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  • Your Outdoor Gear Is Your Survival Gear

    If you’ve ever been camping, you know what it’s like to survive away from the comforts of home. And, believe it or not, every time your sleeping out in the woods, you are also preparing for a disaster. Think about it… your outdoor gear will be your survival gear following during an emergency. The differences between camping and plain old surviving are few.

    Outdoor Gear is Your Survival GearI briefly mentioned in another blog post how you can take your family out camping in your backyard to practice using your camping and outdoor gear. This is actually a very good way to learn what more you need for your camping/survival gear. Then, head into the wilds and take it out for a field test. Go camping and see how prepared you really are! If you had to camp out for three days, a week, a month…would you be ready? If you plan ahead, you will be.

    The following is some outdoor gear and resources that you generally use while camping, and will be glad you have during an emergency.

     

    Shelter

    Outdoor Gear Is Survival GearWhat’s the first thing you do when you get to your camp site? Why, set up your tent, of course! If you’re really roughing it, you might be making a lean-to from some pine boughs lashed together with nothing but your shoelaces and dental floss. If you’re like me, however, you’ll probably have some sort of really cool tent. My dream tent is the Barebones Safari Outfitter Tent, but since that isn’t in the budget just yet (“yet” being the key word here…), I’ll be content with a regular ol’ tow-man, pop-up backpacking tent.

    While shelters and tents make camping a much more enjoyable experience, shelter for disaster situations is important for many more reasons. While camping, you might be able to tough it out for a night or two, but while surviving after a disaster, your camping tent will be where you live. It’s where you and your kids will sleep, where you’ll hunker down during rain, snow, and storms, and where you will have your privacy from everyone else surviving around you. Yes, your camping tent is more than just a temporary shelter during an emergency. It’s your home.

     

    Food and Water

    I’ll combine food and water into one category for brevity’s sake. That being said, bringing food and water for your family isn’t always convenient while out camping. That’s why we always fill up our canteens, coolers, and whatever else we carry water in before we leave. We fill up some water containers from our home faucet and put them in the car. And, before we head out to wherever-it-is-we’re-going, chances are we’ll hit up the store in search of the perfect food to cook up over the camp fire. Hot dogs and marshmallows are always a popular choice; easy to cook and the kids love them. But there’s also the thing about keeping the meat cold while you travel so it doesn’t go bad. While camping, that’s not too hard. After an unexpected disaster? That’s where it gets a little bit more difficult.

    Survival food can just as easily be the same stuff you bring camping. Tips-for-Camping.com recommends freeze dried food, because a) it’s delicious (it is!) and b) it lasts for a long time (our freeze-dried food lasts for 25 years!). All you need to do is add water to reconstitute the food, wait a few minutes, and you’ve got yourself a tasty home cooked meal! And in a disaster, isn’t that what you want…Some of the comforts of home?

    Water can be gathered just as easily during a disaster. Besides having water storage in your home (which we definitely recommend), having a water filter can supply you with good, clean water wherever you are.

    These are two things that can be a great addition to your camping gear that can be instantly used for your own survival. We’ll always need food and water, and if you already have that on hand, then you’re two steps ahead of the game!

     

    Cooking Gear

    Outdoor Gear Is Survival GearSpeaking of food and water, there are plenty of times when you’ll want to boil water or cook food that isn’t freeze dried. Enter the campfire. Cooking over a fire while camping is half the reason we go, is it not? Nothing says camping like a nice fire going, the smell of smoke in the air, while your camp stew cooks over the fire. Mmm, delicious! What are you cooking that stew in? Some sort of pot, I’d wager. Possibly even on a camp stove. Those are always fun, especially when your firewood is all soaked because it rained the night before. Thanks to your little stove, you still have a way to be the camp chef.

