Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I would like to thank all the readers and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope that you have found some information here that you can take with you and get some new perspectives on prepping and survival.

So what do I wish for the coming year?
1.) That The Survivalist Boards will get a Survival Wiki. This is important since it will offer a new tool to produce survival related articles.
2.) That we will see more projects with scholars that come together and discuss systematic threats and problems to our society. Some of the projects that have been produced the last years are the movies “The End of Suburbia”, “A Crude Awaking”, “Blind Spot”, “Home”, Michael Rupert’s “Collapse”, History Channels “After Armageddon” and the latest National Geographic Documentary “2210: The Collapse” with Jared Diamond and many other researchers. Spreading knowledge is critical for finding solutions to threats we face.
3.) That Peak Oil becomes mainstream and that nations around the world will start to make serious investments into sustainable development.
4.) That we will see more movements and networks that brings people together and focus on sustainable development and crisis preparedness. The Transition Network is a new network that shows some promise.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Survival Training

Getting the skills needed in order to get prepared for emergencies can be a challenging task. There are many organizations that teach skills relevant to survival. Government agencies like Police, Fire Departments, Military Organizations and Paramedics can provide many relevant skills for their employees. Many universities may also offer courses related to survival like emergency medicine and psychology. If you are not working for a government agency where you can learn and train this type of skills you must find a way to get these skills from an alternative source.

NGO:s and CERT
Different Non Governmental Organizations (NGO:s) like the Red Cross can offer courses and training like CPR and First Aid. These organizations also run special groups that can support the regular resources of a society in the case of extraordinary events and disasters. These groups can be an opportunity to network and learn to know other people with relevant skills. Community/ Emergency Response Teams (CERT) are a resource organized by governments as part of Civil Defense. These teams get training from first responders like Paramedics, Fire Departments and Police. CERT acts as volunteers to provide extra assistance in case of large scale emergencies that can overwhelm state resources. For children and youth organization like the Scouts can provide the opportunity for the learn wilderness survival skills in an early age.

Family and Friends
Many people may have outdoorsmen, hunters, fishermen, farmers, and other people with survival related skills that they can learn from. If you have a family member or friend that’s involved in this type of activities may be an excellent way both to learn some new skills and getting to know them better. This will give you an opportunity to learn skills and tricks from people with experience and see what type of equipment that they are using, what clothing they use and get to know your local terrain. Of course there is also the option of simply engaging in these activities without any previous experience and learning by doing. But this process may be problematic, frustrating and dangerous. If you decide to go camping or hiking without any previous experience, don’t go alone. Bring some friends and notify someone where you’re going and when you expect to get back. There are also non-profit organizations that are involved in outdoor activities that you may join.

The Transition Network is a network that works to teach people self sufficiency, self reliance, canning and other skills. Some of the threats that they envision are Peak Oil and resource depletion. This type of groups does not only offer the possibility to learn skills but also offers an opportunity to get involved, network and get to know people with similar interests.

CollapseNet is a site that has been launched by Michael C. Ruppert after the release of the movie “Collapse”. Ruppert has previously written the newsletter and blog “From the Wilderness” and the books “Crossing the Rubicon” and “Collapse”.

Professional Survival Schools
The United States
ESEE / Randall’s Adventure and Training (RAT) offers courses in Jungle Survival in Latin America but also offers survival courses in the United States. ESEE /RAT also produce their own line of knives and survival kits like the ESEE-3, ESEE-4 and the ESEE Pocket Kit.

Tom Brown is one of the most famous survival instructors in the United States. Brown has a written a number of field guide for Wilderness Survival, Urban Survival and Tracking. Brown also runs the Tracker School where students can learn tracking and wilderness survival skills. Brown has also designed the Tom Brown Tracker knife. The knife is produced by Tops Knives has been seen in the movie “The Hunted”.

The United Kingdom
In Great Britain the company Trueways Survival School started by John Wiseman author of “The SAS Survival Handbook” offers a number of sources in survival. The company offer courses intended for Military Personnel, Civilians, Preparing for expeditions, wilderness survival, urban survival and a course on how to survive a complete breakdown of the modern society. The company also sells survival related equipment on their homepage.

In Sweden the company Cold Skills Collection offers some training courses related to survival and crisis preparedness. The company also sells survival related equipment and clothing.

Military Personnel, Police, Fire Department and Paramedics and other first responders will learn many skills related to survival from their profession. For those how are not engaged in a professions where they will learn relevant skills learning survival related skills may be both more challenging and very expensive. Taking courses at professional survival school can be an interesting alternative but such courses are often very expensive. Learning outdoors skills from friends and family can be a much cheaper alternative and an excellent opportunity to get to know these people on a more personal level. Joining networks, CERT and nonprofit organizations may also give you the chance to learn and practice skills and get to know new people with similar interests as yourself.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Feedback and Contact Information

Feedback, Critique, Question and Suggestions from the readers is more than welcome. The goal of the blog is to provide the best information possible and any suggestion for how this can be done is welcome. The recommendations for gear and different products are based on my own experience; I do not receive any economic compensation from any of the companies for recommending their products. The aim is simply to give the readers some suggestion for what products that can be found on the market, but these recommendations do not cover the whole market; there are thousands of different alternatives to be found.

I have used Ads from Google AdSence from the start mostly to keep track of the traffic on the site. My goal with the site is to provide the best advice, information and suggestions that I can, but if the site in a long term perspective would generate some income this would of course be considered as a positive side effect. The articles will remain free to view for anyone how would like to do so.

If you want to contact me you can do so either by writing a message here, write me a PM at the Survivalist Boards or write an e-mail to:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I would like to give thanks to the sites that have promoted my blog after I introduced The Free Online Survival Guide. First of all I would like to say thanks to Kev and all the others at the Survivalist Boards for making the post about the guide sticky. I would also like to say thanks to ASPO Sweden, Daily Survival, American Preppers Network and Despierto that writes the Swedish Blog “Blott Sverige Svenska Preppers Har”.

In Sweden the first terrorist attack involving a suicide bomber has taken place and luckily no one but the bomber where killed. A longer article about the topic terrorism might follow later.

I would also like to recommend the new National Geographic documentary “2210: The Collapse?” based on the book by Jared Diamond. The documentary is a high budget project with a number of different researchers from different fields. A new fictional movie project called “Remnants” is also under way; trailers can be seen on YouTube.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Get Home Bag

The Bug Out Bag (BOB) is an tool intended to be used in situations that requires evacuation from an area. The BOB can be designed in many sizes and forms but are normally quite heavy and stored in the home. The Get Home Bag (GHB) as a tool intended to provide equipment to allow an individual to reach the home during a crisis or survival situation, for example if the person is at work when a disaster strikes. The Bag should not only serve as a tool for coping with disaster but also function as your every day resource for dealing with problems. What content your Get Home Bag should have depends on where you live, how long you may have to travel to get back home and your specific situation.

