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Packing for the Apocalypse


Army.ca Legend
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From Wired (whould they lie?  ;))


The Apocalypse is Coming: What You Need to Pack
By Charlie Sorrel EmailDecember 31, 2008 | 9:00:33 AMCategories: Anxiety 

Crisis schmisis. It’s nothing more than a crisis of consumer confidence, and Wired.com Editor Dylan Tweney’s list of 12 Good Gadgets for Hard Times is a great way to spend some money to survive it.

But what happens in a real crisis, the kind where the world stops working, the electricity stops working and (gasp) the internet stops working? Every New Year’s Eve, some wacko predicts the End of Days. What might you need? Consulting my huge back catalog of post-apocalyptic science fiction, I came up with the following list of true essentials. Bonus points for spotting the Sci-Fi sources.


In order to weather the End of the World, you’ll need a stiff drink. Once the supermarkets have been looted, you can become the most profitable member of your tribe by building a liquor still.

Finding one might be tricky, so the quickest way is to build your own. First, hit Wikipedia for the details and print them, right now (remember, there will be no internet). Then, you’ll need to ferment something starchy or sugary to get some alcohol. Then, it’s into the still.

A good vessel is a copper hot-water tank. It probably even has a heating element inside, but if you’re out of power you’ll need to light a fire. The trick is to take the temperature up enough to boil the alcohol, but leave the water behind. The vapor is then condensed back to liquid in a spiral pipe. Just be careful you leave the “top and tail” — the undesirable parts of fermentation at the beginning and end, including the poisonous alcohol, methanol.

You’re done. Now you just need an old barrel and five years of patience.


Collect these if you can. Like Eldon Blaine in PKD’s Doctor Bloodmoney, you could make some cash off the former contact lens wearers. Better still, try to pick up some stronger lenses, or magnifying glasses.

With a lens you can use the sun to heat things, and set them on fire — you know, like you did to ants when you were a kid. Equally useful is the parabolic mirror, found in the wild in electric bar heaters but easily made with the right math and a shiny piece of metal. This can be used as a solar oven. Mmmm, barbecue. Now you just need to catch some critters, and for that you’ll need some…


Essential. The knife has so many uses it should be your first priority. You’ll also need more than one: your chef’s knife won’t be much good at chopping onions if you first use it to chop down the wood for cooking them.

We also recommend a machete, mainly because we’ve seen too many explorer movies where the machete is used as both weapon and jungle-clearer. When you loot your local Walmart, forget the iPods and grab one of these. Then grab the iPods.


Fire only goes so far. It’s great for cooking and keeping you warm, and especially for those romantic dinners with the boy or girl from the neighboring bunker, but after a while you’re going to need some juice. Fire can be turned into electricity, but it’s tricky and wasteful.

Better to use the wind and the sun. Solar panels are good, as are wind turbines. The latter can be made with a bicycle wheel, a few fence panels, some wire and some magnets. I know — I made one in art college. You won’t power the HDTV you just stole, but it should be enough for some light and to charge the iPod Touch.

iPod Touch

What? An iPod? Isn’t that a little frivolous? No, my future shocked friends, it’s an essential piece of kit, and if you preload it properly and make the generator above, it will serve you well.

First, music will stop you going crazy. Load the iPod with some classic tunes that won’t drive you mad after a year or two, and then head to the App Store. There you will find the whole of Wikipedia, ready for offline use. This could be the best 2GB you ever downloaded — even better than the Hi-Def “Two Girls One Cup” video you got via BitTorrent.

Having the Wikipedia in your pocket means you’ll be able to tackle any problem, ever. Well, almost. A quick pre-apocolyptic visit to pornhub should take care of the rest.


There are other things you may need, but the list above will serve for survival, fun and profit. Of course, we welcome suggestions for our disaster kit, so leave them in the comments.
While you are waiting for the end, I would like to suggest a good read that WILL come in useful, esp. if the end is caused by some form of radiation....
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks


'Ignorance is the undead's strongest ally, knowledge their deadliest enemy.'
Add shotguns, polearms and samurai swords to the list if you are waiting for the Zombie Apocalypse...... ;D
Thucydides said:
Add shotguns, polearms and samurai swords to the list if you are waiting for the Zombie Apocalypse...... ;D

You forgot the baseball bat ::), you at least need something that will give you the sound of a zombie's head being busted open  ;D
Geez, I read the thread title and saw "Parking for the Apocalypse" and thought this would be about the current transit strike in Ottawa...
Occam said:
Geez, I read the thread title and saw "Parking for the Apocalypse" and thought this would be about the current transit strike in Ottawa...

