The Anti-Communism KTM Presents:
READINESS AND SURVIVAL GUIDE:
written and edited by (in alphabetical order):
Sara Julian, Stephen Rathburn, and Tom Wise (editor)
PREPARING TO PREPARE
There are two ways to approach readiness, prepping, or whatever you want to call it: (1) try to prepare for total chaos, anarchy, and/or fascism, or (2) try to prepare for a society which still will have some law and order. This “readiness” list focuses mainly on the latter scenario, that is, on the idea that America will not turn into a “Mad Max” post-apocalyptic wasteland. Why this focus? Basically, the alternative (Mad Max) is just too difficult for most people to process. If we want people to prepare, we must first be able to reassure that everything’s going to be OK. Since I believe that our future will have a happy ending, I am more than willing and capable to make this declaration. Why should I believe this? First, I believe in God. The Bible tells us that a weak people get a cruel leader. Therefore, if we strengthen ourselves, we have hope for a more cautious President and military force. Second, I believe in the Constitution. There is no better form of government than that of the United States, and the framework provided is unbeatable. I say this not from bravado but from much individual and group study. Third, I believe that America is special. This land, the very ground we stand upon, inspires many to be free but also, and more importantly, to be good. In the end, I believe the American spirit will not allow our citizens to destroy each other. In sum, America will survive, and the people in it shall be happy and free. However, we may have a time of trial for which we must prepare.
How far ahead should one prepare?
This simple question is the single most common cause for most people failing to prepare at all. Why? Due to the fact there can be no universal response, the question causes confusion, distrust, and, finally, surrender to the normalcy bias that says, “The heck with it! I’ll wing it!” In other words, the question “How far ahead should one prepare?” is both mind-boggling and paralyzing. To avoid this disastrous mindset for one and all, I shall actually provide you with a concrete answer!
First, it depends on your attitude:
(1) If you pooh-pooh any future crisis, you should prep enough only to get you through a very bad blizzard, that is, about two weeks ahead. Everyone should do this anyway, and the cash required is quite minimal.
(2) If you have moderate concern (for example, you understand that the national debt is sinking us), you should prepare about 3 months ahead.
(3) If you believe the end is near, prepare for about one year ahead.
Why this focus on attitude? Very simply, if you don’t believe in it, you won’t do it. Therefore, those with less belief should prepare minimally and, if their belief should grow as they prep, they can move to the next level. If not, at least they’re ready for a winter blackout.
How far ahead you prepare also depends on how long you plan on staying in one place:
(1) If you can’t or won’t leave your home for any reason whatsoever, you should be prepared as far ahead as your attitude allows.
(2) If you have a better place in mind (a friend with land, for example), you should prepare (a) up to a month’s worth of household supplies for your current location, (b) about two weeks worth of traveling supplies (in case you get waylaid), and (c) as many portable setup supplies (sleeping bags, non-GMO seeds, etc) as you can carry to your eventual destination.
Finally, how much should you spend?
(1) If you’re entirely broke most of the time, you can still buy inexpensive food and water items here and there for storage, and have true emergency supplies and tools.
(2) If money is not an issue, you should spend just beyond where you feel foolish. Don’t try to work too far beyond your attitude, that is, past your belief system. You’ll crash and burn.
How Do I Prepare for Every Situation?
You can’t. There, now you know. Take a breath and understand that you’re only preparing as far ahead as you can visualize your own success. Don’t plan for a nuclear war if you don’t foresee yourself surviving it, either physically or mentally. Instead, think about yourself in a circumstance where you’re successful. What are you doing? What are you eating? Where are you living? The key is to take that visualization and gather all the goods and supplies for it. So, if you can visualize yourself surviving a nuclear war, you likely see yourself in a bunker. Therefore, purchase a bunker. If you can’t afford it, do the best you can.
