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The MINIMUM survival kit - supplies

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by monkeyman, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Ok, I think most if not all of us here would already have the basics and would not be counting on anyone, government or otherwise, to be there imediatly after a disaster to bail us out but for any folks new to the idea of preparedness I wanted to back up and explane how to do at least the most basics on a VERY tight budget.

    If there is ever any kind of an emergency or disaster there is a very good chance you will be on your own for at least a few days up to a a month, but for a bare minimum you NEED to be prepared to fulfill all your (and your families) needs for 1 week. Now you can get a lot more elaborate and a lot of other things would be excelent ideas to add to this list but this is the cheapest, simplest list I can come up with to avoid being like to folks in New Orleans dieing after 3 days from dehydration due to a TOTAL lack of preparedness.

    The basic catagories that you need to cover in a worst case senareo in aproximate order of importance are as follows; water, medication/firstaid, fire, food, shelter, sanitation. If you can cover these then you will likely at least survive until aid gets there if it is comeing.
    Lets start with water, you need about 1 gallon of water per person per day. For a family of 3 for 1 week that means 21 gallons of water at minimum. This is strictly for drinking and cooking if you will consume the water in or with the food. Now this first method is not the best as it will become stale tasteing in a matter of days and will need to be changed about once a month but save all your empty milk and soda bottles/jugs, wash them out and refill with water untill you have what you need and store them in if nothing else cardboard boxes so they can be quickly grabbed to go if needed. A better method if you have even a little money you can spend is to go to a Dollar general or even a Wallmart and you can get jugs of spring water for 75 cents a gallon or less generaly if you go with a no name brand, It may be labled spring water or just drinking water get whatever is cheap.

    Now you have your water, the next most important thing will be medications for anyone in your houshold who needs them to live, if anyone in your home is diabetic for instance make sure you alwayse have a minimum of 1 weeks supply of insulin and that everyone knows where it is kept and to grab it if you have to evacuate (same goes for any meds needed). You also need at least a basic first aid kit. This dosnt have to be, and is best not, the $30 kit from the store. Here is a list for a basic kit that you should be able to put together for under $20; a 10 pack of feminine hygene napkins-these can be used as a wound compress for any serious cut or wound and fastened with duct tape, 1 roll duct tape- to hold splints or bandages in place, small bag of cotton balls- can be used under duct tape fot bandaids, 1 bottle generic imodium AD-to controle diareah which could be a problem in a disaster area, 1 bottle generic ibuprophen-taken in 600mg doses will control swelling in case of broken bones and such pain relief and fever control, 1 bottle hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol- can be used to clean minor to moderate wounds as well as to sterilize needles and such used to remove splinters and such, 1-2 sewing needles or straight pins- to remove splinters and debris from wounds. This is an extremely basic kit and very inexpensive but should cover most any medical need (aside from nesicary prescriptions) that the average laymen could deal with for a short term.

    Food will be your next most important thing along with fire. If money is extreemly tight you will need to cook it rather than open a package a dig in, so you will need a cooking pot which could be as simple as a large coffee can or even a large fruit can though a saucepan would be more ideal. Ramen noodles are not the best but for a week or two will keep you feeling full and keep you from starving to death, and cost around 10 cents a pack, haveing 3 to 5 of these per person per day would hold you over. A much better option nutrition wise and still cheap is oat meal, buy the generic stuff in a large can and have at least 1 large can per person for the week. Rice also will sustain you and is cheap, get on of the 50 cent bags per day for the family of 3. All of these and some others I havent thought to mention just need some water and heat. It would also be a good thing to include a set of silverware per person here. The fire can be fulfilled with a bic lighter, a can of vasoline and some of the cotton balls beyond what you needed for the first aid kit. Dip the cotton balls in the vasoline and it makes a fine fire starter, you can gather limbs or debris to put over this and build a fire, if you have never built a fire before without lighter fluid you may want to learn its not that hard but you have to start with the smallest driest stuff you can and increase in size gradualy. With a cooking container and fire you can also take any water not heavily poluted with chemicals can be boiled for at least 10 minutes and then should be safe to drink.