- Figures.  Only government workers would go on strike at a time like this.

TCBF said:
- Figures.  Only government workers would go on strike at a time like this.

Would it surprise you to know that they've worked without a contract since April 1, but waited until December 10 to go on strike? 

<end threadjack>
I think that an excellent addition to the list of things to pack:

A towel

Towels are so useful, They can hide you from enemies, dry you off, keep you warm, be used as a weapon, etc..
I think its a perfect addition to the list of apocalyptic survival items. Cheers,

And for those of you here who have played the game Fallout 3 for xbox, you'll know that a vacuum cleaner, firehose nozzle, electric conductor unit and pilot light are all that's required to make your own handy rocket launcher...and who needs to know all that stuff mentioned below, when you have a really really big gun?  :D  this one's gonna get me in trouble....
If the Apocalypse is coming you need to pack .... NOTHING

Just stick your head between your legs & kiss your a$$ goodbye... all other doohickies are superfluous
Fide et Fortitudine said:
I think that an excellent addition to the list of things to pack:

A towel
I agree.  You can also use your towel to hitchhike off the planet once the zombies try to take over!
You need an electronic thumb for that, but the towel makes a hitchhikers life infinitely more comfortable.
geo said:
If the Apocalypse is coming you need to pack .... NOTHING

Just stick your head between your legs & kiss your a$$ goodbye... all other doohickies are superfluous

Agreed! :cdn:
Another list:


"A mini survival kit is a survival kit which consists of those most essential outdoor survival tools and supplies which are the hardest to improvise or replace. A mini survival kit is intended to be carried along all the time and is usually designed to complement other survival tools carried along in a larger, separate bag. These kits may be referred to as BOATs, or Bug-Out Altoids Tins." <Wikipedia>

[1] My kit is built of the version you can find here: http://www.survival.com/best.htm


1 Survival Cheat sheet for mini-kits - the Universal Edibility Test, Body Signals and Ground-to-Air Signals
1 large trash bag
1" piece of drinking straw, sealed and filled with 5.25% sodium hypochlorite bleach.
1 rubber glove (it's purple in photo)
1 Ferro rod
10 matches with striker & cover
2 cotton balls w/ vasaline
1 birthday candle
2 bandaids
1 small bolt w/ nut.
3 safety pin
2 jig saw blades
4 fish hooks
2 fishing flies - one wet, one dry
5 split-shot sinkers
15' 15 lb. test line
2 rubber band
15 feet snare wire

Remember the 3/32" hole? The tin is modified to be a handle for the saw. The kit contains coarse and fine saw blades.

Useful for most circumstances, you will need to augmnent this if you are preparing for extreme conditions (like the Zombie apocalypse. Why is everyone on about that. Am I missing something? [cleans shotgun] ;))
Nobody seems to care about comms.

For any scenario involving nukes, you need to pack a vacuum-tube based HF set with a longwire antenna. No expensive ruggedizing required.
An article about DIY emergency care, useful in cases where the normal EMS is down (think the ice storm or Manitoba floods, but being the person waiting for us to come get you...


How to Care For Wounds When the Medical System Has Collapsed
May 11th, 2010 by mdcreekmore in Survival Medicine

Guest post by Ishabaka

In my opinion, our medical system will be one of the first to collapse during a major catastrophe.

We have a shortage of primary care doctors in the U.S., a shortage of emergency rooms, a shortage of nurses, and most hospitals have gone to a “just in time” ordering system, where they stock two to three day’s supplies vs. several weeks.

Plus our hospitals are utterly dependent on electricity, although the all have backup diesel generators – but what happens when the diesel tanks are empty.

Furthermore, especially in an outbreak of contagious disease, many hospital personel will just not show up, be injured, or caring for ill or injured family members at home.

I can tell you from personal experience, our national medical disaster preparedness is a sad joke. Think Katrina, but ten times worse.

The incidence of wounds will skyrocket after a catastrophe due to broken glass, chainsaw injuries, people falling off ladders, and on and on. Therefore, I’m writing this article on how to take care of basic wounds when the system has collapsed.

Caring for wounds A wound requires four simple things to heal: blood flow, oxygen, nutrients, and the ABSENCE OF INFECTION. If possible, a member of the group who’s wounded should get some extra food, and a vitamin pill a day.

In terms of oxygen and nutrients, these are all provided by blood flow. This brings up the subject of tourniquets. Tourniquets should ONLY be used as a measure of last resort, to prevent the patient from bleeding to death.

