Thursday, April 20, 2017

Bug out kit: The Bag


Choosing a suitable bag for your bug-out-kit, the bug-out-bag is a crucial task. And in the end, we all have our own requirements on the bags so a lot of the choice process ends up on you and your special needs.

Lets go through some of the options that we have to decide upon.


Size

This depends on the number of days you need to be out, as well as what you are comfortable on carrying over distances. In a crisis situation, you may need to stay out a longer period of time and thus resupply

Straps 1 or 2

There are a number of variety of backpacks out there. From bike messenger style bags, to hiking backpacks.
Something that seems to be in fashion at the moment is the single-strap bags, seen in games like Tom Clancy's Division
The pros of a single strap or messenger style bag is that you can swing it in-front of you for easy access without the need of taking it off. Could be useful if that is one of your requirements.

A long time ago I used bike messenger bags, but carrying them for long days tended to get my back hurt as the load was not balanced. So my choice is on an ordinary two strap bag.

Style

Urban/Sports

The every day bag that you use to get to school, work or the gym is probably in this category. A lot of variety and quality in this sector. If you find something that suites you then go for it. I tend to find that bigger bags in this category are not that well planned in layout and design. It is hard to find what you are looking for.

Outdoor/Hiking


A outdoor/hiking bag is built for covering distances on an adventure. Usually sits good on your back and can carry weight.
These bags are usually specified quite high, and have a lot of features and stuff for the outdoors person that needs it. And with all of these extra things, comes a price tag that is usually a bit higher. Be sure to check that your bag has the possibility for a water bladder (camelbak etc.)

Tactical/military


The last category, for heavy duty usage. Comes with a variety of systems to attach extra bags, pouches and gear to them.The current standard for a number of NATO forces is the MOLLE
 (MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment). Nice thing is that all MOLLE backpacks are prepared for water bladders.
Usually just practical and durable, not that many extras.

Color

Color choice should be based on your own requirements. Should you be seen or stay hidden?
Neutral colors that blend with your environment? Camouflage? Or warning colors like red, or yellow that shout out your location.
Your choice should reflect your requirements and the planned crisis you want to evade.
If your most probable scenario is a natural catastrophe, go for loud colors so that rescue can find you. If your scenario includes hostile forces occupying your home town, then perhaps a more stealthy option should be used.


My choice

REEBOW Military Tactical Backpack Large Army 3 Day Assault Pack Molle

My choice was on 2 tactical bags, 40 liters in size and a black color so that they don't pop out if you need to hide. Choice was on quite low price (around $40) range as hopefully they will just sit there in the basement.
REEBOW Military Tactical Backpack Large Army 3 Day Assault Pack Molle
The bags were prepared to work with a water bladder of choice, no need to open the bag to access it.

2 large compartments and some smaller ones, and a lot of MOLLE webbing on the back and sides including velcro on the top part of the uppermost external pocket.
I think these will be great for my requirements.


Hope this helps someone out there : )

Monday, April 17, 2017

Bug out kit: Maps



Always keep an up to date map in your bug out bag, preferably an outdoor map that has trails etc marked on it.

I already have a map in my smart phone

We all have, but we are preparing for a crisis and you may not have tech stuff working during a crisis for various reasons... Batteries run out, electrical power may be scarce, cell phone coverage might be down and someone might be blocking internet access for the area that you are in. Be prepared and have an old school analogue map in your bag.

What kind of map?

There are a lot of various types of maps with different levels of detail. From road-atlases to outdoor maps,
Example of road map (hitta.se)
As you can see on the example above, a road map provides an overview of the major roads in an area, great when you are on a road trip and travelling over large areas but not so great when you try to cover the terrain by foot.
Example of outdoor map (hitta.se)
Example of an outdoor map above, as you can see it is a totally different level of detail. Elevation lines, houses, trails are included. Perfect when trying to navigate.
The negative part of having this level of detail is of course weight, size and price. Usually you pay the same price for a map of a small area that you pay for a road atlas over the whole globe.

My plan

Have outdoor maps of the area around my home for an 60 km radius (20km per day)

Hope this helps someone out there : )
Until next time: Work to Live, Don’t Live to Work

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Bug out kit: Water


The human body needs 2-3 liters of water per day to function during normal load. If the environment is hot or you put in a physical effort the need goes up.
So, say that you are preparing a 72-hour kit for 2 persons, chances are you will be on the move if you need to use it so lets calculate with the 3 liters per day...

3 days * 2 persons * 3 liters = 18 liters

That is equivalent to twelve 1.5 liter bottles. Quite a lot to carry around and protect. So lets look at the options...

