It’s been a month now and I think I have it figured out…for now. What I am referring to is this website. Unless you have had your head in the sand for the last 30 days, you will be aware that the website has essentially been “out-of-service”. Now is the time for the explanation of why and sharing the path forward.

First off…I have loved putting AHTrimble.com together and publishing nearly 900 articles in its short life. The conversations and email from ya’ll have been a source of enjoyment and smiles.

Now, let me remind you of a couple of things; 1) I still work fulltime, 2) I have a wife who actually likes to spend time with me (yeah, go figure), 3) I am active in my church and that takes time, 4) I do try to have a life. And finally, I am nearing retirement. What does all of this mean?

Writing for the website takes a tremendous amount of time. Even short articles are 1 – 2 hours. A SitRep was taking me 6 – 10 hours over a couple of days. Then there was all of the actual hands-on testing and evaluation I was doing. It all added up to an immense amount of time being spent on the website. But, that was only the “toll” in time.

Yesterday I was talking on the phone with one of the website’s biggest fans. I was explaining to her what the plan was and why. She got a little emotional and told me how much all the information had helped their family. They had been pretty aware before, but AHTrimble.com had added a wealth of information to what they already knew and helped them see more. I was grateful for that.  But, here is the problem…the research I would do for a SitRep or an Opinion & Observation piece was exhausting mentally and spiritually. That was also taking a “toll” on me. Having to read and validate all the evil and negative in the world in order to provide you guys with solid reliable information wasn’t easy to handle day after day.

As I mentioned earlier, I am nearing retirement. Yup, after more than 50 years working I am finally going to retire. Notice I didn’t say stop working. Over a year ago we bought a little place in Arizona. I’ve been steadily working on it ever since. But, once I retire I am committed to building our retirement home there. And that takes, not just money, buts lots of time.

So here’s the deal…the website is going to be taking a back seat for a while.  I have to spend my time more wisely now that I have the new place to build. And yes, I will be building most of it myself…by hand. So here are the changes that will take place:

  1. I will be writing far less articles for the foreseeable future. Most of those articles that I do write will be focused on preparedness principles and how they apply to our little off-the-grid house.
  2. I will be re-working the website. I will be –
    • Removing all SitRep posts
    • Removing all Opinion & Observation posts
    • Removing all other posts that are not directly related to tangible preparedness
    • I will be revamping the Table of Contents and updating it as well
    • I will be revising and more succinctly identifying each article for the “Categories” list on the left-hand side of each page.
  3. I do not intend to write any more SitReps. While my SitReps have been spot-on accurate, I don’t see them having any value…or rather, enough value for the effort. You already know what is going on and will handle it just fine. If you don’t agree with what I am saying then I doubt I will ever change your mind. So, the effort simply isn’t worth telling you what you already know and believe and are preparing for.
  4. I am not doing radio work or selling radios any more. All of the existing radios information and files will be made available for everyone to use.

I hope you understand the changes I am making and why. And again, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope in some small way AHTrimble.com has made a positive difference in your life.





How fast could you leave?

how fast can you leaveSo here’s what I am thinking…Something happens, anything, doesn’t matter really. The question stands…How fast could you leave your house and be prepared?

Yeah, I know, you want to ask me, “Prepared for what?” I am saying, it doesn’t matter. I am asking you, “How long would it take you to leave your house and be prepared?”

Now, if you can’t answer the question, then you aren’t prepared enough. Yes, it is a fair question, and I believe it is a fair observation to say that if you can’t answer the question, or you have lots of trouble answering directly, then you aren’t really prepared enough.

Here’s what I am getting at…If I had to leave the house “prepared” I could do it in about 3 – 5 minutes. I could handle all of the top threats/risks associated with emergencies, disasters, and grid-down incidents for 45 – 90 days minimum. Probably a lot more if I knew I had to stretch it out. Yes! I am serious about that.

We have two basic locations for those things we would take. They are grouped according to “perishable” and “non-perishable” stuff. While the food that is ready to go is really non-perishable, it is food and it lasts much longer in a more climate controlled environment so it is in the house. The “gear” I consider non-perishable.

The food, including seeds, is located in the kitchen right next to the door that goes to the garage. The gear is located in the garage next to the large double-car garage door. Both locations are easily accessed, nothing restricting access, and can be accessed from the outside with minimal effort if you know what you are doing.

There are total of four cases of six #10 cans each all freeze dried food, plus two 6gal plastic buckets of freeze dried food pouches. Then a single 2gal plastic bucket of seeds. In the garage there are four large totes and six small totes that make-up my primary GOOD BOB gear. All of that gear mitigates all, yes all, of the threats/risk categories for incidents. And I can have all of that loaded correctly in the bed of my pick-up or my wife’s SUV within minutes. If I had to just throw it in the vehicles I can do that too, so I could probably reduce it to 2 minutes if I really hustled or had my wife’s help and wasn’t worried about it being neatly packed.

