A Medium Sized Survival Kit
Monday, November 17, 2008– In previous posts I have discussed the Small Emergency Kit for your car or truck for those vehicular emergencies such as dead batteries and flat tires, and the Small Personal Survival Kit that you carry in your pockets or otherwise on your person, with such things as a Swiss Army Knife, a lighter and cash.
Today I want to make the case for a Medium Survival Kit that will fit in a bag about the size of a medium purse, a small backpack, or in my case, an official US Army issued Map Case. This is something that you can easily carry over a shoulder and shouldn’t weigh more than 10 lbs.- and that would be a heavy one! If you have ever watched the TV show, 24, starring Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer, you know he carries a “Bauer Bag” over his shoulder. He carries a few tools, ammo mags, etc.
My Medium Survival Kit changes periodically, depending on the weather and what I am doing, but I started carrying it when I was out hunting and now I carry it with me in my car everywhere I go. The following list contains some essentials and some suggestions as well:
1. Toilet Paper- I have a waterproof baggy with most of roll of TP inside. Whether you are out hunting or driving on a trip this is an essential.
2. Chem light and light holder- I have Chem lights stashed everywhere. I have some at various places in my house, at the office, in my car and in this map case. The Chem light holder will make it like a flashlight with an on/off switch.
3. Fire Starting material- even though I carry a lighter in my pocket, I carry some waterproof matches, a waterproof container with regular matches and a fire starter tool along with a back up lighter. When you have been cold, wet and miserable before, you value carrying something to start a fire!
4. Emergency survival saw- this is basically a small chain saw powered by your own hands. It is a narrow chain with two rings, one at either end. It will cut through small branches to make some kindling- but it is a lot of work! It is not long enough, however, to serve as a garrote.
5. Pocket knife- this is where I carry my 3 bladed Buck Knife since I carry my Swiss Army knife in my pocket.
6. Compass- you can carry a compass either in your pocket or in this bag. I have an orienteering compass that I used to carry here…think one of the kids may have it now??
7. First Aid Kit- I have an Army Issue Platoon First Aid Kit affixed to my map case. It is very small and weighs less than a pound. You can augment this with some common meds like antacids, pain relief, anti-histamines, etc.
8. This can be a good place to carry a small poncho for wet weather protection.
9. I carry some camouflage gloves and a face net from my hunting trips. Why carry these all the time? If we have a TEOTWAWKI situation, and I have to do some E&E (escape and evasion) then a bit of camo can come in handy. I also have some camo face paint.
10. Mess kit spoon- a full mess kit is too clunky but a metal spoon is a pretty useful tool for lots of purposes.
11. Water purification tablets- these tablets will purify a litre of water in a couple of hours. The only problem here is that heat can bother the tablets and if you leave them in your hot car continually they can degrade quickly. I only carry them in the FAll-Spring here in Texas. In the summer I keep track of the world situation and only carry them if things look bad.
12. Two-Quart Collapsible Canteen with cover and strap- you always need to have water and this canteen is very handy to carry. This actually does not go inside my map case, I carry it on my shoulder too.
13. You can carry a handgun in this map case because here in Texas you can legally have a gun in your car without a CCL. Plus, there are times when you can’t carry concealed because of what you are wearing. The danger here is that this case does not lock. I do carry my shoulder harness with spare mags in the map case just in case of TEOTWAWKI. A shoulder rig works well while driving.
14. Food- you can carry an MRE in this case if you don’t also have a pistol in it. In my case, if things really head south, the shoulder rig comes out and I wear it and an MRE goes inside the case. Granola bars would fit nicely any time.
15. Katadyn Water Purifier- I have 4 different models including one of the very small ones that is easy to carry in my case. Again, you have to be careful about leaving these in a hot car.
16. Parachute Cord- I carry a spool of parachute cord, nylon, that is very lightweight but sturdy. It can be used to tie lots of things together to make a shelter, etc.
17. Fishing line- I carry a spool of fishing line, not to fish with, though that is a good plan too, but to tie things with.
18. A very small pair of binoculars. I have used these while hunting, at work late at night stargazing, and also at work to read car license plates if they were acting suspicious. For survival purposes, in case of a TEOTWAWKI situation, they can assist in my observing what is around me if traveling.
