Life in Missoula, Montana.
A while ago I posted about five essential tools you need for when the next apocalypse breaks out. Since it was the most popular blog post so far, I decided to do another. So, here are three more essential items you need for the next apocalypse. They're small, easy to carry, easy to get, and could save your life in an emergency.
1. A Bandana. You've seen those cotton bandanas at outdoor stores? Ever wondered exactly what you would need one for? Well these handy items have so many uses i may not be able to list them all. Get one in a bright color and you can use it to signal for help. You can use it as a trail marker so you don't get lost. Wear it as a headband, a hat, or as ear muffs or a neck gaiter when it's cold. If its very hot, soak it in cold water and put it on your neck to stay cooler.
In an emergency situation, it can be used as a bandage, an eye patch, or a sling for an injured arm. If you break a bone and create a makeshift splint, use the bandana to tie it in place. Fold it into a pouch and put in ice for a cold pack for use on major injuries and bruises. For extreme injuries, it could even be a tourniquet.
If there is an apocalyptic situation, you won't have access to all the things you're used to. You'll realize quickly that you need to improvise, and that common items will have to be used in new ways. Your bandana can be worn as a mask to keep out dust and germs. It can also be a potholder, a dishtowel, a napkin, a washcloth, or a handkerchief. There are so many uses that, maybe, you're starting to realize that you should carry a few all the time. Keep one clean and use the others for general camp uses. A bandana can be used as a sleep mask, or a lens cleaner. You can filter water through it to filter out particulates before you purify water. Wrap the bandana around a small stone and then tie some cord around it. Now you can throw the line over a tree branch to make a shelter, hang a tarp, or hang food. Use it as padding between you and your pack, or wrap fragile items in it before you stow them in your bag. If you needed to, you could tear a bandana into thin strips and make a short piece of cordage. That cord can be used to tie items together, tie them to your gear, or make a little snare trap. You can use small pieces as a candle wick or as tinder to start a fire. Finally, a bandana can be folded into a small pouch to carry all the miscellaneous little things that you can't afford to lose. Or, lay out your items on it, gather up the edges, and tie it to a stick. Voila, you have what used to be known as a hobo bag that you can sling over your shoulder. Uses for your bandana are only limited by your imagination. Carry a few of these and that's ten or twenty other things you don't need to pack.
2. Garbage Bags. Everyone knows that a garbage bag can be used to carry things. It keeps your stuff dry and can be expanded or compressed to carry a little or a lot. Unlike a lot of bags, a garbage bag can carry water, which might save your life if the 'stuff' hits the fan. Not only can you carry water, but you can use it to collect water, either from rain or from evaporation. Since we're on the subject of water, leave your garbage bag full of water in a sunny spot until it heats up. Hang it somewhere. Poke a hole in the bottom and you have a warm shower- a wonderful luxury in an apocalypse. You can carry food in it or use it to trap small animals for food. You can use one or more duct taped together to make a tent or other shelter. Put one below you at night as a ground cover to keep out the chill of sleeping on the ground. Or, stuff it with leaves and grass to make a mattress. Wear one during a zombie apocalypse as a barrier against dangerous zombie blood and other fluids. You can make a sling or tourniquet out of one or use a piece of it to make a water proof covering over a bandage. If you find yourself in the rain, cut arm holes in a garbage bag and make a poncho. Stuff leaves or old clothes in your new poncho to keep warm.
Food, water, and warmth are three of your main concerns in any emergency situation, and garbage bags can help with all of these. If you're smart and can improvise they have even more uses. Since they're lightweight and easy to pack, there's no reason not to carry a few.
3. Duct Tape. Is there anyone who doesn't know the wonder of duct tape? It can fix almost anything: Cars, bikes, tents, rain gear, water bottles, and almost anything else. It's strong, pliable, and waterproof which makes it usable in all sorts of situations. A major apocalypse means you'll probably be scavenging for things you can use, and chances are that many of those things will need a little repair. Duct tape. You can use it to hold a bandage in place, to make a first aid sling, or to stabilize a splint. You could even use it to hold a wound together, in a pinch. Use some with a few garbage bags (you already have those, right?) to make a shelter or tarp. Need to make a bowl or a drinking cup? You could do it with duct tape. Make a belt, or a sling for a weapon.
Duct Tape has added benefits in a zombie apocalypse. Don't have the heart to kill a zombie? Duct tape over its mouth and duct tape handcuffs render a
zombie pretty harmless, (though it would be a lot easier just to kill it). Being bitten by a zombie would not only cause you a long, slow death, but would turn you into one. It must be avoided at all costs. Luckily, duct tape can help. Reinforce clothes with duct tape to make them bite proof. Sleeves and shoulders are one priority, though don't forget some zombies are ankle biters. Make duct tape hand and wrist guards or zombie proof neck gaiters. If you can't find a helmet, make one from duct tape. You may look silly, but it'll help you survive.
So, here are three items that will serve you well in any emergency. Thow them in the glove box of your car, put them in with your camping gear, and store all three with your emergency survival gear. They can be useful for first aid, for shelter, for carrying food and water, and for basic comfort. With these three things you can rig up lots of improvised necessities and make your apocalyptic experience a little less miserable. They can be the difference between death and survival or the difference between surviving and thriving.