Saturday, August 27, 2011

Product Review: Shelf Reliance Six Grain Pancake Mix

The Market for Freeze Dried Food and Long Term Food Storage has increased in large scale during the last years. One of the companies that have expanded the most is Shelf Reliance, the blog sponsor Provisions America, LLC is an independent consultant working for this company.

The Six Grain Pancake Mix
When I first tested the ShelfReliance Six Grain Pancake Mix I was a little skeptical; I followed the directions on the Can and the consistency of the mix was quite dense. The First Pancake was a disaster. After adding some more water to get a smoother pancake mix the pancakes came up just fine. It took a little adjustment but the end result was very good and the taste of the pancakes just fine. All cans come with white plastic lids that can be used to reseal a can after you opened it. An unopened can has a shelf life of ten years, but after you open a can the content should be used within a year. Inside the cans there is a small oxygen absorber that should be removed after opening the can.

• Easy to make; just add water and some cooking oil
• Good Taste
• Easy to rotate for anyone that likes pancakes
• Easy to use format with #10 Cans and plastic lids for every can so they can be sealed after use. #10 metal cans also provide resistance against Bugs, Rats and other potential hazards.
• 10 Year Shelf Life

• It may take a little practice before you get the pancakes right; add a little more water than for a better result when making your pancakes

One #10 Can costs 10.29 dollars, A case of Six #10 Cans cost 58.29 dollars. A Can contains 1,814kg of Pancake mix that make 46 servings of 140 calories each for 6640 calories in total.

The main advantage with dehydrate and frieze dried products is that they have a long to very long shelf life, you often just have to add water when cooking making it a practical alternative for emergencies when you just might have a camping stove for preparing food. Shelf Reliance has expended their inventory so that they can provide everything from Grains to Vegetables, Fruits, Meats and Vegetables, Complete Entrees, Deserts and basic staples like salt, sugar and baking soda.

For all Food Storage Eating What You Store and Storing What You Eat is critical. Do not start to purchase food that you don’t like or normally don’t eat. Find product that you like and products that you want to be a part of your everyday diet.

For More Advise on Food Storage
Food, Starvation and Famine – Crisis Preparedness and Survival

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bugging Out As A Group - Examples of Setups

Bug Out Bags is often discussed as it is only a tool for one person. For most people it is however a much more likely that they would not choose to evacuate alone, but rather with their family, friends or partner. This article is based upon the article Bugging Out As a Group and will give some practical examples of what type of equipment that can practical to choose for a two, three and four man group. The setups are also designed to provide examples of equipment ranging from ultra light to very comprehensive.

Setup 1: Shared Equipment for Two Persons – Ultra Light
Setup 2: Shared Equipment for Three Persons – Medium Weight
Setup 3: Shared Equipment for Four Persons - Comprehensive

Setup 1: Shared Equipment for Two Persons
Total Weight: 2,925kg
Weight for each Person: 1,46kg + Individual Bug Out Bag

Shelter 1,25kg
[ ] Terra Nova Laser Competition 2 Tent 1250g

Water Purification 0.076kg
[ ] Aquamira Frontier Pro 56g
[ ] 24 Aquamira Water Purifications Tablets 20g

Stove and Cooking 1,063kg
[ ] Primus ETA Express Gas Stove 418g
[ ] 420g Gas Tube 645g

First Aid 0.224kg
[ ] Adventure Medical Kits Ultra Lightweight Watertight .7 224g

Navigation 0,137kg
[ ] Topographical Map 100g
[ ] Cammenga Wrist Tritium Compass 37g

Other Tools 0,175kg
[ ] BACHO Laplander Folding Saw 175g

Summary Setup 1
In this setup much of the equipment is chosen to be as light as possible. Ultra Light Tents and Clothing is very comfortable and easy to carry; the downside is that these solutions often can be rather expensive and the thin fabrics used is often relatively weak and may fail you during extreme weather condition and they often have a relatively short life span. This Setup has an ultra light 2 person tent from Terra Nova, a light weight water purification filter and a light weight First Aid Kit. This setup also contain a light weight Gas Stove and a light weight Folding Saw.

