Emergency Prep

Ready Packs

I’ve spent some time in recent months gabbing with my friends, old army buddies for the most part, about ‘what if’. What if (pardon the expression) the shit hits the fan? TEOTWAWKI The End Of The World As We Know It. The total collapse of our economy. Invasion by foreign enemies. Revolution. Natural Disaster: Earthquake, Flood, Hurricane, Tornado, or ManMade Disaster.

Those are huge IFs and huge IFs are hard to plan for all at once. The best way to go about being ready is to break the BIG things into SMALL things that are more specific and more easily prepped.

I’ve found a couple really awesome websites that touch on all the different parts of Emergency/Disaster preparedness and listed them below. Take some time and browse through them. I have yet to get through a whole page without finding something I didn’t know or something I hadn’t even considered. You can’t have too much information. The day may never come when there’s no grocery store. But if it does do you want to starve?


I’ve been following this blog for a while now and there is literally more info there than I know what to do with. Complete with sources, references, links & common sense. Everything from food storage to first aid.


Survival Blog.com

Surviving What, You Ask? (A Statement of Purpose)

The purpose of this Blog is to inform and motivate readers to take steps that will help prepare themselves and their families. Survival is not just about guns, groceries and gadgets.


My buddies and I’ve spent time talking about guns, ammo storage, reloading, hunting, fishing, camping, etc. I’m not going into all of that .. there’s no shortage of that on the internet. But one thing we seemed to revisit fairly often was the Ready-Pack, or bug out bag if you prefer. The bag you keep packed, ready to go on a moments notice if the warning sirens go off.

In theory, you grab your bag and go. Anyone who’s ever been on-call knows what I’m talking about. But there are always variables. For how long? At least over night and probably 3-5 days at a minimum. Obviously you can’t keep a bag of perishables by the door, so you’ll have to grab some other items in addition to the Ready Pack. Additionally, common sense tells us the climate and season will have an impact, but the question remains: what exactly should be in a Ready Pack?

Here’s a list from the Search and Rescue people


Copyright, National Association for Search and Rescue. May be reproduced, but not sold.

The following equipment is commonly compiled to form what is referred to as a “24-hour ready pack for a SARTECH I / SAR CREWLEADER III”. Such a pack holds those items that would assist the holder in functioning safely, effectively, and efficiently during a SAR incident as a SARTECH I / SAR CREWLEADER III. Some items may be carried on a belt, in pockets, or strapped to the person. This equipment is recommended as the minimum amount to be carried on all missions in non-urban or wilderness areas. Your local equipment requirements may vary. Consult a physician for recommendations about analgesics and other drugs you may carry in the SAR pack.

Personal/Crew First Aid and Survival Kit

  • 1 – Plastic bag, zip lock, qt. size, for kit
  • 10 – Acetaminophen or aspirin tablets
  • 10 – Antacid tablets
  • 10 – Antihistamine, 25mg Benadryl
  • 6 – Antiseptic cleansing pads
  • 1 – Antiseptic ointment (tube)
  • 6 – Band-Aids, various sizes
  • 1 – Candle, long burning
  • 4 – Cotton swabs, non sterile
  • 1 – Duct tape, 5-10 ft.
  • 2 – Pair of latex gloves
  • 2 – Leaf bags, large
  • 16 -Matches in waterproof container
  • 1 – Moleskin
  • 2 – Quarters, for phone call
  • 1 – Razor blade, single edge safety type
  • 4 – Roller gauze bandage
  • 4 – Safety pins, large
  • 1 – Scissors, multi-purpose
  • 1 – Space type blanket or sleeping bag
  • 1 – Splinter forceps, tweezers
  • 4 – Sterile dressings (4×4 gauze pads)
  • 2 – Towelette, clean
  • 10 – Water purification tabs in sealed container or commercially approved purification device
  • 1 – Whistle

(Though most of these items are also required in the SARTECH II 24-hour ready pack, some quantities are higher in this list as Crewleader is expected to accommodate crew members.)

