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#3184 - 12/20/01 08:05 AM New to ETS

Hello to everyone,<br><br>I have been coming to this website for a few weeks now and say nothing else except that I am impressed. Just recently I have discovered the wide world of survival and I am enjoying it quite a bit.<br><br>I do have a few questions for anyone who would like to help. I currently do not have a survival kit and would like to construct one. I've read many posts about them and would like to know if anyone would make a rundown of what they think would be ideal to carry in it. <br> I would like to thank everyone in advance.<br><br>-Jason

#3185 - 12/20/01 04:01 PM Re: New to ETS
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
Jason,<br><br>Welcome - I'm a newbie here as well. What sort of circumstances are you contemplating? While you're waiting for the flood of advice to come in, you might want to read about Doug's PSK on the main site - it's a multi-purpose useful sort of kit.<br><br>Regards,<br><br>Tom

#3186 - 12/20/01 07:25 PM Re: New to ETS

I will second the idea to go back to ETS homepage and read the articles about kits. There are pages about the 7-10 items that are considered required in a kit. http://www.equipped.org/srvkits.htm#TheCore There are reviews of equipment to help you decide which make and model is the best to fit your needs. <br><br>All kits should include:<br><br>- Fire making<br>- Shelter making<br>- Water collecting and purifing<br>- Knife<br><br>Other items commonly considered required include:<br><br>- First Aid equipment<br>- Signalling equipment<br>- Direction finding<br>- Food gathering<br><br>Once past that, it opens up considerably based on the size of your container, your skill set, your proposed area of travel, weight limitations, and money available.<br><br>Its not that I don't want to tell you what to include, its so well covered already, that I would prefer to discuss the finer points of your selections. If you scroll down through the forum, you will find a discussion that raged for days about what is the best water storage container for a pocket sized kit. In the end, there was no concensus but a lot of great ideas bubbled up that would work.<br><br>The other concern is how are you going to use this kit. I have a fanny pack kit that I use for family outings. I have a kit I keep in the car for strandings. I have a home kit for localized disaster. I have a BugOutKit. Pocket Kit. I built a kit to give to people as a christmas gift. The car kit for a person living in Florida is going to be different from the person living in the Dakotas (heat vs. cold).<br><br>I am just suggesting that you narrow your request after a little bit more investigation of the ETS website.

#3187 - 12/23/01 12:13 AM Re: New to ETS

Thank you for responding. I've been having some computer problems for the past couple of days so I couldn't respond, I apologize. Anyway, I want to construct a kit that would enable survival in an urban area since I am not often in the wilderness by any means. I have been looking for a multi tool and a new pocket knife to carry and have read many things on this website that show many people favor the Wave. I think I'll try and find a Wave sometime after Christmas. The knife situation I am having a few more problems. I've seen many people say how much they like a certain knife. I think this will come down to personal preference but I would find any suggestions quite helpful. Thank you all once again.<br><br>Jason