Setup 2: Shared Equipment for Three Persons
Total Weight: 6,767kg
Weight for each Person: 2,255kg + Individual Bug Out Bag

Shelter 2,863kg
[ ] Marmot Limelight 3P 2863g

Water Purification 0,23kg
[ ] Katadyn Mini Water Purification Filter 210g
[ ] 24 Aquamira Water Purification Tablets 20g

Stove and Cooking 1,905kg
[ ] Trangia 27-5 UL Stove 745g
[ ] Trangia Safety Bottle 1 liter and 1 liter of Alcohol (160g+1000g) 1160g

First Aid 0,454kg
[ ] Adventure Medical Kits – Adventure First Aid 2.0 454g

Navigation 0,167kg
[ ] Topographical Map 100g
[ ] Silva Ranger CL 515 Compass 67g

Tools 1,148kg
[ ] ESEE Junglas 924g
[ ] SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger 148g
[ ] UST StarFlash Signal Mirror 62g
[ ] Windstorm Whistle 14g

Summary Setup 2
This Setup contains a tent that will withstand most weather and climates.

A Trangia Stoves is an excellent cooking solution for small groups that incorporated cooking vessels and frying pan, a windshield and burner with a relatively low weight. The stoves stand firm on the ground and it does not require the same type of careful handle as a gas stove that is often quite high a unstable. The major disadvantage is that they stoves take more time to heat water and food than a gas or multi fuel stove; even you can get a multi fuel burner instead of the alcohol burner that you get when you buy the stove; getting the best of two worlds. The Katadyn Mini Water Purification Filter in combination with water purification tablets can be used to provide safe drinking water.

The setup also contains the ESEE Junglas that can be of great use when constructing shelters or splitting fire wood and three great tools for signaling for help; the SPOT satellite GPS Messenger, the Starflash Mirror from UST and the Windstorm Whistle.

Setup 3: Shared Equipment for Four Persons
Total Weight: 14kg
Weight for each Person: 3,5kg + Individual Bug Out Bag

Shelter 5,4kg
[ ] Hilleberg Keron 4 GT Tent 5400g

Water Purification 0,7kg
[ ] Katadyn Pocket Water Purification Filter 550g
[ ] 48 Aquamira Water Purification Tablets 40g
[ ] Sea To Summit 20L Folding Bucket 110g

Stove and Cooking 4,424kg
[ ] MSR XGK EX Expedition Multi-Fuel Stove 374g
[ ] 2 MSR 887ml Fuel Bottles with Kerosene 2090g
[ ] MSR Flex 4 Cookware System 1666g
[ ] MSR Alpine Kitchen Set 294g

First Aid 1,21kg
[ ] Lifesystems Mountain Leader Pro 1210g

Navigation 0,417kg
[ ] Garmin GPSMAP 62st (260g including two AA batteries)
[ ] Recta DP-10 Compass 57g
[ ] Topographical Map 100g

Other Tools 1,832kg
[ ] Trail Blazer Take-Down Buck Saw 18 532g
[ ] Gränsfors Scandinavian Forest Axe 1200g

Summary Setup 3
The fourth setup is the total opposite of Setup 1. This is a maximum approach to a setup that can be worth considering if you are building a setup that has to be able to cope with an arctic climate or if you are going on a trip or if you are planning on establishing a base camp and stay in the same location for a long period of time. This type of setup can also be an interesting alternative if the group will be using vehicles for transportation.

Hilleberg makes some of the best tents available on the market; they are however quite expensive. The tent in this setup can be used during any condition no matter if you are facing a warm summer day or a snow blizzard during the winter season. The fabrics used in 4 season tents are generally more sturdy and has a longer life span compared to the fabrics used in ultra light tents and 3 season tents; they are however often heavier. This tent also has an extra large vestibule that can be good when storing much gear or cooking.

The whole solution for cooking comes from MSR and includes a Multi Fuel Stove, two fuel bottles, a large set of pans including plates and cups that could also be used to prepare food over an open fire and some basic kitchen ware.

The setup also contains a Trail Blazer Saw; this is a collapsible bow saw that can be used bring down quite large trees, in combination with the small forest axe from Gränsfors these tools can make it much easier to collect fire wood, build shelters and other types of tasks you might have to perform in the wild. The setup also contains a GPS from Garmin, a comprehensive first aid kit, one of the best water purification filters on the market and a folding bucket to collect water.

Tents and Shelter
As shelters I would in general recommend tents – especially for groups. A tent provides a great shelter if the weather is bad and when several people sleep inside a tent the warmth of the people inside can raise the temperature inside the tent considerably compared to the temperature outside. A tent can also keep bugs, snakes and other unpleasant elements out to give you a better nights rest. Tents can also provide a sheltered place to provide shelter if you have to treat an injured person in order to avoid exposure. If you have much gear or planning to stay in the same area for a long time while hiking or backpacking you should consider getting a tent with some extra space. It can be a hard time for two very large individuals to fit inside a small 2 man tent, try to check out the tent your planning to get in a store so you get a real life impression of both quality and size before you make up your mind. Make sure that everyone knows how to raise the tent and train how to do this together.

