10 Packs for Survival
From: Joel Skousen
Joel is an author and expert in building secure homes. Please visit his web page for more information or to purchase his informative books.
This booklet was prepared to provide you with the essential minimums for survival preparations. While it is not exhaustive in coverage, it is complete as to the needs of most people. Before adding long lists of your personal extra needs, try calculating the cost of these bare essentials. You will be amazed at the high cost of contingency preparations. This is not intended to discourage you, but rather, to help you realistically determine your future financial priorities so as to ensure you have bought the essentials before adding the sophisticated extras. After you have acquired about half of the recommended items, you will become aware of a critical lack of storage space within your home–if it is designed like most American houses. To assist you in planning for a more self-sufficient residence we have also included a brief summary of the concepts outlined in the 500 page Survival Home Manual. If you desire to pursue the subject in more detail, we suggest you order the manual direct from our Architectural offices using the order form at the end to the booklet.
Philosophy And Design Criteria of The Survival Home
Survival architecture is the unique design combination (in the proper proportion) of facilities, materials, supplies, equipment, knowledge and skill exactly matching a correct analysis of what shortages and crises we will face in the future. In achieving this purpose I make reference to the fact that “survival means more than solar” to emphasize the need to avoid becoming too involved with only one aspect of self-sufficiency at the expense of the others. This error in proper perspective has become the most common mistake in the entire craze for self-sufficiency. With each new product devised, a corresponding marketing slogan usually appears describing “how you can become totally self-sufficient” with their product. The potential severity of future crises, however, seems to dictate that no one product brings total self-sufficiency. It seems most probable in the final analysis that no set of products or facilities, no matter how complete,brings anything but temporary self-sufficiency for a lone individual.
There are a variety of terms and definitions floating around in the “self-sufficiency” arena–one of the least understood pertains to “survival and “retreat” philosophy. “Self-sufficiency” as a term is well accepted and enjoys frequent use among the entire social strata, whereas “survival” intimates “gloom and doom”. However, under more careful scrutiny, it becomes obvious that “survival” and “self-sufficiency” are nearly synonymous. In actuality, the purpose of self-sufficiency is to SURVIVE various crises where one is in competition with others for scarce resources: ie, food and fuel shortages, dwindling finances, or social unrest, etc.
There is a significant difference between the general term “survival” and its child, the “retreat” philosophy, which is an ultimate reaction at the limits of the self-sufficiency concept.
Why Self – Sufficiency?
Many subscribe to the view that most of our future economic woes and commodity shortages will be government induced through bureaucratic mismanagement and excessive regulation. So, you say, the responsibility will simply fall back on ourselves, where it rightly belongs. However, this view overlooks our prime and ever-increasing social weakness; that our society has become so specialized in its occupational endeavors, we no longer have the will or skills to revert rapidly to a generalists society with each providing his own essential skills and services. Thus, we encounter the real reason for the craze for self-sufficiency: the inner need to become confident in our ability to provide for ourselves and our family should a minor or major crisis or shortage arise. The motive to save a few heating dollars is perhaps primary with many who may purchase a wood stove, but it soon becomes obvious to most woodburners that wood heat is only a small portion of their total self-sufficiency needs. In fact, when you tally all the other additional self-sufficiency needs such as water, waste disposal, electricity, storage space, tools, and security, you suddenly realize that you have come face to face with the word “survival”, which is the word that, in essence, reflects “ultimate self-sufficiency”.
Everything Involves a Priority Choice
While the survival retreat concept gets all the headlines in the hard money newsletters, its share of actual dollars invested is insignificant. From my experience as the architect most often involved in survival housing, the majority of client energy and funds are devoted to residential upgrade and preparation within the bounds of suburban or semi-rural living. Why? Frankly because very few people have the time, money or inclination to separate themselves completely from society even though they believe that difficult economic and social problems will be forthcoming.
100% rural self-sufficiency is almost impossible to achieve on anything more than a hermit level. Even then it is either all-time consuming or inordinately expensive and probably both.
In the final analysis then, everything in the survival and self-sufficiency field is a compromise or trade off of one lesser asset for another more important to you. If you want isolation to have security, then you usually sacrifice social ties, time and gasoline in commuting, and maybe electricity, telephone, and leadership opportunities.