The other issue here is believability. Do you really believe there will be a nuclear Armageddon, or are you just fantasizing scared? Dig deep. What are you really worried about? What do you think is the most likely adverse event to force survival?
Let me give you my personal view. I think the “general strike” is the worst of all possible worlds. Its success means that the law is not enforcing personal property rights or the safety of the public in general. It means that communists and anarchists are working together to stop the flow of food and energy. It means a civil war is imminent, for there will be few people merciful towards the blockade of life-sustaining goods. It means jealousy when you turn on your generator or enjoy a hot meal. It means possible military insurrection or coup. This to me is the most helpless (but not hopeless) of situations. Full scale apocalypse at least affords some freedom from such evil fascism.
Things to Address
First, you must make provision for at least some food and water, and an immediate way to keep warm.
Second, there is the question of survival beyond a week or two, to avoid scraping in the pantry for a stray can of beans. Make purchases appropriate to your belief system and bank account. Take into account existing replenishing resources, such as a garden or a water well with manual pump.
Third, there is mobility, that is, how do I get out of town and what does that mean? Where am I going? Why am I going there? Who’s coming with me? What am I taking with me? How much room do I have? Can I feasibly get there?
These, I think, are or should be everyone’s main concerns.
About The List
This list is divided into sections, each having several elements which I think are essential. The sections are in order of some import, but may be re-ordered with very little or no loss of flow.
Not covered here are long-term food storage techniques. The list assumes an emergency situation of three months or less, followed by a cessation of crisis which results in local economy, including bartering. For preparedness of a longer or more severe nature, consider the Mormon approach (for example, www.foodstoragemadeeasy.net).
These choices were devised through various group meetings over the last two years, including the latest series with the Anti-Communism KTM, which brings you this list as a public service. Other consulted resources for information have been online survival blogs, websites devoted to prepping, various survival books and manuals, Mr. Ryan Croft, and my own personal experiences with products.
No doubt many will argue the merits or deficiencies of this list. By all means, argue. Meanwhile, prepare!
I wanted to present the three or four best foods for (1) nutrition, (2) portability, and (3) shelf life. Also on this list are various ancillary products. You will naturally use these items very soon after you buy them, then replenish to have stock at all times.
Peanut Butter. Unless you’re allergic, this is concentrated energy. Plenty of protein, fat, and nutrients. Make sandwiches or eat right out of the jar. Light, portable, takes heat or cold well. Can be used as bait to catch small wild game, even critters if you’re so inclined. Shelf life usually 2 years but can be up to 4 years if careful. Recommended Storage Amount: 20 jars. Cost = $60 at $3.00/jar.
Soup. Meal in a can. Lots of variety: chicken, beef, vegetable, beans, lentils. Better than beef stews and hash, which are more expensive and don’t taste as good. With vegetables, gives you a bit more nutrition than just meat or broth. Portable in small quantities (say, 10 cans). The can serves as its own pot and bowl, and has various re-uses. Shelf life good. Recommended Storage Amount: 50 cans, mixed variety (Progresso, Campbell’s Chunky, Healthy Choice all good). Cost = $100 at $2.00/can.
Pasta. Dry pasta has great shelf life and is very light for portability. Provides carbs and is filling. Minimal fuss if you have water for cooking. Recommended Storage Amount: 50 boxes, mixed variety shapes. Cost: $50 at $1.00/box (look for sales, but avoid cheapest generic brand as usually they are mealier after cooking).
Canned Meat. I recommend canned chicken, tuna and salmon for best quality and nutrition (good selection at Wal-Mart). For your bug-out bag, how about some beef or turkey jerky?
Tomato Sauce. Not a basic food, but works well over pasta and meats. Tomatoes good source of vitamins and minerals. Shelf life OK. Portability a bit rough, especially after opening. Recommended Storage Amount: 40 cans, mixed varieties. Cost: $40 at $1.00 can.