Other alternatives for shelter can be different types of tarps or Hennessy Hammocks. The important thing is that you find a solution that can cope with the climate and seasonal variations of your setting.

If the members of a Group would get separated it can be good if the individual members have some means of shielding themselves from the elements; multipurpose shelters like the Bivanorak (580g) from Hilleberg, Fjellduk X-TREME (775g) from Helsport and the Bivi-Poncho (600g) from Exped can be interesting alternatives. There are also emergency shelters designed to be used by several people like the Boothy 2 (350g) from Lifesystems designed for two persons, the Boothy 4-6 Survival Shelter (550g) designed to be used by 4-6 persons and the Windsack (550g) from Hilleberg designed to be used by three persons.

Season matters when it comes to stoves. Light Weight Gas Stoves work excellent during the summer but does not work as well during winter and cold weather. Some new Gas Stoves like the Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator Stove (73g) and the Jetboil SOL Ti Premium Cooking System (240g) are however designed to minimize this problem. Gas Stoves with heat exchangers id generally slightly more fuel efficient. There are also slightly larger portable Gas Stoves like the Primus EtaPower EF. The Primus Omnifuel is probably the only stove on the market right now that can use both gas and liquid fuel.

Multi Fuel Stoves has many advantages; they generate much heat, they can be used during winter settings and they can use many types of fuel; something that can be a critical advantage during a survival situation when you have to make do with what is available. But there are many parts that can break; maintenance is critical and it can be worth considering bringing along spare parts. Examples of Stoves that can be worth checking out is the MSR XGK EX, The Soto Muka Stove, Optimus Nova Plus and Primus Omnifuel.

Trangia Stoves are the classic Swedish Alcohol Stoves that has been available on the market for a very long time. The main advantage of these stoves are that they comes with everything you need in one package; you get the burner; wind shield, pans, frying pan, handles and everything else you need with a reasonable price. The main disadvantage is that the stoves don’t generate as much heat as Gas and Multi Fuel Stoves. There is also one person Army Stoves that use the same type of burners available as military surplus that can be worth looking into if you are on a budget.

Other Equipment
There is much equipment that can worth bringing along if you are travelling in a group. What type of equipment that can be worth considering depends on your setting, climate and what skills that you know. If you have doctor or trained medical professional in the Group it can be a good idea to bring along more comprehensive medical equipment etc. Tools that can help you to minimize the effort needed to build shelters and equipment designed to help you signal for help can be very valuable.

When it comes to other equipment it can be a great advantage if you take what the other people bring along when building individual setups as well. Four a Group of Four Persons I would rather recommend the group to bring along a large Fixed Blade Knife, Medium sized Fixed Blade Knife, Multi Tool and a Swiss Army Knife instead of bring along four identical  Survival Knives. The same goes when choosing Light Sources and Equipment to Start Fires. I would however recommend that you try to standardize what types of batteries that the Group uses for electronic equipment if possible.

Also see:
Bugging Out as a Group
Bug Out Guide and Checklist
Building The Right Bug Out Bag For You
The Bug Out Plan

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bug Out Bags for Women

The Survivalist is often envisioned being a man. But many of those how are Survivalist or Preppers are women, blogs like The Survival Mom, Survival Goddess and Letters From an Urban Trench are just three examples of this. Both men and women has the same basic need when it comes to Survival so the other articles about Bug Out Bags (BOB:s) are just as relevant to women as for men. The purpose of this article is mainly to show discuss the small difference that exists between women and men and show some of the products that are especially designed for women.

It’s up to you
First of all: A Bug Out Bag is a tool. It provides you with some equipment that can make it easier to deal with Emergencies and Disasters. But You matter more than Your Bug Out Bag and Your Equipment. A Bug Out Bag is not very useful if you lack the skills and experience to use the items that you carry in it or the strength and physical fitness required to carry it.

Health and Physical Fitness
Women in general have less muscle mass and a higher percentage of fat on their bodies compared to men. Some experts make the general assessment that men should not carry more than one third of their body weight and women no more than one forth of their body weight. Women in general have a harder time to build as much muscles as men, this does not however mean that women cannot improve their strength to a high degree; you can improve the load that you can carry and the distance you can carry it drastically with the right training and diet. I suggest that you try to find forms of training that both increase your strength and stamina. There are also large individual differences; there are women that can carry heavier packs for longer distances than most men could. Women in general needs less calories per day than a man; but this is also affected by other factors like age, metabolism, muscle mass and weight.

