The Six-Five on BUGGIN’ OUT! (pt. 3)

by ahanagata

The Savage with his Fallout Shelf.

The Savage with his Fallout Shelf.


Welly, Welly, Well then my little Savages…Here we are together again. Thus far we’ve gone over what bugging out is and how to get home from where ever you may be; today we’ll be talking about what we should have at our home base. After all what’s the point in going through all the trouble of getting ‘there’ if there’s nothing there to get to.

Here’s the rub with home base, it’s super easy to go way overboard when creating a preparedness list. Why? Most of the time there’s nothing limiting you other than finances and space. You don’t have to fit everything into a pack, you don’t have to carry it, etc so you’re free to fill up your garage or shed or guest room. Couple that with clever marketing, and you end up being little more than a hoarder in a tin hat. In other words it’s really, really easy to go nuts on this one and end up with a ton of shit you don’t need. So, I want to focus on the things that you do need, what can make a big difference and things I see that get overlooked. After that, you can decide what extras you might want to add.

First, I want to cover the variables, like your geographic location, and personal situation. For example, if you live in an area that has the possibility of a flood or major hurricane you might want a raft, john boat, or at least a life vest. Spend a little time and think about what nature can do to you when she’s pissed where you currently reside. 

Another variable is your personal situation. Do you take any medication that you cannot do without? High blood pressure meds? Insulin? Viagra? An emergency supply is a good idea as is a back-up way to store it (and keep it cool in the case of heat sensitive meds). In a disaster similar to Hurricane Katrina it might be a while before electricity comes back on or you can march your happy ass down to a functioning drug store. 

After you’ve brainstormed your variables, think about water. A gallon a day per person, for couple weeks. Plus extra for cooking and some cleaning/washing, you’ll want to factor in water consumption for any pets you have too. People tend to under-do this one all the time, then something like the water gets poisoned in West Virginia by the coal mining industry leaving thousands of people scrambling to empty shelves of all the bottled water within miles. Now, before you go buying all the water at your local grocery store there’s an easier way. If you have a multi-person family you might want to invest in an IBC tote to store your water if you have a place to put it. Just make sure it’s food grade. If you store these on top of each other (they’re stackable) you get something like over 500 gallons of water storage for just a 4×4′ foot print. You can even be a super hippy and hook that up to a rain collection system. If it’s just you, or two of you that might be a bit over the top. In that case you can go with a 55 gallon drum instead. They’re cheap and they don’t take up as much space. For the apartment dweller you might want to go with a slimmer 5 gallon water storage device like rhino reliance makes that you can slide under your bed and just get a few of them. Just remember to sanitize the containers first, and if you’re using tap water you might want to pre-boil, filter or treat your water so you don’t end up with gallons of green science experiment rather than drinking water. For detailed instructions on how to store and sanitize water and containers visit the CDC website. If you really want to think long term you can put together a still; with which you get double usage out of because in addition to being able to make homemade hooch that can be fuel, antiseptic, and mood improver, you can also use your still to purify just about anything nasty out of water including salt from the ocean (then you have sea salt and clean drinking water). Man, I love things that can multi-function.

Now, you’ve tackled thirst how about hunger? I suggest a two week supply of food at least. This is pretty easy because weight is not an issue. Canned foods are pretty cheap, easy and readily available option. I like making my own Jerky, so having a batch on rotation serves a double purpose. Dry goods like rice, beans and lentils are a no brainer; just factor them into your water usage. This might sound silly, but be sure to pick things that you actually enjoy eating. This serves two purposes, one you don’t waste food because you’ll likely eat it when rotating out before the expiration dates approach; and two it will boost morale in the event you have to use them under duress. It can be hard to eat sometimes when you’re stress or depressed, and comfort foods might make the difference. Speaking of comforts, I always make sure I have plenty of coffee, because I don’t want to be around me without it and neither do you. You might want to make sure you have an off grid heating source for your foods like a camp stove, bbq, or fire pit that you can use; which also can boil water for drinking and heating your still. Here’s a quick word on fire, unless you’ve got a fireplace do it outside. Not a year goes by that I don’t read about someone who killed themselves and their family by trying to grill inside or heat their home with flames sans chimney. Also, beware of cannibalizing furniture and the like for fire it might contain poison or chemicals designed to fight rot or termites, you don’t want to breath those fumes or cook with that stuff. Don’t leave your pets out of equation when you’re prepping either, keep extra food on hand that you rotate out.

