TPE Release – Version 4

The fourth version of The Preparedness Encyclopedia has been released! You can find it at my website via the link below.
Download TPE Here

If you’re not sure what it’s all about, I developed a one sentence elevator pitch of its purpose:

“The Preparedness Encyclopedia is a comprehensive and portable collection of crucial information designed exclusively to assist in your survival from any catastrophe that may arise and to assist in the rebuilding of society afterwards.”

The guide is constrained to a size limit of 100mb but it’s currently well below that at about 38mb. It’s also designed to be fast and to be read on your mobile device by any PDF reader while you’re on the go, which will make it easy to use during any disaster (as long as you have power). It can be read on phones, tablets, laptops or desktops and easily be transferred between them based on your needs.

For details on what’s new in this version, see the “UPDATES” section in the guide which is the very last category.

TPE Release – Version 3

The third version of The Preparedness Encyclopedia has been released! You can find it at my website via the link below. Yeah, I forgot to write a post releasing the second version, thus the jump straight to this version.
Download TPE Here

If you’re not sure what it’s all about, I developed a one sentence elevator pitch of its purpose:

“The Preparedness Encyclopedia is a comprehensive and portable collection of crucial information designed exclusively to assist in your survival from any catastrophe that may arise and to assist in the rebuilding of society afterwards.”

The guide is constrained to a size limit of 100mb but it’s currently well below that at about 35mb. It’s also designed to be fast and to be read on your mobile device by any PDF reader while you’re on the go, which will make it easy to use during any disaster (as long as you have power). It can be read on phones, tablets, laptops or desktops and easily be transferred between them based on your needs.

For details on what’s new in this version, see the “UPDATES” section in the guide which is the very last category.

Preparedness Map Icons

There isn’t much of a good selection of mapping icons on the internet today, particularly preparedness related ones. So lately I’ve been spending a bit of time creating a matching set of my own so I can use them for marking important features on maps.

They are all 512x512px so are great quality and are a simple enough design to be understood even when they are displayed at a tiny size. The most comprehensive set I could find on the internet for free was on “https://mapicons.mapsmarker.com/” which I was using prior to creating my own. The problem with this set is that the full download of icons skips some of the icons that can be found if you download the packs individually. Download the full pack and then the food icons and check one-by-one to see if all the food icons are in the full pack and you’ll see what I mean – unless they fixed this of course. Also you can’t customise the entire set of icons if you download them all at once so you’ll be stuck with whatever colours they have. I also found that they were far too detailed for being displayed on small maps on high PPI devices like my Samsung Galaxy S8+.

Not to hate on the producer because they’re doing great work especially considering they are free, but far fewer lines can convey the same message of the icon and make it simpler to understand. Below are a few examples of their icons and the ones I compiled. Take particular notice to the sushi icon where it’s hard enough to tell what it is at 100x100px and not 30×30 which is what it would generally be displayed as on a map. I also say “compiled” earlier because I didn’t draw the icons, simply added a background, rescaled them to fit better and sometimes combined two icons to better describe what I was going for such as my “Stealth Camping” icon. That’s why when you look at the full quality version there are diagonal lines over the icon. I’m not using them for commercial purposes and I only need 1/20th of the original quality so I figured why not use them as the lines can’t be rendered when they are displayed that small anyway. So this is why I can’t unfortunately upload a RAR of all 1,011 icons.

IconIconIconIconIconIcon

I’m not a fan of the arrow point at the bottom of the images as well since Alpine Quest centres the icons in the middle and can’t be set at the bottom. Even if I could I’d prefer to have the icon on the spot it’s found at, but I’m sure most people would like the arrow due to being able to see exactly the location it’s at.