Personal/Crew SAR Equipment

  • 1 – Pack, adequate to carry required equipment
  • 4 – Bags, various sizes, zip lock
  • 1 – Bandanna, handkerchief
  • 1 – Cap or other headgear
  • 2 – Carabiners, locking gate
  • 1 – Clothes bag, waterproof
  • 1 – Clothing, adequate for climate
  • 1 – Clothing, extra set, suitable for climate
  • 1 – Compass, orienteering
  • 2 – Extra leaf bags
  • 2 – Flagging tape, roll
  • 1 – Flashlight or lantern
  • 1 – Flashlight extra, extra batteries and bulb
  • 1 – Footwear, sturdy, adequate for climate
  • 1 – Grid reader (UTM)
  • 1 – Gloves, leather palm
  • 2 – ICS 214 forms
  • 1 – Insect repellent
  • 1 – Knife, multi-purpose
  • 1 – Lip balm, with sunscreen
  • 1 – Measuring device, 18 in. minimum
  • 1 – Metal cup or pot
  • 1 – Mirror, small
  • 1 – Nylon twine or small rope, 50 feet
  • 1 – Pace counter
  • 1 – Pad and pencil
  • 2 – Prusik cords (6mm – 8mm; 6 ft. length)
  • 1 – Rainwear, durable
  • 1 – SAR personal identification
  • 1 – Safety rope 75 ft. (one rescuer lifeline/ NFPA)
  • 1 – Shelter material, 8×10 plastic or coated nylon
  • 1 – Sterno or stove
  • 1 – Socks, extra pair
  • 1 – Sunscreen lotion
  • 1 – Tissue paper or baby wipes
  • 1 – Tracking stick, 42″ long
  • 1 – Watch
  • 2 – Water containers, at least liter size
  • 1 – Webbing, 1” tubular, length suitable for harness
  • 1 – Wire, 5-10 ft., 14 gauge steel

Optional Personal Support Equipment not required, but recommended

  • 1 – Altimeter
  • 1 – Binoculars
  • 1 – Foam pad
  • 2 – Food, nonperishable
  • 1 – Gaiters
  • 1 – Goggles, clear
  • 1 – Rain cover, pack
  • 1 – Sun glasses, 97% UV protection
  • 1 – Trail snacks
  • 1 – Protractor
  • 1- Hand held GPS (SAR appropriate) with 2 sets of extra batteries

Search and Rescue, (and any other rapid response team) depending on where you live and respond, will probably be more focused on communications and first aid than the average Joe.


This is a generic list from REI. Follow the link below and you can see checklists tailored for cold weather, hiking, boating or climbing. All kinds of good info.

My experiences in their store have been better than at most retailers. Their employees, for the most part, have that extra bit of product familiarity the average salesperson doesn’t.

Adventure Travel Checklist


(not every person will need every item on this list)

  • Passport
  • Photocopy of first page of passport
  • Entry visa (or required paperwork)
  • Other photo ID
  • Currency (valid at destination)
  • Trip itinerary
  • Flight confirmation
  • Hotel confirmation
  • Int’l health card w/immunizations
  • List of key phone numbers


  • Travel pack
  • Duffel (or soft-sided suitcase)
  • Day pack or waist pack
  • Neck pouch (for passport)
  • Money belt
  • Camera bag(s)
  • Dry bag (for wet clothes)
  • Internal organizers
  • Stuff sacks
  • Resealable plastic bags
  • Luggage locks (TSA approved)
  • Luggage tags (2 per bag)


(base choices on trip length and possible weather extremes)

  • Wicking T-shirt
  • Wicking underwear
  • Quick-drying pants/shorts
  • Short-sleeve shirt(s)
  • Long-sleeve shirt (for sun, bugs)
  • Sun-shielding hat
  • Fleece or wool hat
  • Bandana or buff
  • Swimsuit
  • Waterproof/breathable rain jacket and pants
  • Insulating jacket or vest (and pants)
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Clothing for evening
  • Hiking footwear; walking shoes; sandals
  • Hiking/walking socks, wool or synthetic; 2+ pairs
  • Liner socks

Travel Gear

  • Travel alarm clock
  • Water bottles
  • Water-treatment system
  • GPS/personal navigator
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Binoculars
  • Battery charger
  • Extra batteries
  • Electrical outlet converter
  • Knife or multi-tool (in checked luggage)
  • Camera
  • Memory cards or film
  • Book/novel
  • Interpretive field/historical guides(s)
  • Language phrasebook
  • Music player w/headphones
  • Journal/sketchbook w/pen or pencils
  • Quick-dry travel towel
  • Sleep sheet (sleeping bag liner)
  • Travel pillow

Personal Items

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellent
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Alcohol or antiseptic wipes
  • Spare eyeglasses/contact lenses
  • First-aid kit (see our first-aid checklist)
  • Prescription medications
  • Toothbrush, toiletry kit
  • Cosmetics
  • Brush/comb
  • Eyeshades; earplugs


Here’s another Hiking pack list that can be easily adapted for a Ready Pack. Trader’s Creek is another site full of good info.  Go visit and poke around.