Remember – direct pressure stops 99% of bleeding. Take a piece of cloth, ball it up and press HARD against the bleeding area for five minutes by your watch – which will seem like five hours – then check and see if the bleeding has subsided – only if three or four attempts fail should a tourniquet be used.

Direct pressure will stop bleeding from major arteries – I know, I’ve stopped lacerated femoral arteries from bleeding with direct pressure.

If a tourniquet is used, two hours is the maximum time for the arms, four hours for the legs.

If that time is exceeded, the tourniquet must be completely released for a while to allow blood flow, or you will wind up with a dead arm or leg. By the way, “gangrene” just means dead tissue in medicalese.

The most common problem that you will face with wounds is infection. Surgeons classify wounds into two types: clean, and dirty. A clean wound is, for example, when you cut your finger on a broken glass while doing the dishes.

A severely dirty wound is when you cut your finger with a trowel while digging in the garden Organic material is the WORST form of contamination.

I do not suggest home suturing under any circumstances, and here’s why – if there are any germs in the wound – you’ve just sealed them in – and infection is very likely.

In a VERY clean wound, you could use butterfly bandages, Steri-Strips or Crazy Glue (yes, you can buy surgical skin glue, but it is just Crazy Glue at $150 per milliliter).

All other wounds should be CLEANSED, and then left OPEN to heal by TERTIARY INTENTION – medicalese for skin growing in from the sides. This allows the body to extrude germs from the wound in the form of pus.

Over 3-7 days, the body will convert most dirty wounds to clean wounds by it’s natural immune system if the wounds are left OPEN. This may seem too basic, but wash your hands before working on the wound.

Now, how about cleaning wounds?

First, if there are any large pieces of debries, such as twigs, leaves, or gravel – remove them with tweezers. Most antiseptics KILL healthy tissue and dead tissue is FERTILIZER for bacteria.

If it stings when you put it in your eye – it kills healthy wound tissue. Under no circumstances would I use tincture of iodine, or any form of alcohol. Really, washing using mild soap and water is a good way to clean most dirty wounds.

If you have Betadine SOLUTION (NOT soap), mix 1/4 Betadine with 3/4 water. Hydrogen peroxide is helpful as it’s bubbling action helps lift dirt out of a wound.

Be aware that a bottle of hydrogen peroxide becomes inert 2-4 weeks after opening, no matter how tightly you close it.

Next, I suggest everyone include in their first aid kit a 30 or 50ml syringe. Fill with water and press as hard as you can – this basically pressure washes the wound, and has been proven time and again to reduce infection.

If there is tissue with ground in dirt (for example, the patient slid down the road), and the dirt can’t be removed by washing or irrigation, it must be cut out.

This can be done with scissors, a scalpel blade, or a sharp knife. Remove as little tissue as possible. Also, any dead tissue must be removed. Dead tissue will look purple, and WILL NOT BLEED. Cut back until you get bleeding tissue – bleeding tissue is alive.

Now you have a cleaned wound – what next?

If you want, you can apply some antibiotic cream. I don’t think they help any, but they don’t hurt. If at all possible, give the patient antibiotics. I suggest cephalexin 500mg twice a day.

If I could only have two antibiotics during a crisis they would be cephalexin and doxycycline, but I haven’t time to go into that here. HOT TIP! Tetanus is everywhere.

The only reason thousands of Americans don’t die of tetanus as people do in many third world countries is because we have tetanus shots.

I can pretty much guarantee tetanus shots will not be available during a crisis, so get one NOW if you haven’t had one in the last 5 years.

Everyone wants to close wounds, and that is exactly the wrong thing to do with anything except a perfectly clean wound. You want to KEEP THE WOUND OPEN so the body can “pus out” any germs and foreign material present.

The best way to do this is to pack the wound open – so the edges can’t come together, with clean cotton (boiling is a great way to field sterilize instruments and bandages). Then wrap the wound with a LARGE amount of cotton.

The #1 mistake I see in bandaging is too small a dressing. It needs to absorb the pus and blood that will ooze from the wound.

I laugh when I see “first aid kits” with 2″ x 2″ pieces of sterile gauze.  Get 4″ x 4″ or 6″ x 6″ – you can always fold these or cut them if necessary, but you can’t make a 2″ x 2″ piece of gauze cover a 5″ wound.

The bandage should not be too tight. Most wounds swell up a lot in the 1st. 24 hours, and you don’t want your bandage to turn into a tourniquet.

