28 March 2012

Handy Tools in the Trunk

In an emergency evacuation everyone wants a Dodge Mega-Cab 4x4 lifted 6" with huge all-terrain tires and turbo-charged Cummins Diesel, 6 speed transmission, Iron Cross bumpers front and rear and a 12,000lbs winch. That way whatever you can't rollover on your escape out of town you can smash straight through!!!! Works for me, if I had $90,000 extra to buy a bad-ass tank of a truck. I don't and maybe you don't either.

So, for us mere mortals, we make do with what we have. If you have a small SUV or maybe a Jeep, you can still get out of town with a few tricks (tools) up your sleeve. Many of today's SUV's, even the little ones have storage compartments to stash extra gear or tools. In the pictures above you can observe the array of extras that easily fit in the back of a 2008 Kia Sportage.

You are right, there is no hi-lift bumper jack, no assortment of fuel cans, no compressor, but there are enough tools to help get you unstuck or get a pull out of the ditch. Not to mention, the basic tools for building a primitive camp in the forest.

So, if all you had in the world was your bug-out bag/evacuation bag and this vehicle, you could survive quite well if you have the skills to build from scratch.

Would it take a lot of time, you bet. Would it be easy, are you kidding....no! But with the right frame of mind, a positive attitude and a whole lot of sweat. You could build a cabin or similar structure with the tools shown here, and a latrine, and a corral, and a hide for the vehicle, and a slit-trench. I think you get my point.

Is escaping with a big vehicle easier, short answer...probably, yes. But a huge tank covered in off-road lights, exterior mounted jack, fuel cans, shovels, axes, picks, roof rack, etc. will also draw a lot of attention in urban areas. First, some two-bit punk will think if he had your rig, then he could survive. Of course, punks don't understand, it's the tools in the rig & knowing how to use them that make survival possible. Oh, yah and a lot of hard work. The one thing street punks hate the most, getting off their ass and putting in some hard labour. One point in favour of a fully decked out rig described above is, it does give you more options if you make it out of the city.

The point I guess I am trying to make is, even with a smaller vehicle you can successfully escape suburbia with enough tools and gear to make it. Your skills and attitude will carry you to a successful end of your mission. Sure more tools makes it easier, but that does not mean you can not make less do more.

Hope this helps a few of you out there. Sometimes we just have to make do with what we got.

Remember, take care of your tools - maintain them, treat them with respect, and they will save your sorry butt someday.


26 March 2012

Simple Shelter

Well, it has been a few days since I last updated. Bad me.

I have been to visit a new website:
http://internationalpreppersnetwork.net/index.php?sid=35c60c2c08b86cbb24d7953a6dc17569  , and I have been given a renewed sense of purpose for writing here. Just in case I get more visits from those on the prepper site.

So, I wanted to mention a little about shelter, specifically simple shelters. These pictures I took while training in Suffield, AB in the Spring of '95. Here we have two army issue shelter-half's zipper together. The wind was extreme at times so you wanted your shelter to be low to the ground. Being professional soldiers, we were quite accustomed to digging, so we dug sleeping platforms below ground level. Had we known the weather was going to get worse, we might have made a better effort to build walls from the excavated dirt, before it froze solid! In the second picture, you may notice we added another tarp to seal the wind from getting in through any cracks that may have been exposed on the windward side of our "hotch". We lived in this location for at least 7 nights.

Points to observe:

  • Take the location, environment and weather into consideration when siting your camp - if you have the choice
  • In high wind areas, keep your shelter as low as possible
  • In raining conditions, keep above the water and away from gullies and low spots where water will pool and flow
  • If conditions change, modify your shelter to meet these changes - this is not the time to be lazy
  • Use all available resources to construct your shelter - rocks, logs, dirt, bungie cords, steel pickets
  • Keep the door to your shelter out of the wind if possible, if not built a vestibule to minimize the heat loss to the wind
Those are just some thoughts on shelter for now.

Remember cold and dry is uncomfortable but cold and wet is deadly!