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Mobilizing Your Preps

- By Psalm91 | November 20th, 2015

bag-drag.jpgThere are many methods of practicing preparedness, each with its own set of benefits and disadvantages, and certainly, no shortage of ideas, opinions, or methodology exists in the field of preparedness.  When considering starting or changing to a new prepping tactic one must consider several factors, to include your own unique situation, risks, comforts, skills, weaknesses, and concerns. In spite of this, there are still some ideas that we can easily start to incorporate into our actions and methods which will serve to protect our stored investments while simultaneously improving our ability to effectively and efficiently evacuate with as many of them intact as possible.  Keeping key essential preparedness supplies packaged in rugged, more easily mobilized containers is advisable.  For example, storing dry food products in two liter bottles may save money on packaging, but it also forces us to handle more items in smaller containers and increases the risk of investment loss due to less than optimal durability, light, and pest protection.  Instead, keeping these products stored in five gallon buckets packages it in greater bulk for easier mobility and improves protection for the contents from water, light, and pest intrusion.  Of course, some rodents will be able to easily gnaw through a plastic bucket, but keeping the food product sealed in a Mylar bag offers the additional protection of sealing the smells that attract rodents to the food inside the containers. An internal Mylar bag liner sealed with oxygen absorbers inside it can also extend the shelf life of our foods to thirty years on longer.

Another infrequently mobilized preparedness category is clothing.  Most preppers will have a small "get-home-bag" and many have an evacuation bag, or "bug-out-bag" (BOB), with all sorts of neat items stored inside them, including a change of clothing, but how many changes of clothing can we cram into a small back pack without displacing other vital items.  Keeping a change of socks and underwear, thermals, field clothes, extra boots, a wind breaker, and some hand and head wear is absolutely advisable, but if an evacuation takes you away from home for a month or more those two pairs of socks and underwear are going to get old quick, and washing them in the field every other day isn't going to be practical.  A good amendment to this plan is to create a clothing and hygiene product bag for each family member with at three sets of outer wear (preferably BDU's, Multicam®, or other durable neutral tones), a week of under wear, thermals, extra boots, some personal protective equipment (PPE), and enough hygienic products to last at least thirty days.  Pack durable field clothing that will withstand  a field environment, and treat the clothing for insects with Permethrin.  An easy way to do this is to wash all of the clothes and then add an extra rinse cycle to the washer manually and add the Permethrin product to that rinse cycle.  This will eliminate the product lost to the wind when used as an aerosol.  Sawyer® makes a Permethrin product that is designed to bond to clothing fibers and last for six wash cycles.  Inspect and retreat the clothes after they've been used or every year at minimum. This will ensure that any time you spend in the field in these clothes will be at least moderately protected from insects.  Make certain to pack quality boot socks and waterproof boots.  Your feet are extremely important in the field , so set yourself up for success.  Another footwear item to remember are shoes to shower in.  You'll likely be sharing any field latrine with many others, some of whom may have athletes foot or other easily spread ailments that are typically passed in the latrine.  Also, be sure to put a couple of brown or tan bath towels and wash cloths in each bag.  Keep all of these items in plastic zipper bags inside of a durable and water resistant military "A" bag or duffel bag and write your last name and first initial on the outside with a paint pen for identification purposes.  It's can be a good idea to tie a brightly colored ribbon or pair of ribbons to the bag handles so that they will be easy to identify in a pile of bags that all look similar.  Military service members are required to keep a bag like this: they're called "mobility bags," and although they're similar to a BOB, they serve completely different purposes.  Mobility bags focus primarily on bulk clothing and hygiene products while a BOB's focus is much wider and less bulk.

In other words, a bug-out-bag will have two or three sets of clothes, and hygiene products; typically a one week supply, but it will also contain a single person shelter, sleeping bag and pad, head-light, cordage, entrenching tool, fire starting gear, a compass and gps, some rechargeable batteries, a pistol and bandolier of ammo or two, a fixed blade knife, a radio and roll up antenna, a canteen with cup and field stove, a mess kit, a water filter, and maybe a few "meals, ready to eat" (MRE's) and some other items.  As you can see, BOB's serve a much wider purpose, but because they're smaller than an "A bag" or duffel bag, there is much less room to work with.  A BOB's purpose is to provide us with enough clothing, gear, and food for a short term trip, but also the tools and protective gear to survive living in field conditions for a few days.  Ideally, our bags should have enough clothing, products, tools, and gear to give us the ability to provide for our own personal needs until more supplies and reliable and preferable means are located or constructed.  A good general rule is to plan our BOB for seventy-two hours.  Each MRE contains approximately 1200 calories, so try to pack five or six of them in your BOB.  You can also strip your MRE down to the main entrèes and snacks to save on space.  You may consider purchasing an inexpensive solar shower bag in each MOB bag so your family members will be able to clean up in the field if a field latrine is unavailable.  Try to keep your BOB to around 50lbs or less though which you may find difficult if you're adding extra ammunition.

