In this article I will cover items in your survival cache that will help you conserve (or at least not destroy) resources associated with the incident you find yourself in. You don’t want to destroy any resource you may need later. The items in this category will help you in that goal. Remember the mission of this survival cache:
“Safely store sufficient essential survival gear and equipment to use as a basis to survive as I acquired additional survival gear and equipment.”
In the previous article in this series, Survival Cache to Stay Alive & Start Over – Part #2, I went into detail on items to satisfy the second LIPS priority which was Incident Stabilization. In other words, I shared with you how to keep a bad situation from getting worse.
This category is the creature comfort area; the luxuries if you will. All joking aside, these are really the items that will make your initial survival period livable. Now let’s get on with category #3 – Property & Life Conservation :
- Lasts forever (in relative terms).
- Heavy duty packaging; already resists water impingement.
- Easy to eat and move at the same time.
- You don’t need water to eat it.
- Mountain House is a brand I like; it just tastes good. And –
#2 Item – Spork, yup, a spork! A “spork” is a combination fork & spoon; reduces the number of items needed to eat. For the cache I use a simple plastic spork.
#3 Item – Compass. I chose very basic compass because it is simple to use, inexpensive and will do the job just fine. All you gotta really know is what direction you are going when you are traveling during an emergency. Unless you have a specific detailed route to a specific destination. And yes, you better have a direction and destination that you need to head; that is called a plan. And don’t think you can just go with the sun and stars, that takes an expert and a clear sky.
#4 Item – Insect repellent. This item might seem a bit silly; but have you ever been afflicted with serious mosquitoes? If you are trying to take a nap and the bugs won’t let you sleep, then you run out of energy pretty quickly.
#5 Item – Knife sharpener. I chose the Smith’s 2-step Edgesport. If you are using your knife then it is probably going to get dull. A dull knife is as useless as a Speedo in Alaska in the winter. I chose this particular sharpener because it is simple, easy to use and a no-brainer. You slide the blade through it. Yes, there are plenty of other kinds of sharpeners, chose whatever is best for you.
- Ultra lightweight fabric
- Compresses to 6 inch ball
- Expands to 15 liter day pack
- Great additional piece for long backpacking expeditions
- Roomy main compartment
- Small accessory pocket with zipper closure
- Adjustable webbing shoulder straps
Any backpack will work as long as you can get it in the can. I wouldn’t use camo colored. If someone sees you with a camo colored pack they will go on alert. Yeah I know, if they see you. I feel you must blend in and not draw attention to yourself if you are around people.
#7 Item – Cleansing towelette. Look if you’ve never been in a situation where you didn’t take a shower for multiple days (like 5) you simply haven’t lived! A wash/wipe with this towelette will make make you feel like a new person. I chose this particular kind/size but you can chose whatever you like, just make sure it is “full body size”, in other words it has to be large enough. And remember, it too is saturated with alcohol; another fire starter source. Do not throw the towelette away when you are done, put it in your pocket or in your pack with the fire starter items.
#8 Item – Flashlight & batteries. I chose a small LED flashlight that takes AAA batteries that was about $4.50 to purchase. Make sure you pack the batteries outside of the flashlight or you will get corrosion and run the batteries down faster. Make sure that they are packed so the ends of the batteries are not in contact with each other. Yes, the batteries will eventually go bad, maybe before you ever get to use them. So be creative, go acquire new batteries and rotate them in your cache every 5 – 10 years. Yes, Duracell CopperTop lasts 10 years.
#9 Item – Hand sanitizer. If I need to tell you what this is for there might just be a problem here. Keep your hands clean, use this often, use after every potty break, use before touching your water or food supply. If you want to get stopped dead in your tacks and maybe die from dehydration then get “camp crud”. I use a hand sanitizer that is high in alcohol content. Used in conjunction with your fire starter items like the cotton balls it makes a first rate fire starter.
#10 Item – Multi-tool. I chose the Gerber “Suspension” model (22-01471). It was cost effective (priced right) and it has all the pieces/tools I thought I would need while I try to survive. Notice I chose the “open design”; again, easier to keep clean and reduces weight. Some additional info on the multi-tool:
- Spring-loaded pliers
- Patented Saf.T.Plus
- Open frame design
- Model: 22-01471
- Overall Length: 6″
- Closed Length: 3.5″
- Weight: 9oz.
- Handle Material: Stainless Steel
- Sheath Material: Ballistic nylon
- Pliers Type: Needlenose
- Handle Color: Titanium grey
- Needlnose pliers,
- wire cutter,
- fine edge knife,
- serrated edge knife,
- crosspoint/phillipshead screwdriver,
- small and medium flat-blade screwdrivers,
- can opener,
- bottle opener,
- lanyard hole.
I hope I have provided you with motivation to review you situation and the potential need for basic survival items in the event of an emergency, disaster or especially a total “grid-down” event. I think the items I listed is a pretty sound package to get a person going again should the need arise. I could have put so much more in the cache but then again, where would you stop with adding more and more? However, if you find yourself in need of more gear that is no problem. Just make more boxes for you additional stuff.
If you have a family of five, three being children, then make five boxes with appropriate gear in them. Consider two different ideas about stashing them. You can place them all in close proximity, say within 50′ of each other. Or you could bury them 1/4 mile apart reducing the chances of someone accidentally finding all of them.
Whatever you decide is right for your situation I just hope you think it through and then make it happen!
If you would like some ideas on where to hide you cache you can read about it in 3 days when I post that article.
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