Heavy Load

After Katrina hit, Kim du Toit reposted his summary of SHTF items (guns and supplies).  The following comment caught my eye and set off a dangerous cascade of mental activity on my part:

Following on to my previous rant, here’s a challenge for everyone…

Once you have your SHTF/BOB gear together, pick a “come-as-you-are-camping weekend.”

On arising that day, allow yourself and your family 10 minutes to load up before leaving – no more.  Head for an unprepared site away from town; no stop-offs at 7-11 to fill the ice chest or pick up any goodies.  Spend the night at the site with only what you brought along in the 10 minute loadout.

I promise it will be most instructive.  If you have to return home early, don’t despair.  At least your first time out won’t be when you’re cold, scared, hungry and tired and gambling with you and your family’s lives instead of the chance of having bored kids, a grumpy spouse and a backache from a night of camping.  What you’ll learn from this might someday spell the difference between being a live evacuee or a dead refugee.

It seemed like a good idea and also got me to thinking about two scenarios.  The first is covered, in that I could shove a bunch of crap into the Avalanche and bug the hell out.  But what if you had to carry everything on your back?  It also seemed fun to me to try backpacking.  So I’m thinking of trying to put together a set of gear that would be useful for backpacking and as a subset of the bug-out kit.

I’m still evaluating the right kind of load-bearing-equipment, though.  That stuff is damn expensive.  However, if you’re in a situation where you have to carry three day’s worth of food, water, clothing and shelter, you’re going to want something that works well.  I’m also looking for canine packs, since I have no intention of bugging out without my dog*.  I’ve found a few possibilities on REI.com (like this one).  But it looks like I’m going to have to take her into the store with me and try them out on her.  She’s a mixed breed, and her measurements (54lbs, girth 30”, and length 23”) make her a bit of a strange fit.

Despite the cost, my enthusiasm factor is still fairly high.  Although last night I started to question how wise this endevour would be, since my back is giving me problems again.

* I think the situation in New Orleans with people and their pets is a good lesson.  If you can get out, then do it.  Otherwise you’re at the mercy of whomever finds you and gets you out of the city, and that often means leaving your animals behind.  If you leave before the storm, on your own, then you can do it your way and not have to leave the dog behind.

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