Skills and Experience
When it comes to skills and experiences only your own interests and desire to learn new skills is the only limit. Women can learn the same skills and get the same experiences as any man could. This is as I view it the most critical aspect of your efforts. Your Pack and Equipment can get lost or may not be with you when you need them. Your skills and experience is always with you. Here knowing your strengths and weaknesses is also critical; if you can’t walk ten miles without a pack you won’t be able to walk 20 with a heavy pack.

Equipment designed for Women
Basically all survival equipment works just as well for as for men. There are some pieces of equipment that are designed for women. One example is the Fällkniven WM-1 is a Compact Fixed Blade Survival Knife. The WM-1 is designed to be used by women and people with small hands. Some other companies have simply taken products that they already make and changed the color of the handles to pink in order to market them to women. Just like changing the color of cover of computer or iPhone it does not change the performance of the product, even if a knife with a pink handle is much easier to find in the terrain if you would drop it compared to a knife with a black “tactical” handle. Some examples of knives that are available with pink handles or blades are the Benchmade Mini Griptilian, SOG Flash 1 Pink, Kershaw Scallion Pink, Spyderco Native Pink and the ESEE Izula.

Merino wool is one of the best materials that you have when it comes to survival and crisis situations. It does not cool your body like cotton when it gets wet, it dries quickly, it’s resistant to odors and it does not melt and burn like base layers made from synthetic materials. The only disadvantage as I see it is that products made from merino wool are relatively expensive. Some companies like Icebreaker and Smartwool actually has more products available for women than men, and they also have products that has a design that makes them a good alternative to carry on an everyday basis and not just for Bug Out Bags. In short: You do not have to sacrifice comfort for looks, something that is not as easy if one is a man and wants to buy products from these companies. You can find all types of products made from merino wool like tops, socks, base layers, underwear, dresses and caps.

Your clothing must be adjusted to you particular climate, terrain, setting and season. A set of clothing that works well for an Urban Desert setting does not work very well in an Arctic Wilderness setting. Shell Clothing provides a good shield against wind, rain and snow and also “breathes”. If you have a shell jacket and shell pants you can often make do without rain clothing. There are however extreme situations when rain clothing may be better than shell clothing. Shell clothing lacks insulation so you must get base layers and mid layers as insulation. This concept makes it possible to vary your clothing according to season, weather and temperature by simply changing how many layer you use. A poncho can be good but it can be good to get a pair of light weight rain trousers as a complement.

Your footwear is a critical aspect if you have to make an evacuation on foot or if you have to walk long distances. Get the best hiking boots that you can afford and high quality merino wool socks in combination with a pair of thicker wool socks. Breaking in the boots is also critical; otherwise you risk getting blisters after walking only a short distance.

Suggestion for Clothing:
[ ] Shell Jacket
[ ] Heavy Duty Pants or Shell Pants
[ ] Gloves
[ ] Scarf, Shemag of Buff
[ ] Cap or Hat
[ ] Short Sleeve Base layer
[ ] Mid layer
[ ] Thin Merino Wool Hiking Socks
[ ] Thick Wool Socks
[ ] Hiking Boots

Bug Out Bag for Women: Suggestion For a Setup
Total Weight Bug Out Bag: 9,723kg (21,4 pounds)

On Person 0.067kg
[ ] Watch: Suunto Lumi 64g
[ ] Vargo Titanium Emergency Whistle 3g

Backpack 2,72kg
[ ] Osprey W Xenon 70 2540g
[ ] Exped Drysacks Medium (8 liters) and Large (13 liters) (52g+66g) 118g

Shelter and Clothing 2,78kg
[ ] Buff Slim Fit 30g
[ ] Haglöfs Ozo Q Pullover Jacket 155g
[ ] Haglöfs LIM Q Pants 265g
[ ] 2 Pairs of Icebreaker W Hike Lite Merino Wool Socks
[ ] Exped Downmat 7 S 780g
[ ] Sleeping Bag: Mountain Hardware W Wave III 1550g

Light 0,04kg
[ ] 4Sevens Preon 1 (17g+11,5g) 29g
[ ] 1 Extra AAA Battery 11,5g

Fire 0,037kg
[ ] Fire Steel: Light My Fire Mini and Striker 14g
[ ] BIC Lighter 14g
[ ] 2 Pieces of WetFire Tinder (4,5g+4,5g) 9g

Survival Knives 0,135kg
[ ] Fällkniven WM-1 Fixed Blade Knife 70g
[ ] Victorinox Climber Swiss Army Knife 85g

