G.O.O.D. Bags

Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag – Book Give Away

Back in May, I pre-ordered the book “Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit”. When it arrived a short time later I read through it and was immediately impressed with the job the author Creek Stewart had done. As I was reading it the thought kept emerging that this book was exactly the sort of detailed how-to that we like to do here at Utah Preppers, but on a larger scale. As it turns out, the book initially started out as a blog post on the art of manliness blog. After receiving a good response, Creek decided to work on expanding the concept into a comprehensive how to guide.
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Wildfires in Utah

Feeding ‪#dumpfire‬ Fire crews.

We are now into Day 3 of the Dump Fire at Saratoga Springs in Utah. Our own Jayce and Neybar live near the fire, and while their homes do not seem to be in any danger, they still left work early yesterday to volunteer to help. Their experience and knowledge has undoubtedly been invaluable to the volunteer effort. They have been keeping us posted on Twitter (@JayceHall and @neybar), and I have seen several of their tweets mentioned and retweeted by others needing information. For those who haven’t been following along, you can keep an eye on the #dumpfire hashtag on Twitter. For any ham radio folks who want to monitor, they’re on 145.23 repeater (131.8 tone). NetOps is at station 2.

Cause of the Fire

It is believed that the fire was caused by people target shooting near the landfill. They were shooting in an area where it was legal to do so, and when the fire started, they called 911 and attempted to put the fire out. They have been cooperative with authorities, and have been helping the effort to put the fire out. Because they were shooting legally and did everything right after the fire started, they are unlikely to be charged criminally.

Being Prepared for Evacuation

In following news reports, I have noticed some things. When crews knocked on doors on Day 2 of the blaze to tell people they had 15 minutes to evacuate, a lot of people scrambled to pack up what they considered necessary. Family photos, pets, medications and a change of clothes. Less prominently featured in the stories were people who decided that they were going to have to evacuate, and started packing their cars long before evacuation orders came in. While I’m sure there were plenty of preppers who already had 72-hour kits ready to take at a moment’s notice, they were apparently not as newsworthy as the less-prepared. Though my family lives in Magna, far away from the fire, we still had one evacuee knock on our door asking to buy a small bottle of shampoo from my wife’s basement salon.

Food donations for the #dumpfire.

This incident underscores not only the importance of fire safety, but also the importance of being prepared and keeping a current 72-hour kit or Bug Out Bag. Fortunately, several local businesses pitched in to provide food and water at the local evacuation centers, but this is not always the case. Be sure to check expiration dates on the food in your kits and in your food storage in general.

Our hearts go out to those affected by the fire, and we hope that it will be out soon.

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Thoughts on refreshing a 72 hour kit

I recently had the chance to go back through my 72 hour kits.  I changed out some clothing for my children, removed some things that didn’t make sense anymore and replaced the food.  As I was doing this I found a few things that made me glad I had been looking over my kits.

The first item I found was in the food.  I had placed pop-top mixed fruit cans, and in three of my kits the tops had been popped.  The contents had gotten all over the rest of the food, and then of course had dried out.  It was pretty gross.  So if you are going to use those types of cans make sure you pack them in a way that they can’t get accidentally opened. (more…)

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Review: UVPaqlite and ToobLite Glow Sticks

ToobLite Mini with a Paracord lanyard and Turks Head knot.

At times when I’m building up my various forms of disaster kits, I want to throw you hands up in frustration at how reliant I am on different forms of technology. As much as I enjoy the outdoors I’m always bending it back to my more technological side. While this may make things more fun, accurate, or whatever other benefits I get, it also makes me dependent on power.

A great example of this is my need for light outdoors. Now sure we’d like to never be reliant on non-natural light forms, but it’s a reality. Even if you just have a midnight bathroom run once and a while, there are times that you need light. Historically of course, man has relied on fire to provide this light, and now we have flashlights to give us nice, portable light whenever we want, provided we have charged batteries.

