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Old June 17, 2006, 02:25 PM   #1
Dust_Devil
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Personal Survival Kits. One flaw with this

After reading the article 'PERSONAL SURVIVAL KITS' in the July issue, I had to somewhat disagree and that a survival kit may not be for everyone.
While items such as a cellphone, knife or multitool, mini flashlight and a small/concealable firearm if you are able to carry would be something many guys would have on them everyday, I don't see where unless you are someone who spends most of his time in the wilderness and are very far away from populated areas that you would find yourself needing items such as a fishing line to capture food or a fighter starter other than a regular Bic lighter.
If you live in and spend your daily life in population, then what scenerio is going to happen where all of sudden, you are now that far away from it and now in some mountains or something trying to hunt for food while waiting to be found.
In my daily life, I am always near populated areas and always near my vehicle and so I can always have access to more items for survival or at least have a bigger and better survival kit in my vehicle.
The only possible way I and most others who live in populated areas and travel in our POVs would be all of a sudden put in such a situation that we no longer have access to the comforts of population or the reach of our vehicle is if some TEOTWAWKI scenerio happens and then we would have more problems to worry about than our little handy dandy survival kit; the other scenerio is if we were travelling such as by plane and it crashed someplace far away from population and if you were lucky enough to survive then a personal survival kit may come in handy. The only problem with this is that you will never get past TSA in the airport with your survival kit.
So unless I am planning to travel that far and away from population and my vehicle, I can't see where carrying a such a mini survival kit on my person everyday would benefit me and if I do plan to spend some time out in the boonies on foot, then I'll bring one.
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Old June 17, 2006, 04:20 PM   #2
Rich Lucibella
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DD-
Do you ever travel to the "outback"? Do you own a mini-kit?
Rich
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Old June 17, 2006, 04:49 PM   #3
Dust_Devil
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Quote:
DD-
Do you ever travel to the "outback"? Do you own a mini-kit?
Rich
I don't travel much to the outback and if and when I do is when I prepare myself with such emergency mini-kits.
Maybe I took the article in the wrong way and assumed that it was saying that all people should have a mini-kit rather than those who just travel the outback, but most average Americans don't spend their daily lives in the outback and where they are that far away from population and where where they need that mini-kit on them everyday.
A person who is going to go out in the outback such as for hiking, camping, etc then and should be better prepared and have a survival kit in his backpack and such.
A person spending most of his time in the city or suburbs doesn't need to worry about carry a mini-kit on his person is my main point. When John Doe's BMW breaks down on the freeway, it doesn't require him to have that mini-fishing kit and harpoon knife. Now if Mr. Doe plans to go out to the mountains 100 miles way from the nearest town or road in his Jeep, then maybe he should have that mini-kit with him.
I do have emergency supplies in my vehicle such as tools, first aid kit and water(water being the most important) traveling around in the hot Arizona climate which is good for wherever I am traveling.
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Old June 18, 2006, 09:13 AM   #4
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You should have a kit that fits your circumstances. I have a hurricane kit. It includes 3 cases of fresh MRE’s, Water, LED flashlights with spare batteries, chemical lights that get replaced yearly, A first rate sealed first aid kit with instructions for use, A knife, a four man inflatable raft and a hand pump capable of inflating it. Spare gas cans, two way radio’s with spare batteries, AM/FM radio with spare batteries, etc. I also have a safe that contains my guns and plenty of spare ammo and batteries for my optics. My kit is contained in a water proof chest that I can transport quickly. Grab it and go. It will fit in the back of my jeep. My kit does not prepare me to go live on a mountain somewhere but would sustain me if I had to stay there for a few days. My kit is designed to allow me to supplement my home food stores or provide for me if I need to leave in a hurry.

Your kit should fit your needs and cover a wide range of situations. What will you need? Food, Water, Shelter, medical aid, means of transport to a safe area under adverse conditions. Your kit should be practical and flexible. What will be the next emergency you will face? Do you know? I don’t but they do happen. An example is the threat of a storm. Everyone runs to the store and buys everything out creating a shortage. If there is a storm then re-supply to the stores will be slow. Plan on a kit that can sustain your family for a week. That in addition to the food you have on hand at home should be enough to sustain you until help arrives or until you can get to a safe area.