Seeds. Non-GMO seeds for planting a crisis garden. Naturally, it takes time to grow food, so this is forward-thinking. Light, portable, great shelf life. Can be used as a barter currency. Easily hidden. Recommended Storage Amount: at least 1 kit with about 23 seed packets. Cost: $50 at Costco online.
Vitamins, Etc. In a world without variety, perhaps without even much to eat, vitamins and other supplements can keep the body properly supplied with essentials. Light, portable. Needs to be kept from sunlight and heat. Here is a recommended short list: (1) multi-vitamin without iron - try to find one that packs in several odd minerals, like molybdenum, (2) B-vitamin complex, (3) Vitamin C with bioflavonoid, (4) Salmon Oil (heart, joints), (5) Garlic Pills (blood, lungs, sinuses). Recommended Storage Amount: 1 year supply. Cost: about $200 (worth every penny). If it helps, I’ve used Swanson Vitamins for years (check them online).
Coffee. If you drink it, manna. If you don’t, essential barter. For everyone, it’s caffeine energy. Good shelf life and portability. Recommended Storage Amount: 3 cans. Cost: about $50.
Milk. Go to Sam’s Club and buy a box of their powdered milk. It tastes good, lasts a long time, is light to carry, and you need only add clean water. Cost: $20.
Food Bars. High-calorie, long shelf-life bars which meet military rationing standards are portable and dense. I’ve chosen Mainstay brand. Cost: $70 for ten 9-serving (400 calories each) bars.
Gum. Staves off hunger, adds saliva. Also use for putting up maps and sealing leaks. Sugarless (I like Trident White).
Fishing Equipment. This can be as simple as fishing line, some hooks, a bobber, and a few lures. A net helps. You don’t even necessarily need a fishing pole (use a broomstick if you have to). In a real survival situation, whether on the coast or inland, you are more likely to find fish than wild game, which will be hunted out quickly. If you’re trying to avoid detection, fishing is quieter than gun hunting.
Plastic – fork, spoon, plate, bowl. While everyone has metal utensils and real crockery, it might not always be convenient to clean, so disposable is a good alternate. Light and washable, in any event. Next time you go in for a burger at the local fast food joint, get yourself some plastic cutlery (and some packets of condiments and seasonings). Plastic bowls and plates are very inexpensive at the Dollar Store.
Seasoning. Boredom can be a real issue in a survival situation. Salt and pepper normally goes without saying. Of the herbs, I prefer basil as an all-around. Garlic powder is great too. These are very inexpensive at the Dollar Store. Condiments are a must, and I recommend mustard for its shelf life and versatility, especially in the plastic bottle. Nothing wrong with soy sauce, hot sauce, or any other number of vinegar-based products (including vinegar) which expire much later than cream bases (mayo, dressing).
Metal – pot, pan, spatula. This is a recommendation for a “bug-out box.” If you’re hitting the road, don’t forget one of each, as you will essentially be camping. The pot will be good for boiling water, as well as for cooking. Spatula is vital.
Notes on Food. (1) Fruits and vegetables are skimpy on this list. For home prep, consider freeze-dried products, which have tremendous shelf life and portability (though bulky). Costco has various configurations. For mobility, I recommend dried fruits, although these tend to be expensive with a shorter shelf life. Canned fruits and vegetables are good if you intend to remain home-bound (but obviously take up much space in the trunk of a car). Canned greens are packed with nutrients. Beets are an overlooked goodie. (2) You may have noticed “rice and beans” missing. This combo is meant to provide a complete protein, but I think soup or peanut butter do as good a job. Rice and beans are no more portable than anything else, need to be cooked (or, without heat source, soaked until soft), and shelf life is not indefinite. I personally have some rice and beans but I’m not stocking up on it in a big way. (3) Wheat is an item for the very dedicated. Bags of flour don’t have the decades-long shelf life of wheat, but will work in short term situations. In any event, you’ll still need yeast and other ingredients to make bread. (4) If you like your eggs, consider powdered. I recommend Honeyville in cans, Ova Easy in pouches.
