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Jason Charles giving a Preppers Bug out Bag presentation

Jason Charles giving a Preppers Bug out Bag presentation

 

We had our Preppers meeting (Northern NJ Preparationg group) yesterday.  Jason Charles gave an excellent Bug-Out-Bag discussion.  He brought in plenty of different types of bug out bags to show us, including the huge one he carried in on his back (the tan one in the right foreground of the above picture) and I believe he said it weighed in at 80 pounds!  I was impressed by that one as it was a big pack and had everything you could possibly think of needing, raft included.  He passed out a 10 page handout that included a listing of the essentials of a Bug Out Bag.  I was very impressed on how well Jason is prepared for different situations.   He pointed out that each member of the family should have their own Bug Out Bag including your children.

Jason also showed alternate ways to make a Bug Out Bag and gave out advice on how to make it easier to carry them on your back.  He feels that a 5 or 7 day Bug Out Bag is a much better way to be prepared rather than the tradition 72-hour Bug-Out-Bag that most push for.  Like he pointed out, Hurricane Katrina was a good example of how 72 hours wouldn’t have been enough and showed us all how important it is to be prepared.

Its also important to keep those Bug Out Bags close at hand, like next to the front door and don’t forget to have one in the car and don’t forget a good first aid kit.  And he pointed out the importance of keeping your own bag, don’t share with someone else… what would you do if you became separated?

It was a good meeting yesterday, lots of useful information, and Jason was fielded a lot of questions form the meetup group.  I am going to try to put up a copy of the video that I filmed of Jason’s presentation yesterday.  As soon as I end this post, I’m going to see what’s missing from our Bug Out Bags.

 

Prepper Bug Out Bag presentation by Jason Charles

Prepper Bug Out Bag presentation by Jason Charles

 

 

 

Here is another post that Mike posted on the Northern NJ Preparedness group discussion board (with his permission – Thanks Mike):

 

This is the first post in a series I will write about selecting a retreat/bugout location.

Choosing your retreat/bugout location should not be a quick or easy decision. There are many factors to consider. You need to weigh the pros and cons of each property/location carefully. Some factors will automatically rule out that area as a viable option while others may turn out to be a force multiplier. Keep in mind, the chances of finding an absolutely perfect location is very low. There will almost always be at least one or more negatives that may cause you to want to search for another location.

Let’s start with probably the most obvious factor to consider in your retreat location – geography and climate. What part of the US are you considering? Do you like the hot and dry climate of the southwest or the hot and humid climate of the southeast? Do you thrive in harsh winters or desert climates? Are you partial to the mountains or lowland areas? Personally, I love the winter. I hunt in the snow, go ice fishing often and enjoy skiing and snowboarding, but…..I am not talking about a vacation home. I am talking about a location I will move to and live at in a worse case scenario (ie grid down, civil unrest, etc…). It will not be easy to survive the winters in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California in a grid down situation. Or think about some of the harsh winters we have had in NJ. If you were lucky enough to have a wood burning stove, you would need to have a stockpile of about 9 cords of wood to make it through the winter. A harsher winter climate would almost guarantee smaller populations and less chance of hostile contact. It will also be easier to heat a home or structure than to cool down a home in a survival situation.

In most cases, living in a more mild climate will give you a longer growing season. Growing vegetables and fruit would be a beneficial addition to your diet and would give you the much needed fiber to aid your digestion, vitamins for health and carbohydrates for energy. Ideally, you would want at least a 150 day growing season. This is one option I would not discount for a long term survival situation.

Another important factor to consider in your retreat location is precipitation. Obviously, an area that gets more rain will be better for most crops you plant as opposed to a dry, hot climate. More rain usually means a higher humidity level, though. If you’re worried about comfort level, hot weather accompanied by a humidity level over 80% will be a lot more difficult to deal with than the same temperature in the mountains or high deserts where the humidity levels are generally much lower. Humid climates are also breeding grounds for insects, mold and bacteria. With these things come greater chances for disease, infection and death.

Regardless of the factors I have gone over, I will tell you that I prefer the American southeast (but not a coastal state). For me, the negatives of added humidity are overshadowed by the positives of a mild winter, longer growing season and plentiful water for my own consumption and the watering of crops.

I will continue this discussion of selecting a retreat/bugout location at a later time.