A good test is to imagine that all of a sudden the power is off and will not come back on for an undefined period of time. What will you need? The food in the fridge will go bad quickly. TV does not work any more. How will you get info? Are you in a cold climate? A hot one? Consider your circumstances, Make a list of needs and go shopping. There is a website called survival instinct that has a lot of good recourses of high quality supplies.

My two cents
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Old June 18, 2006, 09:53 AM   #5
Rich Lucibella
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Maybe I took the article in the wrong way and assumed that it was saying that all people should have a mini-kit
It did and you should. As Jeepmark points out, what is in it depends on your crcumstances. For instance, I always have a Zippo, cell phone, a folding knife, a Leatherman and at least one flashlight on my person. That's my "urban" mini-kit. In my car is a midi and a full size, geared toward bugging out or, as is more often the case, bugging in. When I'm hunting, my mini is different and will consist of primitive fire starting and fishing/hunting gear also.

As we've pointed out in these features before, the best we can do is give you some ideas to get you thinking; the heavy lifting is really yours, based on understanding your circumstance. Having lived thru a couple of hurricanes (where we have hours or days to prepare), I can tell you the one thing that is definititely predictable: neither the timing nor the effects will be predictable! For instance, if you live in a cold climate, it'll surely happen in dead of winter and all heat will be lost...firestarting gear and techniques will be essential. If you live in the tropics a simple mosquito net may keep you from going insane.

You cannot count on being able to drive in an urban setting: gridlock and lockdowns may be in progress; besides, your car is qaranteed to be at 1/8 tank. You cannot count on potable water...that can disappear in an instant, either thru attack or natural disaster. One possible "mini-kit" in such senario is a simple lock-pick set, and the ability to use it. Not talking about raiding and looting here; just being realistic. Fire starting is always an essential as is being able to "kill" bad water (think resublimated iodine crystals...idea borrowed from Ron Hood). Cash in pocket is also not a bad idea, especially in smal denominations. ($500 in various sized bills would certainly have gotten you out of New Orleans....with water....if you were dumb enough to stay.)

Like Jeff's article, these are not "rules" or even "tips"; they're mental signposts to give you a direction for your thinking.
Rich
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Old June 18, 2006, 10:28 AM   #6
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I used to try to set my kit up like the magazines, then I came to the same conclusion as Jeepmark.

My job requires that I have a flashlight and leatherman with me, I smoke so I always have a lighter, a carry a gun in my glove box since I often times can't comfortably have one on me, and there's a pack of breakfast bars in my truck because I usually have to skip lunch.
That's pretty much my daily survival kit, plus I carry the typical break down kit for my cars.
Each car has the same minimal kit minus the breakfast bars.

Home is where the true survival kit is kept
Food Water Guns and such

I also have a shelter kit
Set up with everything I would need to take to an evac shelter plus a tent so I don't have to go to an evac shelter.

If for some reason I can't stay home I'm going, with the rest of the family, to mom's rural property or to the woods.

Any real SHTF, truth be told, I'm too outta shape and untrained to survive much anyway. If I get too tacitcal I would just be supplying the scavengers
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Old June 19, 2006, 03:50 PM   #7
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It's amazing to me how many people are not prepared for simple daily life. I agree that some people may not need a wilderness style kit but everyone needs to have "survival" tools on them at all times, regardless of where they are or where they're going. That was the point of the article. We're all just way too comfortable with our daily routine. How many carry a first aid kit in their car? A fire extinguisher? tools? chain or strap?

As far as airplanes go, there are still plenty of survival tools you can carry with you (on you). And the "on you" part is very important. Never stow any survival tools in the overhead bins or under the seat. I was on a plane in South America that had a bombing attempt against it while we were on the tarmac and you would not believe the panic when they told everyone to evacuate. Wear a travel vest and keep your "tools" in the vest and on you at ALL times.