    After a disaster, you may not have access to a fire pit to cook with. You may not have a stove or oven, either. That’s where your little cooking stove comes in handy. Even if you’re stuck inside without power, you’ll still have a way to cook your food and prepare dinner for your hungry family. And, since you’ve taken it camping with you so many times, you’re now pretty savvy with it and can use it just like your kitchen stove.

     

    First Aid

    Outdoor Gear Is Survival GearBecause accidents always seem to happen when you’re far away from help (it’s like they plan it that way), first aid kits are a must while you’re camping. And, since disasters tend to cause accidents, you’re going to want a first aid kit around for one of those – just in case. One of the benefits of being prepared is that you can take care of yourself immediately without waiting for emergency teams to come find you. That could take a while, because disasters tend to affect a lot of people at once. And if a lot of people are looking for medical attention, they’re going to take the most serious cases first.

    But if you are fine, you can take that kit with you and help others who need assistance. A Boy Scout is always supposed to be prepared and help others. Even if you’re not a boy or a scout, you can still take that way of life to heart and be prepared with gear so that when others do need help, you’ll be ready. And who knows, it could be your own family you’re helping.

     

     

    Your camping gear really is your survival gear. And, the more you go camping and use your gear, not only will you have a lot more fun doing it, the more savvy you’ll be, making it all the easier to adapt to an emergency situation. In fact, the people at Homestead Dreamer suggest that those who are frequent campers and outdoorsy people have an easier time adjusting their mental state around a disaster when it comes. This is because they’ve already been doing the surviving gig for a long time – and they do it for fun! They also mention a wide range of skills that are developed while camping. From building shelters to starting fires, these are skills that might just save your life.

    As fun and enjoyable as camping is, it’s also a great way to prepare for survival. Practice makes perfect, and in a survival situation, you’re going to be glad you’ve already been doing a lot of practicing in the form of camping.

     

    What other camping gear, skills, and other things will help you survive a disaster? Let us know in comments!

    Posted In: Disaster Scenarios, Emergency Cooking, Emergency Kits, Equipment, First Aid and Sanitation, Practice Your Prep, Skills, Uncategorized Tagged With: outdoor gear, practice your prep, survival gear, camping

  • City of Tents - Living After the Nepal Earthquake

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    TweetSaturday saw a major earthquake in Nepal. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake has left a death toll of over 4,000. Entire towns have been flattened. With multiple aftershocks still shaking the area, along with landslide in the steep mountain, thousands are still anxious about their safety.

    On the first night following the Nepal earthquake, thousands of people were left on the street without shelter. IN the days since, tent cities are starting to take shape, springing up all over the region, providing at least some form of shelter for those without—shelter that may have to last for weeks, even months. And with aftershocks still rolling, people are staying outdoors in tents to avoid the danger of another collapse. BBC News reported on the scene at Kathmandu:

     

    Tent City Associated Press

    “Vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, for those displaced or afraid to return to their homes as strong aftershocks continued. Thousands spent Sunday night - their second night - outside.”

     

    As we’ve seen in Kathmandu, tents are the go-to for those in the affected areas. And with such wide-spread devastation, how long will they have to remain in these tent cities? Which begs the question, if an earthquake struck your area, would you be prepared with shelter for you and your family?

    Just over a week ago, we at Emergency Essentials participated in The Great Utah Shakeout – an event designed to help people prepare for an earthquake. We set up a shakeout camp which consisted of a variety of tents—from tiny two-man pop-ups, to our premium Barebones cabin tents, to our 450 sq. ft Geo Shelter dome tent, all outfitted with the gear that will help people survive comfortably following a large quake. Those who stopped by our camp enjoyed strolling about our little camp (even though 6 inches of snow was on the ground in the morning hours, followed by 40 MPH winds in the afternoon…an appropriate touch Mother Nature provided to help us illustrate survival in trying conditions). I’ll tell you what, I was definitely grateful we had those tents set up, because it was a chilly day.