Being Prepared
The GHB is only a small part of being ready for a disaster. For anyone how is serious about getting ready for a crisis I would recommend that you start out with your health and physical fitness. Go to a doctor and make a checkup. Also visit a dentist and fix any problems you may have with your teeth, in a survival situation a bad tooth can cause infection and a serious health hazard and great discomfort. Your Physical Fitness is very important if you have to make a long walk or march by foot. Start exercising three times a week with an activity that you find interesting and stimulating. The items in your bag is only tools, they are only valuable if you know how to use them. A Fire Steel is of little use if you can’t start a fire with it. Training this kind of skills is critical if you want to be able to use them in a real life situation. The same goes for all Skills, no matter if it is Self Defense, Starting a Fire, First Aid or Navigation.

Your clothing provides your shield against the elements. Your clothing must be appropriate for your particular climate. Shell jackets provide excellent protection from wind and rain; also get a pair of gloves and hat or watch cap. Merino wool is an excellent material for t-shirts and a sock that does not cool the body when it wets like cotton do. Your shoes are perhaps the most import part in any situation when you have to walk a longer distance. Make sure that they are comfortable and if possible also waterproof. A watch is also something that you should try to carry at all times. Your cell phone can be vital tool for communication in many emergencies, make sure that you have In Case of Emergency (ICE) numbers programmed if something would happen to you. A water proof container for the phone can help keeping it safe from the elements. Some phone may also have useful application like a flashlight, compass, FM/AM radio and GPS. If you have a phone that has a short battery life a spare battery can be essential.

The Bag
What kind of bag you should get depends on your Every Day Activites. Ideally you should be able to carry both the items that you need for your everyday activities like a computer, notes, books, lunch box and other essentials in addition to the items you carry for crisis preparedness. Another option is to have a separate bag for emergencies in your vehicle or at your office.

The size of the bag depends on how much space you need and what kind of bag that you prefer. Back packs are generally the most comfortable solution especially if you have a heavy pack. Shoulder bags can be a good alternative but are not as comfortable to carry if they are heavy since al the weight of the bag will be on one shoulder. There are also bags that are a mix between backpacks and shoulders bags called gear slingers. Maxpedition make some interesting bags in this category like the Monsoon, Sitka and Kodiak. There are a number of different companies that makes excellent bags like Kifaru, Snugpack, 5.11Fjällräven, Osprey, JanSport, Lundhags, Klättermusen, Haglöfs, Exped, The North Face, Norröna, Bergans, GoLite and Arcteryx. Find a bag that fits your needs and that is comfortable to carry.

Suggested items for the Get Home Bag - Checklist
[ ] A Get Home Bag should have some kind of shelter than can help shield you from the elements, this can for example be a Light Weight Poncho, Bivanorak, Fjellduk, Exped Bivi-Poncho, Emergency Blanket or Light Weight Tarp.

[ ] Water is something that can be critical in a survival situation and your bag should have at least one small water bottle, the bottles from Nalgene, CamelbackKlean Kanteen and SIGG has a high quality, but a normal soda bottle can be used as well. This can also help you save money instead of buying soft drinks while on the move. If you have to purify unsafe water after a disaster it can be good to include some water purification tablets or a compact water filter.

[ ] Some kind of item that can help you start a Fire like a Fire Steel, Lighter, Matches in a Waterproof container and tinder.

Survival Knife
[ ] A Survival Knife is a useful tool but you must check what the specific legal aspect of this is for your country – what kind of knives are legal and where is it allowed to carry them? There are also credit card sized tool kits from Victorinox and Tool Logic that you can carry in your wallet at all times.

[ ] A Compact Flashlight or Headlamp can provide light in dark conditions and be used for signaling. Choose a compact light that doesn’t take up to much space in your bag. Compact flashlights thats using a single AA or AAA battery can be found from Fenix and 4Sevens, the anglelights from ZebraLight can also be an interesting alternative.

[ ] Roadmap / Citymap and Compass or GPS

[ ] Notebook and Pen, excellent for writing down important information or for leaving a note. I personally like the notebooks from Rite in the Rain.

[ ] A Pocket Survival Kit

[ ] Paracord or Duct Tape

[ ] Signal Mirror, SPOT, Chemical Light Sticks, Emergency Strobe or Whistle

[ ] Compact AM/FM/Shortwave radio with Dynamo or A Compact Radio Scanner.

[ ] Paper Tissues can be used as Tinder or as Emergency Toilet Paper.

[ ] A compact First Aid Kit with some basic band aids and disinfection wipes can be a good thing for treating small cuts and treating wounds. The first aid kit is important but the most important part is that you take a course so that you know CPR and the basic skills. Also include some painkillers and anti-diarrheal tablets. If it is flu-season a small tube with alcohol based disinfection may also be a useful addition.

• Lighter and more compact than a Bug Out Bag
• The bag be used as an Every Day Carry Bag
• Provides an resource to deal with problems in your everyday life

• Not as comprehensive as a Bug Out Bag (BOB)

You’re Get Home Bag and Your Every Day Carry
Most people carry at least some items on their person that can be useful during an emergency or survival situation. These items are often refered to as a persons Every Day Carry (EDC). Many Survivalist and Preppers may carry items like Pocket Knives, Flashlights, Lighters or even a Pocket Survival Kit. Your GHB should be built with this factor in consideration. If you carry lighter on your person it can be a good idea to consider another tool to create a fire like a Fire Steel or Matches for your GHB. If you have a Flashlight that use a particular type of batteries as EDC and want a Headlamp for your GHB it can be a good idea to choose a model that use the same type of batteries as the Flashlight or if you carry a Swiss Army Knife for EDC it can be a good idea to consider a Fixed Blade Knife or Multi-Tool for your GHB.
A Get Home Bag is a concept that lands somewhere between your Every Day Carry and a Light Weight Bug Out Bag. There is no clear line between the different concepts, the important thing is that you create a concept that fits your personal needs and provides the tools that you need. Disasters can strike without any warning and even if your Get Home Bag is not designed to provide the function for an evacuation you may have to make do with this bag or your Every Day Carry in a worst case scenario. Equipment is an import part of preparedness, but items can be lost or incomplete. The main focus of your efforts should always be too improve your health and physical fitness, learn relevant skills and your improving your knowledge since these are the things that is always with you, no matter the situation.

Other Articles
Get Home Bags - Examples of Setups
Light Weight Bug Out Bags
Light Weight Bug Out Bags - Examples of Setups
Building The Right Bug Out Bag For You

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Limits to Growth

More and more scientists have started to suggest that the human civilization uses natural recourses in way that will not be sustainable in a long term perspective. These issues have also gotten more and more attention in the media with movies like “Home”, “Blind Spot” and the National Geographic documentary “Collapse” based on the book by Jared Diamond. This post is an attempt to introduce the concept of “The Limits To Growth”, what the theory is and on what arguments and assumptions it is based.