In the event that I had more time I could then go to my secondary totes and food boxes. And I won’t bore you to death on the details but it would significantly increased my survival time and comfort level.

Leaving Qucikly during grid down bugoutBut, why the heck am I even asking you this question and giving you my example?

Because I want to think about your situation and the time it would take for you to be mobile in a crisis situation.

Yes, of course you could shelter in place is needed, we all know that. But I was wanting to prompt you about “having” to leave in a hurry…could you do it and take the basics with you?

And this is really not about the time required, the vehicle, or anything along those lines. This “prompt” is about organization more than anything. Are you organized enough to get your food and gear out the door quickly if you needed to?

Here is one of the problems I see with preppers…their organization is not properly thought out. Yeah, “properly” being the operative word here. They may be organized, however, the method they use may well not be a practical organized prepper methodology for many situations.

I have seen incredibly organized preppers while visiting their homes. I have been seriously impressed many times by the sheer volume of food and gear. But, I have seldom, almost never, seen their preps organized in such a fashion to allow for graduated movement. Meaning, they can take a limited number of containers and still have a wide variety of what they need. Mostly I see box after box of wheat, then box after box of oats. And that goes on and on, even a whole box full of candles…but not a single match in the box of candles or a can opener in a case of food.

What I want to propose to you is a reorganizing of food and gear. Place a variety of food in each box. That provides you with a decent quantity and variety of food…even if you can only grab that one box before you have to leave. Same is true for gear. Have a few primary containers with gear in each that provides for the most basic of needs should you have to leave your home.

In the coming days I will be posting additional articles in this series that will show you how I’ve done it. You might like my system, you might not. But, it may get you thinking of what is the right system for you and your situation. Ready To bugoutAnd that is a good thing, a very good thing.

Where I want you to end up is the ability to leave your home in minimal time, under 10 minutes, and have the right food and gear to get by on. Sure, if you have plenty of advanced notice you can take it all, that is the ideal situation. But, emergency incidents are rarely “ideal.”



2016 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.

Are 72/96-Hour Kits just a myth that will get you killed?

Life Changing MomentSomething was taking place last night with me, I’m not exactly sure what it was. It is still with me this morning. Actually, something has been changing in me since mid-August when I left to go fight wildfires in Washington State. Maybe not “changing” so much, more like clarifying or defining.

Yeah, you want me to let you into my head for minute to join in that conversation, right? Careful what you ask for…I listen to Glenn Beck

A couple of months ago I was listening to Glenn Beck. He was really excited about a few things, but mostly he was saying, “Now is the time to take action!”

What he was getting at, as I understood it, is there is a lot going on in the world that is “bad.” Many would say the majority of current events we hear about are outright evil. I would agree. But Glenn’s point was, as people, as individuals, it is time for us to take action. It is time that we start doing those things that we need to be doing.

Those “things” are both as individuals for ourselves/family, and as part of our congregations and communities. That got to me, it really meant something to me. So this article is just one of the results of that experience…

will 72-hour Kits get you killedAre 72/96-Hour Kits just a myth that will get you killed?

And, why am I even asking that question?

Remember the reason that I wrote my books and why I am doing this site?

It is because I care. I care about your safety and your ability to take care of your family and your community during times of crisis.

That being the case, I asked the question, “Are 72/96-Hour Kits just a myth that will get you killed?” for a specific reason.

But let’s step back a minute and review a couple foundation blocks of emergency preparedness. I am speaking of catastrophe categories. Namely; Emergencies, Disasters, and Grid-Down. Can we agree that for “preppers” those categories of catastrophic events pretty much work for all of us? < click here to read more about catastrophe categories >

I will assume you generally agreed with the categorizations. Next thing we need to fundamentally agree on are the threats that are associated with those catastrophes. As I have written before “threats” pose risk, but risk can be mitigated. However, before we can identify and mitigate those risks we must find the common threats to the catastrophe categories that I mentioned above. I believe those common threats are:

  1. Threats Cause Risks for preppersViolence
  2. Sickness/Injury
  3. Lack of, or poor, communications
  4. Lack of, or poor, organization
  5. Dehydration
  6. Exposure (need for shelter)
  7. Starvation

Yes, I put them in priority order; the priority order in my opinion. And, the priorities are set based on the risk of fatality. In other words, those things that are the most likely to kill you the quickest are given the highest priority. They relate back to the “severity” and “probability” matrix principle. < click here to read more on threat matrix >

Yes, I am going to get to the 72/96-Hour Kit thing in a minute, please be patient with me.

So, if we can agree on the types of threats and their prioritization then we can also agree on how to mitigate the risks associated with those threats. We don’t have to possess identical mitigation steps, but they will generally be the same, yes?

One last item to touch on, “mission.” Can we agree that each piece of gear or equipment has to have a specific mission to be included on any list? Otherwise, that item would be a waste of weight and space.

72-hour Kit will get you killedOK, finally…the 72/96-Hour Kit issue…

When was the last time you actually read a list of items for a 72-hour or 96-hour kit?

