Astronauts are provided with survival kits due to the difficulty of predicting where a spacecraft will land on its return to earth, especially in the case of an equipment failure. In early US space flights, the kit was optimised for survival at sea; the one provided for John Glenn on the first American space flight in Friendship 7 contained "a life raft, pocket knife, signaling mirror, shark repellent, seawater desalting tablets, sunscreen, soap, first aid kit, and other items". A survival kit was provided for the Apollo program which was "...designed to provide a 48-hour postlanding (water or land) survival capability for three crewmen between 40 degrees North and South latitudes". It contained "a survival radio, a survival light assembly, desalter kits, a machete, sunglasses, water cans, sun lotion, a blanket, a pocket knife, netting and foam pads".
I also never see any type of plant seeds listed in case of severe problems that last longer than a few months. There are no provisions for growing your own food. Bleach is fine for producing drinkable water but also Iodine Tablets. Lastly as the Sgt has said at times it you may have to leave home. But if you can stay home and learn who your neighbors are you will probably be safer.
Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, or seniors.
Webb's includes an aspirin- and ibuprofen-filled pill bottle wrapped in duct tape and medical tape, a couple of gauze pads bound in a rubber band, and a standard gauze roll and a Kerlix gauze roll. It's enough gear to "stop a bleed and wrap it tight with the tape, or wrap a sprain and take the pain meds," he says. Webb packs it all in a Norelco shaver case.
Not knowing what a post-SHTF world will look like, most preppers believe that post collapse conditions will probably be absent of law and order as we know it. In this situation a prepared person hunkered down in their retreat space may become the target of looters, beggars, or worse – some sort of organized paramilitary group. Defense of your retreat space and survival supplies could become an unpleasant reality. Hungry wild animals may also pose a threat to your safety. Or you may find that you need to hunt for food or supplies.
A very good article that hit on the essential categories without too much focus on the product advertising angle. While I agree with all twelve, my #13 would include items such as hatchets and machetes. There are simply too many instances where a fixed blade knife, regardless of its size, is not an effective survival tool. My personal preference tends toward the machete because it works so well on clearing brush. Both are (or can be) effective defensive weapons as well, if you know how to use them.
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