Here’s a few more of the icons I created sorted into the categories I like to have which make it easier to find what I want:


Attractions
Anything that provides entertainment from a theatre to camping.
IconIconIcon

Events
Events that can affect a location such as wars and car crashes.
IconIconIcon

Food
Any types of locations you can purchase food or drink.
IconIconIcon

Information
Informational queues about a location or anything that doesn’t come under another category.
IconIconIcon

Nature
Any natural elements such as mountains or animals.
IconIconIcon

Places
Any modern places you can visit such as buildings or parks that don’t come under attractions.
IconIconIcon

Routes
Preparedness planning such as bug out routes and cache locations.
IconIconIcon

Shops
Any modern shops excluding food shops.
IconIconIcon

Sport
All types of sports and sports grounds.
IconIconIcon

Transport
Transportation of all types from aircraft to ferries.
IconIconIcon

Utilities
Utilities that are common in today’s age such as government centres, hospitals or police stations.
IconIconIcon


MOBAC .bsh Map Files

Lately I’ve been downloading maps of my region for bug-out planning and redundancies if the internet goes down. It’s been extremely helpful so far especially when camping in areas without internet access as well as marking points of interest on Alpine Quest for future reference.

However it wasn’t easy to find usable maps to download, especially when I have to “code” the .bsh files myself to make the maps downloadable via MOBAC.

I have uploaded some map files usable with any MOBAC version that can read the .bsh files which is typically version 2.0.0 onwards. This lets you view and download any portion of the map. All you have to do is place them in the “mapsource” folder of MOBAC and restart the program (if it’s open already).

Note: Don’t download more than you need or these services may block all connections from MOBAC and then nobody can download any maps. MOBAC has a built in limit of 500,000 tiles as it is and that already seems a bit too large for people’s needs.

The “z__” number in the file name is the maximum zoom level of that map. So Google Terrain only goes down to zoom level 15, where Google Maps goes to z20.


The map files are as follows and have an example image from Sydney showing what that map looks like:

Google Maps
• Max Zoom: Zoom 20
• Map Extent: Worldwide
• Map Type: Detail Map
Download Google Maps Bash File

MOBAC bsh Files
Fig1. – Google Maps. (Detail Map)

Google Terrain
• Max Zoom: Zoom 15
• Map Extent: Worldwide
• Map Type: Topographic Map
Download Google Terrain Bash File

MOBAC bsh Files
Fig2. – Google Terrain. (Topographic Map)

Google Hybrid
• Max Zoom: Zoom 20
• Map Extent: Worldwide
• Map Type: Hybrid Map
Download Google Hybrid Bash File

MOBAC bsh Files
Fig3. – Google Satellite Hybrid. (Satellite w/Place Names)

Google Satellite
• Max Zoom: Zoom 20
• Map Extent: Worldwide
• Map Type: Satellite Map
Download Google Satellite Bash File

MOBAC bsh Files
Fig4. – Google Satellite. (Satellite wo/place names)

Open Street Map – Transport
• Max Zoom: Zoom 18
• Map Extent: Worldwide
• Map Type: Transport Map
Download Open Street Map – Transport Bash File

MOBAC bsh Files
Fig5. – Open Street Map – Transport. (Transport Map)

Open Street Map – Humanitarian
• Max Zoom: Zoom 18
• Map Extent: Worldwide
• Map Type: Specialist Map
Download Open Street Map – Humanitarian Bash File

MOBAC bsh Files
Fig6. – Open Street Map – Humanitarian. (Specialist Map)

Queensland Topo
• Max Zoom: Zoom 15
• Map Extent: Australia – Queensland
• Map Type: Topographic Map
Download QTopo Bash File

MOBAC bsh Files
Fig7. – Queensland Topo Map. (Topographic Map)

If you’d like me to make a .bsh of a mapping service found on the internet let me know the site and I’ll give it a go depending on how busy I am.

TPE Release – Version 1

As you may already know, we live in an extremely fragile world where reliance on the government, nature, water systems, electricity, internet, sewage, trucks etc, etc, etc, can all be disrupted so easily by events such as natural disasters, wars or simply bad luck. Humanity in general has had life pretty easy since WW2 ended with an explosion in technology and countless inventions to make life just that little bit easier. Unfortunately all this dependence has made us less reliant on ourselves and more on these fragile modern networks which are so delicately balanced. Over the years we’ve seen horrific disasters occur in other parts of the world and think that it will never happen here for various reasons, but eventually every region has their disaster and global disasters in particular are ones that nobody can hide from.

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Fig1. – The PDF version of TPE on a smart phone.