When was the last time you ever carried your 72-hour or 96-hour kit for even 30 minutes?

Do you even know why each item is on your kit’s list and actually in the kit?

During my career in emergency services I have seen lots of folks evacuate, everything from hurricanes to wildfires. Wildfire evacuation house burned downAnd I don’t ever remember a single person having a 72-hour kit ready to go. What they did take was what they felt were “irreplaceable items” such as family photo albums, family bibles, pets, etc. It is easy to understand their last minute actions.

Now let me pick on a couple items that usually appear in most 72-hour kits and let us compare the true usefulness of that item to the threats/risks and the mitigation needed.

Food – Really? People can go 21-days without food before they starve to death. A relatively healthy person can go 48 – 72 hours before there are even any negative affects other than feeling hungry. So why have any food in a 72-hour kit, an emergency kit?

Water – Seriously? A normal healthy person can go 3 days without water before dying. A normal, relatively healthy person can go 12 – 24 hours before suffering any real side-affects from dehydration other than chapped lips. So why have all that water in your 72-hour kit?

Clothes – Now there is a peach! I’ve gone 12 days wearing the exact same clothes, and without a shower, while fighting wildfires. So what is the purpose of having any clothing item in a 72-hour kit?

So there are three main items of many 72-hour kits that I just touched on. And frankly, I made case for not including all of them in a kit.Think Outside The Box for emergency preparedness

You are either thinking outside the box right now, or you are coming up with a thousand reasons to criticize everything I just said about food, water, and clothing in 72-hour kits. Which are you…a thinking person or an argument preparation person?

All that being said, what is the purpose of YOUR 72-hour kit? I am asking you, what exactly have you written down that this “kit” is supposed to do for you and your family. I mean the exact details of the kit’s mission, and did you write it down?

If you are like most people you probably have not thought through exactly what the kit is supposed to do for your family…what its mission is. And almost assuredly you’ve not written that mission down on paper.72-hour emergency kit list

If you are like most people you have seen items on some list somewhere and said to yourself, “Oh, that sounds good, I’ll put that in my 72-hour kit.”

Now, you may think I am being critical of you and your prepping. Well, in a way I am being critical. But not in such a way that I intend to hurt your feelings or insult you. Although I am sure you could read it that way. What I am trying to do is challenge you and your thinking about how you prepare your family for emergencies, disasters and grid-down.

If you have read my “GOOD BOB” article < click here to read more about GOOD BOB > you see that the mission for my Get Out Of Dodge – Bug Out Bag/Box is very specific. And any item that doesn’t directly contribute to that mission is not included. Every item is justified by challenging mission accomplishment vs. that item’s weight & space.

Why so finicky? If you have read my article on 72/96-Hour Kits < click here to read about 72/96-Hour Kits > you know I am concerned about their weight and space issues. If you can’t carry your kit for a decent amount of time or distance, then your kit is impractical. And my GOOD BOB is designed to be carried in a vehicle first, but reduced to Question yourself on preparedness and 72-hour kitbackpack size if needed. < read more about that here >

But what about you? What about your kit? Is it really practical? Is each item truly necessary? Does each item have a specific purpose compared to the kit’s overall mission?

Couple challenges to get you thinking…

Canned Food in 72-hour kitFood – I have heard about people putting cans of food into their kits. Think of the weight and space taken up with cans of food. Even packets of freeze-dried food can be bulky. If you are in a situation where the emergency demands that you flee with only a 72-hour kit, are you really worried about canned Spaghetti O’s or Mountain House Lasagna? I’ve lived off Quaker Oat “Dips” for two days while fighting a wildfire and did just fine. Rethink what kind and how much food you need to have in your kit.

5 gallon collapsabe Water JugWater – I have heard that people have a 5-gallon container of water that they include in their 72-hour kit. That container would weigh in at over 40lbs. Who is going to carry that much weight? You? Really? When was the last time you carried a plastic container with a tiny handle and it weighed over 40lbs? How far do you think you are going to carry it? Why not consider a personal water filtering “straw” that each person can carry? < read more about NDuR > Or carry a single MSR Sweetwater filter that weighs less than 1lb? < read more about the MSR Sweetwater filter system >

There will be some kind of water around, just filter it and you are good to go. But don’t even worry about it the first 24 hours if you don’t need to. If there is absolutely no water of any kind…well, show me that situation please.Pile Of Clothes for 72-hour kit

Clothes – I think you can wear the same clothes for 72 hours, yes? You may smell, they may get a little dirty, maybe even crusty. But are you going to die over it? No, you won’t. Are clothes really that important? If so, what kind and how much?

But what can you die over? What can kill you or a family member?

IFAK Individual First Aid KitAbsence of, or inadequate, first aid kit can surely do it! And I am talking about having a real first aid kit with you, not a box of band aids. < click here to read about an Individual First Aid Kit >

How about some means of defense? I would be happy if you are even taking along a good survival knife for each person over the age of 5. Like and ESEE-6 or an ESEE-3, etc. But why not your EDC pistol?

