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First time poster to this website.

I've been lurking for several weeks and found the information here very valuable. This particular part of the forums has been the best reading. You all have convinced me that I need to be a LOT more prepared for emergencies. My wife isn't going to be too happy with me making some investments in bug out/ bug in/ get home gear, but that is a story for another thread.

I figured I will start small and see what happens, when she finally starts asking me about my new "hobby" I will come clean. As others have said, sometimes it is easier to apologize than ask permission. On the other hand, she may be more on-board than I think.. she will jokingly engage in some "what if the zombies came discussions" and she does have some willingness to prepare for the winter, possible ice storms etc. I guess what makes me nervous about her enthusiasm for preparedness is that I have tried to get her to practice with firearms and she just doesn't show any interest. Nor will she even discuss the possibility of carrying a firearm on her person.. but I might be able to convince her to keep a good knife or even pepper spray in her car. Also, she often will say things like "you worry too much about what might happen, I can't live like that." and "you don't really NEED that." The biggest issue is that she has said that if a "bug out" happens, she would refuse to evacuate because we couldn't take our animals. (horses, dogs, cats, chickens.. way too many to take under most circumstances). Downsizing the herd is not an option for her either. If it came down to it, I know I wouldn't leave her behind to save my own butt either. So there probably is lots of opportunity for me to prepare for bugging in, and maybe even "getting home" but bugging out.. well she isn't willing to discuss that option. I may have to prepare for bugging in, and getting home first, and then secretly prep some "bug out packs" and then hope I can convince her if the time ever comes.. Anyways, more on that later..

I really just wanted to introduce myself and start with a few questions that are pertinent to my situation. I think I'm going to start by building my everyday carry/get home/last ditch kit. When that's done, I'll probably work on one for her and just put it in her car and let her know what's in it. These kits will be SMALL. Just the bare necessities, to basically keep me and her alive in a bad situation, assuming it was the only thing we had time to "grab and go." On my wish-list are the following:

fire starter kit (flint kit, not matches)
small flashlight
disposable high visibility poncho
one power bar
multi-tool w/ knife
hand warmer
emergency reflective blanket
small amount of para-cord
signal mirror
a few asprin
a few water purification tablets
a few small drink-powder packets to make the purifcation tabs bearable.
a few band-aids
sewing kit
small fishing kit
small tube of anti-biotic cream
Identification
possibly add pepper spray (hers) or small BB/pellet gun (mine) - I need to check into legality of these in my state before adding them.

I would probably choose the small hand sized pellet gun over a small gun for several reasons... my work requires me to frequently enter into buildings that forbid a concealed carry.. so my bag would be left in my car almost always. I have concerns about ammunition being stored in a hot vehicle.. does anyone know what temperatures are "Safe" for that? Also, if my car was going to get broken into.. I could live with an pellet gun getting stolen..but not a firearm. In a pinch, I may be able to ward off someone from far-away and I could definately use it for small game hunting.. Not the best option, but better than nothing imo.

So onto a few questions to start me off..

If I was going to boil some pond water .. what are my options for a boiling container? Even a small metal can is probably too bulky for the everyday carry.. so what about some heavy duty tinfoil? that would take up next to zero space and weight? On the other hand, if I could justify a small can, it could also be used to drink out of and I could add the water purification tablets. It's just so darn bulky to add to a last ditch kit. Opinions?

Also, how do those power bars hold up under conditions of being in a hot car/freezing car everyday for a year? Are there better options for an emergency energy snack that will hold up to frequent extreme temperatures?

If anyone has any other suggestions for a "must have" please share them! Remember this is going to be my everyday carry in my vehicle, and I want it to be very small, so I could grab and go!

Thanks for any help, and as mentioned above, this forum has been great, a real eye-opener. Thank you all so much.
 

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Hi Newb, and welcome to the forum. It's a great place to hang out.

Boiling pond water. In theory you can boil water in a paper bag (old boyscout trick). Any receptacle will do but just remember that water needs to be boiled VIGOUROUSLY for at least 10 minutes to remove pathogens. However no amount of boiling will remove toxins ie. pesticides, chemical waste, heavy metals. There are special filters on the market for this.

Powerbars. Never even tasted one but I know the regular muesli bars last for years. Any food with high sugar content will keep well. Also, it has been my observation that snack food in my BOB get 'cycled' pretty regularly; especially if you have kids.

Personal note about clearing prep purchases with 'she who must be obeyed', don't go too far on the back foot on this; if you believe in the concept of prepping, that should be enough. My wife is not a keen S&Per however with very few exceptions we've never never lost any money on the things we've purchased (a few dud torches thats all) so she doesn't complain. Also, I say to her that she doesn't have to check with me everytime she buys a new frock, or gizmo for the kitchen so i don't expect to have to check with her when I want to stock up the shelves with more beans and TP.

