Lessons Learned: My Walk Along the River this Morning

note: originally written/posted in 2015

Physical TrainingAs you know by now I try to do physical training 5+ times per week. I am also blessed with a job that pays me to do that each day. But I am cursed being in an area that at this time of year it is 100+ degrees and humid most days. But today was nice, hot but a stiff breeze blowing. Along the river it is usually a couple degrees cooler when the water is flowing. So I headed to the river for my PT today.

It was absolutely gorgeous along the river there this morning. I was even wearing my new tennis shoes. Hey, if you haven’t read my “Lessons Learned” about my tennis shoes you might want to read about that under Lessons Learned. I did my stretches and headed north along the river enjoying the stiff breeze blowing the bugs and mosquitoes into oblivion.

I have to admit I was a bit in la-la land as I was walking along. But then I got pulled back into reality. Let me share a series of photos with you and then I will talk some more…

Lessons Learned - River WalkLessons Learned - River WalkLessons Learned - River WalkOK, what did you see?

I am sure you saw everything I did, but what did it mean to you?

Since you are probably not familiar with this river, especially this part of the river, I doubt you picked up on what all of this meant. But to me it meant I need to keep my Situational Awareness (SA) up all of the time. Let me go into the details and tell you what I saw…

Lessons Learned - River Walk - danger signs - red flagsLessons Learned - River Walk - danger signs - red flagsLessons Learned - River Walk - danger signs - red flagsThe river corridor here is owned by a government agency. Yeah, go figure. And they maintain this trail for walkers,  bikers, and horseback riders to enjoy the riverside. It has probably been about a year since I walked this river trail. But, I’ve been walking it for probably 7 or 8 years now. And I enjoy it. But this is the first time I ever saw anything like:

  • The empty cases of beer.
  • The large soda cups.
  • Tire tracks and ruts.

But then as I got a little further along the path I saw this…

Lessons Learned - River WalkLessons Learned - River WalkLessons Learned - River WalkAnd what it really was…

Lessons Learned - River Walk - danger signs - red flagsLessons Learned - River Walk - danger signs - red flagsLessons Learned - River Walk - danger signs - red flagsUp until this point this area never had anything like this…nothing…ever. And so I decided to turn it into an SA exercise.

The trail is 1-1/2 miles out to the point where I turn around and head back. The three miles with a few sets of pushups along the way takes me about 45 minutes. I got to the end, the half-way point, turned around and headed back. I started to take pictures to make this an SA experience for me and to share it with you.

Why?

Because I want to keep SA in the forefront of our preparedness skills. Similar to what I did with the “tennis shoe” Lessons Learned a while back. So hang in there and see if you can take away something useful from this article.

So here is the scenario that I set up…

It is the third day of grid-down. I got caught at work and was unable to leave due to agency responsibilities. I finally get a chance to leave. I am walking home where my family is waiting for me. I know this trail, it is where I regularly PT. It is a combination of the safest, most direct route home. It is also the only route where I will have water available to me; I have my MSR Sweetwater Filter System to use. I head home about 9:00 in the morning. Here is what I see as I walk along…

River walk lessons learned - situational awareness SAFirst thing, I walk in the middle of the trail to keep the safest distance from each edge of the trail. When a bush is close to the edge of the trail I move to the more clear side of the trail. That allows me a small increase in reaction time due to distance. It also gives me a slightly better view of what, or who, might be trying to ambush me. Then I see…

Lessons Learned - River Walk

This trail is “non-motorized” meaning that only walkers, bikers, and horseback riders are allowed. The presence of these tracks is out of the ordinary. The deep ruts is also a red flag. Either a truck accidentally went there, or someone intentionally tried to drive off the road into soft sand. Either way, it is a red flag. Then I see this…

Lessons Learned - River Walk

This area has never been trashy, there never has been large soda cups along this trail. They are fresh. They are next to a bush, but not “wind blown.” Why are they there? Where are the two people who put them there? A little further along I see this…

Lessons Learned - River Walk

Major red flag!! There is a strictly enforced no-drinking policy in this area, along this trail. Never have I seen an empty beer bottle let alone multiple empty beer cases and the bottles. But not all the bottles are strewn around. The cases are not faded, not rained on, not torn up. All of that points to them being fresh, recently put there. I keep walking, now as I come around the bend I see this…

Lessons Learned - River WalkNow, what does this tell you? To me this is a huge red flag, a true danger signal that absolutely cannot be ignored or dismissed lightly. So what is the deal?

The shopping cart is the first thing I notice. That indicates that someone, or a group, pushed the cart here with a “load” of something. Maybe food, water, and such. Or maybe cases of beer. But it was enough of a load that they didn’t want to carry it and had enough guts to steal a shopping cart to get their goodies here. But I have to keep moving, but I slow way down now, full of caution. Then the rest of it comes into view…

Lessons Learned - River Walk

What do you see given the scenario I painted at the beginning of this exercise?

More directly, and more importantly, what don’t you see that could well be fatal?

Let me digress for just a minute. At no time ever has camping been allowed in this area. The cops would never, and have never, tolerated people camping int his recreational use area. It is strictly for “day use” only. Although we have a large homeless population in the area, the cops simply won’t have this within a recreational area.

So, obviously you see the camp. How many folks is this camp set up for at first glance? But have you identified the real issue yet? That issue that could be the fatal issue.

Let me give you a clue by asking a question…”Where are the campers, the people?”

Yeah, you don’t see them right? Why don’t you see them?

Let’s explore the options:

  • They left and moved on to another camping location.
  • They went to town for food.
  • They went for a swim in the river.
  • They went scrounging for edible plants along the river bank.
  • Ambush01They have been arrested and taken away.
  • They have been killed and their bodies are in the bushes.
  • They are alive and in the bushes waiting for their next victim, their next prey, to come along.

I am sure there are more options you could come up with but I think the options I laid out got you thinking. Which are the most dangerous to me right at the moment I spot their camp?

I will propose that all of them are dangerous to me, but the last two particularly so. Why?