Speaking of ammunition, in order to keep your ammunition readily mobilize-able and dry store them in; you guessed it, ammo cans!  Ammo cans will serve to contain your ammunition in a weatherproof durable container with a handle so you can easily load it into your vehicle or trailer.  Don't stop there with ammo cans though because they're great for more than ammo!  You can use them to store all kinds of gear in that needs protection from moisture and knocks.  Padding the interior walls with some thin foam will help to protect any sensitive equipment inside of them from the fray of tossing them around when you're trying to load and unload your vehicle.  Using padded ammo cans has another benefit as well though.  Due to the solid metal construction of ammo cans, they make an effective level of protection from electromagnetic radiation (EMR).   Because of this, storing your sensitive electronic devices and components inside of them will keep them effectively protected from electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and coronal mass ejections (CME).  You can also use ammo cans to store your pistols inside of.  If you modify the front face of the can by drilling a hole aligned with the latching lever's hole you can install a keyed locking mechanism to lock your pistols inside of them, just keep in mind that the ammo can will no longer be waterproof unless you address that issue when you install the locking mechanism.   Another way to keep your firearms securely stored is to purchase a wheeled Pelican® rifle case with foam inserts and place two keyed-alike padlocks onto either end of the closed case.  This method ultimately is not a fool proof manner of securing your firearms, but it is an extra level of access security to keep them secure from the prying and curious eyes and hands of strangers and children when the firearms are kept in a monitored location or locked in a vehicle.  Keeping firearms in such cases also provides them with a level of protection from dust, sand, mud, water, and abrasion, and also provides some extra room for magazines.  Make sure that each rifle has a sling and seven magazines and each pistol has a holster and 3 magazines.   When you plan your tactical vest, make sure to plan for magazines holders for each weapon.

Some other general points to consider in regards to your preparedness supplies are:

  • Pack prescription medications into your BOB in a waterproof and crushproof container, including extra eyeglasses if you need to wear them.

  • Medications, food products, and batteries are all temperature and moisture sensitive.  Don't store your preps in an area that gets excessively hot, sunny, or moist.  All of these conditions can damage or destroy your investments.
  • Remember that medications, food items, batteries, and other consumable items with expiration dates also need to be rotated when old, replenished when used, and recharged when drained.
  • When you pack your BOB with items, try to image what the environment will be like when you need to find and use it and put it somewhere that makes sense for that scenario.  For example, put your field light source somewhere easy to access even when it dark outside but not easy to turn on by mistake (or place paper insulators between the contacts to prevent battery drain while stored.  After you take the insulators out in the field remember you may need to maintain light discipline.
  • Know how your bag is organized so if doesn't take emptying the entire bag to find what you need at the moment.  For example, I store all of my head, face, and hand gear in the upper pocket on the top of the bag.  I store my extra boots at the bottom, my sleep system attached to the bottom of the bag, and my shelter attached to the side of the bag.
  • Don't allow your staging or storage areas to become cluttered with junk and don't pile items on top of your supplies.  It will make inspecting the area for mildew, mold, and mice impossible and it will also bog down the loading process if you do end up having to evacuate.

  • Want a copy of 72/10/30 List?  For a more inclusive list of what to make sure to have for 72hrs / 10 days / 30 days register a free account on the website for access to it.

There are always good points to consider, and I'm certain I've left a few out.  I welcome the readers to post any points I may have over looked or glossed over at the bottom in the comments section.  Thanks for reading.  I hope this article has helped some of you out!

 

No one  blanket plan can provide for the needs of all survival situations.  These articles are presented for the purposes of reminding, focusing, organizing, and prioritizing the practice of preparedness.  One type of preparedness style may be of greater concern than another based on the situation at hand.  Use the methods presented here are your own risk and expense.

 

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