    Now if you have at least gotten what has been covered so far they you will most likely at least be able to survive but I will cover the rest of the things listed and a few others that will improve your chances more and make you a lot more comfortable.

    Shelter is the next thing, this will hopefuly be able to be your home or some building but in case thats not an option its good to be prepared to have your own. The simplest would be to go to walmart and buy a small tent that while cramped as hell you could fit 3 people in (especialy if one is a child) starting at around $20. If this is to expensive you can get a small tarp or a roll of drop cloth plastic for around $5 then get a roll of string (which has a LOT of other uses as well) and along with the duct tape in the first aid kit you can set up a shelter to keep the elements off you. This would also be a good place to mention that it would be good if you can also have a blanket for each person with these supplies, even in warm weather they can make you a lot more comfortable to lay on and if at all cool will be great to help stay warm.

    Sanitation is another concern that is also of some importance. This would basicly be at minimum a roll of small trash bags and a roll of toilet paper for each person. Tis way you can use the bags as a restroom and have something to wipe with. The bags can then be removed from the area where you are staying and away from any water sources. In adition it would be an excelent addition to have a medium to large bottle of hand sanitizer per person to clean hands prior to eating and/or after anwsering the call of nature.

    In addition to these items it is a good idea to include a decent knife of some sort. A good hunting knife would be best here or a multi tool but even a butcher knife from the kitchen will work. This will be useful for creating shelter, fire, opening packages, and if needed for protection from those who may have not prepared and want to take what you have or just to do you harm in a time of lawlesness. A firearm of some sort and at least 1 or 2 boxes of shells would also be an excelent addition as this provides more protection from any preditors wether 2 legged or 4 legged, remember if something like this happens there are likely to be LOTS of dogs who are running loose and havent eaten since the disaster or before and will be running in packs. Even a single shot .22 or shotgun, both of which can often be had for under $100 will fend off attacking dogs or generaly people and also will allow you to add meat to your food supply if you see any wild animals since deer, rabbits and squirls have become quite common even in a lot of urban areas now. A flash light with a spare set of batteries for seeing as well as signaling in the dark. A whistle or air horn to signal for help when or if help comes.

    You should be able to fill the top priorities for under $50 for a family of 3, fill all the primairy needs for the same family for well under $100 and come up with everything listed here for under $200, nearly $80-$100 of this being for a firearm and not everything has to be done at once, many of the things, like the water can even be done cheaper. But if you at least gather the things listed here you may not be as prepared as you COULD be, but you will improve your chances of surviveing a disaster by at least 1,000% and at least for the basics of this list there is truely no excuse to not be at least that prepared as even a person on a fixed income could afford these things, if you dont think you could...how much is the computer you are reading this on worth, can you eat it if you need to, can it save your life or that of your family, how did you come up with it, cant you get these things the same way and if not perhapse haveing these things would be worthy of the sale of your computer or TV or something.
    Marck, Finster, Tonners and 5 others like this.
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Good info mm and I know that took awhile to type!

    I have fielded almost 200 emails from the SM main site the last 3 days. Everyone is asking what they need to buy right now. Lot's of questions about Generators, solar chargers . crank radios etc.

    I have been sending out a Form email reply that states, basically: If you are worried about a really bad situation Now, and have not preared otherwise, Forget the techno stuff and get some Water, Food, First Aid supplies NOW. What good is a cell phone charger if the NetWork goes down in 2 weeks.

    Think in the short term while looking to the long term. As far as cell phone solar chargers, go to walmart and buy the $5 car charger for your phone. Much cheaper than a Solar aparatus and will work just fine.

