View Full Version : Outdoor gear and disaster preparedness

09-17-2013, 22:59
The recent flood in Boulder had me thinking: Being an outdoors person works well for disaster preparedness.

Anyway..here's some random thoughts I had. May be of interest to some:


(Yeah..I'm being lazy and just posting the link. :) )

09-17-2013, 23:06
After 5 or 6 decent size hurricanes my camping gear has been there for me. Best piece of equipment is my whisperlite stove. My kayak was helpful for checking on my father in law when he was living on the island. He would stay on or near his sailboat during the hurricane and it was nice to find him afterwards so my wife would calm down. I guess she is attached to the guy for some reason.

Mountain Mike
09-18-2013, 01:44
Where many people panic most long distance hikers can take in stride. No power, cooking & drinking water not a problem. I still have an old candle lantern and a few candles for it kicking around. On long drives my temp appropriate gear go in my vehicle with some food. I like to know I can survive a couple of days being stuck.

09-18-2013, 04:51
I need to get a vacuum sealer and prepare more dehydrated meals. An ebook reader would be nice since I don't have a lot of physical books I haven't read yet, and the tablet pc I usually read with would die after about 10-12 hours...maybe 30 hours if I count both tablet pc's and spare batteries. I could add a few more tools and fasteners to help build a shelter in case an earthquake knocks everything down. In the summer I'd really want to get some good shade going...a tent would be an oven. I really should store some supplies outside of the house, especially water. If the house falls down my gear my survive, but all the water containers would probably burst. If that's all I did, I'd do okay. Maybe a gun or guns, or even a good clone pellet gun. I can't imagine things getting bad enough long enough for them to be necessary, but it can be useful for deterring ******** trying to take advantage of the situation.

I'm good on lights. Very good. I could probably light up my house for weeks like the power was on. Plus I have a couple solar chargers, including one big one, although the big one isn't nearly big enough to run the fridge.

I could cook for a couple weeks. I really should get a propane stove and adapter so I can run it off the big bottles.

Rocket Jones
09-18-2013, 06:03
Several years ago we lost power in a blizzard for a few days (rare around here) and managed just fine thanks to camping gear. We have a crank/solar/battery powered radio for news and weather, and my wife and daughter did crafts. I passed a lot of time by making candles, which were useful. Of course we were bundled up against the cold, but we were comfortable enough not to relocate. We'd had warning of the big storm coming, so we had filled the bathtub and every pitcher and large pot in the kitchen full of water ahead of time. Our stove is gas, so other than lighting with matches we were ok there. I already did my own dehydrating and vacuum sealing so although we never needed it, it was available. I also keep one of those Harmony House backpacker's kits on hand as easy grab-and-go ingredients for hiking trips.

Since then I've changed a few things. I bought 6-gallon water cans - one for each person and one for the dog - for extra water storage. I have a stash of bagged rice and canned foods that I rotate with our regular pantry. For fuel I've got a small stockpile of denatured alcohol (plus a few SuperCat stoves) and the mini-propane tanks, and since I picked up a backpacker's canister stove last year I've added a couple of extra tanks of that too. Oh yeah, I also buy batteries in bulk at the start of each winter, then use them up all year long.

09-18-2013, 08:48
Anyone remember Y2K? While the whole country was preparing for disaster, I looked in the gear box, smiled, bought an extra bag of beans and one of rice and figured I was good for a while. It's nice to be comfortable with a less-refined life.

09-18-2013, 09:47
Our longest power outage in Charlotte was four days, aftermath of an ice storm. Winter. Cold, for North Carolina. We were fine. Unlike our neighbors, who had converted their fireplaces to natural gas--most of which have a safety feature preventing you from using them when the electricity is off--we burned wood in our fireplace, keeping two rooms of the house warm, and doing some fireplace cooking. We lit the gas stove in the kitchen with a match. Besides the headlamps, we keep dozens of candles on hand at all times, as well as several candle lanterns. We played mah jong in the kitchen for entertainment. We've got enough winter sleeping bags that everyone could sleep fine in their unheated bedrooms. It was fun to camp at home.

Now I'm living in a place that has multi-hour power outages on a regular basis, like monthly. Something I've added to my kit is half a dozen Insta Bulbs. As seen on TV. The only thing I've ever ordered from a TV ad. This summer I even took one car camping. It was great--although weird looking--as the light source at the picnic table.

As important as the equipment is the attitude--as the HGTTG says, in large, friendly letters: DON'T PANIC.

09-18-2013, 09:51
Nice article, BTW, Mags.

09-18-2013, 10:40
As important as the equipment is the attitude--as the HGTTG says, in large, friendly letters: DON'T PANIC.

And I am assuming that you had your towel with you......;)

09-18-2013, 11:12
Anyone remember Y2K? While the whole country was preparing for disaster, I looked in the gear box, smiled, bought an extra bag of beans and one of rice and figured I was good for a while. It's nice to be comfortable with a less-refined life.Same here.

09-18-2013, 12:10


09-18-2013, 12:34
I was once caught out without much of anything and had to spend the night in the snow at 9,000' in NM.
Ever since, I've rated a sleeping bag as the no. 2 top rated item in my 10 essentials. (bic lighter being no. 1)

I see that now that Mags has experienced (pretty close hand) a real disaster and given it some thought, a few of the items that are on so many people's "10 essentials list" are missing from his (and I agree with Mags on most of his list). Who needs: sunscreen, bug repellent, sunglasses, whistle?

