Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shopping for an Air Travel Survival Kit

Motivated by a cousin's wife who wants to travel to foreign lands, I've been working on an air travel survival kit since I would like to go to Morocco and Europe at some point in the future.

Since she already has a car survival kit, she can draw from that while I can borrow items from my mobile survival kit. The challenges are to have what we'll need while not taking up more space than absolutely necessary or weighing ourselves down since we'll be schlepping our bags ourselves and to have quality gear inexpensive enough for affordable replacement should an item accidentally get left out after an inspection.

As a result, I've spent hours searching for and deciding on the best Swiss Army knives for us. Uncomfortable about not having a fixed blade knife, I also searched for a small, skeletal knife so the hinge on the SAK wouldn't get damaged by whatever rough use a survival situation may demand.

Since my travel purse is already full, a larger bag is also warranted.

Preparing to travel is half the fun.

Back to Shopping for Sugar-Free Salt

Prematurely elated at finding the sugar-free salt of my last post, I researched one of the ingredients only to be dismayed that it contains aluminum. It is inconclusive whether or not aluminum causes Altzheimer's Disease although it is undeniable that Altzheimer's victims have significantly higher levels of aluminum in their brains than other people.

If the aluminum didn't get there by ingesting salt containing aluminum as a free-flowing agent, leaching from aluminum cookware, absorption from antiperspirants, how did it get into the body? It is not a mineral needed by any biological form so had to be introduced artificially.

I say, "Better safe than sorry," which currently leaves me to decide - aluminum or sugar? I'll keep searching for sugar-free iodized table salt, but if worse comes to worse, I'll pick sugar over aluminum.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Score! (Sugar-free Salt)

Last night, stopping by Dollar General for a plastic storage box they no longer carry, I thought to look for sugar-free salt.

There were only three boxes of salt on the shelf, one of which contained dextrose.

I bought the other two boxes.



I've been discouraged from blogging because my posts are being corrupted upon publication and I don't like spending the time it takes to fix them. I thought it just started happening this year with my last post about my mobile survival kit and the other survival kit lists I recently updated only to find it's been going on since last November when I updated my car survival kit :(.

When I fixed it a few minutes ago, instead of omitting chunks as before, all the spaces were changed to plus signs ("+"). Fortunately, as a result of the corruption, I had started saving my posts as html so all I had to do was paste my copy back in and republish, hoping it wouldn't get corrupted again.

Yay! It worked.

Now, let's see what happens to this post.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mobile Survival Kit

Supplemental to my EDC mini survival kit, the reason I had so much trouble with this kit is because I wanted it for everything from hiking to air travel. The purposes, however, are different enough that separate kits are needed although they may share the same items.

For example, a backpacker goes out with the intention of spending a night or more in a wilderness area and prepares appropriately. The wise hiker packs the Ten Essential Systems intending to be home at night knowing it may not be possible because getting lost or terrain difficulty may lengthen the hike so a night to usually no more than three nights have to be spent outdoors.

On the other hand, nobody else from day-trippers and travelers to office workers, has any intention or expectation of sleeping anywhere other than in a bed. The survival kit is in case something happens to throw us into a survival situation.

This kit is for when I'm in somebody else's vehicle. It can easily be taken up to my room on my own road trips without rummaging through or dismantling my car kit. I might integrate the two kits later making this a subset of my car kit, but because I already had duplicate items because of camping and hiking and trying out various products, it's not an issue at this time.

1. NAVIGATION - Luminous compass; the same as for my Micro Survival Kit, this is an EDC item on my key ring.

2. PERSONAL ATTIRE - Now that I have all the other components for my exposure kit in my purse, the only items for this category are swim goggles for eye protection and a couple of oven bags to wear inside my shoes to waterproof my feet.

3. HYDRATION - Because water is vital, I want at least two methods for making water safe to drink. For the first method, I have (20) Micropur MP1 tablets, a quart zip bag, and 4 feet of aquarium airline tubing to aid collection.

If I don't carry a stainless steel water bottle which can be used for boiling water (I've been using my Brita bottle), a (1 qt. capacity) 8" x 3-7/8" x 2-15/32" foil loaf pan, flattened by folding in the sides and ends to make it easy to carry, is a lightweight and considerably less bulky alternative to a pot.

If I take my Katadyn water bottle, the ViruStat cartridge or the microfilter cartridge used with the MP1 tablets will purify water for me.