The first five all do with them simply being away from their camp for some period of time. But what if they are returning to their camp at the same time I come walking by? Do they see me as simply walking by or do they see me as approaching their camp to steal their gear?

How will they will view my uninvited presence? But they are likely to see my presence with some degree of defensiveness in my opinion. So, what would be their normal reaction in that case?

And do you honestly think they would all leave their camp and not leave someone behind for security purposes?

Now, let’s look at the last two options I listed. If there a difference in the degree of danger to me?

I don’t think there is a difference, either is a significant danger to me. If they have been killed by a person or persons then what is to say that I am not the next to meet the same fate?

I didn’t smell any dead bodies so I honestly think this was not the case. So that pretty much would leave the last option as a very probable option. And in my opinion, the most potentially deadly.

What would you do at this point? But before you do, remember the scenario I painted for you, think in terms of reality for the situation.

I would slowly drop into a slight crouch to lower my profile, do a quick 360 to clear my immediate area, and then slowly move to the closest cover in the opposite direction (or at least 90degrees) of the camp. Then I would RiverWalk-11develop the best 360 view I could and then settle in with patience.

I want to observe the camp area and the approaches for 30 – 60 minutes minimum. If I honestly think there could be an ambush waiting for me then I would observe and then withdraw. I would have no desire whatsoever to try a counter-ambush or any other kind of engagement. My mission is to get home…period.

If I don’t see anyone for 30 – 60 minutes then I slowly and carefully continue on my way but not using the trail for my travels.

If I did see someone I would slowly withdraw and carefully continue on my way but not using the trail for my travels.

Notice my actions are the same whether I observe someone or not. At this point I have no desire to interact with anyone. The more interactions with people that take place in a scenario like this, the more likely you are to encounter trouble, problems, or worse.

Leave people alone…get home.

I mentioned not using the trail for movement in describing what my actions would be. Why?

Well, if you were desperate, of low moral character, and had no issues taking people’s gear, equipment, food and water, where would you do that?

Where people are, right? And where would people be besides their homes, where they would be vulnerable? Yup, walking along a remote trail. So where would I walk?

I would walk 100’ or so off the trail, among decent brush parallel to the trail. That distance would be enough to put you to the rear of ambushers if there were any. Most people wouldn’t expect to see you walking that far off the trail when walking on the trail is the easiest. You do the unexpected.

So what to do if you aren’t that paranoid cautious yet? Try these ideas:

  • Walk in the middle of the trail creating distance between you and the sides of the trail giving you slightly more reaction time.
  • If there is brush close to the edge of the trail on one side, as you approach move to the opposite side of the trail keeping your eyes open for threats on both side.
  • If the bush crowds in on both sides of the trail, stop. Act distracted such as tying your shoe, adjusting your hat, looking at your watch. While you are engaged in the act of deception observe the entire area for threats. Any sign of threat take slow, careful and well thought out evasive actions.
  • Alternative to the above, stop and take a break next to some concealment like a bush or tree. Now, observe the area for 15 – 60 minutes for any threat indicators. Take appropriate action based on observations.
  • Additional alternative, without breaking stride make an immediate hard turn off the trail. Take evasive action based on your perception of the threat. But don’t continue near the trail. If you are going to continue moving forward, do so outside of the 100’ margin of the trail.

A couple things to be very cautious of:

  1. Don’t engage someone trying to talk with you. In the scenario outlined above they will try to bluff you into something, gaining time to relocate their ambush against you or social engineer you into something. Either way you go with this, they are a threat. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t have been hiding from you.
  2. If they claim to be police and shout for you to stop you have a tough choice to make. First question, how do you know they are really police? Second, even if they are police, can you afford to be stopped and probably detained by police? Remember, you are armed. They police probably won’t like that too much and they will see you as the threat, especially since you just thwarted their ambush. Me? I would escape and evade at all costs.
  3. Any encounter or engagement of any kind with anyone is a threat to your freedom of movement and possibly your life. Simply move on…your goal is to get home to your family.

I hope that you have gotten something out of this Lessons Learned article. I am not trying to turn anyone into a special operations ninja or anything like that. I am not qualified to train folks in those skills. But what I am trying to do is share thoughts and scenarios with you that might help you think through a situation ahead of time. That is called planning and training.

Enjoy your day!! And go take a walk down by the river.

RiverWalk-12

 

 

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without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

FAQ – Table of Contents by Topic

OK, so a few days a go I posted a table of contents for FAQs that was organized by date with each question for that date.

This table of contents is now arranged by topic. That may help you lookup something you want more information on. Just click on the “FAQ – date” at the end of the question to go to that page.

Enjoy!

 

AH Trimble

  • Why do you say “don’t believe me”, “don’t trust what I say”? FAQ – 2/28/2019 (#2)
  • On another website you have gotten flamed pretty badly by a couple of people. What’s up with that? FAQ – 2/11/2019
  • Does it bother you when people really criticize you? FAQ – 2/9/2019
  • You seem so pessimistic, is EVERYTHING going on now bad? FAQ – 2/7/2019
  • Why have there been so few articles posted on the website in the last few months…a year or more? FAQ – 5/29/2017
  • Are you the best prepper “expert” on the Internet? FAQ – 4/16/2016
  • How can you stand working for the very government you criticize so much? FAQ – 4/16/2016
  • Have you traveled much to know what you are talking about? FAQ – 4/7/2016
  • How many “incidents” have you participated in over the length of your career? FAQ – 3/29/2016
  • What makes you think you are a prepper expert and people should listen to you? FAQ – 3/29/2016
  • Why are you so into prepping? FAQ – 3/7/2016

Ammunition (see also Guns)

Baofeng

  • Do you think the Baofeng UV-5RA radio is the best handheld radio out there? FAQ – 4/16/2016

Barter

Body Armor

Budgeting

Bugout

  • Whatever happened to your Bug Out Location – Retirement Home? FAQ – 2/11/2019
  • You talk about “bugging out” but I’ve never seen you talk about walking somewhere to get there. Do you think you will always have a vehicle to drive? FAQ – 3/29/2016
  • Which is better, bug-out or shelter in place? FAQ – 3/17/2016

Country (USA)