Warmth is the most important, with water being next. IMO (we could eat snow at least when we were caught out that night in 2002 in NM)

The Old Boot
09-18-2013, 13:53
After getting stuck one time here for over 12 hours (right through breakfast, lunch and dinner) with no power and an all electric apartment, I was determined never to suffer that way again. I stayed warm with clothing and blankies but the pbj on whole wheat and cold drinks was wearing really thin.

A piece of hardware cloth and a can of fire gel later, I could at least heat water for tea and heat the ever present frozen leftover meals from the freezer.

Of course, since then I've never been without power through a mealtime...:rolleyes:

Since then I started collecting back country camping equipment and am ready for just about anything mother nature wants to send my way.

I just looked around and between a 2 burner car camping stove, my trangia set and the emergency stove I made, I could cook for a crowd. Oh, and don't forget the barbecue as an emergency stove. As to food on hand, there's enough dehydrated meal parts set aside for canoe/backpacking trips to keep me for at least a week.

High winds last week knocked out our power in the middle of the night. I used the flashlight that stays on the night table to go dig out my headlamp, crawled back into bed and turned on my e-reader and read for a while until I was sleepy again.

Water is not a problem either. There's always at least a couple of gallons in the corner of the kitchen because I'm on a well. No power, no water. When that runs out, I'd have to hike a block to the lake and use the sawyer filter.

Yeah, I'd say I'm prepared.

Hill Ape
09-18-2013, 14:40
my mother lives in punta gorda fl. I was remodeling her house when Charlie hit. I'd been traveling and living out of a backpack for a few weeks prior and had all of my gear. She laughed at me, said I seemed to be enjoying the whole ordeal. I was, a little. It is sobering when you actually see how thin the veneer on civil behavior is. I saw two middle aged housewives, I talking soccer moms, get into a fist fight right in front of armed National Guardsmen over bags of ice. In front of a semi filled with bags. We did get really tired of MRE Salisbury steaks though. FEMA dropped a box at the house, and after a couple weeks it was all there was. It is good to be prepared, I'm glad I had set her place up with a stocked hurricane kit. Water would have become a serious issue. And backpackers and outdoorspeople seem to handle the loss of utilities in stride.

09-18-2013, 14:47
Good article. I keep a couple of cases of MREs in stock around the house. Even though I can tolerate most of the entrees I wouldn't voluntarily eat them. Sort of the same approach some Alaska residents mentioned, keep several cans of dog food in the back of the truck for just in case. Most wouldn't voluntarily eat it so it doesnt get used unless the driver is in real trouble.

10-02-2013, 03:52
Nowadays a flashlight is very important survival thing for everyone. I own Armytek Predator. It filled all my needs. Also I really like using CR123A batteries for it. I decided on a power source that was both economical and easy to find.There are a lot of advanced technologies. And one of these technologies lets to emit light during 120 days. I think this light fills all needs to survive.

10-15-2013, 04:50
I have lived in the foothills of North Carolina and have experienced two significant incidents that taught many lessons on this very topic.
The first was in 1989 when Hurricane Hugo struck our area. No one expected it and many areas of the community was out of power for many days. I had my backpacking gear then and did well. It happened in September so the need for heat at the house was not a huge issue but many folks did have crisis moments needing generators for respirators, suction devices and other medical emergencies. Thankfully 1989 was pre-internet so that was a non-issue.
The second incident was an extreme ice storm in 1997 I think. Our whole area lost power for several days and people really had it rough. Once again the backpacking gear and Revolutionary War reenacting gear stepped up and made the event minimal for me. The need for heat was very important but with a good down bag and many wool blankets it was nothing. There was some distraction by the loss of the internet to the community but nothing severe.
This summer we too had a freak rainstorm (12" in four hours) that was not predicted or expected. We had a huge issue with flash flooding and downed power lines. thankfully the water went down as fast as it rose but our community was paralyzed by the lack of internet and access to debit cards. People could not shop, but gas, eat out, or anything because of the lack of internet/phone lines. I had it made in the shade as I had all of my gear and I am somewhat of a prepper so we had food for a year at the house. I was a little low on fuel for the vehicles but that is why I own boots. Worst case scenario I think I could have hit the city public works up for gas as they have their own pumps and generators as my career is somewhat emergency essential to the community.
The lessons carried away from the latest incident was to have more disposable (smaller bills) cash on hand and get back in the habit of keeping the tanks of every vehicle over half full.

Yerby Ray

10-15-2013, 18:05
I have lived overseas in some really unorganized places and my gear has been a great source of comfort knowing I could take care of my family either sheltering in place or evacuating ourselves if it got that bad.

10-15-2013, 18:28
Sometimes, I almost wish my power goes out so I can get more use out of all of my gear.

10-16-2013, 01:28
Something I've added to my kit is half a dozen Insta Bulbs. As seen on TV. The only thing I've ever ordered from a TV ad. This summer I even took one car camping. It was great--although weird looking--as the light source at the picnic table.

Insta bulbs (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLhQSn6mBno) take the shatterproof test...