Because we all have backing equipment, and many, like me, have enough to equip several people, do you ever think about its use in a disaster scenario?
I'm talking earthquake, blizzard, flood, extended power failure (esp. in a cold winter).
Do you have: > a radio W/ solar & hand charge capabilities? > FAMILY 1st aid kit? > adequate water for one week? (in hot water tank, commodes and large containers) > a GRAB BAG to grab and go incase of fire, dirty bomb or contaigon? > enough tents, mattress and bags for your houshold? > adequate home/car defense weapons, including firearms? > neighborhood coop survival/security arrangements? i.e. can you help them and vice versa?
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."
I think about it every day because it is a reality. Yeah, I have a bag for every one too...It's the only way to go. It's keeps each person in his own little ownership roll and keeps each other from interfering with one another. That's again, another thing that makes hikers unique. They are always ready for a disaster no matter when it comes. We could go to this plot of land that I have and probably live "ok" for a month or so..I can assure that this is more prepared than your average guy or girl walking the street. Kind of gives us an advantage doesn't it??? sabre11004....
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!
I got snowed in for a week. The whole area was without power, etc. I'm not sure how funny the police (riding in a fire truck as it was the only vehicle heavy enough to get around in the snow) found it that I was on snowshoes doing just fine wandering around town.
-------------------------- My blog
That's normal around here. After a big snow, you will often find ski tracks running down the middle of the street, and snoeshoe tracks on the boulevards. When I lived in South Dakota, the hospital lined up snowmobilers to take any pregant women to the hospital if they entered labor before the roads were cleared.
If I wouldn't eat it at home, why would I want to eat it on the trail?
Yes, 24/7. I do volunteer communications for my city/fire department and the county health department. Not only do I consider my camping gear 'disaster preparedness' equipment, I've used it that way, a few times! When Dallas received thousands of hurricane evacuees from the last two major storms, many of us ended up sleeping on site at the shelters, and quite comfy I might add. I have stuff for the whole family...tents, bags, etc. With your gear, you have the ability to live anywhere, and have fun doing it.
I have a "grab tub"....a big Rubbermaid tub with stuff, my pack/sleeping/warmth, and an SKB all weather case full of amateur radio gear, batteries, tools. It's all on wheels and can be pulled by one hand. It isn't a time to be 'ultralite', either.
I used to maintain a preparedness/bugout supply & thought system pretty well, but now I'm the least prepared I've been for 30yrs or more.
In my current environment, Phoenix metro, with kids sometimes with the ex. & sometimes with me or scattered doing whatever, it would be worse to try & bugout, in almost any conceivable disaster, than to just hunker down in place. I have some water storage & a little food. I located myself within walking distance of the kids school and use the 1/2 tank mark as my 'empty' in my vehicle, so I can always drive at least 150mi if I have to, but...
I can't see being able to drive away from anything. We'd just be bogged down in a freeway parking lot with desperate, unorganized, unprepared people without the moral benchmarks they used to have and a paralyzed fire/police/emergency response system. I've been up I-17 on holiday weekends & it's a nightmare. I've been up hwy 87 on Labor day weekend & it's a nightmare. I've been down I-10 on holidays & it's a nightmare.
Yesterday I took the kids to their football teams away game. What a nightmare of rush hour traffic! A disaster would be far worse & the roads would almost certainly be impassible.
I hate to imagine a summertime (100'F+) bugout surrounded by people with guns that ran out of water yesterday. Bringing down the power grid would be enough set the stage. No power = no water pressure out here.
Staying would be bad, but leaving worse. And Payson, AZ can't take a million needy people anyway.
I live in rural Arizona south of Tucson. To me, "bugging out" is unrealistic. I am in my 70's, I have a wife who needs medical oxygen, medications, and help with some of her activities. And, I am pretty well set where I am.
We are on a well that will quit as soon as the power goes. But, I have the capability of harvesting rain water and have 1500 gallons of storage. I have some food stored, about a pretty boring months worth. And, I have a well insulated house that remains relatively comfortable without air conditioning even during the hot months; I have a fireplace and wood stove for cooking and for the cold (20°F)winter nights. We have a modest solar lighting capacity as well as kerosene lamps and kerosene. I have a small motorbike that will go 120 miles on a gallon of gas so I can get around as long as I have gas in the cars to siphon and I have 2-cycle oil to mix fuel. So, for something lasting a month or so, I figure that I am OK to get by.
Tucson and most of southeast Arizona depends largely on coal and oil fired generating plants for electricity for lights, air conditioning and pumping water. If something happens to the supply of coal and oil then a lot of things come to a quick stop: water for one thing. And, if the trucks stop bringing food to the cities, rioting is probably only a few days away. Few city dwellers give even a passing thought to just how dependent they are on a fairly fragile transportation system (until it fails). Right now, if oil and coal stop coming to Tucson, so does the food and water shortly thereafter.