Jugs. In an emergency situation, it’s good to have bottled water around, not only for drinking but also for cooking, washing, and more. Watch the expiration date. Not very portable. Do not store jugs on concrete floors – the cement will actually leach through the plastic and into the water! Distilled water has its uses, so you might want to have a few gallons of it as well. Recommended Storage Amount: 20 gallons for each person. Cost: $15 each person.
Filter. You want to have a portable, proven, very low micron (0.2) water filter. I recommend the Monolithic (monolithic.com). Go there now and order one or two. Cost: $30 each, or you can buy the bucket system for $50.
Bleach. Even at 0.2 micron filtration, you can’t filter everything out. Certain very bad microbes can still squirt through. Boiling the water is a perfect solution. However, if no heat source is available, you can use Clorox bleach (recommended is 8 drops per gallon, twice that for cloudy water). See this webpage: http://www.doh.wa.gov/phepr/handbook/purify.htm or http://safewater.supportportal.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=23015 or
http://www.newjerusalem.com/PureWater.htm if you don’t trust the government.
Notes on Water. (1) Emergency water packets available at Amazon. Keep these “sippies” in your bug-out bag and vehicle (withstands harsh environment). (2) Some folks use a rainwater barrel. If you do, avoid wood (possible poisons) and instead get “blue” polypropylene (http://www.rainbarrelsandmore.com). Store with enough bleach (or alternate pathogen and algae killer) to keep it fresh.
Car or RV. One of the good things about our society is that we’ve built structures. Imagining that you flee to the countryside, your car is not only your transportation but also temporary home until you can find friends. As long as it’s not extremely frigid or blistering outside, a car makes good shelter from the elements and animals. With a minimum of gasoline, it can be heated or cooled, and the battery recharged every day. Generally speaking, there is a bed (back seat), radio, pantry and closet (trunk). The larger the vehicle, the hardier the survival. An RV is the ultimate because an entire family can manage to survive for some time in relative comfort.
Tent. Even if you have a car or RV, it’s good to have a worthy tent for the worst sheltering dilemmas. A pop up dome is just fine, but so is your standard army-issue. In a pinch, a tarp can supply shelter but this is extreme short-term.
Last resorts. Caves (see “Maps”) are semi-ideal temporary abodes. Avoid areas where strangers congregate, and don’t trap yourself.
Ham Radio. If there is law and order, you’ll have to procure a license. In any case, you’ll need an antenna. This can be quite burdensome, but if you think that a situation may arise without cell phones, it might be worth your while to have one (even if you never use it). They even make ham radio for the car. No brand or type recommendation per se, as I’m no expert.
CB. These have become passé, but that doesn’t mean in a crisis they won’t make a comeback. You can have one installed in your vehicle, or buy a portable (looks like a walkie talkie). Cost: $100-150. On eBay, you can get one for less than half this price.
Shortwave. Yet another broadcast avenue to investigate, using RTTY.
Marine VHF. For the coastal survivor, send-and-receive.
Morse code. It can’t hurt to become familiar with it.
Semaphore. Better than smoke signals but not as cool as lantern flashes.
Radio Receiver. Besides the car radio, it will be a good to have either a battery-powered or solar-powered model, just to keep up with any news while on foot. A small transistor AM/FM type sells at Wal-Mart for $5 (I love mine). Inclusion of NOAA weather station a big plus.
Batteries. If you’re going to use portable equipment, you’ll need battery power. Avoid oddball and rare varieties.
Wristwatch. We don’t often think it, but time is an essential in life. A wristwatch can be used for monitoring progress and timing, synchronization between members or against enemies, arranging calendars, and so forth. Wind-up type means vigilance but independence.
Car or RV. See “Shelter.” Some have recommended using only a diesel car from a certain era. Others have proposed conversion to natural gas or propane. It’s a semi-moot point. Furthermore, a non-traditional fuel system in a chaotic world likely means the absence of a trained mechanic, and therefore demands the ability to fix it yourself.
