3 Reasons Why You Need a GPS in Your Bug-out Bag

Intro

Usually, it would be instinctive to stay away from electronic gadgets when you are choosing gears to bug-out or to simply travel in the wilderness. However, handheld GPS receivers can be considered as one such exception. The amount of benefits that you can derive from this wonderful modern gadget would outweigh the cons of holding such a device. The other must-have item would be a boot knife to keep yourself safe.

Handheld GPS receivers can be considered to be rather complex, where there is a huge variety for you to choose from. Some important aspects that you can consider include the display quality in   weather conditions, user-friendly interface and the amount of storage it has. Before going too far with the considerations for a good GPS, here are three reasons why you need a GPS in your bug-out bag.

3-reasons-why-you-need-a-GPS-in-your-bug-out-bag

Reason 1: Ensuring your safety outside cellphone coverage

By just having a GPS, you are already significantly increasing your chances of survival outdoors. A GPS with its basic function can provide you information about where you are, by letting you know your position, orientation and which intended direction you should take. Losing one of these positioning factors would be detrimental because it would potentially cause one of the other factors to tumble.

Equipping your handheld GPS receiver with navigational aids would be necessary if you want to send your coordinates to rescuers when you are in a place outside cell-phone coverage. Your GPS would only be radio signal receivers that contains a logic chip which is good for telling your location, but would be incapable of transmitting signals.

Therefore, you may want to get a GPS which contains an attachment to a cell phone or use it together with other transmission methods. The transmitters that you may want to look into are personal locator beacons and satellite messengers.

Note that personal locator beacons are used only when one is in really bad emergency situations. Personal locator beacons utilize the Distress Alerting Satellite System (DASS) which are monitored by NASA to track distress signals.

Usually, we would just use satellite messengers which is also a navigational aid which helps tell our rescuers the location we are at, even when there is no cellphone coverage. When you are bugging out and when SHTF, having these functions at your fingertips can do you wonders.

 

Reason 2: Understand your surroundings

Also, to facilitate the process of understanding your surroundings, you may want to employ ‘scouting’. This can be said to be like your ‘homework’ before you travel outdoors or go to the location you want. First, you would start by scouting with your computer, where you can go through topographical or 3D maps so that you have a rough overview of the terrain. After that, mark those places that particularly interest you or the route which you intend to travel.

The next step would be transferring those marked waypoints into your GPS, where these waypoints are really helpful when you scout on foot. This can act as an alternative navigation method where you can just follow the waypoints which you saved which simplifies how you navigate.

Planning your outdoor trips is really important if you want to cover more ground in less time. The act of scouting and saving waypoints could save you a ton of time if you do it right. Remember, you would want to look for a GPS that can insert an external SD card as well so that you do not need to worry about memory.

 

Reason 3: Navigate with ease

By having topographical maps saved in your GPS, you do not need to weigh yourself down with loads of maps when you are outdoors. With a GPS with sufficient storage capacity, you can save many maps and waypoints that are necessary for your outdoor adventure. This would be important when you bug-out because you would not know how long more you would need to travel!

Handheld GPS receivers are also equipped with different navigation methods, and I would encourage you to experiment with them to determine the most convenient way to navigate. For example, you can choose to navigate by touching on the place of the screen or simply following waypoints.

Usually, I would prefer to navigate by touching on the screen only to find out new places. While I am on foot, travelling would be much easier when I just follow waypoints. An external antenna would be a useful feature to look out for so that you can be sure that you have good signal even when you are in canyons or thick foliage.

 

Conclusion

Ideally, your bug out bag should have predetermined emergency essentials, so you can be ready for any eventualities at any time. One important aspect is that the gears you carry must be light enough especially when your bug-out location is far from your current location. Another thing to note is the durability of the items you are holding. If you foresee yourself going through rough terrains, you may want to choose a waterproof GPS.

Other options would be considering a GPS that you can primarily navigate through the software using external buttons rather than using touch screen. This is because touch screen GPS would usually be more prone to spoil. If you have any other tips to share, please comment below!

Author Bio:

I am John Lewis, a blogger, survivalist and outdoor enthusiast. You can follow me over at Epic Wilderness. Please click here!

5 Tips for Ultralight Camping | Must-know Tips for Backpackers

The more weight you can cut from your pack, the faster you move, and the more comfortable your camping experience will be. However, switching to lighter setup can cost an arm and a leg. So here are 5 tips for ultralight camping that can shave weight from your pack without making it too costly.

1. Minimize The Stove

Food is one of the easiest things to over pack. It is thus necessary to lay out your foods in a strategic way. And the first thing to notice is the stove.

