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The Urban Bachelorette
This kit was built for a single female living in Brooklyn, New York City. Her plan is to get to a cabin near the Ashokan Reservoir over 100 miles to the north. My biggest concern in this situation is people. Getting out of New York during a general panic would be nearly impossible in a vehicle. I always tell people to stay with the car as long as possible, but I can’t envision her being able to do that for very long because the roads around the city would become choked immediately.
So we planned out a walking route that follows the Hudson River north to a certain point where she would turn west toward the cabin. The benefit of this route is less people, abundant water (as long as it’s purified), and the possibility of catching fish. We packed emergency rations and 2 MREs because they only need water added to the heater to produce a hot meal with a lot of calories. She wants to stay on the move and has no intention of trapping small game, so we didn’t bother with snare wire and packed a small tent that’s easily set up and torn down.
Since she faces the possibility of trekking across New York in the winter, this kit has redundant fire-making items and warm and dry items. As far as First Aid, my main concern is slips, trips, and falls that become infected so we packed a Reebow 115-piece survival First Aid Kit, which has plenty of items (including a compass, whistle, poncho, and blanket) but isn’t too heavy.
The Urban Bachelorette inventory:
8 Emergency water packets
2 strips of Aquatabs
1 Life Straw
1 750ml Folding bottle
4 Energy bars (400 cal ea)
2 Emergency food ration bars (2400 cal ea)
3 Tealight candles
1 Butane lighter
2 Packs of waterproof matches
2 Zip fire starters
2 Packets of Wise fire starter
2 Cyalume light sticks
1 Hand crank flashlight
6 Hand warmers
1 Emergency blanket
1 Emergency poncho
1 Emergency sleeping bag
1 Tube tent
1 Set of gloves
1 Cold weather beanie
1 Reebow 115-piece First Aid Kit
1 Hygiene pack (toothbrush, toothpaste, body wash, deodorant, moisturizer, hand sanitizer, cleansing wipes, tissue, TP roll, cotton swabs, insect repellent wipes, sun block)
1 Medical pack (Neosporin, Advil, Benadryl, Dayquil, Nyquil, Blistex, Tums, Visine, face mask)
1 Cabela’s multi-tool
1 Multi use whistle
1 Fishing kit
1 Paracord bracelet with compass and flint
1 Tree saw
1 Tanto knife with flint
1 Stun gun / tactical flashlight
1 Bushcraft 101 manual
A popular optional item is a Mace gun with 2 cartridges to keep douchebags away. She also added a few packs of smokes, which we can’t blame her for. Although the apocalypse is a great time to quit cold turkey, it would suck!
Bag options – The Urban Bachelorette is one of the few kits we intentionally pack into a tactical bag. Since her plan is to walk along a riverbank where she’s less likely to run into people (and she only moves at night), it made sense to pack her kit in a black bag with plenty of pockets. In case she did run into people, we wanted her bag to send a message so would-be assailants thought twice about stealing it. A lone female in the woods carrying a purse might invite bad dudes more than one who looked like she was ready to fight back. It also comes in woodland and OD green.
I'm no Special Ops badass or survival expert. I graduated from the US Army Ranger School 25 years ago and survival school (SERE) a couple years after that. It was the best training of my life and I left there with a huge amount of confidence that if I was ever in a survival situation, I’d be fine. Still...I always kept a bug out bag by the door in case of...anything because a prepacked bag gives you a huge advantage over the rest of the world – time.
But I got tired of seeing the same old cheap survival bags that don’t take your geography, physical capabilities, dietary restrictions, or anything about you into account. And worse are those bags that promise 3 days of survival for one person. Who? And in what climate? And why are they all packed in camouflaged bags that attract attention? No thought is put into them. Everyone’s situation is different so your survival kit has to be tailored for each individual.
I live in Washington DC and my survival site is 75 miles away in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are plenty of fresh water sources, edible plants, and crops along the way, so food and water are not my biggest concerns. My biggest concern is people. If there was ever a comet, plague, or general scare in DC the roads would choke in an instant. If I'm not the first one on the road I'm gonna be caught in a shitstorm of panicked people so what I need is a low profile bag, plenty of alternate routes out of the city and weapons.
But when I packed my first bug out bag for this area (Northern Virginia), I made huge mistakes. I threw anything and everything into it thinking, “more is better.” Oh how wrong I was. Every bug out bag has to be tailored to the individual, their geography, capability, medical and dietary conditions, and especially...route. There are more variables than most people take into consideration.
Maybe you have diabetes. Maybe you're the "cranky when hungry" type who needs to carry more food or the "fuck sleeping on the ground" type. Maybe you have guns and need lots of ammo. Maybe you refuse to eat gluten. Maybe you sweat like crazy and need additional towels, t-shirts, and underwear. We'll talk about where you're going, who's going with you, what's available along the way, what you're capable of carrying, what the threats are, what your restrictions are, and anything else we can think of. We'll make a survival kit that’s right for you. And your family.
At DASH, we realize humans are humans. In a survival situation, people resort to their base instincts and steal. Especially when there's no law to stop them. So which is better...a gunfight to protect what you have or the bad guys not even giving you the time of day? A tactical, camouflaged, badass looking bag isn’t always a good thing.
A survival kit is a means to an end. It’s not meant to keep you safe and happy forever. It’s there to get you from point A to point B without worrying about whether or not you’re going to die from starvation, dehydration or exposure along the way. With a little bit of thought and effort, we can make the DASH to your alternative site a lot more comfortable.