  • What are the top three problems the USA faces today? FAQ – 2/9/2019
  • What is your take on Trump’s 2019 State of the Union speech? FAQ – 2/8/2019
  • Does everything fall apart in 2020 because of the election? FAQ – 2/7/2019
  • Do you trust anything the government tells us? FAQ – 5/11/2016
  • Is the NSA a dangerous organization? FAQ – 5/11/2016
  • Is there any chance that America can survive a collapse? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • Does the government have the ability and do they track individual citizens? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • You speak of the ruling and political class seeking after power and money, which is the cause of all the problems in the world. How is that possible? FAQ – 4/7/2016
  • Sometimes the stuff you write paints a desperate and depressing view of the world, why? FAQ – 3/29/2016
  • What do you think is the number one worse thing that ever happened in the United States? FAQ – 3/17/2016

Democrats

  • What about the Democrats “new green deal”…is there anything to it? FAQ – 2/28/2019 (#2)
  • You speak of the ruling and political class seeking after power and money, which is the cause of all the problems in the world. How is that possible? FAQ – 4/7/2016

Economy

  • I hear almost everyone but you talking about how well the economy is doing. Why? FAQ – 7/5/2019
  • Is the economy terrible or is there anything good about it? FAQ – 2/9/2019
  • Would you buy precious metals right now? FAQ – 2/9/2019
  • Does everything fall apart in 2020 because of the election? FAQ – 2/7/2019
  • Given the extreme instability of the economy, (” I am serious when I say we could wake up on any given morning and find ourselves at war externally or internally. Either event will immediately tank the stock markets and therefore the economy.”), what do you recommend we do with our savings, investments and retirement accounts? FAQ – 5/29/2017
  • How much would you budget each payday for preparedness? FAQ – 5/11/2016
  • Is there any chance that America can survive a collapse? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • You don’t talk much about the Federal Reserve, why? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • Sometimes the stuff you write paints a desperate and depressing view of the world, why? FAQ – 3/29/2016
  • Do you think the US economy will crash? FAQ – 3/7/2016

Emails

FBI

  • What about the FBI? You seem to have a real case against them but I don’t get it. Do you have any recent proof that they are corrupt? FAQ – 5/29/2017

Federal Reserve 

Food Storage

Garden

  • What do you think is the number one food to grow when the grid is down? FAQ – 3/7/2016

Government

  • Do you trust anything the government tells us? FAQ – 5/11/2016
  • Is the NSA a dangerous organization? FAQ – 5/11/2016
  • Is there any chance that America can survive a collapse? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • Does the government have the ability and do they track individual citizens? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • You speak of the ruling and political class seeking after power and money, which is the cause of all the problems in the world. How is that possible? FAQ – 4/7/2016
  • Sometimes the stuff you write paints a desperate and depressing view of the world, why? FAQ – 3/29/2016

Grid-Down

  • When do you think the gird will come down? FAQ – 4/16/2016
  • You always seem to talk about living “grid-down” in a group, why? FAQ – 4/7/2016
  • Sometimes the stuff you write paints a desperate and depressing view of the world, why? FAQ – 3/29/2016

Guns

Herding Dogs

  • You wrote an article about herding dogs vs. sheep dogs. What is the difference again? FAQ – 5/11/2016

Investments

  • Given the extreme instability of the economy, (” I am serious when I say we could wake up on any given morning and find ourselves at war externally or internally. Either event will immediately tank the stock markets and therefore the economy.”), what do you recommend we do with our savings, investments and retirement accounts? FAQ – 5/29/2017

Islam

Knives

New Green Deal

NSA

Personalities

  • You wrote a series of articles about “personalities” before and after SHTF, will you resurrect them? FAQ – 2/28/2019
  • What is the “cool kid club” in prepper circles? FAQ – 2/28/2019 (#2)
  • You wrote an article about herding dogs vs. sheep dogs. What is the difference again? FAQ – 5/11/2016

Precious Metals

  • Would you buy precious metals right now? FAQ – 2/9/2019
  • Given the extreme instability of the economy, (” I am serious when I say we could wake up on any given morning and find ourselves at war externally or internally. Either event will immediately tank the stock markets and therefore the economy.”), what do you recommend we do with our savings, investments and retirement accounts? FAQ – 5/29/2017

Problems

  • What are the top three problems the USA faces today? FAQ – 2/9/2019
  • Does everything fall apart in 2020 because of the election? FAQ – 2/7/2019
  • What about the FBI? You seem to have a real case against them but I don’t get it. Do you have any recent proof that they are corrupt? FAQ – 5/29/2017
  • Do you trust anything the government tells us? FAQ – 5/11/2016
  • Is there any chance that America can survive a collapse? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • Does the government have the ability and do they track individual citizens? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • You speak of the ruling and political class seeking after power and money, which is the cause of all the problems in the world. How is that possible? FAQ – 4/7/2016
  • Sometimes the stuff you write paints a desperate and depressing view of the world, why? FAQ – 3/29/2016

Radios

  • Do you think the Baofeng UV-5RA radio is the best handheld radio out there? FAQ – 4/16/2016

Religion

  • Over the last couple of years it sounds as if you’ve lost your edge and are more religious and less, let’s say prone to violence, when it comes to prepping. Why? FAQ – 7/10/2019
  • You mentioned CBB in your last SitRep but I didn’t understand the point you were trying to make. Can you help me? FAQ – 7/10/2019
  • OK, touchy question…do some people confuse emotional with spiritual? Meaning, do some people think they are having a spiritual experience when they are actually having an emotional experience? FAQ – 2/11/2019
  • How do you justify your so-called religious beliefs with your emphasis on protecting your family from the threat of violence and the potential of killing someone? FAQ – 4/7/2016
  • Do you really think the religion of Islam is all that bad? FAQ – 4/7/2016

RHBOL (Retirement Home – BugOut Location)

Ruling Class

  • You speak of the ruling and political class seeking after power and money, which is the cause of all the problems in the world. How is that possible? FAQ – 4/7/2016