Oh, the disaster shelter won’t let you in with it? Why the heck would you tell them you have it? Or, better yet, find somewhere else to shelter!

Boafeng UV-5r handheld Ham RadioSo you have a change of clothes…but do you have a handheld radio for each family member and do they know how to use it? Do you have charged replacement batteries for each radio? Do you have a way to recharge the batteries?

So a clean pair of underwear is more important than maintaining communications with family members? Especially so if family members get separated!

So what the heck is my point here?

I want to Challenge youI want to challenge you on the contents of your 72-hour or 96-hour kit. I want you to do the following:

  1. Decide on what exactly the mission is of your kit. Then write it down on paper.
  2. Take all your stuff out of your kits. Look at each item and compare it against the threat/risk list above (or a list you have compiled).
  3. Only put those items in your kit which directly mitigate each threat/risk in the proper priority order.
  4. Then ask yourself, “Will my new kit protect and sustain the lives of my family as long as possible?”

Yes, I am asking you challenge yourself in relation to your prepping. I want you to consider having a major paradigm shift. I want you to look at your 72/96-hour kit in a whole new light.

I want you to ask yourself, to challenge yourself…

Will my existing 72-hour or 96-hour kit get me or my family killed?Failure Is Not An OptionFailure for me is not an option.

This website is my “calling” that I am supposed to be doing at this point in my life. I am to do everything I can to help you and your family be prepared for what is coming.

Failure is not an option…not for me, not for you, not for your family.

Prepper Family


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No reproduction or other use of this content
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Pre-Make your 12vDC Anderson Powerpole connection cables & adapters.

Ham In The Box - Anderson PowerpoleI am absolutely in love with Anderson Powerpoles! Yup, it’s true…and my wife knows it. And honestly, she’s OK with it.

How’s that for a lead-in line to an article? Got your attention and now I hope I can give you something of value for your 12vDC power Anderson Power Polesneeds. That’s assuming you are using Anderson Powerpoles. If you aren’t…well, you should be.

While working with various pieces of Ham and solar power equipment over the last few months I have had to stop and make cables, connectors, and adapters. It took time when I really just wanted to keep building and get my project done. Yes, I got a bit frustrated.

I got to the point where I had a little down time. Actually, wife told me to take a little down time and watch TV with her and “talk” during commercials. Yeah…uh huh…right. So within 15 minutes I had my electronic toolbox and supplies out looking at what I could do to save time in the future as I worked on more electronic projects. Bingo! The following was born…


6' 12ga extension cable

6′ 12ga extension cable


12" in-line glass fuse cable

12″ in-line glass fuse (positive side only) cable & 4′ in-line glass fuse cable (positive and negative side) cable


OEM male & female connectors

OEM male & female connectors


Cables-08And when I was all done making these cables and adapters I did a simple organization grouping them together based on use.

Cables-07And into my electronic support box they went.

Note: Notice that I use Zip ties on the cables close to the Anderson Powerpole connectors? That was to take the stress off of the Powerpoles which makes them more secure.

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.


Powerwerx TRIcrimp for Anderson Powerpoles

Powerwerx TriCrimpSometimes I am an idiot! Yeah, I know, it comes as no big surprise to many of you. But I readily admit it in this case.

I decided early on that Anderson Powerpole connectors was the Anderson Power Polesstandard that I wanted to adopt for all my Ham radio uses. Then I decided that it made sense to use them for all my electronic and solar applications. Now that is and was a smart Ham In The Box - Anderson Powerpoledecision. But the story has just a little more background.

So I figure I know what I am doing with all this stuff coz I am some big shot prepper, electrical, handyman type person. I am using pliers and wire crimpers, etc. making up my Anderson Powerpoles. And the crimp and connections “looked” like junk, pure rookie. But I had saved $40 by not buying the specialized crimper tool! Surely it wasn’t worth the money!

Man, was I wrong!

Buy this crimper! spend the $40 for this tool! It is worth a whole lot more than just $40.

Seriously, the first time I used this tool and made my first pair of Powerpoles I knew I finally made a great decision because now my Powerpoles looked great, were solid as a rock and no “re-do’s” of filed connectors.

There are different heads you can purchase to use with the Tricrimper if you want to go that way. To me those are Powerwerx TriCrimp Interchangeable accessory die sets for the TRIcrimp powerpole crimping toolfar less important that making professional Powerpole connectors. This tool is worth every single penny! I just wish I would have bought it in the very beginning. I would have saved a whole lot of time, a whole lot of frustration, and life would have been considerably better just spending the $40 and moving on.

Buy this product !


Here’s the information on the Tricrimp from their website…


The TRIcrimp® crimping tool was exclusively designed to provide a positive crimp on the 15, 30 & 45 amp contacts manufactured by Anderson Power Products for the Powerpole® line of products. It has the following features.

