posted on Apr, 22 2013 @ 02:51 PM
First of all, yes, I know there are TONS of BOB threads....this isn't one of them.
This also isn't about going into the woods to survive indefinitely.
This is strictly about getting to a location within 3 days, whether it's your home (and you have a long commute by car) or to some other kind of safe
place/friend's house, etc.
Whether this is for a BOB (Bug Out Bag) or just stuff in your car, this is about things to always have handy, and how to do it even if you are on a
strict budget, like even flipping burgers at Mickey D's..... This also assumes you don't have any kind of harsh weather. If that is the case, your
NEEDED things get added on for that too.
First, it's important to realize the NEEDED things:
WATER - You'll die without it.
FOOD - You'll suffer without it. (for the 3 days)
INFORMATION - You'll waste time and energy without it.
Everything else is gravy, really.
WATER - Some kind of sturdy container that has a lid. Can be as simple as an old small Gatorade bottle, or as good as a metal canteen. For the
latter, Army/Navy stores have actual old surplus of these, often for a good price. The bonus to a metal one, is the ability to boil water in it. Do
NOT use a regular store bought bottled water bottle...these are entirely flimsy, and don't hold up well. Barring this, you can get a metal canteen
cup for less than $10.
I also like to carry a small bottle of Mio water enhancer, for flavoring the water. (WalMart has a store brand one that is about a buck cheaper
Water purification aids. Water tablets (about $5), Water purification straws (as cheap as $11)
Apart from natural water sources (fresh water lakes, rivers), toilet tanks would work (provided the water supply isn't tainted from the SHTF event),
not the bowls, of course. Ponds in the city would be a poor choice. If in a city, better off with the toilet tank idea. Also, check garden hoses.
Often, there is a lot of water still in a hose when the faucet is turned off.
FOOD-If you don't eat, you'll feel miserable and have less energy to make your trek. Any type of cereal bar/breakfast bar that keeps for a
long time, is a good idea. These can be relatively cheap (for the calories and nutrients provided), but of course, not as satisfying as a cooked meal.
Still, this is about just getting someplace, not eating like a king.
Cooking. If you want to cook, you need heat or fire (which also adds the need for a way to make fire or light Sterno). A cheap and easy solution is
getting a little Sterno camping, folding stove. These are about $10 and then a couple bucks for a Sterno can. You can cook a can of food over it,
right in the can, easily enough, but it will take longer than it does on a normal stove. Still, canned food is cheap enough. Also, there are lots of
options that can be eaten cold, even though not as tasty. Still though, cheap. Also, Sterno isn't very visible, and not a bunch of smoke, so won't
immediately give you away like a full fire will. If you do go with cans, get a military can opener. They are cheap, and small, and easy to carry, and
you can get them at stores selling camping gear, or online for just a couple of bucks.
Edible plants if you can identify them (see the info section), and most insects. Sure, I know many are squeamish about eating bugs, but eh...just
avoid the brightly colored ones. Of course, you can always try abandoned stores, etc. but probably more risk than it is worth. Most people aren't
hunters, but this is always an option too, though for 3 days, really?
INFORMATION- Perhaps the most important. This actually breaks down into different areas.
Your Route- A paper map, kept inside a ziploc bag. Should be of the area you'll need to traverse to get to your destination. Mark out
different routes, so you have some alternates. Identify key areas on your map (such as where you may be able to forage certain resources)...along each
route. I kind of have a color code myself, so it isn't so obvious to others.
Survival Info-Always charge your cell phone. If you have a smart phone, download some survival books, especially any with info and pics (color)
of edible plants for your area. Sure, cell service may be down, but if a book is saved on your phone, you should have access to the info, at least for
a couple of days with a full charge, without using other apps.
Phone Numbers/Addresses/Other Info-Today, we usually have all of this in our phones, but without power, we simply don't know. An old-fashioned
black book can be invaluable. Land line phones may still work, and addresses can help you find a location on a map. Other info like phone numbers for
insurance, account numbers (coded), etc. can be good too, and help in case it isn't a real SHTF scenario, but more like a temporary one.
GRAVY-The above is the absolute essential list. Now, here are some suggested additions.
DUCT TAPE - There are more uses for this than I can count. From bandaging wounds, to securing a prisoner, helping make a shelter, etc., lots of uses
for one item.
BANDANA - Google on all the things you can do with a bandana, just so many uses...
PONCHO - even a dollar store one will keep the rain off, but I recommend spending a few more bucks on a more durable one. Rain can suck, especially if
it keeps coming down, and this cheap investiment can keep you pretty dry.
BACKPACK - You can get a cheap backpack at WalMart or other stores for less than $20 (sometimes less than $10). We're only talking 3 days here, so
doesn't have to be a big investment.
FIRST AID - Most small travel kits are good, and less than $10. Or, you can piece together your own cheap enough, at a dollar store. Concentrate on
different size band-aids, some anti-bacterial spray or ointment, and some butterfly bandages, and a tube of super glue gel (bonds skin instantly, so
with some butterfly bandages, can be almost as good as stitches).
FIRE - Water/Wind Proof Matches, can get these cheap enough at any place that sells camping gear. Even a cheap lighter is good to have too. Put some
dryer lint in a ziploc bag, and you'll have tinder too.
KNIFE - You'll find a myriad of uses for a knife. You can get a cheap knife, but expect it will eventually crap out. Still, we only need it for 3
days, so.... This is really though, the one thing I'll say you get what you pay for. I personally like to have a Swiss Army style one (cheap
knockoffs are around $5-$10) and a good survival knife (like a hunting or combat knife). Try and get a "full tang" for the latter (where the blade
extends into the handle).
SHELTER - I really didn't mention this as a need, because this depends on where you are...and we are only talking about 3 days. Take your season and
climate into consideration here. In most cases, a cheap shiny survival blanket works fine, and is just a few bucks (under $10).
CASH - Try and have some spare cash on you, at least $20 and in assorted bills. I also like to have a roll of quarters (in addition to change for
things that still may work, a roll makes a good solid fist when held). Cash may still work for something..depending on the SHTF event.
WEAPON - A firearm isn't really a "budget" item, but if you can find a used gun for a cheap price, all the better...especially if you can buy it
cash from a private seller that you may trust. That's really a whole other thread, but throwing it out there.