A 4' x 4' sheet of 8 mil clear plastic sheeting...can be used for collecting water. Stack up rocks at 4 corners up to about a foot tall, then a rock holding a corner of the plastic sheeting at each of these stacks. Dig a hole under the sheeting about a foot deep, right below the middle, and place a container. Now place a rock on the top, middle of this sheet. Condensation will form on the underneath of the plastic, and will drip down into the container, giving you clean water to drink.
In your bug out bag....Don't forget to pack a short length of garden hose for draining drinking water from hot water heaters.
If you have bought cheap folding knives before, and say the handle has broken, or the rivet that holds the blade in place has broken, or whatever may have happened, save the blades.
A blade could be tied into a long stick and made into a spear, or you could manufacture your own handles out of antlers or hardwood, and make them a fixed blade knife. Even cheaply made SS knives can be used for other purposes. Plant them in the ground, points up, like pointy stick battlements and I would gaurantee that anyone stepping onto these are less likely to continue their rush upon your property in an attack.
Small blades could also be attached to home made arrows, for hunting or defense. Any loose blade in a time of survival could also be a trade item, with or without a handle.
Also, as a trade item, if you see cheap grab bags of knives, buy them up, and keep them as a tradeable item. This way you will still keep all the good knives for yourself, but have a valuable trading item in a time of need.
When the time for true survival comes, there will be many items that others will want, or need, in order to survive themselves. Items like food, clean water, ammo, knives, clothing, blankets, camping gear, guns, even information can all be traded. As the days pass in a survival event, one will have to know what is more important. If there is no electricity, or incoming supplies, then trying to trade a flashlight for food will bring dire consequences for yourself, unless that flashlight is a shake flashlight, or a dynamo crank flashlight, one that doesn't require batteries to operate. These are things in which the values will constantly be changing, and people will have to be alot more compromising about this and not get stuck on a certain value.
Solar Oven/Cooker...unless you have in your possession a vast supply of propane, natural gas, wood or charcoal briquets, a solar oven can be purchased for a fair bit of money, be small enough to travel with, and can be used anywhere outdoors, in any inclement weather, as long as there is sunlight. There could be 8' of snow on the ground, but if it's a sunny day, you could still cook anything to your hearts content, all without smoke. Here's a site that sells this type of portable solar cooker> http://kensolar.com/tek9.asp?pg=products&specific=jnopoqj0
Another real handy item to have around is black powder. Even a 1 lb. can in your bug-out bag can be used from everything from starting stubborn fires to signal flares. Just a pinch in a bleeding wound, lit, will cauterize it, for example. Modern smokeless powder from a cartridge will too, but it is slower burning. Black powder is very fast-burning to the point of explosiveness and takes much less pressure to react with optimum effect.
7.62 & .50 ammo can "Seals" and how to keep them at their best. I use vaseline to coat the seal to keep it from drying out. DO NOT use Armor-All to do this, as it wears out over time, but vaseline will be there for years and makes it more pliable enhancing the airtight seal.
Another great product that I have found on the market that rocks for creating extra space in your BOB's are items called "Space Bags". These are those bags you see advertised on TV from time to time, where you load clothes into them, zip em up, and suction out all the air with a standard vaccume cleaner. If you really want to pack your BOB bags as effeciently as possible, maximizing your space, then I highly reccomend these bags. The company has also created a new line, which doesn't require a vaccume device to suck out the air. Instead, all you do is roll these bags up after loading & sealing them, and by rolling them, this pushes the air out thru the bag's one way valve. Here's the factory's website for any of those interested in saving some much needed space... https://www.spacebag.com/spacebag
When you order factory direct, they always throw in extra bags as an incentive for return customers.
These bags when sealed are waterproof, moth and bug proof, and can also be used in packing away more than just clothes. By removing all the air, your ammo and other gear will remain rust/oxidation free for years. I love em, because you can pack the crap outta them, and when you suck out all the air, the bag is flatter than a pancake, and makes them easily stackable. Don't take my word for it tho, try one out and see for yourself! By using these bags, even the smallest vehicle could be packed with tons of clothes and blankets while still leaving room for all your other gear.