Sheepdogs

  • You wrote an article about herding dogs vs. sheep dogs. What is the difference again? FAQ – 5/11/2016
  • How do you justify your so-called religious beliefs with your emphasis on protecting your family from the threat of violence and the potential of killing someone? FAQ – 4/7/2016

Shelter In-Place

Threats

  • Who is the #1 threat to preppers before and after SHTF? FAQ – 2/28/2019
  • What is the #1 threat to preppers before and after SHTF? FAQ – 2/28/2019
  • You wrote a series of articles about “personalities” before and after SHTF, will you resurrect them? FAQ – 2/28/2019
  • Does everything fall apart in 2020 because of the election? FAQ – 2/7/2019
  • Is there any chance that America can survive a collapse? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • Does the government have the ability and do they track individual citizens? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • Sometimes the stuff you write paints a desperate and depressing view of the world, why? FAQ – 3/29/2016
  • What is the #1 threat to people after an incident has occurred? FAQ – 3/7/2016

Trump

USA

  • What are the top three problems the USA faces today? FAQ – 2/9/2019
  • What is your take on Trump’s 2019 State of the Union speech? FAQ – 2/8/2019
  • Does everything fall apart in 2020 because of the election? FAQ – 2/7/2019
  • What about the FBI? You seem to have a real case against them but I don’t get it. Do you have any recent proof that they are corrupt? FAQ – 5/29/2017
  • Do you trust anything the government tells us? FAQ – 5/11/2016
  • Is the NSA a dangerous organization? FAQ – 5/11/2016
  • Is there any chance that America can survive a collapse? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • You don’t talk much about the Federal Reserve, why? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • Does the government have the ability and do they track individual citizens? FAQ – 4/24/2016
  • Sometimes the stuff you write paints a desperate and depressing view of the world, why? FAQ – 3/29/2016
  • What do you think is the number one worse thing that ever happened in the United States? FAQ – 3/17/2016

Violence

  • How do you justify your so-called religious beliefs with your emphasis on protecting your family from the threat of violence and the potential of killing someone? FAQ – 4/7/2016
  • How important are guns for preppers? FAQ – 3/17/2016

Home/Family First Aid Kit – Part #2

Medical Aid kit - part 2In Part #1 I explained the need for a Family First Aid Kit or Family Medical kit and I included a list of contents based on expected needs. This is not really a tactical or field first aid kit, more along the lines of around the home first aid kit.

< click here to read Part #1 >

Whatever it is called, this is Part #2 where I explain where I put the kit contents in the carry bag and provide a couple of tips. First, let’s go over the “mission” of this first aid kit –

“Kit shall contain ample first aid supplies to provide sufficient medical care to a wide range of home-based minor and life-threatening medical emergencies.”

Requirements and Restrictions –

  1. Assumption that professional medical transport and care facilities are within a reasonable timeframe that life-sustaining measures by family members are not required beyond 15 minutes.
  2. Must be reasonably weather proof.
  3. Must be reasonable capable of handling a drop of 3’.
  4. Supplies must be easily accessible.
  5. Supplies must be able to be grouped into logical treatment clusters.
  6. Supplies can normally be restocked within 12 hour time-frame.

It would pay you to read Part #1 before continuing. < click here to read part #1 >

Let’s move on to identifying each compartment of the carry bag…

Family Home first aid kit carry bagWhat is the general purpose of each compartment/component?

Bag Strap –

These are immediate action items to save a life. You don’t have to dig around in the bag to access these items. This is were I put the CAT.

Compartment #1 –

This compartment contains large dressings. To immediately stop bleeding if it is a matter of life of death. Otherwise, to provide dressing once a wound is cleaned and ready to be bandaged until transport to a hospital can be acquired.

Compartment #2 –

This compartment generally contains those items needed to sanitize and protect your hands from patients body fluids while cleaning their wound(s) to assess their condition.

Compartment #3 –

This compartment contains items to continue cleaning a wound and bandage it if no other treatment is required.

Compartment #4 –

This compartment contains items needed to clean a wound and apply antiseptic to keep wound(s) clean.

Compartment #5 –

General purpose compartment, mostly containing the medicine box.

Compartment #6 –

This compartment contains items to finish-up the bandaging process and secure a wounded or injured extremity.

Compartment #7 –

This compartment contains items to apply Bandiads to very minor wounds or finish-up the treatment of more serious wounds.


 

Now let’s start putting our kit’s contents into the right compartment…

Bag Strap –
  • 1 x CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet)
  • 1 x CPR barrier
Compartment #1 –
  • 1 x Israeli Bandage Battle Dressing First Aid Compression Bandage, 4 Inch
  • 1 x Dressing, 4” x 7”
  • 1 x Dressing, 7-1/2″ x 8″
  • 1 x Dressing, 11-3/4” x 11-3/4”

Compartment #2 –
  • New-Skin Liquid Bandage, First Aid Liquid Antiseptic, 1 Ounce Bottle
  • 1 x Saline Wound Wash, can, 6oz – 7oz, (Simply Saline or NeliMed)
  • 5 x Gloves (latex or vinyl), pair
  • 1 x Hand Sanitizer, bottle
  • 3 x Hand Sanitizer, wipes (Germ-X)

Compartment #3 –
  • 5 x Pads, gauze, 2×2
  • 5 x Pads, gauze, 4×4
  • 1 x Gauze, roll, 2”
  • 1 x Gauze, roll, 3”
  • 1 x Gauze, roll, 4”
  • QuikClot Advanced Clotting Sponge, 25g or 50g

Compartment #4 –
  • 5 x Antiseptic prep pads
  • 1 x BandAid Wound Wash, 6oz
  • 1 x Povidone Iodine Prep Solution, 16oz

Compartment #5 –
  • 12 x Closures, Butterfly
  • 10 x Swabs, cotton, tip
  • 5 x Safety Pins
  • Medicine box

Compartment #6 –
  • 1 x Tape, cloth, 1/2” x 10yd
  • 1 x Tape, cloth, 1” x 10yd
  • 1 x (1-1/2″ or 2”) Non-Woven Cohesive Wrap Self Adherent Bandage
  • 1 x Bandage, ACE, 3”
  • 1 x Bandage, Triangular
  • 1 x Splint, finger
  • 1 x Splint, wire
  • 1 x Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets

