(Disclaimer: I’ll be putting a bunch of links to items in this series of posts; the links go to the Amazon pages for those items. I’ve got an Amazon Associates account; as such, if you click through the link and purchase the item, the cost to you wont’ change, but I get a percentage. That being said, the items I’m linking to are examples of what I’ve got, not of what I think you should get. Assess for yourself, and get what you feel you need/want/can afford. The links are not an endorsement of the items, nor of Amazon or the individual sellers on Amazon.)
This week, I’ve got something somewhat unusual: the “Go-Jug.” My wife found this idea somewhere online (update: she sent me the link to the source), and adapted it for our use in the old house. In essence, the go-jug is a bare essentials 72-hour kit; it’s a “minimum minimum,” but (now that I think on it) a decent place for people to start building a bug-out-bag. (That’s essentially how we did it; we started with the jugs, then moved up from there.)
“So, what is it?” you ask. Well, essentially it’s a gallon milk jug that we’ve washed out, and cut open from the opening (at the top) down two sides about halfway, so it hinges and flips open (it’s simpler than it sounds). Then we’ve filled it with a variety of things (mostly non-perishable foodstuff); flip the side back up, and the cap screws back on: voila! An easily-grabbable, lightweight, one person absolute bare-bones 72-hour kit!
We had one of these built for each member of the household, to include one for each breed of critter (dogs and cats). Each person’s kit was kept somewhere easily accessible for the “emergency get-out-now” escape from the house–usually sitting on a bookshelf near the door in the bedroom. Since then, they’ve migrated into the full BoBs, but the jugs remain–mostly because they organize things in a fairly tight package. (A couple of thoughts strike me: first, we’d have to make new ones for the animals–we’ve got more, and larger, ones than we did. Second, the jugs are easily “decoratable,” particularly for the kids, to make them less conspicuous, and less likely to be messed with unnecessarily.)
As to the particular contents:
- A “pop-top” can of some sort of insta-food (raviolis or the like). Aim for something in a metal can, so it can be heated over/next to a fire if need be.
- A pack of gum.
- A zip-lock bag of granola.
- A zip-lock bag full of hard candy.
- Two packets of hot chocolate mix.
- Six individual-size energy drink mixes.
- Two packets of “just add water” instant oatmeal.
- One tray-stile sealed “instant” entree (like from a microwavable dinner–just make sure it doesn’t need to stay frozen).
- Two “snack-size” boxes of raisins.
- Two individually-wrapped rolls of fruit leather.
- A granola bar or energy bar of some sort.
- A zip-lock bag with some wooden matches; also in the bag, another zip-lock bag with the “strike panel” for said matches.
- Three fuel blocks.
- One small camp stove stand.
Some thoughts on the contents: 1) Make sure to swap the granola, raisins, and fruit leather out from time to time. They’ve got long shelf-lives, but not infinite. 2) We don’t have anything there in the way of water–the idea is to eat the ravioli from the can first, then use the can to boil water if necessary. It’s not perfect, but if you’re relying on your survival stash, things generally aren’t perfect. 3) More fire-starting methods are probably in order; I believe my wife stashed some small lighters in the “adult” jugs.
As I mentioned, these are very bare-bones; they’re also not ideal for everyone’s situation (you folks in the southwest are going to want to go heavier on the water, for instance). They won’t keep you warm in a Maine blizzard, either. So if you go with these, remember: even if the jug is done, you’re not done.
Next week, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll have the last bits of the bug-out-bags for you; this week’s schedule got suddenly and unexpectedly hectic, so I haven’t been able to go over them yet. Stay tuned, and we’ll get there eventually!