There are ways of overcoming these compromises–if you have enough money, additional manpower and equipment; but you may become so sophisticated that you aren’t self-sufficient any more. No two individuals or families should utilize the same self-sufficiency plans.
Here are the Essential Steps
- Begin reading non-governmental analyses of the state of the nation. Specifically: political, economic, social, military, and moral trends. Reading recommendations include:PERSONAL FINANCE newsletter901 N. Washington St. suite 605
Alexandria, Va 22314
Gary North’s REMNANT REVIEW
P. O. BOX 39800
Phoenix, AZ 85069
- Analyze the condition of your local state and community as to long term survivability in a crisis:Most favorable criteria are:low population density (50 people per sq. mile or less)
High level of religious, moral character.
Lack of highly unionized heavy industry, or welfare populous.
Strong local autonomy with little attachment to federal funds.
Diversified economy with an agricultural base.
- Make a series of decisions based upon your national and local assessment as what problems you most likely will encounter. Note: You cannot come to a proper design of a self-sufficient or survival residence unless you have determined what shortages, crises, or threats you face. The better your research, the more accurate your predictions will be.
- Read the Survival Home Manual and study the essentials of survival residential design to determine what your present home lacks and what is available in new or remodeled survival construction.
- Determine, financially and security wise, whether you should remain in your present home and remodel, move and build or buy a more suitable home. Consider job, and/or commuting time. It is imperative that you do not destroy your income producing ability unless you have other means or opportunities to turn to which will survive most economic downturns. Don’t be tricked into thinking you can go “live off the land”. The capital required for machinery and non-growable necessities will require substantial monthly income.
- Start saving and begin a monthly procurement plan for acquiring the items listed in the 10 packs for survival. Do it each month–don’t wait for enough money to accumulate for a one time purchase of everything–it may not be readily available then.
The foregoing introductory material is essential in order to appreciate the following survival design criteria. The quantity of preparedness features I will describe may not be necessary in every case, depending on the relative security of the location you choose to live in. Remember, the more self-sufficient and secure the area in which you live, the less it costs you to prepare for personal survival,
Primary Faults of Conventional Housing
The following are the six essential liabilities of the conventional residential structure:
- Lack of security (fire, intrusion, vandalism)
- Poor resistance to heat, cold, wind, and sun.
- Lack of storage facilities (food, dry goods, machinery etc).
- Poor floor plan efficiency (costly wasted space, lack of emergencyaccommodations)
- Single source of heat for space heating, water heating, ,@Ind cooking.
- Single source of water and electrical power.
In my actual design work, the most common concern expressed by the wife of a client is that the home not look like a fortress or a bunker. This is not only possible but preferable. There is no benefit in becoming a known target for resentment during hard times. The best survival residences are designed to look completely conventional both inside and out, so that you may stay within the bounds of society without appearing as an extremist and encouraging undue resentment.
The properly designed survival residence has within its walls and private recesses all the equipment and design technology that allows you to maintain a nearly normal lifestyle throughout a crisis. This is extremely important to the family man who must maintain his income during hard times. He cannot afford to take time off from work to heat hot water over a camp stove during an electrical outage or stand guard over his house day and night when major civil disturbances occur.
The following are some of the major design features of a survival residence:
- Independent well water and/or water storage facilities integral with the home
- Multi-fuel furnace (burns at least three different fuels)
- Reserve or standby electrical power
- Multi-fuel cooking facilities, and water heating equipment
- Secure walls, doors, and windows with intrusion monitoring equipment
- Superior energy-conserving structural design utilizing solar and underground design where possible
- Secret and semi-private storage facilities which include a fallout shelter
- Maintenance and repair facilities with appropriate tools
- Greenhouse and other food production facilities
- Internal communications equipment
If you are questioning the potential costliness of a full survival residence, consider this: it is not intended to discourage you from acting due to lack of sufficient funds, but rather to show you the importance of ordering your financial priorities In order to start preparing in the most critical areas first. In all cases, never place all of your available funds into one, or even two areas at the exclusion of all others.