Compartment #7 –
  • Band aids, 25 – 50 total, your choice
    • (5x) 5/8” x 5/8”
    • (5x) 3/4” x 3/4”
    • (5x) 1” x 1”
    • (3x) 1-1/2” x 2”
    • (3x) 1-3/4” x 3”
    • (5x) Spots
    • (5x) Fingertip
    • (5x) Knuckle
  • 1 x Progressive Medical Halo Chest Seal High Performance Occlusive Dressing (2pk)
  • 1 x Antibacterial, pain relieving, spray, (2oz – 3oz can) (Dermoplast)
  • 5 x Antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram), or tube or can (Triple antibiotic)
  • 1 x Hydrocortisone ointment
  • 1 x Aloe Vera 100% Gel 6 – 16oz
  • 1 x Adventure Medical Kits Dental Medic Kit
  • 1 x Hot or Cold Therapy Gel Pack – Reusable for Hot or Cold Therapy

So it all looks like this…

Family Home first aid kit carry bag

Family Home first aid kit carry bagYou now have a very complete home medical kit at your disposal that is easy to carry, protects the contents, stands out to be easily seen/found, and ready to go at a moments notice for almost every injury that would occur around your home. This bag can make a whole lot of difference while waiting for professional emergency medical care to arrive. It’s worth it!

For more information on medical care for emergencies, disasters, and grid-down <click here>

 

 

2009 - 2019 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Home/Family First Aid Kit – Part #1

Medical Aid - family first aid kitI’ve really not wanted to write this article…I mean really not. From the previous articles on first aid kits you can tell I am way more a tactical first aid kind of guy. I subscribe to that model and believe in it. However, the time has come that I go a little more conventional when talking about first aid kits. And there is good reason for it…”emergencies.”

Emergencies are the incidents that are categorized on the first level of emergency preparedness. Previously I outlined the BOK (Blow Out Kit) and the IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) for individuals all the way up to the larger (FTCK) Field Trauma Care Kit. However, not all injuries occur in the field or during an incident so another type of first aid kit is needed…more along the lines of a home or family first aid kit. In the past I pretty much left it up to individuals to decide what to put in their home kits. Well, I that just seriously changed.

Why? As I was preparing to do a presentation the other day to a group of about 50 women I was utterly astounded by what I was seeing. I mean the various lists of kit contents was unreal. Some were regurgitation of other online lists, some were just lists of whatever was in the Walmart aisle. There were a couple that looked like someone’s random ADD thoughts. So I made the decision to work on what I thought would be the best all-round Family Home Fist Aid Kit (FHFAK).

Mission –

“Kit shall contain ample first aid supplies to provide sufficient medical care to a wide range of home-based minor and life-threatening medical emergencies.”

Requirements and Restrictions –

  1. Assumption that professional medical transport and care facilities are within a reasonable time-frame that life-sustaining measures by family members are not required beyond 15 minutes.
  2. Must be reasonably weather resistant.
  3. Must be reasonably capable of handling a drop of 3’.
  4. Supplies must be easily accessible.
  5. Supplies must be able to be grouped into logical treatment clusters.
  6. Supplies can normally be restocked within 12 hour time-frame.

The first thing that came to my mind when viewing this FHFAK was that is was not intended to be a medical supply warehouse. This kit is not meant to provide for mass casualties, not a warehouse, not meant to last for a year without being restocked, and not meant to cover every possible scenario. This was an immediate action first aid kit to be used by a family around the house.

With that being said, I still wanted this kit to work within the realm of emergency preparedness and into my layers methodology for injury and sickness. <click here to read more about that> I feel I’ve accomplished both, here’s why…

  1. The kit falls within the “emergency” category of emergencies, disasters and grid-down incidents which this website is based on.
  2. It expands past the “individual” layer of “Threat of injury or sickness” but nestles in nicely with the family layer and used on an everyday basis.
  3. The kit can also be used in any emergency, disaster and grid-down incidents as an immediate action bag or at a much lower level such as pulling a splinter from a finger.

In emergency services we referred to our “kits” as jump bags; we would grab the bag as we jumped off the fire firefighters Medical Aid jump bagengine into action. This kit is a family/home jump bag that can be grabbed whenever there is an injury within the family around the house. Same could be said if the family was camping, traveling, etc.

Man, I hope that clarifies what I envision this bag being used for. It took me a whole lot of writing to make my case and provide my vision for this bag.

Contents

First thing I had to do before simply starting to list the kit contents was to envision what kind of medical emergencies would show up at home among family members. To get that list going I used my experience from being on the fire department and a father of a family with three kids. Once I got that list of medial “emergencies” figured out, the contents list just really flowed. But, it was a jumbled mess of a list at first.

Taking the confusion and clutter out of the matter wasn’t too difficult, I just organized it in logical groups. And those groups are based on injuries I treated on the street. No, I won’t be offended if you group your supplies differently.

Once I had the contents and the groups figured out, I had to decide how to carry all of this stuff around and make it all readily accessible under stress. Now, before you chuckle that let me explain. In my early days on the fire department we carried our medical supplies in basically large plastic fishing tackle boxes. And those supplies looked all pretty and organized. However, kneeling in the street next to a vehicle accident patient as they were bleeding was a whole different story. And to make that story a lot shorter…many times we would dump the contents on the pavement so the supplies were easier to see and grab.

So my experience tells me…make this stuff easy to see and easy to grab when working under stress.

Once again I went back to what I know worked…and worked successfully for years under real-life conditions. I decided Medical responder first Aid bagon an actual medical kit jump bag. I found a used one which made it that much more Medical responder first Aid bagaffordable. The bags go by a number of different names; EMS bag, rescue bag, first responder bag, etc. I have included pictures of a number of them. There are two basic style for the most part, with and without external pockets. I like the external pocket for organizational purposes. When I start showing where I place the kit contents it will make more sense. But essentially I keep the most needed supplies in external pockets where they are easiest and quickest to get to.Medical responder first Aid bag

Example: The vinyl gloves are in an outside pocket since I probably need to get those first before providing care to the patient. Also, I want the CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet) readily accesible on the outside where I can grab it easily since I may need to stop the bleeding really quickly. The triple-antibiotic ointment is on the inside in an internal pocket because it would be needed towards the end of treatment.

