Winterize your 72 Hour kit

Winterize your 72 Hour kit

This is a good time of year to winterize our 72 hour kits. We like to think that when the SHTF it will be summer and in the middle of the day. It will probably happen on the coldest night of the year when we least expect it. We should be taking a few minutes to winterize our kits so we are ready for the new weather conditions of what ever area we are in.

Before I get to the list, I want to mention the one rule to rule them all! KNOW YOUR AREA!

Pack your kit for your area. My pack for Alberta, where we get lots of snow, will be different than a pack for parts of British Columbia where they get lots of rain. Pack accordingly!

Here are a few tips on how to winterize your pack.

1. Food

The food you have in your summer kit has been in your pack for probably 6 months. It should be cycled out either way. What you want to replace it with are foods that are high in calories, protein and fat. Nuts, beef jerky and peanut butter are great examples of high protein and high fat foods that can be store in a pack and are great at giving you the needed protein and fat to stay warm. Other ideas are instant oatmeal, soups in a package like lipton soups, energy bars, and trail mix.

2. Clothes

This is a very important one. For your winter months you will need more layers and accessories like gloves and hats. Make sure you switch these over because the last thing you want to do is be cold and not have a sweater or hat in your pack because your pack is still set up for summer. Also make sure you check the fabric of the clothes your packing. The last thing you want to pack into your winter bag is a pair of jeans. They get wet easily, hold onto water, and freeze. Good materials are wool, fleece, waterproof gear, polypropylene or hydrophobic materials. These fabrics are breathable, pull the water away from your body and help trap air. The trapped air will act as a great insulator keeping you warm.

One other point for clothes is your footwear. Make sure that your extra pair of shoes are winter ready. Change them for boots or add some gators to help keep the snow out of your shoes and keep your feet dry.

3. Water

Don’t forget your water. You can become very dehydrated in the winter weather. Just make sure when you pack it that it won’t freeze, or if it does, it has room to do so. You don’t want your bottles to burst when frozen and then thaw, leaking water onto all your gear.

Another option is to find water when your out in the wild instead of carrying it. One note on that though is DON’T EAT SNOW. Not as a source of water anyway. Your body burns too many calories turning snow into water and then into energy. You could always put snow into a pot and boil it.

Since you may be using the snow method of water, one thing you will definitely want in your winterized kit is water purification tablets. These should be in your kit already, but definitely make sure while your swapping out all your other gear. Nothing worse than getting sick while in the elements.

4. Fire

You will already have fire starters and such in your pack, but since it’s now winter, you will want to double the amount of your fire supplies. Not only will you be needed fire to cook your food, you may need to make a fire just to stay warm. Make sure you have enough supplies to start multiple food fires as well as heat fires.

10 Rules for Prepping

10 Rules for Prepping

10 Rules for Prepping

BeFunky_doomsday-preppers-gas-masks.jpg1. Don’t panic

Worst thing anyone can do is panic. When you panic you cloud your minds and you are no longer  able to make sound judgements. When it matters most, we may not be able to make the right decisions. The result could be devastating! Take a wrong turn, or give someone the wrong medicine and BOOM, dead.

2. Always know your surroundings.

Knowing the area will help us to know what places are good and what places we should avoid. Where are the main roads? Is there a water source somewhere? Knowing the area includes knowing the plants and animals of that area as well. This will help when we need to catch food or need to find plants for medicinal or other purposes. Do you know how to identify poison ivy or poison oak? Don’t want to use those for the wrong reasons.

3. Rule of 3s

3 minutes without air

3 hours without shelter

3 days without water

3 weeks without food

3 months without hope

This should help you decided what order to do things when you have to bug out to the woods. When you have limited resources, and time is working against you, what do you do first? According to the rule of three, build a shelter. 3 minutes without air should already be taken care of. If you have asthma, your bug-out bag(72 hour kit) should already have an inhaler in it. Unless you’re drowning, air usually isn’t a problem. Maybe we should all include a gas mask in our kits in case of nuclear warfare, or biological warfare. Generally though, first build a shelter, then find a good source of water, then make fire for food.

