Posts Tagged ‘preparedness’

My GHB

November 7, 2008

My walking pic of the day-

Fox scat

Fox scat

I believe this to be fox scat (crap).  The fox diligently placed it on top of a rock so everyone in the woods could see it and smell it.  Fox like to do this with their scat.  Notice the seeds in it.  It looks like this fox has been eating berries.

I keep a bag in my car to provide stuff that I may need if I end up having to walk home.  I’m usually no more than 20 miles from home and usually not too far from my car.   I don’t anticipate having to spend more then one night away from home.  Probably not even.  So my Get Home Bag is designed around these specific needs: walk no more then 20 miles and only having to spend 1-3 nights away from home.  I also have a fair amount of stuff in my car that isn’t shown.  That’s another post.

The first thing you need to do in the event of having to run home is to make yourself safe.  After that, you need to unpack everything you have with you, your pockets and the contents of your Get Home Bag (“GHB”).  Take an inventory.  Figure out what you have and the multiple uses that each item has.  Slow down.  Bad decisions are made in haste.

This is my get home bag.

Get Home Bag

Get Home Bag

As you can see it’s a waterproof SealLine 20 liter bag.  I have other bags in my car that I can put it into in case I want to go incognito.  Carrying the SealLine bag through urban or suburban areas would attract unneeded attention.  I usually have a black messenger bag with me that I could stuff the SealLine bag into if I needed to.

The contents:

GHB1

GHB1

Here we have a survival blanket that has all kinds of survival tips written right on it.  Even though you know everything, when you are under stress you forget or can’t recall stuff.  It’s good to have everything written down.  Next are a few rubber gloves, a dust mask and toilet paper in a zip loc bag.

GHB 2

GHB2

Here are a few large plastic bags with a rubber band around them.  The yellow thing is a reflective survival sleeping bag.    A cheesy tube tent and cheesy rain poncho.  I keep them packed in their plastic bags because it’s good to have bags in the brush.

GHB3

GHB3

Here is a NuWick candle in a can.  Packed inside of the can are the wicks and a lousy pack of matches.  NuWick should supply waterproof matches with its product.  NuWick knows it’s a survival item so they shouldn’t get chintzy with the matches.   The thing in the zip loc bag is an alcohol lamp/stove.  The black thing is a small pot/large cup to heat stuff up with.  The handles collapse around the pot.  The thing with the yellow handle and black rod is a flint fire starter.   The shiny silver thing is an old fashioned waterproof match holder packed with strike anywheres and a piece of course sandpaper for striking.

GHB4

GHB4

Upper left corner are two sets of plastic cutlery wrapped in plastic wrap.  Inside the zip loc bag (I love bags.) is a survival saw.  You can’t depend on these things, but it’s light, cheap and small so why not pack it?  Don’t depend on them though.  If you think that you will HAVE to use a saw on your way home get a better one.  You can rip the rings off the end of these survival saws with a teeny bit of pressure.  Bottom center is a small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer.  Bottom left corner is a Platypus bag wrapped with a rubber band.  It’s basically a collapsible canteen.  The Platypus bags can be boiled, frozen and rolled up very small.  These things are great.

GHB5

GHB5

The silver thing in the black case is a small radio.  It picks up AM/FM/TV and shortwave.  It’s digitally tuned.  I think I got 2 for $20.  When I’m walking home I want to be able to listen to the news.  The other thing is a headlamp.

GHB6

GHB6

Here is a shank of parachute cord.  It can be stripped down and the inside strands used for whatever.  In the middle is a shank of poly rope.  At the bottom is a little roll of duct tape.

GHB7

GHB7

At the top is a Swedish Mora knife with a sheath that has a nice belt clip.  The knife is very sharp.  It was only $9 or so from Smoky Mountain Knife Works.  A Gillette disposable razor and a cheap slingshot.  Also, floating around the bottom of my GHB are probably about 50 ball bearings.

GHB8

GHB8

This is a Survival Straw.  These things are great.  I can drink out of a puddle if need be.  You can get cheaper ones, but they are probably just filters.  In which case you may also have to treat the water with bleach, iodine or other chemicals.  This Survival Straw has some sort of silver in it that also kills the bugs and viruses.  This is the kind to get.  http://www.thestrawoflife.com/.  You can find it cheaper so look around.  Once again, save the bag it comes in and the directions.

