GET TO YOUR SAFE ZONE
Now that you have gotten things straight at your “Bug-IN” Safe Zone and things are set and ready for when you and your loved ones arrive, what is needed to actually get you here from where you may be? Well, you never know when, where, how, why, or what will cause you to be smack dab in the middle of a catastrophe, so again, Planning and Preparing is key for when you are. You need to think about and evaluate YOUR particular situation. Where are the possible places you could be when YOU are away from your domicile?
You could be at work, school, the gym, or shopping. You could be on vacation, or at a function, like a family event, a charity fundraiser, a sporting event, anywhere! How will you get from there to where you need to be and do it safely and have some survival items to make it a bit easier. Again, it can start with something as simple as a Checklist. As an avid Survivalist, it is not uncommon for me to have covered all my bases and have multiple setups all over.
Now the Set Ups I am talking about are things like a “Get to Your Car Bag,” your vehicle set up properly, “Bug Out Bag,” and even Caches. These can be set up to fit your needs and situation and tailored around your lifestyle! I am not saying that everyone needs to carry a day pack with them everywhere, though some people do, be practical.
If you go to work and normally carry a briefcase or a shoulder satchel and or a purse, these things can be modified and adjusted to act as a “Get to Your Car” Bag. Some people even bring a separate “Get to Your Car Bag” and leave it at their work and others in their school or work locker so it’s always there and ready to go. The “Get to Your Car Bag” doesn’t have to be very big as you are just trying to get from wherever you are to your vehicle, so it normally isn’t a great distance, but you want to make sure that if some reason you can’t make it to your vehicle, it can have enough things in it to cover your needs if now you find yourself on foot and have to huff it out of there!
If you decide to modify something you use regularly, like that purse, briefcase, or school bag that you always have on you that works too, I recommend putting the items, at least as much as you, inside a 1-gallon zip lock bag that way they are all together. In any case, here are the items you will want to consider putting in your “Get to Your Car Bag,” whether modifying your Everyday Carry (EDC) set up or a separate bag. Remember that I will list a lot of the things that I highly recommend [many available on www.ejsnyder.com ], but it’s up to you to know whether you really need it or can live without certain items. You can also add anything you feel you need to it that fits your situation, like Prescription Medication, for instance. Items to consider are listed below:
Get to Your Car Bag List
- Bag or 1-gallon Ziplock Bag
- EDC Knife (can be your choice to help with tasks like a pocketknife, multi-tool, or regular fixed blade or folder, which I like to also aid in defense)
- Water Container (preferably one that filters water, or a steel canteen where you can boil water in it)
- Water purification tablets or other means to purify
- Fire Starter or Lighter
- Small Flashlight and or headlamp with extra batteries
- An emergency blanket and poncho (these are small and compactly packaged and well act as temp shelter and protect your core body temp)
- A Raincoat (great asset to keep you dry and warm)
- Small Tarp and 50 feet paracord
- Snack food like some jerky sticks, granola bars, trail mix
- Small 1st Aid Kit with pain meds and prescriptions
- Communication needs, cell phone, small portable radio, walkie talkie
- Additional Self Defense Items to protect you (maybe a walking stick, small club, mace, pepper spray, taser, etc.)
- *Firearm for protection (local, state, and federal laws apply here)
These items will aid you in getting to your vehicle, keep you safe, and make the situation more manageable. You probably aren’t going that far but let’s say civil unrest is going on with riots and bad actors out and about taking advantage of the situation; a mile can seem like 10 miles in this situation. In any case, you now have a good starting point to cover here and consider.
Now that you have reached your vehicle and do not have to head home on foot and rely on your “Get to Your Car Bag” Set Up to do so, “What’s in your trunk?” LOL, as they say. Your vehicle is now actually a Large “Get You Home Bag,” and what’s in it matters. You have just increased your “Get to Your Car Bag” setup capabilities to add to what you are already carrying and is now morphing into YOUR “Get You Home Bag.” The “Get to Your Vehicle Bag” becomes part of this now. First, your vehicle needs to be covered, as it\’s your main support to Get You Home now. Below is a list of items and things to consider for your Vehicle and to Get You Home:
- Vehicle (no matter what your ride is, it needs to be in good working order, serviced, and topped off on all fluids.)
- Paper Maps (Road and Topographic)
- Additional Communication optional like a CB or Ham Radio or Sat Phone
- Spare Tire with working jack and car iron
- Small tool bag with basic tools in it and Flashlight with extra batteries
- Road Flares (excellent fire starters and signaling devices)
- Extra Fuel Can, oil, and other fluids
- Small Shovel
- Tow Straps and Chains
- Extra Fresh Water, a Box of Food, and a way to prepare it
- Larger Tarp, Extra rope, cordage, or paracord, and Sleeping Bag and or Blankets
- “Bug Out Bag” (See Additional List Below) in case your vehicle breaks down or you must bail out of your vehicle due to the situation
- **” Winter Kit” if in a Snowy Area like Tire Snow Chains, Ice Melt, Cat Litter, Snow Shovel, Candles, Winter Clothing
The Vehicle is now your main means of transportation to get you home now and needs to be in good working order and carry things to keep it that way. The items you brought with now become part of your Survival “Get You Home Bag” and hedge your bets on getting home safely and in one piece. A vehicle will cover more ground quickly and easier than being on foot and can act as a mobile shelter if need be.