    I'm prety well squared away though I am lacking some ammo for some newly purchased guns. I'll rememdy that in the next few days. I did buy a solar system tonight. It';s the Brunton soplaris trifold at www.brunton.com , I have my basics covered so am spending some money on some TOYS that I have looked at for a few yrs but haven't purchased.

    Good advice mm
    Tonners likes this.
  3. meyah

    meyah Monkey+++

    depending upon the weather,

    shelter can be WAY more important than water, and food ranks WAY down the list. I knew several guys who'd eaten nothing at all for over a month. Lack of shelter can kill you in hours, even minutes, if it's cold, wet, windy enough.

    The ability to MOVE can mean LOTS more than having lots of water stashed. Just ask the Katrina or the MIssissippi valley flood victims how wonderful it was to have water, and watch everything they owned be ruined. :) Ditto fires, riots, etc. There's FAR more important issues than water, most of the time. Get a survival straw, and if you live in the desert, learn where the water sources are. Otherwise, water doesn't amount to much, compared to shelter, proper clothing, and so on.
    Marck likes this.
  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Theres a big difference between the water that was all around them and potable water. Shelter as it pertains to survival is simple and once the huricane its self was past the need for shelter wasnt that much of an issue and durring the huricane no tent or shelter you were going to toss up would have done anything but blow away and if it was the hole you want to live in if SHTF they you would drown in your hole. If you have no water in most enviroments you will be dead in 3 days, no food especialy while haveing to function you have about 3 weeks, yeah no 'shelter' is about 3 hours but then to clothing is the most basic shelter for that standard. Water and food are the most basic things a person needs to have at least a minimal supply of in order to get through a disaster and if you cant comprehend that then you will be truely short for this world if you are ever caught in any kind of disaster much less an all out SHTF situation.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member


    Not the kind you expect to need, but the kind you don't ever want to need, but might. What papers do you carry along? Passport? Birth certs? What do you want to have with you in case of "Your papers, please" when passing thru inconvenient places. Think ID, but limited to the immediacy of establishing your name, not your credit history and other private factoids that might be useful to MZBs or quasi-govenment agencies. Health records? Mortgage papers? Vehicle titles?

    And, if you choose to travel anonymously, where do you leave the important stuff? A natural disaster is one thing, collapse of society is another.

    I don't know, either. Thoughts welcome.
  6. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I think I'd want everything with me or in my compound, just not necessarily "on me." It would be hard to anticipate what might be needed, helpful, or a detriment.
  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    It would depend on the situation largely but anything to prove you hold claim to what you have like land or vehicles as well as things to prove your identity. IMO proof of land ownership would be escential if buging out for the land you leave behind and may later need to reclaim from squaters and also if you have a BO location then to prove you have claim to it in case someone else has decided it fits their needs well and you have to remove them then you can prove you were justified as opposed to the one comeing in and attacking rightful owners of the place.
    bgner likes this.
  8. Sojourner

    Sojourner Silverback


    You will need the important papers with you if you have to shelter in a public place. You will not be permitted to stay if you do not have some form of ID. And you will need insurance papers, and any medical records that you have at home in case your home is flooded or torn apart. Without them, there will be delays, delays, and more delays. Guess how I know this. Didn't need to go to public shelters, but know people who did. Rita flooded my house to the tune of 3 1/2 feet of salty water. Had I not had all these papers in a gallon sized ziploc, would have been in deep doo-doo. Don't forget to bring some cash, too.
  9. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Good points Sojourner. We bought a cheap fire proof/water proof safe at Wal-Mart for our records. I think it cost around $60, but we keep our insurance papers, marriage cert., shot records, financial records, etc. in there. It was a good investment.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Good points indeed. [bow] I have a fire safe for documents, but am not so sure how water tight it is. So a baggy is a good idea on two fronts, one: the safe is too damn heavy for BO, and two: water proofing and light to run with is good. :D
  11. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    On documents its also an excelent idea to have a second set of all critical papers in a second and secure location like a safe deposit box or some such. Most of the safes that claim to be fire proof will only keep papers from bursting into flames or at least charing for MAYBE 15 minutes and other things could make it imposible to retrieve them from the safe. Like if the house is colapsed in a tornado or whatever so haveing a second copy of insurance papers, birth certificates, marage/devorce papers, etc. in a second safe place away from the house is a good idea.

