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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Survival Preparation

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    There certainly is a line between worrying too much and taking unneeded risk. People often are too worried about technology as their safety device that they don't even think about the basics.
    It was in the early 80's, when we first took up bushwalking with the family (then all under 12) that my husband had the opportunity to gain his BMLC - Bushwalking and Mountaincraft Leadership Certificate.

    From that day to this, my preparation for any venture, has always centred on survival. I do not carry half of what is suggested, but then, I carefully calculate any risk I take, considering my equipment and ability to cope.

    A typical ocassion was when, in 2007, heading north from Kalispell MT to Glacier NP, I called in at the ranger station in Hungry Horse. (Yes, there is such a town!) Wanting to see somethings off the beaten track, he suggested I go to Belmont Point, from where you could see into the glacial lakes at the southern end of this NP.

    He had asked what I was driving - a 1994 Camry sedan - and of my driving ability - trained professional driver - then went on to say that it is an 11 mile trip up the mountain which takes 45 mins - one way! After deescribing the road, etc. to me, I headed for the destination.

    Not long into this memorable journey, a tree had recently fallen across the road and been cut so that vehicles could pass through. My immediate thought was..... what if a tree should fall between now, and when I return?

    Then the mental checklist sprung up:
    *Water - 2 doz. bottles
    *Food - lots (always seem to carry excess)
    *Fuel for the small cooking stove - three cannisters
    *Sleeping bag and pillow
    *Fuel tank - full (I would not get cold)
    so I knew, that even if I should be marooned on that mountain, I would survive for a week or more, if need be. (I would not like it.) Since there are several communication towers on top, someone was bound to come by sooner or later, the road looked well used.

    And so, I continued without worry or fear. Took every bit of the 45 mins.

    And it is a magnificent view from up top, though it was a good 5 mins before I could get out of the car after that hair-raising drive.
    Lifey who still likes a challenge

  2. Default Here's my list, if it's helpful..

    Here's what we took on our 2-week 5000 mile summer trip. We only stayed at full-service campgrounds and the occasional hotel. This was just the right amount of stuff for the trunk of our little Ford Focus. Our only problem was that the souvenirs that accumulated and began to fill the backseat!

    We Each Need:
    • sleeping bag, pillow
    • clothes, pj's
    • swimsuits, camping towel
    • reusable water bottle
    • sneakers, flips
    • wallets
    • small backpack
    • sunglasses
    • camera, phone, ipod, chargers
    • chapstick

    Bathroom Stuff:
    • toothpaste/toothbrush
    • soap
    • moisturizer
    • shampoo/conditioner/hairbrush
    • sunscreen, bug spray
    • travel first aid kit
    • swiss army knife
    • nail clippers
    • medicines

    Camping Stuff
    • tent
    • mallet (for stakes)
    • flashlights/lantern/lighter/fire starters
    • cooler
    • frying pan, flipper, campfire pie maker
    • paper plates
    • can opener

    Other Stuff
    • car kit (tire pressure gauge, flares, emerg. blanket, etc..)
    • TomTom GPS
    • books
    • sketchpads, pencils, pens, markers

    Here are 2 of my favorite things that I couldn't travel with out:

    Ebags Packing Cubes -great for keeping clothing and electronics organized

    LLBean Toiletries Organizer
    - fits everything and has a hook so you can hang it up in a public shower, or on a bathroom mirror- and have easy access to everything- this thing is awesome!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Nice list

    Yes, that's a good addition to this thread!


  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Around the Des Moines area.


    This will help alot of my trips. I have my own personal list for travel but always looking to update it to make my travels easier.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri

    Default Block ice, anyone?

    Here's a question: What's the availability of BLOCK ICE for ice chests, in other areas of the country?

    Around here - - forget it. We used to get block ice at Albertsons or Stater Bros (grocery stores). Not any more. Then we could buy it at 7-11. Not any more! I have one block that's been in my freezer that has been used for a couple of day trips. I told my hubby, it's time for that block to get used as we are going to be gone for awhile this time.

    Last edited by DonnaR57; 06-29-2011 at 04:10 PM. Reason: adding info

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Haven't seen block ice in a decade or two

    Ice is packaged in large cubes and in bags, but I rarely use ice at all any more. I use the re-freezable packing supplies for my coolers.


  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts


    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Here's a question: What's the availability of BLOCK ICE for ice chests, in other areas of the country?
    The last place I saw block ice was at a convenience store in Winchendon, MA - and that was one of the only things the store actually had for sale. That was last summer, or the one before. Mostly I use a plugin cooler - though that doesn't give the absolute ice-cold chill of a good chunk of frozen water.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default funny you mention it

    I actually ran across ice blocks a couple weeks ago, and ever since I've been wondering why it has become such a rare thing.

    I was getting groceries at a Cub Foods outside of St. Paul while camping over Memorial Day, when they had a few blocks jammed in between the small and large bags of cubes. I picked up the 10 lbs block on a Friday night, threw it in the cooler, and it kept things cold for the rest of the weekend. I'd never be able to do that with even a 20 lbs bag of cubes.

    I've been kind of keeping an eye out to see if any stores around me have it, but so far no luck...

    I've got a small plug in cooler, but I always end up worrying that its going to drain the battery if I'm parked for extended periods.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Central Missouri


    Hubby doesn't want a plug in cooler for exactly that reason: draining the battery when parked. That's why ice is so important.

    I thought about using those refreezeable ice packs. From what we saw of the freezers in the little refrigerators in motel rooms, though, I'm hesitant. We stay in motels that have had either no refrigerators at all, or just little ones with a tiny little freezer (maybe big enough to hold 2 ice cube trays). So we were discussing "block ice" vs "bag ice" when I reminded my husband that we haven't seen block ice around here in awhile. We prefer it, though, as it keeps stuff cold lots longer (and you don't have to buy a new bag every day).


  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Ice blocks and bags and plug ins.

    Mine is a fairly large plug-in, which is a fridge, and if I turn it down far enough, a freezer. A few hours, while having a chinwag over a cuppa, has never worried the battery. It also has a battery alert which turns down the fridge if it senses the battery getting low. When camping overnight, I turn it down to the lowest setting, and leave it outside the car, in the cool/cold night air.

    When I get my camper it must have a three way fridge... the only way to go.

    As for ice, and all that wet mess? Not for me. But it is logical why they sell ice in bags. Each piece is hollow, freezes quicikly and melts quickly. Quick turnover, more profitable than blocks.

    When we camped with the family, we would freeze cartons of milk and bottles of water to keep the rest cold. Even with our big cooler, there was never enough room to add anything which was not going to be consumed. And on a couple of ocassions we used dry ice. Now that does keep things cool!!


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