That’s where TPE comes in. Giving you that vital knowledge to help you survive WHEN disaster strikes on basically every field related to preparedness or survivalism. This however is only the first step in being prepared, knowledge is about 10% of the battle and practise being the other 90%. So don’t think this guide will instantly give you all the skills needed to survive WW3 in the future, you have to start now.

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Fig2. – The categories found in the spreadsheet.

The official release of The Preparedness Encyclopedia which I started back in June 2017 is now open to the public. It contains vital information on every conceivable subject related to survival and preparedness which should be of use when the worst does happen whether it’s a local or global event. The guide currently comes in two different formats:

1. The first being the mobile/portable version which is designed to run as fast as possible on handheld devices. It’s a PDF file coming in at about 32mb at the moment.

2. The second type is the file I edit the guide with being the Excel file (.xlsx). It’s much slower than the PDF counterpart and it may lag, or not even open on mobile devices. However this version is editable and has hyperlinks to make it easy to transition between different sections.

(All images can be clicked on for the full size, and then zoomed in to even more)

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Fig3. – The start of the preparedness section.

Getting Started
To get started with TPE all you need is:
(For using the PDF version)
• The guide itself
• A smart phone/tablet/pc
• Any PDF reader app

All of these can be obtained free of charge assuming you have a phone already!
Although donations towards the meticulous crafting of the guide are welcome too, where how to instructions can be found under the contact page on my website.


Downloading
You can find TPE on my website by clicking “Main Website” up the top left of this page, and then using the navigation bar to find “TPE” under the “Resources” menu. From there you can download any of the versions I currently have.

Or Click Here


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Fig4. – Some great preparedness resources can be found listed in the guide in the MEDIA section. Contact me if you’d like your resource to be added.

Categories
There’s 4 primary headings in the guide which can be seen on the far left of any of the images of TPE. Content is divided between these sections to make reading and navigation easier. The first column is the section type such as “MEDIA” in the image above. Then in the same example it goes into “YouTube” > “Other Videos” > Then for this example there’s a blank category because I didn’t need to go any deeper, however other sections make use of all the sections. You can think of these divisions as folders, so inside the “MEDIA” folder are the “YouTube” and “Books” folders, and inside the “YouTube” folder are the “Prepping”, “Survival / Outdoors”, “Gear Reviews” and “Other Videos” folders.

Image Detail
Below is a comparison of screenshots from my phone showing the detail in the map which could come handy in a wide array of opportunities if you don’t have access to internet.

TPETPETPE

Fig5-7. – A side by side comparison of the quality of imagery in TPE zooming in each shot.

Below are more images to help persuade you to give it a try:

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Fig8. – A screenshot of the navigation section.

In the NAVIGATION section you will learn about using compasses, magnetic declination, navigation using the sun, stars and your watch, reading maps and more.

TPE
Fig9. – A screenshot of the entertainment section featuring crosswords and many other puzzles.

Lots of entertainment to help keep your mind occupied and in a sane state. If you’re worrying about everything that’s going on around you all the time you will adopt a very negative state of mind over time and that’s exactly what the entertainment section aims to counter, regardless if you’re bugging out alone or have your family with you – there’s something for every situation.

TPE
Fig10. – Codes and ciphers can be found in the COMMUNICATION section.

It may be of benefit to communicate in code sometimes so the government or others don’t understand your message and that’s where the COMMUNICATION section comes in handy. It can also be used to decipher codes of others if required and contains most of the commonly used codes today.

Are you convinced to download it yet? Follow the link below or keep scrolling until you are!
TPE

TPE
Fig11. – The natural disaster section detailing volcano explosivity indexes.

The Volcano subsection is housed within the NATURAL DISASTERS category of the guide. This section discusses any and all types of natural disasters from earthquakes to a tsunamis and how to prepare for them and what to do if they occur.

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Fig12. – An excerpt from the fire lighting section found under FIRE. Note: “o” indicates that there’s no information in this cell yet.

The FIRE section is obviously about how to start fires with various methods, tools and equipment, how to extinguish fires and finding natural tinders in the environment. There’s also information on fire types, flame colours and their effects and what is required to start a fire.

TPE
Fig13. – Details about landform types and their advantages and disadvantages.

Looking for a location to set up camp or to bug out to may be a challenge when also faced with the overall intensity of a disaster, so this section is aimed at giving pros and cons of each environmental position as well as any hazards you may not realize prior to calling it home.

