Friday, June 3, 2011

Being Prepared Part III OR ... This One's For You Anna!!

One way to help being prepared for a time without electricity or water is having camping gear at hand. Not everyone is going to have this, but I promise the campers are going to do better overall than the non campers....just because they have the extra gear.  I'm not trying to convince anyone that they need to become campers, but you could help yourself out a little by having some of those handy camping tools. Its worth considering on a small scale.

I have a friend in the area that is a non-camper.  She is now in a situation where her husband wants to take the kids camping....and she's not real enthusiastic about it.  At one point I told her I would give her a list of what we have in our gear to help her out. So Anna -- this post is just for you!  We don't actually have alot of camping gear as our family camping is very few and far between -- most of our camping revolves around  our kids and Scouts.

Our gear is stored in two plastic foot lockers.  They are lighter than the wood ones and hopefully better for wet conditions.  The only reason we have two is because as a Scout leader I don't need everything I take as a family camper...because the Big Boss has EVERYTHING.  I have total camping equipment envy of her. So not kidding.


When its just Scouts we have our own Dunk Bags.  Each bag has plate, bowl, cup and silverware. Mine also has a can opener, some tea and sugar and a sharp knife.  The point of the dunk bag is so you can hang them on a line to dry and walk away. And it keeps each persons stuff all together.  Not necessary for family camping unless you want each person to be responsible for their own dishes -- in which case it is key. Our kids are capable of maintaining their own dishes and we do not have to do it for them. This makes it easy for them.
  In the family locker we have dishes. Plenty of cups for hot and cold liquids.  The plates and bowls are mostly this hard plastic. This insulates from immediate heat transfer if the food is very hot.  All of our dishes except 2 of the enamel ware cups were picked up from the thrift store for almost nothing. The large cups have our names written on them for multiple use during the day.
At this point in time we do not have many camping cookware pieces. I have two largish pots. I also picked up a cast iron smaller pot with a lid at a Goodwill that has not been seasoned yet.  We need a few different sized cast iron skillets to round this out. We do have such in the house should they be needed for an emergency situation.

You will notice that I do not have a camp stove at this time. That will be rectified before the end of the month as I got myself in a Scout situation where I will be camping without the Big Boss and her super stuff. Oy.  We just got rid of the other two stoves we had...both Goodwill finds that used Coleman fuel. We are upgrading to a safer fuel source stove.

Next you need your stuff for doing dishes.  We have two plastic tubs and a plastic drainboard. We carry a small bottle of dish washing liquid, wash clothes, sponges/scrubbies and dish towels. Scouts actually use three tubs....soap, rinse, sterilize (cap full of bleach - in a much bigger tub - a capfull would be too much in this size). Since I am washing most of the dishes I don't bother with the bleach step on family I have a reaction to bleach so I can't get my hands in it...even diluted. In an emergency situation it would be a very good idea to have that third tub to sterilize. Last thing you need is to come down sick at that time. Same if you have children doing their own dishes.
We have a couple of makeshift type grates just in case we need them over the fire. This is our extra water container also. We fill in and keep it by the fire. Its not that good for other uses as it is soft sided and hard to handle for drinking purposes.

I keep a plastic container full of silverware, knives, can opener, tongs, etc. Do not forget fireproof, long handled cooking utensils for use over a camp fire. Also remember your hot pads for removing things from the stove...and a pair of heat resistant gloves for removing things from the fire. Welding gloves do well.  We also have a hard sided egg carrier as we always take eggs on family trips, and a camp coffee pot to keep hot water in. We also have a set of marshmellow/hot dog sticks for roasting over the fire.
I carry a coffee can full of dryer lint to help start the fire. It catches and burns pretty quick to get the kindling going.  Plus all the food covering stuff -- a box of larger ziplock bags can come in handy many different ways. Wax paper is good for covering a surface to make hamburger patties or whatever. Tinfoil is a must as it can be used in the fire for making things or used as a cover on pans on the fire.
I carry paper napkins, paper towels, TOILET PAPER, extra plastic bags for trash or wet clothing/shoes, a shower curtain in case there are showers but no curtain (yes it does happen) and two table clothes with the clips to keep them on the table.  If you get the plastic/vinyl ones you can also throw them down on the wet ground to use as a picnic surface without the wet soaking through.

This is my pile of fans.  And no, their most important purpose is not to cool me off.  Its to blow on my face and keep the bugs off of me while I sleep.  The sound of a mosquito buzzing in my ear while I'm trying to sleep drives me nuts -- in a very bad way! The canister in the middle not only runs the grey fan, it will also charge phones, etc.
Which brings me back to something I forgot to show you in the house.  The battery barn.  Right now it is rather depleted because I was just replacing all the batteries in the camping gear and 72 hour kit, indoor flashlights, etc. LOVE THESE.  I had to go online to Amazon to find it because I couldn't find them local and I knew just what a wanted.  This one has a battery tester on it also.

Lastly  I have lots of misc stuff.  Rain gear....don't leave home without it! Line/rope to string to hang the washcloth and dish towels if nothing else.  It is also a good visual barrier on one side of your camp site if you don't want people walking through.  I don't know what the heck people are thinking when you are camping and they all run through your site. Beyond bad form.

We also carry a small hatchet for firewood that needs to be shortened and a camp shovel in case you need to bury anything (think no bathroom) or to clean out the fire pit that someone left in a disgraceful way.

Handheld walkie talkies, multipurpose tool and survival whistles (with compass and slot to carry matches).

We also have lanterns, a tent, sleeping bags, sheets (so you can lay on the sleeping bag and not in it when its hot) and a blow up mattress and its pump.
Then practice your mad jigsaw puzzle skills.....and there you have it.

So Anna, I hope this helps. And before you go buy anything, go to MWR and see what the have available for check out/rent. They should have the expensive stuff for sure.  

Good luck on your first family camping trip!

1 comment:

  1. :D Thank you! I was perusing your blog and started laughing when I realized this was for me. haha! I think I can manage to get all that stuff, not just for camping...but for a SHTF situation as well. (and yes, I know there's a bad word in that acronym, but 'poop' just doesn't cut it. lol)

    Seriously though, thank you for writing this post!!!!