MCCULLOUGH: Bug-eyed over bugging out
It could also be a compass, a GPS system (which, in some emergency situations, may not operate), or some other method of figuring out where you are. Water is life. You have to have water to survive for any length of time. Because water is so heavy and you require so much of it, however, its impractical to carry your full water requirement with you. Rather, your kit should have a means to carry water that you can replenish periodically from found supplies (a canteen, for example) and a means of purifying water (chemical tablets, a metal cup in which to boil water, or a filter bottle). Remember, it isnt enough to be able to transport water.
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(Thats Nuclear, Biological, Chemical to the woefully unprepared.) Also, potassium iodide tablets are a must-have to ward off radiation sickness. Radiation detection cards help you decide how many rads youve absorbed from the nuke or dirty bomb. A full-blown Geiger counter is better, but its apparently really expensive to get them calibrated. Lets not forget weapons. You need a tactical combat knife. (I quickly found that adding the word tactical to an item adds many dollars to the price.) You also need a variety of pistols and an assault rifle, all with noise and flash supression, I guess so the zombies dont hear you and home in on your position.
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Gear Review: Maxpedition Bags for Bugging Out
The Maxpedition Falcon II As backpacks go, the Falcon II is not terribly large. It has 1,520 cubic inches of interior space. The relatively compact design is perfect for moving in confined spaces. As there may be an urban component to a good bug-out, you might need to get into and out of a car, or through doors. And a smaller backpack, even when fully loaded, will take up less room while being stored. The Falcon IIs straps are sturdy. The pack has a waist band and chest strap. The webbing is thick, the stitching is strong, and every aspect seems perfectly designed for serious use. Im a bit of a zipper snob, and the Falcon IIs YKK zippers are built to take abuse. The main compartment opens completely, which allows for easy access to all of the contents. The downfall to this design, as many pack makers know, is that any weight in the outside compartments pulls on the big U-shaped zipper. The Falcon II has two straps on each side and a Y-shaped strap that provides a secure fifth connection. These straps take the weight off of the zipper and help to compress the load, which makes the pack much easier to balance. This pack can be synched down to almost nothing. Or, on the opposite side, the PALS straps on the outside of the bag allow for the addition of any number of smaller bags. Maxpedition offers a wide variety of add-ons that will allow for ultimate customization. The Falcon II has an MSRP of $155, but sells for less at many places on line. The Maxpedition Jumbo EDC (Every Day Carry) As for the bag at your side, again Im going with Maxpedition. The Jumbo EDC is very ergonomic. The wide shoulder strap places the bag right on your hip. My favorite feature of the EDC is the slim pocket behind the main compartment. Lined with Velcro, the pocket is the perfect place for a concealed holster. Maxpedition makes a simple strap holster that fits most pistols and revolvers. With this hidden in the pocket, the bag becomes a convenient means of off body carry . This Beretta PX4 in 9mm is the perfect option for a bug-out pistol and fits perfectly in this holster and the back pocket. If I have a bone to pick with the EDC, it would be that the main flap doesnt overlap the edges of the main compartment. Though it closes securely, the flap leaves just enough of a gap along the sides that contents can get wet in a heavy rain. But thats it. Everything else is ideal. I like the EDC so much that it has become my daily carry bag. It keeps me organized. While the Falcon II is a small backpack, the Jumbo EDC is huge. It has an MSRP of $79.99. Not bad for this level of performance. Something to think about I think too many people focus on what goes in the bag and then neglect the bag itself. Ive hiked thousands of miles, literally. I have seen trips ruined by poor equipment. If the bag isnt comfortable, durable and appropriately sized, it may not work. All of your preparations could be useless.
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Bug Out Bags?
The Bugout Bag should be seen as what you have to grab when your vehicle is disabled or out of gas and you have no choice but to leave it. THEN that Bugout bag better have everything in it you need to survive to reach your end destination. With that in mind, I’m going to rush through a few things everyone seems to agree is necessary and then a few things that I have always overlooked or never thought about. The things everyone agrees on: sleeping bag small tarp (I say OR the poncho – don’t see the need for both) very basic first aid kit (bigger one in the vehicle) fire starting material multi-tool (should be on your belt, not in the bag – but preferences vary) fixed blade knife (see note on multi-tool) survival food (MREs or food bars) clean, dry undies and socks water – hydration built into the pack is good flashlight(s) – and spare batteries compass maps as necessary Now, for some of the things that are particular or I’ve left out in the past: Firearms: if you can legally carry them. Then again, if the society goes to hell in a big enough hand-basket, I’m not sure there will be THAT many people who CARE whether or not they’re legally carrying those guns.
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