If, after several hours, the patient complains the bandage is too tight, or hurts a lot – CUT IT OFF and apply a new bandage.

Wounds at joints (knuckles, knees, etc.) should be splinted just like a fracture, or continued movement of the joint often makes it impossible for new tissue to grow over the wound.

Now, here’s the tough part – the whole bandage must be removed and replaced at least once a day – this will HURT. If you have any pain meds, even Tylenol, give them to the patient one hour before the dressing change.

Liquor is still a great anesthetic – you are going to have to rip the bandage off the surface of the wound, which hurts like heck -but removes all kinds of contaminants.

After about a week, if the wound was small, new skin will have grown back over the wound – congratulations – you saved the patient.

With a big wound, you will often get bright pink, granular type tissue – this is called “granulation tissue” and is good news – it’s a normal part of healing, skin will grow in from the edges and cover it up.

Now all you need is a protective bandage to keep dirt out. You can apply an antibiotic ointment, Vaseline, or honey (an effective disinfectant) to the granulation tissue as you don’t want to rip it off during dressing changes.

Now, the toughest part of all – field amputation. Dead tissue does not heal. It promotes wild growth bacteria which will inevitably kill the patient. Dead tissue looks purple/green.

If you press your thumb against it, it will not blanch and then get it’s color back (try this on your forearm). So, dead tissue must be removed.

This can be done with a knife, saw (preferably hacksaw) and fishing line. Boil all supplies and bandage material.

You do not want to take off too much tissue – so start where it looks bad and work your way up – when you come to bleeding tissue – that’s where you want to amputate.

Cut the soft tissue with a knife – any tissue that doesn’t bleed must be cut out. You will encounter some large bleeding arteries and veins.

If you have some Quick Clot, this would be a good place to use it – otherwise grasp each vessel sideways with a hemostat or a Kelly clamp so the bleeding stops, and tie fishing line in four granny knots just above your instrument.

If you did right, when you release the instrument, there should be no bleeding from the vessel.

Saw the bone. Please, do NOT cauterize the stump with a red hot piece of iron! You will just convert live to dead tissue. Apply a very large bandage, and give antibiotics if available. Change dressings just like you would for a dirty wound.

Lastly, the art of bandaging using only strips of cotton is a long-dead, as you can now buy pre-formed bandages to fit any part of the body. Try applying a cloth strip bandage to the shoulder or hip so it doesn’t fall off.

I recommend you get a WWII or early nursing manual of bandaging for your survival library. Those old nurses could perform miracles with strips of cotton.  Amazon.com carries quite a few.

Everyone should have a couple of gallons of bleach. Buy the cheapest brand. Mixed one part bleach with 9 parts water, it is excellent for killing bacteria, mold, and mildew. It will kill all germs in blood spills, including HIV a hepatitis C.

Many items and even homes were saved after Katrina with plain old bleach. It is NOT for use in wounds, but if boiling is not an option, soaking surgical (or improvised surgical) instruments in 1/9 bleach provides pretty good sterilization.

WARNING! Never mix bleach with ammonia – this produces chlorine gas which is a lung irritant. I have treated many people with this in the E.R., and at least half of them need to be admitted to the hospital.

As an aside, part of my prepping includes collecting used or cheap medical supplies, so when there are no hospitals or clinics, I can turn my spare bedroom into a clinic. I’ll gladly take payment in food, .22 ammo, firewood, etc. (In fact, I’d gladly take that stuff now).

Believe it or not, you can pay $25,000 for a medical exam table that is electronically controlled, with all the bells and whistles – or you can make one out of a sheet of 3/4″ plywood, 2 x 4’s, some foam, and a sheet of vinyl.

Personally, I'd use this more as a starter to stimulate thinking and further research, but you can use this information directly
Buy your survival kit on Amazon.com!


Barnett Predator 18035 Crossbow Package
1.  Barnett Predator 18035 Crossbow Package by Barnett

2.  Stanley FatMax Xtreme 55-120 FuBar III by Stanley

3.  Ka-Bar Machete Kukri Md: 1249. by Ka-bar

4.  LEATHERMAN - MULTI TOOL, WAVE-BLACK, NYLON DARK (830246) (830246) by Leatherman
Click for pricing info

5.  7" Survival Push Knife with Fire Starter Set (SG7PKF) by Grey Eagle
$8.99  Used & New from: $4.05

6.  SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01T Tactical Tomahawk, Black Hardcased by SOG Specialty Knives
$35.62  Used & New from: $29.99

