Not So Secret Cache Part 3 Even More Stash
Secret Cache Part 3 brings even more stash words and links about first aid, communication, security, and more on the psychology of prepping and stressful situations.
First Aid, Health, and Wellness
I mentioned vitamins in the previous post, I always do, you have to think holistically at all times, preparing for an emergency does not mean you are in a bare minimum survival mode, it means you thought ahead and made plans for success. For success! A Don’t ever lose sight of that when you’re setting up your secret cache.
Prescription medications are another part of this that you need to keep careful track of, quantities and expiration dates become paramount, they are prescribed for a reason, right?
To use some of your prescribed medication, you may need other supplies, keeping some in your duffel would be prudent.
A first-aid kit is a high-value item in your duffel. You cannot count on your friend to have the required items you might need in case of bodily injury. I made my first-aid kit from separate items, and so should you.
This is where I will stick the PSL Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) link when we are ready to sell them. (I know anti-climactic) until then, check the Ultralight .9 out. It’s from perennial outdoors first aid kit seller Adventure Medics. I had one of these in the past and it was pricey but ok.
If you wear eyeglasses like me, you need a current spare pair in your duffel, there is nothing to elaborate on this one. I had the type which has a sunglasses snap-on piece.
- Vitamins, fiber, and electrolytes
Keeping clean is great for the mind and body. It helps you feel like a (modern) human being! It helps keep diseases away and let’s not avoid talking about the smells that a group of people under stress in an enclosed space can generate.
You can keep a full compliment of:
- Dental Hygiene Kit
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash, and floss.
- Body Hygiene Kit
- Soap, washcloth or loofah, shampoo
- Grooming Kit
- Shaving, Nail clippers, etc.
CB’s, walkies, HAM. Great, great, great. However your first tool for communications is your mobile phone, only you can decide who in your family gets a mobile phone, perhaps at a certain age, etc. Linking a mobile phone here would be silly. iOS, Android, or Microsoft are your software choices. Your hardware choices are legion.
- Charge plug is the same type across most devices.
- Hardened cases for protection.
- Spare charging cables or wireless charging pads.
- Offline copies of your plans.
The day will come when you might want backup means of communication. I say Amateur Radio (HAM) is the logical choice because of at least one simple reason: You have to study and learn to get your license. HAM radios were super expensive a few years back, I would drool reading magazine ads and dreamed of owning a ‘rig’ one day. Well, I did one day, a BaoFeng UV-5R. Cheap, easy, workable. The UV-5R was replaced by the BF-F8HP, which is labeled as a 3rd generation UV-5R. Buy it now, learn it later.
Any process or procedure you have for a communications plan can be learned with your mobile, if you want an analog for HAM while you and your family, group, or friends get licenses then a CB, FRS, or GMRS radio can help. They don’t have the distance of HAM, or all the bells and whistles, however as learning tools and secondary or tertiary communications systems they may be useful to you. Beware the range that manufacturers post on these devices, I have yet to come close to any mentioned on marketing information.
Communications also mean being informed. I have a couple of those solar, battery, rechargeable, crank radios. A Midland – XT511 with built-in GMRS ‘home base’ and an Ambient Weather WR-111B (not made anymore) you can try another similar radio, like the Kaito to the right. I also have a C. Crane for Shortwave, but that is just for ref, the Kaito has SW, but no AC adapter, that’s another $10 if you want it.
Finally, develop a robust communication plan including NATO phonetic alphabet and, perhaps, simple code words for locations and people.
Touchy subject, you want to make yourself and family safe and secure, while at your BOL Local, State, and Federal laws will make this a challenging part of your plan. Maybe you can’t have a specific type of knife at one location, and it’s perfectly legal in another. The same might apply to firearms, pepper spray, or even a slingshot.
Step 1: Resolve any internal questions on the need for any of the above tools. Think hard about having something that can inadvertently harm someone due to your negligence. You are responsible.
Take this time to remember or acquaint yourself with the laws of our land. The 2nd Amendment first.
Step 2: Know your local laws, it’s your responsibility. The following links could help:
- Pepper Spray
- SABRE’s (a pepper spray manufacturer) Pepper Spray Laws
- Stun guns (aka Tasers)
- Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Stun Gun Laws and Permit Requirements
Step 3: Educate yourself. Whatever you decide to get learn about it and learn to use it. Find a local organization that can offer general safety training or user training.
Local law enforcement may help with information, or you may have clubs around your town that can help, etc. Don’t strictly rely on online sources (even this website) or printed materials. Verify as much as you can. You are responsible.
Step 4: Buy what you can, and have decided on, remember you are responsible for storing, maintenance, and usage once you buy it. Chose wisely these types of purchases don’t tend to be cheap.
Step 5: Obey the law.
Step 6: Come back and read our posts on firearms and other self-defense tools.
Having said all of that, your friend might not want you to have any of it in the duffel, yet he might be fine with it being there when you are there. As I said, it’s a touchy subject, and this whole section might only help in starting a conversation for you or not have helped you at all.
Remember those rechargeable batteries, well here is another tool that will need them, flashlights, and/or headlamp. I recommend both. This is also one of those tools that you will try a few before you settle on your keeper (at least I did. I had a Maglite LED, that did not work out. I have a Fenix TK15 which I love, it’s heavy, built like a brick house and uses two CR123A batteries (which is the only thing I don’t like, back in my early days I was naive and lazy) The Ultimate Edition to the left is slightly different, mine does not have that silver color on the rim.
I have a replacement on my list, another Fenix, the LD12 it uses AAs. It is way less powerful though, so though I am linking it here, I am not 100% certain this will be the TK15s replacement.
My hiking approach to illumination is a Fenix HL21 which seems to be discontinued and has been replaced by the HL50 both use AA batteries. Petzl would be the other manufacturer that I look at for headlamps, I simply have not needed to replace my HL21. I pair the headlamp with a cheap LED flashlight I found on Amazon they use one AA battery and are very bright at full power. Here is the kicker: two for ten bucks.
I spent over 10 years in a third world country, I was a kid, it was fun. Fresh fruit, playing around most of the day, not many chores. Power outages were so common that when power returned it was cause for celebrations. We used candles, many candles during my years there. The candles were cheap four or five-inch tall white paraffin-type candles, I think in the US we call them Taper Candle, I found them at a Discount store (aka Dollar store, though you seldom find any dollar items) at ten four-inch or eight five-inch candles per pack, the packs were the same price a dollar fifty (Saw something very similar on Amazon for five bucks!!!!). Tea light candles will work too. Get some candles.
Oil lamps, propane lamps, etc would be too big for your duffel, great additions otherwise.
Remember batteries and charger for all the comm gear in the duffel, go ahead and throw a small solar charger in there to, maybe extra antennas too. The Tenergy charger to the left looks like a great idea, I don’t have it yet, but I will buy it soon. Batteries and the charger can also be one of the items you have that your friend can also use, in case they forgot batteries and a charger.
Tenergy also makes batteries, I have a couple of battery brands that I regularly buy, Tenergy for odd-sized batteries and Rayovac for standard sized batteries. I also picked up charges for each from their respective manufacturers.
I spent a little bit of money on these plastic battery organizers which I use very little, they came in handy once during hiking.
We continue this series, remember all this stuff can and will fit in a duffel!