  • Crimps all three sizes of Powerpole® contacts; 15, 30 and 45 amp
  • Built-in contact positioner that holds the contact during crimping
  • Ratchet mechanism assures proper crimps every time
  • Far faster and better than soldering
  • Provides the highest strength and the lowest resistance connections possible
  • Dimensions: 7.75″ X 3″ X 1.5″
  • Weight: 20 ounces
  • High Contact retention force

Contacts & Jaw Position

The 3 contacts have different amp ratings:

  • 15 Amp (SKU: 1332) is designed to receive 16, 18 and 20 gauge wire.
  • 30 Amp (SKU: 1331) is designed to receive 12, 14 gauge wire.
  • 45 Amp (SKU: 261G2) is designed to receive 10 gauge wire.

The contact size corresponds to the position marking on the die. The 15 amp contact goes into the 15 amp position, the 30 amp into the 30 position, and 45 amp into the 45 position.

Download the manual, click -> Powerwerx TRIcrimp Manual

72-Hour Kits

72-hour Kit 96-Hour Kit 72/96-Hour Kit for emergencies and disasters familiy preparedness About 10 years ago the government began advising people to have a 72-hour kit for emergencies and disasters. For over 60 years members of the LDS church have been counseled to be prepared for a time of need or emergency.

It has been my experience that most government sponsored (i.e. FEMA) responses take about 96-hours to really get flowing. So a good place to start is with a 72/96-Hour Kit. The LDS church has been recommending these kits for decades now. They simply make sense.

But before I go on let me give my opinion on a few differences that are important:

72-Hour Kit72/96-Hour Kit – This is a kit that is what I consider “milk toast” in nature. It is for the normal family to use in the case where they need to leave their home for a limited period of time.  However, they will be able to return to their home once the emergency or disaster is over. This kit doesn’t address the issue of violence being the primary threat. Hence, there are no weapons mentioned. This kit only addresses needs such as food, water, and clothing.Fieldline Tactical pack for a get home bag.

Get Home Bag – This is a kit designed to get a person from their current location (i.e. work) to their home. It addresses violence as the #1 threat in the situation. It is designed to assist a person to move undetected and survive out in the elements as opposed to in a shelter. <read more about Get Home Bag click here>

condor 3-day asault bag pack makes a great Bug Out Bag get out of dodge bag

Get Out Of Dodge or Bug Out Bag – This is the “dooms day” option. This kit is designed for the situation where you must leave your home and there is little, if any, hope that you will ever return. Contents are geared more towards “survival” and combined with a person tactical vest and weapons, addresses the #1 threat of violence. <read more about GOOD BOBs click here>

Now that the differences have been identified let’s return to the 72/96-Hour Kit…

FEMA takes 73 - 96 hours to show upIt generally takes government disaster relief agencies 3 – 4 days to move in and set up before offering assistance.  Being able to take care of your family till then is vitally important and the goal of this kit. A 72/96-Hour Kit is a good minimum to start with but additional items maybe important if you can travel via vehicle. But keep the contents separate. Anything other than the 72/96-Hour Kit contents should be kept in another bag, back or box. Mixing the different kits’ contents reduces the ability to grab the more portable 72/96-Hour Kit and move quickly if needed.

Kit Guidelines

  1. The objective of the 72/96-Hour Emergency Preparedness Kit is to have, previously assembled and placed in one location, all of those essential items you and your family will need during a 72 – 96 hour time period following an emergency away from your home. When an emergency occurs you will probably not have the luxury of going around the house gathering up needed items, especially if you have to evacuate your home on short notice.
  1. Take time now to gather whatever your family needs to survive for 4 days based upon the assumption that those items are the only possessions you will have. Your kit should be in a portable container located near the primary exit of your house. This is so you can grab it quickly on your way out of the house in a serious emergency.
  1. Each family member should have their own kit with water, food, and clothing. Distribute heavy items between kits that the adults and teenagers will carry.
  1. Keep a light source in the top or on the outside of your kit, so you can find it quickly in the dark.
  1. Personalize each family member kit. Make sure you fill the needs of each family member. Make a list of each item that will go into the kit. Write their name at the top.
  1. Select a backpack or bag that will only be used for this purpose. Check each item off the list as you put it in the bag. Place a copy of the list in the bag for future reference.
  1. Enclose the extra clothing, personal documents, and other items that can be damaged by smoke or water in Ziplock bags to protect them. If it’s raining when you have to evacuate, you will appreciate the dry clothes.
  1. Inspect your kit at least twice a year. Rotate food as needed. Check children’s clothing for proper fit. Adjust clothing for winter or summer needs. Check expiration dates on food, batteries, etc.
  1. Consider the needs of elderly people as well as those with handicaps or other special needs. For example: for babies, store diapers, washcloth, hand wipes, ointment, bottles and pacifiers, and other special supplies.
Mandatory Contents:
  • Water – It is virtually impossible for the average person to carry enough water for 3 – 4 days; that would be upwards of 32lbs of water alone. But I would suggest you still have 3 – 4 gallons of water stored beside your Kit in case you can utilize a vehicle. However, each Kit should have at least 2 liters of water in one liter stainless steel water bottles.
  • Aqua Tabs – One set of water purification tablets.
  • First Aid – A basic first aid kit is absolutely mandatory for each person (IFAK). I would also highly recommend a family first kit as well (TBAK).
  • Freeze Dried Food – Three meals (minimum) of freeze dried food.
  • Flashlight & batteries
Suggested Contents:
  • Toilet paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Towelettes
  • Change of clothes
  • Map & compass
  • Food & Treats as appropriate
  • Knife
  • Lighter
  • Handheld radio(s)
  • Survival radio

