I climb upon my “soap box” and scream “ENOUGH!” We don’t see enough, but can we have “enough?”
What we do not see in Range Bags: tools, the right tools for the weapons and mechanical items contained therein (site adjustment tool, break-down kits, D.O.P.E Cards – Not that kind of Dope, Data On Personal Equipment cards!). All these tools and a cleaning kit . Planning on what people are going to the range for other than pushing rounds down range (which is fine if that is all they are planning). I see people trying to sight in weapons with no dope sheets or without the instruction on the sight; people running different grain rounds within a magazine, or even different grains in different magazines when they are scoping in a weapon. No First aid kit. My last three trips to the range and I saw no one with a first aid kit, with 50 shooting positions occupied (Saturday mornings).
I see this because I abhor inefficiency, so like the person who is annoyed by a barking dog because they are not a dog person, I am annoyed by inefficiency. Don’t get me wrong, I love pushing things down range just because, once the sights and all else are working. And I love dogs, not so much cats as they are natures definition of inefficiency, but that is an opinion based on my personal preferences 😉 BTW, the “just because” has a purpose because practice makes better (only in the movies does it make perfect.) Bottom line, goals are important and planning is always rewarded.
When do most injuries occur because of a natural disaster like a hurricane or earthquake? The first 24 hours after the storm. Why? Because we prepare for “the storm” more than “the aftermath” which is always longer and has many more components to it. Looters, downed power lines, animals, ruptured utility systems, broken infrastructure, uncontrolled fires, contaminated supplies, panic, no information, no situation awareness. In earthquake California, we build houses on mountainsides held up with stilts, you know, the ones you see on the news sliding down a hill side in a rain storm that would be considered “high humidity” in most other parts of the country. In New Orleans, we build houses across from dikes almost 30 feet high, making the homes 30 feet below sea level, in a hurricane zone, in what was once a swamp. Yes, I understand all the economic and political considerations compounded by population density, and on and on, but still.
Bug-Out Bags: Enough, we never see “enough” bug out gear – enough water, MEDICAL supplies, food and clothes and ammo. Since you don’t know the duration of the emergency only common sense and personal experience of your needs can be applied to solve this, your SWAG (Scientific Wild-Assed Guess.) Tools to support what you did bring; tools to help you live for the x days if the rule of law fades or disappears. PLANS, a purpose, a destination, an alternate and a way back. A portable Ham Radio, rechargeable batteries and rechargers and a solar way to recharge them, flashlights, more than one knife, a saw, a shovel, paracord, alternative shelter, foul-weather gear, water purification, a second good medical kit . I know, it is starting to sound like a fully stocked motor home may be too small to carry everything. Reality is that may be true, so we plan, project and hope.
You know mobile phones are only “cellular” to the nearest cell tower, right? While some of these may use microwave to further transmit the signal, it is good for one or two hops before the call is routed through existing land-lines. Not knowing things such as this may kill you, end your plans or just push you further down the food chain, none of which is a plus.
There are articles ad nauseum as to how many millions of rounds of ammo you MUST have, how many millions of gallons of potable water, and just about everything else. I do not dispute any of them but propose that having a staged plan helps us all with these. For a range and bug-out bag (these should be a matched-set and never far apart, like you and your dog when you are cooking in the kitchen.) I carry 3-days’ worth of supplies. I also have my 3-days “past due” plan – where I go on day three and what I stockpiled there. If I am home and home is safe still, fine. But everyone should have an alternative location planned, restock their matched-luggage set and be ready to move out again if required.
As I put the final edits on this post sabers are rattling around the world, some very big ones, so keep those bags close as the view from the soap box can be scary at times. Climbing down now.