Water, Food, Medications what else could you want? Your home is your shelter, you’ll want to make sure that you can maintain that shelter in the event of disaster. Imagine the cold wind blowing through your house through broken windows or a gas leak that drives you out. Know how to shut off your gas and water, and have some tools and supplies on hand to deal with some minor repairs. Having some spare boards, nails, screws, plastic sheeting and tarps can help you if you have to board up windows of fix a hole in your roof. In extreme weather trees might fall down, in which case an axe or good saw could be invaluable. When you think of tools for emergencies, think hand tools or gas (and have backup gas). Think about what can go wrong with your home and have a plan. I’m not saying you must have panes of extra glass, but boards and screws or tarp with fastener. Don’t forget MacGuyver’s favorite, Duct tape! I personally, have grown to love the ‘Gorilla Tape’ brand for non-duct usage. It’s pricey, way more pricey than the cheap-o bargain duct tape, but it sticks to a lot of stuff the cheaper ones won’t. When it comes to a situation where you’re relying on it to protect you and another trip to the hardware store isn’t in the cards I’d be happy to have the good stuff.

Beyond that, I think that everyone should have a big medical book. You know for when you can’t log onto webMD. When I was a kid, before the age of the internet, I remember my Mom would always produce this big, black, odoriferous tome every time one of us kids wasn’t feeling right. If you have the medical book, I recommend having a first aid kit that extends beyond Band-aids. I hope I never have to sew myself or anyone else up, but if I had to, I’d rather have the people version of the Chilton Manual and the right tools. Beyond that, I like to keep around a few fixes for common problems, you know head ache pills and itchy cream, that sort of thing.

Another often overlooked item is lighting. For some, it’s an automatic inclusion but the reality is, I would say 70-80% of the people I’ve encountered do not own a flashlight, or they owned one that didn’t functioned because the batteries were dead or the bulb was out. I think it’s wise to purchase an LED flashlight, as those bulbs last the longest. As far as batteries go, I have spares that I can charge with my small solar panel and charger. Surefire brand makes excellent batteries that have a ten year shelf life if re-chargeable isn’t your cup of tea. Beyond just a flashlight you might want to consider some survival candles with extra long burn times, or perhaps some kind of lantern. You could also just build a teepee in your backyard and set your house on fire. It will generate a great deal of light and heat, the downside is you can only use it once and that’s a really expensive candle.

It might also be a good idea to have something to signal help, such as a flash mirror, road flares, and a whistle. If you’re waiting for help and your phones aren’t working a visual or audible signal could be what saves your ass. In that same vein you might want to consider a radio, wind up or battery. NOT an iPod, NOT a lap top. Those might work on batteries, but as we all know an internet connection is a fickle mistress as is anything reliant on cables going to your house. Wifi is not truly wireless, radio waves are.

Of course you might want some kind of home defense system, if you’re utilities are down good luck with that alarm system or calling for help. I wouldn’t go too crazy with this one, I tend to see people overly focus on this one, but then not have adequate food, water or shelter preparations. Why do people obsess? Sharps are fun, bang bang is fun. I’m not going to chide you for talking yourself into needing a machete, halberd or a M-14. Just don’t overlook the other elements, which are generally a greater concern day to day. What kind of security is the best? Honestly, your brain. Your house if made of tight blind corners memorized by living in them, I’d rather have an ice pick and stealth in that situation than a .45. But, that’s just me. Really though, bear spray, a pointy stick, a sling shot, big frickin’ dog, or grannies scatter gun all are good options for holding the fort down. Remember you’re not storming the beaches of Normandy, you’re discouraging looters. For the love, remember to get the right training for whatever option you choose and store said things away properly.

Storage. You want to have all those goodies in a central location and organized if possible. Why? Because, when your brain function is stunted by adrenaline and panic you’ll be able to find anything you might need with ease. You don’t want to be rifling through your drawers filled with junk for a flashlight or trying to located good batteries in your garage in the pitch black. I have a utility shelf that houses my goods along with my outdoor gear that I picked up for fifty bones at Costco. 

Anything beyond what I’ve mentioned here plus my standard survival kit is probably over doing things for a disaster preparedness kit I wouldn’t call you crazy if you wanted a generator, a 4×4, and your own bunker. Certainly, If you wanted to do more then the above mentioned that’s great, but that would start getting into the realm of ‘Self Sustainability’ i.e. growing your own vegetables, raising chickens and perhaps some kind of solar array. Which is super fantastical, but another subject and article entirely.


Alright Freaks, I’m out! Til next time…

Live Wild, Eat Well.

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