purification tablets, and not sources of water other than puddles and stinky ponds, here’s what you will need to do in order to whip up a charcoal-based sterilization system.

Word of warning before we start – through the time-honored method is great at getting rid of most bacteria and dirt, I would advise you to start looking for another water source. Works like a charm for a day or two, but wouldn’t bet my kidneys on it for anything longer than that.

Materials needed

  • Empty plastic bottled (I’ve tried it on an old Coca-Cola bottle).
  • Canteen.
  • Survival knife.
  • A handful of pebbles.
  • A handful of sand.
  • Charcoal
  • Water carrier (cup, mug or anything to store the purified water).
  • A clean piece of cloth or a bandage.

Making a charcoal-based water purification filter

Step 1. Gather all your materials. You can use a piece of charcoal from your campfire. Still, seeing that some necks of the woods are filled with tourist, there’s a slight chance of stumbling upon an extinguished fire pit, thus sparing you the trouble of starting a fire.

Step 2. Use your survival knife to cut the bottom of your plastic bottle. Don’t discard the keep.

Step 3. With the cap still on, put a couple of pebbles inside the bottle.

Step 4. Use the pommel of your knife to stuff the peddles.

Step 5. Add a layer of sand. Again, use the back end of your knife to make sure everything’s neat and tidy.

Step 6. Add the piece of cloth or bandage and arrange it.

Step 7. Toss in your charcoal. You may have to smash it in order to fit inside the bottle.

Step 8. Add another piece of cloth or bandage.

Step 9. Add more sand.

Step 10. Put some pebbles on top, and you’re all set to go.

More on the makeshift water filtration system

See how simple that was? Congrats on your first charcoal-based water filtration system. However, there’s one more thing you’ll need to do – test it. Do bear in mind that although the system’s great at removing most of the dirt, slime, and bacteria from the water, it won’t get rid of everything. So, in order to test your charcoal filter, fill your canteen with water from a puddle or other water source. Be careful to avoid picking up too much dirt or other things floating in the water.

 

Put an empty water carrier underneath your water purification system and begin pouring water from the canteen. Don’t fret or pout if the water inside the carrier is still dirty. It takes about three or four attempts to get clear water. Just keep trying. The results will certainly speak for themselves – not like you got any other choice.

Design-wise, it’s very important not to forget about the cloth pieces. Apart from charcoal, they also play a key role in the whole water purification system. What happens if you add a single layer or forget about them? You end up with charcoal-black water, and that’s a major turn off.

Careful when choosing the pebbles and sand. If possible, remove as much of the dirt and dust from them before sticking them inside your bottle. As far as the sand part is concerned, if you cannot find any, you can also replace the sand layers with more cloth and pebbles.

For the best possible results, I would 2-liter plastic bottles. You should also consider attaching some sort of handle near the open end to make the filtration device easier to hold. If you want to add an extra layer of filtration, cut a small hole in the plastic cap and fill the inside with a thin piece of bandage or cloth. You may have to wait a while longer for all the water to drain in the carrier, but at least it’s a bit cleaner.

Again, this water filtration method is designed for short-term use, not for the long-run. If you’re still lost, try to look around for other water sources. For instance, some tree holes contain a fair amount of water, but you’ll need to whip up some sort of siphoning system (that’s why I included a small tube in my B.O.B). You can always crush the stems of fleshy plants for extra water.

One more thing – choosing the right pieces of charcoal. Sure, all charcoal is the same, but for this to work, you will need to scavenge two intact pieces. You will end up with zilch and a lot of dirty water if you use crushed charcoal. Ideally, you should at least keep one or two pieces of charcoal inside your tinder box, but you can also make some by starting a fire.

That’s about it on how to make an efficient charcoal-based water filtration system. It’s a very basic rig, but it gets the job in a shit hits the fan situation. Do you think my design needs some improvement? If you feel like something’s missing, don’t be a stranger and hit the comment section. Would also like to hear your thoughts on other ways to purify water in the field.

See also the video below that shows you how the charcoal works in purifying the water:

Fortunately for us, there’s plenty of ways to make that unpalatable water safer to drink, and not all of them rely on water purification tablets or sterilisation bottles.

Where would we be today without mouthwash? Probably brushing our teeth several times per day in order to get rid of all those food pieces. Wouldn’t call it a marvel a technology, but mouthwash does have its uses and, some of them, go way beyond oral hygiene.