Here's a very recent example of having simple "survival" tools:

My partner and I were traveling home from the Blade Show in Atlanta yesterday. As we crossed the Alabama line on I20 headed west we saw a major one car wreck. I red SUV flipped several times in the median. Mike and I stopped our car and ran over to help. There was a man with 4 small kids in the vehicle. The SUV was upside down and one small child was hung up in the seat belt, bleeding. A man who got there before us was trying to get the seat belt unfastened. Mike and I were trying to help from the opposite side of the car. Both of us were crawled in through tiny crawl space in the window from where the vehicle was smashed flat. No one had a knife except Mike and I. I was trying to hold up the kid up while the man on the other side was trying to get the seat belt un-done. Mike reached in his pocket and pulled out his knife to cut the seat belt just as the other man got the belt un-done. My point it is this: even though the kid was saved without having to do any cutting, no one there was prepared to do any cutting if need be. On a brighter note, no one died in the accident although they were all pretty bloody. Seat belts saved them.

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Old June 19, 2006, 03:59 PM   #8
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How many carry a first aid kit in their car? A fire extinguisher? tools? chain or strap?
Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes. I got mine!
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Old June 19, 2006, 04:04 PM   #9
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Does a $15 gift card to McDonalds count as a 'survival kit'?

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Old June 19, 2006, 05:49 PM   #10
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Having done years of back country patrol at Grand Canyon, I take this stuff seriously. I've helped recover the bodies of several that weren't prepared . I also found out just how quickly you can find yourself in a survival situation. A routine vehicle patrol out to the Tuweep area found us stranded for 3 days when a flash flood washed out the only road in and out. Had we not been prepared, we would have been in big trouble (too far from the nearest repeater for radio contact).

Since I have a capped pick-up, storage space isn't a problem, so it's no big deal to pack the kitchen sink. Well, maybe not that, but most everything else . For the truck, along with the usual tools, I have a tow strap and a manual come-along, jumper cables, 400 watt inverter, 12 volt air compressor, hot patch tire repair kit, and spare fan belt and radiator hoses, along with a tube of Silver Stallion radiator hole patch.

Water is always a first need, so I always have a Sweetwater Guardian filtration system. It's smaller than a beer can and is more effective than iodine tablets (no Giardia is better than dead Giardia ), plus it filters out chemicals, silt, algae, etc. and the water tastes MUCH better without the pills. MSA and PUR also make great and effective filters. When I did back country patrol at Grand Canyon, a plastic drop cloth was also a must for use as a solar still.

I always have a complete change of clothes for all weather conditions, including a comfortable pair of hiking boots, and Winter will find my EMS down sleeping bag rated to -40, a compact 2-man North Face tent, an emergency "space blanket" along with a couple of GI wool blankets, half a dozen wax fire logs, chemical heat packs, and a generous portion of waterproof matches. Remember, I have plenty of room for all this, and as they say, "better to have it and not need it....")

Some of the other more unusual things I carry are 300' of Bluewater II rope, carabiners, a caver's "rack" and "figure 8" descent systems, Jumars, 8mm Tenstron for Prussic knots, and a Texas rig climber's harness. Also two carbide miner's lights & a couple of pounds of calcium carbide. I guess I should say that I have a lot of this stuff for recreational reasons along with possible survival reasons.

Chow-wise, no MRE's, but I do keep at least three days worth of canned goods along with a GI mess kit and a Svea mountain stove (VERY compact and VERY hot!) and a 2-liter flask of white gas.

Holding a lot of this stuff is my Kelty frame pack in case I have to ditch the truck, and some of the other camping stuff includes a folding shovel, a lightweight cruiser ax, several knives, a cable saw, a Silva Ranger compass, USGS 7.5 minute topo maps of the areas I frequent, and a Magellan Meridian Gold GPS receiver. Signaling equipment (goes back & forth between the truck & boat) includes a 12 gauge Olin flare pistol & 6-pack of flares, hand-held marine flares, and two military smoke grenades.

That's all off the top of my head; and I have all the usual stuff as well.... fire extinguisher, 1st aid kit, etc. Hey, I'm not only ready, I intend to be darned comfortable as well!
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Old June 19, 2006, 06:20 PM   #11
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In the military Humvee we were issued we had at a minimum a fire extinguisher and a first aid kid. wouldnt go wrong with first aid supplies any day of the week.The First aid kit was the size of a Cigar Box.
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Old June 20, 2006, 04:01 PM   #12
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I always carry Hershey bars and silk stockings for the natives.

Seriously, I believe in carrying a modicum of stuff in the car. The flashlight, tools, poncho, water, first aid kit, knife and firearm.

Carrying fishing line - join the 1,000,000 people of San Antonio at what creek?