4. SHELTER - Two 2-person Heatsheets survival blankets. One for me plus one to share with the friend whose vehicle we're in, or one for a blanket for us and the second to be rigged as a shelter. If there are more passengers than what my blankets will cover, I don't know what will happen. While I'm willing to carry an extra blanket, I don't feel obligated to provide survival gear for everybody who may or may not be along especially since I've had to order many things online, including the Heatsheets.

5. COMMUNICATION - In addition to my EDC: (2) orange bandannas, Sharpie, mechanical pencil, eraser, Rite In The Rain pocket notebook, AM/FM/NOAA radio, and a small kite. My Mini Maglite LED flashlight has SOS and strobe features.

The kite is tricky because it can't be flown near kite-eating trees and a mini kite isn't as easy to see as a full-size kite is from a distance. Still, under the right conditions a kite would help show others where I am and a key ring, pocket, or mini kite takes hardly any space in the kit.

If you decide to get a kite for this and entertainment purposes, bear in mind that a parafoil kite is excellent because it won't have any sticks. However, parafoils fly lower, closer to the horizon, and need more wind than other types. A sled kite is similar and may have sticks.

The common diamond kite flies higher and needs less wind than parafoils and sleds while a delta kite flies the highest of all and needs the least wind.

Another idea is to fly a small American flag upside-down several feet below the kite because an upside-down flag is an official distress signal. For country flags that look the same either way or that duplicate a different country's flag when flown upside-down, tie a knot in the flag.

I recommend you visit a kite store to find the best assortment of small and specialty kites and that you select a predominantly red and orange kite because those colors show up against the sky better than other colors.

6. FIRE - Since I already EDC three methods to start a fire including tinder and magic birthday candles, only a tealight candle and hand sanitizing gel are needed for this kit.

7. ILLUMINATION - A Mini Maglite LED, a neck lanyard because I really don't like wearing a headlamp, and a headlamp because sometimes a flashlight swinging from a lanyard isn't good enough. Because my key ring LED flashlight has a pressure switch to turn and keep it on which also means something can turn it on accidentally, and because I have no way of knowing when the battery will fail, I added another key ring LED to this kit with an on-off switch that can't be turned on accidentally.

8. NUTRITION - (4) Clif and Zone Perfect energy bars plus a tin of Altoids.

9. FIRST AID KIT, HEALTH, AND HYGIENE - A pocket FAK to cleanse and protect minor wounds from infection, a tube of Super Glue with a brush to keep larger wounds closed until medical help can be received, Ultra (SPF 30) Chapstick, a stick of sun screen, StingEze, (10) Wet Ones, mint dental floss, (5) panty liners to make an unpleasant situation more bearable, hair elastic, a folding trowel for digging cat holes, travel toilet tissue roll, and (2) gallon zip bags for trash. I still need to add insect repellent wipes.

In an extra small Pac-It Sac by Eagle Creek, I have a FUD (feminine urinary device) kit: Freshette in its zip storage bag, toilet tissue, hand sanitizing gel, (5) Wet Ones, and (2) quart zip bags for trash.

10. REPAIR AND TOOLS - A sheath knife with 4.48" blade. a folder with a 3.4" blade, Leatherman Mini, Lansky pocket knife sharpener, wire saw, leather gloves, and pry bar. The pry bar is in case of an earthquake and to have something to knock out a ground-floor window to climb out in case I can't get a door open.

For cordage and repairs: (4) safety pins, 50' utility cord 1/8" diameter, 150 yds. unflavored floss, large-eye straight & curved needles, 30' invisible nylon thread wrapped onto a dental floss core, self-threading sewing needle, thimble.

Extras: (2) gallon zip bags, (2) extra AA cells for Mini Mag, (3) extra AAA cells for headlamp.

11. DOCUMENTATION - Cloud and survival information cards; this list. The cloud cards are to help predict the weather in case the radio fails.

12. FINANCES - $1.00 in quarters for a pay phone. A phone card would also be good. Obviously, this is for an urban survival situation.

13. TRANSPORTATION - I took a webbed, clip-on strap I had lying around and put it on the U.S. Army sustainment pouch I bought last month so I can carry it as a shoulder or cross-body bag or a waist pack.

14. ENTERTAINMENT - In addition to my EDC items, the same kite listed under 5. COMMUNICATION.

15. SECURITY & SELF-DEFENSE - A fire and in extreme circumstances, my knives, will keep wildlife at bay.

Excluding the water bottle and extra batteries, the total weight of everything listed is 6.5 lbs.