Bugging out or just something unexpected

Survive the night!

Survive the night!The winter of 2014-2015 in the United States should have gotten your attention to the need for preparedness. People getting stuck on the highways, in their homes in Boston and other areas with snow measured by the foot, icy conditions in the South and the associated flooding with the melting of all this precipitation. Even if you weren’t one of the folks directly affected by these storms, you could learn a lesson from their struggles.

A bug out bag, or preparedness kit depending on what you want to call it, should be in every car. If you often have children with you, then having one of these kits with you should be a no-brainer to ensure they are as safe as possible. Survival instructor and host of The Weather Channel and RVR Media’s hit survival show Fat Guys in the WoodsCreek Stewart has put together a checklist for your bug out kit. (If you want to watch the episode I was featured on, you can watch it here) Granted this checklist is intended for a long term survival situation, and not for the short term weather or natural disaster situation encountered by many. However, this does get you thinking about all the things you might need long term. I’m going to talk about more short term situations for the rest of this article.

We all know about sand or kitty litter for traction in snowy/icy conditions. We all know to carry a blanket or other warmth based piece of gear to ensure we don’t freeze. However, did you know that water helps keep you warm by keeping your body energized and capable of generating body heat? Does your bug out bag contain a solar charger or small back up battery for your cell phone or tablet? Do you have something high in calories to eat like a protein bar or something equally useful? All of these things matter in a short term situation. You should also keep a couple of pairs of “doctor’s gloves” or rubber gloves handy, one to protect your hands if you have to so something and two, because the rubber helps keep your body heat in and keeps yours hands somewhat warmer. In the event of being stranded without heat, a small candle (such as a tea light) can produce enough heat in a small environment to ward off extreme cold, and if you even put a ceramic flower pot over it (like you’ll see here) you can make a very efficient space heater.

The  bottom line here is be prepared. Having a little bit of something is far better than having nothing when you need it. Plan ahead, and every now and again review your kit. Make sure the things in there still do the job you expect them to, as well as upgrade, add or replace items as you deem worthy. In all survival situations, the better prepared, the less the impact of the situation. Also, ensure that you mentally prepare for something.  Think about how you’d act in a situation, before you have to act. That way you’re able to overcome the shock of the initial circumstance and focus on doing what you need to.

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