With the current world climate and the COVID-19 pandemic on our doorstep, you might be thinking it’s time to start planning for the worst. Surviving apocalyptic conditions requires planning and preparation – they don’t call them preppers for nothing.
As we’ve discovered thanks to the run on toilet paper in the last few months, the best thing you can do to be prepared for, and to survive, an economic and societal breakdown is to have the right gear for a variety of situations.
A Bugout Bag
If you’re facing a societal collapse, all the planning you’ve done may get thrown out the window. Even if you’ve spent time thinking about an
apocalyptic future before it happens, it might not take the shape and form you expected.
So, even if you intend to stay in your current location, circumstances may make that impossible. If you want to be truly prepared, you should keep a bugout bag handy.
What’s a bugout bag? Also known as a “go bag”, a bugout bag contains everything you need for a number of survival situations for up to 72 hours. Clothes, including extra socks and underwear, first aid kits, tradeable items, extra money, medicine, water bottles and filtration packets, and essential survival tools are all items that should be in your bugout bag.
Food is, of course, an essential item for survival. In addition to keeping you and your family or group nourished, non-perishable and canned items can be used for trade if things get really bad.
Stock up on items with a good balance and caloric content. You’ll want high calorie items in some survival situations that are very portable, like trail mix and pemmican bars. Make sure you have a good mix of protein, fat, and carbs for quick energy.
And while canned food is great and can last forever, it’s not terribly portable. If you’re staying in place, canned goods will last a long time. If you’ll be on the move, make sure you have items you can easily stick in a bag and that aren’t too heavy to carry over long distances.
Lastly, be ready to hunt and gather. Whether it’s a retractable fishing rod, a snare, or other hunting tools, be prepared to catch and collect your own food. Know what plants and berries are edible, as well. You don’t need to have food poisoning when there is no where to rest and no hospitals to help you.
Speaking of food poisoning – and other ailments, like migraines, cuts, inflammation, fevers, and so on – make sure you are prepared to treat common medical issues. Carrying antidiarrheals, ibuprofen, antacids, acetaminophen, and antibacterial ointments can keep you on the move even when you don’t feel well.
More importantly, however, make sure you are well stocked on prescription medications long before an apocalyptic event occurs. You may need to pay for a few months out of pocket, but having enough of your life saving medicines on hand is crucial.
We’ve mentioned first aid kits, medicines, money, and food. What else counts as emergency supplies?
Make sure that your first aid kit isn’t’ just for a few scrapes and bruises. Wraps, tourniquets, and splints are worth taking the time to pack. Keep thread and needle handy. You can fix tears in shelter and clothes, and you can sterilize a needle to sew up wounds.
Flares, matches, and flints are important, too. You should have a way to start a fire, cut kindling, and chop wood. Make sure that you can use that fire, too, with metal water bottles to boil water, and cooking pots and utensils.
Surprisingly, another emergency item to pack are feminine supplies – even if you’re a guy. Not only are these highly tradeable items, they are great for soaking up blood from wounds or to use as an improvised firestarter.
Of course, you’ll need various tools, too. As mentioned, you’ll want to be able to cut wood and kindling for a fire, build shelter, and even have tools at hand that you can use to defend yourself.
Ideally, you’ll pack as few heavy tools as possible while still making sure you have enough to get the job done. A mallet or hammer is handy, and can double as a weapon if needed.
You’ll also need cutting instruments – which can also serve double duty as protection. A pocket knife or folding knife is useful for smaller jobs like skinning and cutting up food.
For larger projects, a multi-tool is essential. The best survival multi-tool will be able to cut, chop, and slash without wearing you out. For instance, the Woodman’s Pal is well balanced and comfortable to hold, minimizing blisters and exhaustion. It’s also got a blade for chopping, a safety notch to prevent accidental cuts, and a hand sharpened long edge to allow for a drawing cut. It also comes with a leather belt sheath to make it easy to carry.
Spending time building up your supplies for a catastrophe is never wasted, even if you never need it. The one time you do, you’ll be prepared for whatever comes your way while keeping you, your family, and your friends cared for and protected.