Make SURE that in your "BO" package that you have a State "Atlas & Gazeteer" for each State or States YOU will be traveling through. These can be found at China-Mart and better book stores. These "Atlas & Gazateer's" include topographic maps of the ENTIRE STATE, broken down into "Grids". It will show even the dirt/mud trails and all unpaved roads. I get one if I go to a State I have never been to before. I have a small library of these.
Food Dehydrators coupled with vaccume food sealing machines that use those special food storage bags are a great way to increase food storage capabilities and make for excellent extended shelf lifes.
Start dehydrating meat into jerky, however spiced you want it or not, and seal in these bags that remove all oxygen. Once this is done, you have a meat product that has an extremely long shelf life, if stored in a cool area. The same can be done with all kinds of fruits and veggies. Once you have alot of bags filled with dehydrated food: meat, veggies and fruits, make use of a Storage Torpedo.
Canned food has a good shelf life granted, but to me, canned food also has two bad side affects, one is the fact that weight becomes a major issue. A person bugging out on foot can carry way more food, if it's dehydrated and packed in heavy plastic bags, than a person trying to carry out canned food. Another issue I have with canned food is the fact of how much more space canned food takes up. Granted, all those round cans can be stacked up very well, but just look at all the space that is wasted between all those cans. If a person is able to stay in one place without having to bug-out, then by all means, stick with canned food. If you think you will ever need to have to bug-out in order to survive, try food dehydration and vaccume food sealing techniques.
There is no reason in the world that would stop anyone from dehydrating their own food these days, since there are many companies that sell these machines for a small measure of money.
Here are some websites which offer food dehydrators that are cost effective..... http://dehydrators.livingright.com/item284.Miracle-Dehydrator-ME972.html http://www.sausagemaker.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=209 http://www.everythingkitchens.com/americanharvest2.html#fd-35 http://www.cabelas.com/ssubcat-1/cat570005.shtml
As you can see, there are many models available to choose from. Now, check out below for some Vaccume Food Sealer machines..... http://www.thecateringchef.net/vacuum-food-sealers-rival-seal-a-meal-sealer-t
... http://www.jardenstore.com/product.aspx?bid=18&pid=2479 http://www.stacksandstacks.com/html/6940_food-vacuum-elite.htm
This is just to show a few as there are many more sites out there.
These two machines used together in conjunction with one another will help anyone to achieve manufacturing their own long shelf life food, without having to buy it from other places. Making it yourself will save you a ton of money in the long run. By vaccume sealing your food, you will remove all oxygen from the bag which is what causes food to go bad. With these special vaccume sealed bags, you can also seal your food into rationing portions very easily, so that you can save the rest later without causing food spoilage or allowing insects and other vermin access to your food.
If you want to create a stew with dehydrated foods, all one has to do is add water, and heat it all up over a fire.
Native Food 101,
Another thing to pick up is a book that covers edible plants, lichens, mushrooms, roots, nuts and berries that grow in the wild, within your area of residence. A guidebook like this can normally be found at your local Conservationist/Wildlife Agency, and if not there, they can at least point you in the right direction in order to obtain such a guide.
One must never forget, that before the Pilgrims got here, that the Native Tribes had always been gathering edible plants, roots, lichens, mushrooms, nuts and berries since time began. They are everywhere, even in the deserts, albeit different species. All one has to do is look for them.
For instance, did you know that the leaves of the Poke Plant are edible? Boil them up with a touch of salt, and they are really quite good (better than spinach IMHO). Just do not eat the berries, stalk, or roots of this plant, as it will make you extremely sick. Only the leaves are edible. Prickly Pear Cactus can be eaten. After peeling off the outer skin, fry em up, and add some spices if ya like.
Another thing that people who are trying to survive must think about, is other forms of wildlife that can be eaten, besides deer, turkeys, quail, etc... What I mean by this, is that rattlesnake steak is quite good. So is turtle soup. Frog Legs fried up is another such game that most people just don't think about as being edible, along with crayfish. Don't forget about other species of birds, like crow, dove, and even the lowly pigeon. Don't forget about fishing. We have it good in these here States of the Union, with the fact of how many freshwater lakes and streams we have all over the Country. Even some ponds are well stocked.
There is enough food out in nature for all to survive on, if one just opens their mind to the possibilities and learn about what to look for, and where to look for it, and how to gather it.
Smoked meats and fish will also last for quite a while longer.
This is how the Native Americans treated their foods in order to make them last thru the winter months. There are books abound that talk about this practice.