And because I was thinking the other day about reasons to stockpile even more mouthwash than usual, I ended up burning the midnight oil to see what that stuff’s good for apart from, well, using it to wash your mouth. Of course, I won’t bother you with tall tales about guys using mouthwash and mumbo-jumbo to summon otherworldly beings, but I did discover some very interesting facts about this stuff.

Did you know that there was a time when FDA was seriously considering blackballing mouthwash on account of a freak study that linked this substance to oral cancer? Of course, it was later proven that the study was a bogus and that the only severe reaction mouthwash can cause is the so-called black tongue – basically, the tongue grows tired of shedding dead skin cells which end up sitting there, is not pretty.

The black color is the result of a chemical reaction between an oxidizer commonly found in mouthwash and the dead skin cells. No reason for alarm, as it is not life-threating (just use a brush with soft bristles to scrape your tongue or chew some gum).

Anyway, back to the topic du jour – mouthwash in survival. As many common household items, mouthwash can also be used during an SHTF situation. Here are my choices in alternative uses of mouthwash.

Antiseptic

Let’s start by stating the obvious – since mouthwash was designed to kill bacteria responsible for tooth decay and bad breath, it’s safe to assume that it has strong antibacterial properties. If you don’t have anything else on hand, you can always pour a bit of mouthwash on small scrapes and nicks. Word of caution though – this stuff’s going to sting like hell.

Have you ever tried to disinfect a minor wound with medicinal alcohol? It stings even worse than that. Don’t forget to wash with clean water and flush the area with a saline solution – mouthwash contains other substances that really don’t belong inside the wound.

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Washy-washy the toothbrush

As I’ve said countless of times, oral hygiene’s very important, no matter how shitty the situation is. If you ever find yourself stranded in the field, it may be possible to sterilize your toothbrush with a little bit of mouthwash. In fact, it’s quite advisable to do so before putting that thing in your mouth, especially if you’ve been on the road all day.

If you want to make sure that toothbrush’s germ-free, I would advise soaking it in mouthwash – grab a zip-lock bag or small airtight container, put the toothbrush inside, pour a little mouthwash, seal, and stir.

No more stinky feet

Yeah, I know that this not qualify as an SHTF situation, but try sleeping in a closed tent after a day of walking, hiking, running or whatever. In case you don’t have any soap nearby, just drizzle some mouthwash on those mutton chops, rinse with water, and dry yourself with a towel. Yes, you’ll have less mouthwash, but at least you’ll get a good night’s sleep.

Itchiness and Accidental Poisoning

There’s nothing more thrilling than the feeling of tiptoeing through poison ivy or nettles. Don’t fret, don’t whine, and, most importantly, stop scratching. Put a bit of mouthwash on the sting, and you’ll be up on your feet in no time. Just be sure you use an alcohol-based solution – the other kind won’t be of any use to you in this situation.

Ensuring that your cooking stuff is germ-free

One thing hikers and backpackers fail to observe are keeping their food utensils clean. Yes, I know no one will be in the mood for washing plates and cutlery after a hearty meal, but this would mean extending an invitation to all kind of nasty germs.

Now, if you don’t have anything on hand to sterilize your plates, and that includes clean water, you can always use a bit of mouthwash. Shake the bottle for some foam – it will be easier to remove grease and anything sticking to the plate.

Makes body stink go away

Because no good deed should go unpunished, the result of pushing your body beyond its limits is a nasty smell. From where I stand, there are two options – either you wait until you find a source of water to take a bath or do something before the smell curls your toes.

If you have nothing else in your B.O.B, use a tiny amount of mouthwash to wash those stinky body parts. Works great for the armpits, chest, and legs, but I wouldn’t try it elsewhere.

No hand sanitizer? Not a problem.

Hygiene’s important but it becomes vital in a shit hits the fan situation. Apart from the fact that most of the environments you’ll be traversing are riddled with all manner of germs that would like nothing more than to take a bit out of you, your hands will be in permanent contact with icky stuff. I don’t know if your B.O.B contains soap or not, but it should at least have a small bottle of hand sanitizer.

In the event you run out of the stuff, use some mouthwash to sterilize your hands. Might not be as powerful as a regular hand sanitizer, but at least your hands are clean enough to handle food or tend a wound. I don’t judge.

And so, we come to the end of yet another entertaining piece of how everyday items can save our lives in a potentially life-threatening situation. Mouthwash is indeed a good thing to have around the home, regardless if you’re a hygiene freak or not. Just to be safe, you should throw in a couple of small mouthwash bottles in your B.O.B. Missed anything? Drop a line or two in the comment section and let me know.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Where would we be today without mouthwash? Probably brushing our teeth several times per day in order to get rid of all those food pieces. Wouldn’t call it a marvel

Honey! I think I shrunk the…toilet paper stockpile. Don’t like it? Try this one for size: an empty toilet paper roll by any other name would smell as sweet. Welcome, weary traveler, to yet another kick-ass presentation on how common household items can save your life, “can” is the leitmotif of this here article.

