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Thursday, January 12 - 4:23amSanction this postReply
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I have been waiting for the end of the world since I read Atlas Shrugged in 1966. We had freeze-dried food in boxes and cartons in 1980. A year after 9/11, I was standing around with some other security guards on break at the home office and they were comparing their duty bags. A supervisor laughed, "You are not going to get stuck out in the desert. You're going to be trapped in an elevator." He produced a 6-inch pry bar. But what did it for me was flying.

I met my flight instructor at the local airport one winter night and the place was closed. The plane had not been fueled. No one was around. We called off the lesson, of course, but more to the point, I realized that if I landed somewhere like this, I would be literally out in the cold. I began to give my flight bag more thought.

When I worked for Coin World they provided four Monday sessions of team building exercises. The last was a scenario in which we crashed on an island flying home from a vacation in Latin America. The pilot was dead, but we were uninjured. The plane was unflyable but largely intact. We had an inventory of stuff. I was shocked and dismayed at how uninformed and unprepared my co-workers were. At the end of the day, they gave us the official US Army Ranger Answers.

You need to make a fire; and you need a knife. If nothing else, you need those. You need to keep dry and warm. You need to stay where you are for 72 hours, then find a way out.

I keep two go-bags. One is my flight bag. The other is my security kit. Fire starters, knives, multi-tools, signal mirrors, binoculars, radios, ponchos, reflecting blankets, chord and rope and string, fishing hooks, corks and sinkers, aspirin, band aids, bandages, tapes, calculators, slide rule, protractor, ... reflecting safety vest, kevlar gloves, earplugs, sunglasses, sun screen, lotion, ball caps, ...

Having traveled a bit too much over the last three or four years, we have another RubberMaid tub with first aid and toiletries.





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Thursday, January 12 - 6:43amSanction this postReply
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Thanks for sharing your emergency survival kit, Mike.

Now, of course, if you are a true conspiracy theorist ... such as mwaaa ... then you have just given away your entire arsenal to the enemy. For instance, the enemy may have been planning to destroy you by consistently bombing you with ice cold water -- but you brought a poncho, so that plan is preemptively scrapped. Also, the enemy may have been planning to destroy you with satellite re-directed sun beams -- but alas, you brought a reflective blanket. Also, the enemy may have been planning to destroy you by somehow making you hold hot lava in your hands -- okay, don't ask me where I'm going with this one (can't you see I'm on a roll?) -- but as luck would have it, you brought kevlar gloves.

:-)

Coming most of the way back to reality, I voted no in the poll, but I do carry an all-purpose "Leatherman." I may eat these words, but I should really  get around to putting together something like you have.

Ed




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Thursday, January 12 - 5:46pmSanction this postReply
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I was fortunate that as a young laddy I was in a really good boyscout troop and we were put through extensive survival camping both summer and winter survival...yup nothing like winter camping on a long weekend in -30 and coming home without frostbite..

Yes have always had a bugout bag.



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Thursday, January 12 - 6:41pmSanction this postReply
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This thread reminds me of a personal experience I once had

I once attempted to hike a long path in Great Britain. It goes from England up into Scotland and it's called the Pennine Way, or something very close to that. We started out somewhere close to Nottingham (the town started with an "E") and actually walked through the Sherwood Forest. There was no sign of Robin Hood history, just peat moss and tall trees.

The Pennine Way is many miles long. You hike up and down mountains -- but in England, they call them "hills" -- and if you don't stay outside overnight in a tent, then you stay in a hostel and get these weird breakfasts served to you. Bangers & whaa? Milk in my tea?? Anyway, back to the point.

The second major "hill" (the first one was a breeze) is called Bleaklow Hill, or something. It took us all day just to walk up one side of this sucker! But here is the rub: I had 40-kg of goodies stuffed into my backpack (that's 88-lbs!), it was chock-full of dried food (in the off-hand chance that I got paralyzed for days on end). Have you ever tried to walk, all day, up hill, with 88-lbs on your back?

And I'm not even to the worst part, yet.

So, we get to the top of this bleak hill and wouldn't you know it, it starts storming. No, scratch that, it started super-storming. Now, I've seen rain in the wind before. It comes down kind of slanted. But I swear on my life and my love of it, this damned rain was "falling" sideways! Due to not being able to see more than about 15-ft in front of our faces -- and having jagged-rock drop-offs up ahead -- we were stranded on top of the hill for the night. Have you ever tried to set up a tent in ice-cold 30-to-40-mph winds? I know your fingers are freezing, but you had better hang-on when the wind catches the tent! Anyway, after what easily felt like more than an hour, we finally got the tent set-up stable enough. I only had brought wool gloves (no Kevlar action for me).