If, in the final analysis, you find that not all of your self-sufficiency preparations were utilized, you will have at least spent many a restful night with the assurance that you have done everything within your ability to prepare you and your family for realistic potential difficulties.
Both those who wish to relocate permanently and those who may simply desire to construct a vacation retreat cabin elsewhere will need some guidance as to the best areas for security: We have made available to our clients the most comprehensive security map covering the entire United States, both as to the most dangerous areas and the most secure areas. It represents many years of research and analysis and may be ordered direct from the architectural and planning division using the order form at the end of this booklet.
- 200 lbs/person, hard winter wheat 50 lbs/person,rice 50 lbs/person, beans 10 lbs/person, honey 25 lbs/person, powdered milk(non-instant type) 6-months supply normal canned goods and bottled fruit
- 1-large bottle 1000mg VITAMIN C 1-large bottle multiple vitamin 2-clove garlic (nature’s anti-biotic) (keep refrigerated)
- 4-#10 can/person dehydrated fruits and vegetables (use for variety-not for bulk) Salt, pepper, spices Oil (keep refrigerated)
- 1- portable water washer filtering kit (from american water purification co. 1990 @olivera rd. Concord, ca 94520)
- 1/person water straw individual filter straw (from american water@purif.)
- 1-pack scientific filter paper (cone) (12v diameter papers)
- 1/person 10 gallon glass distilled water bottle. (date and seal with stopper and tape. Wrap on bottom and sides with dense foam carpet pad to protect against earthquake or jarring.
- 1-bottle halazone tabs. Or regular chlorine bleach for water purification.
- Power Pack
- 1-mobile, self-contained 3kw 120/220v generator (diesel or gasoline/gas) with one month fuel supply in portable tanks
- 1-12 volt auto battery with carry strap trickle charger, and jumper cables and 12v light attachment
- 1-100 ft. 4-plug heavy duty extension cord with built in light bulb (rough duty rated) in a “cage”
- 2-hand-operated flashlights (item #605-771w695 from us general catalog 100 general place, @jerico n.y. 11753)
- 2-nicad flashlights (item # 852-5350w us general catalog)
- 1-long range police-type flashlight with extra bulbs
- Supply of nicad batteries with charger:
- 8-D cell
- 4-D cell
- 16-AA cell
- 2-9v transistor type
- Blood pressure gauge (electronic)
- Bandage scissors
- Long tweezers
- 2-locking forceps (1-curved point)
- Disposable scalpels
- Thermometer (oral and rectal)
- Inflatable splints
- Bandages elastic, self adhesive band-aids large compress type with straps.
- Sutures (dissolvable)
- Cotton backed adhesive tape
- Aloe vera burn ointment
- Anti-biotic ointment
- Rubbing alcohol
- Ipecac syrup (to induce vomiting)
- Container of sterile water (1 qt)
- Clean absorbent cotton rags
- Soap (liquid)
- Long stemmed cotton swabs
- 1/person: 10 speed bicycle with heavy. Duty tires, rack and carriers, lights
- 1 emergency vehicle (recommend vw vanagan with trailer hitch, locking gas cap, and camper options. Install bike racks front and rear, and extra 30 gallon gas tank. Carry oil cans two flashlights emergency tool kit: extra fan belts, metric wrenches and sockets, oil filter, air filter fuel filter, spark plugs, points, condenser, fuses, light bulbs, head light, tire pump, aerosol tire repair sealer, jumper cables, tow cable w/hooks, inflatable raft (4 man) with paddles.
- 1-250cc motorcycle equipped for road and off road use. Add equipment and extra fuel tank carriers.
(These items should be packed in portable “duffle bags” ready to go)
- 1-qt water per person
- 2-“energy bars” per person
- Dehydrated food pack for one week dried fruit, vegetables, meat flour, oil, salt, pepper, spices vitamins, honey,peanut butter crackers, protein powder, powder milk
- Collapsible 5 ga. Water containers
- “Water washer” filter
- Lightweight cook kit large pot, dishes, spoons, forks knives, cups, non-stick skillet spatula, can opener, large spoon
- 2-water proof nylon tarps
- Change of clothes for each person
- 1-thermal blanket
- 1-sleeping bag / person
- Matches, fire starter
- Compass, maps of areas of intended use
- 2-rechargeable flashlights
- 12v trouble light w/@cig. lighter plug
- First aid kit
- Toilet paper,
- 1-pocket knife
- 1-fishing kit
- 1-large bowie knife (western cutlery) (perfectly weighted to serve as both fire knife and hatchet etc)
- 1-small portable mt. Climber’s stove
- 1-back pack with frame
- Paper, pencil
- Signaling mirror
- 1-manual flashlight
- Whistle , portable cable saw
- Small bottle of bleach, insect repellent.