I have given you a start of your Kit content list. I have intentionally not provided a comprehensive list of contents other than the “mandatory” items that I listed. I think a 72/96-Hour Kit is a recipe for disaster. I think it is woefully short of addressing the #1 threat in any disaster, emergency and especially “grid-down” and that is violence.  However, a 72/96-Hour Kit gets you started and may be your only option based on your circumstances.

Now, take the information provided here and build a kit list for each person in your family. Follow the Tips & Traps information as well. At the end of this article I list some additional links, specifically for the Get Home Bag and GOOD BOB bag. Look at the lists that i have for each of those situations and see if it can help you with the 72/96-Hour Kit you want to build.

  1. Don’t overload your kit! You may have to carry it a long way.
  2. Consider using a piece of luggage (or pack) with wheels on it.
  3. Everyone should have their own flashlight.
  4. All flashlights should use the same size of batteries.
  1. You probably don’t need all the clothes you packed.
  2. Canned food is VERY heavy, freeze dried pouches aren’t.
  3. When you need it most, it will break. Have some redundancy.


Additional valuable information:


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

GOOD – BOB (Get Out Of Dodge – Bug Out Bag)

Bug Out Bag, Get Out Of Doge bag, grid-down


Let me describe what a GOOD or BOB is before I go on. A “GOOD” bag is a Get Out Of Dodge bag. A “BOB” is a Bug Out Bag. Both represent your last chance at survival in a serious disaster or grid-down situation where all you can carry to survive on is contained therein. Yes, that serious.

72-hour kit is not a BugOutBag or get out of dodge bag grid-down

72-Hour Kit

The GOOD BOB is not to be confused with “72-hour Kit” or a GHB (Get Home Bag) by any means. A 72-hour kit is a far more conventional item that a family would use to evacuate their home with to get by for the 72-hours it would take to get more organized and formal emergency efforts into place. 72-hour kit is for the normal emergency and disaster situation where help will come. A GOOD BOB is more along the end-of-the-world scenario stuff.

In my series “Prepper Myth” I take “myths” that have been talked about by other so-called prepper experts and I give my view on the myth and the author’s response. In an upcoming post “Prepper Myth #6: BOB’s Need to Last 72 Hours” <click here to read more> I respond to a person holding themselves out to be an expert commenting on bug out bags. Their response was so outrageous that it drove me to write this article on GOOD BOB bags sooner than expected. It amazes me just how much bad information is out there. Bad enough that it will get people killed; probably whole families.

First, as always, let’s describe the “mission” for a GOOD or BOB: ahhhhhhhhh, well, ahhhhhh…..preparedness gear equipment must have clear Mission

Yeah, I can’t quite define it. Can you? Let’s drop back and paint a picture of the situation we might ourselves in that would require a GOOD BOB. Then maybe we can define the mission.

The situation would have to be so bad that staying in your home is no longer an option, leaving your home was the only sensible option. Maybe the only remaining option left to you and your family. Otherwise, why would you want to leave your home? Your home, I assume, is where are your preparedness gear, equipment, food, and water capabilities would be stored; or at least the bulk of it. So why in the heck would you want to leave! But for now, play the game with me, you have to leave your home.

Ah, so why a GOOD BOB? What I mean is, “Why not a BOV?” Yeah, I come from a government job so I love acronyms. BOV = Bug Out Vehicle.

Yeah, throw your critical gear and food into your Expedition SUV, your Ford pick-up, or whatever else you might have for a quick getaway should it be needed. Doesn’t that make sense? But, there may be that 1 in 100,000 chance that you can’t use a vehicle to bug out.

Oh, come on! Yes, I know there is the EMP crowd where the entire grid goes down. Then there is the martial law crowd where no one is allowed on the roads. And other special focus crowds where they maintain that no vehicle traffic will be possible. Yes, I too think it might get to that but it will be a gradual shift to it, not a single catastrophic event more than the earlier odds that I quoted. So for me I say use the truck vs. a GOOD BOB.

Now, does that mean I don’t have a GOOD BOB? Of course I have a GOOD BOB but for entirely different reasons than most. It is part of my “building block” or “modular” system of prepping. But I look at a GOOD BOB as an TEOTWAWKI option.