The Limits to Growth
Even if these issues only lately have started to get more wide spread attention some scientists have been talking about these issues for a long period of time. One of the most criticized and famous reports of all about sustainable development is the book/report ”The Limits to Growth”. The report was written by a number of scientists; Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L. Meadows, Jorgen Randers and William W Behrens in the beginning of the 1970s. The report was commissioned by the think tank “The Club of Rome”.

The report starts with discussing the problems of perception for most people, most people are totally focused on their own personal lives, their own work, their own family and what they will be doing the next couple of days. From this perspective many people have a hard time taking the time to get to know what is happening in national or even global perspective. It’s even harder to see how changes will occur on a global scale in a distant future.

Exponential Growth
The report is an attempt to describe our world and its complexity and how different factors correlate with each other through System Dynamics. One of the central parts of the report is exponential growth. Linear growth means that something increases step by step like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. Exponential growth mean that something increase exponentially. One famous examples is the Persian legend about the creator of the chess board how wanted one grain for the first square of the board, two on the second, four on the forth, eight on the fifth etc for his creation from the Prince that ordered it. On the tenth square the number would be 512, on the fifteenth 16384, and more than one million grains on the 21st square of the board. By the 64th square of the board the number of grain would be larger than the number of grain that the Prince owned. Exponential growth can quickly create enormous increases, something that can be seen in for example nature when cell samples increase in the same way until they consume all resources in laboratory experiments. If something increase with 0,1 % every year the doubling time would be 700 years, If something increases with 1% the doubling time would be 70 years, 4% mean 18 years, 7% ten years, 10% seven years and so on.

Limitation in the natural world
The base of the theory is that the world only has a certain number of non renewable resources and that if the human population continue to grow in an exponential way the human civilization will be unable to sustain the population.

The scientist also fear that this can cause an overshoot. An overshoot is a term from biology that refers to a situation when for example a species rapidly increase through exponential growth over the carrying capacity of the environment, causing the population to collapse. The theory is that the world only has a number of non renewable resources that has been accumulated during a long period of time like topsoil, ground water, forests, fossil fuels and other recourses that allow the human population to increase beyond the limits of what that is sustainable in long term perspective. So without these non renewable resources the planet will not have the carrying capacity to support the world population.

Computer models
The scientist has then used computer simulation to simulate different scenarios from the data that was available when the report was made. Some of the predictions have been very precise like the population increase in the world that has gone from 3,6 billion in 1972 when the report was written to the almost 6,8 billion people that the world has today 40 years later. The computer models were created with assistance from researchers working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Perspectives on Technology
The report also discuss Positive and Negative views on technology and what possibilities that future technology will present for solving problems with food, energy, pollution and other issues. I believe that this view can seen clearly today where some researchers believe that continued global exponential growth can cause a collapse and other how believe that technology will find solutions for every problem.

Prospects for the future
The researchers of the book also discuss the possibility of changing the system from the system that we had towards a more sustainable system. They believe that gradual change is desired but that’s it not likely that governments will take actions to ensure a sustainable development. This was written in 1972. The researchers also conclude that the longer humanity wait, the less options there will be to change the system. Another conclusion is that sooner or later there will be a change. The question is only if it will be naturally imposed by reaching the limitations to growth. In this case all we have to do is to just wait and see what happens. From this perspective taking no action is making a choice. Every day of continued exponential growth brings the world closer to the ultimate limit of growth. The solution suggested is to find a State of Equilibrium where humanity can live on the earth finding sustainable solutions without exponential growth.

The Limits of Growth suggest that if the human society continues to grow at an exponential rate the human race will sooner or later deplete the non renewable resources that it depends on causing an overshoot resulting in a situation whne the human population no longer can be sustained. There has also been two updates to the book, one 20 years after the first book was first published in 1992; “Beyond The Limits: Global Collapse or Sustainable Development” and another update 30 years later ;“The Limits On Growth the 30 years update”. The original 1972 report was written during the cold war and whole different time than the one we live in today, but the theory presented is very similar to theories presented by contemporary scientists and writers.

New additions
Many researchers view the world from a similar perspective, two new examples are Joseph Tainter, author of “The Collapse of Complex Societies” and Jared Diamond author of “Collapse: How Societies Choose To Succeed Or Fail”. Both Diamond and Tainter has done research on past human societies that have failed or collapsed and directly and indirectly support the theory that human societies often have depleted the resources and destroyed the environment on which they depend, sometimes with disastrous consequences like the case of the Eastern Islands. The Peak Oil Movement can also be viewed from a similar perspective even if it’s mainly focused on the depletion of fossil fuels and the consequences of this. Partly this concept has also been adapted by other writers like Michael Ruppert and Dmitry Orlov.

The Theory of the Limits of Growth raises some serious question about how human societies work and the future for the human civilization project. The theory is also in sharp contradiction with current political ideologies that all favor and speak of growth, no matter if they present a perspective that’s from the left / right, conservative or liberal, socialist / capitalistic or even a green perspective. Exponential growth has been the truth for the human civilization since the beginning of the industrialized revolution and is something that is deeply rooted in our minds and ideologies. This produces an enormous ideological difference between those how believe that growth has limits and those how believe that there is basically no limits to growth, a view shared by many within the economic community.

It’s my personal belief that today’s economical system is largely focused on short term profits. The focus of this system is not what will happen in ten or twenty years, but what happens with the profits and budget this year. This short term perspective is profitable for many; states, individuals and companies but may prove to be a bad lens in order to identify long terms threats. In short: We are too focused on the present to think about the future. Exponential growth has been a truth for a long time, why would anyone expect that’s this will not be the case in the future?

Personally I do that there are limits to growth and that the earth can’t sustain an unlimited amount of people. When this point will be reached and exactly what consequences this will have is hard to say. Some researchers say that we may already be there, others that it may take place within decades or hundreds of years. So what can one expect if this scenario would come true? One obvious factor is that economic growth will slow down and eventually start to decline on a regional or global level. Starvation and Famine will start to increase and the people suffering for malnourishment will start to increase. The access to other commodities like oil, land, fresh water, energy and metals will become more scares when more people will have to share fewer resources. It’s also possible that new solutions may solve problems with energy and other issues, if this will happen can only time tell.

Survival and Preparedness
If the theory of “The Limits to Growth” would become a reality the world as we know will change in drastic ways. One can only speculate how the human societies will manage such a situation, but my guess is that politicians and others will have a hard time identifying the reasons for why this decline of growth takes place and that there will be major ideological clashes between different groups. This will mean that we would have to redefine the way we perceive the world.

So how does one prepare for such a scenario? The first part that would be hard to overcome is the perception that we will always have continued economical growth. The other part would be to find sustainable solution for issues like food production, water sources, energy and eventually learning how to make do with fewer resources.