Bicycle. If no protection from elements, animals, or humans is necessary, and you have the requisite leg strength and stamina, this is the non-gasoline way to go. Hybrid mountain/road bike gives best versatility.
Motorcycle. For speed and great gas mileage, you can’t beat it. Takes some skill and there is always the danger of the spill. Dirt-bike can be even more advantageous in certain situations.
Horse. Overlooked resource, but requires management (food, shelter, etc) until ready for action, and some skill when the time arrives.
HEAT & COOKING
Volcano Stove. Compact design works with small amounts of wood and charcoal for an efficient and clean (sometimes even hidden) heating and cooking facility. Generally comes with a propane attachment. As of December 2011, the Volcano II was going for $125 on Amazon.
BBQ. A supply of charcoal and a standard grill makes for some good cooking without electricity or other supplied energy. Propane is even better, if it can be stored.
Camp Stove. The typical two-burner scout stove of flat design is supremely portable and works with a small bottle of propane, good for several cooking sessions. Swedish camp stoves are excellent, but Coleman is just dandy.
Wood. For fireplaces and hearths, always hardwoods, never evergreens, seasoned for 6-12 months or more. Keep tinder on hand (dryer lint works).
Generator. If you’re absolutely not going to move out during a crisis, you’d better have some backup power. Remember, installation is extra, can be expensive, and a permit is many times required by law. There are several options: (1) Gasoline Generator. This is the standard, but it requires fuel storage, carburetor cleaning, proper metering, and is noisy (not subtle); (2) Propane Generator. There are some good ones out there, and you can get one to run the whole house for about $1000. Quieter and more efficient than gasoline; (3) Solar Generator. Possibly the most expensive of the lot to set up, it requires more planning, but the upside is that the sun is free; (4) Battery Bank. Not generally known in this country, the battery bank is popular elsewhere. It is essentially several car batteries connected in some series, producing the required volts and amps to run your household or some portion of it. An alternator or dynamo recharges. Setup can be a bit complicated, but it’s an inexpensive way to go, as those in third world countries can attest.
Inverter. From a car battery, an inverter takes the DC power and converts it into AC. You won’t run your entire house, but you can utilize small appliances and electronic equipment. Your vehicle of choice will need to run periodically to charge the battery powering the inverter, so you’ll require gasoline at some point.
RV. At the risk of being repetitive, I recommend the RV as a source of unending electricity. RV’s use a two-battery system, one left idle to charge the one supplying the electricity. As long as there’s gasoline, and as long as the batteries don’t cave, you’re golden. Even then, many RV’s can be modified for a solar panel as well. Naturally, the RV has many more uses (shelter, transportation, heat, light), so it really is in many ways the ultimate survival station.
Candles. The old standby. Fat ones are easy to pack, don’t break, and seem to burn forever.
LED. All LED flashlights, including, penlights, are superior to the old D-battery kind. An LED camping lantern (as low as $10) outshines the elder fluorescent. A rechargeable type will last a long time before needing plug-in.
Glow Sticks. Light and portable, you can even cut one and use it for night-fishing bait.
Matches and Lighters. Necessary for the candles, but also for starting fires, signaling, and bartering.
Work Boots. For hiking, moving items, stomping through dirty areas, protection while chopping wood or doing other chores.
Galoshes. Rubber protection for your shoes, through snow, ice, water puddles, dew, etc.
Down Coat. We should all have one anyway, with hood for wind, snow, and ice.
Gloves. Work gloves are the most versatile. Leather palm with cuff.
Hats. A couple of baseball caps against the sun, at least.
Scarf. When it’s cold, you’ll thank me.
Long Underwear. How warm are you now! Wool, polyester, or cocona.
