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The Best Bug Out Bag Essentials

January 5th, 2013

In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, city dwellers and suburbanites discovered that you no longer have to be a spy or military personnel to take advantage of a bug-out bag. That is, an easy to carry bag packed full of the important essentials needed to evacuate your home quickly. Some of the largest challenges after the superstorm were battling the cold due to electrical outages, (a shocking 8.1 million homes and businesses lost power), being caught without shoes and warm clothing, and having to walk for miles to get food and supplies.

The best bug out bags will prepare a family for at least 72 hours after evacuation (three days is the average time for help to arrive in an emergency situation). With extra emergency supplies on hand, a family can evacuate quickly and with little notice, and are better able to help others instead of waiting for help to arrive.

Why Do I Need A Bug Out Bag?

Creek Stewart, a survivor skills guru asserts that there are four major threats to prepare a bug out bag for: 1) Natural disasters including superstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, etc., 2) Technological failures effecting dams, nuclear plants, and power grids, 3) Pandemics or epidemics, and 4) Terrorist attacks including biological threats, dirty nukes, nuclear war, and bombs.

How To Choose A Bug Out Bag:

Choose a bag, or even two bags, based on utility rather than aesthetics. Depending on your family and work situation, it may be ideal to pack two bags: one in the home and one in the car. You also want to consider your physical strength, and the number of people you are packing for. The ideal bag is under 10 pounds, has the ability to expand, and includes some room to strap items to the outside. Choosing a bag with well-fitting straps can also increase what you’re able to take with you comfortably.

What To Pack In Your Bug Out Bag:

*Water and a safe water purification system: boiling water is the most effective way to purify a water source, and purification tablets are a good second option.

*Non-perishable food and a means to cook it: this includes canned goods, power bars, a cook set, a mini stove, and at least 2 can openers.

*Shelter: consider packing a lightweight tarp, pop-up tent and lightweight blankets.

*Solar powered or battery-powered lighting and radios: be sure to include several packs of backup batteries.

*Personal medications: multivitamins, anti-diarrhea medications and bug repellents are also recommended.

*Personal hygiene items

*A first aid kit: soft-sided kits are the most compact and flexible.

*At least several hundred dollars in small bills and coins: keep cash in a waterproof tube, and expect most ATM’s to be down.

*Warm clothes and comfortable shoes: packing several layers (including waterproof layers and extra socks) may be the easiest way to manage temperature changes. Rolling clothes optimizes space the best.

*Tools: multipurpose tools save space and have a variety of uses. Rope, duct tape, a whistle, a pry bar, fire starting materials, and a fixed blade knife can also prove very useful in an emergency situation.

*Protection and self-defense: protect yourself and your property with peppers spray and/or a handgun, and practice using both safely before an emergency occurs.

*Additional items worth bringing: a map of your surrounding area, signal mirror, sun block, glow sticks, a compass, fishing lures and a line, hand sanitizer, a deck of cards and a book (for boredom), bandanas, and at least 3 evacuation routes

***Friends, what are the essential items in your bug out bag?

 

About Us:

Humble Seed specializes in premium garden seed kits that are packaged and themed for convenience and ease.  We are dedicated to providing the highest quality heirloom, non-GMO, non-hybrid, and organic seed varieties to those who choose to start from seed.

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Survival Gardening: How To Boost Your Disaster Preparedness

December 28th, 2011

It is as good a time as ever to begin your own survival garden for you and your family.  This year, increased food prices, economic uncertainty and recent record natural disasters have undoubtedly heightened our concern about the safety and availability of food. A desire for a survival garden may also be rooted in the fact that you crave fresh, organic and non-GMO vegetables, fruit and herbs year round. Or like our parents and grandparents during World War Two, “victory gardens” save money, while allowing commercially grown food to be directed to areas that need it.  Whatever the reasoning, survival gardens are easy to construct and following these additional suggestions can allow your family to eat healthfully from home.