There are also organizations like the Transition Network that works to teach people self sufficiency, self reliance, canning and other skills. Some of the threats that they envision are Peak Oil and resource depletion. This type of groups does not only offer the possibility to learn skills for long term survival and self sufficiency but also offers an opportunity to get involved, network and get to know people with similar interests.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Free Online Survival Guide

So after writing articles here on the blog and at The Survivalist Boards for over one year I have completed a number of different articles on various subjects related to survival. This is the first basic structure of The Free Online Survival Guide. I will keep working on it, adding more information and new articles. It’s my intention to provide a free resource for anyone hows interested in the field of survival, crisis preparedness and survivalism.

I would like to thank all members of The Survivalist Boards for their advice and the insights that they have brought to different subject. I have enjoyed writing the articles and hope that some people will find them useful. I’m hoping that we will eventually get a Survival Wiki on the boards so that we can start writing articles and guides together in a more structured and organized way, I really believe that such a tool could take the Boards to the next level.

The Free Online Survival Guide
Chapter One
1.) The Westfalian Risk Management Model
2.) Get The Ability to Cope With a Crisis Situation
3.) Risk Assessments
4.) Analyzing Risks
5.) The Media in a Crisis or Survival Situation
6.) Gathering Information During a Crisis or Survival Situation: HumInt and Interviews
7.) How You Can Reduce Your Own Vulnerability
8.) Travelling With Vehicles During a Crisis or Survival Situation.
9.) Travel Safety and Travel Safety Kits
10.) Staying Warm During a Survival or Crisis Situation
11.) Light during Emergencies and Survival situations
12.) Survival Training
13.) Responding To An Emerging Crisis

Chapter Two – Water and Food
1.) Water
2.) Food and Starvation

Chapter Three – Bugging Out
Introduction to Evacuation and Bug Out Bags
1.) Building The Right Bug Out Bag For You
2.) The Bug Out Plan
3.) Bug Out Guide and Checklist
4.) Light Weight Bug Out Bags
5.) Bugging Out as a Group
6.) Bugging Out Using Bikes
7.) Building a Bug Out Bag on a Budget
8.) Bug Out Bag - Example of a Setup
9.) Light Weight Bug Out Bag - Examples of Setups
10.) Bug Out Bag built on Ultra Light Equipment
11.) Bugging Out As A Group - Examples of Setups
12.) Urban Bug Out Bags
13.) Bug Out Bags for Women
14.) An Education - The Most Important Tool For a Bug Out?

Chapter Four
1.) Bug In - An Introduction
2.) The Bug In Plan
3.) Equipment List For Your Home - Checklist
4.) Surviving Fires and Fire Safety

Chapter Five
1.) Pocket Survival Kits
2.) Survival Knives
3.) Equipment and Techniques to start a Fire
4.) Scandinavian Survival Equipment
5.) Every Day Carry (EDC)
6.) Get Home Bag (GHB)
7.) Get Home Bags - Examples of Setups

Chapter Six
1.) Human Conflict, Wars and Survival
2.) Peace Building and State building missions
3.) Private Military Companies, Private Security Companies and Mercenaries

Chapter Seven – Weapons of Mass Destruction
1.) Biological Warfare and Disease
2.) Chemical Warfare
3.) Nuclear Weapons and Radioactive Dangers

Chapter Eight
1.) The Collapse of Civilizations and Societies: Part One
2.) The Collapse of Civilizations and Societies: Part Two

Chapter Nine
1.) Peak Oil
2.) Things That You Can Do In Order To Prepare For Peak Oil
3.) The Limits To Growth
4.) Is Peak Oil Already Here?

Chapter Ten - Natural Disasters
1.) Earthquakes
2.) Volcanoes
3.) Tsunami
4.) Hurricanes
5.) Tornado

Chapter Eleven - The Psychology of Survival
1.) The Basic Mindset for Survival

Chapter Twelve - For Swedish Survivalists
1.) For Swedish Survivalists

Chapter Thirteen - Movies, Videos and Books
1.) List of Survival Related Documentaries and Videos
2.) Survival Related Blogs and WebPages
3.) Recommended Books and Your Survival Library
4.) List of Companies That Makes Survival Related Equipment

Other Articles about Peak Oil
The Battle of Perception has Begun
Peak Oil and Our Mental Models - The WikiLeaks Cable and The Worlds Largest Oil Fields
US EIA - No Peak In World Oil Production in another 23 years

Other Articles
Another look at the Bug Out Bag
Survivalism for Dummies

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bugging Out Using Bikes

Walking by foot is a rather slow way too evacuate during an emergency. Bikes are one of the most energy efficient ways to travel by muscle power. An individual can normally travel many times the distance one could by foot per day using a bike. Another major advantage is that equipment can be loaded either directly to the bike using special bags or be drawn behind the bike on a trailer, this mean that much more equipment can be brought than would be possible if an individual would have to carry the same amount of equipment. There are many different models of bikes specialized for different tasks like being used in the city or off-road, find a bike that suits your specific needs. There are also bikes thats especially designed to carry heavy loads like the Transport from Trek. If you are on a budget it can be worth checking out the second hand market.

A bike is faster than walking but is normally not as fast as motor vehicle. But it can be an interesting alternative for someone with a low budget or can be brought along on a motor vehicle by using a bike rack.

Bike Trailers
Bike trailers is an excellent way to bring equipment along since it let you remove the weight from your back make the ride more comfortable and better balanced. There are a number of different companies that makes trailers for bike; two of the companies are Croozer and BOB. There are also special trailers for transporting children and pets. There are also custom trailers that’s up to eight feet long and take up to 300 pounds of load from Bikes at Work, like the Model 96A.

Bags for Bikes
There are a number of companies that makes bags that are specially designed for being used on a bike. The bags can be mounted at the front wheel, at the back wheel, under the saddle or other positions. Vaude, ArkelLone Peak and Ortlieb are some example of companies that has a number of different models. You can also improvise and use other bags or containers; the important part is that you distribute the weight equally around the bike so that it’s as balanced as possible. BOBLBEE makes backpacks that are especially designed for using while using bikes, motor cycles and other sports.

Bike Light
A bike light is important for many reasons, it makes it easier for other too se you when you travel by night and it also allows you to see the ground ahead of you. There are many companies that makes special bike lights, but many of the lights are mostly designed to give enough light so that others can see you, don’t to give you are clear view of what’s in front of you. If you want a more powerful light you can get a high power flashlight from Fenix, Surefire, 4Sevens or other companies and use a special adapter to attach it to the handles of your bike. A headlight can also be a good addition since the light will follow your head when you look around. Having a small red light in pointed to the rear of the bike allows other to know that the see the back of work bike in darkness.

Special Equipment for Repairs and Maintenance
For longer bike tours it’s good if you have some basic tools that allow you to fix some basic problems. A flat tire is one of the typical problems you might encounter and can be quite easily fixed with a puncture repair kit and an air pump. Spare inner tubes and tires to bikes is also relatively cheap to store. For most bikes Allen Keys is needed for repairs, fixed keys with t-handles are normally the easiest to work with, but there are also more compact tools with Allen keys especially designed for bike repairs that can be useful when traveling. If you have a car a bike rack is a useful addition in order to make it easier to transport your bike.