Yup, you’ve guessed it – today I’m going to talk to you about the afterlife of TP rolls. You know those carton cylinders we used to stole as kids from the trash to make “spyglasses”? Well, believe it or not, even though they’re the ghost of TP past, they can still be of some use to us. Luckily, most of those purposes revolve around our favorite topic which is survival.

So, without further ado or a-pun, here are 7 clever ways to use empty TP rolls in SHTF situations.

  1. Keeping your important docs safe, sound, and dry

In any shit hits the fan situation, there’ll be a lot of running, climbing, digging, and falling. Clothes and footwear can be washed and hung up to dry; even most electronics have some sort of waterproofing. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about important documents such as driver’s license, photo ID, house deed or other things you may be carrying in your B.O.B. One easy way to make sure your precious docs don’t get totaled by water is to place them inside an empty TP roll.

Use some plastic food wrap or tin foil to seal both ends, and you’ve got yourself a weatherproof doc pouch. Well, it’s more of a roll rather than a pouch, but you get it. You can use the same trick to keep other things dry like headphones, lighters, matches or whatever.

  1. Hunting and trapping very small game

I know the perspective of gutting a small and innocent critter sounds horrific, but in an SHTF situation, you won’t have much of choice. If you’re hunting and trapping skills aren’t good enough as to allow you to create deadfall pits or body-gripping snares, you may be able to craft a small and very efficient one using an empty TP roll, some glue or double-sided tape, and something sweet.

Apply some double-sided tape to one of the openings and place the bait on the open end. Works great for small critters such as field mice. When Jerry sees the morsel, he’ll charge the tube to grab it. Once he enters the tube and takes the bait; he’ll try to get out the other end. As the double-sided tape is transparent, he won’t suspect a thing.  As for the killing and gutting part, I’ll leave that one up to you.

  1. Making a fishing box

Remember the part where I’ve told you that every heavy-duty B.O.B should contain some sort of fishing kit? Well, if you don’t plan on spending too much money on portable fishing kits, here’s how to make your own using an empty roll of TP. First of all, you will need to waterproof your container. For this, you will need some resin. Use a brush and coat the entire roll.  You will need to apply at least three layers of resin. Allow it to dry before proceeding to the next step.

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Now, secure one end of the roll using a plastic or metal cap (go see your local thrift store for those). Apply some epoxy before putting on the cap. Now add a similar cap on the other end.

Don’t use epoxy because this will be the opening. Assemble your fishing kit: hooks, line, weights, small blade, flotation device, and place them inside the toilet roll. If you want to make the fishing kit look even more awesome, you can wrap it in paracord and add a small karabiner to the screwable cap (stop laughing). Enjoy!

  1. Voicing your concerns

In an SHTF situation, you may not be able to use your gadgets to make the rescuers aware of your presence. Although your B.O.B should contain at least one type of signaling device, like a whistle, signaling gun, flares or all three of them, it may possible to use an empty toilet paper tube to amply your screams for help. Yes, I know it’s sounds something a child may do, but every little bit helps. Remember that there are times when salvation comes not from intricate life-saving gadgets, but from a simple and silly thing like a TP roll.

  1. Gimme fuel, gimme fire

As you know, nothing’s more soothing than watching those dancing flames in the night. No matter how shitty things get, you can always rely on a campfire to make you regain your composure. In case you’ve lost your tinder box or have nothing else on hand to start a fire with, you can always use a TP roll as tinder.

  1. Prescription glass protection case

As a person who needs to wear glasses around the clock, I haven’t had much use for protective cases. Still, in a situation that call for protection, you can always place your prescription glasses or sunglasses inside an empty TP roll.

  1. Keeping your cords together

There’s nothing more frustrating than opening your bug out bag and seeing all those cords tangles. Even worse is the fact that you’ll have to spend hours on end to untangle them. Sure, that’s not a problem when you’re at home, but you won’t have the luxury of time during a potentially life-threatening situation.

A simple way of keeping your cords together and prevent tangling is to make a small crease on the side of a TP roll and to tuck the cord inside. Draw one end of the cord through this crease, and that’s it. You’ll never have to untangle another paracord again. You can also do the same with power cables and strings. Remember the golden rule: if it looks stupid, but it works, then it’s not stupid!

