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Anyone who lives in hurricane country knows that hunkering down is a way of life when a big storm is predicted. As a matter of fact, in the southern United States, hurricane parties are common. When a hurricane is eminent, friends and family gather in a storm proof area, bringing food, drink and amusements to help while the time away until the storm passes.
According to the Urban Dictionary, there is even a game called “Hunker Down”:
Hunker Down game is a game played at hurricane parties. You watch the weather report and every time the weatherman or news guy says “hunker down” you take a shot. By the time the electricity is out, you don’t even care any more.
Okay, that may be an extreme and may be making light of a serious situation but still, during most emergencies we should be able to hunker down in our own homes, surrounded by the items that we have put in place to insure our comfort and safety.
In the preparedness community, hunkering down is typically referred to as “bugging in”. To me, staying in your home for an extended period of time while waiting for the danger to pass makes good sense. Unless a situation is dire (and the local authorities say it is time to GO), I simply cannot imagine leaving familiar surroundings for parts unknown.
With this in mind, today I would like to share with you a list of items to include in an emergency comfort kit. These are items that you probably already own although they are likely spread throughout your home in one place or another. Today we are going to gather these items together and store them in a bucket, large plastic tub, or even a box so that we can get to them quickly when the call to hunker down arrives.
Note: This list assumes all of your regular preps (food, water, first aid and such) are already in place and accounted for. With that in mind, let’s have some fun with this.
16 Items To Help You Hunker Down in Comfort
Below you will find a list of 16 items to help you hunker down – or bug-in – in comfort, whether in your own home or someone else’s. The list is in no particular order and most certainly is not all-inclusive.
1. Coffee and Hot Chocolate
Can you imagine anything more comforting than a hot cup of coffee in the morning and a warm cup of hot chocolate at night. Of course this assumes that you have emergency cooking gear in place (camp stoves, butane burners, fire pit, rocket stove).
2. Bar Soap
If you have ever gone 5 or 6 days without a shower, you will appreciate the need for some bar soap and a washcloth to keep you fresh while stuck in your bug in location. Liquid soap is nice – and it has many uses – but bar soap is more compact and will last a lot longer in an emergency.
As with bar soap, some deodorant will help insure that the others in your group enjoy your company.
4. Toothbrush, Toothpaste and Floss
Are you detecting a recurring theme here? Personal hygiene will make you feel better and in the case of a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, will prevent dental problems from festering and giving you problems in the future.
5. Shaving Gear (Guys)
6. Makeup (Gals)
Ditto x 2. But more than that, I would by lying if I told you that looking good was not important, regardless of the circumstances.
Now we are getting serious. Everyone loves M&Ms and they store well. Seal them up in a mason jar and they will be consumed before they get stale. Guaranteed to solve chocolate cravings!
Pick your poison. Mine is cheap red wine (so that I can make Survival Sangria with my freeze-dried fruit) and the Survival Husband’s is Grand Marnier (he has expensive tastes).
9. Board Games, Playing Cards, Crossword Puzzles
These things are typically buried in the back of a closet somewhere. When the time comes, who wants to go on a search and rescue mission? My favorites are Ticket to Ride, Mexican Train, Rummy Cube and Sudoku. What are yours?
Crossword puzzles can be great if you are good crossword solver. If you have a lot of people with you then you can share crossword clues and do a single crossword together.
Board game classics like Clue, Monopoly, Chess, are great but remember to include some games that people of all ages can play if you have young children in your household.
10. Pen and Paper
Some of my best ideas have come from making notes by candlelight. Create a journal, make lists or simply write for the sake of writing.
11. Coloring Books and Crayons
Not just for children! How long has it been since you have tried to stay within the lines?
12. A Teddy Bear
I still have a teddy bear. Do you?
13. Paperback Books
Although you may have plenty of ways to charge your electronic devices and gizmos, an old-fashioned page turner will take you back to simpler times. Plus, when you are done, you can pass the book along to one of your companions.
