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 Ten Minutes

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Join date : 2011-06-30
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PostSubject: Ten Minutes   Ten Minutes EmptyFri Aug 10, 2018 10:17 am

please evacuate immediately

I was reading an article in last month's Backwoodsman magazine, which was a reprint of a Popular Mechanics article from the late 50s / early 60s, in which a PM editor posed a challenge to one of the contributing authors: inbound nuclear missiles have been detected, you have ten minutes to get your family together and any items you may need to survive for an extended and unknown period of time, and then to get out of the house and on the road.

This got me to thinking: are we (me and the family) able to get out in ten minutes and survive somewhere if we have to?

The article poses a pretty realistic challenge, and it fit the time of the threat of nuclear war. But now? While nations still have their arsenal, the threat of a strike is improbable. So then I began to think of things that could happen now that would require us to leave, and there are only two I can think of: a train car derailment, spilling chemicals; and the High Falls Dam breaking. The same could probably be said for those who live in the Marinette area... with Chem Design having deliveries made by rail and by tanker, it isn't too impossible a consideration. But then again, we really wouldn't need to bug out and survive somewhere; shack up in a hotel room or with friends.

So, forgetting the scenario, let's go back to the original premise: can you and yours survive after having ten minutes of prep time? What would you grab?


I'd like to think that I'm pretty prepared, at least mentally. I've got survival and homesteading books, medicinal guides, tools and basic knowledge from said books and watching shows like Survivorman; no working experience, though. And while I've often thought about putting together a bug out bag, I've never really taken things to the next step (of assembling one). So what would I bring? And could we survive an undefined amount of time if need be?

With having no warning, and with the family members having no idea what to do or prepare for, they would need to have direction. Not using names here because, even though we all know who I'm talking about, there might still be a chance of someone unknown seeing these in the future.

1. The boy - I'd put the boy in charge of grabbing canned goods and the cast iron frying pans (they're right by the canned goods), and once he has that loaded into the vehicle, to grab the fishing gear, tarps, and gas can out of the garage. Canned goods is easy, just scoop and slide into a rubbermaid bin (or even one of the coolers on wheels); fishing gear is all in one area; he'll have to spin around to see the other stuff, but they're all clearly out in the open.

2. The wife - Put her in charge of grabbing blankets; batteries, candles, flashlights; garbage bags, and clearing the medicine cabinet. This too is easy enough, as she has a stash of blankets and sleeping bags readily accessible; with one of the garbage bags, she could swipe everything from the medicine cabinet into one... this includes basics like band aids, wraps, hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, as well as bar soap, hand sanitizer, shampoo, and razor blades. Oh, and since it's right there, toilet paper. Batteries, flashlights and candles are also all in one area, between the blankets and the garbage bags.

3. Me - grab the guns, ammo, and multitool knives as well as the survival, homesteading and medicinal books (these are all in the basement), and the stack of clear plastic containers with lids (the kind that hold beef jerky and beef sticks), turn off the main breaker... maybe grab the deck of cards and/or a boardgame or two; shovel, saws, maul, hatchet, machete and laundry line / rope (garage). Also from the garage I'd grab the barbecue starter fluid and lighter.

If there is still time, have everyone run back in and grab socks, sweat clothes, whatever extra clothing you can grab without bogging things down, extra shoes (would prefer boots) and jackets/coats. Again, easy enough; grab your stuff, and the extra shoes/boots and jackets/coats are all right by the house door so those can be grabbed on the way out.

This may all sound like a jumbled mess, but here's my reasoning. The boy and I head downstairs; he grabs a Rubbermaid bin or two, and heads back up while I begin to grab my stuff from the basement. While we do this, the wife heads to the master bedroom closet where all the blankets and sleeping bags are. We are all out of each other's way. As the boy raids the pantry (one end of the house with its own door to the outside), I'm raiding the basement (also with its own door to the outside), the wife is working in the middle of the house; we're still all out of each other's way. When the boy and I are in the garage, the stuff he's getting is one one side, my stuff the other; by then, the wife should be clearing out the medicine cabinet. The only chaos that may happen is when we go back to grab clothes.

