Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thoughts From a Reader in Florida

John, a reader in Florida, sent me his thoughts on  Bug Out, and brought up a couple of additional points that might be of use to others.  Here's what he had to say:

I especially like the fact that it is a “What and Where” rather than a “How” as there are many books that tell you how without enough “What” to make any sense. There is nothing I don’t like and only a few comments to make. The “where” part is the only case I know of where this has been addressed well enough to actually be of use. 

On page 4 you point out those who could leave ahead of Katrina escaped the worst of the immediate effects. This is true but could use some more points brought out. You have talked about carrying enough fuel but there are two other areas that need to be addressed; security and hygiene. 

Security is simple enough but needs to be considered- lock up, go prepared to defend yourself while helping others so they will be on your side, only stop to refuel where you can spot someone coming up to you, refuel where you can’t be clipped (accidentally or otherwise) by a driver passing by you, have a plan for what to do in any scenario and be ready to improvise according to changing conditions while keeping core goals in mind. Having a second pair of eyes and hands available is very helpful. This is all discussed everywhere in the literature because it is the fun part to fantasize about and the easy part to discuss.

Hygiene, however, is usually ignored. To illustrate- you are driving in bumper-to-bumper 30mph traffic, everyone around you is driving aggressively and seems really angry/scared/hot and crabby/just plain rude. What do you do for bathroom breaks?  A man, even traveling alone, can pee in a bottle without getting out of traffic (it is more difficult than it looks,  even in slow traffic, requiring turning partially onto your side if in bucket seats, while maintaining control of the vehicle).Stop and get out of traffic, never to get back in? Use the floor of your car? Travel astronaut style and wear adult diapers, or maybe use them as flexible bedpans and roll then up to place in a plastic bag until you can dump them? Most people don’t consider this situation.

Some people may not take advantage of your advice because they cannot envision any scenario where they would consider taking off and living in the wild. With that presented as a goal I might not either. What is not as readily apparent is the possibility starting out to evac. by vehicle and being unable to continue because the situation accelerates and overtakes you. If I leave Florida, bound for family in Missouri, I might have to complete the trip by a combination of hitch-hiking, walking and public transport. This is where your approach seems to me to be so valuable. I could be discreetly armed with a pistol for defense without offending or frightening people, with the .22 rifle disassembled in the pack while among others, and still adapt to hiking wild areas and living with wild game to supplement carried food. This adaptability is missing in most other approaches.

There are a couple of things I would like to add for your consideration to carry as listed in the appendix. First, if you are not familiar with it, I would recommend Sarna Skin Lotion (available as a store brand also at Walgreen’s) for basically any skin eruption condition. Rash, poison ivy, insect stings, anything that is not an open cut or deep burn. It is better at reducing the swelling and itching than anything else I have found. The second thing, in the field of hazard mitigation in the wild; in the Gulf Coast away from the salt water, fire ants have become a big enough problem in some areas to preclude using them for base areas to rest up. If you are always stirring up ant hills you will not rest well. I discovered this working as a Scout Master for B.S.A. What I have done is taken to carrying a container of Spectracide or other bait-type fire ant killer. If I stay in one area more than 24 hours it is worth the trouble to poison the hills I come across. It only takes a tiny pinch for each hill as you only need to poison the queen and the rest die, usually overnight. The workers carry the poison in to her as food so you don’t want to disturb the hill and take the chance of getting swarmed.

As I said this is not criticism. I really wish someone had written something like this a generation ago.

                     Grateful for the chance to contribute my thoughts.

I appreciate any and all such feedback, and welcome your contributions of additional material that I may not have thought of or had room to include in the book.  Also, many thanks to those of you who have posted reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.  If you're a member of any survival forums, or related gun forums or other discussion groups that sometimes bring up the subject of bugging out, please let your fellow members know about the book.  Thanks to all the interest, last time I checked, Bug Out was steadily moving up in the sales ranks at Amazon, and was at #3 in it's category (disaster relief) and #38 in "current events."  

1 comment:

  1. John's comment concerning hygiene is a very important one. I always carry a small "ditty kit" in my bug out bag, there is nothing worst than being stuck in the middle of no where without a few bathroom items. A tooth brush, some deodorant and TP can go a long ways in improving your situation.


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