Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Putting Together An Emergency Bag

Otherwise known as Rescue Bag, I am putting together my final emergency bag. This will be my go-to bag in events such as fire, tornado, earthquake, winter storm, or some other unplanned disaster. Many people see the words bug-out-bag and automatically reflect on crazed extremist touting war and the end of the world speeches.

I don't think like that. That stuff depresses me quicker than anything and it's a lonely black hole to climb out of. Yes, the world around us is changing. But it has been changing; like a constant evolving organism. Things aren't the same as 10, 20, 40, 100 years ago (people were talking about TEOTWAWKI even then)- should we expect it to stay the same? No. My mom reminded me that when my father and her were wanting to have another child (aka ME) people would approach them in disbelief stating, "How could you even consider bringing a child into this world in a time like this and it's only going to get worse!" Times were rough but my mom didn't want to live in the what-ifs. If my parents had listened to all that end-of-the-world talk I would never have been born!

In terms of politics, finances, governmental proceedings...well, things do look pretty dang meek but besides being a bit more actively involved in decisions I have control over (even in tiny amounts) I just try to become more and more independent of others in order be on the outer rings of this ripple.

How do I become more independent you may ask? Here's a few "hobbies" I have: canning, making homemade meals starting from the basic ingredients (hand ground wheat, vegetable garden, honey, etc), sewing, making my own housecleaning/beauty products, etc. I make it a point to stay fit and healthy for many reasons but this too is one. If I remain fit and healthy that means: less trips to the doctor for ailments, little to no medication to sustain my life, and increased strength, endurance, and flexibility. Because of my profession I have knowledge to take care of my family medically from allergies, to minor cuts, to minor surgeries and traumas. This means I don't have to rely on misinformation clustered over the internet or an unnecessary trip the doctor's to mend minor ailments.

I also try to live simply. I do have a few basic luxury items but overall I choose to not indulge in too many items that serve no purpose. I'm the type of girl that loves a new piece of rugged camping equipment or running gear over a Louis Vuitton or Dooney & Bourke handbag.  Living simply also means that if I have to leave my home for some reason or other (or my home becomes destroyed) I have less "stuff" to weed through to figure out what to keep and what to leave. "Stuff" that gets destroyed is just "stuff"- irreplaceable things such as my husband, my dog and my cat are priorities.

So prepping, to me, really means bringing things back to the basics. Back to the "olden and golden days of my grandmother". Pies in the window, potluck cookouts with friends, and neighbors offering their handmade goods to each other for services paid. Preparing for disasters coincides with forming a more independent life.

Hearing my parents discuss their preparations for the incoming hurricane on the east coast made me proud. My mother told me she pulled out both of their rescue bags and went through them to check batteries, replace outdated food, and organize or add equipment. I feel I've finally rubbed a little of myself and my prepping lifestyle onto them!

I had put together a few Rescue Bags over the last few years but I realized I don't have a full bag with all my needs should I not be able to return (for a few days? weeks? ever?) to my home. I have an emergency bag, a medical bag, food, and a 7 gallon water tank in my car should I ever get stranded away from home, but I need to put together something more substantial for longer term.

I am trying to fit all items into my largest backpack for speed and comfort. My largest backpack is designed to hold a sleep system, hydration bladder, while still having plenty of room for extras. It also has a specially molded waist belt and suspension system to reduce fatigue on my shoulders while still bearing a solid amount of weight. So far I have a few categories my items fit into:
Medical
Sleep System
Navigation
Nutrition/Hydration
Clothing
Odds-N-Ends

Then I have a category of things to bring IF roads are manageable and I can drive a vehicle to a safe place. Finally I have a category of items to pack for the pets in an emergency.





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