Let me explain…

During most disasters and emergencies vehicle transportation is possible, as well as preferable. Yes, there are the inevitable traffic jams. But that is your responsibility to avoid. That means have a plan, multiple routes, and leave early. For my GOOD BOB scenario I assume you already have that covered. Besides I am talking more about a hard “grid-down” situation more than a soft disaster or emergency.

So my GOOD BOB is designed for one thing: Sustain life as long as possible.

Ok, so now you want to know what is in my GOOD BOB bag, right? OK, but we have to realize that what I just stated above was the “mission”; Sustain life as long as possible.

One point I want to clearly state, the mission doesn’t include anything along the lines of getting us from point A to point B. That is a whole other story and outside the scope of the GOOD BOB. And I will cover BOL (Bug Out Location) in another post in the near future.

Let’s review for a minute what I feel you would be facing in a situation where a GOOD BOB would be needed. The risks and threats, in priority order, would be:Bug Out Bag get out of dodge violence will be main threat risk

  1. Violence
  2. Lack of medical care
  3. Dehydration
  4. Starvation
  5. Exposure

Your resulting priorities, in priority order, would be:

  1. Safety
  2. Stabilize the situation (don’t make it worse)
  3. Conserve resources and property
  4. Normalize your situation as much as possible, as soon as possible

Now that is over with you can begin to appreciate what a GOOD BOB must be able to do. But that being said, I am going to push you away from a GOOD BOB and towards a EOTWB (End Of The World Box). Why? Because I think that is the best option, the best solution for all potential scenarios. How so? Because you don’t know what the exact situation will look like when the time comes, so design a solution to meet all the possibilities to the best extent possible.

Safety is always the number one #1 priority in emergencies disasters and grid-downBased on the priorities I outlined above, the number one priority is safety. And the number one threat to that safety is violence against you or your family. Multiple means of protecting your family is the first thing you have to look at. For that I say guns and knives, plus bullets and sharpening stone. But the #1 way to stay safe from violence: avoid it. So I include items for that as well; and that includes communication equipment.

Next is lack of medical care. So mitigate that problem, you are it; and so are your family members. That means everyone carries a IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) <read about IFAKs by clicking here>. And that means everyone carries an IFAK, even children. If they can walk more than a block they can carry an IFAK. Then you must have at least one TBAK (Team/Family Basic Aid Kit) <read about TBAKs by clicking here>. I would prefer two kits in your family, maybe one for each parent.

Inside that “safety” group I also put dehydration as well. I do so because it can occur quickly enough to affect you and your family in a matter of hours; for sure within a day.

I am itching to start listing exact pieces of gear and equipment but I didn’t clear up the “box” vs. “bag” decision on my part. Rubbermaid 24-gallon Action Packer Bug Out Box for emergencies, disasters and grid-downWell, it is for convenience sake more than anything, but you can judge for yourself. Remember, I think there is about 1 in 100,000 chance of actually carrying your GOOD BOB; I think a vehicle is not only preferable but also almost assuredly possible. So I put my “stuff” in a Rubbermaid 24-gallon ActionPacker container that has a nice tight lid and handles.

I can walk out to the garage, open the door, grab my box, my wife grabs her box and both go into the truck. I snatch the case of bottled water by the garage door and we drive away. Oopppsss, one step I forgot to mention; I open the gun safe and remove our AR’s and Sign 226’s before doing anything else. But you got the idea. There is no fumbling around for a bag, no gathering anything else, it is all right there.

So what happens if we have to carry all that stuff? Well, a bag is included just folded up nice and neat out of the way. Everything we need to survive is in the box and can be transferred to the bag is needed.

Safety is number one priorty in emergencies disasters and grid-down


So here goes…

SAFETY (this is the absolute #1 priority)


Retrieved from the gun safe:

1 x AR-15
1 x Sig P226

Stored in Ziplock bags in the box:

8 x 30-round Magpul magazines
205 x 5.56 rounds (M855)
3 x 18-round Mecgar magazines
55 x 9mm rounds (147gr XTP)

1 x Tac Vest that has –

3 x double mag AR pouches
1 x IFAK
1 x Magazine drop pouch
1 x Tactical light pouch
1 x Radio pouch
1 x Survival pouch

1 x Blackhawk pistol belt that has –

1 x Serpa Level III pistol holster
1 x Double pistol magazine pouch
1 x Hard plastic AR-15 magazine holder

1 x Camelbak, 3-liter, 3-color desert
1 x Boonie hat, multicam

Survival Items – Stored in a single Ziplock bag together. These are the essential survival items that will go with me no matter what. They would be moved to the vest or carried on my person.

BOK (Blow Out Kit) – 1 x CAT tourniquet in pouch & 1 x 4”x6” Field dressing
1 x ESEE 6” fixed blade knife
1 x Spyderco Paramilitary2 knife
1 x Gerber model STL 2.0 (black) knife
1 x SOG Micron knife
1 x NDuR survival straw
1 x 5-color camo point kit
1 x set of 2-part Aqua Tabs
1 x P-58 can opener
1 x Gerber multi-tool “Suspension” model (22-01471) in pouch
1 x Shemagh (desert color/pattern)
1 x Headlamp, Petzl, Tactika
1 x Gloves, tactical

Communication Items – Stored in a Ziplock together.

