Tag Archives: Bug Out Bag

Overland

If you say Off Roading to different people, it’s going to mean different things.  And I don’t pretend to be an expert at anyone of them, but I’ve tried them…
Rock Crawling has never had much appeal to me.  Fighting your vehicle over obstacles may be fun for some… Twisting axels and drive shafts and blowing your tire’s bead off the rims… no, I don’t consider that fun.  Sure, it’s fun to watch others do it.  But I’ve never been tempted to do it for sport.  I’ve done it a couple times out of necessity in my Bronco or my Scotsdale… but I only did it to get out of areas I got into and had no other way out of.  No, I’ll avoid rock crawling as much as possible.
I’ve never liked Mudding either.  Sure it can be fun, but it can get you stuck tighter than anything else.  See, the Earth doesn’t like Mud Boggers and Mother Earth strives to punish them… Sucking them down ever deeper into her grasp.   I was once stuck for over 14 hours when I went Mudding with some folks in Washington State.  We were so stuck, a couple of us had to hike out to find Search and Rescue.   The Rescue vehicle showed up, pulled them out (While me and another fellow hung out at the Rescue Station and waited for them to make it back) and then got stuck them selves.   That cured me of all my desire for Mudding.   And then as further punishment, the Mud will get into your axles and bearings and everywhere else it can cause havoc and if you don’t get it washed out good – will act as a grinding compound to eat your vehicle alive.  No, no thank you.
Now then there is Overlanding.   This is my kind of off roading.  Overlanding is about traveling.  It’s about going some place, not just getting through some thing.  The way I see it, Overlanding has a point.  A destination as well as the journey.
I see a lot of Off Road vehicles guys are setting up and a lot of them just make me scratch my head.  What are they set up for?   To me, it seems they are set up for looks only.  Some look like they could be set up for Mudding or Rock Crawling until you look closer.  Few are set up to be an actual Bug Out Vehicle, yet that’s what their owners are saying they are.  I’m sorry, but Jeep is cool with your 454 on a stock 18 gallon tank turning 44″ tires isn’t going to get you much distance, so I hope you are not Bugging too far Out.
To me, a good Bug Out Vehicle has to be a good Overland Vehicle.  Imagine it this way… You have to get from one coast to the other, without going on a Freeway or passing through a city and avoiding as much population as possible, and avoiding Points of Entry along the way.  Now plot that course out.  You may have to take some trails or fire roads.  You may have to cross open BLM Land.  Forestry Trails.  Follow power line trails.
Okay, let’s get serious here.  Think about your Zombie Plan.  Your SHTF Plan.  Your Bug Out Plan… Where are you Bugging Out too? How are you going to get there.  Now think about who you are taking with you.  Okay, now think about what you are going to need.  Now think about how you are going to take that with you.  Yeah, just having a 4×4 isn’t the solution.   You may not actually need a 4×4.  If your plan is just “getting up into the mountains”… You need a better plan.
This is where Overlanding has some good value.  It’s like a how we go to Shooting Courses to learn the art of gunfighting… but for Bugging Out.  Get out there… get into the wilderness. Get away from Wi-Fi.  Disconnect from things.  And put yourself to the Bug Out Test.  By actually Bugging Out for awhile.
Man, I do miss my Chevy Scotsdale 4×4 right now.

Zippo

The subject of Bug Out Kits, Survival, and general Preparedness keeps coming back and I’ve noticed that all the damn time people are including “Fire Starting Kits”.
These kits are generally a Magnesium chunk, and Flint and Steel affair.  So you can make little sparks to catch some magnesium shaving and tender to start a flame. Yeah, that’s all fine and well.  But let me put it this way.  If I’m in a Survival Situation, and I need a Flame, I want a damn Flame not some Sparks.

ZIPPO.

I used to always – Always – have a Zippo lighter with me.  I wasn’t a smoker or anything, but the Zippo was a part of my EDC kit.  It was nothing fancy, just a classic “Windproof” in plain stainless with “INFANTRY” scratched into it.   Had it for years and years.  It was one of the two things that I got at Ft. Benning… the other was a Timex watch that I still have.    I would still have that Zippo if it wasn’t for TSA.  Zippo, knife, a flashlight, wallet and watch.  Those were always on me.

So if you already have those items on you all the time… all you need to add to your kit is a little can of fluid to refill the Zippo.  Maybe some replacement flint if your are all that worried… But that’s your kit.  Forget scratching for sparks… Make some FIRE.

The Zippo Handwarmer is very nice too.