    The Barebones tent not only demonstrated the ability withstand all types of conditions, including heavy snowfall and strong winds, but was outfitted with cots, a desk, and even a wood burning stove. The Barebones Safari Outfitter Tent can comfortably house up to four people, and through several seasons if necessary. Take a look!

    Barebones

    Barebones Pano

    IMG_4152IMG_4151

     

    If I were in Kathmandu and forced to find a place to live for an indefinite amount of time, this would be right at the top of my list. And, with some alternate energy sources like a Goal Zero Yeti 1250 or some solar panels to provide light and power, this would definitely take some of the pain out of the disaster.

    The Nepal earthquake shows us how important shelter can be. Fortunately they’ve had some nice nights, but earthquakes don’t always wait for good weather, as our weather on ShakeOut day demonstrated.

    So, are you prepared with shelter? We hope so. But if not, check out our Barebones tents so when disaster does strike, you’ll have the shelter you need to protect you and your family.

     

    Barebones Outfitter Safari Tent: http://beprepared.com/barebones-safari-outfitter-tent.html

    Barebones Little Bighorn Tent: http://beprepared.com/barebones-little-bighorn-tent.html

    Shake Out Camp Blog Post: http://beprepared.com/blog/17966/shakeout-camp-surviving-well/

    Posted In: Uncategorized

  • Diesel Spill Contaminates Local Water Supply

    Last Wednesday, residents of Nibley, Utah were put under a water ban for 48 hours.

    do not drinkNo, it’s not drought conditions that cause the town to order the water ban. Not a water main break or power outage, either. It was diesel fuel contamination that fouled the water. Washing with such water can cause health issues. Eating food cooked with such water can cause health issues. And drinking the water? Well, best not to go there, either.

    Can you imagine not being able to drink, cook with, or wash in the water that comes free-flowing from your faucet? That’s exactly what the residents of Nibley had to put up with last Wednesday. In fact, they are still under a partial water ban, 5 days later.

    If a city official posted a note on your door stating you were not to use your water for 48 hours, how would you fare?

    We’ve talked about water storage a lot on this blog, and for good reason. Usually it’s about drought and its nasty effects. But as we see here, that’s not the only reason you could be forced to go without water.

    So what can you do to have water when your main supply is suddenly unusable?

    1. Water storage

    Having water barrels or some form of water storage will help see you through until your water supply becomes usable again. We have three different sizes of water barrels (15 gallon, 30 gallon, and 55 gallon), and a 160 gallon water reserve that can stack to create to create a 320 gallon water reserve. Of course, you may not have room for such large containers. Fortunately, you still have options for water storage in smaller containers, such as 5-gallon containers, bottles, cans, and pouches. These smaller containers make storing water easier in smaller homes and apartments where a 55-gallon water barrel just simply won’t work.

    1. Water filters

    Sometimes you just don’t have room for water barrels. Fortunately, water filters and purifiers are small and don’t take up a lot of space. They are capable of turning all kinds of water unsuitable for human consumption to clean, drinkable water. Remember though, water filters won’t work for chemical-based contamination, like a diesel spill, so that comes back to water storage.

    1. Water purifiers

    Water purifiers are another option for getting clean water. Instead of filtering out the baddies, water purifiers kill the harmful substances in the water. For example, the SteriPEN Emergency Handheld Water Purifier uses ultraviolet (UV) light to eliminate over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. Another option are purification tablets, which are effective against those nasty protozoa, bacteria, and viruses using the same proven technology as in municipal water supplies. Compact and lightweight, they make a great travel-sized option for purifying water.

    Unfortunately, water purification won’t remove diesel fuel from your tap water, either…again, coming back to water storage as the only viable long-term solution.

     

    As you can see, having a proper water storage will help you get through those unexpected water bans. We can never know for sure when something like that will happen, but we can always be prepared for when they do come.

    For a full list of water storage and water filter options, check out our water storage page and water filter page.

    Posted In: Uncategorized

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