TPE
Fig14. – Signals for communicating with aircraft if you wish to be rescued.

For those times when you’re lost and you need to communicate with rescuers who are unable to land in your area. Also shown on the picture above is a list of ground signals which hikers and other trail-goers may leave for others to take note of, but these are generally used in situations where you want to be found.

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Fig15. – Details of types of preppers and their scale on the preparedness index.

An interesting little list which can be fun to try and place yourself on as a prepper as well as understanding the other levels of prepared people out there. Higher is not always better!

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Fig16. – There’s an entire fictional novel also included.

The entire novel of Robinson Crusoe is also included as a distraction from the disasters that may be going on around you to try to ease your mind. The entertainment section is arguably one of the most important sections as it can boost your, and your parties morale greatly in those hard times.

Hopefully by now you’ve decided to see what all the fuss is about and download TPE to your device as a “Just In Case” method to help safeguard your existence against end of the world. You will have much greater chance to survive a disaster if you read and hone your skills prior to any disaster happening, so start reading it today! One thing is fact, and that is that you never know when disaster is around the corner…

The Conflict Between Preparedness and Minimalism

Is it possible to be both a prepper and a minimalist? At first glance it doesn’t seem like it. Preppers often stockpile mountains of food, water, barter items and supplies which they believe will be required in a time of disaster. This flies directly in the face of minimalism where people try to have as few possessions as possible – typically under 100 items or a single backpack of gear.

Minimalism is about leaving behind a materialistic lifestyle where we live pay-check to pay-check irrelevant of the amount we’re making. Because we’re making more money on promotion we take this new found financial opportunity and stability to upgrade our household items faster, getting that new TV we’ve been waiting to buy and storing the other in another room for the kids. Eventually over a few years of this most families end up with countless electronics, furniture, heirlooms and toys and this is where the minimalism lifestyle comes in.

It seems like two incompatible lifestyles, but I’m giving it a try anyway and logging my findings over multiple posts as I learn more via experience. My theory is that if I have a single backpack of preparedness products I can count that as a single minimalist item, especially if stored out of sight and mind but still easy to reach.

This is where things get a bit difficult as a few of the items included in the BOB may have some overlap between daily use ones such as cutlery, portable stoves and utensils. You’re trying not to double up on items you own, but you also want everything in one backpack which is quick to grab in the event a catastrophic disaster arises. It’s a real pain to take items from the bag, use them, wash and dry them then return them to the bag every use, not to mention that you may have to do some digging to find them in the first place. Due to this I’ve chosen to keep a duplicate item in the backpack so I can just grab it and go if needed and not waste precious moments looking for what I’ve taken out – which could be the difference between life and death.


The ultimate aim of minimalism is to spend less and have the freedom to travel more without being weighed down by all your “stuff”. Therefore if you own something but aren’t attached to it and are prepared to give it up at the drop of a hat you can just abandon it and re-purchase a new one when you’re at your new location. This is the loophole I’m going to use, and as long as they’re neatly stored away they shouldn’t be included in the minimalism item count. Out of sight, out of mind.

Currently it’s only me living alone so I’ll only need enough food for myself to last about 2 months – which is 8x 12.5L decor storage containers. Each of these has on average 18 cans of food in them coming out to about 2.5 cans a day. In a tiny house this will be fairly easy to conceal within a pantry. Having a farm can drastically reduce the amount of food you require if your house is your Bug Out Location (BOL), just be sure to have enough stored for the harsher months.

Water is a little easier especially if you have a quality water filter which has a long lifespan and a river or lake nearby. There should be at least a week of drinking water on hand or a large water tank nearby.

Nothing can replace knowledge in a disaster and knowing how to acquire food and water during a disaster is vital to keeping your item count to a minimum. More Knowledge = Less Things.

There will have to be some form of compromise between prepping and minimalism. You can’t have that huge underground pantry with every type of food imaginable, not only is it more vulnerable to theft and disasters but you become attached to it and won’t want to leave if the situation demands. At least with a few storage boxes of food and portable water you can load up your vehicle and get out within 15 minutes. You can’t just grab a pantry shelf and throw it in the car, you’d have to put everything into boxes first and then load the car.


