Can You Survive Outside in an Emergency?

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In most cases, it’s best to stay inside your home where you have food, water, and shelter. However, there may be a reason why your home is not safe in an emergency. If it is and you do not have a warning ahead of time to get to a shelter, you may need to survive outside for a period of time. If you want to be prepared for this situation, there are a number of supplies you should have on hand. The goal is to stay dry, warm, and fed until you can find somewhere to shelter. 

Gathering Camping Supplies

It is a good idea to have basic camping supplies on hand in case you need to leave your home in an emergency. This should include everything from portable shelter to a first-aid kit in case anything goes wrong, but if you need to leave with only what you can carry, you may need to pair down the supplies to only the necessities. Some of the things you’ll definitely want to purchase and learn to use ahead of time include the following. 

  1. Tents and Shelter: You’ll need some sort of shelter to protect you from the elements. Tents that are designed for backpacking are lightweight and able to be packed into a small container, making them an excellent option if you have to leave on foot. If necessary, something as simple as a tarp to create a lean-to in the woods can work. If you are able to leave in a vehicle, you may be able to use a larger tent that is designed with your protection in mind. 
  2. Tools and Knives: Make sure you have basic tools and knives on hand. Knives can be used for everything from cutting down branches to create a shelter to cutting up food so you can eat it. Other tools you may want to have on hand could be a small handheld shovel, a can opener if you bring any canned goods with you in a vehicle, a weather radio for getting updates, and any specialized tools like a fishing pole that may be needed in your area. 
  3. Water Filtration: Water is heavy, so chances are, if you have to leave in a hurry with nothing but a backpack of supplies, you won’t be able to take a lot of it with you. Water filtration devices from places like Prepared Bee are a great option. You’ll be able to filter water you find on the way, so you won’t have to worry about getting sick by drinking water that has bacteria or other contaminants in it. Ahead of time, make sure you learn how to use the water filtration device and find out about any potential limitations so it’s easier to use in an emergency. 
  4. Light and Fire: You’ll need something to make light at night as well as to start fires to keep warm or cook food. Flashlights that operate off smaller batteries are perfect, as they can provide light while you’re walking at night and you can easily keep extra batteries in the backpack. A flint or other way to start a fire is necessary, as you’ll want to create a fire at night to stay safe and warm. However, make sure you practice using it ahead of time. You don’t want to be in a situation where you need a fire and you’re unable to get it to work. 

What You’ll Need in the Winter

If you have to leave the home in winter, the key is taking things that will help keep you warm and dry. The cold, especially if you’re wet from rain or snow, can be life-threatening. Make sure you pack supplies that can help you stay safe no matter what the weather is like outside and look for shelter as soon as possible to stay warm. 

  1. Blankets: Blankets are needed throughout the year, but especially during the winter months. If you’re using a backpack for supplies, make sure the blanket is lightweight and can be packed as small as possible to avoid it taking up too much space. Opt for wool, if possible, as this can dry quickly and will keep you warmer than synthetic materials. Also, consider a mylar emergency blanket that can be packed into a tiny space and use the sunlight to keep you warm if you end up wet or cold. 
  2. Wool Clothing: Make sure you have a spare set of clothing in case you do get wet. You’ll want something to change into while your clothes are drying. It is a good idea to opt for wool or other warm clothing, as this can help wick the water away from your skin and keep you as warm as possible while you look for shelter or until you can get changed. A rope can be used to hang clothes to dry as needed during the day, so you can get away with minimal clothing in the backpack as long as you do have a change of clothes. 

What You’ll Need in the Summer

During the summer months, you’ll want to stay cool and avoid sunburns or other concerns. It is just as important as the winter to be prepared for the weather and to make sure you have everything you need ahead of time. 

  1. Hats or Other Coverings: You’ll want a hat or other head covering to help protect your head from the sun. Bandanas are an excellent option, as they are tiny and won’t take up much room in the backpack. Plus, you can get them wet and put them on your head under a hat to help keep you cool no matter how hot it gets outside. 
  2. Bug Repellants: Bug repellants are a fantastic option if you may need to be outdoors for a period of time during the summer months. Small containers are easier to carry, but they don’t hold as much. Today, there are numerous options, including lotions that may be easier to handle compared to sprays if you’re out for a longer period of time. It may also be beneficial to look into natural ways to repel bugs, from starting a fire to using natural repellants during the day. 
  3. Fans: A handheld fan can be an excellent option for packing if you may need to be outdoors during the summer. You will want to stay cool, and this can help. Almost anything can be used to fan yourself to keep cool during the summer months, so this doesn’t need to be anything large or electronic. 

Storing Your Survival Equipment

Always make sure your survival equipment is well stored so it will be usable when you need it. Consider the type of situation you’ll be in where you need to leave your home in an emergency and make sure everything is together so it’s easier to grab if you need to go in a hurry. 

  1. Cool, Dry Area: You’ll want to store all supplies in a cool, dry area. Consider using waterproof containers for storage, as they can help keep water out in case there is flooding, keep pests away from food supplies you’re storing, and can be easy to pack in the car if you can take it when you leave the home. Consider the size of the containers if you’re planning on taking them in the car so they don’t end up too heavy to carry or too big to all fit in the car. 
  2. In a Backpack: It may be a good idea to have a backpack on hand in case you have to leave on foot. You’ll want to make sure you have the backpack packed so you can leave in a hurry. If you have time, you can always grab other supplies to pack in the car, but your backpack should hold all of the essentials so it’s ready to grab and go. Rotate the supplies in the backpack regularly and keep an eye on them to make sure there aren’t any pests. 
  3. On Shelves for Easy Access: It is a good idea to store all items in an area that’s easily accessible in your home. Often, people use a closet or other area close to the front door so they can grab supplies and leave in just a few minutes. When you’re considering where to store the times, think about how much you have on hand, how you’ll be taking them if you leave, and how you’ll need to care for them to make sure they’re good to use when you need them.

While it’s best to stay at home if there’s an emergency, it’s not always possible. If having to leave is a possibility, start prepping now so you can easily grab everything you need and leave in as little as a few minutes. Use the tips here to make sure you have all of the basics and that you’re ready to go if something happens. Make sure you rotate supplies so they’re always fresh and store everything properly to prevent any issues. Start prepping today so you’ll be ready if anything does happen.

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