This past weekend was opening deer season for rifle hunters. While I was at the deer camp, I noticed a few things that would make life a little easier at a Bug Out Location. Lets take a look at some of the items on the list and talk about the essentials and some considerations.
Running water – modern civilization is built off of several things: running water, sanitation and the ability to make hot water, only to name a few. Having a raised water tower makes most of the items on that list possible. Through running water we are able to wash our hands, flush our toilets, and run water through a hot water heater (propane powered of course).
Having a raised water tower is easier then a lot of people think. Farm supply stores sell water tanks is sizes like 250 gallon, 500 gallon and 750 gallon. With the help of some power tools, stainless steel or galvanized lag bolts, rubber strips for washers, drill bits, some 8 – 10 foot round poles for legs, PVC pipes and fittings, some hard work, sweat and custom engineering, its very possible to have your very own raised water tower. With the base of the tower just 5 – 6 feet off the ground, this can create enough pressure for people to wash their hands, fill a toilet, and maybe even run the water through a small hot water heater.
To keep the water tank filled up, pump water from a nearby creek with a solar powered water pump, or have a well put down and install a hand pump on the well.
With a “little” imagination, custom engineering, sweat and determination, just about anything is possible, and that includes running water without electricity.
Safe place to sleep – its not enough to say a “place to sleep”, people need a “safe” place to sleep. This includes protection from the elements, wild animals, and unwanted guest that might accidentally wonder into camp.
Along with the sleeping arrangements, maybe consider keeping some extra blankets and sleeping bags stored in metal containers. Sleeping bags have to be unzipped and turned inside out to be inspected, but blankets can just be spread out and flipped over to be inspected. So blankets might be easier to give to guest then sleeping bags. Wool blankets are also easier to wash then sleeping bags. And wool blankets can be found in plentiful supply from military surplus stores.
One of the problems with storing blankets and sleeping bags at a bug out location, is that rodents like to make their homes in the material. If at all possible, either keep traps and poison out, and/or keep your materials stored in a sealed metal bin.
Related Article – Fundamental foods survivalist should stockpile
Kitchen – and not just a partially stocked kitchen, but a fully stocked kitchen with a sink, hand soap, dish washing soap, pots, pans, metal utensils, plates, cups, table, stove, knives,and maybe even an oven.
On opening weekend of deer season, people bring all kinds of food to the camp to cook. Its like a celebration – an opening weekend celebration. Last weekend people brought pork roast, briskets, chicken quarters, ribs,,,,, all kinds of stuff. But what people forget the most of are the little things, like a large fork to turn the ribs over, or a carving knife to slice the brisket up.
After a hog is brought into camp, there needs to be a way to butcher, cook, serve and store the meat.
Propane is a short term solution to a long term problem, because sooner or later the propane is going to run out. But while it last, the comforts propane provides can help comfort the soul.
There are a wide range of appliances that use propane – stove, oven, hot water heater, and even some refrigerators use propane. So propane can be used for everything from cooking food to keeping it cold later on.
Because propane does not have an infinite source, I see it like stocking chocolate. Its a feel good item, and it serves are good purpose – while it last. When you have propane (like chocolate) it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and when its gone its missed. Why would someone have propane instead of just using wood? Why would someone want chocolate when they have plenty of hard candy? Its just one of those things.
Ability to cook – just like running water, having the ability to cook makes life a lot easier. The cave man days of throwing chunks of meat directly on the fire are gone, and hopefully they will stay that way. Now we can cook meat with style.
With so many homemade and commercial options, there is almost no reason not to have some way to cook. Whether its a wood burning camp stove, commercially made outdoor grill, or a custom made pit, it might be a wise decision to have something ready to go before the fact.
Lets say that S never HTF, then at the very least you have a way to cook when you go to the camp, for birthday parties, and family events. I have to admit that owing a pull behind pit on a trailer is nice. If my family has a birthday party, wedding,,,, or some other kind of event, then I have the ability to cook for a lot of people. With a cooking grill 6 feet 9 inches long and 29 inches across, that provides a lot of room to cook whatever I want. Since the pit uses wood, I’am not dependent on electricity to cook the meals.
Related Article – Camp stove for a Bug Out Location
Firewood – even though a lot of people have a bug out location in remote areas, and there is usually plenty of firewood scattered around, take the time to stockpile wood for later usage. Sometimes lightening will strike and oak tree and kill it. This provides a perfect opportunity to get a stockpile of firewood. If the tree i going to die anyway, why not go ahead and cut it down, cut it up, and stockpile the firewood.
Like propane, firewood has a number of uses – boiling water, cooking food, providing warmth and comfort. Think about it just for a minute, firewood can be used for everything from a wood burning grill, to an indoor heater or camp stove. Very few resources have such a wide range of uses as firewood.
A couple of years ago the local timber company was clearing land to make room for more pine trees. A dozen or so 75+ year old red oak trees were cut down, left to dry out for a few weeks, then bulldozed into a piles and burned. But not before I got 4 truckloads of wood. Its called utilizing available resources.
Personally, I like to keep ammo for every pistol, shotgun and rifle I own stocked up. For my main hunting rifle, which is a Remington Model 700 Mountain Rifle in 280/7mm Express, I like to have around 80 – 100 rounds on hand. Each box of 20 rounds cost something like $25. 22 long rifle on the other hand, I like to have a few thousand rounds of it stocked up. Shotgun is a mix of squirrel shot (#4) and 00 buckshot. 223/5.56mm and 7.62X39, I like to have several hundred rounds on hand.
Space heater – this might seem like a no-brainer, but a lot of camps / bug out locations do not have a wood burning space heater.
Unless you live on the equator, soon or later it might get cold at your camp. When the power goes out, or when the propane runs out, wood heaters might be the only option. There are kerosene space heaters, but your going to need a stockpile of kerosene.
Sharpening stone – after skinning a few deer, or carving up a few hogs, knives will get dull. Having a few sharpening stones on hand to help re-sharpen those knives might be a good idea. Regardless of how good a knife is, sooner or later its going to get dull.
Splitting maul, axe, hammer and wedge – when the gas runs for the chainsaw and log splitter, your going to need a way to cut and split the firewood.
Sanitation / personal hygiene – The number 1 way to prevent the spread of disease is by hand washing, having running water and soap helps make that possible. If there is one that that is usually overlooked at the bug out location, it has to be hand soap and other personal hygiene items. I keep about a gallon of liquid hand soap at the camp, and lots of hand soap. From there its shampoo, tooth paste,,,,, and other personal items.
One of the best way to prevent drinking water sources from being contaminated with human waste, is to keep the waste underground, like with a septic tank and field lines. The solid waste is kept in the tank, and the liquids are sent to a field line which has holes in the bottom of it. The liquids drip through the holes and is absorbed into the ground.
I see a lot of people that talk about having an outhouse at their bug out location, That is fine and dandy, except when you get a lot of rain, the outhouse overflows and drains into the nearby stream. Then part of your water supply is contaminated with human waste.
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