Preppers can also have a BOL in another part of the country stocked with food and other resources which they flee to in a disaster. This is another plausible idea which demands less carried survival items on you all the time. You just need to have enough food, water and fuel for 3 days to get you to your shelter – as you can get almost anywhere in a country (by car) in 3 days if you’re determined.

A final solution similar to the BOL would be storing smaller caches underground at various locations around the country with about a weeks worth of food and water inside. Or perhaps you could hire storage locations and fill them with supplies. Even if they are broken into pre-disaster, who would want to steal 1,000 cans of food and water? You could also offer your family / friends some money to keep some supplies in a corner of their house for you, you don’t even have to tell them what you’re storing if you wish – as long as you express it’s not illegal substances and that the items aren’t worth much.

Being prepared doesn’t mean “having a lot of stuff” stored for use in a disaster, that’s only a small part of the equation. The other parts of preparedness is preparing mentally, preparing physically, having contacts and like-minded people, gaining skills, gaining knowledge and gaining experience. It’s a culmination of these things that creates the ultimate prepper. The unskilled, unintelligent and ill-prepared people who need spoon feeding from pre-stocked cans of food, the real preppers can acquire all these from the wild foraging, farming and hunting.

Choosing a BOB/Camping Cookware Set

It’s an arduous task to decide on a cookware set for your bug out bag which is minimalist, lightweight and easy to clean. There are so many options today that it’s easy to get carried away and bring too much gear you won’t even use.

I don’t know about you but I buying love a nice new shiny pot which I aim to take everywhere and use as my primary cooking pot on every trip. But often it’s used once and pushed to the back of the cupboard in anticipation of new cookware. If you stick with one piece of gear it becomes part of you and the more you use it the more skill you have with it and over time it shows its age and develops character. If you own a collection of pots as I do it becomes a problem of which one to take, how many you should pack in your bag before it becomes overkill and how well they stack.

Below is a simple guide for choosing an encompassing set of cookware for every need, because every person is different so your gear will differ.

Cookware Uses
The first question you come across is what will you be using the pot(s) for? It’s essential that you have at least one form of steel pot in the wild to complete the various tasks over the fire you’ll need to accomplish. Every scenario is different and you may need to cook larger chunks of meat which is difficult to complete without a large frying pan. Generally however you will have canned or freeze-dried meals which should easily fit into any modern steel cookware unit.

Requirements
• Food Cooking – Something to eat from and cook on
• Water Boiling – Something to drink from and boil water on
• Cooking Pan – A pan to cook larger meats or hunted game on
• Cup – An (insulated) cup to drink from

Food Cooking
The eating and cooking one is obvious as you will definitely need a way to warm up and cook food, and you can eat out of the same pot to save weight. Freeze dried meals require water to be boiled beforehand which you could then add the food to the water or add the water to the package and still only use one pot.

Titanium pots have a tendency to get hot in one area and spread the heat less effectively than aluminium or steel but are very lightweight and the same strength as stainless steel. Cast iron is extremely heavy and is not recommended for your BOB, but they are handy if you’re just camping as long as they are seasoned properly. Aluminium has a low melting pot and could melt if left directly on a fire for too long so I don’t recommend it, however it does cook foods evenly. Stainless steel is my preferred option of pot due to even cooking of foods, a solid feel to it and it won’t rust, but it’s moderately heavy depending on how thick it is. It should last the longest out of all of the other metals as well.

Do not pick ordinary kitchen cookware as flames melt anything that’s not metal on them and basically renders them unusable. This has happened to a friend of mine while camping where even the top of the billy’s lid which was plastic melted away in a fire.

Your cooking pot should be small enough for a 1 serve meal with not much space left over as the efficiency of heat will drop sharply as the pot gets bigger. This occurred to friends of mine while we were camping who brought a 10L pot aimed at cooking both their meals at once. They filled it with water and rice and tried to cook it over a canister gas flame in 5 degree Celsius temperatures. I even grabbed my flambĂ© torch, attached it to another gas canister and tried to heat it up at the same time… but to little effect. Basically the water got warm and never boiled so they had to eat undercooked rice.