The most ideal option is just to leave the stove at home and eat cold foods instead. Oatmeal, nuts, cereal, dried fruits, sandwiches are good choices.

And before you start your trip, list out the foods you will need for each day to make sure that you will not bring too much of the unnecessary.

In case you are not ready to leave the fire behind, you can make a mini alcohol stove from a soda can. This stove can also keep you warm and cook some simple dishes.

2. Use Multi-purpose Items

There are many items that can be used for more than one purpose. For examples, you can use your stuff sack as a pillow cover, cooking pot as a bowl, or sleeping bag as a makeshift stretcher.

Besides the shift toward using multiple-purpose items, it is also weight-saving to cut off the non-essentials. Coffee mug and wine cup are the examples. And after each trip, you can eliminate the items with less frequency or with no actual use.

That said, first aids and emergency kits should never be put on the elimination list.

3. Go Lightweight On The Big Three

The three keywords are the tent, sleeping bag, and backpack. For most campers, they always make up for most of the base weight.

– Tent: There are two factors when it comes to using tents – the number of people and weather. If you go solo, a one-man tent is just a perfect fit. And if you have a companion, two-person tents may weight around 2-3 pounds depending on its design and materials.

Depending on whether it is warm or rainy, you can also opt for the suitable tent to minimize the pack weight.

– Sleeping bag: It is ideal to keep the sleeping bag under 3 pounds and the sleeping pad around 1 pound. These numbers are also flexible depending on weather condition.

– Backpack: People usually forget that even an empty pack weights something. So the tip here is that you should go for packs with smaller loads. It forces you to carry less but just the essentials.

 

4. Select Smart Materials

Titanium and synthetic layers are two great option for the materials. Before deciding to include anything in your pack, make sure it is lightweight, easy to clean and dry.

Using backpacking solar charger is also a smart choice. It frees you from having to worry about finding electricity when you want to charge your stuff.

5. Put Everything On A Scale

Weight is everything. There is two way to do this. You can either put your pack on a scale or make a spreadsheet listing out all items’ weights to see if your pack is lightweight enough.

You can group your items into different categories such as Shelter, Sleeping, Foods, and Clothes. This spreadsheet may take you quite a while to complete, yet it is definitely worth your time and effort.

It helps a lot in deciding whether anything else can be eliminated for a lighter pack. Choosing the items for your pack is like choosing the players in a football game. There are always limited spots in the team and as a coach, you need a make ruthless decision when picking which players to cut and which to add.

The Bottom Line

Your love for camping will be put off by the aches after carrying a heavy pack on your back for hours. The ultralight pack is then crucial to boosting your comfort and camping experience.

So here are the key takeaways for a lighter camping setup: Plan your foods strategically, take advantage of multiple-use gears, minimize the weight of the tent, sleeping bag, backpack, scrutinize on the items, and eliminate the nonessentials.

I hope these 5 tips for ultralight camping are useful for your campaign prep work. Thank you so much for reading.

Author Bio:

Luna is a camping and hiking enthusiast from Phoenix, Arizona. She wants to share her experience to all adventure junkies in order for them to get better preparations before any trip.  Visit her blog to find out more!

The Best Way to Purchase Outdoor Gear

For many people not used to purchasing outdoor gear, it can be quite overwhelming finding the best equipment and the best deals available in the market. You surely do not want to fall into the trap of buying gear that is too expensive only to find better quality at a better price sold somewhere else; This is why you need to know some of the best ways to get an outdoor gear with minimal risks.

Here are a few of the best ways of purchasing an outdoor gear.  

1. Shop online for Best deals  

With the internet available and readily available, shopping for gears should be effortless. You can find all the outdoor gears nowadays and even exclusive discounts at online shops. Sites like Amazon and eBay have a wide range of shops selling all kinds of equipment for winter and summer seasons, and all you need is an internet connection to search for them.

2. Shop End-of-Season Sales for Winter Gear

At the end of winter season, most skin shops close and open up camps for summer activities such as bicycle riding. It is the perfect time for you to shop for winter gears like skies, snowboards and others from these shops as they will try to get rid of these items and will end up selling them at very low prices to get rid of the bulky items. A great way of having a good deal with the shops is getting to know the employees or owners, and this can save you a lot of money.  

3. Purchase used Rental Gear

If you are interested in finding serviceable and reliable gear, you do not have to buy the latest equipment on the market. Of course, the latest gear will be a little more expensive, but you can visit gear rental shops where you can find items that the shops are trying to sell at the end of the rental season. These items you will find them at very low prices. However, it is crucial that you perform a thorough check on the gear before purchasing them.  