Pocket Survival Kit 0,151kg
[ ] Adventure Medical Kits SOL Scout 151g

Water 2,278kg
[ ] Camelbak Antidote Reservoir 2 liter (2000g+200g) 2,2kg
[ ] Water Purification Filter: Camelbak Fresh Reservoir Filter 28g
[ ] Water Purification Tablets: Lifesystems Chlorine Dioxide Tablets 50g

Food 0,904kg
[ ] 6 Mountain House Freeze Dried Rations (108g per ration) 648
[ ] 3 Maxim Femiline Protein Bar (40g per bar) 120g
[ ] Honey Stinger Energy Chew (50g per bag) 100g
[ ] Vargo Titanium ULV Spoon / Fork / Knife Set 36g

Hygiene and First Aid 0,431kg
[ ] Pierrot Oral Care Set 154g
[ ] Sea To Summit Light Toiletry Bag Small 80g
[ ] Metolius Hand Repair Balm 14g
[ ] Sea To Summit Body Wash 90g
[ ] MSR Medium Packtowl Personal Medium 50g
[ ] GoGirl 43g

Navigation and Other Equipment 0,247kg
[ ] Cammenga Phosphorescent Wrist Compass 37g
[ ] Topographical Map 100g
[ ] Fisher Space Pen Bullet 20g
[ ] Rite-In-The-Rain Notebook 4” x 6” 90g
[ ] Passport
[ ] Immunization Card
[ ] Cash (Some bills and coins)

Summary Suggestion for a Setup
The total weight of this setup land just under 10 kilograms. Both the sleeping bag and sleeping mattress are designed to withstand rather low temperatures. Other equipment like the Shell Jacket, Shell Pants, Flashlight and the Fire Starter Kit is chosen to minimize weight. Combining the Fällkniven WM-1 and the Victorinox Climber you get the strength and reliability of fixed blade full tang knife in combination with the versatility of a Swiss Army Knife. The Pocket Survival Kit from SOL contains some critical items that you can keep on your person at all times in case you would be separated from your pack. The Hygiene Kit contains some basic items and could be complemented with other necessities, The GoGirl is an urination tool for women so that they can go anywhere they like, cutting a soda bottle just under the neck of the bottle can work as a low budget version.

This suggestion, like all other suggestions for setups is simply intended to give you some ideas and inspirations when building your own Bug Out Bag. There are an almost unlimited amount of items on the market to choose from; choose items that fits your needs and budget.

If you are planning to Bug Out together with others as a Group you will also have to find solutions for shelter and cooking for the Group. If you are just building a Bug Out Bag for one person you might want to consider a light weight tent like the Hilleberg Akto (1600g) or the Terra Nova Laser Ultra 1 (581g). A Hennesy Hammock could be another alternative. Multi Purpose Shelters like the Fjellduk from Helsport (775g) and Bivanorak from Hilleberg (520g) can be used both as bivi-bags, tarps and ponchos.

If you are looking for a light weight stove I would recommend that you get a compact gas stove like the Soto OD-1R Micro Regulator Stove (78g), MSR Pocket Rocket (86g) or Optimus Crux Lite (72g) in combination with a wind shield, light weight cooking vessels and a 100g or 220g gas tube. A Gas Stove is very easy to use and regulate the temperature, but for winter settings a multi fuel stove works better. Other equipment that can be good to include is an extra pair of footwear, GPS, a SPOT for signaling for help, trekking poles or a compact radio.

How Long Must You Be Able To Support Yourself?
A Bug Out Bag is often referred to as 72 hour kit being designed for limited amount of time designed to get you from point A to point B. If a Disaster would strike that would force you to leave your Home there is no way to know how long you will have to support yourself. It can be a question of only a few hours if you have the access to vehicle and the roads are clear, but it can also be a question of an extended period of time. Large scale disasters like an Earthquake, Hurricane or Tsunami may destroy infrastructure and the roads can be blocked by thousands of cars when whole cities are evacuated. Having an extra ID-Card / Passport, Insurance Information and your Immunization Card may also be critical during travel in the aftermath of a disaster.

A Bug Out Bag may end up being used for other tasks than this; purifying water in your Home or cooking food if the electrical grid would go down, search and rescue or other tasks. It is fully possible to build a Light Weight Bug Out Bag with much less equipment, a Bug Out Bag for an Urban Setting or Building a Bug Out Bag on a Budget.

The Bug Out Bag is only a small part of being prepared of Disasters or Crisis Situation. The Most important aspect of preparedness is your own knowledge, health and physical fitness, skills and experience and your will to survive. If you want to be prepared for an evacuation planning ahead and making a Bug Out Plan is also a good start. Choose products that you want and need for your everyday life, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities; you should use your equipment; not just keep in a pack just in case. This way you can enjoy the investment you made; learn the skills you need and find out what works and what doesn’t work for you.