Blankets. You need at least two of the sturdy type (whether or not you’re hitting the road). In addition, the “space blanket” is a very tiny bit of room which provides emergency warmth for about $1.00.
Air Mattress. If you have the means to inflate, it’s a good alternative to sleeping on bare dirt. Very helpful when staying with friends, especially the new kind.
Sleeping Bag. There should be one for every person.
Pillow. The backpacking type compresses to nothing and it’s almost like home.
Teeth. Toothbrush (toothpaste optional!), floss.
Hair. Shampoo (doubles as soap), comb and brush.
Toilet Paper. Recommended Amount for Home: 100 extra rolls. If splitting the scene, don’t forget to grab a few rolls.
Smells. Deodorant, Ozium.
Shaving. Disposable razors, or you could opt for a straight razor.
Towel and Washcloth. Now you’re dry.
Feminine. The ladies know what they need.
Miscellaneous. Vaseline, alcohol (rubbing), nail clippers.
Prescription Drugs. If you must take special medications, don’t forget them. Try to always have on hand a 3-month supply of each, just in case.
Rubbing Alcohol. Critical.
Activated Charcoal. This is part of an essential medical pack, having so many uses. Some have complained that loose activated charcoal is too messy, so there’s pill form also (Swanson Vitamins online). No side effects. To understand better how activated charcoal heals and soothes, get the Dinsley or Cooney book here: www.charcoalremedies.com/books.
A free scribd document for using activated charcoal is here:
Colloidal Silver. Touted as the best antiseptic ever, there are nevertheless side effects to account. Product purity comparisons here:
I don’t personally have a brand recommendation, so do your homework.
Bob Beck’s manuscript free on archive.org here:
One of the best books on personal manufacture of colloidal silver is by John Hill, here:
Cayenne Peppers. The value of hot peppers in herbal medicine is well known. Check out this website (among many): http://ushotstuff.com/medical.htm, or consult any book on herbal medicine. You can then decide if you want to grind your own or buy from a vitamin or health outlet (or from Amazon).
Antibiotics. Even with the herbals and the above natural medicines, it wouldn’t hurt to have a Z-Pak on hand.
Kaopectate. Sometimes it’s necessary.
First Aid Kit. Bandages, tape, butterfly-type wound closure strips, an assortment of band-aids, Neosporin-type ointment, anti-fungal, Q-tips, tongue depressors (variety of uses), Caladryl (bug bites and poison ivy), hydrocortisone ointment, a wilderness first-aid book, ibuprofen, Tylenol, Benadryl, thermometer, tweezers, emergency dental care, and whatever else you may need without the kit becoming excessively large and heavy.
The following are good to have whether in peacetime or in extreme social or economic unrest. The website archive.org has many free pdf files – download and read later on a laptop computer. Keep this library in one place for easy move-out.
Maps. If communications are down, you won’t have Google Maps, and possibly not even GPS, in the car. Therefore, get a road map of the area. For Western North Carolina, terrain maps showing caves could be helpful.
Medical Book. You’ll want a layman’s guide to symptoms. Where There Is No Doctor and Where There Is No Dentist are classics. Also, consider Merck Manual.
Gardening Book. Agriculture is necessary for the organization of society. Seeds without know-how is shooting blind.
Survival Book. There are so many guides out there, it would be difficult to give a recommendation. I’ve had Angier’s book for years, but it’s somewhat outdated. To get a free overview, try the local library.
Fix-it Book. I recommend “How to Fix Everything” from Reader’s Digest.
Bible. Bedrock of our society. For law and order, we seek to Torah. For human nature, we need read but a few words. For faith, it is endless. Remember God always for humility, mercy, and justice.
Constitution. Know your rights. Retain the finest form of government ever devised. Understand what the American spirit is all about. A pocket Constitution works just fine, but keep a pdf also.
Herbal Book. Alternative medicine. A must.
Cards. Standard 52-card decks. Also, RPG (Magic) or strategy (Pokemon). These will provide endless hours of enjoyment in a small space.