All this game hunting is amusing to me. I do hunt at time and have a handle on the game population around major cities in TX. It is not much. It would be gone in a week or two after TEOTWAWKI.

If you want to hunt something and eat it - it's Hannibal Lecter time.
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Old June 20, 2006, 06:43 PM   #13
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first aid kits, fire extinguishers and fresh water are pretty much standard equipment on bug trucks.

My persona; truck has first aid, fire extinguisher and usually a few single size bottles of water.

My car has a first aid kit, I think, and should have a fire extinguisher, but most likely no water.
But that car was made for midgets and I six feet tall so I don't drive it much

Maybe I should go reorganize the car and truck
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Old June 20, 2006, 08:06 PM   #14
Rich Lucibella
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Capt:
I will add one VERY essential group to the Mid or Large size Kit:
Dedicated pencil and inventory list....nothing is worse than REALLY needing it this time, only to find that you'd pillaged it last time. We're always raiding those kits for convenience: Blister Pads; BandAids; Lights; ParaCord. I check off the items taken; replace later and reprint the list (yes, it's on my computer).

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Agreed-
Unless you're Ron Hood or Jeff Randall and have REALLY lived the life, hunter-gatherers in most parts of the country will expend more calories hunting and gathering than they will reap from the process. Unless you've really lived it, it's a short path to Auto-Cannibalism.

OTOH, fishing line and some hooks takes up about a finger's volume of space; they can be used for snares, for gigging and for actual fishing. If you travel often (I do), there is no reason to have to pack it for a geo-specific trip. Not arguing it should be in everyone's mini-kit. But it should be in your Mid-Size or Bugout.
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Old June 20, 2006, 08:22 PM   #15
DonR101395
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On my person always:
G19, spare magazine, S&W642, 1 speed strip, spyderco delica, surefire flashlight, cell phone.

In my vehicle always:
First aid kit, fire extinguisher, small tool kit, work gloves, jumper cables, surefire caddy with 6 batteries and spare bulb, GPS, AA batteries, rain jacket.

Situational in car kit:
Food, water, change of clothes, change of shoes, shotgun or rifle, ammo
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Old June 21, 2006, 01:10 PM   #16
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Hopefully, we all have more than just a "kit" at home.

In my truck, I have always had a great supply of stuff; freeze-dried food, water, first aid kit, clothing, knives, poncho, etc. Water and gas cans chained in the back. I could take that sucker and just disappear for two weeks no problem.

But the truck is no longer my everday vehicle, my 350Z is. Space is unquestionably at a premuim, but I still insist on a "bail kit" of some type. But I do find I am not stocking it with the same things as the truck. If anything happened when I was at work (downtown Phoenix), the first priority would be to fight my way home first. Then, if necessary, take the truck and leave town. Consequently, the Z has more urban-oriented amenities (for example, lock-pick kit) and less wilderness-oriented (like fishing pole).

I would head straight out of town if I absolutely had to, and let's face it, probably be more prepared than 90% of everbody else. I could also use the kit if the streets were somehow blocked and fight my way home on foot (about 8 miles). Just an example of "tailoring" for specific needss.
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Old June 21, 2006, 02:03 PM   #17
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I've probably used emergency fishing line for repairing stuff more than I ever have fishing. Good cordage is an absolute must in any kit in my opinion. Of course you can always strip 550 cord down for smaller threads but fishing line is neat stuff.

Survival, in my opinion, is not about having specific gear for specific tasks. It's more about being able to improvise items to do things that they normally wouldn't do. Thinking outside the box.

A funny thing is I have given away survival tools and gadgets in remote villages in South America and it never fails that the indigs will always amaze me by using some component for something I never dreamed of. I guess it's a mentality of not having the traditional mindset of doing something one way or even knowing what it's suppose to do that allows their imagination to take over and make something useful out of something not designed to do that task.