#3188 - 12/23/01 03:33 AM Warning: Lengthy post
AyersTG Offline

Registered: 12/10/01
Posts: 1272
Loc: Upper Mississippi River Valley...
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>I want to construct a kit that would enable survival in an urban area<p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Jason,<br><br>Ehhh, I'm not really any kind of expert on that. Doug is building an Urban Survival section in ETS and I presume you've looked through it already. Does this involve smoke hoods, titanium pry bars, gas masks, jumping out of skyscrapers with emergency parachutes, bat signals, and the like? Someone else more qualified will have to jump in on that. But if that's not the case, read on.<br><br>Most urban scenario survival scenarios that have reasonable probablities of happening do NOT require leaving the urban area. Most DO require leaving certain sites to reach a "secure" or "safe" site elsewhere in town. Considering total evacuation to the countryside for an extended period is interesting fantasy to indulge in, but little short of widespread civil war would cause that. I have actually seen that in another country - I was there on "business" because of that. The USA is not like "those" countries. This is a big country and people rally in time of need. Some of the worst scenario Y2K planning had to consider the fundamental question of "stay or go", and for an intelligent moral person, that did not have any easy answers.<br><br>Instead, plan for the most likely things first. FEMA and Red Cross type scenarios are high probability (relatively) scenarios - that's why they discuss them on their websites; they happen every year. Intelligent planning for TEOTWAWKI is super-advanced work with no easy answers, and involves WAY too many factors that one cannot influence or predict. After you nail the easy stuff, expand your mind with more intricate things if you wish.<br><br>In the fairly large metro area I live and work in, nothing short of a large nuke would realistically keep me from getting to my residence and there are darned few buildings over 5 stories high (not all that many over 4 stories). I'm including natural disasters and manmade, including some far fetched ones.. it's a pretty decent place to live, and we can evacuate in several directions. Since there are many places like that in the USA, perhaps you also live in such an area...? Again, I'm no expert, but for someone like Willie, who commutes to downtown Chicago, urban survival is a multi-stage, multi-faceted, complex situation. Heck, I live in the same state, and I figure every day Willie goes to work is a practical "urban survival" exercise, LoL! But not for me...<br><br>Our kids and I can drive, walk, run, bike, and/or swim from anywhere to our residence, so for me urban survival mostly means staying alive without major injury until I get to my resources at home, which are considerable, or a friend's house, which are also considerable and a "safe" distance away (3 miles). For my wife, it is a different situation. She drives about 30 minutes (Interstate, mostly) to a smaller community surrounded on all sides by farmland to a middle school on the outskirts of town, where she teaches. While there are multiple routes to return here, it is too far to consider abandoning a vehicle, so we have other plans for her (some of which are "stay in place" in various details). She carries some interesting equipment, starting with her vehicle, a 1 ton van. It has limited off-road capability, but she has demonstrated remarkable ingenuity over the years with hi-lift jacks, come-alongs, tire chains, etc. etc. I decided 26 years and 10 days ago that she was a keeper <grin>.<br><br>For you, IIRC, you are a student in Arkansas and I assume need only be concerned about yourself right now, which may be simpler. Is returning to your residence, even briefly, an option for you? In natural disasters, like an extended power outage in a winter storm, major floods, tornados, etc. people in communities tend to pull together and take care of each other - shelter, water, food, etc. Seen it; been in it on more than one "side". Folks tend to band together against perceived common "enemies" like natural disaster. There are exceptions, of course.<br><br>Some sort of 72 hour kit (see ETS) in your residence would probably cover a lot of situations. Or you could put together a BoB of some sort. If you're thinking about bugging out, I feel that planning the bugging out is 80% of the solution and the gear is 20%, or something like that. <br><br>For example, our daughter, who is deaf, was attending the state school for the deaf until this year. It is a three hour drive door-to-door for us - mostly rural driving on a 2 lane US highway, but some communities (mostly avoidable if need be) traveled thru. One major obstacle closer to her - the Illinois River. One major obstacle very close to us - the Rock River. Numerous smaller rivers in between. We ran through many scenarios and did lots of planning for various situations. She was included in all of this discussion. We narrowed the contingencies down to broad catagories and made definite plans - outlined in writing and marked on map(s). One broad category involved her staying put either at the school or at one of three people's homes (staff members). We coordinated with those trusted folks and communicated enough information as was needed.<br><br>The other, far more difficult scenarios, involved some amount of travel on her part. We planned for solo and with one or more "pick up" companions (and we agreed on a SHORT list of candidates and agreed that they would either go at the designated time or be left behind). Coordination in advance of communication drops along the way were tedious, but we worked it out. We covered the various routes with her on routine trips to and from the school, making notes on maps.<br><br>All long-term survival "Plan A" scenarios involved eventually being retrieved by an element of the family (buddy system travel, not solo, for retrieval team). Two (hungry) weeks was the maximum planned for solo survival - although it is hard to truly go hungry here that long if you are willing to forage. Easy living... anyway:<br><br>Then we built her BoB. It was a true BoB, and she kept it packed ready-to-go locked up in an old footlocker of mine, locked in her closet in her room. Keys on a lanyard on her person at all times, and a couple of "Oh, S***!" things on her at all times. Only she and the three trusted staff members knew about the BoB, and they did not know the details of it. Because she was living on a school campus, there were NO firearms in the BoB, even though she is safe, proficient, and trustworthy with pistols, rifles, and shotguns. And for the same reason, there were no alarming-looking knives in it either. <br><br>The other, more compelling, reason for the absence of weapons was that I VERY much wanted her to feel like a rabbit - universal food animal - not deluded into feeling like she was a lioness or a Starship Trooper <grin>. It was feasible for me to securely cache a weapon 30 miles overland away and that site was one interim destination, but in the end we decided against it for the danger that can come on from feeling 10 feet tall with a weapon. You might give this some very serious thought. Ever read any vintage RA Heinlien? Read "Tunnel in the Sky" once for entertainment and re-read some parts slowly for some food for thought...<br><br>My advice is brainstorm the possible scenarios, "war game" them on paper, on the ground, check your assumptions, and figure out what you need to DO. Write down your plans to DO and check on-the ground. Revise plans to reflect realities. Decide what the critical points are in your plans and plan two levels of contingencies around the critical points (e.g. "I MUST get across this river near this location. If the bridge is not passable, my first alternative is X. If X is not feasible, my alternative is Y"). I will advise you that no one is good enough to make the best plans without sanity checks by another human or two... something to think about.<br><br>This will take less time than you might think, depending on how much "recreational" time you devote to THIS instead of other pursuits. I bet you could do it all in one weekend to a "safe" point, including on-the-ground checks. Then extend and refine the plans as time permits. After you've gotten this initial planning about what to DO out of the way, figure out what gear you NEED to enable what you planned to DO - don't constrain yourself yet.<br><br>Some things should manifest themselves as universal. Some things will require "unobtanium", like a reliable 4WD with winch and pioneer tools and perhaps that's just not in the card$ for you right now. Revise those plans requiring "unobtanium" and re-figure what gear you NEED to enable DOING.<br><br>You'll wind up with a universal list of gear that will enable you to accomplish your realistic goals of surviving whatever you've planned for. Here's the odd thing - I predict that most of it will probably be the same kind of stuff you would chose for "wilderness survival" in most of North America. Some pieces may not be exactly the same - looking like a rabbit in town is different than looking like a rabbit in a boreal forest. But shelter is shelter, water is water, food is food, etc. I've eaten critters I can forage in most any town and meat is meat, as they say (and the little urban critters are mostly DUMB compared to their country cousins).<br><br>And here's another odd thing: In my experience, contingency plans almost never can be used as-planned when the s*** hits the fan. BUT the thought processes you went thru to build them, the preparations you made to execute the plans, and various elements of the plans DO come together to equip you to survive (sorry, Doug - I couldn't resist <grin> - it's catchy). But seriously, it's not "just an exercise" - do the planning, do the checking, get the gear. It's all essential preparation.<br><br>And to be honest, it's kinda fun figuring out all this stuff.<br><br>That's the best solid-gold advice I can give you for the vague question of "urban survival". I am NOT poking fun at you; I'm dead serious. My family, including extended family of parents and sibs, has long-standing plans that (eventually) intersect - we've coordinated various aspects for 2 decades.<br><br>If you want me to be more specific, feel free to contact me off list with some specifics. I don't know exactly where you are right now, but there's a chance that I am personally familiar with your area and if not I have a professional eye for high-level evaluating much of this sort of thing from maps that I have or can easily obtain. I'll be happy to help you out. Like I said, it's kinda fun - harmless fun at that.<br><br>Regards,<br><br>Scouter Tom