Dice. Craps, yahtzee, and more.
Intelligence. Chess, checkers, travel Scrabble, other travel kits. Keeps your wits sharp and your mind thinking ahead.
Ball. If you like baseball, pack the bat, ball and glove. Apply appropriately for football, soccer, or basketball. A handball can provide hours of small-space fun.
DVD. A battery-powered DVD player can be a great boon. Laptop computer even better. A portable hard drive can hold many movies.
Music. In this era of iPods, it’s hard to imagine not having a source of musical entertainment. Think viscerally also: (1) harmonica is small and the hobo’s choice, (2) acoustic guitar if you can find room, (3) tambourine for the gypsy, etc.
Games Book. Hoyle’s Book of Rules for cards and dice. A compendium of board games might also be fun.
Liquor. You don’t have to be a drinker to pack a bottle of whiskey or vodka. It serves as an icebreaker between strangers, emergency antiseptic, emergency fuel, and a type of barter.
Tobacco or Non-Tobacco. Cigarettes and such for the smoker. Barter for the non-smoker. E-cigarettes are a good choice for a non-toxic after-dinner relaxant.
Candy. Hard candy is sweet, durable and makes good barter.
Gold. Portable banking. If you can’t afford it, think of your wedding ring, chains or other jewelry as barter items. No amount can be recommended but analysts believe 10% of your total investments should be in precious metals. Since you’re prepping, make that real metal, not paper gold.
Silver. Same as gold but more convenient for buying necessities, such as groceries and fuel. Small bits keeps you low profile. Scrap silver quarters and dollars are just fine, but “rounds” are perhaps even cheaper. Don’t forget that your silverware and silver jewelry count towards the total. There is 40% silver content to post-1964 Kennedy half-dollars and Eisenhower dollars.
Paper Money. I personally don’t believe the dollar can be excluded from the world currency exchange, even after a collapse. A dollar indicates the value of work you’ve already provided. I think there will be a concession to that work ethic. Further, if we come to a deflationary period wherein the dollar prevails and circulation recedes, paper money will increase in value (can you believe it?). Therefore, it will be a good idea to have some paper money in your possession. Considering bank runs and closings during such panics, having at least a few hundred dollars on hand is good defense (but those who have the means can stash up to one month’s expenses). Supposing you decide to keep $500 available, mix the denominations this way: 1x $100, 2x $50, 5x $20, 10x $10, 16x $5, 20x $1 – this gives you some portability and versatility.
Barter. Everything is barter material, but items you can break into small quantities, and which are light and durable, work best. Coffee, bullets and seeds are good examples for this type of value exchange.
Rifle. The argument rages when it comes to firearms. For hunting, the rifle is superior. I’m not an expert on brands or types, but a semi-automatic rifle with spacious clip affords good protection as well as food gathering. I like the .22 caliber – it kills as well as any other, and is ubiquitous and inexpensive. Concerning ammo, the hollow-point bullets are more expensive but do more damage; but the non-hollow-point are cheaper, and therefore excellent for stock, practice and barter – buy both. Don’t purchase Chinese-made bullets, if possible (many stories now circulating concerning shoddy production). Take at least one basic shooting class, and practice your at-home gun route. For the record, the argument against the shotgun is its scattered nature, and the argument against the handgun is its relative inaccuracy at long range (but, by all means, get as many weapons as makes you secure). As Mr. Croft might say, “The purpose of a handgun is to get you to a rifle.”
Hunting Knife. Versatile instrument, very portable and durable. Use for close-range defense, gutting game, assorted building projects where applicable. No specific recommendation on brands, but don’t buy cheap at the expense of quality.
Bow/Arrow. Silent hunting, useful also for defense and even fishing to some extent.
