Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Nomadic Survival: Essential Items for On-The-Go Preppers

Suitcase Summer is almost here, which means it's time to get ready to go on vacation. As a prepper, you want to be ready for the worst that could happen, but you don't want to take a lot of luggage that could slow you down or attract a lot of attention. To help you get ready to hit the road, here is a list of some small items that can be a big help in an emergency.


This includes your passport, driver's license, healthcare insurance and/or Medicare card, and proof of insurance. The passport, if you're traveling to another country, is especially important. Make photocopies of it and have a scanned version of it on your laptop, flashdrive or CD. Always make sure you have a copy of the 24 claims number for your insurance provider.

Have preprinted labels with your address, home phone number, and e-mail address with you at all times. Make sure each piece of luggage has at least two. Attach one label to a handle and put the other label in the luggage in case something happens to the outside label.


Bring two credit cards, so you'll have one in case one gets stolen or lost. Also make sure you have the credit card customer service numbers written down and kept somewhere other than your wallet. If you lose the wallet, you'll want to be able to call the credit card companies about the missing cards before some thief goes on a spending spree with your card. Keep some blank checks on hand. If you're travelling in another country, keep some of the local currency with you, too.

Get a prepaid long distance card. Some places either have no cell phone service at all, or they have really steep roaming charges. Keep a written, preferably coded, list of passwords that will let you access online financial data and your e-mail accounts.

Medical Supplies

If you take prescription medicine, sort it out into daily dosages. Bring an extra three days' worth in case your trip back home is delayed for some reason. Take a First Aid kit that includes antibiotics, antibiotic cream, bandages, instant hot packs, diarrhea medicine, pain medication, and anything else you frequently use or believe you might need. Consider the local conditions when deciding what to add to your kit.

Insect repellent and sunscreen will both protect you from common causes of outdoor injuries. Hand sanitizer and sanitizer wipes can also protect your health.

Trustworthy Transportation

When it comes to survival on the road, a number of factors must be taken into consideration when choosing your vehicle. If you need to carry lots of essential items, a larger car is probably best. Similarly, if you must travel long distances, a fuel-efficient vehicle will not only save you money but will reduce your likelihood of being stranded if you cannot find working sources of fuel at regular intervals. The ideal vehicle, according to an expert at a Hyundai dealership, should be spacious enough to safely transport your group and items and efficient enough to give you over thirty-seven miles per gallon.

Emergency Supplies

A two-way radio will enable you to stay in touch with others. Get one that includes a NOAA weather scan and emergency alert. Have a pocket poncho for yourself and everyone with you. A poncho is lightweight raingear that really can fit in one's pocket. A Mylar emergency blanket will keep 90 percent of your body heat inside—even if you’re not headed to a chilly destination, it’s good to have a few of these blankets around just in case. Again, make sure there's one for everybody.

Keep water purification tablets on hand. If the water supply in your area or at your destination gets contaminated, you can use them to make sure you have safe and potable water. Protein and snack bars make a good, on-the-go food source. They keep a long time, don't require any cooking, and many taste good. A small LED flashlight, and possibly a LED headlamp will make good emergency light sources. LED lights last much longer than other lights, and they use a lot less energy. Other emergency supplies you should pack include an emergency whistle, a paracord or parachute cord, chemical light sticks, a Swiss Army knife or pocket knife, and duct tape with some tie wraps.

Other Items

Have a list of emergency contacts that includes people's e-mail addresses and phone number. Pack your cell phone charger or a USB cable to use as a charging cable, batteries (or rechargeable batteries plus a battery charger) and travel tissues and a travel-sized roll of toilet paper.

A lot of the items listed are, admittedly, things most people would take on a trip. Some are not, but all of them can help you in a sticky situation, which is what being prepared is all about.

Emma is a freelance writer living in Boston. When she manages to tear herself away from the computer, she enjoys baking, rock climbing, and film noir.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Debris Hut – From Basic to Advanced

Debris hut If you have been studying up on prepping and survival, I am sure you have come across the term “debris hut” by now. Debris huts come in all shapes, sizes, and styles depending on the particularities of the person building them.

When all is said and done the goal of the debris hut is to keep you warm and dry.

The debris you use is whatever material you can scrape up in your local environment. Grasses, leaves, pine needles, and general litter from the forest floor (including dirt and small rocks) can be used. It is best if you can gather long grasses to put a final layer on top to help shed water.

Basic Debris Hut

The debris hut at its most basic is simply a pile of whatever dry material you can scrounge up. The pile must be big enough for you to burrow inside and be insulated, not only from the weather but also from the ground beneath you.

Think about that really big pile of leaves you made as a kid. This is the idea. If you have readily available material, it will be one of the quickest shelters you can literally scrape together.

A Better Option

If you have the time, a more substantial debris hut can be constructed. A simple lean-to or small A-frame is constructed and covered with small sticks. Then the debris you gather is piled on top to form the (hopefully) waterproof cap. If it leaks add more material.

This is a really good option for stealth camping, since once you are done and the shelter has aged a bit, it will just look like a mound in the forest.

First Class Debris Hut

For a top of the line debris hut that you can actually live out of, think about an eastern longhouse, or a double lean-to design. You can make them as long as you need for your required space.

You can put them together with woven saplings or a more rigid framework of limbs. Once the framework is in place fill in the gaps with smaller sticks woven in, and then cover the shelter with a couple feet or more of debris.

You can continually add to this layer as you go about your daily living, and it will continue to get better and better.

If you are short on traditional shelter coverings such as evergreen boughs or tree bark, the debris hut makes a serviceable alternative.

Randy Augsburger writes form an old homestead that has been in his family since 1866