A few weeks ago I went out to the ranch, practice runs are the best thing you can possibly do for yourself. It will get you in the habit of knowing where your stuff is, what you’ll need to bring and you will learn your route without needing assistance from a GPS.
On this last trip I was able calculate exactly how many miles it was from where I am to where I’m going, What kind of gas mileage I would get fully loaded, how much stuff I could fit into my vehicle and most importantly How much gas I would need to bring and also, how long it would take to get there.
While en route to the ranch I realized that I would probably need, at a minimum, a secondary route. The route I chose this time was backed up with road construction (something to think about in the spring/summer months) and went through some areas that I would not want to pass through if the SHTF. I was surprised at how tired I got while driving. Having some 5 hour energy drinks or instant coffee in your bug out bag is a must. You never know when you will have to leave, it could be after a long day of work or in the middle of the night.
While at the ranch these were some quick take away things that came up (and some other general ideas we wanted to share):
- Solar showers work! But unless you want to stand in the mud we recommend a pallet or something elevated to stand on.
- Have quick foods available. We all have massive food stores in #10 cans and 5 gallon buckets but who wants to prepare that kind of stuff just for a small meal? I personally recommend buying MRE/First Strike Ration components from www.theepicenter.com their prices are good and their products are fresh!
- Make sure you have something to sit on. I know it sounds silly but depending on how primitive your BOL is, you may need to invest in some folding camp chairs.
- You can never have enough bins/basins for water. Dirty dishes, rinsing, cleaning, laundry, hygiene etc.
- You can never have enough bandanas or wash rags. It seems like there is always a need for small towels.
- Stay organized. It decreases stress and makes finding things easier.
- Replicate what you have at home. You have a bathroom, so have an organized hygiene area with soap, towels, water, buckets/sinks, etc. this will decrease the stress on those who will have a hard time transitioning from living on the grid to the reality that you may be “camping” for a while.
- Oil lamps, love them. They work great!
- Don’t forget the things that may not save your life but will certainly make it more tolerable. Coffee, Chap Stick, sun screen, bug spray, a hat, sun glasses etc. We’ve all had caffeine headaches, they suck. Chapped lips can be horrible. Sunburns can be unbearable especially if they are combined with bug bites!!
- Water. You will go through more water than you think. Make sure you have a very large quantity on hand and a way to renew it.
All in all, the trip was good. We got a lot of work done and I look forward to sharing some of the projects with you!