Monthly Archives: July 2012

Basic EDC

Basic EDC

An EDC, or Every Day Carry, is a kit that you take with you everywhere. It is smaller than a bug out bag and a bit more than most people usually carry. It is a good idea to carry one of these in your backpack, work bag or purse. Do not leave it in your car (I’ll cover car kits another day).

A basic EDC has enough stuff to get you home should you be stranded at work or school. You can think of it as an extended overnight bag if you will, I usually have most of this stuff in my purse.  A basic kit might include:


shampoo and conditioner

toothbrush and toothpaste

a can of tuna or other high protein food

a higher carb option (as seen in the picture –ramen noodles)

chocolate or candy

hand warmers

space blanket

a way to start fire

a candle or other heat source

a flashlight or glow stick

tea, coffee or other hot drink


a higher sugar and energy content drink (soda or sports drink)

first aid items (the metal tin in my photo contains cotton, ibuprofen and other basic medicines)

Also included (but not seen in the picture) is some money, self-defense tools, a small notebook of basic survival information, basic maps of the city and surroundings, chap stick (which you can use as a fire starter in emergencies) and a book or set of cards in case you get stuck somewhere.


Bug Out Bags 101

A bug out bag is a bag that you keep full of supplies ready to go at a minutes notice in case of an emergency where you leave your home. It is also known as a GOOD bag (Get out of Dodge) or a 72 hour bag. There is a few different types depending on what your plan is. Be sure to use a heavy duty bag with good supports (such as a waist band and thick straps, possibly with metal framing).

A basic bug out bag contains everything you would need to survive for 72 hours away from home or as long as it would take you to get to your retreat spot, including:

shelter (such as a tent and sleeping bag, making sure to buy weather appropriate)

food (usually light weight such as dehydrated or freeze-dried and a way to cook said food ie: pot, mini camp stove or fire making implements)

water or a way to purify water (here’s a handy mini filter I keep in my purse)

First aid requirements (bandages, alcohol swabs, gloves, gauze etc)

Any medications you or your family requires

small amount of cash

hygiene needs (toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, shampoo, fem care etc)

self defense

It’s also a good idea to have a survival manual of some sort and a copy of any important documents (birth certificates, deeds etc which you can scan and put on a thumb drive)

Many people carry an EDC (everyday carry bag) which includes a lot of the stuff already mentioned but it is said in the prepper/survival universe: “two is one, one is none.” or as I say “rather too much than too little”. Your bug out bag should be as individual as you are. No one can tell you exactly what to put in your bag because we don’t know where you are or where you are going. I do recommend the above list as a starting point and that every family member have their own bag in case someone gets separated from the group. It is a good idea to keep your bug out bag readily accessible (in the front hall closet etc) so you always know where it is. Keep in mind this is a very basic list to get you started on thinking about what you might need. Just remember, you will have to carry this at least part of the time so make sure it doesn’t weigh you down so much that you can’t function. A good exercise is to strap on your bug out bag and go for a hike, see how far you can make it with the weight and adjust as necessary.

Prepping for Feminine Hygiene

This is a subject that I haven’t really seen a lot of information on out there so I thought I’d let you all know what I do to prepare for those fun once a month times. Men, you may want to stick around too. (Got women in your family? Need something to barter?)

A while ago, I started a non-profit organization that makes and sends reusable menstrual pads to women in need. Before sending my first package (it went to Africa), I decided I can’t very well send a product that I don’t know anything about so I tried them for myself and never looked back.

The premise is simple. Why fill your valuable shelf space with packages and packages of plastic pads and tampons that you will only use once and then throw away. (Throw away where? Now a days to the dump where your biological material can seep out into the water system- gross. Or after an emergency, well I guess you could burn or bury it). I found a simple pattern online (using an envelope style pad with an insert) and make the pads from donated sheets, pyjamas etc. When done with it, throw it in the wash (or to avoid stains, soak in cold water first).

So, we’re saving space and the environment so far (not to mention the almighty dollar!!) Find a pattern online, sew together some pads and hang on to them. Even if you don’t want to use them now (or you’re a guy, or your daughters are too young) it’s not a bad idea to have a sustainable option for when you might need it. Again, you can barter with these if you don’t need them for yourself. My non-profit runs a program where if you buy one pad, one gets donated (we also just donate anyways but its nice to have a little bit of help in the running costs).

Want to make your own? Google it! There’s plenty of free patterns out there and most people have an old flannel shirt or something they can part with.

Not crafty? You can buy reusable pads here and menstrual cups here

Heat Illness

All over North America, we have been having crazy heat waves. In some places, people have been without power due to bad thunderstorms. Today its only 91 where I am but the other day was 114 and most of my family was sick due to the heat (not to mention sweaty and miserable).

Its important to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat illnesses (hyperthermia), especially in a survival situation where you can’t just pop into the mall with air conditioning.

There are a few levels of heat illnesses which progressively get worse if you don’t take care of yourself.

Heat Cramps: are caused by not having enough water and being too hot. Symptoms include: thirst, sweating, irritability, gastro symptoms (nausea, vomiting) and of course cramps (particularly in the abdomen).

Heat Exhaustion: excessive sweating, dizziness, headaches, confusion, COOL to the touch as well as all the previous symptoms. Treat these people as being in shock (but do not cover with a blanket, instead remove excessive clothing).

Heat Stroke: skin will be hot in heatstroke because the mechanism that makes you sweat to cool you down isn’t working anymore. The person suffering might be in shock, confused, as it gets worse you can start seeing things such as unconsciousness and seizures.

Always try to get the victim out of the heat (indoors or into shade). If they are conscious get them to drink cool water (but do not force them if they vomit). To increase cooling you can sponge them with cool water or cover them with cool wet sheets. Obviously, if available, get your person emergency medical attention as soon as possible.