7.  Folding Shovel with Pick, Compass, Multifunction Survival Tool, Emergency Zone® Brand by Emergency Zone
$14.99  Used & New from: $8.95

8.  Gator Grip ETC-200MO Universal Socket by Endeavor Tool LLC
$17.90  Used & New from: $16.95

9.  Smith's PP1 Pocket Pal Multifunction Sharpener by Smith Abrasives
$8.53  Used & New from: $5.98

10.  Freeplay Energy Eyemax WB 2009 Self-Sufficient AM/FM/Weatherband Radio, iPod/mp3 dock and LED Flashlight (Black) by Freeplay Energy

11.  Petzl E49P TacTikka Plus 4-LED Headlamp, Black by Petzl
Click for pricing info

12.  3M COMPANY 1160-A 2x60YD Multi Duct Tape by 3M
$5.89  Used & New from: $4.64

13.  5mmx50' Rope by Emergency Zone
$7.00  Used & New from: $2.49

14.  Brunton Trooper Mirrored Sighting Compass by Brunton

15.  CamelBak Rogue 70-Ounce Hydration Pack by Camelbak
$36.32 - $139.99

16.  Reliance Products 5 Gallon Poly-Bagged Fold-A-Carrier Collapsible Water Carrier by Reliance
$9.89  Used & New from: $6.95

17.  Klean Kanteen with Loop Cap, (40 oz) by klean kanteen

18.  Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets by Potable Aqua
$8.44  Used & New from: $4.98

Out of stock

20.  MSR Pocket Rocket Stove by MSR
$39.95  Used & New from: $39.90

21.  Vargo Stainless Steel "scork" by VARGO
$8.77  Used & New from: $5.99

22.  2 Packs of New NATO Water and Windproof Matches by Proforce Equipment
$13.19  Used & New from: $7.97

23.  Coleman Medium First Aid Kit by Coleman
$14.99  Used & New from: $10.99

24.  Therm-a-Rest Trail Lite by Therm-A-Rest
$49.95 - $69.95

25.  Dry Top 410129 10-by-12-Foot Full Finish Size Tarp, 5-Millimeter, 2.9-Ounce, Green Camouflage by Dry Top

$23.49  Used & New from: $19.95

27.  Featherlite +20 Ultra Light, Ultra Compact, Sleeping Bag By Ledge by Ledge
$149.99  Used & New from: $64.99

28.  Teton Sports Scout 3400 Internal Frame Backpack by Teton Sports

29.  BlackHawk® Hellstorm® S.O.L.A.G.™ Glove with Kevlar® by BlackHawk
$50.97 - $89.29

30.  Deluxe Black Nylon Swat Belt by Rothco
$12.20  Used & New from: $9.95

31.  Zan Headgear Velcro Balaclava Black One Size Fits All OSFA WB114V by Zanheadgear

32.  ACU Digital Camouflage Boonie Hat by Rothco
$7.95 - $12.10

33.  Patagonia Men's Talus Jacket by Patagonia
$100.99 - $250.00

34.  Rothco Camouflage Vintage Paratrooper Cargo Pants by Rothco
$26.01 - $38.17

35.  Hi-Tec Men's Altitude IV WP Hiking Boot,Black,12 M by Hi-Tec


37.  Shakespeare Medium Action Travel Mate Telescopic Kit Combo (6-Feet 6-Inch) by Shakespeare
$23.95  Used & New from: $20.95

38.  Lot of 12 Helix Screwgate Locking Carabiner 7cm by DSAE
Used & New from: $8.99

Some of these items are redundant (a Kukri and a tomahawk?), so purchase according to tast and your price range. Some of the stuff would also be useful as kit (multipurpose entrenching tools, Stanley "Fu-bar", sharpening tool, the radio/MP3dock/LED flashlight and the universal socket come to mind as a general purpose tool kit that can be packed in a tool roll under the seat, and replacing the sleeping bag would score high on my list), but once again, this is a matter of taste, your own situation and budget.
My personal fave:
Thucydides said:
6.  SOG Specialty Knives & Tools F01T Tactical Tomahawk, Black Hardcased by SOG Specialty Knives
$35.62  Used & New from: $29.99
As opposed to a "strategic" or "operational" tomahawk?
milnews.ca said:
My personal fave:As opposed to a "strategic" or "operational" tomahawk?

ITAR rules and various international treaties restrict the sale and export of operational and strategic tomahawks  ;)
Thucydides said:
ITAR rules and various international treaties restrict the sale and export of operational and strategic tomahawks  ;)
Not to mention a devil of a time packing it into your bug out bag  ;D