GHB8

GHB8

This is the food I carry in my GHB.  On the left is a bag of raisins and brown sugar.  It’s like the ingredients for hooch in the can.  On the right is more food double zip locked.

GHB9

GHB9

The zip lock food bag unpacked.  At the top two packs of Swiss Miss hot cocoa, a pack of tuna, the black round thing is a small glass jar of honey, two gold and black packets of Earl Grey tea, four or five hard candies, a pack of Top Ramen, four things of Cup a Soup, the things running vertically are three packs of soup bouillon.

GHB10

GHB10

This is a one liter Nalgene type bottle.  It came packed with first aid supplies.  I got it for about $10.  Of course I had to supplement it with more stuff.

The bottle unpacked is below:

GHB11

GHB11

A pair of tweezers, a cheap compass, a bag with wet naps, an orange cheap whistle, a small roll of first aid tape and a red Bic lighter.

GHB11

GHB12

On the left in the little baggie are first aid type wipes, antibiotic, burn and stingeze.  At the top the little blue pills are an anti-histamine, to the right is a pack of Advil, in the middle anti-biotic Neosporin, a bunch of brass safety pins and at the bottom is a little shank of poly string.

GHB13

GHB13

Here we have a bag with assorted bandages and gauze pads, a pair of scissors, in the center is a disposable razor knife.  You know the kind it has like ten blades that snap off.  The bottom left is a small zip loc bag rolled up and secured with a rubber band.

GHB14

GHB14

At the top left is a triangle bandage in a bag.  The top right is a small pack of tissues.  Bottom left is a bag of anti-septic towelettes.  The bottom right is a small container of aspirin and Immodium.  You have to know not to take aspirin if bleeding is a risk, but to take aspirin in the event of stroke or heart attack.  if you didn’t know this you are weak in the first aid area and need to bone up.  Not trying to be critical.  I just am by nature.

GHB15

GHB15

At the top left are eight Micropur water purifying tablets.  The top right are some disposable brush ups to keep your teeth clean and get rid of foul tastes or just make you feel more human.  The bottom right are 4.0 Ethilon sutures.  The bottom right is a first aid guide.  I’m pretty good with first aid, but under stress I may not be thinking right so it helps to be able to read.  Keep directions.  An example, you may be suffering from hypothermia and not recognize it because one of the symptoms of hypothermia is confusion.  You start reading your little first aid guide and realize that confusion is a sign of hypothermia.  Light then dawns on marble head and you recognize that you need to take corrective action.

GHB16

GHB16

The last items in the one liter bottle is a pack of straight needles and a spool of black thread.

You get that pics GHB11-GHB16 are the contents of the red one liter bottle.

You need to occasionally unpack everything so you know what you have and also to check the batteries.  The whole thing weighs about ten pounds and measures 18″ * 9″ * 8″.

Cost = Priceless.

Mens sarne incorporo sarno.

Never leave home without

November 6, 2008

I thought it would be cool to show folks what I usually have when I leave home.

In the car I have my Get Home Bag (“GHB”), a rainjacket, a pair of hiking boots in a zip loc bag, a few flashlights and a couple of lighters.

watch

watch

This is just a standard, quartz Citizens watch.  The main thing for me with a watch is that it needs to be waterproof.  I also like a watch that shows the date.  You can also use an analog watch as a compass, by pointing the hour hand at the sun, halfway between the sun and the 12 on the watch is your south coordinate.  For better directions, http://www.onebag.com/popups/wcompass.html.

Wallet cellphone

Wallet cellphone

Self-explanatory, wallet & cellphone.  Boring, huh?  I have a pay as you go cellphone.  I don’t like locking into some “plan” where you have to pay $50 or $100 a month.  Sounds like a plan to go bankrupt to me.  I don’t give my number out to a lot of people.  I usually use it for ordering pizza or calling when I’m running late.

spitfire-photon

spitfire-photon

All this stuff clips on the biner that is my key chain.  The Spitfire is a brand of mace.  I like this kind because it’s a natural aim and it sprays out a cone.  You can also replace the mace canister with a compressed air canister for training or if you spray a lot of bad guys you can buy replacement canisters of the mace.  As you can see it’s not much bigger than a disposable lighter.  Buy some for you wife, girlfriend, mother, sister, brother, boss, neighbors and friends.