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Emergency kits for young school age children

Like most preppers my family has 72 hour kits for each member of our family. We try to keep the consumable items in them rotated, work to ensure that the spare clothes in them are seasonal and fit, etc. Since my children are too young to be in school right now, I haven’t spent too much time considering how I will handle a “get home”, “bug out” or 72 hour kit for each child once they are spending a significant amount of their day in a state run education center. I also need to consider the restrictive policies in place these days regarding what is “dangerous” per current school policies. This begs the question, as a prepper, how do you handle emergency kits for young school age children when they are away from the home?
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Bug out/Camping/Utility Trailer

I’ve been wanting to get out camping more often, but I suspect like many have had trouble convincing my wife to give camping a try. For some reason, sleeping on the hard, cold ground doesn’t appeal to her.

Buying a dedicated camper, pop-up tent, RV would be nice, but they are generally more than I want to spend, are single purpose and often require separate registration here in Utah. I often find a need for a small utility trailer for hauling mulch, compost, etc. and here in Utah, smaller trailers under a certain weight and size don’t need to be registered. When I obtained an old home built utility trailer recently, I decided to jump head first into a home built adventure trailer build.

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Prepping for Work Disasters

We had an emergency at work today, involving a critical server that was not properly cared for by its department. Due to the severity of the situation, I was called in to help recover the server. I had to go pick up the server from the data center and bring it back to to office to work on it. It was important enough that my boss offered to let me take his car, a 2006 Cadillac CTS. I think he was a little surprised when I declined, in favor of driving my 1998 Corolla instead.
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Burying a gun or other preps

Mossberg 500 JIC

Mossberg 500 JIC

I have to admit that I have been a little obsessed with finding a decent option for burying, sinking or otherwise hiding a firearm and other preps since I first saw Mossberg’s Just In Case line of products a number of years ago.
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Emergency Preparedness Priorities

mountain sceneryOur physical needs prioritized – The Rule of 3′s:

  1. 3 minutes without Air or Blood
  2. 3 hours without Shelter/Warmth
  3. 3 days without Water
  4. 3 weeks without Food

But, you won’t be bleeding or without air in every emergency situation so this list is not perfectly prioritized and it is lacking some priorities.

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Evacuation/Emergency Combat Readiness

Paris rioters in 2008

Paris rioters in 2008

This is the seventh installment of the Evacuation Preparedness Kit Series.  The first post, on Evac Prep Basics is here, and the second post, which introduces the Evac Prep Master List is here.  The third post, and the first post on the list review is here.  This post will cover Combat Readiness.

Contrary to the belief of some, being a Prepper is NOT synonymous with being well armed and ready to protect yourself and your preps in a violent situation.  However, this article is specifically about being prepared to defend yourself, your family and your preps if it comes down to it.

History shows us that when things go bad we can expect riots, looters, roving gangs of marauders and plenty of random acts of armed violence.  We have witnessed this just this week with the riots in Iran that ended in violence.  Or we can look at the looting during Hurricane Katrina, rioting and looting during the L.A. Rodney King riots, the French riots (pictured above) and several others.

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Evacuation Kits – 72 Hour Kits/BOBs/G.O.O.D. Bag Management

72 Hour Kits - Serenity

This is the sixth installment of the Evacuation Preparedness Kit Series.  The first post, on Evac Prep Basics is here, and the second post, which introduces the Evac Prep Master List is here.  The third post, and the first post on the list review is here.  This post will cover 72 Hour Kit management.

It seems that every time I inventory my preps I find things that are missing.  It’s usually something like that one time when my wife needed to send a couple water bottles to school and the easiest thing to grab was a couple out of a 72 Hour Kit, then we forgot to replace it.  Or you needed some batteries, or a flashlight, or whatever.  When something can’t be found, it’s hard to not say “Oh, there’s one in the preps somewhere”.   Every time it happens there is always good intent to replace the removed item right away – and invariably it is forgotten about.

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Evacuation Preparedness List Review part 3

This is the fifth installment of the Evacuation Preparedness Kit Series.  The first post, on Evac Prep Basics is here, and the second post, which introduces the Evac Prep Master List is here.  The third post, and the first post on the list review is here.  This post will pick up where we previously left off in reviewing the categories on the Master List.

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