A principle that I subscribe to is “severity & probability”, that is part of Risk Management. The same principle applies to the medical needs you might run into around the home. There is literally a never-ending list that we could draw-up, but practicality needs to play a role as well. Yes, we could well find ourselves in a “non-breather” situation. That would be an example of a low probability & high severity situation. While you might want to consider airways, an AED, and all other manner of medical equipment…it simply isn’t needed. Why? Remember, we are only trying to sustain life until the next level of medical care can arrive on-scene. And we placed a “within 15 minute” limitation on that. So knowing CPR would cover the need vs. expensive equipment that may never be used.

While all that extra equipment might be nice to have, it isn’t really necessary for the kit I am talking about. Example: airways…you must maintain that specialty skill (airway insertion) to be able to properly use airways such as the OPA or NPA airway devices. And realistically, if you need to use an airway, by the time you figured that out and began that procedure, the EMTs or Paramedics are probably rolling up to the front door.

Now, if you live out in the country, the mountains, or on a rural farm, you may want to consider additional equipment that require more advanced skills. That is perfectly acceptable but use commonsense and logic when assessing those issues.

Here are my groupings of medical needs/supplies–

  • Cuts & Bleeding
  • Punctures
  • Breaks
  • Wound Treatment
  • Medicine
  • Misc.
  • Equipment
  • Manuals

And here is my list of kit contents based on those medical needs –

Cuts & Bleeding –

  • 1 x CAT (Combat Application Tourniquet)
  • 1 x Israeli Bandage Battle Dressing First Aid Compression Bandage, 4 Inch
  • 1 x Dressing, 4” x 7”
  • 1 x Dressing, 7-1/2″ x 8″
  • 1 x Dressing, 11-3/4” x 11-3/4”
  • Band aids, 25 – 50 total, your choice
    • (5x) 5/8” x 5/8”
    • (5x) 3/4” x 3/4”
    • (5x) 1” x 1”
    • (3x) 1-1/2” x 2”
    • (3x) 1-3/4” x 3”
    • (5x) Spots
    • (5x) Fingertip
    • (5x) Knuckle
  • 1 x Tape, cloth, 1/2” x 10yd
  • 1 x Tape, cloth, 1” x 10yd
  • 5 x Pads, gauze, 2×2
  • 5 x Pads, gauze, 4×4
  • 1 x Gauze, roll, 2”
  • 1 x Gauze, roll, 3”
  • 1 x Gauze, roll, 4”
  • 1 x (1-1/2″ or 2”) Non-Woven Cohesive Wrap Self Adherent Bandage
  • 12 x Closures, Butterfly
  • New-Skin Liquid Bandage, First Aid Liquid Antiseptic, 1 Ounce Bottle
  • QuikClot Advanced Clotting Sponge, 25g or 50g

Punctures –

  • 1 x Fox Aluminum Eye Shield
  • 1 x Progressive Medical Halo Chest Seal High Performance Occlusive Dressing (2pk)

Breaks –

  • 1 x Bandage, ACE, 3”
  • 1 x Bandage, Triangular
  • 1 x Splint, finger
  • 1 x Splint, wire

Wound Treatment –

  • 1 x Antibacterial, pain relieving, spray, (2oz – 3oz can) (Dermoplast)
  • 5 x Antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram), or tube or can (Triple antibiotic)
  • 5 x Antiseptic prep pads
  • 1 x Hydrocortisone ointment
  • 1 x BandAid Wound Wash, 6oz
  • 1 x Povidone Iodine Prep Solution, 16oz
  • 1 x Saline Wound Wash, can, 6oz – 7oz, (Simply Saline or NeliMed)
  • 1 x Aloe Vera 100% Gel 6 – 16oz
  • 1 x Adventure Medical Kits Dental Medic Kit

Medicine –

  • Aspirin, 325mg
  • Aspirin, low dose, 81mg
  • Ibuprofen, 200mg
  • Acetaminophen, 500mg
  • 8 x Benadryl, 25mg
  • Imodium A-D Anti-Diarrheal Liquid, Mint Flavor 8
  • Laxative, Sennosides Stimulant Laxative, Maximum strength, 25mg
  • TECNU Extreme Medicated Poison Ivy Scrub, 4 oz.

Misc. –

  • 1 x Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets
  • 1 x CPR barrier
  • 1 x Hot or Cold Therapy Gel Pack – Reusable for Hot or Cold Therapy
  • 5 x Gloves (latex or vinyl), pair
  • 10 x Swabs, cotton, tip
  • 5 x Safety Pins
  • 1 x Hand Sanitizer, bottle
  • 3 x Hand Sanitizer, wipes (Germ-X)

Equipment –

  • 1 x EMT Sheers
  • 1 x Tweezers
  • 1 x Forceps
  • 1 x Medical Forehead and Ear Thermometer (plus extra battery)
  • Ear Wax Removal Syringe, 3oz, Ribbed w/Non Slip Grip

Manuals –

  • 1 x First Aid

Next I will show you where I put each item in my bag…organization.

 

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Immediate Action Warning!

7/18/2019 – 0500

 

 

There is a new app out there called “FACEAPP”

NO NOT LOAD – DO NOT USE

The software in this application (FACEAPP) uses a face in a picture and manipulates the facial features aging it, inserting a smile, etc. The software uses very sophisticate “DeepFake”software to manipulate facial features.

There are three primary aspects of the app that make is very dangerous for you to upload or use.

  1. It was designed, programmed, and is owned by a Russian company that has connections to the Russian government.
  2. It uses some of the best artificial intelligence (AI) technology commercially available. This is “DeepFake” technology that I warned about in my SitRep – 6/16/2020. <click here to read the 6/20/2019 SitRep>
  3. The user agreement gives the software access to ALL of your pictures for their storage and use. Even if the exact terms of the user agreement change, once agreed to, the software can access all of your pictures, download them, and store them in Russia. And due to the sophistication of the software…it has the ability to access any feature of your phone…any!

