3.11.2010

Post-Apocalyptic Go Bag

I've been thinking of some "It's the End of the World as We Know It, and I Feel Like Living, Dammit" survival gear. This list leans more towards the universal tools, eschewing any mention of shelter or attire, which would be highly dependent on the environment of a post-cataclysm earth. (Nuclear winter or baked earth from an unstable sun? Decrepit urban environment, or planet reclaimed by nature?) The attire you'll definitely need that I didn't include is footwear: police tactical or combat boots will fit the bill, but these are best pried off the mummified corpse found in a forgotten bunker, at least according to the movies.

Hunting/scavenging implements for food are dependent on personal skill sets and what kind of extinction event happened.

Suggested additions are welcome.

The first item is why I made this list.



Item: Halligan Bar
Price: ~$200
Where to get?: Firefighter suppliers
Alternative: Stanley FatMax Xtreme 55-120 FuBar III ($80)
Already own: No
Usefulness: Very
Able to survive harsh environments: Yes (solid, unibody steel/titanium)
Awesomeness: Off the charts

The Halligan Bar/Halligan Tool is the official forced entry tool of the NYC Fire Department. As long as it isn't a safe or welded shut, this Hulked-out crowbar will open it, enabling the post-apocalyptic scavenger access to all but the most secured food stores and shelters. As a weapon, The curved metal spike at the end of 12 lbs of steel is as terrifying as a table leg dipped in tar and broken glass, and much more reliable. Requires no ammo or formal training, just swing it at what you want gone. I imagine that after the nuclear ash settles a lot of basement ninjas will be found dead, having accidentally severed their own femoral artery or blinded themselves with shrapnel from a shattered discount katana.

And now, the rest:




Item: Inova X5 Flashlight
Price: ~$40
Where to get?: Everywhere
Already own: Yes
Usefulness: Very
Able to survive harsh environments: Yes (aircraft-grade aluminum, crush-proof up to 2,000 lbs., -20°F to 140°F, waterproof, batteries have a 10-year shelf life, 20 continuous hours of use)
Awesomeness: Pretty awesome




Item: Leatherman Wave
Price: ~$50
Where to get?: Anywhere
Alternative: Gerber 2Black Diesel ($50)
Already own: Yes
Usefulness: Very
Able to survive harsh environments: Yes (May wear out with abuse)
Awesomeness: Meh




Item: Water Purification Tablets
Price: ~$5
Where to get?: Camp Stores/Military Surplus
Already own: No
Usefulness: Necessity when not able to boil the water
Able to survive harsh environments: Within the bottle, sure.
Awesomeness: Zero





Item: Tabasco
Price: ~$3
Where to get?: Anywhere
Alternative: Hot sauce of your choice
Already own: Yes
Usefulness: Unless you like the taste of mutant dump rat or feral cat, extremely
Able to survive harsh environments: Within the bottle, sure.
Awesomeness: Actually, pretty cool.




Item: Nalgene Bottle
Price: ~$15
Where to get?: Everywhere
Alternative: Any durable waterbottle/canteen
Already own: Yes (the BPA-flavored version)
Usefulness: Necessity
Able to survive harsh environments: Yes.
Awesomeness: Zero





Item: High-quality beach towel
Price: ~$20
Where to get?: Anywhere
Already own: Yes
Usefulness: Necessity
Able to survive harsh environments: Weak against tearing, but pretty durable
Awesomeness: All the way.





Item:
Firesteel
Price: ~$15
Where to get?: Camp Stores/Military Surplus
Already own: No
Usefulness: Necessity
Able to survive harsh environments: Yes, unlike matches/lighters. Lasts 12,000 strikes, or probably like 1,000 fires.
Awesomeness: Pretty awesome





Item:
Fiskars Pro Chopping Axe
Price: ~$30
Where to get?: Camp Stores/Building Supply Stores
Alternative: Hatchet of your choice
Already own: No
Usefulness: Useful for creating fires/shelter. Should get a sharpener too, especially if you forgo the Halligan bar and use this as a weapon.
Able to survive harsh environments: Fiberglass-reinforced toughness
Awesomeness: Pretty Awesome.





Awkward admission: Fear of a sudden apocalypse is partially why I got laser eye surgery. I saw that Twilight Zone and it scared the shit out of me.

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