I think the technology and comfort we enjoy has killed a lot of our survival skills.
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Old September 14, 2006, 05:21 PM   #18
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Working in earth quake country (Seattle) but living about 35 miles south I always keep a backpack kit with trama first aid, socks, water, food, ammo, fire and light stuff as well as dust masks and gloves, tools, space blankets, water pills and filter like the Capt's and such. Most likely I will have to walk home when the roads are inpassable after a real good quake I figure about a day and a half to make it home where the real stuff is but should be more than enough to get me there.
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Old September 15, 2006, 04:30 AM   #19
mogunner
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Personal Survival Kit

I carry a Kit in my Truck at all times, includes First Aid Kit, Compass, Flashlights, Leatherman, A good Knife, Firearm, Emergency Blanket, and other assorted Misc. Equipment. This is in addition to the 2 Bugout Boxes that are in the back of my truck.Wouldn't leave home without them.
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Old September 27, 2006, 06:16 PM   #20
Don P
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Kits

Pantyhose would be a better choice to have if your driving an older vehicle that uses the old v belts. I have used a pair to get home once many moons ago.
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Old September 28, 2006, 03:46 AM   #21
KD5NRH
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Some of the other more unusual things I carry are 300' of Bluewater II rope, carabiners, a caver's "rack" and "figure 8" descent systems, Jumars, 8mm Tenstron for Prussic knots, and a Texas rig climber's harness.
Heh...I just added rope, carabiners, and webbing to the car's kit a few days ago. Nothing really deep around here, but I've had to hike a ways to get out of a muddy creek bed more than once, so a good way to safely climb up or down 10-12ft of vertical clay is worth having.
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Old December 30, 2006, 08:16 PM   #22
NYPost
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In the "what to have handy in a bag category", I keep all of these items in a backpack in the car.
  • Collapisible 10 liter water container
  • Water purification chem
  • Tarps - Blue, Green, and Silver (ask me why)
  • Rain poncho
  • Baling wire
  • Multi tool (larger)
  • Sewing kit
  • Rope
  • Binoculars / monocular
  • Webbing straps
  • Carabiners
  • Duct Tape
  • Bandanas
  • Plastic (garbage) bags
  • Parachute cord
  • Dental Floss
  • Zip Ties
  • Coat hangers (folded up wire)
  • Compass
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Folding Saw
  • Wire Saw
  • Hatchet/Hammer combo
  • Signal Mirror
  • Candles
  • Safety Pins
  • Ski Cap
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Hammock (small)
  • Whistle
  • Ziplock bags
  • Rubber bands
  • Money
  • Energy bars (rotate stock on these)
  • Hard candy (pure sugar)
  • Survival Blanket (the kind with a survival manual printed on it- what a cool idea!)
  • Quality matches in a waterproof container
  • Lighter
  • Firestarter tablets
  • Flashlight
  • Pen/pencil/notepad
  • GPS
  • Spare eyeglasses (if you wear them)
  • U.S. Interstate and your state map.
  • spare batteries (try to coordinate any battery operated items to all use the same type battery).
  • First Aid Kit (this deserves its own list)

I realize this thread is old, but it's interesting. Give us your lists of what you carry ALL the time.
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Old January 2, 2007, 07:07 AM   #23
triggerhappy2006
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can opener is number one on my list
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Old January 9, 2007, 04:23 AM   #24
106RR
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Odds and Ends:
All the medication you will need for an extended time in the govt shelter or in the boondocks. Condoms are good for carrying water from the national guard water trailer. In your car, a box of condoms and lubricant, a couple of cheap pocket knives, ammunition and some NSAIDS to trade for other goods or services.
You must be able to text message with the cell phone as voice communication is the first thing to go out. The text messages que up at the repeater and usually go through soon. Many people had their cell phone batteries (bring a spare) run down while they made many attempts to get a signal.
In earthquake country the home phone (land line) system will go down because most of the receivers will be off the hook for days on end. Remember there will be no police, ambulance or emergency service for at least three days after an earthquake.
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Old January 15, 2007, 01:55 PM   #25
One Inch Group
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my car kit.

2 MREs
1 full change of clothes, shoes, seasonal. packed in a trash bag.
1 camo poncho
1 poncho liner
1 tube tent
100 feet para cord
magnesium fire starter
pocket knife and fixed blade knife.
water purification tabs
5 qt water bladder
2- 1 qt water bottles
heavy "survival blanket" (waterproof, camo/mirrored, grommets)
medical kit.

all carried in a large alice pack. I can shelter-in-place or bug out.

in the desert water is the premium survival tool. you can only carry so much. the rest of my vehicle has my everyday survival kit in it.
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