How To Start A Survival Garden:  First, decide what your gardening goals are.  Are you looking to add a few more fresh fruits and vegetables to your weekly meals? Perhaps you want an emergency food supply? Or, maybe take it a step further and completely live off the grid? Whatever you decide, it’s best practice to begin by planning a 4-foot wide space for your garden.  You do not want it any wider or you’ll have some trouble planting, harvesting and weeding in the center.  You may make the length as long as you prefer, yet many like to begin with 4×12 feet and the opportunity to grow larger as need be. Pick a location that’s relatively flat and receives sunlight with some shade at certain parts of the day.

After you have found the perfect location, dig an area about 1 foot deep.  You may dip deeper to add more vitality to your garden, but keep in mind that you’ll need more soil to compensate.  Using sized pieces of wood, form an “L” at one end of the garden and use a power drill to set each screw in.  Do the same for all four corners until you have a sturdy rectangular shape. Fill in the hole with nutrient-rich, organic soil, leaving some space a few inches at the top.  Use compost periodically to boost the soil’s needs.

Deciding What To Plant:

Grow any type of fruits, vegetables and herbs you prefer, but do keep in mind that some plants are advantageous to grow together while others will literally steal nutrients from the plant next door.  Check our Companion Gardening blog post to see a complete list of companion plants.

Planting medicinal herbs and plants is a good practice for those who aspire to grow a garden for emergency purposes. Garlic, onions, aloe, cloves, anise seed and other herbs have proven medicinal qualities that could be helpful for injuries and other ailments in a crisis.

Emergency Seed Banks: Many of us want to be prepared in any type of natural or economic disaster, and creating your own emergency seed bank is one way to ensure your seeds are viable when you need them most.  Begin by selecting a wide variety of seeds that are non-hybrid heirloom and non-genetically modified.  Next, make sure your seeds are completely dry and place them in a vacuum-sealed bag.  A Mylar® bag may also be used to ensure tight sealing.  Then, place bags in an airtight, waterproof container or a compact storage case.  Carefully label your seeds and keep planting guides in the container as well. These simple steps will increase the lifespan of your seeds, while giving you more control and self-sufficiency over your food supply in a worst-case scenario.

Storing Fruits and Vegetables: Canning your leftover fruits, vegetables and herbs from your survival garden can prevent waste and can prepare you and your family for most unexpected emergencies.  Using mason jars and two-piece lids will suit you just fine for canning foods.  Make sure the food, cans and lids are sterilized before you label and place the jars in storage for later use.  Freezing food in air tight bags will also retain most of the nutritional value, while blanching vegetables before freezing can stop enzymatic activity that slowly causes the quality of the food to dissipate. Remember that freezing is better for short-term consumption, as a loss of power could mean the loss of your food if you do not have a backup generator.

Do you have a prepared food source for your family in an emergency? 

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Preppers Prepping for the Future

April 18th, 2010

Considering the disasters that have taken place in the last ten years, it’s understandable that people have become more concerned about their personal well-being when thinking about possible future catastrophes, such as man-made or natural disasters. Many of these people, who think and plan ahead for future emergencies, fall under the category of ‘preppers.’
 
Preppers—not necessarily survivalists who can be dropped off in any remote location and live off of the land—educate their families and prepare their homes in order to help survive major disasters. Preppers take a back to basics approach to living that includes greater personal obligation, and today, who can argue that knowing first aid, being able to grow your own foods, and having a food supply for a couple of months and additional emergency back-up plans are bad ideas? Throughout history there have always been people who have prepared for possible disasters, but today, with the internet, preppers are able to connect with each other and share their plans and thoughts on preparedness. Prep, prepare, prepping … for preppers, it’s a common sense approach to living in uncertain times. If you’re interested in learning more about the prepping lifestyle, visit http://www.americanpreppersnetwork.com/ .
 
And, visit Humble Seed’s Facebook page then click on ‘Our Products’ and scroll down to ‘Meet Our Sister Product,’ where you can watch ‘The Vegetable Apocalypse!’ and learn more about Humble Seed’s The Producer—a great investment that is ideal for prepping and long-term storage—you can save 20% when you order now with the coupon code.

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