There are over a million people in southeast Arizona; not many are even remotely prepared for a disaster. So, the thing I think about most, in the wake of some sort of natural disaster, especially one involving electricity and trucking, is greater Tucson emptying in my direction down the Santa Cruz valley with lots of guns and little, or no, water and food. I live a ways off the main travel corridors so would be spared the initial panicky surge but when they start spreading out I would be worried about people moving in my direction hoping to share what little I have. I don't know what I would do if that were to happen.
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods
I used to live in "tornado alley" and we had to be prepared at a moments notice to head for the cellar. During tornado season (Apr-Aug) we ALWAYS kept clothes/shoes at the end of the bed in order to get dressed right away and head for the cellar. We also all had our flashlights. I don't think we had food/water in the cellar but probably should have.
Now, I live in "hurricane alley" and we learned last year during hurricane Ike what it really means to "be prepared". We went without electricity for 7 days. We bought two 5000W generators and filled up 7 x 5 gallon jugs of gas for them. We also filled up the vehicles in case we had to leave. We also had a footlocker full of food staples. We had food and 15 gallons of drinking water in the house. We filled up a 55 gallon trash can with water for washing. Used the outdoor grill for cooking and heating/boiling water.
We live in a rural community and we check on our neighbors to make sure everyone is okay. Last spring, a survey was sent out by the volunteer fire dept and allowed people to provide information that could be used by the VFD in the event of an emergency to help find and treat (if necessary) people in the community.
If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you can't. Either way, you're right.
Yep, have actually used my hiking gear in disaster scenarios too. We had tsunami alerts every other year or so when I lived in SE Alaska, and we had to be able to pick up our lives and scootch to higher ground at any time. We ended up sitting one alert out on a mountaintop because that's where we were when the sirens went off. What I learned:
- If every family has a car, traffic will be very, very bad. Even in small towns. - Go ahead and carry some gear in your car and on your person all the time. It's not as good as having the resources you stash at home, but you never know when & where something might happen. - Don't evacuate unless that's what the situation dictates; I've seen people drive across state just because their power went out for a few days. That doesn't exactly help your friends & family, or your property for that matter. - Keep the whole "preparedness" thing running in the background, but don't dwell on it all the time. Let it be a comfort, not a worry.
It's kind of fun. Makes the whole hiking thing seem like an extra edge over the masses in terms of preparedness.
Edited by Wolfeye (09/23/0907:33 PM) Edit Reason: touchup
1) A good network of reliable, honest, local friends with good skills and a willingness to help one another. Preferably within walking distance. Know your neighbors.
Yeah, they all know where I live. I'll add to your #1... 2) know your friends with the church mandated* 1 year food supply, where they live, and the location of their stash. 3) make sure you are the one with the guns.
*my ex-business partner was one. I kidded him about this all the time...."I don't need to buy supplies when I have yours."
True phat, so true...being a helpful neighbor is a much better option.
My neighbors, at least some of them, would be helpful but I don't know if any of them even have the means or knowledge to survive an extended outage or disaster. Comforting to know that should something like that happen to me that it would almost be like a camping trip that I didn't have to pack for.
I think that the biggest advantage that backpackers have is they are not as likely to panic. They realize that it is possible to survive without tap water, three course meals. hot showers etc because they have done it and survived just fine. The reaction of many urban dwellers is that they are in immediate danger whereas the average backpacker realizes that this is survivable at least in the short term because they have survived for a week or two with nothing but the stuff on their back.
I think that the biggest advantage that backpackers have is they are not as likely to panic.
Well stated. A couple months ago, we had some severe weather come through that shut power down for half a day at my house. I made camp coffee (the best in the world!) out on the back porch. Wife, a bullet proof trooper, went about her business, and on to work. All like nothing happened. We actually enjoyed the quiet! In contrast, generators, dry ice, and water, disappeared off store shelves that day! All over a 6 hour power outage, and the weather was long gone. I've never understood what people think they will do with a 2-5kw genset. Those barely run a hairdryer and the fridge becomes just as warm when the gas runs out. Plus, unless the genset is pre-hardwired into the breaker box, running extension cords out into the weather is a good way to get dead yourself. So, yeah, overcoming panic is 99% of the battle.
.enough sleeping bags for everyone, in any season. .water filter and a stream close by (in addition to the stored water here) .plenty of food in the cupboards .four different backpacking stoves with lots of fuel for each .more than enough lead to cover any eventuality