There’s a lot of “done it for you” cookware sets out there which are aimed at campers and picnic’ers which often include everything including the kitchen sink. These types of sets often have many items that are overly heavy for their purpose or that come in sets designed for X amount of people, half of which you may never use. I once bought a Stanley cookware set which came with two green insulated cups inside which fitted quite snugly and allowed no space for anything else. However when removed I could fit a gas cylinder, gas stove, cleaning brush and a spork inside which is much more useful then two cups.

Water Boiling
You’ll likely need to boil water throughout your trip at one point or another and a container that can withstand the temperature and hold enough water is vital. After boiling you’ll generally pour the water into your bottle after it had cooled a little for drinking at another time, as well as for preventing the transferral of remaining bacteria from the outside of the pot to your stomach if you used the same pot to obtain the water.

I highly recommend a pot with both handles on the side and one on top so you can pick it up with both a stick and your hands to drink from it normally. What I’ve found while camping is that it’s certainly a pain to try and pour the boiling water into another container without touching it with your hands, and a top handle with a small spout on the side is very helpful to prevent spilling the precious liquid.

Having a 1L pot will keep boiling times fairly low and provide you with enough water to top up most plastic bottles, you can also disinfect water easier in a 1L pot using tablets then having to measure it out or estimate 1 litre. Water boiling requires the steam to escape unless you want an epic explosion, so be sure to have a vent of some kind on your container otherwise the lid may pop off and fall into the fire.

Cooking Pan
A pan would be recommended if your bug out plan consists of hunting your own game and preparing it for consumption. A pot simply won’t be large enough and won’t cook very evenly unless it’s cut up into small pieces and stirred often. It’s also easier to reach into a pan and cooking things like eggs and sausages also becomes difficult if you have to reach into a tall container with a spork – believe me I’ve tried it. Look for a pan with a long handle and if possible a metal loop over the top to make it easier to grab when in a fire. You could add a metal handle yourself with a simple drill if it doesn’t come with one.

Cup
A metal cup could be useful in your BOB if it fits snugly inside or around another item to save maximum space. I personally have an Olicamp cup which fits around my plastic 1L Nalgene bottle that I use often, sometimes to cook on as a backup as it fits about 600ml. Mine has folding handles to save a bit more space and weight.

Combinations
It’s possible to combine some of the cookware together like as the eating and water boiling pot but this could lead to difficulties later and will require cleaning after every use, not to mention you won’t be able to have a cup of coffee while you are enjoying a hot meal without another form of cup or pot. But if minimalism and a light backpack is what you’re aiming for then this could work.

Stacking containers such as canteens which combine a pot with a bottle are commonplace for the army as they can easily be put together to save a lot of space. The downside is that you aren’t able to fit a gas stove, gas canisters, spork and the cleaning brush inside of it so they are better used for open fires.

If you’ll be cooking on gas, ideally the cookware container should be large enough to fit:
• Gas Stove
• Gas Canister
• Cleaning Cloth/Brush
• Eating Utensil

Doing so will save a little more space in your bag but not as much as an open fire cooking situation.

Special Requirements
Are you a gourmand which absolutely must have an array of pots and pans for every situation? You may be able to take a lot of cookware in your BOB but is it really worth the effort? Bugging out is very different to camping. You can basically take as much gear as you can fit into your car and it’s a recreational activity which is meant to be enjoyed. The other is meant to be a life or death situation and it will really put a “damper” on things if you’re lugging around 2kg of cookware gear. I find it so hard to leave behind my cookware as well, but it’s all for the greater good in the end.

Summary
In the end I decided I’m going to carry two primary cookware pots with what I can stack around and in them as a bonus. I’ll also have a Nalgene stackable cup which will essentially take up no extra space and give me a nice cup to drink from as well as an emergency cooking pot if necessary.

My Cookware:
• 1 stainless steel kidney shape canteen
• 1 stainless steel kidney shape pot which stacks on the canteen. Some come with a lid.
• 1 stainless steel billy-style pot 900ml (30.4oz) containing cooking gear, stove etc. Comes with a lid.
• 1 Olicamp Cup which fits snugly around my nalgene bottle

The canteen cup will be my primary bowl and fits nicely over the base of the canteen. Some brands come with an extra lid for the cup to keep in the steam and cook food faster which is a great option if you need it.