- Magnifying glass
- 100 ft. 1/2 dia. Goldline rope,
- 2 pulleys
- 50 ft. Nylon “shroudline” cord
- .22 caliber pistol w/ 500 rds. Ammo.
- Multi-band receiver/scanner
- 1-citizens band transceiver
- 2- 3 channel portable transceivers rechargeable batteries,p ortable power pack, antennas
- 1-small portable television (battery operated)
- Equipment Pack
- 1-grind all grinder(for wheat, corn beans, peas, nuts etc.) Ram Products 765 S. University Ave. Provo, UT. 84601 1-grain country bread mixer. Food Science Corp. 95 N. 200 E American Fork, UT 84003
- 1- Victorio strainer (Vitantonio Corp Willoughby, Ohio 44090)
- 1-hand operated can opener
- 1-steam canner with canning bottles w/lids and rings for two seasons cutlery: high quality knives:
- Peeler/filet knife
- Pairing knife (short small)
- Long slicing knife.
- 1-portable electric icebox 12v. Koolatron industries limited, 56 Harvester Ave. Batavia , NY 14020
- Kerosene lamp/heater by aladdin
- Two burner kerosene or propane stove with one month fuel supply
- Hand operated clothes wringer
- Treadle sewing machine or treadle attachment for your electric machine
- Portable electric hot plate
- Fire extinguisher (portable)
- .22 cal.pistol (9-shot revolver or 15 shot auto) w/ 1000 rds. ammo.
- .22 cal. rifle w/1000 rds. ammo.
- 45 cal. auto pistol w/ 100 rds. ammo.
- .223 rifle (mini14 by ruger) w/ 500 rds. ammo.
- 2- canisters of aerosol mace
- 1-pocket knife
- 1- bowie knife
- 1- 250 amp portable arc welder
- Pelletized oxy-acetylene torch
- Propane torch w/spark lighter
- Solder/flux (electrical and non)
- Allen wrench set
- Nut driver set
- Tap & die set (national course,fine)
- Socket set & ratchet handle, @extens.
- Channel lock pliers
- 2-adjustable “crescent” wrenches
- Needle nose pliers with wire cut.
- Vise grip pliers with narrow jaw
- Metal chisel
- Wood chisel set
- Metal punch/drift
- Tin snips
- Claw hammer
- Small, large screwdrivers
- Small, large phillips screwdrivers
- Hand operated twist drill
- Auger expansion bit with brace
- Hack saw
- Bow saw
- Handsaw (10 pt teeth)
- Large pry bar/wrecking bar
- Small block and tackle or ‘come-a-long” hand operated winch.
- Glue assorted
- Nails, nuts, bolts, screws
- Electric multi meter,
- 110 circuit test light
These items generally meet all of the following criteria for Barter
1. High consumer demand
2. Not easily home manufactured
3. Durable in storage
4. Divisible in small quantities
5. Authenticity easily recognizable
- Liquid detergent,
- Laundry detergent
- Rubbing alcohol
- Razor blades
- Toilet paper
- Aluminum foil
- Writing paper, typing paper,
- Pencils, erasers
- Shoelaces, string, cord, rope
- Fishing line
- Insect repellent
- Water repellent
- Paint, varnish
- Light bulbs
- Needles, thread, zippers, buttons
- Aspirin, vitamins, other drugs
- Seeds, grain, sugar,
- Coffee, liquor, cigarettes
- Anti-biotics, burn ointments
- Safety pins
- Manual can opener
- Canning jars, lids, rings
- Shoes, boots, socks, nylon stockings
- Winter clothes
- Hand guns, rifles,ammunition
- Fuels (all types)
- Quarts of multi-vis motor oil
- Bolts, screws, nails