Space Rogue









By: Space Rogue - Hacker News Network
February 15, 1999

"These are the times that try men's souls." - Those words are as applicable today as they where over two hundred years ago, when they where first penned by Thomas Paine. In today's world of corrupt national and local governments, terrorist attacks, growing civil unrest and tyrannical corporations usurping freedoms and personal liberties, it is more important than ever that the individual be prepared for when the inevitable occurs.

In light of the impending Year 2000 (Y2K) crisis, many people seem to be jumping off the deep end. There have been numerous reports of people hoarding food, stockpiling munitions, fixing up old bomb shelters, creating electronic free zones and communities and just general wackyness. Personally, I think the millennium will come and go with a whimper. Financial markets will not collapse, governments will not degenerate into mobs, riots will not break out, society will not come falling down. There will be minor inconveniences as the corner gas pumps stop working, the occasional ATM locks up, or taxi meters undercharge people. This will not signal the end of the world as we know it.

I think the Boy Scouts said it best: "Be Prepared". That is what this essay will attempt to do, help you be prepared for what may occur. It will list what should be kept ready on hand in case a major emergency arises and you feel that you will be safe outside your home. This "kit" can also be extremely useful in the event of a natural disaster such as fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, earthquake or other such calamity. It will contain all the basic elements needed should you decide to "Head for the Hills". It will allow you to survive for a short period against the elements without creature comforts. The only issue that gives this list a time limit as to the length of survivability is the amount of food that can be carried. This will be discussed later.

Once the pieces for this kit have been assembled, it needs to be stored in a readily accessible place. The trunk of a car, a closet or a basement are good suggestions. A location that it is relatively secure where the kit can be easily retrieved when and if it becomes necessary.

While assembling these items, keep in mind that they will all need to fit inside or attach to the outside of the first item, the rucksack. Also, keep in mind that this rucksack will then be placed on your back for you to carry. Try to keep items small and lightweight.

The items on this list come from personal experience from many years of military operations. While the items in this kit are geared for individual survival they may, have other applications as well. They are listed in no particular order.

This is one of the most important pieces to this kit. You will need a good sturdy rucksack. This is not a book bag or other backpack. If you skimp on this piece of equipment don't even bother with the rest. This is what will hold everything else. Rucksacks can be purchased for a few hundred dollars at a well equipped outdoor supply store like REI or EMS (See below for contact information). If you know absolutely nothing about rucks, talk with a knowledgeable salesperson. Rucks come in many different sizes and capacities with different style frames for different style bodies. Be sure it will be easy for you to carry and to get at all the compartments. There is nothing like needing a piece of equipment located at the bottom of your ruck in the dark and not being able to find it.

A U.S. Army issue Alice Pack with frame and pads is an excellent choice. It is well designed, inexpensive, durable and has plenty of pockets. These should be available at better Army/Navy stores everywhere for about $100 US. Be sure to get the large Alice Pack and not the smaller Ranger Pack - trust me, you will need the extra space. If you get a used one, be sure to check every snap, buckle, belt and other doodad and make sure they are all functional prior to purchase. There is nothing like needing a piece of equipment only to find that it fell out of your ruck four miles back down the trail because a fastener broke.

Four Quarts of Water
If you live in an arid or desert region bring more. Water is an important resource, without it you will die. When moving with a heavy ruck, it is important to stay hydrated and to replace bodily fluids lost to perspiration. Four quarts of water should be consumed per person per day at a minimum. One 2-quart canteen and two 1-quart canteens should suffice. These should attach nicely to the outside your rucksack. Do NOT fill up your canteens and store them in the closet for three months and expect the water to still be good when you need it. That is a great way to get diarrhea or dysentery. Store the canteens empty and fill them when needed.

Water purification tablets
Since most of the free-flowing water on this planet is contaminated by who-knows-what, it is important to make sure that what you are drinking won't make you sick or worse. Some method of water purification should be used. Most outdoor supply companies sell such things. Be sure to read the directions beforehand and be familiar with the method you have chosen prior to needing it.

Personal Hygiene kit
Cleanliness is next to godliness. The kit should include items like soap, toothbrush and paste, razor, shaving cream, small mirror, etc. Women should also carry sanitary napkins or tampons. It is important to stay clean, especially in warmer climates, while out "in the field" to help prevent disease.

Baby wipes or pre-moistened toilettes
These are excellent for quickly washing hands and face without having to break out the soap or wasting water to clean with.

If you wear contacts or glasses, pack away an old pair of glasses. It may be difficult to clean your contacts in the dark with a high wind when it is raining.

Toilet paper
No explanation should be necessary for this item. Don't depend on the small amount of folded paper that comes in many survival kits. Take a half used roll and pack that away. You'll be thankful that you did.

One shirt and pair of pants
This isn't so you can look nice for the trees in the forest. If the clothes you are wearing get wet or irreparably torn, it would be good to have a whole dry set available. Make sure they are durable clothes that can stand up to harsh conditions. Darker colors like brown or black would probably be preferred. For those folks that truly wish to blend in with their surroundings, a set of camouflaged military fatigues will do fine. If you want to be hip and with the in-crowd, a set of urban, desert or tiger camies are fine. However, experience has shown that of the varieties of camouflage patterns available, the "Woodland" or standard green, brown and black pattern works best in the widest varieties of environments. "Summer", "Rip stop" or "Lightweight" fatigues are not recommended, except in extremely warm climates. The standard or "Winter" cammies are more durable and fade resistant.

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