But regardless, everyone is out of each other's way, and with giving everyone their own specific goals, they won't have time to think.

**There are some minor things that could be grabbed along with this list, but it's one of those if it isn't thought of or seen, it might not be taken. Tent spikes, crafting wire, milk jugs, manual power generator (for recharging things), sewing kit, barbecue grate, roll of window screen, wire coat hangers, paracord, all of these would prove useful... but would they be grabbed?**

All of the stuff listed could be tossed into the wife's Trailblazer, with room for the three of us. If we do land up taking this vehicle, with I would also try to grab either my cabin tent (7' by 20') or the dome tent (7')... we have the tarps, this would just be a backup. But, I do have the Doghouse; a 21' cutaway van that I've converted into a camper. It's already equipped with two beds and a couch, has three portable battery packs, AA and AAA batteries (and lights), a first aid kit, air mattresses, a hammock, pans, utensils and plates/bowls/cups. Taking that would be ideal, as we've got the shelter, ample storage, and the means to travel to a new location if need be. However, if we didn't have that, we got the Trailblazer, and that'll work wonderfully.

Now that I've taken a moment to look things over, is this really surviving? Well, yeah, it is... it just looks weird that we'd be able to do all this in ten minutes. We can do all this, it's just... *shrugs*. I don't know. Maybe it's because I have given this thought before, and have taken steps to be ready as a just-in-case. I suppose the real question then would have to be posed to the wife and boy: you have ten minutes to grab stuff to survive, get out of the house, and go; your time starts NOW. What would they grab? What would their list be like?

What would you do?

Even here at work, I'm ready. Just around my desk I've got a coat, extra change of clothing, winter boots, a couple knives, razors, binder clips, a flashlight, two umbrellas, band aids, a cooking pan, plenty of hand sanitizer, bar soap, small empty garbage bags. Not around my desk, but still easily accessible: first aid kits, utensils, more knives, plates/bowls/cups, full sized plastic garbage bags, ziplock bags, disinfectant wipes. dish soap, more batteries, and tools galore. My car has tools, a survival knife or two, a rain coat, a shovel, and a water jug. This isn't intentional, it's simply a matter of looking around, taking inventory, and thinking of how something can be used.


Anyway, planning ahead is one thing; doing it is another. It's easy to sit here and go "yeah, I got this"... but do I? Do we? I may have it planned, I may have brushed up on skills (or at least learned of them), so I have an understanding, but what of the wife and boy? I already know she's going to panic. Oh, she won't be running around all crazy-like. She'll be freaking out though; she doesn't like surprises or change, and this will definitely flip her sensibilities (you should have seen her when we packed for trips... dear gawd... and that was weeks, months of advanced knowledge). I hate to say this, but she's going to be the difficult one in a survival situation: she wants and needs some semblance of control. The boy will be hard as well, but not as difficult: he's a blank slate. He'll need to be told what to do, he'll need direction. The wife, in a crisis like this, I believe I can tell her "okay, I need you to do X, Y, Z." With the boy, it's going to be more like "I want you to do X. Okay, I need you to do Y. No, you do it like this. No, look, let me show you."

I'm definitely getting way off subject here. I just wanted this opening post to be about having ten minutes, so I'll leave things at that. Think about it though. What would you do? Can you and your family do it... plan an escape and survive with a ten minute window?
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PostSubject: Re: Ten Minutes   Ten Minutes EmptyFri Aug 10, 2018 11:05 am

why I chose what I chose

From the boy's section

Canned goods - These will stay at room or outdoor temperatures for years, and will make a nice variety if hunting and gathering is scarce. I did not chose a can opener because all multitool knives have that feature, not to mention that you can also open a can by rubbing the sealed end on a brick or rock (which erodes the sealed/folded rim), thus opening the can. Pretty sneaky!