It offers a lot of protection from the elements, helps you conserve energy, and can carry a lot of supplies with you. The Bugout Bag is a very important Back-Up Plan for you in case your vehicle breaks down or you must bail out of your vehicle due to the situation and have to now get home on foot. This leads us to the next part of the discussion…The Legendary “Bug Out Bag”!!!
The argument of what goes in the perfect “Bug Out Bag” may never be settled, but for me…it’s all about your needs, must-haves, budget, situation, and what I call plain old “Skullcrushing Sense”! Which is just like common sense but with attitude, LMAO! Below you will find a suggested list of things to consider in YOUR “Bug Out Bag” Set Up:
Now that you are rolling in your vehicle and heading to your domicile with a Back-Up Plan in the trunk, all is well…right? Wrong; it seems the riot has cut off your Primary Route and your Alternate. Thankfully, you were planning ahead and have a Contingency Plan that takes you to a “Hold Up” Spot at one of several Cache Sites you planned for and have in place. So, what exactly is a Cache Site?
A “Cache Site” is a location where you can get to either by vehicle or foot and is off the beaten path so’s not to draw attention. At this spot, it should be hidden enough to keep you safe but easy for you to find by day or night. It should be marked in a way so that if anyone sees it, it doesn’t cause them to investigate but allow them to help you find it. It should provide some cover from the eyesight of others and protection from the elements and be easily defendable.
You will also have already hidden caches there in some fashion. Whether you bury your caches or simply hide them by camouflage, you need to ensure they can’t be found and pilfered because you want them there for you when you need them. They will act as a way to support you without dipping into your vehicle set up or Bug Out Bag, as well as resupply what you used. There are many ways to set them up. Where you place them needs to have enough space to hide them or dig a big enough hole to bury them. If you are hiding them by camouflage, you can use the natural brush, but over time vegetation dies and turns brown, so I recommend using some military camo netting or an old canvas tarp that you can spray paint with colors to match the area.
I have seen these large fake boulders that look very real to hide things. The idea is to cover it up so it can’t be easily found. This technique is most vulnerable to theft, in my opinion. I personally like to dig a hole and bury them. Once in the ground, you can cover the cache supplies with an old tarp or some wood and throw the dirt right over the top of it, camouflage the area where it’s buried, and you are good to go. You can mark it in some way to easily be able to find it, but I generally like to make a small strip map of each cache site and pace the buried site off from a known point, like a recognizable tree covertly marked. I also would stash a D Handle Shovel somewhere so you are not stuck using your hands to get to it.
Lastly, I have known folks to just be blatant about it and drop a connex, dumpster, locker, container, or some sort of shed at a spot and just throw a lock and or chains on it. I even knew a guy who used a Port A Potty…lol…hey it’s a technique! Now, the cache supplies themselves can be packaged in many ways. I use a variety of methods to do this, and here are a few suggestions. I love old Military Canvas Duffle Bags, and I usually stuff the items also in heavy-duty leaf trash bags (this is added layer of protection, waterproofing, and preservation) and then tape it closed with duct tape before putting them in the duffle bag to help protect them.
Duffle Bags are generally good for most any items, like extra batteries, gear, food, etc. I also like using footlockers with a lock on them separately, packaging the supplies for additional protection. Plastic Heavy Duty Tote Boxes work really well. You place your supplies inside them, again separately packaged for protection, and then seal the Totes up with Duct Tape. Then for the third layer of protection, put the totes in heavy-duty leaf trash bags before you are done. All these steps help protect your supplies from the elements and wildlife.
For things like Fuel, I just use the Plastic 5 Gallon Containers, and for Water, either 5 Gallon Plastic Jugs, Gallon Milk Jugs or 2 Liter Plastic Bottles, or the collapsible Camp Water Jugs. I will even have dry-cut firewood in plastic trash bags stored, so it’s there and ready to go with a few bags of tinder and kindling and even some fire starter…NOWS NOT THE TIME TO GO BUSHCRAFTY!!! Below is a suggested list of “Cache Site”:
- Extra Fuel Cans
- Extra Water Cans
- Extra Survival Gear and Supplies
A “Hold Up’ Site with a Cache will give you a place to refit, rest, and adjust your plans. You should be able to stay there for a few hours or up to a few days…I normally try to only plan for 72 Hours Max and then get mobile or head to the next Hold Up Cache Site if I can’t get home.
All of these things we have talked about here are things you need to be thinking about so that you need to be thinking about and planning for as your very safety and success in getting back home depend on it. Having your Home ready for “Bug In” does you NO GOOD if you can’t even get there!
A lot more of this will be covered in my “Ultimate Bug In and Home Defense” Video, which is releasing on July 26th at ejsnyder.com. So, use this information and get to PLANNING!