Over the past few years, I have read many articles on various websites concerning “Bug out bags” (BOB) and “Get home bags” (GHB). Everyone has an opinion on what you should or should not pack. What you will or won’t need.
Because everyone’s situation is different, I cannot tell you what all you should have. You should know better than anyone what you will need to pack. But what I can tell you is that there are 3 VERY important elements that EVERYONE’s bag should have. And these elements are often overlooked.
The biggest element is mobility; the ability to move quickly and safely to whatever location you choose. Your bag should be designed for movement, ala speed. The lighter your load, the faster and further you able to travel. This is CRITICAL if your mode of transportation actively involves your feet!
Your bag, regardless of your conditions, should be packed with swiftness in mind. Ounces = pounds, pounds = pain. The more pain you have, the slower and less effective you become.
You are more vulnerable while on the move. And I’m not talking about roving bands of marauders that so many people envision. I’m talking about being susceptible to the elements, to fatigue, to stress; being vulnerable to the unknown.
At home (or bug out location) you are not as exposed. You will hopefully feel safer and more secure in familiar surroundings. The more rapidly you can get there, the better off you will be.
I have mentioned a few times in previous articles about owning a Frog Togg rain suit. Lately, I have received several emails asking me about Frog Togg. Are they really that good? They are only $20 or so? Are they light weight? Questions like that. So I thought I would do a review on the suit and tell you why I think it is the perfect prepper rain gear!
Now before I jump into it, let me state, for the record, I am NOT a Frog Togg salesman. I have not had any sort of communication with Frog Togg, and they are not in any way compensating me for this article. I am writing about this suit because I believe in it and I use it.
The picture to the left is my brother, Mike, wearing his Frog Togg suit. He presently works for a company that repairs and paints roller coasters. That picture was taken on a cold and wet Chicago morning in March. In about 25 degree weather, he was power washing the roller coaster. (I would never power wash anything in 25 degree weather, but then again I’m not half crazy!)
Mike said that with the industrial strength power washer, water was “going everywhere”. Everything was soaked and freezing within minutes. But the Frog Togg suit kept his inner layers completely dry, which kept him warm and dry. And as any good prepper knows, getting wet in cold weather can lead to hypothermia. (Hypothermia is the number one killer of outdoor recreationalists!) If you are wet and do not take precautions, you can perish in temps as high as 50 degrees!
Some might call me a “Gun Nut”. I prefer the term “Firearm Aficionado!” But I thought I would combine my love of firearms with my love of writing and blogging. So to begin this endeavor, I decided I would start with a review of my old backup, off-duty, EDC pistol; the .380 Bodyguard by Smith and Wesson.
I purchased the Bodyguard wanting a backup pistol for my Glock 23 as well as something I could easily carry off-duty. I looked for something light weight and easily concealable. The S&W Bodyguard fit that bill. The fact that it had a built in laser sight by Insight was a bonus.
The laser is activated with a button on both sides of the gun frame. You hit the button for on, again for pulse, and a third time for off.
The Bodyguard is a hammer fired, double action semi-automatic pistol. The slide is stainless steel and coated in Melonite, while the lower frame is polymer. It came with a single, 6 round magazine with a flared bottom plate for better gripping ability. (Gun has a 6 +1 capacity.)
The barrel on this gun is 2.75 inches, with the total length of the gun at 5.4’ and weighs about 12 oz.
Interstate 40 is the 3rd largest highway in the United States, running from Wilmington, North Carolina to Barstow California. Part of it used to be the old historic Route 66 that was popularized in the 1960s with a song and TV show. And I-40 runs right through my city where I work.
I have lost count how many times I have been called to assist with motor vehicle accidents on that interstate. At least 4 that I can remember were fatality accidents. (ALWAYS wear your seat-belt.) But what sticks out to me the most is just how often I came across people who simply were not dressed appropriately for the weather conditions outside.
So many times, when the outside temp was barely above freezing, (or colder) I’d pull up on an accident. Based upon the speeds traveled, the vehicles involved were usually damaged enough that they would not start. The people were not always hurt or not hurt very badly. But so many times the drivers and passengers did not have adequate clothing.
I always asked them the same thing. “Where is your coat?”
“I didn’t think I’d need one because I was only driving a few miles.” Or “it WAS warm inside my car” were the typical replies.
Normally, I would have been nice enough to let them stay warm in the back of my patrol car. But for many years, I was a K9 officer. I had no back seat as it had been replaced with metal bars/plates and a carpet for my loyal companion. And he was NOT nice enough to let anyone sit back there with him.
With all of my equipment I kept in the front seat, I had no room to place freezing passengers. (On the plus side, I never had to transport prisoners.)
Within a few moments a backup officer would arrive on scene, and the unprepared would cram into his/her back seat. People learned the hard way that they could not rely solely on their car’s heater or AC unit to keep them warm/cool. They should of had a backup plan.
Next to your need for oxygen, maintaining your core body temperature is the most important survival aspect you will face. Having a shelter from the elements is the number two priority in my opinion. It is more important than water, food, guns, or gear. Your clothing is, in a sense, a part of your shelter. What you wear and how you wear it could be the difference between life and death.
Over the past few decades, we have seen an increase in clothing made from synthetic materials. But sometimes it can become confusing as to how the material would be a boon or a bane in an emergency situation. So let me break down the main types of clothing/bedding material out there.
A very popular material on the market (at least in the America), cotton is hydrophilic. This means that it transfers sweat from your body to the material, causing it to become wet. Once cotton is wet, it feels cold and loses almost all of its ability to insulate. In the winter time, the saying is “Cotton Kills”.