Friday, September 13, 2013

INFORMATIVE - Things you may not have thought of for your 72 hour bag

When packing a 72 hour bag to carry with you, there are some things that many preppers forget, or simply don't think about, so I thought I'd do this quick little post to outline some of them, and why they're handy:

Nail Clippers


More of a luxury item, these can get rid of pesky hangnails, keep your nails trimmed if they're getting in the way, but also cut fishing line easily and help open stubborn packaging. They even come in very cool slimline versions that can slide into your wallet and take up extremely little space.


Cordage

Thin, yet strong, cordage such as hoochie cord or bankline can be extremely handy and, if packed cleverly, can take up very little room and weight in your bag. It is useful for binding bundles, retrieving hard-to-reach items, "macguyvering" things together, holding down/securing items or restraining people if need be.


Poncho

Ponchos are the sort of thing that you'll wish you had when the time is right. It is easy nowadays to buy tiny, cheap, collapsible ones that are really only good for one use, but if you have the extra room in your bag, then it's worth grabbing a thicker, sturdy one. Getting caught in a storm or downpour isn't fun at the best of times. You may as well maintain the ability to keep yourself and your gear dry.


Reinforced Bag


Whether it's an old canvas shopping bag, or one of the more modern collapsible pocket bags made of rip-stop fabric, having something like this in your bag can really help you out sometimes. Ever had a day at work where, coincidentally, you have to carry quite a bit of stuff and just wished you had a bag? It happens more often than you'd think. These are small, lightweight and are incredibly useful.


Dry Bag


These don't take up much space when empty and folded, and are extremely light, but if you've ever worried about your phone, wallet and/or keys when caught in a downpour or flooding situation, then dumping them all into something like this will keep them perfectly snug and dry with no chance of water getting in. You could drop one of these into a lake and nothing would get inside!


Cash Stash
Ever been caught short at a store? Or a bus/train? Ever realised too late you didn't have cash for parking? Ever needed a couple of bucks for a vending machine because you're dehydrated or need a sugar fix? Having a cash stash in your bag can solve those problems instantly. You can even get specialized containers for it!


Solar Charger
These can get pretty darn small and lightweight, but anyone who's ever been caught with a dead phone battery while they're out will know this pain. Pick up a solar charger and never have that problem again.


Sharpie
Permanent markers are never around when you need one. Grab one the next time you're doing your groceries and you'll be prepared to mark surfaces, mark travel routes, leave signals, write on most surfaces and more.


Multitool
A good quality multitool can get you out of a lot of jams, but it really is a case of "you get what you pay for". Invest in a high-end multitool from SOG or Leatherman or Gerber and keep it in your kit. The uses are endless, but don't buy cheap.


Pocket Radio
If shit hits the fan, they're going to broadcast about it on the radio. If you're not near civilization at the time, or are trying to stay incognito, then having your own small radio will have you sorted out to listen in. You can buy them very, very small. The one that I carry is so small I could fit 5 or 6 of them in my hand at once.


Spare Batteries


It's surprising the number of preppers I talk to who don't do this... Carry at least 2 of each major battery type in your pack (AA, AAA, 9V CR123, etc). The logic kinda speaks for itself on this one.


Wax
In the form of a candle or even a tent repair wax stick which you can get from camping stores. Having wax handy (presuming that you also have a source of firestarting handy) will allow you to make a hobo stove in a pinch. It's roughing it, but it doesn't take up much extra room, and could save your life.


That's all for now from me, but I'd love to hear what odd/oblique things you carry in your 72hr bag that other people may not! Comment below!

- CumQuaT

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