If you  carry a handgun it’s important to also have mace.  I know people are going to rag on me for this, but….you just can’t whip out your firearm and shoot someone.   I guarantee that you will be second guessed after the fact.  God forbid you ever find yourself in the situation where you feel you feel you are threatened with deadly force.  First, you need to try and remove yourself from the situation.  Next, you need to use escalating force.  Mace is one step in the escalating force rubric.

The other black item on the keychain is a Photon light.  These thigns are great.  They throw a lot of light, last a long time and are about the size of three quarters stacked up.  I use it to help find the key hole in my car or at home at night.  Once again give one to everyone you care about. They ain’t cheap though.

cree-double-a

cree-double-a

This is a Cree double-A flashlight.  One AA lithium battery in this thing and it throws a ton of light and lasts a very long time.  You can see how small it is compared to a Bic pen.

I always try to have a pen with me too.

marbles-compass

marbles-compass

I don’t always carry this, but I like it.  It’s a brass marble’s compass.  When I’m wandering in the woods off trails I like to keep a general idea of my direction of travel.  This compass also has a pin on it so I can pin it onto my jacket so all I have to do is look down at it.  It’s usually kept in my car.

swiss-army-camper

swiss-army-camper

This knife is clipped to the biner with my keys, mace and Photon light.  This is a genuine Swiss Army Knife.  I’m not one for brand names, but the impersonators aren’t as good as the genuine Swiss Army Victorinox.  The Victorinox is made better and holds a great edge.  It’s worth the extra $5-$10 to get a better knife that you can depend on.  I like the Camper.  The picture shows what I think are the most important tools for me.  I need a knife with a wood saw.  I use it a lot.  Whether I’m pruning rose bushes out front or practicing my bushcraft the knife is indispensable.  I also need a corkscrew.  We like wine.  I don’t like pushing the cork down into the wine bottle.  There aren’t too many substitutes for a corkscrew when you need one.  I also find the tweezers and toothpick indispensable.  I personally think the Victorinox tweezers are some of the best tweezers going.  I lost track of how many thorns, prickers and slivers of glass I’ve pulled with these tweezers.

s&w-model-60-speedloaders

s&w-model-60-speedloaders

This is my S&W Model 60 with the .38 shells unloaded, two speedloaders and the holster.  The holster is a Bianchi inside the waistband holster.  When clipped on the gun and holster present an extremely small profile.  It literally disappears.  The speedloaders are HKS brand.  I generally carry Federal .38 + P hollowpoints.  The Model 60 also takes .357 ammo.  It only holds five shots.  I know I’ll catch grief for it, but I really like the Model 60.  It fits my hand like Goldilocks (just right), it tactilely pleasing, aims fine and makes it easy to collect the brass at the range.   I like the .38 ammo, because living in a populated area the .357 ammo is just too likely to penetrate and create collateral damage.  At the range I usually use plain old .38 ammo to practice.  Don’t worry, I also use self-defense loads to make sure I can depend on them.  All of you semi-loving folks, when using the Model 60 I’ve never had a round stove pipe, not feed correctly or drop a mag.  I like wheelguns.  The other thing is that I shoot slower and am more deliberative then I am with a semi.

Daily pics from my walks-

Big old fir

Big old hemlock

This is a big old AMERICAN hemlock.  I took this picture because of the strip running all the way down it.  This tree was struck by lightening and the lightening ran all the way down the tree tearing off the bark.  Indians made teas from the leaves of the AMERICAN hemlock, the outer bark and inner bark depending on the ailment.  Tea leave will cure scurvy.  If you live in Europe you need to be careful about not confusing the AMERICAN HEMLOCK with the European hemlock.    The EUROPEAN hemlock is poisonous as the Baird can attest to.  THANKS TO JIM RAWLES FOR POINTING THIS OUT TO ME.

Milkweed

Milkweed

This is Milkweed.  The tassels remind me of down.  You could make a fine pillow or mattress from this stuff.  In the background you can see dozens of other milkweeds in this particular field.  The root tea can be used as a diuretic, expectorant and for arthritis and asthma.  You can eat the young shoots, top leaves, young seed pods and young stems.  You need to boil them a few times thought to get rid of the sticky white latex.   Add them to boiling water boil for minute or so and drain.  Boil more water and add them to the boiling water.  Boil for minute or so and drain.  Boil more water and add them to the boiling water.  Do 3-5 times.  Don’t add them to cold water and then bring to boil.  Only add the plant to already boiling water.