Storing water

Even if you may not want to have 18 liters at home just in case, it might be good to have some extra bottled water in your bug-out-kit just to get you moving.
There are some choices on how to get the water you want to store:

Tap-water
Store in clean PET bottles made for water storage, basically this should hold forever but you never know. If stored for longer periods, be sure to boil it before drinking.
Always good to recycle the water every 6 months just to keep it fresh.


Mineral water
At least here in Sweden, if you buy water it has a stamp on it for how long it will be OK to drink. Usually 6 - 12 months, meaning that you would have to re-stock your water supply now and then.

For both options, storage is best in a dark and cold place.


Boiling

Big bubbles, no troubles

The ultimate purification of water is accomplished through boiling it. Chemicals can take out some of the nasty things but boiling kills all. Be sure to boil at least one minute, or more if you are on higher altitudes as water starts to boil at lower temperatures

Distilling

This may not be an option if you are on the move as it takes time. Basically let the sun create condense on a smooth clean surface and let it pour into a bottle or pot.

Filters and chemicals

If boiling isn't an option, there is the possibility to use filters to purify the water. I'd still recommend boiling as these are not 100% safe.
But when boiling isn't an option, keep a life straw in your bug-out-bag.

Caution

Don't drink water that is sticky, milky or bitter tasting. Better safe then sorry.


My choice

Is actually all of above. Plan is to have 3 liters per person in our bags to get us going, have a pot for boiling and life straw packed in for when there is no other way.

References

http://www.wilderness-survival.net/water-1.php
http://www.survival-manual.com/water.php


Hope this helps someone out there : )
Until next time: Work to Live, Don’t Live to Work

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Bug out kit: Tent


In this post I will go through key aspects for choosing a tent for your bug out kit. I.e. when sh*t hits the fan, this is where you will live for 3 days (or more) waiting for help and in the worst case avoiding hostile people.

I am not an expert, I just want to share my thoughts while choosing my own tent.

Size

Size depends on how many people you want to support. For me, we are 2 adults so I will probably look at 2-3 person tents as it needs to be comfortable over longer periods of time. If you are more then 3 I think you should think about maybe buying multiple tents instead of one big so that you can share the weight and be able to split up if needed.

Seasons

There are some options here. Summer tent, 3 season or 4 season.
Summer tents may be usable if you live in a warm climate, they are usually light to carry and give you shelter from the wind and rain.
3 season tents are more robust
4 season tents are heavy and can be used year around.

My choice will be 3 season because: I live in the south of Sweden, while we do have winters with snow, sometimes a lot of snow, I still think that with the correct 3 season build you can shelter in the forests even if there is a lot of snow. Key is that the snow doesn't build wight on the tent roof making it collapse. Dragging around a 4 season tent is a little too much.

Color

Something discreet that blends with the surroundings. It should be your choice to make yourself known to other people,

Current list of options

So lets summarize the above requirements

  • 3 person
  • 3 season
  • blending color

Here is a list of current options (2017)

MSR MSR HUBBA HUBBA HP GREEN

  • 2 person
  • 3 season
  • 1930 grams
  • available in green
  • price around €650


MSR MUTHA HUBBA NX 3 TENT GREEN (2017)
  • 3 person
  • 3 season
  • 2070 grams
  • available in green
  • price: around €650

MARMOT VAPOR 3P TENT GREEN SHADOW/MOSS (2017)
  • 3 person
  • 3 season
  • 3020 grams
  • available in moss green
  • pricec: around €320

My choice:

Currently leaning towards the Msr Mutha Hubba. Not yet decided.

References

http://sectionhiker.com/can-you-use-a-three-season-tent-in-winter/
http://tomsbiketrip.com/whats-the-best-tent-for-cycle-touring/

Hope this helps someone out there : )
Until next time: Work to Live, Don’t Live to Work

Friday, April 7, 2017

Reasons to start with this survival blog


So why start a survival blog?
There are actually a lot of reasons, but the triggering part was when Gothenburg started with their 72-hour information campaign last year and this week our own city joined in the campaign.
Basically what it says is that if there is a crisis, you should be able to provide for yourself and your family for 72 hours before expecting help from the government.
I've been thinking about how to act if shit hits the fan for a long time.. When we lived in the city I always thought that we should just leave for the forests and be there.. I never planned on anything or prepared so in reality my 'plan' wouldn't have worked.
Over the years the situation in our surrounding world has changed. I was born in the 80's, during the cold war and have some memories about it but the majority of my life is after the wall fell, in a pretty secure world.
The last few years, things have started to shift towards the cold war days again. Sweden dismantled our defense forces, meanwhile Russia stabilized and built up. Today there is a real risk of things going sour.

I'm not a person that worries about things too much, but I like to be prepared. So, on this blog I will write about steps that we take to be prepared in case we have to leave our home during a crisis.
The 3 days that is expected from us should be enough to get us to a safe place. Lets figure out how to prepare together on this blog.

Until next time...