35: How to make a Buggout Bag
Howdy! Having been through last year’s Texas Icepocalypse, I’m moderately prepared for another. We, the fiancé and I, keep a buggout bag in the front closet. Why not in the car? Well, last year, our trunk froze shut. A neighbor’s handle came off when he tried to open his car. As for what a buggout bag is, it’s an emergency supply bag.
Our bugout bag contains:
a battery charger (for charging electronics and using the camp stove)
charger adapters (since Pixels, Apple, and Android disagree on how they should be shaped...)
a bandana (No clue why. Maybe it's like the towel in Hitchhiker’s Guide—Just vaguely useful.)
In our home, we also have a space heater, peanut butter, honey, canned goods, a water filter pitcher, a water filter water bottle, a first aid kit, bulk dog food, wood, fire starter logs, and a hatchet. We’re in the process of moving so I’ll be sorting some of those (high calorie, long life span, easy to store food, the water bottle, some of the dog food, maybe a second first aid kit, toothbrushes, toothpaste, blankets) into the buggout bag. While wildfires are rare around Austin TX, they aren’t unheard of. And it doesn’t take much to knock out the local infrastructure. If it’s not an ice storm, enough wind will do it.
We are working to keep our electronics charged. They were great distractions during the Icepocalypse, until they died.
I wish we could get an advance prescription of our dog's necessary medication to keep on hand for emergencies, but that's not possible. I hate the idea of her being forced to miss a couple of doses due to the infrastructure failing. We were lucky that last time, having just refilled her script, so she wasn’t in danger of running low. If you can get advance prescriptions to hang onto for an emergency, you should.
If you live in a colder climate, I suggest adding more winterwear & a blanket to your supplies. If you're in an area that's prone to flooding or fires, the trunk is probably the best place for your bag. Don't plan on packing while the emergency is happening. If all you need is in your trunk, you can just grab the pets/kids/spouse, and go.
For folks living in a hot climate, everyone blasting the AC might knock out the power grid. Not to worry! If you want to keep cool during an outage, you can actually make a mediocre air conditioner from ice packs, a battery operated fan, a foam cooler, and a couple of dryer vent elbows. Basically, you cut two holes out of the cooler lid, which should fit tightly around each dryer vent. The battery operated fan (or fans, if you can fit 2) goes inside the cooler, along with the ice packs (and any other frozen goods that won't leak as they melt). Depending on the model, to keep the fan dry, you can wrap its base in tin foil, seran wrap, a ziplock bag, a plastic bag, etc. The icepacks keep the air in the cooler cool and the fan blows it out, at you, if you aim the elbows. This won't cool a large area, but if you stay in a small room with the doors and windows closed, this can do in a punch. If you look online for DIY air conditioners, you can find tons of variations on how to build them.
Thanks for stopping by! I put out a new blog post every Monday. Stay safe!