Prepping doesn't have to cost you a kidney, sensible shopping and keeping away from gimmicky items that you want more than you need (this is mainly guns and electronics and tacticool junk) is the biggest part of it; though I will admit that the fun stuff is expensive.

OEK
 

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I'm a newb too with my first child on the way trying to get my kits ready so more posts here would be useful
Not knowing what you have done or what you are getting ready for I'll start at square one.

IMO, sooner or latter one with have some need. Like ice storms, no power, out of work, etc. So, I'd start with the basics for right were one lives.

Food for at least 3 weeks. Longer is better(personally I like 1 year & growing it). Of course some way to cook it. Doesn't need to be MRE. Just extra food. Also, a large bottle of vitamins. In the Midwest corn & soybeans are the cheapest food. Of course, the baby would need a better diet than an adult. Also, instant potatoes in 50 lbs sacks are cheap.

Water & some way to purify water. I know when Des Moine was flood several years ago, bottled water was hauled in for over 180 miles away.

Shelter. Thinking mostly heat. Maybe some kind of wood heat. Some kind of electrical power is good. Maybe and extra car battery with an inverter. Recharge the battery with to car/truck.

Also, some way of patching broken windows, door etc. Plywood, sheet steel, tarp. Doesn't need to be fancy.
 

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LandShark, and fellow newbs... There have been sooooo many posts about bugout bags and what to put in them that it's just plain pointless to go through it all again. If you do a really quick search you'll see what I mean.

A BOB is a handy thing to have and a bunch of fun to put together but it's not the be-all and end-all of being prepared. I could probably take my wife's shopping bag and pilfer some stuff from the kitchen and laundry and have as good a bug out kit as anything I could spend $500 on. ie. Grab a good carving knife from the knife draw, some matches, a few bin liners, a flash light, some T candles, some bleach and soap and band aids, some biscuits and cereals from the pantry. Grab a pair of pliers and a screw driver from the workshop and a good woolen sweater and a towel and I'd be set for just about anything I'd expect to find happen in the environment where I live. It's a start and it's all probably in your home right now.

I mentioned in an earlier post about the time when we had our new born twin boys. I'd be thinking about your new baby and how you intend to travel with your little bundle of joy if you have to take to the road. That used to keep me awake at night because I knew there was no way I could carry all the gear we'd need as well as two babies. It used to make my back ache just getting them strapped into their car capsules when we went for a drive. The best thing I could think of was keeping them in their car capsules and lugging them around in those. They were made of hard plastic which would protect the babies inside (in case I dropped them or had to sling them over a fence as part of our getaway) and the capsules had a handle to hang on to (which babies do not!). I figured if the wife and I had to walk out of town then we could at least dump our gear in a wheelbarrow and the capsules in the baby stroller and make light work of it. I have since learned that an old golf cart makes a really good tote when you can't use a car.

But getting back to reality... Leaving your home in a crisis is a really dangerous thing to do and should be your very last option. Plan to stay at home for as long as possible. I think there are very few disasters which would force you to leave if you were well prepared. Don't leave your home just because the power fails - have a backup generator and some secondary heating - what's the point of freezing to death in a snow storm when you bug out and find the roads are all blocked.

Naturally there might be instances when evacuation is the only option left but I think things like terrorist dirty bombs and toxic spills are pretty remote possibilities. This is where each individual has to sit down and work out exactly what the local threats are. At this point I would advise forgetting about the zombie books and other 'popular fiction' that gets mentioned from time to time as 'inspirational material'. Stick with common sense observations of what severe weather your area regularly gets, floods, snow storms, cyclone, bush fire, storm surge etc - they are the things I worry about, civil unrest and foreign invasion comes a very distant second.

No lists of what i have in my BOB I'm sorry but I hope this has been of some use anyway,

OEK
 

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Some thoughts based on your questions:

Boiling water:
You mention even a small can as being too large...but you're already carrying a bunch of other stuff, so why not just stuff it all in the can? Then you've got a container and all your items in one place. There are many other alternatives as well...such as digging a small pit, lining it with something waterproof, filling it with water, then dropping hot rocks in. Don't just try this technique though, read up more first as there can be inherent dangers with heating rocks, especially from near a water source.

Power bar longevity:
Do you eat them at other times as well? If so, just occasionally eat your stored one and replace it with something newer. Personally, I keep a few of the civilian version of MREs in my bag as those hold up fairly well for a long time...and before you eat it, you're gonna be pretty hungry!