4. Two is One and One is None

Always have a back up. This doesn’t mean you need two of everything, but the general rule when prepping is to think Two is One and One is None. If you can have two flashlights, then that is better then one. All it takes is for the batteries to die in one for you to now have no light source. That’s no good.

5. Prepping should be a lifestyle

There are different stages of prepping. Some are way more into it than others, but it should be a life style. If it is not, we will not keep up with it. We will fall out of the habit of gardening or canning. We need to have a vision of becoming self reliant. Learn how to grow a garden, and then stop buying those vegetables. One thing we want to avoid when bugging out is being unfamiliar with our bag and supplies. If you set up your bag and then don’t touch it for 3 years and then have an emergency, will you remember what you have in your bag? Will you remember where to meet and who to call? This should be something we are doing on a regular basis so when the emergency happens, we are familiar with the procedure and supplies.

6. Keep it simple

Complication creates fear. Keep things simple. Keep your bug out route and communication plans simple. Not only will it instill less fear, it will also make it easier to remember what to do, when to do it, and where to go.

7. Improvise

Have concrete plans, but set them in sand. That means you may have to change some of your plans as you go. Your plan is to exit the city via the main highway right next to your house. Your about to leave when you realize the military closed the highway to public use. Now what? You still want to get to your bug out location, but now you need to find a different route. Maybe you planned on having a very important person in your group, a mechanic maybe, but they died or can’t get to your location. You should definitely have plans, but set them in sand. Expect to have to alter them as you go.

8. A little each day goes a long way

Many of us get overwhelmed when thinking of prepping. We look it up on google or youtube and see these experts with their underground bunkers and garages full of guns and think “Ha, ya right. There is no way I can afford to do all that.” What we don’t see is what they did on a daily basis to get where they are today. Starting small, and being consistent. That’s the key. Pick something, and start there, and just be consistent. You will get there

9. Be discrete

There is a term going around in the prepper world called “the gray man.” We all strive to be the gray man. Why? We don’t want to look like we are extremely prepared. The main issue of a large catastrophe is other people are not prepared. That means they will want to take your resources. But if you can look just like them, then they wont think you have any more than they do. You would not last long if you walked around dressed like a combat specialist. People will attack you for your weapons and supplies. Try to look like the average joe, the gray man.

10. Have fun

Prepping can be fun. The more my wife and I get into it the more we love it. It was fun when we decided to make our own butter. We have only done it once, but it was enjoyable, and delicious. if this is going to become a lifestyle, we might as well enjoy it.

A few thoughts on 72 hour kits

A few thoughts on 72 hour kits

A few points on 72 Hour kits.

Don’t wait

Even if you don’t have a nice tactical survival bag, get started on your 72 hour kit. Use any backpack you can find. If you can’t find one, use a pillow case. Just use something to start putting items together for that 72 hour kit.

Don’t forget medication and vitamins!

I usually forget to grab my vitamins when I go on trips. Something that will make the 72 hours very uncomfortable is not having your allergy medication or prenatal vitamins.

Don’t forget entertainment. 

Depending on where you have to spend your 72 hours and with who, a good idea is to have some cards for you and maybe some colouring books for the kids.

For those of you with pets, don’t forget pet supplies. 

You may want a separate bag for your pet. If you have a dog and need to evacuate and head to a family members house that doesn’t have a dog, what are they going to eat? What about any meds your pet has to take?

Change your contents so they are weather specific.

Every March-April remove your winter stuff and put in your summer things, and every October switch out the summer stuff of the winter gear.

Cycle your food. 

No food lasts for ever. Pick a schedule and replace the food in your bag with new stuff and eat the old stuff. If that idea makes you cringe a bit, then your leaving your food in the bag too long.

Test your bag!

Even if it is still while your at home, test your bag. Live off of only the contents of you kit. It would be best to go on a 3 day camping trip, but having small children can make that difficult. Testing your bag will show you how efficient it is. It will also show you what in your bag is taking up space. You may realize that you packed something that you thought was important, but you didn’t use it once on your trip. If that’s the case, get rid of it and put in the one thing you thought, “man, I wish I had that.”

What points do you think everyone should remember?