Cast iron pans - those can be used directly over a fire, and they won't burn through. A standard kitchen pan has plastic handles and is constructed of thin metal, usually aluminum, which will burn through if it gets too hot.

Fishing gear - besides for fishing, the line can be used for snares and the hooks for whatever. Plus, I have a couple knives in the tackle box.

Tarps - Can be used to make tents, wind breaks, rain shelters, trap rain water.

Gas can - It holds gas. Has about 5 gallons right now. To refuel the vehicle, or to provide a start for a fire.

From the wife

Blankets - without knowing the duration of the stay, we may need blankets for warmth, insulation of the tent or vehicle, or as a sleeping area.

Batteries, candles, flashlights - Batteries for the lights, as well as to make a fire. Candles for light. Flashlights for light (duh) and for starting fires. How? Method one: break the bulb but not the filament; gently hold the flashlight against something flammable; turn on. Only works once though. Method two, if you have the kind with the cone reflector: place burnable within the cone reflector; angle towards sunlight; sunlight will concentrate at the center (where your bundle is); flame on! Some flahlights can also act as a waterproof housing.

Garbage bags - storage, totes. Ponchos. Cut apart to make a shelter. Stuff with leaves for insulation or a sleeping pad. Rain water. Think of it as a tarp, but fragile.

Medicine cabinet items - For medicines and grooming / cleaning supplies.

My list

Firearms and ammo - Hunting, plain and simple.

Multitools - Can opener, knife, saw blade, punch, screwdrivers, pliers... a must have in any situation. Heck, I've got one of those survival cards in my wallet, and that has a can opener, knife edge, flathead screwdriver, saw blade (and a couple useless features).

Books - To look up information, a mental backup. It'll also give those who might not be knowledgeable a resource to go to.

Plastic containers - besides acting as storage, you fill one with water you collected from a stream or something. Have it sit in the sunlight for the day; the sun's UV rays have just killed any bacteria that were in it. Seriously. That's why it has to be clear; colored containers block the rays.

Cards and Games - Covered it briefly in the opening post: distraction and entertainment. That's it. If your mind begins to get overwhelmed, you've already lost.

Shovel, saw, maul, hatchet, machete - At some point, you may need to build a shelter or gather firewood, or dig a latrine, or clear an area, or or or. You can also use them to clean an animal.

Line - For the construction of a tent, for hanging clothes; cut a small piece, separate every fiber and use it for starting a fire, pulling down saplings. It isn't needed, but it'll certainly make things easier.

Starter fluid and lighter - For making fires. Again, isn't needed, but will make things easier. Should probably be used as a last resort though. You do not want to be caught in the rain or freezing cold without a quick means to building a fire.


Shoes and boots - dry feet are essential to a healthy body; comfortable shoes reduce the chance of getting blisters; boots in case of harsh weather. Shoe laces can be used to make a bow drill (for fires).

Clothing items - self explanatory.

Items that could be grabbed

Tent spikes - for the tent, perhaps in grounding snares. I have both the plastic ones and the big metal "looks like a nail" ones. Could prove useful.

Crafting wire - Snares and lashing / binding

Milk jugs - water storage

Sewing kit - sutures as well as patching up clothes. There's nylon thread in there too, so maybe a fishing line backup?

Grate - could just cook on rocks; the grate will help keep the pans out of the fire. One of those things where it's not needed but...

Window screen. I know, this one sounds silly. but it can be used for netting. Not for bugs, but for fish: make a fish trap.

Wire coat hangers - for the wire. Lashings, tent set up, snares, cooking.

paracord - same use as the laundry line

Manual hand crank generators - to recharge batteries. I have a small handheld one that can be used to recharge a phone or rechargeable AA and AAA batteries; I also have a peddle one that can be used to recharge one of the portable battery packs.
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