Martial Arts. The ultimate portability. Even knowing one or two moves (whether offensive or defensive) is an advantage. If you have access to a heavy bag, practice jabs and power punches (be careful with wrists if a beginner, and wear gloves). If you like, try a home-study program (www.gracieacademy.com offers jiu-jitsu programs for men [Combatives], for the ladies [Women Empowered], and for kids, [Bullyproof]). Flexibility is important, so conduct a daily full body stretching regimen (takes about 20 minutes). For stamina, try low-impact aerobics. Even if you don’t like fighting, fitness is an integral part of survival. I hate to put it this way but – get in shape.
Papers, Please. Make duplicates of all important documents, such as deeds, contracts, insurance plans, licenses, phone lists, credit cards, diplomas, even photos. Paper copies to safe deposit box (or home safe), digital copies to several flash (jump) drives. Back up your important computer files to flash or exterior hard drive (in a collapse, you can’t depend on “the cloud” or Carbonite).
This is not a comprehensive list of tools. There are just too many possibilities, and it depends on what you want to accomplish. This is, I think, your basic survival kit. For construction of dwellings (say, a cabin), more planning will be necessary.
Screwdrivers. A multi-screwdriver is essential. The bare minimum is flathead+ Phillips, but you may find hex head and square head bits handy.
Socket Set. Standard (SAE)+ metric. Small ¼” drive set not bad, but 3/8” is easier.
Adjustable Wrenches. A large and a medium-size.
Allen (hex) wrenches. Such bolts are everywhere. Get a small set of common sizes.
Folding Shovel. Compact device to move rocks and dirt, snow and ice, plant seeds.
Safety Goggles. Eyes safe = a good day.
Duct Tape. Invented by men with no carpentry skills – I’m not really kidding here. Duct tape can double for nails and screws in less-than-extreme cases. Fix chairs, hoses, windows – everything – in a jiffy. Bind enemies.
Hand Drill. How are you going to make holes? A very sturdy awl could substitute.
String and Rope. Twine is nice for binding, packing, measuring. Rope for towing, pulling, and more. Avoid polypropylene rope.
Mini-Sledgehammer. Break things. Tamp down quickly. Good weapon.
Can Opener. Basic necessity.
Swiss Knife. Bring it for the scissors, the file, the blades, the little saw, and more.
Fly Swatter. You’ll regret not having one.
Insect Repellant. There are too many black flies, hornets, yellow jackets, mosquitoes with diseases, and other pests in our area to not have at least a can.
Saw. Sure, we’d like to bring the chainsaw, but a folding wood saw or pocket “chain” saw (Amazon) is probably going to be the best compromise between portability, space, and usefulness. Many products constantly come to market, so check before buying.
Scissors. Cutting and dividing. An extra weapon.
Razor Knife. Opening boxes, slicing duct tape. An extra weapon.
Tape Measure. The difference between a shelter and a pile of rubble is about two inches. Measure twice, cut once. I wouldn’t count on the laser when the battery runs low, so make it a Stanley.
Car Tools. AAA will likely not come to your rescue during an apocalypse. If you’re traveling by vehicle, you’ll therefore need to plan for overheating, flat tires, and dead batteries. Have (1) coolant, (2) spare tire, (3) jack, (4) fix-a-flat (or mini-compressor), (5) jumper cables, (6) extra fan belt, (7) extra radiator hoses. For electrical issues, carry extra fuses and an extra headlight. Finally, flares are versatile for signaling, lighting fires, providing short-term light, and even self-defense.
In general, the needs of a child are the same as an adult. However, don’t forget special foods, medicines, clothing. Entertainment covered already.
I think a reminder to bring necessary pet items (such as foods, drugs, leash, collar, bowl, bin, blanket, vet records, etc.) is sufficient.
An ancient Chinese proverb, so simple and self-evident, yet ignored by too many:
Today’s preparation determines tomorrows achievement.
Copyright Notice: c 2011 Tom Wise. You may distribute this document in any manner you see fit, but you may not remove the names of the authors. Thanks for being capitalist!