1 x Motorola T5500 FRS/GMRS radio
1 x Concealment ear piece with lapel mic
1 x charged “rechargeable” Battery pack
1 x 110vAC charger
1 x 12vDC recharger
1 x pouch
1 x Set of instructions

Stabilize the situation, don’t make it worse –

Misc. Items – Stored together in Ziplock bag.

2 x Set of ear plugs
1 x Pair Safety glasses, clear
1 x Pair Safety glasses, tinted
1 x Box Chlor-Floc water purification (30 packets – 8 gallon capacity)
1 x Compass
1 x Bic lighter
1 x Box stormrpoof matches
2 x Boxes waterproof matches
1 x Write in the Rain pen
1 x Write in the Rain tablet (3”x5”)
1 x Tablet paper (2”x4”)
1 x Spork (Vargo Eagle)

Sanitation/Personal Items – Stored together in a Ziplock bag.

1 x partial roll of toilet paper
8 x Germ-X hand sanitizer packets
3 x Sun-X sunscreen packets
4 x Bug-X insect repellant packets
3 x Shower Pill body towels

1 x Pair pants A-tacs
1 x T-shirt, long sleve, Marpat
1 x Tactical shirt, 5.11 Tactical Series, multicam
1 x BDU top, multicam
1 x Cap, baseball, brown
1 x Helmet, bump, (PT-B Helmets)
1 x AR-15 vertical fore grip, storage for extra bolt, and integrated tactical light

Cold Weather Items – Stored together in a Ziplock Bag.

1 x Socks, Smartwool
1 x Watch cap, fleece, flat earth brown
1 x long underwear, bottom, Minus 33, Merino wool
1 x long underwear, top, Minus 33, Merino wool
1 x Poncho, Survival Systems OPSEC

Misc. Items – Stored in a Ziplock bag together.

2 x Roles of surveyor flagging
2 x Chemlights
2 x Maxpedition carabineers
1 x Grimloc Molle D-ring
1 x Blanket emergency survival (not Mylar style)
2 x Paracord 550, 30’ length
6 x Snares, small animal, wire

Power Items – Stored in a Ziplock bag together.

1 x SolarAid SolPad7 solar battery charger (AA & AAA)
4 x Batteries, AA, Duracell Quantum
4 x Batteries, AA, Energizer, rechargeable
4 x Batteries, AAA, Duracell
4 x Batteries, AAA, Energizer, rechargeable

9 x Meals, freeze dried, Mountain House
1 x GI canteen cup (stainless steel)
1 x Water filter, MSR Sweetwater (plus extra cartridge)

condor 3-day asault bag pack makes a great Bug Out Bag get out of dodge bag

Condor 3-Day Assault Pack

And lastly the pack – I like the Condor 3-day assault pack. It is large, comfortable, lots of compartments and can snug down tight. In the pack’s side compartments I keep two stainless steel 1-1/2 liter water bottles. In the pack’s bladder compartment I put another 3-liter Camelbak bladder.

Could I carry all of this in the pack along with a full water load, tac vest and weapons? Absolutely not! It would be way way too heavy for me. But remember the premise from the beginning – I am not planning on carrying it anywhere, it goes into the truck. Carrying the pack is Plan B.

I think in a coming post I will go into more detail about why I carry the different items, or why I choose a specific item over another. But for now you will get the idea what I consider my EOTWB (End Of The World Box).

stupid Prepper experts will get you killed, well intentioned but ignorant

Well-intentioned but uniformed.

Now a word of caution, there are a lot of wanna-be prepper experts out there pumping out all kinds of information. Most of it is their personal preference or their viewpoint based on their military experience, their deep-woods survival skills, etc.

Very few folks have actually been in a large number of emergencies and disasters to have that kind of first-hand information and experience. And even fewer experts have training in assessing and analyzing information in the perpper world. I really don’t want you to get caught listening to one, accepting their word as gospel and then you and your family die because the guy didn’t have a clue.

Yes, I want you to challenge my information and guidance as well. That is why I try to share the principles that should guide you. You’ve heard the saying “Give a man a fish and you feed him for today. Teach him to fish and you feed him for the rest of his life.” I try to teach you to fish. I want you to understand how to figure things out on your own. I give you information such as my go-box list to get you started, a jump start on making your list.

MissionAccomplishedHowever, my list is probably not your list. So use the principles of LIPS and risk/threat assessment and mitigation to guide you through developing your own list. It is important, vitally important. For one day your family may be 100% dependent on the preparedness actions you’ve taken.

Thank you for sharing this time with me and I hope you have found some value in it. Feel free to send me questions and comments about this article, I would appreciate your feedback.


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