    I know our house burned about 8 years ago and even though the fire box kept the papers inside pretty well in tact and we knew where it had been, once the fire and fire fighters were through with the house it was burried under loads of stuff and took a couple days to find. If for whatever reason you dont have a couple days to look that could be a real bad thing.
  12. Ommega

    Ommega Monkey+++

    Re: The MINIMUM

    I just so happen to live in a place where you would want to run to, not from!
    The folks here will be in the surounding hills overlooking their homes for trouble. Through a day/night scope :)
    I pitty the fool that is wanting to play with the boys is this hood.
    If you love God and country and need a place to run to, you will be welcome, but if you come to take away our countries Bill Of Rights.....
    You'all better bring a lunch!
    It pays to have a network of friends that you trust to work together like we have here in the high country.
    The cell system is the best way to protect the group as a whole.
    Plan and pratice the "what Ifs" before they happen.
    Learn how to shoot, move and communicate as a team.
    Good luck keeping out the bad guys too!
    Your Bud,
    Badges? .......We don't have no Badges!......
    We don't Need No STICKING BADGES!
  13. LondonCalling

    LondonCalling Monkey++

    Re: The MINIMUM

    Excellent "sticky" mate and to be honest, one that ive just only now read?

    It has made me think alot, i mean "back to basics"
    Ive certainly got to do a majour overhaul of my preps and the priorities of them.
    Like you've stated the items listed will get the average family thru the initial one week period until or if help arrives?

    I am so far behind, i cant begin to think, IMO we (the family and i) are ok upto the point of 1 week, but after that XXXXX?
    Cheers MM for pointing out the "kit" i had put together would in all honesty only last us "roughly" 1 week!!! its opened my eyes mate...TOP STICKY
  14. ssbn642blue

    ssbn642blue It's this or the chip

    Re: The MINIMUM

    Water, Water, Water, then sanitation, ie. dead animals and people. Shelter then food. But this depends on your enviorment and weather conditions for your climate.

    Too many variables...
  15. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Re: The MINIMUM

    Quite frankly, that is what most likely keeps sheep from doing what needs done regarding preps. They think it is too complicated to ponder. Leave it to the experts -- "We are from the gov't, and we are on the way to help."

    Dunno about most, but I've done my thinking, it is why I am where I am, and why I do preps. There is no one, gov't or otherwise, that knows nor cares about my little corner of the world and what I'll specifically need or do. The name of my game is be ready to do without outside "help" for as long as I can. Backups for the backups wherever needed for "must have on hand" stuff. (Not there yet, but working on it.)

    Thus spake me and a few others here. [coffee2]
    KAS likes this.
  16. ssbn642blue

    ssbn642blue It's this or the chip

    Re: The MINIMUM


    Dunno about most, but I've done my thinking, it is why I am where I am, and why I do preps. There is no one, gov't or otherwise, that knows nor cares about my little corner of the world and what I'll specifically need or do. The name of my game is be ready to do without outside "help" for as long as I can. Backups for the backups wherever needed for "must have on hand" stuff. (Not there yet, but working on it.)

    Think back about the qual process and the responsibility we had after that. Ever tie these two together? We had no one else to call...