Have you ever tried to keep your hands warm with wool gloves that have become soaked in icy rainwater? Anyway, we survived the night. I didn't know it, but I slept heartily all night on a jagged rock positioned in the middle of my back (a fact we discovered after pulling the tent back down). The guys all laughed. "You slept on THAT??!!" Anyway, that was the least of my worries, as walking down the opposite face of the mountain ... er, I'm sorry, the "hill" ... I pretty much blew out my knee.

The moral of this story is that you can be too prepared.

:-)

Ed

(Edited by Ed Thompson on 1/12, 6:44pm)




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Thursday, January 12 - 7:45pmSanction this postReply
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Haha ya we always limited our backpacks to 40 pounds or less which is still a lot when you are 13!
We also used to have this really dense blue foam that was verrry insulating you could actually be comfortable even sleeping with a rock under your tent plus it reflected your body heat back at you and cold from the ground awayy from you..that and a 6 foot roll of it only weighs about 6 ounces.
Glad you came out of it ok!
We once went camping up in the rockies (in alberta) to a place called Jaques lake it was about a 15 mile hike up a valley into the most pristine area I have ever been to. It looked like no one in the world had ever been there, needless to say mountain streams in august are about 35 degrees so donttt get wet!

Also we were in the middle of grizzly country so lesson is keep your cooking area at least 50 yards downwind from your living area. Use non scented soap for everything, and leave the clothes you cook in at the cooking area. Also hang everything your food cooking pots everything suspended from a tree. They will have a harder time locating you due to the scent being dispersed farther than your site. Never bring anything with scent not even toothpaste to the area you are sleeping in..and carry a big f-ing gun...






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Thursday, January 12 - 9:27pmSanction this postReply
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Sounds like a great experience, Jules.

Ed




Post 6

Thursday, January 12 - 11:59pmSanction this postReply
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 On a technical point, Ed wrote: "Have you ever tried to keep your hands warm with wool gloves that have become soaked in icy rainwater?"

Actually, Ed, is it not true that wool holds heat, even when wet?  It is the reason why Scott chose woolens when attempting the South Pole.  (Amundsen chose Eskimo clothing.)  Cotton fails to insulate when wet.  This is why, when camping, you want to wear woolen clothes, not denims.

As I said, my focus is largely for an urban environment.  I also include folding sets and multi-tools such as Allen wrenches, screw drivers; a roll of quarters for vending machines, some silver rounds and bars; etc.  Neither bag weighs more than 20 lbs.  

Being urban, however, entails some margin. First of all, as Ed from Minnesota knows, a few miles between towns and you are pretty much in the great outdoors.  Having lived in Michigan and Ohio a lot, and New Mexico some, and now Texas, I assure you, only in the Boston-Washington Corridor is the city really the city for more than 20 miles.

Also, being homeless in the city is pretty much being without shelter.  What if you are traveling when the ATMs and credit cards all go down?  You might not be able to pitch a tent, but you still need to stay warm and dry in an alley or doorway  or under an overpass.  Just saying... Gotham or Central City becomes an asphalt jungle...

Ed, this is for emergencies, such as 9/11.  I am not paranoid. I gave up expecting an Atlas Shrugged meltdown after Y2K did not happen.  But local events do happen.  We were living in the north woods of Michigan during the Power Failure of 2003. It was inconvenient: it was summer, it was warm; we had a home; we cooked out anyway...  We just waited...   

Also, I quit wanting such an event.  I highly recommend The Future and Its Enemies by Virginia Postrel, the former Reason editor.  Conservatives, libertarians, and Objectivists all reflect a lot of this end-of-times, an apoclypse, an eschatology that is shared by Marxism, Christianity, Islam, and much else in the world.  ... yet the world goes on...  But local events do happen. 

Perhaps we could have a different topic for political paranoia.  What if being a libertarian becomes illegal?  (They called Bernard Nothaus an "economic terrorist" for his Liberty Dollar coins.)  When President Obama came into office, we saw news stories of Missouri state troopers being warned about people with "Ron Paul" bumperstickers.  Red scare, green scare, gold scare.... what color is your backpack?

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 1/13, 12:25am)




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Friday, January 13 - 12:41amSanction this postReply
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Michael it was a rain super storm rain blowing sideways.
He had exerted himself most of the day.
He could not keep his hands warm even with wool gloves because he most likely was in the first stages of hypothermia which is why he couldn't keep his hands warm even with wool.
It is a good thing you got the tent up and out of the wind and rain Ed.

Jules
(Edited by Jules Troy on 1/13, 12:43am)




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Friday, January 13 - 3:02amSanction this postReply
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"He could not keep his hands warm even with wool gloves because he most likely was in the first stages of hypothermia which is why he couldn't keep his hands warm even with wool."

Got that. Thinsulate and thermofil, it would have made no difference, and I don't want to flog this, but I do carry woolen gloves for just this reason, so I was checking the facts.

