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Prepping with bad eyesight
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Great post and question – I am working on putting together my get home bag, it will probably take months to save up and purchase all of the gear but I feel great to have gotten that process started after a long time of thinking, planning and getting the final list together. I relied heavily on The Prepared lengthy and detailed guide / article talking about bug out bags – that is a great place to start and tailor from there. I agree though, it would be great to have a detailed guide / article on get home bags. I am by no means an expert, so I’ll just share my thoughts and approach. I plan on going on an overnight hike by myself sometime this summer once my bag is fully together to test my pack list and hopefully identify any critical missing items. Basically I think there is at least a 95% cross over between a get home bag and a bug out bag. Instead of making myself a get home bag AND having a bug out bag (containing 95% of the same things) at my house, I am going to create a small “addendum” pouch that will contain a few extra days worth of clean clothes, a mental hygiene item (like a pack of cards), a small luggage lock, etc. So if it’s a bug out scenario I grab that addendum bug out pouch and my get home bag and I’m all set. I think this idea works for me in particular because I have a long commute to work each way, and I live in northern New England which has quite extreme winters.  That combined means it could take me 2-3 days to get home, longer if I had to avoid highways and roads and hike through deep snow in the woods.  Therefore my get home bag has to be pretty robust, especially in the winter. My husband thinks the entire concept is nuts so he refuses to let me make him or carry a get home bag. However, I am going to make him a bug out bag, as well as bug out bags for my two small children that I will keep in our house in case it’s needed. Just as time consuming and difficult as determining what you are going to have inside your get home bag, is determining what brand, make / model of each item you’re going to put in your bag. The Prepared has great gear reviews that I have used. I also look at Outdoor Gear Lab, as I used them a lot when making expensive rock climbing and ice climbing gear purchases in the past. Another thing to be aware of – REI has a “used gear” section for gear that is returned. I would NEVER buy used rock or ice climbing gear, like ropes, harness, belay devices, etc. But backpacks, hiking shoes, tents, winter jackets, hiking pants, sleeping bags, etc that have been lightly or even never used is great, in my opinion. Especially because you hope you never have to use the stuff in your get home bag or bug out bag. But you have it there if needed. For example – I researched which backpack I wanted for my get home bag and landed on the Women’s Osprey Fairview Trek 55. I checked the REI website for used options and found one in basically “new” condition that was about $75 cheaper than if I had brought it new. REI also offered returns on the used items you purchase, so if you get it and think there’s a problem with the product or you don’t like it you can return it no problem.

Thank you Ubique!  I truly appreciate the refresher on basic fire safety – I had forgotten about that rule regarding hot door knobs.  This is a good reminder for me, being prepared isn’t just about having the tools, it’s also having the background research and knowledge.   Where I was going with the fire resistant gloves – my master bedroom is on one side of the house, and my two children’s bedrooms are on the other side of the house, separated by a hallway about 15ish feet long, with the stairs to the lower level of our house in the middle of the hallway.  My biggest concern is waking up in the middle of the night to the fire alarm going off, to find the only path to rescue my two children (the hallway between our bedrooms) is blocked by fire.  Given the layout of my house, this is a real possibility. If that were to happen, I would have to escape from my bedroom window via fire ladder and then have a way to get up to my kids bedroom windows to rescue them independently from the outside.  I am looking at some telescoping ladders that could be used to access their bedroom windows on the 2nd floor from the outside.  The recommendations of window breakers was helpful as I would need that tool to break their bedroom windows. The link to the one telescoping ladder I was heavily considering is below.   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MFDHC1W/?coliid=I345V0M4JW5HLY&colid=1RJXTW4WFLRLA&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it  I actually had to call 911 for the fire department recently because of a close-call related to our wood burning stove.  It took the fire department about 10 minutes to get to our house.   I figure if my kids need to be rescued, I can’t wait for the fire department to get to my house, it will be too late. Does anybody have any recommendations on how to deal with the above scenario, regarding being unable to get to my children inside the house and having to rescue from the outside?  Other ideas besides the telescoping ladder?  I am not that strong, so the telescoping design seems to be light weight and easier to manage for me.