Also see:
Building The Right Bug Out Bag For You
The Bug Out Plan
Bug Out Guide and Checklist
Urban Bug Out Bags

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Urban Bug Out Bags

More and more people live in cities; today around half of the world’s population live in cities. Within the Survivalist and Prepper community a rural setting is often described as the ideal location for dealing with a Crisis or survival Situation. But for many an Urban setting is the situation that they will have to cope with during a disaster and this article will discuss some of the aspects when building a Bug Out Bag for an Urban environment.

Many modern large cities often don’t produce all the gods that the inhabitants use and the local area around the cities are not sufficient for producing basic goods like food for the inhabitants and it must be imported from other regions or countries. But this is not a unique situation for cities; many rural settings today the inhabitants are also heavily dependent on gods to be transported large distances like medication, tools, food, electronics, fuel and other necessities. However, large cities often have other advantages like
• More specialized medical care available
• More specialized skills and professions
• More resources to deal with emergencies
• More work opportunities

An Urban environment can present different challenges than one would encounter in a wilderness setting. For this reason an Urban setting may require another set of skills, knowledge and equipment in order to deal with emergencies, disasters and survival situations. The high population density of a city can result in a large amount of wounded and killed people if natural or man-made disaster would take place. Some examples of this are the chemical release in Bhopal, India, Hurricane Katrina and The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

How Far May You Have To Go?
If you are building a Bug Out Bag for an Urban setting I would recommend that you try to build a kit and plan to deal with three types of potential Situations:

1.) An Evacuation from the City
This is a relatively uncommon type of disaster but can become necessary in scenarios like a Hurricane or a large scale disaster in a chemical or nuclear plant. In this case the kit should supply you with the basic equipment and supplies to accomplish this task.

2.) An Evacuation from your Home to another location within the City
Relatively few disasters require entire cities to be evacuated. A more common form of event is that smaller areas within cities may have to be evacuated; a typical example is fires in buildings that can completely destroy a house or smaller area. In this case you will not have to leave the city but simply find alternative housing like a motel, hotel or a room at a friend or family member.

3.) As a Tool for Search and Rescue
If a disaster would take place you do not personally have to be among the wounded and directly affected but other might be like friends, family members or complete strangers. In this case it’s good if your Bug Out Bag can provide some tools for these tasks.

The Personal Aspect of Preparedness
The Bug Out Bag is only a small part of being prepared for an Evacuation. Your personal Knowledge, Health and Physical Fitness and Skills and Experience is also critical aspects. Having a Bug Out Plan for what to do is also an important aspect.

Know your terrain and setting is very important. Where can you find hospitals, police departments, fire departments, hostels and hotels? What areas are normally dafe to travel? Are there areas where it is not safe to travel? What areas are mostly affected by crime and other problems? What risks and hazards do you face in your setting? A Risk Assessment can be a tool for structuring and thinking about threats from a more organized perspective. What type of climate and seasonal variation do you face? What kind of landmarks can be seen in and where are they located? What types of transportation is available like trains, air-ports, ports, subways and highways?

Health and Physical Fitness
An emergency may prove to be a difficult situation to deal with physically. In a worst case scenario you may have to travel long or short distances by foot carrying the equipment that you plan on taking with you, you may have to run in order to get away from threats or lift heavy object like wounded people or debris.

Your Physical Fitness may most importantly increase your health and let you live without diseases like diabetes or heart disease. Working out on a regular basis also reduces stress and increases your feeling of wellbeing. Find an activity that fits you and try to work out at least three times per week. Also make sure to visit a doctor for regular health checks and a dentist to fix any problems you may have with your teeth. Immunization may also reduce the chance that you may contract infections like hepatitis, cholera or tetanus in the aftermath of a disaster.

Skills and Experience
The wilderness presents other type of challenges compared to city. You still have the same basic needs like shelter, water and food but the means to provide these needs will most likely be very different. First Aid is a skill that is useful in order to deal with everything from small cuts to traffic accidents or large scale disaster, this like all other skills must be practiced on regular basis if you want to be able to use them properly when it really matters, having a first aid kit in your pack that you don’t know how to use is not enough. If you live in a city where several languages are spoken I would recommend that you consider learning the most common ones as best you can. All cities have their own special traditions and customs, street smart and having a deeper understanding of the environment where you live is also connected to experience and is not just simply about knowledge.

