Winter Preps Almost Complete

I keep a bag with roughly three changes of clothes and a shaving kit in the back of the car. This is mainly for when it ices over and my company has people staying in the nearby hotels. The only time I have had to use it was in January of 2007 when most of the city was shut down due to an ice storm. The last three winters have been much milder. I have a feeling we’re going to get hit sometime in the next two months. So the bag is packed and all I need to get together is water, food and cash but I’ll get those together over the next few weeks.

Overnight Camping – A prep assessment

I spent last night, 12/18, in the THP Quarry which is the training/school site for The Human Path school. I slept in my car and the temperature got down to around 33° F. It was a rough night. I had a blanket but that wasn’t nearly enough. I had a really hard time sleeping because of the cold. Some of the stuff I had on hand was sufficient for spending one night but there were other things I forgot to bring.

Tools/Supplies on hand:
Batteries: AA(2), CR123A(2) [Note: I have a Cree LED flashlight that takes either AA or CR123A and a Maglite 2D].
Water (3L)
Food (Beef Jerky, Oranges, Bananas, Protein Bars, Sandwich)
Clothing: Pants, Shirt, Two changes of socks and underwear
Writing: Pen, Notebook
Tools: 2 Hunting Knives, Pocket knife, Multi-tools
Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
Paper Towels (partial roll)

Tools/Supplies used:
Cree LED flashlight
Sandwich, Beef Jerky, Protein Bar
Pen, Notebook

Paper (forgot to bring facial tissue, toilet paper)
Chair (had to borrow)
Blanket (Protected me from some of the cold above but not the cold coming from below)

Things I need to fix/change:
Build out the camp kit (BOB in progress)
Add a supply of paper.
Load the chair in the car. (needed for more than just sitting around a fire.)
Get a sleeping bag and another blanket.

At least I proved to myself that I can get through one night in the car if I have to. Now to extend that to three days.

Preparing vs Not Preparing

While the preparedness/survivalist movement is still growing, the majority of people still go through life counting on the continued existence of systems of support. Those who’ve never had to deal with a disaster should consider themselves lucky. It happens to people daily. These aren’t life ending disasters necessarily but they do cause serious interruptions. Job losses, vehicles being totaled, the loss of a loved one…anything that causes devastation to a single individual needs to be mitigated through preparedness.

Am I prepared? For some things yes. For others no. It’s something I think about every day and try to take actions on.

I’m glad the systems are in place and would find it extremely inconvenient if they were not. But I know that a computer glitch could bring down just the particular portion of the ATM and POS terminal network that affects my bank and I would find myself without access to cash. This has happened before. A few months ago, the entire network in the town I live in was out for two to three hours one Friday afternoon coworkers were talking about needing cash and not having it. That didn’t affect me because I had some cash on hand and the situation didn’t last very long. But what if it had? What if every ATM and POS terminal was on the fritz for an entire weekend? That means your credit card isn’t going to work at the store either. How do you buy food? Does the particular store you are in have one of those carbon paper card imprinters? What about the fast food restaurant? Do you have enough at home to get you through until service is restored? More importantly, do you need to think about questions like these?

Whatever food and supplies you have on hand are still a finite resource. Eventually the three days, weeks, months or years will come and go and you will need more. Who has the better chance of surviving, the person who takes steps to prepare or the one who like the Eloi boy in the original film of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine says, “…it grows…it always grows…”