Anyone who has a Facebook account has probably seen the photos of a Grocery-type store with almost bare shelves (except for untouched bottles of Capers – what are those things, anyway?) and a caption that explains that “These shelves were emptied in less than three hours by people desperate to stock-up due to the impending arrival of Hurricane Sandy.”

And, there are just as many photos with captions that shamelessly announce “ Ha ha ha ha ha – you called us “Preppers” crazy – now look who’s begging the Government for help and who isn’t?”

This is not the forum for that debate – but it does bring up one stark reality that is as true for any Disaster preparations as it is for preparing to survive a wilderness trek. And that reality is that in many ways – your survival is in YOUR hands, and if disaster strikes, your preparations may be all that allowed you to survive before “The Government” was able to assist you.

This is why it is so important to pay attention to what goes into your Survival kit. Because whether you are preparing a kit for a cross-country hike into a National Forest or getting ready for the next hurricane or earthquake-type disaster, you have got to take the conditions of the potential emergency into account.

I enjoy reading comments from people and talking to people who let us know that they are buying our products to enhance their existing kits, or are buying our kits with the intention of modifying them to suit their potential needs.

Best Glide A.S.E. Inc. makes some great kits, and using the ideas we put into our product selection, we believe our kits can be the cornerstone for our customers to build on. Many of the products we put in our Survival kits came from ideas we developed from personal experience or our customers’ feedback.

It is actually quite simple for anyone to come up with ideas to modify their existing Survival kit or Disaster Preparation kit. One way I did this was to simply lay out what I had in my personal Survival and Bug Out Bags (BOBs) and try to imagine what the conditions might be like were we (my immediate family) to be presented with the need to take action for ourselves in a wilderness or semi-urban emergency scenario.

For instance, take the climate you may find yourself in when the emergency hits. It may not be too cold when you left to drive the family to Grandmother’s house for Turkey Day, but it is pretty cold at night up there when you take the wrong cut-back road and run out of gas. Besides the extra jacket you keep in the trunk, wouldn’t some Emergency Space Blankets come in handy?

My favorite part of my home state is the Texas Hill Country. Several times a year, we try to break away to visit Fredericksburg and Kerrville (and Luckenbach of course – cold beer and some of the best music you will ever hear) area, and whether we go by truck or motorcycle – sometimes both, I always pack my Survival kit for the hottest and coldest weather. This means only a few extra items, but if I have the room, I take it.

I put a pullover thermal shirt into the bottom of my ALICE pack that I use for my main BOB, and one in the wife’s. Keeping your extremities warm is just as important, so an extra set of wool gloves (or their synthetic Gore-Tex equivalent) goes into each pack we take. And how expensive is a pair of wool socks? Each pack also has two Survival Blankets and either a Bivy cover or other ground-cloth item.

I stated in my previous blog that I triple-up on fire starting items. I always place a lot of emphasis on having a fire for the obvious reasons, but since I was a little kid on my first camp out I have always valued a camp fire for its psychological impact (as well as the whole water purification, cooking, and heat thing).

One last idea. When thinking of Water Purification we always think of the chemicals and other processes to kill the bugs in the water when we prepare if for drinking, but we don’t always think of how we are going to filter the crap (particulate matter) out of the water either before or after we boil or treat it. Why not place a few funnel-shaped coffee filters in your Survival and Bug Out Bags?

I would like anyone who reads this blog to email me and let me know the ways you have used our kits to supplement your own, or ways you have adapted our kits (or anyone;s for that matter) to suit either your needs or your preparedness. You can email me atpcarey@bestglide.com. With your permission, I may use your ideas (credited to you) in future blogs.

When we put our ideas together, we can come up with many ways we can help ourselves in the case of emergencies. Brainstorming leads to imaginative ideas, and in emergency situations, imagination is often the key to Survival.

I like that… “Imagination is the Key”. I’ll put that right next to:
"Fortuna favet præparaverat  -  Fortune Favors the Prepared!"