    Sorry, should have made this a PM
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Re: The MINIMUM

    To clarify SSBN's remark a bit: Both of us were in the Silent Service. His comments are to point out that we cross trained in everyone else's watchstation/job on the boat. This is a bit allied to our forum's infrequent but consistent references to the "tribe." Our collective asses on the boats relied on everyone knowing everyone's job, and we did our own well and most of the others competently. If we didn't, we were literally dead: in that era we could not call out for another bucket of beans or gallon of gas. Aboard the boats, we knew everyone on board, and who was reliable and who not (the "flobs" got to serve the meals.) My comment was to the effect that I have no local tribe now, and must prepare accordingly.

    We have hashed the subject here on who we can trust, and who not, and formed our own assessment of the other members. I'll tell you now, based on the length of his service on USS(N) Kamehameha, SSBN643Blue is going to be reliable. (Even if he was aboard only to pull the trigger.)

    flob - free loading oxygen breather - non producer

  18. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Re: The MINIMUM

    Location and such would play SOME part in it but for the level of preping discussed in this thread at least, SHORT term like a month tops while waiting for help or for things to play out a bit AND looking to simply survive it for an absolute minimal investment as opposed to looking to comfort or longer term situations, I would say it would be fairly universal. You need the water to drink and food to eat, a place to get out of the elements, protection from predators, and at least BASIC medical/firstaid supplies.

    The rest is more comfort IF its SHORT term. Now as you get into medium or longer term senarios, anything over a month then individual location/situation effects a LOT more. Even in the short term it plays some roll since in cold enviroments for instance you also need warm blankets and clothes, in urban jungles protection from 2 legged predators and packs of stray dogs becomes more important and so on but that would be tweaks to the stuff listed and other than maybe being in an area where food and potable water are SURE to be available after ANY disaster, the stuff listeld be would be pretty well escential and while it may not cover even ALL of the basic needs in some areas would have a person in a FAR better position (particularly for that 1 week to a month at most between disaster and help IF its comeing) than if they didnt have even those basics.

    The initial post was with Katrina in mind but I still figure that, so far as it goes, it would apply to most any disaster in most any area that is going to have help on the way and the people just need to survive the wait while help is mobalized.
  19. ssbn642blue

    ssbn642blue It's this or the chip

    Re: The MINIMUM

    Still have to go through quals here too Grhit. But thanks though.

    I'm kind of in the same situation, no local tribe.
  20. toemag

    toemag Monkey++

    Re: The MINIMUM

    This has made for some interesting reading.

    Basic survival kit's are just to little for an extended period of time, Most of the important stuff has been covered. I'd just like to add that I have a tarp and tent's in my kit, tarps are great, you can throw up a shelter while taking a break even if you don't intend staying there for any period of time, gets you out of the rain so that you can brew up and have a snack, be it above you at head height or even an ad-hoc lean2 to get you out of the wind. Don't really matter if it's the sun wind rain snow whatever, you feel better.

    As to these breaks depending on how much you are carrying, condition, distance, marched and left to go, a ten minute break every hour is something to look forward to, and should be taken in the best cover available, woods or a ditch, you can observe your next leg for a while before breaking cover, adjust rucksacks and their contents, check your feet for blisters, make sure everyone in the group is okay and can continue.

    My kid's pre teen will be free loaders and we'll have a job convincing them to carry a ruck with their own stuff in let alone family stuff like tents. If the Mother and father in law decide to come too, both are in the mid to late 60's so they will be willing but unable to carry full loads.

    Using a BOV with everything that you might need will just draw attention to yourselves, and make you more liable to run into MZB road blocks or check points and heavens forbid ambushes.

    On the day of reckoning it's going to be a hard call, some of your family/group members may work up to 50+ miles away from home in the city, and what would normally be an hours drive could turn into a two day walk for them to get home. I drive a truck which means that I could be 300+km's away from home when the balloon goes up, one of my regular routes takes me to Austria, just how will the border be when I get there, or will I have to walk over the Alps to get home, they might look nice on post cards, but surviving on them in winter while trying to get back home will be the pits, snow shoes, ski's and climbing equipment etc etc. Then when you get home what will you find, family and house gone or looted?

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