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Great post and question – I am working on putting together my get home bag, it will probably take months to save up and purchase all of the gear but I feel great to have gotten that process started after a long time of thinking, planning and getting the final list together. I relied heavily on The Prepared lengthy and detailed guide / article talking about bug out bags – that is a great place to start and tailor from there. I agree though, it would be great to have a detailed guide / article on get home bags. I am by no means an expert, so I’ll just share my thoughts and approach. I plan on going on an overnight hike by myself sometime this summer once my bag is fully together to test my pack list and hopefully identify any critical missing items. Basically I think there is at least a 95% cross over between a get home bag and a bug out bag. Instead of making myself a get home bag AND having a bug out bag (containing 95% of the same things) at my house, I am going to create a small “addendum” pouch that will contain a few extra days worth of clean clothes, a mental hygiene item (like a pack of cards), a small luggage lock, etc. So if it’s a bug out scenario I grab that addendum bug out pouch and my get home bag and I’m all set. I think this idea works for me in particular because I have a long commute to work each way, and I live in northern New England which has quite extreme winters.  That combined means it could take me 2-3 days to get home, longer if I had to avoid highways and roads and hike through deep snow in the woods.  Therefore my get home bag has to be pretty robust, especially in the winter. My husband thinks the entire concept is nuts so he refuses to let me make him or carry a get home bag. However, I am going to make him a bug out bag, as well as bug out bags for my two small children that I will keep in our house in case it’s needed. Just as time consuming and difficult as determining what you are going to have inside your get home bag, is determining what brand, make / model of each item you’re going to put in your bag. The Prepared has great gear reviews that I have used. I also look at Outdoor Gear Lab, as I used them a lot when making expensive rock climbing and ice climbing gear purchases in the past. Another thing to be aware of – REI has a “used gear” section for gear that is returned. I would NEVER buy used rock or ice climbing gear, like ropes, harness, belay devices, etc. But backpacks, hiking shoes, tents, winter jackets, hiking pants, sleeping bags, etc that have been lightly or even never used is great, in my opinion. Especially because you hope you never have to use the stuff in your get home bag or bug out bag. But you have it there if needed. For example – I researched which backpack I wanted for my get home bag and landed on the Women’s Osprey Fairview Trek 55. I checked the REI website for used options and found one in basically “new” condition that was about $75 cheaper than if I had brought it new. REI also offered returns on the used items you purchase, so if you get it and think there’s a problem with the product or you don’t like it you can return it no problem.

Thank you Ubique!  I truly appreciate the refresher on basic fire safety – I had forgotten about that rule regarding hot door knobs.  This is a good reminder for me, being prepared isn’t just about having the tools, it’s also having the background research and knowledge.   Where I was going with the fire resistant gloves – my master bedroom is on one side of the house, and my two children’s bedrooms are on the other side of the house, separated by a hallway about 15ish feet long, with the stairs to the lower level of our house in the middle of the hallway.  My biggest concern is waking up in the middle of the night to the fire alarm going off, to find the only path to rescue my two children (the hallway between our bedrooms) is blocked by fire.  Given the layout of my house, this is a real possibility. If that were to happen, I would have to escape from my bedroom window via fire ladder and then have a way to get up to my kids bedroom windows to rescue them independently from the outside.  I am looking at some telescoping ladders that could be used to access their bedroom windows on the 2nd floor from the outside.  The recommendations of window breakers was helpful as I would need that tool to break their bedroom windows. The link to the one telescoping ladder I was heavily considering is below.   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MFDHC1W/?coliid=I345V0M4JW5HLY&colid=1RJXTW4WFLRLA&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it  I actually had to call 911 for the fire department recently because of a close-call related to our wood burning stove.  It took the fire department about 10 minutes to get to our house.   I figure if my kids need to be rescued, I can’t wait for the fire department to get to my house, it will be too late. Does anybody have any recommendations on how to deal with the above scenario, regarding being unable to get to my children inside the house and having to rescue from the outside?  Other ideas besides the telescoping ladder?  I am not that strong, so the telescoping design seems to be light weight and easier to manage for me.


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