I am warning you…do NOT use this app…do NOT download this app!

I warned you about this kind of AI technology and told you about its dangers a month ago. Well, it’s here in the mainstream now. The pictures the app produces are so incredibly lifelike that few people can tell that they are artificially produced. While the software may seem like a novelty…IT IS NOT!!  This app is a small view into what the Russians (and others) are capable in terms of AI…and that should worry you.

Also, the other aspect of this app is its ability to access your phone…entirely. That means contact information, GPS, and any other app on your phone is vulnerable to being accessed.

Finally, the app can download pictures, all of your pictures, and they can get stored in Russia. Why is that important…and dangerous? Well, think about it for just a second and you will have your answer. If you need a little prompting…Russia is our natural and sworn enemy…and they are using AI to attack the USA.

From many aspects of life we are living in very dangerous times. This technological angle of danger is one…a very serious one. Do not let yourself fall victim to this DeepFake technology. Do NOT use this FACEAPP !

Update: 7/20/2019 – 0730 More information is appearing on TV segments now and “experts” are confirming the material I provided two days ago. The absolute consensus is…Russia is behind it, it is very good AI powered deepfake graphic software, you give up rights to your photos, and you give Russians access to all of your phone. Well, you give them access if you choose to ignore my warning. Think about this…what are the implications to teenagers, politicians, and innocent people being charged with crimes based on photo “evidence”?

Update: 7/19/2019 – 0900 There are many articles no appearing going over material that I mentioned early yesterday morning. While much of it continues to confirm what I posted, there is new material indicating that it may be worse than I stated. I have not been able to confirm any of the new material. That being said, I don’t find issues with most of the speculation of the severity of the problem.

Update: 7/18/2019 – 0700 I just read an article that appears on the independent.co.uk website that provides more details on the app. I just finished reading the article and I can’t verify the accuracy of all of the information in the article at this time. But, much of it seems to confirm what I had already researched. I believe it would be worth reading if you are interested in these things. <click here to read the article>

 

 

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Lessons Learned: Size 12 Tennis Shoes & Normalcy Bias

note: originally written/posted in 2015

As I have already mentioned in a number of articles, especially the boot review articles, I have feet that are pretty beat up. That being the case, shoes and boots that actually fit me correctly and are comfortable are virtually impossible to find. When I do find a pair that fit me I stick with that brand and model, sometimes buying multiple pairs to last me into the future. Well, this year Normalcy Bias struck…along with a little Competency Bias. And it all has to do with a size 12 pair of tennis shoes. Let me explain…

 

 

NormalcyBias-Horse

 

First, let’s review what Normalcy Bias is the refusal of your brain to accept that something has happened, will happen, or to what extent something has happened.

 

Now let’s tie those two bias’ into my size 12 tennis shoes…no pun intended. OK, so you know it is hard for me to buy decent boots and shoes due to years of abuse of my feet as a structural and wildland firefighter. Fortunately a couple of years ago I found a brand of tennis shoes that really fit my feet very well. They last about 18 months before they have to be replaced. Late last year I was seeing that my latest pair was needing replaced soon, luckily I found some for sale online. I bought three pairs to make it easier in the future, plus I had a little extra money sitting around. No, I can’t buy them in any store anymore because they aren’t carried in any store anywhere that I can find.

So my old pair finally give it up and I get out a new pair. Problem!!

The new pair seem to be too tight and really kind of crushed my foot. So I wore them a day thinking that it was a fluke or something. It wasn’t. I got the other two pairs out, all the same size, all the same fit. I wasn’t thrilled but I knew that they were the right size since they were the same exact size as the old pair’s size. The label told me so.

At that point I figured I would keep wearing them and they would stretch out and fit as good as the old pair. Well, they didn’t and seven months later my feet are still sore after my physical training that I try to do 5 – 6 times a week for at least an hour each day.

Well, I bought a pair of Lowa Tibet GTX boots and I did a review on them. I am also still in the process of breaking them in. One night after hiking about an hour in the arroyo behind my house that stretches into the desert I was taking those boots off and switching to my size 12 tennis shoes. My feet hurt in that same places in my “broken-in” my Feet are sore and are killing metennis shoes. Ooooppppssssss……something wrong here! And my toes were way further into the tennis shoes than my boots.

Changes had to take place…my feet were killing me.

I went into my home office, got online, looked up the tennis shoes in size 13, found several pairs, and ordered a pair in my favorite color combination. Yup, couple different shades of khaki. Two days later the shoes were on my door step, I was smiling and my wife thought I was a little more weird than normal. Shorten the story…the shoes fit really, really well.

So why the heck is that little experience worthy of an article?

Oh, come on…you can’t figure it out yet?

I wear a size 12 shoe, albeit extra wide, and these tennis shoes in size 12W had always fit in the past, so the current size 12W should fit. And If they are tight, I should just get over it and wait for them to stretch out to the right size/fit. Right?  Why?

However, seven months later the new size 12W tennis shoes still weren’t fitting right/comfortable and that is after well over 150 hours of “breaking in.” You would think the thought would have crossed my mind that something was just a bit wrong. Yeah, well it should have. But I was suffering from Normalcy Bias.

Me?!?! Yeah, me. I am supposed to know what I am talking about when it comes to preparedness. I am supposed to be that guy that has answers and can help other people avoid those things that will get them hurt or killed. Yet, I failed and I failed on one of the most basic tenants of preparedness…Normalcy Bias.

Tunnel Vision is a result of normalcy biasYup, I got tunnel vision:

  1. This is the size shoe I always wear, so this pair of shoes it the right size.
  2. All shoes take breaking in, so these shoes will fit when they are broken in.
  3. You have bad feet, your feet are supposed to hurt.
  4. You have more important things to think about.

And we know what tunnel vision can do…it can get you killed.

Now the real question is what do I do about this problem. And for me there is only one real answer. Well, two actually.