4. Ask your friend to accompany you to the shop

It is a good idea to have someone with you when going to purchase outdoor gear especially if it is your first time. Your friend might have a better idea that will help you a long way into your purchase. Also if you have a friend who works at gear shops, they will be able to help you and advise you on the different type of gears accordingly. Some shops also offer special deals to their employees’ friends and family.  

5. Get a Job at an Outdoor Shop

Getting a job at an outdoor shop will help you get exclusive discounts from the shop. It will work great for you especially if you are passionate about the outdoor gears. Many shops have great offers for their employees, and most people fill up their garages efficiently using these offers.  

The best way to purchase outdoor gears is being patient and checking out for the best offers in the market. If you are planning to make a trip, then it is best that you plan earlier and get the gear early enough before the trip. Using the above tips, you should be able to secure great deals from outdoor shops and also online shops that will save you some cash, and you will even get quality gears at the same time.

What’s In Your Bag? Preppers Share How They Pack Their Bug Out Bags

Bill 

The Prepper Journal

What's in your bugout bag? YearZeroSurvival

 

When you travel, what top 3 survival items do you bring besides the common stuff everybody brings?

I am addressing this from the point that there is no commercial airline travel involved. They make it nearly impossible to “carry” on-board anything, even bottled water, though you would be surprised what you can pack in checked baggage. Check the regulations as opposed to the rumors.

I never travel without at least a tactical knife, fire starter and a compact Mylar blanket. If I have a weapon, which I do almost always, then an extra 100 rounds of ammo, always. For the obvious reasons and for barter.

Most useless: cell phone without a solar charger – you can’t always find a working plug. additional electronic devices and, believe it or not, the “wrong” shoes.

How do you bring things with you?

I have a dedicated backpack – compartments. Duffel bags require too much time rummaging around for things. My current backpack is Swiss Army. I organize the compartments by #1 – self defense, #2 – survival, #3 – extras – since normally #3 has a laptop and a tablet and chargers, in a SHTF scenario these would be discarded for more of the basics in #’s 1 and 2.

What are your top tips for other traveling preppers?

Be situation aware. Look at people. Look at the people around you. Engage them in conversations if possible to further understand their current mindset. NEVER risk yourself by doing something stupid – do not try and sneak anything past TSA, ever. Keep your head in emergencies, people will seek out those that do.

Preppers get wrong – they do not take into consideration the Golden Horde. Every new prepper has a plan to head for the mountains, desert, etc. But if you are close to an urban area so will the thousands and millions of others. The best plan is to make preparations to hunker down in place and let events unfold – not with a tornado bearing down on you or a Cat 5 Hurricane when you live in New Orleans below sea level behind levee’s that were build 3 lifetimes ago. But it is usually the best option as a first reaction.

ALSO – more people are injured after weather events than during weather events. It is the aftermath of the situation that you also have to give equal consideration to. Downed power lines, wild animals and desperate people.

 

Thomas Xavier

More Than Just Surviving

What would you pack in your bugout bag? YearZeroSurvival

When you travel, what top 3 survival items do you bring besides the common stuff everybody brings?

I bring:

  • Imodium – Traveller’s diarrhea is a legitimately dangerous thing to have in emergency situations (diarrhea = dehydration) and also consider the fact that you can also have pretty bad bowel problems as a consequence of adrenaline, fear, or stress.
  • Medicated foot powder with piroctone olamine (because if you’re going to be walking for hours and hours in less than ideal situations, you don’t to have issues with bacterial infections – obviously cleaning would be ideal, but when you can’t, foot powder.
  • Chewing gum – The ability to trick your mind into thinking you’re getting a calorie intake and/or distract you when trekking long distances under duress seems like a solid idea relative to its size.

How do you bring things with you?

Honestly, the brand and/or style of bag is irrelevant because people are difference and have different taste. Personally, I’d go for the Hazard 4 stuff, because it’s bombproof and light. I have 3 of them, my favourite being the Grayman Patrol. Super solid and discrete. Plenty of room, but if in doubt, use packing cubes.

What are your top tips for other traveling preppers?

Be mindful of legalities if you ever stray beyond borders or even States. The knife laws in the UK, for example, are bordering insane relative to what you can expect in America. Your mindset should suit your environment with regards to gear.

6 More Preppers Share Their Bugout Bag Items [source]

 

 

OmegaMan Tested: EDC Survival Keychain by Survivalhax

EDC Survival Keychain

Field tested by our guest blogger, OmegaMan quoted: “A great little paracord keychain with a ear piercing whistle attached to a durable aluminum case filled with survival essentials!”

EDC Survival Keychain

“This is a great addition to any preppers’ everyday carry (EDC) or bugout bag. Here’s what you will be shocked to find inside the survival case: Fire striker bar & tinder, fishing swivels, fishing float & weights, fishing line & hook, 2 safety pins, a wire saw, and a knife!”

