Preparedness and Bugging Out
What you'll need to Get out of Dodge
I'm making this as I have my own journey of preparedness. I am not preparing for any specific End of the World scenario at this point. I find that much of Florida has been going days, weeks, months without regular deliveries of food, untainted water, electricity during hurricane season.
So, I'd like to be prepared for whatever may come, and am taking steps to make myself and my family ready for various scenarios. I am still very much in the beginning stages of preparedness, but I feel I must start somewhere.
Water, or a wake to make water potable.
Either bottled water, or a way to sanitize water to make it potable.
The most simple way is to boil it. A good boil for at least 3 minutes to be safe. If you have a fire, you should be heating water on it, no matter what!
There are chlorine tablets, iodine droppers, or filters also available.
Depending on the length of your journey, water bottles might work. They are heavier, overall, than chlorine tablets or other decontamination techniques. They do save time trying to find water, but will not be a long term solution if you have to travel a long distance on foot or bicycle.
You can manage it longer with a car, but water takes up a lot of space, and the extra weight will reduce gas mileage.
You'll need clothes for whatever kind of weather is in your area and the areas you will be traveling in. I live in Florida, so I will need rain gear, but not a parka.
Comfortable walking shoes, which are also made for your kind of weather. Bugging out from Key West would require different footwear than Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota.
A walking stick/pole of some sort. For testing the ground before walking, thin ice. You can also fashion a spear if you affix a knife to it.
Shelter - Protection from the Elements
You'll need some sort of shelter from the weather. This could be a tent, or as simple as finding a tree you can climb.
If it is cold or raining out, you will need a way to stay warm, and shelter is a big first step.
A sleeping bag, rated for the temperature in your area, is also recommended.
You need to have sustenance of some sort during your journey if it is going to be of any length.
Optimally, hunting along the way would be best as it would decrease the weight you must carry. Considering that most people in this day and age are not proficient hunters, I don't think this is a good primary plan.
Thus you will need some sort of portable, non-perishable food that you can bring along. Hopefully something that can be eaten without any preparation and on the go, and is calorie dense and lightweight.
Supplement where you can. Forage along the way for extra snacks, provided you know them to be safe.
A way to make fire
Fire will keep predators away, keep you warm, cook your food, sanitize your water.
Whether your plan is to keep a lighter in your go bag, for short distances, or learn to make "fire by friction" for long term survival, fire is a must.
Flint/Tinder, fire striker, waterproof matches, SOMETHING.
If you have medical problems, prepare ahead of time. Most doctors are willing to provide you with an extra month script of medicine ahead of time in case the local pharmacy is closed due to weather.
Diabetics will need insulin, and have the added trouble of having to keep it cool. Plan ahead, and have a cooler with needed medicine in it!
Don't forget the simple things though. Not having insulin will kill a diabetic, but so will uncontrolled bleeding. Pack some way to deal with that. A trauma kit containing bandages, or even a pack of quikclot if it is really bad and first aid techniques aren't sufficient.
First, some sort of knife. Not a small one, and NOT some sort of steak knife.
A good size knife, that can take abuse. Cutting dressings if injured, hunting/spear fishing, to spark tinder, protection. Too useful not to have.
Whatever other tools you think you might need. Perhaps a folding shovel. Or a pocket chain saw. Hatchet for making tinder/kindling.
Usable rope, paracord or "survival bracelet." A survival bracelet is basically a wound rope you wear on your wrist. They are small, but due to the way they are braided, unwind to usable size.
This also includes some way to navigate. Like a map and compass. I recently came across a watch that has a built-in compass in it that I am looking at getting.
You can't guarantee that you will be able to access googlemaps to know where you are.
First Aid training is useful in any situation, but particularly good when 911 may not be able to respond.
Depending on where you are, being able to swim would be a great skill to have. Fishing would be a relatively easy way to get food. Hunting as well.
Being experienced on building shelter and a fire may also come in handy.
Know your area's flora and fauna. If there are bears in your area, know what to do to avoid them/deter them. Don't underestimate the little guys. Some insects and snakes are very venomous. Know your area if you are going to be traveling on foot or bicycle. Poison Ivy anyone? In my area, I always seem to see Oleander planted in the median separating road. Oleander grows nice and straight, so it looks like a really great stick to use to roast something over a fire. Oleander is also poisonous, and can cause GI distress, or even cardiac problems.
This area knowledge goes hand in hand with knowing what berries and nuts are safe to eat.
How are you going to get there?
Walking? Bicycle? Car?
Walking you can pretty much grab your bag and go. Bicycles pretty much the same. Consider packing a hand pump and some sort of patch kit. You can always dump the bike if it gets damaged or unusable somehow.
Cars are nice, and get most people around now, but be prepared to have enough fuel to get where you are going. It's really nice to have portable shelter, heat/air conditioning, but it comes with added logistical problems of needing fuel. If you run out of gas, you have to ditch the car in most circumstances. In an emergency situation, you can't depend on anyone else to provide you with fuel, as there may be no way to truck it in.