As others mention, there's a lot of threads on similar topics, but reading decent books on the topic, seeing some of the videos (e.g. the earlier 'Hoods Woods' videos are fun for the whole family) can help with the mindset of survival...which in my opinion is far more important than any gear could possibly be.
 

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The bug out kit I keep in my truck normally consists of the following
3 Mountain House Entrees - freeze dried, normally feed two I'd only eat them once a day - IE 3 days worth of food
Small Campsite cooking kit - includes pot for boiling water, skillet, plate and spoon
Water Purification kit, chemical and filtration
2 Toilet Paper rolls - Preferably one without the big cardboard ring - can be used as kindling to start fire.
2 Waterproof containers holding the following
- Flint/fire starting equipment
- compass
- Chemical Water Purify Tabs
- $40 USD
- topography map of my county, since I can't find a place to laminate the map
- Windup flashlight
Map of my State plus the adjacent states. Could use US atlas, but my maps show a lot more than most US Atlases.
First Aid Kit - in own water proof container
Space Blanket
Poncho
2qt Water Container (water purifier only does 2qt at a time)
Military Surplus Boots / Woodland Camo Clothing


Hell I can't even remember everything that's in it. It's in a black commuter bag I keep under the seat of my truck just in case. I do know that when things bug out I'll be able to find a safe spot using points on my maps, getting to them by foot within 3-6 days is my only problem. However, I've always been a survivalist. Being a Boy scout in my youth always taught me to carry a knife and to do a good deed every day.
 

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Hey welcome to the fold, you freaking SYKO.
Prepers are always looked down on and made fun of right up to the point where what they are preping for happens then they are hero's.
So rule 1 you dont get to be cool till everything else goes to shit :D
Rule 2 your girlfriend is never going to "get it" and if she starts to get a new girl friend that chick is crazy.
Rule D disregard everything I say, for I too am a nut job preper. :devilsidesmile:

OK now on to more serious stuff I am going to pick your list apart and add some home spun practical application to it, this advise comes with this HUGE disclaimer
...... I accually USE my gear and test it in real world environments AKA I go camping alot these are the problems and situations I have had to deal with and are based on nothing but my personal expierences YMMV.......................
and none of this is meant to be inflamitory or seem like Im attacking you just adding my 2 cents

fire starter kit (flint kit, not matches)
-Get some matches and a bic lighter and run a zip tie under the thumb button gives you the ability to accually produce flame without fuel and sometimes thats important.
small flashlight
-Store your batteries outside of the light to prevent corrosion and dont go cheap on a light next to your knife they are the few things that warrent a substantial investment.
disposable high visibility poncho
-Go with a Milspec Pancho with a liner you will thank me later
one power bar
-Pack 3 power bars better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it when it comes to food.
multi-tool w/ knife
-You will want a fixed blade knife and a Multitool and again dont go too cheap I have found Gerber to be good midle of the road stuff
hand warmer
-Good call I kep several of these in my GHB
emergency reflective blanket
-See above statement
small amount of para-cord
-Is a small amount about 100ft?
signal mirror
-I thought I saw a reflective blanket up there? I kid but if you insist get the plastic shatterproof
a few asprin
-asprin and ibuprophin both promote bleeding I would suggest tylenol if you insist on packing an analgesic
a few water purification tablets
-Good to have but should not be your first line for hydration you should have some water packed with you
a few small drink-powder packets to make the purifcation tabs bearable.
-get the gatorade or propel ones they have electrolites in them as well
a few band-aids
-Get a good PFAK being able to organise your first aid stuff is a must
sewing kit
-great Idea
small fishing kit
-OK for a BOB but not really needed in a GHB
small tube of anti-biotic cream
-see above PFAK statement
Identification
 

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Since your sorta new, my 1st advice would be to not tell ANYONE about your preps. 2nd Decide if your gonna bug in, or bug-out. Then Start a 2 week supply of whatcha need. Its alot easier to plan small then go from there.

For instance, I use to tell myself I needed 1K rounds of ammo for every gun I owned. Thats expensive, so I told myself 250 rounds instead, that was easier, after that it wasnt too hard to turn it into 500, then 750 then finally 1k.

Start small. Plan big.
 

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NewbRookie first off :welcome: As for prepping learn ALL you can go to your local Emergency Management Agency [EMA] and or your county EMA office and get all the pamphlets they have. I have been with EMA from 1995 to 2001 so I have been involved with a lot of stuff thru the years Check out several preparedness sites [google is your friend] Another great site is Frugal Squirrel forum register and learn all you can. Good luck and remember NO question is dumb only the unasked ones ;).
 
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