Equipment in addition to your Bug Out Bag
[ ] Puncture Repair Kit
[ ] Pump
[ ] Spare Valve
[ ] Adjustable Wrench or Barbell Spanner
[ ] Screwdriver and Allen Keys
[ ] Helmet
[ ] Multi-Tool
[ ] Lock

Wenger has a special Swiss Army Knife, the Wenger Biker 37 that’s especially designed to be used as a tool for repairing bikes. A multi-tool can also be a useful tool for fixing common problems.

A roadmap/city map and compass can be for finding your way, there also GPS units that especially designed for using while biking like the Garmin 705 HR.

One of the easiest ways of preventing serious injury when biking is wearing a helmet. There are many different models on the market; personally I like the ones from ProTec and BELL. Other ways of minimizing the risk of injury is to keep up the maintenance; check the breaks, tires and other details regularly. Stay alert and avoid using listening to music and talking on your cell phone while travelling in traffic, this can both be a distraction and make it hard for you to hear other sounds and warnings.

One of the major problems with having a bike, especially in cities is the risk of getting the bike stolen. A good lock can minimize the risk of getting the bike stolen, but there are no lock that can’t be broken with the right tools and time. The location where you store your bike is also important, try not to store the bike in a secluded location. Solid steel U-locks are normally safer than the thinner models of locks that use wired or chains.

Every Day Life
Biking is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to get around using muscle power, it is also an excellent way to get physical exercise. With a bike trailer and good stamina it’s fully possible to travel to work and do most activities like errands to the supermarket without a car. In some cases it can even save time compared to driving a car or taking the bus. Biking also has a large economical advantage compared to driving car since it does to consume any fuel, accept the calories you burn riding the bike. The cost for buying a bike, maintenance and new tiers are also very low compared to owning a car. For many people transportation is one of the highest economical costs in their lives today and in scenarios like Peak Oil or an Oil Embargo prices for transportation can rise dramatically. Making a life style change going from car dependency towards using a bike does not only have economical advantages but also advantages for your health and fitness.

• Much faster than traveling by foot
• More equipment can be brought compared to travel by foot.
• It can be possible to navigate through traffic jams because of the bikes smaller size compared to cars and other vehicles.
• A much cheaper solution than a car.
Great form of exercise.
• Requires no fuel.

• Extreme terrain is very hard to travel through using a heavily loaded bike; roads are the best mean off travel.
• It’s hard to bike through snow during winter conditions.
• It can be dangerous to travel at highways due to other forms of traffic.
• Normally much slower than a motor vehicle.

• The storage capacity even with a bike trailer and bags are often significantly lower than that of a car or truck.

A bike gives the possibility to travel much longer distances in a shorter duration of time compared to what’s possible by foot, this can be extremely important in scenarios when evacuation is necessary. If you use your bike on an everyday basis and increase your stamina even longer distances can be traveled. With bike bags and a backpack you can bring more equipment than you can carry by foot. With special bike trailers in combination with bike bags it’s possible to bring several hundred of pounds of equipment in extreme cases.
This opens for options that would not normally be possible compared to evacuation by foot; especially if it’s a larger group equipped with bikes and trailers. Some examples of equipment that could be brought:
• Dutch Owens and other more stationary solution for cooking
• Large tents with wood stoves, Large Tarps, Heavy Duty Wool Blankets
• Food and Fuel for extended periods of time
• Heavy Tools like Shovels, Axes and Aaws, Fishing Gear, Rope etc

It’s fully possible to get a bike rack and bring a bike with you on your normal vehicle during an evacuation scenario and have the best of two worlds, one solution does not have to exclude the other.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Equipment and Techniques to start a Fire

Fire is one of the most important things for wilderness survival. It can be used for a number of tasks like signaling for help, preparing food, heat, drying wet clothing, the smoke keeps bugs away, scare off animals, sterilize water by boiling it and comfort. Having a fire during night while hiking and camping is a natural thing for most and a natural meeting point to talk about the day and socialize.

Before you get started you need to collect some kind of fuel for the fire, fire wood is the most common source but in an emergency other things can be used like pieces for furniture. If you use alternative sources for fuel remember that the fire can generate smoke than can be poisonous. Start with selecting a safe place where you can start the fire; make sure that there isn’t any flammable materials close that to the fire that it can spread. If the wind is blowing choose a place that’s as shielded as possible.

Matches are one the most effective way to start a fire. The only major disadvantage is that they must remain dry in order to work properly. In order to keep them fry there is specific container that can be used. There are special water-resistant long burning matches that come in a water proof container from companies like BCB and ProForce. Another simple technique too keep a regular box of matches inside a waterproof plastic bag.

Lighters are also a very effective way to start a fire. It’s a compact solution that easy to carry with you. A lighter can however be hard to operate if it’s subject to water and especially dirt. The lighters from BIC are among the cheapest and operate very well. More high quality storm lighters have the advantage that the flame is stronger and isn’t affected easily by strong wind. The model Helios from Silva is one example; there are also more expensive ones from Wenger and Zippo. There are also lighters that use gasoline like the famous Zippo lighter. Most lighters use an electric spark to ignite the gas in the lighter but some models also use a flint. During an emergency the flint striker from lighters can be used to start a fire even if the gas runs out.

Fire Steel
Modern Fire Steels use different metal alloys that generate very high temperature sparks by using another metal item to produce friction. The spark can be up to 3000 degress Celsius and can be used to start a camp fire. One of the major advantages with a fire steel is that it can be used even if it’s wet, however they require some training and good tinder in order to be effective. There are many models of fire steels on the market some of the best comes from Light My Fire. Light my Fire make three major models the large size Army model that can be used over 10.000 times, the normal size that can be used for around 3.000 times and the mini size that can be used 1.500 times. They also sell a special folding knife with a integrated fire steel, The SL-3. The refill fire steel that can be bought to this knife has no handles and are therefore very compact and perfect for a Pocket Survival Kit.

Tool Logic makes a credit card size tool kit that has small fire steel on the side that easily can be carried in a wallet. Coghlan´s makes a fire steel that has a solid magnesium block under the fire steel, small pieces of magnesium can be carved from the block and used to start a fire.

Ultimate Survival Technologies sell some very good fire steels that can be operated with one hand; The Blastmatch, The Sparkie and The StrikeForce. The main disadvantages with these are that they are not as compact as the Fire Steels from Light My Fire and have a quite high price. also sells a number of different models that’s often recommended. Other companies like Primus and BCB also sell fire steels.

Magnifying glass
A Magnifying glass can be used to concentrate the rays of the sun and start a fire; this can be quite easy to accomplice during a sunny day with dry tinder. However this is only a method I would recommend as a last resort since it can only be used during day time and when the weather is good. Binoculars or a piece of glass from a broken bottle can also be used in the same way.

