Article Submitted by Brian S. Kiefat @ The Ready Center
For the past few pay periods you’ve been prepping by acquiring essential survival gear. This pay period we recommend you pick up a backpack to hold all that awesome gear. Could you really survive an emergency without one? Definitely. But realistically, most all of your emergency supplies will be scattered to the wind if you don’t have a place to consolidate them. Do you really want to go around searching the house for your survival knife in the dark? Do you really want to discover that your child found your emergency flashlight and used the batteries up in his/her latest midnight puppet show? Do you want to be the guy rummaging through your kitchen, garage, and tool shed searching for what you need in the wake of the most recent disaster? I suspect you don’t. Which is why we recommend you purchase a survival kit backpack.
Before you go out and buy the first thing that looks all survival-ish, let’s focus on what this bag is actually for, and what it is not for. This survival kit backpack should be used for consolidating your gear if/when you decide you need to SIP. The purpose of having this bag is that all your gear can be in one easy to find place so you and your family won’t be in a mad panic scramble trying to assemble it last minute.
Not running around like your head is cut off after a disaster will benefit you in a number of ways. Your heart rate will be lower, so if you are injured you will bleed less. Also, with a lower heart rate your hands will not tremor and therefore be more steady in the event that you need to help someone else that is injured. If your gear is consolidated, you will have more time to accurately asses the situation and make clearer judgment calls regarding the well-being of you and your loved ones. If your gear is in one place, you will not have to risk hurting yourself or others attempting to collect what you can in the wake of a disaster. Lastly, if you have your survival kit backpack stocked and pre-staged, you’ll know what’s in it, exactly where you packed what, you’ll know the condition of your gear, and you’ll know how to use it.
What is this survival kit backpack not? It’s not a BOB, GOOD bag, or INCH bag. A BOB, GOOD bag, or INCH bag is designed for a very different purpose. The intent behind one of these bags is that you can grab it as you sprint out of your house, as you may never return home ever again (or at least not for a very, very, very long time). The survival kit backpack that we are assembling is designed so that you DON”T HAVE TO LEAVE your home during or after an emergency, that is unless it is absolutely necessary.
90% of the contents off all survival backpacks are generally the same. The main difference between the survival kit backpack that we are building for our home and a BOB, GOOD bag, or INCH bag is that these types of kits will usually include long term items such as a sleeping bag of some sort, hundreds of dollars, extra knives, a good deal of shelf stable food, a flash-drive with electronic copies of important documents for every family member (birth certificate, drivers license, passport, social security card, current photo, banking info, etc), a firearm, and some extra ammunition just to name a few. Again, these are items that a person would want if they may not be returning home for quite some time. Also, these types of kits are usually much larger, much heavier, and much more expensive.
Could you use your survival kit backpack as a BOB, GOOD bag, or INCH bag if you needed to get out of your house in a hurry? Absolutely! The gear in your pack would serve you very well and it’s infinitely better than having no kit at all. But in the interests of keeping within the guidelines of “Prepping on $20 a Paycheck” let’s focus on your backpack, shall we?
Here is some of what we recommend you look for in a survival kit backpack.
1. Bright Colored – Remember, if/when you need to use this survival pack the lights may be out. And you may not need to look for it until night time, so having something bright colored will make it easier to see in low-light conditions.
2. Partially Reflective – Having a backpack that is partially reflective can 1) aid you in finding it in low light conditions 2) be used as a signaling device to call for help – [as many did to signal helicopters from their roof tops after Hurricane Katrina] 3) act as an additional safety measure to show your presence to oncoming vehicles if you had to leave your house on foot and use your new backpack as a BOB, GOOD bag, or INCH bag.
3. Multi-Compartmental – This is important because 1) some of your emergency gear really needs to be separated for good reason. Example: your knife puncturing a hole in your water bottle or your Bic leaking lighter fluid into your food rations 2) in an emergency situation when someone’s life is on the line, there is no excuse for not knowing exactly where your gear is at.
4. Water Container Holders – I’ve been through disabling ice-storms, devastating floods, blizzards with 55 below zero temperatures, and been in middle-eastern deserts in 140 degree heat, and I can tell you one thing: the moment I stopped moving I was desperate for a drink of water. I can’t imagine why any other emergency or disaster would be any different.
We hope you found this article helpful as to why you need a survival kit backpack and what it’s purpose should be. When shopping for your new backpack take our recommendations seriously as we’ll be giving you plenty of suggestions as to what to fill your new backpack up with in future articles of “Prepping on $20 a Paycheck”.
Until then… Happy Prepping,
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