This setup lets me boil a nice amount of water in the kettle and doubles as an eating container and is very effective over a fire due to the extra hanging handle on top. I only wish it was a full 1L to fill my 1L nalgene bottle in one boil. Although generally the manufacturer underestimates the full capacity of these things so they can’t be sued so it’s probably closer to 1L.

The final component is my cup which I use for scooping water as well as filtering water into and the obvious uses such as drinking tea and coffee. I’ve used it for cooking Frankfurts before but it was difficult due to the height of the cup.

I hope this has helped you make an informed decision on selecting your cookware for bug out situations, or even when camping.
Leave a message if you have a question about anything.

Concealed Storage

When you’ve accumulated a lot of valuables in your house such as spare cash or precious metals you begin to run into the problem of where to store it, the most common way to store them would be in a safe or small vault of some kind. These are quite hard to break into if made of solid metal, however it’s extremely obvious to any criminal. I looked into storing my valuables inside disguised products such as the below Heinz Can of beans, it’s inconspicuous on the outside but has quite a nice amount of space inside for about 30 oz of silver and a lot of paper notes as well to prevent rubbing on the inside.

Heinz Beanz Tin
Fig1. – The Heinz Beanz Tin.

But open up the bottom…

Heinz Beanz Tin Interior
Fig2. – The inside of the Tin.

There’s quite a lot of different designs you can buy, I purchased mine off Ebay from Britian and noticed a tomato soup can, spaghetti can, a dictionary, coke can, a fake candle and even a fake rock for storing things outside which is probably more fitting for a key. It costed me $30 AUD and you could make your own for cheaper quite easily by hollowing out any common object.

It would be best to also have a safe in your cupboard with semi-valuable items in it to trick criminals into believing they have the best loot.

Silver Coin Stockpile

Lately I’ve been slowly adding to my silver stockpile due to the low (relative) prices this year. Currently it’s at $16.16 USD on the 27th June 2018 and dropping which is quite below its mean of $16.50 but not by much.

Some of the uses of silver include:
• Bartering
• Water Purification (Kind of)
• Colloidal Silver (For Health Issues)
• Antibacterial

Remember that either way you look at it, silver will always be an investment and you can sell it later on for almost the same amount if you need some quick cash.

Gold is useful as well to store large amounts of cash, but there’s not a lot you can buy with that much money in a SHTF scenario. Most of your transactions will be small change for cans of food, water and survival gear – which you should already have stocked. Currently Gold is at $1253.74 USD which is a little lower than average but then again gold has fewer uses than silver in a survival situation. However it is worth it to have at least one oz of gold handy.

Cash on the other hand will depreciate very quickly in a disaster, people will soon realize this piece of paper isn’t worth the value written on it by the Federal Reserve and value will shift back into valuable metals which can’t simply be printed into existence. When this occurs the three most valuable entities in the world will be Materials/Possessions, Precious Metals/Gems and Skills/Experience.

Don’t forget to keep your valuables safe and secure in a hidden location either in a safe, under floorboards, at the back of a wardrobe or buried in the back yard. You could perhaps find some extremely strange places to store valuables too, such as inside a hot water tank where it will not only stay safe but slowly purify your water. The only problem with that is getting them in and out but at least you won’t be inclined to spend them.

Nalgene Sipper Lid

I’m always on the look out for new little products to buy that will improve my life while camping and lately I found this little gem.

Nalgene Sipper Lid
Fig1. – The nalgene sipper on a bottle.

It lets you insert it into a typical wide mouth Nalgene bottle to make it easier to drink from. I agree it was a problem I faced with such a wide mouth on a bottle, which is inconvenient to drink from – especially when on the move.

Nalgene Sipper Lid
Fig2. – The nalgene sipper on a bottle.

It stacks with my Pillid stackable lid as well to allow easier sipping and storage of water treatment options. I love the Nalgene bottles overall with their unbreakable Tritan material and “modding” options for their merchandise. They are only a few dollars on ebay, however currently not many people sell it so it may be hard to acquire one.

Nalgene Sipper Lid
Fig3. – The nalgene sipper on a bottle.