DETAILS:

It’s a key chain, a survival kit, and a waterproof pill container all in 1.

The 10 in 1 Paracord EDC Keychain is a waterproof aluminum EDC (everyday carry) pill bottle.

A durable carabiner and 550 paracord are used so you can take this mini survival kit anywhere.

If you carry your car keys everywhere, you’ll have a much better chance of surviving the apocalypse.

No need for a bug out bag, this is small enough to fit in your pocket.

What’s Inside?

There are technically 11 separate pieces inside the canister. 

  • Fishing line
  • Hooks
  • Weights
  • Floaters
  • Sinkers
  • Swivels
  • Eye knife
  • Cotton tinder
  • Fire starter rod
  • Safety pins
  • Wire saw

The paracord is over 4 feet long when unraveled and has an emergency whistle attached to it.

Our goal was to make a reusable PSK (Personal Survival Kit) that gives you the ability to catch a fish, gut it, and cook it.  Sure there are easier ways to do this, but none that fit on your keychain.

What Can This Mini Survival Kit Do?

From nothing, you can make a Fishing Pole 

  1. Can you find a branch in the woods?  Great you’ve got a fishing pole.
  2. Open your EDC bottle and pull out the fishing line.
  3. Tie the line to one end of your branch or stick.
  4. Attach your hooks to your fishing line.
  5. Add your sinkers and floaters.
  6. Find a bug or worm for bait.
  7. You are now fishing, bushcraft style.

No survival kit would be complete without a way to start a fire.  And in order to start a fire, you need wood. The finger chainsaw can slice through branches with enough elbow grease. Slide two sticks in the finger holes for extra torque.

Contents:

  • 1 x Waterproof EDC container
  • 1 x Paracord
  • 1 x Fishing line
  • 2 x Hooks
  • 2 x Weights
  • 2 x Floaters
  • 2 x Sinkers
  • 2 x Swivels
  • 1 x Knife
  • 1 x Tinder cotton
  • 1 x Fire starter
  • 1 x Saftey Pins
  • 1 x Finger saw
  • 1 x Whistle
  • 1 x Carabiner

Specs:

  • Total length: 9.2 inches
  • Bottle length: 3.3 inches
  • Bottle width: .9 inches
  • EDC bottle material: Aluminum Alloy
  • Paracord length: 3 inches
  • Untied Paracord length: 4 feet
  • Weight: 0.14 pounds

ORDER NOW

Repurposed Tic-Tac Boxes For Travel Spices

I’ve been using old prescription bottles, and plastic gum containers as travel and camping spice containers for years.

spices-tictac-bugout

But I never thought of this. It’s a great idea. These would be small enough to take in your bug-out bag, instead of big bottles of spices. Takes up way less space. Great for hikers, campers, and RVs too.

 

Not Quite The Perfect 72 Hour Bug-Out Pack, But Close

72_hour_bugout_bag_pack-YZS

Although this may not quite be your perfect 72 Hour Bug-Out Pack, it’s close. We would add 2 additional items, a hand gun and ammunition. (but can’t offer those)

Key Items:

1. Delta Shock and Storm Proof Lighter

2. 1 Person Stainless Steel Mess Kit

3. Bear Grylls Ultimate Fixed Blade Knife

4. Carabineer LED Flashlight

5. SOL Origin Survival Tool

6. Survival Water Bottle and Kit Combo

7. Ranger CLQ Compass

8. Warm Polar Fleece Blanket

9. Hooligan 3 Tent

10. Infrared LED Flasher

11. 2400 Calorie Food Bar

12. Cook in the Pouch – Emergency 72 Hour Meal Kit

13. Les Stroud – Survivorman – Jungle Machete

14. Escape Backpack

One additional item not shown:

15. Deluxe Hygiene Kit

 

This is one illustration of the items you could consider for your own Bug-Out bag. We also carry pre-made Bug-Out bags ready when you are. Depending on your location and situation, you may want to add or delete items suggested here.

Bear in mind, this pack has all the elements to last you longer than 72 hours, with the exception of the food items, and your ability to find a source of water.

What would you add or remove from yours?

 

 

Quick Tip | Add These To Your Bugout Bag

Travel much?

If you do, then why not take advantage of the additional shampoo, soap, lotion, mouthwash, shower cap, sewing kit, etc… and save them. They make excellent short term cleaning solutions to add to your bugout bag.

They are light-weight, small and easy to carry. Plus, they don’t take up much room and best of all they are FREE! (or, if you don’t travel, you can just buy trial size products at your local drug store)

I like to put them into small sandwich size ziplock bags and keep them in my various bugout bags and car kits.

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