Tinder is different forms of materials that can be used when one first starts a fire. This can be particularly useful when trying to start a fire in hard conditions when there is wind, rain, snow or wet wood. There are some types of tinder that can be bought in stores like the Wet Fire from Ultimate Survival Technologies and the MayaDust and Maya Sticks from Light my Fire. Tinder can be created by doping cotton balls into Vaseline. Other improvised sources of tinder can be lid from pockets in your cloths, paper, dry grass, a tampon, down from birds and birch-bark. Birch-bark is excellent tinder that can be collected and used later. Lighter fluid can be a good solution for starting a fire when camping, but the high weight of a bottle of lighter fluid is not an ideal solution when hiking or for a Bug Out Bag. 

When starting a fire it’s good to use smaller pieces of wood and twigs to start the fire with and then use larger and larger piece of wood. For splitting and collecting fire wood a folding saw and axe are excellent tools. Try finding as dry wood as possible especially for getting the fire going. If you’re staying at the same location for a long time try to collect fire wood and put it under cover so that it can dry up and become easier to use.

Improvised Techniques
There are also a number of different improvised techniques that can be used to start a fire, one is taking some steel wool, stretching it out and then use 9 volt battery to ignite the steel wool. Other methods are using very dry wood and friction, usually by creating a bow and spinning a pin against another piece of wood very fast.

Fire Safety
If you are making a fire at your home in a fire place a fire extinguisher and fire proof blanket should be accessible to put out the fire in case of an accident. A bucket of water can be used in the wild. Fire can be a major danger as well as a useful tool for survival; every year there is almost 400.000 structural fires in the US, claiming over 2.500 lives and injuring over 12.000. Having fire alarms and emergency escape routes can mean the difference between life and death. Many fire start either in the kitchen, because of smoking indoors or candles.

Monday, November 15, 2010

News on the blog

After expending the subject of evacuation and bugging out I have started the process of reorganizing the posts so that the different aspects of survival and crisis preparedness fall into different categories. This is the first step in order to make them come together into a free Online Survival Guide. I will continue to write about different subjects and make some adjustments too some of the posts that’s already available.

There are a number of new interesting products on the market like the new headlamp from Fenix, the HP-20 that has a separate battery pack using 4 AA batteries. This is a concept that exists on other headlamp as well like the Silva L1 and Petzl Ultra. Having a separate battery pack is an advantage in cold weather conditions when it can be worn in a jacket or backpack in order to minimize the reduced performance of batteries when they get cold.

Fällkniven has released two new knives in a new series of knives with wooden handles, the SK-1, SK-3 and SK-6. Both knives are rather expensive compared to other knives like the WM-1, F1, S1, H1 and A1, however they can be an interesting alternative for collectors. Fällkniven has also released a new pen knife, the compact folding knife U-4 that has a weight of only 22 grams. Other products seem to be coming like a new series of kitchen knives and a new more unexpected product. A new type of steel is also being tested. An alternative with a much more attractive price is the new knife from Mora, The Bushcraft. The Bushcraft has a blade similar to Mora 2000 only with a more ergonomic handle. 

Peak Oil have gotten some attention in as well, in the latest International Energy Agency (IEA) report, World Energy Outlook 2010 the language has changed some. In Sweden a documentary about Peak Oil and other Issues aired tonight at a public television channel. The program can be viewed here. The documentary ”Blind Spot” is a new documentary with many leading researchers within the field of Peak Oil. Other researchers like Joseph Tainter, author of the book “The Collapse of Complex Societies” also participate.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Introduction to Evacuation and Bug Out Tactics

The Bug Out Bag (BOB) is a vital tool for many survivalists. The BOB is a tool intended to make it help an individual survive the evacuation and transport to a safer area or location. Examples of scenarios that can require evacuation are hurricanes, earthquakes, dam breaks or the meltdown of a nuclear power plant.

What a BOB should contain is a debated subject among survivalists and at forums like the Survivalist Boards. What you need is specific for your location and your context. Do you live urban or wilderness setting? What kind of climate do you live in? Is there access to clean water from rivers and lakes? Can you carry a heavy bag over long distances? These are some examples of questions that will affect what kind of equipment you will need. There is no concept or list of equipment that’s perfect for all settings.

Three Different Perspectives
1.) The First Guide for Bug Out Bags is designed for people how live in remote locations where no or little help can expected and the individual must be self reliant. This is also what I would suggest that you pack if you go on a long hiking trip.

2.) The Second Guide focuses on how you can build a low weight Bug Out Bag that can be more appropriate for people how live in warm climate or urban setting. This is also a bag that can be carried as an Every Day Carry bag.

3.) The Third Guide focuses on evacuation from a group perspective. If a group of individuals evacuate or go for a long hiking trip what equipment should they bring and what equipment can they share. This post also focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of group travel.

The first approach is a maximum approach where the individual will have a high number of items that can help to deal with an emergency, the second approach is a minimum approach intended to keep the number of items and weight as low as possible. This is only suggestions, for your specific situation it may be a good idea to either follow some of these guidelines or try to combine the minimum and maximum approach. The most important aspect is that you try your bag out in your location so that you know what works and what don’t. This is also critical so that you learn how to use your equipment; a fire steel is of little use if you don’t know how to use it, the same goes for a GPS, compass, tent or multi-fuel stove. With knowledge and skills you can learn how to make do with less equipment and survive even if you don’t have a fully equipped emergency kit.

1.) You and Your Bug Out Bag
The Bug Out Bag is only a tool kit that will help you to deal with emergency and survival situations; no matter what equipment you carry its you and the people around you that will utilize this tool in such a way that it allows you to survive. In other words: Don’t forget to keep the focus on your own Knowledge; your Physical Fitness and Health and your Skills and Experience. The most important factor for survival is You, not your toolkit.

2.) Some of the Factors you have to take into Consideration when building your BOB
What type of terrain, climate and setting you live will be very important for what kind of shelter, clothing and equipment that you will need. Can you find natural cover or do you have to bring your own? What kind of shelter, clothing and footwear is most appropriate for you? Can water be found easily or will you have to bring all the water that you need with you? What kind of equipment will you need to make water safe to drink?

3.) Season
Most settings have some seasonal variation when it comes to temperature, rainfall and wind. If your seasonal variations are large you might have to adjust your Bug Out Bag from season to season in order to make sure that it will perform as desired during an evacuation scenario.

4.) The Process of Building a Bug Out Bag
I would recommend that you do not view your Bug Out Bag as a fixed concept but rather as a dynamic changing concept. I also recommend that you use as much of the same gear as possible when you go on hiking, hunting, fishing or camping trips since this gives you the opportunity to test the equipment and learn how to use it. It’s also important that you adjust your bag as your situation and personal settings change.