Edited by AyersTG (12/23/01 04:02 AM)

#3189 - 12/23/01 02:35 PM Re: New to ETS

Well, an urban PSK would be a lot like the normal PSK, but some materials would be replaced or removed totally. Mainly the saw, the firemaking materials, and fishing supplies. Most of the drugs (except the minor pain killer). The compass.<br><br> I would add change, folding money, and a pre-paid calling card to it, along with a copy of things like your ID, and a spare house and car key, in thier place. One real ID with a picture. Subway/phone/bus/toll tokens (depending on your area). I'd wrap it with a ACE bangage, but that's becuase I have a screwy knee, and put 4 feet of paracord inside (spare boot lace). I'd pull the knife blades so it become a go anywhere kit, with a pocket knife in the other pocket. A few more bandaids.<br><br>For urban, I like the Micra and a small multi or a SAK, rather than a big tool like the Wave or Super. The SAK blends in to the business enviroment better than a multi, IMO.

#3190 - 12/24/01 03:30 PM Re: New to ETS

Good. You have narrowed it down to an urban kit. There are still many decisions to be made. For instance, your definition of urban. I think of urban as downtown, office buildings, high rise, etc. If the highest building in the area is 5 stories, a fire ladder truck can reach. Anything above 7 stories, there are no fire ladder trucks that tall. Different set of preparations.<br><br>Is this going to be a kit you leave at home, in you car, your daily bookbag/briefcase, your office, or carry with you? Size of the container will determine how much you can put in the kit. <br><br>Also depends on what events you think you need to survive. For urban areas I would include a dust mask, leather gloves, chemical light stick (nonexplosive), photon light, Pry bar, screwdriver, duct tape, first aid kit, street maps, button compass, walking shoes/boots, trash bag, knife, disposable lighter, tea candle, and bandanna. As mentioned before a prepaid phone card, ATM card, credit card, and cell phone may be all you really need. Cash always works so would recommend at least $20 but $100 in five dollar bills would be better.


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