Basic Equipment and Every Day Carry
Most people carry at least some equipment on their person. When you build your Bug Out Bag you should take this in consideration so that the equipment you carry on your person complements the equipment that you choose to get for your BOB.

Cell Phone
A Cell Phone can be a valuable tool for communication in an Urban Setting. A Smartphone like the iPhone can be an even more useful tool that can help you get access to e-mail, the internet, find your position with a GPS and store digital copies of important documents. If you keep important documents on your phone remember to protect the information using a password and consider encryption of sensitive files. A Cell Phone can be an invaluable tool but during large scale disasters it’s not uncommon that the grid gets overloaded and it can become very difficult or even impossible to reach others. The runtime of Smartphone’s is often relatively low so it can be a good idea to include an extra battery and charger in your BOB. Other alternatives can be a solar charger like the Solio Classic.

In your wallet you carry many of the tools necessary for everyday life like Cash (Bills and Coins), a Credit or Debit Card, ID Card, Driver License, Permits, Passport, Immunization Card, Medical Insurance Card etc. There are also special tool kits that you can add to your wallet like credit card sized tools from Victorinox and Tool Logic. If you live in an area where robbery is common it can be good not to carry all your cash in one location and even get a fake wallet with an old id-card and some small bills and coins. There are also concealed solutions like money belts and ankle wallets that may be worth considering.

Survival Knives
A knife is a tool that can be invaluable in many situations. In cities the legal aspect is very important. What types of knives that is allowed varies from country to country and sometimes also between regions or states. What types of knives is legal to carry in your setting and where it is legal to carry? This is important aspects that you should take into consideration when picking a knife for your Bug Out Bag and Every Day Carry (EDC). Personally I would recommend a Swiss Army Knife or Multi-Tool for EDC since they have many uses both for emergencies but also in other situations. If the legal restrictions where you live are very strict you might consider getting a strap cuter like the Gerber Strap Cutter or Benchmade Houdini or carrying a compact scissor.

Your clothing provides your shield against the elements and it’s important that your clothing can withstand the temperatures and climate where you live. I recommend that you choose footwear that is comfortable, have some resistance to water and that you can run in for medium distances if you would have to. For Every Day Carry base layers, t-shirts and socks made from merino wool can give you clothing that provides performance even if they get wet. Many companies that make shell clothing also make functional clothing with a design more suitable for Urban use if want to get functional clothing for Every Day use. Do not only pick your clothing for function, blending in your environment is also an important aspect. Being dresses as a hiker in an urban setting may look a little odd.

Setup 1: Example of an Urban Bug Out Bag
Total Weight Backpack: 7,578kg (16,7 pounds)
Total Weight ankle Wallet: 0,053kg

Backpack 1,87kg
[ ] Kifaru X-Ray 1870g

Shelter and Clothing 0,34kg
[ ] Surviva Jak 60g
[ ] TurtleSkin Search Gloves 280g

Light 0,101kg
[ ] Sunwayman M10A Flashlight (52g+23g) 75g
[ ] 2 Extra AAA Batteries (23g+23g) 46g

Fire 0,139kg
[ ] Zippo Blue Lighter 80g
[ ] Zippo Lighter Pouch 59g

Survival Knife 0,15kg
[ ] Fällkniven Police Rescue Knife (PRK) 150g

Pocket Survival Kit 0,12kg
[ ] ESEE Izula Gear Wallet E&E 120g

Water 3,2kg
[ ] Camelback 3 Liter Water Bladder (3000g+201g) 3201g
[ ] Katadyn Mini Water Purification Filter 210g

Food 0,684kg
[ ] Mainstay 3600 Emergency Food Ration 684g

Navigation and Communication 0,337kg
[ ] City Map or Topographical Map 100g
[ ] Cammenga Tritium Wrist Compass 37g
[ ] Icom IC-R6 Radio Scanner 200g

First Aid and Hygiene 0,435kg
[ ] Lifesystems Event First Aid Kit 293g
[ ] OHSO Travel Toothbrush 49g
[ ] 2 Charmin To Go – Travel Toilet Tissue (28g+28g) 56g
[ ] Sea To Summit Wilderness Wash Hand Sanitizer 40ml 37g

Other 0,202kg
[ ] Cash
[ ] Cell Phone Charger or Extra Battery
[ ] Rite-In-The-Rain Notebook 4” x 6” 90g
[ ] Fisher Trekker Space Pen 112g

Ankle Wallet 0.053kg
[ ] Tatonka Skin Secret Pocket 40g
[ ] Cash
[ ] Extra ID or Extra Credit Card 5g
[ ] BCB Button Compass 4g
[ ] ESEE Escape and Evasion Ceramic Razor 4g