I also had an experience with early hypothermia about two years ago when I was filling in a couple of shifts for campus safety. I was on a walking patrol with a partner and stopped talking in the middle of a sentence. It was not just a lapse when you lose your train of thought. I was still walking, but no longer thinking. She got my attention and we went into a building.

Hypothermia in particular is dangerous because loss of judgment is one of the first symptoms. We had a training session once centered on a couple of hunters who went out on a nice autumn afternoon and never came home. They died less than a mile from their car. Theoretically, they could have hunkered down, built a fire, and stayed warm; but they just walked in circles to exhaustion.







Post 9

Friday, January 13 - 3:16amSanction this postReply
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It is astonishing how fast it can creep up on you. I had stage one while out on a rainy day during the fall while fishing. As soon is I started shivering we went back to camp changed into some dry clothing and had hot chocolate by the fire. It took about an hour and all was well.
Most people guard themselves fairly well against it during the winter months. It is amazing how many cases occur during the spring summer and fall seasons.



Post 10

Friday, January 13 - 7:19amSanction this postReply
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In the winter I keep a trash bag full of old winter clothing, including heavy boots and socks in my car. In extreme weather you can slide off the highway into an arroyo or ravine and be buried in snow and nobody would know you were there. It happens a number of times each year in the southwest. It costs nothing.

Sam




Post 11

Friday, January 13 - 7:36amSanction this postReply
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Mike,

Actually, Ed, is it not true that wool holds heat, even when wet? 
Well, I'm just reporting. Don't shoot the messenger! Here's the deal, I didn't sleep with the gloves on -- I woke up and put them on. The suckers were soaking wet and ice cold. Now, maybe if I slept all night with the gloves on, even though would be just as wet, then maybe they would still be warm (just as you say they should have).

Ed

p.s. On a more paranoid note, Jules joked about bureaucrats lurking here. Well, if the last 24 hours is any indication, then they've taken over this site. Now, admittedly, 24 hours of data is not usually a long enough span of data to conclude much of anything, but anyway, here are the facts:

1) As if on an auto-remove program, Marty Lewinter's RoR article (Conversation with an Altruist), came down.
2) No article replaced it (as if there are either no article submissions or, admittedly much less probable, no regular people currently running RoR anymore).
3) I've had an article in the queue for at least several days
4) I emailed the 3 people most likely to be aware of, or to publish, our article submissions (to see if my submission was rejected).
5) I got no response (so far), just dead cyberspace.

Now, how's that for conspiracy thinking? Conspiracy thinkers are over-integrators. Like a 'schizo-' who hears a bell before a car crash (and associates ringing bells with car crashes), they make too many connections in the world. It's really hard to take them over into a dictatorship, because they are always onto you (as well as mentally generating other possibilities).

:-)




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Friday, January 13 - 3:53pmSanction this postReply
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Woow..



Post 13

Friday, January 13 - 4:53pmSanction this postReply
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About the wool gloves...

Depends on the wool.  Mike's right about Scotch wool.  It's different.  Different in that it isn't processed to remove all of the lanolin in the fibers.  Lanolin is a natural lubricant and water repellent produced by the sheeps to keep them warm and dry out in the field.  Next time you're at an upscale store that sells super expensive Scottish wool sweaters, take a minute and feel one.  That "oily" feel is the lanolin, and makes the sweater extremely warm, dry and expensive.

If you price wool yarn from Scotland, and cheap processed wool yarn from Walmart, you'll see what I mean.  

Lots of different kinds of wool out there.

 (If you've ever been in the delivery room when a baby is born, that white gook all over the newborn is lanolin, too. It protect the baby's skin, and really helps with the delivery process, because slippery is way way better. ;)




Post 14

Friday, January 13 - 4:59pmSanction this postReply
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Haha, Ed if you enjoy conspiracy theories, you may enjoy this little story I read a long time ago.

http://www.creepypasta.com/psychosis/#more-486

It isn't a conspiracy theory, but it does deal with over-integration, unfounded/unlikely connections, and paranoia.



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Saturday, January 14 - 9:38amSanction this postReply
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Kyle,

Thanks for the link but, after reading several lines, I couldn't get into it. To delve into literary analogy, reading that was like travelling down a winding, cliff road on a foggy night, with only a few feet of visibility. When I get into situations like that, I just stop the friggin' car. If I don't have a map or a GPS device, then I'm going to sit there until the fog subsides. Some folks get enriched by the thrill of pressing forward through the fog on a winding, cliff road -- with no guardrails. I enjoy movies that take me through such experiences, but have trouble appreciating literature that does the same. 

It takes all kinds, I guess.

:-)

Ed




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Sunday, September 16 - 9:08pmSanction this postReply
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Dear friends

I like Do you have a "bag bag"?) very much.

Very useful for me.

Rgs





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