Basic Essentials for Adventure & Preparedness Kits
This article will give you suggestions for the very basic items required for outdoor recreation and emergency preparedness survival; especially if you must be mobile and respond quickly. While this list covers most short term scenarios it is vital that you adjust these basics and perhaps add other items if your physical conditions or geography is extreme or possibly hostile.
By Denis Korn
This article which includes Essential Emergency Kit Information & Advice - is a valuable companion to the previous post Essential Checklist for Emergency Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning – Including Vehicle Preparedness – Latest Update.
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Here are the crucial questions
to answer when assembling your emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag –
which is vital if you must leave your home or business quickly.
- If an evacuation has been declared, a severe weather event is imminent or a significant disaster has occurred, how will I know?
I have to evacuate, will I be in a cozy government evacuation center
with food, water, blankets and a bed, or will I be on my own in the
elements, a crude shelter or a friend’s/relatives house?
specific government, church, community and friend’s sheltering options
are not available, where do I go? How far? How do I get there?
- What conditions can I expect to encounter – best scenario – worst scenario?
- What are the weather conditions I am likely to encounter? What is the season?
- Will I be alone, or are others depending on me? Family – children – elderly – pets?
- Am I dependent on others? Who? Why? Do I expect the government to take care of me?
- What kind of support is likely to be available?
- How long should I prepare for?
- What if there is nothing left when I return?
my essentials, heirlooms, personal treasures, irreplaceable
photographs, documents and financial assets secure if I leave with only
my grab-and-go bag?
- Do I have a reliable communication plan to contact family, friends and business associates at a moment’s notice?
- What is the potential severity of the emergency I might experience?
- Will I have transportation, or will I be on foot?
I have enough money on hand to pay for possible shelter, food or
supplies if I am suddenly evacuated and away from home or business?
- Am I truly prepared for the unexpected, a procrastinator or am I in denial?
have a truly adequate emergency kit/grab-and-go/bug-out bag the above
questions must be answered. Your personal preparedness bag contents will
vary depending on numerous factors such as time, number of persons,
locations involved, mobility, support available, season, comfort level
desired and the degree of peace of mind you want.
Here is a list of the basic essentials
for every kit. Each category will have multiple options depending on
how you answer the above crucial questions. Cheap, inadequate and poorly
made provisions don’t belong in a quality kit. Prepare your kit as if
your and your family’s life and comfort depended on it – because it
- Water - bottled/filters/purifiers/tablets/containers
- Food – ready-to-eat/bars/trail mix/freeze dried/shelf stable/food preparation equipment
– quality medical kit with instructions/prescriptions/glasses/essential
medications/sunscreen/dental medic/foot care/safety pins/dust mask/gas
- Special Needs - food/medical/children/elderly/disabled/pets
– multi-tool/knife/wire/cable ties/duct tape/rope/paracord/gloves/small
axe/repair tools/super glue/aluminum foil/ /manual can opener (often on
multi-tool)/bungee cords/foldable or wire saw
- Communication – radio/hand crank – solar – battery/two-way radios/cell phone
- Fire - fire starter/lighter/matches/tinder/flint starter/magnifying glass
- Signaling & Orienting – whistle/signal mirror/compass/maps/GPS device
- Lighting – Hand crank – solar – battery/headlamp/flashlight/lantern/candles/lightsticks
& Energy – batteries – regular and rechargeable/power-pack for
batteries & cell phone recharged by solar and/or hand crank/solar
and/or hand crank that charges devices directly
- Shelter – tarp/tent – tube or larger/plastic sheeting/insect protection
- Emergency Blankets/sleeping bags – emergency or larger or bivy sack
- Personal Hygiene/sanitary supplies/disinfectant
- Plastic Bags/ties
- Personal Security – weapon & ammo if appropriate/pepper spray/bear repellant/mace or other options
- Appropriate Clothing and Footwear – protection from the elements/apparel for warmth/heat packs – hand and body warmers
and Essential Documents - Bible/compact survival handbook/personal
ID/insurance and other key documents/entertainment
- Spare Keys
- Phone Numbers and Addresses – friends, relatives, and emergency organizations/agencies
- Instructions on meeting and/or communicating with family and/or friends during or after an emergency
- Cash/credit cards
- Configured Compact Emergency Kit with Essential Items
Device - carry bag/backpack/suitcase/sturdy container/Food & Supply
Brick™/duffel Bag (very durable and if you anticipate carrying your bag
any distance shoulder straps should be available with your carry bag or
time permits, take irreplaceable items such as heirlooms, heirloom
jewelry, photographs, military/marriage/birth/deed records, computers,
tablets, and personal contact information and documents not included in
your grab-and-go device.
An obvious necessity for everyone. Know what water sources are available to you during an emergency, or in the outdoors. Plan accordingly and don't hold back preparing for this essential category.
Determine whether or not you want to purify water for viruses. Not all water filters are designed for this purpose - look for water purifiers that specifically state that they will kill viruses.
Numerous options are available. This category must be accessed carefully and the quality and quantity of foods chosen should be appropriate to the anticipated length of time of the emergency or outing, and severity of circumstances you anticipate might occur. For shorter term scenarios foods in most situations should be nutritious and ready-to-eat; however you might want to consider some foods requiring only the addition of cold or hot water. If you do need hot water you must plan for the appropriate means and equipment to heat your water. Options listed have a longer shelf life and are suitably packaged for kits or backpacks.
When your health and survival during a medical emergency is at stake, you don't want to rely on cheap or inadequate medical supplies. This is an important category to thoughtfully evaluate. Don't forget medications or products needed for those with special medical conditions. If your pre-assembled kit doesn't include one, make sure you get a good book on medical emergencies.
Protection from the elements and insects is essential, especially in a harsh climate.
Numerous unforeseen situations or just routine conditions occur during an emergency or during an outdoor adventure. Be prepared and secure with the proper quality tool.
It is important to keep informed during an emergency with friends, family, and appropriate governmental agencies and emergency organizations. When in an outdoor environment, unsettled weather considerations necessitate weather alert radios. Avoid a sense of isolation during serious emergencies. If you get lost or are separated from your group signaling can be crucial. Since electronic items are included in this category, you may want to consider a small solar power device.
This is an essential category to address when anticipating any situation where you may be in darkness. Not only for a sense of security and comfort, but to be able to see clearly and act accordingly if emergencies occur in the dark.
For some this may not be an essential basic category. Each individual must decide the extent to which they will or will not provide protection for themselves and their families from physical harm by others or wild animals.
This article provides a very basic list of suggested items we believe are essential for emergency preparedness and outdoor recreation; especially if space, weight, and mobility are important. For an expanded list of suggestions read our article: Essential Checklist for Emergency
Preparedness & Outdoor Adventure Planning Including Vehicle Preparedness
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