Expanded Hiking Check ListTrader’s Creek


* Boots
* Socks
* Gaiters
* Lightweight long underwear
* Wool or synthetic sweater
* Trousers
* Underwear
* Shorts, T-shirt, and light, long sleeve shirt
* Effective insulation layers
* Rain/wind gear
* Watch cap, appropriate headwear
* Mittens or gloves
* Camp shoes or sneakers
* Bathing suit


* Toothbrush
* Comb
* Bandana
* Small Towel
* Toilet paper
* Plastic towel
* Money
* Sewing kit
* Soap
* Hand sanitizer
* Personal hygiene supplies
* Razor


* Notebook and pencil
* Camera and film
* Licenses and permits
* Field books
* Binoculars
* Candles
* Lantern – spare fuel & mantles
* Reading material
* Playing cards
* Hunting/Fishing equip.
* Walking Staff
* Flashlight & batteries & spare bulbs
* Headlamp
* Water treatment/purifier
* Extra prescription glasses
* Sunglasses
* String & Rope

First Aid

* Allergy medication
* Sunscreen
* Bug Repellent
* Citronella Candle, etc.
* Tylenol, Advil, Aspirin
* Tums
* Antibiotics creams
* Tweezers for splinters & ticks
* Antiseptic, bandaids and bandages
* First Aid Kit (may include all the above items)
* Benadryl Sinus Tablets
* Allergy Eye drops
* Pocket Tissues
* Moist Towelettes
* Extra weeks supply of any Prescriptions
* Lip balm
* Snake bite kit

Safety and Emergency

* Maps of the area
* Radio
* Compass
* Pocket knife
* Signal mirror
* Small shovel
* Whistle
* Water treatment/purification


* External frame pack
* Internal frame pack
* Day pack
* Hip pack
* Belt pouch
* Stuff sacks


* Matches or lighter
* Stove and fuel
* Cooking grate
* Cook pots and utensils
* Cup
* Food
* Camp axe & hammer

Eating Utensils

* Food tubes
* Sealed containers
* Aluminum foil
* Biodegradable soap
* Water mixes
* Large stuff sack


* Tent
* Bivouac Sack
* Tarp
* Small sponge
* Extra tie-down cord
* Seam Sealer


* Sleeping bag
* Sleeping pad
* Ground sheet
* Sleeping bag liner
* Pillow
* Space blanket

Please note that this checklist is for your reference. You may need to alter it for your application. Food suggestions are based on our personal tastes and what we have found to be convenient.


Here’s a prep list from Glenn @ Ballseye’s Boomers

He includes essential stuff for your car.


Obviously you can’t carry everything I’ve listed, at least not far. But at some point we all need to sit down and consider exactly what’s ESSENTIAL and what’s not. Luxuries tend to get heavy.

I think each item falls into 1 of 4 categories

1-perishable: water, medicine, food. I’d keep this stuff stocked in the home and note the expiration dates. This way I can rotate things out before they expire and still ensure a good supply on hand.

2-seasonal: clothes, sleepingbag. These items will need to get added or removed as the weather changes.

3-dependents: dog food, diapers, leash. Pets and babies can’t pack their own stuff.

4-everything else: rope/cord, fish hooks, knife, compass etc. This stuff gets packed, inventoried and left alone. As long as each item is packed properly it should always be ready when you need it.

You may want to also make sure you have copies of important documents.


The important thing is to be aware of the world around you and be pro-active. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

  1. What a fine compilation. Thank you sir.

  2. In theory, you grab your bag and go.

    Not so much. Better prep for survival is to be able to survive in place. I wrote a little piece on this a while back, referencing some guys who really put a lot of thought into surviving.

  3. There is prep for emergency evac and there is prepared living or holing up. The folks over at alpharubicon have some really awesome info but they are doing lifestyle preparedness and independent living solutions. I grew up in tornado country and I don’t currently own a place of my own; so I tend to think in terms of being forced to flee the stronghold. I actually caught some of their air time a while back and I agree with them for the most part. However, I find that they have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to bugging out. I don’t think one can rely on the bug out bag as the solution to every emergency but rather as a necessary component of an overall prepared lifestyle. e.g. a year’s worth of food 3 feet under water isn’t a year’s worth of food anymore. There is no way to know where the emergency will occur, being prepped to move only seems logical. A-R shoots down the idea but I present BoB’s as a place to start for those folks taking their first steps toward lifestyle change and independence/self-sufficiency and away from social dependence.

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