Double Duty – #2
When you figure you may have to carry your three day BOB, (Bug out Bag), yet want to have everything you can think of to do what you need along the way, you must make everything as double or as multi duty as possible. Every BOB should have a Leatherman in it. TP can be pressed into service as a wound compress, panty liner. Duct Tape, well, you know.
Even Surviving in place does not allow unlimited storage room, especially if you are in an apartment. So making what you do stock do double duty can help a lot. Some of this merely involves finding out other things to do with what you have saved.
Food, water, that’s been harped on till you should be tired of hearing it.
Put away a couple gallons of bleach. It would seem that the old glass bottles held the chlorine better, because the new plastic bottles loose potency, at a rather alarming rate. Bleach in various solutions can be used as disinfectant, air freshener, water purifier, clothing cleaner, foot fungus zapper, and about a zillion other things.
Coffee filters are a pretty cheap thing to put a couple hundred away. They make a great disposable primary water filter for sediment, (even wrapped around your small back pack type filter), tie up bagless Tea, filter just about anything of low viscosity, and one of those plastic funnels designed for them really facilitates things.
When I was teaching backpacking, one of the most indispensable items I pushed was a whistle. Did you ever try to yell to someone at the other end of a football field. They might make out what you are saying, and that’s just three hundred feet. A good police type whistle can be heard for half a mile. With one you can wake or alert a crowd, attract attention that may save your life. A single pitch whistle can cause a running rabbit to freeze in place, making him an easier target. If you knew Morse Code you could even do that. If you are lost in the forest or a canyon, you can yell for help for about 20 minutes and loose your voice. But you can blow a whistle all day long, easily, and people will come and find you just to shut you up.
Large heavy duty garbage bags can be relatively clean water storage reservoirs in a trash can, cut a couple holes it’s a poncho/wind breaker, stick in a puffy branch and tie it shut it’s a floatation device, half filled with leaves it becomes a water resistant insulative mattress, cut up the sides it’s a ground cloth; window cover, friction reducing sliding pad, wind sock, it goes on. And they hold trash well.
My father used to say, “If you have a good pair of pliers and enough bailing wire you can conquer the earth.” Bailing wire can close a garbage bag, fix a belt, repair, hold, tighten, adjust, do a million things. You should have some hundreds of feet. Probably different gauges. And a good pair of pliers. There is a special tensioner out there I use to turn bailing wire into very effective hose clamps.
A three buck multimeter can go a long way toward indicating to you if a set of batteries is used up. (Using batteries of widely differing voltages together is damaging to the batteries.), It can trace out circuitry; test fuses, light bulbs, & connections; is indispensable for trouble shooting a car. The kids even love testing the continuity of their tongues.
For fire I actually stash several items. Match books, regular and strike anywhere stick matches, extra long stick matches, those six inch long metal butane matches, a couple Bics, and a couple magnesium/flint bricks. I have stick matches more than ten years old that are stored in a quality Zip-loc, still work like new.
None of these items are particularly expensive. But can you imagine all the things you might trade for a roll of duct tape?! At the right moment it might be worth more than a Krugerand.
I wish you well. And good choices. And never really needing them. (I did a lot of extra preparing for Y2K, and am still cycling through those items, Thank God!).