Two thing that has always concerned me with my disability is my BOB (Bug Out Bag) and my Get Home Bag(GHB). I don’t have the strength or stamina to handle a heavy bag and let’s face it my walker is not exactly setup for rugged terrain. I’m a big believer in doing the best you can with what ever physical limitation you have to work with and try and find ways to make things work. I was very thrilled to find a rolling back pack at a yard sale for $3.00 and tonight I shifted my stuff from my old bag to the new one. I had to dump the canvas tarp due to space limitations but I kept my nylon tarp as a shelter. I took out the Sterno fuel cans and added the small backpacker stove with a can of fuel. I got a better stove for about the same weight and space. Actually I’m a little surprised by how much space I have left over in the backpack after the transfer, as it is a much smaller bag. I have a few items I would like to add but between my the mini-van “emergency box” and this new GHB I think I can handle a minor disaster somewhat close to home. The GHB setup at this time consists of the following…
- Shelter: Blue plastic tarp, a Space blanket, Fleece sleeping bag and glove liners. I need to get a good pair of leather gloves for the bag though I have a pair of heavy duty work glove in the car emergency kit. Because my hands don’t always work that great tying knots I’m going with bungee cords instead of rope for setting up a shelter.
- Water: I have a Sawyer mini-water filter and 3 metal quart water bottles with quick clips I can add to the bag. I like a metal water bottle because you can boil water to sanitize it. I have tested the bottles over the mini-camp stoves and even using a Sterno stove I got a boil in about 10 minutes using these bottles.
- Food: 2 of the Kraft pasta meals, 1 Top ramen package, 4 packages of instant oatmeal, 10 bullion cubes, 4 packages of hot cocoa mix and 5 packages of cheese and crackers. Many packages of salt & pepper along with some hot sauce, Parmesan cheese and red pepper flake I got at various food joints. Not exactly a balanced diet but good enough for at least 2 meals a day for 3 days. All sealed in a zip lock bag
- Heat and cooking: I have a small backpacker stove and a can of fuel which should last 3 days even with heavy use. I have a large 16 oz. metal cup to boil water or cook simple meals and heavy duty plastic fork,knife and spoon for eating. A bic lighter and a small box of wooden matches for starting a fire. My stove has a small sparker for lighting the stove but I like having a backup lighter and matches. The car’s emergency kit has a Sterno stove fuel and extra metal cup so I think I will have enough stoves and heat for cooking for several days. I keep a small 12 volt therm o-electric cooler/warmer in the mini van at all times.
- Light: I have a ball cap with a clip on head lamp for hands free work. Three 9 hour emergency candles.
- Health and sanitation: Comb, small travel toothbrush and toothpaste, Small package of wet wipes, wash cloth and small hand towel, Toilet paper sealed in a zip lock bag, feminine pads and Ibuprofen, 3 pairs of latex gloves and a face mask. The car has a first aid kit I can add to the bag if needed. Several small kitchen trash bags. 2 Large Construction grade garbage bags.
- Things I need to add: Detailed local maps. Leather gloves. A heavy Duty Space blanket like the SOL emergency blanket. Ham radio. The Minivan already has a CB radio and small backup solar panels for powering the cell phone and small electronics. Last but not least my German walking stick.
I have a little fanny pack that I use for my Every Day Carry (EDC) gear that includes my Leatherman multi-tool, a small compass, a small AM/FM radio and flashlight combo, pepper spray, p-38 can opener and a 9mm. It is strange when I think about my mini-van and GHB combo that those 2 items make me more prepared for a disaster than 95% of all Americans.