View Full Version : Do you have a "Grab bag"??
29th October 2010, 23:12
I have one in the boot of my car, only ever comes out when rotating any food stuffs in it. It is a small rucksack filled with emergency items that I feel I need to help me cope if things go wrong while I travel.
I got caught out 25 years ago, almost died because I had nothing to hand and none of the skills I now possess.
Amongst other items it contains bottled water, a few energy bars, firelighting tin which will light a fire anywhere and in any weather, map, compass, plastic bivvi bag, wool blanket and a survival tin which I made and a small windup torch.
many items can be bought cheaply and it can be researched online with different items for different areas as required.
I could get the bag out of my car and survive for days if not longer.
Worth a bit of time to look into....
30th October 2010, 15:40
Yep, my husband's been working on bug out bags for the both of us. Contains basically everything from food/water to blankets and things to hunt with.
30th October 2010, 16:45
I watched a video on skinning a rabbit once. Very grisly. Ironically a year later I cut meat out of my diet almost totally for about six months. I realised you don't have to eat rabbit.
Though after watching The Road..it really made me think again. Let's say you survived for years. Ten maybe...every day frought not only with escaping danger, but having a good reason not to put a bullet in your skull. In that film, there were no trees, no vegetation really, no animals, only cannibals and foragers. A bleak, devastated world, devoid of beauty. A living hell.
Energy follows thought. Maybe if enough people believe in a coming cataclysm, bug out bags will be necessary, but you have to be thinking longer term than a few days. What is your ten year strategy ?
I still have my millets survival tin, complete with fishing hooks and glowing night light.
Wooo-eee ! Of course it is maybe more reassuring to own one and know you're never going to need it, rather than not own one and believe that you might... :)
30th October 2010, 21:57
Kulapops you are correct as it being a reasurance, mine is in my car for a fear of breaking down in the middle of nowhere, happened when I was 18 in the bleakest winter in years, only had a pair of trousers and a t shirt as I forgot my coat, I was inexperienced and almost dead when I was found, its my reasurance.
As for long term, well a grab bag will certainly help along the way as a starting point, if you dont survive the first few days then what is the point in planning long term.....
30th October 2010, 22:44
We have a grab bag too. We keep tweaking it and changing the water and emergency rations . Our winters are cold and it's important to have whatever you need to keep warm. We were stuck on a road twice for hours when a sudden snow storm made driving next to impossible.
30th October 2010, 22:54
Sunflower, they can be a boot blessing in disguise.
5th November 2010, 09:11
I used to be very vigilant about keeping emergency preparedness stuff on hand. But as kids grow up, they go through my stuff and use it. (without letting me know about it, until it's missed, of course)
I also found that many things didn't hold up well in the summer in a vehicle. Water would get hot, foods would not hold up well, even in sealed containers or pouches. (even MRE's don't hold well)
So, I learned to pack the car just before we leave. Making sure I have water mostly. I'm also finding that space for the entire family's needs is an issue. Before, when I was single, and just had to worry about me. I kept a sleeping bag, shovel, and few other things in my car with me. But now I find that's not possible with the 5 of us.
I also used to keep packed hiking packs (the big ones with metal frames) hanging on my basement wall. In them are 1 MRE each. Sealed water bottles, survival, fire starter, and first aid kits, 1 change of cloths, mess/cook kit, and sleeping bag. Mine even had a hikers stove with fuel pellets, hatchet, and tree saw.
However my boys got into them and scattered everything. as they are in scouts once again. They are putting them back together again. More as a preparedness to go camping with the scouts as they go once a month at least. lol
John and I have passed our backpacks on down to the two younger boys now, and needing to get two more.
(found one last week at a thrift store for $5. !!)
My sleeping bags, I've decided I would make a down fill liner to go inside the bags I have for winter use. Should make the 40 degree bags warm down to at least 0 degrees that way.
19th December 2010, 07:46
I've began working on the bug out bags again. (repacking hikers backpack.)
I've found just how rough my boys are on them. My backpack that I've had and taken care of for near on 25 yrs and kept it new looking, is now in tatters. augh! Wasn't rip stop nylon. Some of the aluminum rods are bent.
So, I've been looking on line for "Kid Proof" packs.
Another issue I tackled today was Home-made MRE's.
I find MRE's so convienient in a situation where have to leave fast. about 14 yrs ago, I bought 30 military MRE's from an Army surplus store. Only to find that they were nearly all 10 to 12 yrs old. So we started eating them. I quickly found which entrees I liked, and which weren't worth keeping. lol Chicken fillet, Ham steak, FANTASTIC! lol
But when I searched for a place to purchase newer MREs for longer storage, I found that they can range in prices of $8 and up, EACH! Ouch!
I googled, Home-Made MRE's and mostly came up with people talking about how the MRE's are dehydrated. Of course having eaten them, I never ran across one that had to be rehydrated. MRE, does stand for Meal READY to eat after all. Should not have to do anything but open and eat. Heat it up if prefered.
I know from another search that most of the stuff in the MRE are processed (canned) in recant or flexible metal pouches. (regular plastic bags, such as in a seal a meal won't work, as they do leach water vapor) I had explored purchasing some pouches and trying my hand at processing some entrees of my own. But the price of the pouches, in the minimum quantity required to purchase, wasn't feasible. Much less storage space for all those 100's of thousands of pouches.
But I felt, surely the stores has to be starting to sell stuff in those pouches. I've seen tuna in them. Surely they're be more.
Then I remembered those 90 second meals. From Hormel. (Called Completes if I remember correctly)
It's simply an entree, but sealed and process in a tray like those heater meals. So I figure what the Hey? should work the same right? (I haven't tried to heat them with a MRE heater yet. But I am pretty sure it should work.)
I put in gallon size zip lock bags,
1 90 second compete meal
2 mint candies (individually wrapped)
1 pk of peanut M&M's
1 package of cheese and crackers,
1 pk of hot cocoa powder
2 - 16 oz bottles of water
1 flavor packet for water, like Crystal light
1 snack pack of fruit (applesauce at this time)
1 individual pack of green beans.
The entire thing came to less than $4.00 when I calculated individual costs.
After checking all the "best when used" by dates. I find my earliest date is May of 2012. (which is on the entree)
So these can stay packed for near a year and a half yet before I have to rotate them out.
But thought I'd share my thoughts about MRE's. and trying to make them home-made.
Of course because of the bottled water, plastic containers for the vegies, and fruit, And the tray for the entree, My MRE is not as compact or as light as a military MRE.
19th December 2010, 08:27
Thanks Kari Lynn, nice information.
Sorry to hear your backpack is ruined, I too have one from donkey years ago which is still ok but just looks outof place amonst these new fangled things they have nowadays.
A problem I have is the local super market had a product range of prebaged meals, I began buying these as they were around £1.30 each and came in veg or meat variety. They now seem to have withdrawn all pouch stock and replaced it with tins that cost more :der::mad2:
I did however look in my local camping shop and they sold dedicated mre packs for £3.50......:mmph:
I will have to keep looking and when I find something that fits the bill, I will buy the whole bloody lot, lol.
19th December 2010, 11:53
19th December 2010, 12:57
I understand where you are coming from. Bugout or grab bags serve many purposes, this bad weather we are all having only strengthens my intentions for it, Imagine being one of the poor folks stranded for many hours in these blizzard conditions and not prepared for it, such a bag could make such a difference.
19th December 2010, 13:24
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