Example of how you can view the process of Building a Bug Out Bag:

Chapter 3: Bug Out Bags and Evacuation
1.) Bug Out Guide and Checklist
2.) Light Weight Bug Out Bags
3.) Bugging Out as a Group
4.) Bugging Out Using Bikes
5.) Building a Bug Out Bag on a Budget
6.) Bug Out Bag - Example of a Setup
7.) Light Weight Bug Out Bag - Examples of Setups

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Bugging Out as A Group

The Bug Out Bag (BOB) is a tool focused on providing an individual with the tools and equipment to Survive a shorter trip to a safe location in case of a sudden threat or disaster. The BOB can also be referred to as a Get Out Of Dodge (GOOD) bag, 72 Hour Kit, Grab Bag or I’m Never Coming Home (INCH) bag. In my view it’s far more likely that an individual would evacuate, or be bugging out together with family members and friends than doing so alone. This is the subject that this post will address: Tactics for bugging out as a larger or smaller group.

The size of groups can vary but ideally groups should have four to six members. The reason why this is an ideal number is that such a group can share the basic equipment needed: Shelter in form of for example a tent and stove for preparing food just name a few items. If a party consists of more than 6 people I would suggest that the group is split into smaller sub-groups that share tent and stoves. Carrying a fully equipped BOB is hard for a single individual; a single individual can’t carry all forms of specialized equipment. A larger group allows for more specialized tools and equipment too be brought than what a single individual can carry.

Individual Kits and the Group Kit
If an individual has to carry all the equipment need on he’s or her own the weight of the pack will be heavier compared to if a person could share the weight of items among a Group. The suggested step of individuals can also be reduced: It’s not necessary that every member carry multiple tools for starting a fire and several knives if every member has one. If an alone individual would carry a single knife or fire starter the consequences would be worse if this equipment would be lost compared to if this happened to a single individual. Multi functions shelters like the Fjellduk and Bivanorak functions both as a poncho and bivi-bag and can provide shelter for an individual if they would get separated from a Group.

During a real life emergency there is no telling what might happen, group members could be separated or unable to meet up so it is still important the individual packs can sustain the individuals. One of the most common forms of Groups is Families. If you are packing for a Family make sure that every member can carry their own bag. For children and young people how can walk by themselves prioritize that they carry their own clothing, water, sleeping bag and sleeping pads.

Individual Bug Out Bag
[ ] Long sleeve base layer shirt (I recommend Merino Wool)
[ ] Short sleeve base layer shirt
[ ] Change of underwear
[ ] Hat or Watch cap
[ ] Gloves
[ ] Buff or Shemag
[ ] Shell Jacket (Waterproof and wind proof)
[ ] Warm Long Sleeve Shirt
[ ] Heavy Duty Pants
[ ] Poncho, Rain Clothing, Fjellduk or Bivanorak
[ ] Hiking Boots
[ ] 2 pair of Extra socks
[ ] Watch

Choose a backpack with a steel or aluminum frame. If you’re going to carry a heavy load over some distance you’re going to need a good backpack. If the frame is internal or external is a question of what you prefer, both have advantages and disadvantages. Backpacks with external frames are generally stronger and can be used to carry other things than your bag like a wounded person or a heavy tank of water. Pack your items in waterproof bags; use different colors so that you know what’s inside the different bags. I also recommend that you get a waterproof bag or container for your cell phone. I suggest that you put certain equipment like your first aid kit in locations that are easily accessible if you would need them. Always put the same items in the same location in your bag so you don’t have to spend much time looking for your items, this also makes easier to see if something would be missing from your pack. Always carry at least one knife and your Pocket Survival Kit on your person in case you would lose your backpack.

[ ] Sleeping Bag (Sleeping bag liners helps to extend the lifetime of your sleeping bag)
[ ] Sleeping Pad, Hammock or Hennessy Hammock.

[ ] Flashlight or/and Headlamp (LED)
[ ] Extra Batteries (Lithium)

[ ] Matches in waterproof container
[ ] Lighter
[ ] Fire Steel
[ ] Tinder

Survival Knives
[ ] Fixed Blade Knife
[ ] Back Up Knife: Folding Knife, Multi Tool or Swiss Army Knife for example
[ ] Sharpener

Pocket Survival Kit
[ ] Matches
[ ] Fire Steel
[ ] Snare Wire
[ ] Wire Saw
[ ] Sewing Kit
[ ] Button Compass
[ ] Safety Pins
[ ] Whistle
[ ] Candle
[ ] Small LED lamp
[ ] Small Knife or Razor blade
[ ] Fishing kit
[ ] Pencil
[ ] Water Purification Tablets
[ ] Painkillers
[ ] Anti Diarrhea Tablets
[ ] Antihistamines
[ ] Antibiotics
[ ] Condom or Alok Sak

[ ] One or Two Water bottles (Nalgene, Klean Kanteen, Camelback or SIGG)
[ ] Water Bladder for your backpack; Camelback, Nalgene or similar system.
[ ] Water Purification Tablets

[ ] Freeze Dried Rations or Meals Ready to Eat (MRE:s). Pack minimum 6 meals for 72 hours
[ ] Powerbars, Flapjack, Beef jerkey, Trailmix or other snacks
[ ] Tea, Coffee, Sugar and Powdered milk
[ ] Salt and Pepper
[ ] Spork (Or Knife, Fork and Spoon)
[ ] Plate and Cup

[ ] Compass
[ ] Cash or Gold/Silver
[ ] Notebook
[ ] Pen

[ ] Roll of toilet paper (in waterproof bag)
[ ] Soap
[ ] Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Dental Floss
[ ] Razor
[ ] Hand Disinfection
[ ] Insect Repellant
[ ] Sun Block or Skin Care Lotion

[ ] 550 Paracord
[ ] Small First Aid Kit and Blister Kit
[ ] Sunglasses
[ ] Special personal needs (extra prescription glasses, medication etc)

Equipment shared by the Group
Every individual should have a personal Bug Out Bag but some of the equipment should be divided among the members most importantly:
[ ] Tent
[ ] Tent Repair Kit and Multi Tool
[ ] Stove and spare parts. Example of Stove could be a Trangia Stove, Kelly Kettle, Esbit, Multi Fuel Stoves or Jetboil.
[ ] Cooking Vessels
[ ] P-38 Can Opener
[ ] Steel wool, Mop and Washing Up Liquid
[ ] Fuel for the stove
[ ] Water Purification Filter
[ ] Map, Waterproof container for map, GPS, Extra Batteries, Compass
[ ] Large First Aid Kit with basic medication.