 

Prepper Dog Toy

Pets often get forgotten when it comes to emergencies.  That’s why its so important to prepare ahead.  Making a prepper bug out bag for them is the best thing and keep it next to yours.  Keep 3 days worth of food, water, and don’t forget some treats.  I included some chew toys for my dogs (the three of them have to share a but out bag along with the cat)  I also included food & water dishes that can be stacked on top of each other to allow for room.  I put in the 3 day supply of cat food since my cat is also a prepper (he’s a cool cat).  If any animals need medication keep at lest a 7 day supply of that in the bug out bag.  Nail clippers and tweezers (for those nasty ticks) and I also keep a spare flea comb that I have, also a first aid kit.  Any thing that you use for your animals on a daily or weekly basis should be included.  Don’t forget a can opener if you use canned food.  I have a cat carrier near the bug out bags for quick retrieval.  Also a good idea is to keep spare leashes and collars in the bag.  I also included a small blanket, which isn’t enough for my crew, they will fight over that, but blankets take up a lot of space.  I also keep a spare towel just in case (maybe whoever doesn’t get to use the blanket can fight over that… only kidding).  I have one of those metal twist tie out to twist into the ground to then keep a dog tied up in one spot, that may be going overboard but I had a spare so I threw it in. I also have a dog sweater that my small dog refuses to wear, it’s too embarrassing for her… but you never know if we’re stuck in the cold she might change her mind.

I also put in my dog’s latest shot records, just in case.  Being prepared means covering all bases, some of this might seem extreme to some and to others the norm.  I just don’t want to have to be running around in circles if disaster strikes and I would rather be over prepared then under.  Oh and don’t forget to put emergency numbers in that bag… that of your veterinarian.  I’ve also read to keep a photo of your pet in the bag in case they get lost.  Remember that being in a catastrophic situation brings out the worst in all of us, and your pets are no different.  A pet might bolt away from you, being so frightened, and you might be separated through no fault of your own so a photo might become important in finding a lost pet.  The Red Cross has many good suggestions for pet preparedness in an emergency, and I’m sure there are many more suggestions on their site than I’ve mentioned.

Oh yes, and I haven’t forgotten our cockatiel, Gabby.  Luckily he and his food is right near the bug out bags so he’s all set too.

Every once in a while I go through the scenario of what I would do if disaster strikes… like they said have a plan and be prepared and I consider my pets in that scenario as they are a part of my family also and I am ultimately the one responsible for their well being.  So get your pet bug out bag and let us know what else you’ve included in yours.

Good luck with your prepping.

 

Unless you have a fully stocked, fortified, easily defendable structure to bug out to within a reasonable distance to your current position, you’re in for a world of hurt. If you really think you are going to grab your BOB and relocate on foot to the mountains and live off the land, you’re fooling yourself and ignoring reality.

What kind of training do you have? Have you ever tried doing this before? Have you ever spent extended periods of time exposed to the elements…..negative 0 degree temperatures in the winter or 100+ degrees in the summer? How about getting rained on for days on end and all of your clothes and gear are soaked. What are you going to do? Start a fire with your soggy matches? Where is your food coming from after your three day supply of MRE’s run out. Are you suddenly going to discover your hunter/gatherer primitive skills? The answer is no. You will get hypothermia and possibly die or starve or eat the wrong thing and die horribly.

How about defense/offense? Is making a spear really going to help you when the other guy has a firearm? Is digging a pitfall really going to work or just expend valuable calories from your diet? What do you have to defend yourself? Do you know how to competently use what you have? How much ammo do you have? Can you even carry a reasonable amount of ammo with your food storage, medical gear, cold weather clothing and portable shelter?

Do you really believe your bug out buddies are going to abandon everything they have to come and find you? They won’t. The only person you can truly count on is yourself in a bug out situation.

Would you consider bugging out if you have a family with small children? I hope not for your kid’s sake. At times when you need extreme noise discipline, your young children will be unable to comply.

Even if I lived in NYC instead of a suburb, I believe bugging out might turn out to be a death sentence. NYC will be a lost cause with the amount to people inside it. They will quickly turn on themselves as regular public utilities shut down (electricity will shut off first plunging us into darkness, which will in turn shut down the pumps that create water pressure eliminating drinking water, cooking water and sanitation).

Did you even bother to think about the hundred’s of thousands of folks that think they will also bug out to the country? You will be in competition with them. I guarantee they will not be planning on banding together as opposed to what you think.

 

With permission, as posted by  Mike in our Northern New Jersey Preparedness Group at Meetup.com

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