T – F    “A survival kit or bug out bag is arguably the most important piece of your emergency preparation”

OK, so I would like to argue about that statement. In my efforts to stay on top of things and gleen all the new and different ideas I can, I keep Google busy searching for me 24/7, with automated searching. I’m scanning the internet all the time looking for things. The statement at the beginning of this blog came from Ellen B’s blog, which is actually pretty good overall. Her statement more than anything just triggered my mind and I would like to give my thoughts.

I’m all for physical preparation, BOB’s, 72 hours kits, and all the like, but to me your “head” has to be right to really be prepared.  You have to have a

Several days of rain - no problem

Several days of rain - no problem

certain calm about you, a confidence, it’s a MUST. This mental state is what drives you on in the face of changing conditions. As weather worsens for example, rather than giving up or going into hiding, you calmly adjust. Let me illustrate this with a story of a recent campout

We had planned a tent campout with several family members, (tenting is the most civilized thing I do camping). In the days before it was becoming likely that weather would be cool, rainy and windy. Some of the family had questioned cancelling, I urged, “no way” and saying, “this is the ONLY way you learn to deal with this weather.”

Within hours of the camp, the weather really took a turn for the worst, but I urged to stay the coarse. As is often the case the weather moderated somewhat and we were able to get camp set up albeit in the rain.

We had no desire to spend our camp out in tents, so we gathered up whatever tarps we had and configured them to provide space for meals and seating about the fire. I did get a fire going with somewhat green wood, since that was all that was at hand, I spent some time splitting a bunch of it down small so I could get it going good. Before attempting the fire starting I got PLENTY of tinder, kindling, and bulk fire wood together.

After the fire was going well, I went with my folding saw in search of a good supply of wood from standing dead timber if possible. I found large long branch of dead maple, cut it down and into small enough pieces to drag back to camp.

We got dinner started which was mostly cooked on the fire. Before we could get busy eating, the weather changed, heavier rain and some wind driving it at us. I adjusted the tarps to a different angle to shield us and all was well again.

In all we had a great dinner, a really nice sleep, and a very enjoyable several days. It rained pretty much the whole time, but because we made adjustments we were able to keep ourselves comfortable, when it was all over no one had any complaints.

Our Priorities were ordered as follows

  1. Shelter – Tents as usual, and extra tarps and tent preps for the rain
  2. Fire – Got it going before too late, spent extra time preparing-no hurry.  Gathered extra wood to be prepared
  3. Food – Once the fire was going we started cooking, while others gathered more wood
  4. Modify Shelter – When conditions changed we altered our shelter

We could have easily cancelled, or packed it in when it got worse, but we would have missed the nice peaceful time we had together. We had the gear we needed, but without the mental state we had, the camp would have disbanded or we would have miserably spent the time holed up in our individual tents.

Experience and a “can do” attitude are more important than gear, since gear can’t do anything on its own, it just sits there. It takes thinking to use it, and to reconfigure it as needed due to changing conditions.

Till next time this is Perry Peacock – Simplifying Survival

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