First, I have to write to you about it and explain how easy Normalcy Bias can creep into your life. Even something so simple as the correct size and fit of tennis shoes. If it isn’t right…figure it out and make it right. If it doesn’t work, it isn’t going to magically start working.

Second, I have to take a deep breath and look over the rest of what is going on in my life right now. And ask the question…What else am I missing? I am working on that one right now.

Why the reevaluation of life?

Think about that for a minute. If you have been reading my website articles for any length of time you have a pretty good feel for the type of person I am. What do you think I could be missing?

See, here is the problem…I am in a position of not knowing what I don’t know.

So I have to step back, collect myself and rapidly assess if there are the other areas that I might be off course. That is making “lemonade out of lemons” as a famous fellow once told me.

Does any of this have anything to do with you? Maybe, maybe not.

eliminate Normalcy biasThis is a glaring example of Normalcy Bias that I got struck with. What I am hoping is that you learned something through this…it can happen to anyone.

Now, my question to you…”Are you suffering from Normalcy Bias in some way, in some area of your prepping life?”

Please take a few minutes in the coming day or two and just think through what is happening in your life and consider if you might have some amount of Normalcy Bias going on. And if you do…work at overcoming it.

 

 

 

 

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FAQ – Table of Contents by Date

OK, OK…I hear you!

This post is purely an organizational piece. It is to help in using the FAQ posts on the website. I’ve listed each question for each FAQ post. This might help you to scan through which FAQ post really has any of your interest…and which do not.

If you find an FAQ post that interests you simply click on the “FAQ – date” link and it will open that FAQ page for you in a new tab.

  • FAQ – 7/10/2019
    • Over the last couple of years it sounds as if you’ve lost your edge and are more religious and less, let’s say prone to violence, when it comes to prepping. Why?
    • You mentioned CBB in your last SitRep but I didn’t understand the point you were trying to make. Can you help me?
  • FAQ – 7/5/2019
    • I hear almost everyone but you talking about how well the economy is doing. Why?
  • FAQ – 2/28/2019
    • Who is the #1 threat to preppers before and after SHTF?
    • What is the #1 threat to preppers before and after SHTF?
    • You wrote a series of articles about “personalities” before and after SHTF, will you resurrect them?
  • FAQ – 2/28/2019 (#2)
    • What about the Democrats “new green deal”…is there anything to it?
    • What is the “cool kid club” in prepper circles?
    • Why do you say “don’t believe me”, “don’t trust what I say”?
    • Can you recommend good quality 20-year prepared meal food storage?
  • FAQ – 2/11/2019
    • Whatever happened to your Bug Out Location – Retirement Home?
    • On another website you have gotten flamed pretty badly by a couple of people. What’s up with that?
    • OK, touchy question…do some people confuse emotional with spiritual? Meaning, do some people think they are having a spiritual experience when they are actually having an emotional experience?
  • FAQ – 2/9/2019
    • Is the economy terrible or is there anything good about it?
    • Would you buy precious metals right now?
    • Does it bother you when people really criticize you?
    • What are the top three problems the USA faces today?
  • FAQ – 2/8/2019
    • What is your take on Trump’s 2019 State of the Union speech?
  • FAQ – 2/7/2019
    • Why are you such a Trump Hater?
    • Why am I getting so many emails from you and your website?
    • You seem so pessimistic, is EVERYTHING going on now bad?
    • Does everything fall apart in 2020 because of the election?
  • FAQ – 5/29/2017
    • Given the extreme instability of the economy, (” I am serious when I say we could wake up on any given morning and find ourselves at war externally or internally. Either event will immediately tank the stock markets and therefore the economy.”), what do you recommend we do with our savings, investments and retirement accounts?
    • What about the FBI? You seem to have a real case against them but I don’t get it. Do you have any recent proof that they are corrupt?
    • Do you think Trump is doing a good job as President?
    • Sounds as if you don’t like Trump?
    • Are we better off with Trump as President?
    • Why have there been so few articles posted on the website in the last few months…a year or more?
  • FAQ – 5/11/2016
    • Do you trust anything the government tells us?
    • How much would you budget each payday for preparedness?
    • You wrote an article about herding dogs vs. sheep dogs. What is the difference again?
    • Is the NSA a dangerous organization?
  • FAQ – 4/24/2016
    • What will be the number one barter item when the grid goes down?
    • Is there any chance that America can survive a collapse?
    • You don’t talk much about the Federal Reserve, why?
    • If you could only have one gun, what would it be?
    • Does the government have the ability and do they track individual citizens?
    • What about body armor?
  • FAQ – 4/16/2016
    • What is your favorite gun parts manufacturer?
    • Do you think the Baofeng UV-5RA radio is the best handheld radio out there?
    • Are you the best prepper “expert” on the Internet?
    • When do you think the gird will come down?
    • How can you stand working for the very government you criticize so much?
  • FAQ – 4/7/2016
    • You always seem to talk about living “grid-down” in a group, why?
    • How do you justify your so-called religious beliefs with your emphasis on protecting your family from the threat of violence and the potential of killing someone?
    • Do you really think the religion of Islam is all that bad?
    • You speak of the ruling and political class seeking after power and money, which is the cause of all the problems in the world. How is that possible?
    • Have you traveled much to know what you are talking about?
  • FAQ – 3/29/2016
    • How many “incidents” have you participated in over the length of your career?
    • What makes you think you are a prepper expert and people should listen to you?
    • Sometimes the stuff you write paints a desperate and depressing view of the world, why?
    • You talk about “bugging out” but I’ve never seen you talk about walking somewhere to get there. Do you think you will always have a vehicle to drive?
  • FAQ – 3/17/2016
    • Which is better, bug-out or shelter in place?
    • How important are guns for preppers?
    • What do you think is the number one worse thing that ever happened in the United States?
    • How much ammunition should you have on hand as a prepper?
    • What is your favorite knife?
  • FAQ – 3/7/2016
    • Why are you so into prepping?
    • What is the #1 threat to people after an incident has occurred?
    • Do you think the US economy will crash?
    • How much food do you have stored?
    • What do you think is the number one food to grow when the grid is down?