That’s it for my ways to repurpose TP rolls. Feel that something’s missing from the list. Hit the comments section and let me know.


Other self-sufficiency and preparedness solutions recommended for you:

The Lost Ways (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any medical crisis situation)

Backyard Liberty (Liberal’s hidden agenda: more than just your guns…)

Alive After the Fall (Build yourself the only unlimited water source you’ll ever need)

The Lost ways II (4 Important Forgotten Skills used by our Ancestors that can help you in any crisis)

The Patriot Privacy Kit (Secure your privacy in just 10 simple steps)

Honey! I think I shrunk the…toilet paper stockpile. Don’t like it? Try this one for size: an empty toilet paper roll by any other name would smell as sweet. Welcome,

When travelling, working from a vehicle or in a hostile environment it makes sense to keep all your important and essential equipment in a bug out bag. From a tactical point of view, if you are attacked, ambushed or involved in an emergency situation and have to evacuate you will want to have any confidential information, emergency and survival equipment with you.

You never want to leave your essential equipment in an unattended vehicle, hotel room or non-secure location. For example, if the vehicle is stolen you lose your kit, which could be embarrassing to say the least especially where weapons and confidential information is concerned.

Contents

What you carry in your bug out bag will vary greatly depending where you are and what you are doing. For example, what you need in an urban environment will be different from what you could need in a very rural environment. What I have listed here is just a guide to what you may need, you need to keep things real and not include gear that you will never use, remember if things go wrong and you have to run you don’t want a bag weighing 100 lbs. on your back.

What you need in an urban environment will be different from what you could need in a very rural environment.

Bug out bag equipment (Basic)

  • A decent bag that is easy to carry, preferably a day sack or something that can be carried on you back so your hands are left free.
  • All equipment should be in individual water proof bags or containers. This is to keep everything dry, organized and clean.
  • Good maps and street plans of the area and a compass.
  • Any confidential information such as orders, codes, designated routes, operational procedures etc.
  • Radio/communications equipment, chargers and spare batteries.
  • A good first aid kit.
  • A good flash light and spare batteries.
  • Lighter or matches
  • Personal water filter
  • A bag of coins for parking meters and pay phones.
  • A camera, for taking photos of anything suspicious or that you think needs recording.
  • Water proofed note pad and selection of pens.

Bug out bag equipment: Potential threat environment

  • Radio scanner can be used to scan the emergency services radio frequencies; this can provide you with an early warning of potential problems or criminal/terrorist incidents in your area. In some areas, there are restrictions on the use scanners, always check.
  • Spot light can be used at night to shine in the face and blind the drive of a threat vehicles which is following/chasing you etc.
  • Smoke discharges, military style some grenades are illegal to possess in most places. What are legal though are the smoke distress signals that are carried on yachts and maritime vessels. These can be bought at most boat shops and are not that expensive, they usually can discharge about a minuets worth of red smoke. Smoke can be used to provide cover if you are ambushed or need to evacuate on foot. In addition, it can be used to cause a distraction in say an urban environment so you can evacuate the area.
  • Weapons, in some areas you cannot carry weapons on your person but can carry them in a secure case, the case can go in your bag! Where there may be a need for a long gun such as a shotgun or assault rifle and these cannot be carried openly they can go into a car bag. Of course, you can carry spare ammunition.

Food and drink

Depending on where you are and the length of your journey you may want to carry some form of food and drink with you

  • Drink, it’s always handy to have a thermos flask of coffee or tea available for moral reasons if nothing else. With drinks and liquids, you must insure they do not spill or leak over documents and equipment. Highly caffeinated and sugary coffee or sports drinks can be included in your car bag for emergencies, these can give you an energy boost when you need it and can help you to stay awake when you’re tired.
  • Food, if you are carrying food as with liquids you need to insure they do not spill or leak over documents and equipment. If you take a sandwich or other perishable food with you make sure you do not leave them in the car bag for any extended length of time and they go bad. It is also good protocol if sharing a vehicle with others not to carry strong smelling food; it might not smell good to everyone. Emergence foods that can be carried include chocolate bars, nuts, raisins etc. These will give you energy, are compact and have a long shelf life.

Remember if you use any emergency supplies replace them. This only a guide to what you may want to carry with you. We are not going to get into wilderness survival and navigation techniques as that is another subject, which if your operating in you should have at least a basic knowledge of.

When travelling, working from a vehicle or in a hostile environment it makes sense to keep all your important and essential equipment in a bug out bag. From a tactical