14. Blanket or Down Comforter
Staying toasty warm when the heat is off requires a blanket or comforter. It is even more fun if you have someone to share it with.
15. Warm Socks or Slippers
Like cuddling up in a blanket, padding around in warm socks or slippers is a lot more comfortable than wearing shoes. Why not?
16. Essential Oils
The last item on my list is a selection of essential oils. My favorite soothing essential oil is lavender (see The Miracle of Lavender Oil: 25 Amazing Uses for Survival). Not only does it smell heavenly, but lavender, as with many other essential oils, can be a stress reliever and will bring a sense of calm to one’s soul. Other good essential oils include rosemary, clary sage and rose.
The Final Word
Emergency preparedness is serious business. Having the right stuff and the right skills can be a deal breaker when it comes to survival.
On the other hand, we all need to lighten up sometimes. By writing this article I want to give you permission to indulge yourself. Think about the things you would miss the most if stuck at home for a week or two. These are the nice to have items, not life or death items, do it or die items.
The list I have provided is mine. Yours may be different. Care to share an item or two from your own list? Here is the deal. As soon as it is published, I will randomly select one comment to this article and send that reader a copy of my soon-to-be published e-Book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.
Now how cool is that?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Remember this rule of thumb: first purchase what you need to get by and later, as budget allows, add the extra items that will enhance and add dimension and depth to your existing survival gear.
Ticket To Ride: I love love love this game. It is a bit pricey but still, it is less than a dinner out for two at a modest restaurant. The entire family will get hours of fun from this popular board game.
Bicycle Canasta Games Playing Cards: This timeless classic will keep the entire family occupied when the power it out. Playing cards or board games should be in everyone’s preparedness pantry.
Pressman Original Travel Rummikub Game: I purchased this travel version for a recent trip and we whiled away an entire rainy afternoon playing. (I lost most rounds).
NOW Foods Lavender Oil: Lavender oil is my personal favorite. It can be used in salves and skin lotions or directly on the skin, right out of the bottle. It has a sweet, balsamic, floral aroma which combines well with many oils including citrus, clove, patchouli, rosemary, clary sage and pine. Its benefits include balancing, soothing, normalizing, calming, relaxing, and healing.
Top 14 Essential Oil Set: This well-priced set included Bergamot, Clary Sage, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Patchouli, Peppermint, Rosemary, Spearmint, Orange & Tea Tree.
Quikclot Sport Brand Advanced Clotting Sponge: A must for any first aid or emergency kit, Quikclot Sport stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.
Israeli Battle Dressing, 6-inch Compression Bandage: This is another inexpensive, yet critical item for your first aid kit. Combat medics, trauma doctors, and emergency responders all recommend this Israeli Battle Dressing (IBD) for the treatment of gunshot wounds, puncture wounds, deep cuts, and other traumatic hemorrhagic injuries.
Solo Stove: Emergency Survival Stove: The Solo Stove is perfect for cooking beans and rice using just a pot, some water and biomass as fuel. A step up is the EcoZoom Versa. Remember when I spoke of redundancy? I have both plus a Volcano II collapsible stove. I suppose you could say that going hungry is not high on my to do list.
Chemical Light Sticks: Pick your size (length) and pick your color. Just be aware that if color does not matter, some colors are cheaper than others. Be sure to read Lighting Your Way With Chemical Lighting.
Dorcy LED Wireless Motion Sensor Flood Lite: Don’t let the price lead you to think this wireless flood light is wimpy. I have two of these and feel that these lights are worth double the price. Using D-cell batteries, the Dorcy floodlight will light up a dark room or a dark stairway in an instant. I can not recommend these enough.
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11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: This little book will provide you with the motivation to get started or stay on track with a self-reliant life. 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, co-authored with my long time pal, George Ure (www.urbansurvival.com), and can purchased from Amazon.