Examples of other items that can be divided among members of the group are:
[ ] Compact Radio with spare batteries
[ ] Axe, Machete, Parang or Folding Saw
[ ] Binoculars
[ ] Signal Flares, Emergency Strobe, Signal Mirror, Chemical Lightsticks or Spot (Satellite GPS Messenger)

At what point should one Bug Out?
The hardest questions for a Bug Out scenario is when one should be bugging out. What kind of circumstances should trigger such a response? Here Risk Assessments can help to identify potential threats but in a real crisis situation one will always have to make decisions based upon incomplete and often contradicting information. This will also have to be done under time pressure. It’s hard to manage and understand a crisis even for government agencies with enormous resources and a large staff. Knowledge and research about potential threats can help one understand how previous events have unfolded and what consequences they have had. Researching different risks in form of Man-Made and Natural Disasters that is likely to manifest in your local area can help you make better decisions based on limited information.

It’s also important that groups create routines for establishing contact if electronic communications goes down or are interrupted. Meeting points and alternative meeting points and possible routes should also be addressed. If one group decides to evacuate, where does this group leave messages to other concerning the route taken and the people how have evacuated.

The March
A briefing before the March is important so that all members know what intended route that the party intends to travel. Where should the members rally if the group members get separated? If the group is large walkie-talkies can be a useful tool for communicating between the different members of a large group especially if it’s stretched out during a March or travelling in different vehicles.

If the party travels by foot the party should stop after 15-30 min and regulate clothing so that people don’t sweat or are getting cold. If the members sweat too much dehydration may soon become a serious problem. When the group stops take time to adjust the packs so that they are comfortable to carry. Make a habit of often checking that your vital equipment like your knife rests in its sheath. When a group makes a stop also make sure that all the members are present. Never let any individual stray away alone without the group stopping, if something must be done members should always try to stay together with another individual. The pace of the party must be governed by the weakest members in the party, if members get to tired the risk of accidents and injury increases so make sure to make a short stop once per hour or after passing through rough terrain. Checking up on the members and taking care of each other is also critical. Everything from blisters, back problems, dehydration and other problems are much easier to deal with in an early stage. It’s also important for how the social dimension of the group is working.

The party members should regularly be checking the terrain behind them; especially those how walk in the rear of the party. This is very important because it can be very hard to find the way back since the terrain looks very different going back the other way. In high risk areas it can also important to see if anyone is following the party.

The rest of the members should also keep an eye open and be aware of the surrounding environment; it can be a good idea that different members keep attention to designated directions. By being alert the party can spot dangers, find water, shelter, eatable plants and sometimes other equipment that can be useful.

Setting Up and Breaking Camp
When a Group makes camp for the night it’s important that every member of the party helps out with the different tasks that must be done. Some of the tasks that should be done are
• Raising the tent or arranging shelter.
• Collecting fire wood and get a fire going in a secure location. Whenever there is fire wood available this should be used to save fuel for the stoves.
• Prepare an evening meal.
• Collecting and purifying water.

From the time that a party wakes up in the morning until the party has eaten breakfast, cleaned up and attended hygiene, packed tents and are ready to leave normally takes 1-2 hours.

• A Group are likely to have more areas of expertise than a single individual.
• In case that an individual get injured the others can give care or in a worst case scenario carry this individual on a stretcher.
• More specialized equipment can be brought helping the group to cope with more situations.
• The carrying load for each individual will be lower if a Group shares tents and stoves.

• Moving with a large group often takes longer time.
• The Group can have members with a poor physical fitness, children and elderly or even injured people that slow the phase of the Group.
• Some members are likely to have low quality equipment/clothing or be lacking some equipment.

Another important aspect is getting to know the other members of your group. Engaging in activities like hiking is an excellent way both to test equipment, routes, clothing, increase fitness, getting experience and getting to know the other members of a possible group. What are the strength and weaknesses of the members? What skills do they possess and what skills do they lack? What skills can the different members help each other obtain? Working out differences within the group before a real crisis is also important; a real crisis will be extremely hard both physically and emotionally for a group evacuating an area. Latent conflict within the group may then become a big problem. Learning how to deal with conflict within a group is something that should be dealt with before an emergency. It’s hard to know how people will react under extreme pressure, but hiking, camping and hunting trips before a real emergency will provide some opportunities to deal with these issues before.

Bug Out Vehicles (BOV)
Vehicles can make it possible to travel over distances that would take weeks to travel in a matter of hours if the conditions are excellent. A vehicle intended to be used when bugging out is often referred to as a Bug Out Vehicle or BOV. Vehicles also allow heavier equipment to be brought along. However, during an large scale evacuation from a city or urban area roads can turn into to traffic jams that can stretch for miles where the traffic bacilli comes to stand still. This problem may be reduced in some cases by taking roads that normally aren’t trafficked but is still not a guarantee. In addition to cars and trucks other alternatives can be used depending on terrain like boats, mountain bikes, snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles or even air planes depending on your situation and budget.

One tactic that is often discusses is the option to stash heavy equipment along possible Bug Out routes or at alternative locations like the homes of family members or friends. Some equipment can be outstanding for wilderness life and survival, however these items are often too heavy or bulky too be carried over long distances witch make caching them a possible alternative solution. There are of course risks involved in stashing equipment, it can be stolen or destroyed by weather just to name a few. If you have to evacuate by another route than the intended one you will be unable to take advantage of the equipment. If you are planning on using this tactic you must consider the pros and cons of different locations and methods.

Example of items that can be considered
[ ] Dutch Ovens
[ ] Murrikka
[ ] Larger Tents with Woodstoves
[ ] Large Tarps
[ ] Heavy Duty Wool Blankets
[ ] Large Water Containers
[ ] Tools like Axes, Shovels, Hammers, Rope, Pick axe etc
[ ] Fire wood and fuel for vehicles and stoves

Equipment vs Skill and Experience
Equipment can help individuals cope with different kinds of crisis and survival situations by providing tools that makes it easier to find solutions for different kinds of problems. Clothing and shelter provides protection from the elements; compass, map and GPS can makes navigation in un-known territories much easier; a headlamp, chemical lightstick or flashlight can provide light during nights, knives and tools like axes makes it possible to handle a number of different tasks that almost impossible to do my hand; fire steel, matches and lighter makes it much easier to start a fire and so on. However, no matter how much gear you carry your physical and mental endurance, skills, knowing your local area, the will to survive, knowledge and most of all the persons next you will most likely be the crucial factors that determine if you survive or not.

So is this the Ultimate Guide?
In this post you have gotten some suggestions for you can put together a setup for a Group during an evacuation or for a regular hike or camping trip. This Guide is intended to provide some basic ideas and Suggestion for possible setups. However – This is not a Guide that is perfect for every climate and setting.

Every situation, climate and setting is unique and requires specific skills and equipment to be dealt with. There is no One Size fits all when it comes to Bug Out Bags. There is a huge difference if you are putting together a kit for a desert climate, jungle, winter, arctic, wilderness or urban setting. In most regions there are people how spend time outside as wilderness guides, military, hunter, hikers and many more. Find a local expert and take advice from the people how know your local situation best – the people how live and spend time there.

Also see
Bug Out Bag and Checklist
Bug Out Bag - Example of Setups
Light Weight Bug Out Bag
Get Home Bag (GHB)