Summary Setup 1
The first setup is an example built upon a medium sized backpack from Kifaru. The bag contains a Surviva Jak, a jacket made by the same type of material as an Emergency Blanket and a pair of protective gloves. The setup contains a compact flashlight from Sunwayman that uses a single AA battery, two extra batteries, a Zippo storm lighter and a fixed blade rescue knife from Fällkniven. The setup also contains a three liter water bladder from Camelbak, a small water purification filter, some emergency rations from Mainstay and a radio scanner from I-Com. A City Map or Topographical Map and a wrist compass with tritium lights provide some tools for navigation.

As a backup if you would lose your pack the setup also contains a small wallet that can be worn under your trousers. This small wallet can be filled with some extra cash, an id-card or passport, a button compass and a small blade.

Setup 2 – Two Bags Bug Out System
Backpack Total Weight: 6,334kg (13,9 pounds)
Rolling Bag Weight: 5,35kg (11,8 ponds) + A change of Clothing and a Hygiene Kit

Bag 1: Backpack 1,9kg
[ ] Arcteryx Arrakis 40 1900g

Shelter and Clothing 0,512kg
[ ] Merino Wool Buff 54g
[ ] Montane Featherlite Velo H20 Jacket 150g
[ ] Montane Atomic DT Pants 200g
[ ] Adventure Medical Kits SOL Emergency Bivvy 108g

Light 0,97kg
[ ] Fenix TK-60 D-Cell Flashlight (407g+140g+140g+140g+140g) 967g

Fire 0,014kg
[ ] BIC Lighter 14g

Survival Knives 0,257kg
[ ] Leatherman Charge ALX Black Multi Tool 235g
[ ] Fällkniven U-4 Wolf Tooth Folding Knife 22g

Pocket Survival Kit 0,17kg
[ ] BCB Combat Survival Kit 170g

Water 1,399kg
[ ] Klean Kanteen 1200ml (199g+1200g) 1399g

Food 0,668kg
[ ] Mainstay 2400 468g
[ ] 4 Honey Stinger Energy Bar (50g+50g+50g+50g) 200g

First Aid 0,202kg
[ ] BCB Lifesaver 1 First Aid Kit 202g

Navigation and Documents 0,222kg
[ ] City Map / Topographical Map 100g
[ ] Recta DP 6 Compass 55g
[ ] Sangean DT-120 Radio (56g+11,5g) 67,5g
[ ] Passport
[ ] Immunization Card
[ ] Medical Insurance Card
[ ] Cash

Bag 2: Rolling Bag 4,03kg
[ ] Maxpedition Rolling Carry-On Luggage 4030g

Change of Clothing
[ ] Base Layer
[ ] Underwear
[ ] Socks
[ ] Pants
[ ] Shirt

Sleeping 1,32kg
[ ] Haglöfs LIM 50 Sleeping Bag 460g
[ ] Exped Down Mat 7 860g

[ ] Tooth Brush
[ ] Tooth Paste
[ ] Dental Floss
[ ] Soap and Shampoo
[ ] Comb
[ ] Razor
[ ] Shaving Cream
[ ] Skin Care Lotion
[ ] Sun Block
[ ] Wet Wipes
[ ] Painkillers and Anti-Diarrheal Tablets
[ ] Travel Towel
[ ] Special Personal Needs; Medication, Extra Pair of Glasses etc.

Summary Setup 2
The second Setup is an example where the most critical Survival Equipment is carried in an Backpack while a secondary bags contains a change of clothing, a thin sleeping bag that can be used for low temperatures outside or indoors and an inflatable sleeping mattress that makes it relatively comfortable to sleep even on a hard and cold surface.

The Backpack contains some ultra light shell clothing that makes it easy to avoid getting wet if you have to walk outside in hard weather, a Powerful D-Cell Flashlight excellent for Search and Rescue or Signaling, a Multi Tool in combination with a very compact folding knife. The Rolling Bag could also be used to include other personal equipment like a Laptop, charger and other equipment that most people are likely to take with them if they would have to leave their home.

These setups are just examples intended to give you some inspiration when building your own kit, the kit YOU build must make sense for your personal setting, climate and situation. There are thousands of products on the market to choose from; find products that perform the tasks that you need them to perform and fit your budget. One Size Does Not Fit All. Own The Process.

Also see:
Building The Right Bug Out Bag For You
The Bug Out Plan
Get Home Bags (GHB)
Pocket Survival Kits
Every Day Carry (EDC)