THEORY: OK, why carry one of these medium survival kits? What is the point of some of this? Some of it is obvious, TP, food, a canteen, etc. but the fire starter material and the water purification equipment and camo may seem a bit over the top for many of you.
I work about 30 miles from my house. Just suppose that a TEOTWAWKI event were to happen, and I would have to walk home or otherwise could not get home? My house is about 1 mile from a military airfield that has a lot of troops stationed nearby and a lot of military aircraft. In the case of a general nuclear war (not real likely at the moment, but hey, I grew up in the ’60’s and remember nuclear blast drills in grade school) my home might go up in a mushroom cloud. My medium survival kit would come in handy. Speaking of a TEOTWAWKI, check out this article in the WSJ that mentions the possibility of a terrorist strike with a nuclear missile and a very high burst (300 mile up) for the EMP blast effect:
The scariest quote in that article is-
Think about this scenario: An ordinary-looking freighter ship heading toward New York or Los Angeles launches a missile from its hull or from a canister lowered into the sea. It hits a densely populated area. A million people are incinerated. The ship is then sunk. No one claims responsibility. There is no firm evidence as to who sponsored the attack, and thus no one against whom to launch a counterstrike.
But as terrible as that scenario sounds, there is one that is worse. Let us say the freighter ship launches a nuclear-armed Shahab-3 missile off the coast of the U.S. and the missile explodes 300 miles over Chicago. The nuclear detonation in space creates an electromagnetic pulse (EMP).
Gamma rays from the explosion, through the Compton Effect, generate three classes of disruptive electromagnetic pulses, which permanently destroy consumer electronics, the electronics in some automobiles and, most importantly, the hundreds of large transformers that distribute power throughout the U.S. All of our lights, refrigerators, water-pumping stations, TVs and radios stop running. We have no communication and no ability to provide food and water to 300 million Americans.
This is what is referred to as an EMP attack, and such an attack would effectively throw America back technologically into the early 19th century. It would require the Iranians to be able to produce a warhead as sophisticated as we expect the Russians or the Chinese to possess. But that is certainly attainable. Common sense would suggest that, absent food and water, the number of people who could die of deprivation and as a result of social breakdown might run well into the millions.
Let us be clear. A successful EMP attack on the U.S. would have a dramatic effect on the country, to say the least. Even one that only affected part of the country would cripple the economy for years. Dropping nuclear weapons on or retaliating against whoever caused the attack would not help. And an EMP attack is not far-fetched.
Twice in the last eight years, in the Caspian Sea, the Iranians have tested their ability to launch ballistic missiles in a way to set off an EMP. The congressionally mandated EMP Commission, with some of America’s finest scientists, has released its findings and issued two separate reports, the most recent in April, describing the devastating effects of such an attack on the U.S.
The only solution to this problem is a robust, multilayered missile-defense system. The most effective layer in this system is in space, using space-based interceptors that destroy an enemy warhead in its ascent phase when it is easily identifiable, slower, and has not yet deployed decoys. We know it can work from tests conducted in the early 1990s. We have the technology. What we lack is the political will to make it a reality.
An EMP attack is not one from which America could recover as we did after Pearl Harbor. Such an attack might mean the end of the United States and most likely the Free World. It is of the highest priority to have a president and policy makers not merely acknowledge the problem, but also make comprehensive missile defense a reality as soon as possible.
Granted that a general nuclear war is not real likely today, has anyone noticed how Putin and Russkies are acting lately? How about the Chicoms? But what is more likely sooner rather than a general nuclear war is a Terrorist Strike with a nuke.
Yeah, but that would more likely be in NYC or DC or somewhere other than Fort Worth-Dallas. True, except if it was a High Altitude Burst designed to throw out a very wide EMP blast that would cripple most things electronic. You launch a nuke from a cargo ship that goes up to about 150 miles altitude and blows and you may have enough of an EMP effect to send 1/3 of America back to the 17th century. If I am at work and all the electrical grid and all modern cars stop working…it’s a long walk home for this short-fat-out-of-shape-middle-aged-white-guy.
How likely is a nuke attack from some terrorist outfit? The likelihood gets stronger each and every day as the nuclear club grows and the “How To” manuals get circulated on the internet. Between N. Koreans and Iranians working on nukes it is fairly easy to see this happening.
Sooo, pardon my paranoia, I would rather be ready than not.
Here is a great site and article:
Here are some sites that provide some survival gear: